Thank you

As we gather around holiday tables this weekend with friends and family, we can’t help but count our blessings.  We are so grateful for your enthusiasm for our deliciously wooly yarns.  Your support of our mission allows us to continue to partner with small farms raising heritage breeds, and that keeps the American fiber shed thriving.

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As a small token of our gratitude, we hope that you’ll enjoy a FREE pattern for the Common Cap.

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This unisex hat pattern was designed to fit almost any head from the age of 3!  A very stretchy ribbed brim will accommodate heads with circumferences between 18 – 24 inches.  With directions for three separate depths, you can knit up a short beanie, a cuffed watch cap, or a slouchy hat and almost anything in between.

Providing those that we love with beautiful wooly warmth is one of the many benefits of our craft.  We hope that you’ll use this pattern to knit up some warm hats for anyone who warms your heart.  You can download the FREE PDF here and cast on without delay.  We recommend using our Weekend Wool, but you’ll get gauge with our Mountain Mohair or the Maine and Vermont organic yarns.

Even with the few weeks remaining until the next holidays, you’ll have time to knit several of these hats as last minute gifts for anyone on your knitworthy list.

All of us here at the Spinnery wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season.  Thank you from the bottom of our wooly hearts.

The Athens Key Hat

This time of year has many of us doing a bit of armchair traveling.  From the cozy comfort of our chairs by the fire we can dream of warmer climates and alluring locales around the globe.  Occasionally, those dreams of far off places can inform and inspire our knitwear designs.

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Cap Sease created a beautiful hat pattern that  reminds us of the classic architecture details that can be found on landmarks located on the other side of the Atlantic.  Her Athens Key Hat features a classic Greek key motif created with slipped stitch garter rows that result in a thick warm fabric that will keep your ears delightfully warm.

We used Spinnery Mewesic and our New Mexico Organic yarns for these samples.  Pictured in Pink Cadillac and Purple Haze Mewesic with White New Mexico Organic (on the left) and Diamonds and Rust and Norwegian Wood Mewesic with White New Mexico Organic (on the right).

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We hope that you’ll consider casting on for this pattern while planning your next getaway.  You may find that having a new hat to toss in your bag may broaden the destination options to include the perfect spot!

Another request fulfilled

One of our most popular children’s sweater is the East Putney Aran that was included in our 99 Yarns book published in 2009.  This classic pullover pattern includes sizing for ages 2 – 12.

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As you can imagine, it knits up quickly with between 4 and 6 skeins of our DK weight yarn options: New Mexico Organic, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, Sylvan Spirit or Alpaca Elegance.

We are pleased to tell you that now we have an adult version of this sweater!  The Adult East Putney Aran includes sizing for bust sizes 38′ – 50″.  This often requested pattern has been drafted by Melissa Johnson so that now all of us can can have one of our own.

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The pattern is a perfect one for knitters eager to try their hand on an Aran knit and would like a great beginner pattern to get started.  The pattern includes two different cable motifs separated by columns of seed stitch making it ideal for newer knitters.

The sweater features a bottom-up seamed construction with a modified drop shoulder.  The stitch pattern is charted for easy reading, and as always, we are available at the Spinnery for phone support.  We hope that you’ll give it a try.

A lighter weight pullover such as this one will be a perfect addition to your wardrobe as temperatures get a bit warmer.  And with so many fun yarn options in mouthwatering colors, you may find yourself making more than just one!

Vermont at it’s best

We are headed to the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend and we couldn’t be more excited.  Tunbridge is lovely this time of year.  And in our opinion, there is nothing quite so fine as a gathering of fiber enthusiasts eager to share what they’ve been working on.

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There will be sheep aplenty as well as over 70 vendors offering all your favorite fibers and yarn along with equipment and supplies.  The Spinnery will have a booth there and you can visit us to see a selection of our yarns as well as some samples that can demonstrate how our yarns and patterns work up.

Anticipating that shoppers might be eager to find a unique local offering, and inspired by Amy Christoffer’s beautiful Coolidge Cardigan, Kate spent a few hours this week knitting up a new sample with our Vermont Organic Yarn.

