Favorite posts of 2017.

As 2017 winds down and a new year begins tomorrow, I’m looking back on another year of blogging for the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – my eighth. Taking the photos and writing the text that fill these posts is one of the great pleasures of my work here at the shop, and I’m always so pleased to hear that people enjoy reading along. Let’s look back together, then, and I’ll share a few of my favorite posts and memories of the year.

Hello, Brooklyn Tweed: We were beyond excited to introduce Brooklyn Tweed yarns to our shop this year, and honestly the excitement hasn’t yet worn off! I knit a hat and a sweater in Shelter, another hat in Arbor, a scarf in Quarry, and still when I daydream about future projects, I’m daydreaming about Brooklyn Tweed yarns.

What’s winding: This little post about a bit of furniture rearranging in the front room of the shop turns out to be among my favorites this year. Our dedicated yarn-winding station has an old table at its foundation, one that belonged to Anne’s mother, so I often think of her as I wind yarn, and how everyday objects can be imbued with such meaning.

Ase Lund Jensen: Marianne Isager’s tribute to her mentor is a beautiful book of knitting history as well as knitting patterns, one I devoured in a single sitting and will surely return to for inspiration. The newest Isager yarn is named for the subject of this book, Danish designer Ase Lund Jensen, and it’s one of my favorite yarns to arrive at the shop this year.

Akerworks Swatch Gauge: This clever tool helps to measure gauge, and while it’s perfectly possible to do so without it, I’m happier with this little gadget in my toolkit. It encourages larger swatches and hands-off measuring, for honest swatching and garments that come out the right size.

Knitting Comfortably: Carson Demers’ book on the ergonomics of handknitting has already changed the way I knit, and I intend to continue my study of it well into the new year, practicing healthier ways of moving my hands and positioning my body to minimize the risk of injury as best I can. We quickly sold out of our first order, just as Demers sold out of his first edition, but fear not – our next batch of this popular book will likely arrive in January!

Thank you so much, dear readers, for spending time with us at the shop and on the blog. We appreciate your support and look forward to starting new projects in 2018 – happy new year to you!

Hello, Isager Jensen Yarn.

A brand new yarn has arrived from Isager in Denmark! Meet Jensen Yarn.

Jensen Yarn is named for Danish knitwear designer Ase Lund Jensen, the subject of Marianne Isager’s latest book. It’s a DK weight wool sourced and spun entirely in Denmark, with about 275 yards on each 100 gram skein.

Jensen Yarn is smooth and round, which will give excellent stitch definition for texture and cable patterns. Wooly and toothsome, Jensen Yarn is not the softest fiber in our shop, but it’s sturdy and full of character, sure to wear well for years to come. I can’t wait to work with it!

Look for pattern ideas on our “DK weight” Pinterest board, and look for Jensen Yarn in the DK weight section here at the shop!

Ase Lund Jensen.

Marianne Isager’s newest book is here, and it is a beauty! Let’s look inside ALJ: Ase Lund Jensen – a Danish knitwear designer.

As its title suggests, ALJ is a tribute to Danish knitwear designer Ase Lund Jensen, a pioneer in textile arts from the late 1950’s until her death in 1977. Jensen recognized a talent for design in young Marianne Isager, and it’s Jensen’s yarn company and workshop that Isager built into what we know today as Isager yarns.

Jensen designed impeccably tailored knits, studied traditional textiles of Greenland and Denmark, and had a fondness for muted shades that couldn’t be satisfied by the yarn manufacturers of the day. Working with a Danish mill, she developed a color palette informed and inspired by natural, plant-based dyes, a palette that Marianne Isager has grown but never strayed from.

The book also includes a great many patterns for sweaters, accessories, and a few home goods, designed by Jensen, Marianne and Helga Isager, and Annette Danielson, all knit with Isager yarns.

Along with a biography of Ase Lund Jensen, there are also articles on the history of knitting, and political knitting in particular.

A copy of ALJ came home with me as soon as it arrived at the shop, and I loved learning more about Danish textile history in general and Jensen and Isager in particular.

Look for ALJ on the teacart here at the shop, where the latest books and magazines mingle. We have more news from Isager coming in the next few blog posts, so keep an eye out, or come straight to the shop to see it all for yourself!