Hello, Balayage.

We’re pleased to announce the arrival of a brand new yarn – meet Pascuali Balayage!

Balayage is the result of a collaboration between knitwear designer Melanie Berg and German yarn company Pascuali. Balayage is a fingering weight blend of 80% alpaca and 20% organic merino wool. The resulting combination is incredibly soft in the hand, perfect for next-to-skin wear.

The color palette is a beautiful range of lights, mediums, and darks, neutral colors and brights, all designed to play well together for stripes and other kinds of colorwork. This harmonious palette was achieved in part before the yarn was even dyed; the alpaca fiber was naturally white and gray, while the merino was white, so all the shades of Balayage are dyed over this heathered gray base.

Melanie Berg has designed two shawls for Balayage so far, “Rock My Shawl” and “The Big Easy.” Both patterns use four shades, so that’s the number I played with as I created the color combinations below.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of color possibilities – we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

For more pattern ideas, consider Julia-Maria Hegenbart’s “Rough Sea” shawl, Victoria Maria’s “Viura” pullover, Ewelina Murach’s “Tucked Away” shawl, or Christelle Nihoul’s “Brise d’Automne” hat and cowl. Our “Fingering weight” Pinterest board has lots of pattern ideas, too!

Look for Pascuali Balayage in our fingering weight section here at the shop, where we hope to see you soon!

Hello, Isager Alpaca 3.

This week we welcomed a brand new yarn from Isager – meet Alpaca 3!

Alpaca 3 is a bulky weight blend of alpaca and wool, soft and lofty due to its chainette construction. This yarn has tremendous elasticity, making it a pleasure to work with and surely a pleasure to wear.

Alpaca 3 is one in a series of alpaca yarns from Danish yarn company Isager. We also carry the lace weight Alpaca 1 and fingering weight Alpaca 2.

The label doesn’t have any recommendation for needle size or gauge, so Anne got out a pair of US 10 needles and started swatching. She did a little garter stitch, a little stockinette, a few other texture patterns, and still wanted to keep knitting – a good sign!

A photograph can’t do this yarn justice; you must come in and touch. See you at the shop!

Hello, Shibui Nest.

Shibui’s newest yarn has arrived! Meet Nest.

Nest is a DK weight blend of 75% fine highland wool and 25% alpaca, with 175 yards on each 50 gram skein.

At first glance, Nest looks like a marled yarn, but a closer inspection reveals an unusual structure, where one fluffy ply is criss-crossed by two thinner plies in a contrasting color.

We’d secured a couple skeins of Nest in advance for sample knitting, and I’m the lucky one who got that assignment. I’m knitting the “Sindi” cowl, holding one strand of Nest together with two strands of Silk Cloud for a super soft accessory.

Every few inches, I’m changing which shades of Silk Cloud are in the mix, creating a subtle gradient from light to dark.

You’ll find more uses of Nest in Shibui’s Fall 19 collection – we have sample copies of patterns here, and they’re available to buy on Ravelry.

Come by the shop to see and touch Nest, and check out our “Sindi” sample – see you there!

Hello, Kelbourne Woolens Perennial.

Kelbourne Woolens’ new yarn is here! Meet Perennial.

Perennial is a light fingering weight blend of superwash merino, Suri alpaca, and nylon. Each 100 gram skein boasts 497 yards, enough for a pair of socks or mitts, a cowl, hat, or small shawl.

The women of Kelbourne Woolens have designed this yarn to be something of a staple – soft from the alpaca but sturdy from the nylon, easy care on account of the superwash merino, suitable for all kinds of projects.

The color palette was also devised with variety in mind, with a wide range of neutrals, jewel tones, neons, and primary colors. Combine them with each other or with a wild variegated skein from your stash – Perennial plays well with others!

We’re looking forward to Kelbourne Woolens’ upcoming pattern collection for Perennial, but in the meantime, look to our “Fingering weight” Pinterest board for project ideas. Come by the shop to give Perennial a squeeze and plan your next project!

Hello, Kate Davies Àrd-Thìr.

We’re thrilled to announce that Kate Davies’ new yarn is here!

We’ve long been admirers of Davies’ writing and knitwear design, and keep a variety of her books in stock here at the shop. Since she started her own line of yarn a few years ago, we’ve longed to carry it, but she sells directly to consumers on her website, rather than through retailers like us. For her newest yarn, Davies has collaborated with Fyberspates to distribute Àrd-Thìr more widely, and we could not be happier to have it on our shelves and in our hands!

Kate Davies Àrd-Thìr is an aran weight blend of Peruvian fibers, 60% highland wool and 40% alpaca. Each 50 gram skein has 71 yards, and it knits up at about 15-19 stitches over 4″ on needles from US 7-10.5. The texture is smooth and round, for sharp stitch definition and a springy elasticity in the hand.

Àrd-Thìr comes in 10 heathered shades inspired by the winter landscape of the Scottish highlands, a beautiful muted palette. Head to Davies’ blog to read more about the inspiration, production, and sourcing that makes Àrd-Thìr so special.

I’m the lucky knitter charged with making a shop sample in Àrd-Thìr, and I’ve cast on for Davies’ first available pattern for this yarn, the “Weel Riggit Hat.” It’s been delightfully quick to knit, a pleasure in my hands and on the needles.

