Yokes is here!


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.



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


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.


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.


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.”


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!)


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.


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


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!


New Isager books.

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


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.


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.


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


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




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.


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


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

Shibui Monochrome Trunk Show.

Yesterday, we were surprised and delighted to receive the Shibui Monochrome Trunk Show a few days early. Why wait? We put them right up on the wall, after petting them a bit.


The Monochrome Collection features designs by Kirsten Johnstone, all of which are knit with multiple strands of yarn at a time. There are many fun and useful things about trunk shows, like being able to play a bit of dress-up and try garments on for size, but one of the best aspects of a Shibui trunk show is seeing these yarn combinations in person.


It can be hard enough to imagine how a single yarn will behave as knitted fabric; throw two different colors or fibers into the mix and it can be a real leap of faith. That’s where our shop samples and swatches are most helpful–ah, this is how Cima and Silk Cloud work up together–and whole garments are even more illuminating.

DSCN3680Come by the shop before October 14th to see the Shibui Monochrome Trunk Show for yourself: try on the garments, browse the patterns, and plan your next project.


See you there!

New from Shibui.

The newest colors and patterns from Shibui have arrived at the shop!


Their newest colorways are “Blueprint,” “Fog,” “Pollen,” and “Trail,” and we now have them in Cima, Pebble, and Silk Cloud.



We also got a new shade in Linen, a yarn that has been warmly embraced by knitters and crocheters alike since we first got it back in May.


We’re also excited to have two new pattern collections from Shibui, their Fall/Winter 2014 Mix Collection and the Monochrome Collection. The Mix patterns combine multiple Shibui yarns to create unique color and fiber blends.

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I’m particularly excited about a few of the Monochrome patterns, and even more excited to announce that we’re hosting a Shibui Monochrome Trunk Show from October 1st – 14th! 

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Intrigued by Shibui yarns? Sign up for our upcoming Shibui Mix Party to sample five Shibui yarns. It’s a great opportunity to swatch and experiment with yarn combinations before you invest in a project’s worth of yarn. Come by the shop to peruse the latest patterns and check out the new colors, too. See you there!

Fibre Company Trunk Show: Summer Sweaters.

We’re so excited to announce that we’ve just received a Trunk Show featuring Fibre Company yarns and patterns. The Summer Sweater collection will be on display here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop until July 20th, and we have all the yarns and patterns to make these garments your own!


The Summer Sweater collection consists of six garments knit in Fibre Company’s most warm-weather-friendly yarns, Savannah and Meadow. Each yarn is composed of both plant and animal fibers, giving the finished fabric a nice blend of elasticity and drape.


Savannah is a sport weight mix of wool, cotton, linen, and soya, and Meadow is a blend of merino, llama, linen, and silk spun into a lace/fingering weight yarn.


We have shawls made in each one of these yarns, but they are just as well suited to sweater-making, and it’s a treat to see that in person. Trunk shows like these are a unique opportunity to touch and try on for size before you cast on for a project.


“Sonora” is my favorite, a simple tee with cap sleeves that I’m sure I’d wear all the time. This collection offers a range of tees and tanks, with different color and texture patterns making each one unique.

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Come by the shop before July 20th to admire the Summer Sweaters Trunk Show, try them on for size, and plan one for yourself!


Back in stock: Malabrigo Lace.

The Malabrigo booth is always a must-see at TNNA, and this year, we went there to restock. We filled in some shades of Arroyo we were missing, and picked out a new palette in Lace, our supply having dwindled.


Malabrigo Lace is a single-ply merino, soft as can be, and boasts an impressive 470 yards on each 50 gram hank. That’s enough for a scarf, cowl, or shawlette; just two or three more skeins and you’ve enough to knit Hannah Fettig’s “Wispy Cardi.” 


Here at the shop, we have a swatch of Malabrigo Lace, the start of Liz Abinante’s “Saroyan,” a popular free pattern for a triangular stockinette scarf with a leaf edging. This little bit of fabric gives a good sense of how Malabrigo Lace knits up. Come by the shop to take a closer look, and pick up a few skeins for yourself!

Still playing with Shibui.

I have many loves when it comes to yarn and knitting, but right now, Shibui is at the forefront. Each time new colors come in to the shop, I find myself pairing and grouping them again. With that in mind, indulge me in a few more color-combinations for Shibui projects–I can’t help myself.


Several of you have made or are making the “Gradient” cowl, a free pattern from Shibui which is worked with three strands of Silk Cloud held together. Periodically, one of those three strands is switched out for a different color, which makes a gentle transition from one color to the next–four colors in all. It’s easy to lose oneself on Ravelry looking at different “Gradient” cowls in their many colors…here are even more that I’d love to see made up.






With 21 shades of Silk Cloud so far, we have plenty to choose from. What four colors would you use for a “Gradient” cowl?


