Akerworks Swatch Gauge and Knitting Tool Kit.

The Akerworks Swatch Gauge is among our favorite notions, and we’re delighted to have a new batch of them on our shelves!

The Swatch Gauge is a tool for measuring gauge, a heavy plastic one with cut-outs for counting how many stitches or rows make four inches, horizontally and vertically. We first read about it on Knitter’s Review, where Clara Parkes’ enthusiasm for the product caught our eye.

The defining feature of the Akerworks Swatch Gauge is what Clara Parkes refers to as “honesty teeth.” These little teeth hold your fabric flat as you measure, simultaneously discouraging you from tugging or smoothing it this way or that to get gauge under false pretenses. We’ve all done it – you really want to get gauge, after all! – and knitted fabric is stretchy enough to accommodate our wishful thinking. This Swatch Gauge allows you to count stitches and rows hands-free for the least-biased gauge measurement possible. What a brilliant design!

The clever folks at Akerworks have also developed something new, a Knitting Tool Kit. Like a Swiss army knife for knitters, this gadget is many tools in one: a Swatch Gauge, a needle gauge, a notions case with a tape measure, mini scissors, and magnetized pockets with darning needles and locking stitch markers.

Look for the Akerworks Swatch Gauge and Knitting Tool Kit in our notions department. Pick up one for yourself, of course, but also remember them as gifts for the knitters in your life. See you at the shop!

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Ranch 02.

We are delighted to announce that Brooklyn Tweed’s newest yarn has arrived!

Meet Ranch 02, the second in Brooklyn Tweed’s series of ranch-specific, small-batch yarns.

Ranch 02 is a worsted weight, woolen-spun, limited edition, ranch-specific Rambouillet yarn, which means every fiber in these skeins was sourced from a single flock of sheep living on Forbes Ranch in Kaycee, Wyoming.

Brooklyn Tweed has always sought to highlight single breed wools and support US ranchers with sustainable environmental practices. This project allows them to shine a spotlight on the people and practices behind their yarns, one ranch at a time. You can learn more about Forbes Ranch from a lovely video produced by BT – it gives a good sense of the people who made this yarn possible.

After the wool was sourced at Forbes Ranch in Wyoming, scoured at Bollman Industries in Texas, and spun at Crescent Woolen Mill in Wisconsin, it traveled to Pennsylvania to be dyed at Caledonian Dye Works. The 10-color palette is inspired by the landscape of northern Wyoming, and the sheep that roam the land.

What to knit with Ranch 02? Anything that calls for Shelter, Ranch 01, or worsted weight yarn of any kind. Here are a few ideas from the BT archive, all available to purchase from Ravelry and many available in print here at the shop:

Looking beyond Brooklyn Tweed designs, here are a few other patterns that would be great for Ranch 02:

Jared Flood has also designed two new patterns especially for Ranch 02, a textured yoke pullover and a cabled hat. As a special treat, you can get a coupon for a free download of Flood’s “Tillage Hat” with any purchase of Ranch 02 here at our shop!

Look for Ranch 02 in the worsted weight section here at our shop while supplies last, and check out our full selection of Brooklyn Tweed yarns and patterns while you’re here. See you at the shop!

Shibui Sample of the Month: “Sakasama Jacket.”

October is here, and with it, a new Shibui Sample of the Month! We offer a 10% discount on Shibui yarn purchased for our featured sample til the end of the month.

October’s sample is the “Sakasama Jacket,” by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, a versatile garment that can be worn upside-down or right-side up. It’s knit with two strands of yarn held together throughout – the tweedy Shibui Pebble and fuzzy Silk Cloud.

This particular sample combines a blue-gray and a dark blue, for a unique marled fabric whose color shifts depending on the light – it’s tricky to photograph, and far more beautiful in person.

Come by the shop to before October 26th to see this “Sakasama Jacket” and get Shibui Pebble and Silk Cloud at 10% off to make one of your own!

 

Just a reminder–all sales are final on discounted items; there can be no exchanges, returns, or special orders. Thanks!

Koigu Collector’s Club: Jeans.

The Koigu Collector’s Club continues! Each month, we’ll receive a batch of KPPPM in a limited edition color dyed especially for a select group of local yarn stores that carry Koigu.

The inspiration for this batch is Jeans, and the yarn is fittingly streaked with shades of denim blue and ivory. Dyed on KPPPM, Koigu’s signature fingering weight superwash merino wool, this variegated colorway is ideal for making shawls, cowls, baby sweaters, and of course, socks.

Our new Baggu project bags are a perfect match, denim totes styled after plastic grocery bags.

You’ll find this limited edition colorway of Koigu KPPPM in our fingering weight section while supplies last!

Back in stock: Harmony Farm Candles.

As the weather starts to cool down and the leaves change color, we are now finally feeling that fall is underway. It’s a time for stitching, to be sure, and evenings with yarn in our hands are often accompanied by flickering candles in scents that evoke the season. Our friend Erin is the maker behind Harmony Farm Candles in nearby Mebane, NC, and we’ve just had a visit with her, which means – more candles!

