The New York Times recently published an article about the health benefits of knitting. You may not be surprised to learn that there are many.
Jane Brody, one of the NYT’s experts on health and nutrition joined a knitting group and found herself quickly hooked on stitching. “As I’d discovered in college, when my hands are busy, my mind stays focused on the here and now.”
The Craft Yarn Council’s campaign to stitch away stress last spring was a huge success. They have noticed a growing number of new knitters that include school children as well as men and women of all ages. Knitting is not just for grannies anymore.
Knitting has been reported to help some folks lose weight, others to quit smoking, and manage stress and anxiety. Arthritis pain can be minimized and it can establish a creative outlet that provides a rewarding sense of accomplishment. Nothing beats the warm glow of finishing a project! Having a tangible product can make the meditative practice more rewarding for type A personalities not drawn to sitting quietly as its own reward.
And there is more! We hope that you’ll take a moment this week to read Jane Brody’s article. You may find that if you are not already knitting, you may feel inspired to pick up needles; or perhaps share your stitching skills with a friend or family member who could benefit from it’s advantages.
Our production team has been busy this week packing up dozens of boxes of patterns and yarn that will be headed to Santa Clara to be featured in the Green Mountain Spinnery booth at Stitches West. Kate and Maureen will be in booths 817-819 at the Convention Center from February 18th – 21st with our yarns, patterns, and samples to share with you.
They will be featuring a new pattern available as an exclusive kit for Stitches West attendees. The Beinecke Cowl designed by Cap Sease features blocks of garter and lace inspired by Yale University’s landmark library.
This infinity cowl can be created with two skeins of Spinnery Sylvan Spirit. Our exclusive kit will include the pattern, the yarn, and a fun gift, all for $40. Visitors will be able to select their preferred color from our entire line of Sylvan Spirit including the new colors that we created last Spring.
We hope that you’ll mark your calendars and be able to stop by the Spinnery’s home away from home. We have even more to share with you and inspire your next knits.
This time of year has many of us doing a bit of armchair traveling. From the cozy comfort of our chairs by the fire we can dream of warmer climates and alluring locales around the globe. Occasionally, those dreams of far off places can inform and inspire our knitwear designs.
Cap Sease created a beautiful hat pattern that reminds us of the classic architecture details that can be found on landmarks located on the other side of the Atlantic. Her Athens Key Hat features a classic Greek key motif created with slipped stitch garter rows that result in a thick warm fabric that will keep your ears delightfully warm.
We used Spinnery Mewesic and our New Mexico Organic yarns for these samples. Pictured in Pink Cadillac and Purple Haze Mewesic with White New Mexico Organic (on the left) and Diamonds and Rust and Norwegian Wood Mewesic with White New Mexico Organic (on the right).
We hope that you’ll consider casting on for this pattern while planning your next getaway. You may find that having a new hat to toss in your bag may broaden the destination options to include the perfect spot!
A new batch of Brickouse Mewesic has traveled through production this week. We thought we’d share it’s progress and offer you an insider’s view into how our blended yarns are created.
Since we don’t have the space here at the Spinnery for large scale dyeing, much our our woolen spun yarns are created with dyed-in-the-fleece wool. The richly tweedy Mewesic is a great example.
Our distributors send wool to the G. J. Littlewood & Son Dyers in the Philadelphia area where it is cleaned, scoured and dyed. Giant bales of this dyed fiber (shown above) are then sent to us to play with. Special recipes are created for each of our custom color ways and carefully measured quantities of the brilliantly hued wool are combined with several trips through our picker.
The blending continues as the fiber moves through our carding machine. Here you can see the carded fleece and finished pencil roving that shows the mixture of colors. On closer inspection, you can see two tones of red combined with a rich dark black.
The roving is then spun onto bobbins. And the beautiful tweed is even more apparent in these bobbins of single plys waiting to be spun together (in the opposite direction) into the 2-ply DK weight yarn we love.
Occasionally, the yarn has a mind of it’s own. And here you can see a snarl on the plying machine that needs attention!
We keep a careful eye on the fiber during all the different stages of our production and we’ve estimated that each skein has been touched and checked by one of our Co-op members a total of 23 times throughout the process.
We are passionate about our yarns; and love knowing that our time and care with each skein will be added to yours as you craft and then wear hand-knits that will last for years.
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.
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!
Happy New Year! To help you celebrate what we hope will be a fiber filled 2016, our Winter Sale begins on the 4th, and you are going to be thrilled with what we have available.
You’ll find discounted skeins of Mountain Mohair, Alpaca Elegance, Mewesic, Cotton Comfort, Sylvan Spirit, Yarn Over, Sock Art and a even more surprises.
Something that we are particularly excited to be able to offer is this gorgeous bulky weight 100% wool. These skeins include 170 yards of a Clun Forest and East Friesian wool blend this has been discounted 40%! Undyed skeins will be available in this beautiful creamy white and Melissa is hard at work hand painting additional skeins that will be revealed on Monday morning.
