Gemini Knit-Along.

Looking towards Spring, Anne and I have cast on for short-sleeved pullover sweaters. We are each making Gemini, a tee knit seamlessly in the round from the top down.

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Designed by Jane Richmond and available for free on Knitty, Gemini is written for Katia Linen, a dk weight blend of cotton and linen. I’m making up a sample Gemini in the yarn called for, and Anne is substituting with Mirasol Samp’a, an organic cotton.

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In choosing an appropriate substitute for Katia Linen, we wanted to be sure that Anne would be able to get the gauge that the pattern calls for, and that the resulting fabric would behave similarly to the fabric that Katia Linen creates. That means picking a plant fiber, like cotton, linen, hemp, tencel, or bamboo, as all of those fibers have a tendency to stretch and drape. Richmond’s design takes that into account, and she suggests that the knitter pick a finished size about 4″ smaller than their own bust size. In an elastic fiber, like wool, 4″ of negative ease would make for a snug fit, but in a plant fiber, which lacks elasticity, it means a nice, easy fit, not too loose and not too tight.

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Want to make a Gemini of your own? Join us in this informal Knit-Along. We have a nice selection of colors in both Katia Linen and Mirasol Samp’a, and even more when you consider the many other good substitutes that are available: Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy and Cotton Frappe, Cascade Ultra Pima, Berroco Pure Pima, Queensland Haze, Tahki Cotton Classic, Sublime Organic Cotton DK and Soya Cotton DK, Katia Degrade, and many more. Come by the shop to see our Geminis-in-progress and we’ll help you find the perfect yarn to knit your own spring top.

Hello, Linen Concerto.

Consider this Part 2 of our most recent shipment from Plymouth: a new yarn called Linen Concerto.

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Linen Concerto is a slightly textured dk weight blend of rayon, linen, and cotton. It’s perfect for making lightweight garments–shawls, scarves, tees, and tanks–and for those who are sensitive to animal fibers like wool and alpaca. Linen Concerto is soft to the touch and promises to drape beautifully, as rayon and linen often do. We got it in three neutral colors and two bright multicolors.

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Come by the shop to check it out!

Cascade Rustic and Lana Bambu.

UPDATE: Cascade Rustic and Lana Bambu are totally sold out as of September 2012!

 

Rustic and Lana Bambu are two yarns with much in common.

They’re both made by the yarn company Cascade, they’re both aran weight, single ply yarns, and they both are 79% wool and 21% plant fiber. In Rustic, that plant fiber is linen, and in Lana Bambu, it’s bamboo, as you might have suspected.

The other thing they have in common is that they’ll be deeply discounted during the month of July. But wait, you’re thinking, isn’t everything discounted during the month of July? You’re right: everything in the shop is 15% off during our Annual Inventory Sale. Rustic and Lana Bambu, however, are 20% off during the month of July, making them an even better deal.

Both of these yarns are equally lovely in hats, scarves, shawls, and sweaters. We’ve seen them both used in February Lady Sweaters, and they’re perfect yarns for that frequently-knitted free pattern. Here’s a peek at Marion’s February Lady Sweater in Lana Bambu, which is hanging in the shop.

Come by the shop to take a closer look at this gorgeous cardigan, and to take advantage of our 15% sale on everything and our 20% sale on Rustic and Lana Bambu!

Hello, Firefly.

A new yarn from Classic Elite has just landed at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Say hello to Firefly.

Firefly is a sport-weight yarn with a bit of a sheen to it, composed of 75% rayon and 25% linen. It has arrived just in time for spring and summer knitting and crochet, and looks to be a good choice for lightweight scarves, shawls, and garments where drape is key.

A new pattern booklet from Classic Elite, Peabody Path, features Firefly, and is a good starting place for those seeking a use for this yarn.

Find the yarn and its booklet on the teacart, and look for Firefly in action on Anne’s needles; she couldn’t wait to start swatching as soon as this yarn came in!

Works in progress, works completed.

Anne and I are never without a shop-sample-to-be, it seems. All our new yarns need swatching, and lately we’ve been making whole projects instead of the usual 4″x4″ swatch, the better to show off the yarn. Here’s what we’re up to lately.

We recently got a new yarn from Araucania for the spring: Lontue, a 50/50 blend of cotton and linen. It’s interesting stuff: variegated in color, thick-and-thin in texture, and very fine, but with a suggested gauge of 5 stitches per inch.

I tried it in a drop-stitch scarf, which I really cannot recommend this yarn for–boy, did it look messy! While I was ripping that out, Anne suggested trying a seed stitch. Only a few rows in, it was clear that the pattern would be completely obscured by the yarn’s color and texture. I settled on garter stitch, so that the yarn could shine, and it’s been going well since then. I’m at work on a simple garter stitch shawl, in the style of the Isager Alpaca 1 shawl.

Meanwhile, Anne has completed her Wingspan in Kauni Effektgarn, and it now hangs proudly on the wall at the shop. It’s mesmerizing, especially in person, and another great example of what a good Eucalan soak can do for what seem to be scratchy wools. How the Kauni softened with that wash!

Come by the shop and see it for yourself.

What we’ve made room for, part 2.

 Another day, another bunch of new yarns to report on…

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A box arrived from Great Adirondack Yarn Co. recently, and tucked inside it were these four shiny colors of Sea Breeze, a dk weight blend of cotton, rayon, and linen. Also: a shimmery, summery shawl pattern to go with it.

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Great Adirondack is also responsible for our modest new collection of rainbow-colored roving. If roving is your thing, come in and take a look at these. If roving is not your thing, come in and take a look at these and wonder if roving should be your thing.

From Tedman & Kvist: Colina, a textured blend of cotton and linen. From Anne’s knitting basket: two balls of Colina, soon to be two baby-sweaters-in-the-works for two particular babies-in-the-works.

      
New from Elsebeth Lavold, we have ViSilk, a dk weight blend of viscose and silk, soft, shiny, and light. 
That wraps up our introductions for the moment. See you at the shop!