Knitscene.

The Fall 2018 issue of Knitscene arrived this week!

As the days get hotter, I start to fantasize about cooler days, though they’re months away. Magazines like this, full of woolen sweaters, can be a nice retreat from the heat of summer if it doesn’t happen to be your favorite season.

I spotted some of our favorite yarns in this issue; along with the cover sweater in Swans Island All American Worsted, there’s also a cabled cardigan in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and a pullover in Fibre Company Cumbria Worsted.

Look for Knitscene on the teacart, where the latest books and magazines are stacked high, ready to inspire your next projects. See you at the shop!

Laine Magazine, No. 4.

Today we welcomed another beautiful new issue of Laine Magazine.

Laine Magazine is a relatively new publication out of Finland, a knitting and lifestyle magazine with a love of natural fibers and handicraft as its focus.

This issue is only the fourth, but already, it’s developed quite a following, such that we had a waitlist full of knitters to contact as soon as this issue arrived. By the end of the day, Anne was on the phone ordering another batch – our supply was already half gone!

Inside Laine, you’ll find a mix of knitting patterns, articles, recipes, profiles on Jared Flood and other fiber artists, and a travel guide to Paris.

Sarah Pope’s “Kennings Yoke” caught our eye as soon as the first previews of this issue came out earlier in the month. Knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, this sweater is decorated with texture at the yoke and at the bottom hem, an intriguing detail.

The hat on the cover of this issue is knit with Brooklyn Tweed, too – Quarry, for a quick and cozy knit. I spotted another familiar yarn among this group, too – Emily Greene’s “Rift” cowl is knit with Swans Island All American Worsted, a personal favorite of mine.

Come by the shop to page through Laine and our other books and magazines. We hope you find inspiration here!

Show and tell: sweaters.

We have had so much amazing show-and-tell around the shop over the past couple of months! As ever, I take photos of these amazing pieces when I’m able, collecting them to share here on the blog. My collection long ago outgrew a single blog post, so I’ve divvied them up into categories for a series of posts. Let’s start big, with sweaters.

Above is Ginny’s “Rowe,” knit with Swans Island All American Worsted. Everything about it is expertly, thoughtfully executed, from the complex cables to the seams and other finishing. Bravo, Ginny!

Anne recently finished her two-tone “Featherweight,” knit with Fibre Company Meadow. Though it’s pictured hanging on the wall, this is a sweater she actually wears rather than a shop sample, a welcome departure for such an industrious, generous knitter. Come by the shop and you may just see her in it!

From lace weight to bulky weight, Fibre Company yarns make lovely sweaters. Above is Eileen’s “St. Brendan,” knit with Arranmore during Amy’s class here at the shop. I love her neutral color palette.

A little more colorwork – here’s Debbie’s “Ready for Fall,” knit with Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK. This is a favorite yarn of mine, and I’m always excited to see what folks at the shop make with it. Debbie has come to love Dovestone DK, too, and in fact came back for more to knit a poncho!

Here’s another sweater in Dovestone DK, April’s “Roan.” With its bright colors, large motifs, and dramatic swingy shape, this is one tremendously impressive sweater. Well done, April!

Thanks to the sweater-makers who’ve shared their work here today! We are so inspired by all the stitching that goes on in and around the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and can’t wait to see what you come up with next. See you at the shop!

Show and tell: sweaters.

“What are you thinking about making?” If you’ve visited our shop, you’ve likely been asked this question by myself, Anne, Rosi, or whoever else may be helping out that day. We ask this not just to help connect you with the right yarn, pattern, or tools, but also because we’re genuinely interested. We love hearing your ideas and helping realize them, and even more, we love seeing them realized in a finished product. When I’m able, I photograph these finished projects and share them here on the blog. Here are some of the sweaters our community of knitters have recently completed!

Here Tom models his “Basic Men’s Pullover,” his first-ever sweater for himself. With guidance from Marsha’s Start Your First Sweater class here at the shop, Tom made this perfectly-fitting sweater using Swans Island All American Worsted. This kind of sweater success can only mean more sweaters – I can’t wait to see what Tom knits next!

Katherine has been knitting Kate Davies’ “Owlet” sweaters for each of her children. She brought the latest in some weeks ago for button selection, and I couldn’t resist snapping a picture, even though it’s not technically finished. This one was knit with Malabrigo Rios held doubled for a bulky gauge and the bonus feature of not having to alternate skeins.

Here’s another little sweater, a top-down cabled baby cardigan that you may have seen on display here at the shop. Robin knit it with Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in preparation for her upcoming class on the subject – a good opportunity to get an introduction to top-down sweater-knitting on a small scale. Read more about the class on our Classes page, where you can sign up, too!

Sue is passionate about sweater-making, as we’ve seen on previous show-and-tell posts, so you might not be surprised to learn that she’s visited us with no less than four finished sweaters in the past couple of months. She made the sweater above with Mirasol Hacho out of our sale trunk, then embellished it with bits and pieces from her stash. The pattern is from Anna Zillboorg’s inspiring Splendid Apparel, a book of embroidered knits.

