Back in stock, show and tell: Berroco Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK.

This season, we seem to be constantly ordering and reordering Berroco Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK. Not long before we closed for our Thanksgiving break, I unpacked a bigger box than ever from Berroco, for it contained some new colors along with all our old favorites.

Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK are smooth and sturdy superwash wools, one of the few that suggests “tumble dry low” rather than “lay flat to dry.” They’re easy-care, practical, economical, and come in a wide range of solid and heathered colors; no wonder we’re selling so much of them!

The latest Berroco Portfolio collection features these yarns, and we were delighted when Berroco also sent us a sample of the cover sweater, Lori Versaci’s “Lane’s Island Pullover.” There’s nothing like a finished garment to give you a sense of how a particular yarn knits up, and this one has already compelled plenty of knitters to try Ultra Wool DK, many of whom return to it for other projects.

April was one of the first knitters we knew to complete an adult-sized sweater in Ultra Wool DK, and when she wore it in, singing the yarn’s praises, we were truly impressed. The cables of her “Bowery Tunic” show beautifully, and April didn’t report any of the out-of-control stretching that superwash wools can sometimes experience during blocking.

Margie has also been working with Ultra Wool DK of late, knitting not one, but two “Isabelline Cowls.” I never tire of seeing what an impact a change in color can have; this pair is a nice example of how low- and high-contrast color combinations can both work beautifully in stranded colorwork. And you might be surprised which of these has higher contrast – I was! Look at these photos through the black and white filter on your camera and you’ll see what I mean.

Ultra Wool DK is great for crochet projects, too! Check out Linda’s amazing blanket for proof positive.

Look for Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK here at the shop, and keep an eye out for something new from Berroco, too… more on that soon!

Interweave Knits.

Today, we welcomed the newest issue of Interweave Knits to the teacart, where the latest books and magazines are stored.

This Spring 2018 issue is full of garments for men and women alike, and I spotted a few familiar yarns at work among them. The cabled cardigan on the cover is made with Berroco Ultra Alpaca, a practical worsted weight blend of wool and alpaca.

The textured cardigan below is shown in Fibre Company Arranmore Light, a DK weight blend of merino, cashmere, and silk.

Those who know me won’t be surprised this colorwork pullover caught my eye, in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, no less!

There’s also a handy article on combining solid color stockinette fabric with stranded colorwork within a single garment, taking into account the difference in gauge that’s often found there. Come by the shop to read it over and peruse these new designs!

Restocking.

December is a busy month here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Knitters and crocheters rush in seeking bulky yarns for last-minute hats, others pop by to pick up gift certificates, hoping to delight the yarn-lovers in their life, and still more wander in, entranced by the ballwinder in the window, curious what our shop is all about.

Our educational calendar calms down to make room for the busy personal schedules of our teachers and students, though we’ll pick up the pace in January with a surge of new classes.

We unpack the occasional new book, magazine, or notion, but a lot of what we order and receive during this busy time is familiar territory – just your average restock, filling up on yarns that have sold out and need replenishing.

We’ve filled up on Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering and Tukuwool Fingering, brought back sold out colors in Berroco Ultra Wool and Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, and unpacked boxes of Malabrigo yarns at least once a week.

Come by the shop to browse the newest yarns as well as our old favorites, and plan a project for the new year ahead!

Hello, Berroco Ultra Wool DK.

Meet the latest addition to our shop, Berroco Ultra Wool DK!

Berroco Ultra Wool DK is lighter version of the well-loved, worsted weight Ultra Wool – a smooth and sturdy superwash wool, one of the few that suggests “tumble dry low” rather than “lay flat to dry.” That makes it a truly easy-care yarn, perfect for baby and children’s garments, blankets, and everyday accessories.

Each 100 gram ball boasts 292 yards, already wound into a center-pull skein, no less. The center-pull end is neatly tucked into the label, so you don’t have to reach into the depths of the skein to fumble for it, one of the pleasing features of Ultra Wool in both worsted and DK weight.

Look for Ultra Wool DK in our DK weight section here at the shop, and check out all the new colors we got in Ultra Wool worsted, too!

Show and tell: texture.

While the shop is closed for a Thanksgiving break, let’s enjoy another batch of show-and-tell! Here are some highly-textured knits made with yarns from our shop.

Corey knit the cowl above with Fibre Company Knightsbridge, a luxurious blend of camel, alpaca, and silk. The pattern is “Alastair,” a textured loop scarf that we were pleased to see Corey wearing when he attended our Anniversary Party back in October.

