New Late Bloomer yarn bowls.

Our friend Frumet recently stopped by with a brand new batch of ceramic yarn bowls. Frumet is a local potter who makes beautiful functional pieces here in the Triangle, and we’ve carried her buttons and yarn bowls for a few years now.

This time around, we requested shades of blue, and Frumet delivered – from cobalt and indigo to teal and sage, this batch is a beauty.

Yarn bowls are designed to hold your ball of yarn as you’re knitting or crocheting from it, keeping it from rolling around on the floor or getting tangled with notions in your bag. Just place the ball in the bowl and thread your working yarn through the spiral cut-out in the side.

A yarn bowl makes a special gift for a knitter or crocheter, whether it’s a treat for yourself or for someone else. Come by soon to snag one of these special bowls; we have just four in stock, though Frumet will be cooking up more in her kiln soon. See you at the shop!

New Late Bloomer yarn bowls.

Our friend Frumet stopped by this week with a brand new batch of ceramic yarn bowls. Frumet is a local potter who makes beautiful functional pieces here in the Triangle, and we’ve carried her buttons and yarn bowls for a few years now.

Yarn bowls are designed to hold your ball of yarn as you’re knitting or crocheting from it, keeping it from rolling around on the floor or getting tangled with notions in your bag. Just place the ball in the bowl and thread your working yarn through the spiral cut-out in the side.

Every one of Frumet’s yarn bowls is unique, and we’ve enjoyed seeing a variety of colors and textures over the years. She creates this stamped effect by burning a pattern into a sponge, and using that to apply glaze.

A beautiful yarn bowl makes an exquisite gift for a knitter or crocheter, something to keep in mind with graduations, Father’s and Mother’s Days approaching. Whether it’s a gift for you or someone else, come by soon to snag one of these special bowls; we have just four in stock, though Frumet will be cooking up more in her kiln soon. See you at the shop!

Back in stock: Akerworks Swatch Gauge.

The Akerworks Swatch Gauge is among our favorite notions, and we’re delighted to have a new batch of them on our shelves!

The Swatch Gauge is a tool for measuring gauge, a heavy plastic one with cut-outs for counting how many stitches or rows make four inches, horizontally and vertically. We first read about it on Knitter’s Review, where Clara Parkes’ enthusiasm for the product caught our eye.

The defining feature of the Akerworks Swatch Gauge is what Clara Parkes refers to as “honesty teeth.” These little teeth hold your fabric flat as you measure, simultaneously discouraging you from tugging or smoothing it this way or that to get gauge under false pretenses. We’ve all done it – you really want to get gauge, after all! – and knitted fabric is stretchy enough to accommodate our wishful thinking. This Swatch Gauge allows you to count stitches and rows hands-free for the least-biased gauge measurement possible. What a brilliant design!

Look for the Akerworks Swatch Gauge in our notions department. Pick up one for yourself, of course, but also remember them as clever gifts for the knitters in your life. See you at the shop!

Back in stock: Binkwaffle bags.

We’re so happy to have a fresh supply of Binkwaffle bags on our shelves!

Binkwaffles are colorful, reversible, dumpling-shaped project bags. They’re made primarily from US-made fabrics, a detail we were pleased to learn from their new tags.

Knitters and crocheters love them because they’re both functional and whimsical. Our most recent shipment boasts a variety of prints, some familiar and some brand new, in large and small sizes.

A large Binkwaffle bag is roomy enough to accommodate a big wrap, baby blanket, or sweater in progress. The small size, on the other hand, is a perfect way to tote a hat, sock, cowl, or pair of mitts in progress.

Come by the shop to see them all! Please call ahead if there’s a particular style you’d like to claim; these colorful bags sell fast, especially during the holiday season. See you at the shop!

Swans Island colorwork kits.

As the holidays approach, we meet more and more folks seeking presents for the knitters in their lives. With the gift-giving season in mind, we’ve put together some new kits featuring yarn and patterns from Swans Island.

Each kit features a colorwork pattern and all the yarn to complete it. They’d make great gifts for knitters who love colorwork, of course, but I’d also recommend them for those who haven’t yet mastered this particular technique, as small projects like hats and mitts are a good size for learning.

The yarn is All American Sport, a 2-ply woolen-spun yarn composed of 100% Rambouillet wool, which was grown, processed, spun, and dyed in the USA. It’s a unique combination of next-to-skin soft and holds-its-shape sturdy, and was created with stranded colorwork in mind. 

Come by the shop if you’re seeking gifts for a friend or materials to make them with – we hope you find inspiration here!

Hello, Kelbourne Woolens Germantown.

The inspiring women of Kelbourne Woolens have just released their fourth new yarn, one for each season of their 10th year in business. Meet Germantown!

