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!


The Spring/Summer 2017 issue of knit.wear is here!

This stylish magazine from Interweave is notably garment-oriented, a publication with more sweater patterns than accessories.

So many of our favorite yarns are represented in this issue – Fibre Company Acadia and Arranmore, Brooklyn Tweed Loft, Shibui Twig, and more.

Come by the shop to pick up a copy of knit.wear, and browse our latest acquisitions while you’re at it. We hope you find inspiration here!

Brooklyn Tweed Trunk Show!

We are delighted to announce that our first-ever Brooklyn Tweed Trunk Show has arrived!

From now until March 19th, 2017, we’ll have eight garments from the Brooklyn Tweed archives on display, and we’re offering BT yarns at a 10% discount.

As soon as we became a Brooklyn Tweed stockist in January, we began planning a trunk show, eager to see their glorious designs in person. They kindly sent over a list of garments in the warehouse and let us put together a curated trunk show of our own.

This group reflects Anne’s taste and mine, though we tried to strike a balance of men’s and women’s sweaters using a variety of techniques. In muted neutrals and shades of blue and green, they run the gamut from colorwork and texture patterns to good old stockinette, which always flatters the wearer.

Some of these were knit in Shelter, and some in Loft, Brooklyn Tweed’s signature woolen-spun, US-sourced, 100% Targhee-Columbia wools in worsted and fingering weights, respectively.

Along with the Trunk Show, we also brought in hard copies of all of the featured patterns, which are beautifully printed on cardstock. Come by the shop to flip through a binder full of them and admire the garments themselves in living color. Even better, you can try them on for size, and plan your next project in Brooklyn Tweed yarns, all at a 10% discount. See you at the shop!

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! 

What’s winding.

Back in December, we rearranged the front room at the shop a bit, moving the ballwinder from the teacart, shifting a few shelves, and adding a new table. That table houses the swift and ballwinder, a dedicated winding station right by the front window, which does double and triple duty as a window display and a naturally-lit spot for blog photography.

A rainbow of CoopKnits Socks Yeah! getting wound and ready for sock-knitting.

The table came from Anne’s mother’s apartment in New York, where it had been living for many decades before it moved south with Phyllis herself. It’s the perfect shape and size for our space, but it also came, importantly, with good memories for Anne of her mother cutting out patterns there to sew her clothes. Take a close look at its surface next time you’re here at the shop, and you can see dotted lines in the wood from her tracing wheel.

Just as Phyllis began sewing projects on this table, so do we begin knitting and crochet projects here, with that important first step: winding the yarn.

Getting wound up and ready to knit a shop sample in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor.

Yarns that come in twisted hanks need to be wound into a ball before use, a task that some knitters find pleasure in, but others consider a chore. We have a swift and ballwinder here at the shop to make quick work of that task, and we’re happy to do it for you. Now that the winding station is such a pleasing place to be, I often find myself photographing the yarns that pass through it, admiring the clever and sturdy design of Nancy’s Knit Knacks Heavy Duty Ballwinder. These photos are some of my personal favorites, and they’ll look familiar if you follow us on Instagram.

Winding Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, a “Hadley-Pullover”-to-be.

As I wind yarn at the shop, I’m frequently joined by customers and passers-by, looking on from the worsted weight section or the sidewalk, just enjoying the simple pleasure of the spinning swift and the growing ball of yarn.

Isager Alpaca 2 and Shibui Staccato getting wound and ready to become a “Find Your Fade” shawl.

Come by the shop to plan your next project, and leave with your yarn ready to use right away. See you there!

Show and tell: Brooklyn Tweed, part 2.

Earlier in the week, I shared a few of the many Brooklyn Tweed works-in-progress that began life as yarns on our shelves. I can’t wait to see them all grown up and completed, just like this next group of garments.

Nancy knit this “Pei” cowl by Michele Wang with just one skein of Brooklyn Tweed Loft, using the color “Birdbook,” a mossy green. She kindly left it with us to display for awhile, so look for it next time you’re here at the shop!

