52 Weeks of Socks, Vol. II.

The folks at Laine have brought us another exciting new book – 52 Weeks of Socks, Vol. II!

52 Weeks of Socks was wildly popular when it was first published in 2020, and ever since, sock knitters have been clamoring for more. Like its predecessor, this new volume includes 52 patterns for knitting socks and slippers, an astonishingly large collection, and a beautiful one.

The patterns within are colorful and abundant, featuring 47 talented designers from all over the world. Some of their names are familiar, but many are new – we can’t wait to get to know their work!

52 Weeks of Socks, Vol. II is heavy with inspiring patterns using a variety of techniques, but it is also a beautiful object unto itself. Like all Laine publications, the photography is tantalizing, the color palette soothing and evocative.

I spotted two familiar yarns among these pages, Fibre Co. Amble and Isager Sock Yarn. Look for them in the fingering weight section here at our shop, along with so many others – Neighborhood Fiber Co. Organic Studio Sock, Malabrigo Ultimate Sock, and CoopKnits Socks Yeah! all come to mind.

52 Weeks of Socks, Vol. II is $50, a great price for 52 patterns – look for it here at the shop, or order online for local pickup or shipping!

“Simple Yet Effective” cowl.

If you’ve been to the shop in the past few weeks, you might have seen me working on this cowl, “Simple Yet Effective,” by Tin Can Knits. The pattern is aptly named, alternating sections of stockinette and reverse stockinette – a nearly blank canvas for showing off some special yarn. The pattern calls for DK weight, but I’ve held a fingering weight and a lace weight yarn together, Kelbourne Woolens Cricket and Neighborhood Fiber Co. Loft, respectively.

It can be tricky to visualize how different colors and textures of yarn will look when knit together. Luckily, Tin Can Knits has a super helpful blog post about just that, “Layering With Mohair.” I was inspired after reading it, and learned that you can achieve a fascinating effect when you combine a darker mohair with a lighter yarn. As Tin Can Knits designer Emily Wessel puts it, “When you blend a darker or more saturated mohair with a lighter yarn, the paler colourway seems to glow underneath a deeper halo.” I tried out that strategy in this cowl and am so pleased with the result – each yarn seems to be enhanced by the other, and of course the fabric is fuzzy and soft!

Here are a few more color combinations pairing Cricket and Loft, which seem to me like they’d blend beautifully.

I couldn’t stop there, when there are so many shades of Isager Silk Mohair to play with – here are a few more!

Look for Kelbourne Woolens Cricket in the fingering weight section here at our shop, not far from the lace weight section, which holds Neighborhood Fiber Co. Loft and Isager Silk Mohair. We can’t wait to see what other color combinations you come up with for your own “Simple Yet Effective” cowls!

Isager Alpaca 2 + Vertices Unite.

Isager Alpaca 2 has a particularly harmonious color palette – each shade is lovely on its own, but they are even happier in combination. Looking through multi-color projects on Ravelry, Stephen West’s “Vertices Unite” caught my eye – a five color shawl in two sizes, composed of various geometric shapes that build on one another as you knit, in a playful modular fashion.

“Vertices Unite,” by Stephen West, photo © Stephen West

Stephen West is well known for his whimsical and sometimes wild use of color, but this particular piece is more muted. Inspired by this colorway and by the yarn itself, I’ve created some “Vertices Unite” combinations of my own, using Isager Alpaca 2.

Isager Alpaca 2: light fingering weight, 50% alpaca, 50% wool, 275 yards/50 g; $12 each, $60 for bundles of 5 to make the small size shown above.

Come by the shop to put together a “Vertices Unite” colorway of your own; we have 30 shades of Isager Alpaca 2 to choose from! We are still taking online orders as well, so if any of these color combinations grabs you, order online for local pickup or shipping.

Koigu Collector’s Club: Winter Flowers.

The Koigu Collector’s Club continues! Each month, we’ll receive 21 skeins of KPPPM in a limited edition color dyed especially for a select group of local yarn stores that carry Koigu. KPPPM is a fingering weight superwash merino, hand-dyed in vibrant colors by mother/daughter team Maie and Taiu Landra on their farm outside of Toronto, Canada.

