Back in stock, show and tell: Isager Alpaca 2.

Among all the lovely Isager yarns, Alpaca 2 has been a favorite here at our shop, so we make sure to keep every available color in stock.

Isager Alpaca 2 is a light fingering weight blend of merino wool and alpaca, with 275 yards on each 50 gram skein. Our seasoned “Stole” sample has hung on the wall for years now, yet it regularly catches the eye of knitters seeking a soothing, repetitive project, one that’s easy to execute, but with graceful results.

We’ve seen all manner of “Stole” variations, and whether they’re knit in the pattern’s recommended nine shades or a kaleidoscope of unique combinations, slimmed down into scarves or expanded into blankets, everything seems to work. Unpacking this shipment, I lapsed into a familiar game, picking colors for the “Stole.”

There are many other things to knit with Alpaca 2, of course; here are a couple of ideas from knitters we know, a bit of show and tell.

Here is Carribeth’s “Spectrum,” another soothing knit in stockinette. She paired Alpaca 2 with a matching shade of Alpaca 1 to create the slightly transparent stripes, an elegant effect that photos don’t do justice.

Winnie knit this “Feathers” shawl with Alpaca 2, and has already come back for more of the same to knit another.

This is a lovely example of Alpaca 2 in a lace pattern, a very good match of yarn and pattern, indeed.

Thanks to Carribeth, Winnie, and countless others who start their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – we love to see what you’re working on!

Twelve Knitted Sweaters from Tversted.

Today, let’s take a look at Marianne Isager’s latest book, Twelve Knitted Sweaters from Tversted.

Twelve Knitted Sweaters from Tversted features a sweater for each month of the year, a premise well-suited for this moment as we begin 2019.

As usual, these designs are knit with Isager’s own yarns, most of which are available here at our shop – Anne has been passionate about the Isager yarn and designs for years, and makes sure we have plenty of each on hand.

These yarns vary in gauge and in fiber content, but share a harmonious color palette, and Isager often combines them in her designs for unique fabric.

Look for this lovely book on our tea cart at the shop, with the latest books and magazines. We hope you find inspiration here!

Show and tell: Isager.

Time for another round of show and tell! Today I’m here to share some finished projects that started life as yarn on our shelves, and they all have one thing in common: they’re all knit with yarn from the Danish company Isager.

Above is Loretta’s “Girasole,” an intricate circular shawl designed by Jared Flood. She used two Isager yarns held together for this piece, both lace weight – Alpaca 1 and Spinni. The combination is perfectly balanced, with drape from the Peruvian alpaca yarn and structure from the Danish wool.

Hazel picked up Susie Haumann’s All You Knit is Love here at the shop and has been busy knitting from it, making dresses for her granddaughter.

She knit this “Smilla’s Dress” with Isager Highland, a light fingering weight wool sourced in Peru. The heathered color gives depth to the fabric of this piece, with its eyelets, cables, and panels of reverse stockinette.

Hazel went on to knit a second “Smilla’s Dress” in a different yarn – more on that in the next show-and-tell post!

Carribeth knit this Churchmouse “Alexandra’s Airplane Scarf” with Isager Japanesk Bomuld, a lace weight cotton tape. Knit up loosely like this, it’s somehow crisp and soft at once, a contradictory but delightful fabric for summer.

We love seeing what folks make with our yarns – thank you so much for sharing your projects with us. Look for more show and tell here soon!

K (Knit), by Helga Isager.

Helga Isager’s newest book is here!

K (Knit) aims to encourage new knitters to grow their skills, and features elegantly simple designs in Isager yarns, mostly sweaters with a few accessories.

Each one is named for a stitch that’s prominent in the pattern; a cabled pullover is named “C6 (Cable 6),” for example, and a stockinette raglan is named “YO (Yarn over)” for the shaping at the yoke.

Each pattern is accompanied by instructions for a swatch, allowing you to practice techniques used in the pattern as you check your gauge.

Isager also includes a full-size photo of the completed swatch, so you can see in detail what your swatch should look like as it grows, and even measure it against the photo.

Look for the book on our teacart, and find Isager yarns in the lace, fingering, and DK weight sections here at the shop!

New books.

Here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, we unpack boxes of books and magazines almost as often as boxes of yarn. New patterns and writing on knitting and crocheting are part of what keeps us inspired, and gives us new ideas. Here are a some of the books that have found a home on our shelves lately.

We’ve gotten a couple of new books on crochet from Interweave: Crochet Loom Blooms, which shows how to use a flower loom and even includes a starter loom, and Crochet Kaleidoscope, which focuses on colorful motifs for building blankets, table runners, pillows, and more.

Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin’s latest is in, too – The Shawl Project: Book Three.

Alice Starmore’s newest book, Glamourie, is a decadent flight of knitterly fancy, a collection of costumes and knitwear inspired by Gaelic folklore.

We’re happy to have this one back in print and back in stock after a long absence – Susie Haumann’s All You Knit is Love is full of baby knits in Isager yarns, ranging from rustic to fanciful.

Come by the shop to browse our latest acquisitions along with older titles, we have a big collection of books on hand covering a variety of projects, techniques, styles, and levels of experience. See you at the shop!

New patterns for Isager yarns.

Along with new yarn came new patterns from Isager.

