Hello, Shibui Rain.

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of Shibui’s newest yarn, Rain.

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Rain is a dk weight mercerized cotton, but it’s unlike any mercerized cotton we’ve seen. First, its chainette construction sets it apart from more traditional plied cottons, adding a bit of elasticity where plant fibers typically have none. Second, its smooth, shiny texture suggests silk more than cotton; this is truly elegant fiber, and it makes up into gently draping fabric.

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Shibui’s Spring/Summer 2016 pattern collection makes good use of Rain, along with Shibui’s other warm-weather yarns, Twig and Linen.

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With warm weather in mind, most of these garments are loose-fitting tunics and tops, knit at somewhat open gauges for maximum drape.

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Some patterns work with just one strand of yarn, while others mix two yarns together for a unique fiber blend.

“Spectrum” is one such pattern, working Rain and Silk Cloud together for a drapey scarf or wrap with a mohair halo. The pattern is free with the purchase of Shibui yarns for the project.

Anne has already begun knitting two of these new designs, eager to get Rain on her needles.

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“Nova” is a sleeveless tunic with a neckline suggesting a mandarin collar, for which Anne selected one of her favorite, most-worn colors, “Abyss.”

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She’s also begun work on “Horizon,” a colorblock pullover, using Linen and Cima in the unexpected shade of “Apple.” “Equinox” is also on Anne’s to-knit list, I believe; yes, she’s fallen hard for Shibui’s Spring/Summer collection, indeed.

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Look for Rain in the DK weight section here at the shop!

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New colors from Baa Ram Ewe.

The folks at UK yarn company Baa Ram Ewe dreamed up two new colors for their Titus and Dovestone DK yarns, and I’m happy to report that we now have them on our shelves here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

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The two yarns take the dye differently, coming out bright and clear in Titus, but deeper and heathered in Dovestone DK. “Lotherton” is a bright turquoise, and “Rhubarb” is a hot pink.

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These new shades are definitely the boldest we’ve seen from Baa Ram Ewe, yet they fit nicely into the color palette, offering new opportunities for high-contrast color combinations.

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Dovestone DK is a dk weight blend of 50% bluefaced leicester, 25% masham, and 25% wensleydale wools, all sourced and spun in the UK. It’s a nice big 100 gram hank with 252 yards, plenty for a hat, pair of mitts, or small cowl. For pattern ideas, look to Carol Feller’s Dovestone Hills booklet, Kate Davies’ Buachaille, and our “DK weight” board on Pinterest.

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Titus is a fingering weight blend of 50% wensleydale wool, 30% alpaca, and 20% bluefaced leicester wool. There’s plenty of pattern inspiration for Titus to be found on our “Fingering weight” Pinterest board, of course, and we’ve seen some beautiful Titus projects here on the blog over the years, but we wont turn our nose up at new patterns for Titus, either.

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Titus Mini Knits is a collection of accessories knit and crocheted in Titus, from mitts and socks to hats and cowls. CoopKnits Toasty Vol. 2 is another round of accessories in Titus from designer Rachel Coopey, whose colorwork patterns look like such fun.

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Come by the shop to see all the new goodies from Baa Ram Ewe, and consider Titus or Dovestone DK for your next project!

Buachaille.

We’re big fans of designer Kate Davies around here. We keep her Colors of Shetland and Yokes on the shelf at the shop, and I knit from them and daydream about them often. Throughout the last months of 2015, we followed along on Davies’ blog as she created her own yarn and developed new designs for that yarn. Her newest book, Buachaille, collects those designs, and we’re delighted to have a stack of copies on the teacart.

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Though I think of Kate Davies as a sweater designer, these patterns are all for small accessories.

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Hats, mitts, mittens, slippers, cowls, even felted bracelets can be found within this book, and for some, Davies offers two versions–one decorated with stripes, and another with stranded colorwork.

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We don’t carry Kate Davies’ Buachaille yarn, but we do have some good substitutes in the DK weight section at the shop. Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone is a blend of British wools with the same 2 ply structure and a similar look, in saturated solid colors. For a DK weight with a bit more drape, consider Fibre Company Acadia, with its soft alpaca and tweedy silk content. A machine washable wool like Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK would work well here, too, perhaps especially for the house slippers. Buachaille shows a DK weight yarn knit up at a range of gauges, but as long as you’re getting the gauge the pattern calls for and a fabric you like, you can confidently substitute yarns.

