Yarn ideas for “Illuminate,” by Andrea Mowry.

Andrea Mowry’s latest design has us playing the color game… here are some yarn ideas for “Illuminate,” a striking striped pullover with a colorwork yoke.

“Illuminate,” by Andrea Mowry. Photo © Andrea Mowry

Mowry uses a sport weight wool for the main color, and doubles up a lace weight mohair/silk blend for the contrast color. For the lace weight yarn, we love Shibui Silk Cloud – it’s soft and fuzzy and seems to glow with saturated color.

Shibui Silk Cloud:  lace weight, 60% mohair, 40% silk, 330 yards/25 g; $26.50 each ($28.50 for Julie Hoover colorways)

I looked through our sport weight yarns for main color options and found several that paired well with Shibui:

Brooklyn Tweed Ranch 03sport weight, 100% merino wool, 170 yards/50g; $16.50 each

Mountain Meadow Wool Codysport weight, hand-dyed, 100% merino wool, 200 yards/50 g; $9.80 each

Kelbourne Woolens Andorrasport weight, 60% merino wool, 20% highland wool, 20% mohair, 185 yards/50 g; $12 each

Swans Island All American Sport: sport weight, hand-dyed, 100% Rambouillet wool, 185 yards/40 g; $12.50 each

Reach out if any of these combinations catches your eye – we’re happy to help calculate yardage or answer any questions that come up as you plan an “Illuminate” sweater of your own!

Reed and Pebble, Grass and Stone.

“Grass and Stone” is a brand new pattern by Elizabeth Elliott, a bias-knit scarf with subtle part-row stripes of single and doubled yarn at each end.

The yarns are Shibui Reed and Pebble, the first a linen chainette and the second a tweedy blend of recycled silk, merino, and cashmere. Reed brings drape and Pebble brings softness, creating a unique fiber blend that’s just right for a warm-weather accessory.

“Grass and Stone” is 8″ wide, and available in two lengths – 72″ or 90″. The 72″ scarf requires 2 Reed and 3 Pebble, while the 90″ scarf requires 3 of each.

Shibui Reed: fingering weight, chainette, 100% linen, 246 yards/50g; $20 each

Shibui Pebble: lace weight, 48% recycled silk, 36% merino wool, 16% cashmere, 224 yards/25g; $21.50 each

Reed and Pebble make an intriguing combination, even in matching colors – these fibers each take the dye a little differently.

Combining different colors can be good fun, of course – here’s a low-contrast pair that should blend together in a gentle marl.

The pattern is free when you buy Reed and Pebble for the project – we’ll print a copy and include it in your order. Pick your favorite color combination and order online for local pickup or shipping!

Yarn ideas for Laura Nelkin’s Open Minds MKAL.

A knitter recently brought our attention to Laura Nelkin’s upcoming mystery knit-along, Open Minds, asking if we could help put some yarns together. I’m always happy to help make suggestions for just the right yarn and color combinations, but a mystery knit-along is usually a little tricky. After all, how to choose colors for a project you can’t see? Luckily, Laura Nelkin has made it simple with a video explaining how much contrast is needed, and in which yarns. I watched carefully and had fun putting together the following color combinations:

Each of these bundles includes the following:

  • 1 skein Kelbourne Woolens Perennial: light fingering weight, 60% superwash merino, 25% suri alpaca, 15% nylon, 497 yards/100 g; $26 each – this will be the MC (main color)
  • 1 skein Ella Rae Lace Merino: light fingering weight, hand-dyed, 100% superwash merino, 460 yards/100g; $23 each – this will stand in for the MS (mini-skeins)
  • 2 skeins Shibui Silk Cloud: lace weight, 60% kid mohair, 40% silk, 330 yards/25 g; $26.50 each – this will be the LY (lace yarn)

The total cost is $102, and Laura Nelkin’s pattern is sold separately on her website. To get the yarn from us, order online for local pickup or shipping!

New colors from Shibui.

We’re delighted to have three new colors from Shibui! Pacific, Lotus, and Majesty are now available in Cima, Koan, and Silk Cloud.

“Elate,” by Britt-Marie Brehmer, knit with Shibui Cima and Koan in Lotus.

 

As we looked through Shibui’s Spring 2021 pattern collection, Anne and I were particularly taken with “Elate,” by Britt-Marie Brehmer.

Twisted ribbing and slipped stitches give this simple tee textural interest, and the yarn combination is an intriguing blend of plant and animal fibers – Cima and Koan held together throughout.

Shibui Cima:

  • lace weight
  • 70% baby alpaca, 30% merino wool
  • 328 yards/50 g
  • $16.50 each

Shibui Koan:

  • light fingering weight
  • 70% linen, 30% silk
  • 248 yards/50 g
  • $21 each

Lace weight Cima brings softness and elasticity in the form of merino and alpaca, while light fingering weight Koan lends coolness and drape with its linen and silk content.

Pick matching shades in Cima and Koan for a solid look, or similar shades for a subtle marl.

Pick your favorite color combination and order online for local pickup or shipping!

“Elate,” by Britt-Marie Brehmer, knit with Shibui Cima and Koan in Lotus.

Pebble + Duality.

 

“Duality” is a brand new scarf/wrap pattern by Jane Vanselous, a simple but unusual design that takes the shape of overlapping rectangles.

