Back in stock, show and tell: Malabrigo.

Year in and year out, Malabrigo yarns are among the most popular in our shop. Sometimes it feels like we place Malabrigo orders for the shop every week, but not every week yields an order as big as our most recent – this was a sizeable restock, indeed!

Here are bags and bags of Malabrigo Sock, Mechita, Washted, Mecha, Rasta, Caracol, and Nube, waiting to be unpacked.

As usual, knitters and crocheters we know have been busy making shawls and sweaters using Malabrigo yarns – time for some show and tell!

Here is Nancy’s “Kelp Garden Sweater,” which she crocheted using Malabrigo Mechita and CoopKnits Socks Yeah! This incredible sweater won second place at the NC State Fair this year – congratulations, Nancy!

Above is another Mechita project – Anne knit Joji Locatelli’s “Storm” shawl with just one skein, in the pattern’s namesake colorway. She started and ripped out several other shawls with this speckled yarn before landing on “Storm,” which turned out to be just the right pattern, the dropped stitches showing off the painterly yarn just so. 

Below is Cindy’s “Troupe” shawl, knit with Malabrigo Dos Tierras in a playful color combination.

Pam knit this “Dog Star” pullover for her grandson using Malabrigo Rios. This is a favorite sweater pattern of mine, and Anne’s, too – we’ve each made several of these, and seen knitters around us make many more. I love Pam’s color choice, the bright “Cian” blue jumping out against the deep “Paris Night.”

Thanks to the knitters, crocheters, and weavers who bring in their work to show us what they’ve made! You inspire and amaze us, and we can’t wait to see what you get into next.

The shop is currently closed for a Thanksgiving break, but we’ll reopen at our regular business hours on Tuesday, December 3, and look forward to seeing you soon!

Brooklyn Tweed Sample of the Month: BT Kids.

Our Brooklyn Tweed Sample of the Month for November is here! Come by this month to see selections from the BT Kids collection.

When we were planning our Brooklyn Tweed Sample of the Month program, Anne was especially excited to see “Atlas (For Kids),” a colorwork yoke that called her grandchildren to mind. When Kel at Brooklyn Tweed offered to lend us anything from the BT Kids collection, we jumped – you’ll find six pieces on display this month!

All of them are knit with Loft, Brooklyn Tweed’s signature fingering weight, woolen-spun yarn. It comes in 45 colors and we’re delighted to report that we have them all in stock. Even better, we’re offering them at 10% off during November!

We’ll be closed for a Thanksgiving break from Wednesday, November 27 – Monday, December 2, reopening at our regular business hours on Tuesday, December 3, so if you’re anxious to see these samples and get Loft at a discount, plan your visit accordingly. We hope to see you soon!

Just a reminder–all sales are final on discounted items; there can be no exchanges, returns, or special orders. Thanks!

Meadow.

Happy to report that Marie Wallin’s newest book is here! Let’s peek inside Meadow.

Meadow is Wallin’s second collection of designs made with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, a classic fingering weight Shetland wool. It’s one of our very favorite yarns, and it seems to be growing in popularity, as our reorders increase in frequency.

Wallin is a British designer known for her rich colorwork designs, inspired by traditional fair isle knitting, but applied to modern, wearable shapes and styles.

Look for Meadow on the teacart here at the shop, amidst piles of new books and magazines, full of inspiration for new projects. See you there!

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Sample of the Month!

We’re delighted to announce that starting in September, we’ll have a new Brooklyn Tweed sample on display each month!

We’ve been working with Kel at Brooklyn Tweed to put together a schedule of garment and accessory samples that showcase a wide variety of techniques and styles in the full range of BT yarns, from lace weight Vale all the way up to bulky weight Quarry.

Going through the back catalog of Brooklyn Tweed designs was so much fun! Anne and I picked a few that caught our eye, as did our teachers, and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Just as we do for Shibui, we’ll offer 10% off the featured Brooklyn Tweed yarn while each sample is here. This month, it’s Arbor, BT’s worsted spun DK weight wool, a yarn with superb stitch definition and lots of bounce.

Our Brooklyn Tweed Sample of the Month for September is “Kirigami,” by Gudrun Johnston, a textured yoke pullover that shows exactly what I mean when I say “superb stitch definition.”

I’ve just cast on for a “Kirigami” of my own, in fact – it’s a pattern that’s been in the back of my mind since its appearance in a trunk show last year, and this time I couldn’t resist it. I’m using the sleeve as a swatch, blocking it after 6″ or so to get a good sense of my gauge in the round, and to have a head-start on the project if my gauge happens to match the pattern gauge on this first try!

