Back in stock: cocoknits Knitter’s Block and Sweater Care Kit.

Cocoknits is the brainchild of Julie Weisenberger, a knitwear designer and purveyor of high quality tools for knitters. She’s carefully developed notions that are as nice to use as they are to look at. This week brought two of them back into stock – the Knitter’s Block and Sweater Care Kit, tools for the care of our handmade items.

The Knitter’s Block is a set of square blocking tiles that fit together like puzzle pieces. It comes with 18 12″ x 12″ tiles, a pack of stainless steel T-Pins, and a “‘Check’ your Gauge” cloth, woven with 1″ squares for easy measuring as you block, all in a sturdy jute bag.

The Sweater Care Kit is great for blocking, washing, and drying garments that don’t need pinning, like finished sweaters and smaller accessories. It includes mesh laundry bags, super-absorbent towels, a mesh pop-up dryer, and a bottle of Eucalan, all packed into a nice jute tote.

For years, I blocked everything I knit using old towels on the floor. It worked just fine, and there’s nothing wrong with using what’s already on hand, but with all the blocking I was doing between personal and shop projects, I decided to upgrade, and I’m so glad I did.

If you’re looking to upgrade your own blocking tools, the Knitter’s Block and Sweater Care Kit are well worth it – look for them among our blocking supplies, like bottles of Eucalan, packs of T-pins, and sets of blocking wires. See you at the shop!

Cocoknits Accessory Roll.

Meet the cocoknits Accessory Roll!

This cleverly designed notions case has four compartments for storing whatever little things need storing.

Made of durable, washable paper, the cocoknits Accessory Roll should soften with age, and develop something of a leather-like texture.

It’s compact when rolled, spacious and accessible when unrolled, and sturdy enough to throw into your knitting bag.

Look for the Accessory Roll among other cocoknits tools here at our shop!

Back in stock: Cocoknits Maker’s Keep.

A big box from cocoknits arrived this week, bearing all manner of markers, cable needles, stitch stoppers, blocking kits, and other knitterly necessities. Today, I’ll shine a light on one of our favorites, the Maker’s Keep.

The cocoknits Maker’s Keep is a silicone slap bracelet with a magnetic face, designed to keep your tools close at hand as you knit. It works well with metal darning needles and cable needles, cocoknits’ stitch markers and row counter, T-pins, and more – any steel accessories will cling to your Keep.

Cocoknits named it the Maker’s Keep because it’s not just for knitters. We’ve had lots of sewists come by to snag one of these clever tools, loving the way it keeps straight pins handy. It also features a set of measuring lines for inches and centimeters on the underside of the bracelet – a clever detail to suit a variety of makers.

Look for Maker’s Keeps and other cocoknits products in our notions section here at the shop!

New from cocoknits.

Cocoknits is the brainchild of Julie Weisenberger, a knitwear designer and purveyor of high quality tools for knitters. She’s carefully developed notions that are as nice to use as they are to look at.

Last week brought two brand new products from cocoknits: a metal cable needle designed to pair with the Maker’s Keep, and T-pins sold in tins of 40.

We’ve been seeking a reliable source for stainless steel T-pins for the longest time, and are delighted to have found them in cocoknits. Look for them in the front room of our shop, near all the other blocking supplies!

You’ll see the cocoknits Knitter’s Block in the same section, a set of interlocking foam tiles for blocking that we’ve been anxious to get back in stock for a few months now. We’re so happy to have them back on our shelves, along with all manner of cocoknits stitch markers, stitch stoppers, claw clips, stitch fixers, row counters,and other tools!

Look for cocoknits products here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

Knit Wit, Issue 7.

The latest issue of Knit Wit is here!

Knit Wit is a magazine for anyone interested in textiles and fiber arts. Pick it up to read about artists and makers, hear their stories, and see lush photos of their work and how they do it.

Knit Wit is published biannually, with a “Cold” and a “Hot” issue each year. This “Cold” issue features profiles of textile designers Noelle Sharp and Cathy Callahan, mindful knitter Rachael Matthews, and others, along with a peek inside the Tatter Textile Library in Brooklyn, NY. These are all new names to me, and names I might not have encountered outside of Knit Wit – a reminder that our hand-knitting community is just one small slice of a larger textile art world.

I did spot something very familiar in a photo feature on favorite knitting notions – the Cocoknits Maker’s Keep, with all manner of Cocoknits stitch markers aboard. Look for those here at the shop, along with all kinds of handy notions!

With articles, interviews, essays, studio tours, and a few knitting patterns, Knit Wit is above all, a good read. Come by to pick up a copy!

Cocoknits Maker’s Keep.

This week, an eagerly-anticipated shipment arrived from cocoknits – a box full of Maker’s Keeps!

Cocoknits has reimagined their signature Knitter’s Keep as the Maker’s Keep: a silicone slap bracelet with a magnetic face, designed to keep your tools close at hand as you knit.

It used to come at a higher price, with a variety of notions; now it’s sold separately, so you can use the notions you have and prefer. The Maker’s Keep works well with metal darning needles and cable needles, cocoknits’ stitch markers and row counter, T-pins, and more – any steel accessories will cling to your Keep.

One new detail in this iteration of the Maker’s Keep is a set of measuring lines for inches and centimeters on the underside of the bracelet – a clever addition.

