Winter woolens

As temperatures start to drop and days become shorter, we find ourselves drawn to working on projects that will take a bit more time.  The prospect of sitting quietly with a lap full of knitting is comforting; and so larger projects have a greater appeal.  With this in mind, earlier this fall Maureen teamed up with several New England designers to create a unique collection of sweater dress patterns that you may want to take a closer look at.

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All Aboard! is an $18 e-book that features 6 new designs made with warmer weight yarns ranging from DK weight to Aran.  These sweater dresses represent a wonderful modern take on a 1950’s wardrobe staple that will be the perfect choice for a festive holiday gathering or a weekend away.

Becky Herrick’s design, Essex Junction features eye-catching color work at the yoke, cuffs and hem.  Beth Brown-Reinsel’s Alouette is knitted in the style of the British gansey. It features typical gansey textured stitches above the waist to add visual interest and provide you with something fun to work on.  Lars Rains has contributed a top-down seamless pattern featuring brioche texturing: Brattleboro.  His pattern includes directions for various special techniques that will make for a fun project that will build your skills this winter.   Rosann Fleischauer’s Rensselaer is a flirty feminine A-line dress with cabling at the waist that makes for a figure flattering silhouette.

We have to confess a special preference for the designs included in this collection that call for Spinnery yarns.

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Maureen’s Green Mountain Flyer pattern was designed with Alpaca Elegance. This yarn creates a lush fabric with beautiful movement that is as pleasurable to knit as it is flattering to wear.  The overall texture is created with an easily memorized knit 2, purl one rib stitch variation.  And those garter stitch patch pockets are just darling!

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Suzy Allen contributed the Montpelier pattern to the collection.  Her design features small symmetrical cables and an elegant empire waist; with sizes ranging from a 27″ to a 43″ bust measurement.  She wore this beautiful dress to the Sheep & Wool festival at Rhinebeck last month and was frequently stopped by complimentary visitors eager to learn more about her design.

She created this pattern with the Spinnery’s worsted weight Weekend Wool in mind.  And our new expanded color palette gives you even more options to choose from.

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We hope that your upcoming weeks are filled with fun knitting projects and scrumptious yarn that warm your spirit as much as your hands.  And if a new knitted dress looks like fun, we hope that you’ll treat yourself to the All Aboard! collection that you can find on Ravelry.

Thank you

This week, we’d like to share a poem that David Ritchie wrote as a submission for the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival.  The Spinnery sponsored the Festival’s contests again this year, and as a judge, David’s submission was not eligible for prize consideration.

Nonetheless, we’d like to pass it along to you as a little thank you for all that you do to honor sheep and their impact on our craft and our lives.

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David published his poem in an hand-felted cover.  And each of the pages is illustrated with a delicate line drawing drafted by Lauren VonKrusenstiern.

I am not a commodity

I see you in school,
feeling out of place,
majoring in economics
needing your calculus
for all your formulas
representing the goals
of Chase Manhattan Bank

But I am another being

I live next to the earth,
and in my own way,
I pray
for the best soil,
and the richest greens.
You can even teach me
to graze on the ones
you need to be digested.
(buckthorn for example)

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As your sheep,
I am both strong and frail
fearing many predators
These days my fears are many,
as I know are yours,
making us very humble beings.

In your class, they called me stupid,
but I have my own personality,
my own ways, and who is to
say which of us is wise.

Even with our differences,
I will know your voice,
And listen for your approach,
showing you still
I am glad you are here.

So, I ask,
will you remember my gifts?

As a ewe,
I can give you offspring,
often two at a time,
and as a ram?….
who knows how many of your ewes
will become pregnant?

Breed me carefully and I can soon
produce enough milk to make
your glorious cheeses.

Or breed me another way
And I will sacrifice my life,
just for your survival,
and the taste of choice
at your dinner table.

poem-illustration

Yet,
you also may keep me
and protect me for my wool.
Just caress your hands on my coat of fleece,
and see how they will be healed..

You can follow my miracle fiber
to your local mill,
where every person and machine
from washing to skeining
is dedicated to my beauty.

In these days of drastic weather events,
(created by your people)
whatever you spin from me
will keep you safe and warm.

Who I am,
what I do,
(If you are paying attention),
transforms lives.

When you felt so lonely
and out of place
In that college class……..
you were confronting
within yourself,
what has now become clear,

I am not a commodity

From all of us at the Spinnery, we’d like to offer you a very heartfelt thank you.  Your visits to our mill and our various booths at Sheep & Wool Festivals give us a chance to meet those of you who value our craft and see the extraordinary ways in which you transform our skeins into handknits to be cherished.  Thank you for sharing our love of all things woolly.

Coming soon

We were lucky enough to get a chance to preview the newest samples from Pompom Quarterly while at Rhinebeck last weekend.  The girls flew all the way from their home turf in the UK to share issue 19 (winter 2016) with visitors to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival.

