Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Ranch 02.

We are delighted to announce that Brooklyn Tweed’s newest yarn has arrived!

Meet Ranch 02, the second in Brooklyn Tweed’s series of ranch-specific, small-batch yarns.

Ranch 02 is a worsted weight, woolen-spun, limited edition, ranch-specific Rambouillet yarn, which means every fiber in these skeins was sourced from a single flock of sheep living on Forbes Ranch in Kaycee, Wyoming.

Brooklyn Tweed has always sought to highlight single breed wools and support US ranchers with sustainable environmental practices. This project allows them to shine a spotlight on the people and practices behind their yarns, one ranch at a time. You can learn more about Forbes Ranch from a lovely video produced by BT – it gives a good sense of the people who made this yarn possible.

After the wool was sourced at Forbes Ranch in Wyoming, scoured at Bollman Industries in Texas, and spun at Crescent Woolen Mill in Wisconsin, it traveled to Pennsylvania to be dyed at Caledonian Dye Works. The 10-color palette is inspired by the landscape of northern Wyoming, and the sheep that roam the land.

What to knit with Ranch 02? Anything that calls for Shelter, Ranch 01, or worsted weight yarn of any kind. Here are a few ideas from the BT archive, all available to purchase from Ravelry and many available in print here at the shop:

Looking beyond Brooklyn Tweed designs, here are a few other patterns that would be great for Ranch 02:

Jared Flood has also designed two new patterns especially for Ranch 02, a textured yoke pullover and a cabled hat. As a special treat, you can get a coupon for a free download of Flood’s “Tillage Hat” with any purchase of Ranch 02 here at our shop!

Look for Ranch 02 in the worsted weight section here at our shop while supplies last, and check out our full selection of Brooklyn Tweed yarns and patterns while you’re here. See you at the shop!

New colors in Kelbourne Woolens Germantown.

Last week, a big box arrived from Kelbourne Woolens, packed full of their worsted weight wool, Germantown. Inside were six new colors, plus a handful of colors we’d sold out of.

Germantown is a recreation of a classic wool that had been produced in Germantown, Pennsylvania, under a few different brand names since the mid-to-late 19th century. Made of 100% North American wool, Germantown is a worsted spun, worsted weight yarn with a smooth texture, soft hand, and nice elasticity.

The Kelbourne Woolens team see this yarn as a classic basic wool for beginners as well as more advanced stitchers – easy to work with, with good stitch definition, but at a reasonable price for a domestically-produced yarn of this quality.

These new colors are a playful mix of brights and pastels, one that fits beautifully into the existing Germantown color palette. 

© Kelbourne Woolens

One skein is enough for a hat, and the folks at Kelbourne Woolens are designing one for every month of this year. Even better, every one of these patterns is free to download from Ravelry – look there for “January,” “February,” “March,” “April,” and “May,” and stay tuned for the rest of their Year of Hats!

See you at the shop!

HYS Needle Gauges.

Hillsborough Yarn Shop needle gauges are back in stock!

Our needle gauges are made for us here in the US by Nancy’s Knit Knacks, and feature holes for measuring needles from 1.50 mm to 19 mm, or US 000 – US 35.

We love and trust these gauges because of how many sizes they cover, and also because they include both millimeters and US sizes, which do not always line up the same way from brand to brand. An Addi US 1 is not the same size as a Knitter’s Pride US 1, for example – Addi’s US 1 is 2.50 mm and Knitter’s Pride’s US 1 is 2.25 mm. When in doubt, check the measurement in millimeters!

Every notions case and project bag needs one of these, for double-checking needle size, comparing millimeters to US sizes, or measuring swatches. Look for them in our notions section here at the shop!

Swans Island colorwork kits.

As the holidays approach, we meet more and more folks seeking presents for the knitters in their lives. With the gift-giving season in mind, we’ve put together some new kits featuring yarn and patterns from Swans Island.

Each kit features a colorwork pattern and all the yarn to complete it. They’d make great gifts for knitters who love colorwork, of course, but I’d also recommend them for those who haven’t yet mastered this particular technique, as small projects like hats and mitts are a good size for learning.

The yarn is All American Sport, a 2-ply woolen-spun yarn composed of 100% Rambouillet wool, which was grown, processed, spun, and dyed in the USA. It’s a unique combination of next-to-skin soft and holds-its-shape sturdy, and was created with stranded colorwork in mind. 

Come by the shop if you’re seeking gifts for a friend or materials to make them with – we hope you find inspiration here!

Hello, Kelbourne Woolens Germantown.

