Thea Colman’s Greenbriar Cardigan

A couple of weeks ago we shared with our Facebook friends that Thea Colman (of Babycocktails fame) had published a new cardigan worth taking a look at.  Her new Greenbriar cardigan was designed with Spinnery Mewesic yarn.

© 2016 BabyCocktails

Thea fell in love with these skeins when she and Ellen Mason came to the Spinnery to teach our Knitter’s Weekend last fall.  As Thea says, “Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mewesic yarn is a beautiful tweed with subtle flecks of color that is just gorgeous in cables and lace – although in stockinette, the shades and texture of the tweed shine as well! With that in mind, Greenbriar features both.”  Thea worked her sweater up in the Mean Mr. Mustard color.

This top-down sweater uses the contiguous method to shape the shoulders.  It features one of Thea’s characteristic lace panels that is beautifully charted and written for your preference.  “The lace is easier to work than you’d think, since the stems and leaves are bold – making errors easy to spot.”

One of the reasons that Thea’s patterns are such a pleasure to knit is due to her thorough testing process.  Several knitters work up a range of sizes of the pattern (in this case there are a total of 9 options) to ensure that there are no mistakes or surprises.  Many of Thea’s test knitters chose to work up the pattern in several colors of Spinnery Mewesic, and we thought that you’d enjoy taking a look at how the sweater looks in a variety of colors.

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© hummandknit

Sandy used Passionate Kisses to make her sweater.  Sandy shared her thoughts about the yarn in her project notes, “THE perfect pairing for this sweater pattern – I couldn’t stop taking close-up pics because I absolutely adore the little yellow flicks of color in the yarn!

I’m already looking through my stash, thinking about knitting another Greenbriar in another color – its’s just the perfect sweater pattern – – easily customizable, a fun lace and cable pattern, and then gorgeous stockinette to show off a tweedy yarn.”

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© Dreamknitgirl
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© Glennae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both Kim and Glenna used Purple Haze for their sweaters. Kim modified the length of her sleeves and added a bit of delicate lace from another of Thea’s patterns: Eradour!

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© BonnieP128

Bonnie used Blue Bayou to create a wardrobe classic in the perfect shade of washed denim.  “This is one of my favorite cardigans to date! The back lace/cable looks difficult but really isn’t … Mewesic is one of my favorite yarns; I used it for my Ommegang and over a year later there is not a pill to be found.” (Ommegang is a cowl necked pullover of Thea’s design that can also be knit up beautifully in Mewesic.)

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With a baker’s dozen of colors to choose from, we hope that you’ll find the perfect shade to work with to make a Greenbriar cardigan of your own.  We are all eager to have one; our spinner Larisa has a Mean Mr. Mustard version on her needles and Maureen is working on one in Atlantis.

And for our readers and friends, Thea’s provided a special discount code to be used on Ravelry for $1 discount off of her Greenbriar pattern that is active until midnight Friday July 15th. Simply type in GMS when you check out, and you’ll receive Thea’s little gift!

We look forward to seeing more finished cardigans on Ravelry and hope to find yours among them!

Vintage comfort

As the first skeins of Lana moved through production, Maureen began envisioning a gradient version of this 100% wool fingering weight yarn.

With faded vintage cotton fabrics in mind, Maureen worked with Laurie on a blended yarn that combined increasing amounts of bale dyed wool to undyed fiber to create a very gradual gradient that extends over hundreds of yards.

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Since the color change is so gradual, we decided to offer the yarn in a three skein bundle that includes all three different shades of color.  This means that you’ll have 1200 yards of beautifully elastic lofty yarn to play with for all kinds of light weight projects.

The yarn works well at a wide range of gauges.  Kate has used a US 3  for roughly 6 stitches per inch and Maureen has been using a US 7 and achieved a lush 4 1/2 stitches per inch.

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Our Lana Gradient Bundles are currently available in two color ways: Gingham on the left and Dungarees on the right.  They could be beautifully utilized for many of the three color shawl patterns on Ravelry such as the ever-popular Color Affection designed by Veera Välimäki.

Maureen cast on without delay and has already created a new Spinnery pattern that features the soft blue Dungarees yarn: Jordache — named for the acid washed skinny jeans we all tried to squeeze into in the 80’s.

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Summertime is perfect for fond nostalgia, and what better way to re-invent a retro fashion trend, than to give it a new spin that makes it more wearable and more useful.  This generous shawl features a comforting elasticity that makes wearing it feel like a soft embrace.  (A far more pleasant experience than wriggling into our favorite jeans from High School).

