Friday, April 29, 2011

Habu cotton shawl.

Perhaps you remember our Habu cotton, a soft, airy, laceweight boucle yarn that Anne has been using in a striped shawl.

Perhaps you remember my promise to post pictures of said shawl soon. I was reminded of this promise when the latest shipment of Habu cotton came in this week, boasting more of all the existing colors as well as one brand new teal, completing the Habu cotton spectrum. The shawl is still in progress, and only becomes more alluring as each successive stripe is added.

I said it in the last Habu post and it still holds true: you have to touch this shawl. It's light, soft, drapes beautifully, and is so open on size 11 needles as to be transparent.

Come and admire it, and begin planning a similarly weightless summer shawl if you are so inclined.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Japanese Inspired Knits.

Marianne Isager's Japanese Inspired Knits is quite possibly the best-selling book in the history of the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. In the two years since it was published, we've taught several classes based upon it, carried more and more Isager yarns, and reordered the book countless times.

Recently, though, we managed to sell all our copies before we had a chance to reorder, resulting in a week or two without it. And wouldn't you know it, those were the weeks I got the most requests for this particular book. Every couple of days, someone would point to Anne's Carp sweater and say, "Where can I get the pattern for that?"

Once or twice, someone would come in from the street wondering about Nancy's Fan sweater. "Do you have the pattern for the red sweater in the window?"

Well, everyone, I'm happy to report that Japanese Inspired Knits is back in stock. Sweater-knitters looking for interesting construction ought to have a look at this title (and these sweaters!) if they haven't already. May we have it on hand forevermore.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Preparing for classes.

Marion is a hard working knitter. She comes into the shop, settles down in her normal spot on the couch, and spreads out her notes and charts to work on the project in the photo below.

This is her Vogue Sleeveless Tunic, knit in Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, a top that will be the focus of her upcoming class. Marion's getting a head start on the project before the class begins on April 30th, working out the kinks so she can guide her students through the pattern with ease. 

Accomplished knitter that she is, Marion has altered the pattern somewhat, working the front and back together in one flat piece rather than two, giving her one less seam to sew. Additionally, finding the cable chart too small and too fussy to read, Marion has written up line by line instructions, which will come along with the original pattern in her class. There's still one space left in that class, by the way. If you'd like to fill it and join Marion in creating a beautiful garment for spring, head over to the shop website to register. Marion is also teaching an upcoming class on magic loop socks, a kind of level 2 class for those who have already learned the magic loop method and would like to add cable or lace patterns to their toe-up socks. There are plenty of spaces in that class, so register now for what's sure to be an enlightening experience!

Friday, April 22, 2011

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!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cascade Ultra Pima.

As new yarns go, Cascade Ultra Pima is not the newest. We got our first few bags of it several months ago now. However, this is such a popular yarn that most of the colors we ordered back then have been backordered until recently. It's only this week that we've begun to see the full range of colors.

Cascade Ultra Pima is a 100% cotton yarn in a dk weight, smooth and slightly shiny. It's also very affordable, at $9.50 per 220 yard skein. Several knitters have wandered into the shop lately hoping to make lightweight cotton tees--this yarn would be a perfect choice for such an endeavor. Though it's also right for a lace scarf, or a simple summer cardigan for cool evenings... Ultra Pima has a lot of potential this time of year. Look for it on the cotton tree, and consider it for your warm weather knitting.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A surprise from Berroco.

I was surprised to see a box from Berroco this past week. A box of yarn is no surprise at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, of course, but this particular box made me think to myself: Wait. What did we order from Berroco again? But look what we discovered upon opening said box!

Not yarn at all, but a new sample to display in the shop. This incredible afghan is knit from a book called Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans, by Norah Gaughan, Margery Winter, and the Berroco Design Team. If you're looking for a copy, we keep them in a stack near the Shenandoe Farm yarn.

The pattern is "Aran," by Norah Gaughan, and it's made out of Berroco Comfort, a yarn that we don't carry, though we do carry many other Berroco yarns. As I explained in an earlier post, we're all about yarn substitution, so if you'd like to knit a blanket from this book, don't fret about the absence of this particular yarn. We have so many wonderful yarns to choose from, and we'd be happy to help you find one that suits your pattern.

