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Posts Tagged ‘accessories’

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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!

New Year, New Patterns

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Are your needles and hooks ready for something new? In this blog post we are rounding up the newest published patterns, including several from Green Mountain Spinnery, to inspire your next project!

First, the latest designs in your favorite Green Mountain Spinnery yarns. The Little Man Cardigan by Rachel Stecker is a top-down raglan sweater with inset pockets, contrast detail, and a pint-size shawl collar in Cotton Comfort. The Enterprise Hat by Eric Robinson is a great way to use up small amounts of Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool. A garter stitch brim is worked flat, then folded for double warmth. When doubled around your neck the soft frills of the Frilly Mobius Cowl by Cap Sease will keep your neck warm with style; calls for Simply Fine.

Did you spot these recently published designs? Marly Bird, our featured workshop teacher for the upcoming Sugar Season Retreat, designed the Nottingham Sweater, which was the cover item on the Winter 2013 Love of Knitting. This sweater was originally knit in Wonderfully Woolly; Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool would be great choices to substitute. Amy Herzog’s Noanet Peak set knits up quickly, is cozy warm, and has kicky stripes to keep you interested. Any combination of the Alpaca Elegance colorways would look wonderful. Calabash, designed by Amy Christoffers for the Winter 2013 Twist Collective, feels traditional and modern.

Like most of the United States this month, we’ve been dealing with truly frigid temperatures that make us glad we can stay warm in our handknit layers and under a pile of wool! Have any of the recent snow events or temperature dips inspired you to cast on a new project? Let us know on our Facebook page or in our Ravelry group!

 

Quick and Festive

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Here we are, in the week before Christmas! We hope that you are looking forward to the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays. In this blog post we want to share with you a few projects in Green Mountain Spinnery yarns that will work up quickly if you find yourself in need of a last minute gift or just want to make something quick for yourself, which is ok – you deserve it!

Capricorn, our bulky-weight yarn that is lofty and very warm, is the obvious choice for “finish in a weekend” sort of projects.  From left to right: nutmegknitter’s Cloudy Sky Mobius Cowltonyfan4ever’s Angie’s Earwarmers, and SpindlBratt’s Pillbox Party Hat.

Winter weather is here and maybe having extra hats, scarves, or mitts would be handy as you rush about to finish errands or see family. These projects are each made from free patterns. From left to right: mrstex’s Christmas hat for MIL, FarmerGirl’s January Scarf each in Mountain Mohair, and deborahh’s Toasty1 in Sylvan Spirit.

This wreath is not knit or crochet, but does use Spinnery yarn. Spinnery friend Tedd Kapinos made this for us and we proudly and lovingly display it each year!

We have had a wonderful year thanks to all our fiber friends! We are looking forward to a wonderful 2014 as well. Be sure to keep an eye on your favorite social media channel (our Ravelry group, our Facebook page, Twitter, even our newsletter and of course this blog) for all the Green Mountain Spinnery news and events!

Customer Project Round-Up

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Green Mountain Spinnery continues to strive to create yarns of the highest quality, to help sustain regional sheep farming, and to develop environmentally sound ways to process natural fibers. Seeing our yarns worked up by our fans and friends makes all the work worthwhile. Today we’d like to use this blog post to put the spotlight on projects recently completed in Spinnery yarns.

Our Fall Hike KAL recently wrapped up in our Ravelry group. Participants knit up a variety of items and are ready for the upcoming winter season! These sweaters were knit during the KAL, from left to right: Finnsmydog’s Strokkur sweater in Green Mountain Green, Coldtoesneedsocks’ Jackaroo sweater in Alpaca Elegance, and Knitngtriathlete’s Autumn End II sweater, also in Alpaca Elegance.

Accessories may be quicker to complete than a sweater, but they can be just as satisfying! They are a great way to try out a new-to-you yarn or colorway! Here we have, from left to right: Luvthesnow’s Japanese Wave Mittens in Mountain Mohair, MarkinSF’s Mittens #1 Learning to Cable in New Mexico Organic, and Caramora’s Fishbone Snood in Sylvan Spirit.

One of our Ravelry group members, Malone, has had a highly productive fall! You can see all her Spinnery yarn projects here. During our Fall KAL she knit up a pair of Lodestar Mittens in Weekend Wool and Margaret’s Tam in Alpaca Elegance (both from our Green Mountain Weekend Ebook), and a set of Cider Press Mitts in Maine Organic.

We love to see your projects – finished and in progress! You are welcome to share them in our Ravelry group, on our Facebook page and even send us a Tweet. For even more project inspiration, check out our Pinterest boards!

 

 

 

Ready for Fall

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

We are welcoming Fall with open arms and yarn and needles at the ready. Here in Vermont at the Spinnery, the air is cooler and makes you want to breathe a little deeper. Sunny days invite us to get outside to go for a hike or join friends at a tailgate party. These are the occasions and places, along with the fiber festivals that we have posted about before, where it is completely okay to pull out your favorite hand knit and crochet accessory items.

Make sure you take care of warming up your head, hands and feet with projects that work up quickly while making the most of one or two skeins of yarn. We think any of these would be perfect to start now, and maybe you would like to join our KAL / CAL happening over in our Ravelry group! From left to right: Phoebe Cowl in Simply Fine, Eric’s Glovelets in Sylvan Spirit, Icebreaker Hat in Mountain Mohair (click here for team-inspired color combinations!),

We are also inspired by the work of our fans and friends. Here are a few projects shared with us on Ravelry. From left to right: savoryknitting’s Hat for Malone in Weekend Wool, lizhonig’s Ribbed Mitts in New Mexico Organic, and Malone’s Plover Shawl in Simply Fine.

How are you welcoming Fall? Have you worn a special handknit accessory while you are out leaf peeping this season? You can find the Green Mountain Spinnery on Facebook, Ravelry, Pinterest and Twitter – tag us! Enjoy this fleeting season!

 

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