New colors in Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering.

Earlier in the week I introduced eight new shades from Fibre Company for their Cumbria Worsted. I’m delighted to report that those same eight shades are also available in Cumbria Fingering!

Like its big sister, Cumbria Worsted, Cumbria Fingering is a soft and sturdy blend of 60% merino wool, 30% masham wool, and 10% mohair. The soft white merino is blended with the dark gray masham, creating a natural heathered base color over which all the other colorways are dyed. Each 100 gram skein boasts 328 yards, enough for a hat, pair of mitts, or small cowl.

What to knit with Cumbria Fingering? Since this yarn first arrived in 2016, many designers have found beautiful uses for it. Bristol Ivy designed a whole collection for Fibre Co. Cumbria, and we have print copies of those patterns here at the shop.

Heading to Ravelry, there’s even more pattern inspiration from the Fibre Co. – “Textured Sweater,” “Long Cardigan,” and “Travelling Cable Sweater” are all knit with Cumbria Fingering. Looking to independent designers, consider Melanie Berg’s “Tamdou,” Jana Huck’s “Kite Runner,” Kathryn Folkerth’s “Badlands Mitts” and “Badlands Hat,” local designer Emily Walton’s “Alvin Mitts,” and the entire “Year of Mittens” from Kelbourne Woolens.

Look for Cumbria Fingering in the fingering weight section here at the shop!

Making No. 7: Desert.

Happy to announce that the latest issue of Making is in!

Desert landscapes are the theme of this issue, which features projects for making of all kinds – quilting, embroidery, sewing, weaving, macrame, cooking, needle felting, and, yes, knitting!

I spotted plenty of familiar names in the knitting department – designers like Bristol Ivy, Susan B. Anderson, Norah Gaughan, Helga Isager, and others contributed to this issue.

Beautifully photographed and lovingly produced, Making is a treat of a publication.

Look for it on the teacart here at the shop, surrounded by the best in new books and magazines for makers. See you there!

Knitting Outside the Box.

Bristol Ivy’s Knitting Outside the Box was published in October, but it sold out before I ever had a chance to properly feature it here on the blog. Again and again, over the past few months, we reordered and it quickly disappeared. With a fresh stack of them here on our teacart, the time has come – let’s take a peek at this beautiful, inspiring book!

Bristol Ivy is an independent knitwear designer whose work you likely recognize – she’s designed for Brooklyn Tweed and the Fibre Company, among others, and her patterns have appeared in publications like Pom Pom Quarterly, Making, and Amirisu.

Ivy also has quite a catalog of self-published patterns available on Ravelry, and the variety of techniques and styles among them is also on display in her first book, Knitting Outside the Box, published by Pom Pom Press.

Knitting Outside the Box is a book of patterns, yes, but also an insight into Ivy’s design process and an invitation to knitters to create their own unique pieces. It’s full of creative exercises and also features a stitch dictionary, all with the intention of sparking new ideas.

Each pattern in Knitting Outside the Box is named for a female artist, scientist, or poet, bringing another layer of interest and meaning to each piece.

Look for Knitting Outside the Box here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

Show and tell: Shelter sweaters.

The extra cold weather we’ve had lately has brought out some incredible knitwear! Almost everyone who comes through our doors these days is bundled in handmade woolens. As a result, I have quite a pile of show and tell photos to share, and sifting through it, a few themes have emerged. For today’s post, that theme is sweaters knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, a yarn I consider perfectly suited to sweater-making.

Here’s Marcy in her “Grow” sweater by Norah Gaughan, from Hannah Thiessen’s recent book, Slow Knitting. Made with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the playful Tartan colorway, Marcy calls it her January sweater, the warm-but-not-heavy garment that will see her through this chilly month. The construction of this sweater is more intriguing than this photo lets on, with diagonal side seams wrapping from the narrow back piece to the wider front – an interesting knit, no doubt!

Grace’s recently-completed “Tinder” is knit with Shelter in Almanac, a rich blue. This Jared Flood design features an all-over knit/purl texture pattern, straightforward to execute and satisfying to see.

