Show and tell: colorwork accessories.

Time for another round of show and tell! Colorful knitting projects are popular around here – I had enough colorwork hats to fill a recent blog post, and now I’m back with other colorwork accessories.

Is a stuffed chicken an accessory? Whatever category it belongs in, Amy’s “Fancy Hen” is adorable, and beautifully knit. In preparation for a class on the subject earlier this year, she knit this charming chicken with Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK, a yarn well-suited to stranded colorwork.

Ellen knit these intricate colorwork mittens with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. The pattern is from Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Mittens, a great resource if colorwork mittens are your cup of tea. A cute pair of mittens is a great starting place for learning and practicing stranded knitting, just like a hat or any small accessory.

Here’s Margie in her “Fresco Crescent” shawl, by Kieran Foley. This shawl is an impressive combination of knitting techniques from lace and stranded knitting to intarsia, stripes, and beading.

She used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in a big palette of neutrals, reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows, working these colors intuitively into the piece as she went, rather than planning it all out ahead of the knitting.

Gwen’s “Hudson” shawl, by Shannon Cook, is a simpler design of stripes and lace, but no less striking. Gwen’s color choice in Ewe Ewe Baa Baa Bulky is particularly eye-catching; she knit it to wear to a spring wedding and finished just in the nick of time.

Karin knit not one, but two pairs of Rachel Coopey’s “Alfrick” socks, using Coopey’s own CoopKnits Socks Yeah! yarn for both projects.

Thanks as always to the talented knitters who shared their work here today, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. I’ve got even more colorwork show-and-tell in store for the coming weeks – stay tuned!

New colors from the Fibre Company.

Unpacking shipments is an exciting part of my work at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Even if it’s not a new product I’m aching to take home myself, it’s always fun to see what’s in the box, and admire and sort colorful bags of yarn. That said, when the box holds something I do plan to take home, the unpacking is that much more exciting. It was with that extra excitement that I cracked open a big box of yarn from the Fibre Company last week.

dscn6227

This box was packed with new shades in Fibre Company Acadia and Cumbria Fingering, the latter of which was the object of my desire, and the makings of my next sweater.

dscn6228

Cumbria Fingering is a tightly-plied blend of 60% merino wool, 30% masham wool, and 10% mohair. For a yarn so sturdy, it’s awfully soft, and though the mohair makes it slightly fuzzy, it still has fantastic stitch definition.

img_1840

We’ve seen that nice definition in two new shop samples, mittens from the Kelbourne Woolens Year of Mittens Knit-Along. Marsha knit the “August Mitten” (above) and Amy knit the “September Mitten” (below), which is the subject of an upcoming class. Read more about it and sign up on our Classes page!

fullsizerender-3

The new shades of Acadia are particularly vibrant this season, a saturated little rainbow of six that fits beautifully into our existing selection.

dscn6230

Acadia’s silk slubs give it color and texture interest, so it doesn’t take fancy stitching to make this yarn shine; any one of these shades would make a lovely “Easy Folded Poncho” or pair of “Welted Fingerless Gloves,” simple knits that let the yarn take center stage. Look at Kelbourne Woolens’ Acadia Collection for more ideas.

dscn6236

I’m unpacking an awful lot of boxes these days, as fall is fast approaching and new yarns are arriving daily. Come by the shop to see what’s new from the Fibre Company and all our other favorites!

dscn6240

Show and tell: critters.

Time for another round of show and tell! Here are some finished projects that started life as yarns on our shelves. These knitted things have something else in common, as well: they all feature animals!

DSCN5932

Amy designed and knit this “Baby Turtle Frenzy Blanket” for her granddaughter-to-be using Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted. It shows sea turtle hatchlings on their journey from the sandy beach through the breakers to the deep blue sea. She wrote a separate pattern for the tiny turtles themselves; get them together at a discounted price on Ravelry or here at the shop.

DSCN5933

Amy’s also offering a Tiny Turtle class here at the shop, for those interested in knitted toys–head to our Classes page to sign up!

DSCN5901

Ali came by the shop not long ago with two knitted critters. Above are her “Moose and the World’s Tree” mittens, from Annemor Sundbø’s Norwegian Mittens and Gloves, knit in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. Below is her “Hedgehog,” whose belly and face is also made of Shetland Spindrift, with garter stitch spines in Plymouth Galway held double.

DSCN6025

I, too, knit a hedgehog from this pattern a couple of years ago, and loved the process as much as the end product. Seeing this one made me want to knit another!

