A must read

Carol Feller’s Short Row Knits was published earlier this fall.  It’s subtitle, “A Master workshop with 20 learn as you knit projects” beautifully distinguishes this book as one that you will want to experience, not just read.


It’s clear concise descriptions of both the why and the how of various short row techniques can be best absorbed by picking up your needles and working the stitches along with Carol’s prose.  We find that getting new techniques into our muscle memory makes them far more likely to transition from theory into daily practice.

And Carol makes a very compelling argument for using these techniques.  Adding short row curves into patterns can give us the ability to customize the fit of any pattern without math. Gasp!  Yep, for those of you who aren’t a fan of “mathy” modifications, short rows can provide customized shaping without changing your stitch count.

The book is filled with clear illustrations, beautifully crisp photography and careful descriptions that make it seem as though she’s right by your side guiding you through the basics.  And that’s not all.

© Joseph Feller

Included in the book are 20 beautiful patterns give you a chance to work with these concepts while creating wonderfully wearable and gift-able knits.  The collection includes sweaters and shawls as well as clever hats and socks and a darling woolen ball, Chirripo, that is worked side to side.

© Joseph Feller

This wonderful book belongs in your project bag, not your bookshelf.  We hope that you’ll give yourself the time to really play with Carol’s tips and tricks.  Mastery of these short row techniques will dramatically change your craft for the better.

And we are pleased to announce that we have a copy to give to a lucky winner!  This weekend, add a comment to our Facebook page and we’ll pick a winner at random on Monday November 2nd.  We hope that you’ll share photos and details of your favorite knitwear projects that make use of short rows.

We look forward to learning about your successes and triumphs with short rows and we know that with Carol’s guidance all of us will have more of those to share in the future!


A new take on a classic Aran

The Aran sweater has a rich history, full of Irish island lore and fishing stories about the one that “got away”.  In the past, each cable included in the pattern acted as a symbol that could weave a tale about the home port or invoke a bountiful catch for the wearer.

Maureen has created a fresh new pattern that combines the reassuring comfort that we associate with these classic designs and thoughtful details that ensure a perfect and flattering fit.  We’d like to introduce you to Duncan.



Maureen has designed the pattern with a size range of 40″ to 51″ and has used set in sleeves to make sure that the sweater fits with a minimum of positive ease.  It is warm and snuggly  knit up with worsted weight Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair; and will never create the impression that you are wearing a cardigan meant for your favorite Fisherman.


Shown here in the undyed White Weekend Wool, this 2-ply 100% wool yarn lends the sweater a crisp stitch definition making the cables pop.  And the classic creamy white color ensures that this sweater could work for any outfit making it a wardrobe staple that you reach for most months of the year (if you live in New England like we do).

We also love the addition of pockets that maintain the cable pattern for continuity but give us the option of warming our hands on a bitter cold or damp morning.

This sweater is sure to become a Spinnery classic and we can’t wait to see yours!

An exclusive event

We have been working hard this week sprucing up the Spinnery in anticipation of the 36th annual Putney Craft Tour that will occur later this week.  We are thrilled to be a part of America’s oldest craft tour.


We will be open from 9am – 5:30pm on Friday, 10am – 5:30pm on Saturday, and 10 – 5pm on Sunday.  We’ll be offering tours of the Spinnery and some special items will be available for sale on a first come first served basis.  Our “retired” antique spinning bobbins will be available for $5 each.

craft samples

We have dozens of hand knit shop samples that could make perfect holiday gifts!  We can save you hours of crafting time over the next month, and perhaps even offer you something that you’d like to wear yourself this winter.

We are offering our adult sweaters for $50 each, adult vests for $30 each, children’s sweaters for $25 and accessories of all kinds for $15.

food shelf

And this one-of-a-kind hand woven shawl is $100 and all of the proceeds will be donated to the Putney Food Shelf.

We are looking forward to this weekend, and hope that you will be able to join the fun.

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.

booboo 01booboo 02














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?

jenny 01

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.

jenny backjenny 03b

















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!

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!


