Hello, Amano Mayu Lace.

Meet the very newest yarn here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop: Amano Mayu Lace!

Amano Mayu Lace is a luxurious lace weight yarn, as soft and smooth as its fiber content suggests – royal alpaca, cashmere, and silk. These fibers provide drape alongside buttery softness, making Mayu Lace perfect for delicate lace scarves and shawls.

This yarn is dip-dyed for a tonal, semisolid effect, a slight variegation but not enough to distract from stitch patterns.

 

What to knit with Mayu Lace? So far Amano has two patterns for this new yarn: one skein makes an “Irene Bandana” (pictured at left), two makes a “Julieta Shawl.”

It would also work beautifully in Melanie Berg’s “Whiteout” shawl, Kate Davies’ “Hap for Harriet,” Ambah O’Brien’s “Alinda Wrap,” and Evelyn A. Clark’s popular “Swallowtail Shawl.”

Each 50 gram skein of Amano Mayu Lace has 437 yards, and costs $28. Use our online order form to place requests or ask for suggestions – we’re happy to help you plan your next project!

 

Sale of the Week: Kate Davies Àrd-Thìr!

Though we’re keeping our doors closed during May, we’re still virtually open for mail orders, and we want to offer something fun during this uncertain time. Throughout May, we’ll have a special sale each week – 15% off a featured yarn, our Sale of the Week!

Our next Sale of the Week is 15% off Kate Davies Àrd-Thìr, from May 15 – 21!

Kate Davies Àrd-Thìr is an aran weight blend of Peruvian fibers, 60% highland wool and 40% alpaca. Each 50 gram skein has 71 yards, and it knits up at about 15-19 stitches over 4″ on needles from US 7-10.5. The texture is smooth and round, for sharp stitch definition and a springy elasticity in the hand.

Àrd-Thìr comes in 10 heathered shades inspired by the winter landscape of the Scottish highlands, a beautiful muted palette.

What to knit with Àrd-Thìr? Last year, I made Kate Davies’ “Weel Riggit Hat” with this yarn, which was great fun.

Since then, Davies has written a few more patterns for Àrd-Thìr – “Footfall,” “Corryvreckan,” “Skep,” and “Upstream,” for a start – and Melanie Berg published a lace shawl, “Catch my Fall.” Check out Warm Hands for a few more ideas – we still have copies of the book in stock, too!

Usually, Àrd-Thìr is $12 per skein; at 15% off, it’s $10.20 each. Head to our online order form if you’d like to place an order – it’ll be on sale through May 21. Thanks for all your support!

 

Just a reminder–all sales are final on discounted items; there can be no exchanges or returns. Thanks!

Warm Hands.

Warm Hands is here!

This eclectic collection of mitten and handwarmer patterns is edited by Jeanette Sloan and Kate Davies, and features many other designers, as well.

Some mittens are colorful, some are textured, some are lacy or cabled, and some combine multiple techniques for intriguing effects.

The mittens in this book are knit with Kate Davies’ own lines of yarn, Àrd-Thìr and Milarrochy Tweed. Àrd-Thìr is a blend of Peruvian fibers, 60% highland wool and 40% alpaca. The texture is smooth and round, for sharp stitch definition and a springy elasticity in the hand. Look for it in our aran weight section!

Milarrochy Tweed is a fingering weight wool and mohair blend. We don’t have it here at the shop, but we have a great many excellent substitutes – Jamieson’s Shetland SpindriftTukuwool FingeringBrooklyn Tweed Loft and PeerieIsager Tweed, and more.

Look for Warm Hands on our teacart, among the latest books and magazines for knitters! We also keep a nice selection of Kate Davies’ older titles in stock, the likes of Colours of Shetland, Yokes, West Highland Way, Milarrochy Heids, Happit, Shore, and Handywoman.

See you at the shop!

Show and tell: stranded colorwork.

While the shop is closed for a Thanksgiving break, I thought it would be fun to catch up on some show and tell here on the blog. We’ll reopen at our regular business hours on Tuesday, December 3; til then, let’s have a look at some of the projects folks have brought into the shop to show us!

