Back in stock: Crazy Zauberball.

Last week brought a colorful box of yarn our way – hello again, Crazy Zauberball!

Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball is a fingering weight yarn that slowly changes from one color to the next several yards at a time, so that whatever you’re knitting or crocheting with it comes out striped. The 2-ply construction of this yarn gives the finished fabric a marled look.

Over the years, we’ve seen Crazy Zauberball put to good use in all kinds of projects, from socks to shawls to cowls. Christy Kamm’s “ZickZack Scarf” (Winnie’s version is pictured above) has been an especially popular pattern around here, a simple chevron stripe made beautiful by the yarn and color selection. Our Fingering weight section here at the shop is full of possibilities for this pattern; here are a few ideas to start with.

We’ve had several knitters pair the self-striping Crazy Zauberball with a solid color for a dramatic effect. Consider the clear solid shades of Brooklyn Tweed Peerie or the gentle heathers of CoopKnits Socks Yeah! 

A semi-solid hand-dyed yarn works well here, too; here’s one possible combination in Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply.

I haven’t seen a speckled “ZickZack” yet, but I’d love to see how it looks! Try Malabrigo Mechita if you’re similarly intrigued.

Come by the shop to pick up some Crazy Zauberball for your next project!

Show and tell: Isager.

Time for another round of show and tell! Today I’m here to share some finished projects that started life as yarn on our shelves, and they all have one thing in common: they’re all knit with yarn from the Danish company Isager.

Above is Loretta’s “Girasole,” an intricate circular shawl designed by Jared Flood. She used two Isager yarns held together for this piece, both lace weight – Alpaca 1 and Spinni. The combination is perfectly balanced, with drape from the Peruvian alpaca yarn and structure from the Danish wool.

Hazel picked up Susie Haumann’s All You Knit is Love here at the shop and has been busy knitting from it, making dresses for her granddaughter.

She knit this “Smilla’s Dress” with Isager Highland, a light fingering weight wool sourced in Peru. The heathered color gives depth to the fabric of this piece, with its eyelets, cables, and panels of reverse stockinette.

Hazel went on to knit a second “Smilla’s Dress” in a different yarn – more on that in the next show-and-tell post!

Carribeth knit this Churchmouse “Alexandra’s Airplane Scarf” with Isager Japanesk Bomuld, a lace weight cotton tape. Knit up loosely like this, it’s somehow crisp and soft at once, a contradictory but delightful fabric for summer.

We love seeing what folks make with our yarns – thank you so much for sharing your projects with us. Look for more show and tell here soon!

Show and tell: Malabrigo.

It’s high time for another round of show and tell! Today I’m here to share some finished projects that started life as yarn on our shelves, and they all have one thing in common: they’re all knit with yarn from the beloved Uruguayan company Malabrigo.

Above is Janet’s first-ever knitting project, a ribbed scarf made with the worsted weight, hand-dyed Malabrigo Rios. Rios is one of the most popular yarns in our shop because of its versatility, smooth, soft texture, and vibrant colors. Well done, Janet!

Here’s another scarf in Rios, showing a more subtle, tonally variegated colorway. The pattern is “Rockcliffe” and the knitter is Donita, who comes back to Rios again and again, as so many of us do.

I knit this little “Dog Star” with Malabrigo Arroyo for a friend who’s having a baby next month, having made the same sweater for another pregnant friend earlier in the year. Malabrigo’s superwash yarns are perfect for baby things, as they’re easy to care for and soft to the touch.

Malabrigo yarns also play well with others. Glen used Malabrigo Sock in natural white as the background color in his “Broken Seed Stitch Socks,” letting another variegated yarn shine.

Winnie took a similar approach with her “ZickZack Scarf,” pairing a semisolid Malabrigo Sock with the self-striping Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball for a lovely effect.

Emily used a variety of leftover yarns, including bits and pieces of Malabrigo Rios, in this “Randolph Raccoon,” a gift for her son. Toys like these are an excellent use of odds and ends, which is why I never get rid of even the smallest length of leftover yarn – Emily did a great job putting some of hers to use!

Many thanks to the talented knitters who shared the projects above, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We love seeing what you make!

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Quarry.

Since we first got Brooklyn Tweed yarns in stock back in January, there’s been one missing piece in our selection. We began with Shelter, Loft, and Arbor, then got Vale as soon as it came out. We’re delighted to announce that the one BT yarn we waited for is now on our shelves. Meet Quarry!

Quarry is Brooklyn Tweed’s heaviest yarn, a bulky weight, woolen-spun Targhee-Columbia wool. Each plump 100 gram skein boasts 200 yards, quite a bit for a yarn that knits up at 3-3.5 stitches per inch.

