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We are thrilled to introduce our new yarn: Mewesic

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

We have some exciting news to share with you this week.  At long last our new yarn is ready for you to begin working with!  We’d like to introduce you to Mewesic.

 

mewesic

 

These beautiful 2 oz. skeins include 180 yards of DK weight wool.  We have blended the fiber from a wide variety of different breeds to create a special mix that is lustrous and crisp.  Included in the fiber content are medium fine wools such as Rambouillet, Columbia, Targhee and Friesian sheep as well as lustrous fleeces from Corriedale, Montadale and Romneys. The result is a lofty yet durable yarn with great stitch definition.

 

sand sample all

 

We spent weeks coming up with a color palette that we couldn’t wait to get our hands on.  Now, we have a total of 13 beautiful heathered colors that have been created by blending our bale dyed wool.  You’ll love how rich and deep these hues are.

 

wool

 

Here you can see the wool for our Norwegian Wood colorway waiting to go through the picker.  All of our new colors are named after songs, and we think that you’ll have as much fun as we did remembering these tunes and humming along as you pick your next project or cast on.

For those of you looking for natural undyed neutrals, you can reach for our New Mexico Organic yarns that offer a creamy ivory and soft grey in the same gauge.

We introduced these skeins last week at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool festival to rave responses.  We hope that you are as excited as we are about Mewesic and we can’t wait to see what you make with it!

 

Postcards from Wisconsin

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Maureen and Kate headed to Jefferson, Wisconsin earlier this week to bring a little bit of Putney, Vermont to the Midwest.  They are participating in the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival that runs through this weekend.

They left the Spinnery on Tuesday morning and headed west.  They have been sharing photos on our Facebook page and so we’ve been able to track their progress across roughly 1,000 miles.  They are now smack dab in the middle of corn country where the surrounding fields are as green as our mountains.

 

wisonsin

 

They set up a booth in the “Country Store” of the Festival and are now showcasing our yarns in a space that has a bit more square footage than our shop here at the Spinnery.

 

booth 03

 

The local fiber fans couldn’t be more warmly welcoming and enthusiastic.  Friends new and old have been arriving at the booth to find out what’s new and share what they have been working on.  Here you can see our friend Cathy with her newly finished Putney Mountain Vest.  This pattern is part of the Spinnery’s most recent e-book publication: Green Mountain Weekend.

 

 

 

vest

 

Beautiful yarn, roving and fleece are just the tip of the iceberg of what this festival has to offer visitors.  There are several barns temporarily housing all kinds of livestock that have traveled almost as far to showcase the special qualities of their breeds.  Throughout the weekend there will be shearing demonstrations, sheep dog trials, as well as a few carefully timed births of new lambs.

Kate missed the moment of this particular arrival, but she was able to find a new lamb with its mother nestled in the straw of their pen.

 

lamb 04

 

As their day ended and they headed off to dinner and a sound night’s sleep, the girls were charmed by yet another surprise: a double rainbow made a brief appearance after a passing rain shower.

 

rainbow

 

It has been a wonderful working holiday, giving the gals a chance to see another corner of the country and share the last bit of summer with friends new and old.  This Festival marks the beginning of the fall knitting season, and they have enjoyed getting a chance to see what folks in Wisconsin are eager to cast on for as they start thinking about cooler weather.

Next week, we’ll be officially introducing our new sport weight 100% wool yarn; Mewesic.  The folks in Wisconsin received a sneak preview of the yarn we’ve been working on all summer, and they are thrilled with the beautiful new colors.

We’ll be able to share more details of this yarn with you next week, so be sure to check back to be among the first to see what we have in store for you.

Ombre knitting with Simply Fine

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Last week we shared some beautiful project ideas for the Spinnery’s hand painted skeins of Simply Fine on our Facebook page.  We have found that many of us are drawn to work on smaller accessory projects with lightweight yarn while summer’s heat still lingers.

This fingering weight single ply yarn is a wonderfully soft blend of 60% Fine wool and 40% premium kid mohair.  Our friend Melissa Johnson who dyes these skeins for us has made each one a work of art.  And the beauty of this yarn lends itself perfectly to delicate shawls, scarves and cowls.

