Interweave Knits.

The Spring 2012 issue of Interweave Knits is here!

Flipping through this new issue, I saw many familiar yarns in action. The bulky Cascade Eco Wool was put to good use in this textured vest.

Here’s a little shawl made from Tahki Coast, and a vest from the ever-popular Malabrigo Rios.

Another Tahki yarn makes an appearance in this lace-edged hoodie: Tahki Cotton Classic, a worsted-weight mercerized cotton.

You can find this issue of Interweave Knits on the teacart, surrounded by all the latest books and magazines, and if any of these yarns move you, you can find them at the shop as well. See you soon!

Wiggle Wrap.

If you’ve been in the shop in the past week, you may have noticed a new sample hanging on the wall. There are many sweaters, shawls, hats, scarves, and bags competing for your attention, of course, so it’s possible you missed this latest knit shawl. It’s quite striking, though, and wont be in the shop forever, so I thought I’d document it here.

The pattern is “Wiggle Wrap,” by Sally Brandl, and it’s knit with two balls of Kauni Effektgarn. One ball is a bright, fiery colorway and the other is dark, with deep blues and purples. The two, themselves self-striping, are striped against one another, creating multiple levels of stripes and gradations of color. The premise is simple but the effect is impressive. I’d like to see one in a pair of neutral colorways, or a black-and-white skein with a wild rainbow skein. Get to work, knitters.

Come by the shop to see the Wiggle Wrap while it’s still here, and check the Kauni Patterns binder for more Kauni inspiration.

(Many thanks to Nancy for lending us her shawl!)

Hello, Alpaca 1.

When Anne returned from her trip to Denmark in August, she came back with many stories and many knitting ideas. The first one that she realized was simple: a triangular garter stitch shawl in Isager Alpaca 1, a 2-ply lace-weight yarn that at the time, we had just recently ordered in a pretty little spectrum of colors. Anne had seen one like it in Marianne Isager’s shop, and was determined to recreate it as a shop sample here. It may be a simple shawl, a “nothing pattern,” as Anne often describes it, but it has been a huge hit.

The particular combination of this yarn at this gauge makes simple garter stitch look new and somehow complicated. I’ve seen seasoned knitters puzzle over the shawl, asking about the stitch pattern. The texture is truly unusual, stretchy and fuzzy and light. Sometimes I wrap it around my neck like a scarf while I’m rearranging the Alpaca 1 basket, and I must say, it tempts one.

Having nearly run out of Isager Alpaca 1 due to the beguiling nature of the garter stitch shawl, it was time for a reorder at the start of the new year. As I put out the new colors, I felt content seeing them all together again, and daydreamed a bit about which color I’d choose if I were making one myself. What would you choose?

The next time you’re in the market for a mindless knit with exquisite yarn, consider the Alpaca 1 shawl. Try it on next time you’re in the shop and see if you’re not tempted.

Coastal Knits.

Those of you who regularly cruise knitting blogs have probably already heard a lot about Coastal Knits, a collaboration by designers Hannah Fettig and Alana Dakos. I know I’ve been running into it online quite a bit lately. This book boasts the current most popular new pattern, according to Ravelry: the Rocky Coast Cardigan. If you haven’t seen the book on Ravelry, perhaps you saw that Swans Island linked to it, and that Clara Parkes reviewed it. I admit, I was intrigued. If your interest is similarly peaked, come by the shop to take a look at it yourself, because we just got it in stock this week.

Surprise! It’s exactly as beautiful as everyone has been saying it is. Coastal Knits is full of great patterns for sweaters and accessories, and studded with stories and photos showcasing the landscapes and places that inspired these designs. A nice touch: the book includes a bookmark with the yarn and yardage requirements for each pattern, making for easier yarn shopping. And they’ve given us another excuse to knit with the lovely Swans Island Organic Merino yarn in fingering weight!
(Like we need an excuse.) Come by the shop to take a look!

Lakedale Shawl class.

