Why, yes! Today, that is for sale.

An important part of the pattern design process is test knitting the garment in question.  We like to create a version (and sometimes two) of each pattern to ensure the different knitters can follow the pattern’s instructions with varying materials and achieve success!  A happy by-product of all of that knitting, is a shop full of samples in various sizes that show off our designs.

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Crafters love getting a chance to see how our patterns knit up and feel the fabrics made from our yarns.  They can examine a piece from all angles, getting to know the garment in greater detail than the photos included in the pattern or on Ravelry can illustrate.

Visitors who don’t knit are often curious about these pieces of knitwear, and are crestfallen to find that they are not available for sale.  But that will change for a few days next weekend.

Once a year, for the Putney Craft Tour, we select a few samples and other test knits and offer them for sale. Our test knitters and designers have collected some stunning garments and accessories that will be available for visitors to purchase Friday November 25th – Sunday November 27th.

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You’ll find:
Hats – $25
Cowls – $35
Shawls/Wraps – $40
Vests – $50
Sweaters – $60

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Kate’s sample of her Yosemite Blanket is a queen-sized work of love.  This hand-knit garter stitch blanket was created with over 3,100 yards of un-dyed natural wool in three beautiful shades.  It is priced at $250 and all of the proceeds from the sale of this blanket will go to benefit the Putney Food Shelf.

We hope that all of these beauties find new homes next weekend, and hope that you can be among the lucky few who gets a chance to snap them up!

 


A wonderful time to visit Putney

In just a few weeks, studios all over Putney will be opening their doors to the public for the 38th annual Putney Craft Tour.  The weekend of Friday November 25th – Sunday November 27th is a great time to head our way.

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“For the third year running, the Putney Craft Tour has been voted as one of Vermont’s top ten winter events.  Once each year, just in time for holiday gift giving, our local craftsmen open their studios for the public to come and explore, to experience first-hand the making of our work, to understand our creative process, to hear our stories, and to purchase our unique crafts directly from us.”

Our little village is chock full of craftsman that are eager to share their art work with you, and several will be offering demonstrations.  You’ll find almost two dozen studios open from 10 am – 5 pm on all three days giving you a chance to learn more from the artists and possibly do a bit of holiday gift shopping as well.

Our local restaurants will be featuring locally sourced seasonal specials to tempt you and there are a couple of theater performances that you won’t want to miss:

Next Stage Arts is proud to present Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are dead, an inventive retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Nov 25, 26, 7:30 pm.

Sandglass Theater will be presenting Autumn Portraits, Side by Side which honors the changing of the seasons in a physical and metaphorical sense, Nov 25, 26, 7:30 pm.

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Here at the Spinnery, we’ll be offering behind the scenes tours of our production floor.  You’ll get the chance to walk through our mill and see the antique machinery we use to spin all of your favorite yarns!  From fleece to skein, it is a remarkable transformation that you’ll enjoy learning more about.

Our shop will be filled with bright beautiful woolly skeins and knitted samples for you to enjoy.   Getting a chance to see and touch samples of our new patterns in person can make all the difference in the world.  Photos alone often can’t capture how wearable and appealing our knitwear is.  You’ll get some great new project ideas to keep you happily crafting through the winter months ahead.

We’ll also be offering a special opportunity for you to purchase a handful of select samples.  Hand knits at these prices are very rare and a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit our local food shelter, the Putney Food Shelf.

So mark your calendars and we hope to see you soon!


Rhinebeck Sweaters

We are so looking forward to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY this weekend.  Every year, all of us that return for the fun wear our hand knits looking forward to the accolades and recognition that are such a rewarding part of the day.

You will be hard-pressed to find another group as appreciative of a beautiful shawl or sweater, because they know exactly what kind of time and patience was required.  It’s likely that their outfit was created with an equal amount of love and care.

You’ll see hand knits that you would never know were still on the needles just a few hours earlier.  Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram become filled with photos of late night and last minute steam blocking and seaming. Laughed confessions of car knitting on the way to the festival abound.

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The Rhinebeck Sweater phenomena was formalized in 2013 in part by Ysolda Teaque’s book that features a dozen stunning sweaters patterns inspired by the gathering.  They were created by 12 different designers who selected yarns that could be purchased from among the Festivals vendors.

