New, for weavers.

Over the past week or so, we’ve gotten a couple of new weaving-related items in stock.

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First up, we’ve got the latest issue of Handwoven magazine, which focuses on weaving with linen.

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Projects include wearables, like the log cabin wrap above, and lots of home goods, like napkins and kitchen towels.

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Handwoven always includes projects for a variety of loom types and sizes, including rigid heddle looms, like the Schacht Cricket Looms we keep in stock here at the shop. We got a fresh batch of them recently, knowing that Cricket Looms are topping many a holiday wish-list this year. We also have new scarf kits for rigid heddle looms from DJE Handwovens, which would make excellent gifts for beginner weavers.

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Deb Essen’s kits include pre-measured warp and weft yarns from Mountain Colors, and thorough instructions for weaving a simple, colorful scarf on a rigid heddle loom. We also got a few new Swatch Critter kits, to go with the Schacht Zoom Loom. Come by the shop to see what we offer for weavers, crocheters, and knitters alike!

Pre-Market Sale spotlight: Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle.

From May 5th – 27th, we have Elsebeth Lavold and Louisa Harding yarns discounted during our Pre-Market Sale: single skeins are reduced by 30% and full bags of 10 are 40% off! Throughout the sale, I’ll be highlighting some of these yarns and giving ideas for what to make with them. Today: spotlight on Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle.

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Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle is a textured blend of 45% cotton, 30% bamboo, 17% linen, and 8% nylon. It’s an aran weight yarn, with about 87 yards on each 50 gram ball, and knits up at around 4.5 stitches per inch on a US 7 or 8.

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Because of its fiber content, Bamboucle lacks elasticity, and creates fabric with drape rather than memory. This makes it ideal for shawls and scarves, loose-fitting sweaters, and home goods.

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As I was searching Ravelry for patterns well-suited to aran-weight plant fiber yarns like Bamboucle, I found Alicia Plummer’s “Hudson,” a two-color cowl. It was this lightweight, summery pattern that inspired the color pairs I photographed for this blog post.

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If it’s a larger garment you’re interested in, consider Mags Kandis’ “Amiga” cardigan and Heidi Kirrmaier’s “Simple Summer Tweed Top Down V-Neck,” both free patterns for casual sweaters.

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For home goods, try Megan Goodacre’s “Leafy Washcloth” and Marsha’s upcoming class on the subject, Barbara Breiter’s “Optical Illusion Cloth,” and Laura Dianiska’s “Hexagonal Market Bag,” which we did as an informal Knit-Along a few years back.

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Come by the shop to check out Elsebeth Lavold Bamboucle and all our other discounted yarns during the Pre-Market Sale!

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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, Shibui Twig.

We’re thrilled to announce the arrival of Shibui’s newest yarn: meet Twig.

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Twig is a slightly textured blend of 46% linen, 42% recycled silk, and 12% wool.

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Each 50 gram skein has 190 yards, and it knits up at a sport or dk weight gauge into an open, draping fabric.

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Shibui yarns are dyed in matching colorways across the line, designed to be knit on their own or held together to make bespoke yarn blends. Twig is no exception; I expect this yarn will play quite well with the others.

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Like Shibui Linen, Twig has a crisp feel and a plant fiber’s tendency to stretch rather than cling, qualities that make it ideal for warm weather garments and accessories. If you like a little more elasticity, consider holding Twig together with Cima or Pebble.

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The design team at Shibui has included Twig in its Spring/Summer 2015 collection, featuring the kind of loose-fitting, modern garments that Twig is best suited to.

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Some patterns are for Twig alone, others pair it with different Shibui yarns, or offer several combinations to choose from.

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That, after all, is what drives the Shibui mix concept: by combining more than one yarn and/or color, you can create exactly the fiber, texture, or color blend you’d like. As long as you’re getting the gauge the pattern calls for, you can mix and substitute yarns to your heart’s content.

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Come by the shop to see Twig for yourself, peruse the Shibui Spring/Summer 2015 pattern collection, and plan a Shibui project!

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New colors in Shibui Linen.

Linen is the newest Shibui yarn in our collection, a chain-plied yarn in a light fingering weight. We’ve stocked it for just over a month, and already we’ve had to reorder many of the six colors we started out with. Thrilled that knitters and crocheters are as intrigued by the stuff as we are, we ordered a few new colors, too.

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We now have Shibui Linen in “Ivory,” “Poppy,” and “Suit,” and they make nice additions to our color selection. I got to arranging them in groups of fours as I photographed them, thinking of Shibui’s free pattern, “L.1.”

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“L.1” is a simple striped wrap shown in two main colors, neutrals, and two contrasting colors, one bright and one dark. With that composition in mind, I came up with these colorways, though of course there are many different color strategies to play with.

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Come by the shop to see Shibui Linen for yourself, and while you’re here, be sure to admire Amy’s “Mix No. 28,” a vest made with Shibui Linen and Pebble held together. See you there!

Hello, Shibui Linen.

We’re delighted to announce that we now stock Shibui Linen. Our first six colors are now in, and more are coming!

