New Isager patterns.

By now, you probably know how we feel about Isager yarns and patterns. We’ve offered classes on Marianne and Helga Isager’s designs, hosted Isager trunk shows, and knit with those yarns and patterns ourselves, again and again. So it will come as no surprise that we’re delighted to share some new Isager patterns with you, meaning patterns designed by Marianne Isager as well as patterns by other designers for Isager yarns.

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The “Trellis Wimple” is a generous openwork cowl that can be worn a few different ways. It’s worked on a range of needle sizes to create gentle shaping, and made with two strands of Isager yarn held together throughout: the lace weight Spinni (Wool 1) and the fingering weight Alpaca 2. Use coordinating colors for a solid-looking garment, or try slightly different shades for a marled look.

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The “Barclay Scarf” uses three shades of Alpaca 2, which are striped in a texture pattern for a nice effect.

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Marianne Isager’s “Diamanten” shawl calls for Spinni (Wool 1) held together with a silk/mohair blend; Shibui Silk Cloud comes to mind. The Isager and Shibui color palettes each have their own character, but there is certainly overlap enough to make some beautiful combinations.

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Speaking of Shibui, Pebble or Isager Tvinni would both be a perfect fit for “Vingefang,” a cardigan pattern that also came to us from our Isager distributors.

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Come by the shop to see even more new patterns for Isager yarns, and to play the Isager/Shibui color combination game that I’ve come to love. See you there!

Gradient colorways.

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We recently acquired a few new colors in Shibui Silk Cloud, one of our newest yarns. Silk Cloud is a shimmering, fuzzy blend of mohair and silk, one that has quickly made its way onto Anne’s needles as well as my own. Already low on a few popular colors, we placed an order with Shibui a few weeks ago and were unable to resist a couple of new hues in Silk Cloud.

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When presented with piles of yarn, my first impulse is always to group colors into interesting pairings or trios, thinking, “How could I combine these in a garment?” Unpacking the new colors in Silk Cloud, I immediately thought of the “Gradient” cowl, a free pattern from Shibui.

In the spirit of the Shibui Mix concept, which encourages the combining of Shibui yarns two or three strands at a time, “Gradient” 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.

“Gradient” calls for four shades of Silk Cloud, so immediately I started putting foursomes together, shuffling all our available colors this way and that until I found combinations that pleased me.

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Inspired to make a “Gradient” cowl of your own? I can’t wait to see what other color combinations you creative knitters will come up with. Look for the “Gradient” pattern on Shibui’s website, where you can download it for free, and look for Shibui Silk Cloud at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop in the lace weight section. See you there!

Cliff Hat.

Speaking of Shibui, I recently finished a new shop sample with Shibui Pebble: the Cliff Hat.

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The Cliff Hat is a slouchy colorwork beanie, a free pattern from Shibui. I used the colors called for in the pattern, colors I might never have thought to put together myself, but which make a beautiful gradient in this easy-to-memorize colorwork motif.

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The hat is knit with two strands of Pebble held together throughout, which makes a nice cohesive fabric, soft enough to slouch a bit, but sturdy enough to feel substantial and warm on the head. The two-stranded Pebble swatch I’d knit for the shop is lofty and open by comparison, proof that yarns can be happy at many different gauges; it all depends on what kind of fabric you’re hoping to create.

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Come by the shop to see this new Shibui sample, and select colors for a Cliff Hat of your own!

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Hello, Pebble.

Last week, I gave a brief introduction to Shibui here on the blog–their yarns, patterns, “mix” concept for combining yarns, beautiful coordinated colorways, and luxury fibers. This week, I wanted to give each of the three Shibui yarns we carry a chance to shine. Having given Cima and Silk Cloud the spotlight earlier in the week, it’s time for Pebble.

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Pebble is a lace weight blend of 48% recycled silk, 36% wool, and 16% cashmere, boasting 224 yards on each 25 gram skein. This carefully crafted blend of fibers feels soft on the skein, but softer still once it’s made up into fabric. Each of Pebble’s three plies is made of a separate fiber, so that you can see how each one takes the dye somewhat differently. Its tweedy look sets it apart from the other Shibui yarns we carry, and indeed, from most other yarns you’ll find in the “Lace Weight” section of the shop.

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Pebble is Shibui’s newest concoction, and it’s been introduced this fall along with a series of knitting patterns that make use of it held singly or doubly. You’ll find the Pebble pattern collection in the Shibui binder at the shop, which gives a preview of each Shibui pattern. If you find a pattern you like, you can buy it from us as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale and we’ll print a copy for you and send a digital copy to your email or Ravelry library.

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This colorwork-yoked sweater, “Cliff,” is another Shibui garment we fell in love with at TNNA. Pebble has a bit of a fuzzy halo when it’s knit, washed, and blocked, and it was the softness and delicacy of this yarn that turned our heads towards Shibui in the first place.

