Friends of Shibui Trunk Show.

Another trunk show has arrived, another opportunity to see hand-knit garments in person, which is always better than in photographs. Come by the shop before November 24th, 2015, to see garments by independent designers Julie Hoover and Steve Rousseau knit in Shibui yarns!

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We have five of Julie Hoover’s designs on the wall, four sweaters and one cowl, and they all share that elegant, simple-with-a-twist aesthetic that Shibui is known for.

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Steve Rousseau’s designs are something very different: contemporary lace shawls with graphic, geometric motifs. We have seven of his rectangular shawls on display and one triangular shawl, and they all beg to be admired and studied closely.

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All the garments in this show are made with Shibui Pebble, a lace weight blend of 48% recycled silk, 36% wool, and 16% cashmere.

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Most of these pieces use this delicate yarn held singly, but a few sweaters are knit with two strands of Pebble held together throughout, for a thicker fabric.

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All of the patterns are available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales, where we print a copy for you and a digital copy is also saved in your email or Ravelry pattern library. We’re offering all in-stock Shibui yarns at a 10% discount during this Friends of Shibui Trunk Show, so visit us before November 24th to plan your next project in Shibui yarns!

 

A reminder: all sales are final on discounted yarn. There can be no returns or exchanges, nor special orders–the discount applies only to what we currently have in stock. Thanks! 

Hello, Fibre Company Road to China Lace.

We didn’t hold back when we visited the Fibre Company booth at TNNA this year. Not only did we order their newest yarn, Cumbria, we also picked up two other Fibre Company yarns that are new to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Meet Road to China Lace.

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Road to China Lace is a 2 ply lace weight blend of 65% baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, and 10% cashmere. It’s lustrous, silky, and slightly fuzzy, ideal for luxurious lace projects. Each 100 gram skein boasts 656 yards, enough for a good sized shawl.

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If this special yarn piques your interest, check out Laura Nelkin’s Pathways Collection for Kelbourne Woolens, featuring shawls, cowls, and shrugs knit in Road to China Lace. Also take a peek at our “Lace weight” board on Pinterest for more pattern ideas. See you at the shop!

Hello, Habu XS-45 20/3 Bamboo.

Habu’s bamboo lace weight yarn arrived at the shop this week, just in time for summer stitching and weaving. XS-45 20/3 Bamboo may not be a romantic name, but the yarn itself is lovely, a lace weight 100% bamboo with elegant drape and lustre.

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A Ravelry search reveals that this yarn is often used held together with other yarns to make unique fiber blends or thicker fabric. Just as often, it’s used on its own in delicate lace shawls, like Elizabeth Freeman’s “Laminaria” and “Aeolian Shawl,” or Evelyn A. Clark’s “Swallowtail Shawl;” free patterns, all, by the way.

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Take a peek at this new Habu yarn next time you’re at the shop, and remember to come by during July for our Annual Inventory Sale! In the meantime, enjoy the holiday weekend; we’ll be closed July 4th and 5th, reopening at our regular business hours on Tuesday, July 7th. See you then!

New old Isager patterns.

We always place a big Isager order at TNNA, and this year our main cause was restocking Alpaca 2 and Tweed. While we were there, we learned that some old favorite patterns for Isager yarns had been rescued from their out-of-print status and rereleased as single patterns.

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When it was published back in 2009, Grace Anna Farrow’s booklet The Fine Line was a big hit here at the shop, and we were disappointed when printing stopped. All the shawls in this unique collection call for Isager’s lace weight Spinni (sometimes called Wool 1), making inspiring use of the Isager color palette in stripes, chevrons, color blocks, and waves. Three of those patterns are back on our shelves: “Shale,” “Volt,” and “Dawn.”

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We’ve seen several “Volt” shawls come and go, and I’ve managed to capture two in past show-and-tell posts. Here’s Natalie’s “Volt,” knit in Spinni.

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Nancy knit her “Volt” in Isager Alpaca 2, a thicker yarn with more drape, due to the alpaca content.

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Both of these yarn choices are absolutely beautiful and right for the pattern, and they’re not the only ones–imagine “Volt” in Isager Alpaca 1 or Tvinni, Shibui Cima or Staccato, Fibre Company Meadow or Baa Ram Ewe Titus, to name a few!