The book is filled with beautiful photos shot at the Festival that provide you with a chance to relive the weekend from your armchair any time of year.  And the inclusion of Ysolda’s thoughtful interviews with the folks who grow, spin, and dye these yarns gives the reader a rich history that can sometimes be hard to glean directly from the producers due to the crowds and hectic pace of the weekend.

Included in these pages you’ll find Gudrun Johnston’s Pippin sweater which was created with Spinnery Weekend Wool. You’ll find some terrific new colors to choose from in our booth this year!

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But that’s not all.  Since last year’s festival we’ve added other new yarns that you’ll want to see, feel and possibly smell.

Our Sock Art Lana is a 100% wool 2-ply fingering yarn that knits up into beautiful shawls (like our Jordache pattern) and lightweight sweaters (like the Hatteras Cardigan).  We have two different yarns comprised of Moorit merino fiber that is naturally soft and beautifully hued; a fingering weight single-ply and a DK weight 3-ply.  This year’s batch of Yarn Over is as utilitarian as you remember, comes in two shades (grey and a faded red), and has been worked up into the Beekeeper’s Smock.  This quickly knit pullover has been a hit at this season’s other festivals.

Along with these new yarns, we’ll be featuring all of our new patterns in our booth.  Stopping by will give you a welcome chance to see some of the patterns you’ve seen on Ravelry, our website and on Facebook.  We know that it can be invaluable to check them out in person and get a closer look at elements that may be difficult to distinguish in a photo.

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We’ll have several different versions of Maureen Clark’s Corrie.  This yoked pullover can be worked up with 4 complementary colors of Mewesic; and you’ll have a ball selecting your favorites from among the 13 shades we’ll have sweater quantities of.

We’ll also have all of Cap Sease’s new accessory patterns: the Beinecke Cowl, the Guilford Shawl and the Athens Key Hat.  If you prefer working with bulkier yarns, we have several projects for last minute gifts.  Maureen has crafted a cozy infinity cowl with Tunisian Crochet techniques (Cowl Up). And Kate Salomon has created the Granite Cap that can be knit with a single strand of bulky yarn, a double strand of worsted or a triple strand of DK for three very different looks.

We hope that no matter what you enjoy working on, we can provide you with a whole winter’s worth of beautiful projects that will keep you and your loved ones warm and woolly!

The fun starts at 9 am tomorrow morning.  We can’t wait to see you there.


Vermont’s Sheep and Wool

In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be setting up shop in Tunbridge, Vermont for the annual Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival.


For the second year running, we’ll be organizing the festival’s fiber contests.  With 6 different categories, almost any fiber related project that you’ve recently finished could be a winner; from spinning, knitting and crochet to photos, paintings and drawings!  Please check out the rules on the festival’s web page and be sure to get your entry handed in (or mailed to us) here at the Spinnery by September 30th.


October 1 & 2, 2016
Tunbridge Fairgrounds
Tunbridge, VT

Sat: 10am – 5pm and Sun: 10am – 4pm

Admission: $6,  Seniors: $5, Children under 12: $1.  You’ll find a handy $1 off coupon here.

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You’ll have a chance to see a wide range of fiber producing animals including sheep, goats, llama, angora rabbits, and alpaca.  There are terrific free workshops geared towards owners – and future owners – of small ruminants.  Demos will be offered all day on a variety of topics.  Class options include a variety of full and half day sessions featuring fiber arts such as spinning, dyeing, knitting, crocheting, needle felting and weaving.  Register for a class and receive a free pass to the Festival!

There will be more than 6 dozen vendors offering a variety of fiber related products, tools, and materials.  You’ll find small family run farms with yarn available from their flock, fleeces from a wide range of breeds, and yarns produced all over New England for any project you can imagine.  Over a dozen of these vendors have worked with us to spin custom yarns, so if you enjoy working with our woolen spun yarns, you’ll find their products pleasantly familiar.

We’ll bring all of our yarns, as well as our new samples and patterns giving you a chance to see all of it in person. We know that it makes a world of difference to be able to see, squeeze and smell any skein worth knitting.  You’ll easily find a winter’s worth of projects to work on; as well as everything you’ll need to complete your new knitwear from pattern to buttons (Katy of Katrinkles will be bringing some of our favorites).

