Show and tell: shawls and wraps, Swans Island, capes, and caps.

We love it when knitters and crocheters come to the shop with finished garments to share. It happens even more frequently than I can pull out my camera to document these projects; still and all, I have a beautiful bunch of show-and-tell photos to share here today. I hope you find them as inspiring as we do!


Margie knit this incredible lace cape in about three weeks, a testament to her perseverance and to the pleasures of lace-knitting.


There are times in life that call for simple, soothing projects, and times when we’d rather work on challenging projects that keep us thinking as we stitch–this belongs to the second category. The pattern is “Lady’s Circular Cape in Shell Pattern,” from the fantastic Victorian Lace Today, and the yarn is Isager Tvinni.


Katherine is a teacher here at the shop, offering a variety of project-based classes for knitters and crocheters alike. Above is her Guernsey Wrap, knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca. I love this pairing of yarn and pattern; the 50/50 blend of wool and alpaca is structured enough to show the texture patterns and soft enough to drape gently in this generous rectangular shawl.


Many of Katherine’s students are knitting their own Guernsey Wraps in Ultra Alpaca, too, though I know that one is working with Fibre Company Canopy Worsted–I can’t wait to see all these Guernsey-Wraps-to-be!


Katherine also brought in her Belle Epoque shawl, a crochet design by Kira Dulaney. Katherine’s shawl is crocheted in Baa Ram Ewe Titus Shades, a special yarn for a special project.


Last week, Chris came in wearing this cuddly cowl she knit in Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted. The pattern is “Anna Cowl,” a loop scarf long enough to wrap twice around one’s neck, and decorated with lace and garter stitch. From the provisional cast-on to a careful blocking, Chris did a great job, and finished her cowl just in time for cold weather. Look for the “Anna Cowl” and other patterns for Swans Island yarns in the Swans Island pattern binder.


Rosi has been working with the Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted, too. She used it to design and knit this stunning aran sweater with the guidance of Janet Szabo’s “Follow-the-Leader Aran Knit-along Workshop.” Swans Island is a great yarn for cable patterns; this sweater really shows the yarn’s sharp stitch definition, as well as the knitter’s precision and attention to detail.


Just as I anticipated, Anne’s third grandchild hat was on and off the needles in no time. A variation on “Wurm,” a free Ravelry download, this whimsical little hat is knit with String Theory Merino DK, with embellishments in Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK.



Thanks to everyone who starts, works on, and shares their projects at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! We love to see what’s coming off your needles and hooks.

Hello, Malabrigo Mecha.

A new Malabrigo yarn is always exciting. We know so many knitters and crocheters who turn to Malabrigo yarns again and again for their beautiful colorways, soft fibers, and good value. Meet the newest Malabrigo yarn: Mecha.


Mecha is made of superwash merino wool, a bulky weight yarn with 130 yards on each 100 gram skein. It’s a soft and fluffy single ply, which means it’s also a bit fuzzy. The superwash process helps the yarn to resist felting, but single ply yarns are still more likely to pill than plied yarns; not a problem with a gentle pill remover like the Lily Brush.


I’m the lucky knitter who got to make a shop sample with Mecha. I went hunting for a pattern in the Kira K Designs binder and found two great choices: a twisty knit  scarf, and a rippled crochet cowl.


It was a tough choice, but I landed on the Twist Scarf, a pattern that called for exactly 130 yards of bulky weight yarn–a perfect match for Mecha.


I love the way it came out; the knitting was simple and fast, and the scarf is long enough to be worn a few different ways.


The pattern is available as a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale, which means that you buy it from us and we’ll print a copy for you, but a digital copy is also saved in your email or Ravelry pattern library.


Ashley, a crocheter with an affinity for Malabrigo yarns, picked up a few skeins of Mecha last week when it first arrived. After playing with it a bit, she discovered that two qualities make it perfect for children’s toys: Mecha is both super soft and superwash. Sitting at the shop, she whipped up a soft stuffed ball with a rattle inside in under 15 minutes. A set of these in different sizes would make a great baby gift, and a quick one. Ashley used the Ideal Crochet Sphere pattern, which is available as a free download on Ravelry. Lucky for us, she left this ball with us as a sample for the shop. Thanks, Ashley!


Come by the shop to check out Mecha and all our other Malabrigo favorites. See you there!

Kira K Designs and Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales.

