52 Weeks of Shawls.

We are delighted to announce that Laine’s new book is here, 52 Weeks of Shawls!

This 260+ page tome includes 52 patterns for knitting shawls, scarves, and cowls, an astonishingly large collection, and a lovely one. You can see them all on Ravelry, a virtual way to browse the book; the list of designers is impressive, including Tif Neilan, Jeanette Sloan, Paula Pereira, Fiona Alice, Stephen West, and Anna Johanna.

Like all of Laine’s publications, from their popular magazine to recent collections by Mary Jane Mucklestone and Anna Johanna, 52 Weeks of Shawls is heavy with inspiring patterns using a variety of techniques, but it is also a beautiful object unto itself.

I spotted some familiar yarns among these tantalizing pages – shawls in Tukuwool Fingering, BC Garn Bio Balance, Brooklyn Tweed Loft, and Isager Tvinni. We have all of these yarns on our shelves, and are happy to suggest substitutes for any others!

The book is $52, a dollar per pattern, and available for local pickup or USPS Priority Mail shipping – an additional $8 if the book ships alone. If you’d like to add any yarn or notions to your order, shipping will be $15 – thanks for helping us cover the cost of postage! Whether you pick up or have it shipped, we really appreciate your order and look forward to putting this inspiring book in your hands. Order online!

Making No. 11: Dawn.

Happy to announce that the latest issue of Making is in!

The theme of Issue No. 11 is dawn and new beginnings, a theme that’s explored in knitting, crochet, sewing, dyeing, quilting, and weaving – projects for makers of all kinds!

Contributors include Kristine Vejar, Susan B. Anderson, Paula Pereira, Ocean Rose, Yamagara, and others.

Yamagara’s “Chorus Wrap” is knit with Isager Spinni in 5 shades, its short row sections inspired by feathers.

Isager Spinni: lace weight, single ply, solid and heathered colors, 100% Danish wool, 328 yards/50 g; $12.50 each

Beautifully photographed and lovingly produced, Making is a treat of a publication. We still have copies of No. 9: Simple, in case you missed it – $26 each. Head to our online order form to purchase a copy!

Isager Alpaca 2 + Samen.

Last week, designer Stephen West posted new color combinations on Instagram for one of his older patterns, a marled shawl called “Samen.”

“Samen” shawl, knit with Isager Alpaca 2. Photo © Stephen West

I always love to see how he puts colors together, and it put me in the mood to create some “Samen” colorways of my own, using Isager Alpaca 2. The shawl calls for five colors in varying amounts, from 220-420 yards per color – the bundles here include some extra yardage, so you can mix the shades up however you like with plenty of wiggle room to play.

Isager Alpaca 2: light fingering weight, 50% alpaca, 50% wool, 275 yards/50 g; $12 each, $120 for bundles of 10

If any of these color combinations grabs you, order online for local pickup or shipping! We’re also happy to help put together a custom colorway just for you – just let us know what shades you love!

Knitting Needles & Chopsticks, by Marianne Isager and Jens Rahbek Hansen.

Marianne Isager’s new book is another intriguing mix of recipes and knitting patterns, like Eat & Knit before it. Let’s take a peek inside Knitting Needles & Chopsticks!

Knitting Needles & Chopsticks is a collaboration with Danish-Japanese chef Jens Rahbek Hansen, featuring Japanese recipes along with scarves and shawls knit with all manner of Isager yarns.

We keep many Isager yarns in stock here at the shop, though not every single one – ask us and we’ll help connect you with the yarn you’re looking for or a good substitute.

Isager is known for combining yarns to create interesting color and fiber blends, and the “Sapporo” scarf/wrap is a great example.

Here, two lace weight yarns are held together – Japansk Bomuld, a unique cotton tape, and Alpaca 1, a fuzzy alpaca yarn. I’m intrigued by the combination, which sounds like a balance of cool and warm – the perfect accessory for early spring.

Knitting Needles & Chopsticks is $21.95; order online for local pickup or shipping via USPS Priority Mail!

