Look what’s coming!

We have been busy as bees this summer working on new patterns to introduce to you this Fall.  We wanted to share a sneak peek of some of the offerings that we’ll be able to share with you in greater detail next month!

sneak-peek

From top to bottom:

Cap Sease has designed a new crescent shawl for our Simply Fine that combines lushly soft garter stitch texture with a delicate lace border.

Maureen is working on a mistake rib dress (with darling patch pockets) that looks fantastic knit up with Alpaca Elegance.

Kate has created an airy fingering weight cardigan bordered in a twisted rib featuring our new 100% wool Sock Art Lana.

There is a yoked pullover that will frame your face in stunning color achieved with simple ribbing that makes our complimentary shades of Mewesic look their best!

And last but not least is a sturdy pullover featuring cabled details and pops of contrasting color that can be knit up in a flash with two new shades of Yarn Over.  This bulky yarn (that will also become available next month) uses up remnants of wool from our production process to ensure that we are making the best use of all of our available material.

We’re polishing the details of these patterns and having them test knit to ensure your success.  We plan to have them available on our website over Labor Day weekend, and you’ll be able to see, touch (and smell) them in person in our shop and at the upcoming Fiber Festivals that we’ll be attending in the months to come.

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival
September 8 – 11, 2016
Jefferson, Wisconsin

Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival
October 1 – 2, 2016
Tunbridge, VT

New York Sheep & Wool Festival
October 15 – 16, 2016
Rhinebeck, NY

Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair
October 28 – 30 2016
Fletcher, NC

Mark your calendars and get ready to cast on for some terrific new patterns!

Let the games begin!

As the 2016 Summer Games begin today, thousands of crafters around the world will be casting on for an “Olympics” of our own.  Raverly’s Ravellenic Games 2016 begins with the opening ceremony.

Rav-Games

“Challenge yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

What will be a stretch for you? It could be a new technique, that first sweater or pair of socks, something massive, something delicate, or maybe finishing that monster in the closet. The goal of the Ravellenic Games is to support you in expanding your knitting/crocheting horizons.”

Many crafters will be working while watching various televised events and you may find that you also want to follow along with the athletes in Rio through the official website here.

There are 15 events in the Ravellenic Games, as you’ll see from the partial list below, there is something for everyone!  The dedicated Group on Ravelry has a wealth of information on their page.  You can join the group and learn more about the events.  We thought that we’d share a few project ideas with you that you may want to consider working on.

Diagonal Blanket

For the Afghan Marathon you might want to consider working on Gee’s Bend a crocheted pattern, or the Diagonal Blanket for a project that will give you hours of stitches to work through the games.

Our Anatolian Flip is a perfect project for the Bag Backstroke.  This pattern knits up into an accessory that could be used as a bag or a tasseled hat.

IMG_5596w

Cap Sease’s Beinecke Cowl would be perfect for the Cowl Jump.  And folks who prefer to crochet may want to consider Maureen Clark’s Septor Cowl.

The Garment Polo category is a catch all for garments and accessories not listed elsewhere in the events.  Our Ascutney Mountain Boot Toppers would qualify for this event and be a quick knit requiring just 2 skeins of worsted weight yarn.

granite-05w

The Hat Dash is a quick event that you could participate in multiple times during the 16 days of the Summer Games.  We have several pages of pattern suggestions for you to choose from.  Our most recent hat pattern (the Granite Cap) is a quick knit on US 10.5 needles and a gauge of just 3 stitches per inch which can be achieved with our Capricorn held singly, our Green Mountain Green held double or our Moorit DK held triple throughout the project.

The Mitten Medley could be entered with any of the 14 mitten, glove, and fingerless mitt patterns that we have available.  You just need to be sure to make a pair of whatever you choose in order to qualify.

The Scarf Hockey event may be a perfect way to get some of your holiday knitting started.  Beginning knitters may want to consider our Simple Pleasures Scarf or the Pleated Scarf for a big more texture.  More confident knitters may want to try casting on for the Snowfall Scarf with its shifting lace pattern that may keep you on your toes.

DF_moorit-06w

Shawl Sailing includes any items that is triangular and can be worn around the neck.  Our Jordache Shawl pattern would certainly qualify, as would our Davis & Furber Shawl that is a quicker knit with DK weight yarn.  Both of these patterns include charted instructions that may be just the challenge you were looking to tackle for these games. *If you joined our Jordache Knitalong last month and cast on before this week’s official start, you can enter your project in the WIPs Wrestling category and gain credit for your project!

Sock-Put could be the inspiration you needed to try casting on for your first pair of socks.  You may also want to consider trying a pattern that has you working your socks from top-down or vice versa if you have only used one of those methods in the past.  We have 14 patterns to choose from!

As I’m sure you can imagine, we have a wealth of pattern options that you can choose from for the Sweater Triathalon event.  In the 30 years that the Spinnery designers have been publishing patterns, we have accumulated dozens of classic designs that could be just what you are looking for.  Our sweaters include color work, cabled textures, lace work, and more.  No matter what challenge you have set for yourself for these Revellenic Games, there is a pattern here that will provide you with a fun project that will result in an heirloom sweater that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

We’d like to support your efforts in these games, please send us an email at kate@spinnery.com if you have questions about any of our patterns.   Now, let the games begin!

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.

welcome

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 ®.

02

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.

calendar

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!

Cast on with us today

Come stitch with us!

jordache-10w

We’ll be starting a KNITALONG for this beautiful shawl this weekend (July 16th) and would love to see photos of your progress.  You can share them on our Ravelry thread or on Instagram by adding #jordacheknitalong to your comments.

We hope that you’ll take this project with you everywhere this summer.  Those growing rows will be quickly accomplished if you add to them everyday.  Your shawl could go on holiday, to the farmer’s market, on a picnic, out into the garden, or even to the movies!