Katherine used Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in “Hammock” and Fibre Company Acadia in “Blueberry” together to knit these “Gimmers” by Ann Kingstone. Technically this is a work-in-progress, as the second mitt is still underway, but I couldn’t resist photographing this stunning bit of colorwork, even before blocking.

I knit this “Banff” hat by tincanknits in three sittings, loving every stitch of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, plotting a sweater with it already. The yarn is soft and light, feeling somehow spongey or doughy in the hand, and strange as that description may sound, it’s such a satisfying fiber to work with, I can scarcely recommend it highly enough! I chose the colors “Snowbound” and “Long Johns,” an evocative combination.

Katherine knit this “Bradway” shawl, by Shannon Cook, using three shades of Shelter: “Fossil,” “Truffle Hunt,” and “Almanac.”

Her upcoming class on the subject still has a couple of openings; sign up now if you’d like to claim one!

Thanks to all the knitters, crocheters, weavers, and other fiber artists who begin their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and thanks to those who bring them back to show us the finished product!

Show and tell: Brooklyn Tweed, part 1.

When we first announced that we’d become a Brooklyn Tweed stockist, we were quickly joined in our enthusiasm by a great many knitters eager to get their hands on Brooklyn Tweed yarns. After all, these are yarns with big reputations, yarns that lots of us had seen only online. No surprise, then, that I have two blog-posts-worth of show-and-tell in Brooklyn Tweed yarns, some of which are still on the needles. Let’s start with those!

Jodi is knitting a Churchmouse “Easy Folded Poncho” with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in “Hayloft,” a rich mustard yellow that, like all colors in Shelter and Loft, seems to grow more complicated on each viewing. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn at a smaller gauge than what Jodi’s getting, which means her poncho will be a few inches bigger, and so much the cozier. Note her Cocoknits Stitch Stoppers, keeping those precious stitches safe!

Anne considers a swatch a treat, a little preview of what’s to come when she finishes current projects and allows herself to cast on for the next. Above is her swatch for Michele Wang’s “Hellebore,” knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft in “Woodsmoke.”

Shelter was the first Brooklyn Tweed yarn I reached for as soon as it arrived here at the shop. That hat has been finished for weeks, and we’ll see it in the next blog post. Right now, I’m working on a “Hirombe” hat in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, using the nearly-fluorescent “Firebrush” color, a bright orangey-red. The hat, designed by Jared Flood, is decorated with twisted stitches, and though it looked straightforward enough in the photo, I learned at least three new techniques before my swatch was two rows long.

Sidney is already well into her “Grille” pullover, designed by Bonnie Sennott and knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. The color is “Postcard,” an intricate one somewhere between pink and gray.

I can think of so many more Brooklyn Tweed works-in-progress that have started life here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop: a “Flight,” “Seeds Hat,” and two “Boardwalks” in Loft, a “Far Hills Hat,” “Baa-ble Hat,” “Tinder,” and “Hadley Pullover” in Shelter; a “Byway” and “Guernsey Wrap” in Arbor, and lots of others. Who else has Brooklyn Tweed yarns on their needles, and what are you making? Leave us a comment, or come by the shop to show us your progress, and look forward to a second Brooklyn Tweed show-and-tell post here on the blog very soon!

Interweave Knits.

The Spring 2017 issue of Interweave Knits is here!

This issue is crowded with cozy, classic-looking sweaters for men and women alike. This one was knit in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, a worsted weight, woolen-spun Targhee-Columbia wool.

Another favorite yarn appears in this issue, too: Fibre Company Arranmore, a bulky tweed with a rustic look and soft hand.

Look for the latest issue of Interweave Knits on the teacart here at the shop, among other recent publications. See you there!

Capsule, by Michele Wang for Brooklyn Tweed.

The latest book from Brooklyn Tweed has landed here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! Take a peek inside Capsule, by Michele Wang.

