Back in stock, show and tell: Isager Alpaca 2.

Among all the lovely Isager yarns, Alpaca 2 has been a favorite here at our shop, so we make sure to keep every available color in stock.

Isager Alpaca 2 is a light fingering weight blend of merino wool and alpaca, with 275 yards on each 50 gram skein. Our seasoned “Stole” sample has hung on the wall for years now, yet it regularly catches the eye of knitters seeking a soothing, repetitive project, one that’s easy to execute, but with graceful results.

We’ve seen all manner of “Stole” variations, and whether they’re knit in the pattern’s recommended nine shades or a kaleidoscope of unique combinations, slimmed down into scarves or expanded into blankets, everything seems to work. Unpacking this shipment, I lapsed into a familiar game, picking colors for the “Stole.”

There are many other things to knit with Alpaca 2, of course; here are a couple of ideas from knitters we know, a bit of show and tell.

Here is Carribeth’s “Spectrum,” another soothing knit in stockinette. She paired Alpaca 2 with a matching shade of Alpaca 1 to create the slightly transparent stripes, an elegant effect that photos don’t do justice.

Winnie knit this “Feathers” shawl with Alpaca 2, and has already come back for more of the same to knit another.

This is a lovely example of Alpaca 2 in a lace pattern, a very good match of yarn and pattern, indeed.

Thanks to Carribeth, Winnie, and countless others who start their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – we love to see what you’re working on!

Back in stock: Isager Alpaca 2.

Isager Alpaca 2 is a staple here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Year in, year out, we aim to have every available color on the shelf in the fingering weight section, for there is a steady demand for this fuzzy blend of merino and alpaca. A big box of the stuff arrived yesterday, bringing some bestselling colors back into stock.

Our seasoned “Stole” sample has hung on the wall for years now, yet it regularly catches the eye of knitters seeking a soothing, repetitive project, one that’s easy to execute, but with elegant results.

We’ve seen all manner of Stole variations, and whether they’re knit in the original nine shades or a kaleidoscope of unique combinations, slimmed down into scarves or expanded into blankets, everything seems to work.

I still get a kick out of watching knitters select their colors, moving the skeins this way and that, stepping back and squinting for perspective.

I still get a kick out of playing that color game myself, some afternoons, especially quiet afternoons as I’m unpacking a box of Isager Alpaca 2.

If a ribbed rectangle isn’t your idea of a good time, check out these other colorful fingering weight patterns, where Isager Alpaca 2 would be equally at home:

Look for more ideas on our Fingering weight Pinterest board, and come by the shop to play the color game and plan your next project!

Show and tell: colorwork.

We always love to see what you’re making with HYS yarns, and I love to take photos of your beautiful finished pieces to share here on the blog. Today, I have a bundle of show-and-tell projects with one thing in common: bold color combinations in a variety of multicolor knitting techniques, from stripes to stranded colorwork to mosaic knitting.

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Margaretta finished two striped projects recently, the first of which is this “Yipes Stripes” cowl, which she knit in 5 shades of Plymouth Suri Merino. The variety of colorwork techniques in this piece keep it interesting, so interesting that Margaretta has just selected colors for a second “Yipes Stripes.” I can’t wait to see how it comes out!

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Margaretta’s “Stole,” though simpler to knit, is perhaps the greater achievement. Knit in 9 shades of Isager Alpaca 2, this ribbed rectangular shawl is generous in size and fine in gauge, a combination that requires a great deal of time and patience to knit. I love Margaretta’s color combination, and the careful balance of dark and light shades.

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Debra brought in her “Autumn Tam” in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, which she started in Nancy’s most recent fair isle tam class. She’s since become smitten with the technique, and has already completed a “Horse beanie” and started a colorwork blanket in Fibre Company Acadia. We love to see students leave our classes empowered to start new projects on their own!

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Margie knit this two-color “Art Deco Mosaic Shawl” from a recent issue of Vogue Knitting.

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The pattern showed the shawl knit in high-contrast colors for maximum visibility of the mosaic pattern. Margie had something more subtle in mind, so she selected Isager Alpaca 2 in a dark gold shade and paired it with a variegated brown and gold skein of Malabrigo Mechita. The effect is rich in color and texture, and reminds me of tapestry weaving or wood grain, a unique and beautiful interpretation of the original pattern.

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Some months ago, Rosemary selected two shades of Shibui Pebble for a bit of an experiment. Organizing the Pebble last week, I sat those two shades next to each other and wondered for a moment what she’d been plotting. Not long after that, she walked in holding a delicate striped scarf knit in Pebble, her first try at double knitting.

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Double knitting makes a reversible, two-layer fabric; you may have seen our sample “Mix No. 23” cowl in Shibui Cima hanging here at the shop, or pondered Amy’s class on the subject. (There’s another session coming up in August; sign up now if you’d like to join!) I’m impressed with Rosemary’s self-designed scarf, and I’m sure she’ll love wrapping up in it when cold weather comes again this fall.

Thanks to the many knitters, crocheters, weavers, and other fiber artists who use yarns from our shop in their creations; we love seeing what you make!

 

 

Back in stock: Isager Alpaca 2.

The July sale carved a deep hole in our stash of Isager Alpaca 2, a soft and fuzzy fingering weight blend of alpaca and merino. Knitters and crocheters were planning sweaters, shawls, and stoles left and right, and Anne and I looked on nervously as our supply dwindled.

