Spinnery News

What’s next?

The imminent New Year has us thinking about our resolutions and intentions for 2015.  While we love knitting and crochet, we thought it might be fun to start our New Year rounding out our crafty skills.

We spent a little bit of time this morning browsing the class selection on Craftsy.com and each found a class to kick off the beginning of January with a new skill!  These fun online classes provide a crafty “education designed to help you succeed: with Craftsy you can learn when, where, and how you like.”

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Tracy is excited about Peter Reinhart’s Pizza Class.  Lauren had a hard time choosing just one of the weaving classes available.  Kate is interested in learning how to draw and is excited about Paul Heaston’s Sketching Class for beginners.  And Larisa is interested in Alton DuLaney’s Paper Arts Class.

The Craftsy class selection is robust and you’ll find multiple classes to choose from in Sewing & Quilting, Cooking, Yarn & Fiber Arts, Art & Photography, Home & Garden, and more.

We hope that you’ll check it out and perhaps start your New Year with a fun new skill that may become your next passion.

A treat for you

Several seasons ago we sent a few dozen skeins of our New Mexico organic yarn to our friend Roy Kady in order to be hand painted. We received a wonderful care package this month filled with gorgeous skeins from the Navajo Nation that we want to share with you as a little holiday present.

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We have small quantities of limited edition Hand Painted New Mexico Organica 100% Fine Wool (Rambouillet) grown in New Mexico and hand dyed by the indigenous Diné (Navajo) community.

Using traditional methods of dying has resulted in a subdued palette of natural tones that reflect the high desert environment of the American Southwest. The skeins are named for the plants used to create each hue.

Even more exciting, part of the proceeds from the sales of these skeins will benefit the artists who painted them, allowing us to give back to the Native American community that is such a vital part of our heritage.

We hope that you’ll take a look at these skeins on our website, or visit our little shop to enjoy the colors in person. They are $15 each and will disappear quickly.

A new pattern from the pages of a fairytale

We have released a new pattern this week that you may find irresistible: Maisie designed by Cap Sease.

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This magical little red riding hood is sized for pint sized folks aged 2-4.  And we think it is darling.  The pattern calls for up to three skeins of any of our worsted weight yarns: Weekend Wool, Mountain Mohair, or the softest of the bunch: Green Mountain Green.

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While local temperatures have dropped below the “in between” Fall and Spring range that is perfect for this little poncho, this quick knit can be cast on and ready for the Spring thaw in no time.

You’ll enjoy working on the delicate cabling that decorates all sides and wraps around the edge of the hood.  This is a great pattern to work on through this Winter’s chill.

Give us a call or visit us to explore our rich spectrum of color options.  We look forward to your visit.

A few gift ideas

We had a wonderful time last weekend greeting visitors from all over the country who dropped in to the Spinnery during Putney’s 36th Annual Craft Tour.  We opened our doors to new friends and offered all who were interested tours of our facility.  By walking through the mill and explaining how our yarn is created, we were able to share our story and our passion for beautiful fiber.

Along with our tours we also offered our guests a chance to buy a selection of our “retired” shop samples.  These hand knit sweaters and accessories are destined to make wonderful holiday gifts this season for thrifty shoppers who won’t have to rush to finish knitted projects for friends and family on their gift list.

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There are a few remaining samples that are now available on our website.  If you are running short on holiday knitting time, take a minute to browse our selection.  You might find a perfect gift among them!

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We also have a shop full of great stocking stuffers: from crafty magazines, project totes, bottles of Eucalan, needles, hooks, and tools of all kinds.  We hope that if you are in the market for a crafty or handmade gift, you’ll stop in or give us a call.  We can offer you all kinds of suggestions that we hope will take a bit of the guesswork out of your holiday purchasing.

 

One skein (or less) wonders: M”ewe”sic

A few weeks ago Kate finished a beautiful stranded cowl designed by Ysolda Teague: Pyukleen.  We love the way this cowl knit up with 6 gorgeous tweedy our Mewesic.

