Show and tell: Swans Island All American Worsted.

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. I have a nice collection to share at the moment, enough for two blog posts. Today’s group all happen to be made in the same wonderful yarn: Swans Island All American Worsted, an aran weight blend of US-sourced Rambouillet wool and alpaca.


Emily came into the shop last week wearing her newly-completed “Halyard,” by Norah Gaughan, which she knit using 6 skeins of All American Worsted in a deep, saturated cobalt shade called “Newport.” She lengthened the sleeves from 3/4 length to full length for a cozy winter pullover.




I knit a sweater in All American Worsted recently, too. Here I am in my “Docklight,” by Julie Hoover. If you’ve been to the shop in the past month or two, you’ve probably seen me in it, as it’s become a favorite winter sweater. I’m thrilled with how it came out, and impressed with how the yarn is wearing. I used 6 skeins in “Frost,” a light blue-gray.

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Nancy knit this “Hourglass Throw” by Anne Hanson using 8 skeins of All American Worsted in a warm brown shade called “Driftwood.” The light color really shows off Hanson’s intricate cable and lace design. This was Nancy’s first time knitting cables, and they are expertly rendered. Well done!photo 2 (2)






Anyone else out there knitting with All American Worsted? Tell us what you’re making with it , and come in to show us, too!

Thanks to everyone who starts their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and to those who share their progress with us. Come by the shop to pick up some Swans Island All American Worsted for your next project, and keep your eye on the blog for more show and tell soon!



Swans Island Trunk Show.

We’re delighted to announce that our next trunk show of the season has arrived, featuring garments from Swans Island!


We’ve got six garments on display here at the shop until November 23rd: Bristol Ivy’s “Offshore V-Neck,” Alicia Plummer’s “Arrowhead Shawl,” Leah B. Thibault’s “Breakwater Pullover,” Michele Rose Orne’s “Celtic Mitts,” Stacey McCrea Warner’s “Spindrift Cowl,” and Isabell Kraemer’s “Audrey Cardigan.”


Most of these garments are knit in Swans Island All American Worsted, a 2-ply woolen-spun blend of 75% Rambouillet wool and 25% alpaca. Since we first introduced this yarn in September, we’ve been through several reorders, accumulating a few new colors here and there. We now have every available color in All American Worsted!


Come by the shop before November 23rd to see and try on these garments and accessories, and consider Swans Island All American Worsted for your next project!


Downton Abbey and Jane Austen Knits.

Two more new magazines are here, each inspired by stories of and about the past.


The Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits is full of knitting patterns inspired by the television series Downton Abbey, which is, for those who have somehow escaped seeing it, a period drama taking place in a British country estate during the early 20th century.


The garments in this issue suggest the era as well as the class of the show’s inhabitants, from the aristocrats upstairs to the servants downstairs.


This garter stitch beret is knit in three shades of Isager Alpaca 2, a favorite yarn around here.


This issue of Jane Austen Knits is the fifth such collection of knitting patterns inspired by the novels of Jane Austen. I found lots of familiar yarns within its pages: Swans Island Organic Washable DK in the cover mitts, Fibre Company Meadow in the “Dashwood Lace Stole,” Malabrigo Sock in the “Second Chance for Mr. Rushworth” socks, and more!

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Come by the shop to pick up a copy of The Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits and Jane Austen Knits, and don’t forget to check out the Hanne Falkenberg Trunk Show while you’re here!

Show and tell: anniversary edition, part 2.

As you may remember from years past, or may have seen in our most recent email newsletter, October 18th marks the eight-year anniversary of the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We are so grateful to all of you for your support over the years, for shopping and learning and sharing with us. We’ll celebrate another year in business in our usual way: an anniversary sale! From Friday October 17th – Sunday October 19th, everything in the shop will be discounted by 15%, with the exception of classes and that which is already discounted.

Here on the blog, I’m celebrating all of you with another batch of show and tell.


Joanne came in the other day with a colorful project to share. Above, she models her “Technicolor Cowl” knit in the decadent Alchemy Sanctuary, a velvety blend of merino wool and silk.


Paula’s needles have been busy lately; she recently brought in two finished projects to share with us! Above is her “Thicket” beret, from Alana Dakos’ Botanical Knits 2, knit in Fibre Company Acadia.


Paula also knit this “Mix No. 26” with Shibui Pebble, a different yarn, but a nice match for her “Thicket” beret. I love it in these low-contrast colors, a soft beige against wintry white.


Emily came in wearing this “Côte-Nord Cap,” a pattern by Amy Christoffers from last winter’s Interweave Knits, Winter 2014. She used a skein of the new Swans Island All American Worsted in a rich blue hue.


Thanks to everyone who starts and shares their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We find your stitches so inspiring, and your support of the shop is so appreciated. Keep your eyes on the blog for another “show and tell” post soon, and visit us this weekend to take advantage of our Anniversary Sale!


(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!) 

New patterns from Swans Island.

Not long ago, we received a bunch of new patterns from Swans Island.


The “Axis Shawl” calls for two shades of Swans Island Organic Merino Fingering, which come together in a striped slip-stitch pattern against a background of soothing garter stitch. Lots of “Axis Shawls” are starting to pop up on Ravelry; look there for some interesting color combinations.


The “Northwoods Vest” and “Trail Ride Mitts” both make good use of Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted, and show how nice it looks in a cable pattern.


Most of our new Swans Island patterns call for their Organic Washable DK, which is soft and springy, with great stitch definition.


