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But wait, there’s more!

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

We have had a busy summer at the Spinnery, and our beautiful new yarn Mewesic isn’t the only new offering we have to share with you.  We have several new patterns that we’ve released this week that you may want to take a closer look at.

 

snowfall

 

Here you can see Lauren modeling the Snowfall Scarf designed by Cap Sease.  This delicate accessory can be beautifully knit up with 2 skeins of Spinnery Sock Art or Simply Fine.  The graduated lace pattern illustrates either an accumulation of snowflakes or a gentle tapering of a blizzard into a light dusting depending on your perspective.

We also have a warm hat to add to our collection of patterns.  Melissa Johnson designed the Lattice Cable Hat with brisk Vermont mornings in mind.

 

lattice

 

The double brim created with lush garter stitch can ensure warm ears no matter how cold it gets.  These were knit up with a single skein of Spinnery Maine Organic (in the foreground) or two skeins of Dark Green Mountain Green (in the background).

 

diagonal

 

If you are looking for something a little more substantial to snuggle into this winter, you should consider casting on for our new Diagonal Blanket designed by Cap Sease.  This elegantly simple design combines simple stockinette and garter stitch texture with a bias construction that is made more complex by the tonal variations in the variegated Green Mountain Green yarn it was knit up with.

This blanket is an easy introduction to both diagonal and multi-directional knitting.  The pattern is a pleasure to work, and you’ll enjoy seeing how the subtle tone shifts in the variegated yarn make each row unique.

 

Brioche 02

Last but not least is Maureen Clark’s FREE Duet Cowl pattern.  This brioche stitch infinity cowl highlights the tweedy rich colors of our new DK weight Mewesic.  The pattern calls for a single skein of two colors for a richly textured accessory that has no wrong side.

This week on our Facebook page, we are running a little contest that you may want to enter.  The winner (who will be chosen at random on Thursday September 25th) will receive a kit that includes a copy of this pattern and two skeins of yarn in their choice of colors!

We hope that our new patterns offer you some inspiration to get cast on for some fresh new knits this season.  We look forward to see what you work on next!

 

Ombre knitting with Simply Fine

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Last week we shared some beautiful project ideas for the Spinnery’s hand painted skeins of Simply Fine on our Facebook page.  We have found that many of us are drawn to work on smaller accessory projects with lightweight yarn while summer’s heat still lingers.

This fingering weight single ply yarn is a wonderfully soft blend of 60% Fine wool and 40% premium kid mohair.  Our friend Melissa Johnson who dyes these skeins for us has made each one a work of art.  And the beauty of this yarn lends itself perfectly to delicate shawls, scarves and cowls.

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While browsing through Ravelry, enjoying the photos of finished projects we found created with Simply Fine, we found a stunning collection of projects that were created with the variegated skeins of the Simply Fine. These undyed skeins are naturally “painted” by blending the different  fibers in the carding process so that the yarn is softly striated with a spectrum of tones from brown, taupe, to grey.

© heidelblogknits

© heidelblogknits

This soft ombre effect can be just as dramatic as a pop of pure bright color.  We thought that we’d share some of our favorite photos with you this week, so that you could also enjoy the effects of this special yarn.

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© emiliewilliams

This is our Ravelry friend Emilie’s Holden Shawl.  This lacey design by Mindy Wilkes can be created with one to two skeins of Simply Fine depending on the size of the finished shawl you’d prefer.  We have a sample of this eye-catching shawl in our shop and it continually steals the show.

© heidelblogknits

© heidelblogknits

Those beautiful striations of natural color make our friend Christine’s version of Stephen West’s Boneyard Shawl a real stunner.  We love how the simple stripes of purl stitch texture pairs with the changes of color.  This FREE pattern can be knit up with just a single skein as you see here.  Or a larger version can be made with an additional skein to provide more depth to snuggle into.