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She had leftovers of four of the colors that were close to complete skeins.  She and Larisa spent some time on Ravelry looking for projects that can be finished with about 150 yards or less of DK weight yarn.  We found some great accessory patterns that can be quickly finished with singles skeins that you may want to consider for your last minute knitted gifts.

With the first of December just a couple of days away, we know that there is no time to waste.

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Eric’s Glovelets are a perfect gift!  These wrist warmers can be knit up with a skein or less of Spinnery Mewesic.  They are shown above in the Atlantis color.  You could also use a single skein of Mountain Mohair for a denser, warmer pair.

Kate knit up a version of Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s Sabi Hat with a single skein of Brickhouse.  This beanie is a fun knit whose crisp stitch pattern might appeal to both men and women on your gift list.

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The “high tide” beanie version of the new Spinnery Ebb Tide Hats can be knit up with less than a skein’s worth of Mewesic.  You can find more information in last week’s post.

And if you are willing to splurge on two skeins, you can make a Jul Hat designed by Jenny Gordy.  Larisa knit hers up with just over a single skein of the Diamonds & Rust color.

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Many of us at the Spinnery are busy knitting up our own collection of hand made gifts and we’ll have more project photos and suggestions to share with you as we approach the holidays.

We hope that you’ll give us a call at 800-321-9665 if you’d like us to provide you with some additional suggestions or better yet, we hope that you’ll have a chance to visit in person.  We’ look forward to seeing you soon.

An exclusive event

We have been working hard this week sprucing up the Spinnery in anticipation of the 36th annual Putney Craft Tour that will occur later this week.  We are thrilled to be a part of America’s oldest craft tour.

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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.  Our “retired” antique spinning bobbins will be available for $5 each.

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We have dozens of hand knit shop samples 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.

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And this one-of-a-kind hand woven shawl is $100 and all of the proceeds will be donated to the Putney Food Shelf.

We are looking forward to this weekend, and hope that you will be able to join the fun.

A new pattern just in time for holiday knits

We’ve released a new pattern this week that you may want to take a closer look at.  This is the Ebb Tide Hats pattern designed by Kate Salomon.  The pattern includes instructions for two version of the hat: a “low tide” slouch and a “high tide” beanie.

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This hat was inspired by long walks on the Cape Cod National Seashore.  We love the texture reminiscent of tide washed sand and windswept dunes. 

Knit up with Mewesic, with its rustic good looks and tweedy rich color, this hat knits up into a medium weight cap that drapes beautifully and wears well. Style, yarn, and two versions of the pattern combine into the perfect accessory for him or her!

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The pattern calls for a bit less than a single skein of DK weight yarn for the smaller beanie version and would look great with any of our DK yarns such as our New Mexico Organic (as seen above), our Cotton Comfort or our Alpaca Elegance.

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The 50/50 alpaca blend will provide beautiful drape for the “low tide” slouch hat which requires just over a single skein.  You’ll have plenty of yarn left over for some fingerless mitts!

This pattern may make for a fun collection of hand made gifts for everyone on your list this year.  Give us a call at 800-321-9665 and we can help you find the perfect colors for everyone you’d like to knit a “little something” for.

 

Brioche is beautiful

Last weekend a wonderful group of crafters converged here in Putney and spent three lovely days learning as much as possible about the brioche stitch from our friend Nancy Marchant.

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She is an inspiring teacher whose patience and devotion made our lessons fun and very informative.  She has spent the last 10 years exclusively knitting brioche and her passion for this technique spread through the room like wildfire.  Getting an exclusive sneak peek of samples of her newest patterns was a special bonus.

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Her newest book that includes these patterns is due to be released early next month.  Her wraps and scarves combine stunning vibrant yarns of all kinds with hypnotizing stitch patterns that are in fact not as difficult to execute as you might imagine.

It was wonderful to see such a rich variety of pattern variations and textures created with the basic brioche techniques that we covered in our workshop.

