We often get requests for books by Marie Wallin, a British designer known for her colorwork patterns. They seem to sell out as fast as they come in, but we’re happy to report that Marie Wallin’s Meadow is back in stock!
Meadow is Wallin’s second collection of designs made with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. It’s one of our very favorite yarns, a classic Shetland wool that comes in over two hundred colors! You can’t miss the Spindrift display in our fingering weight sections, it seems to catch everyone’s eye.
In Meadow and much of her design work, Wallin is inspired by traditional fair isle knitting, but applies the technique to modern, wearable shapes and styles.
Meadow is $36; look for it on the teacart here at the shop, amidst piles of new books and magazines, full of inspiration for new projects. See you there!
We’re so excited about “Katie’s Kep,” Shetland Wool Week’s featured pattern for 2020!
“Katie’s Kep,” by Wilma Malcolmson, Shetland Wool Week’s featured hat pattern for 2020. Shown in Colourway 4.
This five-color fair isle hat is currently available as a free pattern download from the Shetland Wool Week website. A new Shetland Wool Week hat pattern is something I look forward to every year, so I downloaded it as soon as it was available, and then went straight to our Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift to play the color game. I spent some time putting together four color combinations, inspired by the four colorways shown in the pattern.
Shetland Spindrift is $6.80 per ball, and the project requires 6 balls – 2 in the main color, and 1 each in 4 contrast colors, for a total price of $40.80. We just got a fresh delivery of Shetland Spindrift with this project in mind, so all four colourways are currently in stock – get in touch if you’d like to order yarn for a “Katie’s Kep” of your own!
Our current Strange Brew colorwork design classes have students itching for books of colorwork inspiration – stitch dictionaries in particular, books full of motifs that can be applied to a variety of projects. Three of our favorites are back in stock – let’s take a look!
Andrea Rangel’s Alterknits is a playful collection of 200 non-traditional colorwork stitch patterns, with geometric and figural patterns alike – from chevrons and op-art motifs to bicycles, chickens, and sheep.
Mary Jane Mucklestone’s 200 Fair Isle Motifs is focused on the particular Scottish colorwork tradition for which it is named.
Mucklestone has organized the motifs by the number of rows and stitches in each pattern repeat, making it easy to find a pattern that divides evenly into the number of stitches you’re working with on any given project – hat, socks, sweater, etc. Each chart is shown not only in the traditional black-dots-on-a-white-grid style, but also in a color photograph, a color variation, and an all-over version, giving the knitter a jump start on adapting these patterns for many uses.
Mucklestone brings the same inspiring approach to her 150 Scandinavian Motifs, which shares colorwork stitch patterns from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
Come by the shop to browse these and other books! We hope you find inspiration here.
Some of our favorite Schoolhouse Press titles are now back in stock!
The Opinionated Knitter is a collection of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s original newsletters and the clever designs within. It also includes updates from her daughter, Meg Swansen, and new photos of these classic designs. This is an inspiring book, and a bit sentimental for me – Zimmermann’s “Fair Isle Yoke Cardigan” was my first-ever colorwork sweater, igniting a curiosity and preoccupation that persists over a decade later.
Mary Rowe’s Knitting Tams is full of fair isle tam patterns using one of our favorite yarns, Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. Anne made this one, which hangs on the wall of our shop with so many other colorwork hats. Even in this distracting context, Anne’s tam stands out, knit in cheery colors and featuring a bird motif near the brim, which some insist is a dinosaur. Either way, it’s a fun hat to knit, and has inspired some to knit through the whole book!
Meg Swansen & Amy Detjen’s Knitting With Two Colors is neither a book of sweater patterns nor a book of colorwork charts, but truly a book of techniques, a slim paperback volume that is absolutely bursting with information. Pick up this book for technical detail on steeking, guidance on altering existing colorwork patterns and designing your own, along with the hows, whys, and whether-or-nots of various hems, borders, and necklines. If there’s an ambitious colorwork project in your future, this book should be in your hands.
