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 !

The Weekender KAL: swatching.

As you may have read in our most recent email newsletter, Anne and I have fallen in love with Andrea Mowry’s “The Weekender.” It’s been a popular pattern since it came out in late 2017, but somehow neither of us was compelled to cast on for it until recently. Maybe it’s because we’ve seen so many knitters make it successfully, maybe it’s because Shelter is the one Brooklyn Tweed yarn Anne hasn’t knit with yet, maybe it’s because my “Ursula Cardigan” is taking forever and I crave a simpler project. No matter the reason, we’re excited to announce an informal knit-along!

Copyright Andrea Mowry.

 

How to participate? Simply cast on for your own “Weekender” and knit at your own pace. There will be no deadline, just the camaraderie of working from the same pattern at the same time. Anne and I are here to answer questions as you select your yarn, needles, and what size you’ll knit, and will post our progress along the way.

So far, we’ve gotten as far as swatching.

Mowry has cleverly designed the body of this sweater to be knit in the round with the wrong side facing, so you can peacefully knit in stockinette, then turn your work inside out for a reverse stockinette fabric. Because the sweater is knit in the round, it’s important to swatch in the round.

Anne is knitting with the recommended yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, a worsted weight, woolen spun wool that is lightweight and spongey, excellent for sweater-making. Mowry calls for 4.5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch in the round, so Anne cast on as many stitches as it took to fill her 16″ circular needles for a real, honest-to-goodness sense of her gauge and fabric. Before blocking, it was looking like she’d get gauge on US 10 needles, but after blocking, US 9 needles turned out to be right on.

I’m following the lead of a few projects I found on Ravelry and knitting “The Weekender” with Kelbourne Woolens Scout, a robust DK weight wool that I’ve been anxious to get on my needles. I knit my swatch in the round on DPNs, casting on for about 8″ of fabric, and was surprised and delighted to get stitch and row gauge on US 7. My “Weekender” will be somewhat more loosely-knit than Anne’s, and I’m excited to see how it turns out.

Copyright Andrea Mowry.

We both plan to knit the 44″ size, which will give us several inches of positive ease, but less than the 10″ Mowry suggests – Anne and I both prefer more close-fitting sweaters and this will already be a few more inches of ease than we normally knit for ourselves.

Have you been thinking about making “The Weekender,” or wanting a simple sweater that’s as effortless to wear as a sweatshirt? Cast on with us this week, or next week, or whenever suits you – knit along with us at your own pace, and come by the shop any time to ask questions and share your progress! Brooklyn Tweed just came out with two new marled colorways in Shelter, just to complicate your color selection process – more on that soon!

Weel Riggit.

© Kate Davies

Kate Davies has designed just two patterns so far for her newest yarn, Àrd Thìr. They are both named “Weel Riggit,” which means “well dressed” in Scots and Shetland dialects.

© Kate Davies

The sweater pattern is currently exclusive to Davies’ club, but eventually it will be available as a single pattern. The “Weel Riggit Hat,” on the other hand, is available to purchase from Ravelry, and has been the subject of much discussion here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop since Àrd Thìr arrived!

Color A: Kiloran, B: Ardnave, C: Vatersay, D: Luskentyre.

Color A: Camusdarach, B: Firemore, C: Huisinis, D: Kintra.

Davies’ pattern shows the hat in two colorways, both of which share a certain logic: color A (pictured here on the right) is much lighter in value than the three contrast colors, B, C, and D, which are themselves similar in value. With this strategy in mind, I’ve created a few more “Weel Riggit” color combinations.

Color A: Camusdarach, B: Luskentyre, C: Ardnave, D: Huisinis.

Color A: Luskentyre, B: Vatersay, C: Kiloran, D: Camusdarach.

Color A: Huisinis, B: Kintra, C: Veyatie, D: Glamaig.

After much deliberation, I decided to knit my own “Weel Riggit” hat in the colorway shown at the very top of this post, in Davies’ “Weel Riggit Pullover.”

Color A: Ardnave, B: Camusdarach, C: Kiloran, D: Vatersay.

I’m so pleased with the outcome – the experience of knitting it was satisfyingly quick, and the finished hat blocked beautifully, relaxing and softening an already lovely fabric.

You can read more about Davies’ design process on her blog, where she also discusses a bit of the history and cultural context for “Weel Riggit.” Come by the shop to see this “Weel Riggit” hat on display, and to pick four shades for your own!

Show and tell: Brooklyn Tweed Peerie.

I’m back with more show and tell, focused this time on accessories and garments knit with Brooklyn Tweed Peerie. Peerie is one of the four yarns featured in our current BT Wool People 12 Trunk Show, so it seems fitting to share some of the projects folks are making with this special yarn.

