New colors in Kelbourne Woolens Germantown.

Last week, a big box arrived from Kelbourne Woolens, packed full of their worsted weight wool, Germantown. Inside were six new colors, plus a handful of colors we’d sold out of.

Germantown is 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. Made of 100% North American wool, Germantown is a worsted spun, worsted weight yarn with a smooth texture, soft hand, and nice elasticity.

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.

These new colors are a playful mix of brights and pastels, one that fits beautifully into the existing Germantown color palette. 

© Kelbourne Woolens

One skein is enough for a hat, and the folks at Kelbourne Woolens are designing one for every month of this year. Even better, every one of these patterns is free to download from Ravelry – look there for “January,” “February,” “March,” “April,” and “May,” and stay tuned for the rest of their Year of Hats!

See you at the shop!

The Weekender KAL: round and round, back and forth.

Our informal Weekender KAL continues! Anne and I are knitting “The Weekender,” by Andrea Mowry, and invite you all to join us, casting on and working at your own pace.

It’s been almost a month since I last shared our progress, and we spent most of that month going round and round on the bodies of our sweaters. Above is a photo of Anne’s sweater in that stage. We have both been smitten with the easy rhythm of stockinette in the round, punctuated by that slip stitch detail at the front and back of the piece.

Our friends Debbie and Nancy come by the shop now and then to work on their Weekenders, knitting, like Anne, with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in shades of gray. Debbie’s is above, in the Snowbound color, and at the same round and round stage. Nancy’s is below, in the Pumice color, just a bit darker than Debbie’s Snowbound. After the bodies of our sweaters reach our desired length, we begin working the front and back flat up to the shoulders, and that’s just where I caught Nancy in this photo.

There are a few short rows near the top, to shape the shoulders, then a bit of ribbing, a tubular bind-off at the neck, and a three needle bind off at the shoulder – a flurry of techniques after many peaceful inches of stockinette. As of now, we’re all at different points in this flurry, and hurrying quickly through them. Here’s my Weekender, made with Kelbourne Woolens Scout, just after I joined the shoulders, and before I blocked it to something close to the dimensions on the schematic.

Are you knitting along with us? Where are you in the process, going round and round, or back and forth, or well beyond what’s pictured here? Let us know in the comments, or on Instagram with the hashtag #hysweekenderkal !

The Weekender KAL: casting on.

Our informal Weekender KAL is underway! Anne and I are knitting “The Weekender,” by Andrea Mowry, and invite you all to join us, casting on and working at your own pace. It’s been just over a week, and we’ve both cast on, worked the bottom hems, and begun knitting the body of the sweater. I’m working with Kelbourne Woolens Scout in “Sunflower Heather,” a sunny stretch for this blue- and gray-loving knitter.

Mowry calls for a tubular cast-on, which makes a tidy, rounded edge on the 1×1 ribbed hem. As in all of knitting, there are many different ways to make a tubular cast-on, and I substituted my favorite method for the one in the pattern. It’s one I encountered in my “Stasis” and “Docklight” sweaters, and the instructions come from Brooklyn Tweed.

Anne used the same tubular cast-on, but modified the split hem so the front and back are the same length, as opposed to the longer back hem shown in the pattern.

She’s working with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in “Soot,” a heathered gray that is right in line with Anne’s favorite and most-worn colors.

We are both loving the ease of this pattern, just cruising through the body, mindlessly knitting stockinette in the round, pausing only for the slip stitch at the center back and center front of the sweater. Sometimes simple is just right, and it seems the simplicity of “The Weekender” has landed at just the right time for each of us!

Are you knitting along with us? What yarn are you using, in what color, and how are you liking the experience? Let us know in the comments, or on Instagram with the hashtag #hysweekenderkal !

The Weekender KAL: swatching.

As you may have read in our most recent email newsletter, Anne and I have fallen in love with Andrea Mowry’s “The Weekender.” It’s been a popular pattern since it came out in late 2017, but somehow neither of us was compelled to cast on for it until recently. Maybe it’s because we’ve seen so many knitters make it successfully, maybe it’s because Shelter is the one Brooklyn Tweed yarn Anne hasn’t knit with yet, maybe it’s because my “Ursula Cardigan” is taking forever and I crave a simpler project. No matter the reason, we’re excited to announce an informal knit-along!

Copyright Andrea Mowry.

 

How to participate? Simply cast on for your own “Weekender” and knit at your own pace. There will be no deadline, just the camaraderie of working from the same pattern at the same time. Anne and I are here to answer questions as you select your yarn, needles, and what size you’ll knit, and will post our progress along the way.

So far, we’ve gotten as far as swatching.

Mowry has cleverly designed the body of this sweater to be knit in the round with the wrong side facing, so you can peacefully knit in stockinette, then turn your work inside out for a reverse stockinette fabric. Because the sweater is knit in the round, it’s important to swatch in the round.

Anne is knitting with the recommended yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, a worsted weight, woolen spun wool that is lightweight and spongey, excellent for sweater-making. Mowry calls for 4.5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch in the round, so Anne cast on as many stitches as it took to fill her 16″ circular needles for a real, honest-to-goodness sense of her gauge and fabric. Before blocking, it was looking like she’d get gauge on US 10 needles, but after blocking, US 9 needles turned out to be right on.

