Technicolor cowl.

For the past year or so, Nancy Leuer’s “Technicolor Cowl” has been a popular project here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Calling for eight 50-yard mini-skeins of Dream in Color Classy, it’s a simple but entertaining project with a focus on color.


This cowl is knit in the round, with stripes of stockinette and reverse stockinette that make a squishy, textured fabric from this springy superwash merino yarn.


I knit the sample “Technicolor Cowl” that hangs over the worsted weight section, and it’s caught many an eye, inspiring knitters to put together their own color combinations. We’ve been lucky to capture some of them and share them here on the blog in show and tell posts.


Here’s Joanne in her “Technicolor Cowl,” knit in eight shades of Alchemy Sanctuary. With a wide variety of colors, from pastel to earth tones to vivid blue and orange, Joanne’s cowl is technicolor, indeed. Josie, shown below in her cowl, took a similar approach, using Dream in Color Classy and Malabrigo Rios.


This pattern looks more subdued, but just as good in fewer colors, too. Debbie knit the “Technicolor Cowl” below in just three shades, with two skeins of green and three skeins each in gold and rust. DSCN4876

The pattern is free when you purchase eight Dream in Color Classy mini-skeins for the project, which I’m happy to report are back in stock. We now have two cubbies full of the stuff!


Dream in Color produces the Classy mini-skeins only occasionally, and the color selection is different every time. I was pleased to see a nice range of teals and blues in this batch that had been absent in the last two rounds of mini-skeins.


Look for Dream in Color Classy mini-skeins in the worsted weight section, and have fun picking colors for a “Technicolor Cowl” of your own!

Hello, Lang Merino+ Color.

Another new yarn has found a home here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! Meet Lang Merino+ Color.


Merino+ Color is an aran weight superwash merino wool, smooth, springy, soft, and self-striping. It comes in nine different colorways, a nice variety. Some. are subdued and painterly, while others are playful and bright.


Each 100 gram ball boasts 197 yards, plenty for an adult-sized hat, pair of mitts, or small cowl.


I knit this modified version of Wendy Johnson’s free “Easy Broken Rib Cowl” with just one ball of Lang Merino+ Color, shortening the circumference by casting on fewer stitches than called for. DSCN5274

Come by the shop to try on the sample for size; if you’d like to make one like it, make a note to cast on 192 stitches. If you’d prefer the cozier, larger size shown in the pattern, pick up a second skein and follow the pattern as written.



Look for Merino+ Color in the aran weight section here at the shop. See you there!

Back in stock: Swans Island Organic Washable DK.

Our recent Swans Island shipment that brought the new All American Sport brought a few other goodies, too. We’ve restocked two of our favorite Swans Island yarns with new colors! Let’s begin with Organic Washable DK.


Organic Washable DK is no ordinary superwash wool. Swans Island have made this dk weight yarn machine-washable using a process called Ecowash®, which coats the yarn with an organic compound rather than stripping the scales from the fiber. This helps to prevent felting and gives the Swans Island Organic Washable a softer hand than many other superwash wools.


I recently knit a cowl with this soft, springy yarn, using a pattern of my own design, the “Welting Fantastic Cowl.”


It’s a pleasing texture pattern, both in the process and the finished product, and this yarn is a perfect choice to show it off. I alternated skeins to minimize any pooling, working two rows from one skein, then two from the other, back and forth as if knitting stripes. I was glad I did, too; though I carefully selected three skeins from the same dyelot that looked harmonious, one turned out noticeably darker than the rest once I began knitting. Alternating skeins helped to create a consistent-looking fabric.


Come by the shop to see our newly expanded palette of Swans Island Organic Washable DK, and try on my “Welting Fantastic Cowl” for size. If it strikes your fancy, note that I also wrote a pattern for matching fingerless mitts! Keep your eyes on the blog for more from Swans Island soon.

New Shibui samples.

If you’ve been to the shop this week, you might have seen a few new sample garments hanging on our walls. These three were kindly lent to us by one of the wonderful people at Shibui, Carol.


Here’s the “Ship to Shore Shawl,” knit with Shibui Linen. Loosely knit in a fingering weight plant fiber, this one-skein shawl makes a perfect warm-weather project: lightweight and portable. I bet this would be equally lovely in Shibui’s newest yarn, Twig, though I’d get two skeins to be sure you have enough yardage to complete the project.


