CoopKnits Socks Yeah! Trunk Show.

Yet a third trunk show has arrived this month: eleven socks from Rachel Coopey’s CoopKnits Socks Yeah! Volume One.

This collection features patterns for Coopey’s own yarn, CoopKnits Socks Yeah!, a hard-wearing, machine-washable blend of superwash merino wool and nylon. The book is sure to keep any sock-knitter interested, with techniques from lace and cables to colorwork and stripes.

Socks Yeah! is particularly well-suited to showing off these techniques, with its smooth texture, high twist, and solid colors. The Trunk Show is a great opportunity to see these socks in person and get a tangible sense of how the yarn behaves in a variety of patterns and colors.

We’re offering a 10% discount on CoopKnits Socks Yeah! during the show, which will be decorating our walls until September 15th. Come by to see it for yourself and plan your next project!

 

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

Show and tell: Malabrigo.

We love Malabrigo yarns around here. We have over 10 different Malabrigo yarns in stock, from delicate Lace up to super bulky Rasta and Caracol, and hardly a day goes by that we don’t send some happy knitter or crocheter home with a shopping bag full of Malabrigo. They’re known for their buttery soft merino wool and their lively, memorable colorways. Here are a couple of finished projects knit with Malabrigo yarns that found their way back to us for some show-and-tell!

Above is Donna’s “Drafter’s Cardigan,” knit with Malabrigo Arroyo in “Regatta Blue.” She knit it for her daughter, finishing the job with the perfect pearly blue buttons.

Lois came in last week with another beautiful pair of socks knit with Malabrigo Sock. The pattern is “Summer Slice,” and she used the color “Boticelli Red” with “Diana” as an accent at the heels and toes.

Mary is a big Malabrigo fan, and she particularly loves to work with “Aniversario,” a wildly variegated colorway that’s truly unique from skein to skein.

She crocheted this “Sea Shells Scarf” with Malabrigo’s newest yarn, Dos Tierras, and trimmed it with Shibui Dune for a bit of a stained glass effect.

Thanks to Donna, Lois, and Mary for sharing their Malabrigo projects with us! Come by the shop to see all the Malabrigo Lace, Finito, Sock, Mechita, Arroyo, Silky Merino, Dos Tierras, Rios, Mecha, Rasta, and Caracol we have in stock. See you there!

Show and tell: socks.

We love seeing projects made with yarns from our shop, and we truly feel honored that so many of you bring your finished pieces in for show and tell. When I’m able, I like to take pictures of these completed projects to share here on the blog. I’m always collecting them, and sometimes they seem to sort themselves into themed posts – all one kind of wool or technique, one yarn in particular, or even a shared color palette. Today’s theme is socks, a favorite project of ours, and the knitters featured here have made some amazing pairs.

Glen knit the vibrant pair above with MJ Opulent Fingering, a hand-dyed blend of merino, cashmere, and nylon. The pattern is “Dublin Bay Socks,” a free download from Ravelry, and it looks excellent in this semi-solid colorway, showing off the lace detail down the leg.

Lois’s socks have a lot in common with Glen’s: the pattern, “Socks on a Plane,” is available for free, they have a little pattern running down the leg and foot on a stockinette background – in this case, a cable, and they were made with hand-dyed yarn, the beloved Malabrigo Sock. I often warn knitters that cables and other patterns don’t show well in highly variegated yarn, but this is exactly the kind of exception that proves the rule. I love the way the wild colorway shines in simple stockinette, and the cable doesn’t disappear into it. Rather, it pops out a bit, brings welcome textural interest to an already interesting color. Well done, Lois!

Above are Karin’s “Sidney” socks, from Rachel Coopey’s CoopKnits Socks Vol. 2, made with Malabrigo Sock. These are the latest in a long series of increasingly intricate handknit socks that Karin has crafted for herself and her family. Like many of us, she likes to challenge herself a bit with each new project, trying a new stitch pattern or technique, and a sock is a good-sized project for that kind of experimentation. It’s a good way to learn a lot in a relatively short time, and Karin is living proof!

Margaretta is another generous, challenge-seeking sock knitter, and this “Harlequin” pair from New Directions in Sock Knitting pretty much blew my mind when I saw them in progress – organizing the bobbins alone looked like quite a task. She rose to the occasion, though, mastering intarsia-in-the-round along the way, and surprised me again when she came back for more yarn to knit a second pair.