You can download a copy of our sales flyer here and plan your order this weekend. Early on Monday morning, you’ll be able to find these items in the SALE ITEMS section of the Spinnery website. You may want to make your selections early so that you don’t miss out on the savings that are available while our limited supplies last.
We look forward to hearing from you and we are especially eager to see what you create with these special skeins.
We love hearing from our friends and customers what they’d like us to create next. We’ve received some great ideas from those of you who stop by our booths at festivals or our little shop here in Putney.
One request that we received several times this year has now come to fruition; we’ve added a Grey Ragg colorway to our Weekend Wool collection!
By plying together individual strands of the White and Natural Grey, we’ve created a traditional color that will add beautiful a marled texture to your worsted weight knitwear. You may want to try a skein or two out by making a pair of our IBH’s Toasty Socks.
Or you may want to browse among the several patterns we found on Ravelry that could be a perfect fit for our new skeins. They range from small accessories to sweaters.
We hope that you have fun figuring out what you’d like to make with this new yarn. We’ll be sharing what we create with it on our Facebook page as soon as they come off the needles.
We’re into the double digits on our advent calendars and we know that the remaining days will pass in a flash. If you are planning to hand craft your holiday gifts this year, we thought we’d share a few project ideas that could be created in an afternoon (or less) of knitting or crocheting.
We hope that you’ll be able to get any one of these (or even a handful of them) under the tree just in time.
Our go-to yarn choice for last minute knits would have to be Capricorn. Our bulky single ply yarn knits up in a flash at roughly 3 stitches per inch on US 10 needles. Everything created with this blend of wool and mohair is cozy warm and deliciously soft. The delicate halo from the mohair makes these items even more snuggly looking.
Our Capricorn Hats and the Steps and Ladders Hat (on the left) knit up quickly; and that stranded color work ensures a double layer of yarn over your ears for a very snug and cozy hat. You could combine contrasting colors of our soft neutrals or provide a pop of color with one of the hand-painted skeins that Melissa has created for us.
Ellen Mason’s Polka Knot Hat, Ekaterina Blanchard’s Pomme hat and Johnny Vasquez’s FREE Gridiron Hat are a few other great alternatives that can be knit with a single skein (or a bit less).
If you think that a cowl might better fit the bill, we can recommend several FREE patterns: Purl Bee’s Bandana Cowl or Garter Gaiter are both quick knits; and Kathryn Jones’ Catesby Three-Hour Cowl is a crochet project that looks fun.
If you’d like to give the gift of warm hands, you might want to consider using a single strand of our Capricorn to knit up our Bulky Mittens (instead of the double strand of worsted weight that the pattern specifies). You might also want to try Marielle Henault’s FREE Bella’s Mittens. Over 10,000 ravelers have knit up this pattern, and have been delighted with the results.
Lastly, if a pint sized project is required, you might want to consider our Little Billy Goat vest. This knits up to a snug layering pieces for sizes ranging from 2 – 12. Granted, the larger sizes of this pattern may take a bit more time to complete. But who hasn’t wrapped up something still on the needles with a guilty shrug and a smile?
We’d love to help support your goals and deadlines, so let us know if you have questions or need a skein or two rushed your way. We wish you a happy few weeks of crafting.
We are launching something brand new this month that we’re delighted to share with you. We’d like to introduce our first Spinnery project club! The Quartet Hat Club.
Membership in the Spinnery’s exclusive hat club will ensure delivery of four beautiful seasonal hat projects to your doorstep over the next calendar year.
As knitters, we know that nothing beats the fun of a brand new project. Having something new to start is as delightful as finishing a project is rewarding. And smaller projects such as hats can be completed quickly for a crafting experience that feels great from start to finish. We want to share all of that fun with you. Joining the club couldn’t be easier and you’ll love what we have in store for you with our upcoming projects.
Melissa Johnson has designed four beautiful hat patterns with the seasons in mind. Each pattern will feature a different Spinnery yarn and provide you with a pattern you’ll want to knit again and again. As a Quartet Hat Club member, you’ll have exclusive access to these patterns until they are made available to the public in 2017.
You’ll receive a quarterly preview email with information about the next pattern delivery and a choice of two colorways. When you’ve let us know which version of the kit you’d prefer, you’ll receive a special package of a new pattern, all the yarn needed to complete the project, and a special treat. Your first delivery will also include a small Spinnery project bag to keep your project materials organized and easy to find.
Membership is a perfect holiday gift to ask for; or to give to a knitter who would be thrilled to receive 4 special deliveries filled with fun. Membership is open for a limited time until Friday January 15th. So this is a perfect time to sign up.
We hope that you’ll join the fun and become of a member of our first project club or gift membership to a knitter you love. If you are lucky, you might be thanked with a new hat!
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.
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.
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.