Show and tell: stripes.

Time for another round of show and tell! Today’s projects all feature stripes, whether high-contrast or low, many-colored or few.

Here’s a low-contrast example, Nancy’s “Straw Into Gold” shawl. This elegant piece was made with three different Alchemy yarns, all of which were dyed the same color, so the stripes are subtle, showing the textural differences between each yarn.

Michele’s first-ever sweater, on the other hand, is a high-contrast combination of black and white. The pattern is “#11 Rugby Stripes Pullover,” from Vogue Knitting Magazine, and Michele knit hers with Elsebeth Lavold Calm Wool while attending Marsha’s Start Your First Sweater or Vest class here at the shop.

Michele is a relatively new knitter, but it’s clear she’s taken to it. By any standards, this is a successful sweater: the fit is good, her tension is even, and the stripes line up perfectly on each piece. For a first sweater, it’s doubly impressive. Well done, Michele!

Here’s Tom with his finished “Kauni Color Wave Shawl,” knit with Kauni Effektgarn. Not only is the shawl itself striped, the yarn is self-striping, too; Tom paired a rainbow skein with one in shades of black, white, and gray. The effect is striking, stripes on stripes.

Above is Jodi’s granny stripe blanket-in-progress, crocheted with Berroco Ultra Wool. When she brought it in to show us a few weeks ago, Anne and I were blown away, not only by its impressive size, but also by Jodi’s color sense. It’s not easy to put 20 colors in a perfectly balanced yet seemingly random arrangement. It takes thought and skill and a little bit of guts, all of which are on display in this outrageously beautiful piece.

Many thanks to the knitters and crocheters who shared their stripes with us today, and to everyone who starts their project with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We are inspired by your stitches and can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

New magazines and books for crocheters.

It’s been a busy month or so for new publications here at the shop. In fact, some of our newest books and magazines come and go quickly after an Instagram introduction, not even lasting long enough on our shelves to warrant a blog post. For today, I’ll shine a light on the two latest crochet magazines, in case you’ve missed them in all the hubbub.

The Winter 2017 issue of Interweave Crochet features an article on practicing mindfulness with crochet, something many makers understand well. There’s also a tutorial on crochet chart-reading, a must for those looking to move into more complicated patterning.

This issue of Crochet Scene is packed full of patterns for garments, accessories, jewelry, and home goods, made in yarns ranging from lace weight to super bulky.

Courtney Kelley, of Kelbourne Woolens, has designed a cowl for this issue, made with Fibre Company Tundra.

Other recent acquisitions in the crochet department include Tamara Kelly’s Quick Crochet for the Home, Kate Bruning’s Let’s Go Camping: Crochet Your Own Adventure, and Modern Crochet Mandalas.

Come by the shop to see the latest crochet publications, and to plan your next project!

Show and tell: for grown-ups.

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

img_2123

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.

img_2125

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.

img_2124

dscn6087

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.

dscn6242

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

dscn6438

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.

img_1956

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

img_1957

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!

dscn6376

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!

img_2083

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.

dscn6440

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!

img_2068

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.

dscn6378

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.

img_2098

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!

img_1999

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!

img_2100

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.

img_2018

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.

img_2017

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.”

dscn6435

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.

img_1899

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!

fullsizerender-4

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!

Interweave Crochet & Celtic Cable Crochet.

The past week or so brought two new publications for crocheters: the Fall 2016 issue of Interweave Crochet and a new book, Celtic Cable Crochet.

dscn6186

This issue of Interweave Crochet is full of cardigans, cold-weather accessories, and even a smart houndstooth bag.

dscn6188

Both publications feature cables, a technique I’m far more used to seeing in knitted garments than crochet.

dscn6343

Crochet is a craft that can do far more than it is sometimes given credit for, however, and new magazines and books continue to open our eyes to the possibilities.

dscn6345 dscn6344

Come by the shop to see what’s new, and to plan your next project, whether knit or crochet. See you there!

Show and tell: Isager.

Time for more show and tell! Many of the knitters and crocheters who start their projects here at the shop bring them back when they’re done to show us their work, one of the most interesting and gratifying parts of our job as yarn-shopkeepers. When I’m able, I like to photograph those projects to share here on the blog, and I’ve amassed quite a collection of photos over the past month or so. Last week, I shared finished sweaters, but I confess, I was saving one for today’s post, because it overlaps with today’s theme: Isager.

dscn6158

Here’s Shelley’s incredible “Spring,” knit in Isager Spinni, a lace weight wool. Knit modularly, with each square building on the last, “Spring” features lace and intarsia, making this lightweight pullover a real labor of love. I admired Shelley’s color choice back when she first made her selection, but it’s even more impressive in the finished piece, those playful, colorful squares popping out against the larger neutral blocks.

dscn6159

Shelley was kind enough to lend us her sweater for a little while, so if you hurry in, you might catch it hanging on the wall.

dscn6179

Here’s another amazing piece knit in Isager Spinni: Annmarie’s “Rock Island.” She made this during a recent lace class here at the shop, and we were all blown away by how carefully she knit and blocked it. Well done, Annmarie!

dscn6177

img_1686

Speaking of classes, this shawl is the subject of an upcoming crochet class. Katherine crocheted her “Transposition” with Isager Alpaca 2, a soft and fuzzy blend of merino and alpaca.

dscn6107

Join her class to learn the basics of triangular shawl construction, crochet pattern- and chart-reading, shell stitches, and blocking. Head to our Classes page to read all about it and sign up!

img_1814

Sandra came in the other day to pick up some yarn she ordered at our recent Isager Yarn Tasting, and tucked in her bag was her “Stole,” knit in Isager Alpaca 2. She made an abbreviated version, in just 5 colors, but it’s the perfect size for carrying about in case of chilly air-conditioning.

img_1687

Thanks to these knitters and crocheters for sharing their work with us, and for starting their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We look forward to seeing your newest creations, and watching your ideas come to life on your needles.