This pair, like the first, is made with Malabrigo Sock, which you can tell is a popular sock yarn here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Margaretta insists that her technique improved measurably from the first pair to the second, and while I believe her, I honestly think both pairs look equally flawless. Still and all, she gave the second pair as a gift to a friend, knit yet a third pair and gave them to another friend, and kept the “learner” pair for herself.

 

Thanks to the knitters who shared their work on this post, and to the many more who begin their projects with trips to our shop! We appreciate your support, and love seeing what you make. If you’re not a sock-knitter but would like to become one, check out Amy’s upcoming class on the subject, an introduction to basic socks that may send you on a sock-making spree. Look out for more show-and-tell on the blog in the near future!

CoopKnits Socks Yeah! Volume One.

Rachel Coopey’s newest book has been out a few weeks now, and selling quickly here at the shop. We’ve got a stack of copies on the teacart again, so I figured it’s time to give it a proper introduction here on the blog. Let’s take a peek inside CoopKnits Socks Yeah! Volume One.

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Coopey is a prolific designer, seeming never to run out of fresh ideas for sock patterns in particular. This collection features patterns for Coopey’s own yarn, CoopKnits Socks Yeah!, and is sure to keep any sock-knitter interested, with techniques from lace and cables to colorwork and stripes.

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Coopey combines colors playfully, bringing unexpected colors together to great effect, no doubt enjoying the newly expanded palette of colors in Socks Yeah! – also freshly stocked here at the shop.

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Come by the shop to page through this fun new book, and pick up a few skeins of Socks Yeah! for your next pair. Also check out Marsha’s upcoming class on “Coraline,” one of the cutest patterns of the bunch! Head to our Classes page to sign up.

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See you at the shop!

New colors in CoopKnits Socks Yeah!

Anne and I recently started a Hillsborough Yarn Shop account on Instagram, which means you have another way to keep up with us online if you like. For us, it means we have a new place to browse pretty pictures and find more yarn to order for the shop. It was on Instagram where we first learned that there were new colors to be had in CoopKnits Socks Yeah! We placed an order right away, and I’m happy to report that those pretty new shades have arrived here at the shop!

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Developed by avid sock-designer Rachel Coopey, CoopKnits Socks Yeah! is a hard-wearing, machine-washable blend of superwash merino wool and nylon, and it’s put up in 50 gram, 231 yard hanks.

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These vibrant new shades are so welcome in the Socks Yeah! palette, which was hungry for higher-contrast combinations. These six shades bring so much to the table: a couple of new dark shades, some bright jewel tones and an unusual pastel.

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This newly updated color palette gives us many more options for Coopey’s “Alfrick” socks, a colorwork pattern with a bit of texture on the foot, designed to make a fraternal pair, rather than identical socks. Here are a few ideas!

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Remember CoopKnits Socks Yeah! when your fingering weight project requires sharp stitch definition and durability. You’ll find it in the Fingering Weight section here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, in a little treasure box bursting with color. See you there!

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Anne’s gifts-in-progress.

“What are you working on?” is knitters’ small talk, a question Anne and I encounter and ask many times a day here at the shop. Today, we’ll pose the question to Anne herself, taking a rare peek in her personal knitting bag.

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Just how much does a large Binkwaffle dumpling bag hold? If you pack as skillfully as Anne, no less than seven works in progress in various stages of completion!

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Anne is a tremendously generous knitter who loves clothing her family in handknits, and she’s also a project manager. That means she’s already planned her holiday gift-knitting for the year, completed the first piece (a twirly skirt for her eldest granddaughter), and started on the next few. The sweater above is for her husband, a “Honeycomb Pullover” in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted.

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These two skeins of Swans Island All American Sport are destined to become colorwork gloves for her husband. The socks below are for her grandsons, in Colinette Jitterbug and Noro Silk Garden Sock. She’ll work on both pairs at once, switching back and forth between the blue and striped socks until they’re completed. Also note how she stores them safely in DP Wip Tubes, so none of those tiny stitches slide off the needles!

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These two skeins of Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK will grow up to be a cuddly “Fancy Hen” for Anne’s youngest granddaughter, who gets lots of handknit hand-me-downs, but still deserves something all her own.

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Quick to knit and easy to wear, hats and cowls are go-to gifts for many knitters, and Anne has one of each in progress. The hat above was knit in the discontinued Shibui Merino Alpaca, and sits nearly finished with just one lingering question: does it need a pom-pom? The cowl below is a bit of a teaser, since all I can say is that the yarn it’s made of is coming to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop later this Fall. More soon!