I noticed a theme running through my current stash of show-and-tell photos: stranded colorwork. It’s a popular technique in our classroom, which is where these first two projects came to be. Above is Kristen in her “Galloway” cardigan, knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, looking lovely in shades of blue and gray. Below is Peggy’s “Galloway,” and also her very first sweater – well done!

Shelter is a popular yarn for colorwork sweaters – it’s what Glen used for his “Knitter’s Dude” cardigan, designed by Andrea Rangel. This was his first steek, a milestone, and expertly executed. Nice job, Glen!

Emily knit this “Plum Pudding Pig” with Fibre Company Lore, a DK weight Romney wool that’s well-suited to colorwork. When she brought it in for show and tell, we all wanted to give it a squeeze.

Below is Shula’s “Tessera Cowl,” designed by Jared Flood, and knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. Not all knitting projects are a joy from beginning to end – of this one, Shula bluntly said, “This was a pain in the neck,” laughing, but relieved to be done with it. We’ve all had projects like this, no?

Shelley knit this “Còinneach” cardigan with Swans Island All American Sport in a striking color combination, candy-colored brights popping out against a neutral brown background. The pattern is from Kate Davies’ West Highland Way.

Thanks to Kristen, Peggy, Glen, Emily, Shula, and Shelley for sharing their work with us, and thanks to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday, we look forward to seeing you when the shop opens again on Tuesday, December 3. In the meantime, look for more show and tell on our blog in the coming days!

Weel Riggit.

© Kate Davies

Kate Davies has designed just two patterns so far for her newest yarn, Àrd Thìr. They are both named “Weel Riggit,” which means “well dressed” in Scots and Shetland dialects.

© Kate Davies

The sweater pattern is currently exclusive to Davies’ club, but eventually it will be available as a single pattern. The “Weel Riggit Hat,” on the other hand, is available to purchase from Ravelry, and has been the subject of much discussion here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop since Àrd Thìr arrived!

Color A: Kiloran, B: Ardnave, C: Vatersay, D: Luskentyre.

Color A: Camusdarach, B: Firemore, C: Huisinis, D: Kintra.

Davies’ pattern shows the hat in two colorways, both of which share a certain logic: color A (pictured here on the right) is much lighter in value than the three contrast colors, B, C, and D, which are themselves similar in value. With this strategy in mind, I’ve created a few more “Weel Riggit” color combinations.

Color A: Camusdarach, B: Luskentyre, C: Ardnave, D: Huisinis.

Color A: Luskentyre, B: Vatersay, C: Kiloran, D: Camusdarach.

Color A: Huisinis, B: Kintra, C: Veyatie, D: Glamaig.

After much deliberation, I decided to knit my own “Weel Riggit” hat in the colorway shown at the very top of this post, in Davies’ “Weel Riggit Pullover.”

Color A: Ardnave, B: Camusdarach, C: Kiloran, D: Vatersay.

I’m so pleased with the outcome – the experience of knitting it was satisfyingly quick, and the finished hat blocked beautifully, relaxing and softening an already lovely fabric.

You can read more about Davies’ design process on her blog, where she also discusses a bit of the history and cultural context for “Weel Riggit.” Come by the shop to see this “Weel Riggit” hat on display, and to pick four shades for your own!

Hello, Kate Davies Àrd-Thìr.

We’re thrilled to announce that Kate Davies’ new yarn is here!

We’ve long been admirers of Davies’ writing and knitwear design, and keep a variety of her books in stock here at the shop. Since she started her own line of yarn a few years ago, we’ve longed to carry it, but she sells directly to consumers on her website, rather than through retailers like us. For her newest yarn, Davies has collaborated with Fyberspates to distribute Àrd-Thìr more widely, and we could not be happier to have it on our shelves and in our hands!

Kate Davies Àrd-Thìr is an aran weight blend of Peruvian fibers, 60% highland wool and 40% alpaca. Each 50 gram skein has 71 yards, and it knits up at about 15-19 stitches over 4″ on needles from US 7-10.5. The texture is smooth and round, for sharp stitch definition and a springy elasticity in the hand.

Àrd-Thìr comes in 10 heathered shades inspired by the winter landscape of the Scottish highlands, a beautiful muted palette. Head to Davies’ blog to read more about the inspiration, production, and sourcing that makes Àrd-Thìr so special.

