Upcoming fiber fun in Connecticut

Next Saturday there will be two nearby fiber gatherings that you’ll want to make note of.  In Vernon, CT the Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association will be hosting their 108th Annual Sheep, Wool & Fiber Festival from 9am – 4pm.

Here, you’ll get a chance to enjoy workshops, demonstrations, as well as “fiber of all types, fiber tools, dyes, finished goods, soaps, herbals, local CT cheese and a variety of other quality items produced by small farms and businesses from the North East.”  You’ll also get a chance to see sheep being sheared, which is a sight to see!

Over in Hartford, starting on Thursday, April 27th; Stitches United will be drawing crafters of all kinds to the Connecticut Convention Center.  The former Stitches East has expanded to include quilting, sewing, cross stitch, and more.  Now, those of us equally inspired by yarn and fabric have a gathering that provides classes and shopping for all our passions.

This event presents all of us with an exciting opportunity to expand our crafting repertoire with new skills!  Registration for classes is still open.  We invite you to peruse the generous list of offerings and see if there is something there that you’ve always wanted to try.  The selection is remarkable, from the ergonomics of knitting to hand sewing bow ties.  What fun!

Maureen and Kate from the Spinnery will be on hand in the marketplace giving visitors a chance to peruse our newest patterns and yarns.  We invite you to visit our booth and show us what you’ve been working on since we’ve seen you last!  We look forward to catching up and sharing our passion for craft!


And the winner is…

Our Groundhog Day Knitalong concluded late last week and we were delighted to see the progress that was made.  We really enjoyed the photos that many of you shared along with notes about your projects.  Some terrific knits were started, and a few were cast off within our allotted time frame; making them eligible to be entered in the drawing for our prize.

We thought we’d share some of the finished projects so that you can see what was created with our delicious Vermont Organic yarn.

Here at the Spinnery, Larisa made a pair of Double Stuff Mittens with the grey organic yarn on the outside, and Rosehip Alpaca Elegance as the snuggly inside.  Maureen got a warm cardigan started.  Her Barnard sweater designed by Lori Versaci is about 3/4 complete, with just the sleeves remaining to be knit.  And Meghan completed a Sundottir pullover designed by Diana Walla.  She combined both colors of the Vermont Organic yarn to stunning effect!

You may have seen a photo of Carrie’s lovely Brezel hat here a couple of weeks ago, when we featured some recently finished customer projects.  We love the way this rustic yarn makes textures like ribs and cables pop with clarity.

Jolene from Washington state started a pair of Ah Caramel fingerless gloves designed by Tanis Lavallee.  As you can see, the creamy white yarn makes her cable work look like a million dollars!  And we imagine that these will keep her nice and toasty warm.

The randomly selected winner of our prize, Joy, finished a pair of very snuggly looking socks with a few weeks to spare!  She shared these details about her project, “Best socks ever, like hugs for your feet. Great yarn, great pattern.  The socks are fun to knit with the knit/purl sequence creating the interesting stitch pattern.  I will use this yarn again…a sweater, I think., it’s that lovely.”

Her socks were created with the FREE pattern designed by Ingrid Nødtvedt.

Gulfoss

When we contacted her to let her know that she’d won a Spinnery tote bag and pattern of her choice, she selected Cap Sease’s Gulfoss pattern.  We can’t wait to see how that knits up for her, and what colors she chooses to work with.

Thanks to everyone who cast on with us and shared their progress.  Our virtual knitting circle made the last few weeks of winter pass with a shared sense of community and fun.  We’ll reach out to you all shortly before we start our next knitalong to find out if you have suggestions or preferences about what we all get started next!


Mark your calendars!

We have two fun events for you to look forward to!  In just a few weeks the I-91 Shop Hop Bag Day  (on Tuesday March 14th, 2017) could provide you with a discount of 10% at ANY of the 11 participating stores!

Simply bring in any of the bags from previous I-91 Shop Hops to any of the 11 participating stores, you’ll receive a 10% discount on your entire purchase!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT)
HandKnits (Brattleboro, VT)
Sheep & Shawl (Deerfield, MA)
Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA)
WEBS (Northampton, MA)
Marji’s Yarncrafts (Granby, CT)
Village Wool (Glastonbury, CT)
Country Yarns (Wallingford, CT)
Knit New Haven (New Haven, CT)
Yarn Barn (Woodbridge, CT)
The Yarn Basket (Branford, CT)

And while you’re here, you can purchase your $5 passport for the 2017 Shop Hop!  Mark your calendars for June 22nd – 25th, 2017!

Plan on a fun weekend full of yarn store visits, daily raffles and several prizes that you’ll be delighted by.  This year’s Grand Prize includes yarn, books, tools and accessories as well as a $50 gift certificates from all 11 participating shops!

We’ll have some exciting new patterns to share with you as well as some special limited edition yarns and sale items that you won’t find anywhere else.  We’re looking forward to your visit.


A knit along to welcome spring

Whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, we want to herald in the eventual arrival of spring with a fun knit along that will keep us stitching together through Vermont’s mud season.

We’ll be casting on this weekend for our Groundhog Day KAL that kicks off this morning, and we hope that you’ll join the fun!  All that’s required is working on a project that uses either un-dyed shade of our Vermont Organic yarn.

You can share photos and details of your progress by posting here on our Ravelry Group Groundhog Day KAL thread or by posting photos to Instagram with #groundhogdayKAL.

We’ll select a random winner from the folks who have completed their project by March 16th, 2017 and posted a photo of their finished project to either Ravelry or Instagram.

Larisa has decided that its never to late in the season for a warm pair of mittens.  She’ll be starting a pair of Cap Sease’s Double Stuff Mittens with our grey Vermont Organic for the outer layer and the richly hued Rosehip Alpaca Elegance for the inner layer.

Maureen has a bit more knitting ahead of her, as she has selected to work on Lori Versaci’s Barnard cardigan. Knit up in the charcoal grey color, this sweater is sure to be a wardrobe staple that she’ll wear all the time next winter.  (We all hope that spring will arrive in southern Vermont before she weaves in her ends on this project).

We’d love to hear from you about your project, please post photos as the mood strikes you so that we can share in your progress.  Happy Groundhog day!


A Putney Shepard shares stories of her flock

Are you eager to learn a bit more about Vermont’s rich history of wool?

This Sunday (January 29th) at 5:30pm at  Saxtons River Inn, Main Street Arts and the Saxtons River Historical Society will be sponsoring a FREE fireside chat that focuses on wool production in Vermont.

© Crooked Fence Farm

Putney based Sheep farmer Betsy MacIsaac will share details of her experience raising sheep.  Her flock of colored Merino and CVM/Romeldale flourish at her Crooked Fence Farm.

© Crooked Fence Farm

This herd proudly continues the tradition of sheep keeping in Vermont, which at one point was home to a population of over 1.6 million sheep, making it the Sheep Capital of the world!

Join the fun in Saxtons River this Sunday evening to learn more about it and mingle with other fiber friends.  It’s possible that Betsy may have some some of her most recently sheared fleeces and roving with her so that you can get your hands on fiber grown just down the road from the Spinnery!

 

 


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.

craft-tour

“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.

festival-sheep

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!

jordache-go

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.

Rav-Games

“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!