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While browsing through Ravelry, enjoying the photos of finished projects we found created with Simply Fine, we found a stunning collection of projects that were created with the variegated skeins of the Simply Fine. These undyed skeins are naturally “painted” by blending the different  fibers in the carding process so that the yarn is softly striated with a spectrum of tones from brown, taupe, to grey.

© heidelblogknits

© heidelblogknits

This soft ombre effect can be just as dramatic as a pop of pure bright color.  We thought that we’d share some of our favorite photos with you this week, so that you could also enjoy the effects of this special yarn.

IMG_3364_medium2

© emiliewilliams

This is our Ravelry friend Emilie’s Holden Shawl.  This lacey design by Mindy Wilkes can be created with one to two skeins of Simply Fine depending on the size of the finished shawl you’d prefer.  We have a sample of this eye-catching shawl in our shop and it continually steals the show.

© heidelblogknits

© heidelblogknits

Those beautiful striations of natural color make our friend Christine’s version of Stephen West’s Boneyard Shawl a real stunner.  We love how the simple stripes of purl stitch texture pairs with the changes of color.  This FREE pattern can be knit up with just a single skein as you see here.  Or a larger version can be made with an additional skein to provide more depth to snuggle into.

© ewoll

© ewoll

Our Ravelry friend Elizabeth has used the yarn for a couple of projects.  First, is Katharina Nopp’s FREE pattern for the Wurm hat. This slouchy welted hat has a folded brim for extra warmth for your ears.  Elizabeth made some pattern modifications to adjust the pattern for her gauge, since the pattern calls for a sport weight yarn.

LessIsMoreP1050496_medium2

© ewoll

Next is the FREE Less is More Shawl designed by maanel.  This version was created with roughly a skein and a half of the variegated Simply Fine.  This slightly asymmetrical shawl is knits sideways, and the pattern allows for size adjustments to fit your preference.

© MaryDenise

© MaryDenise

Last but certainly not least, is Mary’s version of Lisa Mutch’s Nimbus Shawl.  The sections of the shawl drape beautifully around one’s shoulders making a flattering accessory with stunning drape and an unusual overall shape.  The garter stitch texture provides more substance to the design rendering it more plush. Mary used a single skein for her project.

We have a few more projects to share with you that will be featured on our Facebook page.  We hope that you’ve enjoyed the selection and that these lovely photos might inspire your next project.

Thank you to all of the knitters who so generously shared their photos with all of us.

A new shop sample

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

A new shop sample joined our collection this week: the Walnut Vest for Men designed by Mary Beth Temple.

© Hooked for Life LLC

© Hooked for Life LLC

 

This vest was created with three colors of Spinnery Alpaca Elegance in the natural un-dyed range from Cream to Dark Roast.  The butter soft yarn makes a wonderful fabric that is warm and very fluid to the touch.

Mary Beth says that she “was inspired by classic menswear patterns — (she) wanted to create a crochet pattern that men would actually want to wear, rather than focusing on what the stitcher might want to stitch! Tunisian crochet with a DK weight yarn is perfect for classic pieces — it retains its shape but isn’t stiff or bulky.”

The decorative panel of basket weave pattern created with a combination of Tunisian Knit and Tunisian purl stitches is a great touch that adds visual interest, and draws the eye towards the broadest part of the chest to flatter the wearer.

vest 02b

We hope that you can pop into the Spinnery shop if you are in the neighborhood, or passing through this month.  Seeing a sample up close and in person can make all the difference.  This vest might be a perfect choice for a holiday gift for a well-dressed someone on your list!

Queen Anne’s Lace and Circular Shawls

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

There is a bumper crop of gorgeous flowers growing by the side of the road at the Spinnery this week.  These blossoms have us thinking of circular lace shawls that might mimic their delicate finery.

 

queen anne

 

One of the most widely knit circular shawl is the Pi Shawl from Elizabeth Zimmerman.  Over 2,100 Ravelers have cast on for this pattern.  From the pages of her Knitter’s Almanac, Elizabeth describes the project:

“When you set out on the annual family trip naturally you have to take your knitting; something has to keep you sane in face of the possibly quite ferocious situations you will be up against in the next two weeks.

