Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Brightside Wool.

We were approached recently by a woman who, as a former sheep owner, had an excess of unspun wool. She showed Anne a few puffs of roving, dyed in a handful of solid hues, and explained that this one was 100% Shetland wool, while that one was a blend of Cotswold and Shetland, with some Lambswool mixed in. Anne petted the roving as the woman asked, would you like to carry it at the shop? Why, yes!

We have only a modest selection of wool for spinning at the shop, namely Great Adirondack's hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester, so we were only too happy to take on a small selection of locally produced roving. Look for Brightside Wool roving right alongside the Great Adirondack roving, near the desk.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Claudia Hand Painted Yarns.

With August comes the new Fall yarns, and here is one of our most exciting acquisitions of the season: Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, out of Harrisonburg, VA. Anne fell in love with a silk sweater she saw at TNNA in June, and the rest is history, which is to say, the makings of that silk sweater are now in the shop. We've put kits together with 2 skeins of the Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace in different but complimentary colorways, which are held together throughout the knitting of either a cardigan or a t-shirt. The kits include the yarn, the pattern, and a Hillsborough Yarn Shop project bag.

Obsessive sock knitter that I am, though, the real excitement for me is the Claudia Hand Painted Fingering yarn. Made of 100% extra fine merino, hand painted in bright variegated colorways, this yarn is squishy and soft but tightly plied, which should make for luxurious but long-wearing socks.

I've already knit a sample sock for the shop with this yarn, so you can get a feel for how it knits up. The pattern for said sample sock is forthcoming--a pattern of my own design, which I'm excited to release into the world as soon as I'm done editing it. Til then, you'll be delighted to know that there are many wonderful free patterns for Claudia Hand Painted Fingering yarn. If you're looking for a way to use this yarn, try Skew, Herringbone Rib Socks, or Roll Top Socks, ankle socks which actually take only one 50 gram skein. The Claudia Hand Painted Fingering yarn is about equivalent to Koigu in weight and yardage, so it's a perfect substitute if any patterns for Koigu should happen to catch your eye.

Come by the shop to see Claudia Hand Painted yarns in person, to squeeze some skeins and admire the vivid colors!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Debbie Bliss Magazine.

Another round of fall knitting inspiration has come to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop in magazine form. Hello again, Debbie Bliss Magazine!

Read more about the fall issue of Debbie Bliss Magazine on her website and come by the shop for a perusal.

I hope everyone's been safe in this storm. See you at the shop!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Needle felting.

This week, we got some beautiful new needle felting kits from Fiber Trends.

The kit comes with everything you need to start needle felting: instructions, needles, a foam mat to work on, and twelve colorful puffs of roving. If you're interested in needle felting, check out one of the Ravelry groups devoted to the craft: Needle Me This. There, you'll find many pictures that answer the question, what can you make with needle felting? From embellishments for knitted or felted items to sculptural representations of creatures real and imaginary, there is a lot you can do with this technique, particularly if garments are not your thing. I'm not a needle-felter myself, but my good friend Andrea (who regular blog readers may recognize as a gifted sock-knitter) has done some particularly interesting work with needle felting and stop-motion animation. (Check it out, if you would, and don't be too shy to leave a comment!) Anne just ordered some new books on needle felting for the shop, so we can look forward to those, as well, for further information and inspiration on the topic.

Here's to the forever-expanding possibilities for creating with fiber. See you at the shop!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kusha Kusha.

The Kusha Kusha scarf gets a lot of attention at the shop. This is in part because of its unusual, organic-looking shape, almost like a strand of kelp. Another reason to take note of this scarf is its fiber content. Kusha Kusha is knit with two strands of lace weight yarn held together, one of which is 100% merino wool, the other of which is stainless steel wrapped in silk. The stainless steel gives memory to the yarn and the resulting fabric, so that you can crinkle it up or stretch it out and it holds its shape.

The Kusha Kusha scarf comes as a kit from Habu Textiles, complete with the pattern and a cone of each yarn. We've carried these kits at the shop for some time, but our supply was getting low. When we reordered this past week, we got many more colors than we'd ever had before, a spectrum of elegant pairings.

