Hello, BC Garn Bio Balance.

We’re delighted to announce that our first new yarn for the fall season has arrived! Meet Bio Balance, from BC Garn.

BC Garn is a family-owned, ecologically-minded yarn company out of Denmark. Many of their yarns are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), so we feel confident that they are produced safely and responsibly, from the fiber to the dye.

Bio Balance is one of those certified organic yarns, a sport weight blend of 55% wool and 45% cotton. This combination brings the best of both fibers to the yarn. The wool lends elasticity and loftiness to the cool, soft cotton, and the result is a nice balance of animal and plant fibers, and smooth, well-behaved fabric.

This makes it an excellent sweater yarn, especially in our warm climate. A browse through Bio Balance projects on Ravelry shows that many knitters use it for sweater-making – here are few patterns to consider:

  • “Tegna,” by Caitlin Hunter – a stockinette tee with lace at the bottom edge
  • “June,” by Julie Weisenberger, of cocoknits – a top-down puff-sleeve pullover
  • “Sanctuary,” by Stephanie Earp – a top-down cabled tee, from Pom Pom Quarterly, Summer 2019 – we still have copies, if you missed this beautiful issue when it first came out!
  • “Kalaloch Pullover,” by Kate Gagnon Osborn of Kelbourne Woolens – an oversized lace yoke sweater
  • “Yume,” by Isabell Kraemer – a top-down lace yoke pullover, with options for short or long sleeves

Because this yarn can be gently machine-washed, it’s great for baby and children’s garments, too:

  • “Wee Envelope,” by Ysolda Teague – a stockinette pullover with a yoke knit side-to-side
  • “Nemo,” by Rebekka Mauser – a textured, color block henley
  • “Hosenmatz,” by Mayumi Kaliciak and Antje Litzmann – baggy baby pants

Look for Bio Balance in the sport weight section here at our shop!

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!

Hello, Semilla.

Earlier in the month, we welcomed BC Garn to the fold here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We now stock two yarns from this Danish company; Loch Lomond got a proper introduction on the blog, and now it’s time to meet Semilla.

Semilla is a 100% organic wool. This means it’s been certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), so we can be confident that it’s produced safely and responsibly, from the fiber to the dye.

Each 50 gram ball has 175 yards, and the suggested gauge is 5.5 stitches per inch on a US 6, which is why it’s found a home in our DK weight section here at the shop. It’s very round and smooth for a 2ply yarn, in part because of its tight twist. These qualities give Semilla nice stitch definition for texture patterns, cables, and lace.

One ball of Semilla would make a nice pair of mitts, like Churchmouse’s evergreen “Welted Fingerless Gloves.” While we’re thinking Churchmouse, consider also their “Easy Folded Poncho” and “Welted Cowl & Infinity Loop,” either of which is a good fit for Semilla.

Though it’s hand-wash only, this soft organic wool is a nice choice for baby things, too – think tincanknits’ “Dog Star,” “Peanut,” and “Clayoquot Toque.”

Look to our “DK weight” Pinterest board for more pattern ideas, and come by the shop to see Semilla for yourself!

Hello, Loch Lomond.

Loch Lomond is one of the newest yarns here at the shop, a colorful tweed from BC Garn in Denmark.

Loch Lomond is a 2-ply wool, a loosely-plied yarn with tweedy flecks whose label suggests needles between US 6 and 8 for a gauge of 4.5 stitches per inch. With 170 yards per 50 gram skein, Loch Lomond is light for a worsted weight, its gauge category as assigned by Ravelry.

As I unpacked our first BC Garn order, Anne and I surveyed the fine-looking yarn in front of us and the big-looking gauge on the label and raised an eyebrow each. Maybe it would grow or bloom with washing and blocking, we said to one another. There was nothing to do but swatch.

I got that happy assignment, and began knitting on US 6 needles, then switched to 7, then to 8, wanting to show the manufacturer’s suggested gauges. That swatch gave me a range of fabrics, with gauges of 5 stitches per inch, 4.75 stitches per inch, and 4.5 stitches per inch, respectively. All three are a little loose for my taste, so I knit a separate swatch on a US 5, which is my favorite of the group.

Anne had been eyeing Loch Lomond for Kate Davie’s popular “Carbeth,” a pullover knit with 2 strands of DK weight yarn held together throughout for a bulky gauge. I knit a third swatch with this pattern in mind, holding Loch Lomond double on a US 10.5 needle, which didn’t quite give me gauge for the pattern, though probably a 10 would do it.

The fibers did bloom with washing and blocking, filling in the empty spaces between stitches a bit, and the lightweight fabric that results is soft to the touch and pretty cohesive even on the larger needle sizes. As ever, the right needle size and pattern for this yarn depends upon what kind of fabric you want to get out of it; for a sturdy sweater, I’d aim for a DK gauge of 5.5 stitches per inch or so, but for an airy shawl, the worsted to aran gauges of 5 – 4.5 stitches per inch and more open fabric would be lovely. Consider Churchmouse’s “Easy Folded Poncho,” Jared Flood’s “Guernsey Wrap” at the DK gauge, Heidi Kirrmaier’s “Climb Every Mountain,” Hannah Fettig’s “Schoodic Cardigan,” and Carrie Bostick Hoge’s “Lucinda.”

Come by the shop to see and feel these swatches, or pick up a skein of Loch Lomond and make some swatches of your own!

Hello, BC Garn.

Kate and Courtney of Kelbourne Woolens have been busy this winter. Along with celebrating 10 years of their company and launching a new yarn of their own, they’ve taken on an entirely new brand of yarn as US distributors. We trust their taste and their commitment to quality natural fibers, and were impressed with these new-to-us yarns. To that end, we’re excited to announce that we are now stockists of BC Garn!

BC Garn is a family-owned, ecologically-minded yarn company out of Denmark. Many of their yarns are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), so we feel confident that they are produced safely and responsibly, from the fiber to the dye.

We’ve begun with Semilla and Loch Lomond, DK weight and worsted weight wools, respectively, along with a few shades of the 100% silk Tussah Tweed that Anne is smitten with. I’ll share more about these yarns here on the blog soon. In the meantime, come by the shop to see them for yourself, and welcome BC Garn to our collection!