Come by during September to see “Kirigami” in person, try it on for size, and get 10% off Brooklyn Tweed Arbor to make one of your own!

A reminder: there will be no returns or exchanges on yarn that’s purchased at a discount. Thanks!

Strange Brew.

We’re delighted to have Tin Can Knits’ Strange Brew back in stock! Our first batch sold out quickly, before I even had a chance to talk about it here on the blog – today I’ll amend that. Let’s take a look at Strange Brew, a colorwork knitting book that intends to embolden knitters to design!

Tin Can Knits is the collaborative name of designers Alexa Ludeman and Emily Wessel, known for their approachable pattern-writing, and especially for designing for an extensive range of sizes. Anne and I have both knit their “Dog Star” several times, a colorwork yoke pullover knit seamlessly from the bottom up; it goes from 0-6 months up to a 63″ chest circumference – truly inclusive sizing that appears in Strange Brew, as well.

They’ve dubbed Strange Brew a “colorwork knitting adventure,” an apt description for a book bursting with the information and inspiration you need to make colorwork sweaters in 3 gauges and 25 sizes, from the top down or bottom up.

The book begins with the Strange Brew “recipe,” a blank canvas of a sweater pattern with all the numbers crunched for you – how many stitches to cast on, how and when to work the shaping, etc.

What they’ve left up to you is the colorwork patterning, though they offer lots of resources for designing and knitting it.

There are diagrams showing the differences between working top-down and bottom-up, notes on fit, pattern alignment, and swatching, and charts and motifs you can apply to the yoke, sleeves, or body of your sweater.

There are also patterns you can work from, if you’re not in the mood to design your own, that are pleasing to the eye, in fun color combinations and yarns we know and love.

Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, Shelter, and Tukuwool Fingering all make appearances in this book, and you can find all three here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. These are genuinely some of my favorite yarns to work with, and Tin Can Knits’ cheerful, adventurous use of them totally charmed me.

Look for Strange Brew on the teacart at the shop!

Show and tell: cables.

As I hinted in my last show-and-tell post, this group of projects all have one technique in common: cables. Let’s see some of the cabled projects folks are making with yarn from our shop!

Tom knit Irina Anikeeva’s “Cayley Pullover” with Fibre Co. Cumbria Worsted, a smooth blend of merino, masham, and mohair. He carefully measured his gauge and adjusted the sleeve length for a perfect fit – well done, Tom!

Leanne knit Joji Locatelli’s “Sammal” cardigan during a class here at our shop.

Though the pattern called for a lofty fingering weight wool knit somewhat loosely, she was able to substitute Cascade Ultra Pima, a DK weight cotton, and the resulting garment is exactly what she had in mind. Bravo to Leanne for this excellent yarn substitution, and for finding the perfect buttons!

Here is Joanne’s “Swilly,” a cabled scarf designed by Meghan Kelly. She knit it with Fibre Company Arranmore, and reports that it was a quick and fun knit in this soft bulky weight yarn.

Inspired by a recent trunk show, Margaretta recently knit Gudrun Johnston’s “Cetus” hat with Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, a DK weight wool known for its stellar stitch definition. These intriguing stitch patterns show up especially well in a light to medium shade, not too dark to see all the action.

Many thanks to Tom, Leanne, Joanne, and Margaretta for sharing their work with us, and thanks to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We look forward to seeing all that you create!

Back on the shelf: Knitting Ganseys.

Beth Brown-Reinsel’s Knitting Ganseys is back on our shelves! This classic book was revised and updated last year, and after selling out of two orders, we’re delighted to have a fresh stack of them on our teacart here at the shop.

Originally published 25 years ago, Knitting Ganseys is a book of knitting history as well as knitting patterns. Ganseys were traditionally worn by Scottish and British fisherman during the 19th century, designed to be hard-wearing and comfortable, but decorated with intricate texture patterns.

In the book, Beth Brown-Reinsel shares some of the history of this classic garment, then explains how to knit a traditional gansey on a smaller scale for practice. She covers all the techniques required, from cast-ons and stitch patterns to fit and finish.

Our friend and teacher, Nancy, has recently taken a class with Beth Brown-Reinsel and wants to share what she’s learned in an upcoming class here at our shop. Focusing on the “Newhaven” pullover, students in her class will learn about traditional gansey construction and techniques. Head to our Classes page to learn more about it, and sign up now if you’d like to attend!

Look for Knitting Ganseys here at the shop!

The Weekender KAL: round and round, back and forth.

