Course corrections

Kate had an “ah-hah” moment in the midst of working on a sample of Heidi Kirrmaier’s Vitamin D cardigan that we thought might be worth sharing.  She cast on for the top-down pattern using Spinnery Sylvan Spirit in the Sterling colorway.


She is thrilled with how the yarn is knitting up and things were sailing along smoothly until she started working her first sleeve.  Unlike similarly constructed top-down sweater patterns, Heidi has the knitter put the body stitches on hold while working the sleeves first.  The  pattern includes a note in italics explaining her directions.

“Note: instructions are for working the sleeve flat in order to ensure the same tension as yoke is maintained.”

Kate decided that the simplicity of working the sleeves in the round was worth any small shifts in tension that she was confident she could block out…do you see where this is going?

She didn’t have to work very far on her sleeve to have about an inch or two worth of stitches to test her theory.*

gauge a

The difference between the worked-flat stockinette and the worked-in-the-round stockinette more apparent in person.  There is a stitch per inch difference in the tension.  “What’s one stitch between friends?” you might ask.

Well, this creates a visible line in the fabric and more importantly translates into a substantial change in the finished measurements of the sleeve.  What should measure out at about 15 inches will in fact be closer to 12 1/2.  That is a difference that can’t be blocked out.

This shift in tension can often occur when switching between knitting and purling, but it can also happen when switching between needles made of different materials.  There is a fantastic article on Alexis Winslow’s blog Knit Darling that clearly illustrates how dramatic the effects of that switch can be.

Kate combined both by switching from carbon metal needles as she started her sleeve in the round.  Instead of cancelling each other out as she hoped, they combined to create a substantial change in tension.

So, Kate will frog back and instead follow the pattern working the sleeve flat using the same carbon needles she used for the yoke of the sweater.  We are looking forward to seeing the finished project that we know will be more successful for having been checked and adjusted.

*Kate is the first to agree that she could have figured this all out a head of time if she had swatched and blocked her sample ahead of time — but she prefers to dive into the deep end and check her progress as she goes.  She also recognizes that when that little voice tells you to stop and reconsider, you may find as Kate did, that it is worth listening to.


A new take on a classic Aran

The Aran sweater has a rich history, full of Irish island lore and fishing stories about the one that “got away”.  In the past, each cable included in the pattern acted as a symbol that could weave a tale about the home port or invoke a bountiful catch for the wearer.

Maureen has created a fresh new pattern that combines the reassuring comfort that we associate with these classic designs and thoughtful details that ensure a perfect and flattering fit.  We’d like to introduce you to Duncan.



Maureen has designed the pattern with a size range of 40″ to 51″ and has used set in sleeves to make sure that the sweater fits with a minimum of positive ease.  It is warm and snuggly  knit up with worsted weight Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair; and will never create the impression that you are wearing a cardigan meant for your favorite Fisherman.


Shown here in the undyed White Weekend Wool, this 2-ply 100% wool yarn lends the sweater a crisp stitch definition making the cables pop.  And the classic creamy white color ensures that this sweater could work for any outfit making it a wardrobe staple that you reach for most months of the year (if you live in New England like we do).

We also love the addition of pockets that maintain the cable pattern for continuity but give us the option of warming our hands on a bitter cold or damp morning.

This sweater is sure to become a Spinnery classic and we can’t wait to see yours!

A light cardigan for shoulder season

Cap Sease has designed a new cardigan pattern that knits up into a perfect sweater for Spring.  Tekle is knit up in Spinnery Mewesic.  Shown here in our popular Blue Bayou color, it makes for a beautifully textured swingy layering piece whose design subtly shifts as you move.



The pattern includes a generous range of sizes extending from 34 to 54 inch bust measurements.  It uses a bottom up construction with sleeves that are picked up at shoulder and worked towards the wrist. A short band is added to finish the neckline and front of the sweater where buttons could be added if you’d prefer.  But we love the casual look of the open sweater as Cap envisioned it.

You could easily substitute some of our other DK weight yarn options in this pattern.  Using Sylvan Spirit would increase the drape of the finished piece and make the provide the textured stitches with a crisp pop.  Cotton Comfort would make for a lighter sweater that could extend the sweater’s wear further into warmer weather or for warmer climates.  And choosing Alpaca Elegance would result in a warmer sweater that could be perfect for Autumn or a better choice for folks who tend to easily catch a chill.

For those of you who may be curious, the design was named after a new arrival in Cap’s family.  This new addition to the Spinnery family of patterns is a welcome one, and we hope that you are as excited by this pattern as we are!

Rhinebeck projects

Our weekend in Rhinebeck was wonderful.  The New York Sheep & Wool Festival is a treat to attend every year and last week was no exception.  The weather was perfect (just brisk enough on Sunday to require woolen layers).  The fall color seemed to be at its peak and the crowds seemed delighted with their visit.  We loved seeing friends and making new ones.

One of our favorite aspects of the festival is the show and tell.  We had many friends stop by our little “shop” to show us what they’ve been working on and how beautifully their projects knit up with our yarns.  We thought we would share some of the ones were able to grab some photos of with you.

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Our friend Diane stopped by wearing this great hat that she knit up with the leftover yarn she had in her stash after finishing this beautiful sweater.  We just love how the Pine Warbler color of Spinnery Weekend Wool pops like the fall foliage and shows off her cables with crisp detail.

