The Weekender KAL: casting on.

Our informal Weekender KAL is underway! Anne and I are knitting “The Weekender,” by Andrea Mowry, and invite you all to join us, casting on and working at your own pace. It’s been just over a week, and we’ve both cast on, worked the bottom hems, and begun knitting the body of the sweater. I’m working with Kelbourne Woolens Scout in “Sunflower Heather,” a sunny stretch for this blue- and gray-loving knitter.

Mowry calls for a tubular cast-on, which makes a tidy, rounded edge on the 1×1 ribbed hem. As in all of knitting, there are many different ways to make a tubular cast-on, and I substituted my favorite method for the one in the pattern. It’s one I encountered in my “Stasis” and “Docklight” sweaters, and the instructions come from Brooklyn Tweed.

Anne used the same tubular cast-on, but modified the split hem so the front and back are the same length, as opposed to the longer back hem shown in the pattern.

She’s working with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in “Soot,” a heathered gray that is right in line with Anne’s favorite and most-worn colors.

We are both loving the ease of this pattern, just cruising through the body, mindlessly knitting stockinette in the round, pausing only for the slip stitch at the center back and center front of the sweater. Sometimes simple is just right, and it seems the simplicity of “The Weekender” has landed at just the right time for each of us!

Are you knitting along with us? What yarn are you using, in what color, and how are you liking the experience? Let us know in the comments, or on Instagram with the hashtag #hysweekenderkal !

Back in stock, show and tell: Shetland Spindrift.

The appetite for Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift and colorwork knitting in general seems to be growing, if our frequent Jamieson’s orders are any indication. This weekend brought another big box of Shetland Spindrift our way, a classic fingering weight 2-ply shetland wool.

We usually keep around 110 colors in stock, an awe-inspiring selection that we display in big trays, so you can see them all clearly. Because the yarn is so well-suited to stranded colorwork knitting, Jamieson’s makes a staggering 220 colors, and we are happy to special order any of them for you if you don’t see what you’re looking for on our shelves.

We have several patterns in stock for Shetland Spindrift, like Sandy Blue’s “Autumn Tam” and “Midnight Sun Tam,” Churchmouse’s “Wee Wooly Sheep,” and Janine Bajus’s “Redbud” vest.

This yarn is also popular for Gudrun Johnston’s “Bousta Beanie,” a featured pattern for Shetland Wool Week in 2017. This year’s SWW pattern also calls for Shetland Spindrift, and we’re busy putting kits together to make it – more on that soon!

Now for a bit of show and tell – here’s Nancy’s “Efflorescent” shawl, knit with Shetland Spindrift as a sample for a class she offered here at the shop last year. The pattern is from Felicity Ford’s KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Playbook, which is bursting with colorful inspiration, along with techniques and patterns. Nancy has graciously lent us the shawl for display, so you can see this work of art in person at our shop.

Kathryn wove this incredible guitar strap on an inkle loom, using Isager Bomuld and Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift.

Kate came in recently wearing her newest sweater, Leila Raabe’s “Stasis” pullover, knit with Shetland Spindrift in the colors Eggshell and Teviot, a charming combination. She made a few modifications for a perfect fit and is rightfully pleased with the outcome – well done, Kate!

Thanks to Nancy, Kathryn, and Kate for sharing their handiwork, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to our shop! Look for Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in the fingering weight section  – we can’t wait to see what you make with it!

Show and tell: Brooklyn Tweed Peerie.

I’m back with more show and tell, focused this time on accessories and garments knit with Brooklyn Tweed Peerie. Peerie is one of the four yarns featured in our current BT Wool People 12 Trunk Show, so it seems fitting to share some of the projects folks are making with this special yarn.

Kathryn knit this “Lucerne” hat with Peerie, enlisting her young daughter’s help in selecting colors. I love what they came up with, as well as Kathryn’s description of Peerie – “supernaturally springy.”

Elsbeth knit this “Architexture” scarf with Peerie and came back for more to make another one, an excellent endorsement of yarn and pattern alike. Peerie’s smooth, round texture is perfect for showing off knit and purl texture patterns like those featured here.

Margaretta has also been charmed by Peerie, having used it to knit both the “Afton” scarf above and the “Hazelfern” socks below.

