Swans Island colorwork kits.

As the holidays approach, we meet more and more folks seeking presents for the knitters in their lives. With the gift-giving season in mind, we’ve put together some new kits featuring yarn and patterns from Swans Island.

Each kit features a colorwork pattern and all the yarn to complete it. They’d make great gifts for knitters who love colorwork, of course, but I’d also recommend them for those who haven’t yet mastered this particular technique, as small projects like hats and mitts are a good size for learning.

The yarn is All American Sport, a 2-ply woolen-spun yarn composed of 100% Rambouillet wool, which was grown, processed, spun, and dyed in the USA. It’s a unique combination of next-to-skin soft and holds-its-shape sturdy, and was created with stranded colorwork in mind. 

Come by the shop if you’re seeking gifts for a friend or materials to make them with – we hope you find inspiration here!

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Ranch 01.

We are delighted to announce that Brooklyn Tweed’s newest yarn has arrived!

Ranch 01 is a worsted weight, limited edition, ranch-specific Rambouillet yarn, which means every fiber in these skeins was sourced from a single flock of sheep living on Bare Ranch in Surprise Valley, CA.

Brooklyn Tweed has always sought to highlight single breed wools and support US ranchers with sustainable environmental practices. This project allows them to shine a spotlight on the people and practices behind their yarns, one ranch at a time. You can read more about Bare Ranch on the BT blog and get a good sense of the people who made this yarn possible.

After the wool was sourced at Bare Ranch, scoured in South Carolina, and spun in Maine, it traveled to Pennsylvania to be hand-dyed with natural pigments at Green Matters Natural Dye Company. Ranch 01 colors are created with plant-, mineral-, and insect-based natural dyes, pigments that need to be cared for differently than conventional dyes.

With this in mind, Brooklyn Tweed has created a tip sheet to go with Ranch 01, with information about naturally dyed yarn and how to care for it – we’ll include one with each purchase of Ranch 01 here at our shop.

What to knit with Ranch 01? At 220 yards per hank, you can get a hat or pair of mitts out of one skein, and a scarf or cowl out of two or three skeins. Look for a binder of Ranch 01 patterns here at the shop for ideas!

The yarn arrived today, but already it’s selling quickly – come by and see it while supplies last! The small-batch nature of this yarn means we can’t reorder it, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

See you at the shop!

Making 2018 Wall Calendar.

The Making 2018 wall calendar is here, and so lovely!

Each month has a beautiful drawing of a particular breed of sheep alongside a plant used for natural dyeing.

Many of these sheep breeds are unfamiliar to us – how we wish we could represent them all in yarns on our shelves! We did see a few friends, though, like the Finnsheep whose fleece make Tukuwool Fingering, and the Rambouillet whose fleece make Brooklyn Tweed Vale.

This would be a welcome gift for any knitter, spinner, dyer, or sheep-lover this holiday season. Come by the shop to pick one up!

Brooklyn Tweed Vale Trunk Show!

We are delighted to announce that a new trunk show from Brooklyn Tweed is here to spend a couple of weeks at our shop. Come by before August 20th to see the Vale Collection!

The Vale Collection features five garments: four popular lace patterns from the Brooklyn Tweed archives that have been revised for Vale, and one brand new design from Jared Flood.

The old favorites are “Girasole,” “Rock Island,” “Bridgewater,” and “Lucca,” classic lace shawls in a variety of shapes. “Gully” is the newest pattern, a brioche cowl that takes just one skein of Vale.

Seeing this collection in person is a treat, and really highlights the quality of the yarn. Vale is a lace weight Rambouillet wool, with 450 yards on each 50 gram skein. It’s worsted-spun for a smooth yarn with sharp stitch definition, one that’s spectacularly bouncy in the skein and in the knitted fabric.

These exquisite pieces are on display here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop until August 20th, and while they’re here, we’re offering 10% off purchases of Brooklyn Tweed Vale. Hurry in to see the show and soak up some lace knitting inspiration!

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

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Vale.

We’re happy to announce that Brooklyn Tweed’s newest yarn is here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! Meet Vale.

Vale is a lace weight Rambouillet wool, with 450 yards on each 50 gram skein. Like all Brooklyn Tweed yarns, Vale is entirely sourced, spun, and dyed in the US, reflecting the company’s steadfast allegiance to domestic textiles.

