Work in progress: Charlie’s sweater.

Here on the blog, I like to share finished projects that started their lives as HYS yarns. The works in progress are often just as interesting, however, shining a light on the process that we all love so well. Here’s one such project.


Some months ago, Polly came in wanting to knit a sweater for a good friend’s grandchild. She had a specific vision for the sweater, so specific that she had no choice but to design the thing herself. Thinking, “the sun rises and sets with Charlie,” she got to work.


Armed with Ann Budd’s Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, she selected four shades of Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted and got swatching. Budd’s book gives a range of projects in a range of sizes and gauges, making it a good source for a “blank slate” type of sweater pattern, ready to be embellished. She charted out the text and the sun on graph paper, then knit them in as intarsia motifs, centering them within the total number of stitches on the front of the sweater.


Her last step before piecing the sweater together was to crochet the rays of the sun onto the front. She emailed us this picture of the finished garment, washed and ready for giving.

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Thanks, Polly, for sharing your process with us!

Show and tell: baby things and cowls.

I’m always collecting photos of the beautiful finished pieces knitters and crocheters bring in to share with us, garments that started their lives as HYS yarns. Time for another round of show-and-tell!


Paula knit this baby vest in Swans Island Organic Washable DK, a semisolid merino wool, making for a brighter version of the sample “Cabled Vest” that hangs at the shop. The pattern is from Susie Haumann’s All You Knit Is Love, a sweet booklet of baby things designed for Isager yarns. Much as we adore Isager yarns, we’re all about yarn substitution here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop–a buttery soft machine-washable yarn in the same gauge as the pattern is a perfect fit for this baby sweater.


Margaretta has been one busy knitter lately. She recently knit this “Baby Surprise Jacket” following Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic pattern as written in the updated Knitting Workshop.


She chose yarns in colors that reminded her of Maine, striping one shade of Dream in Color Classy with two shades of Malabrigo Rios. Sometimes, knitters worry about whether or not they’re allowed to mix different brands of yarn in one project, and this little sweater is proof that you needn’t worry. Are the yarns identical? No, but they are comparable, and the result is a seamless transition from one yarn to the next–a perfect sweater.


Of course she had some leftovers, so she knit a little hat to go with, the “Boston Whaler Hat,” to be exact. It’s a Ewe Ewe pattern that Anne has made several times; you may have seen the pink and purple sample at the shop. I love these little green whales, and I particularly love the tubular cast-on Margaretta used to start the ribbing, a technique she found in Leslie Ann Bestor’s Cast On, Bind Off.


Here is Margaretta’s “Mix No. 23” double-knit cowl (did I mention she’s been a busy knitter lately?). Rather than the two strands of Shibui Cima that the pattern calls for, Margaretta used one strand of Cima and one strand of Silk Cloud in the striking color combination of Mineral and Ash.


The result is a shimmering, fuzzy fabric, a delight to wrap around one’s neck, no doubt. Bravo, Margaretta!

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I have a cowl to share, too–the “One Skein Zigzag Cowl” from our informal Knit-Along, knit in the brand new Ewe So Sporty yarn. Come by the shop to see it for yourself, and get a hands-on sense of how this yarn knits up.


This is neither a baby thing nor a cowl, but remarkable show-and-tell nonetheless: Anne recently finished her “Mix No. 19,” a tunic knit with Shibui Silk Cloud held doubled throughout. Light as a feather and soft as can be, this is one luxurious top. It’s a simple knit with thoughtful details, like folded hems on the body, neckline, and armholes.


Thanks to the knitters, crocheters, and other fiber artists who start their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and who share their work with us! We’re lucky to be surrounded by inspiring stitches every day.

Show and tell: accessories.

I’ve seen so many amazing finished garments come through the shop since I last wrote a “show and tell” blog post, especially on the recent Triangle Yarn Crawl, to which so many shoppers wore their handmade best. I can’t always have my camera handy to document the projects that knitters and crocheters create with yarn from the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, but of late, I’ve collected enough for two posts. Here’s the first batch, all accessories.


Here, Emily models her “Daylily Scarf,” knit in String Theory Selku. Looking at her exquisite lace knitting, you’d never guess that Emily learned to knit less than a year ago, in one of Marsha’s Beginning Knitting classes here at the shop. Since then, she has tackled not only this gorgeous scarf and several others, but also fingerless mitts, cable-knitting, and at least one sweater, with plans for more.


Judy was intrigued by Katia Paper when she found it at the shop, and bought a couple of skeins to experiment with. She came back with this crocheted hat, self-designed and perfect for keeping the sun out of one’s eyes–a perfect use for this unusual yarn.


Anne has a recently-completed accessory to share, too–“Yipes Stripes,” a colorful cowl knit in Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted. There are all kinds of knitting techniques tucked into this one little project, from a turned hem to two- and three-color braids, with stripes and slipped stitches in between. Designer Ann Weaver is teaching a class on this cowl at TNNA this summer, and I’m looking forward to attending it. In the meantime, Anne has already knit the thing, and will send me off to class with questions for the teacher.

Thanks to all of you who share your finished pieces with us! Stay tuned for more show and tell this week–all sweaters and vests.

Zigzag Cowl Knit-Along.

Last Spring, we had two Knit-Alongs at the shop: first we knit up the summery “Gemini” tee, and then we made “Hexagonal Market Bags.” Halfway through March, sick of freezing rain and snow, we’ve decided we’re ready for another warm-weather Knit-Along. Inspired by the latest new yarn at the shop, Anne, Rosi and I have both cast on for the “1-Skein Zigzag Cowl,” a pattern by Heather Walpole for Ewe Ewe.


