A new shade of grey

Back in the summer of 2015, we received beautiful organic fiber from our friends at the Open View Farm in New Haven, Vermont.  Anna and Ben are raising a flock of Tunis/Dorset sheep that you can read more about here.

They recently sent us some darker fiber and we couldn’t wait to see how it would spin up.  If you follow our Instagram feed, you already know that over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been busy working on a new Vermont Organic yarn with their fiber.

The beautiful contrast between the two yarns created from Open View Farm fiber has us all thinking about casting on for patterns that would feature the two.  And that got us planning a new Knitalong for 2017!

We’ll be launching our Groundhog Day KAL on Thursday Feb. 2nd.  Perhaps you’ll want to join us, by casting on for a project using either (or both) of the Spinnery’s Vermont Organic yarns.  You can share photos and details of your progress by posting to 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.

Our worsted weight organic skeins skeins are put up with a generous 250 yards.  So just a couple of skeins will provide you with more than enough yardage to make something as special as the beautiful organic fiber we started with.  You can browse through the MANY pattern options available (that call for 500 yards or less) on Ravelry where you’ll find small accessories, knits for kiddos, and grown-ups too.

Larisa is flirting with Elizabeth Doherty’s Sans Serif sweater.  And Kate is struggling to choose between Kate Gilbert’s Kirigami (which Larisa knit up with two shades of the Maine Organic in 2015), Melanie Berg’s Rikochan, or Diana Walla’s Sundottir pullover.

Tell us about what patterns you’re considering!  We’d love to help you decide and get ready to cast on.


His and/or Hers

Sometimes seeing a garment styled a bit differently, or even on a different model can totally change the look.  That different look can change our perspective and looking with new eyes can make a pattern seem new as well.

When we first introduced Melissa Johnson’s Adult East Putney Aran Sweater we featured pictures of the sweater on two lovely female models.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both of them loved the sweater; finding it comfortable and easy to wear. In fact, one of our models cast on for a version of her own within days of trying the sweater on for the first time.

As we took the sample to various Sheep and Wool Festivals last year, many of the visitors to our booth considered knitting the unisex pattern as a men’s sweater since there is no waist shaping, and we wanted to see if they were right.

Last month, we were able to shoot a few more photos with the same sweater modeled by our friend Caitano when he visited our mill.  The sweater is transformed by his different body type.  And we love it!

He and his lovely wife agreed that it was a perfect fit for him.  We love how the neutral color can make the sweater work with any outfit from jeans to cargo pants.  Our sample was created with the Chai colorway of Alpaca Elegance.  This shade is one of the 6 colors created by blending undyed alpaca and wool fiber, making it one of the softer selections.

He loved how comfortable and cozy the sweater felt.  (And truth be told, he was reluctant to leave it behind when he headed out the door).  He thought that the sweater could be one that he and his wife could share.  Possibly making it the sweater version of “boyfriend jeans”?

We hope that these new photos may inspire you to reconsider Melissa’s pattern as we have.  With finished chest measurements that range from 38 – 50 inches and a flattering and comfortable fit within a range of positive ease from 1 – 4 inches, this pullover could work beautifully for a lot of us.

Give us a call if you have questions about the pattern, or better yet stop by the shop or our booth at any of the upcoming festivals and shows we’ll be attending and try our sample on for yourself!


Holiday Knits – a new project for a new year

With 2017 just hours away, all the bustle of the past weeks is beginning to wind down.  A heavy snowfall has blanketed us here in Vermont, giving us a perfect excuse to enjoy some reflective time inside by the fire.

Do you have resolutions or goals for 2017?  Perhaps the New Year will bring with it intentions to learn new techniques, try your hand at something a bit more complex than you’ve tackled before or a chance to play with a fresh color, fiber blend or yarn combination.

With the prospect of a new project in mind, we’d like to share with you Cap Sease’s new pattern, the West River Wrap.

