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Bringing a little bit of Vermont Autumn to you

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

The fall color is really starting to pop here in Putney, Vermont.  Every day, our commute into the Spinnery is a breathtaking pleasure and we all count ourselves lucky to be living here.

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It is also our pleasure to bring a little bit of that vibrant color to you in the form of our blended and hand-painted skeins.  Our design team works hard to capture the amazing palette that nature inspires.

We are heading out to two festivals over the next couple of weeks and we hope that our travels will bring us (and our yarn) a bit closer to you.  We know how difficult it can be to choose a color online.  And we love having the chance to share our yarns with our friends and customers in person so that they can touch and see the skeins for themselves.

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This weekend October 18th and 19th we will be at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.  We are bringing our new samples, patterns, and skeins, as well as a few freshly cast-off sweaters to model.

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Then early next week, Eric and Maureen are headed west!  They will be bringing our little shop to the Chicago area where they will be participating in Vogue Knitting LIVE October 24th – 26th.

On their way they will be making a special stop with our friends at D’ Vine in Shipshewana, IN.  They are hosting us for a special event on Wednesday October 22nd from 2pm-4pm.

We will be showcasing our one-of-a-kind hand-painted fingering weight skeins as well as sweater quantities of our new Mewesic yarn.  This will be a unique opportunity for those of you in that area to see these yarns in person.  We’ll also have samples that you can try on and some great pattern suggestions that may inspire your next project.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Postcards from Wisconsin

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Maureen and Kate headed to Jefferson, Wisconsin earlier this week to bring a little bit of Putney, Vermont to the Midwest.  They are participating in the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival that runs through this weekend.

They left the Spinnery on Tuesday morning and headed west.  They have been sharing photos on our Facebook page and so we’ve been able to track their progress across roughly 1,000 miles.  They are now smack dab in the middle of corn country where the surrounding fields are as green as our mountains.

 

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They set up a booth in the “Country Store” of the Festival and are now showcasing our yarns in a space that has a bit more square footage than our shop here at the Spinnery.

 

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The local fiber fans couldn’t be more warmly welcoming and enthusiastic.  Friends new and old have been arriving at the booth to find out what’s new and share what they have been working on.  Here you can see our friend Cathy with her newly finished Putney Mountain Vest.  This pattern is part of the Spinnery’s most recent e-book publication: Green Mountain Weekend.

 

 

 

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Beautiful yarn, roving and fleece are just the tip of the iceberg of what this festival has to offer visitors.  There are several barns temporarily housing all kinds of livestock that have traveled almost as far to showcase the special qualities of their breeds.  Throughout the weekend there will be shearing demonstrations, sheep dog trials, as well as a few carefully timed births of new lambs.

Kate missed the moment of this particular arrival, but she was able to find a new lamb with its mother nestled in the straw of their pen.

 

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As their day ended and they headed off to dinner and a sound night’s sleep, the girls were charmed by yet another surprise: a double rainbow made a brief appearance after a passing rain shower.

 

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It has been a wonderful working holiday, giving the gals a chance to see another corner of the country and share the last bit of summer with friends new and old.  This Festival marks the beginning of the fall knitting season, and they have enjoyed getting a chance to see what folks in Wisconsin are eager to cast on for as they start thinking about cooler weather.

Next week, we’ll be officially introducing our new sport weight 100% wool yarn; Mewesic.  The folks in Wisconsin received a sneak preview of the yarn we’ve been working on all summer, and they are thrilled with the beautiful new colors.

We’ll be able to share more details of this yarn with you next week, so be sure to check back to be among the first to see what we have in store for you.

We are getting excited about brioche

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

November is quickly approaching, and we are starting to get excited about this fall’s Knitter’s Weekend.  It is the perfect time of year to be in New England enjoying the fall color and the crisp air.  The golden light is magical and we hope that you can come and experience it for yourself.

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Nancy Marchant will be joining us in Putney, Vermont  the weekend of November 7th-9th to teach the brioche stitch.  This is a great opportunity to add luscious texture and stunning, reversible patterns to your knitting.  For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the brioche stitch you can learn the basics in the video below.

Inspired by Nancy’s imminent visit, Maureen has been working on a new brioche infinity cowl.  We had a mini fashion show at the shop this morning.  This deliciously soft and stretchy infinity cowl can be worn in all kinds of ways.  Just the thing to keep you snug on a snowy morning or to throw over your shoulders as a little shrug.

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We’ll be publishing a pattern shortly.  In the meantime, you may want to peruse the hundreds of FREE brioche patterns available on Ravelry.  You will be stunned by the beauty and versatility of this stitch.