Amy knit this “Blackberry Cable Pillow Cover” with Berroco Peruvia Quick, a sturdy bulky weight wool that’s well-suited to this kind of project.

Mary put a different Berroco yarn to use in her “Cumberland” cowl; Maya is a chain-plied, worsted weight blend of cotton and alpaca. It makes a lightweight accessory suitable for the transitional weather of spring and much of the fall here in North Carolina. It also renders texture patterns beautifully!

Here is Michele’s “Spectrum,” knit with Shibui Rain and Silk Cloud. The only stitch pattern in this luxurious wrap is stockinette – it’s the yarns that make this a textural piece. Sometimes the two yarns are held together, and other times the lace weight Silk Cloud is worked alone for those sheer stripes.

Rosi’s textured show-and-tell is still underway, but I couldn’t resist sharing a picture of her work-in-progress: “Vanora,” knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. I made the same sweater earlier this year using Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering and it’s amazing how different it looks just on account of the color and the texture of the yarn.

Marsha knit this tiny “Fine Fella” with Malabrigo Sock, sizing an adult hat down to a preemie size by altering the gauge of yarn and needles – from worsted weight on US size 6 to fingering weight on a US size 1, to be exact. It’s an heirloom-quality bit of charity knitting Marsha did as part of the Ol’ North State Knitting Guild, a generous use of her talent and time.

Thanks to the knitters who shared their work on the blog today, and to all those whose projects begin with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We love seeing what you make!

Show and tell: toys.

Every day, we are greeted by knitters and crocheters starting new projects, stopping by for yarns, tools, patterns, and inspiration. Many of them also come in with projects they’ve just finished, which is something really special to see; what was once just an idea is now realized. When folks are willing and I’m able, I like to take pictures of these completed projects to share with you here on the blog, and I have a gracious plenty waiting to be featured. Today, let’s look at some of the most charismatic of the bunch: toys!

Margie knit this “Opal Sock Yarn Bunny” for a friend’s first great-grandchild, with enough yarn leftover for a matching hat. I snapped the photo above when she brought the pair in for show-and-tell, but she sent along a better one when her gifts reached their sweet recipient.

 

 

Emily knit “Heroic Herschel” for her son as a birthday gift. Knit with three bright shades of Berroco Ultra Wool, Herschel is soft and machine washable.

 

This hippo has so much personality, and is clearly beloved by both knitter and recipient, which is one of the wonderful things about toy-making – these gifts are always received with delight!

Mary has gotten into crocheted creatures, starting with this goat in Ewe So Sporty, a soft superwash merino yarn from Ewe Ewe. The pattern is from Crochet a Farm, by Megan Kreiner.

After goats came turtles, from Kreiner’s Bathtime Buddies; Mary crocheted one in Ewe So Sporty, then two more using Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift held doubled.

She made a manatee with Wooly Worsted, too, and each of these creatures only makes her want to do more. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Thanks to everyone who shares their projects and ideas with us here at the shop, we love seeing what you’re making! Keep an eye out for more show and tell here on the blog soon.

Show and tell: stripes.

Time for another round of show and tell! Today’s projects all feature stripes, whether high-contrast or low, many-colored or few.

Here’s a low-contrast example, Nancy’s “Straw Into Gold” shawl. This elegant piece was made with three different Alchemy yarns, all of which were dyed the same color, so the stripes are subtle, showing the textural differences between each yarn.

Michele’s first-ever sweater, on the other hand, is a high-contrast combination of black and white. The pattern is “#11 Rugby Stripes Pullover,” from Vogue Knitting Magazine, and Michele knit hers with Elsebeth Lavold Calm Wool while attending Marsha’s Start Your First Sweater or Vest class here at the shop.

Michele is a relatively new knitter, but it’s clear she’s taken to it. By any standards, this is a successful sweater: the fit is good, her tension is even, and the stripes line up perfectly on each piece. For a first sweater, it’s doubly impressive. Well done, Michele!

Here’s Tom with his finished “Kauni Color Wave Shawl,” knit with Kauni Effektgarn. Not only is the shawl itself striped, the yarn is self-striping, too; Tom paired a rainbow skein with one in shades of black, white, and gray. The effect is striking, stripes on stripes.

Above is Jodi’s granny stripe blanket-in-progress, crocheted with Berroco Ultra Wool. When she brought it in to show us a few weeks ago, Anne and I were blown away, not only by its impressive size, but also by Jodi’s color sense. It’s not easy to put 20 colors in a perfectly balanced yet seemingly random arrangement. It takes thought and skill and a little bit of guts, all of which are on display in this outrageously beautiful piece.