Ombre knitting with Simply Fine

Last week we shared some beautiful project ideas for the Spinnery’s hand painted skeins of Simply Fine on our Facebook page.  We have found that many of us are drawn to work on smaller accessory projects with lightweight yarn while summer’s heat still lingers.

This fingering weight single ply yarn is a wonderfully soft blend of 60% Fine wool and 40% premium kid mohair.  Our friend Melissa Johnson who dyes these skeins for us has made each one a work of art.  And the beauty of this yarn lends itself perfectly to delicate shawls, scarves and cowls.


While browsing through Ravelry, enjoying the photos of finished projects we found created with Simply Fine, we found a stunning collection of projects that were created with the variegated skeins of the Simply Fine. These undyed skeins are naturally “painted” by blending the different  fibers in the carding process so that the yarn is softly striated with a spectrum of tones from brown, taupe, to grey.

© heidelblogknits
© heidelblogknits

This soft ombre effect can be just as dramatic as a pop of pure bright color.  We thought that we’d share some of our favorite photos with you this week, so that you could also enjoy the effects of this special yarn.

© emiliewilliams

This is our Ravelry friend Emilie’s Holden Shawl.  This lacey design by Mindy Wilkes can be created with one to two skeins of Simply Fine depending on the size of the finished shawl you’d prefer.  We have a sample of this eye-catching shawl in our shop and it continually steals the show.

© heidelblogknits
© heidelblogknits

Those beautiful striations of natural color make our friend Christine’s version of Stephen West’s Boneyard Shawl a real stunner.  We love how the simple stripes of purl stitch texture pairs with the changes of color.  This FREE pattern can be knit up with just a single skein as you see here.  Or a larger version can be made with an additional skein to provide more depth to snuggle into.

© ewoll
© ewoll

Our Ravelry friend Elizabeth has used the yarn for a couple of projects.  First, is Katharina Nopp’s FREE pattern for the Wurm hat. This slouchy welted hat has a folded brim for extra warmth for your ears.  Elizabeth made some pattern modifications to adjust the pattern for her gauge, since the pattern calls for a sport weight yarn.

© ewoll

Next is the FREE Less is More Shawl designed by maanel.  This version was created with roughly a skein and a half of the variegated Simply Fine.  This slightly asymmetrical shawl is knits sideways, and the pattern allows for size adjustments to fit your preference.

© MaryDenise
© MaryDenise

Last but certainly not least, is Mary’s version of Lisa Mutch’s Nimbus Shawl.  The sections of the shawl drape beautifully around one’s shoulders making a flattering accessory with stunning drape and an unusual overall shape.  The garter stitch texture provides more substance to the design rendering it more plush. Mary used a single skein for her project.

We have a few more projects to share with you that will be featured on our Facebook page.  We hope that you’ve enjoyed the selection and that these lovely photos might inspire your next project.

Thank you to all of the knitters who so generously shared their photos with all of us.

Have Fun with Your Projects

Most of the time, knitting is an enjoyable activity. There is something special about taking the yarn and turning it into loops on a needle, and then manipulating those loops so they turn into a sweater, sock, hat, glove, or blanket. Except when it’s not. This feeling happens to most knitters at some point in time, on any given project. The Green Mountain Spinnery wants you to have fun with your projects and we wanted to share a few ideas on how to do that.

enterpise hats

1. Have a back-up project (or two. or more.). By putting your current project in time-out for a little bit, working on a different project can be like going for a walk to get some fresh air. It will clear your mind so you can return to the needles and hooks focused and ready to go. Small projects that work up quickly can help you feel very accomplished! (Enterprise Hat, a new design from Eric Robinson, for assortments of Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool.)

cable sweater2. Plan ahead. The Olympic athletes currently competing in Sochi didn’t start their training last week! If you are working on a project for a special event or as a gift, allow plenty of time for you to swatch, fix mistakes, block and dry the project. Intricate charted patterns are likely to take more time than plain stockinette or garter stitch, just as an adult sweater takes longer and more yarn than a baby sweater! Giving yourself enough time on a project will help avoid stress from impending deadlines! (LindaLovesLace’s Runnin’ Down a Dream project in Worsted Wool)