Swans Island makes this yarn machine-washable with a process called Ecowash®, which coats the yarn with an organic compound rather than stripping the scales from the fiber. This helps to prevent felting, making it easy-care for baby and children’s things.

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Come by the shop to flip through the Swans Island pattern binder, which is full of inspiring uses for their special yarns!


Brioche and lace: two new books.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for new books! Here are two of the latest publications from Interweave, each one focused on a single technique.


Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark’s Brioche Chic offers 22 garment and accessory patterns for men and women, all of which include brioche knitting.


Brioche is a lofty, stretchy fabric that can look like plush ribbing in its simplest form, and like twisting, multicolored cables or lace when modified or combined with other techniques.

DSCN3593My favorite in this collection: “Chevron Deep-V Pullover,” knit in Fibre Company Acadia.


If you’ve never tried brioche, this book is a great place to start, and its sure to keep you interested long after you’ve mastered the basics of the technique.


Everyday Lace, by Heather Zoppetti, is all about incorporating lace patterns into wearable, non-fussy garments. Inside, you’ll find patterns for sweaters of all shapes: tunics, vests, shrugs, pullovers, cardigans, and some accessories, too.


I spotted a few garments in familiar yarns. The “Kirkwood Vest” above is knit in Malabrigo Silky Merino, and the “Bellemont Cardigan” below is knit in Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted.


Come by the shop to find inspiration in a book or two, and plan your next project!


Hello, Swans Island All American Worsted.

We’re delighted to announce that Swans Island’s newest yarn has arrived at the shop: meet All American Worsted!


All American Worsted is a 2-ply woolen-spun blend of 75% Rambouillet wool and 25% alpaca. There are 210 yards on each 80 gram skein, every bit of which was grown, processed, spun, and dyed in the USA.

DSCN3525All the colors begin with this shade of gray, the natural color of the Rambouillet and alpaca blend. The gray skeins are then dyed with low impact acid dyes, giving each hue a rich heathered quality.



“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 Worsted are also quite lofty, making them more versatile in terms of gauge. Swans Island suggests a gauge of 4.25 stitches per inch, which we’d consider aran weight, but All American Worsted is happy at a range of gauges. After washing, the fibers bloom to fill whatever space your needles have given them. The bottom section of the little swatch below was knit at 4.5 stitches per inch on a US #8; from there, I switched to a US #9, and the gauge is about 4 stitches per inch.

DSCN3530 I knit Stephen West’s “Dustland Hat” at 5 stitches per inch on a US #7, and the fabric is sturdy but supple. All American Worsted renders these knit/purl texture patterns beautifully, and I don’t doubt that it will perform just as well in cables, lace, and colorwork.


For pattern ideas, check the Swans Island binder here at the shop. Their Organic Merino Worsted is comparable, so patterns that call for that yarn will do just as well in All American Worsted. Also, check your Ravelry queue for any patterns calling for Brooklyn Tweed Shelter–I know I am! Of all the yarns we ordered at TNNA this year, this is the one I’ve been perseverating on the most. Any of the Brooklyn Tweed patterns would be stunning in Swans Island All American Worsted, but for myself, I’ve boiled it down to three favorites: “Bray,” “Wheaten,” and “Little Wave.”


Come by the shop to meet this gorgeous yarn in person, and plan your next project! Look for Swans Island All American Worsted in the aran weight section, near the Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted. See you there!

Interweave Knits.

The Fall 2014 issue of Interweave Knits is here, and it’s absolutely bursting with sweater patterns!


The cover sweater is knit in Malabrigo Rios, everyone’s favorite hand-dyed, worsted weight superwash merino. I am particularly fond of semi-solid colorways like the one pictured, as they give depth to the knitted fabric without taking away from stitch patterns.


The “Bee Stitch Cardigan” is knit in another favorite superwash merino–Swans Island Organic Washable DK.


I spotted another familiar yarn at work in this “Climbing Rose Henley,” which is knit in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. Silky Wool is a sport weight blend of wool and silk in rustic heathered colorways, a dependable yarn that I’ve used for three different sweaters.


Among the many sweater patterns, you’ll also find a technique article explaining the difference between fisherman’s rib and brioche, two springy, squishy texture patterns.


Come by the shop to pick up the latest issue of Interweave Knits and plan your next project!

Enchanted Knits.

Another new magazine has landed here at the shop: Enchanted Knits.


Enchanted Knits is a new special issue from Interweave, a collection of designs inspired by fairy tales. This one magazine boasts 27 patterns of all kinds, including garments and accessories for men and women, a few sweet baby knits, and even a tiny dress for Thumbelina.



I also saw some HYS yarns at work in this collection.


These handsome socks were knit in Swans Island Organic Merino Fingering, and the following two shawls are made in Malabrigo Lace and Malabrigo Sock, respectively.

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Come by the shop to browse the latest patterns, books, and magazines, and plan your next project!

New American Knits.

Meet the newest book to arrive on our teacart: Amy Christoffers’ New American Knits.


Inspired by American artists like Georgia O’Keefe, Richard Serra, and Jasper Johns, Christoffers has designed a collection of sweaters and accessories to knit and wear.


The wearability of these garments was clearly first and foremost in Christoffers’ mind; they all look like wardrobe staples, comfortable and timeless.

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Many of these designs are made in yarns we carry at the shop, favorites, no less–the likes of Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted, Fibre Company Acadia and Savannah, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and Sincere Sheep Equity Sport.



Look for New American Knits among the newest books and magazines at the shop, and come in during July to get it at 15% off!


A reminder: all sales are final on discounted items. There can be no returns or exchanges, nor special orders–the discount applies only to what we currently have in stock.