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Archive for the ‘Project Inspiration’ Category

Wow Your Friends with Colorwork

Monday, October 7th, 2013

One of the greatest parts about being in New England, Vermont in particular, in the fall is the ultimate explosion of color. As the trees that surround Green Mountain Spinnery turn to shades of red, gold, orange, yellow and gold, we can’t help but think about color in our fiber projects. Colorwork in knitting often looks more complicated than it is. There are quite a few ways to add color to your knitting and we hope you would consider including one of these techniques when you work on your next sweater, maybe as part of the 30 Day Sweater challenge!

 

The simplest form of color work is stripes. At first glance stripes may not seem that interesting but there are so many possibilities and combinations of stripes to try! If you’re feeling like making some stripes and want something new, check out this random stripe generator and have fun trying it out. One thing you should watch out for if you’re knitting your project in the round is the little jog that happens when you change colors. For instructions on how to make a jogless stripe in the round check out this great video over at New Stitch A Day. Shown at left is the Solstice Sweater, knit in Denim and Unbleached White Cotton Comfort.

 

 

Another easy way to wow your friends with color is with slip stitch or mosaic colorwork. This style of colorwork was developed by the knitting superstar Barbara Walker and is achieved by using slip stitches to draw color up into the next row. It is very simple to accomplish because you only work with one color at a time. That means you don’t have to worry about carrying multiple colors along each row and do the finger gymnastics required to switch back and forth between them. You can knit very simple patterns all the way to intricate motifs. Labyrinth is a design by Cap Sease that is lightweight yet warm, pictured here in Luminosity and Peridot Sylvan Spirit.

 

One of the most popular forms of colorwork (and the style most people think of when you say “colorwork”) is fair isle or stranded colorwork. Here the design is accomplished by alternating the color the stitches are knit with, in a particular row. The only technique used in this style is the knit stitch; you’ll need to learn to hold two pieces of yarn at once, but the outcome is certainly worthwhile. One unique characteristic about this technique is that it must be performed in the round; if you are not a fan of purling this could be the technique for you! If you want a cardigan, you first knit in the round and then steek it (a method for cutting your work) open. This photo shows one of newest patterns that utilizes fair isle and steeking, the Putney Mountain Vest; it will be released in our upcoming e-book, Green Mountain Weekend. Weekend Wool is an excellent choice for colorwork projects.

 

 

The last technique to share with you is the duplicate stitch. This is a way to add color to your work that you don’t have to think about before you begin knitting your project. Duplicate stitch is when you use a contrasting color of yarn and a darning needle to follow the paths of the stitches to create a small area of color like a monogram or small motif. It is a simple way add color and personalize your project after you have knit it. Shown at right are the Squirrel in the Woods mittens in which the squirrel motif is worked in duplicate stitch. If you are looking to design your own colorwork sweater there are many many great colorwork mitten patterns from which to draw inspiration!

If you’d like to learn more about planning your next sweater project, download the free Sweater Planning Guide from the 30 Day Sweater Challenge. This guide is full of advice on design basics, color choice, how much yarn to buy and everything else that goes into knitting a sweater that you’ll love! Click here to download.

This post is a part of the 30 Day Sweater Challenge promo tour. Join us this October as we help 5,000 knitters around the world knit a sweater they’ll love, in 30 days. To sign up just visit 30daysweater.com/greenmountain and download your free Sweater Planning Guide. It will help you get started on the right foot!

 

Ready for Fall

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

We are welcoming Fall with open arms and yarn and needles at the ready. Here in Vermont at the Spinnery, the air is cooler and makes you want to breathe a little deeper. Sunny days invite us to get outside to go for a hike or join friends at a tailgate party. These are the occasions and places, along with the fiber festivals that we have posted about before, where it is completely okay to pull out your favorite hand knit and crochet accessory items.

Make sure you take care of warming up your head, hands and feet with projects that work up quickly while making the most of one or two skeins of yarn. We think any of these would be perfect to start now, and maybe you would like to join our KAL / CAL happening over in our Ravelry group! From left to right: Phoebe Cowl in Simply Fine, Eric’s Glovelets in Sylvan Spirit, Icebreaker Hat in Mountain Mohair (click here for team-inspired color combinations!),

We are also inspired by the work of our fans and friends. Here are a few projects shared with us on Ravelry. From left to right: savoryknitting’s Hat for Malone in Weekend Wool, lizhonig’s Ribbed Mitts in New Mexico Organic, and Malone’s Plover Shawl in Simply Fine.

How are you welcoming Fall? Have you worn a special handknit accessory while you are out leaf peeping this season? You can find the Green Mountain Spinnery on Facebook, Ravelry, Pinterest and Twitter – tag us! Enjoy this fleeting season!

 

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!

