Hello, Sincere Sheep.

This past Wednesday, a box arrived at the shop that we’ve been eagerly anticipating since June. We’re proud to announce that we now carry three yarns from Sincere Sheep. Based in Northern California, Sincere Sheep produces naturally dyed yarns from U.S. sourced fibers. We met Brooke at TNNA in June and were blown away by the vivid colors she achieves with natural dyes.

I was the lucky knitter who got to play with a skein of Sincere Sheep Equity Sport while we deliberated at market. The Equity Sport is 100% Rambouillet wool, grown and spun in Buffalo, WY. I read up on Rambouillet wool in Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Book of Wool, a favorite resource, and learned that Rambouillet is a breed of sheep, a relative of Merino known for its soft, springy fiber.

Where Merino stretches and drapes, Rambouillet has a surprising sturdiness, given its softness. I used the Equity Sport to knit a sample fingerless mitt for the shop, a garment it’s well suited to. I also think it would make lovely hats and sweaters.

When we saw that there was an Equity Fingering as well, we had to get both. I think it would be perfect for colorwork projects, or on a bigger needle for draping shawls and cowls.

On the last day of market, we came back to Sincere Sheep to order a third yarn: Luminous, a dk weight blend of Tussah Silk and Polwarth wool. Polwarth is another finewool, like Merino and Rambouillet, but one with a slight sheen and greater strength from longer fibers. Luminous comes in big, 330 yard skeins, enough to do a generous scarf, cowl, or small shawl. We got two patterns from designer Kira Dulaney that call for dk weight yarn with single skeins of Luminous in mind.

Come by the shop to see these gorgeous yarns from Sincere Sheep!

Hello, Green Mountain Spinnery.

We’re so excited to announce that we now carry two yarns from Green Mountain Spinnery, a Vermont company that makes yarn exclusively from U.S. grown natural fibers. They process those fibers without the use of harsh chemicals, which is better for the world as well as the yarn. Green Mountain Spinnery is also known for its commitment to sustainability and to supporting regional sheep farmers and organic practices, and, oh yes–they are also well known for their beautiful yarns.

When we first saw Green Mountain Spinnery at TNNA in June, we were taken by the cozy-looking display of all their yarns.

It was hard to pick just two to bring into the shop, but there’s only so much room for new inventory, so we settled on Sylvan Spirit and New Mexico Organic, two dk weight yarns with distinct personalities.

Sylvan Spirit is a single ply yarn composed of 50% fine wool and 50% Tencel, which gives it a slight sheen. Clara Parkes gave Sylvan Spirit a glowing review back in 2004, noting in particular that this blend of fibers makes it a particularly good choice for those who live in warm climates. It has the elasticity of wool and the breathability of plant fibers: a perfect pairing for North Carolina, and one of our reasons for choosing it.

Anne quickly knit up a sample fingerless mitt in Sylvan Spirit, and we were both impressed by the crisp stitch definition in spite of the tweedy quality of the color. The pattern is Cafe Au Lait Mitts, available as a free download on Ravelry.

New Mexico Organic is undyed, and thus comes in only two colors: white and gray. These two colors don’t disappoint, though; to my eye, they are perfect in their simplicity. (Clara Parkes, who reviewed the yarn in 2007, seems to agree.) The yarn is hearty and wholesome to knit with, sturdy yet bouncy. Anne has kindly saved the sample skein for me to knit, and though I’m anxious to get my hands on it, I haven’t decided how best to show it off yet. Another pair of mitts? Mittens? A cabled hat?

These yarns truly excite and inspire us, and we hope you feel the same way. Come by the shop to meet these two yarns from Green Mountain Spinnery!

More new colors from String Theory.

String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns are a Hillsborough Yarn Shop favorite. After being closed for reorganization, we reopened the shop with new colors in three String Theory yarns: Caper Sock, Bluestocking, and Merino DK.

You can find them all in the second room of the shop. Caper Sock and Bluestocking share a basket in the Fingering Weight section, and Merino DK hangs on a yarn tree in the DK Weight corner. See you there!

Berroco Pure Pima.

Allow me to introduce you to one of the Berroco yarns we have on sale this week: Pure Pima.

