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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Fall issue of Knitscene has hit the news stand and we’re thrilled that our yarn is featured on the cover!
The Barton Cowl designed by Laura Reinbach is knit up with 3 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery’s Simply Fine. Shown above in 2 skeins of the undyed Natural Dark color and a single skein of Azalea.
This beautiful infinity cowl is started with a provisional cast on and knit as a tube, keeping all your color work ends and floats neatly tucked inside. To finish, all the live stitches are grafted together to create a seamless circle.
This single ply fingering weight yarn is created with a blend of our softest mohair and finest wool. It blooms when washed and creates a downy soft fabric that is a pleasure to wear against the skin. We have a beautiful selection of hand painted colors that will shine in contrast with our lovely un-dyed neutrals.
And that’s not all! Included in the pages of this issue is a multiple page book excerpt from The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting by Faina Goberstein and Simona Merchat-Dest.
This three page primer provides a taste of the terminology and diagrams of this wonderful color work technique that is going to be the topic of this fall’s Knitters’ Weekend Retreat. You can learn more about it here.
Faina will be here in Putney Vermont sharing her tips and tricks with us on November 11th – 13th. Our Knitters’ Weekend is a very special gathering. You’ll have a chance to learn from an expert in the field with fewer than 20 other students ensuring an intimate gathering where you’ll get all the support you need while making new friends.
New England is at its most beautiful in the fall and we know that you’ll enjoy your visit that will be full of yarn, laughter, and learning. We hope that you’ll be able to participate!
Maureen and Kate are headed out west to bring a bit of Spinnery magic to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival that will be taking place in Jefferson, WI on Friday Sept 11th – Sunday September 13th.
On their way they will be stopping of at the Sow’s Ear Coffee and Yarn Shop in Verona. On Wednesday September 9th from 6-8pm Maureen and Kate will host a Trunk Show of Green Mountain Spinnery yarns and samples.
Their hand-picked collection of sweater and accessory samples will give guests a chance to see, feel and try on how Spinnery yarns knit up.You’ll find options from single skein patterns that make delightful gifts to larger projects; with a range of difficulty from beginner to expert, and featuring a variety of techniques from stranded color work to airy lace.
You’ll have a unique opportunity to choose skeins from their collections of Weekend Wool, Simply Fine, and Sock Art.We know that getting to chance to see these yarns in person can make all the difference when finding the perfect color.
We hope that you can join the fun and come see what Green Mountain Spinnery will inspire you to cast on for next!
With the I-91 Shop Hop gearing up to start next week, we got to thinking about how to help get your creative juices flowing.
We understand that with a dozen shops to visit, the temptation to pick up a skein or two at each will run strong. We also recognize that yarn shopping without projects in mind can be frustrating if you find the perfect project after your visit and discover that you don’t have the yardage you need.
With that in mind, we thought that we could collect a list of some of our current favorite project ideas that can be knit (or crochet) with a just a skein or two of our lovely yarns in a range of gauges.
When you arrive, you’ll see that we have created samples of several of these designs and they will be available in the shop for you to enjoy and try on.
Ascutney Aran Hat is a $7 Green Mountain Spinnery pattern that calls for 250 yards. Purchasing this pattern gives you the cable chart you’ll need to complete the FREE Boot Topper pattern addendum which calls for 280 yards for a pair.
Duffers is a $2.50 felted slipper pattern designed by Mindie Tallack that calls for 220 – 440 yards for a range of three sizes.
Singapore Sling* a $5 hat pattern designed by Thea Colman that calls for 200 yards.
*This is one of the 6 patterns included in the $16 BabyCocktails’ Tiki Collection published last winter that all knit up with minimal yardage in a variety of gauges.
We hope that this selection provides you with some welcome inspiration and may make your Shop Hop experience a bit more fun! We look forward to seeing you soon and we can’t wait to get you started on your next project.
We thought that you would enjoy getting a peek at the sweater that just came off Maureen’s needles. Back in the beginning of August, Maureen cast on for Ankestrike’s Summerhill cardigan.
Maureen selected Green Mountain Spinnery’s Sylvan Spirit in the Sterling color. The blend of wool and Tencel is perfectly suited to this flowing open cardigan. You’ll see that Maureen’s stitches glow! Her stitch definition couldn’t be more crisp. And the beautiful lace details of this sweater are perfectly highlighted by her choice of yarn and light color.
You can see more detailed photos of Maureen’s cardigan on her project page.
This sweater was Maureen’s first project that utilizes the contiguous shoulder technique. She loved the top-down construction that creates the look of set in sleeves without the fuss of seaming. You can find out more about this technique here. And you can find a growing list of patterns that incorporate this technique here.
Some of our favorite recently published patterns that contain a contiguous shoulder include:
Elsa by mend&repair, (which could be knit up with any of our dozens of shades of Mountain Mohair).
There are hundreds of patterns to choose from, we hope that you find one that appeals to your sense of style and that you give this technique a try. If you’d feel more comfortable giving yourself a bit of practice before working on the project you choose, you might want to consider casting on for this mini sweater that was created as a tutorial for this technique.
Maureen is confident that you’ll enjoy the process as much as she did. A few of the Spinnery designers are hoping to make this fun technique a part of their future designs. We look forward to seeing what they come up with!
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.