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Buachaille is so much more than a book of knitting patterns, which should come as no surprise, given its author. Kate Davies’ books are always good reads as well as good knits, and this one ups the ante with traditional Scottish recipes. Pick up Buachaille for a glimpse at the beautiful Scottish Highlands that Kate Davies calls home.

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Look for it on the teacart here at the shop!

Hello again, Shenandoe Farm.

Last week, we had a visit from Elaine of Shenandoe Farm. She came with stories of a successful year and with a bag of beautiful yarn, made of fiber grown right here in Orange County, North Carolina.

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We’ve stocked Shenandoe Farm yarns before, though it’s been a while since we sold the last remaining skein, so a new delivery was welcome. This new batch is composed of 80% mohair, 10% wool, and 10% llama, spun into a dk weight at Zeilinger Wool Co. in Michigan, a family business for over a century. The heathered color is a natural one, just the shade of the animals that grew the fleece to make it.

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Eager to get her hands on this special yarn, Anne knit a swatch on a few different needle sizes, so we could get a sense of what gauge it’s most comfortable at.

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From there, it was put in my lucky hands. After a bit more swatching, we decided this sturdy stuff would be well-suited to a pair of Churchmouse “Welted Fingerless Gloves,” a go-to pattern here at the shop. I’m busy stitching up a pair as a sample for the shop.

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Look for Shenandoe Farm yarn here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Hope to see you soon!

Hello, Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK.

Rowan’s newest yarn has arrived at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! Meet Pure Wool Superwash DK.

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We’ve long been searching for a good quality superwash wool in DK weight, one that comes in loads of colors and at a reasonable price, and this yarn is it. Last fall, Rowan met a similar need with their Pure Wool Superwash Worsted, and this yarn is very much a thinner version of the same good stuff.

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Superwash DK weight wools like this one are good for all kinds of projects, from accessories to home goods to garments. One 145 yard ball would make a nice pair of mitts, like the Churchmouse “Welted Fingerless Gloves,” or for that matter, my own “Welting Fantastic Mitts.” Baby and children’s things are also a good fit for Pure Wool Superwash DK; I’ve made “Milo” a couple of times using Rowan Wool Cotton, and this yarn would make a nice wintry version of the same little vest.

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For adult sweaters, Martin Storey’s Easy DK Knits is a collection worth checking out. Rowan sent along a sample of the cover sweater, “Barbican,” a garter stitch pullover with drop stitch patterning at the bottom edge. Come by the shop to see it in person, and get a tangible sense of how this yarn works up. Easy DK Knits uses a variety of knitting techniques to make relatively simple sweaters, including texture patterns, cables, and beginner-level colorwork.

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In addition to these patterns, consider Rowan’s recently-announced Fall Knit-Along, featuring this very yarn, and hosted by designer Amy Herzog. Herzog is a prolific sweater-designer, and one who cares deeply about how those sweaters fit the knitters who make them. Her Options Knit-Along will guide you through the creation of a highly-customizable sweater knit in Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK, from choosing a size to making modifications to finishing. There’s a textured pullover option and a striped cardigan option, and it looks like there’ll be other options within each of those. Read more about it on her website, where you can download the shopping list and get ready to start the Rowan Options Knit Along this Monday, October 19th!

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Look for Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK in the DK weight section of the shop, where we’re happy to help you plan your next project. See you there!

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!

Hello, Shibui Dune.

We’re delighted to welcome Shibui’s newest yarn to the shop this week: meet Dune.

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Dune is a luxurious dk weight blend of 50% baby alpaca, 25% baby camel, and 25% silk. The alpaca and camel fibers give it a bit of a fuzzy halo, the silk gives it some lustre, and all three have great drape. To say Dune is soft is a bit of an understatement.

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Shibui kindly sent us a few advance skeins of Dune earlier this summer, and I’m the lucky so-and-so who gets to knit them up into a sample garment for the shop. I’m nearing the halfway point on the “Motif” wrap, a new Shibui pattern for Dune that’s free with the purchase of yarn for the project. It’s an easily memorizable stitch pattern, just little squares of reverse stockinette on a stockinette background, but entertaining nonetheless. Decadent yarn and simple pattern make for a soothing, satisfying project.

