Hello, Lang Merino+ Color.

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


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.


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


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.



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

New crochet publications.

This week brought two new publications for crocheters, a book and a magazine.


The Summer 2015 issue of Interweave Crochet features crocheted dresses and other warm-weather garments, along with a spread of crocheted floral arrangements and wedding accessories.


Quick Crocheted Accessories is a new collection from Sharon Zientara, full of patterns that require just one, two, or three skeins of yarn. I spotted a familiar yarn in this colorful shawl, the self-striping Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball.


Come by the shop to browse the latest books and magazines, and to plan your next crochet project!

New colors in Zauberball Starke 6.

We recently replenished our supply of Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Starke 6, a sport weight, self-striping yarn.


Zauberball Starke 6 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. Additionally, it’s 2-ply, where both plies are not always the same shade, giving the yarn and finished product a marled look.


Thinking Spring, Anne and I chose several colorways with grassy greens, bright shades for lively stitching.


When you’re choosing projects for Zauberball Starke 6, look for patterns with interesting construction but relatively simple stitch patterns, as the stripes and marled colors will likely outshine any complex lace or texture pattern. Paging through Ravelry, lots of knitters have used Zauberball Starke 6 to make “Wingspan,” “Hitchhiker,” “TGV (High Speed Knitting),” and “Wurm.”


Here at the shop, we have a “Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf” on display knit in Zauberball Starke 6; this self-striping yarn highlights the short-row triangles. Composed of 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon, Zauberball Starke 6 is great for socks or legwarmers, too! Look for more pattern ideas on the “Sport weight” board on the HYS Pinterest page.


Come by the shop to pick up a skein or two of Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Starke 6! See you there.

Show and tell: colorwork and more.

It’s time for more show and tell! Here are some finished pieces that began their lives as HYS yarns. 


Emily has gone crazy for stranded colorwork, and brought in two amazing projects to show us this past week. Above is her “Tracery” vest, from last year’s Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, knit in Plymouth Happy Feet.


The stained-glass look of this garment is achieved by using colorful variegated yarn against solid black, a neat effect.

sweetheart bag



Emily’s next colorwork project was the “Sweetheart Bag,” a pattern from the Fall 2012 issue of Jane Austen Knits. The yarn is one of our favorites, Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, a fingering weight shetland wool that is perfectly suited to stranded colorwork like this.






Anne has also been busy with a colorwork project; here is a tam she recently knit for her mother from Mary Rowe’s book, Knitting Tams: Charted Fair Isle Designs.



Worked in three shades of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, this tam came together quickly, thanks to the addictive quality of stranded color patterns. It was off Anne’s needles and on Phyllis’s head in no time.

phyllis's tam

Judy came in wearing her “Ship to Shore” shawl, knit with one skein of Shibui Linen.


Knit into a loose openwork pattern, Linen is cool to the touch and drapes elegantly, making a lightweight summer accessory that is sure to get a lot of wear.


Margie wore a new shawl in this week, too–here she is in her “Nymphalidea,” a free shawl pattern that’s been catching many a knitter’s eye this summer.


“Nymphalidea” sets a self-striping yarn against a solid in an asymmetric shawl. Margie chose Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball as her self-striping yarn and Fibre Company Meadow as her solid, a surprising choice that works perfectly.



Thanks to the knitters, crocheters, and other fiber artists who start their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and who share their work with us! We’re lucky to be surrounded by inspiring stitches every day. 

Back in stock: Kauni Effektgarn.

We like to keep a decent supply of Kauni Effektgarn on hand, a nice selection of colors, from quiet neutrals to bold brights. There are a few particularly popular colorways, however, and one of our first TNNA tasks was to get them back in stock.


Kauni is a sport-weight, self-striping wool, unique even among its fellow self-striping yarns at the shop for its long stretches of color. Anne knit the above “Wingspan” to show off the long repeats in each color, and this short-row-shaped shawlette is a great project for highlighting Kauni. She used just one ball of color EF, which moves through shades of denim blue, mauve, green, and purple.


Rosi and I both worked on the “Kauni Color Wave Shawl” that hangs in the shop, showing another interesting use of the yarn.


Two shades of Kauni, EA and ED, are striped against one another in this garter stitch shawl. I would never have thought to put them together; Kauni can surprise you that way sometimes, entertaining you with its shifting shades as you stitch.


Perhaps the most popular Kauni colorway is EQ, a bright, bold rainbow.


Last Fall, a knitter brought in her “Spectra” scarf made in this signature shade of Kauni, and I photographed it for the blog. I love this clever use for the yarn, the way the colors frame one another in the pattern.


We’re thrilled to have these Kauni colors back in stock! Come by the shop to see them and many more, and to plan your next project. See you there!

New from Schoppel-Wolle.

Last week, we unpacked a very large box of yarn from Schoppel-Wolle, a German company perhaps best known for their self-striping sock yarn, Zauberball.


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.


It’s sturdy for a single-ply yarn, thanks to its fiber content: a blend of superwash wool and nylon that is perfect for making socks. A quick Ravelry search for Zauberball reveals that it’s good for more than socks, though–so many Zauberballs have grown up into shawls and scarves like “Wingspan,” “Citron,” “Spectra,” and “Elise.”


Crazy Zauberball is a 2-ply version of the same thing, giving the finished fabric a marled look.


Zauberball Starke 6 is a thicker version of Crazy Zauberball–same superwash fiber content, same stripes, but in sport weight. You may have seen our “Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf” made up in Zauberball Starke 6, and that short-row shaped scarf is a great way to show off the yarn’s stripes; also consider Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “Baby Surprise Jacket,” or “Wurm,” a cute (and free) hat pattern.