I’m knitting one in Ewe So Sporty, the sport weight superwash merino for which the pattern was written. The yarn is tightly-plied and full of elasticity, well-behaved on my Addi Turbo needles and resulting in a pleasing stretchy fabric.


Thinking Spring, Anne chose Tahki Cotton Classic for her Zigzag Cowl, a dk weight mercerized cotton. Like Ewe So Sporty, Cotton Classic has sharp stitch definition, but like all plant fibers, it lacks elasticity, which will make a lightweight, gently draping fabric. Just the thing for decorating and warming your neck on a moderately chilly day.


Rosi’s cowl is made in Mirasol Nuna, a sport weight blend of merino wool, silk, and bamboo. These fibers combine to be quite soft, a little fuzzy, and a little shiny, and make a relaxed, luxurious fabric.


I’m excited to see how these three different yarns behave in the same pattern. Want to make a “1-Skein Zigzag Cowl” of your own? Join us in this informal Knit-Along. The pattern is available at the shop in print or as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale, where we’ll print a copy for you and save a digital copy to your email or Ravelry pattern library. Any sport or dk weight yarn should do; we have a nice selection of colors in Ewe So Sporty, Tahki Cotton Classic, and Mirasol Nuna, along with all manner of other yarns in those gauges. I’d love to see Zigzag Cowls in Malabrigo Arroyo, Fibre Company Savannah, Mountain Meadow Wool Cody, or String Theory Selku, to name a few. Come by the shop to see all the choices, and to see how Anne, Rosi, and I are progressing on our cowls. We’ll also be posting on the Ravelry HYS group with any lessons learned along the way, just as we did while we were making our Gemini sweaters and market bags. See you at the shop!

Hello, Ewe So Sporty.

This past week, we welcomed a brand new yarn to the shop: Ewe So Sporty, from Ewe Ewe!


Ewe So Sporty is a sport-weight version of the popular Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted, and both are soft and springy machine-washable merino wools with excellent stitch definition.


Along with this new sport weight yarn came a batch of new patterns written just for Ewe So Sporty. It’s a small but varied collection, showing the breadth of uses for this versatile yarn, from baby things to shawls, socks, and other accessories.




Come by the shop to see Ewe So Sporty for yourself!


Back in stock: Ewe Ewe.

Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted has become a staple here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, admired for its softness, easy-care, and steadily growing selection of solid colors. Ewe Ewe’s pattern support covers a range of projects, from baby blankets to small accessories to adult sweaters, a variety of garments that show the versatility of this plush yarn. Last week, we received a large box from Ewe Ewe, nearly doubling our inventory of the stuff, and bringing every missing color back to this basket.


Anne and I have used Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted for two shop samples. Anne made two “Boston Whaler” hats with just two skeins of Wooly Worsted, inverting the colorway for the second hat. The pink-on-indigo version stayed here at the shop, while the indigo-on-pink hat went to her granddaughter, of course.


Now that Ewe Ewe comes in 20 colors, there are plenty more color combinations to play with, which of course is what I found myself doing as Rosi and I unpacked the yarn.




Ewe Ewe has lots of other patterns that call for two colors or more, including the “Easy as ABC Top-Down Raglan Baby Sweater,” the “Layer Cake Cowl,” and the newly released “Fireside Wristlets,” a free pattern for simple ribbed mitts. If you’re not in the market for a baby hat, but you still want to play the Ewe Ewe color-combining game, consider these!


Our second Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted sample is the “Wearever Wrap,” a colorful triangular shawl that I crocheted in just a few afternoons at the shop. When I saw the sample “Wearever Wrap” at market in June, I knew I’d like to make one for the shop, and selecting six colors was half the fun.


I used an H hook (5 mm), which was smaller than recommended in the pattern, and still it blocked out to a nice, generous size.



Come by the shop to flip through the Ewe Ewe pattern binder, admire Wooly Worsted in all 20 shades, and plan your next project!

Ewe Ewe Trunk Show.

We’re delighted to share our latest Trunk Show with you: a bundle of garments made up in Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted Washable.

We’re not short on worsted weight, washable wools at the shop, but this one in particular has become a Hillsborough Yarn Shop favorite for accessories and baby things in rich solid colors.

It’s incredibly soft, obedient on the needles, and comes with plenty of pattern support. Along with the Ewe Ewe Trunk Show, we got lots of Ewe Ewe patterns in, and extra yarn in every available color.

Come by the shop to see, touch, and try on this collection of hats, cowls, sweaters, mitts, and baby things, and to plan your next project in Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted Washable!

A fashion show, a thousand things to see.

Anne and Rosi and I had another long, excitement-and-yarn-filled day here at The National NeedleArts Association Trade Show in Columbus. We got up early for some interesting classes, then hustled over to the fashion show, scoring front row seats, thanks to Rosi.

Then it was time to start walking the showroom floor, where hundreds of vendors had set up displays of their yarn, patterns, books, and accessories. I saw so many things that I’d heard of, but never seen in person, and even more that I’d never heard of at all. There were an overwhelming number of new things to see, but we made sure to visit some familiar faces, as well, to order a few new things from old friends.

After seven hours spent strolling up and down the first five or so aisles of vendors (out of at least a dozen aisles), we dragged ourselves away and back to the room to sort through the business cards and sample skeins we’d acquired throughout the day. There is so much to think about as we decide what to bring into the shop, what would please our knitters and crocheters the most, and how to fill in little gaps in our inventory. We’re having so much fun deciding! And tomorrow, we do it all again, which means that now I must rest up for another big day.