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.

DSCN5859 DSCN5858

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!

Show and tell: texture and lace.

It’s show-and-tell time again! I’ve been collecting photos of finished projects as they’re brought into the shop by proud knitters, the better to share them here.


Nancy recently brought in her finished “Big Easy Blanket,” knit in Fibre Company Cumbria Worsted. With its blend of structure, softness, and sharp stitch definition, Cumbria Worsted is a perfect choice for this textured throw.


Ellen knit these three ties for her husband, using and modifying the “Seed Stitch Tie Recipe” until she got exactly the fabric and fit that she wanted. She knit the grey garter stitch tie in Takhi Cotton Classic, the green variegated tie in Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Spirit, and the burgundy tie in Shibui Dune held double throughout.


Here’s Hazel’s “Turtles’ Journey” cowl, knit in Malabrigo Arroyo in just the right shade of teal. She brought it to the shop, nearly completed, for a kitchener stitch consult, and everyone who saw it was taken with these textured turtles.


Recent visitors to the shop may have seen Robin’s “Rock Island” shawl hanging on the wall, a sample for her upcoming class on the subject. She knit it with Malabrigo Sock in “Rayon Vert,” a color we just got back in stock. Read more about this intermediate lace class and more on our Classes page!


Watching projects take shape is one of the most fascinating and rewarding parts of our days at the shop. Anne and I are always impressed by the needlework around us, and the creative minds we meet. Thanks for sharing your projects with us, and look out for more show and tell soon!

New patterns for Dovestone DK.

I’m happy to report that we recently got some new single patterns for Dovestone DK, the yarn featured in our current Baa Ram Ewe Trunk Show.


Alison Moreton’s Landmark Collection features garments and accessories knit in Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK. Each design is inspired by a landmark in Yorkshore, home of Baa Ram Ewe.


The pattern photos show each piece before the landmark that inspired it, a fascinating peek into the process of translating the shapes and textures around us into knitted fabric.


Another new collection for Dovestone DK is Ella Austin’s Dovestone Smallholding.


This sweet spiral bound book is filled with stuffed animals and dolls knit in Dovestone DK: a cabled kitten and wensleydale lamb, colorwork fowl, pig, and shetland pony.


Look for these new patterns here at the shop, and come before May 6th to catch the Baa Ram Ewe Trunk Show and the 10% discount on Dovestone DK that goes with it. See you there!


A reminder: all sales are final on discounted items; there can be no exchanges, no returns, nor will we special order. Discount applies only to in-store purchases. Thanks!  

Show and tell: shawls.

Here’s another batch of show and tell, projects that started their lives as yarns here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. They all happen to be shawls, whether rectangular or triangular, colorful or monochrome, textured or lacey.


Judy knit this “Wiggle Wrap” with two contrasting colorways of the self-striping Kauni Effektgarn. One ball subtly shifted from purple to blue and back again, while the other ran through a full rainbow of colors. The effect is striking, livening up this feather-and-fan type chevron pattern.


Feather and fan does not always need livening up, however; Sherri knit this elegant shawl for her daughter-in-law-to-be, using Louisa Harding Grace Hand Dyed. The classic lace pattern and subtle color variation work together, each giving the other room to shine. Well done, Sherri!


Cat came in with two finished shawls to share. Above is her “Stripe Study Shawl,” all garter stitch and short rows, knit in Reynolds Soft Sea Wool. Below is her “Emiliana,” knit in Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering.


“Emiliana” is decorated with mosaic knitting, a colorwork technique where some stitches are slipped and others are knit, allowing for the appearance of stranded colorwork with only one yarn in use on any given row.


I knit a mosaic shawl recently myself, Jennifer Dassau’s “Sundry,” using Fibre Company Cumbria Fingering. It went by quickly and easily, and the yarn is one I’ll definitely use again. In fact, I spent many of my knitting hours with this yarn daydreaming about sweater patterns that would suit it.


Look for this “Sundry” shawl on the wall here at the shop, and perhaps you’ll happen upon some of the show-and-tell we are lucky enough to encounter on a daily basis. Thanks to the knitters who shared these shawls with us, and to all those who start their projects here!