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Sock Art – Socks & More!

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Sock yarn is a magical thing in the knitting world. One skein is all you need for a pair of socks or a small shawl and two or three skeins can yield a sweater! Green Mountain Spinnery’s Sock Art Forest and Meadow each have such vibrant colorways and generous yardage making them a perfect choice many projects. Forest is a blend of 70% fine wool, 30% Tencel® and has a distinct sparkle that brings out fancy stitch patterns. Meadow is a blend of two exquisit American-grown natural fibers, 50% super fine kid mohair and 50% fine wool. This yarn is elastic, warm and soft with a subtle luster.

Socks are a portable project, making them perfect for spring and summer travel or enjoying the outdoors. The Trellis Socks are our newest sock pattern. This is a good pattern on which to try the “Magic Loop” technique, if you haven’t already. Designer Maureen Clark has provided us with an unusual and attractive cast on method at the toe, and her signature ribbed sole for great fit and comfort. The garter stitch short row heel is as easy and as cushy as they come. Sunny Side Up Socks are toe-up socks, also designed to be knit using the “Magic Loop” technique. These ankle socks sport a lacy diagonal pattern stitch, foot-hugging ribbed soles, and an elegant picot-edged cuff. They look great with a new pair of sping shoes. If you prefer a cuff-down style of sock, you will want to check out the Jelly Beans sock pattern. The textured stitch pattern is perfect for showing off variegated sock yarn.

Just because it has “Sock” in the name, that should not limit you when it comes to pattern choices! Bellflower by Cap Sease, is  a wrap sweater ideal for wearing over a camisole on warm spring days or cool summer nights. It can be worn as a vest, or if you prefer, small cap sleeves make it perfect for warding off evening chill. Meadow Lark Lace by Melissa Johnson is equally lovely as a scarf (using 1 skein) or shawl (using 3 skeins); this pattern is simple and satisfying. The Septor Cowl, designed by Maureen Clark, is an infinity scarf, crocheted flat and sewn together. Wear it as a single loop or doubled over for extra coziness. The Summer Breeze Shawl is a simple lacy shawl, perfect as a lightweight cover-up for a cool summer evening, designed by Cap Sease.

Here are a few more projects to inspire you, from customers like you! SpindlBratt’s Grisaille is modified from the original pattern with stunning results using only 2.25 skeins of Forest in the Wheat colorway. Dodiraz’s Dandelions Shawl is a bright and sunny shawl using half a skein of Meadow in green and one skein (plus a little bit more) of Meadow in yellow. Knittingdove’s Affection combines 3 different colorways of Forest in this wonderful wrap.

Whether you knit (or crochet) garments or accessories with Sock Art, we encourage you to share your projects with us and others in our Ravelry group and on our Facebook page!

 

 

A Shawl Showcase

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Spring is so here! Sure, Mother Nature could pull a fast one on us still and bring a few more grey days and a lot of mud, but instead we will choose to focus on welcoming spring with warmer weather yarns and colorful accessories. Shawls can add a pop of color to brighten your day while being an easy extra layer to keep the chills away.

Catalina WrapGillette

The Green Mountain Spinnery has several cute and easy shawl patterns you should check out. The Septor Cowl, (above left) designed by Maureen Clark, is the newest in the bunch.  This crochet pattern is worked flat, and then seamed to create an infinity loop style accessory and uses one skein of Simply Fine or Sock Art.  The Catalina Wrap is another crochet design using 2 skeins of Simply Fine (center). If you prefer a knitting pattern, Simply Fine is also the yarn called for in the Gillette Shawl (above right). Gale Zucker took the photos of the Catalina Wrap and the Gillette Shawl as part of a recent photo shoot in Connecticut; you can read more about the experience on her blog!

Perhaps you are the type to be inspired by the leaves that are dotting the trees once again?  The Leafy Lace shawl (above, left) will work up quickly in a DK-weight yarn, like Sylvan Spirit! The Summer Breeze shawl, (center, left), uses Simply Fine or Sock Art to make this lightweight cover-up in a gentle lace pattern.  Two recent publications have included Simply Fine shawls as well. The Spring/Summer 2013 issue of the Twist Collective presents Spoleto, (center, right) designed by Sandi Rosner, and involves a lace and a touch of beadwork. The Flanders Scarf pattern, found in the summer issue of knitscene (above, far right) is a garter stitch scarf worked with lace insert and bobbled edge perfect for a take-along knitting project.

Here are a few more projects we discovered on Ravelry to inspire your needles and hooks as spring approaches! The Farmer’s Market Capelet, (above left) designed by Suzy Allen, uses Sylvan Spirit to keep the chill away on breezy mornings.  Ravelry user Dodiraz also used Sylvan Spirit in her version of Veera Valimaki’s Different Lines pattern (above, center). Cotton Comfort was used in batyabeth’s  Miami Beach Shawl (above, right).

We hope you will share your favorite shawl for Spinnery yarns in our Ravelry group or on our Facebook page!

Meet the Dyer, Melissa Johnson

Monday, May 21st, 2012

 

 

 

Melissa Johnson has been working with the Spinnery since the beginning. She learned to weave at the Putney School from Libby Mills, one of the Spinney founders, and now teaches Textile and Fiber Arts as a member of the Putney School faculty.

Melissa was commissioned to weave samples from the first yarns GMS ever made to test their strength and qualities as weaving yarns. The first colors were Natural Grey, Natural White, Indigo and Garnet. Melissa has been hand weaving all of our sample cards and assisting the Spinnery in the creation of  our color palette ever since.

 

 

 

The Spinnery has always offered limited amounts of one-of-a -kind yarns in the shop.  Melissa started dying odd lots in small batches. Visitors to the shop may find baskets of painted Green Mountain Green in the Fall or Sylvan Spirit in subtle variations in spring time.  Once we developed our two sock yarns Spinney Sock Art Meadow and Forest,  Melissa had to start dyeing year round.  She added new colors to the Sock Art line as well as Simply Fine, and Capricorn.

All of these “hand paints” are created in very small batches of 6- 8 skeins. Projects from these are truly one of a kind.

 

Her designs and dye work are inspired by nature and the textiles of her childhood spent in Istanbul, Turkey and Vermont. Although she likes all colors, folks here know that she is very fond of red. A prolific knitter and knitwear designer (GMS has published more than 20 of her designs)  Melissa is known for her color sense and attention to detail. The “Stained Glass Sweater” on the cover of The Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book and the cover art of 99 Yarns and Counting are part of Melissa’s eye-catching work.

 

A sample of her designs can be found in the Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book: Stained Glass sweater (for children & adults), Stained Glass Hat, and Putney Gardens Sweater. In our 99 Yarns and Counting book Melissa designed the East Putney Aran, Istanbul Aran, and Switchback Hat.  Several of her patterns are available for purchase on our website as a hard copy or PDF digital download: Melissa’s Hat and Mitten, Painted Hats, Ascutney Aran Hat (This pattern has the most “hearts” on Ravelry!), Great Meadows Cardigan, Playful sweaters for Children, and Lisa’s Hat.

Have you been inspired like we have by Melissa’s work? We love when you share with us by commenting here on our blog, a post in our Ravelry group or on our Facebook page.

 

 

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