Bousta Beanies.

Lately I am enamored of Gudrun Johnston’s “Bousta Beanie,” the official hat pattern of Shetland Wool Week 2017. I downloaded it from Ravelry as soon as it was published back in March, but it zoomed to the top of my queue when a knitter brought one in for show and tell.

This is Kerry’s first “Bousta Beanie,” knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. Her bold color choice perfectly complements the graphic motif of the pattern, an eye-catching combination. While I snapped pictures, muttering about how badly I wanted to knit one of my own, Kerry selected a second colorway in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. Now that I’ve cast on for a “Bousta Beanie,” I can understand how this might happen. It’s downright exhilarating to watch the colors come together, to see how one affects another depending upon the placement, and it gives you ideas for the next hat.

I’m knitting mine in the brand new Tukuwool Fingering, a Finnish wool that is as well-suited to stranded colorwork as Shetland wool. I have little to no interest in wearing hats, but I still like to make them now and again, usually to audition a yarn that intrigues me. I chose colors I’m somewhat inexplicably drawn to, though they’re nowhere to be seen in my wardrobe. Simply put: knitting this “Bousta Beanie” has been somewhat impulsive, and deliciously fun.

Anne is starting a “Bousta Beanie” in Tukuwool Fingering, too, a playful combination of mustard yellow, red, and natural gray. Here are a few more “Bousta Beanie” color ideas, since I can hardly keep my hands out of the Tukuwool basket.

Consider these a jumping-off point as you dream up your own colorway, which I can’t wait to see!

Don’t stop at Tukuwool, however – we have many lovely fingering weight yarns that are well-suited to this pattern. Consider Baa Ram Ewe Titus, Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering, and Isager Alpaca 2 along with Loft and Shetland Spindrift. See you at the shop!

BT Yokes Trunk Show!

Our walls are newly decorated with a Brooklyn Tweed Trunk Show! Visit us by Sunday, May 28th, to see the BT Yokes collection in all its glory.

BT Yokes is primarily a collection of pullover sweaters, though there are a couple of cleverly shaped cowls in the group. All of these pieces are informed by a long tradition of handknit sweaters with circular yokes across the North Atlantic. Read more about it on the BT blog for greater insight into that history, and if your interest is piqued, come by the shop to pick up a copy of Kate Davies’ superb Yokes.

Some of the garments in the BT Yokes collection are knit with Loft, and others with Shelter; one chunky cabled pullover is made with Quarry, Brooklyn Tweed’s bulky weight yarn. Though we don’t currently stock Quarry here at the shop, we’re happy to special order it for you, and we do have the colorcard so you can see all the shades in person.

Loft and Shelter we keep in good supply – it’s such a pleasure to have every available shade here on our shelves, and it makes it so much easier to play with color combinations for fair isle patterns like these!

I was particularly pleased to see one of the marls in Shelter put to good use on the body of the “Atlas” pullover; it can be hard to picture how marls will knit up, so a good-sized sample is more than welcome.

We’re offering a 10% discount on these three Brooklyn Tweed yarns during the Trunk Show, so hurry in to take a look, try some sweaters on for size, and plan your next project. We even have a few spaces left in our Brooklyn Tweed Yarn Tasting, if you’d like to spend a Sunday morning trying four BT yarns and getting 15% off a BT purchase during the event. We limit registration to 15 people, on account of our small space, so sign up now to claim one of the last spaces!

See you at the shop!

 

A reminder: all sales are final on discounted yarn. There can be no returns or exchanges. Thanks! 

Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 2: Fair Isle.

The second installment of the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide series is here, and going fast! Let’s take a peek inside.

Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner are the knitters, designers, and writers behind Mason-Dixon Knitting, a long-running blog that has evolved into an online community and growing list of publications. Their latest endeavor is the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guides, pocket-sized booklets focused on a particular knitting technique, featuring the approachable patterns and humorous musings these two are known for.

Fair isle knitting is a favorite technique of mine, and Anne’s, too; if you’re intrigued, this little book is a fine and friendly introduction. It features three patterns, one of which is a cozy colorwork pullover in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, pictured above. Below, another of our favorite yarns is put to good work in a colorwork cowl and hat: Swans Island All American Sport.

Come by the shop to pick up the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 2!

Snow day show and tell.

