Hello, Scrumptious 4ply/Sport.

In a blog post a couple of weeks ago, I teased that our big box from Fyberspates held a new yarn we’d never carried before, along with refills on the Fyberspates yarns you’re used to seeing on our shelves. Just what was that new yarn, anyway? Meet Fyberspates 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.


Anne picked this exquisite color palette, cool pastels and neutrals with dark accents in charcoal and deep cobalt. I think this yarn would make a truly dazzling “Vitamin D,” a drape-front cardigan by Heidi Kirrmaier. Look for more pattern ideas on our Fingering and Sport weight Pinterest boards, or come by the shop to peruse the Scrumptious pattern booklets Jeni Hewlett left with us after her visit to our shop last week.


Come and see us for summer knitting inspiration, and consider Scrumptious 4ply/Sport for your next project!

Going-to-Market Sale spotlight: Fibre Company Savannah.

From May 10th – June 5th, we have Fibre Company Savannah, Colinette and Schulana yarns discounted during our Going-to-Market Sale: single skeins are 30% off, or 40% off when you buy 10 or more! Throughout the sale, I’ll be highlighting some of these yarns and giving ideas for what to make with them. Today: spotlight on Fibre Company Savannah.


Savannah is a sport weight mix of wool, cotton, linen, and soy, a nice combination of elastic animal fiber and cool plant fiber. Each of those fibers takes the dye differently, giving this yarn a rustic heathered look.


There are loads of lovely patterns out there calling for Savannah, from baby things to hats, shawls, and cowls. “Sweet Bunting” is a yoked baby sweater; “Norie” is a textured lace hat, and “Schieffelin Point,” “Currituck Shawl” and “Wicker Cowl” are all free accessory patterns from Kelbourne Woolens, distributors of Fibre Company yarns. Look for more on our “Sport weight” board on Pinterest!


Fibre Company Savannah is a favorite of ours, and we were sad to learn that it’s no longer manufactured. The Fibre Company folks are busy finding a new mill to spin Savannah, and hope to reconfigure and reintroduce this yarn one day. Til then, come and get what’s left of our Savannah stash at 30% off, or 40% off when you buy 10 skeins or more!


A reminder: all sales are final on discounted yarn. There can be no returns or exchanges, nor special orders–the discount applies only to what we currently have in stock. Thanks! 

Swans Island Trunk Show.

Our next trunk show of the season has arrived, featuring garments from Swans Island! We’re offering a 10% discount on all in-stock Swans Island yarn during the show, so come by soon to see it for yourself.


We’ve got six garments here on display until November 1st, five sweaters and a hat and mitt set. All of them are knit in Swans Island’s newest yarn, All American Sport, a delightfully springy 100% Rambouillet wool that’s hand-dyed in a wide range of colors.


These are just a few of the patterns from Swans Island’s All American Sport Collection, which features many different applications of two-color knitting. I’ve got Isabell Kraemer’s “Kaarina Pullover” on my needles now, and can hardly wait to wear it. Be sure to peruse our complete selection of patterns for All American Sport while you’re here admiring the trunk show!DSCN5164

Come in to see and touch garments made in this yarn for a good sense of how it works up, and enjoy a 10% discount on all in-stock Swans Island yarn during the show!


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

Knitted Knockers.

A knitter friend of ours came in some months ago seeking Cascade Ultra Pima for a special project. We’re nosy, so we asked, “What are you planning to make?” Her answer surprised us: Knitted Knockers. She went on to explain that Knitted Knockers are soft, comfortable, knit prosthetics for breast cancer survivors, and our surprise turned to delight. What a good, kind use of one’s knitting time.


Ana has since been making bunches of them, and enlisting her knitter friends to do the same. She’s offered to be a liaison between our shop and the UNC Cancer Center, delivering Knitted Knockers collected here at the shop before October 25th.


Here are the first of our collection, knit by Marian in Cascade Ultra Pima. There are a variety of free patterns available on the Knitted Knockers website, so whether you prefer to knit in the round on double points or use magic loop, knit flat and seam, or crochet, there’s a Knitted Knockers pattern for you.


