Hit the books.

We got lots of new books in this week at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Some of them ended up on the teacart, where they’re sure to capture attention, but not all new books are so lucky. The teacart is small, after all, and can’t show off everything at once, so some new books get tucked on the shelf with little fanfare. Here’s a round up of the newest titles available at the shop, so these books can have a proper introduction. 

  • Entree to Entrelac: The Definitive Guide from a Biased Knitter, by Gwen Bortner
  • Wonderland: Modern Baby and Children’s Knitting Patterns 
  • Knitting for Little Feet: 40 Booties, Socks, and Slippers for Babies and Kids 
  • Cute and Easy Baby Knits: 25 Adorable Projects for 0-3 Year-Olds, by Susie Johns
  • Crochet So Fine: Exquisite Designs with Fine Yarns, by Kristin Omdahl
  • Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters, by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss
  • Crochet Lace Innovations, by Doris Chan
  • The Knitter’s Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn, by Clara Parkes
  • The Knitter’s Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber, by Clara Parkes
  • Double Knitting: Reversible Two-Color Designs, by M’lou Baber
  • My Grandmother’s Knitting: Family Stories and Inspired Knits from Top Designers, by Larissa Brown, featuring Ysolda Teague, Jared Flood, Meg Swansen, Cookie A., and many more

If any of these books strike your fancy, come to the shop to check them out in person, and if you’re having trouble finding one in particular, just ask us where we’ve hidden them!

The Best of Interweave Crochet.

Another great collection of Interweave patterns has found its way to the teacart at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, this time for crocheters.

Crochet sweaters, hats, scarves, dresses, and blankets are found within the covers of this new book, among other projects, using a variety of crochet techniques. Take a look next time you’re in the shop!

Crochet Traditions.

A new magazine has arrived at the shop, something special for the crocheters among us.

Crochet Traditions is the crochet equivalent to the popular PieceWork special issue, Knitting Traditions. Like Knitting Traditions, Crochet Traditions places traditional techniques in a historical context, providing wonderful reading material as well as project ideas. Find it with the other newest books and magazines on the teacart.

Tools of the trade.

If you’ve been to our shop, you may already be familiar with the range of knitting needles and crochet hooks we stock. Addi Turbo and Lace circulars for those who prefer slick, quick, metal knitting needles, and Crystal Palace circulars, straights, and double points for those who prefer the smooth, slightly clingy quality of bamboo. Hooks of both persuasions, as well. Lantern Moon circulars, straights, double points, and crochet hooks for treating yourself to the absolute finest in hardwood tools: rosewood, blondewood, and ebony. And then we have interchangeable circular needle sets, for when you’re tired of buying a new needle with each new project.

Can you spot the Addi Click interchangeable needle sets, peeking out there above the perpetual calendar of knitting stitches? This wooden box is where we’ve hidden our interchangeable circular sets, above the Noro yarns. Not only do we have Addi Lace Click and Addi Turbo Click interchangeable sets, we also carry sets by Hiya Hiya, KA, and Lantern Moon. These sets vary in material and price, but the concept is the same: a range of needle points and a range of cord lengths, which can be attached to one another in whatever combination you need at the moment. That way, you don’t have to buy a 16″ #6 as well as a 24″ #6, you can just change out the 16″ cord for the 24″ cord when you need a longer one. A larger investment up front, but a sound economic decision for the avid knitter. As of this week, we now also carry the Addi Click Hook set.

These hooks are made to fit into the Addi Click cords, making it possible to create a hybrid tool, with a hook on one end and a needle on the other. When might you need such a beast? Consider picking up stitches: much easier with a hook, but they need to end up on a needle. Enter the circular hook/needle: problem solved. Skacel, the makers of Addi, also suggest that this tool might be useful for working Tunisian crochet, binding off stitches quickly, or creating new stitches at the end of a row, with a needle on the other end. Fascinating, no?

Also new to the shop: ergonomic crochet hooks, also by Addi.

Designed to be held, in sharp contrast to the narrow, straight-handled crochet hooks we’re used to seeing. We received a sample of this hook from Skacel, to try out and see if we liked it. Anne tried it out, and asked other crocheters to do the same, and the consensus was clear: this is a better hook. Interested? We keep ours on the desk, tucked in with all the other tools of our trade, and you’re welcome to give it a try.

See you at the shop!

Handy, indeed.

If you’ve ever walked into the shop, fallen in love with a skein of yarn and asked us, “Is this enough for a scarf?” then you’ve probably seen Anne and I consult one of these.

The Knitter’s (and Crocheter’s) Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements is a little pamphlet filled with charts that are filled with numbers, connecting gauge to yardage. Say you know how many stitches per inch your yarn will give you, and you know how big you want your scarf to be. This handy guide will tell you how many yards you need to do it. This makes it easier to estimate yardage in the event that you’re designing your own garment, or substituting yarn for a pattern. It can also be useful to help you get a sense of what you can do with a particular amount of yarn, for example, a lone skein that you fell in love with but made no plans for. Is it enough for a hat? A scarf? A vest? Pick up your handy guide and find out. You can find them right next to another useful resource: the lollipops.