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Look on the Shibui website for the Cliff Hat, a free pattern for Pebble. When searching for other pattern ideas, remember that Pebble is a lofty lace weight yarn, comfortable at a range of gauges. When held double, or paired with Silk Cloud or Cima, Pebble makes a dk weight, so you might hunt through your Ravelry queue for patterns with a suggested gauge of about 5.5 stitches per inch. Follow us on Pinterest for more Pebble pattern ideas; our “Inspiring Stitches” board is a collection of patterns and projects that make good use of yarns that are available at HYS. I’ve been pinning Shibui pattern ideas all week, so if you’re seeking Shibui inspiration, look for us on Pinterest.

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Come by the shop to see Pebble, Silk Cloud, and Cima, and to peruse the Shibui pattern binder. There are still some open spaces in our upcoming Shibui Mix Party–you can sign up on our website, where you’ll also find information about our latest classes. See you at the shop!

 

Hello, Silk Cloud.

Last week, I gave a brief introduction to Shibui here on the blog–their yarns, patterns, “mix” concept for combining yarns, beautiful coordinated colorways, and luxury fibers. This week, I wanted to give each of the three Shibui yarns we carry a chance to shine. Having given Cima the spotlight earlier in the week, it’s time for Silk Cloud.

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Silk Cloud is a lace weight yarn composed of 60% kid mohair and 40% silk, boasting 330 yards on each 25 gram skein. Mohair is tremendously fuzzy and warm, its halo filling in the gaps a bit when knit or crocheted at larger gauges. And while silk is a common ingredient in mohair yarns from many different companies, Shibui’s Silk Cloud has a higher percentage of silk than many, which seems to make it smoother on the hands and needles.

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From our first browse through Shibui’s patterns, “Mix No. 19” was Anne’s favorite, a color block pullover designed to be loose-fitting. It calls for Silk Cloud held double throughout, making a substantial but lightweight fabric that drapes gently. Of course Anne cast on as soon as the yarn arrived.

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Anne is knitting “Mix No. 19” in the colors it’s shown in, though there are many other tempting combinations to be found in our stash of Silk Cloud. In playing the color game, I was drawn to subtle, low-contrast combinations.

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“Mix No. 2” is a similar garment, also using two strands of Silk Cloud held together, but featuring a tunic length, long sleeves, and a subtle textural stripe.

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When held together with another yarn, Silk Cloud lends its halo to the finished fabric. Because Shibui’s yarns are dyed in matching colorways across the different fiber types, it makes good sense to hold Silk Cloud together with Cima, as in “Mix No. 16” and “Mix No. 20.”

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Another approach to try when seeking uses for this luxurious combination of yarns is to search patterns by gauge. Silk Cloud and Cima make a sport weight gauge when held together, so try a Ravelry pattern search that filters results to show only patterns using sport weight yarn. Follow us on Pinterest for more Silk Cloud pattern ideas; our “Inspiring Stitches” board is a collection of patterns and projects that make good use of yarns that are available at HYS.

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Come by the shop to see Silk Cloud and our other Shibui yarns for yourself, and flip through their pattern binder for inspiration. See you there!

Hello, Cima.

Last week, I gave a brief introduction to Shibui here on the blog–their yarns, patterns, “mix” concept for combining yarns, beautiful coordinated colorways, and luxury fibers. This week, I wanted to give each of the three Shibui yarns we carry a chance to shine. Today: say hello to Cima.

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Cima is a lace weight yarn composed of 70% superbaby alpaca and 30% fine merino wool, boasting 330 yards on each 50 gram skein. It’s a 2-ply yarn, tightly plied so that it almost resembles a string of pearls.

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I fell in love with this double-knit cowl when I saw it displayed at Shibui’s booth at TNNA. As we talked with the people at Shibui, choosing colors and learning about the yarns, I idly petted the cowl, admiring the drape of the fabric, the reversible design. By the time the yarn arrived at the shop, I was ready to pick out colors to knit one myself. The Mix No. 23 pattern calls for two strands of Cima held together throughout, making a sport weight gauge. Double knitting creates two layers of fabric at once, so I had a lot of stitches on my needles, but the yarn was so pleasant to work with, and the pattern so clearly written, that I sped right through it.

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For my Mix No. 23, I used Cima in “Caffeine” and “Suit.” It was hard to choose just one pair of colors, though–the Shibui color palette is nuanced and unusual, and I loved pairing them up in hypothetical cowls.

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Beginning in January, we’re offering a class on double knitting that teaches this very pattern. If you’re interested in learning the technique and making the cowl along the way, consider Amy’s “Double Knitting” class–you can read all about it, sign up and prepay on our website.

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There are plenty of other things to make with Shibui Cima, of course, and Shibui’s own pattern line is a great place to start looking for inspiration. Shibui patterns often call for Cima to be held double, or even triple, combining colors in interesting ways, often to achieve a gradient effect. One of their free patterns, Kinetic, uses two strands and two colors in this way; you can download the pattern from the Shibui website.

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Cima is also lovely on its own, held singly, anywhere lace weight yarn is called for. To that end, our “Lace Weight Shawls” binder is worth flipping through, along with our collection of lace-themed books. Follow us on Pinterest for more Cima pattern ideas; our “Inspiring Stitches” board is a collection of patterns and projects that make good use of yarns that are available at HYS.

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Keep your eye on the blog for more on Shibui yarns and patterns, and come by the shop to become acquainted with these yarns in person!

