Hello, Cutthroat Yarn Gradient Cotton.

Last week, we got another shipment from Cutthroat Yarn in Leesburg, Virginia. Meet the newest of our yarns, Gradient Cotton.


Like Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL, Gradient Cotton is a hand-dyed fingering weight self-striping yarn, where each shade is many yards long, for wide stripes. The big difference between these two yarns is in fiber content. The mercerized cotton in Gradient Cotton is grown right here in North Carolina, and like all plant fibers, it makes inelastic, drapey fabric that is cool to the touch, perfect for a lightweight spring or summer accessory.


All of the patterns I mentioned in my recent Gradient BFL post are suitable for Gradient Cotton, too. Consider also Tina Whitmore’s “Radiance Shawlette,” Mindy Ross’s “Reverse Psychology,” and Kateryna Golovanova’s “Spearmint Tea.”


Look for Cutthroat Yarn Gradient Cotton in the fingering weight section here at the shop, on a shelf just beneath Gradient BFL. See you there!

Hello, Shibui Rain.

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of Shibui’s newest yarn, Rain.


Rain is a dk weight mercerized cotton, but it’s unlike any mercerized cotton we’ve seen. First, its chainette construction sets it apart from more traditional plied cottons, adding a bit of elasticity where plant fibers typically have none. Second, its smooth, shiny texture suggests silk more than cotton; this is truly elegant fiber, and it makes up into gently draping fabric.


Shibui’s Spring/Summer 2016 pattern collection makes good use of Rain, along with Shibui’s other warm-weather yarns, Twig and Linen.



With warm weather in mind, most of these garments are loose-fitting tunics and tops, knit at somewhat open gauges for maximum drape.




Some patterns work with just one strand of yarn, while others mix two yarns together for a unique fiber blend.

“Spectrum” is one such pattern, working Rain and Silk Cloud together for a drapey scarf or wrap with a mohair halo. The pattern is free with the purchase of Shibui yarns for the project.

Anne has already begun knitting two of these new designs, eager to get Rain on her needles.


“Nova” is a sleeveless tunic with a neckline suggesting a mandarin collar, for which Anne selected one of her favorite, most-worn colors, “Abyss.”


She’s also begun work on “Horizon,” a colorblock pullover, using Linen and Cima in the unexpected shade of “Apple.” “Equinox” is also on Anne’s to-knit list, I believe; yes, she’s fallen hard for Shibui’s Spring/Summer collection, indeed.


Look for Rain in the DK weight section here at the shop!


Back in stock: Berroco Modern Cotton.

Earlier this week, a particularly large box arrived from Berroco, filled with over 40 pounds of Modern Cotton. Since its debut in Spring 2014, Modern Cotton has become a staple here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, so we picked up some of the newest colors and replenished our supply of old favorites. We now have an impressive 25 colors on our shelves!


Modern Cotton is a worsted weight blend of 60% cotton and 40% rayon, perfect for warm-weather knit and crochet projects, or year-round for those allergic to wool.


Modern Cotton is soft in the hand, machine-washable, and affordable, to boot. All of those qualities make it well-suited to blanket-making. Knitters, consider “Chevron Baby Blanket,” “Saurey,” “Hydrangea,” or “Super Easy Crib Blanket.” Crocheters, try “Ripple Blanket,” “Vintage Crocheted Throw & Afghan,” “Oh, the Places You’ll Go Baby Blanket,” or “Crochet Super Easy Baby Blanket.”


Beyond blankets, Modern Cotton will do well in any pattern calling for worsted weight yarn where the drape of plant fibers is welcome. For adult garments, check out Berroco Modern Cotton Women, a collection of patterns by Amy Christoffers featuring sweaters and accessories knit in Modern Cotton. Don’t miss “Watson,” “Carioca,” “Sanpoku,” and “Admit,” free patterns from Berroco for three cardigans and a tank, respectively. Follow us on Pinterest for even more worsted weight pattern ideas!


Look for Berroco Modern Cotton in the worsted weight section here at the shop. See you there!

Knitted Knockers.

A knitter friend of ours came in some months ago seeking Cascade Ultra Pima for a special project. We’re nosy, so we asked, “What are you planning to make?” Her answer surprised us: Knitted Knockers. She went on to explain that Knitted Knockers are soft, comfortable, knit prosthetics for breast cancer survivors, and our surprise turned to delight. What a good, kind use of one’s knitting time.


Ana has since been making bunches of them, and enlisting her knitter friends to do the same. She’s offered to be a liaison between our shop and the UNC Cancer Center, delivering Knitted Knockers collected here at the shop before October 25th.


