Marion Foale. Again.

I wrote before about the Marion Foale 3-ply wool. Since then, several things have happened to increase our love for this yarn, as well as our supply of it. For one, the striped top I was dreaming up is now on the needles. The yarn is a dream to knit with, and creates a fabric so light, stretchy, and wearable that it is impossible to stop planning the next thing I’ll make with it. And the next. And the next… Then we got the colorcard in the mail. Our little basket of Marion Foale 3-ply paled in comparison to the full spectrum of available colors. So what did we do about it?

Just as you likely suspected: we got a bag of every color. Come by to see the full spectrum!

Hello, Jitterbug.

While we’re speaking reverently of sock yarn, I’d like to introduce you to Colinette Jitterbug.

Jitterbug is a fingering-weight superwash merino yarn with a tight twist and a bright range of variegated colorways. It’s been a favorite at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop for socks and garments alike. Anne used Jitterbug to make a simple stockinette vest several years ago, and the yarn really shines. Another knitter we know is working on an elaborate intarsia cardigan using Jitterbug, another perfect use for the yarn. I’ve seen several Jitterbug hats, too. So many ways to use fingering-weight yarn besides socks!

Our only complaint about Jitterbug thusfar has been that its yardage is a little short for socks, weighing in at a mere 320 yards. However, that problem has been attended to. Our most recent shipment of Jitterbug came in new 400 yard skeins, with a price increase of only ten cents per skein. Something to celebrate, no?

Come by the shop to see these colors in person, as their depth and intensity are not quite captured by my camera. See you at the shop!

Hello, Koigu.

Sock yarn can be addictive. “Remember,” Anne sometimes says, “sock yarn doesn’t count as stash.” This makes it particularly, and perhaps even dangerously addictive. While many sock yarns are wonderful, there are some that are spoken of with reverence, names that you come into a shop looking for, rather than happen upon accidentally. Koigu is one of those.

Our own stash of Koigu lives in a little basket on the floor with many of the other sock yarns, beaming up at you as you wander past. The yarn has been here for some time now, but something new came in the mail this week and got us thinking about other uses for Koigu beyond socks.

The first-ever issue of Koigu Magazine is here, and it’s full of garments. Sweaters, shawls, skirts, dresses, hats and mittens. This is a great source for patterns using fingering-weight yarn that look beyond socks.

Look for it on the teacart!

Hello, Malabrigo.

Here is a yarn with a fanbase.

Malabrigo Silky Merino and Malabrigo Rios are back in stock! It’s been a long wait, and as we waited, our Malabrigo stash dwindled into a sad little stack of mismatching skeins. “Is the Malabrigo here yet?” became a common inquiry, always met with a sad shake of the head. Now that the full range of colors are back together, those sad skeins are looking much happier.

Above, you’ll see a slice of the Rios spectrum, a washable worsted weight wool. Below: Silky Merino, a dk weight single ply blend of, as the name suggests, silk and merino wool.

Come by the shop to take a look!

Marion Foale.

Something new has just settled in on the teacart.

Marion Foale, a British fashion designer, has just released a book of knitting patterns and a line of 3-ply wool yarn to go with it. The patterns are exquisite, finely tailored, and classic-looking. The yarn is soft and fine, a light fingering weight which Foale sometimes uses doubled or tripled in her patterns for different gauges. Take a peek inside:

Even if the patterns don’t move you, the yarn has plenty of potential. It’s the right gauge to substitute for many Marianne Isager designs, so if you’ve been poring over Japanese Inspired Knits, this gives you yet another option to consider where colors and textures are concerned. Meanwhile, I’ve been daydreaming about a sleeveless top, with red and white stripes, and this may well be the yarn for the job. You could even make socks with this yarn, as it’s machine washable.

Come by the shop to check it out!

Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply.

Last week we welcomed two new colors of a yarn we’ve had for a few years now, Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply. As with the rest of the Debbie Bliss yarns, Rialto 4 ply comes in a beautiful range of solid colors, and they’re designed to look wonderful together. The more colors, the merrier.

Rialto 4 ply is the fingering-weight answer to Rialto Aran and Rialto DK, all springy 100% superwash merino yarns with excellent stitch definition. Debbie Bliss has great pattern support for all three, of course, but I’ve had great fun using Rialto 4 ply in my own design experiments. I’ve knit three pairs of socks with this yarn, and one crazy sweater. I’ve shared the socks here before, so now it’s the sweater’s turn.

Which is just to say, having spent a sweater’s worth of time with this yarn, I feel I’m intimately familiar with it. It’s wonderful for fair-isle knitting, though not in the classic sense; it’s a smooth, superwash yarn, so you probably wouldn’t want to steek it. Still, the true solids are just right for crisp colorwork patterns.

And now there are two more colors to choose from. The more, the merrier.

Pagewood Farm.

Hand-dyed sock yarn addicts, take note: our Pagewood Farm sock yarn collection is still growing. The other day a box arrived full of Glacier Bay, a 100% superwash merino wool. The yarn is soft but strong, and the colors are vibrant.

We’re down to only a few skeins of Pagewood Alyeska, a superwash merino sock yarn with a bit of cashmere mixed in, but never fear–we’ve already placed our replacement order. 
See you at the shop!


We’ve been waiting quite a while for a box from Schaefer Yarns. We’d long ago sold out of their textured worsted weight wool, Nancy, whose colorways are named for memorable women throughout history, the likes of Julia Child, Clara Barton, Renata Tebaldi, and Clare Booth Luce, among many others. On Thursday, the box from Schaefer came at last, so the Hillsborough Yarn Shop is home to Nancy once more.

Schaefer Nancy comes in very large hanks of about 600 yards, enough for a shawl, shrug, or vest. We also received a selection of patterns for Nancy that are free with purchase of the yarn, if you’re looking for project ideas. 
For lace-knitters and silk-lovers, the real excitement in the Schaefer box was five shiny new skeins of Andrea. This 100% silk lace-weight yarn is truly exquisite. Behold!

There’s a limited amount of Andrea in stock, so if silk and lace are your weakness, don’t hesitate. See you at the shop!