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Special guests

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

All kinds of people visit us here at the Spinnery.  It is our great pleasure to show visitors our beautiful yarns, our extensive sample collection and give them a tour of the antique machinery we use to make the yarns we are proud to call our own.

Occasionally we host a larger group, and earlier this fall a field trip of fourth and fifth graders from Massachusetts came for a visit to learn more about how yarn is created.  We walked them through our facility showing them the process and the various machinery involved in making a fleece become skeins.

We recently received a sheaf of thank you notes from the kids that we thought we’d share with you.  We hope that you are as charmed as we were.

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We love having the opportunity to foster the curiosity and passion of a new generation fiber enthusiasts.  Next time you plan to be in our neighborhood, call ahead or send us an email and we will do our best to provide you with a tour and some fresh insight into all that has gone into the creation of the yarn you love to work with.

Bringing a little bit of Vermont Autumn to you

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

The fall color is really starting to pop here in Putney, Vermont.  Every day, our commute into the Spinnery is a breathtaking pleasure and we all count ourselves lucky to be living here.

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It is also our pleasure to bring a little bit of that vibrant color to you in the form of our blended and hand-painted skeins.  Our design team works hard to capture the amazing palette that nature inspires.

We are heading out to two festivals over the next couple of weeks and we hope that our travels will bring us (and our yarn) a bit closer to you.  We know how difficult it can be to choose a color online.  And we love having the chance to share our yarns with our friends and customers in person so that they can touch and see the skeins for themselves.

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This weekend October 18th and 19th we will be at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.  We are bringing our new samples, patterns, and skeins, as well as a few freshly cast-off sweaters to model.

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Then early next week, Eric and Maureen are headed west!  They will be bringing our little shop to the Chicago area where they will be participating in Vogue Knitting LIVE October 24th – 26th.

On their way they will be making a special stop with our friends at D’ Vine in Shipshewana, IN.  They are hosting us for a special event on Wednesday October 22nd from 2pm-4pm.

We will be showcasing our one-of-a-kind hand-painted fingering weight skeins as well as sweater quantities of our new Mewesic yarn.  This will be a unique opportunity for those of you in that area to see these yarns in person.  We’ll also have samples that you can try on and some great pattern suggestions that may inspire your next project.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Spring Art Fair at Squam

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Maureen and I piled into the car last weekend and headed to New Hampshire to join the fun of the Squam Art Fair and the Ravelry Revelry.  It was wonderful fun to mingle with crafters who had been at the camp all weekend taking workshops, making friends, finding fresh inspiration, and glowing with new skills.

This video should give you a good sense of what a magical place and experience the Squam Art Workshops can be.

We joined the stream of folks heading into the Fair and were charmed by twinkling lights and blocks of ice illuminated by candles.  The video that you’ll find here should give you a good sense of what a magical place and experience these art retreats are.

© BEEZ in the belfry

© BEEZ in the belfry

Once inside, we were met with a room full of beautiful creativity; and both of us fell speechless at the workmanship of all of the talented vendors.  “The Squam Art Fair is a whirlwind of inspiration. Mix together the magic of a vintage shop feel, one of a kind goodies, and the creative spirits of all in attendance and you’ve got yourself a memorable evening at the lake.”

We are very proud to be one of the sponsors of this evening.

© Squam Art Workshops

© Squam Art Workshops

Among some of the delightful items that captured our interest as we browsed through the room were the beautiful samples from Amirisu’s Spring 2014 magazine.  Maureen was quite taken with two of the sweaters: Mokoshi designed by nest-design laboratory, and Whispers by Veera Välimäki.  (You may have already seen photos on our Facebook page).

We were able to meet up with some familiar faces and old friends, and check out beautiful hand knits modeled by knitters from all across the country.  We even got to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in her finished Adriana.  The story behind this lovely vest is a wonderful read; but it’s even better when Stephanie tells it in person.  Maureen and I were in stitches.

We couldn’t resist indulging in a bit of shopping.  Maureen was drawn to a beautiful waxed canvas tote; and I came home with a linen apron that will be perfect wearing in the shop.  (It has a pocket for a measuring tape!)  You can find a bag just like Maureen’s here and you can find an apron just like mine, here.

There are a couple of Squam Art workshops coming up later this year that you may want to look into.  The Fall retreat will be in early September and Squam is headed to Providence, RI for an urban experience towards the end of that month.  You find find more details about both retreats here.

We hope that you find a bit of inspiration in all of this, as we did last Saturday!

More than you wanted to know?

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Our Maine Organic yarn is made from a blend of medium fleeces from a mixture of breeds including Leicester, Romney, and Corriedale. These fleeces’ characteristics of luster, strength, and silkiness combine to create a strong yarn with great stitch definition and lovely drape.

The fibers are processed with a rigorous attention to detail.  We carefully store, handle, and work with the fibers keeping them isolated to ensure that all of the farmer’s hard work of raising this fiber organically is honored and the integrity of the fiber is uncompromised.  We are one of the only mills in our region certified to spin organically and we are proud to be able to offer organic yarns to you.

Of course our organic fibers are GREENSPUN, processed using certified organic vegetable based soaps and oils.  The skeins are then washed gently to preserve their natural sheen and resilience.  This gentle treatment maintains the organic integrity of the fibers resulting in an undyed yarn that retains the sense of the sheep it comes from.

© Hamilton Farm

  © Hamilton Farm

The fleeces come to us from the Noon Family Farm and the Hamilton Farm in nearby Maine.  We consider ourselves very fortunate to have found such terrific sources of beautiful wool so close to the Spinnery.  It ensures that we are able to provide you with an amazing yarn that has not had to travel back and forth from one end of the country to the other on its way to your needles.  The carbon footprint of this yarn is as small as we can make it.

