Zauberwolle + solid colors.

Schoppel-Wolle Zauberwolle is the latest arrival here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, a marled self-striping merino wool. I wrote in its introductory post about mixing two contrasting colors, but Zauberwolle plays well with solid colors, too. Read on for some color and pattern ideas!

Here, I’ve paired Zauberwolle with Swans Island All American Sport – a hand-dyed yarn, so you can expect a little bit of variation in the skein, but an overall semisolid effect.

Swans Island All American Sport: sport weight, hand-dyed, 100% Rambouillet wool, 185 yards/40 g; $12.50 each

Kelbourne Woolens Andorra is a great playmate for Zauberwolle, too – a soft and slightly fuzzy blend of merino and highland wool with a dash of mohair.

Kelbourne Woolens Andorra: sport weight, 60% merino, 20% highland wool, 20% mohair, 185 yards/50 g; $12 each

What to make with these color pairs? Here are some ideas!

Sweaters:

Accessories:

Look for Zauberwolle, All American Sport, and Andorra in the sport weight section here at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop – we’re open from 11am – 5:30pm, Tuesdays – Saturdays! We’re still taking online orders for local pickup or shipping, as well.

Show and tell: for Anne’s grandchildren.

Earlier this year, Anne set a lofty goal: she would knit a sweater for each of her five grandchildren for Hanukkah. When she mentioned this in conversation at the shop, eyes would widen in disbelief – even child-sized sweaters represent an awful lot of knitting, after all. For her granddaughters, she picked Anna Johanna’s “Taimi,” pattern, a colorwork yoke pullover from Strands of Joy, and for her grandsons, “Fresko,” a cabled pullover. She spent every possible moment knitting these sweet sweaters, determined to complete them in time. Anne is a woman of her word, and a determined one – even with this year’s early Hanukkah, she completed the five sweaters in time. Quite a feat!

Here’s “Taimi” in Swans Island All American Sport, with Malabrigo Caprino as the contrast color.

Here’s “Taimi” in Brooklyn Tweed Ranch 03, with Alchemy Sanctuary as the contrast color.

Here are a pair of “Freskos” in Malabrigo Mecha, for her twin grandsons.

Here’s the littlest sweater for the littlest grandchild, another “Fresko,” in Brooklyn Tweed Quarry.

Above is a close up on a heartfelt detail – Anne ordered custom tags on Etsy for these heirloom knits, reading “Made with love by Bubbie.”

Hope you’ve met your own holiday knitting goals this season!

Knit Hats with Woolly Wormhead.

Woolly Wormhead’s new book is here!

Knit Hats with Woolly Wormhead is a collection of 22 hat patterns for all ages from a designer who self identifies as a Hat Architect. Her designs are innovative, surprising, and fun to knit – Anne is a big fan!

Woolly Wormhead has dedicated her entire knitwear design career to hats, exploring the possibilities of texture and construction with whimsical style.

Malabrigo Caprino + “Azula”

We may not have exactly the yarns shown in her pattern photos, but there are so many good substitutions on our shelves – here are some yarn and pattern pairings I came up with while paging through the book!

Swans Island All American Sport + “Joyce”

Baa Ram Ewe Winterburn DK + “Staggered”

Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply + “Infilare”

Kelbourne Woolens Lucky Tweed + “Turbine”

Along with inspiring and intriguing patterns, Knit Hats with Woolly Wormhead features tutorials on special techniques and sage advice on hat fit and styling.

Knit Hats with Woolly Wormhead is $24.95; swing by to pick up a copy or order online for local pickup or shipping!

Show and tell: stranded colorwork.

While the shop is closed for a Thanksgiving break, I thought it would be fun to catch up on some show and tell here on the blog. We’ll reopen at our regular business hours on Tuesday, December 3; til then, let’s have a look at some of the projects folks have brought into the shop to show us!

I noticed a theme running through my current stash of show-and-tell photos: stranded colorwork. It’s a popular technique in our classroom, which is where these first two projects came to be. Above is Kristen in her “Galloway” cardigan, knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, looking lovely in shades of blue and gray. Below is Peggy’s “Galloway,” and also her very first sweater – well done!

Shelter is a popular yarn for colorwork sweaters – it’s what Glen used for his “Knitter’s Dude” cardigan, designed by Andrea Rangel. This was his first steek, a milestone, and expertly executed. Nice job, Glen!

