Hello, Sincere Sheep.

This past Wednesday, a box arrived at the shop that we’ve been eagerly anticipating since June. We’re proud to announce that we now carry three yarns from Sincere Sheep. Based in Northern California, Sincere Sheep produces naturally dyed yarns from U.S. sourced fibers. We met Brooke at TNNA in June and were blown away by the vivid colors she achieves with natural dyes.

I was the lucky knitter who got to play with a skein of Sincere Sheep Equity Sport while we deliberated at market. The Equity Sport is 100% Rambouillet wool, grown and spun in Buffalo, WY. I read up on Rambouillet wool in Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Book of Wool, a favorite resource, and learned that Rambouillet is a breed of sheep, a relative of Merino known for its soft, springy fiber.

Where Merino stretches and drapes, Rambouillet has a surprising sturdiness, given its softness. I used the Equity Sport to knit a sample fingerless mitt for the shop, a garment it’s well suited to. I also think it would make lovely hats and sweaters.

When we saw that there was an Equity Fingering as well, we had to get both. I think it would be perfect for colorwork projects, or on a bigger needle for draping shawls and cowls.

On the last day of market, we came back to Sincere Sheep to order a third yarn: Luminous, a dk weight blend of Tussah Silk and Polwarth wool. Polwarth is another finewool, like Merino and Rambouillet, but one with a slight sheen and greater strength from longer fibers. Luminous comes in big, 330 yard skeins, enough to do a generous scarf, cowl, or small shawl. We got two patterns from designer Kira Dulaney that call for dk weight yarn with single skeins of Luminous in mind.

Come by the shop to see these gorgeous yarns from Sincere Sheep!

KnitScene.

The Fall issue of KnitScene is here, with more fodder for our cold-weather daydreams.

This issue offers sweaters, shawls, and accessories, one of which stood out to me in particular. These cabled fingerless mitts are made out of Zitron Kimono, a sport-weight blend of merino wool and silk that we happen to stock at the shop.

Come by the shop to snag this latest issue of KnitScene, and at 15% off during July, no less. See you soon!

Hello, Firefly.

A new yarn from Classic Elite has just landed at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Say hello to Firefly.

Firefly is a sport-weight yarn with a bit of a sheen to it, composed of 75% rayon and 25% linen. It has arrived just in time for spring and summer knitting and crochet, and looks to be a good choice for lightweight scarves, shawls, and garments where drape is key.

A new pattern booklet from Classic Elite, Peabody Path, features Firefly, and is a good starting place for those seeking a use for this yarn.

Find the yarn and its booklet on the teacart, and look for Firefly in action on Anne’s needles; she couldn’t wait to start swatching as soon as this yarn came in!

60 More Quick Baby Knits.

60 More Quick Baby Knits is the latest collection of patterns for the popular Cascade yarns, focusing this time on Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, a lightweight washable merino wool.  

60 More Quick Baby Knits is well described by its simple title; inside, you’ll find everything baby: sweaters, booties, onesies, hats, blankets, sleep sacks, and more. There’s a nice variety of patterns, as you might expect in a group as big as 60, from simple texture patterns to cables, lace, and colorwork. Something for every knitter with a baby project in mind.

Find it on the shelf with all our baby books. See you at the shop!

Vogue Knitting.

Another Spring knitting magazine has found us.

The Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Vogue Knitting is brimming with shawls and shells, tunics and tees. This one is made with Debbie Bliss Eco Baby yarn, a sport-weight organic cotton, and I think it makes good use of the available colors, which play so well together.

Find the magazine on the teacart and the yarn on the shelf. See you at the shop!

Hello, Plant Fiber.

Last week, we welcomed a brand new Isager yarn to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Say hello to Isager Plant Fiber.

Plant Fiber is composed entirely of plant fibers, as you might have guessed: 70% ramie, 15% bamboo, and 15% hemp. It comes in 165-yard, 50 gram balls, has a nice shiny quality, and is available in 12 colors. As is typical for Isager yarns, the color palette is quite subdued, with a few standout colorways that pop out when combined with the others. These colors beg to be paired up.

We haven’t yet worked up a Plant Fiber swatch or sample, but I’ll be sure to post here when we do. I’m so curious to see how it knits up! Marianne Isager has designed two summer tops that use Plant Fiber, the patterns for which are tucked in with the yarn on the teacart.

Take a look, and consider Isager Plant Fiber for your warm-weather knitting projects.

More works in progress.

