New patterns for Isager yarns.

Isager yarns are a longtime favorite here at the shop. Anne’s passion for Marianne Isager’s yarns and designs has proved contagious, and we keep Alpaca 1 and Alpaca 2, Spinni, Tvinni, Highland, and Tweed in good stock as a result. We’re always on the lookout for new ways to use them, and to that end, we’ve recently added a nice bunch of patterns to the Isager binder.

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Theresa Gaffey, who brought us the ever-popular “Stole,” has designed a new rectangular wrap with Isager yarns: “Stole 2.0.” This version is similarly simple to knit, but has a decidedly new construction and look, and brings Spinni and Alpaca 2 together for a different texture.

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“Not Quite Plaid” is a striped garter stitch scarf made in Isager Alpaca 2, knit on the bias and decorated with dropped stitches. The pattern gives options for three different sizes, from skinny scarf to shawl, and instructions for 3 or 5 colors.

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“Cardicho” is a buttoned poncho, also knit with Alpaca 2.

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Like Shibui yarns, Isager yarns are often combined, two or three strands at a time, to create a range of gauges, unique fiber and color blends. These two patterns do just that.

DSCN4208Isager yarns, while not machine-washable, are suitable for children’s things as well as adult garments and accessories. Check out the adorable “Mathilde” and “Trille Rille,” as well as Susie Haumann’s All You Knit Is Love.

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Look for even more Isager pattern ideas on our Pinterest boards. Come by the shop to peruse our growing selection of Isager patterns and yarns; you may find your next project there. See you at the shop!

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Isager “Tokyo” kits.

If you haunt Ravelry like we do, you may already be aware of Marianne Isager’s latest design: “Tokyo,” a geometric striped shawl knit with her Spinni and Alpaca 1 yarns.

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When “Tokyo” caught our eye, we learned that the pattern is only available in kit form. What could we do but order some for the shop?

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“Tokyo” comes in three colorways, “Light,” “Medium,” and “Dark,” and we now have one of each on the shelf.

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We spotted the “Dark” colorway advertised in the latest issue of Twist Collective, an intriguing blend of heathered charcoal and deep jewel tones, with a pop of salmon orange and red.

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If you’ve been seeking a “Tokyo” kit, know that you can get it here, or send someone who loves you to the shop to get you a special holiday gift. See you there!

Show and tell: anniversary edition, part 3.

This week, as we celebrate the shop’s anniversary, we also celebrate the community of knitters and crocheters who have supported us over the years. 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’ve amassed a big stack of them over the past couple of months, enough for three blog posts! Here’s the third batch.

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Maria divides her time between Puerto Rico and North Carolina, and when she’s here, she comes to visit the shop. On her last visit, she brought in two shawls to share. Above is her “Quaking Aspen,” knit in Fibre Company Acadia, and below is her “Stole,” knit in Isager Alpaca 2.

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Here, Margie models her recently-completed “Handsome Triangle,” another elegant shawl from Victorian Lace Today. She knit it with Marion Foale 3 ply Wool, a smooth fingering weight yarn, and added beads to the crochet edging to give it a bit of weight and sparkle.

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Denise came by the shop recently to share her “Elder Tree Shawl,” knit with one (big!) skein of Great Adirondack Bamboo Cotton. Her daughter helped her model it; aren’t they a sweet pair?

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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. 

Shibori felting with Alchemy yarns.

Gina Wilde is the mind behind Alchemy’s rich colors, a dyer and designer who dreams up interesting uses for the yarns she paints. We always look forward to her color consultations at TNNA–here she is back in May, helping us select harmonious colors in all four Alchemy yarns we ordered.

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Many of her designs use a shibori felting technique, where Alchemy Sanctuary and Silken Straw are knit together, then thrown in the washing machine to felt. Sanctuary, a blend of merino wool and silk, felts into a velvety fabric, while Silken Straw stretches out and softens. The combination of the two in one garment yields unique textures and shapes, and adds an exciting, transformative final step to the knitting process. Last year, I tried shibori felting for the first time, knitting a “Simple Shibori Cowl” in bright, warm shades of Sanctuary and Silken Straw.

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We’ve seen lots of beautiful color combinations come together for this project; Mary knit these two “Simple Shibori Cowls,” which were featured on the blog for show and tell.

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Our new shades of Sanctuary and Silken Straw make for even more fun combinations. Here are a few I put together; I can’t wait to see what other knitters will come up with!

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Earlier this spring, Anne finished her “Widsom Wrap,” a much larger shibori project.

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DSCN2888 The “Wisdom Wrap” calls for one shade in Sanctuary and four in Silken Straw. We’ve restocked Anne’s colorway, a beautiful mix of purple, greens, and dark brown.

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Of course, I couldn’t resist putting a few other “Wisdom Wrap” colorways together, this time with a bit of glitter from Sparky.

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Come by to select colors for a “Wisdom Wrap” of your own, or search for other shibori felting patterns on the HYS Pinterest page. See you at the shop!

Hello, Alchemy Sparky and Lust.

For three years now, we’ve visited Alchemy’s booth at TNNA and replenished our Alchemy stash with Silken Straw and Sanctuary. While we certainly bulked up our supply of those two yarns this year, we were also sorely tempted by two of Alchemy’s newest yarns. It’s no surprise we gave into temptation; meet Sparky and Lust.

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Silken Straw is a sport-weight silk ribbon like no other, and Sparky is like Silken Straw dressed up for the opera. Both yarns feel crisp on the skein but soften up after stitching and washing; Sparky has a metallic thread wrapped around it, giving it a distinct glittery sparkle.

