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!

Show and tell: lace.

We always love to see what you’re making with HYS yarns, and I love to take photos of your finished pieces to share here on the blog. Sifting through the many delightful show-and-tell photos I’ve accumulated, I noticed a group of projects with a technique in common: lace.

Margaretta has a fondness for lace-knitting, and has completed two lace shawls recently. The one above is “Arlington,” by Emily Ross, knit with Shibui Staccato.

The pattern is easy to modify for the stockinette-to-lace ratio of your choosing, and Margaretta opted for a lace-heavy version, with stunning results.

Above is Margaretta’s most recent finished piece, “Your Ice Cream Shawl,” knit with the new and exciting Brooklyn Tweed Vale.

Two of our teachers have been working with lace, too. Below is Amy’s “Stone Point” poncho, knit with the Fibre Company’s new yarn, Luma. She’s in the midst of teaching a class on the subject, so we expect to see more “Stone Point” ponchos in the coming months, knit by her students! In the meantime, look for this one on display here at the shop.

Robin has a lace class coming up this fall, featuring Lisa Hannes’ “Laurelie,” a two-color shawl with lace and mosaic motifs.

Her “Laurelie” is made with Plymouth Happy Feet and Isager Merilin, a marriage of two yarns alike in gauge, but different in fiber content. They play well together in the finished piece; look for it on the wall here at the shop, and head to our Classes page to sign up for the class!

Itching to start a lace project of your own? Brooklyn Tweed is hosting a Summer of Lace Knit-Along, and their blog is full of helpful hints and project ideas. I know some of you are participating, and look forward to seeing your finished pieces!

Thanks to the knitters who shared their work on the blog today. We love seeing what you’re working on, and can’t wait to see what you come up with next. See you at the shop!

Show and tell: BT Arbor.

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 have a nice collection to share at the moment, enough for at least three blog posts. Today’s group all happen to be made in the same wonderful yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, a DK weight Targhee wool.

Above is Judy’s “Celtic Myths” shawl, a stockinette crescent with an intricate knitted-on cabled border. This delicious shade of gray is called “Heron,” and like nearly all colors, it’s tricky to photograph accurately, and far more beautiful in person.

One of Arbor’s distinguishing features is its crisp stitch definition, which makes cables, lace, and texture patterns shine. You can clearly see that quality in Judy’s beautifully-knit shawl, and you’ll also see it in each of the garments that follow.

Here’s my “Hirombe” hat in the color “Firebrush,” a shop sample which nicely illustrates another of Arbor’s special qualities: its tremendous elasticity. This is one of my favorite yarn characteristics, and one that suggests good long-term wear. Garments knit with Arbor should wear well and look sharp for years to come. I thoroughly enjoyed Jared Flood’s pattern, as well, especially because it taught me at least three new techniques: a cast-on, an increase, and a decrease I’d never tried before. The twisted stitch pattern is fully reversible; below is the “wrong-side” view, which I think I prefer.

Anne knit a little something with Arbor recently, too: this pair of Churchmouse “Welted Fingerless Gloves” was a Mother’s Day gift for Phyllis, Anne’s mom who recently turned 100. This quick-to-knit gift was well-received; Phyllis reportedly put them right on and said, “They fit like a glove!”

This soft, warm gray is called “Gale,” and one skein of Arbor was plenty for a pair, making this a great pattern for trying out this special yarn.

Above is Glen’s “Herringbone Hat,” knit with Arbor in the excellent high-contrast combination of “Black Fig” and “Hammock,” demonstrating that this yarn is perfect for stranded colorwork, too!

 

Barbara knit not one, but two “Byway” scarves during Marsha’s class on the subject. The purple one on the left is knit with Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, and the white one on the right is Arbor in the color “Hammock.” Though the pattern calls for bulky weight yarn, Barbara knit hers in a worsted and a DK, wanting a narrower finished product.

Thanks to everyone who starts their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and to those who share their progress with us. Come by the shop to pick up some Brooklyn Tweed Arbor for your next project!