Katia Fabula. Again.

 Katia Fabula, a super bulky, superwash, super-soft merino wool, has been a popular choice for hat-making (not least because our Fabula sample is, ahem, a hat). It’s thickness, softness, and washability all conspire to make this a quick, cozy, easy-care yarn for accessories. A common question from knitters, though, has been, “Are these all the colors?” Since it was a new yarn for us, we’d selected only three colors to carry at the shop: a blend of neutral colors, a reddish purple, and a pinkish purple. Now that Fabula has been successful, when it was time to reorder, we picked a new color to add to our collection: blues.

I think it rounds out our small color selection nicely. Unfortunately, we just don’t have enough room to stock every color it comes in, but it’s nice to add a new color every once in a while. Next time you’re looking to make a quick cold-weather accessory, remember Fabula!

Pagewood Farm: Alyeska.

Pagewood Farm Alyeska is back in stock! Though you may know it as “the Pagewood with the cashmere,” which is what we often call it, its softness being somewhat more memorable than its name. This is decadent sock yarn, folks.

Sock knitters looking to pamper their feet should consider Alyeska, as should mitten, glove, and hat knitters seeking a special, soft, fingering weight yarn. Come to the shop to caress and consider!

Hello, Jitterbug.

While we’re speaking reverently of sock yarn, I’d like to introduce you to Colinette Jitterbug.

Jitterbug is a fingering-weight superwash merino yarn with a tight twist and a bright range of variegated colorways. It’s been a favorite at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop for socks and garments alike. Anne used Jitterbug to make a simple stockinette vest several years ago, and the yarn really shines. Another knitter we know is working on an elaborate intarsia cardigan using Jitterbug, another perfect use for the yarn. I’ve seen several Jitterbug hats, too. So many ways to use fingering-weight yarn besides socks!

Our only complaint about Jitterbug thusfar has been that its yardage is a little short for socks, weighing in at a mere 320 yards. However, that problem has been attended to. Our most recent shipment of Jitterbug came in new 400 yard skeins, with a price increase of only ten cents per skein. Something to celebrate, no?

Come by the shop to see these colors in person, as their depth and intensity are not quite captured by my camera. See you at the shop!

Hello, Koigu.

Sock yarn can be addictive. “Remember,” Anne sometimes says, “sock yarn doesn’t count as stash.” This makes it particularly, and perhaps even dangerously addictive. While many sock yarns are wonderful, there are some that are spoken of with reverence, names that you come into a shop looking for, rather than happen upon accidentally. Koigu is one of those.

Our own stash of Koigu lives in a little basket on the floor with many of the other sock yarns, beaming up at you as you wander past. The yarn has been here for some time now, but something new came in the mail this week and got us thinking about other uses for Koigu beyond socks.

The first-ever issue of Koigu Magazine is here, and it’s full of garments. Sweaters, shawls, skirts, dresses, hats and mittens. This is a great source for patterns using fingering-weight yarn that look beyond socks.

Look for it on the teacart!

Hello, Malabrigo.

Here is a yarn with a fanbase.

Malabrigo Silky Merino and Malabrigo Rios are back in stock! It’s been a long wait, and as we waited, our Malabrigo stash dwindled into a sad little stack of mismatching skeins. “Is the Malabrigo here yet?” became a common inquiry, always met with a sad shake of the head. Now that the full range of colors are back together, those sad skeins are looking much happier.

Above, you’ll see a slice of the Rios spectrum, a washable worsted weight wool. Below: Silky Merino, a dk weight single ply blend of, as the name suggests, silk and merino wool.

Come by the shop to take a look!

Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply.

Last week we welcomed two new colors of a yarn we’ve had for a few years now, Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply. As with the rest of the Debbie Bliss yarns, Rialto 4 ply comes in a beautiful range of solid colors, and they’re designed to look wonderful together. The more colors, the merrier.

Rialto 4 ply is the fingering-weight answer to Rialto Aran and Rialto DK, all springy 100% superwash merino yarns with excellent stitch definition. Debbie Bliss has great pattern support for all three, of course, but I’ve had great fun using Rialto 4 ply in my own design experiments. I’ve knit three pairs of socks with this yarn, and one crazy sweater. I’ve shared the socks here before, so now it’s the sweater’s turn.

Which is just to say, having spent a sweater’s worth of time with this yarn, I feel I’m intimately familiar with it. It’s wonderful for fair-isle knitting, though not in the classic sense; it’s a smooth, superwash yarn, so you probably wouldn’t want to steek it. Still, the true solids are just right for crisp colorwork patterns.