This beautiful rectangular lace shawl is knit up with 3 skeins of our Moorit Singles or Simply Fine.  (The sample shown above was made with Moorit Singles.)  This limited edition yarn is made with 100% undyed merino wool that is a pleasure to work with and snuggle into.

Both of these single-ply fingering yarns are a delight to work with.  The simple un-plyed construction of the yarns highlights the cable/lace texture of this fabric, allowing all your stitches to shine.

The pattern’s instructions are both written and charted for ease of use.  The repetition of the lace pattern can become familiar allowing your mind to wander a bit as you watch your project grow.

And grow it will!  This large shawl will help wile away the dark winter hours ahead growing in length as the days gradually grow longer as well.

As you contemplate your crafting year ahead this weekend and make plans for new projects, keep in mind that we are here to help with suggestions for designs and yarns as well as answering questions as they come up while you work.  We can’t wait to see what you make in 2017.

 

 


Holiday Knits – toasty toes

All kinds of people stop into the mill to visit us.  Often the group includes a knitter or two as well as some friends and family who are along for the ride. We love to ask our visitors what kinds of projects they like to knit, and often the non-knitters in the group will chime in with what they love to have knitted for them!
Almost everyone agrees that there is nothing quite as luxurious as a pair of hand knit socks; perfectly fitted, delightfully textured, and often breathtakingly beautiful.  Hand painted yarns have their chance to shine.
For those of you who are speedy sock knitters, Maureen Clark’s new sock pattern may be a perfect one for you to try.  With a week remaining before Santa’s arrival, you may have just enough time to add a pair to the gifts under the tree.
The Jenness Pebble Socks pattern calls for a single skein of our 2-ply fingering weight yarns: Sock Art Forest, Sock Art Meadow or Sock Art Lana.  Our 3.5 oz. skeins include 400 yards of yarn which is perfect for the women’s medium finished size of 9 1/2 inches.
The pattern features a top-down design with a German short row heel construction.  The lovely pebbled lace pattern is both written and charted for ease of use and you may find that it gives you something fun to work as your stitches fly.
And if you need a bit more time to complete these socks, not to worry.  You won’t be the first among us to wrap a project still on the needles with a promise to finish just as soon as possible.

Holiday Knits – A gift for yourself?

Last year we created our first project club with the Quartet Hat Club. We launched the project in January and sent our members four exclusive project kits throughout the year. Melissa Johnson crafted all four beautiful designs that reflected the seasons and featured different Spinnery yarns.

Our members were delighted with club and shared their appreciation with us.

Continue reading Holiday Knits – A gift for yourself?


Holiday Knits – warm woolen mittens

We have a new pattern to share with you this week that could be a perfect choice for your holiday gift knitting.  Cap Sease has created the Double Stuff Mitten for those of you looking for a little something that will be as snug and comforting as a cup of cocoa and a plate full of our favorite cookies.

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These double layered mittens were inspired by classic Estonian mittens that combine a hard wearing outer layer with a second softer inner layer for maximum protection against winter’s chills.  Cap’s pattern pairs either Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool with Alpaca Elegance.  And the results are as snug as you could wish for.

She has embellished her mittens with a bit of embroidery, and you may opt to personalize your pair by adding stripes, textured stitches such as cables, or working in school or team colors.  We can’t wait to see what you come up with.  You’ll probably find yourself making pair after pair this winter as requests from friends and loved ones for warm woolen mittens begin to accumulate like snow drifts!

Cap’s pattern is beautifully constructed and easy to follow.  Newer knitters considering this pattern should be successful if they are already comfortable working in the round with double pointed needles, and decreasing.

More new patterns will be added to our website as we get closer to the holidays and we hope that you’ll enjoy working on what we have in store for you.


Thank you

As we gather around holiday tables this weekend with friends and family, we can’t help but count our blessings.  We are so grateful for your enthusiasm for our deliciously wooly yarns.  Your support of our mission allows us to continue to partner with small farms raising heritage breeds, and that keeps the American fiber shed thriving.

