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.

Cottons, old and new.

Summer begins this week, and summer weather is well underway. Hot days like these find many of us reaching for cool plant fibers, rather than fuzzy wool. With that in mind, we’ve restocked several of our best-selling cotton yarns and added a couple of new ones, too.

Cascade Ultra Pima and Ultra Pima Fine are 100% mercerized cotton in DK and sport weights, respectively. They’re economically priced, shiny and smooth, and come in a rainbow of colors.

We’ve had lots of crocheters and knitters use these yarns for making Knitted Knockers, which we’re still collecting here at the shop so our friend Ana can take them to the UNC Cancer Center. 60 Quick Cotton Knits has many other project ideas, too – scarves, wraps, tops, bags, and more.

Cascade’s Nifty Cotton is new to our shop, an aran weight cotton that can be machine-washed and dried, one without a mercerized lustre. That matte quality makes the yarn “thirstier,” more absorbent, and thus, ideal for making dishcloths.

 

BC Garn Alba is another new addition, a fingering weight organic cotton in a pleasing array of colors. It’s been popular right off the bat because of its appearance in the latest issue of Pom Pom Quarterly; Lia Moya’s “Judoka” bag is knit with this soft, smooth yarn. Interested in making one of your own? Check out Marsha’s upcoming class on the subject!

Come by the shop to take a peek at these and other popular plant fiber yarns, like Shibui Fern, Twig and Reed, Isager Bomulin and Japansk Bomuld, and Berroco Modern Cotton. See you there!

Back in stock: Lang Merino+ Color.

Somewhere in the recent rush of exciting new fall yarns, a big box of Lang Merino+ Color arrived.

This order brought sold-out colors back into stock, along with three new colorways.

Again and again, knitters reach for this yarn when they see it on the shelf, drawn by its unique color combinations and soft, smooth texture.

One 196 yard ball is enough for a hat or pair of mittens, two can make a big, cozy cowl or a cute, quick-knitting baby sweater.

Tom made this baby sweater with Lang Merino+ Color, using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic “Baby Surprise Jacket” pattern. It’s a great pattern for self-striping yarns because of its unusual, ingenious one-piece construction; no matter how the stripes fall, they’ll match all across the sweater.

Look for Lang Merino+ Color in the aran weight section here at the shop!

Baa Ram Ewe Trunk Show!

We were delighted to receive a trunk show from Baa Ram Ewe today, featuring four garments knit in their newest yarn, Dovestone Natural Aran.

For a small show, it packs in a lot of variety, with one sweater each for man, woman, and child, along with a lacy fringed cowl.

Find these patterns and more in the Dovestone Natural Aran Collection booklet. Some of them are available as single patterns through Ravelry, as well, so if there’s only one you love, you don’t have to commit to the whole book.

We’re offering Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone Natural Aran at a 10% discount during the Trunk Show, which lasts all April long. Come by the shop to see it for yourself and plan your next project!

A reminder: all sales are final on discounted yarn. There can be no returns or exchanges, nor special orders–the discount applies only to what we currently have in stock. Thanks! 

Hello, Dovestone Natural Aran.

I’m delighted to announce the newest yarn here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop: meet Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone Natural Aran.

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Dovestone Natural Aran is made of the same good stuff as Dovestone DK: 50% bluefaced leicester, 25% masham, and 25% wensleydale wools, all sourced and spun in the UK. It’s soft but wooly, springy with a bit of drape, and comes in 5 undyed colors, the natural shades of the sheep.

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We picked up a sample skein of this lovely stuff from the Baa Ram Ewe booth at TNNA (thanks, Verity!), and had been mulling over what to make with it all summer. Other fall samples were planned and knit, but our precious skein of Dovestone Natural Aran had to wait until inspiration struck. Last week, Anne mused, “What about a pillow for the couch?” and that is exactly what I’m working on now. The pattern is “Snap, Crackle, and Pop,” a trio of knit pillows; “Snap” is what’s on my needles, and I’m enjoying every stitch.

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For more pattern ideas, look to The Dovestone Natural Aran Collection, which offers sweaters for adults and children, along with a few accessory patterns. Also check our Worsted and Aran weight boards on Pinterest, as I find this yarn knits up happily at either of those gauges.

See you at the shop!

New colors in Lang Merino + Color.

Somewhere in the recent rush of exciting new fall yarns, a big box of Lang Merino+ Color arrived.

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Last fall, this soft, superwash, self-striping yarn was brand new, and it quietly became a bit of a bestseller here at the shop.

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One 196 yard ball is enough for a hat or pair of mittens, two can make a big, cozy cowl or a cute, quick-knitting baby sweater.

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In colorways ranging from bright and playful to muted and mature, it’s no surprise our supply of Lang Merino+ Color quickly dwindled as knitter after knitter succumbed to its appeal.

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It’s good to have all the available colors back on our shelves, along with four new shades.

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Look for Lang Merino+ Color in the aran weight section here at the shop. See you there!