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Here you can see our friend and fellow student Donna (modeling her beautiful Gulfoss sweater) working on the first swatch of the workshop.  This lesson allowed us to practice increases and decreases in a single color.  After lunch, we tried our hand at two-colored brioche.

After a few more hours of instruction, Maureen was able to dive into Nancy’s Hegg Braid Brioche Scarf.  Beautiful!

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And Eric has started a deliciously cozy brioche textured cowl that will be a delight to wear through our coldest months this winter.

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It was a delightful weekend and we want to thank everyone who was a part of the fun.  We’d also like to extend a very warm thank you to Nancy for her excellent instruction.  It was a pleasure to learn from her and she has probably inspired more than one of us to visit her hometown Amsterdam with her wonderful anecdotes.

We are already looking ahead to our Spring gathering and hope to be able to lure Lorilee Beltman here to Putney to teach us about her remarkable vertical stranding techniques.  We will share more details with you about that as soon as we can.

A Knitalong to make your holidays a bit more fun

In anticipation of one of the heaviest travel days all year, we thought we’d start a KAL so that we can all be knitting together over Thanksgiving Weekend.

 

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We are all in love with Amy Christoffer’s new Gold Rush Shawl.  And we can’t help but feel as though it will be a perfect project to keep us all happily occupied through traffic jams, flight delays, football games or whatever else Thanksgiving Weekend and the holiday season in general have to throw at us.

 

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We hope that you will join the fun and cast on with us Monday November 24th. Our goal is to finish our shawls before December 31st.  We’ll be running a contest along with this KAL giving all of you who join along a chance to win a $25 Green Mountain Spinnery gift certificate.

Whoever posts the most about their project progress on the Spinnery’s Ravelry Thanksgiving 2014 KAL discussion board will be chosen as our lucky winner just in time for New Years!

Want one of your friends to join in giving you a great excuse to gather and knit? Think about gifting a copy of the pattern and encourage them to join the Spinnery Ravelry group if they aren’t already members.  Then you both can have a chance to win the contest!

 

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We can’t wait to see what you choose to cast on with (the pattern calls for four skeins of Spinnery Mewesic). Share photos of your skein selection, your progress, or even recipes that you and your family are enjoying this holiday season.  We want to know all about how this project makes your holidays a bit more fun.

Try something new

In our experience a terrific teacher or the right pattern can encourage a crafter to overcome their fears and doubts and attempt an untried technique.  We can’t wait to see what kind of magic happens this weekend when Nancy Marchant guides our Knitter’s Weekend group though the brioche stitch.

Last weekend, a new Ysolda pattern encouraged Kate to try Fair Isle for the first time.  Pyukkleen is a stranded color work cowl designed by Ysolda Teague that is part of her Knitworthy collection.  This group of patterns is designed to be approachable to knitters of all abilities.  Something about the delicious weight of this cowl made it very appealing to Kate and so she decided to give it a go.

 

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She thought that holding a double strand of Spinnery Mewesic would get her very close to gauge.  So she selected six warm autumnal tones and cast on before she could talk herself out of the idea.

She had so much fun that she quickly finished the project in a couple of days in spite of her weekend being filled with  trick-or-treaters, raking leaves, and making Irish stew.

“It practically knit itself!”

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She chose to remove a pattern repeat from the instructions making the circumference of the cowl a bit more snug to keep out winter chills.

 

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Even though she doubled her yarn as she worked, she has a great deal of remaining yarn to play with.  With almost four full skeins of yarn leftover, she can create four more knitworthy gifts for this holiday season.  She has plans for a set of wrist warmers and three hats that will make use of all this wonderful yarn.

So Ysolda’s pattern inspired Kate to try a new technique that now makes Fair Isle something that no longer intimidates her.  And results in a delightfully snug cowl as well as a handful of gifts that she’ll be able to give to friends and family. (We’ll share photos of those projects as they come off her needles in upcoming weeks).

We would love to inspire you to try something new this month.  Give us a call or send us an email and let us know what you might like to try next.  We will do our best to help you find the perfect pattern, delectable yarns, instructional video, or Craftsy class that might make that dream a reality!