Back to School, with Love

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Back to school ads are starting to appear in newspapers, online and on tv and there is a very slight shift in the weather lately that promises fall will be here soon. As you take stock of the supplies your favorite student will need for the upcoming school year, why not include a new school sweater for the fall or replace the favorite hat and mittens that were lost last year? Green Mountain Spinnery has several classic patterns in a variety of yarns and colorways that will allow you to create a handmade hug!

Sweaters for the preschool set can be worked up quickly. The Little Billy Goat vest, in Capricorn, is perfect for a chilly day or for layering in winter. Mountain Mohair and Weekend Wool both come in a variety of colors, just like your favorite crayons. Mix and match them for a one-of-a-kind Stripy Stripe Sweater that is sure to please every child. The String of Pearls sweater, shown here in Sylvan Spirit, adds a touch of fancy without a mess of sequins and glitter.

 

What about the older kids? Why not work up a new winter hat, now before the weather turns truly bitter. Our pattern page for hats includes hats, caps and earwarmers; there is something for everyone! If you are looking for something a bit more colorful and bold, the Anatolian Flip, Icebreaker Hat, and Happenin’ Hat are all great choices. We have suggested color combinations but these make great canvases as a way to show one’s school or team spirit!

   

Though we often think first to put on a sweater and hat when the weather turns cooler, in the early days of fall that can be too much; after all it’s not winter yet! Fingerless gloves, like Eric’s Glovelets, are a great choice for musicians and outdoor sport spectators. The Phoebe Cowl will keep the cool breeze at bay without the bulk of the scarf. Leg warmers are practical and fashionable! The Renaissance Leg Warmers are a great accessory in which you could go elegant with classic Fair Isle details or playful with stripes. These patterns are great for teens and adults!

We’d love to see your work as it heads back to school! Have you made a sweater, new hat and mittens, or maybe a blanket for a dorm room for this school year? Share it with us and other fans of Green Mountain Spinnery in our Ravelry group, on our Facebook page or even send us a tweet @GMSpinneryCoop!

Cotton Comfort and a Sock KAL

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Fans and friends of the Green Mountain Spinnery love yarn, especially wool.  Sometimes wool just isn’t the right choice for the project or the season. As summer has settled in we would like to put a spotlight on Cotton Comfort and share some project inspiration with you! Cotton Comfort combines the pure softness of organic cotton with the elasticity and delicacy of fine wool. The knitted fabric is elegant but casual, light but warm, wearable year-round.

The Cot Blanket, by Lousia Harding, is a great portable project for summer as each square is made individually then seamed together.  The original pattern was done in one color; a touch of color on the border is extra special, as shown here in Kabs’ Blanket for Jen’s baby.  Short sleeve sweaters are great for cool, breezy days. SnowWhiteMama’s version of Margarita is a great interpretation of Thea Colman’s design. We also love Champagne, another great Babycocktails design in Cotton Comfort. If you are in the mood for a quick knit the Southmoor hat, by Erica Jackofsky (FiddleKnits) can’t be beat and would look great in any of our colorways!

As we have blogged about before, socks are a great summertime project! If you are working on a pair, maybe a Spinnery Sock pattern in a Spinnery sock yarn, like Sock Art Forest or Meadow, come on over to our Ravelry group. There is an informal knit-along taking place there in the thread, “Summer of a Spinnery Sock”. Malone finished a pair of BFF Socks and has cast on a Herringbone Lace sock. Nutmegknitter finished her Jelly Beans, and knitunderground shared this Cables and Corrugations sock. Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer here in the United States; we’d like to celebrate all these socks by drawing a winner at random from all the finished socks to win a yarn prize!

We’d love to hear what you are working on! We love when you share your projects done in Spinnery yarn in our Ravelry group and  when you post to our Facebook page. Happy Knitting!

 

On the Road – Travel Projects

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

When you are on the road, waiting at the airport, or even relaxing in your own backyard, is your knitting within arms reach? Summer days are meant to be relaxing. Your project should be of the type that you can pick up and put down easily, keep your attention yet not require intense focus. As you pack up for your summer vacation or even just grab a cool drink and sit outside, don’t forget to bring along a project in your favorite Green Mountain Spinnery yarn!

The weather may be warm but you can still knit with wool. Why not start now and make new hats for everyone in your family? You will be happy you did when the cold returns! If you have wondered about cabling, crochet or colorwork, hats are a great opportunity for experimentation. The Ascutney Aran hat and Lauren’s Hat are each warm with a beautiful cabled band. Pick your two favorite colors and give crochet a try with the Happenin’ Hat. Last fall we blogged about customizing the Icebreaker Hat to show your support for your favorite team, maybe you know a fan that would like a special custom hat!