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(Outside of this particular knitting bag, she also has three sample sweaters going for the shop… more on those another time.)

Are you dreaming of handmade holiday gifts for your friends and family? Follow in Anne’s footsteps and start now, so you’re not limited to late nights, super-bulky yarns and tiny accessories towards the end of the year!

Hello, Pairfect Cotton.

Our latest acquisition here at the shop is one for sock-knitters: meet Schachenmayr Regia Pairfect Cotton.
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Pairfect Cotton is a self-patterning fingering weight blend of 72% cotton, 18% nylon, and 10% polyester. You wont usually find fibers like these on our shelves, but for some sock yarns we make an exception to our all-natural-fibers rule. Small percentages of nylon or polyester are often blended into sock yarns for strength, and in this case, also for elasticity.

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Occasionally we get requests for a non-wool sock yarn, but we’ve rarely found one that seems to have enough elasticity for sock-making. Though we haven’t knit with it yet, we can feel the elasticity of Pairfect Cotton just by tugging on it a bit; it bounces back in a way 100% cotton never could.

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Just like the original woolen version of Pairfect, Pairfect Cotton is designed to make an identical pair of socks, and does so by marking the beginning of the color repeat with a yellow starter thread. Simply cut off the yellow thread at the beginning, cast on and knit a sock, unwind the yarn til you see another stretch of yellow, and repeat.

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Look for Pairfect Cotton and other self-patterning Regia sock yarns here at the shop! See you there.

New Directions in Sock Knitting.

It’s been a while since we had a new book about sock knitting, so we were delighted when this one showed up on our doorstep! Take a virtual peek at Ann Budd’s New Directions in Sock Knitting.

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We’re all familiar with the two most common directions of sock knitting, cuff-down and toe-up. New Directions in Sock Knitting includes interesting patterns from both of those categories, featuring the work of innovative sock-designers like Cat Bordhi, Rachel Coopey, Hunter Hammersen, and others.

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What really sets this book apart, however, is the variety of less-common sock-construction techniques, like General Hogbuffer’s “U-Turn” socks, which are worked partly flat and partly in the round. The self-striping Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball yarn highlights the unusual construction.

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Kate Atherly’s “Mirror Socks” are knit two at a time on one set of double pointed needles, with one sock inside the other. The technique is something like double knitting, where odd-numbered stitches belong to one piece of fabric and even-numbered stitches belong to a second, simultaneously-created piece of fabric. A nifty trick, no?

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There are a variety of other surprising sock techniques represented here, though Budd also covers some helpful basics, like fit, gauge and needle-choice for sock-knitting.

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Look for New Directions in Sock Knitting on the teacart here at the shop, where you’ll find the newest books and magazines for knitters, crocheters, and weavers. See you there!

Hello, Regia sock yarns.

We’re happy to announce that we now carry self-patterning sock yarns from Schachenmayr Regia!

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These colorful skeins are dyed in such a way that the yarn creates a color pattern when you knit it in a small width or circumference, such as a scarf, pair of socks or mitts. No matter what stitch pattern you use, stripes or faux fair-isle colorwork come out as you knit, entertaining you as you knit even the simplest of projects.

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The fiber content is a sturdy blend of 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon, to ensure that garments made in these yarns can hold up to the hard wear that socks typically endure.

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Some of these colorways are from the Design Line by Arne & Carlos, and some are Pairfect. The Pairfect yarns are designed to make an identical pair of socks, and do so by marking the beginning of the color repeat with a yellow starter thread.

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Look for Regia sock yarns in the fingering weight section of the shop!

New colors in Vivacious 4ply.

We received a lovely bundle from Fyberspates last week, bursting with bags of their Vivacious 4ply yarn. Vivacious 4ply is a high twist, superwash merino wool in a fingering weight. Though we just started stocking this yarn in February, a reorder was already necessary, and their newest shades tempted us, too.

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Each 100 gram skein has 399 yards, enough for a pair of socks or mitts, a hat, scarf, or shawlette. Vivacious 4ply is hand-dyed, so each skein is unique, even from the same dye-lot; remember you can alternate skeins to blend hand-dyed yarns in larger projects.

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We were also delighted to see these two new books from Fyberspates. Vivacious Kids is a collection of garments and accessories for children ages 2-10, a range for which it is sometimes surprisingly hard to find knitwear designs. CoopKnits Socks Vol. 2 is a pleasing and diverse collection of sock patterns, from the simple to the ornate.

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Look for Vivacious 4ply in the fingering weight section of the shop!