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Helga Isager’s “Camomille” has been another popular pattern, from her now out-of-print Amimono 2010 booklet. Knit with Isager Tvinni and Alpaca 1, this striped shawl stole many a heart when it visited the shop during a trunk show in 2012.

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Margie knit this version of “Camomille,” substituting Malabrigo Finito for Isager Tvinni.

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We’re so happy that these four shawl patterns are available again, and living in our Isager pattern binder! Come by the shop to flip through that binder, where perhaps you’ll find your next project. See you there!

New patterns for Isager yarns.

Isager yarns are a longtime favorite here at the shop. Anne’s passion for Marianne Isager’s yarns and designs has proved contagious, and we keep Alpaca 1 and Alpaca 2, Spinni, Tvinni, Highland, and Tweed in good stock as a result. We’re always on the lookout for new ways to use them, and to that end, we’ve recently added a nice bunch of patterns to the Isager binder.

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Theresa Gaffey, who brought us the ever-popular “Stole,” has designed a new rectangular wrap with Isager yarns: “Stole 2.0.” This version is similarly simple to knit, but has a decidedly new construction and look, and brings Spinni and Alpaca 2 together for a different texture.

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“Not Quite Plaid” is a striped garter stitch scarf made in Isager Alpaca 2, knit on the bias and decorated with dropped stitches. The pattern gives options for three different sizes, from skinny scarf to shawl, and instructions for 3 or 5 colors.

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“Cardicho” is a buttoned poncho, also knit with Alpaca 2.

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Like Shibui yarns, Isager yarns are often combined, two or three strands at a time, to create a range of gauges, unique fiber and color blends. These two patterns do just that.

DSCN4208Isager yarns, while not machine-washable, are suitable for children’s things as well as adult garments and accessories. Check out the adorable “Mathilde” and “Trille Rille,” as well as Susie Haumann’s All You Knit Is Love.

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Look for even more Isager pattern ideas on our Pinterest boards. Come by the shop to peruse our growing selection of Isager patterns and yarns; you may find your next project there. See you at the shop!

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Hello, Scrumptious Lace.

Along with our recent shipment of Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply came a new bundle of Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace.

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Our first batch of Scrumptious Lace came out of our obsession with Kate Davies’ Yokes. Anne is planning to knit “Frost at Midnight,” an elegant cardigan with a beaded yoke,  and simply had to have Scrumptious Lace for it.

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This latest order rounds out our selection of Scrumptious Lace, so that we have a range of colors to suit a range of projects.

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Scrumptious Lace is a shimmering blend of 55% merino and 45% silk, with a generous 1094 yards on each 100 gram hank. Its vivid solid colors and smooth texture make for sharp stitch definition, ideal for lace knitting. Consider Ysolda Teague’s “Ishbel,” “Pear Drop,” and “Barley Sugar,” Jared Flood’s “Rock Island,” and Laura Nelkin’s “Life Cycle.” Fine yarns like this one are perfect for lace crochet projects, too; check out Elena Fedotova’s “Scarlet Berry” and “Ink Ripples.”

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For more pattern ideas, look to our “Inspiring Stitches” Pinterest board. Come by the shop to pick up a skein or two of Scrumptious Lace and plan your next project!

Back in stock: Cricket looms.

Our first round of Schacht Cricket looms sold out quickly over the holidays, so we ordered twice as many for our second batch, which I’m happy to say are now here at the shop. Two of them were purchased the moment they came in. You guessed it: Anne and I each have Crickets of our own now, and are eager to learn more about rigid heddle weaving.

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I’m anxious to get weaving on scarves and kitchen towels, and just as anxious to see what others are making with their Cricket looms.

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Molly wove this scarf on a Cricket loom with a variegated fingering weight yarn for warp and a solid lace weight yarn for weft. She used a 10-dent reed, which makes a lightweight fabric, and a slightly open weave with yarns of this weight. Variegated yarn behaves so differently in woven fabric than in knit fabric; Anne and I were surprised and delighted by the results.

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Come by the shop to learn more about the Schacht Cricket loom, and explore the rest of our new little weaving section.

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We have books and dvds on the subject, UKI Supreme cotton weaving yarns, Zoom Looms and kits to go with. See you at the shop!