And now there are two more colors to choose from. The more, the merrier.

Pagewood Farm.

Hand-dyed sock yarn addicts, take note: our Pagewood Farm sock yarn collection is still growing. The other day a box arrived full of Glacier Bay, a 100% superwash merino wool. The yarn is soft but strong, and the colors are vibrant.

We’re down to only a few skeins of Pagewood Alyeska, a superwash merino sock yarn with a bit of cashmere mixed in, but never fear–we’ve already placed our replacement order. 
See you at the shop!

From Plymouth.

A 48 pound box of yarn arrived from Plymouth this week, with three kinds in many different colors. Plymouth Select Worsted Merino Superwash is not a new yarn to us, but its easy care and bright color palette have made it popular at the shop, so we were in need of refilling. Composed of soft, springy merino, this yarn also boasts excellent stitch definition. There are many reasons to recommend it, but I’m particularly likely to point it out to someone knitting for babies or children, as it can be thrown in the washer and dryer with no problem.

We also received the new Kettle Dyed version of the same yarn, which is tonally variegated. There’s only one color in each colorway, but that color is darker in some spots and brighter in others, giving it some texture. While the solid Worsted Merino Superwash yarn comes in 218 yard skeins, its Kettle Dyed cousin offers a whopping 436 yards per skein.

We also replenished our supply of Plymouth’s Trabajos Del Peru, an aran weight single ply yarn which comes in semi-solid and multi-color variegated colorways. It’s made to be hand-washed rather than machine-washed, but don’t let that intimidate you if soft, fuzzy, slightly thick-and-thin yarn is right up your alley.

A little out of the way, in that bottom cubby, but worth finding. As for the Worsted Merino Superwash, it can be found on the right hand side of the door to the shop, with fellow washable wools from Dream in Color and the Unique Sheep. Come and find them!

Getting our sock yarn fix.

It’s been a big week for sock yarn here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. First, our dwindling collection of hand-dyed sock yarn from Pagewood Farm was replenished. We carry both Denali, which is a sturdy combination of 80% superwash merino wool and 20% nylon, and Alyeska, a soft blend of 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon. Here they are snuggled up together in their basket.



        
I had just arranged the Pagewood Farm sock yarn, it seemed, when the next box of sock yarn arrived. From Crystal Palace, a brand new yarn named Sausalito. It’s an extremely soft blend of 80% superwash merino wool and 20% nylon. Sausalito also self-stripes, much like Crystal Palace’s Mini Mochi, but with a slightly different effect because Sausalito is 2-ply while Mini Mochi is a single ply. Where one color begins to fade into the next, the two plies are different colors for a stretch, looking rather marled.
We were also pleased to receive a box from The Alpaca Yarn Company, filled with their Paca-Peds sock yarn as well as Paca-Paints, a worsted weight yarn. These yarns aren’t new to us, but like the Pagewood Farm yarn, we had been running really low on them until this week. In fact, we were down to one lonesome skein of Paca-Peds. Those days are gone now. Welcome back, Paca-Paints and -Peds!
All this is to say: if you’re looking for your sock yarn fix, it’s probably here. See you at the shop!

What we’ve made room for, part 1.

Give a warm welcome to the newest yarns at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.
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As I previously mentioned, Sawya is the latest from Mirasol: a worsted weight blend of pima cotton, alpaca, and silk in a bright bunch of colors. Just right for warm-weather knitting.
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Pictured below, hanging in two tiny baskets are two more warm-weather yarns: Haze and Mia, from the Queensland Collection and Takhi Yarns, respectively. Haze is a blend of corn viscose and cotton in a dk weight. Mia is a fluffy, thick-and-thin cotton, unusually textured for its fiber content, making it a nice substitute for wool where wool allergies are concerned.

Of course, we have plenty of new wooly yarns as well. From Cascade: Sitka, a bulky merino and mohair blend. We have three neutral colors, making the decision-making process simpler. Charcoal gray, brown, or beige?

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Also from the department of wooly wools: Kauni 8/2 Effektgarn, a self-striping fingering weight yarn with long color repeats, making a subtle gradation from one shade to the next. I find it particularly striking in fair isle patterns like this one. Or you might put it to use with a brioche pattern from Nancy Marchant’s book, which we just got in last week. Much of our first order of Kauni has already escaped in the shopping bags of customers who fell completely in love with it on sight. A dangerous situation, indeed.

     

This should do for one post. Tomorrow: the rest of the newest. For now.