The Athens Key Hat

This time of year has many of us doing a bit of armchair traveling.  From the cozy comfort of our chairs by the fire we can dream of warmer climates and alluring locales around the globe.  Occasionally, those dreams of far off places can inform and inspire our knitwear designs.

glyph-web

Cap Sease created a beautiful hat pattern that  reminds us of the classic architecture details that can be found on landmarks located on the other side of the Atlantic.  Her Athens Key Hat features a classic Greek key motif created with slipped stitch garter rows that result in a thick warm fabric that will keep your ears delightfully warm.

We used Spinnery Mewesic and our New Mexico Organic yarns for these samples.  Pictured in Pink Cadillac and Purple Haze Mewesic with White New Mexico Organic (on the left) and Diamonds and Rust and Norwegian Wood Mewesic with White New Mexico Organic (on the right).

glyph2-web

We hope that you’ll consider casting on for this pattern while planning your next getaway.  You may find that having a new hat to toss in your bag may broaden the destination options to include the perfect spot!

Down to the wire

We’re into the double digits on our advent calendars and we know that the remaining days will pass in a flash.  If you are planning to hand craft your holiday gifts this year, we thought we’d share a few project ideas that could be created in an afternoon (or less) of knitting or crocheting.

We hope that you’ll be able to get any one of these (or even a handful of them) under the tree just in time.

capricorn-w

Our go-to yarn choice for last minute knits would have to be Capricorn.  Our bulky single ply yarn knits up in a flash at roughly 3 stitches per inch on US 10 needles.  Everything created with this blend of wool and mohair is cozy warm and deliciously soft.  The delicate halo from the mohair makes these items even more snuggly looking.

capricorn_caps_photo

Our Capricorn Hats  and the Steps and Ladders Hat (on the left) knit up quickly; and that stranded color work ensures a double layer of yarn over your ears for a very snug and cozy hat.  You could combine contrasting colors of our soft neutrals or provide a pop of color with one of the hand-painted skeins that Melissa has created for us.

capricorn-paint-w

Ellen Mason’s Polka Knot Hat, Ekaterina Blanchard’s Pomme hat and Johnny Vasquez’s FREE Gridiron Hat are a few other great alternatives that can be knit with a single skein (or a bit less).

If you think that a cowl might better fit the bill, we can recommend several FREE patterns: Purl Bee’s Bandana Cowl or Garter Gaiter are both quick knits; and Kathryn Jones’ Catesby Three-Hour Cowl is a crochet project that looks fun.

If you’d like to give the gift of warm hands, you might want to consider using a single strand of our Capricorn to knit up our Bulky Mittens (instead of the double strand of worsted weight that the pattern specifies).  You might also want to try Marielle Henault’s FREE Bella’s Mittens.  Over 10,000 ravelers have knit up this pattern, and have been delighted with the results.

little-billy

Lastly, if a pint sized project is required, you might want to consider our Little Billy Goat vest.  This knits up to a snug layering pieces for sizes ranging from 2 – 12.  Granted, the larger sizes of this pattern may take a bit more time to complete.  But who hasn’t wrapped up something still on the needles with a guilty shrug and a smile?

We’d love to help support your goals and deadlines, so let us know if you have questions or need a skein or two rushed your way.  We wish you a happy few weeks of crafting.

The gift that keeps giving

We are launching something brand new this month that we’re delighted to share with you.  We’d like to introduce our first Spinnery project club!  The Quartet Hat Club.

Cool hat pic

Membership in the Spinnery’s exclusive hat club will ensure delivery of four beautiful seasonal hat projects to your doorstep over the next calendar year.

As knitters, we know that nothing beats the fun of a brand new project.  Having something new to start is as delightful as finishing a project is rewarding.  And smaller projects such as hats can be completed quickly for a crafting experience that feels great from start to finish.  We want to share all of that fun with you.  Joining the club couldn’t be easier and you’ll love what we have in store for you with our upcoming projects.

