Winter woolens

As temperatures start to drop and days become shorter, we find ourselves drawn to working on projects that will take a bit more time.  The prospect of sitting quietly with a lap full of knitting is comforting; and so larger projects have a greater appeal.  With this in mind, earlier this fall Maureen teamed up with several New England designers to create a unique collection of sweater dress patterns that you may want to take a closer look at.

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All Aboard! is an $18 e-book that features 6 new designs made with warmer weight yarns ranging from DK weight to Aran.  These sweater dresses represent a wonderful modern take on a 1950’s wardrobe staple that will be the perfect choice for a festive holiday gathering or a weekend away.

Becky Herrick’s design, Essex Junction features eye-catching color work at the yoke, cuffs and hem.  Beth Brown-Reinsel’s Alouette is knitted in the style of the British gansey. It features typical gansey textured stitches above the waist to add visual interest and provide you with something fun to work on.  Lars Rains has contributed a top-down seamless pattern featuring brioche texturing: Brattleboro.  His pattern includes directions for various special techniques that will make for a fun project that will build your skills this winter.   Rosann Fleischauer’s Rensselaer is a flirty feminine A-line dress with cabling at the waist that makes for a figure flattering silhouette.

We have to confess a special preference for the designs included in this collection that call for Spinnery yarns.

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Maureen’s Green Mountain Flyer pattern was designed with Alpaca Elegance. This yarn creates a lush fabric with beautiful movement that is as pleasurable to knit as it is flattering to wear.  The overall texture is created with an easily memorized knit 2, purl one rib stitch variation.  And those garter stitch patch pockets are just darling!

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Suzy Allen contributed the Montpelier pattern to the collection.  Her design features small symmetrical cables and an elegant empire waist; with sizes ranging from a 27″ to a 43″ bust measurement.  She wore this beautiful dress to the Sheep & Wool festival at Rhinebeck last month and was frequently stopped by complimentary visitors eager to learn more about her design.

She created this pattern with the Spinnery’s worsted weight Weekend Wool in mind.  And our new expanded color palette gives you even more options to choose from.

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We hope that your upcoming weeks are filled with fun knitting projects and scrumptious yarn that warm your spirit as much as your hands.  And if a new knitted dress looks like fun, we hope that you’ll treat yourself to the All Aboard! collection that you can find on Ravelry.

Thank you

This week, we’d like to share a poem that David Ritchie wrote as a submission for the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival.  The Spinnery sponsored the Festival’s contests again this year, and as a judge, David’s submission was not eligible for prize consideration.

Nonetheless, we’d like to pass it along to you as a little thank you for all that you do to honor sheep and their impact on our craft and our lives.

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David published his poem in an hand-felted cover.  And each of the pages is illustrated with a delicate line drawing drafted by Lauren VonKrusenstiern.

I am not a commodity

I see you in school,
feeling out of place,
majoring in economics
needing your calculus
for all your formulas
representing the goals
of Chase Manhattan Bank

But I am another being

I live next to the earth,
and in my own way,
I pray
for the best soil,
and the richest greens.
You can even teach me
to graze on the ones
you need to be digested.
(buckthorn for example)

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As your sheep,
I am both strong and frail
fearing many predators
These days my fears are many,
as I know are yours,
making us very humble beings.

In your class, they called me stupid,
but I have my own personality,
my own ways, and who is to
say which of us is wise.

Even with our differences,
I will know your voice,
And listen for your approach,
showing you still
I am glad you are here.

So, I ask,
will you remember my gifts?

As a ewe,
I can give you offspring,
often two at a time,
and as a ram?….
who knows how many of your ewes
will become pregnant?

Breed me carefully and I can soon
produce enough milk to make
your glorious cheeses.

Or breed me another way
And I will sacrifice my life,
just for your survival,
and the taste of choice
at your dinner table.

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Yet,
you also may keep me
and protect me for my wool.
Just caress your hands on my coat of fleece,
and see how they will be healed..

You can follow my miracle fiber
to your local mill,
where every person and machine
from washing to skeining
is dedicated to my beauty.

In these days of drastic weather events,
(created by your people)
whatever you spin from me
will keep you safe and warm.

Who I am,
what I do,
(If you are paying attention),
transforms lives.

When you felt so lonely
and out of place
In that college class……..
you were confronting
within yourself,
what has now become clear,

I am not a commodity

From all of us at the Spinnery, we’d like to offer you a very heartfelt thank you.  Your visits to our mill and our various booths at Sheep & Wool Festivals give us a chance to meet those of you who value our craft and see the extraordinary ways in which you transform our skeins into handknits to be cherished.  Thank you for sharing our love of all things woolly.

What’s next?

You might think that the dog days of summer are no time to cast on with bulky wool (unless you have an air conditioned space to knit in). However, a new pattern has been published this week that may make you want to reconsider.

