Cottons, old and new.

Summer begins this week, and summer weather is well underway. Hot days like these find many of us reaching for cool plant fibers, rather than fuzzy wool. With that in mind, we’ve restocked several of our best-selling cotton yarns and added a couple of new ones, too.

Cascade Ultra Pima and Ultra Pima Fine are 100% mercerized cotton in DK and sport weights, respectively. They’re economically priced, shiny and smooth, and come in a rainbow of colors.

We’ve had lots of crocheters and knitters use these yarns for making Knitted Knockers, which we’re still collecting here at the shop so our friend Ana can take them to the UNC Cancer Center. 60 Quick Cotton Knits has many other project ideas, too – scarves, wraps, tops, bags, and more.

Cascade’s Nifty Cotton is new to our shop, an aran weight cotton that can be machine-washed and dried, one without a mercerized lustre. That matte quality makes the yarn “thirstier,” more absorbent, and thus, ideal for making dishcloths.

 

BC Garn Alba is another new addition, a fingering weight organic cotton in a pleasing array of colors. It’s been popular right off the bat because of its appearance in the latest issue of Pom Pom Quarterly; Lia Moya’s “Judoka” bag is knit with this soft, smooth yarn. Interested in making one of your own? Check out Marsha’s upcoming class on the subject!

Come by the shop to take a peek at these and other popular plant fiber yarns, like Shibui Fern, Twig and Reed, Isager Bomulin and Japansk Bomuld, and Berroco Modern Cotton. See you there!

Local Yarn Store Day.

We’re looking forward to the first ever Local Yarn Store Day, this Saturday, April 21st!

LYS Day is about celebrating brick-and-mortar yarn shops and appreciating all that they offer. Here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, we are proud of our selection of high quality yarns, books and tools, our talented teachers, and our customer service. Our mission is and has always been to provide knitters and other fiber artists with quality materials and help connect them with the knowledge they need to make things they’re proud of.

Two of our favorite yarn companies have created special patterns for LYS Day that are only available through local shops. “Ewe So Summer” is knit with Ewe Ewe’s sport weight washable merino, Ewe So Sporty, and features a colorful slip stitch pattern.

Kelbourne Woolens has partnered with designer Laura Nelkin for “Adventura,” a choose-your-own-adventure shawl knit with Andorra, a sport weight blend of merino wool and mohair.

Come by the Hillsborough Yarn Shop this Saturday to pick up one or both of these patterns and a few skeins of yarn to make them – we love nothing more than helping you plan your next project!

Thanks for supporting local yarn shops like ours, we are so grateful for the community that sustains us!

Hello, Shibui Fern.

Shibui’s newest yarn is here! Meet Fern.

Fern is a sport weight organic cotton, with 232 yards on each 50 gram skein.

Unlike Rain, Shibui’s DK weight cotton, Fern is matte rather than lustrous, and brushed for extra softness.

Like all Shibui yarns, Fern is designed to be used on its own or mixed with other yarns for intriguing fiber and color blends. By itself on a US 4, the suggested gauge is 24 stitches over 4 inches; we knit up a little swatch to give a sense of it.

Fern appears in several patterns from the new Shibui Spring/Summer 2018 collection, including “Oasis,” a bias knit scarf with thin stripes and a bit of texture.

This pattern is free when you purchase the yarn here at our shop. Other patterns from the new collection are sold singly; look for them in a binder near a basket of Fern.

Look for Fern in our Sport weight section here at the shop, alongside Shibui Twig. See you there!

New from Shibui.

We just got a huge order from Shibui, full of new yarns, patterns and colors!

Their newest yarn is Fern, a sport weight organic cotton, which comes in a wearable range of neutrals with a few pops of color.

New to us is Reed, a replacement for (and improvement upon) their now-discontinued Linen. Reed is a fingering weight, chain-plied linen, softer and more consistent than the Linen that came before.

Their Spring/Summer 2018 pattern collection is here, too, with the usual simple yet sophisticated fare we’ve come to expect from Shibui.

All that and three gorgeous new colors in nearly every Shibui yarn… It’s just too much for one blog post – stay tuned for a closer look at all of the above, or come by the shop to see it for yourself!

 

Andorra Collection Trunk Show!

We’re delighted to announce that the Kelbourne Woolens Andorra Collection Trunk Show has arrived!

Andorra is the first yarn under the Kelbourne Woolens imprint, a bouncy sport weight blend of merino and highland wool with a dash of mohair. It’s a wooly, lustrous 2-ply with a medium twist, not too tight or loose, and especially after knitting, it looks pleasantly fuzzy.

The Andorra Collection covers so much in just six patterns: rich texture, tidy cables, classic lace, and Bohus-inspired colorwork.

Come by the shop before February 18th to see these garments for yourself, and get 10% off Kelbourne Woolens Andorra!

