Shibui Sample of the Month: Gradient.

June is here, and with it, a new Shibui Sample of the Month! Shibui sends us a new sample to share with you every month, and we offer a 10% discount on Shibui yarn purchased for that featured sample while it’s here.

June’s Shibui Sample of the Month is “Gradient,” knit with four shades of Shibui Silk Cloud, a lace weight blend of silk and mohair. The pattern is free when you purchase the yarn from our shop.

In the spirit of the Shibui Mix concept, which encourages the combining of Shibui yarns two or three strands at a time, “Gradient” is worked with three strands of Silk Cloud held together. Periodically, one of those three strands is switched out for a different color, which makes a gentle transition from one color to the next.

Here are a few color combinations I came up with, but there are so many more possibilities – we have over 25 shades of Silk Cloud in stock!

Inspired to make a “Gradient” cowl of your own? I can’t wait to see what other color combinations you creative knitters will come up with. Look for Shibui Silk Cloud in the lace weight section here at the shop, and come by before June 23 to get it at 10% off. See you there!

Just a reminder–all sales are final on discounted items; there can be no exchanges, returns, or special orders. Thanks!

Snow, show and tell, and new colors from Kelbourne Woolens.

The shop was closed yesterday for inclement weather, and with the snow quietly falling as I write and the roads remaining hazardous, we do not plan to open the shop tomorrow. As ever, if you’re planning a trip to our shop and have any question about the weather, do check our website before you head out; we always list closures on the front page there, and are known for being risk-averse when it comes to snow and ice!


Even if the shop remains closed, a snow day is a good one for show-and-tell; let’s take a peek at some of the recently-completed projects that started their lives as yarns here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

Kate has been wearing her Kate Davies’-designed “Dunyvaig” hap a lot since completing it. She knit this cozy textured shawl with Kelbourne Woolens Scout, a DK weight wool that comes in lovely heathered shades and has great stitch definition for patterns like this.

Ruth has been knitting with Kelbourne Woolens yarn, as well – here she is in her lovely “Phyllis” sweater, made with the sport weight KW Andorra.

Margaretta also finished her “Phyllis” not long ago, and it, too, is very beautiful. I’m impressed at how crisp the lace looks even in a fuzzy yarn with a touch of mohair.

Anne’s “Jenny” was also knit with Andorra. You might even recognize it, as it has been on display at the shop for some time now.

The gentle halo of Andorra is perfect for this Bohus-inspired pullover, where purls in the colorwork yoke seem to blend one color into the next.

Last week brought four brand new colors of Andorra, a welcome addition that really rounds out the color palette.

Many thanks to the knitters who shared their work here today, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We hope everyone is staying safe and warm and doing a bit of stitching while it snows, and we’ll see you when it’s safe to open the shop again.

Hello, Kelbourne Woolens Andorra.

Meet our first new yarn of the year, Kelbourne Woolens Andorra.

You may recognize the name Kelbourne Woolens – they’re the North American distributors for Fibre Company, and they also design some of the most popular pattern collections for those yarns. Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley are the minds behind Kelbourne Woolens, and while they will continue their good work for Fibre Company, they’ve also cooked up something new to mark the 10th anniversary of their business: their very own line of yarn.

Andorra is the first yarn under their own Kelbourne Woolens imprint, a bouncy sport weight blend of merino and highland wool with a dash of mohair. It’s a wooly, lustrous 2-ply with a medium twist, not too tight or loose, and especially after knitting, it looks pleasantly fuzzy.

Andorra is obedient on the needles, which for me means it doesn’t split, and it has enough elasticity to move smoothly from needle to needle, stitch by stitch. In short, it’s lovely to work with, and while it’s well suited to a variety of projects, it has me thinking, “Sweater!”

Anne got a sweater’s worth of Andorra in advance, for sample knitting, and has started a top-down, Bohus-style pullover from the new Kelbourne Woolens collection. More on that soon – til then, here’s a preview, Anne’s first few rows.

Look for Andorra in the sport weight section here at the shop!

New colors in Cumbria Worsted.

Fibre Company just added four fresh new shades to Cumbria Worsted!


Cumbria Worsted is composed of 60% merino wool, 30% masham wool, and 10% mohair. The soft white merino is blended with the dark gray masham, creating a natural heathered base color over which all the other colorways are dyed.


