Show and tell: colorwork.

Time for another round of show and tell, this time featuring colorwork projects!

Susan knit this “Pātikitiki Hat” with Brooklyn Tweed Dapple, a mesmerizing colorwork pattern by Francoise Danoy.

Here’s another inspiring colorwork hat – Becki’s “Kasilof,” knit with Brooklyn Tweed Tones. Pattern by Caitlin Hunter.

Linda sent us this photo of her finished “Hinterland,” knit with Mountain Meadow Wool Cody for the main color and Malabrigo Arroyo for the contrast. Pattern by Jennifer Steingass.

Same pattern, same yarns, different Linda – another gorgeous “Hinterland” is underway! I always love seeing the same pattern in different colors.

Here’s Pam in her “Embers” pullover, knit with Brooklyn Tweed Ranch 03; pattern by Tin Can Knits. Pam loves colorwork knitting, and came with two other sweaters for show and tell, too!

Here’s her “Illuminate” pullover, also knit with Brooklyn Tweed Ranch 03. She omitted the stripes on the body and chose high contrast colors for a more graphic effect at the yoke, and it looks great in this smooth, solid yarn. Pattern by Andrea Mowry.

Here’s Pam’s third finished sweater, “Bean & Olive,” knit with Berroco Ultra Wool DK. Pattern by Andrea Mowry.

Thanks to Susan, Becki, Linda, Linda, and Pam 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.

Hello, Mountain Fusion Teton.

Just in time for last-minute holiday gift-making, we received 6 new colors in Mountain Fusion Teton, a bulky weight merino wool.


Mountain Fusion Teton is the result of a collaboration between two small US yarn companies: Mountain Meadow Wool, of Buffalo, Wyoming, and Mountain Colors, of Corvallis, Montana. This springy, colorful yarn is 2 ply, where one ply is thick and the other is thin.


This gives a pretty consistent texture with plenty of color interest, not to mention enough yarn in one skein to create a hat or cowl in an afternoon. The pattern for this simple hat is printed on the Mountain Fusion Teton yarn label; also consider “Thorpe,” or the “Drop Stitch Cowl,” both of which are available as free downloads from Ravelry.


Come by the shop to pick up a skein or two of Mountain Fusion Teton, and you’ll have cozy winter accessories in no time, whether for yourself or for someone yarn-worthy. See you at the shop!


Two top-down sweaters: show and tell.

Anne and I feel lucky to be surrounded every day by people making things, whether they’re wearing their latest creation, sharing their works in progress, or planning their next project. We’re always excited to see what clever uses our knitters and crocheters make of the yarn they get from the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and I love to share those projects here on the blog, as well. The two most recent show-and-tell photos I’ve snapped have much in common. Both are short-sleeved sweaters, and both are knit seamlessly from the top down.


Here’s Mary in her “Charlotte Cardigan” made in Mountain Meadow Wool Cody, a sport weight organic merino that is grown, spun, and dyed in Wyoming. The pattern comes from Swans Island, and is written for their Organic Merino Worsted yarn. The suggested gauge is 17 sts = 4″, which suggests a worsted to aran weight yarn knit at a slightly open gauge for a gently draping fabric. Mary adjusted her needle size to get stitch gauge with a significantly thinner yarn, hoping for a lighter weight sweater. The resulting fabric is light and stretchy, the sweater fits just how she wanted it to, and is sure to get plenty of wear. Having been so successful, Mary has already begun another “Charlotte Cardigan” in Schulana Lambswool, and is planning two more in Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted and String Theory Merino DK!


Here, Marion models her Gemini, a short sleeved t-shirt made in Cascade Ultra Pima, a dk weight mercerized cotton. She lengthened the sleeves a bit, as well as the ribbing on the cuffs. These kind of changes are simple to make on a top-down pullover; she simply continued knitting each sleeve past where the pattern told her to stop. No big deal as pattern modifications go, and it has a real impact on the look and fit of the finished product.

Inspired to create a top-down sweater of your own? We have single patterns in many styles, and books on the subject, as well. The Gemini pattern is available for free from Knitty, and we just happen to have some new colors in Cascade Ultra Pima. Come by the shop to plan your next project, and be sure to get in here during July to do so at a 15% discount!


New from Mountain Meadow Wool.

