Back in stock: Ewe Ewe.

Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted has become a staple here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, admired for its softness, easy-care, and steadily growing selection of solid colors. Ewe Ewe’s pattern support covers a range of projects, from baby blankets to small accessories to adult sweaters, a variety of garments that show the versatility of this plush yarn. Last week, we received a large box from Ewe Ewe, nearly doubling our inventory of the stuff, and bringing every missing color back to this basket.

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Anne and I have used Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted for two shop samples. Anne made two “Boston Whaler” hats with just two skeins of Wooly Worsted, inverting the colorway for the second hat. The pink-on-indigo version stayed here at the shop, while the indigo-on-pink hat went to her granddaughter, of course.

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Now that Ewe Ewe comes in 20 colors, there are plenty more color combinations to play with, which of course is what I found myself doing as Rosi and I unpacked the yarn.

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Ewe Ewe has lots of other patterns that call for two colors or more, including the “Easy as ABC Top-Down Raglan Baby Sweater,” the “Layer Cake Cowl,” and the newly released “Fireside Wristlets,” a free pattern for simple ribbed mitts. If you’re not in the market for a baby hat, but you still want to play the Ewe Ewe color-combining game, consider these!

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Our second Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted sample is the “Wearever Wrap,” a colorful triangular shawl that I crocheted in just a few afternoons at the shop. When I saw the sample “Wearever Wrap” at market in June, I knew I’d like to make one for the shop, and selecting six colors was half the fun.

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I used an H hook (5 mm), which was smaller than recommended in the pattern, and still it blocked out to a nice, generous size.

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Come by the shop to flip through the Ewe Ewe pattern binder, admire Wooly Worsted in all 20 shades, and plan your next project!

Rustic Modern Crochet.

The first Interweave publication of the new year has arrived, bringing inspiration for new crochet projects.

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Rustic Modern Crochet, by Yumiko Alexander, is a collection of crochet garments, from scarves and hats to tunics and wraps. Alexander uses unusual and unexpected stitch patterns throughout, and a range of yarns from lace to bulky weight.

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Come by the shop to take a closer look at Rustic Modern Crochet and peruse our sizable collection of knit and crochet pattern books. Here’s to new projects in the new year!

Interweave Crochet & Crochet Accessories.

Looking for crochet inspiration? Check out the teacart at the shop, where we show the latest publications, and you’ll find two magazines on the subject.

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Crochet Accessories is an annual special issue from Interweave packed with patterns for hats, mitts, cowls, scarves, shawls, wraps, and other accessories. The Winter 2014 issue of Interweave Crochet has a nice selection of accessories as well, along with vests, jackets, and sweaters for adults and children alike.

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I was particularly intrigued by these two colorful shawls. The striped one is worked in Tunisian crochet, and calls for lace weight yarn–wouldn’t it be lovely in Isager Alpaca 1, Fibre Company Meadow, or Shibui Cima?

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Come by the shop to pick up a magazine, and be inspired to pick up a hook and start stitching. See you there!

Granny Square Flowers.

We recently placed a big book order, filling in holes on our shelves where favorite books should be. Restocking old books isn’t nearly as exciting as ordering new ones, though, so we tend to get at least one new publication with every order. This time, it was a crochet book that caught our eye: Granny Square Flowers.

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Granny Square Flowers is a collection of 50 botanical crochet motifs, along with essential granny square techniques and projects that make use of them.

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Charts as well as written instructions are given for each granny square, and the construction, gauge, and seaming techniques are paired with clear photos and descriptions.

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Come by the shop to take a look! See you there.

Show and tell: shawls and wraps, Swans Island, capes, and caps.

We love it when knitters and crocheters come to the shop with finished garments to share. It happens even more frequently than I can pull out my camera to document these projects; still and all, I have a beautiful bunch of show-and-tell photos to share here today. I hope you find them as inspiring as we do!

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Margie knit this incredible lace cape in about three weeks, a testament to her perseverance and to the pleasures of lace-knitting.

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There are times in life that call for simple, soothing projects, and times when we’d rather work on challenging projects that keep us thinking as we stitch–this belongs to the second category. The pattern is “Lady’s Circular Cape in Shell Pattern,” from the fantastic Victorian Lace Today, and the yarn is Isager Tvinni.