Look for Maker’s Keeps in our notions section here at the shop, and consider it a gift for the crafter who has (almost) everything this holiday season!

New from Cocoknits.

Cocoknits is the brainchild of Julie Weisenberger, a knitwear designer and purveyor of high quality tools for knitters. She’s carefully developed notions that are as nice to use as they are to look at.

Her foam Stitch Stoppers are the best point protectors we’ve seen, and since they first appeared last year, they quickly replaced any other kind we used to stock at the shop. No longer are the small and large sizes sold separately; now each pack comes with Stoppers for a range of needle sizes from US 0-15, and you can choose from Colorful or Neutral.

Even more exciting is a brand new product from Cocoknits, a Natural Mesh Bag to hold your yarn as you work.

The Natural Mesh Bag does the job of a yarn bowl, protecting your yarn from rolling about, keeping it safe and sound. Unlike a yarn bowl, however, this bag is lightweight, flexible, and easy to throw into a knitting tote to travel with you. It can sit open or you can snap up the top. Here it is in action, holding my Isager Jensen Yarn as I work on my “Summer Fog” vest, a sample for the shop.

Anne keeps her Shibui Birch in a Natural Mesh Bag as she’s knitting her “Icon” wrap. Just ask her and she’ll be happy to put it in your hands so you can see what it’s like out of its box. Look for them near the Cocoknits Sweater Care Kit in the front room, near the ballwinder – see you there!

Cocoknits Stitch Holder Kits.

We always look forward to new products from Cocoknits, and I’m pleased to report that the latest is here at the shop! Let’s take a closer look at Cocoknits’ Stitch Holder Kits.

The Stitch Holder Kit consists of three leather cords and two needles they can screw into, and they’re made to be used in lieu of scrap yarn whenever you need to put lives stitches on hold.

Like all Cocoknits products, the packaging has been as carefully designed as its contents, with beauty and utility equally in mind.

These sturdy boxes should hold up in your notions case, especially if you have a nice roomy one like our HYS Zipper Bag.

Look for all kinds of Cocoknits products here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, from stitch stoppers and yarn snips to claw clips and blocking mats and more. See you in the notions section!

Cocoknits Sweater Workshop.

Designer Julie Weisenberger of Cocoknits is well known for her cleverly-designed notions as much as for her knitting patterns. Her first book was just published, and we are excited to have it here at the shop. Take a peek inside Cocoknits Sweater Workshop!

In this book, Weisenberger presents her system for custom, tailored sweaters knit seamlessly from the top down.

The Cocoknits Method is, at its core, a system for tracking your progress as you knit, for keeping tabs on the varied increases and decreases that make a top-down sweater fit well. It involves worksheets and color-coded stitch markers, codifying some of the guidance we often give to sweater knitters who want to know how to keep track of all the goings-on.

Cocoknits Sweater Workshop also offers patterns and modifications so you can jump in and knit perfectly-fitting top-down sweaters of your own, along with guidance on what styles and shapes can be flattering and why.

Weisenberger has wisely created a journal of Cocoknits Sweater Worksheets for those that fall in love with her method. The two books make a nice pair, especially for fans of seamless sweater-knitting.

Look for Cocoknits Sweater Workshop and the accompanying worksheet journal on the teacart here at the shop, where the latest publications live. See you there!

New year’s eve.

2016 was a big year for us here at the shop, full of exciting new yarns, projects, books, tools, classes, and ideas. We won the title of “Best Yarn Store” in the Triangle, celebrated our tenth year in business, and worked every day toward our goal of bringing the best quality yarns and information to the wonderful community of knitters, crocheters, and weavers that we feel lucky to serve.

On this last day of 2016, I spent the morning at the shop with Anne, helping shoppers find what they need, winding yarn at our lovely new winding station by the window, and sewing sweater pieces together in quiet moments. This is my nearly-completed “Finn Valley,” knit with Fibre Company Arranmore, and you’ll find it hanging on the wall here at the shop just as soon as these seams are sewn and the collar is knit.

At Anne’s suggestion, I enlisted the help of a new tool, Cocoknits Claw Clips, to hold my pieces together as I sewed. Normally I use locking stitch markers for this task, and though I’ve grown used to that and always thought it worked fine, the Claw Clips are much, much better! A pack of these will make all my future seams easier, I’m so glad I gave them a try.

We closed early for the holiday, so I went home to my other workspace to write this new year’s eve blog post.

Much of my writing happens here at my kitchen table, with my trusty laptop, a cup of something, and, often, a Harmony Farm Candle burning. I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to write the blog for the shop, and especially to hear such kind feedback from you readers – thank you so much for spending your time here with me! When this post is written and published, I’ll retire to my current at-home project, “Vanora,” by Michele Wang, knit with Fibre Company Cumbria Fingering.

Cocoknits’ notions are making my knitting life better on this project, too; I’ve arranged Small Colored Stitch Markers throughout my stitch pattern, color-coding the cables, texture, and shaping so I know what I’m supposed to be doing without being glued to the chart.

Thank you all for another great year at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, we so appreciate your support and enthusiasm! We’ve got something really big planned for the new year, and we just can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, I hope you’re finding time for a few stitches this new year’s eve – Happy New Year to you and yours!