And when you’re ready for a break, you’ll have a wealth of local food vendors to choose from.  You’ll find all your fair favorites with a special Vermont twist from homestead icecream to more maple related treats than you can imagine.

Early October is a delightful time to be in Vermont.  The trees are likely to be at their peak, and there is nothing like a fall festival to make for a memorable weekend.  We hope to see you there!

 


New for fall (part one)

Autumn has so many iconic signs: shorter days, crisp temperatures, turning and falling leaves and the start of school. Each of us marks the change of the seasons with a different indicator, but all of us here at the Spinnery are feeling ready for the start of a new season!

As our youngsters head back to school this week, we are packing up for the first Sheep and Wool Festival of our Fall season. Next weekend in Jefferson Wisconsin we’ll be introducing several new patterns and colors!

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First we’d like to introduce you to a lovely crescent shawl pattern created by Cap Sease: the Guilford Shawl.  This lushly garter stitch textured accessory is created with 2 skeins of our Simply Fine in the Variegated color.  The delicate lace border is worked as you go, so there is no seaming or finishing to slow you down.

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Kate Salomon has designed two sweaters for this fall.  The first, shown above, is the Hatteras Cardigan.  This light layering piece is knit up with the Spinnery’s new 100% wool fingering weight yarn, Lana; and the fabric is appealingly comforting and breathable.

The pattern features an unusual top-down construction that creates a bias hem decorated with a twisted rib border.  It includes four sizes ranging from finished bust sizes of 38″ to 50″ and can be knit up with just 3 to 4 skeins of any of our Sock Art yarns.

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On the warmer side, is the Beekeeper’s Smock.  This oversized pull-over features cuffs and a funnel neck decorated with a honeycomb cable pattern.  It also has contrast pop color pockets and lined neck for a touch of color that will play beautifully off the tweedy Yarn Over the pattern calls for.

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This year’s limited edition version of our bulky recycled yarn comes in two colors, Smoke on the left and Flannel on the right.  The beekeeper’s smock can be knit up as quick as a wink with either 5 or 6 skeins (and an additional single skein or worsted weight Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair for that fun pop of color).

And that’s not all!  Next week we’ll have more new patterns to share with you.  And, we’ll be premiering 6 new shades of our very popular Weekend Wool.

We hope that you can visit our booth in Jefferson, our mill in Putney or our website from the comfort of your own home over the next couple of weeks as all of our hard work this summer comes to fruition just in time for your autumn knitting plans.


Before summer’s end

There is still time to post your photos Jordache Knitalong on our Raverly Group page.  We’ll be awarding prizes to three lucky winners in just a few days on Labor Day weekend!

  1. The knitter who first completes and posts photos of their shawl.
  2. The knitter who shares the photo of their shawl in the most unusual location.
  3. The knitter who shares a photo of their shawl in a location furthest away from Putney, Vermont.

Our prizes include three fun project kits including the yarn (in your choice of color), the pattern, and a little project bag for Cap Sease’s Beinecke Cowl, Thea Colman’s A Beer on the Dock and Larisa Demos’ Route 5 Cowl and Wristwarmers.

Take your Jordache Shawl on a little trip and snap a photo!

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When Larisa and Kate from the Spinnery headed to Quebec a couple of weeks ago for a knitting event hosted by our friend Julie Asselin, they couldn’t resist snapping a postcard photo of Larisa’s shawl on the go. Larisa did most of her knitting in the car, but the girls couldn’t resist stopping briefly at a pick your own blueberry stand with the most beautiful sunflowers around.

We’d love to see and hear about how your Jordache is knitting up and where you took your project this summer. Post photos to our Raverly Group page or to our Facebook page this week and you can be entered into our contest!


Let the games begin!

As the 2016 Summer Games begin today, thousands of crafters around the world will be casting on for an “Olympics” of our own.  Raverly’s Ravellenic Games 2016 begins with the opening ceremony.

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“Challenge yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

What will be a stretch for you? It could be a new technique, that first sweater or pair of socks, something massive, something delicate, or maybe finishing that monster in the closet. The goal of the Ravellenic Games is to support you in expanding your knitting/crocheting horizons.”

