Back in stock: Malabrigo Arroyo.

Malabrigo Arroyo is back in stock!

This sport weight superwash merino is a favorite around here, and its cubby was looking empty before this week’s shipment arrived.

Each 100 gram skein of Arroyo boasts 335 yards, enough for a scarf, cowl, shawlette, hat, tiny baby sweater, or pair of mitts. Here are a few pattern ideas, projects that knitters on Ravelry have used Arroyo for again and again:

We have two samples at the shop knit with Malabrigo Arroyo, as well – a newborn-sized “Baby Surprise Jacket,” and a “Drop Stitch Scarf.” Though the latter calls for worsted weight yarn on a US 8 needle, I made our sample with one skein of Arroyo on a US 7, casting on an extra pattern repeat to make up the difference in width.

You’ll find Malabrigo Arroyo in the sport weight section here at our shop, and check out our whole selection of Malabrigo yarns while you’re here!

Show and tell: for little ones.

Our last round of show and tell focused primarily on adult sweaters, which are satisfying to see completed in part because they’re such big projects, and also because there’s a great need for them to fit just so. When they come out to our expectations, we’re especially happy. Garments for little ones take less time to make, but they hold a different set of hopes, just as dear to us. Here are some baby and children’s knits we’ve seen completed of late.

Emily knit this “In Threes” cardigan with Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted, a super-soft superwash merino yarn that is ideal for baby projects.

Paula has been knitting with Wooly Worsted, too, preparing for the birth of her grandson-to-be. She recently completed this “Baby Turtle Frenzy Blanket,” designed by our own Amy Wentley, and backed it with fabric to make a spectacular nursery wall-hanging.

She didn’t stop there, of course – Paula also knit this little sweater and hat. The pattern is “Lullaby Layette,” and the yarn is CoopKnits Socks Yeah! DK, a squishy superwash yarn just right for this kind of project.

Not all baby things must be machine-washable, of course; it’s a matter of preference when it comes to washing woolens by hand. This little sweater was made with Fibre Company Arranmore, a handwash-only blend of merino, silk, and cashmere. I’ve shared Katherine’s “Fisherman’s Pullover” sweater on the blog before, but when we were visited by Elizabeth herself wearing the sweater in question, a photo had to be taken. There is simply something special about a tiny person in a handmade sweater!

Susan knit this lovely “Baby Surprise Jacket” with Fibre Company Acadia, a special gift for a premature baby. This single color version is exquisite in its simplicity, letting the rich color with its tweedy flecks be the star of the show, along with Elizabeth Zimmermann’s genius engineering.

Thanks to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We love hearing your ideas and helping you find just the right yarns and tools to realize them. See you at the shop!

Back in stock: Lang Merino+ Color.

Somewhere in the recent rush of exciting new fall yarns, a big box of Lang Merino+ Color arrived.

This order brought sold-out colors back into stock, along with three new colorways.

Again and again, knitters reach for this yarn when they see it on the shelf, drawn by its unique color combinations and soft, smooth texture.

One 196 yard ball is enough for a hat or pair of mittens, two can make a big, cozy cowl or a cute, quick-knitting baby sweater.

Tom made this baby sweater with Lang Merino+ Color, using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic “Baby Surprise Jacket” pattern. It’s a great pattern for self-striping yarns because of its unusual, ingenious one-piece construction; no matter how the stripes fall, they’ll match all across the sweater.

Look for Lang Merino+ Color in the aran weight section here at the shop!

Back in stock: Schoolhouse Press.

Every so often we find ourselves running low on books or patterns from Schoolhouse Press, and when it’s time to reorder, Anne and I love checking their website for a new book or pattern that we might bring in along with our old favorites.

We had run out of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic “Adult, Baby and Child’s Surprise Jacket” pattern, along with her grandson Cully Swansen’s The Complete Surprise. The first two volumes of Barbara Walker’s treasuries had sold out over the holidays, as had Mary Rowe’s book of fair isle tams. All of those had to come home to our shelves, but we wanted a little something new, too.

This new-to-us issue of Wool Gathering caught our eye, perhaps because of the fair isle that we love so well. These 8 hats are knit in a variety of gauges and styles, all cleverly designed by Meg Swansen and her late mother, Elizabeth Zimmermann. Look for them in our Schoolhouse Press pattern binder, by the front window.

