Shop Hop project ideas

With the I-91 Shop Hop gearing up to start next week, we got to thinking about how to help get your creative juices flowing.

We understand that with a dozen shops to visit, the temptation to pick up a skein or two at each will run strong.  We also recognize that yarn shopping without projects in mind can be frustrating if you find the perfect project after your visit and discover that you don’t have the yardage you need.

With that in mind,  we thought that we could collect a list of some of our current favorite project ideas that can be knit (or crochet) with a just a skein or two of our lovely yarns in a range of gauges.

When you arrive, you’ll see that we have created samples of several of these designs and they will be available in the shop for you to enjoy and try on.

Green Mountain fingering weight yarn options include Simply Fine (which has 450 yards per skein), Sock Art: Forest (which has 400 yards per skein), and Sock Art: Meadow (which has 400 yards per skein).

Hand painted skeins of all three of these yarns are the shop’s best sellers and we’ll have an even larger selection of mouthwatering hues in the shop than we are able to make available on our website.

© Carolyn Glauz-Todrank

Stony Point Cowl is a FREE pattern designed by Carolyn Glauz-Todrank calls for 400 yards.

Starshower is a $5 cowl pattern designed by Hillary Smith Callis calls for 400 yards.

Appia is a $5 cowl pattern designed by Hillary Smith Callis has two sizes and calls for 250 – 375 yards.

Hitchhiker is a $4 shawl pattern designed by Martina Behm calls for 569 – 574 yards.

Rising Tide Shawl is a $5 pattern designed by Grace Akhrem that calls for 400 yards.

Herald is a $7 shawl pattern designed by Janina Kallio that calls for 437 yards.

Simple Scallops is a $5 crochet pattern designed by Kristy Ashmore that calls for 350 – 450 yards for various sizes from a shawlette to a larger shawl.


Green Mountain Spinnery DK weight yarn options include Alpaca Elegance, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, New Mexico Organic and Sylvan Spirit (all of which include 180 yards per skein).

© BabyCocktails

Windward Island* is a $5 hat pattern designed by Thea Colman that calls for 180 – 210 yards to span two sizes.

Whitman is a $5.50 hat pattern designed by Danielle Morgan that calls for a range of 160 – 200 yards to span four sizes.

Whitman Fingerless Mitts is a $5 pattern also designed by Danielle Morgan that calls for 80 – 150 yards to span two sizes.

Yes Checks is a FREE hat pattern from Stephen West that calls for 180 – 190 yards.

Ebb Tide Hats is a $7 Green Mountain Spinnery pattern that calls for 150 – 270 yards for two kinds of hat: beanie or slouch.

Nalu Mitts is a FREE pattern from Leila Raabe that calls for 109 – 164 yards to span two sizes.

Twitterpation Cowl is a FREE crochet pattern designed by Maryse Roudier that calls for 200 – 250 yards.

Our worsted weight yarn options include Mountain Mohair and Weekend Wool (both of which include 140 yards per skein) or our Maine Organic (which includes 250 yards per skein).

ascutney-boot-toppers-01-wAscutney Aran Hat is a $7 Green Mountain Spinnery pattern that calls for 250 yards. Purchasing this pattern gives you the cable chart you’ll need to complete the FREE Boot Topper pattern addendum which calls for 280 yards for a pair.

Duffers is a $2.50 felted slipper pattern designed by Mindie Tallack that calls for 220 – 440 yards for a range of three sizes.

Singapore Sling* a $5 hat pattern designed by Thea Colman that calls for 200 yards.

Camp Out Fingerless Mitts is a FREE pattern designed by Tante Ehm that calls for 100 – 110 yards.

Adama is a $5 cowl pattern designed by Hilary Smith Callis that calls for 300 yards.

Windschief is a $6 hat and cowl pattern designed by Stephen West that calls for 100 – 160 yards for a range of three sizes for both the hat and cowl.

Divine Hat is FREE crochet pattern designed by Sarah Arnold that calls for 150 – 200 yards.


© Roko
© Roko

Our single Aran Weight yarn option is the softest yarn we make: our un-dyed Green Mountain Green has 120 yards per skein.

Cupido Cowl is a FREE pattern designed by Hiroko Fukatsu that calls for 180 – 380 yards for two sizes.

Oats is a FREE cowl pattern designed by tincanknits that calls for 200 – 400 yards for a range of three sizes.

The Amanda Hat is a FREE pattern designed by Gina House that calls for 160 – 216 yards.

Dashing is a FREE fingerless gloves pattern designed by Cheryl Niamath that calls for 142 – 164 yards.

Catesby Three-Hour Cowl is a FREE crochet pattern designed by Kathryn Jones that calls for 100 – 200 yards.

*This is one of the 6 patterns included in the $16 BabyCocktails’ Tiki Collection published last winter that all knit up with minimal yardage in a variety of gauges.

