Show and tell: stranded colorwork.

While the shop is closed for a Thanksgiving break, I thought it would be fun to catch up on some show and tell here on the blog. We’ll reopen at our regular business hours on Tuesday, December 3; til then, let’s have a look at some of the projects folks have brought into the shop to show us!

I noticed a theme running through my current stash of show-and-tell photos: stranded colorwork. It’s a popular technique in our classroom, which is where these first two projects came to be. Above is Kristen in her “Galloway” cardigan, knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, looking lovely in shades of blue and gray. Below is Peggy’s “Galloway,” and also her very first sweater – well done!

Shelter is a popular yarn for colorwork sweaters – it’s what Glen used for his “Knitter’s Dude” cardigan, designed by Andrea Rangel. This was his first steek, a milestone, and expertly executed. Nice job, Glen!

Emily knit this “Plum Pudding Pig” with Fibre Company Lore, a DK weight Romney wool that’s well-suited to colorwork. When she brought it in for show and tell, we all wanted to give it a squeeze.

Below is Shula’s “Tessera Cowl,” designed by Jared Flood, and knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. Not all knitting projects are a joy from beginning to end – of this one, Shula bluntly said, “This was a pain in the neck,” laughing, but relieved to be done with it. We’ve all had projects like this, no?

Shelley knit this “Còinneach” cardigan with Swans Island All American Sport in a striking color combination, candy-colored brights popping out against a neutral brown background. The pattern is from Kate Davies’ West Highland Way.

Thanks to Kristen, Peggy, Glen, Emily, Shula, and Shelley for sharing their work with us, and thanks to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday, we look forward to seeing you when the shop opens again on Tuesday, December 3. In the meantime, look for more show and tell on our blog in the coming days!

Back in stock, show and tell: Shetland.

The appetite for Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift and colorwork knitting in general seems to be growing, if our frequent Jamieson’s orders are any indication. We recently unpacked yet another big box of Shetland Spindrift, a classic fingering weight 2-ply shetland wool, which has brought our selection up to 160+ colors at the moment!

It’s fitting, then that Marie Wallin’s Shetland is back in stock! This exquisite book is full of intricate fair isle designs in a kaleidoscopic array of colors, all knit with the quintessential Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. We still have a couple of copies of her newest book, Meadow, as well.

What else to make with Shetland Spindrift? Two knitters we know have recently completed colorwork hats with it, an excellent use of one of our favorite yarns.

Above is Sue’s “Roadside Beanie,” knit during a recent class here at the shop. Below is Joanne’s “Alba.” Both of these knitters have become somewhat smitten with Shetland Spindrift, developing collections of the stuff for colorwork swatching and projects, and they’re not alone – give it a try and see if you don’t feel the same way!

Look for Shetland on the teacart here at the shop, amidst piles of new books and magazines, full of inspiration for new projects, and you’ll find Shetland Spindrift in our fingering weight section. See you there!

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!

Meadow.

Happy to report that Marie Wallin’s newest book is here! Let’s peek inside Meadow.

Meadow is Wallin’s second collection of designs made with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, a classic fingering weight Shetland wool. It’s one of our very favorite yarns, and it seems to be growing in popularity, as our reorders increase in frequency.

Wallin is a British designer known for her rich colorwork designs, inspired by traditional fair isle knitting, but applied to modern, wearable shapes and styles.

Look for Meadow on the teacart here at the shop, amidst piles of new books and magazines, full of inspiration for new projects. See you there!

Back in stock: our favorite MDK Field Guides.

The eleventh installment of the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide series was a popular one – we ordered and reordered Wanderlust and on both occasions, sold out in no time. For our third order, we decided to bring back some of our other favorite MDK Field Guides, just in case anyone had missed out on them the first time around.

Ann Shayne and Kaye Gardiner’s series of Field Guides are pocket-sized booklets focused on a particular theme or knitting technique. The theme of this eleventh Field Guide is Wanderlust, interpreted by designer Wendy Bernard as a choose-your-own-adventure approach to sock knitting. Summer is a perfect time for a small, portable project like socks – no wonder this Field Guide has been so popular!