DSCN3399I breathed a sigh of relief when I unpacked a giant box of the stuff earlier this month; it just feels right when all the available colors of Alpaca 2 are nestled together in their basket.

DSCN3408We’ve seen numerous amazing projects in Alpaca 2 over the years. I’ve shared some here on the blog, colorwork sweaters like Michelle’s “Stasis” and Shelley’s “Summer in Tokyo,” stoles by Catherine, Kathie, Paula, Kristin, and Anne, and most recently, Betty’s lacy “Sonetto Shawl.” Check our “Inspiring Stitches” board on Pinterest for even more ideas. There are so many beautiful uses for this soft, special yarn; have you worked with it yet? If so, what have you made, or what are you itching to make?

The Stole.

For over two years now, Theresa Gaffey’s “Stole” from Wearwithall has been a popular project here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

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The “Stole” is a striped wrap, knit in simple, soothing ribbing with a deliciously soft fingering weight yarn: Isager Alpaca 2.

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Just a reminder–all sales are final on sale items; there can be no exchanges, no returns, nor will we special order. Discount applies only to in-store purchases. Thanks! – See more at: https://www.hillsboroughyarn.com/2014/06/annual-inventory-sale-3/#sthash.dJjgZbBY.dpufThis was the first “Stole” we saw, knit by our friend and avid knitter Catherine (and modeled here by Anne’s mother, Phyllis), and it inspired many other knitters to make stoles of their own, in a wide variety of color combinations. It wasn’t long before Anne started one of her own.Anne had a pile of Isager Alpaca 2 on hand already, originally intended for Marianne Isager’s “Stars” pullover, from Inca Knits. She’d even begun knitting the thing, and made it partway into the first colorwork chart when she stalled. It just wasn’t the right project at the right time, so she was pleased to rip it out and put the yarn to work on Gaffey’s “Stole”: comforting, rhythmic knitting that showed off the yarn and colors to the fullest.

The first “Stole” we saw was this one, knit by friend and avid knitter Catherine (and modeled here by Anne’s mother, Phyllis), and it inspired many other knitters to cast on stoles of their own in a wide variety of color combinations.

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For a while there, Anne and I could not stop playing the color game, moving skeins around into infinite groups of nine, amazed at how pleasing even the most improbable color combinations were.DSCN3223

It wasn’t long before Anne started a “Stole” herself.

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Anne had a pile of Isager Alpaca 2 on hand already, originally intended for Marianne Isager’s “Stars” pullover, from Inca Knits. She’d even begun knitting the thing, and made it partway into the first colorwork chart when she stalled.

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It just wasn’t the right project at the right time, so she was pleased to rip it out and put the yarn to work on Gaffey’s “Stole”: comforting, rhythmic knitting that showed off the yarn and colors to the fullest.

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She worked on it intermittently, picking it up here and there, starting and finishing many other projects while the “Stole” stayed quietly on the needles, growing slowly but surely, a row at a time. Just last week, she finally bound off and blocked her “Stole,” and now it hangs proudly in the shop.

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Rather than work each stripe to a specific measurement or number of rows, Anne knit until each ball of yarn ran out, then began the next color that suited her, using only 8 shades, rather than the suggested 9. It’s easy to adjust the thickness of the stripes or the size of the piece, making it narrower or wider than the pattern dictates. Anne’s “Stole” is decidedly wider, leaning towards blanket-sized, in fact.DSCN3216

Inspired to knit one of your own? July is a good time to do it! Our Annual Inventory Sale gives you a 15% discount on the yarn, book, and needles, everything you need to create a “Stole.” Come in to pick out your colors!

Just a reminder–all sales are final on sale items; there can be no exchanges, no returns, nor will we special order. Discount applies only to in-store purchases. Thanks!

The Stole.

I mentioned a few posts ago that the Stole, with a capital “S,” might be a good way to take advantage of our Annual Inventory Sale. Nine skeins of Isager Alpaca 2 have a way of adding up, and the month-long 15% discount on everything in the shop will help take the edge off. The Stole has become a bit of a hit here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop since we first got the new book Wearwithall. As in, we had to restock nearly every color of Alpaca 2, and we may need to do it again soon. I thought the Stole deserved more than a mention; here is its very own post.

Having seen several beautiful Stoles-in-progress, Anne recently cast on for one of her own, using seven colors of Alpaca 2 whose first life was as a colorwork pullover. After two years on the needles with only a few inches done, Anne decided it was time to rip out the colorwork and give the yarn a second chance as a Stole.

As you can see by all the progress she’s made in only a handful of weeks, she made the right choice. Sometimes it seems painful to rip out a work in progress that you realize you’ll never finish, but this is one of the major joys of knitting: yarn can be reused. Your efforts are not wasted when you rip something out; a pile of ripped-out yarn is a sign that lessons have been learned and a new project can begin.

It’s been such a pleasure to watch knitters break from the colors shown in the pattern to create their own combinations–this one cool in blues and greens, that one warm in neutrals, another autumnal with a pop of chartreuse. The Isager color palette is welcoming in this way, the colors play well together in all kinds of variations.

Come by the shop to quench your thirst for Alpaca 2, and to see Anne’s Stole-in-progress. This is a project that needs to be touched to be understood; photos don’t do it justice. See you at the shop!