Germantown is a North American sourced yarn with a story to tell, a recreation of a classic wool that had been produced in Germantown, Pennsylvania, under a few different brand names since the mid-to-late 19th century.

Courtney Kelley, one of the founders of Kelbourne Woolens, writes beautifully on the KW blog about her dream to remake Germantown, and what it took to realize that dream. Also on their blog, historian Nic Tenaglia writes more about the history of Germantown yarns, how they were produced and where they got their name – a very interesting read!

Germantown is made of 100% North American wool, Territorial wool, to be precise. On the KW blog, Kelley elaborates that Territorial wool is “a bit of an archaic name for wool that comes from the former US Territories, broadly anything west of the Missouri River, but in the case of Germantown, mostly from Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The most prevalent breeds are Rambouillet, Targhee, Columbia, and Polpay.” This makes for a worsted spun yarn with a smooth texture, soft hand, and nice elasticity.

With a suggested gauge of 16-20 stitches over 4″, Germantown is worsted weight, that versatile category in which most of us begin our knitting and crocheting. The Kelbourne Woolens team see this yarn as a classic basic wool for beginners as well as more advanced stitchers – easy to work with, with good stitch definition, but at a reasonable price for a domestically-produced yarn of this quality. With that in mind, they’ve created the KW Building Blocks collection.

This collection consists of three basic patterns: a hat, a scarf, and mittens. Each one has three variations, taking knitters from the simplest stitches to more complicated patterns, one step at a time. I can see one of these patterns as a great gift for a new knitter, along with a few skeins of Germantown. You can read more about KW Building Blocks on their blog, and buy the patterns on Ravelry or here at the shop as an in-store sale.

Looking for a bigger project to sink your teeth into? Consider Karen Templer’s “Anna Vest,” a textured waistcoat knit with Germantown. Plenty more worsted weight pattern inspiration can be found on our HYS Pinterest boards, too!

Look for Germantown in our worsted weight section here at the shop!

Back in stock: Classy mini-skeins.

Dream in Color Classy mini-skeins are back in stock, and how!

Dream in Color only occasionally produces these 50-yard mini-skeins of their worsted weight superwash wool, Classy, and the color selection is different every time. Our last restock back in June was our biggest yet, and it sold out so quickly that we requested an equally big batch as soon as they were available again. Happy to report that the time has come!

Some are highly variegated, some are semi-solid, some are speckled, and some are hybrids, but all are hand-dyed, so there’s some color variation in each skein.

Nancy Leuer’s “Technicolor Cowl” calls for 8 of these mini-skeins, and just as before, I’ve had fun creating color combinations and kits for this project. Because we have somewhat different colors in this group than last time, I’ve created six brand new colorways.

Don’t feel limited to these combinations, however – consider them a jumping off point for your own unique cowls.

Look for “Technicolor Cowl” kits and Dream in Color Classy mini-skeins in the worsted weight section!

Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 8: Merry Making.

The eighth installment of the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide series is here! Let’s take a peek inside.

Ann Shayne and Kaye Gardiner’s series of Field Guides are pocket-sized booklets focused on a particular theme or knitting technique. This little book is dedicated to small projects that make great gifts.

As in every Field Guide, Ann and Kaye’s ruminations on the topic at hand are featured, but they’ve also brought designer Thea Colman in for a few patterns and a cocktail recipe.

Look for the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 8 on our teacart, with the latest books and magazines. See you at the shop!

Handywoman.

I’m delighted to announce that Kate Davies’ newest book has arrived at the shop!

Handywoman is Davies’ memoir of a life of craft, one shaped by a stroke she suffered at age 36. Her brain injury changed how she saw and moved through the world, and how she made her living in it. Hers is a story of adaptivity and creativity, one I’ve followed for years on her blog.

Kate Davies is a knitwear designer and writer who I very much admire, for her traditional-looking, smartly-crafted patterns as well as her academic approach to textiles. Her books often blend knitting patterns and prose, and I’ve been a fan of both those elements, knitting sweater after sweater as avidly as I’ve read her essays on textiles and history. I’m keenly looking forward to reading what she has to say about her own life, and about disability in general. Her recent and fascinating TEDx talk is a good preview of her approach to the subject matter, and definitely worth watching.

I find it especially impressive that Davies has brought Handywoman into the world under her own publishing imprint, expanding the scope of Kate Davies Designs from pattern books to include narrative-based books like this one. Her blog post about the process of creating Handywoman is interesting and inspiring, and shows just how much work goes into making books, from writing and design to printing and promotion.

Along with this new book, we’ve restocked some of our favorite Davies titles: Colours of Shetland, Yokes, Happit, and West Highland Way. Come by to peruse them all, especially if you’re unfamiliar with her work – she’s truly a unique voice in the world of knitwear, one with an important perspective to share.

Look for Handywoman on the teacart here at the shop!