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Spotlight on Customer Projects

March 18th, 2014

It will surprise no one that the Green Mountain Spinnery supports knitting and crochet as year-round activities. There is something particularly motivating though about winter weather that makes you reach for the yarn and needles; this winter especially requires extra warm layers! We’ve noticed many wonderful projects shared on Ravelry and wanted to shine a spotlight on them here as well!

fingerless glovesSplitbark Mittens

The first two projects are worked in Alpaca Elegance. On the left, elspethmuir’s N’s Fingerless Gloves which were completed as part of the Ravellenic Games! In the center are nmomoct28′s Splitbark mittens, looking lovely in the Cream colorway with the natural wood buttons. BasicHats’ Fair Isle hat is very much on trend with the purple and yellow combination in Cotton Comfort.

Shawl

Accessories like hats and gloves are wonderful due to their feeling of instant gratification. Finishing a larger project can be equally satisfying and thee knitters of these sweaters and shawl should feel quite proud! Nickeneck’s Mom’s Celestrial Mosaic is knit with Mountain Mohair and has a great depth of texture thanks to the color and stitch combination. Gretchen623′s Cardinal cardigan in the Poppy colorway of Weekend Wool is simply beautiful.

For even more project inspiration, check out our Ravelry group and Pinterest boards!

Have Fun with Your Projects

February 10th, 2014

Most of the time, knitting is an enjoyable activity. There is something special about taking the yarn and turning it into loops on a needle, and then manipulating those loops so they turn into a sweater, sock, hat, glove, or blanket. Except when it’s not. This feeling happens to most knitters at some point in time, on any given project. The Green Mountain Spinnery wants you to have fun with your projects and we wanted to share a few ideas on how to do that.

enterpise hats

1. Have a back-up project (or two. or more.). By putting your current project in time-out for a little bit, working on a different project can be like going for a walk to get some fresh air. It will clear your mind so you can return to the needles and hooks focused and ready to go. Small projects that work up quickly can help you feel very accomplished! (Enterprise Hat, a new design from Eric Robinson, for assortments of Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool.)

cable sweater2. Plan ahead. The Olympic athletes currently competing in Sochi didn’t start their training last week! If you are working on a project for a special event or as a gift, allow plenty of time for you to swatch, fix mistakes, block and dry the project. Intricate charted patterns are likely to take more time than plain stockinette or garter stitch, just as an adult sweater takes longer and more yarn than a baby sweater! Giving yourself enough time on a project will help avoid stress from impending deadlines! (LindaLovesLace’s Runnin’ Down a Dream project in Worsted Wool)

Gaggle of Owls

3. Embrace the fiber arts community. Here and now is a great time to be a knitter! There are so many ways to stay in touch with other knitters if you want to show off your work or ask for advice on colors and techniques. Knitting is also a great reason to get together with friends and have a nice cup of coffee or tea. These points all apply to crochet fans too! We love seeing our yarns worked up when you share them in our Ravelry group or post them to our Facebook page! Seeing what others are working on can also be a great source of inspiration for your next project. We still have room in our Sugar Season Retreat with Marly Bird and we would love to have you come visit us for a great weekend! (Gaggle of Owls by aquaknitter in an assortment of Mountain Mohair)

How do you keep your knitting and crochet fun?

 

New Year, New Patterns

January 29th, 2014

Are your needles and hooks ready for something new? In this blog post we are rounding up the newest published patterns, including several from Green Mountain Spinnery, to inspire your next project!

First, the latest designs in your favorite Green Mountain Spinnery yarns. The Little Man Cardigan by Rachel Stecker is a top-down raglan sweater with inset pockets, contrast detail, and a pint-size shawl collar in Cotton Comfort. The Enterprise Hat by Eric Robinson is a great way to use up small amounts of Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool. A garter stitch brim is worked flat, then folded for double warmth. When doubled around your neck the soft frills of the Frilly Mobius Cowl by Cap Sease will keep your neck warm with style; calls for Simply Fine.

Did you spot these recently published designs? Marly Bird, our featured workshop teacher for the upcoming Sugar Season Retreat, designed the Nottingham Sweater, which was the cover item on the Winter 2013 Love of Knitting. This sweater was originally knit in Wonderfully Woolly; Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool would be great choices to substitute. Amy Herzog’s Noanet Peak set knits up quickly, is cozy warm, and has kicky stripes to keep you interested. Any combination of the Alpaca Elegance colorways would look wonderful. Calabash, designed by Amy Christoffers for the Winter 2013 Twist Collective, feels traditional and modern.