Sue is also interested in variations, and how a single pattern may differ from garment to garment by changing the fiber or color. Above is Sue’s “Equinox,” knit with Shibui Linen. Below is “Equinox” again, this time with Shibui Twig.

This last one is a bit of a mystery, a textured short-sleeved cardigan Sue knit with a now-discontinued yarn called Rock Cotton from our shop’s early days. She wasn’t sure the source of the pattern, and though I’ve scoured Ravelry, I haven’t turned it up – still and all, it’s a great-looking knit that Sue loves to wear, and that is exactly what we hope for all sweater-knitters!

Thanks to all who begin their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! Keep an eye out for more show and tell here on the blog in the coming weeks.

By Hand.

A new publication has found a home here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – we’re proud to stock By Hand.

By Hand is a series of lookbooks, a magazine of sorts, where each issue focuses on a place or region. The subject matter is the makers of that community, the designers, hand-dyers, yarn and fabric companies, and fiber artists that both shape and draw inspiration from the place they call home.

The first two volumes are now on our shelves, featuring Portland, OR and Portland, ME, respectively. They are filled with lush photos, interviews and articles, projects and patterns, and a recipe or two.

Portland, Oregon, is home to Shibui and Brooklyn Tweed, two yarn companies whose work we admire so much, and whose yarns we are proud to keep on our shelves here at the shop.

Portland, Maine, and the rest of the mid-coast region is home to Swans Island, Clara Parkes, designers Bristol Ivy and Hannah Fettig, and the Saco River Dyehouse, where Brooklyn Tweed Arbor is dyed.

We were so inspired by these maker profiles, and hope you are, too – the people behind the products and projects we love are special, indeed.

Look for By Hand on the teacart here at the shop, where the latest books and magazines live!

Show and tell: all kinds.

 

It’s time for more show and tell! Here are some finished pieces that began their lives as HYS yarns.

Not long ago, April came in wearing her “Guriddo Stole,” a lace and garter stitch wrap that she knit in the delightful Shibui Staccato, a fingering weight blend of superwash merino and silk. This wasn’t a planned visit, rather, April found herself near the shop wearing a wrap she’d recently completed and decided to drop in and share it with us. It makes me so happy to see knitters wearing their work! Thanks for stopping by, April!

 

On the right is a commercially-made hat Mary’s daughter wore and loved. Mary saw the seam in the back and rightly thought, “I can do better than that!” The blue hat on the left is her handknit interpretation, based on Emily Ingrid’s free “Copy.Cat C.C Beanie” pattern, using one skein of Ewe Ewe Baa Baa Bulky, a smooth and springy superwash merino.

Above is Judie’s “Dovetail Wrap,” a free pattern from Purl Soho. I could have sworn I took another photo that showed the whole piece, but all I can find is this close-up shot; I must have been drawn to the glorious, colorful Malabrigo Mecha yarn Judie used. This simple garter stitch shawl pattern is a great one for showing off variegated yarn.

Here’s my “Finn Valley,” knit with Fibre Company Arranmore. It knit up pretty quickly in this soft bulky weight tweed, an interesting but manageable project made even more satisfying with the help of clever Cocoknits tools.

You’ll find it hanging on the wall here at the shop; come by to try it on and get a tangible feel for a garment knit in Arranmore – lighter weight than you might expect!

Margaretta knit this exquisite pair of “Terpander” socks with String Theory Bluestocking. A semi-solid hand-dyed yarn like this is great for showing off cables and texture with just a touch of added interest. Bravo, Margaretta!

Karin first decided to tackle the double-knit “Mix No. 23” cowl because it seemed a good use of some yarns from her stash – Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering and Araucania Ranco. She stuck with it because she loves a challenge, and finds satisfaction in mastering new knitting techniques, no matter how much swatching or ripping back it entails. I’d only seen this cowl knit in solid colors, but her hand-dyed version is absolutely stunning.

Intrigued by double-knitting, and interested in knitting a “Mix No. 23” of your own? Sign up for Amy’s upcoming class on the subject!

Many thanks to the knitters and other fiber artists who share their work with us. We are so inspired by your ideas and expertise, and we learn from you each day. See you at the shop!

Snow day show and tell.

The shop was closed today for inclement weather, and as the snow quietly fell this morning, Anne texted me some knitterly show-and-tell from her friend Sherri. A snow day is a good one for show-and-tell; let’s take a peek at some of the recently-completed projects that started their lives as yarns here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

Above, Sherri’s daughter in law models the Churchmouse “Easy Folded Poncho” Sherri knit for her with Shibui Dune, a soft and lustrous blend of alpaca, camel, and silk.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a bundle of colorwork projects here on the blog, only to have Judie walk through our door the next day wearing this beautiful sweater. Consider this an addendum! The pattern is Courtney Kelley’s “St. Brendan,” and the yarn is the rustic yet luxurious Fibre Company Arranmore. Judie changed the color palette just slightly from the pattern photo, switching the ribbing color from dark gray to a warm camel – a small adjustment that makes a big difference and looks great.

Above is the first of Margaretta’s “January Mitts,” knit with Fibre Company Cumbria Fingering. I have a special fondness for this yarn, as I’ve shared before, and it’s especially nice to see its sharp stitch definition in this lace and bobble pattern.