Hello, UKI Supreme weaving yarns.

We’re happy to announce that we now carry two cotton yarns for weaving from UKI Supreme Corporation, based in Hickory, North Carolina.

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With guidance from weavers, we selected a mercerized cotton yarn in two weights: 10/2 and 5/2, each in 6 oz mini-cones.

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The 10/2 is the thinner of the two, with ~1575 yards per mini-cone, making it a very fine lace weight. It comes on red cones, to distinguish it from the thicker but otherwise very similar-looking 5/2 mercerized cotton.

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The 5/2 mercerized cotton has ~787 yards per mini-cone, making it a light fingering weight. It can be easily identified by its blue cones.

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Weavers might use yarns like these for placemats, napkins, and other fabric-making; crocheters might use them for intricate doilies and other fine stitching. Planning a big project? Both yarns come in 1 lb cones as well, and we’re happy to special order them for you; come by the shop to see the 100+ available colors on our UKI Supreme color-cards.

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We’ve so appreciated hearing feedback from weavers about your favorite books and yarns, the kinds of looms you’re using, and your enthusiasm for buying weaving supplies locally. We have so much to learn about this craft, and we welcome your input. What do you like to work with, and what would you most like to see on our shelves? We’re so looking forward to seeing woven projects in these Supreme cotton yarns; come by to see them for yourself and tell us what you’re dreaming up!

Yokes.

Yokes is here!

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Yokes is writer and designer Kate Davies’ newest book, and one that we’ve been eagerly anticipating since October, when she started posting previews on her blog.

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I’ve been reading her blog for years now, admiring her patterns and appreciating her written voice.

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An historian as well as a knitwear designer, Davies approaches her subject with academic rigor, and because of this, Yokes is so much more than a collection of inspiring sweaters.

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Pick up this book, and you’ll learn about Swedish Bohus yokes, the Icelandic lopapeysa, classic Shetland motifs, Elizabeth Zimmermann’s seamless innovations, and the connections between all of the above.

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As a lover of circular yoke sweaters, particularly those adorned with colorwork, I was quick to add Yokes to my own knitting library. I’ve been reading it before bed this week, savoring the text and photos. Davies speaks my mind when she writes, “I am happy spending days working away on acres of plain stockinette, if, at the end of it, there is the yoke’s delicious promise.”

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I am knitting one such sweater right now, in fact: “Puffin Sweater,” a design from Davies’ Colors of Shetland. I’ve knit the body and one and a half sleeves, looking forward all the while to the colorful chevron yoke. (Almost there!)

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Anne has fallen for a sweater from Yokes, “Frost at Midnight.” This beaded yoke is knit in a delicate lace-weight yarn called Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace, a shimmering blend of merino and silk, which, oh by the way, we now stock at the shop.

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We have only a few shades in stock, but will happily order whichever color you’d like. Come by to see the colorcard!

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Look for Kate Davies’ Yokes on the teacart in the front room. It will make a perfect holiday gift for the history-loving knitter in your life, and if that knitter happens to be you, send your nearest and dearest in for a copy. See you there!

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New Isager books.

Along with new yarn from Isager, we also got two new books!

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Isager is a Danish yarn company run by designer Marianne Isager and her daughter, Helga Isager. We always look forward to seeing new patterns for Isager yarns, especially from the Isagers themselves.

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Spring Summer Autumn Winter is Marianne Isager’s latest collection, featuring a sweater for each season, along with a few simple accessories.

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Each of the accessory patterns calls for Isager Alpaca 1 and Spinni held together, creating a unique fiber blend and a rustic marled colorway.

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Helga Isager’s latest book is Amimono: the Map Collection.

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Inside, you’ll find a mix of garments and accessories, many of which use the same yarn-blending technique.

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The “Shetland Cowl” caught my eye, with its simple triangle texture pattern and elegant fibers. The pattern calls for Isager Alpaca 2 held together with a mohair/silk blend, which immediately brought Shibui Silk Cloud to mind.

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Incidentally, the Isager and Shibui color palettes are quite compatible; I found plenty of good matches, more than one blog post can easily hold.

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Come by the shop to peruse these new pattern collections and the many Isager yarns we carry. See you there!