Kathryn knit this “Lucerne” hat with Peerie, enlisting her young daughter’s help in selecting colors. I love what they came up with, as well as Kathryn’s description of Peerie – “supernaturally springy.”

Elsbeth knit this “Architexture” scarf with Peerie and came back for more to make another one, an excellent endorsement of yarn and pattern alike. Peerie’s smooth, round texture is perfect for showing off knit and purl texture patterns like those featured here.

Margaretta has also been charmed by Peerie, having used it to knit both the “Afton” scarf above and the “Hazelfern” socks below.

Both of these texture-rich patterns were thoughtfully designed by Jared Flood, and Margaretta appreciated the quality and clarity of the patterns as much as the yarn.

Jane knit this impressive “Butterfly / Papillon” shawl with six shades of Peerie during Nancy’s recent class here at the shop.

I’m particularly struck by Jane’s unique color combination, a balance of warm and cool colors, light and dark. Well done, Jane!

Here’s Ruth in her “Boardwalk,” knit with Peerie in a cheery pink shade. This pattern has been a popular one, whether knit in Peerie or in Loft, in part because of how wearable it is. The design is clever and flattering, a layer that manages to look both smart and casual.

Thanks to Kathryn, Elsbeth, Margaretta, Jane, and Ruth for sharing these knits with us, and to everyone whose projects begin with trips to our shop.

Come by before March 3rd to see the Wool People 12 Trunk Show and get 10% off Brooklyn Tweed Peerie, Loft, Vale, and Arbor. See you there!

 

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

 

Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 12 Trunk Show!

We are delighted to announce that a new trunk show from Brooklyn Tweed is here to spend a couple of weeks at our shop. Come by before March 3rd to see the Wool People 12 collection!

Wool People is an annual collaboration between Brooklyn Tweed and a variety of independent knitwear designers from around the world. Some of their names are familiar, like Shannon Cook, Isabell Kraemer, Melissa Wehrle, and Emily Greene, but many are new to me. Those designers bring their own vision and aesthetic to Brooklyn Tweed’s breed-specific wool yarns, a combination that offers an exciting array of new designs.

Brooklyn Tweed’s lightest weight yarns are featured in these designs: the lace weight Vale, fingering weight Loft and Peerie, and DK weight Arbor, all of which are 10% off during the Trunk Show.

Though there are plenty of cables and other texture patterns on display, there’s a special preponderance of lace in this collection – delicate pullovers with lace yokes, garter stitch shawls with lace edgings, a turtleneck covered in eyelet linework, an allover mesh-lace pullover, and others. If you are a lace lover or curious about the technique, this show is a must-see!

Come by the shop before March 3rd to see Wool People 12 and get featured Brooklyn Tweed yarns at 10% off!

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

Twelve Knitted Sweaters from Tversted.

Today, let’s take a look at Marianne Isager’s latest book, Twelve Knitted Sweaters from Tversted.

Twelve Knitted Sweaters from Tversted features a sweater for each month of the year, a premise well-suited for this moment as we begin 2019.

As usual, these designs are knit with Isager’s own yarns, most of which are available here at our shop – Anne has been passionate about the Isager yarn and designs for years, and makes sure we have plenty of each on hand.

These yarns vary in gauge and in fiber content, but share a harmonious color palette, and Isager often combines them in her designs for unique fabric.

Look for this lovely book on our tea cart at the shop, with the latest books and magazines. We hope you find inspiration here!

Show and tell: Anne’s “Dog Stars.”

A few months ago, Anne set a lofty goal: she would knit a sweater for each of her four grandchildren for Hanukkah. When she mentioned this in conversation at the shop, eyes would widen in disbelief – even four child-sized sweaters represent an awful lot of knitting, after all. She picked Tin Can Knits’ “Dog Star” pattern, a simple, seamless, colorwork yoke, and spent every possible moment knitting these sweet sweaters, determined to complete them in time. Anne is a woman of her word, and a determined one – when Hanukkah began on December 2nd, she was ready with four finished sweaters. Quite a feat!

For her granddaughters, Anne knit “Dog Star” with Brooklyn Tweed Arbor, using a sophisticated palette of purplish gray, eggplant, and cream. Knowing the girls might like to match as much as they like to distinguish themselves, Anne flipped the arrangement of contrast colors in the yoke: sisterly matching, yet distinct.

For her twin grandsons, Anne used Malabrigo Rios, again differentiating the sweaters by changing colors in the yoke.

Her boys love bright colors, so she used wildly variegated colorways in the stranded yoke, which, in her words, look like sprinkles against the dark blue background.

Hope you’ve met your own holiday knitting goals this season!

A reminder, the shop will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 25 and again on Tuesday, Jan. 1. Otherwise the shop will be open at our regular hours, and we look forward to seeing you there!