Try a shawl.

I have a circular shawl for you which starts at the center, has absolutely no pattern, and only six shaping-rounds in the whole thing.”

What could be simpler?  And the stunning variety of the projects on Ravelry clearly show how this simple recipe can create a unique shawl that like a snowflake or a flower has a breathtaking grace.  Using Spinnery Simply Fine yarn might be a perfect choice.  Selecting the variegated color will add another level of complexity to your project.

For those of you feeling more ambitious, you may want to try one of a pair of circular shawls designed by Audry Nicklin that portray the stars in the night sky oriented from either the north or south poles.  The lacework of this shawl is combined with beads for a bit of extra sparkle.

© Jane Heller

© Jane Heller

 

This stunning shawl Celestarium uses eyelets and beads as stars with the center representing Polaris.  We can’t think of a more beautiful way to capture memories of summer evenings spent stargazing.  Our Spinnery Sock Art Forest or Meadow might be a perfect yarn for this project, requiring just three skeins to complete.

Eric has a stunning circular shawl on the needles right now.  We can’t share project details or photos yet, in part because we haven’t yet released the yarn she’s using, and in part because she is eager to block out her work so that it looks its very best.  We hope to show you those photos in upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, you may want to take a look at some of the other 274 circular lace shawl patterns that are available on Ravelry. Let us know if we can help you find the perfect Spinnery yarn for an end of summer project that will capture the fleeting beauty of a summer bouquet.

 

Another Knit Along to jump start our Fall knits

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Joji Locatelli’s most recently published Grandpa Cardigan looks as though it will be a very interesting pattern to work on.  She has created a top-down, seamless, set-in sleeve cardigan that looks appealing for folks of all knitting abilities.  And who wouldn’t be tempted to make a comfy cardigan to snuggle into this Fall?

© Joji

© Joji

“Worked from the shoulders down completely seamlessly, Grandpa features a different set of cables for every size, making it look complex and sophisticated as any seamed garment, but without any finishing required.

All the instructions are charted out, so there is no guessing with this sweater. Just enjoy watching all the pieces come together to create this beautiful timeless cardi.  Even if you have never knitted a cabled sweater before, you’ll find Grandpa’s instructions clear and easy to follow, making it a great choice for your first challenging project. ”

Joji has incorporated a contiguous shoulder into her pattern to create set-in sleeves, so there should be some interesting fun for more experienced knitters who haven’t yet had a chance to try this technique.

More fun can be had if you join the Ravelry KAL.  You’ll have a chance to win prizes, and have the gratification of seeing and reading about other knitters’ progress.  The group will be casting on August 1st with a goal of finishing the sweater in three months.  This gives you plenty of time to pick your yarn.

Some of the girls at the Spinnery started plotting out our selections this morning, and this is what we came up with.

grandpa

Alpaca Elegance was the most popular choice!  From left to right you have Rachel’s choice: Earl Grey, Maureen’s selection: Sencha, and Kate’s preference: Rosehip.  Larisa opted for the New Mexico Organic yarn in grey.  We know that these yarns will all perfectly highlight the beautiful cables.

What Spinnery yarn would you be tempted to cast on with?

Hop over to the Spinnery

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

We are getting excited about the upcoming I-91 Shop Hop that will run from Thursday June 26 through Sunday June 29, 2014.

EVENTSWEBSSHOPHOP.detail.1

Stop in your participating LYS and purchase your Shop Hop passport for $5. Along with your passport you’ll receive a tote bag with the map and details about each of the eleven fabulous shops.

  1. Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT)
  2. Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA)
  3. WEBS (Northampton, MA)
  4. Marji’s Yarncrafts (Granby, CT)
  5. Creative Fibers LLC (Windsor, CT)
  6. Yarnover Avon (Bloomfield, CT)
  7. Village Wool (Glastonbury, CT)
  8. Country Yarns (Wallingford, CT)
  9. The Yarn Barn (Woodbridge, CT)
  10. The Yarn Basket (Branford, CT)
  11. Knit New Haven (New Haven, CT)

Get your Shop Hop passport stamped by visiting the participating shops over the 4-day Shop Hop weekend.  Every time you get your passport stamped you will be entered to win the Daily Door Prize at that shop. A total of 44 door prizes will be given out to participants!  By visiting all 11 shops you will be entered into a drawing for the fabulous Grand Prize, which includes gift certificates for the 11 shops, as well as yarns, needles and other goodies.

