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!

New colors in Malabrigo Rios.

Malabrigo recently released a bunch of new colors in their beloved worsted weight superwash merino, Rios. Meet the Tribeca collection!

Rios is beautifully hand-dyed in rich, memorable colors, soft and springy in the hand, and machine-washable, no less. A superwash worsted weight wool is a versatile kind of yarn, good for garments and accessories alike. We’ve seen it all in Rios over the years – sweaters for all ages, blankets large and small, hats and mitts and cowls and slipper socks and more.

These delicate pastel shades are semi-solid, ideal for showing off texture patterns. Try Tin Can Knits’ “Flax” and “Barley,” Stephen West’s “Dustland,” Joji Locatelli’s “Hipster Shawl,” and Andrea Mowry’s “Nurtured.”

With so many beautiful colors, it’s tempting to combine them, too – for colorful ideas, check out Shannon Cook’s “Bradway,” Lisa Hannes’ “Walk in the Woods,” Jennifer Steingass’s “Fern & Feather,” Andrea Mowry’s “Nightshift,” and Tin Can Knits’ “Banff.”

Come by the shop to pick up some Malabrigo Rios for your next project! See you there.

Back in stock: Malabrigo Arroyo.

Malabrigo Arroyo is back in stock!

This sport weight superwash merino is a favorite around here, and its cubby was looking empty before this week’s shipment arrived.

Each 100 gram skein of Arroyo boasts 335 yards, enough for a scarf, cowl, shawlette, hat, tiny baby sweater, or pair of mitts. Here are a few pattern ideas, projects that knitters on Ravelry have used Arroyo for again and again:

We have two samples at the shop knit with Malabrigo Arroyo, as well – a newborn-sized “Baby Surprise Jacket,” and a “Drop Stitch Scarf.” Though the latter calls for worsted weight yarn on a US 8 needle, I made our sample with one skein of Arroyo on a US 7, casting on an extra pattern repeat to make up the difference in width.

You’ll find Malabrigo Arroyo in the sport weight section here at our shop, and check out our whole selection of Malabrigo yarns while you’re here!

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: 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!

Show and tell: CoopKnits.

Happy to be back with more show and tell, this time featuring projects made with yarn from CoopKnits!

Hazel knit her second “Smilla’s Dress” with CoopKnits Socks Yeah!, a superwash fingering weight blend of merino wool and nylon. This yarn was designed to wear well and wash easily, attributes that make it as applicable to baby things as to socks, and its tight twist provides excellent stitch definition.

Glen knit these striking “Tetrahedron Socks” with two shades of CoopKnits Socks Yeah! The pattern is from Rib Magazine No. 3, which we still have a couple of copies of.

Below is Emily’s “Lush,” designed by Tin Can Knits, knit with CoopKnits Socks Yeah! DK, a heavier weight version of the same great yarn shown in the projects above. I love her perfectly matching buttons!

Many thanks to the talented knitters who shared the projects above, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We love seeing what you make!

Show and tell: colorwork hats.

We love to see finished projects that started life as yarn on our shelves, and when I’m able, I love to photograph them and share them here on the blog. It’s been a busy spring so far, full of exciting new yarns, books, and magazines, all of which keep this blogger busy. Meanwhile, jaw-dropping projects keep coming through our doors, and it’s time to make time for show and tell. I have enough photos stockpiled for at least four blog posts – let’s begin with colorwork hats, on the heels of our HYS Colorwork Trunk Show.

Here’s Joanne’s “Seeds Hat,” designed by Jared Flood and knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. The soft sage green with the bright teal is a surprising combination that works well, especially with a jaunty pom-pom on top.

Sandy made a “Seeds Hat,” too, also using Brooklyn Tweed Loft; I snapped a photo just as she was weaving in the ends on this, her first colorwork project.

I made a family of “Banff” hats for my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew for the holidays. I love Malabrigo Rios for its easy care, fun colors, and soft, squishy hand, and I love tincanknits’ straightforward pattern for its charming motif and huge range of sizes.

Marilyn knit this “Bousta Beanie” to practice her fair isle knitting technique before embarking on a larger colorwork garment; her even tension and excellent color choice show how ready she is for that exciting project. The yarn is Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, a classic choice for colorwork and a personal favorite of mine.

Kate has been knitting with Shetland Spindrift, too; this “Snawheid” was designed by Kate Davies, for whom Kate and I share a great admiration. This playful combination of bright blue and natural white suits the snowflake motif and shows the pattern so well!