Many crafters will be working while watching various televised events and you may find that you also want to follow along with the athletes in Rio through the official website here.

There are 15 events in the Ravellenic Games, as you’ll see from the partial list below, there is something for everyone!  The dedicated Group on Ravelry has a wealth of information on their page.  You can join the group and learn more about the events.  We thought that we’d share a few project ideas with you that you may want to consider working on.

Diagonal Blanket

For the Afghan Marathon you might want to consider working on Gee’s Bend a crocheted pattern, or the Diagonal Blanket for a project that will give you hours of stitches to work through the games.

Our Anatolian Flip is a perfect project for the Bag Backstroke.  This pattern knits up into an accessory that could be used as a bag or a tasseled hat.

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Cap Sease’s Beinecke Cowl would be perfect for the Cowl Jump.  And folks who prefer to crochet may want to consider Maureen Clark’s Septor Cowl.

The Garment Polo category is a catch all for garments and accessories not listed elsewhere in the events.  Our Ascutney Mountain Boot Toppers would qualify for this event and be a quick knit requiring just 2 skeins of worsted eight yarn.

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The Hat Dash is a quick event that you could participate in multiple times during the 16 days of the Summer Games.  We have several pages of pattern suggestions for you to choose from.  Our most recent hat pattern (the Granite Cap) is a quick knit on US 10.5 needles and a gauge of just 3 stitches per inch which can be achieved with our Capricorn held singly, our Green Mountain Green held double or our Moorit DK held triple throughout the project.

The Mitten Medley could be entered with any of the 14 mitten, glove, and fingerless mitt patterns that we have available.  You just need to be sure to make a pair of whatever you choose in order to qualify.

The Scarf Hockey event may be a perfect way to get some of your holiday knitting started.  Beginning knitters may want to consider our Simple Pleasures Scarf or the Pleated Scarf for a big more texture.  More confident knitters may want to try casting on for the Snowfall Scarf with its shifting lace pattern that may keep you on your toes.

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Shawl Sailing includes any items that is triangular and can be worn around the neck.  Our Jordache Shawl pattern would certainly qualify, as would our Davis & Furber Shawl that is a quicker knit with DK weight yarn.  Both of these patterns include charted instructions that may be just the challenge you were looking to tackle for these games. *If you joined our Jordache Knitalong last month and cast on before this week’s official start, you can enter your project in the WIPs Wrestling category and gain credit for your project!

Sock-Put could be the inspiration you needed to try casting on for your fist pair of socks.  You may also want to consider trying a pattern that has you working your socks from top-down or vice versa if you have only used one of those methods in the past.  We have 14 patterns to choose from!

As I’m sure you can imagine, we have a wealth of pattern options that you can choose from for the Sweater Triathalon event.  In the 30 years that the Spinnery designers have been publishing patterns, we have accumulated dozens of classic designs that could be just what you are looking for.  Our sweaters include color work, cabled textures, lace work, and more.  No matter what challenge you have set for yourself for these Revellenic Games, there is a pattern here that will provide you with a fun project that will result in an heirloom sweater that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

We’d like to support your efforts in these games, please send us an email at kate@spinnery.com if you have questions about any of our patterns.   Now, let the games begin!


Now or later

Summertime holidays bring many visitors to the Spinnery.  while headed to the northern parts of the country, folks stop off at exit 4 on I-91 to stretch their legs, give their dogs a break from the car and pop into the shop for a look around.

If they arrive during the week between 9 am and 2 pm, we are often able to bring them behind the scenes with a FREE tour of our little mill.  They can walk through our converted gas station, and learn more about the woolen spun production process that we use to make our unique yarns.  Hannah Fettig and her husband Abe recently dropped off wool to be spun into yarn and shared photos and videos of there tour on the Knitbot blog.

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We like to start folks in our (currently full to the rafters) wool shed so that they can see the wide variety of fibers that we work with.  This little basket includes samples of wool, alpaca, angora, cotton, mohair and Tencel ®.

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After a spin through our entire process, we return back to the shop to see the finished skeins in all their glory!  There we can spend some time looking for the perfect pattern that will provide hours of relaxing fun and then eventually a finished garment or accessory that will be a lasting and useful souvenir of the visit.

