By Hand Lookbook No. 8: Colorado’s Front Range.

The latest volume of By Hand is here!

By Hand is a series of lookbooks where each issue focuses on a city or region. The subject matter is the makers of that community, the designers, hand-dyers, yarn companies, and fiber artists that both shape and draw inspiration from the place they call home.

The focus of this issue is Colorado’s Front Range, and the quilters, designers, yarn shop owners, and dyers who live and work there.

Among many names that were new to me, I spotted a couple of familiar ones, like Schacht Spindle Co., who have been designing and producing handweaving and handspinning equipment in Colorado since 1969. They make spinning wheels, yarn winding tools, and all kinds of looms, from the smaller Zoom Looms and Cricket Looms that we carry here at the shop to magnificent table and floor looms.

Designer, author, and editor Ann Budd is profiled, too – we recently restocked her indispensable Knitter’s Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements, a pamphlet that helps us each day to answer the question “How much yarn do I need?”

Along with maker profiles, By Hand also features knitting patterns, recipes, and other crafty projects. So many of us partake in a variety of handiwork, though we may call one or another a favorite; it’s nice to see a diversity of interests on display in this publication.

You’ll find By Hand on the teacart here at the shop. Come by to pick up a copy and indulge in a bit of armchair travel!


The latest issue of Handwoven magazine is here!


This issue focuses on mixing yarns of varied weights for different effects.


I was so happy to spot this feature by Kate Gagnon Osborn, of Kelbourne Woolens, about weaving with Fibre Company yarns like Meadow, Cumbria Worsted, Road to China Lace, Acadia, and Canopy Fingering.


Both halves of the Kelbourne Woolens’ team have backgrounds in weaving, and I’m thrilled to see it applied to these wonderful yarns that we’re used to seeing in a knit or crochet context.


Those of you who follow us on Instagram may already know that Schacht Cricket Looms are back in stock, along with Zoom Looms and copies of the inspiring Weavers Idea Book. Come by the shop to pick up a copy of Handwoven and plan your next weaving project!

Back in stock: UKI Supreme weaving yarns.

It’s been about a year and a half since we placed our first order with UKI Supreme Corporation, a North Carolina company well known for its cotton weaving yarns. We’ve met more and more weavers in that time, and so, our selection of colors and weights of yarn has grown.


We carry Supreme’s mercerized cotton yarn in three weights: 10/2, 5/2, and 3/2, each in 6 oz mini-cones.


The 10/2 is the thinnest of the three, with ~1575 yards per mini-cone, making it a very fine lace weight. It comes on red cones.


The 5/2 mercerized cotton has ~787 yards per mini-cone, making it a light fingering weight. It can be easily identified by its blue cones.


The 3/2 mercerized cotton is the heaviest of the three, with ~450 yards per mini-cone, putting it somewhere between fingering and sport weight. 3/2 comes on white cones.


I’m working with the 3/2 now on my Schacht Cricket Loom, using the finest available reed, 12 dent. I sketched out the stripe sequence with colored pencils til I came up with one I liked for the warp, and am weaving with a pale solid gray throughout. I hope they make cheerful kitchen towels! You can read more about my experience as a beginner weaver on the Schacht blog, if you like.


In weaving, as in knitting and crochet, it’s so important to be able to see the available colors in person. We can’t keep all 100+ colors in stock, but we’re happy to special order, and we keep color cards on hand for Supreme’s mercerized and un-mercerized cottons.


Come by to pick up some yarn for your next weaving project, and as always, don’t hesitate to ask if we can get something special for you from Schacht or Supreme. See you at the shop!

Show and tell: even more.

The yarn shop is often where new projects begin, but it’s also where problems are solved, techniques are learned, and finished garments are shown off. We’ve had a week of show-and-tell here on the blog, focusing on that last step: standing back and admiring what you’ve made.


Paula knit this “Kids Spirit Cardigan” with two fetching shades of Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted, a soft and squishy machine-washable merino yarn. The buttons are just right!


Emily got a Schacht Cricket Loom for Christmas, and immediately set to work learning to weave on a rigid heddle loom. This scarf is only her second, and already she’s warping and weaving in two colors with perfect tension. She attests that this houndstooth design is easier than it looks, and I tend to agree; it looks lovely in gray and yellow shades of Plymouth Galway.


Nancy came in with a bag full of show and tell last week, the first of which is this “Alchemy Block Ponchini,” knit in three shades of Alchemy Silken Straw and two shades of Shibui Silk Cloud.


