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!

Lilly Brushes are $12.95 each and come in either red or black – order online for local pickup or USPS Priority Mail shipping, we’re happy to tuck one of these handy tools into your next order!

Cocoknits Needle Gauge.

Cocoknits’ new needle gauge is now in stock!

This compact and cleverly designed gadget is beautiful and practical, a rainbow stack of connected discs for sizing knitting needles between sizes US 0 – 15. Julie Weisenberger, knitwear designer and founder of Cocoknits, was inspired by a jeweler’s tool for sizing diamonds.

It’s made of PLA, a 100% biodegradable, plant-based plastic substitute, and costs $15.

Our own HYS needle gauge is much larger, by comparison, but covers a wider range of needle sizes and costs only $5. We’re happy to have both in stock, since different knitters have different preferences when it comes to tools of the trade, and some of us like having both in our notions bag.

We have lots of other Cocoknits notions in stock – all kinds of stitch markers, Maker’s Keeps, Accessory Rolls, Stitch Stoppers, Stitch Fixers, Claw Clips, Natural Mesh Bags, and more. You can see all of these notions and then some on our Instagram highlights. Order online for local pickup or USPS Priority Mail shipping!

HYS Wrist Rulers.

The holidays are coming, and one of last year’s most popular gifts is back in stock, with a twist – check out our new blue Wrist Rulers!

Wrist Rulers are leather bracelets engraved with inches and centimeters, handmade in Portland, Oregon. These leather wrist rulers are beautiful and practical, a winning combination in our book.

We have three lengths available, to wrap twice around a variety of wrist sizes – 14″, 15″, and 16″. 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. They’re blue, to match our exclusive Malabrigo colorway, and they have something special engraved on the back…

Look for Wrist Rulers near our notions section here at the shop! Our shelves are brimming with potential gifts – think Harmony Farm CandlesCocoknits Maker’s KeepsAkerworks Swatch Gauges and Knitting Tool Kits, HYS zipper pouches, Baggu totes, and of course, good old Gift Certificates. Thanks for shopping locally this holiday season, and for thinking of our shop as a gift source!

Akerworks Swatch Gauge and Knitting Tool Kit.

The Akerworks Swatch Gauge is among our favorite notions, and we’re delighted to have a new batch of them on our shelves!

The Swatch Gauge is a tool for measuring gauge, a heavy plastic one with cut-outs for counting how many stitches or rows make four inches, horizontally and vertically. We first read about it on Knitter’s Review, where Clara Parkes’ enthusiasm for the product caught our eye.

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!

The clever folks at Akerworks have also developed something new, a Knitting Tool Kit. Like a Swiss army knife for knitters, this gadget is many tools in one: a Swatch Gauge, a needle gauge, a notions case with a tape measure, mini scissors, and magnetized pockets with darning needles and locking stitch markers.

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

Back in stock: Akerworks Swatch Gauge.

The Akerworks Swatch Gauge is among our favorite notions, and we’re delighted to have a new batch of them on our shelves!

The Swatch Gauge is a tool for measuring gauge, a heavy plastic one with cut-outs for counting how many stitches or rows make four inches, horizontally and vertically. We first read about it on Knitter’s Review, where Clara Parkes’ enthusiasm for the product caught our eye.

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!

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!