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Archive for the ‘Project Inspiration’ Category

Have Fun with Your Projects

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Most of the time, knitting is an enjoyable activity. There is something special about taking the yarn and turning it into loops on a needle, and then manipulating those loops so they turn into a sweater, sock, hat, glove, or blanket. Except when it’s not. This feeling happens to most knitters at some point in time, on any given project. The Green Mountain Spinnery wants you to have fun with your projects and we wanted to share a few ideas on how to do that.

enterpise hats

1. Have a back-up project (or two. or more.). By putting your current project in time-out for a little bit, working on a different project can be like going for a walk to get some fresh air. It will clear your mind so you can return to the needles and hooks focused and ready to go. Small projects that work up quickly can help you feel very accomplished! (Enterprise Hat, a new design from Eric Robinson, for assortments of Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool.)

cable sweater2. Plan ahead. The Olympic athletes currently competing in Sochi didn’t start their training last week! If you are working on a project for a special event or as a gift, allow plenty of time for you to swatch, fix mistakes, block and dry the project. Intricate charted patterns are likely to take more time than plain stockinette or garter stitch, just as an adult sweater takes longer and more yarn than a baby sweater! Giving yourself enough time on a project will help avoid stress from impending deadlines! (LindaLovesLace’s Runnin’ Down a Dream project in Worsted Wool)

Gaggle of Owls

3. Embrace the fiber arts community. Here and now is a great time to be a knitter! There are so many ways to stay in touch with other knitters if you want to show off your work or ask for advice on colors and techniques. Knitting is also a great reason to get together with friends and have a nice cup of coffee or tea. These points all apply to crochet fans too! We love seeing our yarns worked up when you share them in our Ravelry group or post them to our Facebook page! Seeing what others are working on can also be a great source of inspiration for your next project. We still have room in our Sugar Season Retreat with Marly Bird and we would love to have you come visit us for a great weekend! (Gaggle of Owls by aquaknitter in an assortment of Mountain Mohair)

How do you keep your knitting and crochet fun?

 

New Year, New Patterns

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Are your needles and hooks ready for something new? In this blog post we are rounding up the newest published patterns, including several from Green Mountain Spinnery, to inspire your next project!

First, the latest designs in your favorite Green Mountain Spinnery yarns. The Little Man Cardigan by Rachel Stecker is a top-down raglan sweater with inset pockets, contrast detail, and a pint-size shawl collar in Cotton Comfort. The Enterprise Hat by Eric Robinson is a great way to use up small amounts of Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool. A garter stitch brim is worked flat, then folded for double warmth. When doubled around your neck the soft frills of the Frilly Mobius Cowl by Cap Sease will keep your neck warm with style; calls for Simply Fine.

Did you spot these recently published designs? Marly Bird, our featured workshop teacher for the upcoming Sugar Season Retreat, designed the Nottingham Sweater, which was the cover item on the Winter 2013 Love of Knitting. This sweater was originally knit in Wonderfully Woolly; Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool would be great choices to substitute. Amy Herzog’s Noanet Peak set knits up quickly, is cozy warm, and has kicky stripes to keep you interested. Any combination of the Alpaca Elegance colorways would look wonderful. Calabash, designed by Amy Christoffers for the Winter 2013 Twist Collective, feels traditional and modern.

Like most of the United States this month, we’ve been dealing with truly frigid temperatures that make us glad we can stay warm in our handknit layers and under a pile of wool! Have any of the recent snow events or temperature dips inspired you to cast on a new project? Let us know on our Facebook page or in our Ravelry group!

 

Quick and Festive

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Here we are, in the week before Christmas! We hope that you are looking forward to the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays. In this blog post we want to share with you a few projects in Green Mountain Spinnery yarns that will work up quickly if you find yourself in need of a last minute gift or just want to make something quick for yourself, which is ok – you deserve it!

Capricorn, our bulky-weight yarn that is lofty and very warm, is the obvious choice for “finish in a weekend” sort of projects.  From left to right: nutmegknitter’s Cloudy Sky Mobius Cowltonyfan4ever’s Angie’s Earwarmers, and SpindlBratt’s Pillbox Party Hat.

Winter weather is here and maybe having extra hats, scarves, or mitts would be handy as you rush about to finish errands or see family. These projects are each made from free patterns. From left to right: mrstex’s Christmas hat for MIL, FarmerGirl’s January Scarf each in Mountain Mohair, and deborahh’s Toasty1 in Sylvan Spirit.

This wreath is not knit or crochet, but does use Spinnery yarn. Spinnery friend Tedd Kapinos made this for us and we proudly and lovingly display it each year!

We have had a wonderful year thanks to all our fiber friends! We are looking forward to a wonderful 2014 as well. Be sure to keep an eye on your favorite social media channel (our Ravelry group, our Facebook page, Twitter, even our newsletter and of course this blog) for all the Green Mountain Spinnery news and events!

Holiday Project Inspiration

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

There is no denying that the holiday rush is on. This year in the United States, our Thanksgiving holiday was as late as it could possibly be. The weather in Vermont at the Green Mountain Spinnery has been seasonal and we’re getting ready to enjoy winter sports! Though you may be busy knitting and crocheting your holiday gifts, we wanted to take a moment to share project and decoration inspirations that are sure to bring a smile as they are brought out each year.