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Maureen’s pattern is beautifully charted for easy success.  The large sections of repeated texture make it readily memorized; it could be a perfect project for travel knitting.  We hope that your summer holidays give you plenty of time for relaxed stitching.

Another spin

This week Kristin Tendyke’s new Goblet Cardigan has been pre-released by the folks at Interweave.  This pattern is part of a collection  from the designers featured in the upcoming Fall edition of Love of Knitting.  We love the classic lines of this sweater.

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© Love of Knitting

The Goblet Cardigan has a generous range of sizing options from 30¾ to 53½” bust circumference, buttoned. (the sweater shown above measures 38¼”; modeled with ¼” of positive ease.)

This classic cardigan uses the same Juniper Cotton Comfort yarn you saw featured here a few weeks ago when we announced the arrival of Maureen Clark’s new Coming up Spring cardigan. (the sweater shown below measures 44″; modeled with 9″ of positive ease.)

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Both patterns can be knit up with between 7-11 skeins of the delightful soft and bouncy blend of 80% wool and 20% cotton.  The tweedy blend of fibers makes the stockinette sections of both sweaters come alive with interesting texture.  And both feature delicate lace details that make each of these sweaters more feminine and fun to knit.

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Meghan is shown with another version of the Coming Up Spring Cardigan knit at the 36″ bust size with 1½” of positive ease.  Her sweater features the Suede color of Cotton Comfort.  As you can see, knitting the pattern with less positive ease results in a very different fit that you may find more appealing.

We’re delighted to have a choice of patterns to play with this summer that can be worked up so beautifully in our favorite summer DK weight yarn; and hope that you’ll take a closer look at both of these projects for a wearable work of art of your own!

Announcing several new patterns

To accompany the new yarns that we’ve been working on this Spring, we have several new patterns releasing this week that we are very eager to share with you.

All of these new patterns will be making their debut at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in Friendship, MD this weekend.  We hope that you’ll have a chance to visit our booth there to see these samples in person!

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The first is a beautifully practical layering cardigan designed by Maureen Clark.  Coming Up Spring is knit up with Cotton Comfort for a lighter weight summer sweater.  We love having sweaters like this one to transition us through April and May when temperatures tend to vary from day to day and occassionally from hour to hour!

The pattern is knit flat in one piece from the bottom-up.  The sleeves are worked separately and seamed in during finishing.

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The delicate botanical lace that runs along the bottom border of the sweater as well as cuffs is our favorite part of this feminine design.

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We’ve also developed an asymmetrical and reversible shawl called Davis & Fuber (named after the Spinnery’s carding machine that is celebrating its centennial this year).  Seen here knit up with three skeins of the limited edition Moorit yarn and a contrasting pop of color supplied by a skein of Passionate Kisses Mewesic.

This shawl is comfortingly cozy and still light weight when knit up with any of the Spinnery’s other DK weight yarn options: Alpaca Elegance, New Mexico Organic or Sylvan Spirit.

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Kate knit up a larger version  of the shawl with 4 skeins of Chai Alpaca Elgance and a pop contrast of a single skein of Mean Mr. Mustard Mewesic.  As you can see, the larger version provides a generous amount of fabric to wrap up in during colder months.

And with those colder temperatures in mind, our Granite Cap was designed to ward of winter’s chills.

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This unisex beanie has a dense ribbed texture that stretches for a custom fit that feels like a hug.  It knits up as quick as a wink with a double strand of Green Mountain Green.

We hope that you enjoy knitting up any of these patterns that strikes your fancy.  We’d love to help you with your yarn selections, so plan a visit to the Spinnery or give us a call at 800-321-9665!

 

And there’s more!

Along with our new Moorit yarn, we have two other new additions to the Spinnery offerings: Lana.  This 100% wool fingering weight yarn is perfect for lighter summer knits.

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We’ve created two contrasting naturals, Blanco (on the right) is created with our fine western wool sourced from Targee sheep; and Gris (on the left) is created with a 50/50 blend of the fine western wool and our fine dark wool.  A third color ( a soft medium grey called Plata) is still in production and will be available for sale next week.

This 2-ply yarn is lofty and delicate and sure to knit up into summer weight shawls and garments that will be warm and light as a feather.  Each skein is roughly 3.5 ounces and contains 400 yards.  Suggested gauge is 8.5 st/inch on US size 1 (2.25 mm) needles, but flowing looser fabrics can be created with needles as large as a US 6 (4 mm).

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Kate wasted no time and started working on developing a pattern for a top-down seamless cardigan that she’s been wanting to add to her wardrobe.  We imagine that the pattern will be ready to share with you by summer’s end.

