Vanishing Fleece.

We’re delighted to have Clara Parkes’ new book in stock!

Clara Parkes is a writer, designer, and expert reviewer of all things fiber. She’s the blogger behind Knitter’s Review, and it’s there that we first learned about some of our favorite productsneedles, and yarns. In Vanishing Fleece, Parkes traces one 676-pound bale of wool as it’s sourced, scoured, and spun into yarn, a journey that takes her all across the US and deep into the American textile industry. 

Look for Vanishing Fleece among the latest books and magazines here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Pick it up to learn more about how yarn is made, and get to know the people who make it!

Pom Pom Quarterly: Autumn 2019.

The Autumn 2019 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly has arrived here at the shop!

The patterns and colors in this issue are inspired by the coast – ocean waves, sand and pebbles, shells and sailor’s knots.

As ever, there are a variety of knitting techniques on display in this issue – stripes and stranded colorwork, gansey-like knit and purl textures, slipped and twisted stitches, and more.

There’s also an essay on sailor’s knots by Clara Parkes, a briny quick pickle recipe, and even a bit of poetry from natural dyer Ocean Rose – just the kind of quirky, interdisciplinary flourishes that make Pom Pom such a special publication.

Come by the shop to get a closer look at this issue of Pom Pom, and pick up a copy to inspire your stitching!

Back in stock: Akerworks Swatch Gauge.

The Akerworks Swatch Gauge is among our favorite notions, and we’re delighted to have a new batch of them on our shelves!

The Swatch Gauge is a tool for measuring gauge, a heavy plastic one with cut-outs for counting how many stitches or rows make four inches, horizontally and vertically. We first read about it on Knitter’s Review, where Clara Parkes’ enthusiasm for the product caught our eye.

The defining feature of the Akerworks Swatch Gauge is what Clara Parkes refers to as “honesty teeth.” These little teeth hold your fabric flat as you measure, simultaneously discouraging you from tugging or smoothing it this way or that to get gauge under false pretenses. We’ve all done it – you really want to get gauge, after all! – and knitted fabric is stretchy enough to accommodate our wishful thinking. This Swatch Gauge allows you to count stitches and rows hands-free for the least-biased gauge measurement possible. What a brilliant design!

Look for the Akerworks Swatch Gauge in our notions department. Pick up one for yourself, of course, but also remember them as clever gifts for the knitters in your life. See you at the shop!

Back in stock: Knitting Comfortably.

Today a big box of books arrived at the shop, a second batch of Carson Demers’ instant classic, Knitting Comfortably. Our first order sold out soon after it arrived, back in November, claimed by knitters eager to preserve and protect the health of their hands, wrists, shoulders, etc. When we placed a second order, we learned that Demers had already sold the entire first edition of his book, so sought after was the information within. We’re happy to have more copies on our shelves now that the second edition has been printed, and in celebration, I’m rerunning my original blog post on the subject, originally published on November 8th, 2017. 

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Another new book has arrived at the shop, a little different from our usual fare. This book is composed neither of patterns nor personal essays nor pretty knitting pictures. Rather, Knitting Comfortably is a book about the health of our hands and bodies, written by a physical therapist who happens to be an expert knitter.

We’d heard Carson Demers’ book mentioned a few times since its publication, but Clara Parkes’ rave review put us over the top – we had to have this book at the shop, and we’re so glad we do! It’s all about the ergonomics of handknitting, a guide for taking care of our most crucial knitting tool: ourselves.

Whether we knit English or Continental or any other method, we expose ourselves to the possibility of injury when we knit, especially when we knit for long stretches on a regular basis. It’s imperative, then, for us to understand what we’re doing with our muscles as we work, and how our posture affects our movement. In order to knit as much as we want to, we have to take care, and that is the goal of this book.

It’s clear that Demers has spent years working diligently to make this book as thorough and useful as possible. It’s dense with text, but quite accessible, peppered with clarifying photos and diagrams. He also includes plenty of “swatchortunities,” little knitting exercises that help to illustrate his suggestions and ideas.

I’ve only just begun to read through this book, but already it’s changed the way I think about my knitting practice. It may be tricky to break some of the bad habits I’ve accumulated over years of knitting daily, but I am motivated to interrogate my own behavior and adjust it to assure many more years of this craft I love so dearly.

Look for Knitting Comfortably on the teacart here at the shop!

Knitting Comfortably.

Another new book has arrived at the shop, a little different from our usual fare. This book is composed neither of patterns nor personal essays nor pretty knitting pictures. Rather, Knitting Comfortably is a book about the health of our hands and bodies, written by a physical therapist who happens to be an expert knitter.

