Spinnery News

Indian Lake Artisans Trunk Show at the Spinnery

We are delighted to announce that we’ll be hosting a very special event on Wednesday June 8th.  Pam and Mark from Indian Lake Artisans will be dropping in to the Spinnery for an exclusive Trunk Show from 3pm – 7pm.

IL 02
© Indian Lake Artisans

They will be bringing their unique hexagonal knitting needles with them for you to try out.  Designed around the comfortable shape of a pencil, these needles are a pure pleasure in the hand and can help “alleviate hand strain and symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.”

These needles are available in three different wood finishes: maple, cherry and walnut.  The single tip straight needles are available in sizes ranging from US 6 – US 15 and in 10″ and 14″  lengths.

Double pointed needles are available in various wood finishes and sizes ranging from US 3 – US 15. The smaller sizes are 5″ or 6″ in length and the larger ones are available at 8″ in length.

IL 03
© Indian Lake Artisans

Their circular needles are available in Size 3 US to Size 15 US. in 16″,  24″,  32″ and 40″ lengths.  And if we are very lucky, they may have a few of their brand new interchangeable needles sets that will provide you with any needle that you could possibly need in a beautiful organizing carrying case.

We hope that you’ll have a chance to swing by the Spinnery to meet Pam and Mark and their darling dog Maggie.  It is sure to be a wonderful afternoon.

Terrific savings, rain or shine

The forecast for this weekend is looking as though it might get a little gloomy, so we have brightened up the production floor by filling it with beautiful yarn for sale.  Our Tent Sale has moved indoors!


Our annual Tent Sale started yesterday morning and continues here at the Spinnery all weekend (Sat, Sun & Mon 10 am- 5:30 pm).  You can also find our discounted skeins in the SALE ITEMS section of the Spinnery website.  Our sale prices on these items will continue to be available (while supplies last) through Friday June 17th.

Included among these skeins are unwashed odd weight skeins of many of your favorite yarns.  These unwashed skeins still have a light coating of spinning oil on the yarn and they will “bloom” to softness if gently hand washed before knitting.  Easy washing instructions will be included with your order.

Odd weight skeins are first quality, but the yarn is, overall, a bit lighter or heavier than in a regular weight skein. When we fill orders for any particular color, all the skeins will be either all heavies or all lights. Check your gauge carefully before starting your project.

Among our selection you’ll find select colorways of:

Mountain Mohair at 30% off (just $10.45 a skein)
Green Mountain Green at 30% off (just $10.25 a skein)







New Mexico Organic at 40% off (just $8.85 a skein)
Cotton Comfort at 40% off (just $8.85 a skein)








Sylvan Spirit at 40% off (just $8.85 a skein)
Alpaca Elegance at 40% off (just $8.85 a skein)







And there is more!  In the shop this weekend are project quantities of discontinued yarns and orphan skeins at just $8 a skein.  We have irregular skeins that may have an extra knot or two available at just $2.50 an ounce.  These are perfect for crafters who love a bargain and who don’t mind a few extra ends to weave in.

We hope that you’ll be able to shop the sale, either here in person or via the internet.  We love the thought of this lovely yarn finding new homes and becoming gorgeous knitwear in the months to come!

A bit more Moorit

Our new Moorit DK yarn was a huge hit when we introduced it to our friends at the Maryland and New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festivals.  Folks were delighted by its soft hand and bouncy feel.  We were so inspired by their response that we got to work making a fingering weight yarn with the same delicious Merino fiber.


This lovely wool comes from a merino flock raised in Missouri for this unusual dark color.  The sheep are bred not for a typical snowy white fleece but for one with rich tones of cinnamon, nutmeg and russet.  Our undyed skeins are as unique as the sheep they come from.


Our new Moorit Singles are put up as a single-ply fingering weight yarn with 450 yards per 3.5 oz. skein.  This yarn would make a perfect choice for a warm and yet light weight shawl.