I’m following the lead of a few projects I found on Ravelry and knitting “The Weekender” with Kelbourne Woolens Scout, a robust DK weight wool that I’ve been anxious to get on my needles. I knit my swatch in the round on DPNs, casting on for about 8″ of fabric, and was surprised and delighted to get stitch and row gauge on US 7. My “Weekender” will be somewhat more loosely-knit than Anne’s, and I’m excited to see how it turns out.

Copyright Andrea Mowry.

We both plan to knit the 44″ size, which will give us several inches of positive ease, but less than the 10″ Mowry suggests – Anne and I both prefer more close-fitting sweaters and this will already be a few more inches of ease than we normally knit for ourselves.

Have you been thinking about making “The Weekender,” or wanting a simple sweater that’s as effortless to wear as a sweatshirt? Cast on with us this week, or next week, or whenever suits you – knit along with us at your own pace, and come by the shop any time to ask questions and share your progress! Brooklyn Tweed just came out with two new marled colorways in Shelter, just to complicate your color selection process – more on that soon!

Kelbourne Woolens Perennial Trunk Show!

Another Trunk Show is here to decorate our walls for a while, featuring garments knit with Kelbourne Woolens Perennial!

Perennial is a light fingering weight blend of superwash merino, Suri alpaca, and nylon, a combination that’s both soft and sturdy, suitable for all kinds of projects.

The Trunk Show features sweaters for babies and adults and a pair of lace shawls.

Some of the patterns might look familiar, as they were initially designed by the Kelbourne Woolens team for other yarns a few years ago. It’s nice to see them again in a new light, knit with new yarn, and in such vibrant colors!

Come by the shop this week to see the Kelbourne Woolens Perennial Trunk Show before we have to send it on to the next shop – we’ll have it on display until Sunday, March 10th, and are offering 10% off Perennial during that time.

See you at the shop!

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

Pom Pom Quarterly: Spring 2019.

The Spring 2019 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly has arrived here at the shop!

The theme of this issue is Botanicals, one expressed in crocheted garments, knitwear, and in writing.

 

Columnist Anna Maltz shares thoughts on plant-based fibers like cotton and linen, the likes of which are put to use in some of this issue’s patterns.

Pom Pom has always been an interdisciplinary magazine, featuring recipes and a variety of crafty tutorials alongside their knitting patterns, but this issue in particular features more crochet than usual.

This exquisite crocheted top is made with Kelbourne Woolens Mojave, a sport weight blend of cotton and linen.

Come by the shop to get a closer look at this issue of Pom Pom, and pick up a copy to inspire your stitching!

Hello, Kelbourne Woolens Perennial.

Kelbourne Woolens’ new yarn is here! Meet Perennial.

Perennial is a light fingering weight blend of superwash merino, Suri alpaca, and nylon. Each 100 gram skein boasts 497 yards, enough for a pair of socks or mitts, a cowl, hat, or small shawl.

The women of 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.

The color palette was also devised with variety in mind, with a wide range of neutrals, jewel tones, neons, and primary colors. Combine them with each other or with a wild variegated skein from your stash – Perennial plays well with others!

We’re looking forward to Kelbourne Woolens’ upcoming pattern collection for Perennial, but in the meantime, look to our “Fingering weight” Pinterest board for project ideas. Come by the shop to give Perennial a squeeze and plan your next project!

Hello, Navia Uno.

Meet Navia Uno, one of the newest yarns here at our shop.

Navia is a family-run yarn company from the Faroe Islands, specializing in traditional Faroese wool. Their yarns are now distributed in the US by our friends at Kelbourne Woolens, who traveled to the Faroe Islands earlier in the year and wrote a bit about it on their blog. They also published an interview with Óli Kristian á Torkilsheyggi, the owner of Navia, which gives more insight into the history of Faroese knitting and Navia yarns in particular.

Uno is one of the finest Navia yarns, a lofty lace weight blend of Faroese, Shetland, and Australian lambswool. Its 2ply structure gives the yarn a somewhat rustic appearance, a bit of texture that lends character to knitted fabric without detracting from lace or texture patterns.

What to knit with Navia Uno? This yarn would be right for many patterns calling for lace weight yarn, and we’ve collected a bundle on our “Lace weight” Pinterest board. I searched Ravelry for patterns that call for Navia Uno and projects that use this yarn, and found a few leads:

Searching more broadly for Faroese shawls brought more possibilities to light. Faroese shawls are known for their distinctive shoulder shaping, which helps keep the shawl in place.

Look for Navia Uno in the lace weight section here at our shop!

Kelbourne Woolens Building Blocks Collection Trunk Show!

We’re so excited to announce that we’ve just received a Trunk Show featuring Kelbourne Woolens Germantown. Come by the shop to see accessories from the Building Blocks Collection!

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.

The Building Blocks 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.

It’s great to finally touch knitted fabric made with Germantown, as Anne and I have admired it since its October release but frankly, haven’t had time to cast on and work with it ourselves.

Come by the shop to see the show, and get 10% off KW Germantown while you’re at it!

 

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

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.