We’d heard Carson Demers’ book mentioned a few times since its publication, but Clara Parkes’ rave review put us over the top – we had to have this book at the shop, and we’re so glad we do! It’s all about the ergonomics of handknitting, a guide for taking care of our most crucial knitting tool: ourselves.

Whether we knit English or Continental or any other method, we expose ourselves to the possibility of injury when we knit, especially when we knit for long stretches on a regular basis. It’s imperative, then, for us to understand what we’re doing with our muscles as we work, and how our posture affects our movement. In order to knit as much as we want to, we have to take care, and that is the goal of this book.

It’s clear that Demers has spent years working diligently to make this book as thorough and useful as possible. It’s dense with text, but quite accessible, peppered with clarifying photos and diagrams. He also includes plenty of “swatchortunities,” little knitting exercises that help to illustrate his suggestions and ideas.

I’ve only just begun to read through this book, but already it’s changed the way I think about my knitting practice. It may be tricky to break some of the bad habits I’ve accumulated over years of knitting daily, but I am motivated to interrogate my own behavior and adjust it to assure many more years of this craft I love so dearly.

Look for Knitting Comfortably on the teacart here at the shop!

A Stash of One’s Own.

Clara Parkes’ latest book is here!

A Stash of One’s Own is a collection of essays by Clara Parkes and over twenty other knitters about loving, living with, and letting go of yarn. Each essay reveals the complicated relationship between knitters and their yarn collections, one that can be marked by everything from pleasure, grief, pride, and shame, to creativity and sometimes anxiety.

Meg Swansen’s essay opens the book with a remembrance of her mother, Elizabeth Zimmermann, and her stash of unfinished objects, notebooks, designs in progress. Debbie Stoller’s essay closes the book, a feminist take on what it means to stash yarn. In between, there are essays from well-known knitwear designers like Gudrun Johnston, Amy Herzog, and Amy Christoffers, writers and humorists like Franklin Habit, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne of Mason-Dixon Knitting, and many others whose names were new to me. Whether I related personally to them or not, I found that nearly all of these stories resonated with me, for their common theme was that our materials mean something to us.

Whether you have a stash or not, A Stash of One’s Own is an interesting read for those who work with yarn. Look for it on the teacart here at the shop, where the latest books and magazines overfloweth!

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!

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!

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter.

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 Shelter.

Brooklyn Tweed Shelter is a worsted weight, woolen-spun Targhee-Columbia wool, sourced, dyed, and spun entirely in the USA. Woolen-spun yarns are lofty and somewhat delicate, and because of the air trapped between their jumbled fibers, they are also especially warm for their weight. Clara Parkes has written at length about this, in her Knitter’s Book of Wool as well as in her glowing review of Shelter.

We have all 40 colors of Shelter in stock, an outstanding palette of 37 heathers and 3 marls. These shades are created by dyeing the fiber in 16 vibrant solids, then blending them, two or three at a time, into intricate heathers.

In the marled colorways, each ply is a different shade.

Shelter is amenable to a range of gauges, in part because it’s woolen-spun, and is happy to expand or contract based on the needle size used. Give your finished piece a soapy bath, and you’ll find that the yarn blooms into a cohesive, somewhat fuzzy fabric.

The Brooklyn Tweed archives are bursting with tempting patterns for Shelter, the first yarn they developed, and a browse through those patterns show that the yarn is well suited to all manner of techniques, from cables and texture to lace and colorwork. Here are some of the Shelter patterns I’ve admired over the years, that I can’t wait to take another look at now that this exciting yarn is easily within reach:

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. Check out our Worsted weight Pinterest board for a few more pattern ideas!

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

Book Raffle!

One of our big goals at market this year was to find a new book distributor, as the one we’d long relied on went out of business earlier in the year. I’m happy to report that we did find a lovely new source for books, and they were kind enough to send us home from market with something special: five brand new knitting books, each signed by their authors.

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To celebrate our new book distributor, we’re having a raffle, and giving away these signed copies as prizes. For each book you purchase during our Annual Inventory Sale this July, you’ll receive a raffle ticket, an entry to win a signed copy of one of the following books:

  • Knitting Ephemera, by Carol J. Sulcoski
  • Knitlandia, by Clara Parkes
  • Cable Left, Cable Right, by Judith Durant
  • Knit Wear Love, by Amy Herzog
  • Wee Garter Stitch, by Vickie Howell

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At the end of the month, we’ll draw 5 raffle tickets, one for each book. Come by the shop during July to get anything in stock at 15% off, and get a chance to win a book with each book you buy!

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We have lots of new books to choose from, along with a large collection of older ones. Ask us if you’re seeking a recommendation; we love books almost as much as we love yarn, and have favorites in a variety of categories. See you at the shop!

 

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