Show and tell: colorwork sweaters.

Two blog posts full of colorwork knitting just aren’t enough – here’s a third, with a focus on sweaters.

Here Margie models her “Townes” pullover, knit with a clever combination of speckled Malabrigo Mechita and a few solid and heathered shades of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift.

Emily’s first adult-sized colorwork sweater is a perfect fit and features a beautiful, distinctive color combination – the pattern is tincanknits’ “Dog Star,” and the yarn is the unbeatable Brooklyn Tweed Arbor.

Kate has just finished a “Dog Star,” too, on a smaller scale for her daughter. For this one, she’s used Fibre Co. Arranmore Light, but she has another in the works in Arbor – can’t wait to see that one, too!

From left to right, here are Claire, Tom, Jayne, Barbara, Barbara, and Amy, all in their “St. Brendan” pullovers knit during Amy’s class on the subject. It’s so fun to see all these different color combinations together, not to mention all these happy knitters sporting their own handiwork!

Thanks so much to the knitters pictured above, and to everyone who’s ever taught or taken a class here, or started a project with a trip to our shop – we’re so grateful for all of you! It’s our community that makes our shop special. See you there!

Show and tell: colorwork accessories.

Time for another round of show and tell! Colorful knitting projects are popular around here – I had enough colorwork hats to fill a recent blog post, and now I’m back with other colorwork accessories.

Is a stuffed chicken an accessory? Whatever category it belongs in, Amy’s “Fancy Hen” is adorable, and beautifully knit. In preparation for a class on the subject earlier this year, she knit this charming chicken with Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK, a yarn well-suited to stranded colorwork.

Ellen knit these intricate colorwork mittens with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. The pattern is from Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Mittens, a great resource if colorwork mittens are your cup of tea. A cute pair of mittens is a great starting place for learning and practicing stranded knitting, just like a hat or any small accessory.

Here’s Margie in her “Fresco Crescent” shawl, by Kieran Foley. This shawl is an impressive combination of knitting techniques from lace and stranded knitting to intarsia, stripes, and beading.

She used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in a big palette of neutrals, reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows, working these colors intuitively into the piece as she went, rather than planning it all out ahead of the knitting.

Gwen’s “Hudson” shawl, by Shannon Cook, is a simpler design of stripes and lace, but no less striking. Gwen’s color choice in Ewe Ewe Baa Baa Bulky is particularly eye-catching; she knit it to wear to a spring wedding and finished just in the nick of time.

Karin knit not one, but two pairs of Rachel Coopey’s “Alfrick” socks, using Coopey’s own CoopKnits Socks Yeah! yarn for both projects.

Thanks as always to the talented knitters who shared their work here today, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. I’ve got even more colorwork show-and-tell in store for the coming weeks – stay tuned!

Show and tell: colorwork hats.

We love to see finished projects that started life as yarn on our shelves, and when I’m able, I love to photograph them and share them here on the blog. It’s been a busy spring so far, full of exciting new yarns, books, and magazines, all of which keep this blogger busy. Meanwhile, jaw-dropping projects keep coming through our doors, and it’s time to make time for show and tell. I have enough photos stockpiled for at least four blog posts – let’s begin with colorwork hats, on the heels of our HYS Colorwork Trunk Show.

Here’s Joanne’s “Seeds Hat,” designed by Jared Flood and knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. The soft sage green with the bright teal is a surprising combination that works well, especially with a jaunty pom-pom on top.

Sandy made a “Seeds Hat,” too, also using Brooklyn Tweed Loft; I snapped a photo just as she was weaving in the ends on this, her first colorwork project.

I made a family of “Banff” hats for my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew for the holidays. I love Malabrigo Rios for its easy care, fun colors, and soft, squishy hand, and I love tincanknits’ straightforward pattern for its charming motif and huge range of sizes.

Marilyn knit this “Bousta Beanie” to practice her fair isle knitting technique before embarking on a larger colorwork garment; her even tension and excellent color choice show how ready she is for that exciting project. The yarn is Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, a classic choice for colorwork and a personal favorite of mine.