Emily knit this “Plum Pudding Pig” with Fibre Company Lore, a DK weight Romney wool that’s well-suited to colorwork. When she brought it in for show and tell, we all wanted to give it a squeeze.

Below is Shula’s “Tessera Cowl,” designed by Jared Flood, and knit with Brooklyn Tweed Loft. Not all knitting projects are a joy from beginning to end – of this one, Shula bluntly said, “This was a pain in the neck,” laughing, but relieved to be done with it. We’ve all had projects like this, no?

Shelley knit this “Còinneach” cardigan with Swans Island All American Sport in a striking color combination, candy-colored brights popping out against a neutral brown background. The pattern is from Kate Davies’ West Highland Way.

Thanks to Kristen, Peggy, Glen, Emily, Shula, and Shelley for sharing their work with us, and thanks to everyone who starts their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop!

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday, we look forward to seeing you when the shop opens again on Tuesday, December 3. In the meantime, look for more show and tell on our blog in the coming days!

Show and tell: colorwork hats.

We love to see finished projects that started life as yarn on our shelves, and when I’m able, I love to photograph them and share them here on the blog. At the moment, I have enough photos stockpiled for at least four blog posts – let’s begin with colorwork hats!

Kerry designed and knit the “Rionnag Hat” above with Tukuwool Fingering, a match for her “Rionnag Cowl” pattern.

Above is Peggy’s “Selbu Modern,” knit with Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering. This high contrast combination of navy and cream is so striking, and really pairs well with the repeating motif.

Kate knit this “Slalom Ski Hat” with Kelbourne Woolens Andorra, another high contrast combination well suited to the graphic motif at hand.

Nancy knit this “Frances Hat” with Swans Island All American Sport, a good example of the lovely effect that semisolid hand dyed yarn has on a colorwork project.

Our Nancy does love colorwork – here’s another hat she knit, the “Roadside Beanie” in Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. She taught a class on this one, which means I expect to see more “Roadside Beanies” as they come off her students’ needles – always fun to see variations on a theme.

Thanks to the knitters, crocheters, and weavers who bring in their work to show us what they’ve made! You inspire and amaze us, and we can’t wait to see what you get into next. Keep an eye on this blog for more show-and-tell soon!

Swans Island colorwork kits.

As the holidays approach, we meet more and more folks seeking presents for the knitters in their lives. With the gift-giving season in mind, we’ve put together some new kits featuring yarn and patterns from Swans Island.

Each kit features a colorwork pattern and all the yarn to complete it. They’d make great gifts for knitters who love colorwork, of course, but I’d also recommend them for those who haven’t yet mastered this particular technique, as small projects like hats and mitts are a good size for learning.

The yarn is All American Sport, a 2-ply woolen-spun yarn composed of 100% Rambouillet wool, which was grown, processed, spun, and dyed in the USA. It’s a unique combination of next-to-skin soft and holds-its-shape sturdy, and was created with stranded colorwork in mind. 

Come by the shop if you’re seeking gifts for a friend or materials to make them with – we hope you find inspiration here!

Knitscene.

The Fall 2018 issue of Knitscene arrived this week!

As the days get hotter, I start to fantasize about cooler days, though they’re months away. Magazines like this, full of woolen sweaters, can be a nice retreat from the heat of summer if it doesn’t happen to be your favorite season.

I spotted some of our favorite yarns in this issue; along with the cover sweater in Swans Island All American Worsted, there’s also a cabled cardigan in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and a pullover in Fibre Company Cumbria Worsted.

Look for Knitscene on the teacart, where the latest books and magazines are stacked high, ready to inspire your next projects. See you at the shop!

Laine Magazine, No. 4.

Today we welcomed another beautiful new issue of Laine Magazine.

Laine Magazine is a relatively new publication out of Finland, a knitting and lifestyle magazine with a love of natural fibers and handicraft as its focus.

This issue is only the fourth, but already, it’s developed quite a following, such that we had a waitlist full of knitters to contact as soon as this issue arrived. By the end of the day, Anne was on the phone ordering another batch – our supply was already half gone!

Inside Laine, you’ll find a mix of knitting patterns, articles, recipes, profiles on Jared Flood and other fiber artists, and a travel guide to Paris.

Sarah Pope’s “Kennings Yoke” caught our eye as soon as the first previews of this issue came out earlier in the month. Knit with Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, this sweater is decorated with texture at the yoke and at the bottom hem, an intriguing detail.