Our informal Weekender KAL continues! Anne and I are knitting “The Weekender,” by Andrea Mowry, and invite you all to join us, casting on and working at your own pace.

It’s been almost a month since I last shared our progress, and we spent most of that month going round and round on the bodies of our sweaters. Above is a photo of Anne’s sweater in that stage. We have both been smitten with the easy rhythm of stockinette in the round, punctuated by that slip stitch detail at the front and back of the piece.

Our friends Debbie and Nancy come by the shop now and then to work on their Weekenders, knitting, like Anne, with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in shades of gray. Debbie’s is above, in the Snowbound color, and at the same round and round stage. Nancy’s is below, in the Pumice color, just a bit darker than Debbie’s Snowbound. After the bodies of our sweaters reach our desired length, we begin working the front and back flat up to the shoulders, and that’s just where I caught Nancy in this photo.

There are a few short rows near the top, to shape the shoulders, then a bit of ribbing, a tubular bind-off at the neck, and a three needle bind off at the shoulder – a flurry of techniques after many peaceful inches of stockinette. As of now, we’re all at different points in this flurry, and hurrying quickly through them. Here’s my Weekender, made with Kelbourne Woolens Scout, just after I joined the shoulders, and before I blocked it to something close to the dimensions on the schematic.

Are you knitting along with us? Where are you in the process, going round and round, or back and forth, or well beyond what’s pictured here? Let us know in the comments, or on Instagram with the hashtag #hysweekenderkal !

Show and tell: Shibui.

Time for another round of show-and-tell! I’m always collecting photos of the beautiful finished pieces knitters and crocheters bring in to share with us, garments that started their lives as HYS yarns. With Shibui yarns featured and discounted for tomorrow’s Local Yarn Store Day, I thought I’d share a group of projects made with some of these special yarns.

Michele knit this “Nasreen” top with Shibui Staccato held double to get the gauge she needed with the yarn she loved. Always pushing herself to try different knitting techniques and a big fan of stripes, this pattern spoke to her, and she made good use of the Staccato she had stashed away.

Shibui has a lot of fans, and Cindy is among the most ardent admirers we know. Here she is in her “Quicksilver” shawl, knit with Shibui Echo.

Astrid designed this intricate lace shawl with Shibui Silk Cloud, a lace weight mohair and silk blend. Look for her pattern, “Blue Winter Flower,” on Ravelry!

Maria visited our shop from out of town last year, and picked up some Silk Cloud for a “Gradient” cowl. We were touched that she thought of us when she was in town again last month, bringing the finished piece to show us, no less!

Last but not least, our own Anne has finished a Shibui project this week, “Amos.”

This summer tee is knit with Shibui Vine and Fern, and is even more striking in person. Look for it hanging on the wall here at our shop!

Thanks to everyone who shares their projects with us, whether at the outset, after all the ends are woven in, or somewhere along the way. We can’t wait to see what you make next!

Come by tomorrow, Saturday, April 27th, to celebrate Local Yarn Store Day with 15% off all in-stock Shibui!

 

A reminder: all sales are final on discounted items; there will be no exchanges or returns. Thanks!

The Weekender KAL: casting on.

Our informal Weekender KAL is underway! Anne and I are knitting “The Weekender,” by Andrea Mowry, and invite you all to join us, casting on and working at your own pace. It’s been just over a week, and we’ve both cast on, worked the bottom hems, and begun knitting the body of the sweater. I’m working with Kelbourne Woolens Scout in “Sunflower Heather,” a sunny stretch for this blue- and gray-loving knitter.

Mowry calls for a tubular cast-on, which makes a tidy, rounded edge on the 1×1 ribbed hem. As in all of knitting, there are many different ways to make a tubular cast-on, and I substituted my favorite method for the one in the pattern. It’s one I encountered in my “Stasis” and “Docklight” sweaters, and the instructions come from Brooklyn Tweed.

Anne used the same tubular cast-on, but modified the split hem so the front and back are the same length, as opposed to the longer back hem shown in the pattern.

She’s working with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in “Soot,” a heathered gray that is right in line with Anne’s favorite and most-worn colors.

We are both loving the ease of this pattern, just cruising through the body, mindlessly knitting stockinette in the round, pausing only for the slip stitch at the center back and center front of the sweater. Sometimes simple is just right, and it seems the simplicity of “The Weekender” has landed at just the right time for each of us!

Are you knitting along with us? What yarn are you using, in what color, and how are you liking the experience? Let us know in the comments, or on Instagram with the hashtag #hysweekenderkal !