Shawls are another great choice. Frequently they can be made with one or two skeins of Sock Art or Simply Fine and you will find yourself enjoying the repetitive rhythm of the stitches. The Catalina Wrap is a crescent-shaped crochet shawl and Gillette is knit with a touch of lace and interesting edging.You may find yourself reaching for the Summer Breeze Shawl as soon as it is complete to ward off the chill from air conditioning!

These are just a sample of the great projects our friends have shared in our Ravelry group – we’d love for you to join us there too! Pambill’s Meves vest using Sylvan Spirit is perfect across several seasons. Malone’s Peanut is also knit with Sylvan Spirit with a cuff-to-cuff construction. Hitchhiker is a very popular pattern on Ravelry for variegated yarns. Persimmontree’s Columbine version used her Green Mountain Spinnery handpaint (but you could use our handpainted sock yarns) for a striking effect.  And of course, socks are highly portable with interesting pattern and construction; these are Stefaniegrrr’s Jelly Beans. What are you working on this summer?

 

Pattern Round Up & Shop Hop Time!

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

There a number of new patterns published recently that feature Green Mountain Spinnery yarns. Don’t leave your projects behind as the days warm up! Keep your yarn and needles nearby as you are sure to want a project to work on while waiting at the airport, riding in the car, or just relaxing on your porch.

Did you spot Jackaroo, by Amy Herzog, in the newest issue of knitty? Worked in Maine Organic, this jacket is warm (but not too warm), and sure to be a go-to staple in your wardrobe.  As with all of Amy’s designs, the construction lends itself to modifications so you will have a sweater you love that is a perfect fit for you! Stripes are a summer staple and are given a fresh look in Julia Farwell-Clay’s Albers Pullover. You can find this pattern in the Summer 2013 Interweave Knits. Our Cotton Comfort combines the pure softness of organic cotton with the elasticity and delicacy of fine wool.

We are very excited to also draw your attention to a these crochet patterns. The Bella Vesta, by Maureen Clark, is not only stylish but will provide you with a touch of warmth for those cool nights. You will need 4-6 skeins of Cotton Comfort or Sylvan Spirit, depending on size. Marly Bird designed the Fun in the Sun Cover-up for the Summer 2013 issue of Love of Crochet. Cotton Comfort comes in both bright and subtle colorways; we have something for everyone!

The I-91 Shop Hop is happening June 27 through 30, giving you four days to explore eleven great yarn shops along the I-91 corridor between Connecticut and Vermont. The Green Mountain Spinnery is the Vermont anchor and we do hope you will make a point to visit us and replenish your stash for those fall sweaters you want to knit! You can purchase your passport for $5 and you will receive a map of the shops and a bright tote bag to carry your purchases. There are great prizes daily in each of the shops and if you visit all of the participating shops you will be entered to win $550 in gift certificates plus yarn, books, tools & accessories plus a $50 gift certificate from every shop participating in the Shop Hop!

 

Projects in Alpaca Elegance

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Here in Vermont we’ve had a burst of unusual weather – within the same week we had snow and temperatures reaching over 80 degrees Fahrenheit! The weather seems to have settled a bit, and we are happy for warmer days and plenty of sunshine. We encourage you to reach for a wonderful skein of  Alpaca Elegance, our blend of 50% New England grown alpaca and 50% fine American wool. If you have never worked with an alpaca blend before, you are in for a treat! Alpaca fibers have a hollow core, making them lightweight yet warm.

Summer is a great time to try out a new technique. Give colorwork a try with Julia Farwell Clay’s “Wolves will be Wolves” hat. The sample shown used 140 yards of the main color, Chai, and 50 yards of each of the contrast colors, Cocoa and Cream. Sweaters may be far from your mind now, but remember they are a larger time investment. If you start now, you will be all ready for fall. We love Amy Christoffers’ Catboat Cardigan in Rosehip; this sweater strikes a balance between a traditional sweater and modern sports wear. This yarn is also great for crochet patterns. The Walnut Vest for Men by Mary Beth Temple is inspired by classic menswear and is sure to keep your interest with basketweave pattern in the color work section of Cream and Dark Roast against the Cocoa.

We have seen many great projects on Ravelry using this yarn too, have they caught your eye? Spindlbratt’s Doctor it’s the Dalek’s Mitts are perfect for every sci-fi fan. The One Button Waistcoat, knit by Woolymountain, is a great multi-season piece. We think you’ll agree that Riverside’s Maylie is so simply sweet! ShortrowT knit this short sleeve version of Cria, another great garment to span the seasons. Please feel free to add your projects using Green Mountain Spinnery yarns to our Ravelry group.

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Of course, we have to share a few alpaca pictures in a post about Alpaca Elegance! These are from Ibiwisi Alpacas in Westminster, VT, taken by Marti Stone.

Could your stash use a bit more Alpaca Elegance to round it out? You can purchase Alpaca Elegance online at spinnery.com!

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