Michele Wang designed this collection of garments and accessories with loungewear in mind, the kind of cozy, wearable knits one might fantasize about curling up in all winter. Like so many of Wang’s patterns for Brooklyn Tweed yarns, these are intricate and deeply-textured, designed with great attention to detail.

Now that we carry Brooklyn Tweed yarns, I’m happy to report that you can find most of the yarns featured in these patterns here at the shop. Four of these designs call for Shelter, Brooklyn Tweed’s worsted weight, woolen-spun Targhee-Columbia wool, which we currently have in every available color.

The same can be said of Loft, Shelter’s fingering weight counterpart, used in two of these patterns. The remainder are knit in Quarry, a bulky weight that we don’t currently stock; we’re happy to help you find a proper substitute if you fall for one of the Quarry designs.

Look for Michele Wang’s Capsule on the teacart here at the shop, surrounded by other Brooklyn Tweed books and the latest publications. We’re also expecting a Capsule trunk show later in the year, something to look forward to! In the meantime, see you at the shop.

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Arbor.

Brooklyn Tweed yarns are now available at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We’re starting with Shelter, Loft, and Arbor, and introducing each one on the blog this week. Today, meet Arbor.

Brooklyn Tweed Arbor is a 3-ply DK weight yarn composed of 100% Targhee wool. It’s Brooklyn Tweed’s newest yarn, and their biggest departure from what has so far been a line of woolen-spun heathers – Arbor is worsted-spun, and skein-dyed in solid colors at the organically-certified Saco River Dyehouse in Maine.

All 30 of these subtle, intriguingly-named colors are now on our shelves.

Worsted-spun yarns are more durable and dense than their woolen-spun counterparts, and have sharper stitch definition for crisp cables, lace, and texture patterns.

Targhee wool spun in this manner has an abundance of one of my favorite yarn characteristics: elasticity. Garments knit with Arbor should wear well and look sharp for years to come.

Brooklyn Tweed’s first round of patterns for Arbor are perfect examples of how well this yarn behaves in cables and texture patterns. Here are a few that caught my eye:

All of these Brooklyn Tweed patterns (and so many more!) are available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales, where you purchase the pattern here at the shop and a digital copy is saved in your email and/or Ravelry pattern library. We’ll print a copy for you, too, so you can head right home and cast on.

Look for more ideas on our DK weight Pinterest board, and look for Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in the DK weight section here at the shop. See you there!

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Loft.

Brooklyn Tweed yarns are now available at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We’re starting with Shelter, Loft, and Arbor, and introducing each one on the blog this week. Today, meet Loft.

Brooklyn Tweed Loft is a fingering weight, woolen-spun Targhee-Columbia wool. Loft is named for one of its best qualities, and like Shelter, it’s somewhat delicate, but especially warm for its weight.

We have all 37 colors of Loft in stock, a playground for the eyes. Like Shelter, these shades are created by dyeing the fiber in 16 vibrant solids, then blending them, two or three at a time, into intricate heathers.

Ever since Clara Parkes reviewed Loft back in 2011 and described it as “pretty much perfect,” I’ve been anxious to get my hands on it. Now that it’s here at the shop, I’ve been combing through years of my favorites on Ravelry, considering which Loft pattern I’d most like to start with. Here are some of the many:

You can tell from this selection that I have a special fondness for stranded colorwork, and while Loft is especially well-suited to that technique, it’s just as happy to render lace or texture patterns, along with simple stockinette. Case in point: Anne has her eye on “Hellebore,” by Michele Wang, a pullover with stockinette body and cabled sleeves. In fact, she has already eagerly knit a swatch, and all that’s left is to choose a color – a fun, hard decision with so many beautiful shades at our fingertips.

All of these Brooklyn Tweed patterns (and so many more!) are available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales, where you purchase the pattern here at the shop and a digital copy is saved in your email and/or Ravelry pattern library. We’ll print a copy for you, too, so you can head right home and cast on. Look for more Loft pattern inspiration on our Fingering weight Pinterest board!

Look for Brooklyn Tweed Loft in the fingering weight section here at the shop. See you there!