Koigu KPPPM:

  • fingering weight
  • hand dyed, variegated
  • 100% superwash merino wool
  • 175 yards/50 g
  • $15.50 each

This month’s limited edition shade is Winter Flowers, a rosy colorway streaked with shades of pink and burgundy.

This new colorway made me think of Andrea Mowry’s “Curio Socks,” a striped, slip-stitch pattern that’s great for pairing solid and multicolored yarns. Isager Sock Yarn makes a great Main Color, letting the variegated KPPPM take center stage as Contrast Color.

Look for Koigu KPPPM in the fingering weight section here at the shop, along with Isager Sock Yarn and more – see you there! We’re also taking online orders for local pickup or shipping.

Back in stock: Isager Alpaca 3.

Once again, PetiteKnit has made Isager yarn popular enough to clear our shelves. Having nearly sold out of Alpaca 3 in the past month or so, we are relieved to announce that we now have a fresh supply!

Isager Alpaca 3:

  • bulky weight
  • chainette
  • 50% alpaca, 50% wool
  • 137 yards/50 grams
  • $10 each

Due to it’s chainette construction, Alpaca 3 is soft, lofty, and highly elastic – a pleasure to work with, all told.

“Novice Cardigan – Chunky Edition,” by PetiteKnit, photo © PetiteKnit.

Though it’s lovely on its own, it’s irresistibly soft when paired with Isager Silk Mohair, as PetiteKnit knows well.

“Sunday Sweater,” by PetiteKnit, photo © PetiteKnit.

Here are a few color combinations to consider when planning a “Sunday Sweater,” “Novice Sweater – Chunky Edition,” “Novice Cardigan – Chunky Edition,” or “Holiday Slipover.”

If mohair isn’t your thing, you can substitute Isager Alpaca 1, a lace weight 100% alpaca yarn. It will add a little weight to the Alpaca 3, and can alter the color if you like, but won’t be as fuzzy as Silk Mohair.

Come by the shop to see and touch these yarns for yourself, and plan your next project! Look for Silk Mohair and Alpaca 1 in the lace weight section, and Alpaca 3 in the bulky weight section.

Show and tell: PetiteKnit patterns.

It’s been far too long since I shared show-and-tell here on the blog, though it’s an ongoing part of our daily Instagram posts – let’s see what folks have been making with yarn from our shop!

PetiteKnit has become one of the most-mentioned knitwear designers here at our shop. Almost every day, at least one knitter comes in shopping for, working on, or wearing a PetiteKnit design. Here are some of the PetiteKnit projects I’ve captured lately!

Margaretta is a fan of PetiteKnit – here are her two most recent sweaters, “Ingrid Sweater Baby” in Berroco Ultra Wool above, and “Moby Sweater” in Isager Jensen and Silk Mohair below.

Morgan knit this “No Frills Sweater” with Brooklyn Tweed Loft and Isager Silk Mohair held together throughout – the result is lovely, a perfect balance of structure and softness.

Michele came in wearing her first PetiteKnit sweater, “Sycamore Sweater,” and reports that the pattern was detailed and well written – she used Isager Jensen, Spinni, and Shibui Tweed Silk Cloud in this striking garment.

I knit my first PetiteKnit pattern recently, too, though it’s a far simpler design – here’s the “Sophie Shawl” I knit as a shop sample in Fibre Co. & Make Aran. The size small makes a such a nice scarf, wrapped around and tied like a kerchief, that I decided to make one for myself, too!

Thanks to Margaretta, Morgan, and Michele for sharing their work with us! We love to see what you make with our yarns, and can’t wait to see what comes off your needles next.

A Knitting Life: Back to Tversted, by Marianne Isager.

This week, as a new year begins, we welcome a beautiful new book by Marianne Isager, A Knitting Life: Back to Tversted ($47).

Marianne Isager is a knitwear designer and co-owner of Isager Yarns, based in Denmark. In this new collection, the first in a series of three, she looks back on her first 20 years in the industry. Through prose and photos, she tells the story of inheriting Ase Lund Jensen’s yarn company and workshop, and combining family life and knitting life in the small village of Tversted.

Tversted is where all the new knitwear designs in this book were photographed, a striking landscape of sea, dunes, and flora that inspired her use of color, texture, and structure.