It’s always satisfying to see how colors blend when they’re knit together, in part because it can be hard to predict. You can twist the yarns around one another for a preview and make thoughtful predictions, but there’s nothing like seeing the fabric as it comes off the needles.


Here’s Nancy’s “Starshower,” knit in Malabrigo Sock. It’s nice to see this pattern made up in a variegated yarn, for the changing colors complement the lace and texture pattern just as well as a solid color.


The last finished piece Nancy brought to show us was this “Kusha Kusha Scarf,” knit in Habu Silk Stainless Steel. It was knit on a variety of different needle sizes, sometimes holding a fine lace weight merino along with the Silk Stainless, and when the knitting was done, Nancy lightly felted it in hot, soapy water. The result is a striking organic-looking scarf, and it looks especially marvelous in red.

Many thanks to all the knitters, weavers, crocheters, and other fiber artists who start their projects here at our shop, and thanks also for sharing your work with us as it takes shape!

New, for weavers.

Over the past week or so, we’ve gotten a couple of new weaving-related items in stock.


First up, we’ve got the latest issue of Handwoven magazine, which focuses on weaving with linen.


Projects include wearables, like the log cabin wrap above, and lots of home goods, like napkins and kitchen towels.

DSCN5383 DSCN5381

Handwoven always includes projects for a variety of loom types and sizes, including rigid heddle looms, like the Schacht Cricket Looms we keep in stock here at the shop. We got a fresh batch of them recently, knowing that Cricket Looms are topping many a holiday wish-list this year. We also have new scarf kits for rigid heddle looms from DJE Handwovens, which would make excellent gifts for beginner weavers.


Deb Essen’s kits include pre-measured warp and weft yarns from Mountain Colors, and thorough instructions for weaving a simple, colorful scarf on a rigid heddle loom. We also got a few new Swatch Critter kits, to go with the Schacht Zoom Loom. Come by the shop to see what we offer for weavers, crocheters, and knitters alike!

Learn to weave!

Since we first became a Schacht dealer back in November, we’ve connected with lots of lovely weavers and watched as many of our knitters and crocheters became weavers, as well. We’ve brought in UKI Supreme cotton weaving yarns in three weights, started carrying Handwoven magazine, reordered Schacht Cricket Looms again and again, and placed special orders for weavers seeking specific tools and yarns.


One request we haven’t been able to fill is for a rigid heddle weaving class, as our space is small and we’re brand new to this vast craft. To that end, we are so delighted to announce that the Triangle Weavers Guild is now offering classes on rigid heddle weaving at their new Triangle Fiber Arts Center in Durham!

Leslie Fesperman will be teaching two sessions of a Beginning Weaving class, designed to guide brand new weavers through their first project and assist them in planning their second.

  • Summer class: July 18th and August 1st, 2015, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Fall class: September 12th and 26th, 2015, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

For more information and to register for these classes, contact the Triangle Weavers Guild by emailing , or pick up a flier here at the shop. We just got a fresh new shipment of Cricket Looms and an exciting new book, Simple Woven Garments.


Come by and see us for weaving materials, and let the Triangle Weavers Guild help you learn to weave!

Back in stock: Cricket looms.

Our first round of Schacht Cricket looms sold out quickly over the holidays, so we ordered twice as many for our second batch, which I’m happy to say are now here at the shop. Two of them were purchased the moment they came in. You guessed it: Anne and I each have Crickets of our own now, and are eager to learn more about rigid heddle weaving.


I’m anxious to get weaving on scarves and kitchen towels, and just as anxious to see what others are making with their Cricket looms.


Molly wove this scarf on a Cricket loom with a variegated fingering weight yarn for warp and a solid lace weight yarn for weft. She used a 10-dent reed, which makes a lightweight fabric, and a slightly open weave with yarns of this weight. Variegated yarn behaves so differently in woven fabric than in knit fabric; Anne and I were surprised and delighted by the results.


Come by the shop to learn more about the Schacht Cricket loom, and explore the rest of our new little weaving section.


We have books and dvds on the subject, UKI Supreme cotton weaving yarns, Zoom Looms and kits to go with. See you at the shop!

Schacht Cricket Loom.

Last week, we announced that the Hillsborough Yarn Shop has become a Schacht dealer, and I promised a closer look at the Schacht products we carry. Over the weekend, I put the Zoom Loom in the spotlight here on the blog. Next up: the Cricket Loom.


