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Postcards from Wisconsin

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Maureen and Kate headed to Jefferson, Wisconsin earlier this week to bring a little bit of Putney, Vermont to the Midwest.  They are participating in the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival that runs through this weekend.

They left the Spinnery on Tuesday morning and headed west.  They have been sharing photos on our Facebook page and so we’ve been able to track their progress across roughly 1,000 miles.  They are now smack dab in the middle of corn country where the surrounding fields are as green as our mountains.

 

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They set up a booth in the “Country Store” of the Festival and are now showcasing our yarns in a space that has a bit more square footage than our shop here at the Spinnery.

 

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The local fiber fans couldn’t be more warmly welcoming and enthusiastic.  Friends new and old have been arriving at the booth to find out what’s new and share what they have been working on.  Here you can see our friend Cathy with her newly finished Putney Mountain Vest.  This pattern is part of the Spinnery’s most recent e-book publication: Green Mountain Weekend.

 

 

 

vest

 

Beautiful yarn, roving and fleece are just the tip of the iceberg of what this festival has to offer visitors.  There are several barns temporarily housing all kinds of livestock that have traveled almost as far to showcase the special qualities of their breeds.  Throughout the weekend there will be shearing demonstrations, sheep dog trials, as well as a few carefully timed births of new lambs.

Kate missed the moment of this particular arrival, but she was able to find a new lamb with its mother nestled in the straw of their pen.

 

lamb 04

 

As their day ended and they headed off to dinner and a sound night’s sleep, the girls were charmed by yet another surprise: a double rainbow made a brief appearance after a passing rain shower.

 

rainbow

 

It has been a wonderful working holiday, giving the gals a chance to see another corner of the country and share the last bit of summer with friends new and old.  This Festival marks the beginning of the fall knitting season, and they have enjoyed getting a chance to see what folks in Wisconsin are eager to cast on for as they start thinking about cooler weather.

Next week, we’ll be officially introducing our new sport weight 100% wool yarn; Mewesic.  The folks in Wisconsin received a sneak preview of the yarn we’ve been working on all summer, and they are thrilled with the beautiful new colors.

We’ll be able to share more details of this yarn with you next week, so be sure to check back to be among the first to see what we have in store for you.

Community Knit Night

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

One of our favorite aspects of working with fiber is the wonderful community that can congregate when yarn is involved.  Knitting is always more fun with company.  Many friends and local fiber enthusiasts have asked about knitting with us more regularly than our twice annual Knitter’s Weekends, and we are thrilled to announce that we are starting a twice monthly “stitch and bitch” here in Putney.

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© knittomania

A few of us gathered this week at the Gleanery to test the waters, and found the cafe to be a delightfully welcoming spot to work.  The lighting is perfect, the open windows offered a cool breeze, and the macaroons were delicious!  Maureen brought several projects to work on, Kate made some progress on her Natsumi, and Jayne is thinking about casting on for her very first pair of socks.

We plan on gathering at the Gleanery on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings from 5:30 – 7:30pm.  The cafe serves wonderful coffee and tea along side home baked treats.  It is a BYOB establishment, so if you’d prefer to stitch with a cocktail, you can bring your own, or the General Store across the street has a terrific selection of chilled beers and wine.

We love the thought of making some new friends and offering our expertise to folks in the area that would like a little help.  It should be a fun group of local fiber enthusiasts with enough common knitting and crochet experience to be able to troubleshoot almost any problem or pattern question.  We hope that you can join the fun.

Knitting is always more fun with company.  Perhaps not as productive, as we get caught up in one another’s progress and pattern ideas.  Please join us next month on July 9th or the 23rd.  We are looking forward to stitching with you when you can participate.

Happily Ever After

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Some skeins of yarn are destined for great things.  Others are destined for tiny things that are more precious than we can say.  We just learned of a very sweet story that we thought you’d enjoy reading.

© arianna

© arianna

We reached out to Arianna on Ravelry who recently finished a darling wee sweater made with just two skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery Sylvan Spirit.  She used the Pebble Yoke Sweater pattern designed by Cap Sease, which is part of the 99 yarns and Counting collection, or available as an individual PDF for $7.

She wrote back and told us a bit more about the history of her project.

“There is actually a very special story behind the sweater! I bought that yarn when I was up in VT visiting my newlywed friends back in December of 2007. They brought me to a local yarn shop because I love checking out LYSes. So I kind of on-the-sly bought this yarn with the sole intention of making them a baby sweater one day.

ss

Well, the wife went through a lot in the intervening years, beating cancer before they were able to conceive their first child. I was finally able to knit them that sweater – with yarn that had traveled through several different apartments with me – seven years later! – and was thrilled to have mailed it to them recently for their beautiful new daughter.