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Shibui is leading a Fall Knit-Along featuring “Motif” on their Ravelry group; come by soon to select a color and be ready to join the Motif Knit-Along by September 23rd! Look for more pattern ideas for Dune among Shibui’s Fall collection here at the shop, and check the “DK weight” board on our Pinterest page for more.

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Come by the shop to see Dune for yourself, and check back here soon for more new goodies from Shibui!

Hello, Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK.

Baa Ram Ewe’s new yarn has arrived! Meet Dovestone DK.

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Dovestone DK is a dk weight blend of 50% bluefaced leicester, 25% masham, and 25% wensleydale wools, all sourced and spun in the UK. It’s a nice big 100 gram hank with 252 yards, plenty for a hat, pair of mitts, or small cowl.

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The masham is naturally dark brown, and just as in Fibre Company Cumbria and Swans Island All American Worsted, the light and dark fibers combine to create a gray base over which all the other colorways are dyed. It complicates the colors in a pleasing way, adding depth and a slight heathered quality.

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Baa Ram Ewe has released some simple accessory patterns for Dovestone DK, showing how nicely it behaves in stripes and stranded colorwork, along with lace and crochet.

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They also enlisted the help of designer Carol Feller, whose new booklet Dovestone Hills is named for the yarn used within.

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Myself, I’ve been anxious to use Dovestone DK for an “Epistrophy” cardigan, from Kate Davies’ Yokes. We saw one hanging in the Baa Ram Ewe booth at market and I’ve been smitten ever since.

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Check out our “DK weight” board on Pinterest for more pattern ideas, and come by the shop to see Dovestone DK for yourself!

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Pre-Market Sale spotlight: Louisa Harding Kashmir DK.

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 Louisa Harding Kashmir DK.

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Louisa Harding Kashmir DK is a machine-washable blend of merino, microfiber, and cashmere. Kashmir DK is a chainette, basically a knitted tube, which makes a lofty and elastic yarn. Each 50 gram skein has 116 yards, and knits up at about 5.5 stitches per inch on a US #6 needle.

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Kashmir DK is the same gauge as the Grace Silk & Wool I wrote about last week, so it’s equally well-suited to the two- and three-color patterns I recommended there.

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Browsing Kashmir DK projects on Ravelry, I noticed a few of Thea Colman’s “Vodka Lemonade” cardigans knit in this yarn, another great use.

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Because Kashmir DK is machine washable, you might find it especially useful for baby and children’s things. I’ve made two modified “Milo” vests now, which are quickly and seamlessly knit in DK weight yarn; Kashmir DK would do nicely there. Also consider Jennifer Hoel’s “Garter Yoke Baby Cardi,” and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic “Baby Surprise Jacket.”

DSCN4569We’re in the final days of the Pre-Market Sale, but there are still lots of great sale yarns left. Come by this weekend to take advantage of these deep discounts as you plan your next projects!

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A reminder: all sales are final on discounted items. 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: Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool.

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 Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool.

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Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool is a single ply, DK weight blend of equal parts merino wool and silk. Each 50 gram ball has 110 yards (enough for a pair of Churchmouse “Welted Fingerless Gloves”), and knits up at about 5.5 stitches per inch on a US #6 needle.

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Everything about this yarn is soft, from its fiber content to its construction; single ply yarns tend to be soft and delicate, a good reason to invest in a Lilly Brush for de-pilling.

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Just a week and a half into the sale, we still have a good selection of colors in Grace Silk & Wool, and in good quantity.

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There are so many great patterns out there for DK weight yarn, and sifting through them on Ravelry, I was particularly drawn to those using two (or more!) colors, as color-combining is a pastime of mine.

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If two-color stripes strike your fancy, consider Veera Välimäki’s “Square and Stripe” pullover, Courtney Kelley’s “Quaking Aspen Shawl,” and Orange Flower Yarn’s “Duotone Cowl.” For stranded colorwork, try Kate Davies’ “Epistrophy” cardigan (from her marvelous book, Yokes) and the matching “Epistropheid” hat.

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If it’s a color trio you prefer, check out Lynn Di Cristina’s striped “Edison” shawl, tincanknit’s “Clayoquot” sweater, and the matching “Clayoquot Toque,” a free hat pattern.

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Come by the shop to put your own colorways together, and come before May 27th to get Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool at a deep discount!

 

A reminder: all sales are final on discounted items. There can be no returns or exchanges, nor special orders–the discount applies only to what we currently have in stock. Thanks!