Back in stock: the Lilly Brush.

I’m happy to report that Lilly Brushes are back in stock here at the shop!

The Lilly Brush is not a glamorous tool, but a practical one, a brush designed to remove pills from knitted fabric. The bristles on the Lilly Brush pick up stray fibers and pills as you brush it across your garment.

Many of us who love working with squishy, soft yarns have had to face the fact that those yarns often pill. Fine, short fibers feel soft to the touch, and it’s those fibers that are the first to be pulled out of the yarn with abrasion, creating little puffs that stand out from the fabric while clinging to it. Fibers with longer staple lengths will not pill as quickly, and the same goes for tightly plied yarns, but the sad reality is that pilling is a part of life for nearly all knitted garments, especially those that get lots of wear – sweater armpits, for example. If we can’t avoid pills altogether, our best defense against them is removing them once they arise. The Lilly Brush is a great tool for this job.

Come by the shop to pick up a Lilly Brush of your own, then pull out your sweaters and brush the pills away. 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!

Back in stock: Cocoknits Maker’s Keep.

A big box from cocoknits arrived this week, bearing all manner of markers, cable needles, stitch stoppers, blocking kits, and other knitterly necessities. Today, I’ll shine a light on one of our favorites, the Maker’s Keep.

The cocoknits Maker’s Keep is a silicone slap bracelet with a magnetic face, designed to keep your tools close at hand as you knit. It works well with metal darning needles and cable needles, cocoknits’ stitch markers and row counter, T-pins, and more – any steel accessories will cling to your Keep.

Cocoknits named it the Maker’s Keep because it’s not just for knitters. We’ve had lots of sewists come by to snag one of these clever tools, loving the way it keeps straight pins handy. It also features a set of measuring lines for inches and centimeters on the underside of the bracelet – a clever detail to suit a variety of makers.

Look for Maker’s Keeps and other cocoknits products in our notions section here at the shop!

New from cocoknits.

Cocoknits is the brainchild of Julie Weisenberger, a knitwear designer and purveyor of high quality tools for knitters. She’s carefully developed notions that are as nice to use as they are to look at.

Last week brought two brand new products from cocoknits: a metal cable needle designed to pair with the Maker’s Keep, and T-pins sold in tins of 40.

We’ve been seeking a reliable source for stainless steel T-pins for the longest time, and are delighted to have found them in cocoknits. Look for them in the front room of our shop, near all the other blocking supplies!

You’ll see the cocoknits Knitter’s Block in the same section, a set of interlocking foam tiles for blocking that we’ve been anxious to get back in stock for a few months now. We’re so happy to have them back on our shelves, along with all manner of cocoknits stitch markers, stitch stoppers, claw clips, stitch fixers, row counters,and other tools!

Look for cocoknits products here at the Hillsborough Yarn 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!

Cocoknits Maker’s Keep.

This week, an eagerly-anticipated shipment arrived from cocoknits – a box full of Maker’s Keeps!

Cocoknits has reimagined their signature Knitter’s Keep as the Maker’s Keep: a silicone slap bracelet with a magnetic face, designed to keep your tools close at hand as you knit.

It used to come at a higher price, with a variety of notions; now it’s sold separately, so you can use the notions you have and prefer. The Maker’s Keep works well with metal darning needles and cable needles, cocoknits’ stitch markers and row counter, T-pins, and more – any steel accessories will cling to your Keep.

One new detail in this iteration of the Maker’s Keep is a set of measuring lines for inches and centimeters on the underside of the bracelet – a clever addition.

Look for Maker’s Keeps in our notions section here at the shop, and consider it a gift for the crafter who has (almost) everything this holiday season!

New from Cocoknits.

Cocoknits is the brainchild of Julie Weisenberger, a knitwear designer and purveyor of high quality tools for knitters. She’s carefully developed notions that are as nice to use as they are to look at.

Her foam Stitch Stoppers are the best point protectors we’ve seen, and since they first appeared last year, they quickly replaced any other kind we used to stock at the shop. No longer are the small and large sizes sold separately; now each pack comes with Stoppers for a range of needle sizes from US 0-15, and you can choose from Colorful or Neutral.