Kate has been knitting with Shetland Spindrift, too; this “Snawheid” was designed by Kate Davies, for whom Kate and I share a great admiration. This playful combination of bright blue and natural white suits the snowflake motif and shows the pattern so well!

Margaretta’s “Tincture” hat is colorwork of a different kind – mosaic knitting, where some stitches are slipped and others are knit, for a color pattern with a bit of texture, too. She used Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in a high contrast combination for a striking effect.

Thanks to the knitters, crocheters, and weavers who bring in their work to show us what they’ve made! You inspire and amaze us, and we can’t wait to see what you get into next. Keep an eye on this blog for more show-and-tell soon!

Show and tell: Barrington Vests.

Last year, Amy taught two classes here at the shop on Jared Flood’s “Barrington Vest,” a colorwork garment that appeared in our first-ever Brooklyn Tweed trunk show. With an all-over honeycomb pattern, tailored fit, and steeked neck and arm openings, “Barrington” is a complex knit that presents plenty of opportunities for learning. So far, we’ve seen four finished garments come out of these classes, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

No surprise, Amy finished her “Barrington Vest” first – instructors always get a head start on the projects they teach. She used Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Almanac and Snowbound, a rich blue and pale gray, a high contrast combination.

Ruth also opted for a high contrast combination of Loft in Old World and Woodsmoke, a deep purpley blue and a light oatmeal. I was delighted to see her wearing her “Barrington Vest” at the shop a couple of weeks ago; there is something so satisfying about wearing one’s own handiwork!

Iva chose a somewhat more subtle pair of colors, Loft in Sweatshirt and Fossil.

These two shades, a medium heathered gray and a warm ivory, have just as much contrast as Amy and Ruth’s color combinations, but the effect is somehow a little softer to my eye – one of those little knitting mysteries I haven’t the color theory background to solve.

Linda knit her “Barrington Vest” in Artifact and Woodsmoke, the same colors shown in the pattern photo. She brought it in to show us on a busy Saturday at the shop, and when I cleared a surface to photograph it, other knitters gathered around it in admiration. Yarn shoppers are perhaps the best audience for show and tell!

Thanks to these knitters for sharing their work with us, and especially for participating in classes here at the shop. We feel so lucky to have such talented teachers on our team, and students who are excited to learn more about their craft. I’m so looking forward to seeing more “Barrington Vests” as they’re completed!

Show and tell: for little ones.

Our last round of show and tell focused primarily on adult sweaters, which are satisfying to see completed in part because they’re such big projects, and also because there’s a great need for them to fit just so. When they come out to our expectations, we’re especially happy. Garments for little ones take less time to make, but they hold a different set of hopes, just as dear to us. Here are some baby and children’s knits we’ve seen completed of late.

Emily knit this “In Threes” cardigan with Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted, a super-soft superwash merino yarn that is ideal for baby projects.

Paula has been knitting with Wooly Worsted, too, preparing for the birth of her grandson-to-be. She recently completed this “Baby Turtle Frenzy Blanket,” designed by our own Amy Wentley, and backed it with fabric to make a spectacular nursery wall-hanging.

She didn’t stop there, of course – Paula also knit this little sweater and hat. The pattern is “Lullaby Layette,” and the yarn is CoopKnits Socks Yeah! DK, a squishy superwash yarn just right for this kind of project.

Not all baby things must be machine-washable, of course; it’s a matter of preference when it comes to washing woolens by hand. This little sweater was made with Fibre Company Arranmore, a handwash-only blend of merino, silk, and cashmere. I’ve shared Katherine’s “Fisherman’s Pullover” sweater on the blog before, but when we were visited by Elizabeth herself wearing the sweater in question, a photo had to be taken. There is simply something special about a tiny person in a handmade sweater!

Susan knit this lovely “Baby Surprise Jacket” with Fibre Company Acadia, a special gift for a premature baby. This single color version is exquisite in its simplicity, letting the rich color with its tweedy flecks be the star of the show, along with Elizabeth Zimmermann’s genius engineering.

Thanks to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We love hearing your ideas and helping you find just the right yarns and tools to realize them. See you at the shop!

Show and tell: Shelter sweaters.