Like most of the United States this month, we’ve been dealing with truly frigid temperatures that make us glad we can stay warm in our handknit layers and under a pile of wool! Have any of the recent snow events or temperature dips inspired you to cast on a new project? Let us know on our Facebook page or in our Ravelry group!

 

Stay Connected with the Spinnery!

January 9th, 2014

A fun perk of working with yarn and fiber fans is connecting with them. We are lucky to meet many of you at events and fiber festivals. Those weekends seem to fly by, so we wanted to make sure you knew other ways in which you can stay connected with Green Mountain Spinnery throughout the year.

Did you know that the Green Mountain Spinnery is an actual place of business, not just a brand? Our mill and small shop are easy to find; we are right off the highway in Putney, Vermont. We are open year-round! The shop offers all our yarns and knitting patterns as well as limited edition yarns and mill ends at reduced prices. The shop also carries needles, knitting books and magazines and buttons. From the shop, you are able to get a peek at the Spinnery in action. Come visit us!

facebooktwitter_buttonsravelrybuttonpinterest-logo

Thanks to the internet, you can stay connected with the Spinnery from the comfort of your own home. Have you liked our Facebook page? Once you have liked our Facebook page, it is easy to tag us in a post or share a picture. We love when people gush about our yarn, and we love the short and sweet messages too. Give us a shout out on Twitter; just include @GMSpinneryCoop in your message to share photos and progress on your projects quickly from your mobile device. We understand that not everyone uses Facebook or Twitter, maybe Ravelry is more your style?  On Ravelry we encourage you to join the Friends of Green Mountain Spinnery group. This friendly group shares lots of project inspiration and support and even advice in choosing colors and patterns. A virtual visual feast for the eyes, we also have boards on Pinterest featuring Green Mountain Spinnery yarns, project inspiration and themes. Follow our boards and see what else grabs our attention – the bold, the beautiful, the bits and bobs.

Whether you see us in-person or online, know that we are very excited to hear about your latest project and plans with Green Mountain Spinnery yarns!

Quick and Festive

December 18th, 2013

Here we are, in the week before Christmas! We hope that you are looking forward to the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays. In this blog post we want to share with you a few projects in Green Mountain Spinnery yarns that will work up quickly if you find yourself in need of a last minute gift or just want to make something quick for yourself, which is ok – you deserve it!

Capricorn, our bulky-weight yarn that is lofty and very warm, is the obvious choice for “finish in a weekend” sort of projects.  From left to right: nutmegknitter’s Cloudy Sky Mobius Cowltonyfan4ever’s Angie’s Earwarmers, and SpindlBratt’s Pillbox Party Hat.

Winter weather is here and maybe having extra hats, scarves, or mitts would be handy as you rush about to finish errands or see family. These projects are each made from free patterns. From left to right: mrstex’s Christmas hat for MIL, FarmerGirl’s January Scarf each in Mountain Mohair, and deborahh’s Toasty1 in Sylvan Spirit.

This wreath is not knit or crochet, but does use Spinnery yarn. Spinnery friend Tedd Kapinos made this for us and we proudly and lovingly display it each year!

We have had a wonderful year thanks to all our fiber friends! We are looking forward to a wonderful 2014 as well. Be sure to keep an eye on your favorite social media channel (our Ravelry group, our Facebook page, Twitter, even our newsletter and of course this blog) for all the Green Mountain Spinnery news and events!

Holiday Project Inspiration

December 5th, 2013

There is no denying that the holiday rush is on. This year in the United States, our Thanksgiving holiday was as late as it could possibly be. The weather in Vermont at the Green Mountain Spinnery has been seasonal and we’re getting ready to enjoy winter sports! Though you may be busy knitting and crocheting your holiday gifts, we wanted to take a moment to share project and decoration inspirations that are sure to bring a smile as they are brought out each year.

Stockings are a Christmas classic and a wonderful way to welcome a new person into your family. The projects we have selected to share with you here are all are knit in Mountain Mohair. The color range of this yarn allows you a lot of opportunity to select a traditional or modern palette. From left to right: quiltingblockhead’s Piper’s Christmas Stocking, kfife’s Luna’s Christmas Stocking, and georgieanna’s Tomte Stocking.

Decorations and ornaments make wonderful little gifts or items to pop into a stocking. Some are small and light enough to tuck into a card or letter! And maybe best of all, they work up very quickly! We thought these projects (inspired by free patterns) were simply adorable! Shown from left to right: tiger2paws’s Pint Size Pines in Alpaca Elegance, quiltingblockhead’s Mitten Ornament and sparklefaerie’s Snowman Ornament, each in Mountain Mohair.

Click on over to our Jolly Holiday Pinterest board for more ideas for decorations and project ideas that would look wonderful in Green Mountain Spinnery yarns! We would love to chat with you about your holiday project progress in our Ravelry group or on our Facebook page, too!

