On and off our needles.

Anne and I are always knitting. I’m sure this comes as no surprise. At home, we work on our own projects – Anne is currently knitting a sweater for her husband, I’m (almost always) knitting a sweater for myself – and here at the shop, we knit on samples that will one day hang on the wall to inspire knitters that come to visit. Within the past two weeks, we’ve both completed shop samples and cast on for new ones.



Anne’s “Nova” tunic is made with Shibui’s newest yarn, Rain, a mercerized cotton so smooth and shiny it could pass for silk.

“Nova” is simply constructed in two pieces, then stitches are picked up for the mandarin collar. Side seams give structure to the drapey fabric that comes with plant fibers like cotton.

The pattern photo shows “Nova” in a silvery gray, but I think it looks particularly elegant in Anne’s signature black. Come by the shop to try it on!



With “Nova” behind her, Anne is now stitching on another pattern from Shibui’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection, a colorblock pullover called “Horizon.”


She’s knitting it in the uncharacteristically bold color combination of “Lime” and “Suit,” holding Linen and Cima together for a lightweight fabric. Each ball of yarn is tucked in a separate plastic bag for the duration of the project: an effective, if not glamorous, method for managing slick, delicate yarns.


My most recently completed project is “Spearmint Tea,” a shawl knit with Cutthroat Yarn Gradient Cotton.


Because this yarn changed color at a different rate than the yarn called for in the pattern, I made a few changes along the way, all noted in my project page on Ravelry, for those curious. Look for the finished piece here at the shop!


My next shop project is a second “Baa-ble Hat,” knit in Plymouth Tweed and Queensland Kathmandu Aran. I like how the colorwork looks in the mottled tweed yarns, and I’ve had fun watching the sheep emerge row by row.


Knit in aran weight yarn, this is a quick project. Come by the shop in the next week, and you’ll likely find it finished! We look forward to seeing what’s on your needles, too – come in for inspiration and to plan your next project.

Show and tell: stripes and colorwork.

We’re back with another round of show and tell! Here are some of the finished projects we’ve had the good fortune to admire lately, all of whom began as yarn on our shelves. Today, let’s look at projects featuring stripes and colorwork.


Paula knit this “Chevron Baby Blanket” with Berroco Modern Cotton, modifying the pattern a bit to knit at a slightly smaller gauge. She swatched to figure out how wide each pattern repeat would be with her yarn, then added stitches to her cast-on so that her blanket would come out the desired size.


Paula also finished this “wwwww #1” recently, a lined headband by Kate Davies. Paula used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift for the colorwork exterior, and soft-as-can-be Shibui Maai for the lining. Nicely done, Paula!


Margaretta recently knit Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic “Baby Surprise Jacket” with Fibre Company Canopy Worsted, and used her leftovers to make a “Boston Whaler” hat. I love her unexpected combination of sage green, steely gray, and bright fuschia, especially with those perfect pink buttons!


Margaretta has also been working on General Hogbuffer’s “Slippery Slope Socks,” using the solid CoopKnits Socks Yeah! and the self-striping Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball. Since I snapped this picture of the first finished sock, she’s completed the pair, and plans to make another with different colors.


Judie’s “Wildheart” shawl was also knit with self-striping yarn, Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL. She added a picot bind-off to an otherwise unadorned edge; a little something that I think makes the whole shawl shine.


Thanks to the talented knitters who shared their work with us today, and to all the fiber artists who begin their projects here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. We love seeing what you’re working on!

New colors in Cutthroat Yarn Gradient Cotton.

A new batch of colors in Cutthroat Yarn Gradient Cotton now graces our shelves.


Cutthroat Yarn’s Gradients have been warmly welcomed by knitters at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, who are snapping them up for lightweight spring and summer shawls, the likes of “Spearmint Tea,” “Everyday Shawl,” and “Wildheart,” to name a few.


When we heard requests for more blues, greens, and neutral shades, we put it to Jeanette at Cutthroat, and she came up with these four colorways for us.


This run of Gradient Cotton, while maintaining the same yardage, weight, and gauge, is dyed on a different base yarn than the last batch. This a 2-ply fingering weight cotton that’s loosely spun for a soft hand and somewhat rustic texture.


Look for Cutthroat Yarn Gradient Cotton and BFL in the fingering weight section here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

Hello, Cutthroat Yarn Gradient Cotton.

Last week, we got another shipment from Cutthroat Yarn in Leesburg, Virginia. Meet the newest of our yarns, Gradient Cotton.


Like Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL, Gradient Cotton is a hand-dyed fingering weight self-striping yarn, where each shade is many yards long, for wide stripes. The big difference between these two yarns is in fiber content. The mercerized cotton in Gradient Cotton is grown right here in North Carolina, and like all plant fibers, it makes inelastic, drapey fabric that is cool to the touch, perfect for a lightweight spring or summer accessory.


All of the patterns I mentioned in my recent Gradient BFL post are suitable for Gradient Cotton, too. Consider also Tina Whitmore’s “Radiance Shawlette,” Mindy Ross’s “Reverse Psychology,” and Kateryna Golovanova’s “Spearmint Tea.”


Look for Cutthroat Yarn Gradient Cotton in the fingering weight section here at the shop, on a shelf just beneath Gradient BFL. See you there!

Hello, Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL.

We’re delighted to announce that we now carry Gradient BFL from Cutthroat Yarn!


Gradient BFL is a 100% superwash bluefaced leicester wool in a fingering weight, and it’s hand-dyed by Cutthroat Yarn founder Jeanette Ward in Leesburg, Virginia. We’re always on the lookout for locally-sourced yarns, and plied self-stiping yarns, too; Gradient BFL fills both of these needs nicely.


Each 100 gram skein has 443 yards, enough for a shawlette, hat, cowl, pair of mitts or socks. Use Gradient BFL anywhere self-striping yarn is called for, like Stephen West’s “Spectra” or “Daybreak,” Melinda VerMeer’s “Nymphalidea,” or Melissa La Barre’s “September Circle.” Some patterns that don’t call for self-striping yarn look equally lovely in gradient yarns like these; consider Hilary Smith Callis’s “Starshower,” Martina Behm’s “Hitchhiker,” or Kelly McClure’s “Sockhead Slouch Hat.”


Instead of choosing from a set selection of colorways, we asked that Jeanette dye a few of her favorites for us, and we love what she came up with. The colors have no names or numbers, and may never be duplicated, so be sure you get enough for your project! Look for Cutthroat Yarn Gradient BFL in the fingering weight section here at the shop.