Shibui Sample of the Month: Stole 2.0

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


Our current Shibui Sample of the Month is “Stole 2.0,” by Theresa Gaffey.


This striking wrap was knit in three shades of Shibui Pebble, outlined in a thin stripe of Silk Cloud.


Each color block is knit in a different direction, so the grain of the knitted fabric is sometimes vertical, sometimes horizontal.


We’re offering a 10% discount on Pebble and Silk Cloud purchased for this project til the end of the month, so come by the shop to see it before September 30th!


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

The Book of Haps.

Kate Davies’ newest book came out a couple of months ago, and though we had it in stock, it sold out quickly and never made it to the blog. With new copies on the teacart, I’m here to right that. Here’s The Book of Haps.


As Davies defines it, “hap” is a Scottish dialect word for a simple shawl or wrap. The emphasis is on functionality and everyday wear, though of course these garments can also be quite pleasing to the eye.

DSCN5939As is her wont, Davies begins with with the history of these practical shawls and the people that made and make them. It’s only then, informed by this cultural context, that our own hap knitting begins.


The patterns in this collection are not all Davies’ own; designers Bristol Ivy, Martina Behm, Carol Feller, Romi Hill, Gudrun Johnston, and Veera Välimäki have all contributed hap variations, among many talented others.

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Look for The Book of Haps here at the shop, along with the rest of Davies’ ouvre. See you there!


Isager Trunk Show!

We’re delighted to announce that a new trunk show has arrived to decorate our walls this month! Come by the shop before August 31st to see an array of garments and accessories knit in Isager yarns.


Isager is a Danish yarn company run by designers Marianne Isager and her daughter, Helga Isager.


Their yarns are mostly lace and fingering weight, and often combined two or three strands at a time to create bespoke fiber blends and unique colorways.


Isager has long been a favorite of ours here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop; Anne’s knit a handful of Isager patterns, guided knitters through plenty more, and even traveled to Denmark to study with Marianne and Helga a few years ago.


You’ll find our shop well-stocked with Isager yarns like Alpaca 1, Alpaca 2, Spinni, Tvinni, and Tweed.


We also keep lots of Isager patterns and booklets on hand, covering a wide range of projects, with an emphasis on contemporary knitted garments for adults and children.


Later this month, we’ll introduce a brand new Isager yarn at our Isager Yarn Tasting – sign up now to join us at this exciting event, and come by the shop soon to see the Isager Trunk Show for yourself!

Show and tell: stripes.

“Show and tell” blog posts are some of my favorites to write, and I’ve been lucky to write lots of them lately. Whenever possible, I take photos of the finished projects that find their way back to the shop, after some talented soul turned them from mere yarn into expertly-handcrafted garment. As I look through the show-and-tell photos not yet published here on the blog, I search for themes. Do these glorious finished projects have a particular kind of yarn in common, or a type of garment, quality of color, motif, or technique? Today’s grouping: stripes.


Anne knit this “Barefoot Knits Twirly Skirt” for her eldest granddaughter using Schulana Sojabama, a silky soft blend of soy and bamboo. The pattern, once published in a magazine no longer in print, took a bit of Ravelry hunting to track down, but its designer offers it up here. Anne modified it just a bit, opting to knit in the round rather than in pieces, adding a fifth color, and using a picot bind off for extra flair.


I knit this “Flying Duchess” shawl as a shop sample using the decadent Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK in three shades. I’m used to starting shawls with just a few stitches, then increasing throughout, ending on the very longest rows. “Flying Duchess,” on the other hand, had me casting on over 350 stitches, then decreasing throughout, which gave me the pleasing sensation that I was picking up speed as the project progressed.DSCN5999It was a mighty long cast-on, though, and one that I ended up doing twice. The first time, I tried the cable cast-on, knit a few rows, then ripped, disliking the sloppy look. The second, much more successful time, I used two balls of yarn to do the long tail cast-on, a technique I highly recommend for casting on large numbers of stitches.


Catherine is still busy knitting “3 Color Cashmere Cowls” in Shibui Staccato, and came in the other day with three more to show us. It’s been fun to see how the character of this pattern changes in different colorways: some muted, others bold, some elegant, others playful.


Thanks to everyone who comes by the shop to start a project, solve a problem, share their progress, and show off their finished pieces. There’s plenty more show-and-tell where this came from; looking forward to sharing more soon!

Show and tell: summer shawls, part three.

Time for yet another round of summer shawl show and tell!


Judie knit this “Lionberry” shawl with Colinette Jitterbug, enlarging it a bit to make the most of her one skein.


You can read her detailed notes about this modification on her Ravelry project page, a generous gesture that I always appreciate when I’m scrolling through Ravelry seeking good information!


