Spinnery News

As requested

We love hearing from our friends and customers what they’d like us to create next.  We’ve received some great ideas from those of you who stop by our booths at festivals or our little shop here in Putney.

One request that we received several times this year has now come to fruition; we’ve added a Grey Ragg colorway to our Weekend Wool collection!

ww-line-crop-w

By plying together individual strands of the White and Natural Grey, we’ve created a traditional color that will add beautiful a marled texture to your worsted weight knitwear.  You may want to try a skein or two out by making a pair of our IBH’s Toasty Socks.

Or you may want to browse among the several patterns we found on Ravelry that could be a perfect fit for our new skeins. They range from small accessories to sweaters.

We hope that you have fun figuring out what you’d like to make with this new yarn.  We’ll be sharing what we create with it on our Facebook page as soon as they come off the needles.

Down to the wire

We’re into the double digits on our advent calendars and we know that the remaining days will pass in a flash.  If you are planning to hand craft your holiday gifts this year, we thought we’d share a few project ideas that could be created in an afternoon (or less) of knitting or crocheting.

We hope that you’ll be able to get any one of these (or even a handful of them) under the tree just in time.

capricorn-w

Our go-to yarn choice for last minute knits would have to be Capricorn.  Our bulky single ply yarn knits up in a flash at roughly 3 stitches per inch on US 10 needles.  Everything created with this blend of wool and mohair is cozy warm and deliciously soft.  The delicate halo from the mohair makes these items even more snuggly looking.

capricorn_caps_photo

Our Capricorn Hats  and the Steps and Ladders Hat (on the left) knit up quickly; and that stranded color work ensures a double layer of yarn over your ears for a very snug and cozy hat.  You could combine contrasting colors of our soft neutrals or provide a pop of color with one of the hand-painted skeins that Melissa has created for us.

capricorn-paint-w

Ellen Mason’s Polka Knot Hat, Ekaterina Blanchard’s Pomme hat and Johnny Vasquez’s FREE Gridiron Hat are a few other great alternatives that can be knit with a single skein (or a bit less).

If you think that a cowl might better fit the bill, we can recommend several FREE patterns: Purl Bee’s Bandana Cowl or Garter Gaiter are both quick knits; and Kathryn Jones’ Catesby Three-Hour Cowl is a crochet project that looks fun.

If you’d like to give the gift of warm hands, you might want to consider using a single strand of our Capricorn to knit up our Bulky Mittens (instead of the double strand of worsted weight that the pattern specifies).  You might also want to try Marielle Henault’s FREE Bella’s Mittens.  Over 10,000 ravelers have knit up this pattern, and have been delighted with the results.

little-billy

Lastly, if a pint sized project is required, you might want to consider our Little Billy Goat vest.  This knits up to a snug layering pieces for sizes ranging from 2 – 12.  Granted, the larger sizes of this pattern may take a bit more time to complete.  But who hasn’t wrapped up something still on the needles with a guilty shrug and a smile?

We’d love to help support your goals and deadlines, so let us know if you have questions or need a skein or two rushed your way.  We wish you a happy few weeks of crafting.

The gift that keeps giving

We are launching something brand new this month that we’re delighted to share with you.  We’d like to introduce our first Spinnery project club!  The Quartet Hat Club.

Cool hat pic

Membership in the Spinnery’s exclusive hat club will ensure delivery of four beautiful seasonal hat projects to your doorstep over the next calendar year.

As knitters, we know that nothing beats the fun of a brand new project.  Having something new to start is as delightful as finishing a project is rewarding.  And smaller projects such as hats can be completed quickly for a crafting experience that feels great from start to finish.  We want to share all of that fun with you.  Joining the club couldn’t be easier and you’ll love what we have in store for you with our upcoming projects.

Melissa Johnson has designed four beautiful hat patterns with the seasons in mind.  Each pattern will feature a different Spinnery yarn and provide you with a pattern you’ll want to knit again and again.  As a Quartet Hat Club member, you’ll have exclusive access to these patterns until they are made available to the public in 2017.

quartet-kit

You’ll receive a quarterly preview email with information about the next pattern delivery and a choice of two colorways. When you’ve let us know which version of the kit you’d prefer, you’ll receive a special package of a new pattern, all the yarn needed to complete the project, and a special treat. Your first delivery will also include a small Spinnery project bag to keep your project materials organized and easy to find.

Membership is a perfect holiday gift to ask for; or to give to a knitter who would be thrilled to receive 4 special deliveries filled with fun.  Membership is open for a limited time until Friday January 15th.  So this is a perfect time to sign up.

We hope that you’ll join the fun and become of a member of our first project club or gift membership to a knitter you love.  If you are lucky, you might be thanked with a new hat!

 

Where has the time gone?

We’ve been getting things ready for the 37th annual Putney Craft Tour this week and we can’t wait to greet visitors into the shop and our production floor this weekend when artists of all kinds open their doors and demonstrate their craft.

