New for fall (part one)

Autumn has so many iconic signs: shorter days, crisp temperatures, turning and falling leaves and the start of school. Each of us marks the change of the seasons with a different indicator, but all of us here at the Spinnery are feeling ready for the start of a new season!

As our youngsters head back to school this week, we are packing up for the first Sheep and Wool Festival of our Fall season. Next weekend in Jefferson Wisconsin we’ll be introducing several new patterns and colors!

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First we’d like to introduce you to a lovely crescent shawl pattern created by Cap Sease: the Guilford Shawl.  This lushly garter stitch textured accessory is created with 2 skeins of our Simply Fine in the Variegated color.  The delicate lace border is worked as you go, so there is no seaming or finishing to slow you down.

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Kate Salomon has designed two sweaters for this fall.  The first, shown above, is the Hatteras Cardigan.  This light layering piece is knit up with the Spinnery’s new 100% wool fingering weight yarn, Lana; and the fabric is appealingly comforting and breathable.

The pattern features an unusual top-down construction that creates a bias hem decorated with a twisted rib border.  It includes four sizes ranging from finished bust sizes of 38″ to 50″ and can be knit up with just 3 to 4 skeins of any of our Sock Art yarns.

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On the warmer side, is the Beekeeper’s Smock.  This oversized pull-over features cuffs and a funnel neck decorated with a honeycomb cable pattern.  It also has contrast pop color pockets and lined neck for a touch of color that will play beautifully off the tweedy Yarn Over the pattern calls for.

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This year’s limited edition version of our bulky recycled yarn comes in two colors, Smoke on the left and Flannel on the right.  The beekeeper’s smock can be knit up as quick as a wink with either 5 or 6 skeins (and an additional single skein or worsted weight Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair for that fun pop of color).

And that’s not all!  Next week we’ll have more new patterns to share with you.  And, we’ll be premiering 6 new shades of our very popular Weekend Wool.

We hope that you can visit our booth in Jefferson, our mill in Putney or our website from the comfort of your own home over the next couple of weeks as all of our hard work this summer comes to fruition just in time for your autumn knitting plans.

We’re on the cover!

The Fall issue of Knitscene has hit the news stand and we’re thrilled that our yarn is featured on the cover!

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The Barton Cowl designed by Laura Reinbach is knit up with 3 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery’s Simply Fine.  Shown above in 2 skeins of the undyed Natural Dark color and a single skein of Azalea.

This beautiful infinity cowl is started with a provisional cast on and knit as a tube, keeping all your color work ends and floats neatly tucked inside.  To finish, all the live stitches are grafted together to create a seamless circle.

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© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

This single ply fingering weight yarn is created with a blend of our softest mohair and finest wool.  It blooms when washed and creates a downy soft fabric that is a pleasure to wear against the skin.  We have a beautiful selection of hand painted colors that will shine in contrast with our lovely un-dyed neutrals.

And that’s not all!  Included in the pages of this issue is a multiple page book excerpt from The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting by Faina Goberstein and Simona Merchat-Dest.

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This three page primer provides a taste of the terminology and diagrams of this wonderful color work technique that is going to be the topic of this fall’s Knitters’ Weekend Retreat.  You can learn more about it here.

Faina will be here in Putney Vermont sharing her tips and tricks with us on November 11th – 13th.  Our Knitters’ Weekend is a very special gathering.  You’ll have a chance to learn from an expert in the field with fewer than 20 other students ensuring an intimate gathering where you’ll get all the support you need while making new friends.

New England is at its most beautiful in the fall and we know that you’ll enjoy your visit that will be full of yarn, laughter, and learning.  We hope that you’ll be able to participate!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

Mini bundles of fun

In celebration of the beginning of Spring, we have created “bouquets” of fun color for you to play with!

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Knowing how popular our worsted weight Mountain Mohair is for color work projects, we have bundled five Mountain Mohair mini skeins into a fun collection of yarn for you to enjoy!

These skeins are each approximately 50 yards, giving you plenty of yardage for small accessories of many colors or a fun way to add a pop of color here and there to other larger projects.

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If you are looking for some project inspiration, you might want to take a look at our Mini Mitts.  Cap Sease created a fun pair of fingerless mitts using just two of these mini skeins.

A bundle would provide you with the yardage for a couple of pairs.  If you wanted matching mitts, you could use the mini skeins for pops of color on a much larger collection of mitts to give as gifts or to match every outfit and mood.

There are hundreds of other accessory project suggestions to be found on Ravelry.  Our favorite may be the Algonguin Hats designed by Thea Colman which calls for a single skein of Mountain Mohair as a main color and just 50 yards of a contrast color to create a beanie with a hint of slouch and gorgeous textured color.

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The color selection of the Mountain Mohair Minis that you’ll receive is random and sure to compliment each other beautifully.  We can’t wait to see what you make with them!

Spreading sunshine

Sometimes we are drawn to work with a particular yarn because the color speaks to us, at times its the texture or quality of the fiber; and occasionally our selection can be influenced by larger, global considerations.  When our choice makes a positive impact on folks we’ve never met, every one of us wins.

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For over a decade, we have sourced the organic cotton used in our Cotton Comfort yarn from the folks at the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative.  They work exclusively with small family run farms in and around Lubbock, Texas.

“This region of Texas, the heart of “the world’s largest cotton patch,” is well-suited to the production of organic cotton.  Winter temperatures are cold enough to limit insect pressure and provide a hard freeze to defoliate the cotton plants prior to mechanical harvest. In addition, a sunny climate and quick-drying soils facilitate timely weed control.”

Their certified organic fiber is tracked from the field to the bale and so we know exactly where our fiber comes from and whom to thank.