Like Shelter and Loft, colors in Quarry are created by blending dyed fiber together before spinning, for a heathered effect. Quarry is unique, however, because of its unexpected combination of texture and structure. It looks like a single ply, but is actually constructed with three loosely-spun plies for a smooth, round yarn.

I recently knit “Byway” with Quarry, a generous cabled scarf from Jared Flood’s Woolens. Bulky weight yarn is not often on my needles, but Quarry is a special one, and I thoroughly enjoyed this project. Like Shelter, Quarry is doughy in the hands, with a wooly softness that makes every stitch a pleasure. The pattern is a clever one, too, with blocks of moss stitch and cables framed by a satisfying i-cord edge.

Here are a few other patterns for Quarry that caught my eye:

Look for more pattern ideas on our “Bulky and super-bulky weight” Pinterest board, and look for Quarry in the Bulky weight section here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

Shibui Sample of the Month: Multigrain and Origami Top Hat.

September is here, and with it, two new Shibui Samples of the Month! We offer a 10% discount on Shibui yarn purchased for our featured samples til the end of the month.

We normally have just one featured Shibui sample each month, but the good people at Shibui offered us two this time and we couldn’t see why not. Let’s look first at “Multigrain,” by Antonia Shankland, a seed stitch scarf knit with Shibui Pebble, Silk Cloud, and Cima. These were our first three Shibui yarns, and they remain favorites. All are lace weight, but they vary in fiber content and texture.

“Multigrain” is a great way to experiment with yarn mixing, where two strands are held together for a unique fiber or color combination. Here, the color is the same from yarn to yarn, but the different yarns make for a subtle shift in texture throughout the piece. The pattern is free when you purchase Shibui yarns for the project here at our shop.

Next up is Lori Versaci’s “Origami Top Hat,” knit with just two skeins of Shibui Drift. At first glance, it looks like your basic stockinette cap with a ribbed brim.

From the top, however, you can see the clever shaping and folding that gives this design its name. It looks like it will be fun to knit and easy to wear, a good combination now that gift-knitting season is upon us.

Come by the shop to see both our Shibui Samples of the Month, and get 10% off the Shibui yarns featured in “Multigrain” and “Origami Top Hat.” See you there!

 

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

Shibui Sample of the Month: Envoy.

August is here, and with it, a new Shibui Sample of the Month! We offer a 10% discount on Shibui yarn purchased for our featured sample til the end of the month.

This month’s featured sample is “Envoy,” by Shellie Anderson, a triangular garter stitch scarf. The pattern is free when you purchase Shibui yarns for the project here at our shop.

It’s made with just one skein of Lunar, Shibui’s newest yarn, a smooth and lustrous lace weight blend of merino and silk.

We’re offering a 10% discount on Shibui Lunar purchased for this project til the end of the month. Come by the shop to start an “Envoy” of your own before August 31st!

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

Show and tell: Malabrigo.

We love Malabrigo yarns around here. We have over 10 different Malabrigo yarns in stock, from delicate Lace up to super bulky Rasta and Caracol, and hardly a day goes by that we don’t send some happy knitter or crocheter home with a shopping bag full of Malabrigo. They’re known for their buttery soft merino wool and their lively, memorable colorways. Here are a couple of finished projects knit with Malabrigo yarns that found their way back to us for some show-and-tell!

Above is Donna’s “Drafter’s Cardigan,” knit with Malabrigo Arroyo in “Regatta Blue.” She knit it for her daughter, finishing the job with the perfect pearly blue buttons.

Lois came in last week with another beautiful pair of socks knit with Malabrigo Sock. The pattern is “Summer Slice,” and she used the color “Boticelli Red” with “Diana” as an accent at the heels and toes.

Mary is a big Malabrigo fan, and she particularly loves to work with “Aniversario,” a wildly variegated colorway that’s truly unique from skein to skein.

She crocheted this “Sea Shells Scarf” with Malabrigo’s newest yarn, Dos Tierras, and trimmed it with Shibui Dune for a bit of a stained glass effect.

Thanks to Donna, Lois, and Mary for sharing their Malabrigo projects with us! Come by the shop to see all the Malabrigo Lace, Finito, Sock, Mechita, Arroyo, Silky Merino, Dos Tierras, Rios, Mecha, Rasta, and Caracol we have in stock. See you there!

Show and tell: BT Arbor.

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 at least three blog posts. Today’s group all happen to be made in the same wonderful yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, a DK weight Targhee wool.