The extra cold weather we’ve had lately has brought out some incredible knitwear! Almost everyone who comes through our doors these days is bundled in handmade woolens. As a result, I have quite a pile of show and tell photos to share, and sifting through it, a few themes have emerged. For today’s post, that theme is sweaters knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, a yarn I consider perfectly suited to sweater-making.

Here’s Marcy in her “Grow” sweater by Norah Gaughan, from Hannah Thiessen’s recent book, Slow Knitting. Made with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the playful Tartan colorway, Marcy calls it her January sweater, the warm-but-not-heavy garment that will see her through this chilly month. The construction of this sweater is more intriguing than this photo lets on, with diagonal side seams wrapping from the narrow back piece to the wider front – an interesting knit, no doubt!

Grace’s recently-completed “Tinder” is knit with Shelter in Almanac, a rich blue. This Jared Flood design features an all-over knit/purl texture pattern, straightforward to execute and satisfying to see.

She wore it into the shop just after finishing it, and kindly let me photograph it while our ballwinder prepared her next sweater’s worth – a knitter after my own heart, following one sweater directly with another.

Leslie is another serial sweater-knitter; above is her latest, Michele Wang’s “Bedford” pullover knit in Snowbound, Shelter’s lightest gray. Like “Tinder,” “Bedford” is all about a simple repeated texture pattern, though this one has a bit of a cable twist. It’s a cozy sweatshirt of a sweater, the kind of garment one wouldn’t mind wearing day after day.

This little tincanknits “Flax” was knit by Emily for a new baby in her family, and Shelter in Faded Quilt was the perfect shade of blue gray. I haven’t knit as many baby sweaters as some, but “Flax” is one I made for my nephew, and I often recommend it. I love the rustic look of Emily’s in Shelter!

 

I, too, have knit a sweater with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and here I am wearing it. This is Bristol Ivy’s “Second Grace,” a pullover in my favorite sweater genre: bottom-up, colorwork, circular yoke. I labored over the selection of seven colors, wanting to branch out from my usual blue or gray and stymied by the abundance of amazing colors in the Shelter palette. Ultimately I landed on Cast Iron for the main color, and Long Johns, Cinnabar, Tallow, Almanac, Tartan, and Snowbound for contrast colors. I’m so pleased with this garment – you will likely see me wearing it a lot, and it may not be long before I knit another sweater in Shelter.

A warm thanks to all of you who bring your finished projects in to share with us, we are so inspired by what you make and we can’t wait to see what’s next!

More Bousta Beanies.

Back in September, I wrote about Gudrun Johnston’s “Bousta Beanie,” a three-color fair-isle hat that I find absolutely irresistible. Since then, Anne has knit one, I’ve knit two, and so many of you have started on “Bousta Beanies” of your own!

Anne knit this “Bousta Beanie” for her daughter, adding a little extra length and a folded brim to keep her ears warm during New York winters. The main yarn is Tukuwool Fingering, and the inside hem is made with the extra-soft Isager Alpaca 2.

If you want to add a folded brim to your own hat, check out this Kelbourne Woolens tutorial on the subject – it helps to see it at several steps throughout the process.

Joanne knit the “Bousta Beanie” above with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, which offers an unparalleled selection of colors – we have 126 in stock at my last count!

Here’s my first “Bousta Beanie,” knit with Tukuwool Fingering. I selected two light shades and one dark, putting one of the lights in the background for a low-contrast effect. I had enough yarn left to knit a second and probably even a third, rearranging the color placement to make good use of the yardage. For my second, I placed the darkest color in the background, which caused the two lighter shades to pop out in the foreground.

I love how both hats turned out, though they’re very different; it was fun just to see what happened as the colors came together, row by row.

Anyone else out there knitting “Bousta Beanies”? We’d love to see them and hear about what yarns and color combinations worked best for you!

Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 5: Sequences.

The fifth installment of the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide series is here! Let’s take a peek inside.

Ann Shayne and Kaye Gardiner’s series of Field Guides are pocket-sized booklets focused on a particular theme or knitting technique. The theme here is sequences, drawing on the inspired work of designer Cecelia Campochiaro.

Like the Field Guides before it, this volume is an introduction to the idea of sequence knitting, a few patterns to play with the technique, and some of Ann and Kaye’s trademark wit along the way.

