Shibui Sample of the Month: Ship to Shore.

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

This month’s featured sample is “Ship to Shore Shawl,” by Katie Rempe, a summery lace shawl knit with one skein of Shibui Linen.

Shibui Linen is a light fingering weight yarn composed of 100% linen, with a unique chain ply structure and 246 yards on each 50 gram skein. It has that somewhat crunchy texture that many linen yarns have, but like all linen, it will soften with washing and wearing.

Shibui Linen is cool to the touch and makes up into a lightweight, gently draping fabric – just right for a warm-weather accessory like this one.

We’re offering a 10% discount on Linen purchased for this project til the end of the month. Come by the shop to start a “Ship to Shore Shawl” of your own before May 31st!

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

Show and tell: sweaters.

“What are you thinking about making?” If you’ve visited our shop, you’ve likely been asked this question by myself, Anne, Rosi, or whoever else may be helping out that day. We ask this not just to help connect you with the right yarn, pattern, or tools, but also because we’re genuinely interested. We love hearing your ideas and helping realize them, and even more, we love seeing them realized in a finished product. When I’m able, I photograph these finished projects and share them here on the blog. Here are some of the sweaters our community of knitters have recently completed!

Here Tom models his “Basic Men’s Pullover,” his first-ever sweater for himself. With guidance from Marsha’s Start Your First Sweater class here at the shop, Tom made this perfectly-fitting sweater using Swans Island All American Worsted. This kind of sweater success can only mean more sweaters – I can’t wait to see what Tom knits next!

Katherine has been knitting Kate Davies’ “Owlet” sweaters for each of her children. She brought the latest in some weeks ago for button selection, and I couldn’t resist snapping a picture, even though it’s not technically finished. This one was knit with Malabrigo Rios held doubled for a bulky gauge and the bonus feature of not having to alternate skeins.

Here’s another little sweater, a top-down cabled baby cardigan that you may have seen on display here at the shop. Robin knit it with Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in preparation for her upcoming class on the subject – a good opportunity to get an introduction to top-down sweater-knitting on a small scale. Read more about the class on our Classes page, where you can sign up, too!

Sue is passionate about sweater-making, as we’ve seen on previous show-and-tell posts, so you might not be surprised to learn that she’s visited us with no less than four finished sweaters in the past couple of months. She made the sweater above with Mirasol Hacho out of our sale trunk, then embellished it with bits and pieces from her stash. The pattern is from Anna Zillboorg’s inspiring Splendid Apparel, a book of embroidered knits.

Sue is also interested in variations, and how a single pattern may differ from garment to garment by changing the fiber or color. Above is Sue’s “Equinox,” knit with Shibui Linen. Below is “Equinox” again, this time with Shibui Twig.

This last one is a bit of a mystery, a textured short-sleeved cardigan Sue knit with a now-discontinued yarn called Rock Cotton from our shop’s early days. She wasn’t sure the source of the pattern, and though I’ve scoured Ravelry, I haven’t turned it up – still and all, it’s a great-looking knit that Sue loves to wear, and that is exactly what we hope for all sweater-knitters!

Thanks to all who begin their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! Keep an eye out for more show and tell here on the blog in the coming weeks.

Interweave Knits.

This week, we welcomed the newest issue of Interweave Knits to the teacart, where the latest books and magazines are stored.

The theme of this Summer 2017 issue is Shakespeare, and the garments and accessories within all take their inspiration from his plays.

The beachy cover-up above was knit with one of our very favorite warm-weather yarns, Shibui Twig. I spotted a double-knit cowl in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed, for those who work with wool all year long.

Come by the shop to peruse the new magazines and plan your next project!


Anne recently completed her “Crete,” a beautiful warm-weather accessory you’ll find hanging on our wall here at the shop.

“Crete” is worked with two yarns: Shibui Twig, a sport weight blend of linen, recycled silk, and wool, and the brand new Shibui Lunar, a lace weight blend of merino and silk.

This stockinette bias scarf begins and ends with Twig, and uses Lunar and Twig together during the body of the piece for a bit of transparency on either end. It’s this kind of simple-yet-clever detail that we’ve come to expect from Shibui, along with elegance.