How to use Cumbria Worsted? Look for worsted weight patterns where stitch definition and structure are important; think cables, texture patterns, hardy sweaters and heirloom blankets or shawls.


Consider Hannah Fettig’s “Coastal Pullover,” Courtney Kelley’s “Seascale” gansey, Kate Gagnon Osborn’s “Clawthorpe” pullover, “Rockcliffe” scarf and “Seathwaite” hat, and Alana Dakos’ “Four Seasons” shawl, to start with. Keep digging, and you’ll likely end up with a long wishlist of patterns perfectly suited to this yarn. Let us know what you find!


Cumbria Worsted has only been around since August of 2015, but already feels like a staple in our worsted weight section. It’s even spawned a finer weight, the dreamy Cumbria Fingering. I’ve had the pleasure of knitting with both Cumbria yarns, and I’m eager to return to this smooth and sturdy yarn for future projects.


Come by the shop to see the new Cumbria Worsted colors and plan your next project!

Bristol Ivy Collection Trunk Show!

Another Fibre Company Trunk Show has arrived at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! From now til March 20th, 2016, we’ll have the Bristol Ivy Collection on display.


All six of these sweaters were designed by Bristol Ivy for Fibre Company Cumbria yarns, three in Cumbria Worsted and three in Cumbria Fingering. Both yarns are composed of merino and masham wools with a bit of mohair, and while plenty soft, they are also quite sturdy.


These designs appear simple at first glance, mainly smooth stockinette trimmed with tidy ribbing, but each one has a clever detail or surprising design element–a bit of lace at the shoulder, a mesh panel at the back, and so on.


Don’t hesitate to ask us to take these sweaters off the wall for a closer look! They’re here to be admired up close and personal, tried on for shape and size. Though we don’t keep print copies of these patterns in stock, they are all available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales, where we print a copy for you and a digital copy is stored in your email and Ravelry pattern library.


Come by the shop before March 20th, 2016, to see the Bristol Ivy Collection Trunk Show. We’re offering a 10% discount on Fibre Company Cumbria yarns during the Trunk Show, so come by soon to plan your next project!


A reminder: discount applies to in-stock Cumbria Worsted and Fingering as well as prepaid Cumbria Worsted and Fingering special orders. All sales are final on discounted yarn; there can be no returns or exchanges. Thanks! 

Hello, Fibre Company Cumbria Fingering.

We’re delighted to welcome a brand new yarn from the Fibre Company: meet Cumbria Fingering.


Like its big sister, Cumbria Worsted, Cumbria Fingering is a soft and sturdy blend of 60% merino wool, 30% masham wool, and 10% mohair. The soft white merino is blended with the dark gray masham, creating a natural heathered base color over which all the other colorways are dyed. Each 100 gram skein boasts 328 yards, enough for a hat, pair of mitts, or small cowl.


Cumbria Fingering is designed with longevity in mind, and as such, is constructed with 4 plies tightly twisted around one another. Sweaters and accessories knit in Cumbria Fingering should weather regular use and look great for years to come. This 4-ply construction also gives the yarn a very smooth texture, which suggests sharp stitch definition for cables and texture patterns.


Though I haven’t knit a stitch with it yet, I’m already daydreaming about a sweater in Cumbria Fingering. Kelbourne Woolens, designers and distributors for Fibre Company yarns, let us know that a small collection of sweater patterns by Bristol Ivy are forthcoming. In the meantime, I’m looking for pattern ideas in all the usual places: CoopKnits Toasty Vol. 1, Kate Davies’ Yokes and Colors of Shetland, Brooklyn Tweed patterns that call for Loft, and our own HYS “Fingering weight” board on Pinterest. I can’t wait to get my hands on this stuff!


Look for Cumbria Fingering in the fingering weight section here at the shop, and while you’re here, check out all the other lovely Fibre Company yarns we keep on hand: Meadow, Road to China Lace, Canopy Fingering, Savannah, Acadia, Knightsbridge, Canopy Worsted, and Cumbria Worsted. See you at the shop!

Hello again, Shenandoe Farm.

Last week, we had a visit from Elaine of Shenandoe Farm. She came with stories of a successful year and with a bag of beautiful yarn, made of fiber grown right here in Orange County, North Carolina.


