Reorganizing the pattern binders.

About a year ago, I wrote about our collection of single-pattern binders. What I said then is just as true now: they are a great resource for those seeking just one pattern, rather than a book. When you want to make a hat, but you’re not interested in making twenty hats, a single pattern is an economical choice. With this in mind, I’ve been reorganizing the pattern binders, that they might become easier to navigate.

I’ve taken the patterns out of their big heavy binders, sorted them, and divided them up into smaller binders. Where once there was a “Hats and Gloves” binder, there’s now one marked “Hats” and another marked “Mittens, Gloves, and Fingerless Mitts.” The two overstuffed “Babies” binders have become “Baby Sweaters,” “Baby Accessories,” “Children’s Sweaters,” and “Children’s Toys.” Most satisfying to my organizing impulse: the giant, heavy “Socks” binder has been divided into “Basic Cuff-Down Socks,” “Patterned Cuff-Down Socks,” and “Toe-Up Socks.”

We even sorted out the crochet patterns and gave them their own binder.

Next time you’re seeking a new project, don’t forget to flip through the pattern binders!

The circular needle filing system.

Perhaps you’ve noticed a slight change in the shop in the past two weeks. Not a huge furniture rearrangement. Not a cubby full of bright, new yarn. Not a new sweater hanging on the wall. Just a little change in the way we store and display our large collection of circular needles.

We used to keep the Addi Turbos and the Addi Lace needles in separate places–one in the first room, and one behind the desk. They were tucked out of the way because that was where we had room for them, and we’d pull out whatever size you needed when you asked us. Now they are together, the Addi Turbos and the Addi Lace, and filed carefully in labeled drawers so that you, too, can find whatever needles you may be looking for. They are arranged by length first, from smallest to largest, and then by size. Tidy, I think, and easier to access than they were previously.

It’s kind of a mundane thing, a new circular needle filing system, but Anne and I are completely delighted by it. For now, the Knitter’s Pride circulars and the Crystal Palace circulars are still near the desk in the second room of the shop, but we’ve got plans to get all our needles together soon. More furniture rearranging is ahead, as always. Just keeping you on your toes.

(More) new shelves.

Yes, we’re at it again. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we’re always at it, where “it” is “rearranging shelves and their contents in a constant attempt to better arrange the shop.” We are blessed with an enormous collection of fibers, such that we must use every square inch of our shop to store and display them. When last I reported changes in shop setup, we had added two new shelves and given the cotton tree a new home in the corner. We admired and enjoyed the new configuration for about a week before we started to wonder if more shelves would make it even better. Anne ordered two more shelves, which were assembled and moved into the shop early this week.

Our goal is to get baskets of yarn off of the floor and onto shelves, where they are more easily seen. The two newest shelves are steps in that direction.

We also moved many of our silk yarns into the second room, where they live by the Malabrigo shelf. Aren’t they a pretty pair, the silks and Malabrigo yarns?

Yes, we’re satisfied with this latest development. For now! You can expect nothing less than constant change here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, whether it’s new yarn, new books, new classes, or new shelves. We aim to always improve.

Cleaning up our act. Some more.

We’ve done some more furniture rearranging this week at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

The cotton tree switched places with the corner chair, making it easier for those who sit and knit at the shop to socialize while they do so.

In the interest of using what little space we have more wisely, we acquired a new pair of bookshelves. The Jo Sharp yarns have been gathered on one of them, and the Isager yarns on another.

This gave us more room for the Kauni and the Swans Island, which settled where the Isager yarns used to live.

The whole process was a bit like a game of musical chairs, except that every basket of yarn and every stack of books found a seat when the music stopped. We’re so pleased with the newly organized space. Come by and see the difference!

Cleaning up our act.

If you’ve been at the shop in the past few days, perhaps you noticed something missing. Something that used to sit behind Anne or myself at the checkout desk. Something large, gray, and dusty. Something with an internet connection which I’ve often described as “glacial.” 

