Weel Riggit.

© Kate Davies

Kate Davies has designed just two patterns so far for her newest yarn, Àrd Thìr. They are both named “Weel Riggit,” which means “well dressed” in Scots and Shetland dialects.

© Kate Davies

The sweater pattern is currently exclusive to Davies’ club, but eventually it will be available as a single pattern. The “Weel Riggit Hat,” on the other hand, is available to purchase from Ravelry, and has been the subject of much discussion here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop since Àrd Thìr arrived!

Color A: Kiloran, B: Ardnave, C: Vatersay, D: Luskentyre.

Color A: Camusdarach, B: Firemore, C: Huisinis, D: Kintra.

Davies’ pattern shows the hat in two colorways, both of which share a certain logic: color A (pictured here on the right) is much lighter in value than the three contrast colors, B, C, and D, which are themselves similar in value. With this strategy in mind, I’ve created a few more “Weel Riggit” color combinations.

Color A: Camusdarach, B: Luskentyre, C: Ardnave, D: Huisinis.

Color A: Luskentyre, B: Vatersay, C: Kiloran, D: Camusdarach.

Color A: Huisinis, B: Kintra, C: Veyatie, D: Glamaig.

After much deliberation, I decided to knit my own “Weel Riggit” hat in the colorway shown at the very top of this post, in Davies’ “Weel Riggit Pullover.”

Color A: Ardnave, B: Camusdarach, C: Kiloran, D: Vatersay.

I’m so pleased with the outcome – the experience of knitting it was satisfyingly quick, and the finished hat blocked beautifully, relaxing and softening an already lovely fabric.

You can read more about Davies’ design process on her blog, where she also discusses a bit of the history and cultural context for “Weel Riggit.” Come by the shop to see this “Weel Riggit” hat on display, and to pick four shades for your own!

Hello, Kate Davies Àrd-Thìr.

We’re thrilled to announce that Kate Davies’ new yarn is here!

We’ve long been admirers of Davies’ writing and knitwear design, and keep a variety of her books in stock here at the shop. Since she started her own line of yarn a few years ago, we’ve longed to carry it, but she sells directly to consumers on her website, rather than through retailers like us. For her newest yarn, Davies has collaborated with Fyberspates to distribute Àrd-Thìr more widely, and we could not be happier to have it on our shelves and in our hands!

Kate Davies Àrd-Thìr is an aran weight blend of Peruvian fibers, 60% highland wool and 40% alpaca. Each 50 gram skein has 71 yards, and it knits up at about 15-19 stitches over 4″ on needles from US 7-10.5. The texture is smooth and round, for sharp stitch definition and a springy elasticity in the hand.

Àrd-Thìr comes in 10 heathered shades inspired by the winter landscape of the Scottish highlands, a beautiful muted palette. Head to Davies’ blog to read more about the inspiration, production, and sourcing that makes Àrd-Thìr so special.

I’m the lucky knitter charged with making a shop sample in Àrd-Thìr, and I’ve cast on for Davies’ first available pattern for this yarn, the “Weel Riggit Hat.” It’s been delightfully quick to knit, a pleasure in my hands and on the needles.

Come by the shop to see and touch Àrd-Thìr for yourself, and plan your next project! You’ll find it in our Aran weight section.

Snow, show and tell, and new colors from Kelbourne Woolens.

The shop was closed yesterday for inclement weather, and with the snow quietly falling as I write and the roads remaining hazardous, we do not plan to open the shop tomorrow. As ever, if you’re planning a trip to our shop and have any question about the weather, do check our website before you head out; we always list closures on the front page there, and are known for being risk-averse when it comes to snow and ice!

 

Even if the shop remains closed, a snow day is a good one for show-and-tell; let’s take a peek at some of the recently-completed projects that started their lives as yarns here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

Kate has been wearing her Kate Davies’-designed “Dunyvaig” hap a lot since completing it. She knit this cozy textured shawl with Kelbourne Woolens Scout, a DK weight wool that comes in lovely heathered shades and has great stitch definition for patterns like this.

Ruth has been knitting with Kelbourne Woolens yarn, as well – here she is in her lovely “Phyllis” sweater, made with the sport weight KW Andorra.

Margaretta also finished her “Phyllis” not long ago, and it, too, is very beautiful. I’m impressed at how crisp the lace looks even in a fuzzy yarn with a touch of mohair.

Anne’s “Jenny” was also knit with Andorra. You might even recognize it, as it has been on display at the shop for some time now.

The gentle halo of Andorra is perfect for this Bohus-inspired pullover, where purls in the colorwork yoke seem to blend one color into the next.

Last week brought four brand new colors of Andorra, a welcome addition that really rounds out the color palette.

Many thanks to the knitters who shared their work here today, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We hope everyone is staying safe and warm and doing a bit of stitching while it snows, and we’ll see you when it’s safe to open the shop again.

