Hello, Semilla.

Earlier in the month, we welcomed BC Garn to the fold here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We now stock two yarns from this Danish company; Loch Lomond got a proper introduction on the blog, and now it’s time to meet Semilla.

Semilla is a 100% organic wool. This means it’s been certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), so we can be confident that it’s produced safely and responsibly, from the fiber to the dye.

Each 50 gram ball has 175 yards, and the suggested gauge is 5.5 stitches per inch on a US 6, which is why it’s found a home in our DK weight section here at the shop. It’s very round and smooth for a 2ply yarn, in part because of its tight twist. These qualities give Semilla nice stitch definition for texture patterns, cables, and lace.

One ball of Semilla would make a nice pair of mitts, like Churchmouse’s evergreen “Welted Fingerless Gloves.” While we’re thinking Churchmouse, consider also their “Easy Folded Poncho” and “Welted Cowl & Infinity Loop,” either of which is a good fit for Semilla.

Though it’s hand-wash only, this soft organic wool is a nice choice for baby things, too – think tincanknits’ “Dog Star,” “Peanut,” and “Clayoquot Toque.”

Look to our “DK weight” Pinterest board for more pattern ideas, and come by the shop to see Semilla for yourself!

Hello, Loch Lomond.

Loch Lomond is one of the newest yarns here at the shop, a colorful tweed from BC Garn in Denmark.

Loch Lomond is a 2-ply wool, a loosely-plied yarn with tweedy flecks whose label suggests needles between US 6 and 8 for a gauge of 4.5 stitches per inch. With 170 yards per 50 gram skein, Loch Lomond is light for a worsted weight, its gauge category as assigned by Ravelry.

As I unpacked our first BC Garn order, Anne and I surveyed the fine-looking yarn in front of us and the big-looking gauge on the label and raised an eyebrow each. Maybe it would grow or bloom with washing and blocking, we said to one another. There was nothing to do but swatch.

I got that happy assignment, and began knitting on US 6 needles, then switched to 7, then to 8, wanting to show the manufacturer’s suggested gauges. That swatch gave me a range of fabrics, with gauges of 5 stitches per inch, 4.75 stitches per inch, and 4.5 stitches per inch, respectively. All three are a little loose for my taste, so I knit a separate swatch on a US 5, which is my favorite of the group.

Anne had been eyeing Loch Lomond for Kate Davie’s popular “Carbeth,” a pullover knit with 2 strands of DK weight yarn held together throughout for a bulky gauge. I knit a third swatch with this pattern in mind, holding Loch Lomond double on a US 10.5 needle, which didn’t quite give me gauge for the pattern, though probably a 10 would do it.

The fibers did bloom with washing and blocking, filling in the empty spaces between stitches a bit, and the lightweight fabric that results is soft to the touch and pretty cohesive even on the larger needle sizes. As ever, the right needle size and pattern for this yarn depends upon what kind of fabric you want to get out of it; for a sturdy sweater, I’d aim for a DK gauge of 5.5 stitches per inch or so, but for an airy shawl, the worsted to aran gauges of 5 – 4.5 stitches per inch and more open fabric would be lovely. Consider Churchmouse’s “Easy Folded Poncho,” Jared Flood’s “Guernsey Wrap” at the DK gauge, Heidi Kirrmaier’s “Climb Every Mountain,” Hannah Fettig’s “Schoodic Cardigan,” and Carrie Bostick Hoge’s “Lucinda.”

Come by the shop to see and feel these swatches, or pick up a skein of Loch Lomond and make some swatches of your own!

Hello, BC Garn.

Kate and Courtney of Kelbourne Woolens have been busy this winter. Along with celebrating 10 years of their company and launching a new yarn of their own, they’ve taken on an entirely new brand of yarn as US distributors. We trust their taste and their commitment to quality natural fibers, and were impressed with these new-to-us yarns. To that end, we’re excited to announce that we are now stockists of BC Garn!

BC Garn is a family-owned, ecologically-minded yarn company out of Denmark. Many of their yarns are certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), so we feel confident that they are produced safely and responsibly, from the fiber to the dye.

We’ve begun with Semilla and Loch Lomond, DK weight and worsted weight wools, respectively, along with a few shades of the 100% silk Tussah Tweed that Anne is smitten with. I’ll share more about these yarns here on the blog soon. In the meantime, come by the shop to see them for yourself, and welcome BC Garn to our collection!