I’m the lucky knitter charged with making a shop sample in Àrd-Thìr, and I’ve cast on for Davies’ first available pattern for this yarn, the “Weel Riggit Hat.” It’s been delightfully quick to knit, a pleasure in my hands and on the needles.

Come by the shop to see and touch Àrd-Thìr for yourself, and plan your next project! You’ll find it in our Aran weight section.

New year’s eve.

2018 was a big year for us here at the shop, full of exciting new yarnsbookstools, projects, and classes. We won the title of “Best Yarn Store” in the Triangle for the third year in a row, celebrated our twelfth year in business, and worked every day toward our goal of bringing the best quality yarns and information to the wonderful community of knitters, crocheters, and weavers that we feel lucky to serve.

On this last day of 2018, I spent the morning mending a hole in one of my most-worn sweaters. The pattern is “Cockatoo Brae,” from Kate Davies’ Yokes, a book I still want to knit in its entirety, four years after its initial publication. I knit this sweater with the super-sturdy Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, but three years of very frequent use can wear down even the strongest fibers, so I couldn’t blame the yarn when a hole popped up in the armpit.

It took only a few minutes of duplicate stitch and creative weaving in of ends to make my cardigan wearable again, a pleasing and empowering result indeed. Here’s to the promise of a new year and new projects, and here’s to mending and using what we already are so lucky to have. Happy new year!

 

A reminder: the shop will be closed Tuesday, January 1, 2019, but we open again at our regular business hours on Wednesday. See you then!

Milarrochy Heids.

Kate Davies’ newest book is here on our teacart, among the latest books and magazines for knitters.

Milarrochy Heids is a collection of colorful hats designed by a variety of talented knitters.

Some are familiar to us, like Felicity Ford, Ella Gordon, and Dianna Walla, while others are new names we can’t wait to get acquainted with.

While many of the hats here are knit using stranded colorwork, there are other knitting techniques represented as well – stripes and double knitting, short rows and welts, chevrons and cables, to name a few.

The hats in this book are knit with Kate Davies’ own line of yarn, Milarrochy Tweed, a fingering weight wool and mohair blend. We don’t have it here at the shop, though we wish we could, but we have a great many excellent substitutes – Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, Tukuwool Fingering, Brooklyn Tweed Loft and Peerie, Isager Tweed, and more.

Come by the shop to browse this and other Kate Davies books – she’s a favorite of ours, so we do try to keep her books in good stock!

See you at the shop.

Snow, show and tell, and new colors from Kelbourne Woolens.

The shop was closed yesterday for inclement weather, and with the snow quietly falling as I write and the roads remaining hazardous, we do not plan to open the shop tomorrow. As ever, if you’re planning a trip to our shop and have any question about the weather, do check our website before you head out; we always list closures on the front page there, and are known for being risk-averse when it comes to snow and ice!

 

Even if the shop remains closed, a snow day is a good one for show-and-tell; let’s take a peek at some of the recently-completed projects that started their lives as yarns here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

Kate has been wearing her Kate Davies’-designed “Dunyvaig” hap a lot since completing it. She knit this cozy textured shawl with Kelbourne Woolens Scout, a DK weight wool that comes in lovely heathered shades and has great stitch definition for patterns like this.

Ruth has been knitting with Kelbourne Woolens yarn, as well – here she is in her lovely “Phyllis” sweater, made with the sport weight KW Andorra.

Margaretta also finished her “Phyllis” not long ago, and it, too, is very beautiful. I’m impressed at how crisp the lace looks even in a fuzzy yarn with a touch of mohair.

Anne’s “Jenny” was also knit with Andorra. You might even recognize it, as it has been on display at the shop for some time now.

The gentle halo of Andorra is perfect for this Bohus-inspired pullover, where purls in the colorwork yoke seem to blend one color into the next.

Last week brought four brand new colors of Andorra, a welcome addition that really rounds out the color palette.

Many thanks to the knitters who shared their work here today, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We hope everyone is staying safe and warm and doing a bit of stitching while it snows, and we’ll see you when it’s safe to open the shop again.

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!