Show and tell: mittens, sweaters, and shibori.

The two most exciting parts of a project are often the beginning and the end. At the beginning, the thrill of casting on with new yarn or trying a new technique is quite motivating. At the end, when the project is complete and whatever challenges were faced along the way have been met, the feeling of finishing is equally exhilarating. Better still: the feeling is contagious. Many of the knitters and crocheters we’ve come to know at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop bring their finished pieces to share, and it’s as much a pleasure to see as it is to show. Here are a few show-and-tell projects I’ve captured with my camera over the past few weeks.

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Heather came in with a finished pair of mittens, her first, from a pattern by Susan B. Anderson: “Waiting for Winter Mittens.” She used String Theory Merino DK, a superwash merino whose hand-dyed colorways surprise and delight as you stitch; this colorway, Earthquake, revealed all kinds of colors in the knitted fabric that seemed hidden in the skein. I happen to be a big fan of String Theory Merino DK, having used it in two original designs and, more recently, a sweater.

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The pattern is Amy Herzog’s “Aislinn,” albeit a heavily-modified version. Using Herzog’s tremendously handy Knit to Flatter as a guide, I shortened the body of the sweater, lowered the neckline, recalculated the waist-shaping, and added bust darts. I’m happy with the fit, and feel much more confident in making changes to existing patterns as a result of this project.

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Another way to significantly change the look of the sweater is simply to change the yarn. That’s what Margie did, to stunning effect, with her “Honey” cardigan. The pattern is by Helga Isager, and it calls for a fingering weight wool in a solid color and a lace weight mohair in a variegated color.

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Margie substituted Kauni Effektgarn, a self-striping sport weight wool, and a special skein of semi-solid lace weight yarn that she picked up at a fiber festival. She was careful to swatch for gauge before beginning, and altered the pattern to achieve a slimmer sleeve. Let Margie’s sweater be an inspiration to depart from the called-for yarns and make the changes necessary to create garments you love!

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Wanda brought in her completed “Gemini Pullover,” knit in Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton DK. It’s been really neat to see so many finished Geminis coming in, the result of a shop knit-along that started in March. I know there are others out there on the needles now, and I’m looking forward to seeing them all grown up one day.

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On Saturday afternoon, Mary came by with a completed “Simple Shibori Cowl” in Alchemy Silken Straw and Sanctuary. Delighted with the result, she’s already cast on for another, and picked up another skein of Silken Straw for yet a third cowl. This color combination is gorgeous: Silken Straw in Coco Rosie, and Sanctuary in Dark Star. I can’t wait to see Mary’s next two cowls!

Many thanks to everyone who shows-and-tells at the shop–we’re so happy to be part of this community of creative stitchers!

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  1. Pingback: Show and tell: scarves and cowls. | Hillsborough Yarn Shop

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