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!

Hello, Zauberball Cotton.

We recently replenished our supply of Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball yarns, those colorful self-stripers in fingering and sport weight.

Zauberball, Zauberball Crazy, and Zauberball Starke 6 all slowly change from one color to the next several yards at a time, so that whatever you’re knitting or crocheting with it comes out striped. All three of these yarns have been staples here at our shop for years; imagine our delight and curiosity when we learned of a new addition to the Zauberball family – Cotton!

Like Zauberball and Zauberball Crazy, Zauberball Cotton is a fingering weight, self-striping yarn, but it’s composed of 100% organic cotton from Greece. It’s smooth and cool to the touch, and loosely-plied for a soft hand and matte finish.

It may not be sturdy enough for sock-making, but Zauberball Cotton is ideal for warm-weather garments and accessories: shawls, cowls, scarves, lightweight tops, and baby things. Look for ideas on our Fingering weight Pinterest board, and look for Zauberball Cotton here at the shop – see you there!

Back in stock: Lang Merino+ Color.

Somewhere in the recent rush of exciting new fall yarns, a big box of Lang Merino+ Color arrived.

This order brought sold-out colors back into stock, along with three new colorways.

Again and again, knitters reach for this yarn when they see it on the shelf, drawn by its unique color combinations and soft, smooth texture.

One 196 yard ball is enough for a hat or pair of mittens, two can make a big, cozy cowl or a cute, quick-knitting baby sweater.

Tom made this baby sweater with Lang Merino+ Color, using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic “Baby Surprise Jacket” pattern. It’s a great pattern for self-striping yarns because of its unusual, ingenious one-piece construction; no matter how the stripes fall, they’ll match all across the sweater.

Look for Lang Merino+ Color in the aran weight section here at the shop!

Show and tell: for grown-ups.

I’m back with another round of show-and-tell, this time for the grown-ups among us.

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Kellie has been busy crocheting “Artfully Simple Infinity Scarves” with Noro Silk Garden Lite. She reports that the pattern is as easy as its title suggests, but that it’s endlessly entertaining, especially with colorful self-striping yarns like these.

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They’re long enough to be worn doubled, as shown above, but short enough to hang around one’s neck simply, as shown below; either way makes an eye-catching accessory.

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Margie’s needles are always busy, and she’s so prolific a knitter that these finished projects are already well behind her. Still, they bear sharing: above is her “Inverness Cape,” knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and below is her “Escher Poncho,” knit in Malabrigo Rios, with a bit of Fibre Company Cumbria Worsted around the edge.

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And there’s more: here’s Margie’s third “ZickZack Scarf,” knit with Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball and Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace held doubled throughout.

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Catherine knit this beautiful “On the Spice Market” with Shibui Staccato, a merino/silk blend that has the perfect drape and luster for this shawl.

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She carefully chose colors inspired by those shown in the pattern photo, with a few adjustments to make it her own.

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Here’s another Melanie Berg pattern, “Sunwalker,” knit by Emma with the brand new Isager Merilin. This is a shawl that the photo doesn’t do justice, as it’s the texture and hand of the fabric that stood out most to me; shawl-knitters, consider Merilin when fingering weight yarn is called for!

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Below is Amy’s “Copenhagen Hood,” a quick cozy accessory knit in Fibre Company Tundra, living temporarily at the shop as a sample for her upcoming class on the subject. There are still spaces in her class, if you’d like to join and knit a hood of your own…sign up on our website!

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Joanne knit this “Rise” hat with Shibui Drift and Silk Cloud held together, and was so pleased with it that she came back for more yarn to knit one for her husband. I understand the appeal, seeing how well this came out! I can hardly imagine a softer yarn combination, truly.

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Nancy knit this “Flowers of Life” pullover for her husband, using a beautiful palette of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in an intricate all-over fair isle pattern. She’s graciously left it at the shop for a few weeks for all to see and admire; come in soon to see this knitted work of art!

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Joanne also has some Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift show and tell: a “Beginner’s Fair Isle Cap,” her first-ever colorwork project. With guidance from Nancy, she selected this color combination and arranged the colors within the motif for a unique accesory.

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Thanks again to the knitters and crocheters who share their work with us. We feel lucky to play a part in your creative pursuits, and look forward to seeing the projects you plan!

New colors in Lang Merino + Color.

Somewhere in the recent rush of exciting new fall yarns, a big box of Lang Merino+ Color arrived.

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Last fall, this soft, superwash, self-striping yarn was brand new, and it quietly became a bit of a bestseller here at the shop.

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One 196 yard ball is enough for a hat or pair of mittens, two can make a big, cozy cowl or a cute, quick-knitting baby sweater.

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In colorways ranging from bright and playful to muted and mature, it’s no surprise our supply of Lang Merino+ Color quickly dwindled as knitter after knitter succumbed to its appeal.

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It’s good to have all the available colors back on our shelves, along with four new shades.

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Look for Lang Merino+ Color in the aran weight section here at the shop. See you there!

Show and tell: summer shawls, part two.

Time for a second round of summer shawl show and tell! Here are some colorful shawls that started life as yarns on our shelves.

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This one is a work in progress, a shawl-to-be on Amy’s needles as she prepares to teach a class on the subject. The pattern is “Dreambird KAL,” and Amy is knitting it with Shibui Staccato in the background, the solid black setting off the self-striping Kauni Effektgarn to great effect.