Even more exciting is a brand new product from Cocoknits, a Natural Mesh Bag to hold your yarn as you work.

The Natural Mesh Bag does the job of a yarn bowl, protecting your yarn from rolling about, keeping it safe and sound. Unlike a yarn bowl, however, this bag is lightweight, flexible, and easy to throw into a knitting tote to travel with you. It can sit open or you can snap up the top. Here it is in action, holding my Isager Jensen Yarn as I work on my “Summer Fog” vest, a sample for the shop.

Anne keeps her Shibui Birch in a Natural Mesh Bag as she’s knitting her “Icon” wrap. Just ask her and she’ll be happy to put it in your hands so you can see what it’s like out of its box. Look for them near the Cocoknits Sweater Care Kit in the front room, near the ballwinder – see you there!

Akerworks Swatch Gauge.

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of an exciting new knitting gadget: the Akerworks Swatch Gauge is now in stock here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

The Swatch Gauge is a new tool for measuring gauge, a heavy plastic one with cut-outs for counting how many stitches or rows make four inches, horizontally and vertically.

When we read about it on Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Review, we immediately reached out to Akerworks with a wholesale request. Her rave review caused them to be inundated with such requests, great news for a small company, so while we had to wait, we’re so happy for them that we can hardly complain!

The defining feature of the Akerworks Swatch Gauge is what Clara Parkes refers to as “honesty teeth.” These little teeth hold your fabric flat as you measure, simultaneously discouraging you from tugging or smoothing it this way or that to get gauge under false pretenses. We’ve all done it – you really want to get gauge, after all! – and knitted fabric is stretchy enough to accommodate our wishful thinking. This Swatch Gauge allows you to count stitches and rows hands-free for the least-biased gauge measurement possible. What a brilliant design!

Look for the Akerworks Swatch Gauge in our notions department. Pick up one for yourself, of course, but also remember them as clever gifts for the knitters in your life. See you at the shop!

Cocoknits Stitch Holder Kits.

We always look forward to new products from Cocoknits, and I’m pleased to report that the latest is here at the shop! Let’s take a closer look at Cocoknits’ Stitch Holder Kits.

The Stitch Holder Kit consists of three leather cords and two needles they can screw into, and they’re made to be used in lieu of scrap yarn whenever you need to put lives stitches on hold.

Like all Cocoknits products, the packaging has been as carefully designed as its contents, with beauty and utility equally in mind.

These sturdy boxes should hold up in your notions case, especially if you have a nice roomy one like our HYS Zipper Bag.

Look for all kinds of Cocoknits products here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, from stitch stoppers and yarn snips to claw clips and blocking mats and more. See you in the notions section!

New from Cocoknits.

I’m happy to announce that we now have the very latest notions from Cocoknits in stock! Our first shipment of these new items sold out too quickly for an appearance on the blog, but with a fresh batch on our shelves, it’s time to give them a proper introduction.

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Cocoknits is the brainchild of Julie Weisenberger, a knitwear designer and purveyor of high quality tools for knitters. She’s carefully developed notions that are as nice to use as they are to look at.

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These lightweight foam Stitch Stoppers serve multiple purposes. Use them to protect your stitches when you stow your works-in-progress, when you’re trying on a top-down sweater, or to transform any double point or circular needle into a stitch holder. Anne bought a pack last week and attests that they work well and don’t fall off.

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Claw Clips are a new tool for holding pieces together before or during seaming, helping to stabilize without piercing your yarn.

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When we first found Cocoknits at last year’s TNNA, it was the tiniest round markers we coveted most. They were only available in silver, in the assorted markers set, and Anne and I each bought a pack the moment they arrived. They have remained my favorite markers, so I was delighted to learn that Cocoknits had devised a set of small colorful ring markers, which, yes, are now part of my personal collection. Come by the shop to pick up some of your own, for easier stitch-marker-movement on your small needles!