Back in stock: Classy mini-skeins.

Back in August, we got a bundle of mini-skeins from Dream in Color and a fun, simple pattern to go with: the “Technicolor Cowl.” We all had fun putting wild colorways together, and before we knew it, they were sold out. I’m happy to report that we were finally able to get Dream in Color Classy mini-skeins back in stock!


Dream in Color Classy is a worsted weight superwash merino, hand-dyed in Chicago, IL. Each of these mini-skeins comes with about 50 yards of yarn.


Nancy Leuer’s “Technicolor Cowl” calls for 8 mini-skeins.


We’ve seen so many kinds of color combinations made from these mini-skeins, and they all look great. Some are gradients, pulling 8 shades from one or two color families. Some are brightly colored, with high contrast shades side by side in each stripe. Some feature duplicate skeins of one main color studded with only a few contrasting shades, for a less colorful but no less interesting look.


Come by the shop to put together a “Technicolor Cowl” colorway of your own!


Show and tell: anniversary edition, part 2.

As you may remember from years past, or may have seen in our most recent email newsletter, October 18th marks the eight-year anniversary of the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We are so grateful to all of you for your support over the years, for shopping and learning and sharing with us. We’ll celebrate another year in business in our usual way: an anniversary sale! From Friday October 17th – Sunday October 19th, everything in the shop will be discounted by 15%, with the exception of classes and that which is already discounted.

Here on the blog, I’m celebrating all of you with another batch of show and tell.


Joanne came in the other day with a colorful project to share. Above, she models her “Technicolor Cowl” knit in the decadent Alchemy Sanctuary, a velvety blend of merino wool and silk.


Paula’s needles have been busy lately; she recently brought in two finished projects to share with us! Above is her “Thicket” beret, from Alana Dakos’ Botanical Knits 2, knit in Fibre Company Acadia.


Paula also knit this “Mix No. 26″ with Shibui Pebble, a different yarn, but a nice match for her “Thicket” beret. I love it in these low-contrast colors, a soft beige against wintry white.


Emily came in wearing this “Côte-Nord Cap,” a pattern by Amy Christoffers from last winter’s Interweave Knits, Winter 2014. She used a skein of the new Swans Island All American Worsted in a rich blue hue.


Thanks to everyone who starts and shares their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We find your stitches so inspiring, and your support of the shop is so appreciated. Keep your eyes on the blog for another “show and tell” post soon, and visit us this weekend to take advantage of our Anniversary Sale!


(A reminder: all sales are final on sale items; there can be no exchanges, no returns, nor will we special order. Discount applies only to in-store purchases. Thanks!) 


Show and tell: anniversary edition, part 1.

This week, as we celebrate the shop’s anniversary, we also celebrate the community of knitters and crocheters who have supported us over the years. We always love to see what you’re making with HYS yarns, and I love to take photos of your beautiful finished pieces to share here on the blog. I’ve amassed a big stack of them over the past couple of months, enough for three blog posts! Here’s the first batch.


Karen knit this “Yipes Stripes Cowl” in a class here at the shop, using five colors of Plymouth Galway in shades of orange, brown, and green. Then she used her leftovers to knit another. And another! With each cowl, Karen rearranged the color placement, showing just how different the same five colors can look depending upon how they’re laid out.


One of the great things about being in a class is that you can see up close how the same project looks in different colors and yarns. Sherri was in the same “Yipes Stripes” class with Karen, and knit this cowl with five shades of Mirasol Qina, a soft blend of alpaca and bamboo.

yipes stripes

This next project also came out of a class here at the shop, one that focused on knitting fair isle tams. Check out Judy’s beautiful “Midnight Sun Tam,” knit in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift!

DSCN3672Katherine is a gifted knitter, crocheter, and teacher here at the shop. She recently brought in a new sample for an upcoming class, the “Summer Dawn” cowl, crocheted in Fibre Company Meadow and Savannah.


Perfect for beginning crocheters looking for a next step, Katherine’s upcoming “Summer Dawn Crochet Cowl” class will teach how to crochet in the round and read crochet symbols and charts. Read all about it on our “Classes” page, where you can sign up if you like!


Thanks to everyone who starts and shares their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop; we feel so honored to be a part of your creative process!


New colors in Canopy Worsted.

Along with a brand new yarn from Fibre Company, we’ve also received new colors in their Canopy Worsted, a blend of merino, alpaca, and bamboo. Just one 200 yard skein makes a hat or cowl, as the Kelbourne Woolens Weekenders collection taught us. I see knitters treat themselves to a skein of Canopy Worsted now and then, and many of them come back for more. We’ve come back for more Canopy Worsted, too, unable to resist five new shades in this tempting yarn.

DSCN3400I love seeing how these new colors fit into our existing color palette, looking at home among their brothers and sisters.

DSCN3404Anne’s “Cumberland” cowl is here at the shop, another one-skein project in Canopy Worsted. Come by to try it on, and get a good sense of how the yarn knits up in a texture pattern.