Twist Collective’s Fall Issue went live a few days ago and among the “pages” is a pattern designed by Kristen TenDyke: Rumford.  This delightfully cozy cardigan features Green Mountain Spinnery’s Capricorn yarn.

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We particularly love the gentle halo created by our special blend of wool and mohair.  That fuzzy softness will make the sweater feel warmer and will protect your stitches from friction, making this single-ply more pill resistant than other yarn options with a similar construction.  Your creation will maintain it’s crisp cables and stand up to everyday wear.

The single ply has another added benefit, creating cables that are beautifully defined, without any ply shadows that make your stitches a bit less clear.

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Our three un-dyed shades will knit up into neutral wardrobe staples that you’ll love wearing as temperatures drop.

Kristen’s pattern includes a generous sizing range from 31 1/2″ to 57 3/4″.  It is worked bottom-up with raglan decreases at the shoulder and has delicate cables on the front and back.

It is designed to be worn with very little positive ease and the subtle waist shaping ensures that it will flatter.  With a suggested gauge of just under 3 stitches per inch (in the stockinette sections) this cardigan will fly off your needles!

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What’s not to love about Rumford?  We hope that you’ll check out this new edition of Twist Collective to see if you can find inspiration for your fall knits there.  We’d love to help you get started on any of the projects you’ll find.  We can offer yarn suggestions and go from there!

 

On your marks, get set, go!

We hope that you’ve received your yarn by now! We were busy this week filling packages and getting them on their way!

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And this week, we can share the details on some of the prizes that we’ll be able to give away to make this KNITALONG even more fun!

We hope that you’ll take your project along with you on your travels before Labor Day and share photos of your work with our friends here in the Green Mountain Spinnery Group Summer KNITALONG thread and/or on instagram. Adding the #jordacheknitalong or #jordachekal tag to your photos will guarantee that we can find them.

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We’ll be awarding prizes to three lucky winners on Labor Day weekend!

  1. The knitter who first completes and posts photos of their shawl.
  2. The knitter who shares the photo of their shawl in the most unusual location.
  3. The knitter who shares a photo of their shawl in a location furthest away from Putney, Vermont.

Our prizes include three fun project kits including the yarn (in your choice of color), the pattern, and a little project bag for Cap Sease’s Beinecke Cowl, Thea Colman’s A Beer on the Dock and Larisa Demos’ Route 5 Cowl and Wristwarmers.

We look forward to seeing your progress and hope that you’ll be one of our three lucky winners, so that we’ll have a fresh new project on its way to you to get started as September begins!

 

We’re on the cover!

The Fall issue of Knitscene has hit the news stand and we’re thrilled that our yarn is featured on the cover!

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The Barton Cowl designed by Laura Reinbach is knit up with 3 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery’s Simply Fine.  Shown above in 2 skeins of the undyed Natural Dark color and a single skein of Azalea.

This beautiful infinity cowl is started with a provisional cast on and knit as a tube, keeping all your color work ends and floats neatly tucked inside.  To finish, all the live stitches are grafted together to create a seamless circle.

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© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

This single ply fingering weight yarn is created with a blend of our softest mohair and finest wool.  It blooms when washed and creates a downy soft fabric that is a pleasure to wear against the skin.  We have a beautiful selection of hand painted colors that will shine in contrast with our lovely un-dyed neutrals.

And that’s not all!  Included in the pages of this issue is a multiple page book excerpt from The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting by Faina Goberstein and Simona Merchat-Dest.

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This three page primer provides a taste of the terminology and diagrams of this wonderful color work technique that is going to be the topic of this fall’s Knitters’ Weekend Retreat.  You can learn more about it here.

Faina will be here in Putney Vermont sharing her tips and tricks with us on November 11th – 13th.  Our Knitters’ Weekend is a very special gathering.  You’ll have a chance to learn from an expert in the field with fewer than 20 other students ensuring an intimate gathering where you’ll get all the support you need while making new friends.

New England is at its most beautiful in the fall and we know that you’ll enjoy your visit that will be full of yarn, laughter, and learning.  We hope that you’ll be able to participate!

I-91 Shop Hop Bag Day

This Saturday, March 12th, 2016 is the I-91 Shop Hop Bag day.

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If you bring any of the bags from previous I-91 Shop Hops to any of the 12 participating stores, you’ll receive a 15% discount on your entire purchase!

Saturday is the day to visit any of the following shops:

Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT)
Handknit (Brattleboro, VT)
Sheep&Shawl (Deerfield, MA)
Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA)
WEBS (Northampton, MA)
Marji’s Yarncrafts (Granby, CT)
Creative Fibers (Windsor, CT)
Village Wool (Glastonbury, CT)
Country Yarns (Wallingford, CT)
Knit New Haven (New Haven, CT)
Yarn Barn (Woodbridge, CT)
The Yarn Basket (Branford, CT)

And mark you calendars for this year’s Shop Hop Dates: June 23th-26th, 2016.

