On our needles: Brooklyn Tweed Ranch.

One of the perks of working at the shop is knitting with exciting new yarns, sometimes even before they are available on our shelves. For the past couple of weeks behind the scenes, Anne and I have both been working with Ranch 02, the latest small batch, ranch-specific yarn from Brooklyn Tweed. Take a look at what’s been on our needles!

I’ve just completed Jared Flood’s “Tillage Hat,” a new design for BT Ranch 02, and a cousin to his “Tillage” pullover. I chose a light color to be sure all the texture and cables would show well, somewhat uncertain about the stitch definition of a woolen-spun yarn. I needn’t have worried, however, as this 3 ply yarn is nice and round, and shows texture beautifully.

Ranch 02 is great fun to knit with, springy and light in the hand, and makes such a soft, cohesive fabric.

Anne has had both Ranch 01 and Ranch 02 on her needles of late, and chose the same pattern for both. “When In Scotland” is a triangular garter stitch shawl, a lovely project for letting the yarn shine.

For the first shawl, she used Ranch 01, a worsted spun Rambouillet wool in naturally dyed shades.

She used Ranch 02 for the second shawl, and marveled at the difference between the two yarns.

Despite all they have in common – their fiber content, gauge, and number of plies – they differ in spinning method. Ranch 01 is worsted spun and Ranch 02 is woolen spun, making the former heavier and more smooth, and the latter lighter and more squishy. You can learn all about worsted and woolen spun yarns on Brooklyn Tweed’s website; they’ve written at length about how each kind of yarn is produced and what the difference is in the knitted fabric.

Come by the shop to see Ranch 02 and all of Brooklyn Tweed’s offerings – we have every yarn they make, and binders full of their patterns. There’s even some Ranch 01 left on our shelves!

See you at the shop!

Sindi.

“Sindi” is a new cowl design from Shibui for their very newest yarn, Nest.

It’s a simple stockinette tube, with a bit of reverse stockinette at the top and bottom, but it’s still an entertaining knit on account of the yarn itself.

“Sindi” is knit holding one strand of Nest together with two strands of Silk Cloud, changing which shades of Silk Cloud are in the mix as you go. This creates a subtle gradient from light to dark, and a luxuriously fuzzy texture. 

Nest in Ivory, Silk Cloud in Ivory, Ash, and Graphite.

I knit our sample “Sindi” using Nest in Ivory and Silk Cloud in Ivory, Ash, and Graphite, a grayscale colorway, but there are so many other options between the Nest and Silk Cloud color palettes. One knitter who saw me working on the sample cleverly came up with a darker gray colorway, for her daughter who loves to wear black. I can’t wait to see it knit up!

Nest in Abyss, Silk Cloud in Ash, Graphite, and Abyss.

Here are a few others I dreamed up as I was photographing the yarn the other day.

Nest in Dusk, Silk Cloud in Ash, Twilight, and Dusk.

Nest in Cove, Silk Cloud in Ash, Fjord, and Cove.

Nest in Suit, Silk Cloud in Shore, Blueprint, and Suit.

Nest in Bordeaux, Silk Cloud in Tango, Bordeaux, and Velvet.

Come by the shop to create your own “Sindi” color combination – we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Nest in Pollen, Silk Cloud in White, Caffeine, and Pollen.

Back in stock: Malabrigo Arroyo.

Malabrigo Arroyo is back in stock!

This sport weight superwash merino is a favorite around here, and its cubby was looking empty before this week’s shipment arrived.

Each 100 gram skein of Arroyo boasts 335 yards, enough for a scarf, cowl, shawlette, hat, tiny baby sweater, or pair of mitts. Here are a few pattern ideas, projects that knitters on Ravelry have used Arroyo for again and again:

We have two samples at the shop knit with Malabrigo Arroyo, as well – a newborn-sized “Baby Surprise Jacket,” and a “Drop Stitch Scarf.” Though the latter calls for worsted weight yarn on a US 8 needle, I made our sample with one skein of Arroyo on a US 7, casting on an extra pattern repeat to make up the difference in width.

You’ll find Malabrigo Arroyo in the sport weight section here at our shop, and check out our whole selection of Malabrigo yarns while you’re here!

Back in stock: Isager Japansk Bomuld.

Last week brought a big box from Isager, filled to the brim with Japansk Bomuld.

Japansk Bomuld is a lustrous lace weight cotton tape, with 344 yards per 50 gram ball. It was one of Isager’s new yarns last Spring, and remains one of the most unique plant fiber yarns in our shop. The knit fabric is crunchy and cool to the touch, ideal for spring and summer tops and accessories.

I’m making a Churchmouse “Alexandra’s Airplane Scarf” as a shop sample, so I’ve spent some time with this unusual yarn. I cast on with this eye-catching chartreuse and planned to select the other two colors as I go. I was inspired by a bit of show and tell from last summer, Carribeth’s own “Airplane Scarf.”

While lower contrast combinations also appeal, I decided to go for a high contrast color combination like Carribeth’s, and I’m liking the results so far.

Though the Isager Japansk Bomuld palette is small, there are plenty of intriguing color trios available – here are a few to consider.

 

Look for more pattern inspiration on our Lace weight Pinterest board, and come by the shop to see Japansk Bomuld itself!

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!