Andorra Collection Trunk Show!

We’re delighted to announce that the Kelbourne Woolens Andorra Collection Trunk Show has arrived!

Andorra is the first yarn under the Kelbourne Woolens imprint, a bouncy sport weight blend of merino and highland wool with a dash of mohair. It’s a wooly, lustrous 2-ply with a medium twist, not too tight or loose, and especially after knitting, it looks pleasantly fuzzy.

The Andorra Collection covers so much in just six patterns: rich texture, tidy cables, classic lace, and Bohus-inspired colorwork.

Come by the shop before February 18th to see these garments for yourself, and get 10% off Kelbourne Woolens Andorra!

The Andorra Collection.

This week, we welcomed Kelbourne Woolens’ very first yarn, Andorra. It came with a small pattern collection that hints at the tremendous possibility in these skeins.

Sport weight is one of my favorites, resting between the lighter fingering weight and the heavier DK weight. It seems to strike a balance to me: fine enough to be intricate, heavy enough not to be intimidating.

Knit it at a tighter gauge and you have a fabric that is cohesive enough to be cozy without being heavy.

Knit it more loosely, and you’ll create lightweight, draping fabric perfect for breezy tops or shawls.

The Andorra Collection covers so much in just six patterns: rich texture, tidy cables, classic lace, and Bohus-inspired colorwork. Courtney Kelley’s “Jenny” pullover is what Anne cast on for recently, the start of which we shared in our January newsletter and the last blog post introducing Andorra.

While we don’t have print copies of these patterns yet, they are available on Ravelry and as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales here at the shop.

Look for Andorra itself in our sport weight section. See you there!

Hello, Kelbourne Woolens Andorra.

Meet our first new yarn of the year, Kelbourne Woolens Andorra.

You may recognize the name Kelbourne Woolens – they’re the North American distributors for Fibre Company, and they also design some of the most popular pattern collections for those yarns. Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley are the minds behind Kelbourne Woolens, and while they will continue their good work for Fibre Company, they’ve also cooked up something new to mark the 10th anniversary of their business: their very own line of yarn.

Andorra is the first yarn under their own Kelbourne Woolens imprint, a bouncy sport weight blend of merino and highland wool with a dash of mohair. It’s a wooly, lustrous 2-ply with a medium twist, not too tight or loose, and especially after knitting, it looks pleasantly fuzzy.

Andorra is obedient on the needles, which for me means it doesn’t split, and it has enough elasticity to move smoothly from needle to needle, stitch by stitch. In short, it’s lovely to work with, and while it’s well suited to a variety of projects, it has me thinking, “Sweater!”

Anne got a sweater’s worth of Andorra in advance, for sample knitting, and has started a top-down, Bohus-style pullover from the new Kelbourne Woolens collection. More on that soon – til then, here’s a preview, Anne’s first few rows.

Look for Andorra in the sport weight section here at the shop!

Candy Darling.

One of the great pleasures of our work here at the shop is making samples that show how our yarns knit up, and that hopefully inspire our customers in their own creative projects. When it was time to make a sample in Fibre Co. Arranmore Light, it was easy to decide what to make. Colorwork is one of Anne’s favorite knitting techniques, so “Candy Darling” stood out from the Kelbourne Woolens Pop Collection.

“Candy Darling” is a three-color hat and mitten set in high contrast colors, with stripes in all directions and playful geometric motifs. The hat pattern includes instructions for three different color arrangements, so that you can make good use of three skeins of Arranmore Light – there’s enough yardage among them for at least three hats.

And three is just how many “Candy Darling” hats Anne knit this fall. The first was a sample for the shop – look for it on a hat-stand in our DK weight section – and the next two went to her granddaughters.

Left to right: Arranmore Light in Malin Head, Slieve Sunset, and St. Clare.

Often when I’m selecting multiple colors for a knitting project, I look at them through the black and white filter on my camera. This grayscale effect shows the contrast in the value of the colors, and how they relate to one another. For example, “Candy Darling” is shown in black, hot pink, and white, a punchy combination of dark, medium, and light.

Here are a variety of other color combinations in Arranmore Light that have similar spreads of dark, medium, and light.

Left to right: Arranmore Light in Meara, Odhran, and River Esque.

Left to right: Arranmore Light in Ciaran, Cronan, and St. Clare.