We will be open from 9am – 5:30pm on Friday, 10am – 5:30pm on Saturday, and 10 – 5pm on Sunday.  We’ll be offering tours of the Spinnery and some special items will be available for sale on a first come first served basis.

samples-trio

Among the most popular are our retired Shop Samples. We have dozens of handknits that could make perfect holiday gifts!  We can save you hours of crafting time over the next month, and perhaps even offer you something that you’d like to wear yourself this winter.

We are offering our adult sweaters for $50 each, adult vests for $30 each, children’s sweaters for $25 and accessories of all kinds for $15.

blanket

We will also have a work of art available for sale.  Melissa has spent the week weaving this breathtaking blanket that will be available for sale for $425.  All of the proceeds from this sale will benefit the Putney Food Shelf.  We can’t think of a more beautiful way to support the Putney community.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Our “hatalong” success

Knitting with friends is so much fun.  A couple of weeks ago, several of us at the Spinnery cast on for the Fringe Association’s most recent “hatalong” project: Seathwaite designed by Kate Gagnon Osborne.

We each selected a couple of skeins of Spinnery Mountain Mohair and got knitting.  We compared progress and had a small competition to see how quickly we could go.  We finished faster than we might have done if we weren’t all working together.

This week our finished hats were blocked and we wanted to share the fun with you!

spinnery-seathwaite

From left to right we have Maureen’s hat in Claret, Kate’s hat in Fern, Larisa’s hat in Blueberry and Megan’s hat in Blizzard.  As you can see the mohair blend creates a soft halo that does not compete with the clarity of the cable details.

spinnery-seathwaite-5

This cabled beanie is created with a rolled brim for extra warmth for your ears.  It is as warm and cozy as it looks.  We had a bit of fun with our photo shoot hoping to show you every angle.

seathwaite

Kate made a small modification to her hat and instead of using a provisional cast on and rolling her brim, she left it long for a more slouchy version.

We hope that you’ll share photos of your hatalong projects, we’d love to see how you make the pattern your own with your yarn and color selection and any potential changes for a perfect fit.

 

 

 

Stop on by!

We are very proud to be participants in the oldest continuing Craft Tour in the country.  Thanksgiving weekend marks the 37th annual Putney Craft Tour:  Friday November 27th – Sunday November 29th.  23 local artists will open their studios from 10am – 5pm and give visitors the chance to see first hand how their creative process works.

putney craft tour

We’ll be offering tours at the Spinnery, so that if you haven’t yet seen how we make all our beautiful yarns, this is a perfect opportunity to see how the magic happens.  And that’s not all!

Many local restaurants will be offering special meals for the occasion:

The Putney Diner will feature a Thanksgiving after sandwich with turkey, cheddar cheese, stuffing and cranberry sauce on rye bread with fries and coleslaw.

Katy’s Great Food will offer a special menu featuring Putney Craft Tour Stir Fry:  thinly sliced carrots, scallions, tri-colored peppers, squash, zucchini and rice noodles with a sesame coconut ginger sauce served with steak, chicken, shrimp or tofu. They’ll also be offering Chilliquelles: roasted peppers and tomato chili sauce with a wine braised and house spiced rubbed chicken, corn chips, fresh salsa, sour cream, cilantro and fresh cheddar cheese curds with tow over easy eggs.

The Putney General Store will prepare a different sandwich each day of the tour. Proceeds of the sale of the PCT sandwich will be donated to the Putney Food Shelf.

Saxtons River Inn that is not normally open for lunch will open specially for the tour. The restaurant is famous for its French Onion Soup and that will be the Putney Craft Tour special during the tour.

Popolo in Bellows Falls will feature Harlow Farm Chicken Tagine with Vermont Quince Past, Goat Milk, Black Olives and served with Old Athens Farm Root Vegetables and Greens.

The Gleanery will feature a Putney Craft Tour Pot Pie.

(Participating restaurants include Burdick’s in Walpole, NH; Popolo in Bellows Falls; The Gleanery in Putney, The Putney General Store; J.D. McCliments Pub in Putney; Katy’s Great Food in Putney; Putney Food Coop; The Saxtons River Inn and the Putney Diner.)

Make a day of it and bring friends and family.  It may be a welcome break from the bustle of the holiday.  You can support local artisans and take care of a bit of holiday shopping while experiencing a charmingly quintessential New England day.  We hope to see you soon!

While you knit

Maureen and Kate just recently returned from more than a month of road trips, bringing Spinnery yarn and samples to sheep & wool festivals around the country.  They spent many hours in the van listening to crafty podcasts as they drove and knit.

woolful

One of their favorites is Ashley Yousling’s Woolful.  They were delighted when they tuned in last week to episode 39, and heard the voice of our friend Jill Draper.

We create a number of yarns for Jill including her Empire (yarn babies), Rifton (a stunning gradient) and Rockwell (a 3-ply marled yarn).  In this episode of Woolful, Jill describes her creative process and details how her collaboration with the Spinnery has grown over the years.