Here’s your chance to explore new yarn shops and win some great prizes. You can complete the Shop Hop all in one day, or make it a weekend event.  Along with all of the fun prizes, you’ll be able to pick up clues to a mystery pattern at each of the shops.  That way we can all share the fun.

You can learn more about the event on the 1-91 Shop Hop Facebook page and their Group page on Ravelry.

kit

This year’s theme of gold and black mystery is a fun one.  In honor of this, and Kate’s insistence on referring to the Shop Hop as a Sock Hop, we will be offering an exclusive kit that includes a skein of our deep gold Sock Art – Forest yarn, a packet of lavender Eucalan, a darling needle gauge, and your choice of one of three Spinnery sock patterns that can be created with your new skein.  All of this for under $20 (including Vermont sales tax)!  This offers you a savings of over 60%

If knitting socks is not your favorite, you might find a pattern to your liking among the FREE Ravelry pattern selections of over 700 shawl patterns that could be knit or crocheted with the included skein.

© Inn Vicoria

© Inn Vicoria

While you are here in Putney, VT you may want to find a comfortable spot for a meal, a snack, or to cast on without delay.  We recommend our favorite local spot: the Gleanery for a delicious lunch or dinner.  They are open from 11:30 am – 9:00pm Thursday – Saturday and 11:30 – 8pm on Sunday.  Basketville is another great spot for a quick visit that could provide you with beautiful storage for your new yarn!

We can provide you with local maps and more tips for a wonderful adventure when you visit.  We can’t wait to see you!

You’re invited!

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

All of us can agree that when it comes to buying yarn, there is no substitute for getting to see and touch the skeins in person.  Brochures and computer monitors rarely do the colors justice.  And getting a true sense of the feel of the yarn is essential.

We think that the same can be said of knitted samples.  You can learn far more about a sweater by trying it on than you might imagine.  You can assess its sizing and length, if it is flattering to your figure, and if you’d prefer the sweater with some ease and how much.

With all of this in mind, we have a fun event to invite you to!

14 Green Mountain TeaWritten Words Bookstore is sponsoring a deliciously fun event at Stockbridge’s Gourmet Cheesecakes and Cafe (located at 509 Howe Ave. in Shelton, CT).  On Sunday June 22nd Maureen will be “setting up shop” at the southern end of I91 giving those of you in that area a unique opportunity to have Spinnery yarn and samples brought to you!

She is going to be bringing copies of our very popular book: 99 Yarns and Counting.  She’ll also be bringing samples from the book, and mini skeins of some of our favorite yarns so that you can knit a swatch or two that afternoon.  If you find the perfect pattern and yarn to start it with, she may have just the skeins you need.  (Since she won’t be able to transport our entire shop we may have to send your selection to you on Monday when she returns).

You’ll want to get your tickets ahead of time as they won’t be available at the door.  You can secure your spot at our fun afternoon by calling 203-362-9114.  

We hope to see you there!

Fresh as a daisy

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

I had to pull over by the side of the road this week and take a photo of these beauties.  Spring arrived a little late for all of us this year, so a full bed of blossoms just took my breath away and made me stop the car!

daisies

And because I have yarn on the brain, I was immediately inspired to try to figure out how I could knit something that could in some way capture all this beauty.  The dasies’ bright fresh colors made me think of the beautiful lemon yellow hand painted skeins of Spinnery Simply Fine that we have in the shop.

Lemon

They have been calling out to me all week as the perfect choice for a little dress.  I did a bit of searching on Ravelry and found a generous selection of almost 40 patterns that could be knit up with a single 450 yard skein.  (This of course is contingent on the size of the pattern you select).