© ewoll

© ewoll

Our Ravelry friend Elizabeth has used the yarn for a couple of projects.  First, is Katharina Nopp’s FREE pattern for the Wurm hat. This slouchy welted hat has a folded brim for extra warmth for your ears.  Elizabeth made some pattern modifications to adjust the pattern for her gauge, since the pattern calls for a sport weight yarn.

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© ewoll

Next is the FREE Less is More Shawl designed by maanel.  This version was created with roughly a skein and a half of the variegated Simply Fine.  This slightly asymmetrical shawl is knits sideways, and the pattern allows for size adjustments to fit your preference.

© MaryDenise

© MaryDenise

Last but certainly not least, is Mary’s version of Lisa Mutch’s Nimbus Shawl.  The sections of the shawl drape beautifully around one’s shoulders making a flattering accessory with stunning drape and an unusual overall shape.  The garter stitch texture provides more substance to the design rendering it more plush. Mary used a single skein for her project.

We have a few more projects to share with you that will be featured on our Facebook page.  We hope that you’ve enjoyed the selection and that these lovely photos might inspire your next project.

Thank you to all of the knitters who so generously shared their photos with all of us.

We are getting excited about brioche

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

November is quickly approaching, and we are starting to get excited about this fall’s Knitter’s Weekend.  It is the perfect time of year to be in New England enjoying the fall color and the crisp air.  The golden light is magical and we hope that you can come and experience it for yourself.

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Nancy Marchant will be joining us in Putney, Vermont  the weekend of November 7th-9th to teach the brioche stitch.  This is a great opportunity to add luscious texture and stunning, reversible patterns to your knitting.  For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the brioche stitch you can learn the basics in the video below.

Inspired by Nancy’s imminent visit, Maureen has been working on a new brioche infinity cowl.  We had a mini fashion show at the shop this morning.  This deliciously soft and stretchy infinity cowl can be worn in all kinds of ways.  Just the thing to keep you snug on a snowy morning or to throw over your shoulders as a little shrug.

Brioche 01Brioche 02

 

Brioche 03

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We’ll be publishing a pattern shortly.  In the meantime, you may want to peruse the hundreds of FREE brioche patterns available on Ravelry.  You will be stunned by the beauty and versatility of this stitch.

We hope that you will consider adding the brioche stitch to your knitting repertoire.  It is a wonderful technique that could provide you with a winter season full of fun new projects that will keep you extra warm with squishably soft ribs of beautiful color that will fly off your needles.

 

 

Queen Anne’s Lace and Circular Shawls

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

There is a bumper crop of gorgeous flowers growing by the side of the road at the Spinnery this week.  These blossoms have us thinking of circular lace shawls that might mimic their delicate finery.

 

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One of the most widely knit circular shawl is the Pi Shawl from Elizabeth Zimmerman.  Over 2,100 Ravelers have cast on for this pattern.  From the pages of her Knitter’s Almanac, Elizabeth describes the project:

“When you set out on the annual family trip naturally you have to take your knitting; something has to keep you sane in face of the possibly quite ferocious situations you will be up against in the next two weeks.

Try a shawl.

I have a circular shawl for you which starts at the center, has absolutely no pattern, and only six shaping-rounds in the whole thing.”

What could be simpler?  And the stunning variety of the projects on Ravelry clearly show how this simple recipe can create a unique shawl that like a snowflake or a flower has a breathtaking grace.  Using Spinnery Simply Fine yarn might be a perfect choice.  Selecting the variegated color will add another level of complexity to your project.

For those of you feeling more ambitious, you may want to try one of a pair of circular shawls designed by Audry Nicklin that portray the stars in the night sky oriented from either the north or south poles.  The lacework of this shawl is combined with beads for a bit of extra sparkle.

© Jane Heller

© Jane Heller

 

This stunning shawl Celestarium uses eyelets and beads as stars with the center representing Polaris.  We can’t think of a more beautiful way to capture memories of summer evenings spent stargazing.  Our Spinnery Sock Art Forest or Meadow might be a perfect yarn for this project, requiring just three skeins to complete.