Such a pretty thing, no? Come in to the shop to cuddle and admire this new addition to our collection of samples.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Julia shows off.

As regulars at the shop are probably already aware, I've become preoccupied with knitting socks of late. Since I'm six and a half pairs into my sock knitting career, I thought it might be a good time to share my progress. Ready for some show and tell?

Cascade 220 Superwash Sport.

Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine.

Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply.

Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply.

And what am I working on now? But of course:

Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply.

I have designs on a Zilboorg-style cabled cardigan out of the Shenandoe Farm yarn, but that's only if I can peel myself away from my #2 double points. If you're in need of some sock-knitting enthusiasm, I have plenty to spare: come by the shop and we'll talk socks. Many thanks for enduring all those pictures of my feet! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


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!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shenandoe Farm.

Perhaps if you've been in the shop sometime in the past two weeks, you've noticed a new little nook I created for locally produced and dyed yarns.

The local yarns live in the Noro corner, above the Noro. Here, you'll find a lone skein of local llama yarn, a bit of handspun, and a sock- and dk-weight yarn dyed locally by The Unique Sheep. Those local yarns we've had for some time now. It was the introduction of a brand new local yarn that inspired this grouping.

Shenandoe Farm, right here in Orange County, is home to the angora goats that helped produce the beautiful undyed yarn pictured above. Their wool was shipped off to Michigan to be mixed with a bit of cotton and mill-spun. To me, this is some of the most exciting new yarn we've received in a long time. It's rustic looking, pleasant to work with, and fuzzy without shedding. The skeins vary some in color, thickness, yardage, and weight: something to keep in mind when you're planning a project. That very uncertainty, though, requires you to try out different needle sizes and work a swatch before casting on--a blessing in disguise. This is wonderful stuff to experiment with.

To me, the yarn said, honeycomb cables, and so that's what I did. What you see above is about half a hat. I only get to work at it during the slow moments at the shop, but it's growing quickly anyway. Come by the shop to give those cables a nice squeeze, and to admire the fiber that our corner of the world produces.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


The spring magazines keep rolling in. Hello, knitscene!

As usual: find it on the teacart.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mission Falls: on sale!

We're sad to report that Mission Falls is discontinuing its classic 1824 Wool and 1824 Cotton yarns. We're happy, though, to report that those two yarns are now on sale!

The 1824 Wool is a worsted weight superwash merino, notable for its plush softness and its many-hued color palette. I've knit several baby sweaters and one adult sweater out of this wonderful yarn and thus, can happily vouch for it. Very nice stuff, and I'm sorry to see it go. As of today: it's just $5 a ball.

The 1824 Cotton is also a worsted weight ("1824" signifies 18 stitches per inch and 24 rows per inch--a solid worsted weight gauge), but one with a distinctive bumpy texture. Like the wool, it comes in a beautiful, subtle range of colors. It's wonderful for baby things and washcloths alike. As of today: it's just $4.75 a ball.

The Mission Falls yarns still live in their usual homes in the shop, and we still have plenty in the back room if you need more for a bigger project. Come snatch up what's left of our Mission Falls stash!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Marion and Marian show off.

One of the great joys of knitting, besides knitting itself, is seeing what other people are knitting. It's a large part of why Ravelry exists, and it's one of my favorite parts of my job at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Not only do I get in on the knitting plans as they're being made, but I also often see the finished product, proudly brought in to show off. I always get to ooh and ahh, and touch the finished sweaters, scarves, and hats. Sometimes I get to take a picture, too.

You may know Marion as our magic loop sock teacher. She does more than just socks, though. She's pictured above in her recently completed February Lady Sweater, knit with Briggs & Little Sport held double. Marion is quite the sweater knitter--check out her class on the Vogue Sleeveless Tunic on the shop website.

Meanwhile, Marian keeps coming in with incredible lace shawls. Her latest: a capelet from the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Vogue Knitting, knit with Lana Grossa Chiara. The photo doesn't do this sparkly shawl justice. 

Thanks for sharing your knitting with us, ladies! 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Knit Simple.

The Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Knit Simple has arrived. Look for it on the teacart!