Vale has a lot in common with Arbor: the fiber is worsted-spun for a smooth yarn with sharp stitch definition, then skein-dyed at the Saco River Dyehouse in Maine. Some of their colorways overlap, appearing in both Vale and Arbor, but there are some new shades unique to Vale, delicate pastels in particular.

Arbor and Vale are also spectacularly bouncy in the skein and in the hand, full of elasticity – one of my favorite yarn qualities.

To welcome their exciting new yarn, Brooklyn Tweed has revised several of their popular lace patterns for Vale. Old favorites “Girasole,” “Rock Island,” “Bridgewater,” and “Lucca” shine in Vale, and so does Jared Flood’s newest design, “Gully.” This one-skein brioche cowl pattern is free with a purchase of Vale until June 30th, 2017.

Look for Vale in the Lace weight section here at the shop!

Swans Island Trunk Show.

Our next trunk show of the season has arrived, featuring garments from Swans Island! We’re offering a 10% discount on all in-stock Swans Island yarn during the show, so come by soon to see it for yourself.

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We’ve got six garments here on display until November 1st, five sweaters and a hat and mitt set. All of them are knit in Swans Island’s newest yarn, All American Sport, a delightfully springy 100% Rambouillet wool that’s hand-dyed in a wide range of colors.

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These are just a few of the patterns from Swans Island’s All American Sport Collection, which features many different applications of two-color knitting. I’ve got Isabell Kraemer’s “Kaarina Pullover” on my needles now, and can hardly wait to wear it. Be sure to peruse our complete selection of patterns for All American Sport while you’re here admiring the trunk show!DSCN5164

Come in to see and touch garments made in this yarn for a good sense of how it works up, and enjoy a 10% discount on all in-stock Swans Island yarn during the show!

 

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

Hello, Swans Island All American Sport.

The newest yarn from Swans Island has arrived at the shop! Meet All American Sport.

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All American Sport is a 2-ply woolen-spun yarn composed of 100% Rambouillet wool, a little cousin of sorts to Swans Island All American Worsted. There are 185 yards on each 40 gram skein, every bit of which was grown, processed, spun, and dyed in the USA. This yarn is a unique combination of next-to-skin soft and holds-its-shape sturdy, and was created with stranded colorwork in mind. That’s why it comes in this huge selection of colors.

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For a newly released yarn from a small, thoughtful company, this is one outrageous color palette! There’s something for everyone and every project here, whether you favor brights, neutrals, pastels, or jewel tones.

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“Woolen-spun” means that the yarn is spun from fiber that has been carded, but not combed. The carding process organizes the fibers to some degree, but they are not as smoothly aligned as combed fibers, giving woolen-spun yarns a rustic look.

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Woolen-spun yarns like All American Sport are also quite lofty, making them versatile in terms of gauge. Swans Island suggests a gauge of 6 stitches per inch, but All American Sport is happy at a range of gauges. After washing, the fibers bloom to fill whatever space your needles have given them. The swatch above illustrates this, as I knit it using needles from US #3 – 6.

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Does it come as any surprise that I am utterly enamored of this yarn? I took so many pictures of it that there just isn’t room in one blog post, so you can look forward to a second installment soon, covering the glorious pattern collection that accompanies this special yarn. In the meantime, come by the shop to ooh and ahh over Swans Island All American Sport!

Show and tell: Swans Island All American Worsted.

We always love to see what you’re making with HYS yarns, and I love to take photos of your beautiful finished pieces to share here on the blog. I have a nice collection to share at the moment, enough for two blog posts. Today’s group all happen to be made in the same wonderful yarn: Swans Island All American Worsted, an aran weight blend of US-sourced Rambouillet wool and alpaca.

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Emily came into the shop last week wearing her newly-completed “Halyard,” by Norah Gaughan, which she knit using 6 skeins of All American Worsted in a deep, saturated cobalt shade called “Newport.” She lengthened the sleeves from 3/4 length to full length for a cozy winter pullover.

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I knit a sweater in All American Worsted recently, too. Here I am in my “Docklight,” by Julie Hoover. If you’ve been to the shop in the past month or two, you’ve probably seen me in it, as it’s become a favorite winter sweater. I’m thrilled with how it came out, and impressed with how the yarn is wearing. I used 6 skeins in “Frost,” a light blue-gray.