We hope that this selection provides you with some welcome inspiration and may make your Shop Hop experience a bit more fun!  We look forward to seeing you soon and we can’t wait to get you started on your next project.

A new Knit Along as a Valentine for yourself

We are eager to cast on for another Knit Along. We thought that a smaller project with a larger gauge might make for a quick knit that will be done in time to help us stay warm through the tail end of winter.

All of us agreed that Hilary Smith Callis’ Adama cowl pattern would be fun to work on. We spent a few moments this week browsing through our worsted weight yarn options in the shop and we each found a selection that we can’t wait to get started with.


© Hilary Smith Callis
© Hilary Smith Callis

Larisa and Maureen both gravitated to our Green Mountain Green yarn. This deliciously soft blend of Wool and fine kid Mohair is going to be a treat to snuggle into.

Larisa loves the Natural Dark color.
Larisa loves the Natural Dark color.
Maureen wants to knit with the variegated color.
Maureen wants to knit with the Variegated color.







Tracy decided that the Wintergreen color of our Mountain Mohair would create the perfect match for her complexion.

Tracy loves working with Mountain Mohair
Tracy loves working with Mountain Mohair


Kate and Lauren are both eager to work with Weekend Wool.

Kate wants to work with the plum color.
Kate wants to work with the Plum color.
Lauren loves the look of the Blue Jay colorway.
Lauren loves the look of the Blue Jay colorway.









Kate has already cast on and gotten started so that we can figure out if the pattern needs 3 skeins of yarn or can be finished with just two.  She’ll be sharing her findings on our Ravelry Group Page early next week, so be sure to check in before you place your orders.

The rest of us are going to be casting on for our projects on Valentine’s Day (as a little gift to ourselves). Would you like to join the fun?

A new pattern from the pages of a fairytale

We have released a new pattern this week that you may find irresistible: Maisie designed by Cap Sease.


This magical little red riding hood is sized for pint sized folks aged 2-4.  And we think it is darling.  The pattern calls for up to three skeins of any of our worsted weight yarns: Weekend Wool, Mountain Mohair, or the softest of the bunch: Green Mountain Green.


While local temperatures have dropped below the “in between” Fall and Spring range that is perfect for this little poncho, this quick knit can be cast on and ready for the Spring thaw in no time.

You’ll enjoy working on the delicate cabling that decorates all sides and wraps around the edge of the hood.  This is a great pattern to work on through this Winter’s chill.

Give us a call or visit us to explore our rich spectrum of color options.  We look forward to your visit.

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!


A week at the Spinnery

Last week we started working on the Natural Dark color of both our Simply Fine and our Green Mountain Green yarns.  As different as these yarns appear to be in structure, they are identical in fiber content, so they can be created congruently for much of the production process. Almost like making cupcakes and a cake at the same time, we start with the same “batter”.


The ingredients for this batch of yarn includes roughly 53 pounds of fine wool with about 35 pounds of first shearing kid mohair.  To put those numbers into perspective, we estimate that a typical wool fleece weighs about seven pounds.  After cleaning and processing, we’ll end up with roughly 60 pounds of finished yarn.

The two fibers are blended by our picker and carder.  You can see it here going through our carder on the 21st.  The fibers for this yarn are GREENSPUN; which means that here at the carding stage, our special blend of organic vegetable oil and water is added to the fiber to smooth its progress through the machine.


The wool we use for these yarns is a combination of fleeces from Rambouillet and Targhee sheep that are raised in Ohio and along the high plains of Montana, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota.

The soft kid mohair comes to us from Joe David Ross in Sonora Texas.  He has supplied the Spinnery with wonderful mohair fiber for almost 30 years. (You can learn more about him and the mohair he supplies us with here).


Here you can see the roving set up on the spinning machine a few days later.  The fiber will be spun with tension to create plies that will be strong enough to knit or crochet with.

At this point the bobbins of yarn are rolled into our steambox for a three hour “sauna” that will set the twist.



And now the two yarns are separated to follow different paths.  The plies for our Green Mountain Green yarn are sent to the plying machine.  Here two plies will be spun together (in the opposite direction) to create the 2-ply yarn that we love.  The Simply Fine is a single ply yarn and so is ready for skeining.

gmg skeining

Here you can see the two-ply Green Mountain Green bobbins lined up on the skeining machine where we’ll wind off 120 yard hanks to be twisted into beautiful skeins.  The Simply fine bobbins are wound into skeins of about 450 yards.

The skeins are now ready for a gentle washing with mild soap which will preserve the natural sheen and resilience of the yarn. Once it has dried, it is ready to be twisted into shape and labeled for sale.  From start to finish, this batch took just about a week to produce.  We can’t wait to see what becomes of it next!

