Up next…

We’re pleased to release a second new pattern designed by Larisa Demos this week: the Flat Iron Cowl.

This cozy cowl features a feathered lace stitch pattern that reminded Larisa of the Latte Art created by her favorite baristas at a Bellow’s Falls coffee house.  She named her design after the Flat Iron Exchange where she meets with other local crafters every Thursday evening for a stitching gathering that shouldn’t be missed.

Our favorite version of her cowl can be knit up with 4 skeins of deliciously soft Green Mountain Green.  The soft neutral tones of this yarn make it the perfect match for any outfit.  And snuggling into our finest fiber is a true pleasure.  Even better than that first sip of a perfectly drawn latte.

You can see that the cowl acts as a bit of a caplet with enough volume to surround your shoulders with soft warmth and cozy comfort.  The pattern is worked from the bottom up with written instructions and a chart to simplify the lace work.

We made several samples of this beauty this summer, because we were so smitten with it, so we can confirm that it also knits up beautifully with 3 skeins of either our Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool.  On the left you can see it knit up with Blizzard Mountain Mohair and on the right, is a fun bright version created with our Orchid Weekend Wool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any of these lovely versions would be the perfect accessory to wear to a last minute gathering to meet friends for coffee.  Whether or not they are knitters, you’ll be the envy of the group!

Stay tuned as our new patterns keep coming!  We’ll have two new sweater patterns for your consideration releasing in the next two weeks.  We can’t wait to hear what you think of them.


Our first new pattern for fall!

Our needles have been flying this summer as we’ve been working to get new patterns ready for the upcoming fall festival season.   Our goal has been the start of the  2017 Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival which kicks off next weekend at 10am on Friday September 8th.

We’ll have a fun selection of new offerings to share with visitors including some new sweaters, and cowls as well as a few shawl project kits!

And, there will be new colors of yarn on display!  We’ll have 4 new shades of Cotton Comfort, 4 new shades of Alpaca Elegance and 2 new shades of Sock Art Lana.  All of these yarns will become available on our website in upcoming weeks.  We’ll post updates on Facebook and Instagram as we have skeins washed, twisted and labeled for sale!

In the meantime, we have a stunning new pattern that we’re releasing today, so that you don’t have to wait!  Larisa Demos designed a breathtaking shawl for us that you won’t want to miss: the Mercury Rising Shawl.

This garter stitch crescent shawl is worked from the top-down with regular increases on every row, creating a generous wing span without bulk!  This beauty was knit up with two contrasting skeins of Spinnery Simply Fine, which is comprised of the finest fiber we work with.  The fine wool and yearling mohair is as soft as a cloud!

The contrasting wedge sections of stockinette are created with staggered short rows for a pop of color and texture variance that makes this design so appealing.  We’ve also knit this project up with our Sock Art Meadow to great effect.

We hope that you enjoy your long holiday weekend with a few leisurely hours spent with a project you enjoy.  We’ll continue working on our shop samples so that we have a wealth for you to choose from.


A possible Rhinebeck Sweater?

The newest issue of Interweave Knits arrived in the shop this week and we’re delighted to find a stunning cable sweater pattern within its pages that calls for Spinnery Weekend Wool.

Jennifer Owens has contributed the Highway 61 Pullover, and it is a showstopper!  Knit up with the Poppy colorway of Spinnery’s Weekend Wool, this classic cabled Aran has atypical figure flattering shaping.  This feminine touch makes it a modern classic.

© Interweave

The pattern has a generous sizing range from 36″ to 52″ bust, calling for 9 – 14 skeins of our Weekend Wool.  The full color range shown below gives you a mouthwatering range of choices.

And what a sweater to be wearing at Rhinebeck, where you’ll be surrounded by appreciative crafters who will understand the skill involved in every loving stitch.

 

The  Highway 61 Pullover is worked back and forth in separate pieces and seamed; which means that it could travel beautifully.  Perhaps making it a great project for any end of summer travel plans you have on the calendar for the next couple of weeks?

We hope that if you decide to cast on for this beauty, or any other, that you’ll bring your project with you (finished or not) to our booth at any of the upcoming Sheep and Wool Festivals on our calendar, so that we can see what you’ve been working on.


Customer Feedback

We love hearing back from you all about working with our patterns, our yarns or your visits to our mill and shop.  It is very helpful for us to learn from you what works and when something doesn’t.  It helps us develop our products to best serve your needs!

