Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer reading.

Last week, Anne and I unpacked two boxes of books, almost all of which were new to the shop. We quickly made space on the teacart for them, and filled it even more quickly. As I've explained here before and as regulars have come to expect, the teacart is reserved for the newest additions to the shop. Because of the great quantity of new titles, however, we've had to spread out our most recently acquired books. There are simply too many to squeeze onto one teacart. We decided instead to tuck them in wherever they would fit, which is all over the place. Let me point them out to you here.

Our books are loosely organized by theme, with similar books sharing a shelf. So our newest books on colorwork joined their friends on the colorwork shelf.

The newest sock knitting books found a home with the other sock books, with the sock yarns close at hand.

Knit Noro: 30 Designs in Living Color snagged a space with the Noro pattern booklets and other technique books that play well with Noro yarns--entrelac, brioche, etc. These books are in the Noro corner, just above the Noro yarns.

Our newest books, pictured and unpictured, in no particular order:

Sock Knitting Master Class, by Ann Budd
Socks for Sandals and Clogs, by Anna Zilboorg
The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques, by Margaret Radcliffe
Norwegian Knitting Designs, by Annichen Sibbern Bohn
Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting
Aran Knitting: New and Expanded Edition, by Alice Starmore
Charts Made Simple: Understanding Knitting Charts Visually, by JC Briar
Knit Socks! : 17 Classic Patterns for Cozy Feet, by Betsy McCarthy
Sock Club: Join the Knitting Adventure, by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott
How to Knit Socks: Three Methods Made Easy, by Jeanne Stauffer and Diane Schmidt
Knit Noro: 30 Designs in Living Color
Knit, Swirl!, by Sandra McIver
365 Crochet Stitches a Year: a Perpetual Calendar, by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss
Armenian Knitting, by Meg Swansen and Joyce Williams

I've just picked up my copy of Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting, which should keep me busy for quite some time, reading, admiring, and planning. Serious, beautiful knitting tomes like this one are by far my favorite kind. If you're seeking some knit or crochet inspiration, my recommendation is the right book--one that excites as well as educates. Come by the shop to find it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Handy, indeed.

If you've ever walked into the shop, fallen in love with a skein of yarn and asked us, "Is this enough for a scarf?" then you've probably seen Anne and I consult one of these.

The Knitter's (and Crocheter's) Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements is a little pamphlet filled with charts that are filled with numbers, connecting gauge to yardage. Say you know how many stitches per inch your yarn will give you, and you know how big you want your scarf to be. This handy guide will tell you how many yards you need to do it. This makes it easier to estimate yardage in the event that you're designing your own garment, or substituting yarn for a pattern. It can also be useful to help you get a sense of what you can do with a particular amount of yarn, for example, a lone skein that you fell in love with but made no plans for. Is it enough for a hat? A scarf? A vest? Pick up your handy guide and find out. You can find them right next to another useful resource: the lollipops.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shenandoe Farm. Again.

Just as I finished my Shenandoe cardigan, we received a new batch of Shenandoe Farm yarn.

Same great yarn, now available in brown, 8 ounce cones. Come and get it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Interweave Knits Weekend.

This week, the newest special issue of Interweave Knits magazine joined the rest of the summer magazines on the teacart. Interweave Knits Weekend is full of all kinds of knitting projects: hats, bags, scarves, sweaters for children and adults, socks, leg-warmers, toys... Fancy a sneak peek?

My favorite, naturally: colorwork socks.

Come check it out at the shop!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Julia shows and tells.

I first wrote about the Shenandoe Farm angora goat yarn back in April, when I introduced the local yarns nook and waxed rhapsodic about this rustic,  undyed yarn. It wasn't long after I finished that cabled hat that I started on a sweater out of the same yarn. Now that I've completed said sweater, I thought it might be time for some show and tell.

My sweater was inspired first by designer Anna Zilboorg, who described a method of sweater construction at a workshop in February that pretty much blew my mind. A seamless sweater, knit in flat pieces? With set-in sleeves, shaped simply, like drop-shoulder sleeves? I had to try it. Luckily, Nancy was teaching a class at the shop on this same method while I was wading through the process on my own, so I had a chance to pick her brain on the subject every other week. Not to mention, I eavesdropped on her students as they tackled their own Zilboorg-style sweaters. The side panels, made of stitches picked up at the armpit, were the topic of many a brainstorm session. For those curious: an armpit detail.

I can't say how rewarding it is to take on a knitting challenge like this and come out with a finished garment, and how exciting to watch others do the same. I can't wait to see Nancy's students' finished sweaters, as every one of them designed their own unique garment using different stitch patterns, yarns, and colors. That's one of the pleasures of knitting classes, after all--to see the many variations that are possible for a given pattern or idea.

And what am I up to now? I'm challenging myself to another self-designed sweater, with another recently-raved-about yarn: Marion Foale 3-ply wool.

Hope your weekend provided some good knitting time, too. See you at the shop!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer classes.

We have a handful of new classes scheduled for the coming months, all centered around projects you may have seen around the shop lately:

  • Have you seen the newest issue of Vogue Knitting magazine? Katherine is teaching a class on the cover project, a cabled capelet. If you're interested in learning to cable and to knit in the round, this may be the class for you. 
  • Have you seen the ruffled scarf hanging from the lamp by the desk? Christy's Ruffle Scarf class was a hit, so we're offering it again. It was neat to see all the different combinations of yarn that her students chose, with fibers ranging from cotton to wool to silk to angora, and weights ranging from lace to dk to bulky. Some self-striping, some solid, some variegated, some tweedy. The ruffle scarf is endlessly variable. If you've learned to knit and you're ready to move on from your first garter stitch scarf, this may be the class for you.