DSCN3406For other Canopy Worsted pattern ideas, consider the new Knightsbridge Collection; any of those garments and accessories would look just as incredible in Canopy Worsted. Follow us on Pinterest for even more pattern inspiration! See you at the shop.


Shibori felting with Alchemy yarns.

Gina Wilde is the mind behind Alchemy’s rich colors, a dyer and designer who dreams up interesting uses for the yarns she paints. We always look forward to her color consultations at TNNA–here she is back in May, helping us select harmonious colors in all four Alchemy yarns we ordered.


Many of her designs use a shibori felting technique, where Alchemy Sanctuary and Silken Straw are knit together, then thrown in the washing machine to felt. Sanctuary, a blend of merino wool and silk, felts into a velvety fabric, while Silken Straw stretches out and softens. The combination of the two in one garment yields unique textures and shapes, and adds an exciting, transformative final step to the knitting process. Last year, I tried shibori felting for the first time, knitting a “Simple Shibori Cowl” in bright, warm shades of Sanctuary and Silken Straw.


We’ve seen lots of beautiful color combinations come together for this project; Mary knit these two “Simple Shibori Cowls,” which were featured on the blog for show and tell.


Our new shades of Sanctuary and Silken Straw make for even more fun combinations. Here are a few I put together; I can’t wait to see what other knitters will come up with!

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Earlier this spring, Anne finished her “Widsom Wrap,” a much larger shibori project.


DSCN2888 The “Wisdom Wrap” calls for one shade in Sanctuary and four in Silken Straw. We’ve restocked Anne’s colorway, a beautiful mix of purple, greens, and dark brown.


Of course, I couldn’t resist putting a few other “Wisdom Wrap” colorways together, this time with a bit of glitter from Sparky.

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Come by to select colors for a “Wisdom Wrap” of your own, or search for other shibori felting patterns on the HYS Pinterest page. See you at the shop!


Still playing with Shibui.

I have many loves when it comes to yarn and knitting, but right now, Shibui is at the forefront. Each time new colors come in to the shop, I find myself pairing and grouping them again. With that in mind, indulge me in a few more color-combinations for Shibui projects–I can’t help myself.


Several of you have made or are making the “Gradient” cowl, a free pattern from Shibui which is worked with three strands of Silk Cloud held together. Periodically, one of those three strands is switched out for a different color, which makes a gentle transition from one color to the next–four colors in all. It’s easy to lose oneself on Ravelry looking at different “Gradient” cowls in their many colors…here are even more that I’d love to see made up.






With 21 shades of Silk Cloud so far, we have plenty to choose from. What four colors would you use for a “Gradient” cowl?


We also got new colors in Cima, a springy lace weight blend of alpaca and merino. I put these pairings together with two Shibui cowls in mind–“Kinetic” and “Mix No. 23.” The first has you blending the two colors for an ombre effect, and the second sets the two shades against one another in a bold double-knit motif.





We’re up to 20 shades in Cima now; come by the shop to play with them yourself, and consider Shibui’s yarns and patterns as you’re planning your next project!



Zigzag Cowl Knit-Along.

Last Spring, we had two Knit-Alongs at the shop: first we knit up the summery “Gemini” tee, and then we made “Hexagonal Market Bags.” Halfway through March, sick of freezing rain and snow, we’ve decided we’re ready for another warm-weather Knit-Along. Inspired by the latest new yarn at the shop, Anne, Rosi and I have both cast on for the “1-Skein Zigzag Cowl,” a pattern by Heather Walpole for Ewe Ewe.


I’m knitting one in Ewe So Sporty, the sport weight superwash merino for which the pattern was written. The yarn is tightly-plied and full of elasticity, well-behaved on my Addi Turbo needles and resulting in a pleasing stretchy fabric.


Thinking Spring, Anne chose Tahki Cotton Classic for her Zigzag Cowl, a dk weight mercerized cotton. Like Ewe So Sporty, Cotton Classic has sharp stitch definition, but like all plant fibers, it lacks elasticity, which will make a lightweight, gently draping fabric. Just the thing for decorating and warming your neck on a moderately chilly day.


Rosi’s cowl is made in Mirasol Nuna, a sport weight blend of merino wool, silk, and bamboo. These fibers combine to be quite soft, a little fuzzy, and a little shiny, and make a relaxed, luxurious fabric.


I’m excited to see how these three different yarns behave in the same pattern. Want to make a “1-Skein Zigzag Cowl” of your own? Join us in this informal Knit-Along. The pattern is available at the shop in print or as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale, where we’ll print a copy for you and save a digital copy to your email or Ravelry pattern library. Any sport or dk weight yarn should do; we have a nice selection of colors in Ewe So Sporty, Tahki Cotton Classic, and Mirasol Nuna, along with all manner of other yarns in those gauges. I’d love to see Zigzag Cowls in Malabrigo Arroyo, Fibre Company Savannah, Mountain Meadow Wool Cody, or String Theory Selku, to name a few. Come by the shop to see all the choices, and to see how Anne, Rosi, and I are progressing on our cowls. We’ll also be posting on the Ravelry HYS group with any lessons learned along the way, just as we did while we were making our Gemini sweaters and market bags. See you at the shop!



