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!

 

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.

hand knits in Green mountain Spinnery yarns Green Mountain Spinnery yarn fashions, handknit handcrafting
© gail zucker

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!

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!

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Cast on with us today

Come stitch with us!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!