We’ve also got EZ’s famous “Baby Surprise Jacket” back in our single pattern binders, and a BSJ class in the works for the new year – swing by the shop soon to browse books and patterns!
Happy to report that Marie Wallin’s Shetland is back in stock!
This exquisite book is full of intricate fair isle designs in a kaleidoscopic array of colors, all knit with the quintessential Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift.
Wallin is a British designer known for her rich colorwork designs, inspired by traditional fair isle knitting, but applied to modern, wearable shapes and styles.
We’ve actually sold out of this book twice now – each batch we’ve ordered has disappeared before I have a chance to snap a photo or write about it here on the blog. Our third batch is half gone as I write this, but fear not – another is on the way!
Look for Shetland on the teacart here at the shop, amidst piles of new books and magazines, full of inspiration for new projects. See you there!
Back in September, I wrote about Gudrun Johnston’s “Bousta Beanie,” a three-color fair-isle hat that I find absolutely irresistible. Since then, Anne has knit one, I’ve knit two, and so many of you have started on “Bousta Beanies” of your own!
Anne knit this “Bousta Beanie” for her daughter, adding a little extra length and a folded brim to keep her ears warm during New York winters. The main yarn is Tukuwool Fingering, and the inside hem is made with the extra-soft Isager Alpaca 2.
If you want to add a folded brim to your own hat, check out this Kelbourne Woolens tutorial on the subject – it helps to see it at several steps throughout the process.
Joanne knit the “Bousta Beanie” above with Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift, which offers an unparalleled selection of colors – we have 126 in stock at my last count!
Here’s my first “Bousta Beanie,” knit with Tukuwool Fingering. I selected two light shades and one dark, putting one of the lights in the background for a low-contrast effect. I had enough yarn left to knit a second and probably even a third, rearranging the color placement to make good use of the yardage. For my second, I placed the darkest color in the background, which caused the two lighter shades to pop out in the foreground.
I love how both hats turned out, though they’re very different; it was fun just to see what happened as the colors came together, row by row.
Anyone else out there knitting “Bousta Beanies”? We’d love to see them and hear about what yarns and color combinations worked best for you!
The second installment of the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide series is here, and going fast! Let’s take a peek inside.
Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner are the knitters, designers, and writers behind Mason-Dixon Knitting, a long-running blog that has evolved into an online community and growing list of publications. Their latest endeavor is the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guides, pocket-sized booklets focused on a particular knitting technique, featuring the approachable patterns and humorous musings these two are known for.
Fair isle knitting is a favorite technique of mine, and Anne’s, too; if you’re intrigued, this little book is a fine and friendly introduction. It features three patterns, one of which is a cozy colorwork pullover in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, pictured above. Below, another of our favorite yarns is put to good work in a colorwork cowl and hat: Swans Island All American Sport.
Come by the shop to pick up the Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 2!
An exciting new book is now available at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop: The Joy of Color, by Janine Bajus.
Janine Bajus is a teacher and knitwear designer whose focus is color, especially in stranded colorwork. The Joy of Color is a workshop in a book, demystifying the process of designing a unique fair isle sweater from beginning to end.
Read through The Joy of Color and you’ll learn a bit of history, a bit of technique, terms for describing colors and strategies for combining them. There are amazing book recommendations at the end of each chapter, pointing out lots of great resources for those interested in color theory, fair isle knitting, and design. Bajus also teaches about finding, creating, and arranging colorwork motifs, as well as arranging colors within them.
It’s not a book of patterns, though you’ll see many glorious photos of the garments Bajus’s students have created under her tutelage. More importantly, they each share a bit about the process of creating those garments, from inspiration through swatching to finished sweater.
Look for The Joy of Color on the teacart in the front room, where the newest books and magazines gather to catch your eye and inspire your next project. See you at the shop!