The shop was closed today for inclement weather, and as the snow quietly fell this morning, Anne texted me some knitterly show-and-tell from her friend Sherri. A snow day is a good one for show-and-tell; let’s take a peek at some of the recently-completed projects that started their lives as yarns here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

Above, Sherri’s daughter in law models the Churchmouse “Easy Folded Poncho” Sherri knit for her with Shibui Dune, a soft and lustrous blend of alpaca, camel, and silk.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a bundle of colorwork projects here on the blog, only to have Judie walk through our door the next day wearing this beautiful sweater. Consider this an addendum! The pattern is Courtney Kelley’s “St. Brendan,” and the yarn is the rustic yet luxurious Fibre Company Arranmore. Judie changed the color palette just slightly from the pattern photo, switching the ribbing color from dark gray to a warm camel – a small adjustment that makes a big difference and looks great.

Above is the first of Margaretta’s “January Mitts,” knit with Fibre Company Cumbria Fingering. I have a special fondness for this yarn, as I’ve shared before, and it’s especially nice to see its sharp stitch definition in this lace and bobble pattern.

Speaking of Fibre Company yarns and of sharp stitch definition, here’s Leah’s exquisitely textured “Arctic Circle” cowl, knit with Fibre Company Tundra. This was her first project after completing a Beginning Knitting class here at the shop, and it’s clear it wont be her last – well done, Leah!

Loretta knit this “Arrowhead Shawl” with Swans Island All American Worsted, a soft yet sturdy blend of US-sourced Rambouillet wool and alpaca. The traditional guernsey stitch patterns are placed on a stockinette background for a subtle effect, one that’s harder to capture on camera than it is to perceive in person.

Thanks to all who begin their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and thanks especially for bringing them back to share your work with us! Hope everyone stayed safe and warm this snowy weekend, and spent some time stitching. We’ll be open again at our regular hours on Tuesday, January 10th.

Show and tell: colorwork.

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. I noticed a theme running through my current stash of show-and-tell photos: colorwork. I’m defining that term broadly to include stripes, colorblocks, stranded knitting and intarsia – all the myriad methods for changing colors as you knit.

We’ll begin with Margie, who brought two special pieces in for us to see, both designed by Kieran Foley. Above is “Lotus Crescent,” a unique shawl bursting with techniques from lace to stranded knitting to intarsia – sometimes all three in the space of one row! Margie used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift for this one, eager to play with the large color palette.

Kieran Foley’s patterns are not for the faint of heart, but Margie persevered. Below is her “Zanzibar” scarf, knit with Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball and a variety of fingering weight scraps.

Loretta knit Melanie Berg’s “Drachenfels” shawl with three shades of Fibre Company Cumbria Fingering, a yarn she’s since used for mittens and has come to love.

This adorable “Pandamonium” hat was Wanda’s first attempt at stranded knitting, and she did a great job! The yarn is Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK, and she came back for more to make another colorwork hat, encouraged by the success of this one.

Margaretta knit this “3 Color Cashmere Cowl” with Fibre Company Canopy Fingering in a most appealing trio of colors: two greens and a dark charcoal. It was a beautiful combination when I first saw it as three skeins of yarn, only to grow more beautiful as Margaretta stitched them into a cozy cowl.

Ruth knit the “Dreambird” shawl below using Schoppel-Wolle Starke 6 and Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering, with help from a class on the subject here at the shop. The pairing of a self-striping yarn with a semi-solid hand-dyed yarn is a striking one for this pattern, perfect for showing off the short-row shaping.

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. Hope to see you at the shop soon, but do note our holiday hours, which are always posted on the main page of our website:

Saturday, Dec. 24: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Sunday, Dec. 25: closed

Saturday, Dec. 31st: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Sunday, Jan. 1st, 2017: closed

CoopKnits Socks Yeah! Volume One.

Rachel Coopey’s newest book has been out a few weeks now, and selling quickly here at the shop. We’ve got a stack of copies on the teacart again, so I figured it’s time to give it a proper introduction here on the blog. Let’s take a peek inside CoopKnits Socks Yeah! Volume One.

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Coopey is a prolific designer, seeming never to run out of fresh ideas for sock patterns in particular. This collection features patterns for Coopey’s own yarn, CoopKnits Socks Yeah!, and is sure to keep any sock-knitter interested, with techniques from lace and cables to colorwork and stripes.

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Coopey combines colors playfully, bringing unexpected colors together to great effect, no doubt enjoying the newly expanded palette of colors in Socks Yeah! – also freshly stocked here at the shop.

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Come by the shop to page through this fun new book, and pick up a few skeins of Socks Yeah! for your next pair. Also check out Marsha’s upcoming class on “Coraline,” one of the cutest patterns of the bunch! Head to our Classes page to sign up.

