Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hello, String Theory.

I know I said we were elated at the arrival of Jitterbug last week--and really, we were! But that was before yesterday's shipment from String Theory, a new yarn company for us. Yesterday, excitement erupted at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop as Anne pulled skein after skein of beautiful hand-dyed yarn out of the box, passing them around to an appreciative group of knitters who petted, hugged, and admired the new yarn with great delight. Several of them decided they couldn't leave without a skein, and so they were here and gone before they even made it onto the shelf. Luckily, there is still plenty to show off. Have a look at what all of the fuss is about.

String Theory is a small company out of Blue Hill, Maine, a two-woman operation that has been getting a lot of attention recently. String Theory was recently profiled in Coastal Knits, a lovely pattern collection that we're forever reordering. Clara Parkes mentioned them in a recent post on Knitter's Review, which led me back to her Knitter's Book of Socks, where I found patterns using both of the String Theory sock yarns we just got in.

String Theory's Caper Sock is a luxurious fingering weight yarn, a blend of superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon. Cookie A's pattern from Knitter's Book of Socks, below, uses the Caper Sock yarn with lovely results.

Bluestocking, on the other hand, is perhaps the more interesting of the two String Theory sock yarns because of its fiber content: 80% Bluefaced Leicester wool and 20% nylon. Bluefaced Leicester is a particular breed of sheep known for its long, strong fibers, which ought to make a particularly durable pair of socks. (Care to learn more about breed-specific wools? Put Clara Parkes' Knitter's Book of Wool on your holiday wish list, or give it to yourself as a gift. Fascinating stuff!) It's rare and exciting to see a yarn label that specifies the breed of sheep whose wool is inside it, with the exception of the ubiquitous Merino. I can't wait to give Bluestocking a try, perhaps using Ann Budd's pattern from Knitter's Book of Socks.

The third and final kind of yarn we received from String Theory this week is their Merino DK, a name which speaks for itself. I can add little else to describe it, though I'll mention that it's superwash, squishy and soft, and that each 100 gram skein is packed with 280 yards. At a dk weight, that can easily take you through a hat, cowl, pair of mittens, or maybe even a scarf.

Come by the shop and we'll be sure to show you in person all that I've shown you here. Forgive us if we can hardly contain our delight: we love yarn, we love knitting, and we are utterly irrepressible. See you at the shop!


  1. Wow, those are gorgeous skeins! I'm coming to buy one today.

    Do y'all know there is a woman raising Leister Longwool sheep in Orange County? I'm not sure if its cool to link here because she does sell the yarn she spins. But who knows, maybe an alliance is in order?

  2. Indeed, I did manage to stop by the shop yesterday. I bought some Caper Sock and some Luster and I'm delighted with both.

    The shop looks great.

  3. Thanks! Glad you snagged a Caper Sock--enjoy it! What will it be when it grows up?

  4. A pair of socks, but I haven't chosen a pattern yet. My plan is to start now, and knit one pair for each niece and nephew for the holidays next year. Wish me luck! I'll post pictures on my blog, if you want to see my progress. Naturally, the wool will come from Hillsborough Yarn Shop --the best yarn shop in the area by far.


  5. No need to contain your delight. Your enthusiasm for all things yarn-related jumps off the screen and is completely contagious (you know, in a good way). Keep up all the good work -- this is such a fantastic blog!

  6. Thanks for the kind words, Mara!