The knit patterns call for Cascade Ultra Pima, a dk weight 100% cotton that comes in a wide range of colors.

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Because crochet is inherently thicker than knitting, the crochet pattern calls for Cascade Ultra Pima Fine, a sport weight version of the same soft, smooth cotton.


Come by to pick out some Cascade Ultra Pima or Ultra Pima Fine to make a pair of Knitted Knockers yourself, and bring the completed pair to the shop by October 25th, 2015. See you there!

Swans Island All American Sport: patterns.

Swans Island has developed an outstanding yarn in All American Sport, and with it, an exciting collection of patterns.


I’m so excited to see all this colorwork! From pullovers and cardigans to hats, mitts, and cowls, you’ll find many different applications of two-color knitting in this collection, many of which are suitable for first-time colorwork knitters.



I had the opportunity to knit one of these patterns a few months ago, as Swans Island sent us a pair of sample skeins before the yarn was officially released. Here’s my “Paige Mitt,” a sample you’ll find on display here at the shop. I’m so pleased with how it came out, and loved the feel of the yarn in my hands along the way. All American Sport has lots of elasticity, one of my favorite qualities in a yarn.


The colors in my sample are somewhat low-contrast, and though that’s something we often talk about avoiding when it comes to colorwork patterns, I like the effect.


Selecting colors for colorwork projects can be intimidating. My strategy is to first identify the relationship between the colors used by the designer. How many light colors, how many medium, and how many dark? What color families do they belong to, where are they used, and how much contrast is there between them? From there, it’s easier to plug in other colors, so long as they relate to one another in a similar way. Since the “Paige Mitts” are shown in a low-contrast color combination, I came up with a few other such combinations, playing with the yarn as I unpacked it.

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The “Vivian Mitts,” on the other hand, are shown in a high-contrast color pair, edged with a third bright color.


Here are a few possible colorways for the “Vivian Mitts” using that same color relationship.

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These couple of colorways are just the beginning; with 36 colors and a binder full of patterns to choose from, there’s no limit to what’s possible.


Come by the shop to peruse the All American Sport pattern collection and play the color game as you plan your next project!

Hello, Swans Island All American Sport.

The newest yarn from Swans Island has arrived at the shop! Meet All American Sport.


All American Sport is a 2-ply woolen-spun yarn composed of 100% Rambouillet wool, a little cousin of sorts to Swans Island All American Worsted. There are 185 yards on each 40 gram skein, every bit of which was grown, processed, spun, and dyed in the USA. This yarn is a unique combination of next-to-skin soft and holds-its-shape sturdy, and was created with stranded colorwork in mind. That’s why it comes in this huge selection of colors.


For a newly released yarn from a small, thoughtful company, this is one outrageous color palette! There’s something for everyone and every project here, whether you favor brights, neutrals, pastels, or jewel tones.





“Woolen-spun” means that the yarn is spun from fiber that has been carded, but not combed. The carding process organizes the fibers to some degree, but they are not as smoothly aligned as combed fibers, giving woolen-spun yarns a rustic look.


Woolen-spun yarns like All American Sport are also quite lofty, making them versatile in terms of gauge. Swans Island suggests a gauge of 6 stitches per inch, but All American Sport is happy at a range of gauges. After washing, the fibers bloom to fill whatever space your needles have given them. The swatch above illustrates this, as I knit it using needles from US #3 – 6.


Does it come as any surprise that I am utterly enamored of this yarn? I took so many pictures of it that there just isn’t room in one blog post, so you can look forward to a second installment soon, covering the glorious pattern collection that accompanies this special yarn. In the meantime, come by the shop to ooh and ahh over Swans Island All American Sport!

Hello, Cascade Ultra Pima Fine.

A new yarn has arrived at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop just in time for warm weather knitting and crochet! Meet Cascade Ultra Pima Fine.