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See you at the shop!

Show and tell: for grown-ups.

I’m back with another round of show-and-tell, this time for the grown-ups among us.

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Kellie has been busy crocheting “Artfully Simple Infinity Scarves” with Noro Silk Garden Lite. She reports that the pattern is as easy as its title suggests, but that it’s endlessly entertaining, especially with colorful self-striping yarns like these.

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They’re long enough to be worn doubled, as shown above, but short enough to hang around one’s neck simply, as shown below; either way makes an eye-catching accessory.

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Margie’s needles are always busy, and she’s so prolific a knitter that these finished projects are already well behind her. Still, they bear sharing: above is her “Inverness Cape,” knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and below is her “Escher Poncho,” knit in Malabrigo Rios, with a bit of Fibre Company Cumbria Worsted around the edge.

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And there’s more: here’s Margie’s third “ZickZack Scarf,” knit with Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball and Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace held doubled throughout.

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Catherine knit this beautiful “On the Spice Market” with Shibui Staccato, a merino/silk blend that has the perfect drape and luster for this shawl.

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She carefully chose colors inspired by those shown in the pattern photo, with a few adjustments to make it her own.

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Here’s another Melanie Berg pattern, “Sunwalker,” knit by Emma with the brand new Isager Merilin. This is a shawl that the photo doesn’t do justice, as it’s the texture and hand of the fabric that stood out most to me; shawl-knitters, consider Merilin when fingering weight yarn is called for!

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Below is Amy’s “Copenhagen Hood,” a quick cozy accessory knit in Fibre Company Tundra, living temporarily at the shop as a sample for her upcoming class on the subject. There are still spaces in her class, if you’d like to join and knit a hood of your own…sign up on our website!

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Joanne knit this “Rise” hat with Shibui Drift and Silk Cloud held together, and was so pleased with it that she came back for more yarn to knit one for her husband. I understand the appeal, seeing how well this came out! I can hardly imagine a softer yarn combination, truly.

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Nancy knit this “Flowers of Life” pullover for her husband, using a beautiful palette of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in an intricate all-over fair isle pattern. She’s graciously left it at the shop for a few weeks for all to see and admire; come in soon to see this knitted work of art!

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Joanne also has some Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift show and tell: a “Beginner’s Fair Isle Cap,” her first-ever colorwork project. With guidance from Nancy, she selected this color combination and arranged the colors within the motif for a unique accesory.

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Thanks again to the knitters and crocheters who share their work with us. We feel lucky to play a part in your creative pursuits, and look forward to seeing the projects you plan!

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!

New colors in Baa Ram Ewe Titus.

Yes, those four new shades in Dovestone DK also came in Titus, Baa Ram Ewe’s signature yarn.

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Titus is a fingering weight blend of alpaca, wensleydale, and bluefaced leicester wools, sourced and spun entirely in the UK. We’re proud to have been the first US stockist of the stuff, back in 2012 when it came in just one color. Since then, Titus has been warmly embraced by knitters, crocheters, and weavers all over the world, and the palette has expanded considerably. Here’s just a sliver.

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Beyond this group of colors, there are a range of blues, neutrals, pastels, and others. This growing collection of shades makes me think colorwork, my favorite knitting technique. To that end, I’m happy to report that we recently got two new colorwork sweater patterns designed for Titus by Marie Wallin.

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Look for even more Titus inspiration on our “Fingering weight” Pinterest board. Come by the shop to see the full selection of Titus, and three shop samples knit with this special stuff to give you a tangible sense of the possibilities!

The Joy of Color.

An exciting new book is now available at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop: The Joy of Color, by Janine Bajus.

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Janine Bajus is a teacher and knitwear designer whose focus is color, especially in stranded colorwork. The Joy of Color is a workshop in a book, demystifying the process of designing a unique fair isle sweater from beginning to end.

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Read through The Joy of Color and you’ll learn a bit of history, a bit of technique, terms for describing colors and strategies for combining them. There are amazing book recommendations at the end of each chapter, pointing out lots of great resources for those interested in color theory, fair isle knitting, and design. Bajus also teaches about finding, creating, and arranging colorwork motifs, as well as arranging colors within them.

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It’s not a book of patterns, though you’ll see many glorious photos of the garments Bajus’s students have created under her tutelage. More importantly, they each share a bit about the process of creating those garments, from inspiration through swatching to finished sweater.

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Look for The Joy of Color on the teacart in the front room, where the newest books and magazines gather to catch your eye and inspire your next project. See you at the shop!