We’re into the double digits on our advent calendars and we know that the remaining days will pass in a flash. If you are planning to hand craft your holiday gifts this year, we thought we’d share a few project ideas that could be created in an afternoon (or less) of knitting or crocheting.
We hope that you’ll be able to get any one of these (or even a handful of them) under the tree just in time.
Our go-to yarn choice for last minute knits would have to be Capricorn. Our bulky single ply yarn knits up in a flash at roughly 3 stitches per inch on US 10 needles. Everything created with this blend of wool and mohair is cozy warm and deliciously soft. The delicate halo from the mohair makes these items even more snuggly looking.
Our Capricorn Hats and the Steps and Ladders Hat (on the left) knit up quickly; and that stranded color work ensures a double layer of yarn over your ears for a very snug and cozy hat. You could combine contrasting colors of our soft neutrals or provide a pop of color with one of the hand-painted skeins that Melissa has created for us.
Ellen Mason’s Polka Knot Hat, Ekaterina Blanchard’s Pomme hat and Johnny Vasquez’s FREE Gridiron Hat are a few other great alternatives that can be knit with a single skein (or a bit less).
If you think that a cowl might better fit the bill, we can recommend several FREE patterns: Purl Bee’s Bandana Cowl or Garter Gaiter are both quick knits; and Kathryn Jones’ Catesby Three-Hour Cowl is a crochet project that looks fun.
If you’d like to give the gift of warm hands, you might want to consider using a single strand of our Capricorn to knit up our Bulky Mittens (instead of the double strand of worsted weight that the pattern specifies). You might also want to try Marielle Henault’s FREE Bella’s Mittens. Over 10,000 ravelers have knit up this pattern, and have been delighted with the results.
Lastly, if a pint sized project is required, you might want to consider our Little Billy Goat vest. This knits up to a snug layering pieces for sizes ranging from 2 – 12. Granted, the larger sizes of this pattern may take a bit more time to complete. But who hasn’t wrapped up something still on the needles with a guilty shrug and a smile?
We’d love to help support your goals and deadlines, so let us know if you have questions or need a skein or two rushed your way. We wish you a happy few weeks of crafting.
This week’s post has been commandeered by darling patterns that have distracted all of us here at the Spinnery this week.
Larisa is our mistress of the spinning machine. She loves to knit socks and shawls and as it turns out, tiny animals. Her Mom Sharyn just finished a little bat that charmed her daughter. When Larisa inquired about the pattern, her Mom sent her a copy of the book that holds the entire collection.
This collection of two dozen exotic animals created by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne has kept us quite entertained. Kate is eager to try casting on for a small family of meerkat using the natural un-dyed colors of Spinnery Alpaca Elegance: Dark Roast, Chai, and Cream.
Larisa has her heart set on creating a camel with our un-dyed Alashan yarn made from 100% camel fiber. Now to be technically accurate, our yarn is sourced from bactrian or two hump camels, but that may be splitting hairs.
And if that wasn’t enough to melt your heart just a little, another collection of animal patterns has recently been released for the crocheters among us! Edward’s Menagerie is a collection of patterns created by Kerry Lord.
This collection of 40 animals was created so that your yarn selection and gauge dictates the finished size of your new friend. Fingering weight will create a tiny animal and heavier yarns will make a little creature large enough for a hug.
This collection includes all kinds of animals from domestic to exotic so it is likely that you will find the perfect match to the obscure request that your discriminating toddler may make. Need an lemur, anteater, or nanny goat? No problem!
We have an excellent collection of natural and undyed yarns from fingering weight to aran weight to make soft snuggly animals that will be a delight to create, collect and even more fun to give to a little one. Give us a call at 800-321-9665 and we can help you select the perfect skeins for your new critter.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
Capricorn, our beautiful bulky weight yarn, is the result of an effort to find a wider use for an often overlooked ingredient: the fleece of mature angora goats. Like humans, angora goats’ hair becomes thicker and coarser as the animal ages. The super-soft luxury of Green Mountain Green and Simply Fine comes from kid mohair, the first clip from baby goats under 1 year old. Yearling and second–year mohair is coarser, but also very shiny. This quality adds to the fluff and shine of yarns like Mountain Mohair.
Goats three years old and older are valuable as breeding stock but Mohair breeders have a more difficult time finding a market for the fiber. Older mohair is used for carpet yarns and wig making (for dolls and humans) because of its shine, durability, and beautiful dye absorption. The Spinnery began to work on a product that uses older mohair so that our small angora farmers would be able to have an additional market for their fibers.
The creation of Capricorn took a bit of trial and error. First we sorted through our stock of “grade B and C” mohair looking for the softest, shiniest fibers. We wanted to make a bulky yarn that was pleasantly fluffy but not too heavy, hairy, scratchy or shedding. After creating several test batches of yarn we came up with a blend of 35% mature mohair/65% fine American wool. Our first batch of pale grey sold out at Vogue Knitting Live in New York in January 2012. We now offer the yarn in three natural colors and a variety of dyed colors by Melissa Johnson.