Customer Project Round-Up

November 22nd, 2013

Green Mountain Spinnery continues to strive to create yarns of the highest quality, to help sustain regional sheep farming, and to develop environmentally sound ways to process natural fibers. Seeing our yarns worked up by our fans and friends makes all the work worthwhile. Today we’d like to use this blog post to put the spotlight on projects recently completed in Spinnery yarns.

Our Fall Hike KAL recently wrapped up in our Ravelry group. Participants knit up a variety of items and are ready for the upcoming winter season! These sweaters were knit during the KAL, from left to right: Finnsmydog’s Strokkur sweater in Green Mountain Green, Coldtoesneedsocks’ Jackaroo sweater in Alpaca Elegance, and Knitngtriathlete’s Autumn End II sweater, also in Alpaca Elegance.

Accessories may be quicker to complete than a sweater, but they can be just as satisfying! They are a great way to try out a new-to-you yarn or colorway! Here we have, from left to right: Luvthesnow’s Japanese Wave Mittens in Mountain Mohair, MarkinSF’s Mittens #1 Learning to Cable in New Mexico Organic, and Caramora’s Fishbone Snood in Sylvan Spirit.

One of our Ravelry group members, Malone, has had a highly productive fall! You can see all her Spinnery yarn projects here. During our Fall KAL she knit up a pair of Lodestar Mittens in Weekend Wool and Margaret’s Tam in Alpaca Elegance (both from our Green Mountain Weekend Ebook), and a set of Cider Press Mitts in Maine Organic.

We love to see your projects – finished and in progress! You are welcome to share them in our Ravelry group, on our Facebook page and even send us a Tweet. For even more project inspiration, check out our Pinterest boards!

 

 

 

Knitting Staples

November 8th, 2013

It feels like this year the holiday season is coming fast and furious. We hope that in the midst of searching for your must-have recipes for those holiday dinners and locating the cherished decorations you have out every year, you find more than a few moments with your yarn and needles (or hooks). Here are just a few of our favorite knitting staples and classics, most enjoyable when worked in your favorite Green Mountain Spinnery yarns.

Hats are a great “go-to” project for knitters of all abilities. The construction is usually similar between different designs but there is room for modifications or improvisations to create something totally unique.  The Warmest Winter Hat, designed by Spinnery friend John Crane in three different weights, is a reversible hat for the person who’s a bit buttoned-down on the outside but jazzy on the inside. It will keep the head toasty-warm on the coldest and windiest days of winter. The only hat s/he’ll ever want to wear! Pictured in Alpaca Elegance and (far left). The Ascutney Mountain Hat & Earwarmer prototype was “borrowed” by our staff members for ski outings to various mountains! This classic design by Melissa Johnson is warm and flattering hat with a cabled band that is knit sideways and an attractive double decrease at the crown. The cabled band can be knit alone to wear as an earwarmer. Pictured in Lichen Weekend Wool (center left). Hopefully you could find time to devote one pleasant evening to knitting and end up with this versatile Beret! A seed stitch band snugs over the ears on a winter’s day, or fits comfortably on the crown of a lucky head. Pictured in Pistachio Mountain Mohair (center right). Riley’s Hat is a design by Maureen Clark for her grandson. This retro-styled hat with earflaps ties under the chin to stay on through all sorts of winter fun. Pictured in Blue Opal and Rose Quartz Sylvan Spirit (far right).

Portable projects are wonderful to keep with you when you have to wait for something. These could be the hats we mentioned above but socks, mittens, or scarves are also great choices. Isabelle Hegemann, also known as IBH, had twenty-six grandchildren and great-grandchildren and knit socks for each of them annually. Her step-by-step teaching pattern, IBH’s Toasty Socks , will have you confidently knitting a rib pattern in the round on double-pointed needles, turning a heel, and finishing the toe with kitchener stitch. Pictured in Natural Grey and White Vermont Organic (left). Little Hands, designed by Cap Sease, are quick knit mittens for the younger set. You can make a pair with each chart for your favorite child. Pictured in various colors of Mountain Mohair (center). There’s no denying the appeal of the Simple Pleasures Scarf constructed in garter stitch on the diagonal. What could be more simple, yet simply elegant? Any of our soft yarns will do – Mountain Mohair, Green Mountain Green or Alpaca Elegance. Pictured in Vincent’s Gold Mountain Mohair (right).


What are the projects you turn to again and again? There are many more patterns to choose from on our website, including Green Mountain Weekend, our new ebook! We’d love to hear about them in our Ravelry group, on our Facebook page, or even by Tweet! Check out our Pinterest boards for even more project and pattern inspiration!