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As a small token of our gratitude, we hope that you’ll enjoy a FREE pattern for the Common Cap.

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This unisex hat pattern was designed to fit almost any head from the age of 3!  A very stretchy ribbed brim will accommodate heads with circumferences between 18 – 24 inches.  With directions for three separate depths, you can knit up a short beanie, a cuffed watch cap, or a slouchy hat and almost anything in between.

Providing those that we love with beautiful wooly warmth is one of the many benefits of our craft.  We hope that you’ll use this pattern to knit up some warm hats for anyone who warms your heart.  You can download the FREE PDF here and cast on without delay.  We recommend using our Weekend Wool, but you’ll get gauge with our Mountain Mohair or the Maine and Vermont organic yarns.

Even with the few weeks remaining until the next holidays, you’ll have time to knit several of these hats as last minute gifts for anyone on your knitworthy list.

All of us here at the Spinnery wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season.  Thank you from the bottom of our wooly hearts.


Winter woolens

As temperatures start to drop and days become shorter, we find ourselves drawn to working on projects that will take a bit more time.  The prospect of sitting quietly with a lap full of knitting is comforting; and so larger projects have a greater appeal.  With this in mind, earlier this fall Maureen teamed up with several New England designers to create a unique collection of sweater dress patterns that you may want to take a closer look at.

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All Aboard! is an $18 e-book that features 6 new designs made with warmer weight yarns ranging from DK weight to Aran.  These sweater dresses represent a wonderful modern take on a 1950’s wardrobe staple that will be the perfect choice for a festive holiday gathering or a weekend away.

Becky Herrick’s design, Essex Junction features eye-catching color work at the yoke, cuffs and hem.  Beth Brown-Reinsel’s Alouette is knitted in the style of the British gansey. It features typical gansey textured stitches above the waist to add visual interest and provide you with something fun to work on.  Lars Rains has contributed a top-down seamless pattern featuring brioche texturing: Brattleboro.  His pattern includes directions for various special techniques that will make for a fun project that will build your skills this winter.   Rosann Fleischauer’s Rensselaer is a flirty feminine A-line dress with cabling at the waist that makes for a figure flattering silhouette.

We have to confess a special preference for the designs included in this collection that call for Spinnery yarns.

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Maureen’s Green Mountain Flyer pattern was designed with Alpaca Elegance. This yarn creates a lush fabric with beautiful movement that is as pleasurable to knit as it is flattering to wear.  The overall texture is created with an easily memorized knit 2, purl one rib stitch variation.  And those garter stitch patch pockets are just darling!

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Suzy Allen contributed the Montpelier pattern to the collection.  Her design features small symmetrical cables and an elegant empire waist; with sizes ranging from a 27″ to a 43″ bust measurement.  She wore this beautiful dress to the Sheep & Wool festival at Rhinebeck last month and was frequently stopped by complimentary visitors eager to learn more about her design.

She created this pattern with the Spinnery’s worsted weight Weekend Wool in mind.  And our new expanded color palette gives you even more options to choose from.

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We hope that your upcoming weeks are filled with fun knitting projects and scrumptious yarn that warm your spirit as much as your hands.  And if a new knitted dress looks like fun, we hope that you’ll treat yourself to the All Aboard! collection that you can find on Ravelry.


Coming soon

We were lucky enough to get a chance to preview the newest samples from Pompom Quarterly while at Rhinebeck last weekend.  The girls flew all the way from their home turf in the UK to share issue 19 (winter 2016) with visitors to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival.

While all 18 patterns are worth checking out, our favorite has been topping the popularity charts on Ravelry this week.  We’d like to introduce you to Cesium designed by Sachiko Burgin.  This stunning pattern will be available for purchase through Ravelry on Nov. 1st.

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©Amy Gwatkin

The cozy sweater is knit up with between 6-11 skeins of Mountain Mohair and is shown above in the Ice Blue color.  The pattern includes a generous size range: 29½ (33, 37½, 41, 45½, 49, 53½)” and is intended to be worn with 1-1½” positive ease.  The model has a 35” bust, stands 5’6” tall, and is wearing the 37½” size.