We also got a brand new yarn from Schoppel-Wolle, another patterning sock yarn called Das Paar. Das Paar solves one of the problems of self-patterning or self-striping yarn, which is that it has kind of a mind of its own. One can’t easily have perfectly matched stripes on a pair of socks, fingerless mitts, or sleeves, without winding and rewinding the yarn to get to just the right point in the color sequence. Many knitters don’t find this problematic at all, and make peace with fraternal twin socks. For those who want a perfectly matched pair, Das Paar is wound into two 50 g skeins that start at the same point in the color sequence. Come by the shop to check it out, along with all the other Zauberball yarns!

Kauni Color Wave Shawl.

A few weeks ago, I wrapped up the knitting of a new shop sample: the “Kauni Color Wave Shawl.”


The shawl is knit using one skein each in two colors of Kauni Effektgarn, a self-striping sport weight wool with long stretches of color. One skein made stripes in shades of black, brown, and gold, while the other shifted from greens to purples.


Not only do the yarns make stripes, but the shawl itself is striped. I worked two rows from the first colorway and two rows from the second colorway, back and forth throughout the piece.


The knitting was simple–mostly garter stitch, with steady increases and a small lace border–but the shawl is colorful and interesting to look at, cozy to wear. Knit from the top down, it’s easy to lengthen or shorten. In fact, this particular “Kauni Color Wave Shawl” is somewhat longer than the pattern suggested, and I didn’t even use up all the yarn.


Look for the pattern in our Kauni Patterns binder, where you’ll find many other intriguing uses for this singular yarn. See you at the shop!

Interweave Knits.

In the midst of  a muggy summer week, the Fall 2013 issue of Interweave Knits has arrived, just in time for cool-weather daydreaming. What garments and accessories will we knit in anticipation of the seemingly-distant sweater weather?


This issue features garments and accessories in lacy drop-stitch patterns, cables, and texture patterns. I noticed one sweater made in a familiar yarn: Kauni Effektgarn, a self-striping yarn with long color repeats that this dolman-sleeved sweater shows off well.


There’s also plenty of stranded colorwork patterning in this issue. Though some of these patterns use many colors, only two are in use on any given row, making this classic technique much less complicated than it first appears. If you’re eager to try stranded colorwork for the first time, consider signing up for our Inspira Cowl class for some guidance along the way.



The Rheinfels Mittens call for Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, a fingering weight shetland wool that is perfectly suited to colorwork. It’s not merino-soft, but neither is merino wool shetland-sturdy; shetland wool yarns typically have little fibers sticking out that want to grab onto one another, helpful for keeping tension in stranded colorwork, and keeping cut edges stable when steeking. I used Shetland Spindrift in my Stasis Pullover last winter, and it has stayed in great condition through many wearings. I picked a few high-contrast color combinations in the Shetland Spindrift that I thought would make nice mittens, though there are plenty of other yarns that could be substituted, like Jamieson & Smith 2-ply Jumper Weight, Isager Highland, or Cascade 220 Fingering.


We were also delighted to spot this profile of Clara Parkes, a hero of ours that we were lucky enough to meet in person at TNNA.


We have all of her published books on our shelves here at the shop, and her yet-to-be-published book, The Yarn Whisperer, is on order. Let us know if you’d like us to save a copy for you! 


Come by the shop to browse the yarns, books, and magazines, and pick up a copy of Interweave Knits. See you there!

Three new knit samples.

Over the weekend, Amy dropped off three new knit samples, each one the subject of an upcoming class.


We’ve seen this Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf pattern made up in Zauberball Starke 6; here, it’s shown in Noro Silk Garden in shades of blue, green, and purple. The self-striping yarn really highlights the short-row construction of this garter stitch scarf, and the aran weight yarn knits up quickly, creating a cozy accessory.


The Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf class meets two Saturday afternoons in August; read more about it and sign up on our website.


This Inspira Cowl is knit with two different colors of Noro Kureyon in a simple stranded colorwork pattern. It’s a generously sized cowl that is shaped to hug the neck and accomodate the shoulders. The Inspira Cowl is an opportunity to learn to knit in the round, make decreases, and work a two-color stranded knitting pattern. Class meets two Saturday afternoons in September; head over to our website to sign up now.


This last sample, a fair isle tam, is made using one self-striping yarn, Noro Silk Garden, and one solid color yarn, Plymouth Galway. The solid color recedes into the background and the self-striping yarn pops out as the main pattern color, giving the look of a many-colored fair isle garment without having to weave in all those ends. I’m sorry to report that Amy’s Beginning Fair Isle Tam class is already full, but the pattern is free from Knitty.com, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions should you decide to tackle it on your own. And if you’re set on learning fair isle knitting, including weaving in all the ends, take a look at Anne’s Introduction to Fair Isle class, which meets Wednesday evenings in July. She’ll even teach you how to bravely cut your knitting, creating steeks!

Come by the shop to see all three samples, and the yarns used to create them. If you hurry in today, June 19th, you can even get the Noro yarns at 25% off, on this last day of our Going to Market Sale! See you at the shop.

New colors in Zauberball Starke 6.

We recently replenished our supply of Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Starke 6, a sport weight, self-striping yarn.


Tucked into the basket of Zauberball Starke 6 is a scarf, a knit sample that has gotten a lot of attention for as long as we’ve had it at the shop. The pattern is the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf, a garter stitch scarf that uses short rows to create triangles within an otherwise simply shaped rectangle. It’s a technique that pairs well with self-striping yarns like Zauberball Starke 6; the color changes highlight the short row shaping, which in turn does interesting things to the color changes.


Intimidated by short rows? You needn’t be; Amy is teaching a class this summer that uses this very scarf as a lesson in short rows. Read more about the class on the website, where you can also sign up and prepay for classes to save your space. Come by the shop to admire the scarf and the yarn, and to plan your next project. See you there!