Make sure to take a look at this unusual scarf the next time you're in the shop. If you're curious to see what others have done with this kit and pattern, check out the Kushua Kusha Love group on Ravelry. See you at the shop!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


For whatever reason, we've been flush with Lantern Moon shipments recently. Whether it's a many-pocketed project bag or a splendidly shiny button, Lantern Moon seems to make all of the goodies that knitters and crocheters go for--save for yarn, of course. Our latest box from Lantern Moon brought the usual batch of Meadow Pouches, allowing us to boast all five colors in stock at the same time for the first time. Magenta, purple, blue, green, and orange: pick your favorite or succumb to the urge to collect all five.

On the more elegant side, we also replenished our selection of Lantern Moon knit-out boxes, which keep your yarn from rolling away as you work.

We got a few new goodies, too. These sheep stitch markers were all snatched up within 24 hours of their arrival in the shop! No worries, sheep collectors: we're reordering soon.

Last but not least, we also got beautiful new circular needle cases, at the suggestion of a friend who brought her Lantern Moon circular case in to show us. Anne and I agreed that it was one of the better circular cases we'd seen and ordered some for the shop that day. Take a look, see what you think.

Alright, that's enough temptation for one blog post. Over and out.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Best of Interweave Crochet.

Another great collection of Interweave patterns has found its way to the teacart at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, this time for crocheters.

Crochet sweaters, hats, scarves, dresses, and blankets are found within the covers of this new book, among other projects, using a variety of crochet techniques. Take a look next time you're in the shop!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hello, Paca-Peds H-T.

This past Thursday, we received a box full of Paca-Peds H-T, an alpaca-blend sock yarn with an unusual feature.

Each soft and fuzzy hank of this yarn is actually two hanks, the larger of which is variegated, and the smaller of which is a complimentary semi-solid. Why? The answer is hidden in the title of the yarn: H-T stands for Heels and Toes, which is precisely what that semi-solid hank is set aside for. Look on Ravelry for examples of socks knit this way, as well as shawls that use the heels-and-toes yarn for an edging.

Come by the shop to give this soft, squishy sock yarn a squeeze!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vogue Knitting.

We had just about wiped out our collection of Vogue's Early Fall issue when we got the Fall issue. Just in time: some more autumnal knitting inspiration.

Anne and I are loving those gloves! Look for Vogue and all else that is new on the teacart.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


What's that hanging in our front window, red and shiny near the top?

Why, it's a Namaste Mini Messenger bag, one of the five colors we just got in at the shop. Come inside and see them up close.

Namaste bags are made from animal-friendly faux-leather, and lined with a soft microsuede made from recycled plastic bottles. The Mini Messenger bag and the Cali Zuma are roomy and well-pocketed enough to serve as knitting bags, but also sturdy and attractive enough to serve as a purse.

We're so excited to offer these bags, which are totally unlike any bags we've stocked before. It looks like we're not alone in our excitement, either--Namaste has a 1,784-person fan club on Ravelry! Come to the shop to take a closer look, and tell us what you think.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Norah Gaughan.

Norah Gaughan is a knitwear designer with a distinctive style and a taste for unusual shapes, often inspired by those found in nature. We have two sample sweaters hanging in the shop which illustrate this perfectly: Flower Child, which I've written about before, is from Volume 4 of Gaughan's series for Berroco, and Eastlake, which is from Volume 3. Look for them next time you're in the shop, as seeing them in person is a great improvement over seeing images on the computer. All eight of the Norah Gaughan collections are stunning and inspiring, especially for those seeking modern sweaters and interesting knits.

 But wait--make that nine.

This new collection, Norah Gaughan: Volume 9, is my favorite so far. It's filled with cables and makes good use of many wonderful Berroco yarns that we stock, from the sport weight Ultra Alpaca Light to the super chunky Peruvia Quick. Here's a peek inside at a few of the designs.

Find it on the teacart, along with the newest Fall magazines!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Knitted Lace.

Along with the new issue of Interweave Knits, we got a new Interweave book, Knitted Lace: A Collection of Favorite Designs from Interweave.