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These creamy skeins include 250 yards of worsted weight yarn and Kate thought that a simple hat pattern that could highlight the terrific stitch definition was called for.  She knit up a Koolhaas hat, designed by Jared Flood.

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The pattern includes two size options and Kate knitted the larger of the two for the deepest possible version of this unisex beanie.  She was delighted to find that she had enough yarn remaining for a second hat!

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We love it when you can create two projects from a single skein!  You’ll be able to make two holiday gifts or keep one for yourself as a little reward.

If a trip to Tunbridge Vermont is on your agenda this weekend, we look forward to seeing you soon.  If some knitting time on the couch at home is more your speed, we wish you happy knitting!

Farm fresh: Vermont Organic yarn

We’ve created something special this spring and we thought you’d like to learn all about it.  Vermont Organic yarn is back in stock!  And we had a chance to briefly interview Anna from Open View Farm who raises the sheep whose fleeces have created our delicious new yarn.

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Anna and her husband Ben raise certified organic lambs, grow certified organic vegetables, and produce maple syrup on 180 acres in New Haven, Vermont.  The farm is unique in that it has a 2.49 megawatt DC solar array, which is owned and operated by Crosspollination Inc.

The array spans 17 acres and is composed of 8,448 photovoltaic modules. These produce an estimated 2,700-megawatt hours of electricity per year (which is enough electricity to power approximately 400 homes).  Anna and Ben’s sheep seem to appreciate the shade and shelter the panels provide when they graze under and around the panels for part of the summer months.

 

© Open View Farm
© Open View Farm

As it turns out, Open View Farm is a resurrected dairy farm.  Anna and Ben’s flock is raised for meat and was started in the fall of 2010 with 30 Tunis ewes.  Tunis sheep are dual purpose, fat-tailed sheep well known for delicious meat.  They’ve been added to the Slow Food movement’s Ark of Taste, which has identified 200 “delicious and culturally significant foods in the US in danger of extinction”.

Open View Farm’s original flock of Tunis ewes has been bred with Dorset rams to increase the size of the animals.  Dorset animals are slightly larger and thrive on pasture ensuring a quicker growth to market weight.  More than 50 lambs are born at Open View Farm each spring, bringing the total number of sheep on the farm to over 100 during the summer months.

 

© Open View Farm
© Open View Farm

(In case you were interested, you can purchase Open View’s lamb and other organic products at the Shelburne Farmer’s Market in the summer, and on yourfarmstand.com any time.)

As delicious as Anna and Ben’s organic lamb may be, here at Green Mountain Spinnery we are more interested in their fleece.  Tunis sheep are born a soft cinnamon color that transitions to a lovely soft warm tan color.  Dorset’s wool is known for its springy elasticity, which adds a delightful resiliency that makes each creamy ivory skein wonderfully squeezable.

© Open View Farm
© Open View Farm

Our skeins of worsted weight organic Vermont yarn include 250 yards per 4 oz. skein. Only 42 pounds of wool was processed in this first batch so our supply of these scrumptious skeins is limited. We hope to be able to make more in the near future.  And we hope that you’ll be able to get your hands on some of these first few skeins!

Simply beautiful

Our ravelry friend Jessica recently finished a show stopping shawl that we thought you might like to take a look at.

Annie Rowden designed a stunning lace shawl this spring inspired by a small batch single source yarn much like the Spinnery’s New Mexico Organic yarn which Jessica chose to create this shawl.

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© sugarhousewkshp

 

The Isle of Purbeck Shawl Mystery Knit Along started in early May and by now all four clues have now been released and you will receive the whole pattern when purchased on Ravelry.

You can still join the Ravelry group MKAL thread for friendly and enthusiastic knitting company that includes tips, encouragement and general chitter chatter.

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© sugarhousewkshp

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!

$5 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery yarns?!

Yep! Our tent sale is featuring some terrific bargains on orphan skeins. These are small quantities of skeins leftover from older dye lots.

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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!

A treat for you

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.

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We have small quantities of limited edition Hand Painted New Mexico Organica 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.

A new pattern just in time for holiday knits

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

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.

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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?

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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!