We hope that you will consider adding the brioche stitch to your knitting repertoire.  It is a wonderful technique that could provide you with a winter season full of fun new projects that will keep you extra warm with squishably soft ribs of beautiful color that will fly off your needles.

 

 

… and the fun continues!

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Last weekend’s I-91 Shop Hop was a hoot!  It was great fun meeting new friends and introducing them to what we do here at the Spinnery.  Many of our first-time visitors didn’t realize that we make everything that we have available in the shop.  From fleece to skein we do it all right here!

As time permitted, we brought as many folks as we could out back into the thick of things so that they could see the different stages of our production process, and all of the amazing old machinery that makes it possible.  If you missed your chance, you can learn a bit more about the Spinnery on our virtual tour.

But you just can’t beat the real thing, so plan on coming back as soon as you can and we can bring you “behind the scenes”.  Bring your 15% off coupon for extra savings in the shop from now until the end of August.

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More Hoppers than ever turned in their passports with us this year.  We hope that all of you on the Hop enjoyed your adventure, and that you used the trip to reconnect with friends, find new yarns and patterns, and get inspired by all of the beautiful finished projects you saw along the way.

Many of you will be casting on for the Shop Hop’s mystery KAL project.  We know that you’ll find some great support on the discussion board that you’ll find here.

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Many of you took home our special “Sock Hop” kit.  We wanted to be sure that you had the link you needed to browse the FREE shawl and scarf patterns that we found on Ravelry that could be used to make something not “socky” with your new skein of yarn, if you so choose.

We hope that all of you who visited will join our group on Ravelry and share the details of what you create with our yarns.  We can’t wait to see what you want to work on.

And we have some exciting news to share with you!  Keep those tote bags that you were given to you along with your passport…

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A mystery sale has been planned for Saturday March 14th, 2015.  Visitors who bring their totes to the sale will be eligible for special savings that we’ll be able to tell you more about in upcoming months.

We would like to thank all of you who participated, as well as the wonderful sponsors who generously contributed to the 44 goodie bags that were raffled off this weekend.  I think it’s fair to say that a great time was had by all!

Community Knit Night

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

One of our favorite aspects of working with fiber is the wonderful community that can congregate when yarn is involved.  Knitting is always more fun with company.  Many friends and local fiber enthusiasts have asked about knitting with us more regularly than our twice annual Knitter’s Weekends, and we are thrilled to announce that we are starting a twice monthly “stitch and bitch” here in Putney.

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© knittomania

A few of us gathered this week at the Gleanery to test the waters, and found the cafe to be a delightfully welcoming spot to work.  The lighting is perfect, the open windows offered a cool breeze, and the macaroons were delicious!  Maureen brought several projects to work on, Kate made some progress on her Natsumi, and Jayne is thinking about casting on for her very first pair of socks.

We plan on gathering at the Gleanery on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings from 5:30 – 7:30pm.  The cafe serves wonderful coffee and tea along side home baked treats.  It is a BYOB establishment, so if you’d prefer to stitch with a cocktail, you can bring your own, or the General Store across the street has a terrific selection of chilled beers and wine.

We love the thought of making some new friends and offering our expertise to folks in the area that would like a little help.  It should be a fun group of local fiber enthusiasts with enough common knitting and crochet experience to be able to troubleshoot almost any problem or pattern question.  We hope that you can join the fun.

Knitting is always more fun with company.  Perhaps not as productive, as we get caught up in one another’s progress and pattern ideas.  Please join us next month on July 9th or the 23rd.  We are looking forward to stitching with you when you can participate.

Hop over to the Spinnery

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

We are getting excited about the upcoming I-91 Shop Hop that will run from Thursday June 26 through Sunday June 29, 2014.

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Stop in your participating LYS and purchase your Shop Hop passport for $5. Along with your passport you’ll receive a tote bag with the map and details about each of the eleven fabulous shops.

  1. Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT)
  2. Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA)
  3. WEBS (Northampton, MA)
  4. Marji’s Yarncrafts (Granby, CT)
  5. Creative Fibers LLC (Windsor, CT)
  6. Yarnover Avon (Bloomfield, CT)
  7. Village Wool (Glastonbury, CT)
  8. Country Yarns (Wallingford, CT)
  9. The Yarn Barn (Woodbridge, CT)
  10. The Yarn Basket (Branford, CT)
  11. Knit New Haven (New Haven, CT)

Get your Shop Hop passport stamped by visiting the participating shops over the 4-day Shop Hop weekend.  Every time you get your passport stamped you will be entered to win the Daily Door Prize at that shop. A total of 44 door prizes will be given out to participants!  By visiting all 11 shops you will be entered into a drawing for the fabulous Grand Prize, which includes gift certificates for the 11 shops, as well as yarns, needles and other goodies.