We got to talking with Liz while waiting in line for hot apple cider and fresh doughnuts.  She pulled on a stunning version of the Sugarleaf Sweater designed by Mary-Heather Cogar and part of the Rhinebeck Sweater collection published by Ysolda Teague last fall.


Liz created this beautiful cardigan with Spinnery New Mexico Organic and Alpaca Elegance in the Blue Lotus color for the lovely color work.  It looks stunning on her, don’t you think?

jenny 01

Our friend Jenny is modeling her version of Flyaway by Marji LaFreniere.  That beautiful drape is thanks to the Spinnery Sylvan Spirit she chose to work with in the Citrine color. The wool and Tencel blend lends the finished fabric of her sweater wonderful stitch definition and a swingy flattering shape.

We think that it is the details of this pattern that make it special.  The cables run up the spine, and merge under the arm as part of the raglan sleeve construction.

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We want to thank all of you who stopped by the Spinnery booth to introduce yourselves. You had a chance to see what we’ve been working on and touch and see our yarns in person.  We hope that you’ll return next year with new projects to share with us or that we may have inspired you to come to Vermont for a visit to the Spinnery so that we don’t have to wait that long to see you again!

Maureen has designed a new sweater

We have a new Spinnery sweater pattern to share with you that beautifully highlights our new Mewesic yarn.


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Maureen was inspired by one of the first vivid colors we created this summer and started swatching.  This lace pattern became the basis for her new cardigan.  Passionate Kisses is named after the color she chose to knit with.

We love how the botanical lace pattern highlights the rich tweedy color.  It also creates a lightweight fabric that will ensure your finished sweater is versatile during the change of seasons.  Fall here in New England can bring dramatic temperature changes during the course of a typical day and this sweater is a stylish layering piece that is as beautiful as it is functional.

passionate 01kas passionate kisses














Maureen designed the scooped neck to be clasped with just three buttons at the neck, but you could add buttons all the way down the band if you’d prefer.

The pattern uses a seamed construction, a modified set in sleeve, and is worked in pieces from the bottom up.  It is a great choice for intermediate knitters eager to try out our new yarn with a larger project.


Which color would you cast on with?


We thought that you would enjoy getting a peek at the sweater that just came off Maureen’s needles.  Back in the beginning of August, Maureen cast on for Ankestrike’s Summerhill cardigan.


Maureen selected Green Mountain Spinnery’s Sylvan Spirit in the Sterling color.  The blend of wool and Tencel is perfectly suited to this flowing open cardigan.  You’ll see that Maureen’s stitches glow!  Her stitch definition couldn’t be more crisp.  And the beautiful lace details of this sweater are perfectly highlighted by her choice of yarn and light color.

You can see more detailed photos of Maureen’s cardigan on her project page.


This sweater was Maureen’s first project that utilizes the contiguous shoulder technique.  She loved the top-down construction that creates the look of set in sleeves without the fuss of seaming.  You can find out more about this technique here.  And you can find a growing list of patterns that incorporate this technique here.

Some of our favorite recently published patterns that contain a contiguous shoulder include:

There are hundreds of patterns to choose from, we hope that you find one that appeals to your sense of style and that you give this technique a try.  If you’d feel more comfortable giving yourself a bit of practice before working on the project you choose, you might want to consider casting on for this mini sweater that was created as a tutorial for this technique.

Maureen is confident that you’ll enjoy the process as much as she did. A few of the Spinnery designers are hoping to make this fun technique a part of their future designs.  We look forward to seeing what they come up with!

Another Knit Along to jump start our Fall knits

Joji Locatelli’s most recently published Grandpa Cardigan looks as though it will be a very interesting pattern to work on.  She has created a top-down, seamless, set-in sleeve cardigan that looks appealing for folks of all knitting abilities.  And who wouldn’t be tempted to make a comfy cardigan to snuggle into this Fall?

© Joji
© Joji

“Worked from the shoulders down completely seamlessly, Grandpa features a different set of cables for every size, making it look complex and sophisticated as any seamed garment, but without any finishing required.

All the instructions are charted out, so there is no guessing with this sweater. Just enjoy watching all the pieces come together to create this beautiful timeless cardi.  Even if you have never knitted a cabled sweater before, you’ll find Grandpa’s instructions clear and easy to follow, making it a great choice for your first challenging project. ”

Joji has incorporated a contiguous shoulder into her pattern to create set-in sleeves, so there should be some interesting fun for more experienced knitters who haven’t yet had a chance to try this technique.

More fun can be had if you join the Ravelry KAL.  You’ll have a chance to win prizes, and have the gratification of seeing and reading about other knitters’ progress.  The group will be casting on August 1st with a goal of finishing the sweater in three months.  This gives you plenty of time to pick your yarn.

Some of the girls at the Spinnery started plotting out our selections this morning, and this is what we came up with.


Alpaca Elegance was the most popular choice!  From left to right you have Rachel’s choice: Earl Grey, Maureen’s selection: Sencha, and Kate’s preference: Rosehip.  Larisa opted for the New Mexico Organic yarn in grey.  We know that these yarns will all perfectly highlight the beautiful cables.

What Spinnery yarn would you be tempted to cast on with?