Hello, Malabrigo Rite.

We recently celebrated our 13th year in business here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, a milestone we could not have reached without your support. In Jewish communities, 13 years marks a coming of age, a bar or bat mitzvah. For our own bat mitzvah year, we did something extra special, something so exciting, we’ve had a hard time keeping it under wraps!

We asked our friends at Malabrigo to create a special colorway for our 13th anniversary, and here it is, after months of planning: meet Rite.

Since March, we’ve emailed back and forth with Antonio at Malabrigo, dreaming up color combinations and anxiously awaiting his photos of trial skeins and swatches. The final colorway is a variegated mix of grey and blue, two of Anne’s favorite colors, and mine, too. It’s flecked with dashes of teal, Antonio’s brilliant contribution, and one that makes our colorway unique.

We have Rite in both Rios and Sock, our best-loved Malabrigo yarns. Both are super soft, superwash merino, plied for durability and stitch definition. It was positively flying off the shelves over our Anniversary weekend, but we still have plenty in stock! You’ll find Rios in the worsted weight section and Sock in the fingering weight section, and plenty of project ideas on our Pinterest boards. Naturally, we’ve been knitting with Rite ourselves – more on that soon!

See you at the shop!

Koigu Collector’s Club: Wild Garden.

A new month has begun, and with it comes the next installment of the Koigu Collector’s Club! Each month, we’ll receive 21 skeins of KPPPM in a limited edition color dyed especially for a select group of local yarn stores that carry Koigu.

KPPPM is a fingering weight superwash merino, hand-dyed in vibrant colors by mother/daughter team Maie and Taiu Landra on their farm outside of Toronto, Canada.

September’s limited edition colorway is called Wild Garden, and it’s a streaky, spotty mix of navy and denim blues, cream, purple, and pink. There’s a dash of seafoam green in there, too, if you look closely – Koigu’s variegated colors are rich and many-layered, which is part of what makes them so appealing!

Look for this limited edition colorway of Koigu KPPPM in our fingering weight section here at the shop!

Koigu Collector’s Club: Culture.

A new month has begun, and with it comes the next installment of the Koigu Collector’s Club! Each month, we’ll receive 21 skeins of KPPPM in a limited edition color dyed especially for a select group of local yarn stores that carry Koigu.

KPPPM is a fingering weight superwash merino, hand-dyed in vibrant colors by mother/daughter team Maie and Taiu Landra on their farm outside of Toronto, Canada.

August’s limited edition colorway, Culture, was inspired by the many uses of color in crafts around the world. As they write on the Koigu blog, “Colours across different cultures around the world are perceived very differently… we at Koigu find this very interesting and inspiring!”

Culture is a variegated colorway, a mix of wheat and golden yellow, with streaks and speckles of cobalt, rusty orange, and burgundy.

Look for this limited edition colorway of Koigu KPPPM in our fingering weight section here at the shop!

Vintage and Bargello knits: more new books.

Two more new books have arrived at the shop since last I rounded them up.

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Vintage Design Workshop, by Geraldine Warner, teaches how to update vintage knitting patterns as well as how to customize contemporary patterns to create a vintage look. It’s not a collection of retro patterns, but rather a series of tutorials on how to substitute yarns, make alterations to size and shape, and otherwise adapt existing patterns, old and new.

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I was especially intrigued by the section on particular elements of garments–differently shaped sleeves, collars, cuffs, edgings, and pockets–which can be switched out to give any basic sweater a more purposeful, tailored look.

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This book deserves attention not only from those who knit from vintage patterns, but anyone interested in modifying or designing knit garments.

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Bargello Knits, by Patty Nance, bills itself as “the revolutionary new way to tame the unpredictable beauty of variegated yarns,” and indeed, the techniques within are completely new to me. As many of us know from experience, multi-colored yarns can be surprising, creating stripes or pools of color that vary dramatically depending upon how many stitches are cast on.

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To gain control over these capricious yarns, Nance uses a technique similar to intarsia, dividing up variegated yarns into smaller bobbins and knitting small sections of the piece from each bobbin. This has the effect of concentrating short color repeats into blocks that can be several rows high, where the same yarn knit in plain stockinette or garter stitch would make horizontal streaks of color.

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Along with carefully explained Bargello knitting techniques, the book is full of patterns. If you’re a lover of variegated yarns but have been disappointed by color pooling in the past, flip through Bargello Knits for interesting new ways to make use of the stuff.

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Come by the shop to take a closer look at these and our many other books on knitting and crochet. See you there!