Above is Judy’s “Celtic Myths” shawl, a stockinette crescent with an intricate knitted-on cabled border. This delicious shade of gray is called “Heron,” and like nearly all colors, it’s tricky to photograph accurately, and far more beautiful in person.

One of Arbor’s distinguishing features is its crisp stitch definition, which makes cables, lace, and texture patterns shine. You can clearly see that quality in Judy’s beautifully-knit shawl, and you’ll also see it in each of the garments that follow.

Here’s my “Hirombe” hat in the color “Firebrush,” a shop sample which nicely illustrates another of Arbor’s special qualities: its tremendous elasticity. This is one of my favorite yarn characteristics, and one that suggests good long-term wear. Garments knit with Arbor should wear well and look sharp for years to come. I thoroughly enjoyed Jared Flood’s pattern, as well, especially because it taught me at least three new techniques: a cast-on, an increase, and a decrease I’d never tried before. The twisted stitch pattern is fully reversible; below is the “wrong-side” view, which I think I prefer.

Anne knit a little something with Arbor recently, too: this pair of Churchmouse “Welted Fingerless Gloves” was a Mother’s Day gift for Phyllis, Anne’s mom who recently turned 100. This quick-to-knit gift was well-received; Phyllis reportedly put them right on and said, “They fit like a glove!”

This soft, warm gray is called “Gale,” and one skein of Arbor was plenty for a pair, making this a great pattern for trying out this special yarn.

Above is Glen’s “Herringbone Hat,” knit with Arbor in the excellent high-contrast combination of “Black Fig” and “Hammock,” demonstrating that this yarn is perfect for stranded colorwork, too!

 

Barbara knit not one, but two “Byway” scarves during Marsha’s class on the subject. The purple one on the left is knit with Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, and the white one on the right is Arbor in the color “Hammock.” Though the pattern calls for bulky weight yarn, Barbara knit hers in a worsted and a DK, wanting a narrower finished product.

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 Brooklyn Tweed Arbor for your next project!

Mother’s Day gift ideas.

Mother’s Day fast approaches, a good time to remind you of our Gift section here at the shop. We’ve sought out makers in our local community as well as our wider community of suppliers and assembled a collection of items that make excellent gifts for knitters and non-knitters alike.

Harmony Farm Candles are always a welcome gift, hand-poured by Erin in nearby Mebane. We’re lucky enough to have a custom scent, Lavender Eucalyptus, on our shelves, along with a rotating selection of other Harmony Farm Candles, changing with the seasons and our moods.

We just got a new batch of ceramic yarn bowls, handmade in Durham by Frumet of Late Bloomer Pottery.

We also stock hand-painted silk scarves by Gina Wilde, the artist and creative mind behind Alchemy Yarns. Gina has been working with a fair trade collective in Cambodia to produce these silk scarves, and to develop work there centered in indigenous textiles. You can read more about what Gina described to us as her “heart project” on the Alchemy website. Gina herself paints the scarves, just as she paints Alchemy yarns, and the result is vibrant, elegant, and unusual.

We also have gift certificates available in any denomination, of course, and we so appreciate you thinking of us as a gift source. Thank you for supporting small businesses like ours, and shopping local for mothers and others! See you at the shop.

Crete.

Anne recently completed her “Crete,” a beautiful warm-weather accessory you’ll find hanging on our wall here at the shop.

“Crete” is worked with two yarns: Shibui Twig, a sport weight blend of linen, recycled silk, and wool, and the brand new Shibui Lunar, a lace weight blend of merino and silk.

This stockinette bias scarf begins and ends with Twig, and uses Lunar and Twig together during the body of the piece for a bit of transparency on either end. It’s this kind of simple-yet-clever detail that we’ve come to expect from Shibui, along with elegance.

Before blocking, however, the fabric is far from elegant; stockinette naturally wants to curl, and it needs a good blocking to become the smooth, gently draping fabric shown in the pattern photo.

Don’t be disappointed when your “Crete” comes off the needles looking like this, just give it a nice bath with some room-temperature water and Eucalan, then put your blocking wires to work. That’s what Anne did, with wondrous results.

Choose matching shades of Twig and Lunar for a subtle, sophisticated fabric.

Or, chose similar, low-contrast color combinations for a different effect – a subtly marled fabric with solid-yet-sheer ends.

This pattern is the subject of Shibui’s current knit-along, and is free when you purchase Shibui yarns for the project. We’re also offering a class on “Crete,” for new knitters who want help learning to increase, decrease, work with two strands of yarn together, and practice pattern reading. Head to our Classes page to read more about it and sign up, if you like!