Come by the shop to see and touch Àrd-Thìr for yourself, and plan your next project! You’ll find it in our Aran weight section.

Back in stock, show and tell: Isager Alpaca 2.

Among all the lovely Isager yarns, Alpaca 2 has been a favorite here at our shop, so we make sure to keep every available color in stock.

Isager Alpaca 2 is a light fingering weight blend of merino wool and alpaca, with 275 yards on each 50 gram skein. Our seasoned “Stole” sample has hung on the wall for years now, yet it regularly catches the eye of knitters seeking a soothing, repetitive project, one that’s easy to execute, but with graceful results.

We’ve seen all manner of “Stole” variations, and whether they’re knit in the pattern’s recommended nine shades or a kaleidoscope of unique combinations, slimmed down into scarves or expanded into blankets, everything seems to work. Unpacking this shipment, I lapsed into a familiar game, picking colors for the “Stole.”

There are many other things to knit with Alpaca 2, of course; here are a couple of ideas from knitters we know, a bit of show and tell.

Here is Carribeth’s “Spectrum,” another soothing knit in stockinette. She paired Alpaca 2 with a matching shade of Alpaca 1 to create the slightly transparent stripes, an elegant effect that photos don’t do justice.

Winnie knit this “Feathers” shawl with Alpaca 2, and has already come back for more of the same to knit another.

This is a lovely example of Alpaca 2 in a lace pattern, a very good match of yarn and pattern, indeed.

Thanks to Carribeth, Winnie, and countless others who start their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – we love to see what you’re working on!

Back in stock: Fibre Company Acadia.

We’re delighted to announce that Fibre Company Acadia is back in stock!

Acadia is a DK weight blend of merino, alpaca, and slubs of silk. The silk takes the dye differently than the other fibers, giving most colorways a rustic, tweedy appearance, which belies its luxuriously soft hand.

Our supply of this special yarn had dwindled, but happily, a shipment arrived earlier in the week to fill our shelves again.

Acadia has become a very well-loved yarn in the years we’ve stocked it here at the shop. One knitter that calls this yarn a favorite is Winnie, who recently knit this gorgeous “Dohne” shawl using Acadia.

Garments knit with Acadia have a mix of structure and drape. We have a couple of samples knit in Acadia at the shop so you can see and feel this in person; look for the Churchmouse “Easy Folded Poncho” and “Quaking Aspen” shawl next time you’re here. There are so many other wonderful projects we’ve seen made in Acadia over the years – check out our “DK weight” Pinterest board for more pattern ideas.

Come by to give Acadia a squeeze and plan your next project!

Shibui Sample of the Month: Tempo.

November 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 until the end of the month.

This month’s sample is “Tempo,” a two-color cowl knit with Shibui Maai. Maai is a DK weight blend of alpaca and merino, soft and lofty due to its chainette construction. This yarn has tremendous elasticity, making it a pleasure to work with and to wear. The colorwork effect is achieved through slipped stitches, a technique that requires using only one color of yarn per row.

Come by the shop this month to see “Tempo” and get Shibui Maai 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!

New colors in Fibre Company Tundra.

Last week brought four new colors in the Fibre Company’s fluffy Tundra, a super soft blend of alpaca, merino, and silk.

Thusfar, all the glorious shades of Tundra have been solid, sometimes flickering with a bit of hand-dyed variation. We were surprised and excited to find two new speckled shades in last week’s box, each with its own related solid color.

Tundra is ideal for luxurious winter accessories, so keep it in mind as quick-to-make gifts begin to top your to-do list. Think “Arctic Circle,” “Tallin,” “Twin Leaf Loop,” for everyone loves a cozy cowl, no?

Look for Tundra in the bulky weight section here at the shop!

New colors from Isager.

Some yarn companies create new colors for their existing lines each season, or each year. Isager has never done it that way, instead sticking with a tried-and-true color palette for each yarn that truly has a personality, a voice all its own. Every now and then, however, Isager surprises us with a few new shades, and I’m happy to report that they’ve just expanded both Alpaca 1 and Alpaca 2!

Alpaca 1 is a lace weight yarn made of 100% alpaca which is spun in Peru. Often, Isager patterns pair this yarn with Isager Spinni, Tvinni, Highland, or Alpaca 2, to make thicker fabrics and unique color or fiber blends. Think “Camomille,” “The Fan,” or the “Tokyo” shawl kit.

These 5 new shades are complex heathers, each one composed of several colors blended together before spinning. As such, they appear solid from a distance, but up close reveal a variety of colors – perfect for lace, texture patterns, or simple stripes. These new colors fit right into the existing Alpaca 1 palette, filling spaces we didn’t know were empty, and giving us new ideas for color combinations.

The same can be said for the 5 new shades of Alpaca 2, which seem to call out for inclusion in a “Stole.”

Alpaca 2 is a soft and fuzzy blend of merino and alpaca in a fingering weight, and as I’ve written here on the blog so many times, it’s a real favorite at our shop, year in and year out. If you’ve never used it before, come by the shop to see it in person, pet our “Stole” sample, and see if you’re not moved to cast one on. We’ve got plenty of Isager pattern books to peruse here, too, including the Helga Isager’s newest collection, The Artisan. Our first stack of these books sold out in a flash, but I’m happy to report that they’re now back in stock.

See you at the shop!