We’ll be casting on as the weather gets warmer and hope to have some new samples to share with you before summer’s end.  We hope you’ll let us know what your plans are for these yarns, we look forward to seeing what you create!

Postcards from Maryland 2016

Four of us from the Spinnery went to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last weekend and we had a ball!  Temperatures were delightfully mild, and as always we were warmly received by local fiber enthusiasts.  This gathering reminds us each year what a remarkable and lovely community we belong to.


Clara Parkes has an essay about this festival in the pages of her new book: Knitlandia.  She describes the festival  as “a touchpoint, that class reunion we attend — even if we have nothing new to say — to honor our friendships and keep track of the passage of time, all in a place that reflects a mutual love of wool.”

We enjoyed our visit very much, enjoying festival food, exploring the animal barns, and admiring the prize winning fleeces and garments.  Larisa and Lauren loved the Make it with Wool Fashion Show; finding inspiration in the creativity and talent shown by the contestants.  And of course, sharing our new yarns and patterns with folks is always a pleasure.

For those of you who would enjoy a bleated and vicarious trip to the festival from your armchair, we thought we’d share a few photos of some of the animals that charmed us.


Sunday was Mothers’ Day, and this pair epitomized the day for us.


Clara says that “visiting the sheep barns restores one’s faith and sense of order in the world.”  We couldn’t agree more.  Surrounded by the call and response of these animals, one can feel your breathing slow, shoulders drop, and pace become a tad slower so as not to miss a moment.


Tomorrow, we’ll be headed to Deerfield, NH for our next festival: the 40th annual New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival. We are hoping to see a few more faces like this one.


We hope that you’ll be able to join the fun in New Hampshire this weekend.  We have lots to share with you, including several new yarns, new patterns and samples that you won’t want to miss.  Plus, there is sure to be Kettle Corn.

Announcing several new patterns

To accompany the new yarns that we’ve been working on this Spring, we have several new patterns releasing this week that we are very eager to share with you.

All of these new patterns will be making their debut at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in Friendship, MD this weekend.  We hope that you’ll have a chance to visit our booth there to see these samples in person!


The first is a beautifully practical layering cardigan designed by Maureen Clark.  Coming Up Spring is knit up with Cotton Comfort for a lighter weight summer sweater.  We love having sweaters like this one to transition us through April and May when temperatures tend to vary from day to day and occassionally from hour to hour!

The pattern is knit flat in one piece from the bottom-up.  The sleeves are worked separately and seamed in during finishing.



The delicate botanical lace that runs along the bottom border of the sweater as well as cuffs is our favorite part of this feminine design.


We’ve also developed an asymmetrical and reversible shawl called Davis & Fuber (named after the Spinnery’s carding machine that is celebrating its centennial this year).  Seen here knit up with three skeins of the limited edition Moorit yarn and a contrasting pop of color supplied by a skein of Passionate Kisses Mewesic.

This shawl is comfortingly cozy and still light weight when knit up with any of the Spinnery’s other DK weight yarn options: Alpaca Elegance, New Mexico Organic or Sylvan Spirit.


Kate knit up a larger version  of the shawl with 4 skeins of Chai Alpaca Elgance and a pop contrast of a single skein of Mean Mr. Mustard Mewesic.  As you can see, the larger version provides a generous amount of fabric to wrap up in during colder months.

And with those colder temperatures in mind, our Granite Cap was designed to ward of winter’s chills.


This unisex beanie has a dense ribbed texture that stretches for a custom fit that feels like a hug.  It knits up as quick as a wink with a double strand of Green Mountain Green.

We hope that you enjoy knitting up any of these patterns that strikes your fancy.  We’d love to help you with your yarn selections, so plan a visit to the Spinnery or give us a call at 800-321-9665!


And there’s more!

Along with our new Moorit yarn, we have two other new additions to the Spinnery offerings: Lana.  This 100% wool fingering weight yarn is perfect for lighter summer knits.