Eric has a stunning circular shawl on the needles right now.  We can’t share project details or photos yet, in part because we haven’t yet released the yarn she’s using, and in part because she is eager to block out her work so that it looks its very best.  We hope to show you those photos in upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, you may want to take a look at some of the other 274 circular lace shawl patterns that are available on Ravelry. Let us know if we can help you find the perfect Spinnery yarn for an end of summer project that will capture the fleeting beauty of a summer bouquet.

 

You’re invited!

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

All of us can agree that when it comes to buying yarn, there is no substitute for getting to see and touch the skeins in person.  Brochures and computer monitors rarely do the colors justice.  And getting a true sense of the feel of the yarn is essential.

We think that the same can be said of knitted samples.  You can learn far more about a sweater by trying it on than you might imagine.  You can assess its sizing and length, if it is flattering to your figure, and if you’d prefer the sweater with some ease and how much.

With all of this in mind, we have a fun event to invite you to!

14 Green Mountain TeaWritten Words Bookstore is sponsoring a deliciously fun event at Stockbridge’s Gourmet Cheesecakes and Cafe (located at 509 Howe Ave. in Shelton, CT).  On Sunday June 22nd Maureen will be “setting up shop” at the southern end of I91 giving those of you in that area a unique opportunity to have Spinnery yarn and samples brought to you!

She is going to be bringing copies of our very popular book: 99 Yarns and Counting.  She’ll also be bringing samples from the book, and mini skeins of some of our favorite yarns so that you can knit a swatch or two that afternoon.  If you find the perfect pattern and yarn to start it with, she may have just the skeins you need.  (Since she won’t be able to transport our entire shop we may have to send your selection to you on Monday when she returns).

You’ll want to get your tickets ahead of time as they won’t be available at the door.  You can secure your spot at our fun afternoon by calling 203-362-9114.  

We hope to see you there!

A new yarn for the Spinnery: Alashan

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

The Spinnery was founded on a commitment to providing locally sourced yarns. We wanted to connect discriminating knitters and crocheters with yarns that are created from the beautiful fleeces that are grown on small farms across the country. Our link in this locavore chain means that all of us can make more informed choices in terms of the sustainability of the fibers we love.

This passion for responsible fiber has brought us to an interesting turning point. Today we have a very special yarn to introduce to you to that comes from the other side of the world. This yarn wasn’t created from the fleeces of nearby animals, nor was it spun here at the Spinnery. However, due to the current global marketplace for fiber, this yarn impacts us and our environment.

Our friends at Ecologia drew our attention to the grasslands of Inner Mongolia with an award winning article written by Evan Osnos that was published in the Chicago Tribune.  (The article was written in 2006, but now eight years later, the facts remain undisputed and Ecologia’s connections in the area have confirmed that progress has been slow in improving the situation.  A recently published article about the True Cost of Cashmere by Melissa Mall also confirms that  the damage caused by Cashmere goats is a current issue for the area).

America’s insatiable appetite for inexpensive cashmere has wreaked havoc on the fragile ecosystem of the Alashan plateau. Shepherds there have felt the devastating results of over-grazing; and many have been forced out of the area or into other lines of work. And the goats are barely surviving on unsustainable diets of imported corn.

Even though the fragile ecosystem of the Alashan plateau is a world away, air monitors on the West Coast have been able to confirm rising pollution levels that are attributable to the loss of these rich grasslands.  Without the grass to anchor it in place, dust is blown thousands of miles away in sand storms that impact the air quality here in the US.

 

 

What may eventually save that fragile ecosystem is a revival of the local camel population. Bactrian (two hump) camels have long been a valuable animal in the Inner Mongolian ecosystem, providing wonderfully soft, warm fiber; as well as traditional transportation across the dunes that once were part of the Silk Road. These animals are well adapted to that rugged environment, and cause far less damage than goats by grazing higher up on fragile plants that are uprooted by a goat’s voracious appetite and pointy hooves.