The Cricket Loom is a small and simple rigid heddle loom, ideal for first-time weavers. The box you see above includes not only the Cricket Loom, but also a warping peg, threading hook, 2 stick shuttles, table clamps, two balls of yarn, and clear instructions; in short: everything you need to start weaving.


When our shop Cricket Loom arrived earlier this year, I was sent home with it and with the enviable task of learning to use it. I’d never woven before, but the instructions made it easy to assemble, warp, and weave on the Cricket. My first attempts were uneven and humbling, but before long, I was producing smooth woven fabric that I was proud of. In just a couple of evenings, I’d gone through the yarn that comes with the Cricket and turned to my stash.


I used Berroco Pure Pima to weave a small kitchen towel, experimented with a variety of lace weight yarns to weave one scarf (pictured above), and then another in bits of worsted weight, from Yarn Hollow Photograph to Berroco Ultra Alpaca.
DSCN3998Before each new woven project, I studied Jane Patrick’s Weaver’s Idea Book, which is full of inspiration and information in equal measure.


On our shelves, you’ll find 15″ Cricket Looms, floor stands, and reeds. The Cricket comes with an 8-dent reed, which is perfect for weaving with worsted weight yarn. For lace or fingering weight yarns, consider a 12-dent reed; for sport or dk weight yarn, a 10-dent reed; and for bulky weight yarn, a 5-dent reed.


Come by the shop to try weaving on our display Cricket Loom, check out our cubby of weaving books and dvds, and consider going home with a Cricket of your own. I can’t tell you how exciting it has been to start at the beginning, learning new words and techniques, enjoying the novelty of creating a fabric so different than what my knitting needles or crochet hooks make. I highly recommend taking on a new craft! See you at the shop.

Schacht Zoom Loom.

Last week, we announced that the Hillsborough Yarn Shop has become a Schacht dealer, and I promised a closer look at the Schacht products we carry. First up: the Zoom Loom.


The Zoom Loom is Schacht’s littlest loom, a pin loom for weaving small squares of fabric. It comes with clear instructions, and is accessible enough for weavers-to-be from age 10 on up.


Anne has been experimenting with the Zoom Loom, learning to use it and seeing what happens when different fibers and gauges of yarn are used.


What to do with these squares? On their own they can be coasters, or sewn on as pockets. When you make a slew of them, they can be pieced together into scarves, shawls, bags, holiday ornaments, pincushions, blankets, and more. The Schacht website is full of ideas and inspiration for the Zoom Loom, and you’ll find others on our Pinterest “Weaving” board.


The clever Deb Essen, of DJE Handwovens, has come up with another use for Zoom Loom squares: Swatch Critters! Her kits include yarn and instruction for transforming a stack of squares into a stuffed sheep, frog, or dragon, among other creatures. A Zoom Loom and Swatch Critter kit would make a stellar gift this holiday season!


Intrigued? Come by the shop to get a closer look at our weaving supplies. Try your hand at pin-loom weaving on our display Zoom Loom, which has a square in progress, ready to weave. Keep your eye on the blog in the coming weeks for a closer look at the Schacht Cricket Loom. In the meantime, see you at the shop!

Hello, Schacht.

Every year at TNNA, we look out for surprising new things, things we didn’t know we were looking for until we found them. This past May, we were wandering the aisles at market when we spied a handweaver’s booth that piqued our curiosity. Before I knew it, we were placing an order with Schacht, dipping our toes in the shallow end of a whole new craft: weaving.


Schacht Spindle Co. has been designing and producing handweaving and handspinning equipment in Colorado since 1969. They make spinning wheels, yarn winding tools, and all kinds of looms, from little pin looms to rigid heddle looms to magnificent table and floor looms.


We’re thrilled to announce that the Hillsborough Yarn Shop is now a Schacht dealer, and we’ve started small, stocking our shelves with Zoom Looms, Cricket Looms, and some Cricket accessories. We also selected some books and dvds on the subject, dedicating a cubby to weaving resources. There are kits for the Zoom Loom, too, for making little stuffed creatures out of woven squares.


Keep your eye on the blog for a closer look at the Zoom Loom and the Cricket Loom in the coming weeks. Come by the shop to see our new little weaving section, and get started weaving with one of these simple looms. Already a weaver? Tell us more about your craft: what products you’d most like to see on our shelves, what yarns you love to work with, what books you’d recommend. We’re happy to special order anything in the Schacht catalog, as well–let us know what you’re looking for. See you at the shop!