She wore it into the shop just after finishing it, and kindly let me photograph it while our ballwinder prepared her next sweater’s worth – a knitter after my own heart, following one sweater directly with another.

Leslie is another serial sweater-knitter; above is her latest, Michele Wang’s “Bedford” pullover knit in Snowbound, Shelter’s lightest gray. Like “Tinder,” “Bedford” is all about a simple repeated texture pattern, though this one has a bit of a cable twist. It’s a cozy sweatshirt of a sweater, the kind of garment one wouldn’t mind wearing day after day.

This little tincanknits “Flax” was knit by Emily for a new baby in her family, and Shelter in Faded Quilt was the perfect shade of blue gray. I haven’t knit as many baby sweaters as some, but “Flax” is one I made for my nephew, and I often recommend it. I love the rustic look of Emily’s in Shelter!


I, too, have knit a sweater with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and here I am wearing it. This is Bristol Ivy’s “Second Grace,” a pullover in my favorite sweater genre: bottom-up, colorwork, circular yoke. I labored over the selection of seven colors, wanting to branch out from my usual blue or gray and stymied by the abundance of amazing colors in the Shelter palette. Ultimately I landed on Cast Iron for the main color, and Long Johns, Cinnabar, Tallow, Almanac, Tartan, and Snowbound for contrast colors. I’m so pleased with this garment – you will likely see me wearing it a lot, and it may not be long before I knit another sweater in Shelter.

A warm thanks to all of you who bring your finished projects in to share with us, we are so inspired by what you make and we can’t wait to see what’s next!

By Hand.

A new publication has found a home here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – we’re proud to stock By Hand.

By Hand is a series of lookbooks, a magazine of sorts, where each issue focuses on a place or region. The subject matter is the makers of that community, the designers, hand-dyers, yarn and fabric companies, and fiber artists that both shape and draw inspiration from the place they call home.

The first two volumes are now on our shelves, featuring Portland, OR and Portland, ME, respectively. They are filled with lush photos, interviews and articles, projects and patterns, and a recipe or two.

Portland, Oregon, is home to Shibui and Brooklyn Tweed, two yarn companies whose work we admire so much, and whose yarns we are proud to keep on our shelves here at the shop.

Portland, Maine, and the rest of the mid-coast region is home to Swans Island, Clara Parkes, designers Bristol Ivy and Hannah Fettig, and the Saco River Dyehouse, where Brooklyn Tweed Arbor is dyed.

We were so inspired by these maker profiles, and hope you are, too – the people behind the products and projects we love are special, indeed.

Look for By Hand on the teacart here at the shop, where the latest books and magazines live!

Bristol Ivy Collection Trunk Show!

Another Fibre Company Trunk Show has arrived at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! From now til March 20th, 2016, we’ll have the Bristol Ivy Collection on display.


All six of these sweaters were designed by Bristol Ivy for Fibre Company Cumbria yarns, three in Cumbria Worsted and three in Cumbria Fingering. Both yarns are composed of merino and masham wools with a bit of mohair, and while plenty soft, they are also quite sturdy.


These designs appear simple at first glance, mainly smooth stockinette trimmed with tidy ribbing, but each one has a clever detail or surprising design element–a bit of lace at the shoulder, a mesh panel at the back, and so on.


Don’t hesitate to ask us to take these sweaters off the wall for a closer look! They’re here to be admired up close and personal, tried on for shape and size. Though we don’t keep print copies of these patterns in stock, they are all available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales, where we print a copy for you and a digital copy is stored in your email and Ravelry pattern library.


Come by the shop before March 20th, 2016, to see the Bristol Ivy Collection Trunk Show. We’re offering a 10% discount on Fibre Company Cumbria yarns during the Trunk Show, so come by soon to plan your next project!


A reminder: discount applies to in-stock Cumbria Worsted and Fingering as well as prepaid Cumbria Worsted and Fingering special orders. All sales are final on discounted yarn; there can be no returns or exchanges. Thanks!