Brooklyn Tweed Sample of the Month: BT Kids.

Our Brooklyn Tweed Sample of the Month for November is here! Come by this month to see selections from the BT Kids collection.

When we were planning our Brooklyn Tweed Sample of the Month program, Anne was especially excited to see “Atlas (For Kids),” a colorwork yoke that called her grandchildren to mind. When Kel at Brooklyn Tweed offered to lend us anything from the BT Kids collection, we jumped – you’ll find six pieces on display this month!

All of them are knit with Loft, Brooklyn Tweed’s signature fingering weight, woolen-spun yarn. It comes in 45 colors and we’re delighted to report that we have them all in stock. Even better, we’re offering them at 10% off during November!

We’ll be closed for a Thanksgiving break from Wednesday, November 27 – Monday, December 2, reopening at our regular business hours on Tuesday, December 3, so if you’re anxious to see these samples and get Loft at a discount, plan your visit accordingly. We hope to see you soon!

Just a reminder–all sales are final on discounted items; there can be no exchanges, returns, or special orders. Thanks!

Show and tell: for little ones.

Our last round of show and tell focused primarily on adult sweaters, which are satisfying to see completed in part because they’re such big projects, and also because there’s a great need for them to fit just so. When they come out to our expectations, we’re especially happy. Garments for little ones take less time to make, but they hold a different set of hopes, just as dear to us. Here are some baby and children’s knits we’ve seen completed of late.

Emily knit this “In Threes” cardigan with Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted, a super-soft superwash merino yarn that is ideal for baby projects.

Paula has been knitting with Wooly Worsted, too, preparing for the birth of her grandson-to-be. She recently completed this “Baby Turtle Frenzy Blanket,” designed by our own Amy Wentley, and backed it with fabric to make a spectacular nursery wall-hanging.

She didn’t stop there, of course – Paula also knit this little sweater and hat. The pattern is “Lullaby Layette,” and the yarn is CoopKnits Socks Yeah! DK, a squishy superwash yarn just right for this kind of project.

Not all baby things must be machine-washable, of course; it’s a matter of preference when it comes to washing woolens by hand. This little sweater was made with Fibre Company Arranmore, a handwash-only blend of merino, silk, and cashmere. I’ve shared Katherine’s “Fisherman’s Pullover” sweater on the blog before, but when we were visited by Elizabeth herself wearing the sweater in question, a photo had to be taken. There is simply something special about a tiny person in a handmade sweater!

Susan knit this lovely “Baby Surprise Jacket” with Fibre Company Acadia, a special gift for a premature baby. This single color version is exquisite in its simplicity, letting the rich color with its tweedy flecks be the star of the show, along with Elizabeth Zimmermann’s genius engineering.

Thanks to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We love hearing your ideas and helping you find just the right yarns and tools to realize them. See you at the shop!

Show and tell: for little ones.

Time to share some of the exquisite finished projects that crocheters and knitters have made with yarn from our shop! I have a big virtual pile of show-and-tell photos waiting to be seen, and sifting through them, I find that they divide themselves neatly into two categories: those intended for children, and those intended for adults. Let’s start small.

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Emily knit the “i heart rainbows hat” above for her daughter, using saturated, playful shades of Cascade 220 Fingering. I love how this came out, it’s just so cheery and sweet!

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Julie crocheted this impressive “Dragon Neckwarmer” with Ewe So Sporty, a springy machine-washable merino wool. This is a great example of the tremendous sculptural possibilities of crochet!

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Tom knit this cute henley pullover, a pattern from Cheryl Brunette’s Sweater 101. Jarbo Garn Raggi is the machine-washable yarn used here; the blonde wood buttons are a perfect match.

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A knitter visiting from Portland (whose name I’m so sorry I didn’t catch!) knit an adorable pumpkin hat in Malabrigo Rios for her granddaughter, who models it in the photo above. She came back to the shop for another color of Rios, something to match her pumpkin hat leftovers. Her granddaughter models the second hat below, looking too-cool in her slouchy striped beanie.

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Margie’s been knitting with Rios, too. Below, her granddaughter models the “Seathwaite” hat Margie knit for her in the playful shade of “Glazed Carrot.”

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Katherine has been knitting Kate Davies’ “Owlet” sweaters for all of her children, and here’s the smallest one modeling the latest, knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

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Speaking of owls, I have a bit of show-and-tell myself: a parliament of “Owl Puffs,” knit for my niece’s birthday. I used bits and pieces of fingering weight leftovers held double for marled owls, then embroidered their beaks and sewed on felt eyes with safety-eye pupils. They were fast and fun to make; I hope she likes them!

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Thanks to the yarn-lovers who begin their projects here at our shop, seeking just the right colors and textures for the garments they envision and then expertly create! We are so inspired by what you make. Keep your eye on the blog for more show and tell soon!