Both of these texture-rich patterns were thoughtfully designed by Jared Flood, and Margaretta appreciated the quality and clarity of the patterns as much as the yarn.

Jane knit this impressive “Butterfly / Papillon” shawl with six shades of Peerie during Nancy’s recent class here at the shop.

I’m particularly struck by Jane’s unique color combination, a balance of warm and cool colors, light and dark. Well done, Jane!

Here’s Ruth in her “Boardwalk,” knit with Peerie in a cheery pink shade. This pattern has been a popular one, whether knit in Peerie or in Loft, in part because of how wearable it is. The design is clever and flattering, a layer that manages to look both smart and casual.

Thanks to Kathryn, Elsbeth, Margaretta, Jane, and Ruth for sharing these knits with us, and to everyone whose projects begin with trips to our shop.

Come by before March 3rd to see the Wool People 12 Trunk Show and get 10% off Brooklyn Tweed Peerie, Loft, Vale, and Arbor. See you there!

 

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

 

Show and tell: for the home.

Time for another round of show and tell! I love to take photos of finished projects when folks bring them into the shop to share with us, and to share them here on our blog. I always seem to have a backlog of photos, thanks to the many productive knitters, crocheters, and weavers who frequent our shop. Here’s a batch of show and tell featuring projects made for the home – mostly blankets!

Glen knit this “Ombre Waves Knit Blanket” as a gift for his daughter and son-in-law, using Malabrigo Rios, everyone’s favorite hand-dyed, superwash, worsted weight merino.

Petra wove the overshot table runner below using a cotton yarn in the warp and Brigg’s & Little Sport in the weft. The pattern is intricate and visually mesmerizing, even more so in the bold colors Petra chose – well done, Petra!

Peggy knit Jared Flood’s “Talon Throw” as a gift for her niece, a generous gift indeed.

Peggy used Berroco Ultra Alpaca, a soft and sturdy blend of wool and alpaca, and a staple of our worsted weight section here at the shop.

Berroco Ultra Wool is a staple of our worsted weight section, too, and another great yarn for blanket-making. Elsbeth used Ultra Wool for this striking Purl Soho “Mosaic Blanket.”

Amy knit this colorful blanket for her newest grandchild using Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted, a squishy superwash merino. The pattern is Svetlana Gordon’s “Hexagon Kaleidoscope Patchwork Knitting,” adapted to include butterfly patches among the flowers.

Thanks to Glen, Petra, Peggy, Elsbeth, and Amy for sharing their work, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We can’t wait to see what you make next.

Back in stock, show and tell: Isager Alpaca 2.

Among all the lovely Isager yarns, Alpaca 2 has been a favorite here at our shop, so we make sure to keep every available color in stock.

Isager Alpaca 2 is a light fingering weight blend of merino wool and alpaca, with 275 yards on each 50 gram skein. Our seasoned “Stole” sample has hung on the wall for years now, yet it regularly catches the eye of knitters seeking a soothing, repetitive project, one that’s easy to execute, but with graceful results.

We’ve seen all manner of “Stole” variations, and whether they’re knit in the pattern’s recommended nine shades or a kaleidoscope of unique combinations, slimmed down into scarves or expanded into blankets, everything seems to work. Unpacking this shipment, I lapsed into a familiar game, picking colors for the “Stole.”

There are many other things to knit with Alpaca 2, of course; here are a couple of ideas from knitters we know, a bit of show and tell.

Here is Carribeth’s “Spectrum,” another soothing knit in stockinette. She paired Alpaca 2 with a matching shade of Alpaca 1 to create the slightly transparent stripes, an elegant effect that photos don’t do justice.

Winnie knit this “Feathers” shawl with Alpaca 2, and has already come back for more of the same to knit another.

This is a lovely example of Alpaca 2 in a lace pattern, a very good match of yarn and pattern, indeed.

Thanks to Carribeth, Winnie, and countless others who start their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – we love to see what you’re working on!

Back in stock, show and tell: Malabrigo.

Over 60 pounds of Malabrigo yarn arrived this week!

This sizable order filled and brightened our cubbies of Rasta, Rios, Mecha, Caracol, and Mechita.

