Back in stock: Akerworks Swatch Gauge.

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!

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

Akerworks Yarn Caddy.

Meet our newest gadget: the Akerworks Yarn Caddy, a go-anywhere tool for holding your working yarn!

This yarn-holding spindle comes from Akerworks in Knoxville, TN, the good people who brought us the clever and popular Swatch Gauge. The Yarn Caddy is lightweight and portable, featuring a suction cup base and a gadget on the top regulating the yarn’s tension.

It comes disassembled, a little mesh bag with the Flat Pack Yarn Caddy pieces and a SimpleKate on the side. While it’s easy to assemble, it doesn’t come with instructions, so I took a few pictures while I was putting it together; click on the photos below for a full view.

Look for our display Akerworks Yarn Caddy in the center of the front room at the shop, and ask us if you’d like one of your own – we store them in the back room.

See you at the shop!

Favorite posts of 2017.

As 2017 winds down and a new year begins tomorrow, I’m looking back on another year of blogging for the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – my eighth. Taking the photos and writing the text that fill these posts is one of the great pleasures of my work here at the shop, and I’m always so pleased to hear that people enjoy reading along. Let’s look back together, then, and I’ll share a few of my favorite posts and memories of the year.

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed: We were beyond excited to introduce Brooklyn Tweed yarns to our shop this year, and honestly the excitement hasn’t yet worn off! I knit a hat and a sweater in Shelter, another hat in Arbor, a scarf in Quarry, and still when I daydream about future projects, I’m daydreaming about Brooklyn Tweed yarns.

What’s winding: This little post about a bit of furniture rearranging in the front room of the shop turns out to be among my favorites this year. Our dedicated yarn-winding station has an old table at its foundation, one that belonged to Anne’s mother, so I often think of her as I wind yarn, and how everyday objects can be imbued with such meaning.

Ase Lund Jensen: Marianne Isager’s tribute to her mentor is a beautiful book of knitting history as well as knitting patterns, one I devoured in a single sitting and will surely return to for inspiration. The newest Isager yarn is named for the subject of this book, Danish designer Ase Lund Jensen, and it’s one of my favorite yarns to arrive at the shop this year.

Akerworks Swatch Gauge: This clever tool helps to measure gauge, and while it’s perfectly possible to do so without it, I’m happier with this little gadget in my toolkit. It encourages larger swatches and hands-off measuring, for honest swatching and garments that come out the right size.

Knitting Comfortably: Carson Demers’ book on the ergonomics of handknitting has already changed the way I knit, and I intend to continue my study of it well into the new year, practicing healthier ways of moving my hands and positioning my body to minimize the risk of injury as best I can. We quickly sold out of our first order, just as Demers sold out of his first edition, but fear not – our next batch of this popular book will likely arrive in January!

Thank you so much, dear readers, for spending time with us at the shop and on the blog. We appreciate your support and look forward to starting new projects in 2018 – happy new year to you!

Akerworks Swatch Gauge.

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of an exciting new knitting gadget: the Akerworks Swatch Gauge is now in stock here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

The Swatch Gauge is a new tool for measuring gauge, a heavy plastic one with cut-outs for counting how many stitches or rows make four inches, horizontally and vertically.

When we read about it on Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Review, we immediately reached out to Akerworks with a wholesale request. Her rave review caused them to be inundated with such requests, great news for a small company, so while we had to wait, we’re so happy for them that we can hardly complain!

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!

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