April 25th, 2015
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!
April 18th, 2015
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).
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.
April 11th, 2015
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!
April 4th, 2015
The Aran sweater has a rich history, full of Irish island lore and fishing stories about the one that “got away”. In the past, each cable included in the pattern acted as a symbol that could weave a tale about the home port or invoke a bountiful catch for the wearer.
Maureen has created a fresh new pattern that combines the reassuring comfort that we associate with these classic designs and thoughtful details that ensure a perfect and flattering fit. We’d like to introduce you to Duncan.
Maureen has designed the pattern with a size range of 40″ to 51″ and has used set in sleeves to make sure that the sweater fits with a minimum of positive ease. It is warm and snuggly knit up with worsted weight Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair; and will never create the impression that you are wearing a cardigan meant for your favorite Fisherman.
Shown here in the undyed White Weekend Wool, this 2-ply 100% wool yarn lends the sweater a crisp stitch definition making the cables pop. And the classic creamy white color ensures that this sweater could work for any outfit making it a wardrobe staple that you reach for most months of the year (if you live in New England like we do).
We also love the addition of pockets that maintain the cable pattern for continuity but give us the option of warming our hands on a bitter cold or damp morning.
This sweater is sure to become a Spinnery classic and we can’t wait to see yours!
March 25th, 2015
Last weekend was a huge success. The weather was brisk but sunny, and our workshop was filled with eager crafters creating a convivial environment in which to learn. WE want to extend a very hearty thank you to everyone that attended and to Lorilee for her fabulous instruction.
Lorilee is a delightful person and a very generous teacher. She thrilled the group with her patient instruction that gave us a new mastery of her beautiful vertical stranding technique. We enjoyed her sense of humor too.
She brought a huge selection of stunning samples with her for us to browse through. She also gifted the students with two patterns each, a Craftsy coupon for additional learning and has promised to follow up with any of us who have questions about how to use what we learned last weekend.
Saturday was spent creating swatches that included all kinds of vertical color techniques and textures. Throughout her instruction Lorilee provided us with tips and tricks for new cast-ons, various bind offs and increases and decreases that will improve our projects for years to come.
On Sunday we were able to start projects of our own with her thoughtful guidance that meant all of our new knits got off to a great start.
We have created a new Ravelry Group
specifically geared towards our Knitting Weekend friends. It is a space where we hope to stay in touch with students and teachers alike. And in conjunction with its launch we are also announcing an exciting contest!We will be selecting a winner at random from among the new members who have joined the group and giving them a 50% off the registration fee of a future Knitters Weekend of their choice. We’ll provide more information about that contest as we get closer to drawing the winner later this summer.
We’ll share details of our upcoming Knitter’s Weekend in the fall as details come together here and on the Green Mountain Spinnery Knitters Weekend Ravelry Group page. We hope that you’ll be able to join the fun and come learn something new with us.
March 21st, 2015
Cap Sease has designed a new cardigan pattern that knits up into a perfect sweater for Spring. Tekle is knit up in Spinnery Mewesic. Shown here in our popular Blue Bayou color, it makes for a beautifully textured swingy layering piece whose design subtly shifts as you move.
The pattern includes a generous range of sizes extending from 34 to 54 inch bust measurements. It uses a bottom up construction with sleeves that are picked up at shoulder and worked towards the wrist. A short band is added to finish the neckline and front of the sweater where buttons could be added if you’d prefer. But we love the casual look of the open sweater as Cap envisioned it.
You could easily substitute some of our other DK weight yarn options in this pattern. Using Sylvan Spirit would increase the drape of the finished piece and make the provide the textured stitches with a crisp pop. Cotton Comfort would make for a lighter sweater that could extend the sweater’s wear further into warmer weather or for warmer climates. And choosing Alpaca Elegance would result in a warmer sweater that could be perfect for Autumn or a better choice for folks who tend to easily catch a chill.
For those of you who may be curious, the design was named after a new arrival in Cap’s family. This new addition to the Spinnery family of patterns is a welcome one, and we hope that you are as excited by this pattern as we are!
March 14th, 2015
We are seeking someone to apprentice for carding and fiber related activities at Green Mountain Spinnery. Our vintage machinery requires good mechanical skills with an ability to diagnose, repair and constantly adapt to ongoing challenges, especially given the huge variety of fiber types that are processed.
This job is very physical, with some heavy lifting.
We want someone who can join us now on a part time basis, but with staying power to eventually become full time.
The Spinnery is a modest company with a very dedicated staff. We are worker owned and there is an opportunity for membership after 2 years employment.
Please submit a resume and/or a description of interest to:
Green Mountain Spinnery
P.O. Box 568
Putney, Vt 05346
March 7th, 2015
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?
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?
February 28th, 2015
The I-91 Shop Hop Bag Day is coming up soon on Saturday March 14th.
Come into any of the yarn stores that participated in the 2014 I-91 Yarn Crawl (see list below) during store hours on Saturday, March 14th, present a shop hop bag from any of the past I-91 Shop Hops and receive 15% off your entire purchase!
- Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT)
- Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA)
- WEBS (Northampton, MA)
- Marji’s Yarncrafts (Granby, CT)
- Creative Fibers LLC (Windsor, CT)
- Yarnover Avon (Bloomfield, CT)
- Village Wool (Glastonbury, CT)
- Country Yarns (Wallingford, CT)
- The Yarn Barn (Woodbridge, CT)
- The Yarn Basket (Branford, CT)
- Knit New Haven (New Haven, CT)
Note: you MUST present the bag from a previous Shop Hop event to get the discount! And you may want to check in with the shops you’d like to visit for their store hours.
We hope that this will provide you with the excuse you may have been looking for to pay us a visit. Fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate and there won’t be any fresh snow to slow you down.
February 21st, 2015
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.
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!