It’s always fun to see our friends’ handknits.  It can be inspiring to see what our yarns become.  Recently our friend Opal from Indiana reached out to us to tell us about her experience working with our Mountain Mohair.

© carrie bostick hoge

She worked up a Lila sweater designed by Carrie Bostick Hoge.  Pictured above is the beautiful top-down pullover that features a wide open neck and flattering a-line shaping for a comfortable fit that you’ll love to wear.  We don’t yet have photos of her finished sweater, but she wrote to us at length about her experience with our yarn:

“I wore my sweater throughout our gloomy spring. It was a bright spot while I awaited some dry air and sunshine. I wore it daily, probably 30 wears in all, and there are no pills; truly, it still looks brand new. I am so pleased. It always feels risky spending good money on yarn not knowing how it will hold up, but it turns out the Mountain Mohair was an excellent investment!

It is next-to-skin soft for me, which was a relief. It is not terribly soft in the skein. It bloomed and softened wonderfully with a wash. It is lofty and lightweight, but a perfect warmth. Not too warm indoors and perfect for brisk walks.

The mohair halo is feminine and cozy, and I do not find it itchy even at the neck and wrists. I have worn this sweater nearly every day for 2 weeks, and it looks great! No pilling, despite my very clingy toddler who is either on my hip or crawling all over me on the couch all day. The sweater looks great and is holding up beautifully. It’s just a wonderful sweater to throw on.

I think this yarn is a wool-lover’s yarn. When I wear it, I find myself reflecting on the wonders of wool: such warmth in such an airy garment, so cozy, so beautiful and lustrous. If putting on good wool makes you happy in this way, then you’ll like this yarn!

I look forward to using it again in the future. The colors are so beautiful. Please don’t stop making it!”

 


It’s back!

We’re very pleased to share with you the grand return of our undyed Grey Maine Organic Yarn.  This Spinnery staple has been out of stock for several months while we’ve waited for a crucial fiber delivery.  And this week, we put the finishing touches on a fresh batch of this scrumptious yarn!

The wool for these skeins comes to us from the Noon Family Sheep Farm in Maine.  Their organically raised flock is a commercial mix of Columbia-Rambouillet-Leicester-Suffolk, and Friesian.  You can read a bit more about the farm in the first of three blog posts that Hannah Fettig wrote last summer as she and her husband Abe launched their own limited edition organic yarn line with fiber sourced from the same flock.

The skeins in this week’s batch still smell of hay giving you a sense of the pasture as you work with the yarn.  It’s like taking a little holiday to the countryside.  As Kate twisted and labelled skeins for sale, she found herself daydreaming of creating a lofty woolen shawl with this yarn that would hug her shoulders this winter and surround her with the smell of summer.

Ravelry has some terrific pattern ideas for this yarn.  You may also want to consider Amy Christoffer’s Coolidge Cardigan, which was originally designed in the Spinnery’s Vermont Organic.  Her design combines a rich seed stitch texture with ethereal lace and is a perpetual crowd pleaser among our samples in the shop.

If you wanted to play with all three undyed shades available in the Maine Organic line, you might want to consider a neutral version of the Spinnery’s Gulfoss sweater, or you may want to take a quick browse through these pattern suggestions.  Shannon Cook’s Bradway Shawl makes the top of Kate’s list!

Thank you to those of you who have patiently waited for these skeins to return.  We have dozens ready to ship and we’d be delighted to get some into your hands without delay.


New pattern suggestions for Cotton Comfort

We find that we and our friends reach for skeins of Cotton Comfort to work with as summer heats up.  Our DK weight blend of 80% of the finest wool we work with  and 20% organic cotton grown in Texas is a delight in the hands.  It has a comforting elasticity, a nubby texture and a color palette that is second only to our Mountain Mohair.

We wanted to use this week’s post to keep you up to date on some fresh new patterns that call for Cotton Comfort from some of Raverlry’s most popular designers.

Julie Weisenberger (of Cocoknits fame) recently publish Rosa, a figure flattering top-down pullover that is sure to become a classic.

© Cocoknits

The pattern features the Cocoknits Method of construction, “a commonsense system for knitting seamless, tailored sweaters from the top down. The Cocoknits Method is explained in detail in the book, Cocoknits Sweater Workshop by Julie Weisenberger, which includes 9 core patterns. The book is a necessary tool for knitting this and the other Cocoknits Method patterns.”