Yes: we got rid of the desktop computer. It served us well for the past five years, but now we’re enjoying our speedy new laptop, as well as our new desk set-up. 
We sorted through Anne’s personal book collection, too, creating a library of shop resources.
We’re thrilled with the change in our little corner of the shop, and we hope you are, too!

The sock wall.

When you first enter the shop, the wall facing you is the one with most of our sock yarns. Over the past month or two, I’ve been slowly going through this corner of the shop, trying to bring more order to the sock yarns and getting as many baskets off the floor as space allowed. This past Thursday brought the biggest change for the sock wall: a new set of cubbies and a new shelving arrangement. What do you think?

Our intent was to make a little more room for movement, and to make it easier to see the embarrassment of riches that is our sock yarn collection. Anne and I keep drifting over to this part of the shop and just staring, then saying simply: “We have a lot of sock yarn.”

Come by the shop to check out the new set-up, and see all the sock yarn that was hidden in the corner, now brought to light!

The Noro corner.

In the second room of the shop, one corner is devoted almost entirely to our rather extensive collection of Noro yarns. Kureyon, Silk Garden, Iro, Yuzen, Maiko, Taiyo, Kochoran… the list goes on. From fingering weight up through bulky, with fibers from wool and angora to cotton and silk, there are many kinds of Noro yarns in that corner. Regular customers may remember the Noro corner as a tempting array of baskets arranged prettily on an antique ladder. As the shop grew, so did the Noro collection, at such a rate that it outgrew its pretty display. Recently, the Noro corner had become a precarious, overwhelming display that seemed about to topple. Those days are gone. It was a big week for big changes at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, first the cotton tree and now the new, improved Noro corner. Now, for the essential, incredible before-and-after.


And after:

Everything that was crammed into that corner is still there–not only all the Noro, but also all the pattern booklets that go with the Noro yarns, the Lantern Moon and Hiya Hiya exchangeable circular needle sets, the Great Adirondack roving, the silk yarn-out boxes, and a handful of Ella Rae yarns. The same large quantity of things in the same small space, but neater, easier to look at, and with more space to walk.

We can hardly believe what an improvement this is. Come to the shop and see the difference!

The cotton tree.

For a moment, between closing on Thursday evening and opening on Friday morning, there was an empty space in the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

As regular customers likely know, an empty space doesn’t last long in our shop. This particular space was filled with a new display, built for the shop by John, husband of friend-of-the-shop Rosi. We call it the cotton tree.

The cotton tree helped us to get many baskets of yarn off the floor and into view, and also created a specific space for yarns with cotton as all or part of its fiber content. Just in time for spring. We couldn’t be more pleased with our cotton tree. Come to the shop and give it a spin!

Thank you so much, John and Rosi!

The pattern binders.

They’re not flashy, the pattern binders. They’re heavy, filled nearly to bursting, and are tucked away at the bottom of a shelf by the window where you may never notice them unless you’re looking for them.

The binders are stuffed with single patterns, which are perfect for those seeking an inexpensive alternative to a book filled with patterns. Suppose you want to knit a baby sweater, but you’re not looking to knit ten baby sweaters, or a book’s worth of baby hats and blankets. While a book of baby patterns might overwhelm you, a single pattern may be right up your alley. This same logic may be applied to any number of knitting or crochet scenarios, which is why the binders are brimming with patterns and the shelves are brimming with binders. Don’t see what you’re looking for on the shelf? Ahem: check on the floor.
Last week, I put out so many new single patterns that we were forced to add a new binder to our collection. What was formerly one binder, labeled “Shawls and Scarves,” is now two: “Lace-weight Shawls and Scarves” and “Scarves, Wraps, and Shawls,” whose patterns make use of thicker yarns, from sport weight up through bulky. There are plenty of new patterns in just about every other category, as well: hats, gloves, blankets, vests, and sweaters for men, women, and children. Some are beginner-level and some are advanced, and the rest are somewhere in between. Give the binders a try next time you’re in the shop–there are many wonderful patterns hiding there.