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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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! 

New books for knitters and crocheters.

For the past couple of months, we’ve been all about the new yarns, but new books have been coming in, too. Read on for a peek at the latest publications to find a home here at the shop.


Faina Goberstein and Simone Merchant-Dest have compiled a wide variety of slip-stitch patterns in their newest book, The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting. Look here for sweater and accessory patterns, as well as stitch patterns you can apply to your own designs.


Romi Hill’s New Lace Knitting is a collection of patterns for sweaters, scarves, hats, shawls, and more, all decorated with the kind of lacy openwork that Hill is best known for.


I noticed two of our favorite fingering weight yarns put to use in this collection, both of which are excellent for lace knitting: the “Williwaw Cardigan” in Shibui Staccato, and the “Fallen Leaf Shell” in Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering.

Poetic Crochet, by Sara Kay Hartman, is full of crochet garments inspired by classic poems. Hartman also makes use of a favorite Shibui yarn: Shibui Silk Cloud.


Come by the shop to treat yourself to a new book!

Brioche and lace: two new books.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for new books! Here are two of the latest publications from Interweave, each one focused on a single technique.


Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark’s Brioche Chic offers 22 garment and accessory patterns for men and women, all of which include brioche knitting.


Brioche is a lofty, stretchy fabric that can look like plush ribbing in its simplest form, and like twisting, multicolored cables or lace when modified or combined with other techniques.

DSCN3593My favorite in this collection: “Chevron Deep-V Pullover,” knit in Fibre Company Acadia.


If you’ve never tried brioche, this book is a great place to start, and its sure to keep you interested long after you’ve mastered the basics of the technique.


Everyday Lace, by Heather Zoppetti, is all about incorporating lace patterns into wearable, non-fussy garments. Inside, you’ll find patterns for sweaters of all shapes: tunics, vests, shrugs, pullovers, cardigans, and some accessories, too.


I spotted a few garments in familiar yarns. The “Kirkwood Vest” above is knit in Malabrigo Silky Merino, and the “Bellemont Cardigan” below is knit in Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted.


Come by the shop to find inspiration in a book or two, and plan your next project!


Crochet accessories and knit lace: two new books.

Two new books from Interweave have found a home at the shop: It Girl Crochet and New Vintage Lace.


It Girl Crochet boasts 23 patterns for crocheted accessories, from hats and mitts to scarves, cowls, and shawls. I spotted some HYS yarns as I flipped through the patterns; a hat in Mirasol Nuna, a shawl in Malabrigo Lace, and another in Shibui Silk Cloud.




Andrea Jurgrau’s New Vintage Lace is a collection of knitting patterns inspired by traditional lace doily patterns.


I was particularly impressed by the amount of information up front about the materials and design of garments like these, including detailed discussions of different fiber types and their various attributes, kinds of beads and how to apply them, gauge, swatching, blocking, and more.



The patterns are lovely, as well, with many familiar yarns at play; a hat in Malabrigo Silky Merino, and two shawls in Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb.




Come by the shop to peruse the latest books and magazines, including It Girl Crochet and New Vintage Lace–you’ll find them on the teacart. See you there!

Two new classes.

Marsha recently brought in two new knit samples, demonstrating techniques and projects she’ll teach in upcoming classes.


The “Waterhouse Mitts” class will teach stranded two-color knitting, following this free pattern from Ravelry. This one was knit with Marion Foale 3-ply Wool and Sandnes Garn Sisu, two fingering weight yarns in high-contrast colors.


Above is the “Loose Lattice Keyhole Scarf,” a Marsha original. Consider the Loose Lattice Lace class a “beginning lace” workshop, where you’ll swatch the Loose Lattice stitch pattern in the yarn of your choice and then knit a scarf with or without a keyhole to the dimensions you desire. This bright summery sample was knit in the aran-weight Debbie Bliss Stella, a blend of silk, rayon, and cotton.

Read more about these and other upcoming classes on our website!

Knitter’s Graph Paper Journal.

I’m happy to announce that we now stock Knitter’s Graph Paper Journals at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, the perfect notebook to slip into your knitting bag.


These slim, unassuming notebooks are full of knitter’s graph paper, with squares that, like knitted stitches, are wider than they are tall. This makes them ideal for penciling in all manner of knitting charts, from cables and colorwork to lace, intarsia, and texture patterns.


The Knitter’s Graph Paper Journal is made in Oakland, CA, and designed by a knitter, Narangkar Glover. The pages may be blank, but the inside covers are packed with information: a ruler on one edge, a needle inventory, a key for common knitting symbols, a guide to yarn weights and fabric care symbols.


It’s simple and practical, but also beautiful, I think. I bought one the moment we got them in stock, and just having one in my hands makes me eager to sketch some new stitch pattern, or plan a colorwork project. I look forward to filling it with notes, charts, and ideas.