Back in stock: Kelbourne Woolens Perennial.

We recently restocked some of the most popular colors of Kelbourne Woolens Perennial, a soft and fuzzy fingering weight yarn.

Kelbourne Woolens Perennial:

  • light fingering weight
  • 60% superwash merino, 25% Suri alpaca, 15% nylon
  • 497 yards/100g
  • $26 each

The folks at Kelbourne Woolens have designed this yarn to be something of a staple – soft from the alpaca but sturdy from the nylon, easy care on account of the superwash merino, suitable for all kinds of projects.

Browsing through Perennial projects on Ravelry, Joji Locatelli’s “Cedar Pullover” caught my eye – though it originally called for a linen yarn held double, several knitters had made it with Perennial held double. This got me thinking… wouldn’t it be lovely to hold Perennial together with a linen yarn? A little bit of fuzz, a bit of cool drape – a balanced fiber blend for a three-season sweater.

For nearly matching colors that would bring depth and a hint of marled variation to the knitted fabric, I looked to Shibui Koan. It’s also a light fingering weight, composed of 70% linen and 30% silk, with 247 yards/50 g; $21 each.

Knitters on Ravelry have also used Perennial for Caitlin Hunter’s “Navelli,” a cropped, short-sleeved colorwork pullover. Since the main color requires so much more yardage than the contrast colors, I picked pairs of Isager Alpaca 2, which comes in smaller skeins.

Isager Alpaca 2 is composed of 50% alpaca, 50% merino, with 275 yards on each 50 g skein; $12 each.

Order online if one of these “Cedar Pullover” or “Navelli” colorways intrigues you, or if you’d like to see a special combination just for you! Just let us know what size you’re planning and we’ll double check the yardage requirements.

We’re happy to help you plan your next project, and can ship your order or hold it here at the shop for local pickup. Thanks for supporting our small business!

Revisiting Room 606.

As I created colorways for Isager Spinni and Highland Wool over the past couple of weeks, I found myself paging through an older book by Helga Isager, Amimono: Room 606. It’s a stylish collection of garments and accessories inspired by Danish modernist design and architecture of the 1960s, and makes use of a variety of Isager yarns.

Amimono: Room 606, by Helga Isager – $29

The “Vivi” pullover caught my eye in particular because it happened to pair the two Isager yarns I’d been playing with, Spinni and Highland Wool.

Isager Spinni: lace weight, single ply, 100% Danish wool, 328 yards/50 g; $12.50 each

Isager Highland Wool: light fingering weight, 2ply, 100% Peruvian Highland wool, 301 yards/50 g; $10 each

The two yarns have a slight difference in thickness and in texture, bringing interest to the overall slip stitch pattern.

Both Marianne and Helga Isager have a fondness for combining their yarns two or three strands at a time – this creates interesting color combinations and unique fiber blends. The Isagers share this with the folks at Shibui, so I’ve brought them together in the colorways that follow, for the “Malene” hat.

Shibui Silk Cloud: lace weight, 60% mohair, 40% silk, 330 yards/25 g; $26.50 each

Get in touch to order a copy of Room 606 for yourself – use our online order form!

Soldotna Crop + Isager Jensen.

Caitlin Hunter’s “Soldotna Crop” hasn’t faded in popularity since it first came out last year. With over 5,000 projects on Ravelry, it’s no wonder we get frequent requests for “Soldotna” yarn ideas! Here’s one – the delightfully toothy Isager Jensen.

Isager Jensen:

  • DK weight
  • solid and heathered colors
  • 100% Danish wool
  • 275 yards/100 g
  • $28 each

Isager Jensen is perfectly suited to stranded colorwork. Like Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, another favorite colorwork yarn of mine, Jensen is not the softest fiber in our shop, but it’s sturdy and full of character, sure to wear well for years to come. A couple of years ago, I used Jensen to make Lori Versaci’s “Summer Fog” vest and loved every stitch – it left me wanting to work with this yarn again!

