New year’s eve.

2016 was a big year for us here at the shop, full of exciting new yarns, projects, books, tools, classes, and ideas. We won the title of “Best Yarn Store” in the Triangle, celebrated our tenth year in business, and worked every day toward our goal of bringing the best quality yarns and information to the wonderful community of knitters, crocheters, and weavers that we feel lucky to serve.

On this last day of 2016, I spent the morning at the shop with Anne, helping shoppers find what they need, winding yarn at our lovely new winding station by the window, and sewing sweater pieces together in quiet moments. This is my nearly-completed “Finn Valley,” knit with Fibre Company Arranmore, and you’ll find it hanging on the wall here at the shop just as soon as these seams are sewn and the collar is knit.

At Anne’s suggestion, I enlisted the help of a new tool, Cocoknits Claw Clips, to hold my pieces together as I sewed. Normally I use locking stitch markers for this task, and though I’ve grown used to that and always thought it worked fine, the Claw Clips are much, much better! A pack of these will make all my future seams easier, I’m so glad I gave them a try.

We closed early for the holiday, so I went home to my other workspace to write this new year’s eve blog post.

Much of my writing happens here at my kitchen table, with my trusty laptop, a cup of something, and, often, a Harmony Farm Candle burning. I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to write the blog for the shop, and especially to hear such kind feedback from you readers – thank you so much for spending your time here with me! When this post is written and published, I’ll retire to my current at-home project, “Vanora,” by Michele Wang, knit with Fibre Company Cumbria Fingering.

Cocoknits’ notions are making my knitting life better on this project, too; I’ve arranged Small Colored Stitch Markers throughout my stitch pattern, color-coding the cables, texture, and shaping so I know what I’m supposed to be doing without being glued to the chart.

Thank you all for another great year at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, we so appreciate your support and enthusiasm! We’ve got something really big planned for the new year, and we just can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, I hope you’re finding time for a few stitches this new year’s eve – Happy New Year to you and yours!

New from Cocoknits.

I’m happy to announce that we now have the very latest notions from Cocoknits in stock! Our first shipment of these new items sold out too quickly for an appearance on the blog, but with a fresh batch on our shelves, it’s time to give them a proper introduction.

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Cocoknits is the brainchild of Julie Weisenberger, a knitwear designer and purveyor of high quality tools for knitters. She’s carefully developed notions that are as nice to use as they are to look at.

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These lightweight foam Stitch Stoppers serve multiple purposes. Use them to protect your stitches when you stow your works-in-progress, when you’re trying on a top-down sweater, or to transform any double point or circular needle into a stitch holder. Anne bought a pack last week and attests that they work well and don’t fall off.

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Claw Clips are a new tool for holding pieces together before or during seaming, helping to stabilize without piercing your yarn.

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When we first found Cocoknits at last year’s TNNA, it was the tiniest round markers we coveted most. They were only available in silver, in the assorted markers set, and Anne and I each bought a pack the moment they arrived. They have remained my favorite markers, so I was delighted to learn that Cocoknits had devised a set of small colorful ring markers, which, yes, are now part of my personal collection. Come by the shop to pick up some of your own, for easier stitch-marker-movement on your small needles!

New notions and old favorites from Cocoknits.

Cocoknits notions have been a hit here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We’ve sold out and reordered the Knitter’s Keep and all manner of stitch markers again and again since they first arrived in November. I’m happy to report that once again, we’ve restocked our favorite Cocoknits products, so come by if you’ve been anxious to upgrade your collection of useful and beautiful knitting gadgets.

IMG_1344We have a couple of new Cocoknits products along with the old favorites, and chief among them is this row counter. It’s designed to work with the Knitter’s Keep, a silicone slap bracelet with a magnetic face, keeping your tools close at hand as you knit.

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The Knitter’s Keep kit comes with nickel-plated accessories that attach to the magnet, including stitch markers, cable needles, and darning needles. One of our knitting friends calls it the “KnitBit.”

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Also new-to-the-shop is the revamped Knitter’s Block, a set of square blocking tiles that fit together like puzzle pieces. This set now comes with more tiles and T-pins than before, which is handy for blocking bigger projects, and a new “‘Check’ your Gauge” cloth, woven with 1″ squares for easy measuring as you block.

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Some or all of these gadgets will surely come in handy somewhere along your stitching journey, and their pretty presentation makes them gift-worthy, as well. Look for Cocoknits notions by the front window here at the shop!

Back in stock: Cocoknits notions.

Happy to report that our shelves are once again full of notions from Cocoknits!

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It seems many of you were as smitten with these thoughtful gadgets as we were; the little green table I decorated with Cocoknits goodies back in November was quickly cleared.

