Vermont’s Sheep and Wool

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


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


October 1 & 2, 2016
Tunbridge Fairgrounds
Tunbridge, VT

Sat: 10am – 5pm and Sun: 10am – 4pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New for fall (part one)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before summer’s end

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now or later

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trip planning

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indian Lake Artisans Trunk Show at the Spinnery

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

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© Indian Lake Artisans

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

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

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

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© Indian Lake Artisans

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

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

Terrific savings, rain or shine

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

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

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

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

Among our selection you’ll find select colorways of:

Mountain Mohair at 30% off (just $10.45 a skein)
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Green Mountain Green at 30% off (just $10.25 a skein)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Postcards from Maryland 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not long now

The sixth annual I-91 Shop Hop is scheduled for June 23rd – 26th, 2016 and $5 passports and bags are now available.

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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.  Bring a friend or two and make a get-away of it!

  • 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 willed be entered to win the Daily Door Prize at that shop. A total of 48 door prizes will be given out to participants!
  • By visiting all 12 shops you will be entered into a drawing for the fabulous Grand Prize, which includes gift certificates for the 12 shops, as well as yarns, needles and other goodies.

The 12 shops participating in this year’s Shop Hop are below:

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

All shops will be open 10 am – 6 pm Thursday through Saturday and 10 am – 5 pm on Sunday.  A few shops have extended hours and so you may want to call ahead as you plan your trip.

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

We look forward to seeing you and we hope that you’ll bring projects to share so that we can see what you’ve been working on since we saw you last.

Stop on by!

Maureen and Kate are all set up in Booth 817-819 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in sunny California.  Stitches West opens its doors 10-6 Friday and Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday.

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We have all knits of treats with us including skeins of our 5 new colors of Mountain Mohair, new mini bundles of 5 Mountain mohair skeins, new patterns and samples, and best of all: a show exclusive kit!

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Cap Sease’s Beinecke Cowl is a fun knit and we’ve kitted the project up in all 15 of our gorgeous colors of Sylvan Spirit.  Our kits include the pattern, two skeins of yarn and a special treat for $35.

We hope that you’ll have a chance to stop by the booth to visit with Kate and Maureen and select a kit for yourself or as a gift while supplies last.