In the shop right now we have a great collection of 12 patterns in the form of the I-91 Shop Hop Calendar for just $14.95.

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The 12 shops who participated in this year’s I-91 Shop Hop in June each contributed a new pattern to a special calendar created for the event. We have a small collection of remaining calendars, so if you missed a chance to participate in our yarn crawl, you can still be a part of the fun!

All twelve patterns are smaller projects that are perfect for hot weather knitting. None calls for more than four skeins of yarn, and many can be completed with two or less.  No matter where you choose to start in this fun collection, you will not be stuck working with a lap full of too warm wool that might have you searching out air-conditioned locations for your knitting time.

The Spinnery’s contribution (shown above) is the Stained Glass Headband that can be knit up with a single Mountain Mohair Mini Bundle. It’s a perfectly portable project that can provide you with a bit of color therapy while you wait for cooler temperatures. Individual patterns are available from each shop for just $1.

If your calendar is already full of other plans through Labor Day, you may want to consider timing your trip to coincide  with our Knitter’s Weekend in November!  The leaves will have turned, apples will be ready for harvesting and cool evenings will have you ready to knit by the fire.

Faina Goberstein will be joining us this Fall November 11th – 13th to share her wealth of knowledge regarding slip stitch knitting. This technique creates color work that is just as graphic as Fair Isle, but much simpler. Faina will guide us through a small slipped stitch project allowing us to get hands-on practice that will increase our skills dramatically!

There are a few remaining spaces and we’d love to count you among this year’s group.

Whether we see you sooner or later, we look forward to your visit.  We have a great deal to share with you that is so much more fun, informative and exciting in person!


Trip planning

We are so looking forward to the start of the I-91 Shop Hop!  The fun begins at 10 am on Thursday June 23rd and will continue through the weekend until 5 pm on Sunday.  We can promise you a fun adventure filled with fiber!

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You may want to plan to make a day or even two of it.  We’ve had Hop visitors in years past tell us that they found a place to stay along the way, giving them more time to enjoy the shops and explore the area.  We thought we’d share some of our favorite local spots for a delicious meal or two on the off chance you wanted to make this year’s Hop a more leisurely experience.

Here in Putney, VT off of Exit 4 of I-91 you can find delicious BBQ at Curtis’ for lunch or dinner.  He’ll be open throughout the weekend from 10 am until dusk. There is plenty of outdoor seating, so if the weather is beautiful you may find you can’t resist the call of his smoke.  We also enjoy the sandwiches, snacks and espresso drinks at the Putney Food Co-op.  Both of these spots are just up the road from the Spinnery, no more than a 2 minute drive away.

In Brattleboro, on Route 5 running in between exit 2 and 3 of I-91 you’ll find a couple of terrific eateries.  For breakfast or lunch on Thursday and Friday, we urge you to try The Porch Too.  Their daily specials can be found on their Facebook page and have never disappointed.  Right next door, Top of the Hill Grill has some of the most beautiful outdoor seating around, with a view of the West River watershed and a diverse menu that is sure to have something that appeals to everyone travelling with you.

In downtown Brattleboro off of exit 2 of I-91 you’ll find a local favorite Mocha Joe’s right down the street from the next shop on the Hop: Handknits.  The baristas there will make a caffeinated work of art to pick you up if you find your energy lagging.

We’re sure that the other shops along the Hop will each be able to provide you with more insider tips on local treasures not to be missed.  We look forward to seeing you soon and hearing a bit about your Hop travels during your woolly weekend of fun!


Indian Lake Artisans Trunk Show at the Spinnery

We are delighted to announce that we’ll be hosting a very special event on Wednesday June 8th.  Pam and Mark from Indian Lake Artisans will be dropping in to the Spinnery for an exclusive Trunk Show from 3pm – 7pm.

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© Indian Lake Artisans

They will be bringing their unique hexagonal knitting needles with them for you to try out.  Designed around the comfortable shape of a pencil, these needles are a pure pleasure in the hand and can help “alleviate hand strain and symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.”

These needles are available in three different wood finishes: maple, cherry and walnut.  The single tip straight needles are available in sizes ranging from US 6 – US 15 and in 10″ and 14″  lengths.