About a month ago, I posted pictures of two of the works in progress that hang around the shop. Anne and I always have at least two samples for the shop on the needles–one on her needles and one on mine. Because the urge to talk about what we make and what we see others making is strong, we find ourselves talking about these projects at many points throughout the day. When the process is enjoyable, we’ll tell anyone who will listen about how soft the yarn is, how incredible the color. Since I last brought this conversation to the blog, two new works in progress have sprung up.

I’m working on a simple drop stitch scarf with the new Malabrigo Arroyo. This pattern is a particularly good choice for variegated yarns like this, as the elongated stitches highlight a stretch of color in the yarn that would otherwise be distributed differently along the row. We’re used to variegated yarns striping and pooling in stockinette and other texture patterns, but the drop stitch scarf pools differently, purposefully. 
Within three rows, I had the pattern memorized, and since then, it feels like it’s been knitting itself. 
Anne is also working on a scarf, but hers is made from the Swans Island Organic Merino in the fingering weight. The pattern came from our perpetual calendar, 365 Knitting Stitches a Year, a nice resource to turn to when you intend to make a scarf and don’t intend to use a pattern. Flip through the calendar, pick an attractive stitch pattern, cast on an appropriate number of stitches for said pattern, and go until you run out of yarn. A formula for scarf success.
This one will look particularly lovely when it’s blocked, I imagine. I can’t wait to see it. In the meantime, come by the shop to see these two very special yarns in action, and listen to us go on about them. See you soon!

Hello, String Theory Selku.

On Tuesday, we got a box from String Theory, which is always cause for excitement. This box in particular was full of Selku, a 3-ply sport-weight blend of silk and merino wool. Selku is a yarn that I’ve written about before, which we’ve only stocked in a small handful of colors up until this week. This shipment brought five new colors of Selku, rounding out our collection in a truly lovely way.

Though I haven’t had a chance to work with Selku yet, I have stalked it enough on Ravelry to know that it’s a perfect choice for a special scarf or shawl. The weight and shine of the silk paired with the elasticity of merino should make for beautiful stitch definition and an elegant drape. Anne wants to use Selku to make the cover sweater from Connie Chang Chinchio’s Textured Stitches. Yes, our minds are buzzing, but we’ve yet to cast on. What would you make from this stunning stuff?

Come by the shop to ooh and ahh, to pet the yarn and consider the possibilities. See you soon!

Hello, Malabrigo Arroyo.

I’ve written before about the popularity of Malabrigo yarns. Known for their softness and many other fine qualities, Malabrigo yarns are always welcomed with great excitement. This week, in the midst of the busiest shopping days we’ve seen all year, we were treated to something really special: the arrival of a new Malabrigo yarn.

Arroyo, a sport-weight washable merino, has been on order for the better part of the past year, so Anne and I were nothing short of thrilled to finally see it in person. We weren’t alone in our excitement, either. There are those among us who memorize Malabrigo colorways, can identify Archangel, Arco Iris, or Indiecita from only a cursory glance. Arroyo comes in those memorable colors and 17 others, many of which have never before been seen at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Here are a few of them, ready to be newly memorized.

Immediately, of course, I began thinking of socks. Could I make socks with Arroyo, and could I do it in one 335 yard skein alone? What size needle would make a strong enough fabric for socks, and what stitch pattern would ensure that it remained stretchy? You won’t be surprised to know that I took a skein home on Saturday afternoon, the better to answer such questions in the future. All projects have been set aside in order to experiment with Arroyo. I’ll be sure to let you know what I come up with. Happy holidays, everyone, I’ll see you at the shop!

String Theory. Again.

Anne and I were so completely sold on String Theory that it was less than a week between our first and second orders. Their Caper Sock, Bluestocking, and Merino DK yarns have been capturing the attention of many since they arrived at the shop two weeks ago. During those two weeks, however, Anne became fixated on another String Theory yarn: Selku, a 3-ply sport-weight blend of silk and merino wool. Though it’s not technically available for wholesale, we found ourselves making repeat visits to the String Theory website to pick out colors for a yarn that we weren’t even sure we could stock. Soon, Anne gave them a call and asked “pretty please,” which is, in short, how we wound up with a box full of Selku on Friday.

Like Jitterbug, the Selku came to us in open, untwisted hanks.

Anne and I twisted them up, tucked them into a basket, and made room for them on the teacart, where you’ll find them now.

The teacart has become, for the moment, a small fiber shrine to Maine, with two yarns each from Swans Island and String Theory, and a few copies of Coastal Knits placed strategically nearby. Come by to worship at said shrine, pet these and other new yarns, and daydream about your next project. See you at the shop.