Handwoven and Vintage Crochet.

Two new magazines arrived at the shop this week: Handwoven and Vintage Crochet.

DSCN6042

Handwoven’s theme this issue is celebration, featuring handwoven gifts and home decor for special occasions, made on a variety of looms.

DSCN6043

There are also interesting articles to read, one on Colonial coverlets, and another on rituals from around the world involving textiles.

DSCN6044

Vintage Crochet is a special issue from Interweave that focuses on the rich history of crochet, featuring articles and tutorials on traditional techniques, along with contemporary patterns informed by those techniques.

DSCN6045 DSCN6046

Look for Handwoven and Vintage Crochet here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, among the latest publications for all manner of fiber arts!

New crochet books.

We’ve been acquiring a great many new and exciting crochet books of late, so many that they overwhelmed the teacart, where we usually show the latest publications. Wanting these new books to shine, I carved out a new display space just for the latest crochet books and magazines, so if crochet is your craft, come by and take a look!

DSCN5931

Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin are the designers behind The Crochet Project, whose aim is to create beautiful modern crochet patterns using the loveliest natural fiber yarns.

DSCN5857

CoopKnits Socks Yeah! is one of those yarns, and Scrace and Goldin’s Crochet Yeah! book revolves around it.

DSCN5859 DSCN5858

We have three of their four books in stock at the moment; the fourth sold out before I could even blog about it!

DSCN5862

We carry very few yarns from Classic Elite, but their new crochet booklet was too good to pass up. We’re happy to help you find substitutes for the yarns called for if they’re not among our collection.

DSCN5864

DSCN5866

Come by the shop for crochet inspiration!

New books for crocheters.

As I wrote a few days ago, the teacart is the showcase for the latest books and magazines here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Two new books for crocheters recently found a home on the teacart, full of inspiring patterns and some familiar yarns.

DSCN5671

Kristin Omdahl’s Continuous Crochet is all about working seamlessly to crochet garments with minimal finishing.

DSCN5672

Robyn Chachula’s Vintage Modern Crochet marries traditional crochet lace techniques with a modern sensibility, and collects patterns in this vein from a variety of designers.

DSCN5736

DSCN5738

I spotted two Shibui yarns in play; the “Carefree Pullover” above shows Shibui Linen worked up in filet crochet, and the “Fidelma Motif Shawl” below shows Shibui Silk Cloud in the Irish lacy rose motif.

DSCN5739

Come by the shop to browse for crochet inspiration and plan your next project!

Show and tell: neckwear.

Along with daydreaming about future projects, trying new techniques, and deciding between colors, show-and-tell is one of the predominant activities here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Now and then, I like to bring this activity to the blog, sharing finished projects that started their lives as yarns on our shelves. Today, let’s look at cowls and scarves.

DSCN5583

Rosi knit this cowl with the delightful Shibui Staccato, a fingering weight blend of merino and silk. She designed it herself, a soft and stretchy moebius decorated with a reversible texture pattern.

DSCN5611

Katherine crocheted this “Vega Crochet Cowl” as a sample for her recent class on the subject. It looks great in the self-striping Plymouth Gina, and many of her students followed her lead, selecting different colorways in the same yarn. I can’t wait to see how they all come out!

IMG_1315

Here’s Judie in her beautiful “Starshower,” knit in Sincere Sheep Cormo Fingering. One doesn’t fully appreciate the clever shaping of this cowl/shawl hybrid until one sees it on a person, rather than hanging on a hanger as my sample “Starshower” does. Inspired to knit one of your own? Consider signing up for Katherine’s upcoming “Starshower” class to have guidance and camaraderie as you stitch.

DSCN5655

I knit this “Rockcliffe” scarf as a sample for the shop, inspired by our recent Cumbria Collection Trunk Show. This is my second time working with Fibre Company Cumbria Worsted, a soft-yet-toothy yarn that I absolutely adore, especially for projects like this one where sharp stitch definition is required. The texture patterns were fun and engaging, but not too complicated; I think this would make a great introduction to chart-reading, especially paired with Kelbourne Woolens’ tutorial, “Working from Charts: Knit/Purl Patterning.”

IMG_1297

Here’s Peggy’s completed “M.1” scarf, knit in Shibui Maai, one of the softest yarns in the shop, in my opinion. This is a gift for her husband, and it looks smart in “Suit,” a blue somewhere between navy and cobalt.

 

Thanks to all the knitters, crocheters, weavers, and fiber artists who start their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We love seeing what you’re making! Keep your eyes on the blog for another round of show-and-tell soon. In the meantime, see you at the shop!