This spring collection features Bomulin and Japansk Bomuld, a light fingering weight cotton/linen blend and a lace weight cotton tape, respectively.

Sometimes they are used individually, sometimes together.

All of these patterns come from Danish designers Marianne Isager, Annette Danielson, and Mette Winge.

Look for these patterns and others in our Isager pattern binder, which is bursting with interesting designs for these special yarns. See you at the shop!

Hello, Isager Japansk Bomuld.

Meet Japansk Bomuld, our second new arrival from Isager!

Japansk Bomuld is a lustrous lace weight cotton tape, with 344 yards per 50 gram ball.

Marsha kindly knit a swatch for us in a range of needle sizes, showing how it behaves in stockinette stitch – look for it in the basket with the yarn. Swatches like these are just a starting place, a bit of fabric for one’s mind to extrapolate from.

The fabric relaxed considerably with washing, and the fine gauge, while lovely on its own, suggests the many possibilities for yarn mixing. Imagine Japansk Bomuld knit with Isager Alpaca 1, Spinni, or even Shibui Silk Cloud!

We have a few new patterns for Japansk Bomuld, from Danish designers Annette Danielson and Mette Winge – more on those soon. Also consider Churchmouse’s striped variation on their “Alexandra’s Airplane Scarf,” which makes good use of this special yarn.

Look for more pattern inspiration on our Lace weight Pinterest board, and come by the shop to see Japansk Bomuld itself!

Hello, Isager Bomulin.

February has just begun, but new Spring yarns are already beginning to arrive here at the shop. Two have come from Isager, in Denmark – let’s begin with Bomulin.

Bomulin is a light fingering weight blend of 65% cotton and 35% linen, with 231 yards per 50 gram ball.

Plant fibers like these have little elasticity and a lot of drape, making them perfect for spring shawls and scarves, or loose-fitting warm-weather garments.

Anne is knitting a tank with two strands of Bomulin held together, Marianne Isager’s “Braided Top.” The construction on this piece is unexpected, and worth a closer look; come by to see Anne’s work in progress and she’ll tell you all about it.

Look for pattern ideas on our Fingering weight Pinterest board, and come by the shop to browse new Isager patterns for Bomulin. See you at the shop!

Favorite posts of 2017.

As 2017 winds down and a new year begins tomorrow, I’m looking back on another year of blogging for the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – my eighth. Taking the photos and writing the text that fill these posts is one of the great pleasures of my work here at the shop, and I’m always so pleased to hear that people enjoy reading along. Let’s look back together, then, and I’ll share a few of my favorite posts and memories of the year.

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed: We were beyond excited to introduce Brooklyn Tweed yarns to our shop this year, and honestly the excitement hasn’t yet worn off! I knit a hat and a sweater in Shelter, another hat in Arbor, a scarf in Quarry, and still when I daydream about future projects, I’m daydreaming about Brooklyn Tweed yarns.

What’s winding: This little post about a bit of furniture rearranging in the front room of the shop turns out to be among my favorites this year. Our dedicated yarn-winding station has an old table at its foundation, one that belonged to Anne’s mother, so I often think of her as I wind yarn, and how everyday objects can be imbued with such meaning.

Ase Lund Jensen: Marianne Isager’s tribute to her mentor is a beautiful book of knitting history as well as knitting patterns, one I devoured in a single sitting and will surely return to for inspiration. The newest Isager yarn is named for the subject of this book, Danish designer Ase Lund Jensen, and it’s one of my favorite yarns to arrive at the shop this year.

Akerworks Swatch Gauge: This clever tool helps to measure gauge, and while it’s perfectly possible to do so without it, I’m happier with this little gadget in my toolkit. It encourages larger swatches and hands-off measuring, for honest swatching and garments that come out the right size.

Knitting Comfortably: Carson Demers’ book on the ergonomics of handknitting has already changed the way I knit, and I intend to continue my study of it well into the new year, practicing healthier ways of moving my hands and positioning my body to minimize the risk of injury as best I can. We quickly sold out of our first order, just as Demers sold out of his first edition, but fear not – our next batch of this popular book will likely arrive in January!

Thank you so much, dear readers, for spending time with us at the shop and on the blog. We appreciate your support and look forward to starting new projects in 2018 – happy new year to you!

Pom Pom Quarterly: Winter 2017.

The Winter 2017 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly is here!

Patterns in this issue are inspired by geometric and geologic forms, which these designers have interpreted using a variety of techniques.

The beautiful cover sweater is made with Isager Highland, and the graphic hat below is made with Brooklyn Tweed Arbor.

Pom Pom columnist Anna Maltz shares her thoughts on the endless variety that makes up the world of knitting – so many ways to do each and every technique, so many differing approaches and attitudes towards every aspect of the craft, and none of them wrong.

“It’s easy to default into thinking other people know better,” she writes. “If you find yourself heading that way, stop and acknowledge that what you know has value. … The important thing is to feel satisfied.” This sentiment resonates with me, and it’s one I try to summon as I answer common yarn shop questions like, “Which needle is better?” or “Do I have to rip this out?” or “What’s the best way to cast on?”

Pom Pom is always as full of good reading as it is eye candy – another essay shares strategies for color selection, and their recipe this issue is a tantalizingly colorful winter salad.

Look for this issue of Pom Pom on the teacart here at the shop, which is brimming with new books and magazines. See you there!