Let’s root for the home team!

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.


Mohair & Joe David Ross

Joe David Ross has supplied GMS with mohair since the mid 1980s. We met him through local farmer Deb Pamplin, a mohair grower in Wethersfield, Vermont. Deb had introduced the Spinnery to the possibilities of mohair when she started bringing fleeces to the Spinnery for processing.

Goat of fine fibre farm, Wethersfield, VT Photo by Marti Stone



Soon after, as we developed Mountain Mohair yarn, we soon outgrew our local supply.  Joe David became our main source for superior quality yearling mohair. The Spinnery has always been able to depend on the Ross Ranch in Sonora, Texas for fibers that meet our specifications, and Joe David goes the extra mile to make sure all the fiber he sends is well prepared to meet our needs.

The soft, fuzzy halo of our popular Mountain Mohair is the result of its mohair content. Over the years, many customers asked, “What’s a mo?” Mohair comes from the fleece of the Angora goat, an animal prized through the ages for its luxurious fiber. Angora goats took their name from the ancient Turkish city of Ankara; the term “mohair” apparently derives from the Arabic, mukhayya, which means “cloth of bright hair from a goat”. The Turks thought so highly of these special goats that none were exported until the sixteenth century. The first exports landed in Spain and France and none went to America until 1849.



Goats of fine fibre farm, Wethersfield, VT Photo by Marti Stone

Today, small flocks of Angora goats are found in New England and throughout the U.S., but 90% of American mohair comes from Texas, where the dry temperate climate is very suitable for the goats. The animals are generally sheared twice a year and yield on overage a three-pound fleece. Fiber of the youngest goats (kid mohair) is the softest; the fiber becomes coarser as the animal ages.

In 1992 we introduced Green Mountain Green, a blend of kid mohair and fine wool processed without petroleum. Again, Joe David was the source for the luxuriously soft kid mohair that makes the yarn so special. Today we have added Simply Fine and Sock Art Meadow to our products that include kid mohair.  To create these yarns and Mountain Mohair, we use about 2,000 pounds of mohair a year. That is equal to the fleece of about 600 goats! We are grateful to Joe David and his network of Texas mohair producers that are able to continue to offer us superior materials for our yarns.


We love to see your creations with our yarns – please share them with other Facebook fans or join our Ravelry group!


In a previous post, we shared the steps involved in creating our yarns, from raw fleece to spun yarn.  Today we would like to share with you the extra steps we take with several of our yarn lines to lessen our environmental impact. The GREENSPUN process is an extension of the environmental concerns basic to our founding in 1981.

In the early -1990s, the Spinnery switched to non-petroleum-based biodegradable soaps for scouring fibers. We also developed a spinning oil formula based on organic canola oil for processing fiber. The first experiment on using unconventional soaps and oils grew out of a request  from Espirt the sportswear manufacturer.  They were looking for yarns that were completely petroleum-free for their “Ecollection” line of clothes. The Spinnery worked to develop a petroleum free process for the Esprit yarns and then integrated these gentle and ecologically safe practices into our GREENSPUN processing method. No chemicals are used to bleach, shrink-proof, or moth-proof. Used for all our GREENSPUN and Certified Organic yarns, these methods enhance the unique qualities of the natural fibers. Customers with chemical sensitivities have been relieved to find and are enthusiastic about our chemical-free natural fiber yarns.

Our first GREENSPUN product was Green Mountain Green – a luxurious blend of  40% premium kid mohair and 60% fine American wool.  The yarn comes in 3 natural colors a white and natural dark gray and a variegated grey to white.  Its softness and warmth make it perfect for hats, scarves like the Ascutney Aran Hat and Emilie’s Hooded scarf.

The next GREENSPUN yarns were the natural colored Cotton Comfort , Silver, Winter Beech and Unbleached White.  This versatile DK weight blend of 20% organic cotton and 80% fine wool was featured in the very successful 2006 book  Natural Knits for Babies and Moms by Louisa Harding .  Knitters really want to know what is in their yarn how it s made and are very eager for a “green” option especially when knitting for babies.  Popular patterns from the Spinnery include Peanut  by Cap Sease and Grandma’s Delight by Libby Mills. Other GREENSPUN  options have quickly followed  including the natural colors of the Alpaca Elegance line and the perfection of our Certified Organic processing.

How about more pattern inspiration for the GREENSPUN yarns? First up, one our most “hearted” pattern on, the Turkish Rose Mittens knit in Alpaca Elegance. Designed by Cap Sease, these are luxurious mittens inspired by a Turkish Sock Pattern.  Our newest mitten pattern is the Bumpity Mittens, also designed by Cap Sease.  Its deep texture is deceptive, making it look like four colors are used instead of just two. Speaking of color, we have six natural colors and six heathered colors of Alpaca Elegance available.