Postcards from Maryland

Maureen, Kate and Lauren have headed South to Maryland and are setting up shop at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend. They are delighted with the fast forward of the seasons they experienced on the drive south and have sent word back that West Friendship, MD is bright green with spring growth.

You’ll find our beautiful yarns, inspiring samples, and generous selection of patterns in a tent located in the Outside North Vendors section.


You’ll find the Green Mountain Spinnery’s tent very close to this “intersection”.  And you’ll be so glad that you decided to join the fun.  The festival is already filled with sheep of almost every breed.  These handsome critters were relaxing after a grueling afternoon of grooming to prepare them for the two Parades of Sheep Breeds that are scheduled for later today and Sunday.


Vendors of all kinds have gathered to create a memorable day for you.  You’ll find delicious food to snack on, fiber of all kinds and in all forms, tools of the trade that will make your crafting even more of a pleasure, and items for your home and garden that may inspire your next project.

Dahlias like these may become a cardigan or inspire you to try working with a new color that is not yet in your stash.


The fiber love is all around the festival.  The girls enjoyed an alfresco dinner last night sitting under one of the trees that have been yarn bombed by a local knitting guild.


We hope that you’ll be able to join the fun.  If this weekend is not feasible, you may want to consider coming to the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival that is going to fill Deerfield, NH with just as much lively activity next week.  We’d love for you to get a chance to visit!

Our Custom Processed yarns

Perhaps you already know about the “other” yarns that the Spinnery produces…  In case you don’t, we’d like to tell you a bit about the special yarns that come through our production line that never make it to our sales floor.

About 40% of the yarn that the Spinnery produces is custom lot work.  “We enjoy working with fiber producers to design yarn particular to their unique fleece and fiber considerations. We can card and spin as little as 35 lbs of raw fleece or 20 lbs of scoured fleece.”

This small minimum makes the Spinnery an excellent choice for fiber producers who don’t have large quantities of fiber to work with.  As few as a handful of sheep can provide the wool needed to meet the criteria.

Large producers also work with us as well. Our beautiful woolen spun yarns are created for many well known producers in the fiber world including Swans Island, Jill Draper, Elsa Wool and others.  These yarns are a delight to weavers, dyers, and knitters alike.



Our custom lot yarns provide a bit of spice for us as they range widely in both gauge and content.  We’ve spun everything from lace to bulky yarns.  And these yarns occasionally include fibers not normally seen in the blends that we proudly put our Spinnery labels on including angora, camel and bison.

Lauren and David manage our custom processing and they will be coming along to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival and the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival to meet with fiber folks and answer any questions about our custom yarns.  We hope that if you are planning to attend either festival you’ll stop by our booth and visit with them.  (Lauren will be in Maryland for the entire festival and Lauren and David will be in New Hampshire on Saturday May 9th).

If you have a small flock and are looking to have some yarn spun, or if you know of someone who might like to learn more about this service we would love to tell you all about it.  We look forward to visiting with you soon!


Make lemonade

Can you imagine when running out of yarn might be a blessing?  It can be rewarding to find a pattern that you can’t resist knitting and realizing that you might have just enough yarn in your stash to make the size you’d like.  But working on those projects can be a bit stressful, especially when you are cutting it so close that short sleeves or a cropped length seem to be your only options for success.

Kate is working on a fun FREE pullover pattern designed by Leslie Weber that is giving her the opportunity to making the most of a small quantity of yarn.  Tweedy Stripey is a boxy pullover that calls for three colors of DK weight yarn (the tweedier the better).

© wychfingers
© wychfingers

Many of us at the Spinnery are eager to make versions of our own knowing that our Mewesic yarn will be perfectly suited to this pattern.  Kate has elected to cast on with two different dyelots of our Earl Grey Alpaca Elegance instead.  (Her pop stripe color comes from a skein of Madelinetosh Merino DK in the candlewick colorway).  The variation is subtle but eye-catching in the right light.


This means that she’ll be able to get a sweater out of just a half dozen skeins of yarn that aren’t all in the same dyelot, giving her a chance to bust her stash just a bit and make a wonderfully wearable garment with yarn quantities that she thought she’d only be able to use for smaller accessories.

We hope that you are able to find a fun stripey pattern that appeals to you (there are hundreds in the Ravelry database) that allows you to play with your stash and find creative ways to make beautiful projects with yarn you didn’t think you could make use of.

A little gift

Sugaring season is almost over here in Vermont which has us all very eager for Spring.  Temperatures are no longer dipping below freezing at night and while we are seeing some occasional snow flurries, the snow drifts are no longer deepening.

In celebration of the change of season, we’ve created a FREE pattern addendum to the very popular Ascutney Mountain Hat & Earwarmer pattern.  With our addendum, you can make a pair of boot toppers that feature that beautiful braided cable.


This pair was knit up with two skeins of our Weekend Wool.  This crisp 100% wool 2-ply yarn provides wonderful stitch definition to compliment the brilliant color palette.


What could be more fun that a pop of bright color to brighten up your work boots?