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Katherine is a teacher here at the shop, offering a variety of project-based classes for knitters and crocheters alike. Above is her Guernsey Wrap, knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca. I love this pairing of yarn and pattern; the 50/50 blend of wool and alpaca is structured enough to show the texture patterns and soft enough to drape gently in this generous rectangular shawl.

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Many of Katherine’s students are knitting their own Guernsey Wraps in Ultra Alpaca, too, though I know that one is working with Fibre Company Canopy Worsted–I can’t wait to see all these Guernsey-Wraps-to-be!

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Katherine also brought in her Belle Epoque shawl, a crochet design by Kira Dulaney. Katherine’s shawl is crocheted in Baa Ram Ewe Titus Shades, a special yarn for a special project.

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Last week, Chris came in wearing this cuddly cowl she knit in Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted. The pattern is “Anna Cowl,” a loop scarf long enough to wrap twice around one’s neck, and decorated with lace and garter stitch. From the provisional cast-on to a careful blocking, Chris did a great job, and finished her cowl just in time for cold weather. Look for the “Anna Cowl” and other patterns for Swans Island yarns in the Swans Island pattern binder.

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Rosi has been working with the Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted, too. She used it to design and knit this stunning aran sweater with the guidance of Janet Szabo’s “Follow-the-Leader Aran Knit-along Workshop.” Swans Island is a great yarn for cable patterns; this sweater really shows the yarn’s sharp stitch definition, as well as the knitter’s precision and attention to detail.

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Just as I anticipated, Anne’s third grandchild hat was on and off the needles in no time. A variation on “Wurm,” a free Ravelry download, this whimsical little hat is knit with String Theory Merino DK, with embellishments in Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK.

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Thanks to everyone who starts, works on, and shares their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We love to see what’s coming off your needles and hooks.

The newest books.

Right as you walk into the shop, the first surface that’s likely to catch your eye is covered in books and magazines.

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It’s an antique teacart, which also holds our swift and ball-winder. When we refer to “the teacart,” that’s what we’re talking about–the place for the newest knitting and crochet publications. Every week, if not every day, some new book arrives and we make room on the teacart, rearranging things, shelving what’s been out for a few weeks. Lately, we’ve been inundated with new publications, faster than this blog can keep up! Here are some of the latest publications:

  • Extreme Double Knitting, by Alasdair Post-Quinn
  • Fair Isle Style: 20 Fresh Designs for a Classic Technique, by Mary Jane Mucklestone
  • 50 Yards of Fun: Knitting Toys from Scrap Yarn, by Rebecca Danger
  • Knitting in Circles, by Nicky Epstein

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  • Mollie Makes Crochet: 20+ Cute Projects for the Home, Plus Tips and Tricks
  • Beastly Crochet: 23 Critters to Wear and Love, by Brenda K.B. Anderson

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  • Scarf Style 2: Innovative to Traditional, Fresh Designs to Knit, by Ann Budd
  • Knitting Architecture: 20 Patterns Exploring Form, Function, and Detail, by Tanis Gray

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Come by the shop to peruse these newest books, and our not-so-new books, too! There’s a lot to choose from, and we hope you find inspiration there. See you at the shop!

Interweave Crochet.

The Fall 2013 issue of Interweave Crochet is here!

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Inside, you’ll find plenty of crochet patterns, from smaller accessories to adult-sized garments.

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I also spotted this helpful article on crochet hooks, which details the many varieties of hooks and the differences between them. Just like knitting needles, crochet hooks made of different materials and in slightly differing shapes are good for different kinds of fibers and techniques. Pick up a copy of Interweave Crochet Fall 2013 to learn all about it.

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Look for Interweave Crochet on the teacart, surrounded by all the latest knitting and crochet magazines and books. See you at the shop!

Hello, Malabrigo Mecha.

A new Malabrigo yarn is always exciting. We know so many knitters and crocheters who turn to Malabrigo yarns again and again for their beautiful colorways, soft fibers, and good value. Meet the newest Malabrigo yarn: Mecha.

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Mecha is made of superwash merino wool, a bulky weight yarn with 130 yards on each 100 gram skein. It’s a soft and fluffy single ply, which means it’s also a bit fuzzy. The superwash process helps the yarn to resist felting, but single ply yarns are still more likely to pill than plied yarns; not a problem with a gentle pill remover like the Lily Brush.

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I’m the lucky knitter who got to make a shop sample with Mecha. I went hunting for a pattern in the Kira K Designs binder and found two great choices: a twisty knit  scarf, and a rippled crochet cowl.