In the meantime, Larisa is working on Brooklyn Tweed’s Boardwalk pullover that we can’t wait to see off the needles.

Garments made with this yarn will make for perfect layering pieces, light, warm and easily packed into a bag to accompany you on any summertime adventure.

We hope that you’ll have a chance to see these new yarns at the upcoming Maryland or New Hampshire Festivals, or that your summer holidays bring you to Putney to visit us at the mill.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Stripe it up!

Larisa spent many hours winding and bundling the Spinnery’s new Mountain Mohair Mini skeins this winter.  As she worked, she found herself wanting to create a cowl that would highlight small amounts of our delicious Mountain Mohair.

After a thorough search of the Ravelry database that didn’t turn up what she was envisioning, she designed the cowl that she wanted to wear.

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And today, we have the pleasure of introducing Larisa’s first pattern:  The Route 5 Cowl and Wrist Warmers!

Named after the rural highway that Larisa uses to commute to and from the Spinnery, these fun accessories have chevron striping that is reminiscent of the twists and turns of that beautiful road and the Connecticut River that runs beside it.

Using a full single skein of Mountain Mohair for the main color (on the ribbed bands and between each contrast color stripe) and a bundle of 5 of our Minis, you’ll have enough yarn for both the cowl and matching wrist warmers.  Larisa used Blizzard as her main color to act as a soft neutral and played with pop colors for her stripes.

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Larisa specifically selected a bundle group that had a mini skein of Goldenrod in it and ended up with a color selection that is a bit reminiscent of a Hudson’s Bay point blanket.  She used (from bottom to top) Blueberry, Fern, Goldenrod, Periwinkle, and Rhubarb.

The random selection of colors included in our bundles will allow you to play with your own combination.  You could also substitute leftover bits of stash yarn from other projects to create custom stripes of your own design.

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We hope that you have fun with Larisa’s new pattern.  We can’t wait to see what new color combinations result from it!

A crafty afternoon

Our dear friend Ellen Mason (Odacier) inspired several of us at the Spinnery to dust off our sewing machines and spend an afternoon sewing instead of knitting this week.

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When Ellen and Thea joined us in Putney last November for our Knitters’ Weekend, Ellen filled our heads with dreams of sewn projects.  She modeled a darling dress that we all fell in love with, and promised that a pattern for it was in the works…

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Yesterday her pattern for the Ann Carolyn Smock was released, and we got busy!  Ellen’s inclusion of the yardage requirements among the photos on her etsy site mean that you can purchase your fabric without delay, and get it ready to be sewn while your pattern is in the mail on its way to you.

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Larisa made a shirt version of the pattern early in the week as a “dress-rehearsal” of sorts and then made the same longer dress version of the pattern that Maureen selected to work on. Kate opted for the tunic version of the pattern.

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After just three hours, all three smocks were very close to being finished. (Maureen’s is on the left, Kate’s in the middle and Larisa’s is on the right).  One of our favorite aspects of the pattern is the optional “pop” pockets.  They can be personalized in all kinds of ways: un-embellished, trimmed with bias tape and brightly contrasting.

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The pattern provides crisp, clear and illustrated directions that were a snap for all of us to follow, in spite of two of us being infrequent/novice sewers.  Having an almost finished garment at the end of an afternoon’s work was exhilarating for a group of knitters who are more accustomed to spending weeks to complete a project.

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And nothing beats the sense of accomplishment that comes with a finished project!  We recommend putting down your knitting needles and crochet hooks in exchange for a set of pinking shears for a change of pace that will add a terrific new garment to your Spring/Summer wardrobe and put a spring in your step.

Thank you Ellen for a lovely pattern that we are sure to recreate again and again, and for inspiring us to try something new.

 

 

Mini bundles of fun

In celebration of the beginning of Spring, we have created “bouquets” of fun color for you to play with!

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Knowing how popular our worsted weight Mountain Mohair is for color work projects, we have bundled five Mountain Mohair mini skeins into a fun collection of yarn for you to enjoy!

These skeins are each approximately 50 yards, giving you plenty of yardage for small accessories of many colors or a fun way to add a pop of color here and there to other larger projects.

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If you are looking for some project inspiration, you might want to take a look at our Mini Mitts.  Cap Sease created a fun pair of fingerless mitts using just two of these mini skeins.

A bundle would provide you with the yardage for a couple of pairs.  If you wanted matching mitts, you could use the mini skeins for pops of color on a much larger collection of mitts to give as gifts or to match every outfit and mood.

There are hundreds of other accessory project suggestions to be found on Ravelry.  Our favorite may be the Algonguin Hats designed by Thea Colman which calls for a single skein of Mountain Mohair as a main color and just 50 yards of a contrast color to create a beanie with a hint of slouch and gorgeous textured color.