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Shibui Linen is a light fingering weight yarn composed of 100% linen, with a unique chain ply structure and 246 yards on each 50 gram skein. It has that somewhat crunchy texture that many linen yarns have, but like all linen, it will soften with washing and wearing. Shibui Linen is cool to the touch, perfect for spring and summer knitting and crocheting, and makes up into a lightweight, gently draping fabric.

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For Linen pattern inspiration, you might begin with the Shibui patterns, though you should not feel limited to them. Consider “Mix No. 27,” a structured two-color tank that you might have seen at last month’s Shibui Trunk Show, or “Mix No. 13,” an oversized mesh pullover knit with two strands of Linen held together throughout–no doubt an excellent layering garment for our warm climate.

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Shibui yarns are designed to be used in combination with one another, two or three strands at a time. Shibui Linen definitely plays well with others, bringing its drape and texture to whatever yarn it’s paired with.

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I’ve recently started knitting  a v-neck pullover with Shibui Linen and Cima held together–“Mix No. 17.” I’m loving the interplay of these two yarns, one cool and one warm, one stiff and one stretchy, and the resulting fabric is a happy medium between their two extremes. This is definitely an unusual sweater for me; I’m a devoted lover of wool yarns, with their springy elasticity, but the Linen is a nice change of pace. Also, it’s yellow, a bold color choice for this gray enthusiast. I can’t wait to wear this sweater!

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Shibui Linen and Pebble are used together in “Mix No. 28,” a vest that was featured in last month’s Shibui Trunk Show. I had so much fun pairing Linen and Pebble colorways, finding colors that are close but not identical.

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Pebble offers its lofty hand and tweedy appearance to the fabric, bringing textural interest to a mostly-stockinette garment.

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Shibui Linen and Silk Cloud are another winning combination, but what, we often rhetorically wonder, does Silk Cloud not improve? With its fuzzy mohair and shiny silk content, Silk Cloud brings a bit of drama to the humble Linen.

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Though “Mix No. 3” calls for Silk Cloud and Staccato, I predict that Shibui Linen will make an excellent Staccato substitute. Though the fiber content is quite different, the gauge is similar, and linen’s natural inclination to stretch out and hang nicely will make for an elegant shawl.

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Come by the shop to see Shibui Linen for yourself! We’re so looking forward to seeing the rest of the colors we ordered, which are on backorder for the time being. I’ll be sure to post when they come in, and as usual, if there’s any color you’re looking for in particular, please let us know–we’re happy to do special orders. See you at the shop!

 

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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.

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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.

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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!

Julep B.

We just got some brand new kits from Julep B. featuring Classic Elite Firefly!

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Firefly is a sport weight blend of rayon and linen, lustrous fibers that drape beautifully, making the yarn perfectly suited to shawl-knitting.

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We have Julep B. shawl kits in two styles, “Lillian” and “Sylvia.” Each kit contains a shawl pattern and enough yarn to complete it, and all of the above is contained in a sweet muslin project bag.

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Kits make great gifts, as they the guesswork out of pairing yarn and pattern, all the while looking nice and neat in their packaging. Come by the shop to pick up a Julep B. kit and check out the rest of our kit selection, including hatsscarvesmitts, and more. See you there!

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!

New from the Fibre Company.

About a year ago, we introduced Acadia, a beautiful and unique dk weight yarn from the Fibre Company, a small yarn company out of Pennsylvania. We were dazzled by their array of natural fiber yarns when we saw them at TNNA, but limited ourselves to just one yarn in a small selection of colors, not knowing if our knitters and crocheters would fall for the yarn as hard as we did. In a quick succession of reorders that brought more and more new colors and project ideas to the shop, it became clear that the Fibre Company would be heartily embraced at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We allowed ourselves to go a little further this year, bringing in three additional Fibre Company yarns. The first two are here, and the third is expected in early October. Say hello to Fibre Company Savannah and Canopy Worsted!

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Savannah is a sport weight blend of 50% wool, 20% cotton, 15% linen, and 15% soya, which is spun and dyed in the US. The wool content gives elasticity to all those plant fibers, and each fiber takes the dye a little differently, giving the colorways a rustic heathered look. We think Savannah is a perfect blend of fibers for our Southern climate, suitable for all-seasons garments and accessories.

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Canopy Worsted is a light worsted weight blend of 50% baby alpaca, 30% merino wool, and 20% viscose from bamboo.

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This blend of fibers makes for a lustrous, drapey fabric that still has great stitch definition for texture patterns.

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Anne and I both worked on a Canopy Worsted swatch, and neither of us wanted to put it down. Yours truly has already acquired a sweaters’ worth, and put everything aside to cast on for said sweater. That said, Canopy Worsted is also well-suited to smaller accessories like scarves, cowls, hats, and shawls. For a more structured garment, like fingerless mitts, consider going down a needle size or two for a sturdier fabric.

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We’re still suckers for Acadia, too–the Fibre Company made four new colors for Fall, all in neutral shades, and we ordered two bags in each color. They fill out the ever-growing Acadia spectrum nicely.

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Come by the shop to see all these new yarns from the Fibre Company, and to plan your next project. We’re planning some exciting events featuring the Fibre Company in the coming weeks–stay tuned!