Malabrigo is a beloved Uruguayan yarn company known for vibrant hand-dyed color and soft, squishy merino wool.

These pleasing qualities make their yarns some of the most popular in our shop, so we’re always seeing incredible projects made out of Malabrigo yarn. Here are a few of the latest.

Amy knit this “Rondelay” shawl with Mechita, a single-ply superwash merino wool in fingering weight.

She used one of the coveted speckled colorways, which we can hardly keep in stock – happy to have a nice selection of speckled shades in this recent order!

Margie used one of those speckled skeins of Mechita to make the “Mesh Leaf Cowl” she’s modeling here.

Malabrigo yarns also play well with others, as Linda’s “Mindfulness” shawl demonstrates. She crocheted this beauty using a semi-solid shade in Malabrigo Sock and a highly-variegated skein from Dream in Color’s Pop-Up Skein Club.

Thanks to Amy, Margie, Linda, and countless others who start their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – we love to see what you’re working on!

Come by the shop to see our full selection of Malabrigo yarn and get your fill of these soft and colorful skeins!

Show and tell: Anne’s “Dog Stars.”

A few months ago, Anne set a lofty goal: she would knit a sweater for each of her four grandchildren for Hanukkah. When she mentioned this in conversation at the shop, eyes would widen in disbelief – even four child-sized sweaters represent an awful lot of knitting, after all. She picked Tin Can Knits’ “Dog Star” pattern, a simple, seamless, colorwork yoke, and spent every possible moment knitting these sweet sweaters, determined to complete them in time. Anne is a woman of her word, and a determined one – when Hanukkah began on December 2nd, she was ready with four finished sweaters. Quite a feat!

For her granddaughters, Anne knit “Dog Star” with Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, using a sophisticated palette of purplish gray, eggplant, and cream. Knowing the girls might like to match as much as they like to distinguish themselves, Anne flipped the arrangement of contrast colors in the yoke: sisterly matching, yet distinct.

For her twin grandsons, Anne used Malabrigo Rios, again differentiating the sweaters by changing colors in the yoke.

Her boys love bright colors, so she used wildly variegated colorways in the stranded yoke, which, in her words, look like sprinkles against the dark blue background.

Hope you’ve met your own holiday knitting goals this season!

A reminder, the shop will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25 and again on Tuesday, Jan. 1. Otherwise the shop will be open at our regular hours, and we look forward to seeing you there!

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!

Show and tell: from the classroom.

As of today, the shop is closed for a Thanksgiving break. Those of us who work and teach at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop are taking time to be with family and friends, to relax and take note of what we’re grateful for. One thing we are particularly thankful for is the community of makers that has grown in and around the shop, especially through our teachers and their good work in the classroom. With that in mind, here’s some show and tell – knitting projects completed during classes here at our shop.

Here’s Trich modeling her “Ilia” cardigan, a labor of love she completed during a class with Marsha. This intricately cabled garment was designed by Michele Wang for Brooklyn Tweed and knit with their Loft yarn, and Trich did a skillful job knitting it.  

Leslie was among the first in Amy’s class to complete her “Sammal,” a cardigan that looked simpler than it turned out to be for many knitters. She pushed through the short row shaping and textured stitch pattern that was tricky to read on the needles and wound up with a perfectly-fitting garment. Tukuwool Fingering was the suggested yarn and Leslie liked it so much, she came back for more when this sweater was done!

Gwen tried her hand at a few different colorwork techniques during Robin’s class on the “Yipes Stripes Cowl.” I love the colors of Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted she chose for this project, a mix of brights and pastels that really make the various patterns pop.

Linda knit this “Galloway” cardigan during Amy’s class on the subject, taking one of Jared Flood’s suggested colorways and tweaking it by substituting a bright teal for a medium blue. She knit it with the recommended yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and the result is something special, a sweater that fits just how she wanted in colors she loves. Great job on your knitting and steeking, Linda!

Many thanks to our teachers and to all the knitters who challenge themselves to learn something new in classes here at our shop. We love seeing what you make and watching as you grow your skills! Check out our Classes page for information about upcoming courses – you can sign up online if you’d like to attend.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, we’ll look forward to opening the shop again on Tuesday, November 27th.