Here’s your chance to explore new yarn shops and win some great prizes. You can complete the Shop Hop all in one day, or make it a weekend event.  Along with all of the fun prizes, you’ll be able to pick up clues to a mystery pattern at each of the shops.  That way we can all share the fun.

You can learn more about the event on the 1-91 Shop Hop Facebook page and their Group page on Ravelry.

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This year’s theme of gold and black mystery is a fun one.  In honor of this, and Kate’s insistence on referring to the Shop Hop as a Sock Hop, we will be offering an exclusive kit that includes a skein of our deep gold Sock Art – Forest yarn, a packet of lavender Eucalan, a darling needle gauge, and your choice of one of three Spinnery sock patterns that can be created with your new skein.  All of this for under $20 (including Vermont sales tax)!  This offers you a savings of over 60%

If knitting socks is not your favorite, you might find a pattern to your liking among the FREE Ravelry pattern selections of over 700 shawl patterns that could be knit or crocheted with the included skein.

© Inn Vicoria

© Inn Vicoria

While you are here in Putney, VT you may want to find a comfortable spot for a meal, a snack, or to cast on without delay.  We recommend our favorite local spot: the Gleanery for a delicious lunch or dinner.  They are open from 11:30 am – 9:00pm Thursday – Saturday and 11:30 – 8pm on Sunday.  Basketville is another great spot for a quick visit that could provide you with beautiful storage for your new yarn!

We can provide you with local maps and more tips for a wonderful adventure when you visit.  We can’t wait to see you!

The Spring Art Fair at Squam

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Maureen and I piled into the car last weekend and headed to New Hampshire to join the fun of the Squam Art Fair and the Ravelry Revelry.  It was wonderful fun to mingle with crafters who had been at the camp all weekend taking workshops, making friends, finding fresh inspiration, and glowing with new skills.

This video should give you a good sense of what a magical place and experience the Squam Art Workshops can be.

We joined the stream of folks heading into the Fair and were charmed by twinkling lights and blocks of ice illuminated by candles.  The video that you’ll find here should give you a good sense of what a magical place and experience these art retreats are.

© BEEZ in the belfry

© BEEZ in the belfry

Once inside, we were met with a room full of beautiful creativity; and both of us fell speechless at the workmanship of all of the talented vendors.  “The Squam Art Fair is a whirlwind of inspiration. Mix together the magic of a vintage shop feel, one of a kind goodies, and the creative spirits of all in attendance and you’ve got yourself a memorable evening at the lake.”

We are very proud to be one of the sponsors of this evening.

© Squam Art Workshops

© Squam Art Workshops

Among some of the delightful items that captured our interest as we browsed through the room were the beautiful samples from Amirisu’s Spring 2014 magazine.  Maureen was quite taken with two of the sweaters: Mokoshi designed by nest-design laboratory, and Whispers by Veera Välimäki.  (You may have already seen photos on our Facebook page).

We were able to meet up with some familiar faces and old friends, and check out beautiful hand knits modeled by knitters from all across the country.  We even got to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in her finished Adriana.  The story behind this lovely vest is a wonderful read; but it’s even better when Stephanie tells it in person.  Maureen and I were in stitches.

We couldn’t resist indulging in a bit of shopping.  Maureen was drawn to a beautiful waxed canvas tote; and I came home with a linen apron that will be perfect wearing in the shop.  (It has a pocket for a measuring tape!)  You can find a bag just like Maureen’s here and you can find an apron just like mine, here.

There are a couple of Squam Art workshops coming up later this year that you may want to look into.  The Fall retreat will be in early September and Squam is headed to Providence, RI for an urban experience towards the end of that month.  You find find more details about both retreats here.

We hope that you find a bit of inspiration in all of this, as we did last Saturday!

You’re invited!

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

All of us can agree that when it comes to buying yarn, there is no substitute for getting to see and touch the skeins in person.  Brochures and computer monitors rarely do the colors justice.  And getting a true sense of the feel of the yarn is essential.

We think that the same can be said of knitted samples.  You can learn far more about a sweater by trying it on than you might imagine.  You can assess its sizing and length, if it is flattering to your figure, and if you’d prefer the sweater with some ease and how much.

With all of this in mind, we have a fun event to invite you to!

14 Green Mountain TeaWritten Words Bookstore is sponsoring a deliciously fun event at Stockbridge’s Gourmet Cheesecakes and Cafe (located at 509 Howe Ave. in Shelton, CT).  On Sunday June 22nd Maureen will be “setting up shop” at the southern end of I91 giving those of you in that area a unique opportunity to have Spinnery yarn and samples brought to you!