Hello, Lang Merino+ Color.

Another new yarn has found a home here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! Meet Lang Merino+ Color.

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Merino+ Color is an aran weight superwash merino wool, smooth, springy, soft, and self-striping. It comes in nine different colorways, a nice variety. Some. are subdued and painterly, while others are playful and bright.

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Each 100 gram ball boasts 197 yards, plenty for an adult-sized hat, pair of mitts, or small cowl.

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I knit this modified version of Wendy Johnson’s free “Easy Broken Rib Cowl” with just one ball of Lang Merino+ Color, shortening the circumference by casting on fewer stitches than called for. DSCN5274

Come by the shop to try on the sample for size; if you’d like to make one like it, make a note to cast on 192 stitches. If you’d prefer the cozier, larger size shown in the pattern, pick up a second skein and follow the pattern as written.

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Look for Merino+ Color in the aran weight section here at the shop. See you there!

Araucania Toconao: now on sale!

UPDATE: As of 4/22/2016, we are totally sold out of Araucania Toconao!

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Another discontinued yarn has moved to the Sale Trunk here at the shop: Araucania Toconao. It’s a lovely springy yarn, but since it’s no longer manufactured, we’re now offering it at a deep discount of about 30% off the original price!

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Toconao is an aran weight merino wool, soft and smooth, with sharp stitch definition. It’s hand-dyed in mostly semi-solid colorways, so alternating skeins is a good idea if your project requires more than one skein.

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One 139 yard skein makes a hat or a pair of “Fetching” mitts, two makes a small “Oats” or “Honey Cowl;” pick up a third skein for a generous cowl or scarf. Look for more pattern ideas on our “Aran weight” board over on Pinterest!

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Though we’re sad to see good yarns go, we love sharing them with you at a discounted price. Come by to pick up some Toconao at a great price before it disappears!

 

A reminder: all sales are final on discounted yarn. There can be no returns or exchanges, nor special orders–the discount applies only to what we currently have in stock. Thanks!

Baa-bles and pom-poms.

While we were at TNNA, in between swatching new yarns and meeting with vendors, I worked on a colorwork hat. In spite of the long, busy days, the hat was quickly completed, due to the thick, quick-knitting yarn, and the adorable, addictive nature of the pattern.

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Here’s my “Baa-ble Hat,” a free pattern designed by Donna Smith for Shetland Wool Week 2015. I knit it in four shades of Jamieson’s Shetland Heather Aran, which has all the wooly charms of its fingering weight cousin, the beloved Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift.

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I topped it with this delightfully oversized pom-pom, which I made using what looks to be the largest pom-pom maker available.

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I trimmed a good inch or so off of the pom-pom after removing it from this gadget, and still, it’s a rather significant pom-pom.

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Anne and I have been getting some serious pom-pom practice of late, making colorful pom-poms for our summer shop window display. We used all different gauges of yarn, from fingering weight to super bulky, sometimes working with two different colors or multiple strands of yarn in any given pom-pom.

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It’s a motley group of pom-poms, but now that they’re hanging neatly in the shop window, we’re really quite fond of them, and the whimsical atmosphere they’ve lent the place.

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Come by the shop to pick up a pom-pom maker or two–we just got the full range of sizes in stock!

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Pre-Market Sale spotlight: Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle.

From May 5th – 27th, we have Elsebeth Lavold and Louisa Harding yarns discounted during our Pre-Market Sale: single skeins are reduced by 30% and full bags of 10 are 40% off! Throughout the sale, I’ll be highlighting some of these yarns and giving ideas for what to make with them. Today: spotlight on Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle.

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Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle is a textured blend of 45% cotton, 30% bamboo, 17% linen, and 8% nylon. It’s an aran weight yarn, with about 87 yards on each 50 gram ball, and knits up at around 4.5 stitches per inch on a US 7 or 8.

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Because of its fiber content, Bamboucle lacks elasticity, and creates fabric with drape rather than memory. This makes it ideal for shawls and scarves, loose-fitting sweaters, and home goods.

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As I was searching Ravelry for patterns well-suited to aran-weight plant fiber yarns like Bamboucle, I found Alicia Plummer’s “Hudson,” a two-color cowl. It was this lightweight, summery pattern that inspired the color pairs I photographed for this blog post.

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If it’s a larger garment you’re interested in, consider Mags Kandis’ “Amiga” cardigan and Heidi Kirrmaier’s “Simple Summer Tweed Top Down V-Neck,” both free patterns for casual sweaters.

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For home goods, try Megan Goodacre’s “Leafy Washcloth” and Marsha’s upcoming class on the subject, Barbara Breiter’s “Optical Illusion Cloth,” and Laura Dianiska’s “Hexagonal Market Bag,” which we did as an informal Knit-Along a few years back.

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Come by the shop to check out Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle and all our other discounted yarns during the Pre-Market Sale!

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A reminder: all sales are final on discounted yarn. There can be no returns or exchanges, nor special orders–the discount applies only to what we currently have in stock. Thanks!