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.


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.

© 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.

© 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.

© Annie Rowden

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.

© 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.

© 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.

© 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.


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.


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.



A little gift

Sugaring season is almost over here in Vermont which has us all very eager for Spring.  Temperatures are no longer dipping below freezing at night and while we are seeing some occasional snow flurries, the snow drifts are no longer deepening.

In celebration of the change of season, we’ve created a FREE pattern addendum to the very popular Ascutney Mountain Hat & Earwarmer pattern.  With our addendum, you can make a pair of boot toppers that feature that beautiful braided cable.


This pair was knit up with two skeins of our Weekend Wool.  This crisp 100% wool 2-ply yarn provides wonderful stitch definition to compliment the brilliant color palette.


What could be more fun that a pop of bright color to brighten up your work boots?


For those of you who already own a copy of the pattern, downloading the FREE addendum will set you on your way.  If necessary, purchasing a copy of the Ascutney pattern here will provide you with all  the information (and cable charts) that you’ll need.

Before you know it, signs of warmer weather to come will blossom all around us.  We can’t wait!

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.

cowl 01

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.

erics g
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.


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.

jul 01

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.


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.

craft samples

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.

food shelf

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.

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.

brioche group 01

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.

Brioche 08

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.

Brioche 01

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!


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


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.

But wait, there’s more!

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.




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.




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).




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

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.


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.

© 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.

© 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

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.


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
Brioche 04


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.