Before blocking, however, the fabric is far from elegant; stockinette naturally wants to curl, and it needs a good blocking to become the smooth, gently draping fabric shown in the pattern photo.

Don’t be disappointed when your “Crete” comes off the needles looking like this, just give it a nice bath with some room-temperature water and Eucalan, then put your blocking wires to work. That’s what Anne did, with wondrous results.

Choose matching shades of Twig and Lunar for a subtle, sophisticated fabric.

Or, chose similar, low-contrast color combinations for a different effect – a subtly marled fabric with solid-yet-sheer ends.

This pattern is the subject of Shibui’s current knit-along, and is free when you purchase Shibui yarns for the project. We’re also offering a class on “Crete,” for new knitters who want help learning to increase, decrease, work with two strands of yarn together, and practice pattern reading. Head to our Classes page to read more about it and sign up, if you like!

Triangle Yarn Crawl.

The Triangle Yarn Crawl is a self-guided tour of local yarn shops, where yarn-lovers get together and hop from one shop to the next, shopping, entering raffles, and seeing the full breadth of available fibers. They happen just once a year, and the time has come again: the Spring 2017 crawl is coming up this weekend on April 22nd and 23rd! 

Each local yarn shop has something special to offer, and we’re no exception: we have two Trunk Shows on display, one from Baa Ram Ewe and one from The Fibre Company. Each show features four garments in the newest yarns from those companies, Dovestone Natural Aran and Luma, respectively, and we’re offering a 10% discount on those yarns during the show. We’re putting another of our favorite yarns on an even deeper discount this weekend… follow us on Instagram for more about that later in the week!

One exciting new feature of the TYC this year is that every shop is presenting a new free pattern especially for the Yarn Crawl. Each of the eight participating shops in the Triangle has something unique to offer our local fiber-loving community, and I expect their patterns will reflect that. Ours is a moebius cowl Rosi designed using one of our favorite yarns, Shibui Staccato. Don’t miss seeing the sample when you’re here this weekend!

There’s a bag of goodies at each of the participating shops, a raffle prize full of yarn, patterns, and more. Some of its contents are donated by TYC sponsors like Berroco, Cascade, Malabrigo, Mountain Colors, and Classic Elite, and others come from our own collection here at the shop.

Some of our prizes include a project bag, skein of Knightsbridge, and measuring tape from Kelbourne Woolens, a pack of Cormo Fingering mini-skeins from Sincere Sheep, and a Lilly Brush for removing pills. It’s all packed up in one of our sturdy canvas Hillsborough Yarn Shop totes, along with a few other surprises!

We’re lucky to live in such a fiber-friendly part of the world, with so many choices available to us, and the Triangle Yarn Crawl is a great time to see all of those choices. Come see us as you’re crawling along!


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

By Hand.

A new publication has found a home here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – we’re proud to stock By Hand.

By Hand is a series of lookbooks, a magazine of sorts, where each issue focuses on a place or region. The subject matter is the makers of that community, the designers, hand-dyers, yarn and fabric companies, and fiber artists that both shape and draw inspiration from the place they call home.

The first two volumes are now on our shelves, featuring Portland, OR and Portland, ME, respectively. They are filled with lush photos, interviews and articles, projects and patterns, and a recipe or two.

Portland, Oregon, is home to Shibui and Brooklyn Tweed, two yarn companies whose work we admire so much, and whose yarns we are proud to keep on our shelves here at the shop.

Portland, Maine, and the rest of the mid-coast region is home to Swans Island, Clara Parkes, designers Bristol Ivy and Hannah Fettig, and the Saco River Dyehouse, where Brooklyn Tweed Arbor is dyed.

We were so inspired by these maker profiles, and hope you are, too – the people behind the products and projects we love are special, indeed.

Look for By Hand on the teacart here at the shop, where the latest books and magazines live!

Hello, Shibui Lunar.

Shibui’s newest yarn is here! Meet Lunar.

Lunar is a shiny lace weight blend of 60% extrafine merino wool and 40% Mulberry silk. Each 50 gram skein boasts 401 yards, enough for a good-sized scarf or cowl; just two or three skeins is plenty for a shawl.

Shibui yarns are designed for mixing together, two or three strands at a time, to create bespoke fiber and color blends. Lunar is a lovely addition to their already robust selection of lace weight yarns, and can be used anywhere lustre is desired and Cima or Pebble is called for.

