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!

Show and tell: for grown-ups.

I’m back with another round of show-and-tell, this time for the grown-ups among us.

img_2123

Kellie has been busy crocheting “Artfully Simple Infinity Scarves” with Noro Silk Garden Lite. She reports that the pattern is as easy as its title suggests, but that it’s endlessly entertaining, especially with colorful self-striping yarns like these.

img_2125

They’re long enough to be worn doubled, as shown above, but short enough to hang around one’s neck simply, as shown below; either way makes an eye-catching accessory.

img_2124

dscn6087

Margie’s needles are always busy, and she’s so prolific a knitter that these finished projects are already well behind her. Still, they bear sharing: above is her “Inverness Cape,” knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and below is her “Escher Poncho,” knit in Malabrigo Rios, with a bit of Fibre Company Cumbria Worsted around the edge.

dscn6242

And there’s more: here’s Margie’s third “ZickZack Scarf,” knit with Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball and Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace held doubled throughout.

dscn6438

Catherine knit this beautiful “On the Spice Market” with Shibui Staccato, a merino/silk blend that has the perfect drape and luster for this shawl.

img_1956

She carefully chose colors inspired by those shown in the pattern photo, with a few adjustments to make it her own.

img_1957

Here’s another Melanie Berg pattern, “Sunwalker,” knit by Emma with the brand new Isager Merilin. This is a shawl that the photo doesn’t do justice, as it’s the texture and hand of the fabric that stood out most to me; shawl-knitters, consider Merilin when fingering weight yarn is called for!

dscn6376

Below is Amy’s “Copenhagen Hood,” a quick cozy accessory knit in Fibre Company Tundra, living temporarily at the shop as a sample for her upcoming class on the subject. There are still spaces in her class, if you’d like to join and knit a hood of your own…sign up on our website!

img_2083

Joanne knit this “Rise” hat with Shibui Drift and Silk Cloud held together, and was so pleased with it that she came back for more yarn to knit one for her husband. I understand the appeal, seeing how well this came out! I can hardly imagine a softer yarn combination, truly.

dscn6440

Nancy knit this “Flowers of Life” pullover for her husband, using a beautiful palette of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in an intricate all-over fair isle pattern. She’s graciously left it at the shop for a few weeks for all to see and admire; come in soon to see this knitted work of art!

img_2068

Joanne also has some Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift show and tell: a “Beginner’s Fair Isle Cap,” her first-ever colorwork project. With guidance from Nancy, she selected this color combination and arranged the colors within the motif for a unique accesory.

dscn6378

Thanks again to the knitters and crocheters who share their work with us. We feel lucky to play a part in your creative pursuits, and look forward to seeing the projects you plan!

Show and tell: sweaters.

For me, there’s something very special about sweaters. I love making them because the process changes every few inches–different stitch patterns, needle sizes, new shaping, parts, and pieces keep it interesting throughout. Here are some of the finished sweaters we’ve seen at the shop recently, all of whom started life as skeins of yarn on our shelves.

DSCN6008

Here Rosi models her “Sonora,” knit with two strands of Shibui Pebble and one strand of Shibui Linen held together throughout. Rosi knit this beautiful, wearable top last year, but I didn’t get a chance to capture it until just a few weeks ago. I love this mustard yellow color, and I love seeing multiple yarns put together to create a unique fabric. Bravo, Rosi!

DSCN6000

Here’s Leslie’s “Sundottir,” knit in Queensland Kathmandu Aran Tweed and Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Worsted. Colorwork yokes like this are my passion and my weakness – this just looks like so much fun to knit!

DSCN6001

I finished a summer top not long ago, “Dafne,” by Julie Hoover, knit in the discontinued-but-still-in-stock Berroco Linen Jeans. I was moved to knit this by the exquisite armhole shaping, an esoteric inspiration, perhaps, but one that proved satisfying in the knitting.

DSCN5997

Baby sweaters are just as fun to knit as adult sweaters, and so much faster! Here’s Paula’s “Milly Tank Top,” knit in Ewe So Sporty.

DSCN6058

Thanks to all the sweater knitters who begin their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! To those whose first sweaters are still ahead of them, we offer encouragement and support–we’re happy to help along the way!

Show and tell: summer shawls, part two.