Last week, two enormous boxes arrived at the shop from Mountain Meadow Wool in Wyoming. Inside, there were new colors in Cody, along with four new yarns from MMW: Lilura, Dubois, Powder River, and Mountain Fusion Teton. At the Mountain Meadow Wool Yarn Tasting, we invited attendees to swatch with four MMW yarns and also to flip through color cards to see the many other yarns they produce. Some were drawn to delicate fingering weight yarns, some favored brilliantly colored bulky weights, and others were wooed by Cody, the first MMW yarn we’ve stocked here at the shop. We made a slew of special orders that reflected our yarn tasters’ desires and preferences, which meant bringing all these new yarns to the shop in just a few colors. Those of you who couldn’t make it to the yarn tasting can now get a sense of which MMW yarns our HYS knitters loved best, and see them in person at the shop.


Lilura is a fingering weight blend of US-sourced merino wool and North American alpaca, a round, smooth, 3-ply yarn with fabulous stitch definition and a lovely soft hand. The base yarn is a pale, heathered oatmeal color (pictured above on the right), and any hand-dyed colorways are dyed on top of that natural color. The result is a warmer, more subdued color than could be achieved by dyeing stark white fiber. We had a spare skein in the natural color hanging around after the yarn tasting, which I used to knit up the Rustling Leaves Beret from Coastal Knits.



Each stitch was a delight; I’ll surely be coming back to this yarn for a bigger project. The Rustling Leaves Beret lives at the shop now with all the newest MMW yarns; come by and take a look.


Dubois is also fingering weight, a pebbly 2-ply merino wool. One knitter at the yarn tasting ordered this to make a slouchy cabled hat, a perfect fit for this soft and springy yarn, but it’s equally well-suited to lace shawls, scarves, or perhaps a light-weight sweater.


Powder River, a dk weight blend of merino wool and alpaca, caught the eye of two knitters who plan to use it for a set of Welting Fantastic Cowl + Mitts. I’m flattered by their pattern selection, and can’t wait to see how this gorgeous yarn makes up in my design. Like Lilura, the base yarn is a light beige color, giving this blue shade extra depth and interest.


Mountain Fusion Teton is the result of collaboration between Mountain Meadow Wool and Mountain Colors, a bulky weight merino wool yarn. We have two colors in stock, both of which fall comfortably into the red category. One has orange and fuschia highlights, while the other leans towards burgundy and plum, but both are 2 ply, where one ply is thick and the other is thin. This gives a pretty consistent texture with plenty of color interest, not to mention enough yarn in one skein to create a hat in an afternoon.


Anne knit this up as soon as it arrived, working from a hat pattern provided on the yarn’s label. The only change she made to the pattern was to switch from ribbing to stockinette after an inch or two; the pattern as written makes a fully ribbed hat. Come by the shop to see it, and remember Mountain Fusion Teton when winter gift-giving is upon us and a hat in an afternoon sounds like a lifesaver.


Last but certainly not least, we did get four new colors in Cody, a bouncy sport weight 2-ply merino wool. This brings our current color selection to 16, a wide range of natural and hand-dyed colorways.


Come by the shop to see all these new yarns from Mountain Meadow Wool, and to admire the many colors and textures that this incredible US yarn company creates. See you at the shop!

Show and tell: Malabrigo Lace and more.

I’ve been steadily accumulating show-and-tell photos over the past few weeks, snapping pictures as knitters are willing and I am able. Here’s the latest batch. It’s an eclectic mix, as ever, representing the wide range of projects that we all take on: sweaters, a shawl, and a pair of intricate fingerless mitts. Two of the above happen to be made with the same yarn, the ethereal Malabrigo Lace. Let’s start there.


Malabrigo Lace is a soft and delicate single-ply yarn that lends itself to shawls, scarves, and other garments where drapey fabric is desired.


Margie’s beautiful textured shawl in Malabrigo Lace behaves in just that way, light as a feather and gently draping. It’s made even more intriguing with the variegated colorway she chose.



One might not expect to see this dainty yarn made up into fingerless mitts, where a denser fabric is often preferred. On a smaller needle, however, Malabrigo Lace makes a more cohesive fabric, and that’s exactly what Margaretta’s Malabrigo Lace mitts showcase. And what ornate mitts they are!

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Anne has completed her Gemini in Mirasol Samp’a! It’s great to see the slight difference in fabric between her Gemini and mine; Samp’a is composed of 100% organic cotton, which is somewhat softer than the Katia Linen that I used. Come by the shop to compare the two, and let that inform your yarn selection for your own Gemini tee. Look for it hanging in the front window of the shop, and feel free to try it on for size.


