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April 5th, 2014

I would like to introduce myself as the newest voice you’ll hear from the Spinnery.  My name is Kate and my Ravelry user name is onogrrrl.  I moved here to Vermont from Boulder, Colorado at the beginning of the year.  I found myself at the Spinnery about 20 minutes after that, and I am very pleased to tell you that I’ll be one of the authors of this blog going forward.

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I hope to share with you an insider’s look into what is happening here at the Spinnery.  I know that you’ll be as charmed and intrigued by what goes on here as I am.  

The Spinnery is blessed with an extraordinary team of passionate people.  I look forward to introducing you to each of them, so that you have a chance to see the faces and learn the stories of the folks whose hands are crafting each and every skein that leaves here.

I’d also like to introduce you to the machines that work as hard we do.  These behemoths date back decades, and in at least one case, centuries. This craft of spinning wool is an old one, and these machines have been at the trade longer than some of us here at the Spinnery have been alive.

I look forward to “talking story” with you.

Let’s root for the home team!

April 2nd, 2014

Baseball season starts this week, and the Red Sox’s first home game will be against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday afternoon.  We imagine that you may be spending some time in front of the TV this weekend, or perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to be in the bleacher seats at Fenway Park.  Brrrr!

We thought that we’d celebrate the beginning of baseball season with a super-quick Knit Along that will give you something fun to work on while you are watching a game at home, and a finished accessory to wear if you are headed to the stands and need an extra layer to keep off the chill.

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Please join us this week as we all cast on for an arm-knit Infinity Cowl.  Yep, that’s right, no needles needed.  This Cowl is knit in a single quick sitting; and you’ll be using your arms as needles.

Earlier this week, we cast on with multiple strands of our favorite bulkier Green Mountain Spinnery Yarns such as Capricorn and Green Mountain Green.  And lickety-split, we had beautiful bulky cowls in no time!  I chose to use three skeins of creamy white GMG that I wound into 6 half skein balls so that I could create a REALLY bulky strand.  If you squint your eyes, they look a bit like baseballs.  Using all 6 strands at once as I worked, I had a finished cowl in under an hour!

 

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Maureen cast on this afternoon with 2 skeins of Capricorn wound into 4 mini balls.  And she now has a beautiful periwinkle cowl in less than an hour.

 

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If you’d like to learn how, Anne Weil of Flax & Twine created a series of set-by step tutorials that break the project down into its four steps: cast-on, knitting, binding-off, and finishing.  Or you can check out Simply Maggie’s video for a live demonstration.

 

 

Join us this week as we get to stitching with our arms,  and share photos with us of your finished projects.  We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

 

A Sneak Peak into our Spring Knitters’ Weekend

March 27th, 2014
Spinnery founders Claire Wilson and Libby Mills began taking our wares to Stitches events and fiber festivals years ago and realized that doing these kinds of shows was fun and good business, but wondered how it would be to have knitters come to us. So, for more than 20 years we have been inviting folks to enjoy a weekend in New England with good food, excellent company, a fun learning experience and generally lots of yarny goodness.

Over the years we have had quite an array of instructors, from established names like Barbara  Walker, Katherine Cobey, Nancy Bush, Fiona Ellis and Beth Brown-Reinsel to more recent emerging stars in the knitting world: Gudrun Johnston, Alison Green, Kate Gilbert and others. In addition, our weekends have offered a chance for our own Spinnery designers to share their passion.

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This past weekend was no exception, and Marly Bird was a huge hit with the group.  Her warm and bubbly personality made the weekend more fun and full of laughter than one could imagine possible.

She is a wonderful teacher who was able to gracefully guide both knitters and crocheters through the intricacies of Entrelac.  It was inspiring to see everyone in the room working with their preferred tool, be it hook or needle.  Then on Sunday morning the group gathered to learn about thrumming and a new collection of deliciously warm mittens was born!

She inspired all of us to embrace the intention of her instructions and make them our own; reminding us that one of the reasons she became a designer was because she is not a fan of closely following directions.

Our “students” proved to be very talented crafters, and they brought some amazing hand knits with them. The collection of sweaters in the room was breathtaking.  It was also fun to see what came along in everyone’s work basket or project bag.

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It was a wonderful weekend filled with laughter, learning, and wonderful company.  One of our new friends Sue posted to our Facebook page, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for a fabulous weekend!! This was my very first knitting retreat & you have set the bar very high! I loved every moment, learned so much and enjoyed getting to know a truly great group of ladies!!”

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It is a sentiment that we all share.  Thank you to all of you who joined us.  A huge warm hug and enthusiastic thank you to Marly for traveling halfway across the country to help us make a memorable weekend.  And to all of you who hope to come and join us next time, there is always room at the table for another friend!

 

Baby and Child Project Inspiration

March 21st, 2014

What comes to mind when you think of Spring? Warmer days, fresh air, or new life in the garden, maybe? We look forward to the new little ones! Often that does mean lambs, bunnies and chicks, but there are plenty of new human babies arriving as well.  In this blog post, we’d like to share with you some project inspiration for using Green Mountain Spinnery patterns and yarns to make wonderful heirloom, traditional, and modern gifts!

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The Green Mountain Spinnery pattern collection includes more than two dozen patterns for your favorite baby or child. Several of these were included in the 99 Yarns and Counting or The Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book, but are now available for individual purchase! If you’re looking for an easy knit, but one with attention to detail and one that will be a treasure to hang on to for future generations, you might like the Baby Bonnet(top), Rebecca’s Little Sweater(bottom), or a Pebble Yoke Sweater and Hat set.

 

 

 

The sun may feel warm in spring but the weather can still feel cool and breezy.  A vest or sweater, in lightweight Cotton Comfort, is the perfect layer! Here we have String of Pearls, Magic Stripes and the Little Man Cardigan.

 

Very special babies are the recipients of the following projects we’ve noticed on Ravelry! Koigusue’s Pink Jasmine Lace Edged Cardigan and Booties in knit in Cotton Comfort. Cotton Comfort is also great for weaving, as shown here in Chis’s Cotton Comfort Baby Blanket, woven on a Mighty Wolf loom. The frog is actually a two-in-one toy! Goodenoughforme’s Frog-and-turtle project follows Susan B. Anderson’s Itty-Bitty Toys Reversible pattern.

Besides making these wonderful items for the wee ones, we also love to see them wear (or snuggle with) them! Share your projects and photos with us in our Ravelry group or on our Facebook page!

 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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!

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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!

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