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!

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!

Back in stock: Cocoknits Maker’s Keep.

A big box from cocoknits arrived this week, bearing all manner of markers, cable needles, stitch stoppers, blocking kits, and other knitterly necessities. Today, I’ll shine a light on one of our favorites, the Maker’s Keep.

The cocoknits Maker’s Keep is a silicone slap bracelet with a magnetic face, designed to keep your tools close at hand as you knit. It works well with metal darning needles and cable needles, cocoknits’ stitch markers and row counter, T-pins, and more – any steel accessories will cling to your Keep.

Cocoknits named it the Maker’s Keep because it’s not just for knitters. We’ve had lots of sewists come by to snag one of these clever tools, loving the way it keeps straight pins handy. It also features a set of measuring lines for inches and centimeters on the underside of the bracelet – a clever detail to suit a variety of makers.

Look for Maker’s Keeps and other cocoknits products in our notions section here at the shop!

New prints from Binkwaffle.

We’re so happy to have five new prints from Binkwaffle on our shelves!

Binkwaffles are colorful, reversible, dumpling-shaped project bags. Knitters and crocheters love them because they’re both functional and whimsical. Usually we order a random assortment of whatever fabrics Holly has on hand, but when we heard that she was debuting new prints, we wanted them right away.

Holly’s latest creations are full of colorful creatures. We’ve got blue and white elephants, orange and aqua foxes, and black and white puppies, along with aqua pineapples and pink and orange flowers.

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, and come quickly or call ahead if there’s a particular style you’d like to claim; these colorful bags sell fast!

See you at the shop!

Wrist Rulers.

Another giftworthy new item has found a home here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – Wrist Rulers!

Wrist Rulers are leather bracelets engraved with inches and centimeters, handmade in Portland, Oregon.

(So many good things come out of Portland, OR – Brooklyn Tweed yarns and ILOVEHANDLES Wrist Rulers are just two!)

These leather wrist rulers are beautiful and practical, a winning combination in our book.

We have three colors in stock – natural, red, and dark – and they come in three lengths, to wrap twice around a variety of wrist sizes – 15″, 17″, and 18″. To choose a size, loosely wrap a measuring tape twice around your wrist, then add an inch, and pick the length closest to that number.

Look for Wrist Rulers near our notions section here at the shop! Our shelves are brimming with potential gifts – think Harmony Farm Candles, Cocoknits Maker’s Keeps, Akerworks Swatch Gauges, Making Calendars, hand-painted silk scarves, HYS totes and zipper pouches, and of course, good old Gift Certificates. Thanks for shopping locally this holiday season, and for thinking of our shop as a gift source!