Double pointed needles are available in various wood finishes and sizes ranging from US 3 – US 15. The smaller sizes are 5″ or 6″ in length and the larger ones are available at 8″ in length.

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© Indian Lake Artisans

Their circular needles are available in Size 3 US to Size 15 US. in 16″,  24″,  32″ and 40″ lengths.  And if we are very lucky, they may have a few of their brand new interchangeable needles sets that will provide you with any needle that you could possibly need in a beautiful organizing carrying case.

We hope that you’ll have a chance to swing by the Spinnery to meet Pam and Mark and their darling dog Maggie.  It is sure to be a wonderful afternoon.


Terrific savings, rain or shine

The forecast for this weekend is looking as though it might get a little gloomy, so we have brightened up the production floor by filling it with beautiful yarn for sale.  Our Tent Sale has moved indoors!

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Our annual Tent Sale started yesterday morning and continues here at the Spinnery all weekend (Sat, Sun & Mon 10 am- 5:30 pm).  You can also find our discounted skeins in the SALE ITEMS section of the Spinnery website.  Our sale prices on these items will continue to be available (while supplies last) through Friday June 17th.

Included among these skeins are unwashed odd weight skeins of many of your favorite yarns.  These unwashed skeins still have a light coating of spinning oil on the yarn and they will “bloom” to softness if gently hand washed before knitting.  Easy washing instructions will be included with your order.

Odd weight skeins are first quality, but the yarn is, overall, a bit lighter or heavier than in a regular weight skein. When we fill orders for any particular color, all the skeins will be either all heavies or all lights. Check your gauge carefully before starting your project.

Among our selection you’ll find select colorways of:

Mountain Mohair at 30% off (just $10.45 a skein)

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Green Mountain Green at 30% off (just $10.25 a skein)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Mexico Organic at 40% off (just $8.85 a skein)

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Cotton Comfort at 40% off (just $8.85 a skein)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sylvan Spirit at 40% off (just $8.85 a skein)

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Alpaca Elegance at 40% off (just $8.85 a skein)

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there is more!  In the shop this weekend are project quantities of discontinued yarns and orphan skeins at just $8 a skein.  We have irregular skeins that may have an extra knot or two available at just $2.50 an ounce.  These are perfect for crafters who love a bargain and who don’t mind a few extra ends to weave in.

We hope that you’ll be able to shop the sale, either here in person or via the internet.  We love the thought of this lovely yarn finding new homes and becoming gorgeous knitwear in the months to come!


Postcards from Maryland 2016

Four of us from the Spinnery went to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last weekend and we had a ball!  Temperatures were delightfully mild, and as always we were warmly received by local fiber enthusiasts.  This gathering reminds us each year what a remarkable and lovely community we belong to.

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Clara Parkes has an essay about this festival in the pages of her new book: Knitlandia.  She describes the festival  as “a touchpoint, that class reunion we attend — even if we have nothing new to say — to honor our friendships and keep track of the passage of time, all in a place that reflects a mutual love of wool.”

We enjoyed our visit very much, enjoying festival food, exploring the animal barns, and admiring the prize winning fleeces and garments.  Larisa and Lauren loved the Make it with Wool Fashion Show; finding inspiration in the creativity and talent shown by the contestants.  And of course, sharing our new yarns and patterns with folks is always a pleasure.

For those of you who would enjoy a bleated and vicarious trip to the festival from your armchair, we thought we’d share a few photos of some of the animals that charmed us.

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Sunday was Mothers’ Day, and this pair epitomized the day for us.

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Clara says that “visiting the sheep barns restores one’s faith and sense of order in the world.”  We couldn’t agree more.  Surrounded by the call and response of these animals, one can feel your breathing slow, shoulders drop, and pace become a tad slower so as not to miss a moment.

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Tomorrow, we’ll be headed to Deerfield, NH for our next festival: the 40th annual New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival. We are hoping to see a few more faces like this one.

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We hope that you’ll be able to join the fun in New Hampshire this weekend.  We have lots to share with you, including several new yarns, new patterns and samples that you won’t want to miss.  Plus, there is sure to be Kettle Corn.