Show and tell: stripes.

“Show and tell” blog posts are some of my favorites to write, and I’ve been lucky to write lots of them lately. Whenever possible, I take photos of the finished projects that find their way back to the shop, after some talented soul turned them from mere yarn into expertly-handcrafted garment. As I look through the show-and-tell photos not yet published here on the blog, I search for themes. Do these glorious finished projects have a particular kind of yarn in common, or a type of garment, quality of color, motif, or technique? Today’s grouping: stripes.

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Anne knit this “Barefoot Knits Twirly Skirt” for her eldest granddaughter using Schulana Sojabama, a silky soft blend of soy and bamboo. The pattern, once published in a magazine no longer in print, took a bit of Ravelry hunting to track down, but its designer offers it up here. Anne modified it just a bit, opting to knit in the round rather than in pieces, adding a fifth color, and using a picot bind off for extra flair.

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I knit this “Flying Duchess” shawl as a shop sample using the decadent Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK in three shades. I’m used to starting shawls with just a few stitches, then increasing throughout, ending on the very longest rows. “Flying Duchess,” on the other hand, had me casting on over 350 stitches, then decreasing throughout, which gave me the pleasing sensation that I was picking up speed as the project progressed.DSCN5999It was a mighty long cast-on, though, and one that I ended up doing twice. The first time, I tried the cable cast-on, knit a few rows, then ripped, disliking the sloppy look. The second, much more successful time, I used two balls of yarn to do the long tail cast-on, a technique I highly recommend for casting on large numbers of stitches.

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Catherine is still busy knitting “3 Color Cashmere Cowls” in Shibui Staccato, and came in the other day with three more to show us. It’s been fun to see how the character of this pattern changes in different colorways: some muted, others bold, some elegant, others playful.

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Thanks to everyone who comes by the shop to start a project, solve a problem, share their progress, and show off their finished pieces. There’s plenty more show-and-tell where this came from; looking forward to sharing more soon!

Show and tell: critters.

Time for another round of show and tell! Here are some finished projects that started life as yarns on our shelves. These knitted things have something else in common, as well: they all feature animals!

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Amy designed and knit this “Baby Turtle Frenzy Blanket” for her granddaughter-to-be using Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted. It shows sea turtle hatchlings on their journey from the sandy beach through the breakers to the deep blue sea. She wrote a separate pattern for the tiny turtles themselves; get them together at a discounted price on Ravelry or here at the shop.

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Amy’s also offering a Tiny Turtle class here at the shop, for those interested in knitted toys–head to our Classes page to sign up!

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Ali came by the shop not long ago with two knitted critters. Above are her “Moose and the World’s Tree” mittens, from Annemor Sundbø’s Norwegian Mittens and Gloves, knit in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. Below is her “Hedgehog,” whose belly and face is also made of Shetland Spindrift, with garter stitch spines in Plymouth Galway held double.

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I, too, knit a hedgehog from this pattern a couple of years ago, and loved the process as much as the end product. Seeing this one made me want to knit another!

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We can’t talk about knitted critters without mentioning the “Baa-ble Hat,” a free pattern with well over 5,000 projects on Ravelry in the year and a half since it was first published. The “Baa-ble Hat” above is my second, and may not be my last. I used bright shades of Plymouth Tweed and Queensland Kathmandu Aran for this one, and love the way the colorwork looks in these speckled yarns.

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Amy just finished teaching an introductory class on stranded colorwork featuring the “Baa-ble Hat,” and the hat above was knit by one of her students, Clarine. She used Jamieson’s Shetland Heather Aran for three out of the four shades, knitting the soft green grass with Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed.

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Sarah was one of Amy’s students, too; she knit her hat in Malabrigo Rios, and left the shop after class with yarn for another “Baa-ble Hat.” It’s a pleasing little pattern, and a great way to try stranded colorwork for the first time. Amy’s offering another class on the subject in October–sign up now if you’d like to join!

Thanks to all those who share their work with us here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We are inspired by your great ideas, and love to see them take shape!

Show and tell: little knits.

December is a busy time of year here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Knitters and crocheters perk up as winter begins, even a warm winter like the one we’re having, and holiday gift-making becomes top priority. We’ve seen so much amazing show-and-tell this month, some of which I’ve captured on camera to share here on the blog. I’ve accumulated enough for two show-and-tell posts, so let’s start small with these knits for babies and children.

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Amy knit this sweet stripey “Baby’s Cardigan” using Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Starke 6 in a particularly colorful colorway. It reminds me of a box of crayons, perfect for a small someone.

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I knit a little sweater this month, too, a “Flax” pullover for my nephew, with a matching “Barley” hat. Two skeins of Malabrigo Rios was enough for this set, and I highly recommend both yarn and pattern; they were a great match. “Flax,” “Barley,” and the rest of tincanknits’ Simple Collection are aimed at beginner knitters, simple designs that really let a semi-solid hand-dyed yarn shine.