Jensen’s color palette was initially developed back in the 1970’s by Danish designer Ase Lund Jensen, who was inspired by the rich and complex shades of natural dyes. I named these “Soldotna Crop” colorways for natural dye plants, though none were used to dye this particular yarn.

Jensen’s generous yardage means that only 4-6 skeins are needed for Hunter’s “Soldotna Crop,” depending on what size you’re making. Order online if one of these colorways sparks your curiosity, or if you’d like to see a special combination just for you! We’re happy to help you plan your next project, and can ship your order or hold it here at the shop for local pickup.

Spinni + Dawn.

Here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, we’ve long been admirers and stockists of Isager yarns, out of Denmark.

Isager Spinni:

  • lace weight
  • single ply
  • solid and heathered colors
  • 100% Danish wool
  • 328 yards/50 g
  • $12.50 each

Spinni is one of the longest standing yarns made by Isager, a rustic single-ply lace weight wool. Initially developed by Ase Lund Jensen, who handed the company down to Marianne Isager in the 1970’s, the Spinni color palette is informed and inspired by natural, plant-based dyes. Some are dyed on a white base, and others are dyed on a gray base, for a heathered look.

Grace Anna Farrow designed a beautiful series of shawls for Isager Spinni back in 2009, a collection called The Fine Line. They’re striking and modern, full of bold stripes, chevrons, and elegant color combinations. Spinni is a rustic wool with lots of structure, so it holds up to the loose gauge of these patterns, making a lightweight, somewhat translucent fabric.

“Dawn” is a favorite among Farrow’s designs, and calls for four skeins of Spinni; here are some color ideas!

Order online if one of these colorways intrigues you, or if you’d like to see a special combination just for you! We’re happy to help you plan your next project, and can ship your order or hold it here at the shop for local pickup. Thanks for supporting our small business!

Hello again, Isager Highland Wool.

A recent special order brought in a couple of new shades of Isager Highland Wool, reminding us of just how much we love this yarn.

Isager Highland:

  • light fingering weight
  • solid and heathered colors
  • 100% Highland wool
  • 301 yards/50 g
  • $10 each

Some years ago, I made Carol Feller’s “Carpino” holding Highland Wool together with Shibui Silk Cloud, which brought a lustrous, fuzzy luxury to the fabric. It left me wanting to work with Highland Wool again, in a context where its rustic simplicity could shine.

With that in mind, here are a few two-color patterns that make beautiful use of Highland Wool, and some color combinations to get you started!

  • “Pinwheel Mitts,” by Ella Austin – fingerless mitts in stranded colorwork
  • “Sento,” by Olga Buraya-Kefelian – triangular shawl in two-color brioche
  • “Alula,” by Clare Lakewood – triangular shawl in stripes/slip stitch pattern

If any of these patterns or colorways capture your imagination, order online for local pickup or shipping! We’re also happy to answer questions, to be your eyes and hands as you create other color combinations – we know it’s tricky to select colors without being able to come into the shop yourself, and they can look so different in photos than they do in person. Thanks for working with us during our temporary closure!

Eat & Knit, by Marianne Isager & Camillo’s Kitchen.

When we’re not talking about yarn, Anne and I often chat about food as we work – we both love to cook and share intriguing recipes. Thus, we find Marianne Isager’s new book especially enticing – let’s take a look inside Eat & Knit!

Eat & Knit is a collaboration between knitwear designer Marianne Isager and Camillo’s Kitchen, a pop-up restaurant in Tversted, Denmark.

The knitting patterns and recipes in this collection are all organized around a particular ingredient – cauliflower, beet, lemon, and so on. It’s fun to see the fruits and vegetables reflected in the knitwear!

We keep a variety of Isager yarns in stock here at the shop, though not every single one – ask us and we’ll help connect you with the yarn you’re looking for or a good substitute.

Eat & Knit is $21.95; order online for local pickup or shipping via USPS Priority Mail!