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! 

Pre-Market Sale spotlight: Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy.

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 Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy.

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Hempathy is a dk weight yarn composed of plant fibers: 34% hemp, 41% cotton, and 25% Modal rayon. It knits up into a crisp, lightweight, gently draping fabric, perfect for spring and summer stitching.

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There are so many great uses for Hempathy, from tanks and tees to shawls and scarves, from hand-towels to market bags. In the market bag department, try Hannah Ingalls’ “Ilene Bag,” Gudrun Johnston’s “Shetland Shopper,” and Amy Singer’s “Everlasting Bagstopper,” all free patterns requiring no more than three skeins of Hempathy.

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If it’s a garment you’re after, try Gudrun Johnston’s “Hip in Hemp,” a skirt sized from child to adult, Jane Richmond’s “Gemini” tee, Hannah Fettig’s “Elemental Boatneck,” or Heidi Kirrmaier’s “Buttercup,” “Vesper,” and “After the Rain” sweaters. It was one knitter’s quest for “After the Rain” colorways that got me thinking about color combinations in Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy.

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When I took these photos, I was thinking only of a two-color sweater, but projects on Ravelry attest that “After the Rain” can easily be knit in three or more colors, making the mixing and matching of Hempathy shades that much more interesting. High contrast or low, warm colors or cool, or both… this is a garment that could go in any direction. Come by the shop to create a colorway all your own!

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Come by the shop soon to have the best selection of this gorgeous yarn at this nice price. It’s still early on in the sale, and we have lots of colors to choose from, but they may not last long–hope to see you at the shop soon!

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

String Theory: new colors, show and tell.

Another shipment from String Theory arrived at the shop last week, a box filled with Bluestocking and Merino DK. We also happened to see these two yarns in a couple of beautiful finished projects recently, so I thought I’d share show and tell along with the news of new colors.

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Bluestocking is a soft, sturdy fingering weight yarn composed of 80% Bluefaced Leicester wool and 20% nylon. Bluefaced Leicester wool is known for its long fibers, which make for sturdy, lustrous yarn with a bit of a fuzzy halo. Bluestocking is excellent for socks, but just as nice for scarves, shawls, mitts, and other accessories.

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Pete knit this “North Arrow” with two shades of Bluestocking, one variegated and one semisolid. I love seeing how two colors interact when knit up into thin stripes; they can blend into one another or pop out in contrast, and you can’t be quite sure how they’ll behave until they’re on your needles. Pete’s color choice came out beautifully, and I’m flattered to say that she’s planning to knit a second “North Arrow” in Caper Sock!

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Last week’s box came with three new shades of String Theory Merino DK, a soft and smooth superwash merino yarn in a DK weight. Merino DK is springy and dependable, has sharp stitch definition, and comes in rich, hand-dyed colorways. I’m a big fan of this yarn, having used it for all kinds of projects: two cowls, a hat, a sweater, and a pair of mitts.

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Mary recently pulled a skein of String Theory Merino DK out of her stash to make a “Hermes Baby” hat from the Vivacious Volume One booklet. The simplicity of the stitch pattern gives this particularly variegated colorway room to shine.

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Come by the shop to see our full selection of String Theory yarns, and plan your next project!

New colors in Acadia.

Fibre Company recently introduced new colors in Acadia, a luxurious blend of merino wool, silk, and alpaca.

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We’ve carried Acadia for a few years now, and always delight in adding a new color or two. It’s amazing how just a few new shades deepen the color palette. Suddenly instead of one gray, we have a warm gray and a cool gray, and where we thought we were rich in purples, a deep eggplant shade emerges, expanding the spectrum.

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Anne and I have both been working with Acadia of late. Anne has an “Easy Folded Poncho” on the needles in Acadia’s warm gray, “Driftwood.”

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Last year, Fibre Company’s Courtney Kelley lent us an Acadia poncho that we missed after we sent it back; Anne’s poncho-in-progress will replace it on our walls. It’s nothing but stockinette, but the simplicity of the fabric lets Acadia shine, its silk slubs peeping out every now and then.

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I took three shades of Acadia home to weave a scarf on my Cricket loom, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out.

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Using a 10-dent reed, I warped with Acadia in asymmetric color blocks, creating vertical stripes. I used one shade of blue-green for the better part of the weft, delighting in the way it interacted with the two other colors. There are horizontal stripes of those colors at the beginning and end of the scarf, as well, making a kind of plaid.

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Working from Betty Linn Davenport’s Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving, I paid more careful attention to the tension of the warp, tried hemstitching for the first time, and finished the scarf with twisted fringe.

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Check out the HYS Pinterest page for more Acadia pattern ideas. Come by the shop to see these new colors and plan your next project!

Hello, Rowan.

We’re thrilled to announce that we now carry two yarns from Rowan: say hello to Pure Wool Worsted and Wool Cotton!

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Pure Wool Worsted is a superwash, worsted weight wool that comes in a wide range of colors, including subtle heathered shades that we don’t often see in superwash yarns. Each 100 gram skein boasts 219 yards, enough to knit a hat, small scarf or pair of mittens.

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There are so many uses for medium weight, machine-washable wools, from sweaters and accessories to blankets and baby things, and we carry many yarns like these for exactly that reason. So far, Pure Wool Worsted is the most affordable, however, and we love finding sources for high quality fiber at a reasonable price.

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We put Pure Wool Worsted to the test on our needles and in Anne’s washing machine, and it came out looking good: stitch definition crisp, gauge unchanged, fabric softened. Look for this machine-washed swatch at the shop and feel for yourself.

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Wool Cotton is a dk weight blend of merino wool and cotton, also machine-washable. Each 50 gram skein has 123 yards, enough to knit a baby hat or short pair of fingerless mitts.

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Working with Wool Cotton, we were impressed by the smooth, obedient quality of the yarn, and pleased to see it come out of the washing machine looking like new.

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Cotton and wool make a lovely fiber blend for our climate, particularly in a dk weight. I can see Wool Cotton in the same wide variety of projects that suit Pure Wool Worsted: sweaters large and small, baby blankets, hats, mitts, shawls, and cowls. Look for more project ideas and pattern inspiration on the HYS Pinterest page, and come by the shop to plan your next project with Rowan yarns!