On a side note, Kate tried out this method of construction by knitting a version of Julie’s Antonia/Antonio sweater and was delighted by the clever construction and perfect fit created by this (new to her) English tailoring technique.  It creates a shoulder seam that the weight of the sweater can hang on, that sits a bit behind your shoulders for a more accurate fit and a better silhouette.  The anatomy of the sweater more closely mimics how our bodies move.  You’ll recognize the  look from machine knit sweaters in your wardrobe.

For those of you who would be more likely to wear a cardigan, you may want to consider taking a look at Asscher designed by by Christina Danaee as part of her StoneCutter Collection.

© Olive & West Photography

“The Asscher cardigan is an open, raglan cardigan featuring an angular eyelet pattern across the back. The eyelet shaping at the shoulders is echoed in the pattern on the back and the ribbed eyelet trim of the front. Green Mountain Spinnery’s Cotton Comfort yarn has a slight fleck of color creating a tweed-like appearance, and makes a perfect all-weather garment. Make one in any color to throw over jeans and a t-shirt, your favorite dress or layer with a flannel in colder weather.”

We agree that it looks like a perfect layering piece.

On the smaller side, is a kiddo knit for you to consider.  Summertime is a perfect time to select smaller projects that are easy to transport on your summer holidays.  New to Ravelry is Nemunoki designed by Simone Kereit, with sizes ranging from 3M to 2 years.

© Simone Kereit / OwlCat Designs

This darling little top could be worn as a wee dress and then layered over leggings as a tunic, extending its wearability.  We love the bright pop of color created by the slipped stitch texturing.

We hope that summer’s heat doesn’t prevent you from your favorite past time, and that the right project can keep you happily stitching (perhaps in front of an air conditioner) all season long.


What’s on our needles this week

We know how much fun it can be to take a look at what other people are working on, so we thought we’d share the “wips” on our needles this week.

While many of us are guilty of working on a handful of projects at any given moment, these are the projects that came to work with us this Thursday in the hopes that a few stitches could be worked at lunch or when our machines were humming along with occasional intervention.

Tracey is about a third of the way through an elegantly simple vest that will become a new wardrobe staple this fall.  She is working on His Vest designed by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, with a few pattern modifications to adjust the length for a personalized fit.  She selected the Mean Mr. Mustard colorway from the Spinnery’s Mewesic line.

This lofty DK weight 100% wool yarn is a pleasure to work with and will make a lightweight and yet warm layer that will be perfect for in between season temperature swings.  Her pattern is worked flat from the bottom up, and seamed before the finishing touches of the ribbed v-neck and armholes is worked.

Kate is making some headway with her Clio pullover designed by Elizabeth Doherty.  Kate chose to work with the undyed Silver colorway of our Cotton Comfort.  The addition of 20% cotton in these skeins lends lovely nubbiness to the textured stitches and should make the fabric drape just a bit for a flattering finished piece.

Clio has a top-down, seamless construction that allows the knitter to try it on while in progress. The pattern includes instructions for two lengths making it a versatile option for everyone.  Maureen is also working on a version of this sweater and we hope to share photos of both finished projects soon.

Kate hopes to have this sweater complete in plenty of time to cast on another of Elizabeth’s designs before she arrives in October to teach at our Knitters Weekend.  We love having plenty of samples available to try on so that our friends and fellow students can find new project inspiration and leave the weekend knowing exactly which size of the pattern they want to cast on for.

Megan is very close to finishing a beautifully neutral version of Melody Hoffman’s Kimono pattern.  She selected the Fawn color of our Weekend Wool for a cozy, slouchy shrug that will go with every outfit.

“The pattern is very easy and comes up in three different sizes.  It features a little bit of lace, a lot of stockinette, and a very addictive slipped stitch panel on the back (a video is provided to help you execute the slipped stitch. It is knit flat, like a large rectangle, and a little bit of seaming brings the sides together to create the opening for the sleeves.”

So elegant!  We hope to share photos of her finished project when it is off her needles.

And last but not least, Larisa is putting the finishing touches on a new cowl pattern that will become available this fall.

Her infinity cowl design features an organic lace pattern inspired by the beautiful Latte Art to be found on the beverages served at Larisa’s favorite cafe in Bellows Falls.  This sneak peek shows her project with the Orchid colorway of our worsted weight Weekend Wool.