Many beautiful sweater patterns have been designed for this yarn, including Jackaroo by Amy Herzog, Crane Creek by Sandi Rosner, and Gwendolyn by Fiona Ellis, to name a few.  And there are dozens of knitters that have chosen this yarn for other patterns calling for Worsted weight yarn. A quick scroll through their projects may inspire you to cast on for your own.

To whet your whistle, we thought we’d share some photos of one of the most recent projects completed with this lovely yarn.

jenny 01

© Jenjoywil

Our friend Jenny, otherwise known as jenjoywil on Ravelry, was eager to cast on with our Maine Organic.  She carefully chose a pattern by Thea Colman that would highlight the yarn and provide her with a comforting cardigan for all kinds of temperatures.  Her Vodka Gimlet is lovely.  (Additional photos can be found on our Facebook page.)

Thank you for sharing your photos with us, Jenny!

p.s.

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

I would like to introduce myself as the newest voice you’ll hear from the Spinnery.  My name is Kate and my Ravelry user name is onogrrrl.  I moved here to Vermont from Boulder, Colorado at the beginning of the year.  I found myself at the Spinnery about 20 minutes after that, and I am very pleased to tell you that I’ll be one of the authors of this blog going forward.

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I hope to share with you an insider’s look into what is happening here at the Spinnery.  I know that you’ll be as charmed and intrigued by what goes on here as I am.  

The Spinnery is blessed with an extraordinary team of passionate people.  I look forward to introducing you to each of them, so that you have a chance to see the faces and learn the stories of the folks whose hands are crafting each and every skein that leaves here.

I’d also like to introduce you to the machines that work as hard we do.  These behemoths date back decades, and in at least one case, centuries. This craft of spinning wool is an old one, and these machines have been at the trade longer than some of us here at the Spinnery have been alive.

I look forward to “talking story” with you.

Let’s root for the home team!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Baseball season starts this week, and the Red Sox’s first home game will be against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday afternoon.  We imagine that you may be spending some time in front of the TV this weekend, or perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to be in the bleacher seats at Fenway Park.  Brrrr!

We thought that we’d celebrate the beginning of baseball season with a super-quick Knit Along that will give you something fun to work on while you are watching a game at home, and a finished accessory to wear if you are headed to the stands and need an extra layer to keep off the chill.

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Please join us this week as we all cast on for an arm-knit Infinity Cowl.  Yep, that’s right, no needles needed.  This Cowl is knit in a single quick sitting; and you’ll be using your arms as needles.

Earlier this week, we cast on with multiple strands of our favorite bulkier Green Mountain Spinnery Yarns such as Capricorn and Green Mountain Green.  And lickety-split, we had beautiful bulky cowls in no time!  I chose to use three skeins of creamy white GMG that I wound into 6 half skein balls so that I could create a REALLY bulky strand.  If you squint your eyes, they look a bit like baseballs.  Using all 6 strands at once as I worked, I had a finished cowl in under an hour!

 

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Maureen cast on this afternoon with 2 skeins of Capricorn wound into 4 mini balls.  And she now has a beautiful periwinkle cowl in less than an hour.

 

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If you’d like to learn how, Anne Weil of Flax & Twine created a series of set-by step tutorials that break the project down into its four steps: cast-on, knitting, binding-off, and finishing.  Or you can check out Simply Maggie’s video for a live demonstration.

 

 

Join us this week as we get to stitching with our arms,  and share photos with us of your finished projects.  We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

 

A Sneak Peak into our Spring Knitters’ Weekend

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Spinnery founders Claire Wilson and Libby Mills began taking our wares to Stitches events and fiber festivals years ago and realized that doing these kinds of shows was fun and good business, but wondered how it would be to have knitters come to us. So, for more than 20 years we have been inviting folks to enjoy a weekend in New England with good food, excellent company, a fun learning experience and generally lots of yarny goodness.

Over the years we have had quite an array of instructors, from established names like Barbara  Walker, Katherine Cobey, Nancy Bush, Fiona Ellis and Beth Brown-Reinsel to more recent emerging stars in the knitting world: Gudrun Johnston, Alison Green, Kate Gilbert and others. In addition, our weekends have offered a chance for our own Spinnery designers to share their passion.

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This past weekend was no exception, and Marly Bird was a huge hit with the group.  Her warm and bubbly personality made the weekend more fun and full of laughter than one could imagine possible.

She is a wonderful teacher who was able to gracefully guide both knitters and crocheters through the intricacies of Entrelac.  It was inspiring to see everyone in the room working with their preferred tool, be it hook or needle.  Then on Sunday morning the group gathered to learn about thrumming and a new collection of deliciously warm mittens was born!

She inspired all of us to embrace the intention of her instructions and make them our own; reminding us that one of the reasons she became a designer was because she is not a fan of closely following directions.

Our “students” proved to be very talented crafters, and they brought some amazing hand knits with them. The collection of sweaters in the room was breathtaking.  It was also fun to see what came along in everyone’s work basket or project bag.

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It was a wonderful weekend filled with laughter, learning, and wonderful company.  One of our new friends Sue posted to our Facebook page, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for a fabulous weekend!! This was my very first knitting retreat & you have set the bar very high! I loved every moment, learned so much and enjoyed getting to know a truly great group of ladies!!”

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It is a sentiment that we all share.  Thank you to all of you who joined us.  A huge warm hug and enthusiastic thank you to Marly for traveling halfway across the country to help us make a memorable weekend.  And to all of you who hope to come and join us next time, there is always room at the table for another friend!

 

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Putney VT 05346-0568

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