 

alashan

 

We all have a bewildering richness of choice in the fiber marketplace these days. It is possible for almost any item to be delivered to our doorstep. And it can be startling to recognize how our purchasing decisions can impact those who live half a world away.  When we spoke with Randy at Ecologia earlier this week, he confirmed that our new Alashan yarn encourages and provides a livelihood for  the remote herdsman who are eager to see a positive change in their part of the world.

We thought that this very special yarn was worth getting involved with. Purchasing, using, and sharing the story of this yarn will change the world; just a little, but enough to be worthwhile.  You can learn more about Ecologia’s efforts to support the camel fiber industry of Inner Mongolia here.

We hope that you will check out the beautifully hand-dyed skeins that we have available while supplies last.  And a beautiful new Milan shawl pattern that Maureen designed in honor of this new arrival!  This exclusive pattern is our FREE gift to you with the purchase of Alashan.

 

milan 02

 

This yarn is perfect for luxuriously soft accessories that will become instant heirlooms.  The 350 yard skeins are more than enough for a shawl, scarf or cowl that will cradle your neck in downy warmth.  The stitch definition is terrific, and will remain crisp as the day it was knit for ages.  You may decide that it is just the thing for your special holiday gift this year.

We hope to share more photos of this lovely yarn in the future as new colors are developed and more skeins are knit up into beautiful samples.

 

What’s new?

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

You may have already seen our brand new patterns if you follow us on Facebook.  We gave our friends there a sneak peek of the four new patterns that made their debut this week at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.

Gee's_photo

For those of you out there who are able to crochet (or are ready to give it a try) Gee’s Bend Afghan is a cozy, warm afghan inspired by the corduroy color block quilts of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. It was designed by our friend and neighbor Melissa Johnson.   You could vary the colors and sizes of the blocks to suit your own personal style and yarn supply. Working in bold colors and single crochet throughout makes the afghan fun and quick to create.

Gauge: 12 SCs and 12 rows over 4 in / 10 cm
Size: approximately 44 in / 112 cm wide x 62 in / 157 cm long
Yarn: Weekend Wool – 12 skeins in assorted colors
Hook: Size K / 7 mm

Pictured in Natural Dark, Poppy, Blue Jay, Spruce, Pine Warbler, Lichen and Pumpkin Weekend Wool.

Islander_Pullover_photo

Next up is lovely Tracy modelling the Islander Pullover designed by Libby Mills and Cap Sease!  The Islanders’ Vest pattern has been such a big hit that we decided to turn it into a pullover. Knit in one piece from the bottom up in Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair, it has easy inserted sleeves that are knit right on. Minimal finishing means you’ll be able to wear your masterpiece almost as soon as it is off the needles.

Gauge: 18 sts over 4 in / 10 cm
Finished Chest Measurement: approx. 35 (38, 42, 45, 49) in / 89 (97, 106.5, 115, 124.5) cm
Yarn: Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair – 7 (8, 8, 8, 9) skeins
Needles: Size 7 US / 4.5 mm circular needles, 16 in / 40 cm AND 29 in / 60 cm long AND dpn, size 7 US / 4.5 mm

Shown here in Spruce Weekend Wool.

Equinox_Poncho_photo

Lauren is wearing the Equinox Poncho designed by yours truly! This is a simple poncho, with an elegant chevron edge and the option to personalize fit, this is the perfect garment for spring when knit in Cotton Comfort. Alpaca Elegance will make it a bit warmer, and Sylvan Spirit will add a tad more drape.