The inspiring women of Kelbourne Woolens have just released their fourth new yarn, one for each season of their 10th year in business. Meet Germantown!

Germantown is a North American sourced yarn with a story to tell, a recreation of a classic wool that had been produced in Germantown, Pennsylvania, under a few different brand names since the mid-to-late 19th century.

Courtney Kelley, one of the founders of Kelbourne Woolens, writes beautifully on the KW blog about her dream to remake Germantown, and what it took to realize that dream. Also on their blog, historian Nic Tenaglia writes more about the history of Germantown yarns, how they were produced and where they got their name – a very interesting read!

Germantown is made of 100% North American wool, Territorial wool, to be precise. On the KW blog, Kelley elaborates that Territorial wool is “a bit of an archaic name for wool that comes from the former US Territories, broadly anything west of the Missouri River, but in the case of Germantown, mostly from Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The most prevalent breeds are Rambouillet, Targhee, Columbia, and Polpay.” This makes for a worsted spun yarn with a smooth texture, soft hand, and nice elasticity.

With a suggested gauge of 16-20 stitches over 4″, Germantown is worsted weight, that versatile category in which most of us begin our knitting and crocheting. The Kelbourne Woolens team see this yarn as a classic basic wool for beginners as well as more advanced stitchers – easy to work with, with good stitch definition, but at a reasonable price for a domestically-produced yarn of this quality. With that in mind, they’ve created the KW Building Blocks collection.

This collection consists of three basic patterns: a hat, a scarf, and mittens. Each one has three variations, taking knitters from the simplest stitches to more complicated patterns, one step at a time. I can see one of these patterns as a great gift for a new knitter, along with a few skeins of Germantown. You can read more about KW Building Blocks on their blog, and buy the patterns on Ravelry or here at the shop as an in-store sale.

Looking for a bigger project to sink your teeth into? Consider Karen Templer’s “Anna Vest,” a textured waistcoat knit with Germantown. Plenty more worsted weight pattern inspiration can be found on our HYS Pinterest boards, too!

Look for Germantown in our worsted weight section here at the shop!

Lucerne.

Our shop is abuzz with excitement over Brooklyn Tweed’s new yarn, Peerie. The folks at BT were kind enough to send a couple of sample skeins our way in advance of the release, giving Anne just enough time to knit “Lucerne.”

Jared Flood’s “Lucerne” is a colorwork hat in two, three, or four shades of Brooklyn Tweed Peerie. It’s a perfect starting place for those new to stranded colorwork, and Peerie’s 45 shades are an absolute playground for knitters of all experience levels.

Anne’s “Lucerne” is in two shades, the dark green Nori and pale gray/green Gale. In this sample, the darker shade is the main color, but their positions could easily be swapped for an equally attractive, but very different look. Here are a few more two-color combinations to consider.

I couldn’t stop here, of course – in fact, I spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon creating and photographing color combinations for this project! Next up are three-color combinations. I began with one that Flood suggests in his pattern.

The formula here is straightforward: three colors, all from the same family – one light, one medium, and one dark. I had fun creating a few more in this vein.

The possibilities for four-color combinations are even more varied, of course. There are no rules, but it’s wise to have a range of values, so the individual colors can be distinguished from one another in the context of the pattern. Here’s one from Jared Flood.

Here are a few I came up with, just the beginning of what’s possible.

Until June 30th, the pattern is free when you buy Peerie here at our shop. Look for the yarn in the fingering weight section. We can’t wait to see what color combinations you come up with for “Lucerne” hats of your own!

Hello, Peerie.

We are bursting with excitement because Brooklyn Tweed’s new yarn is here! Meet Peerie.

Peerie is a fingering weight, worsted spun, 100% merino wool yarn made entirely in the US. The sheep graze in Utah and Nevada, their fleece is spun in Springvale, Maine, and the resulting yarn is dyed in Saco, Maine.

Brooklyn Tweed is devoted to supporting the domestic textile industry, and works only with producers and processors who share their commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. Founder and designer Jared Flood and his team are also interested in breed-specific yarns, allowing knitters and crocheters to appreciate the unique qualities that each kind of wool possesses. Merino is one we’re used to seeing and working with, but American merino is less common; head to the BT blog for more information on that.

In Shetland vernacular, “peerie” means small, and is the name for the littlest, simplest fair isle motifs, a good sign that this yarn was designed with colorwork in mind. It comes in 45 shades, and we have each and every one on our shelves here at the shop.

Because of its round, smooth structure, Peerie is equally well-suited to texture, lace, and cable patterns.