It’s knit from end to end, using two colors that are worked together in the main body of the scarf, but separately on the edges.

The yarn is Shibui Pebble, a feather light lace weight blend of recycled silk, merino, and cashmere. Most Shibui colors are available across all of their yarns, presenting differently depending upon the fiber content; here in Pebble, those colors are rich with tweedy flecks.

The scarf size (8″ x 66″) uses just one skein in each color, while the wrap (18″ x 75″) calls for three of each.

 

Shibui Pebble:

  • lace weight
  • 48% recycled silk, 36% merino, 16% cashmere
  • 224 yards/25 g
  • $21.50 each ($23.50 for Julie Hoover colorways)

We have a big selection of colors available in Pebble, and there are lots of intriguing ways to combine them – here are a few that caught my eye.

The pattern is free when you buy 2 skeins of Shibui Pebble – we’ll print a copy and include it in your order.

Pick your favorite color combination and order online for local pickup or shipping!

Back in stock: Shibui Haven.

We’re delighted to have a fresh supply of Shibui Haven after a recent restock!

This decadent DK weight merino/cashmere blend has been mighty popular for Shellie Anderson’s “Helix” hat – we’ve lost track of how many of you are out there making one, or coming back for a second! We’ve got all your favorite colors back on our shelves, along with a few new shades.

 

 

To make “Helix,” you’ll need 1 skein each of Shibui Haven and Shibui Silk Cloud, yarns that are known for their softness. Together they are an extra special treat for the hands.

Shibui Haven:  DK weight, 80% merino, 20% cashmere, 160 yards/50 g; $25 each

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

The pattern is free when you buy 1 skein each of Haven and Silk Cloud to make the hat – we’ll print a copy and include it in your order.

Pick your favorite color combination and order online for local pickup or shipping!

Nest + Silk Cloud + Standing Tall!

 

Here’s another soft and squishy Shibui yarn pairing, a bit like the “Helix” hat I wrote about earlier this month, but with a twist.

In her “Standing Tall, Hat & Cowl Collection,” designer Lucinda Iglesias matches Shibui Nest with Shibui Silk Cloud, a delightful combination that’s just right for a cozy hat or cowl.

The pattern includes instructions for two hats and cowls – a simpler set as well as a cabled variation. The simpler version is shown here in gray, mostly stockinette with a swath of ribbing; the cabled one is below, in red.

 

 

Shibui Nest:  DK weight, 75% fine Highland wool, 25% alpaca, 175 yards/50 g; $20 each ($22 for Julie Hoover colorways)

Shibui Silk Cloud:  lace weight, 60% mohair, 40% silk, 330 yards/25 g; $26.50 each ($28.50 for Julie Hoover colorways)

 

  • For either of the hats: 1 skein each of Nest and Silk Cloud
  • For either of the cowls: 2 skeins of Nest and 1 skein of Silk Cloud
  • For a matching set: 3 skeins of Nest and 2 skeins of Silk Cloud

Shibui’s colorways are the same from yarn to yarn, though each shade looks a little different depending on the fibers in play. Most of these pairs are made from matching colorways, but a few are near matches, which will bring a little more depth to the resulting fabric.

The pattern is free when you buy 1 skein each of Nest and Silk Cloud – we’ll print a copy and include it in your order.

Pick your favorite color combination and order online for local pickup or shipping!

Koigu Collector’s Club: Cold Brew and Breakfast in Bed.

The Koigu Collector’s Club continues! Each month, we’ll receive 21 skeins of KPPPM in a limited edition color dyed especially for a select group of local yarn stores that carry Koigu. This month, we got not one, but TWO new colorways!

Koigu KPPPM:

  • fingering weight
  • hand dyed, variegated
  • 100% superwash merino wool
  • 175 yards/50 g
  • $15.50 each

Cold Brew is dyed on KPPPM, Koigu’s classic fingering weight merino that we’ve come to know so well throughout the Collector’s Club.

Koigu Sparkle:

  • fingering weight
  • hand dyed, variegated
  • 94% merino wool, 6% lurex – silver metallic
  • 164 yards/50 g
  • $15.50 each

Breakfast in Bed is a neutral colorway with streaks of darker gray, brown, and a silver shimmer. It’s dyed on Sparkle, Koigu’s metallic cousin to KPPPM.

© Tif Neilan – tif handknits –

What to make with all these Koigu Collector’s Club colorways? Tif Neilan’s latest pattern gave us a great idea – pair Koigu with Isager Alpaca 1 for a “Clove & Twine Toque!” 

This cozy and clever hat is knit with three strands of yarn held together – two of the same fingering weight and one mohair or alpaca lace weight, which gives the hat a soft halo.

This yarn combining does interesting things with color, too – variegated yarn held double tends to look more blended than streaky, and the fine, fuzzy lace weight yarn tints the fabric just so, if the colors aren’t too high contrast.

I had so much fun putting these color combinations together, and riffing on Neilan’s pattern name a bit, I named them for spices and seasonings.

 

Our “Clove & Twine” yarn bundles are $43; Tif Neilan’s pattern is sold separately for $6.50. Pick your favorite flavor and order online for local pickup or shipping!

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!

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!