Left to right: Arranmore Light in Ruari, Bradan, and St. Clare.

Left to right: Arranmore Light in Kinnego Bay, Orla, and Narin Beach.

 

This is just a starting place, of course – there is so much to choose from, and the great fun in colorwork projects is seeing how they all come together as you knit. Come by the shop to start a “Candy Darling” trio all your own!

Kelbourne Woolens Pop Collection Trunk Show!

We’re pleased to present our latest Trunk Show: Kelbourne Woolens’ Pop Collection, featuring Fibre Company Arranmore Light!

Kelbourne Woolens is our US distributor of Fibre Company yarns, and as such, they often develop pattern collections for those yarns. The Pop Collection is what they dreamed up this season for Arranmore Light, inspired by fashion, music, and youth culture of the 1960’s.

Arranmore Light is a DK weight tweed, composed of 80% merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% silk.

We’re offering a 10% discount on Arranmore Light for as long as this Trunk Show is on display, so be sure to visit us before December 10th to take advantage of that!

A reminder: discounted yarns are considered final sale, meaning no returns or exchanges can be made after purchase. Thanks!

Show and tell: lace.

Our Thanksgiving break continues, and the shop will be closed until we reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 28th. Til then, I have more show-and-tell to share! The theme of this bunch is lace.

Betty knit this “Stone Point” poncho during Amy’s class here at the shop, her first-ever lace project! The yarn is Fibre Company Luma, a dk weight blend of wool, cotton, linen, and silk.

Sherri knit this beautiful blanket for her new daughter-in-law, Leah. The stitch pattern is good old feather and fan, a great introduction to lace knitting, and the yarn is a wide range of odds and ends from Sherri’s stash – this is a great way to use those bits and pieces and play with color along the way!

Here is a lace pattern on a somewhat smaller scale: Lois’s “Feather the Waves Socks,” knit with Malabrigo Sock. Lois has found a favorite in this vibrant hand-dyed yarn; this is the third pair she’s made with Malabrigo Sock!

Margaretta is an especially prolific lace-knitter, and lately her projects are made with Brooklyn Tweed yarns. After knitting a “Your Ice Cream Shawl” with Vale, she came back for another; this is her second project with Vale, Jared Flood’s now-classic “Girasole.”

After completing that, Margaretta took on Jared Flood’s “Lucca,” this time with Arbor. The heavier gauge of this yarn made a more substantial fabric and a larger piece, turning a circular shawl into a spectacular blanket.

Kellie has been knitting with Brooklyn Tweed, too – here she is modeling her “Hop Brook” shawl, knit with Loft. What a lovely match of yarn and pattern – a little rustic, a little delicate, and the light color lets the lace edging shine.

We love seeing what folks make with our yarns – thank you so much for sharing your projects with us. Hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend, and we look forward to seeing you on or after the 28th!

Show and tell: sweaters.

We have had so much amazing show-and-tell around the shop over the past couple of months! As ever, I take photos of these amazing pieces when I’m able, collecting them to share here on the blog. My collection long ago outgrew a single blog post, so I’ve divvied them up into categories for a series of posts. Let’s start big, with sweaters.

Above is Ginny’s “Rowe,” knit with Swans Island All American Worsted. Everything about it is expertly, thoughtfully executed, from the complex cables to the seams and other finishing. Bravo, Ginny!

Anne recently finished her two-tone “Featherweight,” knit with Fibre Company Meadow. Though it’s pictured hanging on the wall, this is a sweater she actually wears rather than a shop sample, a welcome departure for such an industrious, generous knitter. Come by the shop and you may just see her in it!

From lace weight to bulky weight, Fibre Company yarns make lovely sweaters. Above is Eileen’s “St. Brendan,” knit with Arranmore during Amy’s class here at the shop. I love her neutral color palette.

A little more colorwork – here’s Debbie’s “Ready for Fall,” knit with Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK. This is a favorite yarn of mine, and I’m always excited to see what folks at the shop make with it. Debbie has come to love Dovestone DK, too, and in fact came back for more to knit a poncho!

Here’s another sweater in Dovestone DK, April’s “Roan.” With its bright colors, large motifs, and dramatic swingy shape, this is one tremendously impressive sweater. Well done, April!

Thanks to the sweater-makers who’ve shared their work here today! We are so inspired by all the stitching that goes on in and around the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and can’t wait to see what you come up with next. See you at the shop!