We try to keep most, if not all, of Zimmermann’s books in stock here at the shop, along with a variety of other Schoolhouse Press publications. Come by the shop to browse them all!

The Complete Surprise.

Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “Baby Surprise Jacket” is a classic pattern and a feat of creative knitted engineering.

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It’s one that we always have copies of, though when we went to reorder it from Schoolhouse Press, we also noticed a new book on the subject: The Complete Surprise. No surprise, you’ll now find both the single pattern and this new book here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

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Elizabeth Zimmermann’s grandson, Cully Swansen, is the mind behind this book and a designer in his own right. Inside The Complete Surprise, you’ll find thorough instructions for adult-, baby-, and child-sized Surprise Jackets, with new custom sizing info and all manner of Surprise variations.

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Look for The Complete Surprise on the teacart here at the shop, and remember that everything (including brand new books!) is 15% off during our Annual Inventory Sale and Book Raffle. For each book you buy this July, you’ll receive a raffle ticket, an entry to win a signed copy of an exciting new knitting book. See you at the shop!

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Just a reminder–all sales are final on discounted items; there can be no exchanges, returns, or special orders. Thanks!

Show and tell: stripes and colorwork.

We’re back with another round of show and tell! Here are some of the finished projects we’ve had the good fortune to admire lately, all of whom began as yarn on our shelves. Today, let’s look at projects featuring stripes and colorwork.

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Paula knit this “Chevron Baby Blanket” with Berroco Modern Cotton, modifying the pattern a bit to knit at a slightly smaller gauge. She swatched to figure out how wide each pattern repeat would be with her yarn, then added stitches to her cast-on so that her blanket would come out the desired size.

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Paula also finished this “wwwww #1” recently, a lined headband by Kate Davies. Paula used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift for the colorwork exterior, and soft-as-can-be Shibui Maai for the lining. Nicely done, Paula!

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Margaretta recently knit Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic “Baby Surprise Jacket” with Fibre Company Canopy Worsted, and used her leftovers to make a “Boston Whaler” hat. I love her unexpected combination of sage green, steely gray, and bright fuschia, especially with those perfect pink buttons!

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Margaretta has also been working on General Hogbuffer’s “Slippery Slope Socks,” using the solid CoopKnits Socks Yeah! and the self-striping Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball. Since I snapped this picture of the first finished sock, she’s completed the pair, and plans to make another with different colors.

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Judie’s “Wildheart” shawl was also knit with self-striping yarn, Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL. She added a picot bind-off to an otherwise unadorned edge; a little something that I think makes the whole shawl shine.

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Thanks to the talented knitters who shared their work with us today, and to all the fiber artists who begin their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We love seeing what you’re working on!

More and more new colors in Shetland Spindrift.

It’s been about a year since I last wrote about Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift here on the blog. Our little basket of Shetland Spindrift has grown over the past year, as interest in the yarn and in colorwork knitting has grown here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

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Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift is a classic fingering weight 2-ply shetland wool. It comes in little 25 gram balls to accommodate fair-isle knitters and their many-colored projects, for they don’t always need much yardage in any one shade.

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Shetland Spindrift comes in 200+ colors, and though we can’t have them all in stock, we’re more than happy to order whatever colors you like, in whatever quantity.

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We’ve expanded our selection of colors one special request at a time, and now I associate these shades with particular knitters and their projects: a palette of undyed shades for a “Sheep Heid” tam, rich blues and greens to recreate a favorite striped sweater, a few bright shades to perk up a growing stash of Shetland wool for colorwork knitting, autumnal rusts and mossy greens for a series of slip-stitch scarves, and so on.

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We’ve seen lots of finished projects in Shetland Spindrift, too. Here’s Ruth in her “Mitered Cardigan,” from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knit One, Knit All. With guidance from Nancy during last year’s class on the subject, Ruth knit this unusually-constructed cardigan in record time for such a fine gauge yarn.

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One of Shetland Spindrift’s many lovely qualities is the structure it brings to knitted fabric, which is critical for a good-sized garment mostly in garter stitch. I’m certain Ruth’s sweater will look as lovely years from now as it does in this photo.

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Here’s my “Puffin,” from Kate Davies’ Colours of Shetland, a sweater that you’ve likely seen on my person if you’ve been by the shop in the past several months. I loved knitting it, love wearing it, and anticipate making another Kate Davies sweater with Shetland Spindrift sometime soon.