For those of you who already own a copy of the pattern, downloading the FREE addendum will set you on your way.  If necessary, purchasing a copy of the Ascutney pattern here will provide you with all  the information (and cable charts) that you’ll need.

Before you know it, signs of warmer weather to come will blossom all around us.  We can’t wait!

We’ve made a new batch of Yarn Over!

Because of the beautiful new Sylvan Spirit that we’ve been working on over the past few weeks, we had some gorgeous waste fiber that we couldn’t resist whipping up into a new color of an old Spinnery favorite: Yarn Over.

Each batch of our Yarn Over includes a unique blend of color and fibers as it’s our way of reusing material that would otherwise go to waste.  Don’t you love how leftovers can be mixed up into something fresh and delicious?


yarn over 01

In honor of the lunar new year we’ve named this new colorway Year of the Sheep.  And these skeins include a blend of carded wool,  TENCEL® Lyocell and a bit of mohair that all combine to add great drape and stitch definition to your finished knitwear.

(Lyocell is marketed under the trade name TENCEL®, and a natural derivative of wood pulp from cultivated Southern oak and gum trees grown on land unsuitable for grazing.)

Our 4 oz. / 120 g skeins include approximately  155 yards and the gauge varies depending on your needle size with a range of 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 using size 7 US / 4.5 mm needles to size 10 US/ 6 mm needles.

This Aran weight yarn is ideal for sturdy sweaters and outerwear.  Ravelry has pages of pattern suggestions that offer many tempting choices.  Larisa is tempted to cast on for the Fiber Co.’s Hiker’s Waistcoat which should be beautiful in this rich tweedy color.

Many of the Spinnery patterns are tempting the other knitters here in the shop.  Tracy is interested in Libby Mills’ Islanders’ Vest and Kate loves the idea of a Spanish Tunic or the Shawl Collar Snuggly that she can layer over other knits.  Gail’s favorite is the Spinnery Jacket.

What would you choice to work on with this lovely yarn?

We’re polishing a few new “gems”

The production team has had a colorful week as a collection of new yarn has moved from fiber to skein.  As evidenced by Laurie’s color change spool from the carder, we have been working with such beautiful colors that the combination looks a bit like a geode.

color change spool

We are working on a total of five new shades of Sylvan Spirit and we can’t wait for you to see them.  You were among the first to see our new Hematite shade last week, and this week we have some new colors to share.


From left to right we have Jade, Agate, Aquamarine and Turquoise. These new additions to the Sylvan Spirit spectrum are going to give you a wonderful palette to play with this Spring.

Our 50/50 blend of Wool and TENCEL® Lyocell  makes a soft yarn with a satiny sheen. You will love its beautiful drape and spectacular stitch definition.  This DK weight yarn includes 180 yards per 2 oz. skein and is a wonderful choice for lighter weight knits that will provide that touch of warmth and comfort we like from Spring and Summer knitwear.

For those of you who are curious, TENCEL is a natural derivative of wood pulp from cultivated Southern oak and gum trees grown on land unsuitable for grazing.

These new colors of Sylvan Spirit are making their debut at Sitches WEST this weekend and we will have skeins available for everyone on our website later next week.  We hope that you enjoy working with this yarn as much as we loved making it!

A new Knit Along as a Valentine for yourself

We are eager to cast on for another Knit Along. We thought that a smaller project with a larger gauge might make for a quick knit that will be done in time to help us stay warm through the tail end of winter.

All of us agreed that Hilary Smith Callis’ Adama cowl pattern would be fun to work on. We spent a few moments this week browsing through our worsted weight yarn options in the shop and we each found a selection that we can’t wait to get started with.


© Hilary Smith Callis
© Hilary Smith Callis

Larisa and Maureen both gravitated to our Green Mountain Green yarn. This deliciously soft blend of Wool and fine kid Mohair is going to be a treat to snuggle into.

Larisa loves the Natural Dark color.
Larisa loves the Natural Dark color.
Maureen wants to knit with the variegated color.
Maureen wants to knit with the Variegated color.







Tracy decided that the Wintergreen color of our Mountain Mohair would create the perfect match for her complexion.

Tracy loves working with Mountain Mohair
Tracy loves working with Mountain Mohair


Kate and Lauren are both eager to work with Weekend Wool.

Kate wants to work with the plum color.
Kate wants to work with the Plum color.
Lauren loves the look of the Blue Jay colorway.
Lauren loves the look of the Blue Jay colorway.









Kate has already cast on and gotten started so that we can figure out if the pattern needs 3 skeins of yarn or can be finished with just two.  She’ll be sharing her findings on our Ravelry Group Page early next week, so be sure to check in before you place your orders.

The rest of us are going to be casting on for our projects on Valentine’s Day (as a little gift to ourselves). Would you like to join the fun?

Do you need a camel sweater for next Fall?

According to style maven Karen Templer of Fringe Association, the new “it” sweater this Fall will be made with camel. She follows many top designers and when they released their previews earlier this month of 2015 Fall Fashion, camel sweaters were abundant. She collected a few of her favorites in a blog post last week.

