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.

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!

 

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.

And that’s not all…

Last week we shared with you Amy Christoffer’s Coolidge Cardigan pattern, a lovely moss stitch and lace creation that Maureen has already cast on for.  She is making a version in Pumpkin Weekend Wool that just might be ready to make its debut at Rhinebeck.

This week we wanted to draw your attention to the handful of other recently published patterns available on Ravelry that call for Spinnery yarns.

© Annie Rowden

Among our favorites is Annie Rowden’s Polka Dot Tunic.  This pattern includes sizing for 6 months to 12 years and the design could transition from a dress to a tunic worn over leggings as the little one who wears it grows.  Annie knit this up with Spinnery Sylvan Spirit.

This pattern is part of the Knittin’ Little Fall 2015 Collection that includes designs from 6 popular designers with a little something for every discriminating kiddo that you may be knitting for.

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© Therese Chynoweth

Our friend Therese has designed a lush cabled pillow that is perfect for snuggling into on long winter evenings.  Her Long Weekend Cabled Pillow pattern calls for Alpaca Elegance and would satisfy a project need for those of you eager to nest as our days get shorter.

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© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

If a smaller project is more your speed, you may want to consider Amy Palmer’s top-down Mewesic Socks.  This pattern is available for FREE when you purchase either the digital or physical edition of Knitscene Winter 2015 from the Interweave online store. Never fear! The pattern  will be available for free to everyone in the near future.

And for you hookers out there, Marly Bird has recently published a beautiful shawl that also calls for Spinnery Mewesic yarn.

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© Love of Crochet

You’ll find her Camilla Shawl in the pages of the Fall 2015 issue of Love of Crochet.  It calls for a skein each of two colors of our DK weight wool yarn.  Just beautiful!

There are even more patterns for you to choose from.  Browsing the selection on Ravelry may help you find the perfect new pattern to start next  Feel free to give us a call or stop by the Spinnery; we’d love to help you find the perfect yarn selection for your next project.

What’s on our needles?

We reorganized one of our display walls last week in order to incorporate the newest colors of Sylvan Spirit into our DK wall of yarn.  This inspired us all to pick out skeins for a FREE shawl pattern that has been topping the popularity charts on Ravelry this month.

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Over the Sea to Skye designed by Kalurah Hudson seems like a perfect late summer project.

© Kalurah Hudson

“Reminiscent of the sweeping landscape of beachy Dunes and the rippling of the waves as they rush onto the sand.  This oversized shawl is the perfect accessory for a chilly summer night but light enough for a warm, balmy day as you journey over the Sea.

It’s beauty is in its sheer simplicity. Easy to memorize increases and clean transitions between garter, lace mesh and eyelet lace. The shawl’s asymmetric shape lends a generous width for wrapping. And the sweet little picots and eyelet edging add just enough romantic whimsy.”

While any of our DK yarns (Mewesic, New Mexico Organic, Alpaca Elegance, Sylvan Spirit, or Cotton Comfort) will allow you to get gauge for this pattern we all agreed that a light summer wrap would be more appealing to knit and wear in our yarns that blend plant fibers with wool.

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Larisa and Maureen are both drawn to working with Sylvan Spirit.  The 50/50 blend of wool and tencel creates an enviable drape that will look terrific when paired with this pattern.  Larisa wants to work with Sterling and Maureen wants to cast on with Jade.  Kate is interested in playing with a bolder color and is considering Cotton Comfort in Yarrow.

Are you tempted to cast on for this beautiful pattern in one of our delicious DK yarn options?

 

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!

Hitting the road

Summertime brings with it a call from the open road.  For those of us free from the demands of a working farm, a desire to travel gets us planning trips to visit friends, family, and new locales.  And with the I-91 Shop Hop just two weeks away, all of us knitters at the Spinnery are planning projects that will travel with us, for short day trips or longer excursions.

Maureen has a trip to Maine scheduled next week and her travel project is already on her needles.

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She has begun knitting the Swingy Lace Vest designed by Jean Clement and published in the Summer edition of Love of Knitting.  The pattern calls for 3-5 skeins of Sock Art Forest in the Water colorway and our dyer Melissa just dropped off a fresh new batch of the beautiful blue skeins.

Maureen has chosen a deeper teal color that more closely matches the two other teal projects that are currently on her needles.  Funny how that can happen…

Larisa has already started her travel project as well.

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This is Zig to the Zag by Stephen West.  Larisa is using the Dark Roast and Rosehip colors of Alpaca Elegance and Mean Mr. Mustard Mewesic as her pop stripe color.

This garter stitch scarf is an ideal travel project being small enough to fit on her lap and a very easy pattern repeat that doesn’t require much concentration.  This leaves Larisa free to enjoy the scenery and help navigate on the day trips she often makes with her husband around New England.