We also got new colors in Cima, a springy lace weight blend of alpaca and merino. I put these pairings together with two Shibui cowls in mind–“Kinetic” and “Mix No. 23.” The first has you blending the two colors for an ombre effect, and the second sets the two shades against one another in a bold double-knit motif.





We’re up to 20 shades in Cima now; come by the shop to play with them yourself, and consider Shibui’s yarns and patterns as you’re planning your next project!


New from Shibui.

Shibui has just released their Spring/Summer 2014 pattern collection, six new Mix patterns that combine Shibui yarns two or three strands at a time to make unique fiber blends. We’re also excited to announce that in April, we’ll host a trunk show featuring these very garments. We can’t wait to see them in person!


“Mix No. 25” is a long, lightweight cardigan, knit with two strands of Shibui Pebble held together throughout–the same yarn combination used to make the “Cliff” hat that we have on display here at the shop. The handsome “Mix No. 26” scarf is also knit with Pebble, two shades in a chevron colorwork pattern. We got a few new shades of Pebble in this past week, making it even more fun to come up with “Mix No. 26” color combinations.



I find “Mix No. 29” perhaps the most tempting of the bunch, in part because I’ve had my double-knit “Mix No. 23” cowl wrapped around my neck all winter, and find another Shibui cowl hard to resist.


“Mix No. 29” is knit with the springy Cima and tweedy Pebble held together, a combination that makes a light and lovely fabric. It can be hard to imagine how two different yarns will behave when knit together, which is why we have swatches in each possible combination of the three Shibui yarns we currently carry. Look for a stack of them in the Shibui Mix Box, where you’ll also find the Shibui lookbooks, color-cards, and pattern binder.


Another way to take the guesswork out of yarn-combining is to swatch these yarns yourself before you buy them, which is exactly what happens at a Shibui Mix Party. We had one here at HYS in January, where knitters and crocheters sampled Cima, Pebble, and Silk Cloud. I’m delighted to announce that we’ve got another Shibui Mix Party on the schedule, and this time, we’re offering samples of all nine Shibui yarns! Because of our small space, we’re limiting this special event to 15 participants, so sign up now if you’d like to attend!


Come by the shop to see the latest from Shibui and plan your next project. (Maybe Stephen West’s new “Pebble Parallelograms,” a colorful scarf knit in five shades of Pebble and one of Silk Cloud, all of which are in stock at the shop right now, and pictured above? Just sayin’.) See you there!

New colors in Meadow.

Fibre Company’s newest yarn, Meadow, has been catching the attention of knitters and crocheters at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop since we unpacked our first box of the stuff. We admired finished garments made in Meadow at the Allium Collection trunk show, and sampled Meadow ourselves at the Fibre Company yarn tasting, planning projects for this unique lace weight yarn all the while. I’m happy to report that the Fibre Company has created three new colors of Meadow: a bright teal, a dark brown, and a pale, greyish lavender.


Meadow is an unusual yarn, somewhere in between a lace weight and a light fingering weight, a soft and tweedy blend of 40% merino wool, 25% baby llama, 20% silk, and 15% linen. It knits up comfortably on a wide range of needle sizes, as well-suited to lightweight sweaters as it is to lace shawls. These three new shades fit right into the existing Meadow color palette, its moody, muted shades punctuated by a few sunny brights.



Look for Meadow in a basket near the lace and fingering weight yarns, and consider it for your next project. Come by and see our other Fibre Company yarns, too: Savannah, Acadia, and Canopy Worsted. See you at the shop!

New colors from Shibui.

Our yarn tastings often result in mammoth orders from whatever yarn company we’ve just sampled. In part this is because we take special orders from yarn tasting attendees, but it’s also because Anne and I have a hard time resisting the urge to get a few new colors in these lovable yarns. It was no different with our recent Shibui Mix Party, and the result is new colors in all three Shibui yarns we currently carry–springy Cima, fuzzy Silk Cloud, and tweedy Pebble.



Shibui yarns are designed to be held two or three strands at a time to create unique fiber blends, and because of that, they dye all their yarn bases in matching colorways for easy mixing. There’s not an exact match for every single color in every single yarn, but they get pretty close. The use of two similar-but-not-identical colors held together also makes for an interesting effect, as I’ve learned in my recently-completed Carpino sweater.


I held Shibui Silk Cloud and Isager Highland together in the colors “Bordeaux” and “Wine,” respectively. A good match in name and in hue. When you look at the finished fabric up close, you can see the difference between the two yarns, but from a distance, they blend into a cohesive burgundy shade.


These two new colorways of Pebble give knitters a few more options when choosing colors for the Cliff Hat. We now carry 12 shades of this tweedy cashmere/silk/wool blend.


Amy is teaching an upcoming class on the Cliff hat, a nice small project for learning colorwork; read more about it and sign up on our Classes page!




We’re so pleased to see our selection of Shibui colorways growing like this. Come by the shop to see them for yourself, and to plan a project using Shibui yarns!