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It was a tough choice, but I landed on the Twist Scarf, a pattern that called for exactly 130 yards of bulky weight yarn–a perfect match for Mecha.

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I love the way it came out; the knitting was simple and fast, and the scarf is long enough to be worn a few different ways.

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The pattern is available as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale, which means that you buy it from us and we’ll print a copy for you, but a digital copy is also saved in your email or Ravelry pattern library.

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Ashley, a crocheter with an affinity for Malabrigo yarns, picked up a few skeins of Mecha last week when it first arrived. After playing with it a bit, she discovered that two qualities make it perfect for children’s toys: Mecha is both super soft and superwash. Sitting at the shop, she whipped up a soft stuffed ball with a rattle inside in under 15 minutes. A set of these in different sizes would make a great baby gift, and a quick one. Ashley used the Ideal Crochet Sphere pattern, which is available as a free download on Ravelry. Lucky for us, she left this ball with us as a sample for the shop. Thanks, Ashley!

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Come by the shop to check out Mecha and all our other Malabrigo favorites. See you there!

Show and tell: all kinds.

We’ve had so much new yarn coming in, so many new patterns and magazines, that I’ve let the show and tell pictures pile up. It’s time to share the projects our knitters and crocheters have brought in to show us, and today, there’s a gracious plenty.

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First up is Rosi, who is modeling an incredible lace sweater she made using String Theory Selku, a sport weight blend of silk and wool. The shimmer and drape of Selku is perfectly suited to this “Sampler Tabard,” a Cheryl Oberle pattern from Meg Swansen’s A Gathering of Lace. As Rosi will tell you, this sweater isn’t nearly as complicated as it looks–each individual lace pattern is straightforward, and only repeated a few times before you switch to the next pattern, making it suitable for beginner lace knitters.

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Molly has been knitting sweaters for her granddaughters. This one is made from a Knitting Pure & Simple pattern using Malabrigo Rios. Rios is a great choice for a child’s sweater: smooth, next-to-skin soft, machine-washable, and colorful.

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Here’s Margie in her completed Chamomile shawl, a Helga Isager pattern from her Amimono Knit Collection 2010. The pattern calls for two Isager yarns, the fingering weight Tvinni and lace weight Alpaca 1. Margie substituted the fingering weight Malabrigo Finito for Isager Tvinni and came out with a stunning shawl.

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Marion, who teaches our magic loop sock-knitting classes, is cranking out socks as always. Here is one of the many pairs that have graced her needles over the past couple of months, knit in Colinette Jitterbug. Magic loopers interested in learning to knit two socks at a time on one long needle should check out our class schedule, as Marion will teach this technique in October.

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Ashley is a crocheter and an avid fan of Malabrigo yarns. She whipped up this pair of baby hats for some twins-to-be using Malabrigo Arroyo, a sport weight, machine-washable merino. The stars were crocheted with Jitterbug in just the right shade to complement this Arroyo colorway.

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Monika is a knitter and HYS customer all the way from the Netherlands, where we shipped her the last two skeins of Baa Ram Ewe’s Titus Dark that she needed to complete this hoodie. At the time, Titus was so popular in Europe that it became hard to find, so it was a relief to connect Monika with those desperately needed skeins. She designed this sweater herself, and was kind enough to send photos upon completing it.

Thanks to all who share their work with us! It’s truly inspiring to see what your creative hands make with our yarns. Keep it coming!

Hook and needle cases from Della Q.

Back in June, we travelled to TNNA, saw many of our favorite yarn companies, and placed a bunch of orders for the shop. The new Fall things are starting to come in, and its no surprise that it’s mostly yarn. Here and there, however, we receive boxes of other knitting- and crochet-related goodies, including organizational things like these hook and needle cases from Della Q.

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Handcrafted from lustrous silk fabric, Della Q’s cases remind us that every aspect of our craft can be as pleasing as it is functional, from the patterns to the fibers to the tools to how we store them. The Crochet Roll has a space for hooks of all sizes with labels that make it easy to find exactly the hook you’re looking for.

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When it’s rolled up and tied, all your hooks are snug and secure, and they wont take up much space in a tote with your projects and notions.

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The Double Point Needle Roll works the same way, but is designed to hold sets of double pointed needles instead of hooks.

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If your own collection of hooks and needles is in need of neat and pretty storage, come by the shop to take a closer look at these Della Q cases, along with our other organizational tools. See you there!