Last but not least is Maureen Clark’s FREEDuet 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is a bumper crop of gorgeous flowers growing by the side of the road at the Spinnery this week. These blossoms have us thinking of circular lace shawls that might mimic their delicate finery.
One of the most widely knit circular shawl is the Pi Shawl from Elizabeth Zimmerman. Over 2,100 Ravelers have cast on for this pattern. From the pages of her Knitter’s Almanac, Elizabeth describes the project:
“When you set out on the annual family trip naturally you have to take your knitting; something has to keep you sane in face of the possibly quite ferocious situations you will be up against in the next two weeks.
Try a shawl.
I have a circular shawl for you which starts at the center, has absolutely no pattern, and only six shaping-rounds in the whole thing.”
What could be simpler? And the stunning variety of the projects on Ravelry clearly show how this simple recipe can create a unique shawl that like a snowflake or a flower has a breathtaking grace. Using Spinnery Simply Fine yarn might be a perfect choice. Selecting the variegated color will add another level of complexity to your project.
For those of you feeling more ambitious, you may want to try one of a pair of circular shawls designed by Audry Nicklin that portray the stars in the night sky oriented from either the north or south poles. The lacework of this shawl is combined with beads for a bit of extra sparkle.
This stunning shawl Celestarium uses eyelets and beads as stars with the center representing Polaris. We can’t think of a more beautiful way to capture memories of summer evenings spent stargazing. Our Spinnery Sock Art Forest or Meadow might be a perfect yarn for this project, requiring just three skeins to complete.
Eric has a stunning circular shawl on the needles right now. We can’t share project details or photos yet, in part because we haven’t yet released the yarn she’s using, and in part because she is eager to block out her work so that it looks its very best. We hope to show you those photos in upcoming weeks.
In the meantime, you may want to take a look at some of the other 274 circular lace shawl patterns that are available on Ravelry. Let us know if we can help you find the perfect Spinnery yarn for an end of summer project that will capture the fleeting beauty of a summer bouquet.
I had to pull over by the side of the road this week and take a photo of these beauties. Spring arrived a little late for all of us this year, so a full bed of blossoms just took my breath away and made me stop the car!
And because I have yarn on the brain, I was immediately inspired to try to figure out how I could knit something that could in some way capture all this beauty. The dasies’ bright fresh colors made me think of the beautiful lemon yellow hand painted skeins of Spinnery Simply Fine that we have in the shop.
They have been calling out to me all week as the perfect choice for a little dress. I did a bit of searching on Ravelry and found a generous selection of almost 40 patterns that could be knit up with a single 450 yard skein. (This of course is contingent on the size of the pattern you select).
Among my favorites are two of the most popular patterns in the group:
This is Tora Frøseth’s Little Sister Dress. The FREE pattern covers a size range from 3 to 24 months. And the dress could work as a little tunic over tights which could extend its wearability beyond 2 years.
And next is the Rio Dress designed by Taiga Hilliard. It has two darling little buttons in the back so that the dress can more easily be popped over a little one’s head. This pattern includes sizing from newborn to 3T.
I hope that you’ll share with us what has been inspiring you to cast on these days. We have started a new discussion on our Ravelry Group page that we’d love for you to join. Tell us what has got your creative juices flowing!
Last week we started working on the Natural Dark color of both our Simply Fine and our Green Mountain Green yarns. As different as these yarns appear to be in structure, they are identical in fiber content, so they can be created congruently for much of the production process. Almost like making cupcakes and a cake at the same time, we start with the same “batter”.
The ingredients for this batch of yarn includes roughly 53 pounds of fine wool with about 35 pounds of first shearing kid mohair. To put those numbers into perspective, we estimate that a typical wool fleece weighs about seven pounds. After cleaning and processing, we’ll end up with roughly 60 pounds of finished yarn.
The two fibers are blended by our picker and carder. You can see it here going through our carder on the 21st. The fibers for this yarn are GREENSPUN; which means that here at the carding stage, our special blend of organic vegetable oil and water is added to the fiber to smooth its progress through the machine.
The wool we use for these yarns is a combination of fleeces from Rambouillet and Targhee sheep that are raised in Ohio and along the high plains of Montana, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota.
The soft kid mohair comes to us from Joe David Ross in Sonora Texas. He has supplied the Spinnery with wonderful mohair fiber for almost 30 years. (You can learn more about him and the mohair he supplies us with here).
Here you can see the roving set up on the spinning machine a few days later. The fiber will be spun with tension to create plies that will be strong enough to knit or crochet with.
At this point the bobbins of yarn are rolled into our steambox for a three hour “sauna” that will set the twist.
And now the two yarns are separated to follow different paths. The plies for our Green Mountain Green yarn are sent to the plying machine. Here two plies will be spun together (in the opposite direction) to create the 2-ply yarn that we love. The Simply Fine is a single ply yarn and so is ready for skeining.
Here you can see the two-ply Green Mountain Green bobbins lined up on the skeining machine where we’ll wind off 120 yard hanks to be twisted into beautiful skeins. The Simply fine bobbins are wound into skeins of about 450 yards.
The skeins are now ready for a gentle washing with mild soap which will preserve the natural sheen and resilience of the yarn. Once it has dried, it is ready to be twisted into shape and labeled for sale. From start to finish, this batch took just about a week to produce. We can’t wait to see what becomes of it next!