Come by the shop to pick up a Knitter’s Graph Paper Journal for yourself or a friend!

Vogue Knitting.

The Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Vogue Knitting is here!


Inside, you’ll find patterns for a mix of garments and accessories for warm-weather knitting: openwork tops for layering in transitional seasons, lightweight scarves and shawls, bright color-block sweaters, and a series of three-season hoodies.



I noticed a favorite yarn in this issue, too–one skein of the delightful Fibre Company Meadow, knit up into a floral lace scarf.


We always like to see what Meg Swansen is writing about in her Vogue column–this time, it’s tips and tricks for lace-knitting, a topic well-suited to the projects in this issue.


Look for Vogue Knitting on the teacart among the latest books and magazines. See you at the shop!

Sonetto shawl.

Last week, Amy brought in this new shop sample: the “Sonetto” shawl, knit in two shades of Fibre Company Meadow.


“Sonetto” is an asymmetric triangular shawl pattern suitable for new lace knitters, and one whose size is easy to adjust depending upon preference, or amount of yarn.


It’s cast on at one point of the triangle, increasing in width every row, and finished with a neat picot bind-off.


Amy altered the pattern a bit to knit it in two colors, using the intarsia technique of twisting one color of yarn around the other at a certain point in every row. She wrote a bit about how to make this change on her Ravelry project page, if you’d like to make the same modification to a “Sonetto” shawl of your own.


“Sonetto” calls for between 375 – 575 yards of fingering weight yarn, though this is somewhat flexible–we’ve seen one made up in Selku, a sport weight wool, and the Meadow used in Amy’s shawl is more a lace-weight than a fingering-weight yarn. Inspired by Amy’s “Sonetto,” several knitters have embarked on “Sonetto”s of their own in yarns like Malabrigo Finito, Isager Plant Fibre and Alpaca 2–I can’t wait to see how they come out!


Judy Marples’ “Sonetto” pattern is available as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale here at the shop; we’ll print a copy for you and save a digital copy to your email or Ravelry Library. Come by the shop to see Amy’s “Sonetto” shawl and plan your next project. See you there!

Kindling shawl.

A new lace shawl now decorates the walls at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop: “Kindling,” by Kate Gagnon Osborn, knit with three skeins of Fibre Company Savannah.


If you’ve visited the shop on a Sunday recently, you may well have seen Rosi stitching on this shawl. Once the knitting was done, she passed it on to me so I could try my hand at blocking it with blocking wires–a new skill for me.


Using a Knitter’s Pride Lace Blocking Kit and some online tutorials, blocking the “Kindling” shawl was easier than I thought it might be.


It’s always amazing to me how the fabric changes with a good soak, and this is particularly true for lace patterns. When they first come off the needles, they look rumpled and bumpy, but after blocking, the eyelets open up and the lace pattern can really shine. It was satisfying to see, even though I hadn’t knit the thing myself.


Fibre Company Savannah is a sport weight blend of 50% wool, 20% cotton, 15% linen, and 15% soya, which gives it the elasticity of wool and the lightness of plant fibers–a perfect spring and summer yarn.


Come by the shop to admire Rosi’s handiwork and see our “Kindling” sample for yourself. You’ll find Savannah in the sport weight section, and the pattern is always available as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale–we’ll print it out for you and save a digital copy in your email or Ravelry pattern library. Hope to see you there soon!

Knitter’s Pride blocking wires.

Blocking is a frequently recurring subject of conversation around the shop. What is blocking, and why do we do it? And perhaps more importantly: how do we do it? Many knitters are unsure about this last step, afraid they’ll somehow do it wrong and ruin their shawls or sweaters. Let us assure you: blocking is nothing to be afraid of, but simply the act of washing your finished piece and laying it out to dry. This resets the memory of the yarn, and can help to even out tension, open up lace patterns, and tweak the dimensions of your piece. Different kinds of projects require different blocking techniques. Sometimes it’s enough to smooth your knitted or crocheted fabric into shape with your hands and let it dry, and other times, you’ll want to pin it out to very specific measurements. For lace shawls and scarves, you may want a special tool to assist you: blocking wires.


We now carry Knitter’s Pride Lace Blocking Wire Kits, which feature stainless steel wires in two lengths, T-pins for holding them in place on your blocking surface, and measuring tape to check the dimensions of your piece as you block.


For more information on blocking with and without blocking wires, check out these helpful tutorials:

Also, designer and knitwear photographer Caro Sheridan suggests using blocking wires to help install a zipper on a knitted sweater–clever! Check out the “Techniques and tutorials” board on the HYS Pinterest page for more links to knitting and crochet how-to’s.

Come by the shop to pick up a set of blocking wires, and banish your fear of blocking at last. See you there!