We encourage you to give Ashley’s podcasts a listen.  You’ll earn about all aspects of the fiber world from growers to crafters.  And be sure to tune in later this month when the Spinnery’s Coop founders David, Claire and Libby will share their story of how the Spinnery got its start.

A must read

Carol Feller’s Short Row Knits was published earlier this fall.  It’s subtitle, “A Master workshop with 20 learn as you knit projects” beautifully distinguishes this book as one that you will want to experience, not just read.

short-row-knits

It’s clear concise descriptions of both the why and the how of various short row techniques can be best absorbed by picking up your needles and working the stitches along with Carol’s prose.  We find that getting new techniques into our muscle memory makes them far more likely to transition from theory into daily practice.

And Carol makes a very compelling argument for using these techniques.  Adding short row curves into patterns can give us the ability to customize the fit of any pattern without math. Gasp!  Yep, for those of you who aren’t a fan of “mathy” modifications, short rows can provide customized shaping without changing your stitch count.

The book is filled with clear illustrations, beautifully crisp photography and careful descriptions that make it seem as though she’s right by your side guiding you through the basics.  And that’s not all.

092_fell_9780804186346_art_r1_medium2
© Joseph Feller

Included in the book are 20 beautiful patterns give you a chance to work with these concepts while creating wonderfully wearable and gift-able knits.  The collection includes sweaters and shawls as well as clever hats and socks and a darling woolen ball, Chirripo, that is worked side to side.

085_fell_9780804186346_art_r1_medium2
© Joseph Feller

This wonderful book belongs in your project bag, not your bookshelf.  We hope that you’ll give yourself the time to really play with Carol’s tips and tricks.  Mastery of these short row techniques will dramatically change your craft for the better.

And we are pleased to announce that we have a copy to give to a lucky winner!  This weekend, add a comment to our Facebook page and we’ll pick a winner at random on Monday November 2nd.  We hope that you’ll share photos and details of your favorite knitwear projects that make use of short rows.

We look forward to learning about your successes and triumphs with short rows and we know that with Carol’s guidance all of us will have more of those to share in the future!

 

Not long now…

There are just a couple of weeks remaining before our 2015 Knitters in the Green Mountains Weekend.  Thea Colman and Ellen Mason will be joining us for a crafty weekend of fun, fiber and festivities on Friday November 6th – Sunday November 9th.

knitters

On Saturday, Thea will impress us with her design process as she takes us from yarn thoughts to stitch motifs to actually plotting ideas for a basic design.  We’ll put that into practice as we cast on for custom cowls.  She’ll follow that up with a session in which we play with cables, where we look at things we can do with cables – pair them together, play them off of one another, change the size, add/change texture, add/change lace, make a panel, read and create a chart, etc.

On Sunday morning, Ellen will share her creative ways for sculpting a mitten thumb with her “Fried Chicken Mitten” pattern, using two at a time magic loop techniques.  Time permitting, she demonstrate a quick sewing project for a darling “runaway” hobo bag that could be used as a project bag or as a reusable gift bag (perfectly timed for the upcoming holiday season).

There are a few spots available, so if your calendar allows, we hope that you can join the fun!  More details can be found here and you can call us at 800-321-9665 with questions.

Are you ready?

We are setting up shop at Rhinebeck this weekend.  We look forward to this festival every fall.  The food, yarn, sheep and wool bring thousands of fiber enthusiasts to this gathering, but it is the mystique of the “Rhinebeck Sweater” that inspires all of us to knit a new garment each year.

We’ll have some great new samples with us in our booth and we hope that you’ll stop by to check out: Kristen, the Exit 4 Tunic ,  and Amy Christoffer’s Coolidge Cardigan, among others.

Quechee_Pics (3 of 15)

We’ll also be debuting Suzanne Allen’s new sweater: the White Pine Pullover.  White Pines are a native Vermont tree once used for the masts of ships.  The strong vertical pine-like stitch pattern compliments the soft curve of a generous cowl neck on this comforting pullover.  Designed with lazy weekends in mind, the White Pine Pullover combines cozy comfort with effortless style.   

Suzanne has paired a light weight textured fabric with an over-sized silhouette that can be dressed up or down.  Equally perfect with jeans or leggings, you’ll want to snuggle into the generous cowl neck when temperatures drop.   This pullover is knit flat from the bottom up and seamed together.  Side vents and set in sleeves provide the perfect balance between relaxed ease and a flattering fit.

Quechee_Pics (15 of 15)

The pattern includes a generous range of seven sizes from 31″ – 55″ busts and it calls for 6 – 11 skeins of DK weight yarn such as the Sandman Mewesic shown above.

We hope that we’ll see you this weekend at the festival.  We can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on and perhaps get you what you need for a new “Rhinebeck Sweater” that will be the hit of next year’s show.