Here are the first of our collection, knit by Marian in Cascade Ultra Pima. There are a variety of free patterns available on the Knitted Knockers website, so whether you prefer to knit in the round on double points or use magic loop, knit flat and seam, or crochet, there’s a Knitted Knockers pattern for you.


The knit patterns call for Cascade Ultra Pima, a dk weight 100% cotton that comes in a wide range of colors.

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Because crochet is inherently thicker than knitting, the crochet pattern calls for Cascade Ultra Pima Fine, a sport weight version of the same soft, smooth cotton.


Come by to pick out some Cascade Ultra Pima or Ultra Pima Fine to make a pair of Knitted Knockers yourself, and bring the completed pair to the shop by October 25th, 2015. See you there!

Araucania Ranco and Queensland Bebe Cotsoy: now on sale!

UPDATE: As of 4/22/2016, we are totally sold out of Araucania Ranco and Queensland Bebe Cotsoy!


Two more discontinued yarns have moved to the Sale Trunk here at the shop: Araucania Ranco and Queensland Bebe Cotsoy. Lovely yarns, both, but since they’re no longer manufactured, we’re offering them now at a deep discount of about 30% off their original price!


Araucania Ranco is a fingering weight yarn from Chile, hand-dyed in variegated and semi-solid colorways.


It’s composed of 75% wool and 25% nylon, and though that nylon makes it nice and sturdy for socks, it’s still a hand-wash-only yarn, as the wool is not superwash. Also consider Ranco for shawls and scarves, mitts and lightweight hats. In some colors, we may even have sweater quantities.



Queensland Bebe Cotsoy is a worsted weight blend of cotton and soy.


Soft, smooth, and machine-washable, Bebe Cotsoy is ideal for baby sweaters and blankets.


Though we’re sad to see good yarns go, we love sharing them with you at a discounted price. Come by to pick up some Ranco and Bebe Cotsoy at a great price before they disappear!


A reminder: all sales are final on discounted yarn. There can be no returns or exchanges, nor special orders–the discount applies only to what we currently have in stock. Thanks!

Pre-Market Sale spotlight: Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle.

From May 5th – 27th, we have Elsebeth Lavold and Louisa Harding yarns discounted during our Pre-Market Sale: single skeins are reduced by 30% and full bags of 10 are 40% off! Throughout the sale, I’ll be highlighting some of these yarns and giving ideas for what to make with them. Today: spotlight on Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle.


Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle is a textured blend of 45% cotton, 30% bamboo, 17% linen, and 8% nylon. It’s an aran weight yarn, with about 87 yards on each 50 gram ball, and knits up at around 4.5 stitches per inch on a US 7 or 8.


Because of its fiber content, Bamboucle lacks elasticity, and creates fabric with drape rather than memory. This makes it ideal for shawls and scarves, loose-fitting sweaters, and home goods.


As I was searching Ravelry for patterns well-suited to aran-weight plant fiber yarns like Bamboucle, I found Alicia Plummer’s “Hudson,” a two-color cowl. It was this lightweight, summery pattern that inspired the color pairs I photographed for this blog post.


If it’s a larger garment you’re interested in, consider Mags Kandis’ “Amiga” cardigan and Heidi Kirrmaier’s “Simple Summer Tweed Top Down V-Neck,” both free patterns for casual sweaters.


For home goods, try Megan Goodacre’s “Leafy Washcloth” and Marsha’s upcoming class on the subject, Barbara Breiter’s “Optical Illusion Cloth,” and Laura Dianiska’s “Hexagonal Market Bag,” which we did as an informal Knit-Along a few years back.


Come by the shop to check out Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle and all our other discounted yarns during the Pre-Market Sale!


A reminder: all sales are final on discounted yarn. There can be no returns or exchanges, nor special orders–the discount applies only to what we currently have in stock. Thanks! 

Hello, Cascade Ultra Pima Fine.

A new yarn has arrived at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop just in time for warm weather knitting and crochet! Meet Cascade Ultra Pima Fine.


We’ve kept Cascade Ultra Pima in stock for a few years now, a lustrous, machine-washable, mercerized cotton in a wide range of saturated colors. Ultra Pima is DK weight, and fittingly, Ultra Pima Fine is a lighter weight version of the same good stuff.


Each 50 gram skein of Ultra Pima Fine is about 136 yards long, and knits up at about 6 or 6.5 stitches per inch on a US #3 or #4 needle. Anne has been knitting a washcloth with Ultra Pima Fine as a shop sample, and reports that it’s well-behaved on the needles, not splitting as some cotton yarns do.


