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Ombre knitting with Simply Fine

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.

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© 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.

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© 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

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!

We are getting excited about brioche

August 2nd, 2014

November is quickly approaching, and we are starting to get excited about this fall’s Knitter’s Weekend.  It is the perfect time of year to be in New England enjoying the fall color and the crisp air.  The golden light is magical and we hope that you can come and experience it for yourself.

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Nancy Marchant will be joining us in Putney, Vermont  the weekend of November 7th-9th to teach the brioche stitch.  This is a great opportunity to add luscious texture and stunning, reversible patterns to your knitting.  For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the brioche stitch you can learn the basics in the video below.

Inspired by Nancy’s imminent visit, Maureen has been working on a new brioche infinity cowl.  We had a mini fashion show at the shop this morning.  This deliciously soft and stretchy infinity cowl can be worn in all kinds of ways.  Just the thing to keep you snug on a snowy morning or to throw over your shoulders as a little shrug.

Brioche 01Brioche 02

 

Brioche 03

Brioche 04

 

We’ll be publishing a pattern shortly.  In the meantime, you may want to peruse the hundreds of FREE brioche patterns available on Ravelry.  You will be stunned by the beauty and versatility of this stitch.

We hope that you will consider adding the brioche stitch to your knitting repertoire.  It is a wonderful technique that could provide you with a winter season full of fun new projects that will keep you extra warm with squishably soft ribs of beautiful color that will fly off your needles.

 

 

Queen Anne’s Lace and Circular Shawls

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.

 

Dress up

July 19th, 2014

One of our favorite things about going to shows and festivals is giving folks a chance to try on our samples.  We have found that getting a chance to try a garment on can totally change your mind about what to knit.

We all have ideas about what kinds of garments flatter our figures, making the most of the aspects that we want to show off, and hiding those pesky areas that we are not so eager to highlight.  And knitwear is usually no exception.  We gravitate towards patterns that look like what we like; sometimes knitting the same sweater pattern in various colors because we know “it works”.

But occasionally it can be worthwhile to try on something new and change your mind just a bit about what to knit.  New styles and designers may all of a sudden hold fresh interest.  For example, Maureen found a series of videos last month that has changed her mind about working with Norah Gaughan patterns.

 

 

The What to Knit video series features various models of differing body types trying on a variety of  sweaters in various sizes to find shapes and ease that work best for them.  These videos also show the sweaters styled with different outfits from more formal to casual so that you can more easily imagine the true versatility of a sweater beyond the few photos that are provided in a pattern.

It’s almost as good as trying the sweaters on yourself.

We’d like to invite you to the Spinnery to check out our generous collection of samples.  Virtually every pattern that the Spinnery has published is represented in our shop, and they are all available for you to try on.  You could bring a few outfits and make a morning or afternoon of it.

Getting a chance to experience these pieces in person is valuable.  Getting a chance to try them on, check sizing, and see how they flatter you, is priceless.

Another Knit Along to jump start our Fall knits

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?

… and the fun continues!

July 5th, 2014

Last weekend’s I-91 Shop Hop was a hoot!  It was great fun meeting new friends and introducing them to what we do here at the Spinnery.  Many of our first-time visitors didn’t realize that we make everything that we have available in the shop.  From fleece to skein we do it all right here!

As time permitted, we brought as many folks as we could out back into the thick of things so that they could see the different stages of our production process, and all of the amazing old machinery that makes it possible.  If you missed your chance, you can learn a bit more about the Spinnery on our virtual tour.

But you just can’t beat the real thing, so plan on coming back as soon as you can and we can bring you “behind the scenes”.  Bring your 15% off coupon for extra savings in the shop from now until the end of August.

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More Hoppers than ever turned in their passports with us this year.  We hope that all of you on the Hop enjoyed your adventure, and that you used the trip to reconnect with friends, find new yarns and patterns, and get inspired by all of the beautiful finished projects you saw along the way.

Many of you will be casting on for the Shop Hop’s mystery KAL project.  We know that you’ll find some great support on the discussion board that you’ll find here.

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Many of you took home our special “Sock Hop” kit.  We wanted to be sure that you had the link you needed to browse the FREE shawl and scarf patterns that we found on Ravelry that could be used to make something not “socky” with your new skein of yarn, if you so choose.

We hope that all of you who visited will join our group on Ravelry and share the details of what you create with our yarns.  We can’t wait to see what you want to work on.

And we have some exciting news to share with you!  Keep those tote bags that you were given to you along with your passport…

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A mystery sale has been planned for Saturday March 14th, 2015.  Visitors who bring their totes to the sale will be eligible for special savings that we’ll be able to tell you more about in upcoming months.

We would like to thank all of you who participated, as well as the wonderful sponsors who generously contributed to the 44 goodie bags that were raffled off this weekend.  I think it’s fair to say that a great time was had by all!

Community Knit Night

June 28th, 2014

One of our favorite aspects of working with fiber is the wonderful community that can congregate when yarn is involved.  Knitting is always more fun with company.  Many friends and local fiber enthusiasts have asked about knitting with us more regularly than our twice annual Knitter’s Weekends, and we are thrilled to announce that we are starting a twice monthly “stitch and bitch” here in Putney.

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© knittomania

A few of us gathered this week at the Gleanery to test the waters, and found the cafe to be a delightfully welcoming spot to work.  The lighting is perfect, the open windows offered a cool breeze, and the macaroons were delicious!  Maureen brought several projects to work on, Kate made some progress on her Natsumi, and Jayne is thinking about casting on for her very first pair of socks.

We plan on gathering at the Gleanery on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings from 5:30 – 7:30pm.  The cafe serves wonderful coffee and tea along side home baked treats.  It is a BYOB establishment, so if you’d prefer to stitch with a cocktail, you can bring your own, or the General Store across the street has a terrific selection of chilled beers and wine.

We love the thought of making some new friends and offering our expertise to folks in the area that would like a little help.  It should be a fun group of local fiber enthusiasts with enough common knitting and crochet experience to be able to troubleshoot almost any problem or pattern question.  We hope that you can join the fun.

Knitting is always more fun with company.  Perhaps not as productive, as we get caught up in one another’s progress and pattern ideas.  Please join us next month on July 9th or the 23rd.  We are looking forward to stitching with you when you can participate.

Hop over to the Spinnery

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.

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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!

The Spring Art Fair at Squam

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!

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