Green Mountain Weekend

October 30th, 2013

Green Mountain Weekend EbookGreen Mountain Spinnery is pleased to present the brand-new ebook, Green Mountain Weekend. Fall is prime time for weekends in Vermont. For more than 20 years, our Knitter’s Weekend Retreats have provided great company, good food, wonderful learning experiences, and of course, yarny goodness. In addition,our weekends have offered a chance for our own Spinnery designers to share their passion. We invited these folks to celebrate their Green Mountain Spinnery experience by creating a design just for us. This e-book is available for purchase as a digital download and features 8 patterns. Click on the photo below for the Ravelry project page details.

 

Aria

Aria

Reawick

Reawick

Odiorne

Odiorne

Putney Mountain Vest

Putney Mountain Vest

Flower Garden

Flower Garden

Lodestar Mittens

Lodestar Mittens

Rahm

Rahm

Margaret's Tam

Margaret’s Tam

As always, we love when you share your projects with us. Check out our Ravelry group, where we are already seeing projects from the ebook. Here is a pair of Lodestar Mittens and here is Margaret’s Tam! You may also post to our Facebook page or send us a Tweet. If you are on Pinterest, you can find our Green Mountain Weekend board set up and ready for you to repin!

Wow Your Friends with Colorwork

October 7th, 2013

One of the greatest parts about being in New England, Vermont in particular, in the fall is the ultimate explosion of color. As the trees that surround Green Mountain Spinnery turn to shades of red, gold, orange, yellow and gold, we can’t help but think about color in our fiber projects. Colorwork in knitting often looks more complicated than it is. There are quite a few ways to add color to your knitting and we hope you would consider including one of these techniques when you work on your next sweater, maybe as part of the 30 Day Sweater challenge!

 

The simplest form of color work is stripes. At first glance stripes may not seem that interesting but there are so many possibilities and combinations of stripes to try! If you’re feeling like making some stripes and want something new, check out this random stripe generator and have fun trying it out. One thing you should watch out for if you’re knitting your project in the round is the little jog that happens when you change colors. For instructions on how to make a jogless stripe in the round check out this great video over at New Stitch A Day. Shown at left is the Solstice Sweater, knit in Denim and Unbleached White Cotton Comfort.

 

 

Another easy way to wow your friends with color is with slip stitch or mosaic colorwork. This style of colorwork was developed by the knitting superstar Barbara Walker and is achieved by using slip stitches to draw color up into the next row. It is very simple to accomplish because you only work with one color at a time. That means you don’t have to worry about carrying multiple colors along each row and do the finger gymnastics required to switch back and forth between them. You can knit very simple patterns all the way to intricate motifs. Labyrinth is a design by Cap Sease that is lightweight yet warm, pictured here in Luminosity and Peridot Sylvan Spirit.

 

One of the most popular forms of colorwork (and the style most people think of when you say “colorwork”) is fair isle or stranded colorwork. Here the design is accomplished by alternating the color the stitches are knit with, in a particular row. The only technique used in this style is the knit stitch; you’ll need to learn to hold two pieces of yarn at once, but the outcome is certainly worthwhile. One unique characteristic about this technique is that it must be performed in the round; if you are not a fan of purling this could be the technique for you! If you want a cardigan, you first knit in the round and then steek it (a method for cutting your work) open. This photo shows one of newest patterns that utilizes fair isle and steeking, the Putney Mountain Vest; it will be released in our upcoming e-book, Green Mountain Weekend. Weekend Wool is an excellent choice for colorwork projects.

 

 

The last technique to share with you is the duplicate stitch. This is a way to add color to your work that you don’t have to think about before you begin knitting your project. Duplicate stitch is when you use a contrasting color of yarn and a darning needle to follow the paths of the stitches to create a small area of color like a monogram or small motif. It is a simple way add color and personalize your project after you have knit it. Shown at right are the Squirrel in the Woods mittens in which the squirrel motif is worked in duplicate stitch. If you are looking to design your own colorwork sweater there are many many great colorwork mitten patterns from which to draw inspiration!

If you’d like to learn more about planning your next sweater project, download the free Sweater Planning Guide from the 30 Day Sweater Challenge. This guide is full of advice on design basics, color choice, how much yarn to buy and everything else that goes into knitting a sweater that you’ll love! Click here to download.

This post is a part of the 30 Day Sweater Challenge promo tour. Join us this October as we help 5,000 knitters around the world knit a sweater they’ll love, in 30 days. To sign up just visit 30daysweater.com/greenmountain and download your free Sweater Planning Guide. It will help you get started on the right foot!

 

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