Hello, Shibui.

We are excited to announce that we now carry three yarns from Shibui, a Portland-based yarn company that is known for their fine natural fiber yarns and their unique color palette. Many of their yarns are lace or fingering weight, and designed to be knit on their own or held together, using two or three strands at a time to make bespoke yarn blends.

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We chose three yarns to bring into the shop this fall: Silk Cloud, a fuzzy blend of mohair and silk; Cima, a tightly plied blend of alpaca and merino; and their newest yarn, Pebble, a tweedy blend of silk, merino, and cashmere.

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All three are lace weight, and can be combined in many ways and at many gauges in garments and accessories alike.

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Shibui yarns are dyed in coordinating colors, so that two different yarns in the same colors can be combined to create a solid color.

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Visiting Shibui’s booth at TNNA this past June, we were struck by the rich colors, interesting textures, high quality fibers, and stylish designs.

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We have sample copies of Shibui’s Mix patterns at the shop; they’re all available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales, so when you buy them from us, we’ll print a copy for you and save a digital copy in your email or Ravelry library.

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Come by the shop to see these Shibui yarns for yourself, and to flip through the Shibui Mix patterns, lookbooks, and flashcards that suggest different yarn combinations with gauge and needle sizes. We are so excited about all things Shibui–keep an eye out for more from Shibui soon!

Hello, Meadow.

We’re delighted to announce that Meadow has arrived! This newest yarn from the Fibre Company is featured in our upcoming Fibre Company Yarn Tasting, as well as our current trunk show: the Allium Collection, 8 shawls and scarves knit in this delicious yarn.

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Meadow, like many Fibre Company yarns, has an unusual and carefully-crafted fiber composition: 40% merino wool, 25% baby llama, 20% silk, and 15% linen. Each of these fibers brings its own unique characteristics to the yarn in terms of drape, texture, and color, and the result is a lightweight fabric that is soft to the touch and holds its shape even at a looser gauge than is suggested on the ball band. It’s between a lace and a light fingering weight, with a generous 545 yards in each 100 gram skein.

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We also have all 8 patterns from Grace Anna Farrow’s Allium Collection, which use Meadow in a variety of techniques, from simple garter or stockinette stitch to stripes, short rows, lace, and colorwork.

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Usually, when we order a brand new yarn for the shop, we begin with a small selection of colors. When it came to Meadow, we couldn’t help ourselves–we had to have every single color the Fibre Company makes. One of them is missing from this photoshoot because we sold out of it as soon as it arrived, but don’t fret, it’s on order!

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Come by the shop to see Meadow and all the other Fibre Company yarns we carry, and do so before October 20th to play dress-up with the trunk show!

Fibre Company Trunk Show!

We are delighted to announce that we’re hosting a Fibre Company Trunk Show, now through October 20th!

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These 8 shawls and scarves make up designer Grace Anna Farrow’s Allium Collection.

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All are designed for and knit with Fibre Company’s newest yarn, Meadow, a lace weight blend of merino wool, llama, silk, and linen. This bewitching combination of plant and animal fibers is typical of the Fibre Company, who seem to always be seeking new and interesting fiber combinations.

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The yarn itself is scheduled to arrive soon, along with all 8 patterns of the Allium Collection–though they are also available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales, so we can always get you a copy that way.

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Come by the shop to see the Allium Collection for yourself, and if you’d like to sample Meadow and three other Fibre Company yarns, sign up for the upcoming Fibre Company Yarn Tasting! It promises to be a delightful and inspiring morning of stitching, sipping, and munching. We’d love to see you there!

New from Habu.

We always stop by the Habu Textiles booth at TNNA, and this year was no exception. We’d made a note before going to market that we could use a few new colors in their one-of-a-kind Silk Stainless yarn, which translated into Anne gathering an armful of colorful cones as Habu founder Takako Ueki jotted down color numbers. The new colors of Habu Silk Stainless arrived a week or so ago, settling in with the few colors we’d already had in stock. Our new selection is vibrant and tempting, and I thought they deserved a bit of fanfare here on the blog.

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It’s Silk Stainless that makes the Kusha Kusha Scarf such an intriguing project. It’s knit on a variety of different needle sizes, sometimes holding a fine lace weight merino along with the Silk Stainless, and when the knitting is done, the piece is lightly felted in hot, soapy water.

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Habu used to sell kits for the Kusha Kusha Scarf, but has since offered the pattern for free via the Purl Bee. This frees you up to choose your own color combinations, which sometimes feels like half the joy of knitting in the first place. We don’t stock the Habu Super Fine Merino that the pattern calls for, but we have so many other lace weight yarns to choose from that would be equally interesting in this project. They’ll all behave a little differently, I suspect, which should be fun to experiment with. I had fun putting these hypothetical combinations together.

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Don’t limit yourself to Kusha Kusha scarves, however; Silk Stainless can also be put to good use in sweaters and knitted or crocheted jewelry. We’ve even had a weaver experiment with a few cones of the stuff on her loom. Come by the shop to see our sample Kusha Kusha Scarf and our new selection of Habu Silk Stainless. See you there!