Time for a second round of summer shawl show and tell! Here are some colorful shawls that started life as yarns on our shelves.

DSCN5934

This one is a work in progress, a shawl-to-be on Amy’s needles as she prepares to teach a class on the subject. The pattern is “Dreambird KAL,” and Amy is knitting it with Shibui Staccato in the background, the solid black setting off the self-striping Kauni Effektgarn to great effect.

DSCN5937

Catherine came in recently with this beautiful “Chevron 15” shawl, knit in two shades of Isager Alpaca 2.

DSCN5925

The fabric is soft and light, and the surprising combination of bold chartreuse and soft teal works so well. Catherine has knit many shawls with this alpaca/merino blend, coming back to it again and again, a high form of praise in a world full of lovely yarns.

DSCN5926

Loretta started this “Quill” in a class here at the shop, working with the sport weight Berroco Ultra Alpaca Lite.

DSCN5814

This 5 color shawl is large enough to be considered a blanket, and looks cozy and classic in neutral shades, punctuated by a nice deep red.

DSCN5815Thanks to the many knitters, crocheters, weavers, and other fiber artists who use yarns from our shop in their creations; we love seeing what you make. More show and tell to come!

Hello, Pom Pom Quarterly.

One of our most exciting finds at TNNA this year was a magazine. Most of our TNNA orders wont arrive til August or later, but this one we received right away, selling out and reordering in less than a week. Just what is this exciting new publication? Meet Pom Pom Quarterly!

DSCN5946

I’d heard of Pom Pom Quarterly before our trip to market, seen patterns from this pretty publication pop up on Ravelry, but I’d never held it in my hands.

DSCN5948

As the Pom Pom founders and editors point out on their website, knitters are a tactile bunch, and to that end, they’ve made sure that the physical product is something very special. From the paper quality to the size of the magazine, Pom Pom is a pleasure to peruse. It also comes with a download code for the digital edition, so you can have it both ways.

DSCN5956

Then there’s the content, which is just as thoughtfully created. Pom Pom features patterns, tutorials, and articles on knitting, crochet, and other crafts, along with the odd recipe, personal essay, or other surprise. The photography is beautiful, the designs are fresh, modern, and wearable, and the tone of the whole publication is enticing and inspiring.

DSCN5950

I spotted some familiar yarns, too; the “Red Bud Isle” tank above is knit in Berroco Modern Cotton, and “Thornett” below calls for Isager Bomulin.

DSCN5951

The Summer 2016 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly is back in stock and going fast – hurry in, or give us a call at (919) 732-2128 if you’d like to claim a copy!

DSCN5945

Show and tell: stripes and colorwork.

We’re back with another round of show and tell! Here are some of the finished projects we’ve had the good fortune to admire lately, all of whom began as yarn on our shelves. Today, let’s look at projects featuring stripes and colorwork.

DSCN5740

Paula knit this “Chevron Baby Blanket” with Berroco Modern Cotton, modifying the pattern a bit to knit at a slightly smaller gauge. She swatched to figure out how wide each pattern repeat would be with her yarn, then added stitches to her cast-on so that her blanket would come out the desired size.

DSCN5756

Paula also finished this “wwwww #1” recently, a lined headband by Kate Davies. Paula used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift for the colorwork exterior, and soft-as-can-be Shibui Maai for the lining. Nicely done, Paula!

DSCN5690

Margaretta recently knit Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic “Baby Surprise Jacket” with Fibre Company Canopy Worsted, and used her leftovers to make a “Boston Whaler” hat. I love her unexpected combination of sage green, steely gray, and bright fuschia, especially with those perfect pink buttons!

DSCN5691

Margaretta has also been working on General Hogbuffer’s “Slippery Slope Socks,” using the solid CoopKnits Socks Yeah! and the self-striping Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball. Since I snapped this picture of the first finished sock, she’s completed the pair, and plans to make another with different colors.

DSCN5729

Judie’s “Wildheart” shawl was also knit with self-striping yarn, Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL. She added a picot bind-off to an otherwise unadorned edge; a little something that I think makes the whole shawl shine.

DSCN5730

Thanks to the talented knitters who shared their work with us today, and to all the fiber artists who begin their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We love seeing what you’re working on!