Kate has a week long adventure to Alaska planned for late July and so is still in the planning stages of her travel project.  She currently has two contenders that have captured her fancy.

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The first is a potential Rhinebeck sweater. Inspired by the project photos of one of the Spinnery’s Ravelry friends, Kate is thinking about casting on for an Autumn inspired version of Hiro designed by Julia Farwell-Clay.  These hues of Spinnery Mewesic are going to look amazing blended together in a pixelated circular yoke (left to right: Norwegian Wood, Evergreen, Mean Mr. Mustard, and Sandman).

But she recognizes that a smaller project might be easier to pack.

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Hence project option number two: Brooklyn Tweed’s Ashby shawl to be knit with the Cappuccino color of Alpaca Elegance.  Delicious.

We hope that your summer travels have you headed our way.  We’d love to see you during the Shop Hop or any time that brings you to the Spinnery’s doors.  Time permitting, we can offer you a tour of our production facility giving you a chance to see all the work that goes into our skeins before they are ever wound and ready to knit.

Please share your project photos and your travel snapshots on our Facebook page or on our Ravelry Group discussion thread.  We’d love to see where you’re headed and what you’re working on!

Maureen’s new shawl

While traveling last week, Maureen had plenty of time to work on a new shawl.  She cast off her last few stitches as we drove back to Vermont from Maryland and will be able to model it this weekend at the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival.

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This is the Lallybroch Shawl designed by our friend Marly Bird.  This pattern was recently published in the Spring 2015 issue of Love of Knitting.  (We have a couple of copies still available).

Marly has confessed that this shawl was inspired by the one worn by Claire on the tv show Outlander.  And we should confess that if we had remembered to pack the cord we needed for the truck’s stereo, we would have been listening to one of the audiobooks in the series while Maureen was knitting and Kate drove.

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Maureen’s version was knit up with two colors of the pattern’s called for Spinnery Alpaca Elegance: Chai and Cocoa.  We love the warmth of these two colors together and it looks beautiful on Maureen.

We hope that you’ll be able to visit us at the festival this weekend so that you can see this beautiful shawl for yourself.  It is likely that you’ll want to cast on for your own without delay.

 

 

Happy New Year

The arrival of 2015 has us at the Spinnery looking ahead with new resolutions and intentions as well as reflecting over the past year of projects.  We’ve been looking back through our Ravelry project pages remembering each of the items that were completed this year and what was going on in our lives as those stitches were made.

We thought we would share our favorite projects with you this week.  These may inspire you to cast on for something similar, or get a little bit of new joy out of projects of your own that you are proud of.

 

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All of us at the Spinnery were excited as the first skeins of our new Mewesic yarn made their way through production.  This fall all of us cast on eagerly to play with the new yarn and get a sense of how it knit up.  Eric made a stunning new sample of the Wonderland Gloves pattern using Sandman, Brickhouse, and Evergreen.  The contrasting colors pop beautifully and the dense gauge of the gloves ensures satisfying warmth for your hands.

 

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Kate used a similar color scheme for her first stranded color work project, Ysolda Teague’s Pyukkleen Cowl pattern.  She found that the stitches just flew along her needles.  By trying something new after years of knitting, she has opened up a whole new world of projects that she is eager to try her hand at.

 

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Maureen’s favorite project of 2014 is the Summerhill cardigan designed by ANNESTRiCK (modeled by Kate above).  This beautiful sweater knit up with Spinnery Sylvan Spirit in the Sterling color included her first contiguous shoulder.  The technique results in the look of a set in sleeve with the convenience of a top-down construction.  And with the included lacework of this pattern the result is stunning!

Larisa has selected one of her most recently finished projects as her favorite.  Her Gold Rush Shawl designed by Amy Christoffers is a shop favorite knit up with the rich dark Evergreen color of Mewesic.

 

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All of us enjoyed the KAL that had us working on this lovely shawl through the holiday season.  It was fun to check in with one another around the “water cooler” and see who had progressed further through the charts.

As you look ahead to 2015 with resolutions or intentions for your craft, we hope that if there are particular projects or some new knitting skills you are eager to master, that we at the Spinnery can help make that happen for you.  Our biannual Knitting Retreats have provided many crafters with a warm and friendly environment to learn exciting new techniques.

And if you are a Vermont (or southern New Hampshire) local, you may  find that our Community Knit Night on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings of every month from 5:30-7:30pm is a wonderfully supportive and nurturing group. Many a new knitter has found answers, suggestions, and other help from friendly neighbors around our work table.

All of us at the Spinnery wish you the happiest of New Years and hope that we’ll be seeing you soon.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.