Snow, show and tell, and new colors from Kelbourne Woolens.

The shop was closed yesterday for inclement weather, and with the snow quietly falling as I write and the roads remaining hazardous, we do not plan to open the shop tomorrow. As ever, if you’re planning a trip to our shop and have any question about the weather, do check our website before you head out; we always list closures on the front page there, and are known for being risk-averse when it comes to snow and ice!

 

Even if the shop remains closed, a snow day is a good one for show-and-tell; let’s take a peek at some of the recently-completed projects that started their lives as yarns here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

Kate has been wearing her Kate Davies’-designed “Dunyvaig” hap a lot since completing it. She knit this cozy textured shawl with Kelbourne Woolens Scout, a DK weight wool that comes in lovely heathered shades and has great stitch definition for patterns like this.

Ruth has been knitting with Kelbourne Woolens yarn, as well – here she is in her lovely “Phyllis” sweater, made with the sport weight KW Andorra.

Margaretta also finished her “Phyllis” not long ago, and it, too, is very beautiful. I’m impressed at how crisp the lace looks even in a fuzzy yarn with a touch of mohair.

Anne’s “Jenny” was also knit with Andorra. You might even recognize it, as it has been on display at the shop for some time now.

The gentle halo of Andorra is perfect for this Bohus-inspired pullover, where purls in the colorwork yoke seem to blend one color into the next.

Last week brought four brand new colors of Andorra, a welcome addition that really rounds out the color palette.

Many thanks to the knitters who shared their work here today, and to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We hope everyone is staying safe and warm and doing a bit of stitching while it snows, and we’ll see you when it’s safe to open the shop again.

Koigu Collector’s Club: Giving.

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.

Each 50 gram skein has 170 yards, so 1 makes a Purl Soho “Purl Beret” or pair of Churchmouse “Turkish Bed Socks,” 2 make an average pair of socks or “Barb’s Koigu Ruffle,” while 3 or 4 make a nice sized shawl, the likes of Martian Behm’s “Hitchhiker” or “Trillian.”

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

Back in stock, show and tell: Berroco Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK.

This season, we seem to be constantly ordering and reordering Berroco Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK. Not long before we closed for our Thanksgiving break, I unpacked a bigger box than ever from Berroco, for it contained some new colors along with all our old favorites.

Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK are smooth and sturdy superwash wools, one of the few that suggests “tumble dry low” rather than “lay flat to dry.” They’re easy-care, practical, economical, and come in a wide range of solid and heathered colors; no wonder we’re selling so much of them!

The latest Berroco Portfolio collection features these yarns, and we were delighted when Berroco also sent us a sample of the cover sweater, Lori Versaci’s “Lane’s Island Pullover.” There’s nothing like a finished garment to give you a sense of how a particular yarn knits up, and this one has already compelled plenty of knitters to try Ultra Wool DK, many of whom return to it for other projects.

April was one of the first knitters we knew to complete an adult-sized sweater in Ultra Wool DK, and when she wore it in, singing the yarn’s praises, we were truly impressed. The cables of her “Bowery Tunic” show beautifully, and April didn’t report any of the out-of-control stretching that superwash wools can sometimes experience during blocking.

Margie has also been working with Ultra Wool DK of late, knitting not one, but two “Isabelline Cowls.” I never tire of seeing what an impact a change in color can have; this pair is a nice example of how low- and high-contrast color combinations can both work beautifully in stranded colorwork. And you might be surprised which of these has higher contrast – I was! Look at these photos through the black and white filter on your camera and you’ll see what I mean.

Ultra Wool DK is great for crochet projects, too! Check out Linda’s amazing blanket for proof positive.

Look for Ultra Wool and Ultra Wool DK here at the shop, and keep an eye out for something new from Berroco, too… more on that soon!

Back in stock: Fibre Company Acadia.

We’re delighted to announce that Fibre Company Acadia is back in stock!

Acadia is a DK weight blend of merino, alpaca, and slubs of silk. The silk takes the dye differently than the other fibers, giving most colorways a rustic, tweedy appearance, which belies its luxuriously soft hand.

Our supply of this special yarn had dwindled, but happily, a shipment arrived earlier in the week to fill our shelves again.

Acadia has become a very well-loved yarn in the years we’ve stocked it here at the shop. One knitter that calls this yarn a favorite is Winnie, who recently knit this gorgeous “Dohne” shawl using Acadia.

Garments knit with Acadia have a mix of structure and drape. We have a couple of samples knit in Acadia at the shop so you can see and feel this in person; look for the Churchmouse “Easy Folded Poncho” and “Quaking Aspen” shawl next time you’re here. There are so many other wonderful projects we’ve seen made in Acadia over the years – check out our “DK weight” Pinterest board for more pattern ideas.

Come by to give Acadia a squeeze and plan your next project!

Swans Island colorwork kits.

As the holidays approach, we meet more and more folks seeking presents for the knitters in their lives. With the gift-giving season in mind, we’ve put together some new kits featuring yarn and patterns from Swans Island.

Each kit features a colorwork pattern and all the yarn to complete it. They’d make great gifts for knitters who love colorwork, of course, but I’d also recommend them for those who haven’t yet mastered this particular technique, as small projects like hats and mitts are a good size for learning.

The yarn is All American Sport, a 2-ply woolen-spun yarn composed of 100% Rambouillet wool, which was grown, processed, spun, and dyed in the USA. It’s a unique combination of next-to-skin soft and holds-its-shape sturdy, and was created with stranded colorwork in mind. 