The hat on the cover of this issue is knit with Brooklyn Tweed, too – Quarry, for a quick and cozy knit. I spotted another familiar yarn among this group, too – Emily Greene’s “Rift” cowl is knit with Swans Island All American Worsted, a personal favorite of mine.

Come by the shop to page through Laine and our other books and magazines. We hope you find inspiration here!

Show and tell: sweaters.

We have had so much amazing show-and-tell around the shop over the past couple of months! As ever, I take photos of these amazing pieces when I’m able, collecting them to share here on the blog. My collection long ago outgrew a single blog post, so I’ve divvied them up into categories for a series of posts. Let’s start big, with sweaters.

Above is Ginny’s “Rowe,” knit with Swans Island All American Worsted. Everything about it is expertly, thoughtfully executed, from the complex cables to the seams and other finishing. Bravo, Ginny!

Anne recently finished her two-tone “Featherweight,” knit with Fibre Company Meadow. Though it’s pictured hanging on the wall, this is a sweater she actually wears rather than a shop sample, a welcome departure for such an industrious, generous knitter. Come by the shop and you may just see her in it!

From lace weight to bulky weight, Fibre Company yarns make lovely sweaters. Above is Eileen’s “St. Brendan,” knit with Arranmore during Amy’s class here at the shop. I love her neutral color palette.

A little more colorwork – here’s Debbie’s “Ready for Fall,” knit with Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK. This is a favorite yarn of mine, and I’m always excited to see what folks at the shop make with it. Debbie has come to love Dovestone DK, too, and in fact came back for more to knit a poncho!

Here’s another sweater in Dovestone DK, April’s “Roan.” With its bright colors, large motifs, and dramatic swingy shape, this is one tremendously impressive sweater. Well done, April!

Thanks to the sweater-makers who’ve shared their work here today! We are so inspired by all the stitching that goes on in and around the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, and can’t wait to see what you come up with next. See you at the shop!

Show and tell: sweaters.

“What are you thinking about making?” If you’ve visited our shop, you’ve likely been asked this question by myself, Anne, Rosi, or whoever else may be helping out that day. We ask this not just to help connect you with the right yarn, pattern, or tools, but also because we’re genuinely interested. We love hearing your ideas and helping realize them, and even more, we love seeing them realized in a finished product. When I’m able, I photograph these finished projects and share them here on the blog. Here are some of the sweaters our community of knitters have recently completed!

Here Tom models his “Basic Men’s Pullover,” his first-ever sweater for himself. With guidance from Marsha’s Start Your First Sweater class here at the shop, Tom made this perfectly-fitting sweater using Swans Island All American Worsted. This kind of sweater success can only mean more sweaters – I can’t wait to see what Tom knits next!

Katherine has been knitting Kate Davies’ “Owlet” sweaters for each of her children. She brought the latest in some weeks ago for button selection, and I couldn’t resist snapping a picture, even though it’s not technically finished. This one was knit with Malabrigo Rios held doubled for a bulky gauge and the bonus feature of not having to alternate skeins.

Here’s another little sweater, a top-down cabled baby cardigan that you may have seen on display here at the shop. Robin knit it with Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in preparation for her upcoming class on the subject – a good opportunity to get an introduction to top-down sweater-knitting on a small scale. Read more about the class on our Classes page, where you can sign up, too!

Sue is passionate about sweater-making, as we’ve seen on previous show-and-tell posts, so you might not be surprised to learn that she’s visited us with no less than four finished sweaters in the past couple of months. She made the sweater above with Mirasol Hacho out of our sale trunk, then embellished it with bits and pieces from her stash. The pattern is from Anna Zillboorg’s inspiring Splendid Apparel, a book of embroidered knits.

Sue is also interested in variations, and how a single pattern may differ from garment to garment by changing the fiber or color. Above is Sue’s “Equinox,” knit with Shibui Linen. Below is “Equinox” again, this time with Shibui Twig.

This last one is a bit of a mystery, a textured short-sleeved cardigan Sue knit with a now-discontinued yarn called Rock Cotton from our shop’s early days. She wasn’t sure the source of the pattern, and though I’ve scoured Ravelry, I haven’t turned it up – still and all, it’s a great-looking knit that Sue loves to wear, and that is exactly what we hope for all sweater-knitters!

Thanks to all who begin their projects with a trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop! Keep an eye out for more show and tell here on the blog in the coming weeks.