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Nancy knit this colorwork vest with Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK, using another tincanknits design, “Peanut.” This is another great match of yarn and pattern; superwash wool is a practical, economical choice for baby and children’s things, and it comes in a wide range of solid colors–perfect for colorwork.

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Anne’s been making little things, too; Hannukah gifts for her grandchildren. These two hats are for her granddaughters, knit in Araucania Toconao (left) and Lang Merino+ Color (right).

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Her four-year-old grandsons weren’t left out, of course; they came by the shop last month to select yarns for their Hannukah socks. Anne traced their quickly-growing feet for size, then got to work on two sets of needles–one for Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply, and one for Araucania Ranco.

Thanks to everyone who starts their projects here at the shop, and also to those who share their progress along the way. We always love to see what you’re making, and feel so grateful to be surrounded by such talent and creativity. Stay tuned for more show and tell soon!

Sweet Pickles.

We recently received a new book of baby and children’s knits; take a look at Sweet Pickles.

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Norwegian knitwear designers Anna Enge and Heidi Grønvold present this collection of cozy garments and accessories for newborns, toddlers, and children up to age nine.

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These garments are decorated with whimsical stripes and colorwork, but simply-shaped, designed with their wearer’s activities in mind.

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Look for Sweet Pickles on the teacart with the latest books and magazines. See you at the shop!

New colors in Vivacious 4ply.

We received a lovely bundle from Fyberspates last week, bursting with bags of their Vivacious 4ply yarn. Vivacious 4ply is a high twist, superwash merino wool in a fingering weight. Though we just started stocking this yarn in February, a reorder was already necessary, and their newest shades tempted us, too.

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Each 100 gram skein has 399 yards, enough for a pair of socks or mitts, a hat, scarf, or shawlette. Vivacious 4ply is hand-dyed, so each skein is unique, even from the same dye-lot; remember you can alternate skeins to blend hand-dyed yarns in larger projects.

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We were also delighted to see these two new books from Fyberspates. Vivacious Kids is a collection of garments and accessories for children ages 2-10, a range for which it is sometimes surprisingly hard to find knitwear designs. CoopKnits Socks Vol. 2 is a pleasing and diverse collection of sock patterns, from the simple to the ornate.

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Look for Vivacious 4ply in the fingering weight section of the shop!

New patterns for Isager yarns.

Isager yarns are a longtime favorite here at the shop. Anne’s passion for Marianne Isager’s yarns and designs has proved contagious, and we keep Alpaca 1 and Alpaca 2, Spinni, Tvinni, Highland, and Tweed in good stock as a result. We’re always on the lookout for new ways to use them, and to that end, we’ve recently added a nice bunch of patterns to the Isager binder.

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Theresa Gaffey, who brought us the ever-popular “Stole,” has designed a new rectangular wrap with Isager yarns: “Stole 2.0.” This version is similarly simple to knit, but has a decidedly new construction and look, and brings Spinni and Alpaca 2 together for a different texture.

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“Not Quite Plaid” is a striped garter stitch scarf made in Isager Alpaca 2, knit on the bias and decorated with dropped stitches. The pattern gives options for three different sizes, from skinny scarf to shawl, and instructions for 3 or 5 colors.

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“Cardicho” is a buttoned poncho, also knit with Alpaca 2.

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Like Shibui yarns, Isager yarns are often combined, two or three strands at a time, to create a range of gauges, unique fiber and color blends. These two patterns do just that.

DSCN4208Isager yarns, while not machine-washable, are suitable for children’s things as well as adult garments and accessories. Check out the adorable “Mathilde” and “Trille Rille,” as well as Susie Haumann’s All You Knit Is Love.

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Look for even more Isager pattern ideas on our Pinterest boards. Come by the shop to peruse our growing selection of Isager patterns and yarns; you may find your next project there. See you at the shop!

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New patterns from Swans Island.

Not long ago, we received a bunch of new patterns from Swans Island.

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The “Axis Shawl” calls for two shades of Swans Island Organic Merino Fingering, which come together in a striped slip-stitch pattern against a background of soothing garter stitch. Lots of “Axis Shawls” are starting to pop up on Ravelry; look there for some interesting color combinations.

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The “Northwoods Vest” and “Trail Ride Mitts” both make good use of Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted, and show how nice it looks in a cable pattern.

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Most of our new Swans Island patterns call for their Organic Washable DK, which is soft and springy, with great stitch definition.

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Swans Island makes this yarn machine-washable with a process called Ecowash®, which coats the yarn with an organic compound rather than stripping the scales from the fiber. This helps to prevent felting, making it easy-care for baby and children’s things.

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Come by the shop to flip through the Swans Island pattern binder, which is full of inspiring uses for their special yarns!

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