Stockings are a Christmas classic and a wonderful way to welcome a new person into your family. The projects we have selected to share with you here are all are knit in Mountain Mohair. The color range of this yarn allows you a lot of opportunity to select a traditional or modern palette. From left to right: quiltingblockhead’s Piper’s Christmas Stocking, kfife’s Luna’s Christmas Stocking, and georgieanna’s Tomte Stocking.

Decorations and ornaments make wonderful little gifts or items to pop into a stocking. Some are small and light enough to tuck into a card or letter! And maybe best of all, they work up very quickly! We thought these projects (inspired by free patterns) were simply adorable! Shown from left to right: tiger2paws’s Pint Size Pines in Alpaca Elegance, quiltingblockhead’s Mitten Ornament and sparklefaerie’s Snowman Ornament, each in Mountain Mohair.

Click on over to our Jolly Holiday Pinterest board for more ideas for decorations and project ideas that would look wonderful in Green Mountain Spinnery yarns! We would love to chat with you about your holiday project progress in our Ravelry group or on our Facebook page, too!

Knitting Staples

Friday, November 8th, 2013

It feels like this year the holiday season is coming fast and furious. We hope that in the midst of searching for your must-have recipes for those holiday dinners and locating the cherished decorations you have out every year, you find more than a few moments with your yarn and needles (or hooks). Here are just a few of our favorite knitting staples and classics, most enjoyable when worked in your favorite Green Mountain Spinnery yarns.

Hats are a great “go-to” project for knitters of all abilities. The construction is usually similar between different designs but there is room for modifications or improvisations to create something totally unique.  The Warmest Winter Hat, designed by Spinnery friend John Crane in three different weights, is a reversible hat for the person who’s a bit buttoned-down on the outside but jazzy on the inside. It will keep the head toasty-warm on the coldest and windiest days of winter. The only hat s/he’ll ever want to wear! Pictured in Alpaca Elegance and (far left). The Ascutney Mountain Hat & Earwarmer prototype was “borrowed” by our staff members for ski outings to various mountains! This classic design by Melissa Johnson is warm and flattering hat with a cabled band that is knit sideways and an attractive double decrease at the crown. The cabled band can be knit alone to wear as an earwarmer. Pictured in Lichen Weekend Wool (center left). Hopefully you could find time to devote one pleasant evening to knitting and end up with this versatile Beret! A seed stitch band snugs over the ears on a winter’s day, or fits comfortably on the crown of a lucky head. Pictured in Pistachio Mountain Mohair (center right). Riley’s Hat is a design by Maureen Clark for her grandson. This retro-styled hat with earflaps ties under the chin to stay on through all sorts of winter fun. Pictured in Blue Opal and Rose Quartz Sylvan Spirit (far right).

Portable projects are wonderful to keep with you when you have to wait for something. These could be the hats we mentioned above but socks, mittens, or scarves are also great choices. Isabelle Hegemann, also known as IBH, had twenty-six grandchildren and great-grandchildren and knit socks for each of them annually. Her step-by-step teaching pattern, IBH’s Toasty Socks , will have you confidently knitting a rib pattern in the round on double-pointed needles, turning a heel, and finishing the toe with kitchener stitch. Pictured in Natural Grey and White Vermont Organic (left). Little Hands, designed by Cap Sease, are quick knit mittens for the younger set. You can make a pair with each chart for your favorite child. Pictured in various colors of Mountain Mohair (center). There’s no denying the appeal of the Simple Pleasures Scarf constructed in garter stitch on the diagonal. What could be more simple, yet simply elegant? Any of our soft yarns will do – Mountain Mohair, Green Mountain Green or Alpaca Elegance. Pictured in Vincent’s Gold Mountain Mohair (right).


What are the projects you turn to again and again? There are many more patterns to choose from on our website, including Green Mountain Weekend, our new ebook! We’d love to hear about them in our Ravelry group, on our Facebook page, or even by Tweet! Check out our Pinterest boards for even more project and pattern inspiration!

Green Mountain Weekend

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Green Mountain Weekend EbookGreen Mountain Spinnery is pleased to present the brand-new ebook, Green Mountain Weekend. Fall is prime time for weekends in Vermont. For more than 20 years, our Knitter’s Weekend Retreats have provided great company, good food, wonderful learning experiences, and of course, yarny goodness. In addition,our weekends have offered a chance for our own Spinnery designers to share their passion. We invited these folks to celebrate their Green Mountain Spinnery experience by creating a design just for us. This e-book is available for purchase as a digital download and features 8 patterns. Click on the photo below for the Ravelry project page details.

 

Aria

Aria

Reawick

Reawick

Odiorne

Odiorne

Putney Mountain Vest

Putney Mountain Vest

Flower Garden

Flower Garden

Lodestar Mittens

Lodestar Mittens

Rahm

Rahm

Margaret's Tam

Margaret’s Tam

As always, we love when you share your projects with us. Check out our Ravelry group, where we are already seeing projects from the ebook. Here is a pair of Lodestar Mittens and here is Margaret’s Tam! You may also post to our Facebook page or send us a Tweet. If you are on Pinterest, you can find our Green Mountain Weekend board set up and ready for you to repin!

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!

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