The Fibre Company have just published a new collection of 5 accessory patterns, each of which calls for just one skein of the luxurious Canopy Worsted. Say hello to Weekenders.


Canopy Worsted is a soft and slightly shimmering blend of 50% alpaca, 30% merino wool, and 20% bamboo, with 200 yards to each 100 gram skein.


The bamboo gives it a gentle drape, and the alpaca gives it a soft halo, but it maintains a crisp stitch definition that does well in cables and texture patterns.


The hats and cowls of Weekenders make good use of Canopy Worsted’s many positive qualities.



Anne and I can both attest that Canopy Worsted is delightful in the hands and on the needles–I treated myself to a sweater’s worth last Fall, and Anne can’t seem to take off her “Cumberland” cowl. In fact, she recently started making one for her mother. It’s a special skein of yarn, Canopy Worsted, and each of these patterns makes the most of just one skein.


Come by the shop to pick up a copy of Weekenders and a skein or two of Canopy Worsted! See you there.


Show and tell: scarves, cowls, and colorwork.

Speaking of show-and-tell: knowing how much we love to see projects made in HYS yarns, so many of you have brought impressive finished pieces by the shop this past month or so. We’ve seen knit sweaters, scarves, and hats, crocheted cowls and shawls, fingerless mitts, stuffed bunnies, and more, many of which were thoughtfully crafted as gifts for friends and family. As usual, I wish I could photograph them all; here are some of the projects you’ve shared with us lately.


Victoria wove this scarf for her son using three different yarns: the fingering weight Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine and Colinette Jitterbug, and the dk weight Sandnes Garn Alpakka. I love the bold color combination and the herringbone pattern.

DSCN2329If you’ve come by the shop lately to see our newest yarns, we’ve likely ushered you into the lace weight corner to admire the Shibui yarns. Where once you’d find my Mix No. 23 cowl hanging near the Shibui patterns, now you’ll find Amy’s, made up in the delightful Shibui Cima. Amy is now teaching a class at the shop on this double-knit cowl, so I’m hoping to see even more Mix No. 23’s in the coming months. (Intrigued by Shibui? There are still a few open spaces in our upcoming Shibui Mix Partysign up and join us!)


Mary made this “Drop Stitch Cowl” in no time, using 3 balls of the super soft, super bulky Katia Fabula. I always love to see how drop stitch patterns change the way colors fall in variegated yarns, and this cowl is no exception. Mary reports that Fabula became even softer and more pliable after a Eucalan soak. The pattern is available as a free download on Ravelry, and would also look great in Malabrigo Mecha or Mountain Fusion Teton, among others.


Anne recently knit a cowl, too, one which she has worn every day since completing it. And no wonder: it’s made with one skein of the luxurious Fibre Company Canopy Worsted, a blend of alpaca, merino, and bamboo. The pattern is “Cumberland,” available for purchase at the shop as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale. Come by the shop to pick up a skein of Canopy Worsted for your own Cumberland Cowl, and you’ll likely find Anne wearing hers.


Anne has also been hard at work making colorwork vests in preparation for her upcoming Intro. to Fair Isle class. The class project is Onslow’s Vest, a free pattern for a tiny vest, fit for a doll or stuffed bear. Thinking of her grandchildren, Anne substituted the bulky Cascade Eco+, with larger needles to match, and came out with the following.


Of course, with one little girl vest behind her, Anne has begun the first of two little boy vests for her twin grandsons. For those, she’s chosen the soft and springy Swans Island Organic Washable DK–a lighter weight fabric will better serve her boys in these Southern climes.



Thanks again for sharing your projects with us! We so love seeing what you create with yarns from the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.


New Isager patterns.

By now, you probably know how we feel about Isager yarns and patterns. We’ve offered classes on Marianne and Helga Isager’s designs, hosted Isager trunk shows, and knit with those yarns and patterns ourselves, again and again. So it will come as no surprise that we’re delighted to share some new Isager patterns with you, meaning patterns designed by Marianne Isager as well as patterns by other designers for Isager yarns.


The “Trellis Wimple” is a generous openwork cowl that can be worn a few different ways. It’s worked on a range of needle sizes to create gentle shaping, and made with two strands of Isager yarn held together throughout: the lace weight Spinni (Wool 1) and the fingering weight Alpaca 2. Use coordinating colors for a solid-looking garment, or try slightly different shades for a marled look.


The “Barclay Scarf” uses three shades of Alpaca 2, which are striped in a texture pattern for a nice effect.


Marianne Isager’s “Diamanten” shawl calls for Spinni (Wool 1) held together with a silk/mohair blend; Shibui Silk Cloud comes to mind. The Isager and Shibui color palettes each have their own character, but there is certainly overlap enough to make some beautiful combinations.


Speaking of Shibui, Pebble or Isager Tvinni would both be a perfect fit for “Vingefang,” a cardigan pattern that also came to us from our Isager distributors.


Come by the shop to see even more new patterns for Isager yarns, and to play the Isager/Shibui color combination game that I’ve come to love. See you there!