Pure Pima is a dk weight cotton which comes in bright, solid colors, with 115 yards on each 50 gram ball. I’ve written here before about a lovely Norah Gaughan sweater we have at the shop made in Pure Pima, which beautifully illustrates its use in garments. Poking around on Ravelry, I found a cute free pattern from Knitty which calls for Pure Pima–a retro-styled sleeveless top called “Petrie.” What else is a dk weight cotton good for? Baby sweaters, blankets and hats, of course, as well as lightweight shawls and scarves, market bags… and dishcloths.

Yes, I took home a few fistfulls of Pure Pima over the weekend and started knitting a kitchen towel, using the classic Ballband Dishcloth pattern with a few extra pattern repeats. It’s a classic for a reason, as it turns out: free, easy to memorize, and pleasant to look at. I never thought I’d knit something that I planned to wipe my hands, dishes, and counters with, but there you have it: I’m knitting a kitchen towel and loving it.

Come by the shop to pick up some Pure Pima for your own burgeoning collection of handknit kitchenwares, or for any other project wanting dk weight cotton. Be sure to check out the other discounted Berroco yarns this week, too!


Just a reminder–all sales are final on sale items; there can be no exchanges, no returns, nor will we special order. Thanks!

Hello, Araucania Ruca.

This drop stitch scarf, lent to us by Amy, has been getting a lot of attention since we put it up at the shop a few weeks ago. Like Nancy’s Kauni shawl, it wont be at the shop forever, so I thought I’d document it here on the blog.

The yarn is Araucania Ruca, a dk-weight yarn made of 100% sugarcane fiber, and it’s a particularly good match for the pattern. Plant fibers like sugarcane, bamboo, and cotton all lack elasticity, giving them a tendency to stretch out of shape. For some projects, that would be a disadvantage to account for by changing needle size or even adding an elastic thread, but for a drop stitch scarf, it’s a perfect fit. The elongated stitches of the seafoam stitch pattern drape beautifully in a plant fiber.
Amy’s scarf has gotten a lot of knitters interested in the Ruca yarn, so we ordered a few new colors to give aspiring drop stitch scarf makers more options. We were disappointed to discover that Araucania no longer produces the same colorway that Amy used, but we got two similar colorways for those that want the same look. 
Take a look at the Ruca when you’re seeking a smooth, shiny plant fiber, and if you’d like to make a drop stitch scarf of your own, you can download the pattern for free on Ravelry. See you at the shop!

Bergere de France Berlaine, on sale!

If you’ve been to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, you’re probably already familiar with the sale trunk.

Just in front of the desk, a trunk overflows with discounted yarns. The contents of the trunk are ever-changing, and this week, we added something new: Bergere de France Berlaine, a dk weight superwash wool.

Most of the yarns in the sale trunk are dwindling in quantity, with only a handful of skeins in any one color. Not so for Berlaine–if there’s not enough for your project in the trunk, just ask us for more, and we’ll gladly check our stash in the back room. We may even have sweater quantities of this lovely stuff in a few colors, depending on the sweater. The machine-washability of this yarn makes it particularly well suited to children’s things, or the kinds of accessories that sometimes need to be thrown into the wash. Dig into the sale trunk, folks! There’s plenty of good, inexpensive yarn waiting there.

Hello, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK.

Debbie Bliss yarns have become something of a staple at the shop over the years. Her Cashmerino yarns are soft, machine washable, and come in a wide range of colors and weights, from sport to super-bulky. Patterns for Debbie Bliss yarns are plentiful and reliable. Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK may not be the latest, most exciting new yarn, but we’ve been quietly keeping it in stock since Anne opened the shop five years ago, and it’s made many a knitter happy over those years.

A few weeks ago, we added several new colors to our Cashmerino DK collection and replenished some that were low in quantity. Pleased by the new, expanded spectrum, I snapped a picture or two, which were soon forgotten in the excitement surrounding newer yarns.