Gauge: 28 sts over 4 in / 10 cm before blocking
Size: approximately 64 in / 163 cm wide x 22 in /56 cm long after blocking
Yarn: Cotton Comfort, Alpaca Elegance or Sylvan Spirit – 7 skeins
Needles: Size US 5 / 3.75 mm circular needle, at least 32 in / 80 cm long

Shown here in Cotton Comfort Silver.

Wicked_Good_photo

Last but not least is a fun new accessory pattern brought to us by Rachel Stecker.  Her Wicked Good Moxie Hat and Handwarmer pattern makes a fun set that we imagine will be a huge hit this fall as the weather starts to cool, and knitters start looking for perfect holiday gifts.  You could get a head start this year!

Sizes: Hat – Infant (S, M, L) Finished hat circumference approximately 16¾ (20, 20¾, 21½) in / 43 (51, 53, 55) cm
Gauge: 20 sts over 4 in / 10 cm
Yarn: Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair – 2 skeins
Needles: Size 6 US / 4 mm AND size 7 US / 4.5 mm circular needles 16 in / 40 cm long AND size 5 US / 3.75 mm needles, any type, AND dpn, size 7 US / 4.5 mm, cable needle

Shown here in Deep Lake.

We hope that you are as excited as we are about these fun new patterns.  You can find a downloadable copy of any of these new patterns for purchase on our website.  They are $7 each.  You can also call us at the shop at any time at 800-321-9665 if you have questions or would like our help picking out the perfect Spinnery yarns to work with. 

If you are in the New Hampshire area this weekend you can check out these samples in person.  We’ll be in Deerfield at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival.  And next week you can stop into the Spinnery to visit us and try them on.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Meet a Spinnery knitter

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

If you have “liked” our page or postings on Facebook, you will have already seen some of the beautiful projects that our friend Melissa has created using Green Mountain Spinnery yarns.  We found her projects on Ravelry, and we thought it might be fun to learn a little bit more about Melissa.   We imagine that you will enjoy seeing some of her projects and finding out a bit more about what she loves to work on.

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Who taught you how to knit?

One day while exploring, my mom and I saw the book Knitting Pretty: Simple Instructions for 30 Fabulous Projects by Kris Percival.  We bought it thinking it would be fun to learn together.  At the time I had a long commute on the train, so I taught myself how to knit using that book.  About 5 years later I taught my mom; and even later I taught my daughter.

How were you introduced to Green Mountain Spinnery?

My husband, daughter and I had recently moved to New England and I saw an article about the Spinnery in a magazine.  The article mentioned that visitors could go on a tour.  I already loved the yarn and was curious to see how it was made – it seemed like a perfect reason to organize an outing.

We decided to make a girls’ trip out of it – my daughter and I met my mom in Putney and spent the weekend.  We explored the area and did many fun things. By far our favorite part was the Spinnery.

Do you have a favorite GMS yarn (and why)? ?

I love all of the colors of Mountain Mohair – they are great for colorwork.  But I bought a skein of Simply Fine (natural) at Rhinebeck and that is hands down my favorite.  I am planning to copy the booth sample of the Holden Shawlette – it was stunning.

holden

* The Holden Shawlette is a $6 pattern designed by Mindy Wilkes and is available on Ravelry.  Our sample seen above was knitted with a single skein of Simply Fine in the Variegated color.

What technique/skill have you most recently learned?

I recently knit the Lotus Blossom Hat by Melissa Johnson because I wanted to practice stranded colorwork.  It was the perfect project for that, and I knit most of the hat with yarn in both hands – it worked well, and it was a new technique for me!

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What technique/skill are you eager to tackle next?

I really enjoy knitting socks and am a big fan of DPNs, but I think I need to try Magic Looping.  That is next on my list.

You may want to friend Melissa on Ravelry so that you can see what she’s up to.  We know that whatever she casts on will be inspiring for the rest of us.  We can’t wait to see what Melissa knits up next!

Let’s root for the home team!

Wednesday, 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.

 

Spotlight on Customer Projects

Tuesday, 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!

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