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Amy brought in her “First Footing,” an elaborate pair of colorwork socks designed by Kate Davies. This half of the pair is currently on display at the shop, so you can get a good look at it while you browse our baskets of Shetland Spindrift.

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I know there’s plenty of Shetland Spindrift out there on the needles; we’d love to see what you’re making with it! Come by the shop to share your progress and plan your next project. See you there!

Vogue Knitting.

The latest Vogue is here!

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This Fall 2014 issue is packed with sweater patterns, using a variety of techniques from cables to colorwork. Ready-to-wear clothing designer Eileen Fisher contributes a pattern, as well.

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Meg Swansen’s column discusses the process of updating Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic Knitting Workshop, a beloved book that will always have a home on our shelves here at the shop as well as in my home library.

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Come by the shop to browse the latest magazines and books, or plunge instead into the good old Elizabeth Zimmermann collection–wherever you find inspiration. See you there!

Summer show and tell.

It’s time again for show-and-tell! Here are a few of the projects we’ve seen at the shop so far this summer. Summer knitting means something different to every knitter. Some folks put down their needles and hooks all summer long, but others stitch summer garments, sweaters for fall, smaller pieces that travel well, lightweight lace shawls, and more.

DSCN3282Here’s Ruth in her “Mix No. 19,” a color-blocked tunic knit with two strands of Shibui Silk Cloud held together throughout. In black and dark gray, this lustrous, fuzzy yarn makes an elegant garment.

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Jorah came by the shop recently with show and tell: a pair of cabled socks he knit with some String Theory Bluestocking in “Java,” a rich brown colorway.

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Betty recently completed this “Sonetto Shawl” with Isager Alpaca 2.

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Our sample “Sonetto” is made in two colors, but one solid color makes an equally beautiful shawl, especially in such a soft and delightful yarn.

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I recently finished my “Sonora,” a Courtney Kelley pattern featured in our recent Fibre Company Summer Sweaters Trunk Show. I used Berroco Maya, and knit a size that gave me about 3″ of negative ease instead of the 2″ of positive ease that the pattern suggests. As a result, it fits me snugly instead of loosely, exactly what I had in mind.

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Last weekend, Amy brought in her “Baby Surprise Jacket” knit in Malabrigo Arroyo, a sample for her upcoming class on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic pattern. Come by the shop to see it for yourself, and act quickly if you’d like to take one of the last remaining spaces in the class!

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Molly has been knitting sweaters for all her grandchildren this summer. Here’s a pair for her granddaughters, modified from a Debbie Bliss pattern so that they could be knit in the round instead of in pieces. She used a variety of DK weight superwash yarns from Sublime and Debbie Bliss, letting her girls choose the colors. I love the results!

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Thanks to everyone who starts and completes their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We feel so lucky to be part of your creative process.

Show and tell.

It’s time again for show-and-tell! We’re fortunate to see many knit and crochet projects come through the shop, and when I’m able, I like to photograph them and share them here on the blog.

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René brought in her “Celeste,” a beautiful beaded lace shawl knit in Swans Island Organic Merino Fingering.

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René designed, named, and knit this shawl for her sister, and the pattern can be found in Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders. 

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Jane fell in love with Grace Anna Farrow’s “Twinleaf” shawl at last year’s Fibre Company Trunk Show and recently completed one of her own.

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Knit in Fibre Company Meadow, this two-color garter stitch shawl is elegant in its simplicity, decorated with thin stripes and shaped with short-rows. I love Jane’s color-combination: ”Fennel” and “Cornflower.”

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Rosi finished her “One-Skein Zigzag Cowl” in Mirasol Nuna, as part of our informal “Zigzag Cowl” Knit-Along. Look for it at the shop in the sport-weight section, alongside my cowl in Ewe So Sporty.

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I have a little show and tell, too. A few months ago, I designed and knit this little sweater for my niece, using three shades of Cascade 220 Superwash Sport.

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I gathered some of my favorite books to guide me, using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s updated Knitting Workshop for seamless sweater construction, Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters for sizing, and Mary Jane Mucklestone’s 200 Fair Isle Motifs for some of the patterning. I had so much fun making this thing that it almost didn’t matter if it fit her or not–but I am so delighted that it does, and that she likes wearing it!

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Thanks to everyone who starts and completes their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We feel so lucky to be part of your creative process.