The Andorra Collection.

This week, we welcomed Kelbourne Woolens’ very first yarn, Andorra. It came with a small pattern collection that hints at the tremendous possibility in these skeins.

Sport weight is one of my favorites, resting between the lighter fingering weight and the heavier DK weight. It seems to strike a balance to me: fine enough to be intricate, heavy enough not to be intimidating.

Knit it at a tighter gauge and you have a fabric that is cohesive enough to be cozy without being heavy.

Knit it more loosely, and you’ll create lightweight, draping fabric perfect for breezy tops or shawls.

The Andorra Collection covers so much in just six patterns: rich texture, tidy cables, classic lace, and Bohus-inspired colorwork. Courtney Kelley’s “Jenny” pullover is what Anne cast on for recently, the start of which we shared in our January newsletter and the last blog post introducing Andorra.

While we don’t have print copies of these patterns yet, they are available on Ravelry and as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales here at the shop.

Look for Andorra itself in our sport weight section. See you there!

Hello, Kelbourne Woolens Andorra.

Meet our first new yarn of the year, Kelbourne Woolens Andorra.

You may recognize the name Kelbourne Woolens – they’re the North American distributors for Fibre Company, and they also design some of the most popular pattern collections for those yarns. Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley are the minds behind Kelbourne Woolens, and while they will continue their good work for Fibre Company, they’ve also cooked up something new to mark the 10th anniversary of their business: their very own line of yarn.

Andorra is the first yarn under their own Kelbourne Woolens imprint, a bouncy sport weight blend of merino and highland wool with a dash of mohair. It’s a wooly, lustrous 2-ply with a medium twist, not too tight or loose, and especially after knitting, it looks pleasantly fuzzy.

Andorra is obedient on the needles, which for me means it doesn’t split, and it has enough elasticity to move smoothly from needle to needle, stitch by stitch. In short, it’s lovely to work with, and while it’s well suited to a variety of projects, it has me thinking, “Sweater!”

Anne got a sweater’s worth of Andorra in advance, for sample knitting, and has started a top-down, Bohus-style pullover from the new Kelbourne Woolens collection. More on that soon – til then, here’s a preview, Anne’s first few rows.

Look for Andorra in the sport weight section here at the shop!

Hello, Shibui Birch.

Our newest fall yarn is here! Meet Shibui Birch.

Birch is a single ply 100% extrafine merino wool yarn, soft as cashmere, dyed in 14 of Shibui’s signature colorways.

Each 50 gram skein boasts 262 yards, an especially large number for a sport weight. With a suggested gauge of 26-28 stitches over 4 inches, Birch is on the lighter end of sport weight, and would probably work well in many patterns calling for fingering weight yarns, too.

Anne has just cast on with Birch, and spends her quiet moments at the shop knitting “Icon,” a stockinette wrap decorated with short-row colorblocks. She’s using the colors Mineral, Velvet, and Ivory, a high contrast combination for a striking geometric motif.

I had “Icon” in mind as I unpacked Birch upon its arrival, arranging the colors this way and that, seeking pleasing trios.

The pattern for “Icon” is free when you purchase Shibui Birch from our shop for the project, but it’s not the only design Shibui’s Shellie Anderson has dreamt up for this new yarn. Come by the shop to see the whole Fall/Winter 2017 pattern collection, and expect a preview here on the blog this coming week!

See you at the 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!

Crete.

Anne recently completed her “Crete,” a beautiful warm-weather accessory you’ll find hanging on our wall here at the shop.

“Crete” is worked with two yarns: Shibui Twig, a sport weight blend of linen, recycled silk, and wool, and the brand new Shibui Lunar, a lace weight blend of merino and silk.

This stockinette bias scarf begins and ends with Twig, and uses Lunar and Twig together during the body of the piece for a bit of transparency on either end. It’s this kind of simple-yet-clever detail that we’ve come to expect from Shibui, along with elegance.

Before blocking, however, the fabric is far from elegant; stockinette naturally wants to curl, and it needs a good blocking to become the smooth, gently draping fabric shown in the pattern photo.

Don’t be disappointed when your “Crete” comes off the needles looking like this, just give it a nice bath with some room-temperature water and Eucalan, then put your blocking wires to work. That’s what Anne did, with wondrous results.

Choose matching shades of Twig and Lunar for a subtle, sophisticated fabric.

Or, chose similar, low-contrast color combinations for a different effect – a subtly marled fabric with solid-yet-sheer ends.

This pattern is the subject of Shibui’s current knit-along, and is free when you purchase Shibui yarns for the project. We’re also offering a class on “Crete,” for new knitters who want help learning to increase, decrease, work with two strands of yarn together, and practice pattern reading. Head to our Classes page to read more about it and sign up, if you like!