Anne was taken with this Field Guide, and in fact has already whipped up a “Swirl Hat” for her son-in-law using Brooklyn Tweed Arbor – a slightly larger gauge than suggested, to accommodate his slightly larger head.

She was able to hand-deliver this gift on her family trip to New York over Thanksgiving, along with a family’s-worth of other hats that will be shared on a future blog post!

Look for the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 5 on our teacart, with the latest books and magazines. We still have a couple of copies of No. 4, too, in case you’re tempted to participate in Fringe Association’s log cabin make-along in the new year. See you at the shop!

Show and tell: lace.

Our Thanksgiving break continues, and the shop will be closed until we reopen on Tuesday, Nov. 28th. Til then, I have more show-and-tell to share! The theme of this bunch is lace.

Betty knit this “Stone Point” poncho during Amy’s class here at the shop, her first-ever lace project! The yarn is Fibre Company Luma, a dk weight blend of wool, cotton, linen, and silk.

Sherri knit this beautiful blanket for her new daughter-in-law, Leah. The stitch pattern is good old feather and fan, a great introduction to lace knitting, and the yarn is a wide range of odds and ends from Sherri’s stash – this is a great way to use those bits and pieces and play with color along the way!

Here is a lace pattern on a somewhat smaller scale: Lois’s “Feather the Waves Socks,” knit with Malabrigo Sock. Lois has found a favorite in this vibrant hand-dyed yarn; this is the third pair she’s made with Malabrigo Sock!

Margaretta is an especially prolific lace-knitter, and lately her projects are made with Brooklyn Tweed yarns. After knitting a “Your Ice Cream Shawl” with Vale, she came back for another; this is her second project with Vale, Jared Flood’s now-classic “Girasole.”

After completing that, Margaretta took on Jared Flood’s “Lucca,” this time with Arbor. The heavier gauge of this yarn made a more substantial fabric and a larger piece, turning a circular shawl into a spectacular blanket.

Kellie has been knitting with Brooklyn Tweed, too – here she is modeling her “Hop Brook” shawl, knit with Loft. What a lovely match of yarn and pattern – a little rustic, a little delicate, and the light color lets the lace edging shine.

We love seeing what folks make with our yarns – thank you so much for sharing your projects with us. Hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend, and we look forward to seeing you on or after the 28th!

Show and tell: texture.

While the shop is closed for a Thanksgiving break, let’s enjoy another batch of show-and-tell! Here are some highly-textured knits made with yarns from our shop.

Corey knit the cowl above with Fibre Company Knightsbridge, a luxurious blend of camel, alpaca, and silk. The pattern is “Alastair,” a textured loop scarf that we were pleased to see Corey wearing when he attended our Anniversary Party back in October.

Amy knit this “Blackberry Cable Pillow Cover” with Berroco Peruvia Quick, a sturdy bulky weight wool that’s well-suited to this kind of project.

Mary put a different Berroco yarn to use in her “Cumberland” cowl; Maya is a chain-plied, worsted weight blend of cotton and alpaca. It makes a lightweight accessory suitable for the transitional weather of spring and much of the fall here in North Carolina. It also renders texture patterns beautifully!

Here is Michele’s “Spectrum,” knit with Shibui Rain and Silk Cloud. The only stitch pattern in this luxurious wrap is stockinette – it’s the yarns that make this a textural piece. Sometimes the two yarns are held together, and other times the lace weight Silk Cloud is worked alone for those sheer stripes.

Rosi’s textured show-and-tell is still underway, but I couldn’t resist sharing a picture of her work-in-progress: “Vanora,” knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. I made the same sweater earlier this year using Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering and it’s amazing how different it looks just on account of the color and the texture of the yarn.

Marsha knit this tiny “Fine Fella” with Malabrigo Sock, sizing an adult hat down to a preemie size by altering the gauge of yarn and needles – from worsted weight on US size 6 to fingering weight on a US size 1, to be exact. It’s an heirloom-quality bit of charity knitting Marsha did as part of the Ol’ North State Knitting Guild, a generous use of her talent and time.

Thanks to the knitters who shared their work on the blog today, and to all those whose projects begin with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We love seeing what you make!