Among my favorites are two of the most popular patterns in the group:

© Tora Frøseth Design

© Tora Frøseth Design

This is Tora Frøseth’s Little Sister Dress.  The FREE pattern covers a size range from 3 to 24 months.  And the dress could work as a little tunic over tights which could extend its wearability beyond 2 years.

© cashmere junkie

And next is the Rio Dress designed by Taiga Hilliard.  It has two darling little buttons in the back so that the dress can more easily be popped over a little one’s head.  This pattern includes sizing from newborn to 3T.

I hope that you’ll share with us what has been inspiring you to cast on these days.  We have started a new discussion on our Ravelry Group page that we’d love for you to join.  Tell us what has got your creative juices flowing!

A new yarn for the Spinnery: Alashan

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

The Spinnery was founded on a commitment to providing locally sourced yarns. We wanted to connect discriminating knitters and crocheters with yarns that are created from the beautiful fleeces that are grown on small farms across the country. Our link in this locavore chain means that all of us can make more informed choices in terms of the sustainability of the fibers we love.

This passion for responsible fiber has brought us to an interesting turning point. Today we have a very special yarn to introduce to you to that comes from the other side of the world. This yarn wasn’t created from the fleeces of nearby animals, nor was it spun here at the Spinnery. However, due to the current global marketplace for fiber, this yarn impacts us and our environment.

Our friends at Ecologia drew our attention to the grasslands of Inner Mongolia with an award winning article written by Evan Osnos that was published in the Chicago Tribune.  (The article was written in 2006, but now eight years later, the facts remain undisputed and Ecologia’s connections in the area have confirmed that progress has been slow in improving the situation.  A recently published article about the True Cost of Cashmere by Melissa Mall also confirms that  the damage caused by Cashmere goats is a current issue for the area).

America’s insatiable appetite for inexpensive cashmere has wreaked havoc on the fragile ecosystem of the Alashan plateau. Shepherds there have felt the devastating results of over-grazing; and many have been forced out of the area or into other lines of work. And the goats are barely surviving on unsustainable diets of imported corn.

Even though the fragile ecosystem of the Alashan plateau is a world away, air monitors on the West Coast have been able to confirm rising pollution levels that are attributable to the loss of these rich grasslands.  Without the grass to anchor it in place, dust is blown thousands of miles away in sand storms that impact the air quality here in the US.

 

 

What may eventually save that fragile ecosystem is a revival of the local camel population. Bactrian (two hump) camels have long been a valuable animal in the Inner Mongolian ecosystem, providing wonderfully soft, warm fiber; as well as traditional transportation across the dunes that once were part of the Silk Road. These animals are well adapted to that rugged environment, and cause far less damage than goats by grazing higher up on fragile plants that are uprooted by a goat’s voracious appetite and pointy hooves.

 

alashan

 

We all have a bewildering richness of choice in the fiber marketplace these days. It is possible for almost any item to be delivered to our doorstep. And it can be startling to recognize how our purchasing decisions can impact those who live half a world away.  When we spoke with Randy at Ecologia earlier this week, he confirmed that our new Alashan yarn encourages and provides a livelihood for  the remote herdsman who are eager to see a positive change in their part of the world.

We thought that this very special yarn was worth getting involved with. Purchasing, using, and sharing the story of this yarn will change the world; just a little, but enough to be worthwhile.  You can learn more about Ecologia’s efforts to support the camel fiber industry of Inner Mongolia here.

We hope that you will check out the beautifully hand-dyed skeins that we have available while supplies last.  And a beautiful new Milan shawl pattern that Maureen designed in honor of this new arrival!  This exclusive pattern is our FREE gift to you with the purchase of Alashan.

 

milan 02

 

This yarn is perfect for luxuriously soft accessories that will become instant heirlooms.  The 350 yard skeins are more than enough for a shawl, scarf or cowl that will cradle your neck in downy warmth.  The stitch definition is terrific, and will remain crisp as the day it was knit for ages.  You may decide that it is just the thing for your special holiday gift this year.

We hope to share more photos of this lovely yarn in the future as new colors are developed and more skeins are knit up into beautiful samples.

 

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Mail: PO Box 568
Putney VT 05346-0568

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