We just washed and skeined the last few skeins of our beautiful Alashan 100% camel yarn this week. So you may want to act fast and ensure that you don’t miss out.

These skeins of 350 yards of DK weight yarn are deliciously soft. And due to the longer fibers, this yarn (that is close to the soft feel of cashmere) is in fact stronger and less likely to pill. Practical luxury!


And for those of you who are looking for a yarn option that is a bit more affordable, or a different neutral shade that will better suit your complexion, the undyed skeins of our Alpaca Elegance could be a perfect substitute. At a similar gauge, these 180 yard skeins are just $14.25 each.

We have found a few classic patterns that will ensure that your new handmade sweater for fall is on the cutting edge of fashion.

If you prefer pullovers, Ysolda Teague’s Blank Canvas is a favorite of Kate’s. She has knit a total of three! And the #33 Cabled Pullover from the Fall 2014 issue of Knit Simple magazine could be another timeless option.

For those of you who love cardigans you might want to check out Joji Locatelli’s Grandpa Cardigan for a pattern that looks as delightful to knit as it would be to wear.

And of course our selection of Spinnery patterns that are perfectly suited to either yarn are always a safe bet: Amanda’s Romance, Odiorne and our new Passionate Kisses.

We hope that if you are drawn to try our special limited edition Alashan, you’ll be among the last to snap up these beautiful skeins and we can’t wait to see what you make with our skeins for your new fall wardrobe.

Jill Draper makes fun stuff!

Last June, Jill Draper encouraged us to try something new. As one of our favorite custom yarn dyers and designers we were eager to oblige. She wanted to try creating an ombre striping yarn by carding already dyed wool instead of dying finished skeins.

Jill and her Mom brought beautiful wool fiber to the Spinnery in two natural shades and some brilliant dyed in the wool colors in both warm and cool spectrums. We cranked up the machines to see what was possible.

jill draper ombre 01

Here you can see bobbins of her beautiful yarn fresh from the steamer after having been spun.

Just this week, as she was preparing to head to Vogue Knitting Live in NYC she announced on Ravelry and via Instagram that her new yarn was going to be making its debut this weekend!

© Jill Draper
© Jill Draper
© Jill Draper










Rifton is a single ply, fine USA grown and spun wool yarn, approximately 21.5 microns, and lives somewhere between a stripe and an ombré. Because the batch was a first for both us and Jill, the cakes of this beautiful yarn have unique yardages. Jill will ensure that each skein has the yardage noted, please check yardage needed as this is a single batch yarn.

We can’t wait to see what crafters make with these skeins. If you aren’t headed to New York, you may be able to find a few skeins in her Etsy Shop next week.

Our January Sale is off to a great start!

Our month long sale began earlier this week and shoppers have been finding some great deals.  We wanted to share the details with you so that you wouldn’t miss out on the fun.

gms sock

So far our 30% discount on our 2-ply fingering weight Sock Art yarns has been the biggest hit.  We are in the midst of transitioning to a 3-ply version of both yarns that will be available for sale later this spring.  As a result, we are discontinuing the 2-ply Forest and Meadow.

Forest’s blend of 70% Fine Western Wool and 30% TENCEL® Lyocell (a man made fiber created from wood pulp) lends it a distinct sparkle that brings out fancy stitch patterns. We thank the sheep and the trees for producing this lovely fiber!

Meadow is a blend of some of the rarest American-grown natural fibers, 50% super fine kid mohair and 50% Fine Western Wool (a cross between Rambouillet and Columbia sourced from herds along the Front Range of the Rockies). This yarn is elastic, warm and soft with a subtle luster. These hand painted skeins are a tribute to the farmers and animals that produce such excellent fleeces.

Our skeins are hand painted by a friend and local artist Melissa Johnson 5 at a time in a microwave on her back porch.  The colors are mouthwatering and we’ve found that many Spinnery fans want to use this yarn for more than just socks.  It is easy to envision working with this yarn for larger projects such as shawls and lightweight spring and summer knits.

We are also offering skeins of Pink Lilac Cotton Comfort at a remarkable 50% off.  This discontinued color has been a great favorite among knitters and crochet fans looking for skeins for baby knits, when the run of the mill pink or blue won’t do.


sabi 03

We also have a great deal on a small quantity of extra large unwashed skeins of Atlantis Mewesic. (Seen above in the Sabi Hat designed by Olga Buraya-Kefelian and knit up by Maureen as a holiday gift last month).

As it happens, a few of skeins of this yarn will be a future prize on BabyCocktail’s KAL that you may want to join.  Thea Colman has suggested pairing the yarn with her Bastille Cowl pattern. Yum.

These skeins include a whopping 280 yards of yarn (instead of the usual 180).  We are offering them at a 15% discount.  These larger skeins could be a great choice for crafters interested in working on larger projects with fewer ends to weave in.

We hope that you have time to visit our little shop before the end of the month.  You’ll find one-of-a-kind skeins in our selection there that are not available online.  We’re also offering all of our in-stock book titles at 20% off.  You may find it well worth a trip.

We look forward to seeing you soon.