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!

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!

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!

Show and tell: Malabrigo.

It’s high time for another round of show and tell! Today I’m here to share some finished projects that started life as yarn on our shelves, and they all have one thing in common: they’re all knit with yarn from the beloved Uruguayan company Malabrigo.

Above is Janet’s first-ever knitting project, a ribbed scarf made with the worsted weight, hand-dyed Malabrigo Rios. Rios is one of the most popular yarns in our shop because of its versatility, smooth, soft texture, and vibrant colors. Well done, Janet!

Here’s another scarf in Rios, showing a more subtle, tonally variegated colorway. The pattern is “Rockcliffe” and the knitter is Donita, who comes back to Rios again and again, as so many of us do.

I knit this little “Dog Star” with Malabrigo Arroyo for a friend who’s having a baby next month, having made the same sweater for another pregnant friend earlier in the year. Malabrigo’s superwash yarns are perfect for baby things, as they’re easy to care for and soft to the touch.

Malabrigo yarns also play well with others. Glen used Malabrigo Sock in natural white as the background color in his “Broken Seed Stitch Socks,” letting another variegated yarn shine.

Winnie took a similar approach with her “ZickZack Scarf,” pairing a semisolid Malabrigo Sock with the self-striping Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball for a lovely effect.

Emily used a variety of leftover yarns, including bits and pieces of Malabrigo Rios, in this “Randolph Raccoon,” a gift for her son. Toys like these are an excellent use of odds and ends, which is why I never get rid of even the smallest length of leftover yarn – Emily did a great job putting some of hers to use!

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!

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. This order of mini-skeins is our biggest yet, boasting an astonishing 63 colors!

Melon & lime.

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.

Variegates & speckles.

Cherries & pastry.

I had a lot of fun arranging them in 8-skein combinations for “Technicolor Cowls.”

Denim & chambray.

Jewels & gems.

Nancy Leuer’s “Technicolor Cowl” is a simple but entertaining project with a focus on color.

It’s knit in the round, with stripes of stockinette and reverse stockinette that make a squishy, textured fabric from this springy superwash merino yarn. The pattern is free when you purchase eight Dream in Color Classy mini-skeins for the project.

Eggplant & pepper.

Moss & bark.

We’ve created kits in each of the colorways shown here, so if you’re struck by any of these combinations, it’s easy to pick up all the materials you need for the project.

A bundle of colorful mini-skeins and an easy pattern are the makings of a lovely gift, too!

Look for Dream in Color Classy mini-skeins in the worsted weight section, and have fun picking colors for a “Technicolor Cowl” of your own!

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed Ranch 01.

We are delighted to announce that Brooklyn Tweed’s newest yarn has arrived!

Ranch 01 is a worsted weight, limited edition, ranch-specific Rambouillet yarn, which means every fiber in these skeins was sourced from a single flock of sheep living on Bare Ranch in Surprise Valley, CA.

Brooklyn Tweed has always sought to highlight single breed wools and support US ranchers with sustainable environmental practices. This project allows them to shine a spotlight on the people and practices behind their yarns, one ranch at a time. You can read more about Bare Ranch on the BT blog and get a good sense of the people who made this yarn possible.

After the wool was sourced at Bare Ranch, scoured in South Carolina, and spun in Maine, it traveled to Pennsylvania to be hand-dyed with natural pigments at Green Matters Natural Dye Company. Ranch 01 colors are created with plant-, mineral-, and insect-based natural dyes, pigments that need to be cared for differently than conventional dyes.

With this in mind, Brooklyn Tweed has created a tip sheet to go with Ranch 01, with information about naturally dyed yarn and how to care for it – we’ll include one with each purchase of Ranch 01 here at our shop.

What to knit with Ranch 01? At 220 yards per hank, you can get a hat or pair of mitts out of one skein, and a scarf or cowl out of two or three skeins. Look for a binder of Ranch 01 patterns here at the shop for ideas!

The yarn arrived today, but already it’s selling quickly – come by and see it while supplies last! The small-batch nature of this yarn means we can’t reorder it, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

See you at the shop!

Shibui Sample of the Month: Comfort Zone.

April 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 til the end of the month.

This month’s sample is “Comfort Zone,” by Elizabeth Smith, a striped garter stitch wrap with a ribbed edge.

“Comfort Zone” is knit with four shades of Shibui Drift, a worsted weight blend of 85% extra fine merino wool and 15% cashmere.

Come by the shop to before April 29th to see “Comfort Zone” and get Shibui Drift 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!

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!

Shibui Sample of the Month: Multigrain and Origami Top Hat.

September is here, and with it, two new Shibui Samples of the Month! We offer a 10% discount on Shibui yarn purchased for our featured samples til the end of the month.

We normally have just one featured Shibui sample each month, but the good people at Shibui offered us two this time and we couldn’t see why not. Let’s look first at “Multigrain,” by Antonia Shankland, a seed stitch scarf knit with Shibui Pebble, Silk Cloud, and Cima. These were our first three Shibui yarns, and they remain favorites. All are lace weight, but they vary in fiber content and texture.

“Multigrain” is a great way to experiment with yarn mixing, where two strands are held together for a unique fiber or color combination. Here, the color is the same from yarn to yarn, but the different yarns make for a subtle shift in texture throughout the piece. The pattern is free when you purchase Shibui yarns for the project here at our shop.

Next up is Lori Versaci’s “Origami Top Hat,” knit with just two skeins of Shibui Drift. At first glance, it looks like your basic stockinette cap with a ribbed brim.

From the top, however, you can see the clever shaping and folding that gives this design its name. It looks like it will be fun to knit and easy to wear, a good combination now that gift-knitting season is upon us.

Come by the shop to see both our Shibui Samples of the Month, and get 10% off the Shibui yarns featured in “Multigrain” and “Origami Top Hat.” See you there!

 

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

Show and tell: Bradway shawls.

Earlier in the year, Katherine taught a class here at the shop on Shannon Cook’s “Bradway,” a striped triangular shawl knit with three shades of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter. Her sample has been hanging at the shop ever since, a striking combination of “Truffle Hunt,” “Fossil,” and “Almanac.”

It’s always fun to see the variety of color combinations that come out of a class, and this was no exception. So far, three of Katherine’s students have brought their finished shawls back for show-and-tell, which I’m delighted to share here on the blog. If you follow us on Instagram, you may have already seen close-ups of these.

Gwen chose “Postcard,” “Fossil,” and “Thistle” for her shawl, above.

Barbara chose “Blanket Fort,” “Foothills,” and “Plume” for her shawl, above.

Loretta chose “Almanac,” “Snowbound,” and “Faded Quilt” for her shawl, above.

Thanks to Katherine’s students for sharing their work; we look forward to seeing other “Bradway” shawls that are still in progress, and those that these projects may inspire!