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The Knitter’s Keep was the first to sell out, a silicone slap bracelet with a magnetic face, designed to keep your tools close at hand as you knit. It comes with nickel-plated accessories that attach to the magnet, including cable needles, darning needles, and stitch markers. The stitch markers are also sold separately, both locking and round, both silver and assorted colors. They’ve quickly become my favorite markers, and the Cocoknits stitch fixer and yarn snip have found a happy home in my notions case, too, which keeps me company as I work on these socks using CoopKnits Socks Yeah!.

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We also stock the Cocoknits Sweater Care Kit and Knitter’s Block, among many other useful notions from a variety of vendors. A few that recently arrived include Sirka counters, having sold out after a holiday shopping spree, and Bryspun Sock Blockers, in stock at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop for the first time.

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Come by the shop to upgrade your tools and plan your next project!

Hello, Cocoknits notions.

Back in May at TNNA, we ran into Clara Parkes at the Cocoknits booth and fell in love with what we found there. Cocoknits is the brainchild of Julie Weisenberger, a knitwear designer and purveyor of high quality tools for knitters. We’re thrilled to be offering her line of notions, blocking equipment, and her signature Knitter’s Keep.

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The Knitter’s Keep is a silicone slap bracelet with a magnetic face, designed to keep your tools close at hand as you knit. It comes with nickel-plated accessories that attach to the magnet, including stitch markers, cable needles, and darning needles.

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It wasn’t just the Knitter’s Keep that we loved when we saw it at market, but those notions in their perfect simplicity. We ordered yarn snips, stitch fixers, and all manner of stitch markers: the serious silver and the colorful ones, the simple ring markers and the locking ones.

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We also have Cocoknits Sweater Care Kits on our shelves now, which you might have read about recently on Clara Parkes’ blog, Knitters Review. It’s no wonder we saw her in the Cocoknits booth! Just like us, she admired both the practicality and the “charm factor” in the Sweater Care Kit. It includes mesh laundry bags, super-absorbent towels, a mesh pop-up dryer, and a bottle of Eucalan, all packed into a nice jute tote.

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Last, but not least, we now also carry Cocoknits Knitter’s Block, a set of square blocking tiles that fit together like puzzle pieces. The Knitter’s Block also comes packed in its own reusable bag, along with t-pins and a cotton pressing cloth.

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Some or all of these gadgets will surely come in handy somewhere along your stitching journey, and their pretty presentation makes them gift-worthy, as well.

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Come by the shop to see our whole Cocoknits collection, and upgrade your tools when you do!

From Lantern Moon.

Recently, we replenished our supply of yarn-out boxes and other goodies from Lantern Moon, a company that supports artisans in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bali, Indonesia. Their handcrafted tools and accessories are as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional, perfectly suited to knitters and crocheters, who seem to love their tools along with their craft.

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These silken cubes open up to hold your yarn as you work from it, keeping it safe from rolling away or becoming a pet’s plaything while you’re stitching.

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The Lantern Moon sheep stitch markers have been such a hit that this time, we ordered a menagerie of markers: squirrels, butterflies, ladybugs, and scottie dogs, along with the sheep.

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Sheep adorn these embroidered drawstring project bags, as well. Look for them hanging in the front window of the shop.

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You may have seen cable needles and repair hooks from Lantern Moon at the shop before, made of ebony and rosewood. These FeatherLight hooks and needles are made in the same style out of a lighter weight, sustainably-produced wood. Give them a try if your metal or plastic cable needles prove too slippery; wooden tools tend to hold onto stitches more readily.

Come by the shop for tools and accessories as well as for yarn, patterns, and inspiration. See you there!

Goodies.

For whatever reason, we’ve been flush with Lantern Moon shipments recently. Whether it’s a many-pocketed project bag or a splendidly shiny button, Lantern Moon seems to make all of the goodies that knitters and crocheters go for–save for yarn, of course. Our latest box from Lantern Moon brought the usual batch of Meadow Pouches, allowing us to boast all five colors in stock at the same time for the first time. Magenta, purple, blue, green, and orange: pick your favorite or succumb to the urge to collect all five.

On the more elegant side, we also replenished our selection of Lantern Moon knit-out boxes, which keep your yarn from rolling away as you work.

We got a few new goodies, too. These sheep stitch markers were all snatched up within 24 hours of their arrival in the shop! No worries, sheep collectors: we’re reordering soon.

Last but not least, we also got beautiful new circular needle cases, at the suggestion of a friend who brought her Lantern Moon circular case in to show us. Anne and I agreed that it was one of the better circular cases we’d seen and ordered some for the shop that day. Take a look, see what you think.

Alright, that’s enough temptation for one blog post. Over and out.