The BT team reworked patterns in each of those veins: Heidi Kirrmaier’s “Boardwalk,” Irina Dmitrieva’s “Loden,” and Jared Flood’s “Afton.” For colorwork, consider Julie Hoover’s “Ashland” and Flood’s new “Lucerne,” the latter of which is free when you purchase Peerie from our shop before June 30.

Any pattern that calls for fingering weight yarn should work well with Peerie – what are you itching to make with this exciting new yarn?

Look for Peerie in the fingering weight section here at our shop!

Wrist Rulers.

Another giftworthy new item has found a home here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – Wrist Rulers!

Wrist Rulers are leather bracelets engraved with inches and centimeters, handmade in Portland, Oregon.

(So many good things come out of Portland, OR – Brooklyn Tweed yarns and ILOVEHANDLES Wrist Rulers are just two!)

These leather wrist rulers are beautiful and practical, a winning combination in our book.

We have three colors in stock – natural, red, and dark – and they come in three lengths, to wrap twice around a variety of wrist sizes – 15″, 17″, and 18″. To choose a size, loosely wrap a measuring tape twice around your wrist, then add an inch, and pick the length closest to that number.

Look for Wrist Rulers near our notions section here at the shop! Our shelves are brimming with potential gifts – think Harmony Farm Candles, Cocoknits Maker’s Keeps, Akerworks Swatch Gauges, Making Calendars, hand-painted silk scarves, HYS totes and zipper pouches, and of course, good old Gift Certificates. Thanks for shopping locally this holiday season, and for thinking of our shop as a gift source!

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Arbor.

Brooklyn Tweed yarns are now available at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We’re starting with Shelter, Loft, and Arbor, and introducing each one on the blog this week. Today, meet Arbor.

Brooklyn Tweed Arbor is a 3-ply DK weight yarn composed of 100% Targhee wool. It’s Brooklyn Tweed’s newest yarn, and their biggest departure from what has so far been a line of woolen-spun heathers – Arbor is worsted-spun, and skein-dyed in solid colors at the organically-certified Saco River Dyehouse in Maine.

All 30 of these subtle, intriguingly-named colors are now on our shelves.

Worsted-spun yarns are more durable and dense than their woolen-spun counterparts, and have sharper stitch definition for crisp cables, lace, and texture patterns.

Targhee wool spun in this manner has an abundance of one of my favorite yarn characteristics: elasticity. Garments knit with Arbor should wear well and look sharp for years to come.

Brooklyn Tweed’s first round of patterns for Arbor are perfect examples of how well this yarn behaves in cables and texture patterns. Here are a few that caught my eye:

All of these Brooklyn Tweed patterns (and so many more!) are available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales, where you purchase the pattern here at the shop and a digital copy is saved in your email and/or Ravelry pattern library. We’ll print a copy for you, too, so you can head right home and cast on.

Look for more ideas on our DK weight Pinterest board, and look for Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in the DK weight section here at the shop. See you there!

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Loft.

Brooklyn Tweed yarns are now available at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We’re starting with Shelter, Loft, and Arbor, and introducing each one on the blog this week. Today, meet Loft.

Brooklyn Tweed Loft is a fingering weight, woolen-spun Targhee-Columbia wool. Loft is named for one of its best qualities, and like Shelter, it’s somewhat delicate, but especially warm for its weight.

We have all 37 colors of Loft in stock, a playground for the eyes. Like Shelter, these shades are created by dyeing the fiber in 16 vibrant solids, then blending them, two or three at a time, into intricate heathers.

Ever since Clara Parkes reviewed Loft back in 2011 and described it as “pretty much perfect,” I’ve been anxious to get my hands on it. Now that it’s here at the shop, I’ve been combing through years of my favorites on Ravelry, considering which Loft pattern I’d most like to start with. Here are some of the many:

You can tell from this selection that I have a special fondness for stranded colorwork, and while Loft is especially well-suited to that technique, it’s just as happy to render lace or texture patterns, along with simple stockinette. Case in point: Anne has her eye on “Hellebore,” by Michele Wang, a pullover with stockinette body and cabled sleeves. In fact, she has already eagerly knit a swatch, and all that’s left is to choose a color – a fun, hard decision with so many beautiful shades at our fingertips.

All of these Brooklyn Tweed patterns (and so many more!) are available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales, where you purchase the pattern here at the shop and a digital copy is saved in your email and/or Ravelry pattern library. We’ll print a copy for you, too, so you can head right home and cast on. Look for more Loft pattern inspiration on our Fingering weight Pinterest board!

Look for Brooklyn Tweed Loft in the fingering weight section here at the shop. See you there!