Melissa Johnson has designed four beautiful hat patterns with the seasons in mind.  Each pattern will feature a different Spinnery yarn and provide you with a pattern you’ll want to knit again and again.  As a Quartet Hat Club member, you’ll have exclusive access to these patterns until they are made available to the public in 2017.

quartet-kit

You’ll receive a quarterly preview email with information about the next pattern delivery and a choice of two colorways. When you’ve let us know which version of the kit you’d prefer, you’ll receive a special package of a new pattern, all the yarn needed to complete the project, and a special treat. Your first delivery will also include a small Spinnery project bag to keep your project materials organized and easy to find.

Membership is a perfect holiday gift to ask for; or to give to a knitter who would be thrilled to receive 4 special deliveries filled with fun.  Membership is open for a limited time until Friday January 15th.  So this is a perfect time to sign up.

We hope that you’ll join the fun and become of a member of our first project club or gift membership to a knitter you love.  If you are lucky, you might be thanked with a new hat!

 

Our “hatalong” success

Knitting with friends is so much fun.  A couple of weeks ago, several of us at the Spinnery cast on for the Fringe Association’s most recent “hatalong” project: Seathwaite designed by Kate Gagnon Osborne.

We each selected a couple of skeins of Spinnery Mountain Mohair and got knitting.  We compared progress and had a small competition to see how quickly we could go.  We finished faster than we might have done if we weren’t all working together.

This week our finished hats were blocked and we wanted to share the fun with you!

spinnery-seathwaite

From left to right we have Maureen’s hat in Claret, Kate’s hat in Fern, Larisa’s hat in Blueberry and Megan’s hat in Blizzard.  As you can see the mohair blend creates a soft halo that does not compete with the clarity of the cable details.

spinnery-seathwaite-5

This cabled beanie is created with a rolled brim for extra warmth for your ears.  It is as warm and cozy as it looks.  We had a bit of fun with our photo shoot hoping to show you every angle.

seathwaite

Kate made a small modification to her hat and instead of using a provisional cast on and rolling her brim, she left it long for a more slouchy version.

We hope that you’ll share photos of your hatalong projects, we’d love to see how you make the pattern your own with your yarn and color selection and any potential changes for a perfect fit.

 

 

 

While you knit

Maureen and Kate just recently returned from more than a month of road trips, bringing Spinnery yarn and samples to sheep & wool festivals around the country.  They spent many hours in the van listening to crafty podcasts as they drove and knit.

woolful

One of their favorites is Ashley Yousling’s Woolful.  They were delighted when they tuned in last week to episode 39, and heard the voice of our friend Jill Draper.

We create a number of yarns for Jill including her Empire (yarn babies), Rifton (a stunning gradient) and Rockwell (a 3-ply marled yarn).  In this episode of Woolful, Jill describes her creative process and details how her collaboration with the Spinnery has grown over the years.

We encourage you to give Ashley’s podcasts a listen.  You’ll earn about all aspects of the fiber world from growers to crafters.  And be sure to tune in later this month when the Spinnery’s Coop founders David, Claire and Libby will share their story of how the Spinnery got its start.

A must read

Carol Feller’s Short Row Knits was published earlier this fall.  It’s subtitle, “A Master workshop with 20 learn as you knit projects” beautifully distinguishes this book as one that you will want to experience, not just read.

short-row-knits

It’s clear concise descriptions of both the why and the how of various short row techniques can be best absorbed by picking up your needles and working the stitches along with Carol’s prose.  We find that getting new techniques into our muscle memory makes them far more likely to transition from theory into daily practice.

And Carol makes a very compelling argument for using these techniques.  Adding short row curves into patterns can give us the ability to customize the fit of any pattern without math. Gasp!  Yep, for those of you who aren’t a fan of “mathy” modifications, short rows can provide customized shaping without changing your stitch count.

The book is filled with clear illustrations, beautifully crisp photography and careful descriptions that make it seem as though she’s right by your side guiding you through the basics.  And that’s not all.

092_fell_9780804186346_art_r1_medium2
© Joseph Feller

Included in the book are 20 beautiful patterns give you a chance to work with these concepts while creating wonderfully wearable and gift-able knits.  The collection includes sweaters and shawls as well as clever hats and socks and a darling woolen ball, Chirripo, that is worked side to side.

085_fell_9780804186346_art_r1_medium2
© Joseph Feller

This wonderful book belongs in your project bag, not your bookshelf.  We hope that you’ll give yourself the time to really play with Carol’s tips and tricks.  Mastery of these short row techniques will dramatically change your craft for the better.