Washcloths aren’t all it’s good for, of course; easy-care cotton is a great fiber for knitting or crocheting baby and children’s things, warm weather garments for all ages, and market bags, to name a few. If you’re searching for Ultra Pima Fine patterns, start at the Cascade website, and from there, search Ravelry for sport weight patterns.


Look for Cascade Ultra Pima Fine in the sport weight section here at the shop!

Pre-Market Sale spotlight: Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy.

From May 5th – 27th, we have Elsebeth Lavold and Louisa Harding yarns discounted during our Pre-Market Sale: single skeins are reduced by 30% and full bags of 10 are 40% off! Throughout the sale, I’ll be highlighting some of these yarns and giving ideas for what to make with them. Today: spotlight on Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy.


Hempathy is a dk weight yarn composed of plant fibers: 34% hemp, 41% cotton, and 25% Modal rayon. It knits up into a crisp, lightweight, gently draping fabric, perfect for spring and summer stitching.


There are so many great uses for Hempathy, from tanks and tees to shawls and scarves, from hand-towels to market bags. In the market bag department, try Hannah Ingalls’ “Ilene Bag,” Gudrun Johnston’s “Shetland Shopper,” and Amy Singer’s “Everlasting Bagstopper,” all free patterns requiring no more than three skeins of Hempathy.


If it’s a garment you’re after, try Gudrun Johnston’s “Hip in Hemp,” a skirt sized from child to adult, Jane Richmond’s “Gemini” tee, Hannah Fettig’s “Elemental Boatneck,” or Heidi Kirrmaier’s “Buttercup,” “Vesper,” and “After the Rain” sweaters. It was one knitter’s quest for “After the Rain” colorways that got me thinking about color combinations in Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy.


When I took these photos, I was thinking only of a two-color sweater, but projects on Ravelry attest that “After the Rain” can easily be knit in three or more colors, making the mixing and matching of Hempathy shades that much more interesting. High contrast or low, warm colors or cool, or both… this is a garment that could go in any direction. Come by the shop to create a colorway all your own!


Come by the shop soon to have the best selection of this gorgeous yarn at this nice price. It’s still early on in the sale, and we have lots of colors to choose from, but they may not last long–hope to see you at the shop soon!


A reminder: all sales are final on discounted yarn. There can be no returns or exchanges, nor special orders–the discount applies only to what we currently have in stock. Thanks!

Hello, Geilsk Cotton/Wool.

We’ve welcomed another new yarn to the shop! Meet Geilsk Cotton/Wool.


Cotton/Wool is a fingering weight blend of 55% wool and 45% cotton, a combination that brings the best of both fibers to the yarn. The wool lends elasticity and loftiness to the cool, soft cotton, and the result is a nice balance of animal and plant fibers, and smooth, well-behaved fabric.


We spotted Cotton/Wool at market last May, noting that we lacked a fingering weight cotton and wool blend here at the shop. We chose to carry it after knitting a simple swatch, its smooth texture rendering stitch patterns neatly, with nary a snag.

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Danish knitwear designer Bente Geil has developed a unique bunch of patterns for Cotton/Wool, ranging from shawls and scarves to vests and larger sweaters.


I’m currently knitting this “Jiffy” vest as a sample for the shop in Cotton/Wool.


You can wear it with the ribbing at the neck or upside down, with the lace at the neck.



Look for Geilsk Cotton/Wool and its accompanying patterns in the fingering weight section at the shop. See you there!


New colors in Modern Cotton.

Berroco has dreamed up a few new colors for their Modern Cotton yarn, filling out their palette of crayon-bright colors with some more subdued hues.


Berroco Modern Cotton is a worsted weight blend of cotton and rayon, and since it’s arrival last spring, it’s become a staple here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.


Smooth, soft to the touch, economical, and machine-washable, Modern Cotton has been embraced by knitters and crocheters alike.


It’s perfect for baby sweaters, blankets, and the like, but just as well-suited to grown-up garments like the ones you’ll find in Berroco’s new booklet: #358, Modern Cotton Women.


Last year, designer Amy Christoffers took over Norah Gaughan’s position as Design Director for Berroco, and this collection has a distinct Christoffers look to my eye.


Christoffers seems to specialize in casual, wearable garments, especially those decorated in texture patterns and small lace motifs.

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Look for Berroco Modern Cotton in the worsted weight section here at the shop; you’ll find this booklet tucked in the cubby with the yarn. See you there!