“Haruni” is a free pattern by Emily Ross, a favorite with many thousands of projects on Ravelry. This feather-light version was knit in Shibui Silk Cloud, a lace weight blend of mohair and silk.


Amy is planning a class on “Haruni” this Summer; keep your eye on our “Classes” page, or let us know if you’d like a heads-up when it’s posted!


Here’s Carol’s “Mix No. 9,” a cowl knit with Shibui Staccato and Silk Cloud held together throughout.


These two yarns combine to make a lush, lustrous fabric, perfect for a next-to-skin garment like a cowl.


Shibui yarns are dyed in matching colorways, to encourage the combining of different fibers. Here are some Staccato/Silk Cloud pairs, ready to become “Mix No. 9.”

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Come by the shop to admire these new samples, and plan a special Shibui project all your own. See you there!

Back in stock: Classy mini-skeins.

Back in August, we got a bundle of mini-skeins from Dream in Color and a fun, simple pattern to go with: the “Technicolor Cowl.” We all had fun putting wild colorways together, and before we knew it, they were sold out. I’m happy to report that we were finally able to get Dream in Color Classy mini-skeins back in stock!


Dream in Color Classy is a worsted weight superwash merino, hand-dyed in Chicago, IL. Each of these mini-skeins comes with about 50 yards of yarn.


Nancy Leuer’s “Technicolor Cowl” calls for 8 mini-skeins.


We’ve seen so many kinds of color combinations made from these mini-skeins, and they all look great. Some are gradients, pulling 8 shades from one or two color families. Some are brightly colored, with high contrast shades side by side in each stripe. Some feature duplicate skeins of one main color studded with only a few contrasting shades, for a less colorful but no less interesting look.


Come by the shop to put together a “Technicolor Cowl” colorway of your own!

Show and tell: anniversary edition, part 2.

As you may remember from years past, or may have seen in our most recent email newsletter, October 18th marks the eight-year anniversary of the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We are so grateful to all of you for your support over the years, for shopping and learning and sharing with us. We’ll celebrate another year in business in our usual way: an anniversary sale! From Friday October 17th – Sunday October 19th, everything in the shop will be discounted by 15%, with the exception of classes and that which is already discounted.

Here on the blog, I’m celebrating all of you with another batch of show and tell.


Joanne came in the other day with a colorful project to share. Above, she models her “Technicolor Cowl” knit in the decadent Alchemy Sanctuary, a velvety blend of merino wool and silk.


Paula’s needles have been busy lately; she recently brought in two finished projects to share with us! Above is her “Thicket” beret, from Alana Dakos’ Botanical Knits 2, knit in Fibre Company Acadia.


Paula also knit this “Mix No. 26” with Shibui Pebble, a different yarn, but a nice match for her “Thicket” beret. I love it in these low-contrast colors, a soft beige against wintry white.


Emily came in wearing this “Côte-Nord Cap,” a pattern by Amy Christoffers from last winter’s Interweave Knits, Winter 2014. She used a skein of the new Swans Island All American Worsted in a rich blue hue.


Thanks to everyone who starts and shares their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We find your stitches so inspiring, and your support of the shop is so appreciated. Keep your eyes on the blog for another “show and tell” post soon, and visit us this weekend to take advantage of our Anniversary Sale!


(A reminder: all sales are final on sale items; there can be no exchanges, no returns, nor will we special order. Discount applies only to in-store purchases. Thanks!) 

Show and tell: anniversary edition, part 1.

This week, as we celebrate the shop’s anniversary, we also celebrate the community of knitters and crocheters who have supported us over the years. We always love to see what you’re making with HYS yarns, and I love to take photos of your beautiful finished pieces to share here on the blog. I’ve amassed a big stack of them over the past couple of months, enough for three blog posts! Here’s the first batch.


Karen knit this “Yipes Stripes Cowl” in a class here at the shop, using five colors of Plymouth Galway in shades of orange, brown, and green. Then she used her leftovers to knit another. And another! With each cowl, Karen rearranged the color placement, showing just how different the same five colors can look depending upon how they’re laid out.


One of the great things about being in a class is that you can see up close how the same project looks in different colors and yarns. Sherri was in the same “Yipes Stripes” class with Karen, and knit this cowl with five shades of Mirasol Qina, a soft blend of alpaca and bamboo.

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This next project also came out of a class here at the shop, one that focused on knitting fair isle tams. Check out Judy’s beautiful “Midnight Sun Tam,” knit in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift!