Come by the shop if you’re seeking gifts for a friend or materials to make them with – we hope you find inspiration here!

Shibui Sample of the Month: Tempo.

November is here, and with it, a new Shibui Sample of the Month! We offer a 10% discount on Shibui yarn purchased for our featured sample until the end of the month.

This month’s sample is “Tempo,” a two-color cowl knit with Shibui Maai. Maai is a DK weight blend of alpaca and merino, soft and lofty due to its chainette construction. This yarn has tremendous elasticity, making it a pleasure to work with and to wear. The colorwork effect is achieved through slipped stitches, a technique that requires using only one color of yarn per row.

Come by the shop this month to see “Tempo” and get Shibui Maai at 10% off to make one of your own!

 

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

Hello, Kelbourne Woolens Germantown.

The inspiring women of Kelbourne Woolens have just released their fourth new yarn, one for each season of their 10th year in business. Meet Germantown!

Germantown is a North American sourced yarn with a story to tell, a recreation of a classic wool that had been produced in Germantown, Pennsylvania, under a few different brand names since the mid-to-late 19th century.

Courtney Kelley, one of the founders of Kelbourne Woolens, writes beautifully on the KW blog about her dream to remake Germantown, and what it took to realize that dream. Also on their blog, historian Nic Tenaglia writes more about the history of Germantown yarns, how they were produced and where they got their name – a very interesting read!

Germantown is made of 100% North American wool, Territorial wool, to be precise. On the KW blog, Kelley elaborates that Territorial wool is “a bit of an archaic name for wool that comes from the former US Territories, broadly anything west of the Missouri River, but in the case of Germantown, mostly from Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The most prevalent breeds are Rambouillet, Targhee, Columbia, and Polpay.” This makes for a worsted spun yarn with a smooth texture, soft hand, and nice elasticity.

With a suggested gauge of 16-20 stitches over 4″, Germantown is worsted weight, that versatile category in which most of us begin our knitting and crocheting. The Kelbourne Woolens team see this yarn as a classic basic wool for beginners as well as more advanced stitchers – easy to work with, with good stitch definition, but at a reasonable price for a domestically-produced yarn of this quality. With that in mind, they’ve created the KW Building Blocks collection.

This collection consists of three basic patterns: a hat, a scarf, and mittens. Each one has three variations, taking knitters from the simplest stitches to more complicated patterns, one step at a time. I can see one of these patterns as a great gift for a new knitter, along with a few skeins of Germantown. You can read more about KW Building Blocks on their blog, and buy the patterns on Ravelry or here at the shop as an in-store sale.

Looking for a bigger project to sink your teeth into? Consider Karen Templer’s “Anna Vest,” a textured waistcoat knit with Germantown. Plenty more worsted weight pattern inspiration can be found on our HYS Pinterest boards, too!

for Germantown in our worsted weight section here at the shop!

Dream in Color Sock-It Club, part four.

Dream in Color’s Sock-It Club has arrived again! Every month from July to November, we’re getting sock yarn in a special new colorway from Dream in Color, a Tuscon-based producer of small batch hand-dyed yarns.

October’s special colorway was inspired by a trip to New Orleans’ French Quarter, a mix of purples, pinks, and chocolate brown, with sections of speckled ivory. It’s dyed on Smooshy, a soft, sturdy, and springy blend of superwash merino and nylon.

Colorful skeins like these are perfect for simple ribbed socks that let the yarn take center stage – try the Churchmouse “Basic Socks,” Glenna C.’s “A Nice Ribbed Sock,” or Erica Lueder’s “Hermione’s Everyday Socks.”

Look for this limited edition colorway in the fingering weight section here at the shop!

New colors from Ewe Ewe.

Along with a brand new yarn came a new batch of colors from Ewe Ewe!

Ewe Ewe Yarns is a one-woman operation owned by Heather Walpole. When she first created Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted back in 2012, she started small, with just 7 colors. We’ve loved watching the Ewe Ewe yarn selection grow over the years, and with it, the expanding color palette – these new additions bring it up to 25 colors!

 

These shades are right at home among their cousins, and fill out the existing palette beautifully. Red Velvet, Midnight Blue, and Forest Fern give us more options on the darker end of the spectrum, Iris Blossom is the just right purple that sits between the lighter Lavender and darker Indigo, and Citrus Pop is exactly that – a fun, highlighter-bright pop of color.

Come by the shop to see and squeeze all of these Ewe Ewe Yarns and plan your next project!

Back in stock: Classy mini-skeins.

Dream in Color Classy mini-skeins are back in stock, and how!

Dream in Color only occasionally produces these 50-yard mini-skeins of their worsted weight superwash wool, Classy, and the color selection is different every time. Our last restock back in June was our biggest yet, and it sold out so quickly that we requested an equally big batch as soon as they were available again. Happy to report that the time has come!

Some are highly variegated, some are semi-solid, some are speckled, and some are hybrids, but all are hand-dyed, so there’s some color variation in each skein.

Nancy Leuer’s “Technicolor Cowl” calls for 8 of these mini-skeins, and just as before, I’ve had fun creating color combinations and kits for this project. Because we have somewhat different colors in this group than last time, I’ve created six brand new colorways.

Don’t feel limited to these combinations, however – consider them a jumping off point for your own unique cowls.

Look for “Technicolor Cowl” kits and Dream in Color Classy mini-skeins in the worsted weight section!