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The color selection of the Mountain Mohair Minis that you’ll receive is random and sure to compliment each other beautifully.  We can’t wait to see what you make with them!

Spreading sunshine

Sometimes we are drawn to work with a particular yarn because the color speaks to us, at times its the texture or quality of the fiber; and occasionally our selection can be influenced by larger, global considerations.  When our choice makes a positive impact on folks we’ve never met, every one of us wins.

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For over a decade, we have sourced the organic cotton used in our Cotton Comfort yarn from the folks at the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative.  They work exclusively with small family run farms in and around Lubbock, Texas.

“This region of Texas, the heart of “the world’s largest cotton patch,” is well-suited to the production of organic cotton.  Winter temperatures are cold enough to limit insect pressure and provide a hard freeze to defoliate the cotton plants prior to mechanical harvest. In addition, a sunny climate and quick-drying soils facilitate timely weed control.”

Their certified organic fiber is tracked from the field to the bale and so we know exactly where our fiber comes from and whom to thank.

When interviewed for The True Cost, La Reah Pepper (an organic cotton farmer who grew up just south of Lubbock, TX) speaks passionately about the benefits of organic growing practices.

“Organic promotes life and creates solutions. Organic agriculture promotes life in the soil, increased bio-diversity, increased food-security, ability to mitigate impacts of climate change with stronger carbon sequestration, the reduced use of irrigation where that applies, and the elimination of toxic and persistent pesticides from the water we drink and the air we breathe. It is also life for communities, catalyzing job creation with the increased crop selections as a result of the shift from a mono-crop culture and the employment of more people to care for the crop during the growing season.

It also means life for farm families ensuring that their fields are safe places to work and to play – to live!!”

We’ve been lucky to work with the team at Texas Organic who have always been able to send us a bale of the best quality cotton that meets our staple length specifications.  Since it is currently only used in our Cotton Comfort yarn and a few of our custom lot projects, it usually takes us a few years to work through the hundreds of pounds of cotton when it arrives. But from the warmth and kindness we’ve always enjoyed when working with Kelly Pepper, you’d think that we were their best customers.

Kate recently completed a project using our Cotton Comfort that was inspired by her trip to Stitches West in Santa Clara.  We asked her to bring a bit of that Californian sunshine back with her, and she did in the form of a beautifully sunny shawl!

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Using Isabell Kraemer’s Paris Toujours pattern, and three skeins of Yarrow Cotton Comfort, she quickly knit up a delightfully squishy and comforting wrap.  She found the lace repeat called for in the pattern was easily memorized making it a perfect project for a long flight.  Her project grew quickly as she flew across the country and back and now she has an accessory that will brighten her days when showers are in the forecast.

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We hope that when you are interested in casting on for a project that calls for a DK weight yarn, you might consider using our Cotton Comfort line.  Your choice will have a larger impact than you might have imagined.

Dreamed, spun, designed and knit

It all started with Julie Asselin.  She dreamed up a new yarn last summer; and when her Nurtured moved through our production line, we all knew that it was something special.

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This yarn is created by blending and spinning wool that Julie has dyed before sending it to us.  You can see in the photo above that the yarn has flecks of her carefully created bright colors that are blended with undyed fiber into a subtle overall tone that is as warm and comforting as the name implies.

You can read more about how it all came together on Julie’s blog posts about the project.

When Julie shared several skeins of this new yarn with Thea Colman, Thea couldn’t wait to start swatching.  She experimented with various stitch patterns and came to the conclusion that this yarn wanted to be knit up in gloriously lush round cables.  We couldn’t agree more.

Her design evolved into a new and improved cabled grandpa sweater that will be one you find yourself reaching for again and again.  We’d like to introduce you to Milk Stout.

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© 2016 BabyCocktails

Thea shared a few preview photos with us as her pattern became ready for test knitting and we were smitten.  Larisa (who spun this gorgeous yarn) cast on for the pattern using our Weekend Wool and the similarities between the two yarns has offered great results.

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Our natural undyed skeins of Weekend Wool are also a woolen spun worsted weight 2-ply yarn of blended fibers.  Our Natural Grey seen above is created by combining light and dark undyed fiber and is the base for the dyed skeins that are equally popular.

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Larisa’s new Milk Stout sweater is cozy, comforting and lofty.  Thanks to the woolen spun yarn it is a perfect weight with lush cables that provide texture that feels just like a hug when worn.

Whether you chose to use Weekend Wool or Julie’s Nurtured, you are going to love this sweater as much as we do.