DSCN3672Katherine is a gifted knitter, crocheter, and teacher here at the shop. She recently brought in a new sample for an upcoming class, the “Summer Dawn” cowl, crocheted in Fibre Company Meadow and Savannah.


Perfect for beginning crocheters looking for a next step, Katherine’s upcoming “Summer Dawn Crochet Cowl” class will teach how to crochet in the round and read crochet symbols and charts. Read all about it on our “Classes” page, where you can sign up if you like!


Thanks to everyone who starts and shares their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop; we feel so honored to be a part of your creative process!

New colors in Canopy Worsted.

Along with a brand new yarn from Fibre Company, we’ve also received new colors in their Canopy Worsted, a blend of merino, alpaca, and bamboo. Just one 200 yard skein makes a hat or cowl, as the Kelbourne Woolens Weekenders collection taught us. I see knitters treat themselves to a skein of Canopy Worsted now and then, and many of them come back for more. We’ve come back for more Canopy Worsted, too, unable to resist five new shades in this tempting yarn.

DSCN3400I love seeing how these new colors fit into our existing color palette, looking at home among their brothers and sisters.

DSCN3404Anne’s “Cumberland” cowl is here at the shop, another one-skein project in Canopy Worsted. Come by to try it on, and get a good sense of how the yarn knits up in a texture pattern.

DSCN3406For other Canopy Worsted pattern ideas, consider the new Knightsbridge Collection; any of those garments and accessories would look just as incredible in Canopy Worsted. Follow us on Pinterest for even more pattern inspiration! See you at the shop.

Shibori felting with Alchemy yarns.

Gina Wilde is the mind behind Alchemy’s rich colors, a dyer and designer who dreams up interesting uses for the yarns she paints. We always look forward to her color consultations at TNNA–here she is back in May, helping us select harmonious colors in all four Alchemy yarns we ordered.


Many of her designs use a shibori felting technique, where Alchemy Sanctuary and Silken Straw are knit together, then thrown in the washing machine to felt. Sanctuary, a blend of merino wool and silk, felts into a velvety fabric, while Silken Straw stretches out and softens. The combination of the two in one garment yields unique textures and shapes, and adds an exciting, transformative final step to the knitting process. Last year, I tried shibori felting for the first time, knitting a “Simple Shibori Cowl” in bright, warm shades of Sanctuary and Silken Straw.


We’ve seen lots of beautiful color combinations come together for this project; Mary knit these two “Simple Shibori Cowls,” which were featured on the blog for show and tell.


Our new shades of Sanctuary and Silken Straw make for even more fun combinations. Here are a few I put together; I can’t wait to see what other knitters will come up with!

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Earlier this spring, Anne finished her “Widsom Wrap,” a much larger shibori project.


DSCN2888 The “Wisdom Wrap” calls for one shade in Sanctuary and four in Silken Straw. We’ve restocked Anne’s colorway, a beautiful mix of purple, greens, and dark brown.


Of course, I couldn’t resist putting a few other “Wisdom Wrap” colorways together, this time with a bit of glitter from Sparky.

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Come by to select colors for a “Wisdom Wrap” of your own, or search for other shibori felting patterns on the HYS Pinterest page. See you at the shop!

Still playing with Shibui.

I have many loves when it comes to yarn and knitting, but right now, Shibui is at the forefront. Each time new colors come in to the shop, I find myself pairing and grouping them again. With that in mind, indulge me in a few more color-combinations for Shibui projects–I can’t help myself.


Several of you have made or are making the “Gradient” cowl, a free pattern from Shibui which is worked with three strands of Silk Cloud held together. Periodically, one of those three strands is switched out for a different color, which makes a gentle transition from one color to the next–four colors in all. It’s easy to lose oneself on Ravelry looking at different “Gradient” cowls in their many colors…here are even more that I’d love to see made up.






With 21 shades of Silk Cloud so far, we have plenty to choose from. What four colors would you use for a “Gradient” cowl?


We also got new colors in Cima, a springy lace weight blend of alpaca and merino. I put these pairings together with two Shibui cowls in mind–“Kinetic” and “Mix No. 23.” The first has you blending the two colors for an ombre effect, and the second sets the two shades against one another in a bold double-knit motif.





We’re up to 20 shades in Cima now; come by the shop to play with them yourself, and consider Shibui’s yarns and patterns as you’re planning your next project!