Yesterday’s blog post was all about the latest Kira K patterns we’ve stocked at the shop. Kira Dulaney is a prolific designer of both knit and crochet garments, however, and we wanted our knitters and crocheters to be able to see her whole collection. Kira, like many designers, has made her patterns available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales. This means that you can buy them at the shop, have us print a copy for you, and also know that a digital copy is saved in your Ravelry pattern library or sent to your email.


We now have a Kira K Designs binder at the shop with sample copies of all her patterns, so you can take a closer look at them before you decide to buy. If you find one you like in the sample pattern binder, just let us know and we’ll do a Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sale so you can have a print and digital copy of your own.




Flipping through this varied collection of knit and crochet patterns, I noticed some familiar yarns put to good use. This cardigan is made in Cascade Ultra Pima, a dk weight mercerized cotton with a lovely sheen.


This textured hat is made in Swans Island Organic Merino Worsted, a great way to use a skein of this special yarn.


Many knitters have admired the Gemini tee hanging in the shop that’s made in Katia Linen–here’s another summery top made in the same yarn, a dk weight blend of cotton and linen.


There are so many more Kira K patterns tucked into this binder: skirts, hats, gloves and mitts, scarves and cowls, sweaters and jackets and children’s garments. Be sure to take a look next time you’re in the shop, you may find your next project there!

Kira K Designs, for crocheters and knitters alike.

We were first acquainted with designer Kira Dulaney at last year’s TNNA, when we found her booth alongside Sincere Sheep, offering patterns for Sincere Sheep Equity Sport. This year we visited her booth again, remembering that she offered as many crochet patterns as knitting patterns, and filled up on both. We’ve seen a resurgence of interest in crochet of late, with more and more of our knitters becoming “bilingual,” including myself. Thumbing through the patterns as I unpacked them last week, I kept thinking of yarns that would pair well with each one.


This crocheted shawl was even more beautiful in person than in the photo, and would be lovely made up in Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere.


This openwork crocheted scarf or wrap calls for sport weight yarn, immediately bringing two of our favorite sport weight yarns to mind: String Theory Selku and Malabrigo Arroyo.


Both the above and below crocheted hats call for fingering weight yarn, so there are plenty of tempting choices. String Theory Bluestocking, Ultra Alpaca Fine, Swans Island Organic Merino Fingering, Mountain Colors Bearfoot… I could play this game all day.


Look for all of these patterns in the Crochet Patterns binder by the front window!


We got a few new Kira K patterns for knitting, too. This one also calls for fingering weight, so all of the yarns I’ve mentioned would be great choices for this cabled hat, along with Malabrigo Sock, Isager Highland, and Titus.


This knit cowl and mitt set calls for worsted to aran weight yarn, and the silvery purple/gray color it’s shown in made me think of these shades in Ultra Alpaca and Lustra.

Inspired by Kira K Designs? There are plenty more beyond these; all of Kira Dulaney’s designs are available as Ravelry In-Store Pattern Sales. More on that in tomorrow’s blog post. Come by the shop to see these newest yarns and patterns, and pair them up for your next project!

Hello, Sincere Sheep.

This past Wednesday, a box arrived at the shop that we’ve been eagerly anticipating since June. We’re proud to announce that we now carry three yarns from Sincere Sheep. Based in Northern California, Sincere Sheep produces naturally dyed yarns from U.S. sourced fibers. We met Brooke at TNNA in June and were blown away by the vivid colors she achieves with natural dyes.

I was the lucky knitter who got to play with a skein of Sincere Sheep Equity Sport while we deliberated at market. The Equity Sport is 100% Rambouillet wool, grown and spun in Buffalo, WY. I read up on Rambouillet wool in Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Book of Wool, a favorite resource, and learned that Rambouillet is a breed of sheep, a relative of Merino known for its soft, springy fiber.

Where Merino stretches and drapes, Rambouillet has a surprising sturdiness, given its softness. I used the Equity Sport to knit a sample fingerless mitt for the shop, a garment it’s well suited to. I also think it would make lovely hats and sweaters.

When we saw that there was an Equity Fingering as well, we had to get both. I think it would be perfect for colorwork projects, or on a bigger needle for draping shawls and cowls.

On the last day of market, we came back to Sincere Sheep to order a third yarn: Luminous, a dk weight blend of Tussah Silk and Polwarth wool. Polwarth is another finewool, like Merino and Rambouillet, but one with a slight sheen and greater strength from longer fibers. Luminous comes in big, 330 yard skeins, enough to do a generous scarf, cowl, or small shawl. We got two patterns from designer Kira Dulaney that call for dk weight yarn with single skeins of Luminous in mind.

Come by the shop to see these gorgeous yarns from Sincere Sheep!