Back in stock, show and tell: Berroco Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK.

This season, we seem to be constantly ordering and reordering Berroco Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK. Not long before we closed for our Thanksgiving break, I unpacked a bigger box than ever from Berroco, for it contained some new colors along with all our old favorites.

Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK are smooth and sturdy superwash wools, one of the few that suggests “tumble dry low” rather than “lay flat to dry.” They’re easy-care, practical, economical, and come in a wide range of solid and heathered colors; no wonder we’re selling so much of them!

The latest Berroco Portfolio collection features these yarns, and we were delighted when Berroco also sent us a sample of the cover sweater, Lori Versaci’s “Lane’s Island Pullover.” There’s nothing like a finished garment to give you a sense of how a particular yarn knits up, and this one has already compelled plenty of knitters to try Ultra Wool DK, many of whom return to it for other projects.

April was one of the first knitters we knew to complete an adult-sized sweater in Ultra Wool DK, and when she wore it in, singing the yarn’s praises, we were truly impressed. The cables of her “Bowery Tunic” show beautifully, and April didn’t report any of the out-of-control stretching that superwash wools can sometimes experience during blocking.

Margie has also been working with Ultra Wool DK of late, knitting not one, but two “Isabelline Cowls.” I never tire of seeing what an impact a change in color can have; this pair is a nice example of how low- and high-contrast color combinations can both work beautifully in stranded colorwork. And you might be surprised which of these has higher contrast – I was! Look at these photos through the black and white filter on your camera and you’ll see what I mean.

Ultra Wool DK is great for crochet projects, too! Check out Linda’s amazing blanket for proof positive.

Look for Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK here at the shop, and keep an eye out for something new from Berroco, too… more on that soon!

Lucerne.

Our shop is abuzz with excitement over Brooklyn Tweed’s new yarn, Peerie. The folks at BT were kind enough to send a couple of sample skeins our way in advance of the release, giving Anne just enough time to knit “Lucerne.”

Jared Flood’s “Lucerne” is a colorwork hat in two, three, or four shades of Brooklyn Tweed Peerie. It’s a perfect starting place for those new to stranded colorwork, and Peerie’s 45 shades are an absolute playground for knitters of all experience levels.

Anne’s “Lucerne” is in two shades, the dark green Nori and pale gray/green Gale. In this sample, the darker shade is the main color, but their positions could easily be swapped for an equally attractive, but very different look. Here are a few more two-color combinations to consider.

I couldn’t stop here, of course – in fact, I spent the better part of Wednesday afternoon creating and photographing color combinations for this project! Next up are three-color combinations. I began with one that Flood suggests in his pattern.

The formula here is straightforward: three colors, all from the same family – one light, one medium, and one dark. I had fun creating a few more in this vein.

The possibilities for four-color combinations are even more varied, of course. There are no rules, but it’s wise to have a range of values, so the individual colors can be distinguished from one another in the context of the pattern. Here’s one from Jared Flood.

Here are a few I came up with, just the beginning of what’s possible.

Until June 30th, the pattern is free when you buy Peerie here at our shop. Look for the yarn in the fingering weight section. We can’t wait to see what color combinations you come up with for “Lucerne” hats of your own!

Hello, Isager Bomulin.

February has just begun, but new Spring yarns are already beginning to arrive here at the shop. Two have come from Isager, in Denmark – let’s begin with Bomulin.

Bomulin is a light fingering weight blend of 65% cotton and 35% linen, with 231 yards per 50 gram ball.

Plant fibers like these have little elasticity and a lot of drape, making them perfect for spring shawls and scarves, or loose-fitting warm-weather garments.

Anne is knitting a tank with two strands of Bomulin held together, Marianne Isager’s “Braided Top.” The construction on this piece is unexpected, and worth a closer look; come by to see Anne’s work in progress and she’ll tell you all about it.

Look for pattern ideas on our Fingering weight Pinterest board, and come by the shop to browse new Isager patterns for Bomulin. See you at the shop!

Candy Darling.

One of the great pleasures of our work here at the shop is making samples that show how our yarns knit up, and that hopefully inspire our customers in their own creative projects. When it was time to make a sample in Fibre Co. Arranmore Light, it was easy to decide what to make. Colorwork is one of Anne’s favorite knitting techniques, so “Candy Darling” stood out from the Kelbourne Woolens Pop Collection.

“Candy Darling” is a three-color hat and mitten set in high contrast colors, with stripes in all directions and playful geometric motifs. The hat pattern includes instructions for three different color arrangements, so that you can make good use of three skeins of Arranmore Light – there’s enough yardage among them for at least three hats.

And three is just how many “Candy Darling” hats Anne knit this fall. The first was a sample for the shop – look for it on a hat-stand in our DK weight section – and the next two went to her granddaughters.

Left to right: Arranmore Light in Malin Head, Slieve Sunset, and St. Clare.