Speaking of Fibre Company yarns and of sharp stitch definition, here’s Leah’s exquisitely textured “Arctic Circle” cowl, knit with Fibre Company Tundra. This was her first project after completing a Beginning Knitting class here at the shop, and it’s clear it wont be her last – well done, Leah!

Loretta knit this “Arrowhead Shawl” with Swans Island All American Worsted, a soft yet sturdy blend of US-sourced Rambouillet wool and alpaca. The traditional guernsey stitch patterns are placed on a stockinette background for a subtle effect, one that’s harder to capture on camera than it is to perceive in person.

Thanks to all who begin their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and thanks especially for bringing them back to share your work with us! Hope everyone stayed safe and warm this snowy weekend, and spent some time stitching. We’ll be open again at our regular hours on Tuesday, January 10th.

Hello, Swans Island Firefly.

A special new yarn arrived at the shop a few weeks ago: meet Firefly, from the Swans Island Ikat Collection.

These unique skeins are hand-dyed using an Indonesian dyeing technique called Ikat. Hanks of undyed merino wool are tied tightly in a few places with cord, and the portions of the skeins that are wrapped resist the dye, creating little white flecks on a semi-solid background.

The yarn looks quite different in knitted fabric than it does in the skein; a wound ball of Firefly offers a little preview of how the color plays out.

Each 100 gram skein of this yarn boasts 525 yards, plenty for a pair of mitts, a hat, cowl, or shawl. Stacy McCrea Warner designed “Aurora,” a set of mitts, hat, and cowl for Firefly using a trio of colors.

Patterns with simple stitch patterns will allow this speckled yarn to shine; think “Hitchhiker,” “Stonington Hat,” or “Still Waters Cowl.” Look for Firefly in the fingering weight section here at the shop – see you there!

Show and tell: sweaters.

For me, there’s something very special about sweaters. I love making them because the process changes every few inches–different stitch patterns, needle sizes, new shaping, parts, and pieces keep it interesting throughout. Here are some of the finished sweaters we’ve seen at the shop recently, all of whom started life as skeins of yarn on our shelves.

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Here Rosi models her “Sonora,” knit with two strands of Shibui Pebble and one strand of Shibui Linen held together throughout. Rosi knit this beautiful, wearable top last year, but I didn’t get a chance to capture it until just a few weeks ago. I love this mustard yellow color, and I love seeing multiple yarns put together to create a unique fabric. Bravo, Rosi!

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Here’s Leslie’s “Sundottir,” knit in Queensland Kathmandu Aran Tweed and Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Worsted. Colorwork yokes like this are my passion and my weakness – this just looks like so much fun to knit!

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I finished a summer top not long ago, “Dafne,” by Julie Hoover, knit in the discontinued-but-still-in-stock Berroco Linen Jeans. I was moved to knit this by the exquisite armhole shaping, an esoteric inspiration, perhaps, but one that proved satisfying in the knitting.

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Baby sweaters are just as fun to knit as adult sweaters, and so much faster! Here’s Paula’s “Milly Tank Top,” knit in Ewe So Sporty.

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Thanks to all the sweater knitters who begin their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! To those whose first sweaters are still ahead of them, we offer encouragement and support–we’re happy to help along the way!

Anne’s gifts-in-progress.

“What are you working on?” is knitters’ small talk, a question Anne and I encounter and ask many times a day here at the shop. Today, we’ll pose the question to Anne herself, taking a rare peek in her personal knitting bag.

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Just how much does a large Binkwaffle dumpling bag hold? If you pack as skillfully as Anne, no less than seven works in progress in various stages of completion!

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Anne is a tremendously generous knitter who loves clothing her family in handknits, and she’s also a project manager. That means she’s already planned her holiday gift-knitting for the year, completed the first piece (a twirly skirt for her eldest granddaughter), and started on the next few. The sweater above is for her husband, a “Honeycomb Pullover” in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted.

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These two skeins of Swans Island All American Sport are destined to become colorwork gloves for her husband. The socks below are for her grandsons, in Colinette Jitterbug and Noro Silk Garden Sock. She’ll work on both pairs at once, switching back and forth between the blue and striped socks until they’re completed. Also note how she stores them safely in DP Wip Tubes, so none of those tiny stitches slide off the needles!

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These two skeins of Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK will grow up to be a cuddly “Fancy Hen” for Anne’s youngest granddaughter, who gets lots of handknit hand-me-downs, but still deserves something all her own.

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Quick to knit and easy to wear, hats and cowls are go-to gifts for many knitters, and Anne has one of each in progress. The hat above was knit in the discontinued Shibui Merino Alpaca, and sits nearly finished with just one lingering question: does it need a pom-pom? The cowl below is a bit of a teaser, since all I can say is that the yarn it’s made of is coming to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop later this Fall. More soon!

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(Outside of this particular knitting bag, she also has three sample sweaters going for the shop… more on those another time.)

Are you dreaming of handmade holiday gifts for your friends and family? Follow in Anne’s footsteps and start now, so you’re not limited to late nights, super-bulky yarns and tiny accessories towards the end of the year!