  • Have you seen the two baby cardigans hanging in the shop window? Christy's version might be even cuter. If you're eager to figure out the basics of sweater knitting before you take on an adult-sized sweater, let Christy walk you through this baby cardigan in a two-part class beginning in late August.
  • Have you seen a pink and purple hat hanging out by the Katia Fabula? Learn to make one yourself, with Christy as your teacher. If you'd like to learn to knit in the round and construct a basic hat with a ribbed brim, this may be the class for you.
If any of these classes appeal to you, read more about them and register on our website. Look out for a new class from Marion in the coming week, as well! She's putting the finishing touches on an original mitten pattern which is sure to make for a fun and informative class.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pagewood Farm: Alyeska.

Pagewood Farm Alyeska is back in stock! Though you may know it as "the Pagewood with the cashmere," which is what we often call it, its softness being somewhat more memorable than its name. This is decadent sock yarn, folks.

Sock knitters looking to pamper their feet should consider Alyeska, as should mitten, glove, and hat knitters seeking a special, soft, fingering weight yarn. Come to the shop to caress and consider!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lantern Moon bags.

We got a box from Lantern Moon this week, filled with special things: a few sets of their ebony needles, rosewood Sox Stix, and, most alluringly, bunches of bags. Some are small project bags, for safely stowing your knitting away, and perhaps even tucking into a purse or tote along with all the other things you carry.

Some are larger, could be purses themselves.

Come to the shop to see these pretty things in person, and consider what you might like to stow in one. See you soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Surprise! One-Weekend Sale: Classic Elite.

Our four-week series of Going-to-Market sales concludes this weekend with one last sale! Week Four: Classic Elite. That means that all our Classic Elite  yarns are 25% off starting today and ending Sunday, June 12th.

Our Classic Elite yarns come in a variety of weights, from lace up through bulky, and many combinations of fibers, from cotton and cashmere to alpaca and angora:

  • Alpaca Sox: a fingering weight blend of alpaca, wool, and nylon, perfect for socks.
  • Ariosa: a bulky single-ply blend of merino and cashmere.
  • Chesapeake: a worsted weight blend of wool and cotton.
  • Fresco: a fuzzy sport weight blend of wool, alpaca, and angora.
  • Jil Eaton Cottontail: a brightly colored aran weight cotton.
  • Lush: an aran weight blend of angora and wool.
  • Miracle: a dk weight blend of tencel and alpaca.
  • Premiere: a dk weight blend of tencel and cotton.
  • Princess: a worsted weight blend of wool, rayon, nylon, cashmere, and angora.
  • Silky Alpaca: a lace weight blend of alpaca and silk.
  • Soft Linen: a dk weight blend of linen, wool, and alpaca.

  • Summer Sox: a fingering weight blend of merino, cotton, and nylon.
There's a lot to choose from this week! Come by the shop to take a look at our Classic Elite offerings.

(A reminder: there will be no returns or exchanges on sale yarns. Thanks!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Interweave Crochet.

There's a lot of good reading material on the teacart right now. The summer magazines keep pouring in.

And what's that right in the middle? 

The new Interweave Crochet magazine! Crochet enthusiasts, come and check it out!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Did I neglect to mention?

Anne is now a grandmother!

Jared Gabriel and Caleb Liam were born on May 27th, 2011, weighing in at 5 lbs 1 oz and 5 lbs 9 oz respectively.

Anne is completely over the moon for these little guys. We've got their picture on the wall at the shop, which is likely to be frequently updated as each new baby photo is cuter than the last. Stop by to see the latest one and hear the latest baby stories. You can expect to find us grinning ear to ear!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Surprise! One-Weekend Sale: Debbie Bliss.

Our four-week series of Going-to-Market sales continues! Week Three: Debbie Bliss. That means that select yarns by Debbie Bliss are 25% off starting today and ending Sunday, June 5th.

Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton.

Debbie Bliss is a favorite designer and producer of yarn at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We're proud to carry many of her yarns, and happy to offer a reduced price on the following nine yarns this weekend:

  • Cotton Cashmere: a dk weight blend of cotton and cashmere.
  • Donegal Aran Tweed: a sturdy aran weight wool in bright tweedy colorways.
  • Donegal Chunky Tweed: at three stitches per inch, this is one chunky tweed.

  • Fez: a fuzzy aran weight blend of merino wool and camel.
  • Merino dk: a smooth, simple dk weight merino wool.
  • Merino Aran: another smooth and simple wool, in an aran weight.

  • Pure Cotton: a soft, fluffy, worsted weight cotton.
  • Soho: a bulky, thick and thin wool in variegated colorways.
  • Stella: an aran weight blend of silk, rayon and cotton, perfect for summer knitting.

A great feature of Debbie Bliss yarns is that they're easily substituted for one another. That means, if you've fallen in love with a Debbie Bliss pattern, it's likely that there are at least four or five different Debbie Bliss yarns you could make it with. A cozy wool cardigan could become a summer version of itself if Stella were substituted for Cashmerino Aran.

Debbie Bliss Stella.
There's a lot of wonderful yarn on sale this week! Whether you're looking for a lightweight project for summer knitting or planning ahead for winter gift-knitting, it's likely that one of these Debbie Bliss yarns is just right for you. Come in and take a look!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


At first, when we saw the new Vogue Knitting magazine, Early Fall 2011, we thought: What? Early fall, already? Then we thought: Ooh! New Vogue to look at! Fresh new patterns are always welcome here, even if fall seems far away.

As always: check out the newest of the new on the teacart.