Often when I’m selecting multiple colors for a knitting project, I look at them through the black and white filter on my camera. This grayscale effect shows the contrast in the value of the colors, and how they relate to one another. For example, “Candy Darling” is shown in black, hot pink, and white, a punchy combination of dark, medium, and light.

Here are a variety of other color combinations in Arranmore Light that have similar spreads of dark, medium, and light.

Left to right: Arranmore Light in Meara, Odhran, and River Esque.

Left to right: Arranmore Light in Ciaran, Cronan, and St. Clare.

Left to right: Arranmore Light in Ruari, Bradan, and St. Clare.

Left to right: Arranmore Light in Kinnego Bay, Orla, and Narin Beach.

 

This is just a starting place, of course – there is so much to choose from, and the great fun in colorwork projects is seeing how they all come together as you knit. Come by the shop to start a “Candy Darling” trio all your own!

New from Cocoknits.

Cocoknits is the brainchild of Julie Weisenberger, a knitwear designer and purveyor of high quality tools for knitters. She’s carefully developed notions that are as nice to use as they are to look at.

Her foam Stitch Stoppers are the best point protectors we’ve seen, and since they first appeared last year, they quickly replaced any other kind we used to stock at the shop. No longer are the small and large sizes sold separately; now each pack comes with Stoppers for a range of needle sizes from US 0-15, and you can choose from Colorful or Neutral.

Even more exciting is a brand new product from Cocoknits, a Natural Mesh Bag to hold your yarn as you work.

The Natural Mesh Bag does the job of a yarn bowl, protecting your yarn from rolling about, keeping it safe and sound. Unlike a yarn bowl, however, this bag is lightweight, flexible, and easy to throw into a knitting tote to travel with you. It can sit open or you can snap up the top. Here it is in action, holding my Isager Jensen Yarn as I work on my “Summer Fog” vest, a sample for the shop.

Anne keeps her Shibui Birch in a Natural Mesh Bag as she’s knitting her “Icon” wrap. Just ask her and she’ll be happy to put it in your hands so you can see what it’s like out of its box. Look for them near the Cocoknits Sweater Care Kit in the front room, near the ballwinder – see you there!

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Quarry.

Since we first got Brooklyn Tweed yarns in stock back in January, there’s been one missing piece in our selection. We began with Shelter, Loft, and Arbor, then got Vale as soon as it came out. We’re delighted to announce that the one BT yarn we waited for is now on our shelves. Meet Quarry!

Quarry is Brooklyn Tweed’s heaviest yarn, a bulky weight, woolen-spun Targhee-Columbia wool. Each plump 100 gram skein boasts 200 yards, quite a bit for a yarn that knits up at 3-3.5 stitches per inch.

Like Shelter and Loft, colors in Quarry are created by blending dyed fiber together before spinning, for a heathered effect. Quarry is unique, however, because of its unexpected combination of texture and structure. It looks like a single ply, but is actually constructed with three loosely-spun plies for a smooth, round yarn.

I recently knit “Byway” with Quarry, a generous cabled scarf from Jared Flood’s Woolens. Bulky weight yarn is not often on my needles, but Quarry is a special one, and I thoroughly enjoyed this project. Like Shelter, Quarry is doughy in the hands, with a wooly softness that makes every stitch a pleasure. The pattern is a clever one, too, with blocks of moss stitch and cables framed by a satisfying i-cord edge.

Here are a few other patterns for Quarry that caught my eye:

Look for more pattern ideas on our “Bulky and super-bulky weight” Pinterest board, and look for Quarry in the Bulky weight section here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

Back in stock: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply/Sport.

Our big fall order from Fyberspates came in last week, and one of the yarns we restocked in a big way is Scrumptious 4ply/Sport.

Scrumptious 4ply/Sport is a soft, shimmering yarn, made of 55% superwash merino and 45% silk. It’s a bit heavy for a fingering, and a bit light for a sport, hence its fractured name. In our shop, you’ll find it in the sport weight section, but don’t rule it out if your pattern calls for fingering weight yarn; look carefully at the pattern gauge and check to see if it falls in the suggested gauge range of Scrumptious 4ply/Sport – between 24 and 28 stitches over 4 inches.

I recently completed a shop sample in Scrumptious 4ply/Sport, Purl Soho’s “Two-Color Cotton Cowl.” Though I knit it on the recommended needle size, I didn’t get the recommended gauge, so it’s a smaller circumference than the pattern intends. Still, it’s a fabric I like, and still long enough to wrap once or twice around one’s neck, so in this case, not getting gauge worked out perfectly. It was my first time doing two-color brioche, which was much less difficult than I imagined, and I’d definitely recommend it as an introduction to the technique.

With all these colors back on our shelves, there are lots of great color pairings to be had. Come by the shop to pick up a couple of skeins of Scrumptious 4ply/Sport for a cowl of your own!