You can find the Jordache pattern here.

lana-gradient-w

And to help get you started we have a special offer to share with you: If you purchase a Lana Gradient Bundle before July 22nd, you’ll be able to get a copy of the pattern FREE.

Find a comfortably cool spot, pour yourself a tall lemonade and let’s cast on!

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.

IL 02
© 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.

IL 03
© 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.

A bit more Moorit

Our new Moorit DK yarn was a huge hit when we introduced it to our friends at the Maryland and New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festivals.  Folks were delighted by its soft hand and bouncy feel.  We were so inspired by their response that we got to work making a fingering weight yarn with the same delicious Merino fiber.

moorit-fiber

This lovely wool comes from a merino flock raised in Missouri for this unusual dark color.  The sheep are bred not for a typical snowy white fleece but for one with rich tones of cinnamon, nutmeg and russet.  Our undyed skeins are as unique as the sheep they come from.

moorit-both-w

Our new Moorit Singles are put up as a single-ply fingering weight yarn with 450 yards per 3.5 oz. skein.  This yarn would make a perfect choice for a warm and yet light weight shawl.

We’ll be casting on as the weather gets warmer and hope to have some new samples to share with you before summer’s end.  We hope you’ll let us know what your plans are for these yarns, we look forward to seeing what you create!

A centennial to celebrate

Parts of the carding machine at the Spinnery are turning 100 this year!  This anniversary recently made it into the local paper, and we couldn’t be prouder of our role in breathing new life into an industry that formed much of New England as we know it today.

The fiber is then loaded into the carding machine.

The behemoth that fills the back of the Spinnery was assembled over 30 years ago from various parts and pieces salvaged from abandoned mills all around New England and Canada.  In the early 1980’s the founding members of the co-op spent months travelling far and wide to find the machinery and expertise needed to put it together in working order.

Two giant pieces from Davis & Furber cards manufactured in 1916 are now integral  parts of our operation, and help us process an average of 200 pounds of fiber a week.  In honor of their centennial we’ve made a new yarn to share with you that is as unique, hard wearing, and classic as the machine that made it:  Our new limited edition: Moorit!

moorit-2w

This undyed yarn comes from a very special flock of Merino sheep that are being raised for their atypical color.  Our friend Andy has been breeding his flock not for the brilliant white fleece that the breed is known for, but a warm cinnamon shade called moorit.  We thought that it would be best showcased in springy, delightfully soft 3-ply DK weight yarn.

Our 3 oz. skeins contain approx. 180 yards and are made from some of the finest wool that we have had the pleasure of working with.  The yarn has a recommended gauge range of 5-6 stitches to the inch on a range of needle sizes from US 4/3.5 mm to US 7/ 4.5 mm.

Because of the yarn’s 3 plies, it has a very balanced round shape that lends itself beautifully to crisp cables and rich textured stitches.  We can’t wait to see what you make with it!

This yarn will be making its debut at the upcoming Sheep & Wool Festivals in Maryland and New Hampshire.  We hope that you’ll be able to stop by our booth to get acquainted with it.  Or you can visit us at the Spinnery and wish the carding machine a happy birthday!

 

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.

sw-booth

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!

IMG_5596w

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.

More fun facts

We are very fond of wool.  All of our yarns include at least 50% wool because of it’s many wonderful properties.  We thought we’d share a few of them with you to that you can pass them along to friends and family who may not yet share our passion.

The UK’s Campaign for Wool has a very compelling list of the almost magical properties of this fiber.  (We have a copy hanging up in our bathroom).

9b

Wool is a 100% natural renewable resource, grown afresh every year thanks to solar power, photosynthesis and water.  While you may not have the ability to raise your own flock, US sourced wool is easy to find in your local yarn store and among the Spinnery’s yarns.

Wool is a hygroscopic fiber meaning that it can absorb and release moisture providing you with a comfortable garment with its own breathable climate controlling properties.  Unlike man made synthetic fibers which can only absorb about 1%, Wool can absorb and release a whopping 30% of its weight in moisture.

And that absorption generates heat which is retained in the fiber.  That gives you insulation that works with your body heat, a blessing in cold damp New England winters and surprisingly in our humid summers as well.  This ability to adapt to changes in body temperature means that at lighter weights, it can also feel comfortable as it helps to cool your body when needed.

17

And there is more!  It is hard wearing, easy to care for, and can be manufactured without harsh chemicals (like our GREENSPUN yarns) giving you finished garments that are all natural and safe for people with chemical sensitivities.

What’s not to love about wool!?

Yep, sounds about right

The New York Times recently published an article about the health benefits of knitting.  You may not be surprised to learn that there are many.

cast-on

Jane Brody, one of the NYT’s experts on health and nutrition joined a knitting group and found herself quickly hooked on stitching.  “As I’d discovered in college, when my hands are busy, my mind stays focused on the here and now.”

The Craft Yarn Council’s campaign to stitch away stress last spring was a huge success.  They have noticed a growing number of new knitters that include school children as well as men and women of all ages.  Knitting is not just for grannies anymore.

Knitting has been reported to help some folks lose weight, others to quit smoking, and manage stress and anxiety.  Arthritis pain can be minimized and it can establish a creative outlet that provides a rewarding sense of accomplishment.  Nothing beats the warm glow of finishing a project!  Having a tangible product can make the meditative practice more rewarding for type A personalities not drawn to sitting quietly as its own reward.

And there is more!  We hope that you’ll take a moment this week to read Jane Brody’s article.  You may find that if you are not already knitting, you may feel inspired to pick up needles; or perhaps share your stitching skills with a friend or family member who could benefit from it’s advantages.

Let’s all cast on this spring!