The patterns in A Knitting Life: Back to Tversted are thoughtfully updated from Marianne Isager’s earlier designs, drawing on techniques she has returned to again and again throughout her design career.

As ever, Isager loves to mix and match various yarns for unique color and fiber blends. In this book, she includes a full-size photo of the swatch for each project, so you can see some of this yarn blending in closer detail.

A Knitting Life: Back to Tversted is $47, and available here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, along with a wide selection of Isager yarns – you can also order online for local pickup or shipping. Hope to see you soon!

Dream in Color Pop-Up Club: December 2022.

Dream in Color’s Pop Up Club is back! Every month, we’re getting a special new colorway from Dream in Color, a Tucson-based producer of small batch hand-dyed yarns. December’s new limited edition colorway is here while supplies last!

Dream in Color Smooshy Cashmere:

  • fingering weight
  • 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon
  • 400 yards/100g
  • $34 each

December’s special colorway is vibrant and variegated, a mix of turquoise, cobalt, purple and ice blue.

Variegated skeins like these are beautiful on their own – one skein makes a “Sockhead Slouch” hat or “Reyna” shawl – but they always inspire me to create color combinations. Here are a few I put together with the “Temperance Shawl” in mind, a three color garter stitch and eyelet pattern that works well in low, medium, and high contrast color combinations.

Isager Sock Yarn: fingering weight, 40% Easy Wash alpaca, 40% Easy Wash merino wool, 20% recycled nylon, 423 yards/100g; $20 each

  • Malabrigo Ultimate Sock: fingering weight, hand dyed, variegated and semi-solid colorways, 75% superwash merino wool, 25% nylon, 420 yards/100g; $20 each
  • Kelbourne Woolens Perennial: light fingering weight, 60% superwash merino, 25% suri alpaca, 15% nylon, 497 yards/100 g; $26 each

Look for Dream in Color Smooshy Cashmere in the fingering weight section here at our shop! We’ll be closed December 24-26, then reopening at our regular business hours, 11am – 5:30pm, Tuesday – Saturday. You can still order online for local pickup or shipping, as well.

Knitted Kalevala, by Jenna Kostet.

Let’s peek inside the newest book from Laine!

Knitted Kalevala ($45) is a book of colorwork patterns inspired by Kalevala, a collection of mythic poems and folklore of Finland. The Kalevala is full of ancient symbols, mythical creatures, and nature, which you’ll see reflected in Jenna Kostet’s patterns.

The garments and accessories of Knitted Kalevala are decorated in striking large scale colorwork motifs in a range of gauges – here’s one in Isager Jensen, a rustic wool you’ll find in the DK weight section here at our shop.

The poetry and stories of the Kalevala are interspersed with the patterns, making this book an intriguing read.

Knitted Kalevala is $45 – look for it here at our shop, among the latest publications. We’re also happy to take your order online for local pickup or shipping!

WestKnits MKAL 2022!

We know many of you are fans of designer Stephen West and often participate in his annual Mystery Knit-Alongs – it’s that time of year again, and “Twists & Turns” is the pattern-to-be. It calls for 3 colors of fingering weight yarn: 780 yards of a Main Color, 780 yards of a Contrast Color, and 390 yards of an Accent color. We have tons of fingering weight yarns to choose from here at the shop, from saturated hand-dyes to muted heathers, fuzzy alpaca to smooth superwash merino, and so much more. Here are some color ideas!

  • Kelbourne Woolens Perennial: light fingering weight, 60% superwash merino, 25% suri alpaca, 15% nylon, 497 yards/100 g; $26 each, or $130 for “Twists & Turns”

  • Shibui Koan: fingering weight, 70% linen, 30% silk, 248 yards/50 grams; $22 each, or $220 for “Twists & Turns”

Join WestKnits MKAL 2022 by purchasing the pattern on Ravelry – you’ll get an introductory PDF with all the details, so you’ll be ready to cast on when the first clue arrives on October 6.

We’d love to help you find the perfect yarn for your “Twists & Turns” shawl! There are so many possibilities here at our shop – come by between 11am – 5:30pm, Tuesdays – Saturdays, and we’ll be happy to show you around. We’re still taking online orders for local pickup or shipping, too; just fill out our online form. Hope to see you at the shop!