Also back in stock is MDK Field Guide No. 5: Sequences, drawing on the inspired work of designer Cecelia Campochiaro. Back in 2017, Anne knit the “Swirl Hat” from this book using Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, a larger gauge than suggested to accommodate the size of her son-in-law’s head – you can read more about that in our original blog post.

Veronik Avery’s “Hadley Pullover” in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter was part of what made MDK Field Guide No. 2 so sought-after. This one focused on Fair Isle knitting, a favorite technique of mine, and Anne’s, too; if you’re intrigued, this little book is a fine and friendly introduction.

We’ve also restocked MDK Field Guide No. 1, a meditation on stripes which features the “Breton Cowl,” knit with the decadent combination of Shibui Drift and Silk Cloud.

Look for these Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guides here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – we hope you find inspiration here!

Show and tell: colorwork hats.

We love to see finished projects that started life as yarn on our shelves, and when I’m able, I love to photograph them and share them here on the blog. At the moment, I have enough photos stockpiled for at least four blog posts – let’s begin with colorwork hats!

Kerry designed and knit the “Rionnag Hat” above with Tukuwool Fingering, a match for her “Rionnag Cowl” pattern.

Above is Peggy’s “Selbu Modern,” knit with Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering. This high contrast combination of navy and cream is so striking, and really pairs well with the repeating motif.

Kate knit this “Slalom Ski Hat” with Kelbourne Woolens Andorra, another high contrast combination well suited to the graphic motif at hand.

Nancy knit this “Frances Hat” with Swans Island All American Sport, a good example of the lovely effect that semisolid hand dyed yarn has on a colorwork project.

Our Nancy does love colorwork – here’s another hat she knit, the “Roadside Beanie” in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. She taught a class on this one, which means I expect to see more “Roadside Beanies” as they come off her students’ needles – always fun to see variations on a theme.

Thanks to the knitters, crocheters, and weavers who bring in their work to show us what they’ve made! You inspire and amaze us, and we can’t wait to see what you get into next. Keep an eye on this blog for more show-and-tell soon!

Strange Brew.

We’re delighted to have Tin Can Knits’ Strange Brew back in stock! Our first batch sold out quickly, before I even had a chance to talk about it here on the blog – today I’ll amend that. Let’s take a look at Strange Brew, a colorwork knitting book that intends to embolden knitters to design!

Tin Can Knits is the collaborative name of designers Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessel, known for their approachable pattern-writing, and especially for designing for an extensive range of sizes. Anne and I have both knit their “Dog Star” several times, a colorwork yoke pullover knit seamlessly from the bottom up; it goes from 0-6 months up to a 63″ chest circumference – truly inclusive sizing that appears in Strange Brew, as well.

They’ve dubbed Strange Brew a “colorwork knitting adventure,” an apt description for a book bursting with the information and inspiration you need to make colorwork sweaters in 3 gauges and 25 sizes, from the top down or bottom up.

The book begins with the Strange Brew “recipe,” a blank canvas of a sweater pattern with all the numbers crunched for you – how many stitches to cast on, how and when to work the shaping, etc.

What they’ve left up to you is the colorwork patterning, though they offer lots of resources for designing and knitting it.

There are diagrams showing the differences between working top-down and bottom-up, notes on fit, pattern alignment, and swatching, and charts and motifs you can apply to the yoke, sleeves, or body of your sweater.

There are also patterns you can work from, if you’re not in the mood to design your own, that are pleasing to the eye, in fun color combinations and yarns we know and love.

Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, Shelter, and Tukuwool Fingering all make appearances in this book, and you can find all three here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. These are genuinely some of my favorite yarns to work with, and Tin Can Knits’ cheerful, adventurous use of them totally charmed me.

Look for Strange Brew on the teacart at the shop!

Roadside Beanie kits.

The shop is buzzing with excitement about the “Roadside Beanie,” Shetland Wool Week’s featured pattern for 2019. Nancy will be teaching a class on it, and we’ve just made up kits in several colorways with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift.