Shame on me, forgetting Cashmerino DK like that! A yarn that I’ve used to make sweaters for myself and for my two-year-old niece, that I’ve saved the scraps of for colorwork hats, that I’ve recommended over and over again to those seeking soft, washable yarns for all kinds of projects. A yarn that Anne turned to just a few months ago to make fingerless mitts for her daughter. We have wonderful new yarns coming in all the time, it seems, but they are surrounded by equally lovely yarns, many of which have been at the shop for years. Cashmerino DK is one of them, so consider it when looking for a dk weight wool in solid colors. See you at the shop!

Hello, String Theory.

I know I said we were elated at the arrival of Jitterbug last week–and really, we were! But that was before yesterday’s shipment from String Theory, a new yarn company for us. Yesterday, excitement erupted at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop as Anne pulled skein after skein of beautiful hand-dyed yarn out of the box, passing them around to an appreciative group of knitters who petted, hugged, and admired the new yarn with great delight. Several of them decided they couldn’t leave without a skein, and so they were here and gone before they even made it onto the shelf. Luckily, there is still plenty to show off. Have a look at what all of the fuss is about.

String Theory is a small company out of Blue Hill, Maine, a two-woman operation that has been getting a lot of attention recently. String Theory was recently profiled in Coastal Knits, a lovely pattern collection that we’re forever reordering. Clara Parkes mentioned them in a recent post on Knitter’s Review, which led me back to her Knitter’s Book of Socks, where I found patterns using both of the String Theory sock yarns we just got in.

String Theory’s Caper Sock is a luxurious fingering weight yarn, a blend of superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon. Cookie A’s pattern from Knitter’s Book of Socks, below, uses the Caper Sock yarn with lovely results.

Bluestocking, on the other hand, is perhaps the more interesting of the two String Theory sock yarns because of its fiber content: 80% Bluefaced Leicester wool and 20% nylon. Bluefaced Leicester is a particular breed of sheep known for its long, strong fibers, which ought to make a particularly durable pair of socks. (Care to learn more about breed-specific wools? Put Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Book of Wool on your holiday wish list, or give it to yourself as a gift. Fascinating stuff!) It’s rare and exciting to see a yarn label that specifies the breed of sheep whose wool is inside it, with the exception of the ubiquitous Merino. I can’t wait to give Bluestocking a try, perhaps using Ann Budd’s pattern from Knitter’s Book of Socks.

The third and final kind of yarn we received from String Theory this week is their Merino DK, a name which speaks for itself. I can add little else to describe it, though I’ll mention that it’s superwash, squishy and soft, and that each 100 gram skein is packed with 280 yards. At a dk weight, that can easily take you through a hat, cowl, pair of mittens, or maybe even a scarf.

Come by the shop and we’ll be sure to show you in person all that I’ve shown you here. Forgive us if we can hardly contain our delight: we love yarn, we love knitting, and we are utterly irrepressible. See you at the shop!

Hello, Malabrigo.

Here is a yarn with a fanbase.

Malabrigo Silky Merino and Malabrigo Rios are back in stock! It’s been a long wait, and as we waited, our Malabrigo stash dwindled into a sad little stack of mismatching skeins. “Is the Malabrigo here yet?” became a common inquiry, always met with a sad shake of the head. Now that the full range of colors are back together, those sad skeins are looking much happier.

Above, you’ll see a slice of the Rios spectrum, a washable worsted weight wool. Below: Silky Merino, a dk weight single ply blend of, as the name suggests, silk and merino wool.

Come by the shop to take a look!

What we’ve made room for, part 2.

 Another day, another bunch of new yarns to report on…

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A box arrived from Great Adirondack Yarn Co. recently, and tucked inside it were these four shiny colors of Sea Breeze, a dk weight blend of cotton, rayon, and linen. Also: a shimmery, summery shawl pattern to go with it.

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Great Adirondack is also responsible for our modest new collection of rainbow-colored roving. If roving is your thing, come in and take a look at these. If roving is not your thing, come in and take a look at these and wonder if roving should be your thing.

From Tedman & Kvist: Colina, a textured blend of cotton and linen. From Anne’s knitting basket: two balls of Colina, soon to be two baby-sweaters-in-the-works for two particular babies-in-the-works.

New from Elsebeth Lavold, we have ViSilk, a dk weight blend of viscose and silk, soft, shiny, and light. 
That wraps up our introductions for the moment. See you at the shop!