We’ve stocked Shenandoe Farm yarns before, though it’s been a while since we sold the last remaining skein, so a new delivery was welcome. This new batch is composed of 80% mohair, 10% wool, and 10% llama, spun into a dk weight at Zeilinger Wool Co. in Michigan, a family business for over a century. The heathered color is a natural one, just the shade of the animals that grew the fleece to make it.


Eager to get her hands on this special yarn, Anne knit a swatch on a few different needle sizes, so we could get a sense of what gauge it’s most comfortable at.


From there, it was put in my lucky hands. After a bit more swatching, we decided this sturdy stuff would be well-suited to a pair of Churchmouse “Welted Fingerless Gloves,” a go-to pattern here at the shop. I’m busy stitching up a pair as a sample for the shop.


Look for Shenandoe Farm yarn here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Hope to see you soon!

Hello, Fibre Company Cumbria.

Another new Fall yarn has found a home here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! Meet Cumbria, from the Fibre Company.


Cumbria is a soft and sturdy worsted weight yarn, composed of 60% merino wool, 30% masham wool, and 10% mohair. The soft white merino is blended with the dark gray masham, creating a natural heathered base color over which all the other colorways are dyed.


Knitters at our recent Fibre Company Yarn Tasting got a sneak preview of Cumbria, and reported that it was lovely to work with. It’s somewhat toothier a yarn than we’ve come to expect from Fibre Company, with their buttery soft luxury fiber blends, but that’s because it’s designed with longevity in mind. A sweater knit in Cumbria should weather regular use and look great for years to come, which has become a more and more important quality to me the longer I knit.



Cumbria arrives with a fresh collection of patterns from the Kelbourne Woolens design team, who took their inspiration from the knitting tradition of the British Isles, from ganseys to stranded colorwork to cables.



The Cumbria Collection features a variety of sweaters and accessories that look fun and interesting to knit and comfortable to wear.



The yarn and the patterns both have me itching to cast on something cozy to wrap up in as soon as autumn arrives.


Come by the shop to see Cumbria for yourself, and peruse the Cumbria Collection in search of your next project. See you there!

Hello, Isager Tweed.

Last week, we welcomed our newest fall yarn: meet Isager Tweed!


Isager Tweed is a fingering weight, single-ply yarn composed of 70% wool and 30% mohair, with 220 yards on each 50 gram skein. Like any classic tweed, the colors read roughly solid from a distance, but on closer inspection, are speckled with contrasting colors.

DSCN3826Anne and I took a long time deciding what we should make with Isager Tweed. It would make a great pair of “Twigs and Willows Mitts” from Botanical Knits 2, a handsome  “Barclay” scarf, or a sweet “Rustling Leaves Beret.” I’d love to see an “Aranami Shawl” in five shades of Isager Tweed, too. Ultimately, we were most inspired paging through patterns for Brooklyn Tweed Loft on Ravelry, a treasure trove of fingering weight knits. “Seasons Hat,” “Norby,” “Wheaten,” “Arrowhead Mittens,” “Ticking Cowl” … this is a Ravelry rabbit-hole we’ve gone down oh so many times.


Anne settled on Bristol Ivy’s “Bayard,” pairing Isager Tweed with Isager Alpaca 2, and that striped hat is on her Addi needles now.


Though these two yarns differ in fiber content, ply, and appearance, they are similar in gauge. Most importantly, they share that special Isager color palette, making the Tweed-and-Alpaca-2 color-pairing game especially good fun.






I found equally compelling color combinations when I limited myself to the Isager Tweed basket.




Come by the shop to see Isager Tweed, admire Anne’s hat-in-progress, and plan your next project! See you there.


Back in stock: Mountain Colors Bearfoot.

We just got a new batch of Mountain Colors Bearfoot!


Bearfoot is a fingering weight blend of wool, mohair, and nylon that is well-suited to sock-knitting, among other things. One 400 yard skein is enough for a pair of socks, gloves, or fingerless mitts, a hat, scarf, or small shawlette. A Ravelry search turned up plenty of pretty “Hitchhiker,” “Traveling Woman,” and “Ishbel” shawls made in Bearfoot.


As I wrote last year, Bearfoot asks to be hand-washed with a bit of vinegar to prevent the bleeding that sometimes comes with richly saturated colors like these, and then as now, I think this special treatment is not too much to ask. Hand-knit socks are special, and will last longer and wear better if cared for as such.

Come by the shop to pick up a skein or two or Bearfoot for your next project!