I thought you might like to know there was a real story behind the yarn & sweater – and that it all started with your beautiful yarn!”

We love learning about the tales our skeins hold.  We often forget that the creation of our yarns is just the preface.  It’s lovely to be reminded that when they leave the Spinnery, for many skeins, their adventure has just begun.

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!

Have Fun with Your Projects

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Most of the time, knitting is an enjoyable activity. There is something special about taking the yarn and turning it into loops on a needle, and then manipulating those loops so they turn into a sweater, sock, hat, glove, or blanket. Except when it’s not. This feeling happens to most knitters at some point in time, on any given project. The Green Mountain Spinnery wants you to have fun with your projects and we wanted to share a few ideas on how to do that.

enterpise hats

1. Have a back-up project (or two. or more.). By putting your current project in time-out for a little bit, working on a different project can be like going for a walk to get some fresh air. It will clear your mind so you can return to the needles and hooks focused and ready to go. Small projects that work up quickly can help you feel very accomplished! (Enterprise Hat, a new design from Eric Robinson, for assortments of Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool.)

cable sweater2. Plan ahead. The Olympic athletes currently competing in Sochi didn’t start their training last week! If you are working on a project for a special event or as a gift, allow plenty of time for you to swatch, fix mistakes, block and dry the project. Intricate charted patterns are likely to take more time than plain stockinette or garter stitch, just as an adult sweater takes longer and more yarn than a baby sweater! Giving yourself enough time on a project will help avoid stress from impending deadlines! (LindaLovesLace’s Runnin’ Down a Dream project in Worsted Wool)

Gaggle of Owls

3. Embrace the fiber arts community. Here and now is a great time to be a knitter! There are so many ways to stay in touch with other knitters if you want to show off your work or ask for advice on colors and techniques. Knitting is also a great reason to get together with friends and have a nice cup of coffee or tea. These points all apply to crochet fans too! We love seeing our yarns worked up when you share them in our Ravelry group or post them to our Facebook page! Seeing what others are working on can also be a great source of inspiration for your next project. We still have room in our Sugar Season Retreat with Marly Bird and we would love to have you come visit us for a great weekend! (Gaggle of Owls by aquaknitter in an assortment of Mountain Mohair)

How do you keep your knitting and crochet fun?

 

Early Fall Pattern Round Up & Inspiration!

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Wool season approaches! While the days have been pleasant, when the sun sets, you can feel the hint of a chill in the air. It is refreshing and makes many people eager to pull out their favorite sweaters and handknits, or cast on something new for this year.  We’d like to point out a few new patterns featuring Green Mountain Spinnery yarns and inspire you with projects made by our customers!

The Spinnery has two new patterns from Cap Sease. Cap’s Comfy Cardigan is the perfect cardigan to throw on when you curl up on a cold winter day with a cup of tea and a good book. Here it is shown in Jet Black Mountain Mohair. This yarn comes in over thirty colors so you can be as vibrant or subtle as you like. String of Pearls is an elegant cardigan sure to make any girl feel special. The sleeves and body are knit to the armholes, then joined for the yoke in a traditional shape. Sylvan Spirit in Blue Opal and Luminosity are used here; this yarn is soft with a satiny sheen.

In the Fall Twist Collective Fortune Bay by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark, presents a twist on the classic boatneck pullover worked in one piece from the top down using Aplaca Elegance. Short rows create a diagonal mid-section in the allover narrow stripe pattern. Chai and Dark Roast are used to create this eye-catching sweater.

Our customers have been busy creating fantastic items as well! Ravelry user jcs65 recently finished her Gwendolyn using Maine Organic and Wonderfully Wooly.  Jocelynlally also used Wonderfully Wooly in her version of the Brownstone sweater.

We are seeing a lot of accessories finished lately as well.  Hilaryf used Sock Art Forest in her Jelly Beans socks. WoolyHeaded used Moutain Mohair, purchased at this year’s New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival, in the Turkish Rose Mittens.

 

Shawls are a great project for any season! Redsknits competed in the Ravellenic Games with this Thendara shawl using both Spinnery Sock Art Forest and Meadow. MaryDenise used Simply Fine in her Nimbus shawl

We would love to hear about your projects and plans for Fall knitting – leave a comment here, in our Ravelry group, or on our Facebook page.

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