I’ve just posted a new fall class on the website, a 3 session class focused on a pattern from Malabrigo Book 3: the texured, ruffled Lakedale Shawl. The pattern calls for Malabrigo sock yarn (which, by the way, is finally scheduled to be back in stock at the shop sometime this week…!), but Katherine, who will teach the class, made hers in one of my favorites: Marion Foale 3 ply wool, held doubled throughout.

This shawl is currently on display in the shop, so if you’re thinking about taking the class, come and touch it, admire it, try it on.

Check out other beautiful renditions of the Lakedale Shawl on Ravelry. We have many other exciting classes scheduled, so if this one isn’t quite what you’re looking for, check out our website to see what else is slated for the fall. Learn to knit the February Lady Sweater or a cute pair of cabled mittens, or learn to knit, period–we have beginner classes, too. Marsha is also teaching a series of fantastic one-session troubleshooting-type classes on reading your knitting, fixing mistakes, and unraveling the mystery that is gauge. And: there are more classes coming that are only in the planning stages now. Stay tuned, friends. See you at the shop!

Shawl pins.

I spent a good bit of the afternoon last Thursday putting a new batch of shawl pins on display.

Like buttons, shawl pins are a small detail that make a big impact on your finished project. These particular shawl pins from Shaune Bazner are lightweight, to prevent stretching your knit or crochet shawl, and range from simple to ornate in a variety of colors. If you’re looking for that finishing touch for a recently completed shawl, consider these.

Ruffle Scarf. Etc.

I’ve written before about our shop swatches. While some swatches are just little samplers with garter, stockinette, rib, and seed stitch, others take the form of actual garments.

Nordstrom Knock-Off Scarf.
They’re always pretty simple, patterns that let the yarn do most of the work, are easily memorized, and quickly explained. Lately, though, we’ve begun to write them up.

Haze Kerchief.

Too often, I’ve found myself scribbling instructions for these projects on a post-it, or the back of a receipt. And while these patterns don’t require much more information than a post-it could convey, a carefully written and clearly printed pattern is preferable, wouldn’t you agree? If you’re inspired enough by one of our swatch/samples to want to recreate it, you deserve a pattern. And now, for most, there is a pattern that we’ll be happy to hand over, free when you buy the yarn.

Ruffle Scarf.

For the Ruffle Scarf, there is not only a pattern, but an upcoming class. Suitable for a beginner knitter, ready to take a step up from their first garter stitch scarf, the Ruffle Scarf class is a one-time evening class, taking place on Wednesday, June 15th. Take a look at the description on the website and sign up if you’re interested!

Habu cotton shawl.

Perhaps you remember our Habu cotton, a soft, airy, laceweight boucle yarn that Anne has been using in a striped shawl.

Perhaps you remember my promise to post pictures of said shawl soon. I was reminded of this promise when the latest shipment of Habu cotton came in this week, boasting more of all the existing colors as well as one brand new teal, completing the Habu cotton spectrum. The shawl is still in progress, and only becomes more alluring as each successive stripe is added.

I said it in the last Habu post and it still holds true: you have to touch this shawl. It’s light, soft, drapes beautifully, and is so open on size 11 needles as to be transparent.

Come and admire it, and begin planning a similarly weightless summer shawl if you are so inclined.

Marion and Marian show off.

One of the great joys of knitting, besides knitting itself, is seeing what other people are knitting. It’s a large part of why Ravelry exists, and it’s one of my favorite parts of my job at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Not only do I get in on the knitting plans as they’re being made, but I also often see the finished product, proudly brought in to show off. I always get to ooh and ahh, and touch the finished sweaters, scarves, and hats. Sometimes I get to take a picture, too.

You may know Marion as our magic loop sock teacher. She does more than just socks, though. She’s pictured above in her recently completed February Lady Sweater, knit with Briggs & Little Sport held double. Marion is quite the sweater knitter–check out her class on the Vogue Sleeveless Tunic on the shop website.

Meanwhile, Marian keeps coming in with incredible lace shawls. Her latest: a capelet from the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Vogue Knitting, knit with Lana Grossa Chiara. The photo doesn’t do this sparkly shawl justice. 

Thanks for sharing your knitting with us, ladies!