Twelve shops, LOTS ‘O FUN!  We can’t wait to see you.

 

Another request fulfilled

One of our most popular children’s sweater is the East Putney Aran that was included in our 99 Yarns book published in 2009.  This classic pullover pattern includes sizing for ages 2 – 12.

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As you can imagine, it knits up quickly with between 4 and 6 skeins of our DK weight yarn options: New Mexico Organic, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, Sylvan Spirit or Alpaca Elegance.

We are pleased to tell you that now we have an adult version of this sweater!  The Adult East Putney Aran includes sizing for bust sizes 38′ – 50″.  This often requested pattern has been drafted by Melissa Johnson so that now all of us can can have one of our own.

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The pattern is a perfect one for knitters eager to try their hand on an Aran knit and would like a great beginner pattern to get started.  The pattern includes two different cable motifs separated by columns of seed stitch making it ideal for newer knitters.

The sweater features a bottom-up seamed construction with a modified drop shoulder.  The stitch pattern is charted for easy reading, and as always, we are available at the Spinnery for phone support.  We hope that you’ll give it a try.

A lighter weight pullover such as this one will be a perfect addition to your wardrobe as temperatures get a bit warmer.  And with so many fun yarn options in mouthwatering colors, you may find yourself making more than just one!

Where has the time gone?

We’ve been getting things ready for the 37th annual Putney Craft Tour this week and we can’t wait to greet visitors into the shop and our production floor this weekend when artists of all kinds open their doors and demonstrate their craft.

We will be open from 9am – 5:30pm on Friday, 10am – 5:30pm on Saturday, and 10 – 5pm on Sunday.  We’ll be offering tours of the Spinnery and some special items will be available for sale on a first come first served basis.

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Among the most popular are our retired Shop Samples. We have dozens of handknits that could make perfect holiday gifts!  We can save you hours of crafting time over the next month, and perhaps even offer you something that you’d like to wear yourself this winter.

We are offering our adult sweaters for $50 each, adult vests for $30 each, children’s sweaters for $25 and accessories of all kinds for $15.

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We will also have a work of art available for sale.  Melissa has spent the week weaving this breathtaking blanket that will be available for sale for $425.  All of the proceeds from this sale will benefit the Putney Food Shelf.  We can’t think of a more beautiful way to support the Putney community.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Vermont at it’s best

We are headed to the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend and we couldn’t be more excited.  Tunbridge is lovely this time of year.  And in our opinion, there is nothing quite so fine as a gathering of fiber enthusiasts eager to share what they’ve been working on.

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There will be sheep aplenty as well as over 70 vendors offering all your favorite fibers and yarn along with equipment and supplies.  The Spinnery will have a booth there and you can visit us to see a selection of our yarns as well as some samples that can demonstrate how our yarns and patterns work up.

Anticipating that shoppers might be eager to find a unique local offering, and inspired by Amy Christoffer’s beautiful Coolidge Cardigan, Kate spent a few hours this week knitting up a new sample with our Vermont Organic Yarn.

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These creamy skeins include 250 yards of worsted weight yarn and Kate thought that a simple hat pattern that could highlight the terrific stitch definition was called for.  She knit up a Koolhaas hat, designed by Jared Flood.

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The pattern includes two size options and Kate knitted the larger of the two for the deepest possible version of this unisex beanie.  She was delighted to find that she had enough yarn remaining for a second hat!

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We love it when you can create two projects from a single skein!  You’ll be able to make two holiday gifts or keep one for yourself as a little reward.

If a trip to Tunbridge Vermont is on your agenda this weekend, we look forward to seeing you soon.  If some knitting time on the couch at home is more your speed, we wish you happy knitting!

As promised

When we first spun and plied our Vermont Organic yarn we knew that we had a winner.  Maureen and Kate took a dozen skeins with them to Squam in June and our friend Amy Christoffers was among those who couldn’t resist these skeins.  She buried her nose in a handful of this yarn and told us with a huge grin that they smelled like home.

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Amy has spent the summer crafting a stunning cardigan with her yarn.  We’d like to introduce you to Coolidge.

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Amy has married moss stitch texturing with an ephemeral leafy lace that looks a bit like an angel’s wings.  And the yarn makes every stitch crisp and clear.

This is a sweater that love has built.  All of that detail is breathtaking.  It will be a showstopper that would clearly identify you as a maker who loves the craft.  Amy’s clear and concise pattern is very straightforward and a pleasure to follow.

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Maureen is working on a version of her own with Spinnery Weekend Wool in pumpkin.  She knew that for her, a sweater with a bit of color would get much more wear and we can’t wait to see this new addition to her winter wardrobe. (photos will be shared on Facebook as soon as possible).

We hope that you find Coolidge as inspiring and beautiful as we do.  Let us know if we can help find the perfect yarn for yours.