While all 18 patterns are worth checking out, our favorite has been topping the popularity charts on Ravelry this week.  We’d like to introduce you to Cesium designed by Sachiko Burgin.  This stunning pattern will be available for purchase through Ravelry on Nov. 1st.

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©Amy Gwatkin

The cozy sweater is knit up with between 6-11 skeins of Mountain Mohair and is shown above in the Ice Blue color.  The pattern includes a generous size range: 29½ (33, 37½, 41, 45½, 49, 53½)” and is intended to be worn with 1-1½” positive ease.  The model has a 35” bust, stands 5’6” tall, and is wearing the 37½” size.

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©Amy Gwatkin

We love the soft subtle cabling.  The asymmetry of the cables adds visual complexity to a comforting, flattering shape.  And the wide neckline beautifully balances the strong vertical of the cabled panel; it will look fantastic on all kinds of figures.

On Sunday, Sachiko and her twin sister Kiyomi stopped by our booth and so we were able to thank and congratulate her on her stunning design.  Her sister and fellow designer also has a lovely pattern included in this issue of Pompom, Fragmentation is a beautifully designed slouch hat that makes the most of gradient fingering weight yarns that are so impossible to resist.

You’ll find many treasures in the pages of this magazine.  We found that Bristol Ivy’s article about asymmetry and imperfection ties the theme of the collection together in a thoughtful and delightful way that may help you find a new appreciation for the inherent inconsistencies that make our craft unique.

If you don’t already have a subscription to this delightful quarterly, you will be able to find Pompom Winter 2016 available for sale in our shop on Nov. 1st.

Rhinebeck Sweaters

We are so looking forward to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY this weekend.  Every year, all of us that return for the fun wear our hand knits looking forward to the accolades and recognition that are such a rewarding part of the day.

You will be hard-pressed to find another group as appreciative of a beautiful shawl or sweater, because they know exactly what kind of time and patience was required.  It’s likely that their outfit was created with an equal amount of love and care.

You’ll see hand knits that you would never know were still on the needles just a few hours earlier.  Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram become filled with photos of late night and last minute steam blocking and seaming. Laughed confessions of car knitting on the way to the festival abound.

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The Rhinebeck Sweater phenomena was formalized in 2013 in part by Ysolda Teaque’s book that features a dozen stunning sweaters patterns inspired by the gathering.  They were created by 12 different designers who selected yarns that could be purchased from among the Festivals vendors.

The book is filled with beautiful photos shot at the Festival that provide you with a chance to relive the weekend from your armchair any time of year.  And the inclusion of Ysolda’s thoughtful interviews with the folks who grow, spin, and dye these yarns gives the reader a rich history that can sometimes be hard to glean directly from the producers due to the crowds and hectic pace of the weekend.

Included in these pages you’ll find Gudrun Johnston’s Pippin sweater which was created with Spinnery Weekend Wool. You’ll find some terrific new colors to choose from in our booth this year!

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But that’s not all.  Since last year’s festival we’ve added other new yarns that you’ll want to see, feel and possibly smell.

Our Sock Art Lana is a 100% wool 2-ply fingering yarn that knits up into beautiful shawls (like our Jordache pattern) and lightweight sweaters (like the Hatteras Cardigan).  We have two different yarns comprised of Moorit merino fiber that is naturally soft and beautifully hued; a fingering weight single-ply and a DK weight 3-ply.  This year’s batch of Yarn Over is as utilitarian as you remember, comes in two shades (grey and a faded red), and has been worked up into the Beekeeper’s Smock.  This quickly knit pullover has been a hit at this season’s other festivals.

Along with these new yarns, we’ll be featuring all of our new patterns in our booth.  Stopping by will give you a welcome chance to see some of the patterns you’ve seen on Ravelry, our website and on Facebook.  We know that it can be invaluable to check them out in person and get a closer look at elements that may be difficult to distinguish in a photo.

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We’ll have several different versions of Maureen Clark’s Corrie.  This yoked pullover can be worked up with 4 complementary colors of Mewesic; and you’ll have a ball selecting your favorites from among the 13 shades we’ll have sweater quantities of.

We’ll also have all of Cap Sease’s new accessory patterns: the Beinecke Cowl, the Guilford Shawl and the Athens Key Hat.  If you prefer working with bulkier yarns, we have several projects for last minute gifts.  Maureen has crafted a cozy infinity cowl with Tunisian Crochet techniques (Cowl Up). And Kate Salomon has created the Granite Cap that can be knit with a single strand of bulky yarn, a double strand of worsted or a triple strand of DK for three very different looks.

We hope that no matter what you enjoy working on, we can provide you with a whole winter’s worth of beautiful projects that will keep you and your loved ones warm and woolly!

The fun starts at 9 am tomorrow morning.  We can’t wait to see you there.

New for fall (part two)

This week we are proud to share with you another new pattern as well as six new shades of Weekend Wool!