I finished a sweater recently, too, as those who attended the Mountain Meadow Wool Yarn Tasting can attest. Here’s my Topeka, knit in none other than Mountain Meadow Wool Cody. Cody is perhaps the stretchiest yarn I’ve worked with, which made it easy on the hands as I knit, and has me reaching for it again as I begin my next design project.


I’m so thrilled with this simple henley pullover, and with the slightly cooler temperatures that allowed me to wear it this weekend. I’ll likely make another Topeka pullover one day, and maybe even boldly depart from my favorite color: gray.

Thanks to everyone for the fabulous show and tell, and do continue bringing your finished objects to the shop to share with us! See you there.

Mountain Meadow Wool Yarn Tasting.

This past Sunday, we hosted a yarn tasting featuring four yarns from Mountain Meadow Wools. Fifteen knitters arrived with their bags full of needles, ready to swatch. As bagels were munched and mimosas were sipped, Anne told us a bit about Mountain Meadow Wool: how they got started, their environmentally-friendly practices, and the many wonderful qualities of their US-sourced merino wool. Then the sample skeins were handed out and everyone put their needles to work, casting on and knitting with a range of Mountain Meadow Wool yarns from fingering- up to bulky-weight.


In between swatches, project ideas were tossed around, colorcards were examined, and finished garments and swatches were admired.



I’d managed to finish a sweater in Mountain Meadow Wool Cody just a day before the yarn tasting, so that was passed around along with other samples from the company itself.


It was especially heartening to hear so many positive reviews of Cody, a yarn that I fell in love with after just a swatch, and only love more having spent a sweater’s worth of time with it. Cody is springy and stretchy, somehow softer on the needles than in the skein, and becomes a velvety smooth fabric, much more consistent in texture than one might expect from the slight unevenness of many 2 ply yarns.


Our generous MMW sales rep, Andrea Marquis, is also a knitwear designer, and sent along copies of her newest pattern for the yarn tasting–the Ridgeline neckwarmer is yet another great use for Cody. (If her name sounds familiar, that’s because she also designed the Range Wrap, which currently hangs in our front window.) We are so grateful to Andrea, not only for making the yarn tasting possible, but also for introducing us to Mountain Meadow Wool! After such a positive yarn tasting event, it’s safe to say that we at HYS are big fans of their yarns. Come by the shop to see Cody and consider it for your next project, and stay tuned for more MMW yarns and perhaps more yarn tastings in the future.

Mountain Meadow Wool Yarn Tasting.

We’re delighted to announce that we have an exciting event coming up:  a yarn tasting featuring four yarns from Mountain Meadow Wool, a small yarn company out of Wyoming. Mountain Meadow Wool is dedicated to producing locally sourced and naturally processed yarns. Run by co-owners Karen Hostetler and Valerie Spanos, Mountain Meadow Wool seeks to support the ranching industry, thereby preserving the open spaces of the American West. They pay ranchers fairly for their finest fiber, then spin it and dye it with vegetable-based spinning oil and natural dyes.


A yarn tasting allows you to try out yarn before deciding to buy it, working up a little swatch to see how it feels in your hands and how it behaves as a fabric. Attendees will bring needles or hooks in a variety of sizes and we’ll serve up samples of four yarns from Mountain Meadow Wool, along with bagels, fruit, and mimosas.

  • Lilura: a fingering weight blend of Mountain Merino and North American Alpaca
  • Cody: a 2-ply, sport weight Mountain Merino yarn
  • Powder River: a 3-ply, dk weight blend of Mountain Merino and North American Alpaca
  • Sheridan: a 3-py, bulky weight Mountain Merino yarn

We already have a stash of Cody in the shop; this yarn tasting will help us decide which MMW yarns to order next. We’ll have a Cody trunk show to inspire, along with pattern ideas for the other yarns. Get a 10% discount on purchases of Cody and pre-orders for other MMW yarns made during the yarn tasting.

The MMW Yarn Tasting is scheduled for Sunday, April 14th, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. There is a small fee for attending, so that we might cover the cost of food and drink, and because of our small space, we’re limiting this event to 15 people. It’s filling up quickly–sign up now to save your space! If you can’t make it to the yarn tasting, no worries–I’ll report back here on the blog and tell you all about it.