We’ve created two contrasting naturals, Blanco (on the right) is created with our fine western wool sourced from Targee sheep; and Gris (on the left) is created with a 50/50 blend of the fine western wool and our fine dark wool.  A third color ( a soft medium grey called Plata) is still in production and will be available for sale next week.

This 2-ply yarn is lofty and delicate and sure to knit up into summer weight shawls and garments that will be warm and light as a feather.  Each skein is roughly 3.5 ounces and contains 400 yards.  Suggested gauge is 8.5 st/inch on US size 1 (2.25 mm) needles, but flowing looser fabrics can be created with needles as large as a US 6 (4 mm).


Kate wasted no time and started working on developing a pattern for a top-down seamless cardigan that she’s been wanting to add to her wardrobe.  We imagine that the pattern will be ready to share with you by summer’s end.

In the meantime, Larisa is working on Brooklyn Tweed’s Boardwalk pullover that we can’t wait to see off the needles.

Garments made with this yarn will make for perfect layering pieces, light, warm and easily packed into a bag to accompany you on any summertime adventure.

We hope that you’ll have a chance to see these new yarns at the upcoming Maryland or New Hampshire Festivals, or that your summer holidays bring you to Putney to visit us at the mill.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

A centennial to celebrate

Parts of the carding machine at the Spinnery are turning 100 this year!  This anniversary recently made it into the local paper, and we couldn’t be prouder of our role in breathing new life into an industry that formed much of New England as we know it today.

The fiber is then loaded into the carding machine.

The behemoth that fills the back of the Spinnery was assembled over 30 years ago from various parts and pieces salvaged from abandoned mills all around New England and Canada.  In the early 1980’s the founding members of the co-op spent months travelling far and wide to find the machinery and expertise needed to put it together in working order.

Two giant pieces from Davis & Furber cards manufactured in 1916 are now integral  parts of our operation, and help us process an average of 200 pounds of fiber a week.  In honor of their centennial we’ve made a new yarn to share with you that is as unique, hard wearing, and classic as the machine that made it:  Our new limited edition: Moorit!


This undyed yarn comes from a very special flock of Merino sheep that are being raised for their atypical color.  Our friend Andy has been breeding his flock not for the brilliant white fleece that the breed is known for, but a warm cinnamon shade called moorit.  We thought that it would be best showcased in springy, delightfully soft 3-ply DK weight yarn.

Our 3 oz. skeins contain approx. 180 yards and are made from some of the finest wool that we have had the pleasure of working with.  The yarn has a recommended gauge range of 5-6 stitches to the inch on a range of needle sizes from US 4/3.5 mm to US 7/ 4.5 mm.

Because of the yarn’s 3 plies, it has a very balanced round shape that lends itself beautifully to crisp cables and rich textured stitches.  We can’t wait to see what you make with it!

This yarn will be making its debut at the upcoming Sheep & Wool Festivals in Maryland and New Hampshire.  We hope that you’ll be able to stop by our booth to get acquainted with it.  Or you can visit us at the Spinnery and wish the carding machine a happy birthday!


Stripe it up!

Larisa spent many hours winding and bundling the Spinnery’s new Mountain Mohair Mini skeins this winter.  As she worked, she found herself wanting to create a cowl that would highlight small amounts of our delicious Mountain Mohair.

After a thorough search of the Ravelry database that didn’t turn up what she was envisioning, she designed the cowl that she wanted to wear.


And today, we have the pleasure of introducing Larisa’s first pattern:  The Route 5 Cowl and Wrist Warmers!

Named after the rural highway that Larisa uses to commute to and from the Spinnery, these fun accessories have chevron striping that is reminiscent of the twists and turns of that beautiful road and the Connecticut River that runs beside it.