Petra brought in her “Seascape Stole” for show and tell a few weeks ago, knit in this icy blue shade of Sincere Sheep Cormo Fingering. A semi-solid hand-dyed yarn like this is a great choice for a lace pattern; it’s solid enough to show the lace clearly but varied enough to offer depth and color interest.


Nancy knit this “Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief” in Schulana Sojabama, a dk weight blend of bamboo and soy. This silky yarn is cool to the touch, with excellent drape, making this an ideal warm-weather accesory. It’s hanging on the wall here at the shop, so be sure to take a peek or try it on next time you’re here!


Margie has been working on a pair of “ZickZack” scarves, each knit with Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball and Cascade 220 Fingering.


This simple chevron pattern is made beautiful by Margie’s yarn and color selection. The Zauberball is self-striping, and the 220 Fingering is solid. When the two are striped against one another, two skinny rows at a time, the effect is dramatic.


As soon as she finished one, she cast on for the next, which will surely be completed by the time these photos are posted, knowing Margie.


Thanks to all who start their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and to those who share their work along the way! Believe it or not, after three summer shawl posts in as many weeks, I still have lingering show-and-tell photos to share. Stay tuned!

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.


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.


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


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.


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


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: summer shawls, part one.

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. As I was sifting through my large (and growing!) stash of recent show-and-tell photos, I noticed one brand of yarn popping up over and over again: Fibre Company. Here are four exquisite shawls knit in Fibre Company yarns.


Loretta recently finished two Fibre Company shawls. Above is her “Twinleaf,” designed by Grace Anna Farrow, and knit in Meadow. This two-color garter stitch shawl is elegant in its simplicity, decorated with thin stripes and shaped with short-rows.


Above is Loretta’s “Quaking Aspen” shawl, a free pattern designed by Courtney Kelley, and knit in Acadia. It looks especially good, by my estimation, in a high-contrast color combination like this one, where the lace edging shines in a lighter shade.


Pam’s “Piper’s Journey” shawlette, pictured below, was also knit in Fibre Company Acadia. This yarn strikes me as a good choice for patterns like these with lots of garter stitch or stockinette, for the silk slubs and tweedy texture show nicely in simple stitches.


Here’s Sidney’s “Sundry,” knit in Fibre Company Cumbria Fingering, a yarn she loved working with.


It’s nice to see this pattern in a lower-contrast color combination than my own; the effect is much more subdued, the two colors blending softly in the slip-stitch section.


Thanks to these knitters for sharing their beautiful work, and to the Fibre Company for creating such special yarns! Look for more show-and-tell on the blog in the coming weeks, I have so many lovely things to share.

New crochet books.

We’ve been acquiring a great many new and exciting crochet books of late, so many that they overwhelmed the teacart, where we usually show the latest publications. Wanting these new books to shine, I carved out a new display space just for the latest crochet books and magazines, so if crochet is your craft, come by and take a look!


Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin are the designers behind The Crochet Project, whose aim is to create beautiful modern crochet patterns using the loveliest natural fiber yarns.


CoopKnits Socks Yeah! is one of those yarns, and Scrace and Goldin’s Crochet Yeah! book revolves around it.

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We have three of their four books in stock at the moment; the fourth sold out before I could even blog about it!


We carry very few yarns from Classic Elite, but their new crochet booklet was too good to pass up. We’re happy to help you find substitutes for the yarns called for if they’re not among our collection.



Come by the shop for crochet inspiration!

Straw into Gold.

As I wrote last week from the TNNA showroom floor, catching up with designer Gina Wilde is always one of the highlights of our annual trip to market. She’s the artist and creative mind behind Alchemy yarns, but we love her as much for her funny anecdotes and generous spirit as we do for her luxurious, unique creations.


Her generosity and creativity are now both on display at our shop, in the form of her “Straw Into Gold Shawl,” an elegant piece that she kindly lent to us.


Gina’s “Straw Into Gold Shawl” is knit from the top down, a triangular shawl with feather and fan down the spine and along the bottom edge, with stockinette and garter stripes throughout the body.


Three different Alchemy yarns are used in this piece: Silken Straw, Sparky, and Lust. All three yarns are dyed in the same pale gold shade, “Sand Dollar,” so the stripes are subtle, showing the textural differences between each yarn.


Come by the shop soon to see Gina Wilde’s own “Straw Into Gold Shawl,” for it won’t be with us forever. We have all you need to make it in “Sand Dollar,” along with other colors, and the pattern is free when you buy the Alchemy yarns to make it. See you there!

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.


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.


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!


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!


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.


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.


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!