You can still join the Ravelry group MKAL thread for friendly and enthusiastic knitting company that includes tips, encouragement and general chitter chatter.
Jessica created her version of this shawl with just four skeins of our DK weight New Mexico Organic yarn. These skeins are created from 100% Rambouillet fiber which has a similar softness to Merino with more loft and resiliency. When it is woolen spun like ours is, you have a bouncy airy yarn that your fingers will never tire working with.
If you’d prefer a version with more color, our Mewesic would provide a perfect option.
We’d like to thank Jessica for letting us share her beautiful photos. Your shawl is simply breathtaking, Jessica!
Yep! Our tent sale is featuring some terrific bargains on orphan skeins. These are small quantities of skeins leftover from older dye lots.
We have found a few skeins of our favorites: Mountain Mohair, Cotton Comfort, Sylvan Spirit, Alpaca Elegance, and Maine and New Mexico Organics. Every skein is just $5. Great yarn for a great price!
These limited quantities could be perfect for small accessory projects, or striped projects that require small yardages of multiple complimentary colors.
And there is much, much more! We have an even larger selection of unwashed odd weight yarns that we’ve been able to make available to our online friends who won’t be able to attend our Tent Sale in person. You can find all of our special Tent Sale savings here. These prices will be available (while supplies last) through Friday June 12th!
We hope that you can take advantage of these prices. Our Tent Sale hours this weekend (May 23-25) are Saturday 10am – 5:30pm, Sunday 12 – 4pm, and Monday 10am – 5:30pm. And our special $5 skeins are only available to those of you who can visit us in person.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and happy knitting!
Several seasons ago we sent a few dozen skeins of our New Mexico organic yarn to our friend Roy Kady in order to be hand painted. We received a wonderful care package this month filled with gorgeous skeins from the Navajo Nation that we want to share with you as a little holiday present.
We have small quantities of limited edition Hand Painted New Mexico Organic – a 100% Fine Wool (Rambouillet) grown in New Mexico and hand dyed by the indigenous Diné (Navajo) community.
Using traditional methods of dying has resulted in a subdued palette of natural tones that reflect the high desert environment of the American Southwest. The skeins are named for the plants used to create each hue.
Even more exciting, part of the proceeds from the sales of these skeins will benefit the artists who painted them, allowing us to give back to the Native American community that is such a vital part of our heritage.
We hope that you’ll take a look at these skeins on our website, or visit our little shop to enjoy the colors in person. They are $15 each and will disappear quickly.
We’ve released a new pattern this week that you may want to take a closer look at. This is the Ebb Tide Hats pattern designed by Kate Salomon. The pattern includes instructions for two version of the hat: a “low tide” slouch and a “high tide” beanie.
This hat was inspired by long walks on the Cape Cod National Seashore. We love the texture reminiscent of tide washed sand and windswept dunes.
Knit up with Mewesic, with its rustic good looks and tweedy rich color, this hat knits up into a medium weight cap that drapes beautifully and wears well. Style, yarn, and two versions of the pattern combine into the perfect accessory for him or her!
The pattern calls for a bit less than a single skein of DK weight yarn for the smaller beanie version and would look great with any of our DK yarns such as our New Mexico Organic (as seen above), our Cotton Comfort or our Alpaca Elegance.
The 50/50 alpaca blend will provide beautiful drape for the “low tide” slouch hat which requires just over a single skein. You’ll have plenty of yarn left over for some fingerless mitts!
This pattern may make for a fun collection of hand made gifts for everyone on your list this year. Give us a call at 800-321-9665 and we can help you find the perfect colors for everyone you’d like to knit a “little something” for.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
Last but not least is Maureen Clark’s FREEDuet 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!
We have some exciting news to share with you this week. At long last our new yarn is ready for you to begin working with! We’d like to introduce you to Mewesic.
These beautiful 2 oz. skeins include 180 yards of DK weight wool. We have blended the fiber from a wide variety of different breeds to create a special mix that is lustrous and crisp. Included in the fiber content are medium fine wools such as Rambouillet, Columbia, Targhee and Friesian sheep as well as lustrous fleeces from Corriedale, Montadale and Romneys. The result is a lofty yet durable yarn with great stitch definition.
We spent weeks coming up with a color palette that we couldn’t wait to get our hands on. Now, we have a total of 13 beautiful heathered colors that have been created by blending our bale dyed wool. You’ll love how rich and deep these hues are.
Here you can see the wool for our Norwegian Wood colorway waiting to go through the picker. All of our new colors are named after songs, and we think that you’ll have as much fun as we did remembering these tunes and humming along as you pick your next project or cast on.
For those of you looking for natural undyed neutrals, you can reach for our New Mexico Organic yarns that offer a creamy ivory and soft grey in the same gauge.
We introduced these skeins last week at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool festival to rave responses. We hope that you are as excited as we are about Mewesic and we can’t wait to see what you make with it!
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?
“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?
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 GREENSPUNand 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.
(c) Fracois DeCornick
(c) Fracois DeCornick
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.
Ascutney Aran Hat
Evening Shadows Afghan
Green Mountain Green
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 Ravelry.com, 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.
At our spinning mill, in Putney, Vermont, we make thousands of pounds of yarn each year for fiber fans like you as well as for yarn shops and individual farms. Before you transform our yarn by the work of your hands, the transformation of raw fleece from flocks from Vermont, Maine and New Mexico into certified organic yarn takes place in several steps.
Scouring begins by soaking the fiber in very hot, soapy water using non-petroleum based soaps. After soaking, the fiber is moved through a series of squeeze rollers and basins of hot water until it is clean. The wet fiber is place in an extractor which is much like the spin cycle on your home washing machine. After a spin and one more hot water rinse, the clean fiber is moved to an industrial dryer. The lot size, from 50 to over 300 pounds, dictates the length of time for this process.
The clean fiber, having been scoured, now undergoes the picking phase where the fiber locks are opened and blended. This is repeated two or three times over the whole lot. Organic spinning oil is lightly sprayed over the fibers, adding moisture to prevent the clumping of fibers as well as static electricity build up. This is the step where the different types and colors of fibers are combined according to the Spinnery’s individual recipes for our yarns.
Carding is the next step where the picked fiber is conveyed to a series of rotating drums that first blend the fibers into a web and then separate the web into pencil roving. This looks like yarn, but it is without twist or tensile strength.
The carded pencil roving is wound onto spools which are carried to the spinning frame for the spinning stage of the yarn production. 96 roving ends are threaded onto the machine by hand. This machine turns the roving into yarn within a few hours or several days depending on the lot size. Bobbins of the yarn are placed in the steam box for two or three hours to set the twist. The plying machine is the next stop for the yarn where again, it is threaded by hand. The Spinnery’s own plied yarns, including Maine Organic and New Mexico Organic, are 2-ply but we do produce 3-and4-ply yarns.
In the finishing department, the yarn is skeined or coned. The skeining machine winds twelve skeins at a time. The skeins are weighed, twisted and labeled by hand, ensuring that each skein is seen and felt as a final quality-control check. The combination of utilizing our venerable machinery, respect for the liveliness of the natural fibers and hands-on finishing touches, creates wonderful yarns that are ready for their next transformation into the project of your choice!
Thea Colman and Ellen Mason are coming to the Spinnery!