Many thanks to the knitters and crocheters who shared their stripes with us today, and to everyone who starts their project with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We are inspired by your stitches and can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

Triangle Yarn Crawl.

The Triangle Yarn Crawl is a self-guided tour of local yarn shops, where yarn-lovers get together and hop from one shop to the next, shopping, entering raffles, and seeing the full breadth of available fibers. They happen just once a year, and the time has come again: the Spring 2017 crawl is coming up this weekend on April 22nd and 23rd! 

Each local yarn shop has something special to offer, and we’re no exception: we have two Trunk Shows on display, one from Baa Ram Ewe and one from The Fibre Company. Each show features four garments in the newest yarns from those companies, Dovestone Natural Aran and Luma, respectively, and we’re offering a 10% discount on those yarns during the show. We’re putting another of our favorite yarns on an even deeper discount this weekend… follow us on Instagram for more about that later in the week!

One exciting new feature of the TYC this year is that every shop is presenting a new free pattern especially for the Yarn Crawl. Each of the eight participating shops in the Triangle has something unique to offer our local fiber-loving community, and I expect their patterns will reflect that. Ours is a moebius cowl Rosi designed using one of our favorite yarns, Shibui Staccato. Don’t miss seeing the sample when you’re here this weekend!

There’s a bag of goodies at each of the participating shops, a raffle prize full of yarn, patterns, and more. Some of its contents are donated by TYC sponsors like Berroco, Cascade, Malabrigo, Mountain Colors, and Classic Elite, and others come from our own collection here at the shop.

Some of our prizes include a project bag, skein of Knightsbridge, and measuring tape from Kelbourne Woolens, a pack of Cormo Fingering mini-skeins from Sincere Sheep, and a Lilly Brush for removing pills. It’s all packed up in one of our sturdy canvas Hillsborough Yarn Shop totes, along with a few other surprises!

We’re lucky to live in such a fiber-friendly part of the world, with so many choices available to us, and the Triangle Yarn Crawl is a great time to see all of those choices. Come see us as you’re crawling along!

 

A reminder: all sales are final on sale items; there can be no exchanges, no returns, nor will we special order. Discount applies only to in-store purchases. Thanks! 

Hello, Berroco Ultra Wool.

Last week brought a new yarn to our shop. Meet Berroco Ultra Wool!

Berroco Ultra Wool is a worsted weight superwash wool, one of the few that suggests “tumble dry low” rather than “lay flat to dry.” That makes it a truly easy-care yarn, perfect for baby and children’s garments, blankets, and everday accessories.

Each 100 gram ball boasts 219 yards, already wound into a center-pull skein, no less. I was pleased to find that the center-pull end is neatly tucked into the label, so you don’t have to reach into the depths of the skein to fumble for it.

We got 23 shades of Ultra Wool to start with, aided in our selection by a knitter, crocheter, and quilter with an affection and aptitude for working with bright colors. She hurried in to pick out a basket full of Ultra Wool when it arrived here at the shop, and is planning a crocheted granny-stripe blanket with it – I can’t wait to see it in progress!

I made two swatches with Ultra Wool, one knit and one crocheted. Wanting to give those considering this yarn a good sense of what to expect from it, I machine-washed those swatches in a zippered mesh bag, then threw them in the drier for while, pulling them out before they were fully dry. They’d fuzzed up a little, but I’m pleased with the result – look for them in the Ultra Wool cubby and see what you think.

Thinking of Purl Soho’s “Super Easy Baby Blanket,” I began putting 7-color combinations together as I unpacked the yarn.

  

There are so many possibilities! For other colorful blanket ideas, check out the suggestions on this HYS blog post about Berroco Modern Cotton, and for other things to do with worsted weight yarn, look to our Pinterest board on that subject. See you at the shop!

Back in stock: Berroco Modern Cotton.

Berroco Modern Cotton is a staple around here, an economical, machine-washable blend of cotton and rayon in that versatile gauge, worsted weight. It was time for a restock and restock we did, filling our Modern Cotton bins and brightening up our selection.

Modern Cotton is perfect for warm-weather knit and crochet projects, or year-round for those allergic to wool.

It’s also well-suited to blanket making, and to that end, knitters, consider “Chevron Baby Blanket,” “Saurey,” “Hydrangea,” or “Super Easy Crib Blanket.” Crocheters, try “Ripple Blanket,” “Vintage Crocheted Throw & Afghan,” “Oh, the Places You’ll Go Baby Blanket,” or “Crochet Super Easy Baby Blanket.”

Look for more pattern ideas on our Worsted weight Pinterest board, and come by the shop to see the yarn itself and plan your next project!