Margaretta’s “Tincture” hat is colorwork of a different kind – mosaic knitting, where some stitches are slipped and others are knit, for a color pattern with a bit of texture, too. She used Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in a high contrast combination for a striking effect.

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. Keep an eye on this blog for more show-and-tell soon!

Show and tell: Shelter sweaters.

The extra cold weather we’ve had lately has brought out some incredible knitwear! Almost everyone who comes through our doors these days is bundled in handmade woolens. As a result, I have quite a pile of show and tell photos to share, and sifting through it, a few themes have emerged. For today’s post, that theme is sweaters knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, a yarn I consider perfectly suited to sweater-making.

Here’s Marcy in her “Grow” sweater by Norah Gaughan, from Hannah Thiessen’s recent book, Slow Knitting. Made with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the playful Tartan colorway, Marcy calls it her January sweater, the warm-but-not-heavy garment that will see her through this chilly month. The construction of this sweater is more intriguing than this photo lets on, with diagonal side seams wrapping from the narrow back piece to the wider front – an interesting knit, no doubt!

Grace’s recently-completed “Tinder” is knit with Shelter in Almanac, a rich blue. This Jared Flood design features an all-over knit/purl texture pattern, straightforward to execute and satisfying to see.

She wore it into the shop just after finishing it, and kindly let me photograph it while our ballwinder prepared her next sweater’s worth – a knitter after my own heart, following one sweater directly with another.

Leslie is another serial sweater-knitter; above is her latest, Michele Wang’s “Bedford” pullover knit in Snowbound, Shelter’s lightest gray. Like “Tinder,” “Bedford” is all about a simple repeated texture pattern, though this one has a bit of a cable twist. It’s a cozy sweatshirt of a sweater, the kind of garment one wouldn’t mind wearing day after day.

This little tincanknits “Flax” was knit by Emily for a new baby in her family, and Shelter in Faded Quilt was the perfect shade of blue gray. I haven’t knit as many baby sweaters as some, but “Flax” is one I made for my nephew, and I often recommend it. I love the rustic look of Emily’s in Shelter!

 

I, too, have knit a sweater with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and here I am wearing it. This is Bristol Ivy’s “Second Grace,” a pullover in my favorite sweater genre: bottom-up, colorwork, circular yoke. I labored over the selection of seven colors, wanting to branch out from my usual blue or gray and stymied by the abundance of amazing colors in the Shelter palette. Ultimately I landed on Cast Iron for the main color, and Long Johns, Cinnabar, Tallow, Almanac, Tartan, and Snowbound for contrast colors. I’m so pleased with this garment – you will likely see me wearing it a lot, and it may not be long before I knit another sweater in Shelter.

A warm thanks to all of you who bring your finished projects in to share with us, we are so inspired by what you make and we can’t wait to see what’s next!

Show and tell: Brooklyn Tweed, part 2.

Earlier in the week, I shared a few of the many Brooklyn Tweed works-in-progress that began life as yarns on our shelves. I can’t wait to see them all grown up and completed, just like this next group of garments.

Nancy knit this “Pei” cowl by Michele Wang with just one skein of Brooklyn Tweed Loft, using the color “Birdbook,” a mossy green. She kindly left it with us to display for awhile, so look for it next time you’re here at the shop!

Katherine used Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in “Hammock” and Fibre Company Acadia in “Blueberry” together to knit these “Gimmers” by Ann Kingstone. Technically this is a work-in-progress, as the second mitt is still underway, but I couldn’t resist photographing this stunning bit of colorwork, even before blocking.

I knit this “Banff” hat by tincanknits in three sittings, loving every stitch of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, plotting a sweater with it already. The yarn is soft and light, feeling somehow spongey or doughy in the hand, and strange as that description may sound, it’s such a satisfying fiber to work with, I can scarcely recommend it highly enough! I chose the colors “Snowbound” and “Long Johns,” an evocative combination.

Katherine knit this “Bradway” shawl, by Shannon Cook, using three shades of Shelter: “Fossil,” “Truffle Hunt,” and “Almanac.”

Her upcoming class on the subject still has a couple of openings; sign up now if you’d like to claim one!

Thanks to all the knitters, crocheters, weavers, and other fiber artists who begin their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and thanks to those who bring them back to show us the finished product!