Check back here in several weeks for more details on this upcoming design!


Protecting your hand knits

The unofficial start of summer with Memorial Day weekend has many of us thinking about storing our winter woolens away for the season.  Ensuring that our hand knits will be clean and in good repair when we’re ready to pull them out of storage in the Fall, will allow us to start wearing them without delay when we’re ready to bring them back into wardrobe rotation.

Martha Stewart has a terrific article about mothproofing that includes the how and why of the multiple steps involved in preparing your woolens to ensure the best results.  You can find the full article on her website here.

In a nutshell, “cleaning woolens rids them of moth and beetle eggs and also eliminates perspiration remnants and food spills, which attract and nourish pests. Moths and beetles don’t eat items made of synthetic or cotton fabrics, but you should clean those, too, if you store them with woolens.”

Taking the time to inspect each item before putting it away for the season can give you a moment to look for signs of wear that may need a bit of darning.  We also like to de-pill our well loved garments to revitalize them.  This way they will emerge from storage ready to wear and looking their best.

Since the pests that love to munch holes in our woolens are so small and able to wriggle into the tightest of crannies, the best short term storage is air-tight.  If you are planning to put things away for stretches of time longer than a year, you may want to do a bit of web research to find alternate options that will be impervious to small pests and yet allow your clothes to breathe.  Trapping moisture inside an airtight container with your woolens would lead to another set of problems.

To clean our shop samples, we add like colors into a top-loading washer that will allow us to soak the items without agitation.  You could also soak items one at a time (particularly if you have concerns about colors bleeding) in a sink, large bowl or bucket.  We add a splash of Eucalan, but you may want to consider using any of the other wool washes available on the market.  The milder the detergent the better.

After a 20-30 minute soak,  we allow the machine to spin out the items removing as much water as possible.  You could squeeze your items (without wringing them) and then roll them up in dry towels like a burrito.  Walking across the burrito will remove even more water and render your woolens just damp to the touch.

Lay your items out someplace flat, out of direct sunlight, where they can dry undisturbed.  You can use this opportunity to re-block your items into your desired measurements.  You may want to select your washing day based on the weather forecast, selecting a time when you’ll have several dry days in a row giving your woolens plenty of time to dry completely.   If the forecast doesn’t cooperate but you have a dehumidifier, you may want to dry your woolens in close proximity to it for similar results.  Here in the damp Northeast, that can be essential for success.

Cedar and lavender both provide natural pest protection (with some limitations) that leave a pleasant scent behind.  We’ve recently received a small shipment of some locally crafted cedar hanger rings.  Each dozen is available for $15 and you can find them on our website here.  Adding these to the cleaned items in your closet or within air-tight storage containers can help maintain your hand knits’ integrity.

If you find holes or signs of moth damage, your best resort is to freeze those pests out!  We “put items in sealed plastic bags, squeeze out air, and freeze for a few days. Take the bags out, let them return to room temperature (or better yet, place them in a hot car in the summer sun), and then repeat. In case of condensation, let clothes air out before storing again.”

If you need some expert help repairing larger holes, give us a call and we can put you in touch with a local knitter who has worked miracles for our customers over the years.  Susan has provided flawless finishing, button hole repair and mending work for many of our friends who are are too busy or reluctant to try their hand on precious hand knits that took many hours to complete.

Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions as you dive into washing your woolens for summer storage.  We’d love to share our suggestions and any additional tips that could help.


Pop! Here comes Spring

Spring arrives a bit late here in Vermont.  While we see our Instagram feeds fill with photos of early blossoms from elsewhere in the world, our gardens are just now losing their blanket of snow.

So our Spring color comes in a slightly different form.  We’ve been working through our colored yarns this week in production.  This plethora of rich hues have made the Spinnery a vibrant place to be.  We’ve carded, spun and skeined several colors in our Mountain Mohair line including: Vincent’s Gold, Midnight Blue, Wintergreen, Claret, and Elderberry.

These colors have transformed our production floor into an early spring garden bed (of sorts) and has us all eager to start working with more color in our crafts as well as at work.

The yarn that has been taking center stage in all of this, is a new batch of our Peach Beryl Sylvan Spirit.  We’ve bumped up the color intensity and created skeins that are mouthwateringly fresh and juicy.  You can see the difference below.  The skein on top is from the new dye lot and the one on the bottom is from the previous one.