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From top to bottom and left to right is Fawn, Pollen, Chestnut, Grasshopper, Teal and Orchid.  These new shades round out our Weekend Wool spectrum with additional rich tones that our friends in Wisconsin are delighted with!

All of these new colors were created by blending our bale dyed wool in the carding process for a unique depth of tweedy color you are going to love working with.  You may want to consider casting on for the Putney Mountain Vest pattern which features a total of four colors of Weekend Wool in the colorful yoke.

hand knits in Green mountain Spinnery yarns Green Mountain Spinnery yarn fashions, handknit handcrafting
© gail zucker

And for those of you who prefer to crochet, Maureen has crafted a special pattern for a new accessory you are going to love working on.

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Cowl Up is a cozy accessory is created with the Tunisian Crochet technique.  With 2 skeins of our bulky weight Capricorn yarn and a very large hook, you’ll have a finished project to curl up into in just a few hours!  It has been a hit in our booth at Wisconsin and we hope that you’ll enjoy it too.

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And in just a few days we’ll have the finishing touches ready for another circular yoke sweater that you may recognize from our newsletter!  We’ll let you know on our Facebook page as soon as the pattern is ready for downloading.

Until then, happy crafting!

New for fall (part one)

Autumn has so many iconic signs: shorter days, crisp temperatures, turning and falling leaves and the start of school. Each of us marks the change of the seasons with a different indicator, but all of us here at the Spinnery are feeling ready for the start of a new season!

As our youngsters head back to school this week, we are packing up for the first Sheep and Wool Festival of our Fall season. Next weekend in Jefferson Wisconsin we’ll be introducing several new patterns and colors!

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First we’d like to introduce you to a lovely crescent shawl pattern created by Cap Sease: the Guilford Shawl.  This lushly garter stitch textured accessory is created with 2 skeins of our Simply Fine in the Variegated color.  The delicate lace border is worked as you go, so there is no seaming or finishing to slow you down.

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Kate Salomon has designed two sweaters for this fall.  The first, shown above, is the Hatteras Cardigan.  This light layering piece is knit up with the Spinnery’s new 100% wool fingering weight yarn, Lana; and the fabric is appealingly comforting and breathable.

The pattern features an unusual top-down construction that creates a bias hem decorated with a twisted rib border.  It includes four sizes ranging from finished bust sizes of 38″ to 50″ and can be knit up with just 3 to 4 skeins of any of our Sock Art yarns.

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On the warmer side, is the Beekeeper’s Smock.  This oversized pull-over features cuffs and a funnel neck decorated with a honeycomb cable pattern.  It also has contrast pop color pockets and lined neck for a touch of color that will play beautifully off the tweedy Yarn Over the pattern calls for.

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This year’s limited edition version of our bulky recycled yarn comes in two colors, Smoke on the left and Flannel on the right.  The beekeeper’s smock can be knit up as quick as a wink with either 5 or 6 skeins (and an additional single skein or worsted weight Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair for that fun pop of color).

And that’s not all!  Next week we’ll have more new patterns to share with you.  And, we’ll be premiering 6 new shades of our very popular Weekend Wool.

We hope that you can visit our booth in Jefferson, our mill in Putney or our website from the comfort of your own home over the next couple of weeks as all of our hard work this summer comes to fruition just in time for your autumn knitting plans.

What’s next?

You might think that the dog days of summer are no time to cast on with bulky wool (unless you have an air conditioned space to knit in). However, a new pattern has been published this week that may make you want to reconsider.

Twist Collective’s Fall Issue went live a few days ago and among the “pages” is a pattern designed by Kristen TenDyke: Rumford.  This delightfully cozy cardigan features Green Mountain Spinnery’s Capricorn yarn.

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We particularly love the gentle halo created by our special blend of wool and mohair.  That fuzzy softness will make the sweater feel warmer and will protect your stitches from friction, making this single-ply more pill resistant than other yarn options with a similar construction.  Your creation will maintain it’s crisp cables and stand up to everyday wear.

The single ply has another added benefit, creating cables that are beautifully defined, without any ply shadows that make your stitches a bit less clear.

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Our three un-dyed shades will knit up into neutral wardrobe staples that you’ll love wearing as temperatures drop.

Kristen’s pattern includes a generous sizing range from 31 1/2″ to 57 3/4″.  It is worked bottom-up with raglan decreases at the shoulder and has delicate cables on the front and back.

It is designed to be worn with very little positive ease and the subtle waist shaping ensures that it will flatter.  With a suggested gauge of just under 3 stitches per inch (in the stockinette sections) this cardigan will fly off your needles!

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What’s not to love about Rumford?  We hope that you’ll check out this new edition of Twist Collective to see if you can find inspiration for your fall knits there.  We’d love to help you get started on any of the projects you’ll find.  We can offer yarn suggestions and go from there!

 

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!