Gaggle of Owls

3. Embrace the fiber arts community. Here and now is a great time to be a knitter! There are so many ways to stay in touch with other knitters if you want to show off your work or ask for advice on colors and techniques. Knitting is also a great reason to get together with friends and have a nice cup of coffee or tea. These points all apply to crochet fans too! We love seeing our yarns worked up when you share them in our Ravelry group or post them to our Facebook page! Seeing what others are working on can also be a great source of inspiration for your next project. We still have room in our Sugar Season Retreat with Marly Bird and we would love to have you come visit us for a great weekend! (Gaggle of Owls by aquaknitter in an assortment of Mountain Mohair)

How do you keep your knitting and crochet fun?


Holiday Project Inspiration

There is no denying that the holiday rush is on. This year in the United States, our Thanksgiving holiday was as late as it could possibly be. The weather in Vermont at the Green Mountain Spinnery has been seasonal and we’re getting ready to enjoy winter sports! Though you may be busy knitting and crocheting your holiday gifts, we wanted to take a moment to share project and decoration inspirations that are sure to bring a smile as they are brought out each year.

Stockings are a Christmas classic and a wonderful way to welcome a new person into your family. The projects we have selected to share with you here are all are knit in Mountain Mohair. The color range of this yarn allows you a lot of opportunity to select a traditional or modern palette. From left to right: quiltingblockhead’s Piper’s Christmas Stocking, kfife’s Luna’s Christmas Stocking, and georgieanna’s Tomte Stocking.

Decorations and ornaments make wonderful little gifts or items to pop into a stocking. Some are small and light enough to tuck into a card or letter! And maybe best of all, they work up very quickly! We thought these projects (inspired by free patterns) were simply adorable! Shown from left to right: tiger2paws’s Pint Size Pines in Alpaca Elegance, quiltingblockhead’s Mitten Ornament and sparklefaerie’s Snowman Ornament, each in Mountain Mohair.

Click on over to our Jolly Holiday Pinterest board for more ideas for decorations and project ideas that would look wonderful in Green Mountain Spinnery yarns! We would love to chat with you about your holiday project progress in our Ravelry group or on our Facebook page, too!

Projects in Alpaca Elegance

Here in Vermont we’ve had a burst of unusual weather – within the same week we had snow and temperatures reaching over 80 degrees Fahrenheit! The weather seems to have settled a bit, and we are happy for warmer days and plenty of sunshine. We encourage you to reach for a wonderful skein of  Alpaca Elegance, our blend of 50% New England grown alpaca and 50% fine American wool. If you have never worked with an alpaca blend before, you are in for a treat! Alpaca fibers have a hollow core, making them lightweight yet warm.

Summer is a great time to try out a new technique. Give colorwork a try with Julia Farwell Clay’s “Wolves will be Wolves” hat. The sample shown used 140 yards of the main color, Chai, and 50 yards of each of the contrast colors, Cocoa and Cream. Sweaters may be far from your mind now, but remember they are a larger time investment. If you start now, you will be all ready for fall. We love Amy Christoffers’ Catboat Cardigan in Rosehip; this sweater strikes a balance between a traditional sweater and modern sports wear. This yarn is also great for crochet patterns. The Walnut Vest for Men by Mary Beth Temple is inspired by classic menswear and is sure to keep your interest with basketweave pattern in the color work section of Cream and Dark Roast against the Cocoa.

We have seen many great projects on Ravelry using this yarn too, have they caught your eye? Spindlbratt’s Doctor it’s the Dalek’s Mitts are perfect for every sci-fi fan. The One Button Waistcoat, knit by Woolymountain, is a great multi-season piece. We think you’ll agree that Riverside’s Maylie is so simply sweet! ShortrowT knit this short sleeve version of Cria, another great garment to span the seasons. Please feel free to add your projects using Green Mountain Spinnery yarns to our Ravelry group.


Of course, we have to share a few alpaca pictures in a post about Alpaca Elegance! These are from Ibiwisi Alpacas in Westminster, VT, taken by Marti Stone.

Could your stash use a bit more Alpaca Elegance to round it out? You can purchase Alpaca Elegance online at spinnery.com!