When interviewed for The True Cost, La Reah Pepper (an organic cotton farmer who grew up just south of Lubbock, TX) speaks passionately about the benefits of organic growing practices.

“Organic promotes life and creates solutions. Organic agriculture promotes life in the soil, increased bio-diversity, increased food-security, ability to mitigate impacts of climate change with stronger carbon sequestration, the reduced use of irrigation where that applies, and the elimination of toxic and persistent pesticides from the water we drink and the air we breathe. It is also life for communities, catalyzing job creation with the increased crop selections as a result of the shift from a mono-crop culture and the employment of more people to care for the crop during the growing season.

It also means life for farm families ensuring that their fields are safe places to work and to play – to live!!”

We’ve been lucky to work with the team at Texas Organic who have always been able to send us a bale of the best quality cotton that meets our staple length specifications.  Since it is currently only used in our Cotton Comfort yarn and a few of our custom lot projects, it usually takes us a few years to work through the hundreds of pounds of cotton when it arrives. But from the warmth and kindness we’ve always enjoyed when working with Kelly Pepper, you’d think that we were their best customers.

Kate recently completed a project using our Cotton Comfort that was inspired by her trip to Stitches West in Santa Clara.  We asked her to bring a bit of that Californian sunshine back with her, and she did in the form of a beautifully sunny shawl!

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Using Isabell Kraemer’s Paris Toujours pattern, and three skeins of Yarrow Cotton Comfort, she quickly knit up a delightfully squishy and comforting wrap.  She found the lace repeat called for in the pattern was easily memorized making it a perfect project for a long flight.  Her project grew quickly as she flew across the country and back and now she has an accessory that will brighten her days when showers are in the forecast.

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We hope that when you are interested in casting on for a project that calls for a DK weight yarn, you might consider using our Cotton Comfort line.  Your choice will have a larger impact than you might have imagined.

We are headed west

Our production team has been busy this week packing up dozens of boxes of patterns and yarn that will be headed to Santa Clara to be featured in the Green Mountain Spinnery booth at Stitches West.  Kate and Maureen will be in booths 817-819 at the Convention Center from February 18th – 21st with our yarns, patterns, and samples to share with you.

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They will be featuring a new pattern available as an exclusive kit for Stitches West attendees.  The Beinecke Cowl designed by Cap Sease features blocks of garter and lace inspired by Yale University’s landmark library.

This infinity cowl can be created with two skeins of Spinnery Sylvan Spirit.  Our exclusive kit will include the pattern, the yarn, and a fun gift, all for $40.  Visitors will be able to select their preferred color from our entire line of Sylvan Spirit including the new colors that we created last Spring.

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We hope that you’ll mark your calendars and be able to stop by the Spinnery’s home away from home.  We have even more to share with you and inspire your next knits.

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.

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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.

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© 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.

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© 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!

 

And that’s not all…

Last week we shared with you Amy Christoffer’s Coolidge Cardigan pattern, a lovely moss stitch and lace creation that Maureen has already cast on for.  She is making a version in Pumpkin Weekend Wool that just might be ready to make its debut at Rhinebeck.

This week we wanted to draw your attention to the handful of other recently published patterns available on Ravelry that call for Spinnery yarns.

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Among our favorites is Annie Rowden’s Polka Dot Tunic.  This pattern includes sizing for 6 months to 12 years and the design could transition from a dress to a tunic worn over leggings as the little one who wears it grows.  Annie knit this up with Spinnery Sylvan Spirit.

This pattern is part of the Knittin’ Little Fall 2015 Collection that includes designs from 6 popular designers with a little something for every discriminating kiddo that you may be knitting for.

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© Therese Chynoweth

Our friend Therese has designed a lush cabled pillow that is perfect for snuggling into on long winter evenings.  Her Long Weekend Cabled Pillow pattern calls for Alpaca Elegance and would satisfy a project need for those of you eager to nest as our days get shorter.

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© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

If a smaller project is more your speed, you may want to consider Amy Palmer’s top-down Mewesic Socks.  This pattern is available for FREE when you purchase either the digital or physical edition of Knitscene Winter 2015 from the Interweave online store. Never fear! The pattern  will be available for free to everyone in the near future.

And for you hookers out there, Marly Bird has recently published a beautiful shawl that also calls for Spinnery Mewesic yarn.

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© Love of Crochet

You’ll find her Camilla Shawl in the pages of the Fall 2015 issue of Love of Crochet.  It calls for a skein each of two colors of our DK weight wool yarn.  Just beautiful!

There are even more patterns for you to choose from.  Browsing the selection on Ravelry may help you find the perfect new pattern to start next  Feel free to give us a call or stop by the Spinnery; we’d love to help you find the perfect yarn selection for your next project.

Maureen’s new shawl

While traveling last week, Maureen had plenty of time to work on a new shawl.  She cast off her last few stitches as we drove back to Vermont from Maryland and will be able to model it this weekend at the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival.

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This is the Lallybroch Shawl designed by our friend Marly Bird.  This pattern was recently published in the Spring 2015 issue of Love of Knitting.  (We have a couple of copies still available).

Marly has confessed that this shawl was inspired by the one worn by Claire on the tv show Outlander.  And we should confess that if we had remembered to pack the cord we needed for the truck’s stereo, we would have been listening to one of the audiobooks in the series while Maureen was knitting and Kate drove.

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Maureen’s version was knit up with two colors of the pattern’s called for Spinnery Alpaca Elegance: Chai and Cocoa.  We love the warmth of these two colors together and it looks beautiful on Maureen.

We hope that you’ll be able to visit us at the festival this weekend so that you can see this beautiful shawl for yourself.  It is likely that you’ll want to cast on for your own without delay.