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Nancy knit this “Hourglass Throw” by Anne Hanson using 8 skeins of All American Worsted in a warm brown shade called “Driftwood.” The light color really shows off Hanson’s intricate cable and lace design. This was Nancy’s first time knitting cables, and they are expertly rendered. Well done!photo 2 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone else out there knitting with All American Worsted? Tell us what you’re making with it , and come in to show us, too!

Thanks to everyone who starts their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and to those who share their progress with us. Come by the shop to pick up some Swans Island All American Worsted for your next project, and keep your eye on the blog for more show and tell soon!

 

 

Hello, Swans Island All American Worsted.

We’re delighted to announce that Swans Island’s newest yarn has arrived at the shop: meet All American Worsted!

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All American Worsted is a 2-ply woolen-spun blend of 75% Rambouillet wool and 25% alpaca. There are 210 yards on each 80 gram skein, every bit of which was grown, processed, spun, and dyed in the USA.

DSCN3525All the colors begin with this shade of gray, the natural color of the Rambouillet and alpaca blend. The gray skeins are then dyed with low impact acid dyes, giving each hue a rich heathered quality.

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“Woolen-spun” means that the yarn is spun from fiber that has been carded, but not combed. The carding process organizes the fibers to some degree, but they are not as smoothly aligned as combed fibers, giving woolen-spun yarns a rustic look.

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Woolen-spun yarns like All American Worsted are also quite lofty, making them more versatile in terms of gauge. Swans Island suggests a gauge of 4.25 stitches per inch, which we’d consider aran weight, but All American Worsted is happy at a range of gauges. After washing, the fibers bloom to fill whatever space your needles have given them. The bottom section of the little swatch below was knit at 4.5 stitches per inch on a US #8; from there, I switched to a US #9, and the gauge is about 4 stitches per inch.

DSCN3530 I knit Stephen West’s “Dustland Hat” at 5 stitches per inch on a US #7, and the fabric is sturdy but supple. All American Worsted renders these knit/purl texture patterns beautifully, and I don’t doubt that it will perform just as well in cables, lace, and colorwork.

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For pattern ideas, check the Swans Island binder here at the shop. Their Organic Merino Worsted is comparable, so patterns that call for that yarn will do just as well in All American Worsted. Also, check your Ravelry queue for any patterns calling for Brooklyn Tweed Shelter–I know I am! Of all the yarns we ordered at TNNA this year, this is the one I’ve been perseverating on the most. Any of the Brooklyn Tweed patterns would be stunning in Swans Island All American Worsted, but for myself, I’ve boiled it down to three favorites: “Bray,” “Wheaten,” and “Little Wave.”

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Come by the shop to meet this gorgeous yarn in person, and plan your next project! Look for Swans Island All American Worsted in the aran weight section, near the Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted. See you there!

Hello, Sincere Sheep.

This past Wednesday, a box arrived at the shop that we’ve been eagerly anticipating since June. We’re proud to announce that we now carry three yarns from Sincere Sheep. Based in Northern California, Sincere Sheep produces naturally dyed yarns from U.S. sourced fibers. We met Brooke at TNNA in June and were blown away by the vivid colors she achieves with natural dyes.

I was the lucky knitter who got to play with a skein of Sincere Sheep Equity Sport while we deliberated at market. The Equity Sport is 100% Rambouillet wool, grown and spun in Buffalo, WY. I read up on Rambouillet wool in Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Book of Wool, a favorite resource, and learned that Rambouillet is a breed of sheep, a relative of Merino known for its soft, springy fiber.

Where Merino stretches and drapes, Rambouillet has a surprising sturdiness, given its softness. I used the Equity Sport to knit a sample fingerless mitt for the shop, a garment it’s well suited to. I also think it would make lovely hats and sweaters.

When we saw that there was an Equity Fingering as well, we had to get both. I think it would be perfect for colorwork projects, or on a bigger needle for draping shawls and cowls.

On the last day of market, we came back to Sincere Sheep to order a third yarn: Luminous, a dk weight blend of Tussah Silk and Polwarth wool. Polwarth is another finewool, like Merino and Rambouillet, but one with a slight sheen and greater strength from longer fibers. Luminous comes in big, 330 yard skeins, enough to do a generous scarf, cowl, or small shawl. We got two patterns from designer Kira Dulaney that call for dk weight yarn with single skeins of Luminous in mind.

Come by the shop to see these gorgeous yarns from Sincere Sheep!