DSCN5829

We can’t talk about knitted critters without mentioning the “Baa-ble Hat,” a free pattern with well over 5,000 projects on Ravelry in the year and a half since it was first published. The “Baa-ble Hat” above is my second, and may not be my last. I used bright shades of Plymouth Tweed and Queensland Kathmandu Aran for this one, and love the way the colorwork looks in these speckled yarns.

DSCN6033

Amy just finished teaching an introductory class on stranded colorwork featuring the “Baa-ble Hat,” and the hat above was knit by one of her students, Clarine. She used Jamieson’s Shetland Heather Aran for three out of the four shades, knitting the soft green grass with Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed.

DSCN6032

Sarah was one of Amy’s students, too; she knit her hat in Malabrigo Rios, and left the shop after class with yarn for another “Baa-ble Hat.” It’s a pleasing little pattern, and a great way to try stranded colorwork for the first time. Amy’s offering another class on the subject in October–sign up now if you’d like to join!

Thanks to all those who share their work with us here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We are inspired by your great ideas, and love to see them take shape!

Mountain Colors mitten kits.

We just got in some new kits from Mountain Colors, the Montana hand-dyers that make Bearfoot. Here are the “X-Country Mitten” kits, with the pattern and yarn needed to make a cozy pair of colorwork mittens.

DSCN2155

The yarn inside these kits is the worsted weight Mountain Goat, a lustrous blend of wool and mohair. Each kit has four little skeins of the stuff, three in hand-dyed colorways and one in cream.

DSCN2154

The “X-Country Mitten” kits would make a great gift for any knitter, particularly a knitter who’s interested in giving stranded colorwork a try. Come by the shop to pick one up for yourself or a friend!

For the hands and the feet: two new books.

From Martingale & Co. this week, we received two new books. One will help you clothe your hands, and the other, your feet. Let’s take a closer look.

There are many ways to knit small circumferences in the round, and it’s a good thing, too, because preferences vary from knitter to knitter. Some love double points and some loathe them. Some are happy using the magic loop on one long circular, while the mere thought of magic loop knitting sets others on edge. Some prefer knitting small circumferences like mittens or socks on two circular needles, and this new book is for them. Knitting Circles Around Mittens and More, by Antje Gillingham, is a collection of patterns for mitts and mittens using two circular needles.

Along with the patterns comes helpful information about modifying existing patterns to use two circulars instead of double points, as well as instruction on knitting two mittens at once. If knitting in the round on two circulars is your kind of thing, this book may be, too.

Now, for the feet: Knitting Scandinavian Slippers and Socks, by Laura Farson, is for lovers of colorwork. Many of the patterns use worsted weight yarn to create cushy slippers, but some are for fingering weight yarns, as well. Here are some of the stranded designs you’ll find inside:

Take a look at these and other new books next time you’re in the shop.

Swans Island. Again.

Every time we get a box from Swans Island, Anne and I exchange an open-mouthed look of delight. It’s so exciting to open those boxes, to see the new colors and welcome back those that we’d already sold out of. 

And those are just the reorders. Our joy is doubled when we pull aside a bag of Swans Island yarn to reveal a packet of Swans Island patterns! There were so many in our most recent shipment that we had to get a bigger binder.

Below, you can take a peek inside the Swans Island Patterns binder, though I must say, it really deserves a full-on browse. Start here and if you like what you see, come by the shop to see the rest! You’ll be Swans Island junkies like us in no time.

60 More Quick Knits.

Since I first wrote about Cascade 220 Superwash Sport back in February, it has become one of our best-selling yarns, in spite of the fact that we had no pattern support for it. It’s been a go-to for both knit and crocheted baby things, due to its stellar washability, and used for colorwork of all kinds, due to its wide spectrum of colors. Those who are comfortable designing their own sweaters, socks, and hats have used Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, and those who like to work from patterns have found that it makes a good substitute for yarns of all kinds, between a sport and a dk gauge. There have been many excuses to work with this yarn, and this week, we received a new book which promises 60 more.

Hats, mittens and scarves of many kinds, all made from Cascade 220 Sport, the hand-wash-only fraternal twin to Cascade 220 Superwash Sport. We actually don’t carry the 220 Sport, but as is so often the case, the 220 Superwash Sport makes an excellent substitute. The 220 Sport has slightly more yardage, so you’ll want to do a little math when you’re choosing 220 Superwash Sport yarn for these projects, but that’s the only caveat. Knit with Superwash Sport and your mittens wont felt onto your hands, and neither will your hats when they are accidentally thrown in the washing machine.

Here’s a peek inside the book:


And that’s only a tenth of it. Find it on the teacart, which is just brimming with fall knit and crochet inspiration.