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©Amy Gwatkin

We love the soft subtle cabling.  The asymmetry of the cables adds visual complexity to a comforting, flattering shape.  And the wide neckline beautifully balances the strong vertical of the cabled panel; it will look fantastic on all kinds of figures.

On Sunday, Sachiko and her twin sister Kiyomi stopped by our booth and so we were able to thank and congratulate her on her stunning design.  Her sister and fellow designer also has a lovely pattern included in this issue of Pompom, Fragmentation is a beautifully designed slouch hat that makes the most of gradient fingering weight yarns that are so impossible to resist.

You’ll find many treasures in the pages of this magazine.  We found that Bristol Ivy’s article about asymmetry and imperfection ties the theme of the collection together in a thoughtful and delightful way that may help you find a new appreciation for the inherent inconsistencies that make our craft unique.

If you don’t already have a subscription to this delightful quarterly, you will be able to find Pompom Winter 2016 available for sale in our shop on Nov. 1st.


Corrie is ready!

Our most recent newsletter featured the stunning circular yoke detail of our newest pullover sweater pattern.  And it inspired some of our readers to ask for more details.  We are very pleased to announce that Corrie is now ready to be introduced!

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Shown here on Haylie, the sweater is worn with 2 inches of positive ease in the bust.  We also photographed the sweater on a couple of other models so that you can decide for yourself what kind of fit you’d find most comfortable.

Larisa is wearing Corrie with 3 inches of positive ease.

Meghan is wearing Corrie with 9 inches of positive ease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pattern constructs the sweater from the bottom up.  It is knit in the round and uses corrugated ribbing to create that lovely color work that highlights the circular yoke and cuffs.

We were so delighted with the possibilities that the yoke provides for beautiful color work, that we knit up several samples in various colorways.  Pictured above the sweater is knit up in Evergreen as the main color, with Mean Mr. Mustard, Atlantis and Diamonds and Rust Mewesic.

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Pictured here, the sweater is knit up in  Norwegian Wood as the main color, with Mean Mr. Mustard, Passionate Kisses and Brickhouse Mewesic as contrast colors.

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And lastly, pictured here, the sweater is knit up in Diamonds & Rust as the main color, with Mean Mr. Mustard, Blue Bayou and Brickhouse Mewesic as contrast colors.

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The 13 shades of Mewesic present myriad options for color combinations that will flatter any complexion and enhance every wardrobe.

We hope that you’ll take a closer look at this pattern and consider it as a possible pattern for a Rhinebeck sweater. There are still several weeks of knitting time before the Sheep & Wool Festival in upstate New York and we’d love to see you modeling yours there!


New for fall (part two)

This week we are proud to share with you another new pattern as well as six new shades of Weekend Wool!

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From top to bottom and left to right is Fawn, Pollen, Chestnut, Grasshopper, Teal and Orchid.  These new shades round out our Weekend Wool spectrum with additional rich tones that our friends in Wisconsin are delighted with!

All of these new colors were created by blending our bale dyed wool in the carding process for a unique depth of tweedy color you are going to love working with.  You may want to consider casting on for the Putney Mountain Vest pattern which features a total of four colors of Weekend Wool in the colorful yoke.

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And for those of you who prefer to crochet, Maureen has crafted a special pattern for a new accessory you are going to love working on.

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Cowl Up is a cozy accessory is created with the Tunisian Crochet technique.  With 2 skeins of our bulky weight Capricorn yarn and a very large hook, you’ll have a finished project to curl up into in just a few hours!  It has been a hit in our booth at Wisconsin and we hope that you’ll enjoy it too.

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And in just a few days we’ll have the finishing touches ready for another circular yoke sweater that you may recognize from our newsletter!  We’ll let you know on our Facebook page as soon as the pattern is ready for downloading.

Until then, happy crafting!


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.