Jitterbug. Again.

You would not believe the gasps of delight that accompanied this week’s much anticipated shipment of Colinette Jitterbug. (I know I say things like that a lot–it seems that weekly, we receive boxes of gasp-inducing yarns–but I’m just reporting the facts, here. We’re an excitable bunch.) Unlike most yarns, the Jitterbug comes to us in bunches of untwisted hanks, which makes for a dramatic entrance.

After oohing and aahing over each color as it emerged from the box, Anne and I got right to work twisting up each hank.

Jitterbug, as I’ve written before, is a tightly-plied, squishy, merino yarn in fingering weight which comes to us all the way from Wales. We’ve carried primarily variegated colorways thus far, but the semisolid colorways have been so tempting that we finally, happily gave in.

I went home with a skein of Jitterbug in a golden yellow to make myself a pair of bright, wild socks. There are several other projects awaiting my attention, but it’s quite possible that I’ll put them all aside to cast on with this yarn, for which I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews.

One such rave-reviewer is Anne, who made a little something out of Jitterbug for herself earlier this year.

No big deal, just one of the most amazing sweaters we have in the shop, an exquisite design from Marianne Isager’s Japanese Inspired Knits. Come by to examine Anne’s sweater in close, glorious detail, and to snag a skein of Jitterbug for yourself.

See you at the shop!

Tvinni.

Anne and I recently decided that we needed more colors of Isager Tvinni (pronounced, incidentally, “tweenie.” In case you were curious), a fingering-weight merino from Denmark. We pored over the colorcard, comparing the awe-inspiring array of available colors to our small Tvinni collection, carefully selecting those colors that would play well together and reflect a wider spectrum. Today we received a box which brought these new colors, along with six more copies of Tutto a Mano. I was forced to reorganize the Isager island, petting each yarn and sorting them by color. It’s a hard job, you know, but someone has to do it.

Take a look at our updated Tvinni collection, and see if you’re not inspired to knit it right up.

Isager adoration. Again.

In the past month, two new books of patterns have come out using Isager yarns. For all the attention they have gotten in the shop, I was surprised to realize that I hadn’t introduced them here on the blog. Forgive the belatedness of this announcement, if you would, and take a peek at some new ideas for these incredible yarns.

First, we have No. 1, No. 2, No. 3…, a collection of 9 designs for Isager yarns by a variety of Danish designers. Some favorites:

Next, here’s Tutto a Mano, which includes patterns from Marianne Isager along with several other designers, many of which make good use of Isager yarns.

Some (more) favorites:

Two stunning collections, ready for the attention of any and all Isager adorers. Come by the shop to take a closer look!

Isager adoration.

As you know, we at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop are big Isager fans. We stock many books by designer Marianne Isager, from perennial shop favorite Japanese Inspired Knits to Inca Knits, Classic Knits, and Knitting Out of Africa. We are also quite enamored of her daughter, Helga Isager, whose designs are collected in a series of booklets called Amimono. We keep all the Isager pattern books together, wedged between baskets of Isager yarns, which themselves are quite special: lightweight, delicate yarns of many fibers, designed to be held double or triple when a larger gauge is desired.

If you’ve been to the shop lately, you’ve likely seen Anne hard at work on one of Helga Isager’s designs from the latest Amimono collection, a lightweight wool top with unusual construction.

And, if you’ve been to the shop lately, you’ve likely heard that Anne has been invited to Denmark to attend a small workshop with Marianne and Helga Isager. Your jaw has likely dropped. Anne is leaving for her trip to Denmark in under a week, and could not be more excited. I’m almost as excited as she is just to hear all about it upon her return.

We can’t all go to Denmark, unfortunately, but there is a bit of new Isager goodness in the shop this week. We received a box of Isager Alpaca 1, a 2 ply laceweight made of 100% alpaca, soft and delicate, with a fuzzy halo. For as long as we’ve had Alpaca 1 in the shop, we only stocked it in black and white. I don’t know how we held out for so long, but this week, we opened up the Alpaca 1 spectrum to include a rainbow of colors.

A beautiful sight, to be sure, but even more remarkable to touch. Come by the shop to pet the Alpaca 1 and pore over the Isager pattern books if you haven’t yet. Helga and Marianne Isager are truly unique knitwear designers, worth a look even if you don’t plan to knit their patterns. See you at the shop!

Japanese Inspired Knits.

Marianne Isager’s Japanese Inspired Knits is quite possibly the best-selling book in the history of the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. In the two years since it was published, we’ve taught several classes based upon it, carried more and more Isager yarns, and reordered the book countless times.

Recently, though, we managed to sell all our copies before we had a chance to reorder, resulting in a week or two without it. And wouldn’t you know it, those were the weeks I got the most requests for this particular book. Every couple of days, someone would point to Anne’s Carp sweater and say, “Where can I get the pattern for that?

Once or twice, someone would come in from the street wondering about Nancy’s Fan sweater. “Do you have the pattern for the red sweater in the window?”

Well, everyone, I’m happy to report that Japanese Inspired Knits is back in stock. Sweater-knitters looking for interesting construction ought to have a look at this title (and these sweaters!) if they haven’t already. May we have it on hand forevermore.