And we are pleased to announce that we have a copy to give to a lucky winner!  This weekend, add a comment to our Facebook page and we’ll pick a winner at random on Monday November 2nd.  We hope that you’ll share photos and details of your favorite knitwear projects that make use of short rows.

We look forward to learning about your successes and triumphs with short rows and we know that with Carol’s guidance all of us will have more of those to share in the future!

 

Are you ready?

We are setting up shop at Rhinebeck this weekend.  We look forward to this festival every fall.  The food, yarn, sheep and wool bring thousands of fiber enthusiasts to this gathering, but it is the mystique of the “Rhinebeck Sweater” that inspires all of us to knit a new garment each year.

We’ll have some great new samples with us in our booth and we hope that you’ll stop by to check out: Kristen, the Exit 4 Tunic ,  and Amy Christoffer’s Coolidge Cardigan, among others.

Quechee_Pics (3 of 15)

We’ll also be debuting Suzanne Allen’s new sweater: the White Pine Pullover.  White Pines are a native Vermont tree once used for the masts of ships.  The strong vertical pine-like stitch pattern compliments the soft curve of a generous cowl neck on this comforting pullover.  Designed with lazy weekends in mind, the White Pine Pullover combines cozy comfort with effortless style.   

Suzanne has paired a light weight textured fabric with an over-sized silhouette that can be dressed up or down.  Equally perfect with jeans or leggings, you’ll want to snuggle into the generous cowl neck when temperatures drop.   This pullover is knit flat from the bottom up and seamed together.  Side vents and set in sleeves provide the perfect balance between relaxed ease and a flattering fit.

Quechee_Pics (15 of 15)

The pattern includes a generous range of seven sizes from 31″ – 55″ busts and it calls for 6 – 11 skeins of DK weight yarn such as the Sandman Mewesic shown above.

We hope that we’ll see you this weekend at the festival.  We can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on and perhaps get you what you need for a new “Rhinebeck Sweater” that will be the hit of next year’s show.

And that’s not all…

Last week we shared with you Amy Christoffer’s Coolidge Cardigan pattern, a lovely moss stitch and lace creation that Maureen has already cast on for.  She is making a version in Pumpkin Weekend Wool that just might be ready to make its debut at Rhinebeck.

This week we wanted to draw your attention to the handful of other recently published patterns available on Ravelry that call for Spinnery yarns.

© Annie Rowden

Among our favorites is Annie Rowden’s Polka Dot Tunic.  This pattern includes sizing for 6 months to 12 years and the design could transition from a dress to a tunic worn over leggings as the little one who wears it grows.  Annie knit this up with Spinnery Sylvan Spirit.

This pattern is part of the Knittin’ Little Fall 2015 Collection that includes designs from 6 popular designers with a little something for every discriminating kiddo that you may be knitting for.

cabled_winter_pillow_web_pic_medium2
© Therese Chynoweth

Our friend Therese has designed a lush cabled pillow that is perfect for snuggling into on long winter evenings.  Her Long Weekend Cabled Pillow pattern calls for Alpaca Elegance and would satisfy a project need for those of you eager to nest as our days get shorter.

KnitScene-2015-Winter-0233_medium2
© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

If a smaller project is more your speed, you may want to consider Amy Palmer’s top-down Mewesic Socks.  This pattern is available for FREE when you purchase either the digital or physical edition of Knitscene Winter 2015 from the Interweave online store. Never fear! The pattern  will be available for free to everyone in the near future.

And for you hookers out there, Marly Bird has recently published a beautiful shawl that also calls for Spinnery Mewesic yarn.

locf_camillashawl_800_medium2
© Love of Crochet

You’ll find her Camilla Shawl in the pages of the Fall 2015 issue of Love of Crochet.  It calls for a skein each of two colors of our DK weight wool yarn.  Just beautiful!

There are even more patterns for you to choose from.  Browsing the selection on Ravelry may help you find the perfect new pattern to start next  Feel free to give us a call or stop by the Spinnery; we’d love to help you find the perfect yarn selection for your next project.