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Catherine came in recently with this beautiful “Chevron 15” shawl, knit in two shades of Isager Alpaca 2.

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The fabric is soft and light, and the surprising combination of bold chartreuse and soft teal works so well. Catherine has knit many shawls with this alpaca/merino blend, coming back to it again and again, a high form of praise in a world full of lovely yarns.

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Loretta started this “Quill” in a class here at the shop, working with the sport weight Berroco Ultra Alpaca Lite.

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This 5 color shawl is large enough to be considered a blanket, and looks cozy and classic in neutral shades, punctuated by a nice deep red.

DSCN5815Thanks to the many knitters, crocheters, weavers, and other fiber artists who use yarns from our shop in their creations; we love seeing what you make. More show and tell to come!

Show and tell: stripes and colorwork.

We’re back with another round of show and tell! Here are some of the finished projects we’ve had the good fortune to admire lately, all of whom began as yarn on our shelves. Today, let’s look at projects featuring stripes and colorwork.

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Paula knit this “Chevron Baby Blanket” with Berroco Modern Cotton, modifying the pattern a bit to knit at a slightly smaller gauge. She swatched to figure out how wide each pattern repeat would be with her yarn, then added stitches to her cast-on so that her blanket would come out the desired size.

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Paula also finished this “wwwww #1” recently, a lined headband by Kate Davies. Paula used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift for the colorwork exterior, and soft-as-can-be Shibui Maai for the lining. Nicely done, Paula!

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Margaretta recently knit Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic “Baby Surprise Jacket” with Fibre Company Canopy Worsted, and used her leftovers to make a “Boston Whaler” hat. I love her unexpected combination of sage green, steely gray, and bright fuschia, especially with those perfect pink buttons!

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Margaretta has also been working on General Hogbuffer’s “Slippery Slope Socks,” using the solid CoopKnits Socks Yeah! and the self-striping Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball. Since I snapped this picture of the first finished sock, she’s completed the pair, and plans to make another with different colors.

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Judie’s “Wildheart” shawl was also knit with self-striping yarn, Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL. She added a picot bind-off to an otherwise unadorned edge; a little something that I think makes the whole shawl shine.

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Thanks to the talented knitters who shared their work with us today, and to all the fiber artists who begin their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We love seeing what you’re working on!

Hello, Cutthroat Yarn Gradient Cotton.

Last week, we got another shipment from Cutthroat Yarn in Leesburg, Virginia. Meet the newest of our yarns, Gradient Cotton.

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Like Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL, Gradient Cotton is a hand-dyed fingering weight self-striping yarn, where each shade is many yards long, for wide stripes. The big difference between these two yarns is in fiber content. The mercerized cotton in Gradient Cotton is grown right here in North Carolina, and like all plant fibers, it makes inelastic, drapey fabric that is cool to the touch, perfect for a lightweight spring or summer accessory.

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All of the patterns I mentioned in my recent Gradient BFL post are suitable for Gradient Cotton, too. Consider also Tina Whitmore’s “Radiance Shawlette,” Mindy Ross’s “Reverse Psychology,” and Kateryna Golovanova’s “Spearmint Tea.”

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Look for Cutthroat Yarn Gradient Cotton in the fingering weight section here at the shop, on a shelf just beneath Gradient BFL. See you there!

Hello, Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL.

We’re delighted to announce that we now carry Gradient BFL from Cutthroat Yarn!

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Gradient BFL is a 100% superwash bluefaced leicester wool in a fingering weight, and it’s hand-dyed by Cutthroat Yarn founder Jeanette Ward in Leesburg, Virginia. We’re always on the lookout for locally-sourced yarns, and plied self-stiping yarns, too; Gradient BFL fills both of these needs nicely.

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Each 100 gram skein has 443 yards, enough for a shawlette, hat, cowl, pair of mitts or socks. Use Gradient BFL anywhere self-striping yarn is called for, like Stephen West’s “Spectra” or “Daybreak,” Melinda VerMeer’s “Nymphalidea,” or Melissa La Barre’s “September Circle.” Some patterns that don’t call for self-striping yarn look equally lovely in gradient yarns like these; consider Hilary Smith Callis’s “Starshower,” Martina Behm’s “Hitchhiker,” or Kelly McClure’s “Sockhead Slouch Hat.”

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Instead of choosing from a set selection of colorways, we asked that Jeanette dye a few of her favorites for us, and we love what she came up with. The colors have no names or numbers, and may never be duplicated, so be sure you get enough for your project! Look for Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL in the fingering weight section here at the shop.

Hello, Lang Merino+ Color.

Another new yarn has found a home here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! Meet Lang Merino+ Color.

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Merino+ Color is an aran weight superwash merino wool, smooth, springy, soft, and self-striping. It comes in nine different colorways, a nice variety. Some. are subdued and painterly, while others are playful and bright.

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Each 100 gram ball boasts 197 yards, plenty for an adult-sized hat, pair of mitts, or small cowl.

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I knit this modified version of Wendy Johnson’s free “Easy Broken Rib Cowl” with just one ball of Lang Merino+ Color, shortening the circumference by casting on fewer stitches than called for. DSCN5274

Come by the shop to try on the sample for size; if you’d like to make one like it, make a note to cast on 192 stitches. If you’d prefer the cozier, larger size shown in the pattern, pick up a second skein and follow the pattern as written.

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Look for Merino+ Color in the aran weight section here at the shop. See you there!