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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

 

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

Hello, UKI Supreme weaving yarns.

We’re happy to announce that we now carry two cotton yarns for weaving from UKI Supreme Corporation, based in Hickory, North Carolina.

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With guidance from weavers, we selected a mercerized cotton yarn in two weights: 10/2 and 5/2, each in 6 oz mini-cones.

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The 10/2 is the thinner of the two, with ~1575 yards per mini-cone, making it a very fine lace weight. It comes on red cones, to distinguish it from the thicker but otherwise very similar-looking 5/2 mercerized cotton.

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The 5/2 mercerized cotton has ~787 yards per mini-cone, making it a light fingering weight. It can be easily identified by its blue cones.

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Weavers might use yarns like these for placemats, napkins, and other fabric-making; crocheters might use them for intricate doilies and other fine stitching. Planning a big project? Both yarns come in 1 lb cones as well, and we’re happy to special order them for you; come by the shop to see the 100+ available colors on our UKI Supreme color-cards.

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We’ve so appreciated hearing feedback from weavers about your favorite books and yarns, the kinds of looms you’re using, and your enthusiasm for buying weaving supplies locally. We have so much to learn about this craft, and we welcome your input. What do you like to work with, and what would you most like to see on our shelves? We’re so looking forward to seeing woven projects in these Supreme cotton yarns; come by to see them for yourself and tell us what you’re dreaming up!

Hello, Rowan.

We’re thrilled to announce that we now carry two yarns from Rowan: say hello to Pure Wool Worsted and Wool Cotton!

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Pure Wool Worsted is a superwash, worsted weight wool that comes in a wide range of colors, including subtle heathered shades that we don’t often see in superwash yarns. Each 100 gram skein boasts 219 yards, enough to knit a hat, small scarf or pair of mittens.

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There are so many uses for medium weight, machine-washable wools, from sweaters and accessories to blankets and baby things, and we carry many yarns like these for exactly that reason. So far, Pure Wool Worsted is the most affordable, however, and we love finding sources for high quality fiber at a reasonable price.

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We put Pure Wool Worsted to the test on our needles and in Anne’s washing machine, and it came out looking good: stitch definition crisp, gauge unchanged, fabric softened. Look for this machine-washed swatch at the shop and feel for yourself.

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Wool Cotton is a dk weight blend of merino wool and cotton, also machine-washable. Each 50 gram skein has 123 yards, enough to knit a baby hat or short pair of fingerless mitts.

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Working with Wool Cotton, we were impressed by the smooth, obedient quality of the yarn, and pleased to see it come out of the washing machine looking like new.

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Cotton and wool make a lovely fiber blend for our climate, particularly in a dk weight. I can see Wool Cotton in the same wide variety of projects that suit Pure Wool Worsted: sweaters large and small, baby blankets, hats, mitts, shawls, and cowls. Look for more project ideas and pattern inspiration on the HYS Pinterest page, and come by the shop to plan your next project with Rowan yarns!

Post-Market Sale spotlight: Debbie Bliss Stella.

From Friday May 23rd through June 29th, we will have select yarns discounted during our Post-Market Sale: single skeins will be reduced by 30% and full bags of 10 will be 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 Debbie Bliss Stella.
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Debbie Bliss Stella is an aran weight blend of 60% silk, 20% rayon, and 20% cotton. This combination of fibers makes Stella soft but sturdy, perfect for garments, accessories, and home goods like blankets and market bags. Four skeins will make a “Hexagonal Market Bag,” like the two that are hanging in the shop window now. That’s a quick project for less than $20 at the sale price–think gift-knitting!
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Marsha knit this “Lattice Lace Keyhole Scarf” using just three balls of Stella in a bright pink color. Stella comes in summery brights and neons along with a few neutrals, and is equally at home wrapped ’round a crochet hook as it is a knitting needle; I crocheted this little circular swatch with some of Marsha’s leftover Stella so you can see and feel the resulting fabric.
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Look for more pattern ideas for Stella on our “Post-Market Sale” Pinterest board. You don’t have to be a Pinterest user to peruse it, but if you are, follow us! Come by the shop soon to have the best selection of this gorgeous yarn at this nice price. Two weeks into the sale, we still have full bags available in many colors, 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!