She is going to be bringing copies of our very popular book: 99 Yarns and Counting.  She’ll also be bringing samples from the book, and mini skeins of some of our favorite yarns so that you can knit a swatch or two that afternoon.  If you find the perfect pattern and yarn to start it with, she may have just the skeins you need.  (Since she won’t be able to transport our entire shop we may have to send your selection to you on Monday when she returns).

You’ll want to get your tickets ahead of time as they won’t be available at the door.  You can secure your spot at our fun afternoon by calling 203-362-9114.  

We hope to see you there!

A Sneak Peak into our Spring Knitters’ Weekend

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Spinnery founders Claire Wilson and Libby Mills began taking our wares to Stitches events and fiber festivals years ago and realized that doing these kinds of shows was fun and good business, but wondered how it would be to have knitters come to us. So, for more than 20 years we have been inviting folks to enjoy a weekend in New England with good food, excellent company, a fun learning experience and generally lots of yarny goodness.

Over the years we have had quite an array of instructors, from established names like Barbara  Walker, Katherine Cobey, Nancy Bush, Fiona Ellis and Beth Brown-Reinsel to more recent emerging stars in the knitting world: Gudrun Johnston, Alison Green, Kate Gilbert and others. In addition, our weekends have offered a chance for our own Spinnery designers to share their passion.

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This past weekend was no exception, and Marly Bird was a huge hit with the group.  Her warm and bubbly personality made the weekend more fun and full of laughter than one could imagine possible.

She is a wonderful teacher who was able to gracefully guide both knitters and crocheters through the intricacies of Entrelac.  It was inspiring to see everyone in the room working with their preferred tool, be it hook or needle.  Then on Sunday morning the group gathered to learn about thrumming and a new collection of deliciously warm mittens was born!

She inspired all of us to embrace the intention of her instructions and make them our own; reminding us that one of the reasons she became a designer was because she is not a fan of closely following directions.

Our “students” proved to be very talented crafters, and they brought some amazing hand knits with them. The collection of sweaters in the room was breathtaking.  It was also fun to see what came along in everyone’s work basket or project bag.

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It was a wonderful weekend filled with laughter, learning, and wonderful company.  One of our new friends Sue posted to our Facebook page, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for a fabulous weekend!! This was my very first knitting retreat & you have set the bar very high! I loved every moment, learned so much and enjoyed getting to know a truly great group of ladies!!”

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It is a sentiment that we all share.  Thank you to all of you who joined us.  A huge warm hug and enthusiastic thank you to Marly for traveling halfway across the country to help us make a memorable weekend.  And to all of you who hope to come and join us next time, there is always room at the table for another friend!

 

Fiber Festival Season!

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Fiber festivals are a feast for your senses: seeing what others choose to wear and the colorful yarns, hearing the animals, smelling the “yarn fumes” and touching the fibers! Some fiber enthusiasts like to go in to a fiber event, such as Rhinebeck (a.k.a. the New York Sheep & Wool Festival), and see which yarn calls to them. For others, it is best to go in with a list and have a specific purchase already in mind. While we can’t say which way will work the best for you, it is a good idea to have a general list in mind for either a certain color you are looking for or yarn to finally see in person, in addition to a project you would like to make.

The GMS Booth at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Show

Why not take a step from our Fall KAL / CAL? We are inviting our fans and friends to go on a “Virtual Vermont Hike” with us – hike a “Side-to-Side” trail by making a project that uses 2 skeins of yarn (at least 200 yards) or hike “End-to-End” with a project that takes 4 skeins (at least 500 yards). There is already much chatter in our Ravelry group with ideas for each trail.

What can you make with 2 skeins? Fall and winter accessories are a great choice. Here we have, from left to right: Lauren’s Hat, Ascutney Aran Hat (each in Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool) and the Turkish Rose Mittens (Alpaca Elegance).

Are you ready to sink your teeth into a larger project? These are just a few of our patterns that will take at least 4 skeins or more! From left to right: Little Billy Goat (Capricorn), Addie McGlone (Cotton Comfort or Sylvan Spirit), and Cap’s Comfy Cardigan (Mountain Mohair).

We hope that you are able to attend a fiber event this fall, and if it is one we are scheduled to attend, please stop by to say “Hello”. Part of the fun for us is to see what you have knit and hear about your plans for our yarn. Of course, you can feel free to share your new stash enhancements in our Ravelry group, on our Facebook page, or even Tweet us right from the festival!

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