We got three seasonal scents in – Mulled Cider, Pumpkin Spice, and Fall Foliage – along with our own signature scent, Lavender Eucalyptus.

Erin hand-pours her candles in small batches using 100% US-sourced soy wax, with no added dyes. Their scents are fresh and bright, but not overwhelming – “delightfully fragranced,” as she puts it.

As gifts, these candles are always warmly-received; keep them in mind for holiday and host gifts, birthdays, and the odd just-thinking-of-you occasion. Look for Harmony Farm Candles in our gifts section!

Vanishing Fleece.

We’re delighted to have Clara Parkes’ new book in stock!

Clara Parkes is a writer, designer, and expert reviewer of all things fiber. She’s the blogger behind Knitter’s Review, and it’s there that we first learned about some of our favorite productsneedles, and yarns. In Vanishing Fleece, Parkes traces one 676-pound bale of wool as it’s sourced, scoured, and spun into yarn, a journey that takes her all across the US and deep into the American textile industry. 

Look for Vanishing Fleece among the latest books and magazines here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Pick it up to learn more about how yarn is made, and get to know the people who make it!

Brooklyn Tweed Sample of the Month: Guernsey Wrap.

Our Brooklyn Tweed Sample of the Month for October is here! Come by this month to see the “Guernsey Wrap.”

Jared Flood’s “Guernsey Wrap” has become Brooklyn Tweed’s best-selling pattern of all time, a now-classic rectangular shawl decorated with bands knit and purl texture patterns.

This version is knit with Shelter, Brooklyn Tweed’s signature worsted weight, woolen-spun yarn. It comes in 45 colors and we’re delighted to report that we have them all in stock. Even better, we’re offering them at 10% off during October!

Come by this month to see it for yourself, and pick a color for a “Guernsey Wrap” of your very own!

Just a reminder–all sales are final on discounted items; there can be no exchanges, returns, or special orders. Thanks!

Laine Magazine, No. 9.

We recently welcomed another beautiful new issue of Laine Magazine, their ninth. Let’s look inside!

Laine Magazine is a publication out of Finland, a knitting and lifestyle magazine with a love of natural fibers as its focus, and a reputation for beautiful designs and tantalizing photography.

The editors of Laine have recently shared that they’re taking a break from producing the magazine, and that this issue may be their last. We’ve loved seeing Laine grow over the past few years, and hope that slowing down will allow them to continue to create this special publication.

Inside this issue of Laine, you’ll find lovely things to knit, a travel guide to Munich, tasty-looking things to cook, essays and profiles of fiber artists from all over the world, too. One such profile, of knitwear designer and teacher Lavanya Patricella, has been edited since going to print – please read the current version on Laine’s website, along with statements from Lavanya Patricella and Laine about the changes.

Two familiar yarns showed up in this issue – Marianne Munier’s “Lumi” is knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft, and North Carolina designer Rachel Brockman’s “Pinaceae” is knit with Fibre Company Lore.

Come by the shop to page through Laine – at the moment, we have issues 7, 8, and 9 available.

While you’re here, take some time to browse our other books and magazines as well – there are so many new publications to see this month. We hope you find inspiration here!

Hello, Kelbourne Woolens Lucky Tweed.

Fall is such an exciting time of year here at the shop, with one new yarn after another. The latest comes from Kelbourne Woolens – meet Lucky Tweed!

Lucky Tweed is an aran weight merino wool yarn, manufactured in Donegal, Ireland, for an authentic tweed look and soft hand.

Like any classic tweed, Lucky Tweed is dotted with flecks of fiber in contrasting colors, and the team at Kelbourne Woolens have thoughtfully selected 13 shades for a balanced color palette.

Lucky Tweed knits up at 4 – 4.5 stitches per inch on US 7 – 8 needles. Though it’s warm and relatively thick, it’s not heavy; with 210 yards on each 100 gram skein, Lucky Tweed is quite lofty for an aran weight yarn.

What to knit with Lucky Tweed? Kate Gagnon Osborn, Courtney Kelley, and Meghan Babin of Kelbourne Woolens have designed the nine-piece Lucky Tweed Collection to answer that very question. From the looks of it, Lucky Tweed is as happy in a cable pattern as in colorwork, lace, or a simple knit/purl texture pattern.

Find the patterns on Ravelry and the yarn here at our shop!

By Hand Lookbook No. 10: Montana’s Big Sky Country.

The latest volume of By Hand is here!

By Hand is a series of lookbooks where each issue focuses on a city or region. The subject matter is the makers of that community, the designers, hand-dyers, and fiber artists that both shape and draw inspiration from the place they call home.

The focus of this issue is Montana’s Big Sky Country, and the weavers, bakers, yarn makers, boat builders, and jewelers who live and work there.

I spotted a familiar yarn amidst the patterns in this issue – Andrea Hungerford’s “Gallatin Wraparound” is knit with 2 strands of Shibui Lunar and 1 strand of Shibui Twig held together throughout.

Along with maker profiles and knitting patterns, By Hand also features recipes and other crafty projects. So many of us partake in a variety of handiwork, though we may call one or another a favorite; it’s nice to see a diversity of interests on display in this publication.

Look for By Hand here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!