Lace patterns, along with being beautiful to look at, are fascinating to execute. Whether it's a shawl, scarf, sweater, or a pair of socks, there is no doubt that lace patterns keep it interesting for the knitter. This collection brings together lace patterns of all kinds, from designers like Nancy Bush, Veronik Avery, Ann Budd, and Shirley Paden. Interested? Find it on the teacart.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Interweave Knits.

The Fall issue of Interweave Knits is here, with plenty of cozy-looking sweaters and other cold-weather knits inside, to remind us: it wont always be this hot. Truly.

Find it, as usual, on the teacart.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hello (and welcome back), Malabrigo Sock.

It's been a long wait, but at last, our shipment of the ever-popular and often asked-after Malabrigo Sock yarn has arrived. We'd gotten down to one lonesome skein of the stuff!

As of yesterday morning, that sad last skein was once again surrounded by friends.

The Malabrigo Sock yarn is a fingering weight superwash merino wool, coming in 27 variegated or semisolid colorways. Like other yarns by Malabrigo, the Sock is sought after not only for its beautiful colors, but also its incredible softness. At the shop, we have a Clapotis on display made in Malabrigo Sock (apparently a popular choice for this extremely popular pattern), an excellent way to show the yarn off.

Of course, I couldn't leave without a skein for myself. Socks are the plan. I can't wait to cast on.

If you've never tried this yarn before, come by the shop to try on the Clapotis, look at all the beautiful colors (while they're still in stock!), and consider it. If you're one of the many who has called or come in looking for it, I expect to see you at the shop shortly after you see this post, ready to grab a skein or two off the shelves!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I'm sure Anne is having a delightful time in Denmark, but I know she'll be truly jealous of what I got to do today at the shop. Her grandsons came by for a short visit, and with Anne out of town, Rosi and I got a chance to cuddle them with no grandmotherly interruption.

(Thanks for the picture, Beth!)

Since she promised to share Denmark pictures with us, I thought I'd share this picture with her, since of course I'm sure she's finding time to keep up with the blog while she's out of the country at an invitation-only knitting workshop with an internationally famous designer. Of course.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Katia Fabula. Again.

 Katia Fabula, a super bulky, superwash, super-soft merino wool, has been a popular choice for hat-making (not least because our Fabula sample is, ahem, a hat). It's thickness, softness, and washability all conspire to make this a quick, cozy, easy-care yarn for accessories. A common question from knitters, though, has been, "Are these all the colors?" Since it was a new yarn for us, we'd selected only three colors to carry at the shop: a blend of neutral colors, a reddish purple, and a pinkish purple. Now that Fabula has been successful, when it was time to reorder, we picked a new color to add to our collection: blues.

I think it rounds out our small color selection nicely. Unfortunately, we just don't have enough room to stock every color it comes in, but it's nice to add a new color every once in a while. Next time you're looking to make a quick cold-weather accessory, remember Fabula!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lakedale Shawl class.

I've just posted a new fall class on the website, a 3 session class focused on a pattern from Malabrigo Book 3: the texured, ruffled Lakedale Shawl. The pattern calls for Malabrigo sock yarn (which, by the way, is finally scheduled to be back in stock at the shop sometime this week...!), but Katherine, who will teach the class, made hers in one of my favorites: Marion Foale 3 ply wool, held doubled throughout.

This shawl is currently on display in the shop, so if you're thinking about taking the class, come and touch it, admire it, try it on.

Check out other beautiful renditions of the Lakedale Shawl on Ravelry. We have many other exciting classes scheduled, so if this one isn't quite what you're looking for, check out our website to see what else is slated for the fall. Learn to knit the February Lady Sweater or a cute pair of cabled mittens, or learn to knit, period--we have beginner classes, too. Marsha is also teaching a series of fantastic one-session troubleshooting-type classes on reading your knitting, fixing mistakes, and unraveling the mystery that is gauge. And: there are more classes coming that are only in the planning stages now. Stay tuned, friends. See you at the shop!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shawl pins.

I spent a good bit of the afternoon last Thursday putting a new batch of shawl pins on display.

Like buttons, shawl pins are a small detail that make a big impact on your finished project. These particular shawl pins from Shaune Bazner are lightweight, to prevent stretching your knit or crochet shawl, and range from simple to ornate in a variety of colors. If you're looking for that finishing touch for a recently completed shawl, consider these.