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.

New colors in Ewe So Sporty.

I’m happy to report that our supply of Ewe So Sporty has just doubled! Ewe Ewe just came out with 10 new shades of this soft and bouncy superwash merino.


Ewe So Sporty is named for its gauge, a sport weight yarn that knits up between 5.5 and 6.5 stitches per inch, depending upon needle size and desired fabric. It’s ideal for baby and children’s things, especially because it’s easy to care for–machine wash cold, lay flat to dry.


Anne recently knit this “Sleeping Cedars” baby bunting with four skeins of Ewe So Sporty. It doesn’t have its buttons or drawstring yet, but I had to snap a photo, lest it be gifted before I had another chance to document it.


Come by the shop to see all 20 cheery shades of Ewe So Sporty, and remember it whenever your next opportunity for baby knitting should arise!


Hello, Alchemy Sparky and Lust.

For three years now, we’ve visited Alchemy’s booth at TNNA and replenished our Alchemy stash with Silken Straw and Sanctuary. While we certainly bulked up our supply of those two yarns this year, we were also sorely tempted by two of Alchemy’s newest yarns. It’s no surprise we gave into temptation; meet Sparky and Lust.


Silken Straw is a sport-weight silk ribbon like no other, and Sparky is like Silken Straw dressed up for the opera. Both yarns feel crisp on the skein but soften up after stitching and washing; Sparky has a metallic thread wrapped around it, giving it a distinct glittery sparkle.


Lust is a fingering weight blend of merino and silk, a thinner version of Sanctuary. It’s soft and slinky, many-plied for great stitch definition, and felts well in Alchemy’s signature shibori felting designs.


Like all Alchemy yarns, Sparky and Lust play well together. Anne used one skein of each in this “Alchemy Sparky Shawlette,” which you’ll find tucked into the basket that holds Silken Straw and Sparky at the shop.


Since we unpacked our most recent Alchemy order, our favorite pastime is coming up with color combinations between the four Alchemy yarns we now stock. For the “Alchemy Sparky Shawlette,” Anne used Lust in a variegated colorway and picked a solid shade of Sparky to go with it.



For a less overtly striped shawl, you might try a lower-contrast pairing.




Consider also the “Straw Into Gold Shawl,” which is shown knit with Silken Straw, Sparky, and Lust all in one shade, a glorious pale beige called “Sand Dollar.”

We were so taken with this sample when we saw it at market that we ordered all three yarns in exactly this color.



No reason to stop there, however–Alchemy yarns beg to be grouped together in all kinds of color combinations, from muted and monochromatic to bright and surprising.

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Come by the shop to play the Alchemy color game yourself, and plan a project with these unique and inspiring yarns. You’ll find a handful of knit samples in Alchemy yarns here at the shop; look for more pattern ideas on our Pinterest page. We’ve got lots of great uses for Alchemy yarns on our “Inspiring Stitches” board. See you at the shop!

Fibre Company Trunk Show: Summer Sweaters.

We’re so excited to announce that we’ve just received a Trunk Show featuring Fibre Company yarns and patterns. The Summer Sweater collection will be on display here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop until July 20th, and we have all the yarns and patterns to make these garments your own!


The Summer Sweater collection consists of six garments knit in Fibre Company’s most warm-weather-friendly yarns, Savannah and Meadow. Each yarn is composed of both plant and animal fibers, giving the finished fabric a nice blend of elasticity and drape.


Savannah is a sport weight mix of wool, cotton, linen, and soya, and Meadow is a blend of merino, llama, linen, and silk spun into a lace/fingering weight yarn.


We have shawls made in each one of these yarns, but they are just as well suited to sweater-making, and it’s a treat to see that in person. Trunk shows like these are a unique opportunity to touch and try on for size before you cast on for a project.


“Sonora” is my favorite, a simple tee with cap sleeves that I’m sure I’d wear all the time. This collection offers a range of tees and tanks, with different color and texture patterns making each one unique.

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Come by the shop before July 20th to admire the Summer Sweaters Trunk Show, try them on for size, and plan one for yourself!


Back in stock: Kauni Effektgarn.

We like to keep a decent supply of Kauni Effektgarn on hand, a nice selection of colors, from quiet neutrals to bold brights. There are a few particularly popular colorways, however, and one of our first TNNA tasks was to get them back in stock.


Kauni is a sport-weight, self-striping wool, unique even among its fellow self-striping yarns at the shop for its long stretches of color. Anne knit the above “Wingspan” to show off the long repeats in each color, and this short-row-shaped shawlette is a great project for highlighting Kauni. She used just one ball of color EF, which moves through shades of denim blue, mauve, green, and purple.


Rosi and I both worked on the “Kauni Color Wave Shawl” that hangs in the shop, showing another interesting use of the yarn.


Two shades of Kauni, EA and ED, are striped against one another in this garter stitch shawl. I would never have thought to put them together; Kauni can surprise you that way sometimes, entertaining you with its shifting shades as you stitch.


Perhaps the most popular Kauni colorway is EQ, a bright, bold rainbow.


Last Fall, a knitter brought in her “Spectra” scarf made in this signature shade of Kauni, and I photographed it for the blog. I love this clever use for the yarn, the way the colors frame one another in the pattern.


We’re thrilled to have these Kauni colors back in stock! Come by the shop to see them and many more, and to plan your next project. See you there!

Zigzag Cowl Knit-Along.

Last Spring, we had two Knit-Alongs at the shop: first we knit up the summery “Gemini” tee, and then we made “Hexagonal Market Bags.” Halfway through March, sick of freezing rain and snow, we’ve decided we’re ready for another warm-weather Knit-Along. Inspired by the latest new yarn at the shop, Anne, Rosi and I have both cast on for the “1-Skein Zigzag Cowl,” a pattern by Heather Walpole for Ewe Ewe.


I’m knitting one in Ewe So Sporty, the sport weight superwash merino for which the pattern was written. The yarn is tightly-plied and full of elasticity, well-behaved on my Addi Turbo needles and resulting in a pleasing stretchy fabric.


Thinking Spring, Anne chose Tahki Cotton Classic for her Zigzag Cowl, a dk weight mercerized cotton. Like Ewe So Sporty, Cotton Classic has sharp stitch definition, but like all plant fibers, it lacks elasticity, which will make a lightweight, gently draping fabric. Just the thing for decorating and warming your neck on a moderately chilly day.


Rosi’s cowl is made in Mirasol Nuna, a sport weight blend of merino wool, silk, and bamboo. These fibers combine to be quite soft, a little fuzzy, and a little shiny, and make a relaxed, luxurious fabric.


I’m excited to see how these three different yarns behave in the same pattern. Want to make a “1-Skein Zigzag Cowl” of your own? Join us in this informal Knit-Along. The pattern is available at the shop in print or as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale, where we’ll print a copy for you and save a digital copy to your email or Ravelry pattern library. Any sport or dk weight yarn should do; we have a nice selection of colors in Ewe So Sporty, Tahki Cotton Classic, and Mirasol Nuna, along with all manner of other yarns in those gauges. I’d love to see Zigzag Cowls in Malabrigo Arroyo, Fibre Company Savannah, Mountain Meadow Wool Cody, or String Theory Selku, to name a few. Come by the shop to see all the choices, and to see how Anne, Rosi, and I are progressing on our cowls. We’ll also be posting on the Ravelry HYS group with any lessons learned along the way, just as we did while we were making our Gemini sweaters and market bags. See you at the shop!