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Lust is a fingering weight blend of merino and silk, a thinner version of Sanctuary. It’s soft and slinky, many-plied for great stitch definition, and felts well in Alchemy’s signature shibori felting designs.

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Like all Alchemy yarns, Sparky and Lust play well together. Anne used one skein of each in this “Alchemy Sparky Shawlette,” which you’ll find tucked into the basket that holds Silken Straw and Sparky at the shop.

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Since we unpacked our most recent Alchemy order, our favorite pastime is coming up with color combinations between the four Alchemy yarns we now stock. For the “Alchemy Sparky Shawlette,” Anne used Lust in a variegated colorway and picked a solid shade of Sparky to go with it.

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For a less overtly striped shawl, you might try a lower-contrast pairing.

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Consider also the “Straw Into Gold Shawl,” which is shown knit with Silken Straw, Sparky, and Lust all in one shade, a glorious pale beige called “Sand Dollar.”

We were so taken with this sample when we saw it at market that we ordered all three yarns in exactly this color.

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No reason to stop there, however–Alchemy yarns beg to be grouped together in all kinds of color combinations, from muted and monochromatic to bright and surprising.

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Come by the shop to play the Alchemy color game yourself, and plan a project with these unique and inspiring yarns. You’ll find a handful of knit samples in Alchemy yarns here at the shop; look for more pattern ideas on our Pinterest page. We’ve got lots of great uses for Alchemy yarns on our “Inspiring Stitches” board. See you at the shop!

New colors in Shibui Linen.

Linen is the newest Shibui yarn in our collection, a chain-plied yarn in a light fingering weight. We’ve stocked it for just over a month, and already we’ve had to reorder many of the six colors we started out with. Thrilled that knitters and crocheters are as intrigued by the stuff as we are, we ordered a few new colors, too.

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We now have Shibui Linen in “Ivory,” “Poppy,” and “Suit,” and they make nice additions to our color selection. I got to arranging them in groups of fours as I photographed them, thinking of Shibui’s free pattern, “L.1.”

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“L.1” is a simple striped wrap shown in two main colors, neutrals, and two contrasting colors, one bright and one dark. With that composition in mind, I came up with these colorways, though of course there are many different color strategies to play with.

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Come by the shop to see Shibui Linen for yourself, and while you’re here, be sure to admire Amy’s “Mix No. 28,” a vest made with Shibui Linen and Pebble held together. See you there!

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

Sonetto shawl.

Last week, Amy brought in this new shop sample: the “Sonetto” shawl, knit in two shades of Fibre Company Meadow.

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“Sonetto” is an asymmetric triangular shawl pattern suitable for new lace knitters, and one whose size is easy to adjust depending upon preference, or amount of yarn.

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It’s cast on at one point of the triangle, increasing in width every row, and finished with a neat picot bind-off.

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Amy altered the pattern a bit to knit it in two colors, using the intarsia technique of twisting one color of yarn around the other at a certain point in every row. She wrote a bit about how to make this change on her Ravelry project page, if you’d like to make the same modification to a “Sonetto” shawl of your own.

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“Sonetto” calls for between 375 – 575 yards of fingering weight yarn, though this is somewhat flexible–we’ve seen one made up in Selku, a sport weight wool, and the Meadow used in Amy’s shawl is more a lace-weight than a fingering-weight yarn. Inspired by Amy’s “Sonetto,” several knitters have embarked on “Sonetto”s of their own in yarns like Malabrigo Finito, Isager Plant Fibre and Alpaca 2–I can’t wait to see how they come out!

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Judy Marples’ “Sonetto” pattern is available as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale here at the shop; we’ll print a copy for you and save a digital copy to your email or Ravelry Library. Come by the shop to see Amy’s “Sonetto” shawl and plan your next project. See you there!

Kindling shawl.

A new lace shawl now decorates the walls at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop: “Kindling,” by Kate Gagnon Osborn, knit with three skeins of Fibre Company Savannah.

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If you’ve visited the shop on a Sunday recently, you may well have seen Rosi stitching on this shawl. Once the knitting was done, she passed it on to me so I could try my hand at blocking it with blocking wires–a new skill for me.

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Using a Knitter’s Pride Lace Blocking Kit and some online tutorials, blocking the “Kindling” shawl was easier than I thought it might be.

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It’s always amazing to me how the fabric changes with a good soak, and this is particularly true for lace patterns. When they first come off the needles, they look rumpled and bumpy, but after blocking, the eyelets open up and the lace pattern can really shine. It was satisfying to see, even though I hadn’t knit the thing myself.

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Fibre Company Savannah is a sport weight blend of 50% wool, 20% cotton, 15% linen, and 15% soya, which gives it the elasticity of wool and the lightness of plant fibers–a perfect spring and summer yarn.

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Come by the shop to admire Rosi’s handiwork and see our “Kindling” sample for yourself. You’ll find Savannah in the sport weight section, and the pattern is always available as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale–we’ll print it out for you and save a digital copy in your email or Ravelry pattern library. Hope to see you there soon!

Julep B.

We just got some brand new kits from Julep B. featuring Classic Elite Firefly!

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Firefly is a sport weight blend of rayon and linen, lustrous fibers that drape beautifully, making the yarn perfectly suited to shawl-knitting.

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We have Julep B. shawl kits in two styles, “Lillian” and “Sylvia.” Each kit contains a shawl pattern and enough yarn to complete it, and all of the above is contained in a sweet muslin project bag.

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Kits make great gifts, as they the guesswork out of pairing yarn and pattern, all the while looking nice and neat in their packaging. Come by the shop to pick up a Julep B. kit and check out the rest of our kit selection, including hatsscarvesmitts, and more. See you there!