New for Fall

We have two new patterns that we are debuting at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend.  For those of you that would like a virtual preview we’d like to introduce you to the newest designs to feature our Mountain Mohair.

© Gale Zucker

Exit 4 is an oversized Tunic designed for us by Bonnie Sennott.  Named after the Interstate 91 exit that leads to Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, Vermont, Exit 4 is a loose-fitting cabled tunic that’s joined at the sides with decorative buttons. It’s designed to be worn with 5 in / 13 cm or more of positive ease.

It features a bold center cable pattern on the front and back that creates a strong vertical visual impression that can be slimming.  It can easy be worn over other layers when winter’s chill arrives.

exit-4-03
© Gale Zucker

The pattern includes a size range to fit actual bust sizes from 32 – 52.  It calls for 7-9 skeins of Mountain Mohair.  It is pictured here in Spice.

We also have our first adult hoodie pullover sweater.  Kristen was designed for us by Kristen TenDyke.

© Gale Zucker

This cozy hoodie is knit seamlessly from the bottom up, beginning with the sleeves, then the body. (Hopefully this will help with those of you who suffer from second sleeve syndrome).  As you can see, it also features a beautifully organic cable panel that runs up the front and back.

Kristen-03
© Gale Zucker

The pattern includes sizing for a range from actual bust sizes of 29½ – 51¼ and calls for between 10 – 15 skeins of Mountain Mohair.  It is pictured above in Blizzard.

Both of these patterns show Mountain Mohair at it’s finest.  We hope that you’ll get a chance to see (and try on) our samples at any of our upcoming Festival appearances or by stopping into the shop in Putney when the samples return home with Kate and Maureen in early November.

Winner, Winner!

Many of us at the Spinnery will be helping to judge this year’s Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival Contests.  We are thrilled to see what visitors to the Festival have been making this year and we hope that the broad range of fun categories will give everyone a chance to shine!

sheep and wool

 

Hand-spun Yarn Contest

All weight yarn consisting of at least 50% animal fiber. Show us the naturals. Show us the dyed. Show us your spun magic!

Year of the Sheep & Goat Sweater

Celebrate all fiber animals and the beauty that comes from uniting fiber into yarn!  Knit, Weave or Crochet a sweater using a mill or hand-spun yarn with a fiber blend, such as wool & mohair (sheep & goat) or alpaca, angora, llama, cashmere, camel, dog, yak and qiviut.

Small is Beautiful

Gloves, mittens, cowls, scarves, shawls, hats, leg warmers, socks, slippers, boot toppers….We must not forget, that sometimes the best things, come in small packages….Knit, weave or crochet a beautiful and definitely essential accessory.

I Felt

Let’s honor the ancient tradition of felting; one of the first fabrics known, and still widely used and admired today. Whether a yurt covering, cozy slippers or a mouse cat toy, share your needle-felted or wet-felted creations.

I Felt too!

This special category is for knitted or woven articles that have been felted.

Ewe & Me

The gift of passing down a passion and skill is one to be treasured. Ask any fiber artist, and most will tell you they learned their craft from a grandparent, an aunt, a friend…someone who cared enough to sit down and share what they love with whom they love!  Bring in a garment that is a collaboration (and hopefully wonderful experience) between TWO to create ONE b-ewe-tiful creation.

Mini-Me

I did it ALL-BY-MYSELF!!  (For fiber lovers 12 years old and under).

Show off your fiber creations…perhaps knit clothes for your doll or a blanket for your teddy bear. A hat! Woven pot holder! A crocheted granny-square afghan, felted soap or cuddly needle-felting animals.  Show us your fiber creations.  (This contest is not judged and every entry gets a prize!)

A Picture is worth a Thousand Words

Share your photograph showing us your view of beauty and wonder in the natural world; plants,animals, the beautiful Vermont landscape.

A Poem is its own Picture

Share your poem showing us your view of beauty and wonder in the natural word; plants, animals, the beautiful Vermont landscape.

For those of you that are interested in entering a craft of your own in one of these categories, check out the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival’s contest page for the Official Rules as well as information on how to download entry cards and the how, when, and where of submitting your entry.

We hope that you’ll be inspired to enter and we eagerly look forward to seeing your submission!