This fun new dye lot makes us think of cantaloupe, peaches, clementines, and sherbert.  What could be better for warmer weather knits?  Kate keeps picturing this yarn for a wee dress or tunic, perhaps paired with the new Citrine colorway, it could make a playful version of Annie Rowden’s Polka Dot Tunic.

© byAnnieClaire

If the thought of a child’s dress appeals to you, there are many more pattern options for you to consider on Ravelry.

You might also want to consider it for a shawl.   Briston Ivy’s Knúsa (published in the Share issue of Taproot Magazine) would be a delight to work and would bring this delightfully warm color into your life to brighten any room or rainy day.

© Bristol Ivy/Leah B. Thibault

We’ve also flirted with the idea of making some knitted or crocheted Easter eggs.  Since we didn’t get this project started early enough, we may end up simply using the skeins to decorate our holiday table!

Who wouldn’t want to find a basket such as this, full of candy and skeins left by the Easter Bunny in their garden?  We hope that you have a delightful holiday weekend and that signs of Spring are popping up all around you as well this week.

 


Signs of Spring

In celebration of the first hints of Spring that have appeared in Vermont this week, we have a new pattern to share with you that has made our winter months more colorful.  We’ve been hard at work over the past several weeks knitting up samples that have made us feel like artists.

Our Expressionist Shawl pairs our tweedy neutral Sock Art Lana with Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes Paintbox gradients to spectacular effect.  Shown here, it’s knit up with 2 skeins of Lana in the Gris colorway and the Light Into Darkness gradient set.  Kate worked her stripes moving from dark to light with the lengthening spring days in mind as she worked.

It’s simple asymmetrical shape is constructed with a lengthy cast on and diminishing rows that speed your progress.  The garter stitch fabric is lofty and elastic, and oh so comforting to wrap up with.

It’s a perfect project for social knitting or a lengthy trip.  A bit of intarsia at one end keeps things interesting and you’ll love watching the progression of colors as you work through Kimber’s mouthwatering gradient shades.

This second sample was made with Lana in the lighter Plateada colorway and the Onyx to Crimson gradient.  Jenny created this shawl working her stripes from light to dark ensuring that her favorite shade of crimson would make the boldest impression on the longest edge of her shawl.  As you can see, the shawl’s generous dimensions (56″ x 32″) make it a cozy fit.

The hardest part of this project will be selecting which paintbox colorway to play with!  We hope that you’ll select a spectrum of your favorite colors, or one that recalls a special place or time. Your shawl will become a beautiful expression of what you love.

Our friends Kimber and Ellie of Fiber Optic Yarns are debuting their stunning samples of the Expressionist Shawl this weekend at their booth at the DFW Fiber Fest in Dallas Texas.  We hope that if you are in that area, you’ll have a chance to stop by and check out their works of art in person.

We’ll be debuting our samples later this month at the Spinnery booth at Stitches United in Hartford, CT; and would love to share the fun of this project with you there.  In the meantime, we hope that your days ahead are made more colorful with beautiful knits and spring blossoms.

 


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!


Celebrate National Crochet month with us

Perhaps you already knew that March is National Crochet month.   The fun folks over at Crochetville, have organized a blog tour that you should follow if you are eager to get some inspiration for great crochet projects and yarns. This year’s theme focuses on “glamping” otherwise known as glamorous camping.

If your idea of the perfect camping trips includes a warm bed under a sturdy canvas roof, or a warm beverage beside a fireside; you’re in good company!  We like to imagine glamping as if we were characters in Out of Africa, fine china, polished silver and all.

And with that in mind, Maureen has created a fun new crochet pattern: The Sierra Cowl.  This pattern was inspired on her recent trip to California, home of some of the most glamorous camping we know of in Yosemite National Park.

This fun infinity cowl can be crafted up in just a few hours with 2 contrasting skeins of Spinnery Cotton Comfort.  Maureen completed hers on a transcontinental flight that brought her from Hartford, CT to San Jose, CA.  Shown above, our sample was created with a skein each of Phlox and Silver.

For the next 30 days, we’re offering a 10% discount on the Sierra Club project.  You can receive 10% off your purchase of Cotton Comfort and the pattern by using the coupon code NATCRO17 at check out.  (This offer is valid through 4/18/17).

We hope that this may inspire you to get a cowl of your own started before the end of March so that you too can be part of the fun of National Crochet month!