The pattern shows the hat in four different Shetland yarns, including one in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. I’ve made up several kits in the suggested Shetland Spindrift colorway, another in shades similar to the Jamieson & Smith colorway, and two more of Anne’s design – shades of gray with pops of blue or purple.

Come by the shop to pick out a kit, or select your own color combination – we keep over 100 shades of Shetland Spindrift in stock, so the possibilities are plentiful.

See you there!

Back in stock, show and tell: Shetland Spindrift.

The appetite for Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift and colorwork knitting in general seems to be growing, if our frequent Jamieson’s orders are any indication. This weekend brought another big box of Shetland Spindrift our way, a classic fingering weight 2-ply shetland wool.

We usually keep around 110 colors in stock, an awe-inspiring selection that we display in big trays, so you can see them all clearly. Because the yarn is so well-suited to stranded colorwork knitting, Jamieson’s makes a staggering 220 colors, and we are happy to special order any of them for you if you don’t see what you’re looking for on our shelves.

We have several patterns in stock for Shetland Spindrift, like Sandy Blue’s “Autumn Tam” and “Midnight Sun Tam,” Churchmouse’s “Wee Wooly Sheep,” and Janine Bajus’s “Redbud” vest.

This yarn is also popular for Gudrun Johnston’s “Bousta Beanie,” a featured pattern for Shetland Wool Week in 2017. This year’s SWW pattern also calls for Shetland Spindrift, and we’re busy putting kits together to make it – more on that soon!

Now for a bit of show and tell – here’s Nancy’s “Efflorescent” shawl, knit with Shetland Spindrift as a sample for a class she offered here at the shop last year. The pattern is from Felicity Ford’s KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Playbook, which is bursting with colorful inspiration, along with techniques and patterns. Nancy has graciously lent us the shawl for display, so you can see this work of art in person at our shop.

Kathryn wove this incredible guitar strap on an inkle loom, using Isager Bomuld and Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift.

Kate came in recently wearing her newest sweater, Leila Raabe’s “Stasis” pullover, knit with Shetland Spindrift in the colors Eggshell and Teviot, a charming combination. She made a few modifications for a perfect fit and is rightfully pleased with the outcome – well done, Kate!

Thanks to Nancy, Kathryn, and Kate for sharing their handiwork, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to our shop! Look for Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in the fingering weight section  – we can’t wait to see what you make with it!

Weel Riggit.

© Kate Davies

Kate Davies has designed just two patterns so far for her newest yarn, Àrd Thìr. They are both named “Weel Riggit,” which means “well dressed” in Scots and Shetland dialects.

© Kate Davies

The sweater pattern is currently exclusive to Davies’ club, but eventually it will be available as a single pattern. The “Weel Riggit Hat,” on the other hand, is available to purchase from Ravelry, and has been the subject of much discussion here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop since Àrd Thìr arrived!

Color A: Kiloran, B: Ardnave, C: Vatersay, D: Luskentyre.

Color A: Camusdarach, B: Firemore, C: Huisinis, D: Kintra.

Davies’ pattern shows the hat in two colorways, both of which share a certain logic: color A (pictured here on the right) is much lighter in value than the three contrast colors, B, C, and D, which are themselves similar in value. With this strategy in mind, I’ve created a few more “Weel Riggit” color combinations.

Color A: Camusdarach, B: Luskentyre, C: Ardnave, D: Huisinis.

Color A: Luskentyre, B: Vatersay, C: Kiloran, D: Camusdarach.

Color A: Huisinis, B: Kintra, C: Veyatie, D: Glamaig.

After much deliberation, I decided to knit my own “Weel Riggit” hat in the colorway shown at the very top of this post, in Davies’ “Weel Riggit Pullover.”

Color A: Ardnave, B: Camusdarach, C: Kiloran, D: Vatersay.

I’m so pleased with the outcome – the experience of knitting it was satisfyingly quick, and the finished hat blocked beautifully, relaxing and softening an already lovely fabric.

You can read more about Davies’ design process on her blog, where she also discusses a bit of the history and cultural context for “Weel Riggit.” Come by the shop to see this “Weel Riggit” hat on display, and to pick four shades for your own!