Using a full single skein of Mountain Mohair for the main color (on the ribbed bands and between each contrast color stripe) and a bundle of 5 of our Minis, you’ll have enough yarn for both the cowl and matching wrist warmers.  Larisa used Blizzard as her main color to act as a soft neutral and played with pop colors for her stripes.


Larisa specifically selected a bundle group that had a mini skein of Goldenrod in it and ended up with a color selection that is a bit reminiscent of a Hudson’s Bay point blanket.  She used (from bottom to top) Blueberry, Fern, Goldenrod, Periwinkle, and Rhubarb.

The random selection of colors included in our bundles will allow you to play with your own combination.  You could also substitute leftover bits of stash yarn from other projects to create custom stripes of your own design.


We hope that you have fun with Larisa’s new pattern.  We can’t wait to see what new color combinations result from it!

Not long now

The sixth annual I-91 Shop Hop is scheduled for June 23rd – 26th, 2016 and $5 passports and bags are now available.


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.  Bring a friend or two and make a get-away of it!

  • 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 willed be entered to win the Daily Door Prize at that shop. A total of 48 door prizes will be given out to participants!
  • By visiting all 12 shops you will be entered into a drawing for the fabulous Grand Prize, which includes gift certificates for the 12 shops, as well as yarns, needles and other goodies.

The 12 shops participating in this year’s Shop Hop are below:

Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT)
Handknit (Brattleboro, VT)
Sheep & Shawl (Deerfield, MA)
Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA)
WEBS (Northampton, MA)
Marji’s Yarncrafts (Granby, CT)
Creative Fibers (Windsor, CT)
Village Wool (Glastonbury, CT)
Country Yarns (Wallingford, CT)
Knit New Haven (New Haven, CT)
Yarn Barn (Woodbridge, CT)
The Yarn Basket (Branford, CT)

All shops will be open 10 am – 6 pm Thursday through Saturday and 10 am – 5 pm on Sunday.  A few shops have extended hours and so you may want to call ahead as you plan your trip.

You can learn more about the event on the 1-91 Shop Hop Facebook page and their Group page on Ravelry.

We look forward to seeing you and we hope that you’ll bring projects to share so that we can see what you’ve been working on since we saw you last.

A crafty afternoon

Our dear friend Ellen Mason (Odacier) inspired several of us at the Spinnery to dust off our sewing machines and spend an afternoon sewing instead of knitting this week.


When Ellen and Thea joined us in Putney last November for our Knitters’ Weekend, Ellen filled our heads with dreams of sewn projects.  She modeled a darling dress that we all fell in love with, and promised that a pattern for it was in the works…


Yesterday her pattern for the Ann Carolyn Smock was released, and we got busy!  Ellen’s inclusion of the yardage requirements among the photos on her etsy site mean that you can purchase your fabric without delay, and get it ready to be sewn while your pattern is in the mail on its way to you.



Larisa made a shirt version of the pattern early in the week as a “dress-rehearsal” of sorts and then made the same longer dress version of the pattern that Maureen selected to work on. Kate opted for the tunic version of the pattern.

ann carolyn

After just three hours, all three smocks were very close to being finished. (Maureen’s is on the left, Kate’s in the middle and Larisa’s is on the right).  One of our favorite aspects of the pattern is the optional “pop” pockets.  They can be personalized in all kinds of ways: un-embellished, trimmed with bias tape and brightly contrasting.



The pattern provides crisp, clear and illustrated directions that were a snap for all of us to follow, in spite of two of us being infrequent/novice sewers.  Having an almost finished garment at the end of an afternoon’s work was exhilarating for a group of knitters who are more accustomed to spending weeks to complete a project.















And nothing beats the sense of accomplishment that comes with a finished project!  We recommend putting down your knitting needles and crochet hooks in exchange for a set of pinking shears for a change of pace that will add a terrific new garment to your Spring/Summer wardrobe and put a spring in your step.

Thank you Ellen for a lovely pattern that we are sure to recreate again and again, and for inspiring us to try something new.