We’ve kept Cascade Ultra Pima in stock for a few years now, a lustrous, machine-washable, mercerized cotton in a wide range of saturated colors. Ultra Pima is DK weight, and fittingly, Ultra Pima Fine is a lighter weight version of the same good stuff.


Each 50 gram skein of Ultra Pima Fine is about 136 yards long, and knits up at about 6 or 6.5 stitches per inch on a US #3 or #4 needle. Anne has been knitting a washcloth with Ultra Pima Fine as a shop sample, and reports that it’s well-behaved on the needles, not splitting as some cotton yarns do.


Washcloths aren’t all it’s good for, of course; easy-care cotton is a great fiber for knitting or crocheting baby and children’s things, warm weather garments for all ages, and market bags, to name a few. If you’re searching for Ultra Pima Fine patterns, start at the Cascade website, and from there, search Ravelry for sport weight patterns.


Look for Cascade Ultra Pima Fine in the sport weight section here at the shop!

New colors in Zauberball Starke 6.

We recently replenished our supply of Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Starke 6, a sport weight, self-striping yarn.


Zauberball Starke 6 slowly changes from one color to the next several yards at a time, so that whatever you’re knitting or crocheting with it comes out striped. Additionally, it’s 2-ply, where both plies are not always the same shade, giving the yarn and finished product a marled look.


Thinking Spring, Anne and I chose several colorways with grassy greens, bright shades for lively stitching.


When you’re choosing projects for Zauberball Starke 6, look for patterns with interesting construction but relatively simple stitch patterns, as the stripes and marled colors will likely outshine any complex lace or texture pattern. Paging through Ravelry, lots of knitters have used Zauberball Starke 6 to make “Wingspan,” “Hitchhiker,” “TGV (High Speed Knitting),” and “Wurm.”


Here at the shop, we have a “Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf” on display knit in Zauberball Starke 6; this self-striping yarn highlights the short-row triangles. Composed of 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon, Zauberball Starke 6 is great for socks or legwarmers, too! Look for more pattern ideas on the “Sport weight” board on the HYS Pinterest page.


Come by the shop to pick up a skein or two of Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Starke 6! See you there.

Hello, Shibui Twig.

We’re thrilled to announce the arrival of Shibui’s newest yarn: meet Twig.


Twig is a slightly textured blend of 46% linen, 42% recycled silk, and 12% wool.


Each 50 gram skein has 190 yards, and it knits up at a sport or dk weight gauge into an open, draping fabric.


Shibui yarns are dyed in matching colorways across the line, designed to be knit on their own or held together to make bespoke yarn blends. Twig is no exception; I expect this yarn will play quite well with the others.


Like Shibui Linen, Twig has a crisp feel and a plant fiber’s tendency to stretch rather than cling, qualities that make it ideal for warm weather garments and accessories. If you like a little more elasticity, consider holding Twig together with Cima or Pebble.


The design team at Shibui has included Twig in its Spring/Summer 2015 collection, featuring the kind of loose-fitting, modern garments that Twig is best suited to.



Some patterns are for Twig alone, others pair it with different Shibui yarns, or offer several combinations to choose from.


That, after all, is what drives the Shibui mix concept: by combining more than one yarn and/or color, you can create exactly the fiber, texture, or color blend you’d like. As long as you’re getting the gauge the pattern calls for, you can mix and substitute yarns to your heart’s content.


Come by the shop to see Twig for yourself, peruse the Shibui Spring/Summer 2015 pattern collection, and plan a Shibui project!


Ewe Ewe Trunk Show!

Snowy weather delayed our Ewe Ewe Trunk Show a bit, but now it’s here!


We have a variety of garments on display knit in Ewe Ewe’s superwash merino yarns, Ewe So Sporty and Wooly Worsted.


From small projects, like socks, mitts and cowls, all the way up to baby blankets, shawls, and sweaters, the range of garments here reflects the multiplicity of uses for these soft, easy-care yarns.


Come by the shop this weekend to see the Ewe Ewe Trunk Show! We’ll have it on display until Tuesday, March 3rd.