Shellie Anderson, Shibui’s in-house designer, has developed several patterns already for Lunar as part of the Spring/Summer 2017 Collection. “Milan,” pictured above, is a garter ridge pullover knit with Lunar alone.


“Crete” is another new pattern which finds Lunar paired with Twig. This bias scarf begins and ends with Twig, and uses Lunar and Twig together during the body of the piece for a bit of transparency on either end. It’s this kind of simple-yet-clever detail that we’ve come to expect from Shibui, along with elegance. This pattern is the subject of their upcoming knit-along, and is free when you purchase Shibui yarns for the project.

Marsha is offering a class on “Crete,” for new knitters who want help learning to increase, decrease, work with two strands of yarn together, and practice pattern reading. Head to our Classes page to read more about it and sign up, if you like!

The rest of the Shibui SS17 pattern collection features other well-loved Shibui yarns like Rain and Cima.

Come by the shop to see all the new designs and plan a project with Lunar!


The Spring/Summer 2017 issue of knit.wear is here!

This stylish magazine from Interweave is notably garment-oriented, a publication with more sweater patterns than accessories.

So many of our favorite yarns are represented in this issue – Fibre Company Acadia and Arranmore, Brooklyn Tweed Loft, Shibui Twig, and more.

Come by the shop to pick up a copy of knit.wear, and browse our latest acquisitions while you’re at it. We hope you find inspiration here!

Back in stock: Shibui Twig.

Spring is here, and at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, that means favorite lightweight yarns must be restocked. With this change of season in mind, we recently more than doubled our supply of Shibui Twig.

Twig is a slightly textured blend of 46% linen, 42% recycled silk, and 12% wool. Each 50 gram skein has 190 yards, and it knits up at a sport or dk weight gauge into an open, draping fabric.

Twig has a crisp feel and a plant fiber’s tendency to stretch rather than cling, qualities that make it ideal for warm weather garments and accessories like Shibui’s “Slope” and “Tier,” or Churchmouse’s “Simple Tee.” If you like a little more elasticity, consider holding Twig together with Cima or Pebble, as in Shibui’s “Apex” or Julie Hoover’s “Wintour”.

Look for more pattern ideas on our sport weight Pinterest board, and look to our sport weight section for the yarn itself. See you at the shop!

What’s winding.

Back in December, we rearranged the front room at the shop a bit, moving the ballwinder from the teacart, shifting a few shelves, and adding a new table. That table houses the swift and ballwinder, a dedicated winding station right by the front window, which does double and triple duty as a window display and a naturally-lit spot for blog photography.

A rainbow of CoopKnits Socks Yeah! getting wound and ready for sock-knitting.

The table came from Anne’s mother’s apartment in New York, where it had been living for many decades before it moved south with Phyllis herself. It’s the perfect shape and size for our space, but it also came, importantly, with good memories for Anne of her mother cutting out patterns there to sew her clothes. Take a close look at its surface next time you’re here at the shop, and you can see dotted lines in the wood from her tracing wheel.

Just as Phyllis began sewing projects on this table, so do we begin knitting and crochet projects here, with that important first step: winding the yarn.

Getting wound up and ready to knit a shop sample in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor.

Yarns that come in twisted hanks need to be wound into a ball before use, a task that some knitters find pleasure in, but others consider a chore. We have a swift and ballwinder here at the shop to make quick work of that task, and we’re happy to do it for you. Now that the winding station is such a pleasing place to be, I often find myself photographing the yarns that pass through it, admiring the clever and sturdy design of Nancy’s Knit Knacks Heavy Duty Ballwinder. These photos are some of my personal favorites, and they’ll look familiar if you follow us on Instagram.

Winding Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, a “Hadley-Pullover”-to-be.

As I wind yarn at the shop, I’m frequently joined by customers and passers-by, looking on from the worsted weight section or the sidewalk, just enjoying the simple pleasure of the spinning swift and the growing ball of yarn.

Isager Alpaca 2 and Shibui Staccato getting wound and ready to become a “Find Your Fade” shawl.

Come by the shop to plan your next project, and leave with your yarn ready to use right away. See you there!