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.

Corrie is ready!

Our most recent newsletter featured the stunning circular yoke detail of our newest pullover sweater pattern.  And it inspired some of our readers to ask for more details.  We are very pleased to announce that Corrie is now ready to be introduced!

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Shown here on Haylie, the sweater is worn with 2 inches of positive ease in the bust.  We also photographed the sweater on a couple of other models so that you can decide for yourself what kind of fit you’d find most comfortable.

Larisa is wearing Corrie with 3 inches of positive ease.
Meghan is wearing Corrie with 9 inches of positive ease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pattern constructs the sweater from the bottom up.  It is knit in the round and uses corrugated ribbing to create that lovely color work that highlights the circular yoke and cuffs.

We were so delighted with the possibilities that the yoke provides for beautiful color work, that we knit up several samples in various colorways.  Pictured above the sweater is knit up in Evergreen as the main color, with Mean Mr. Mustard, Atlantis and Diamonds and Rust Mewesic.

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Pictured here, the sweater is knit up in  Norwegian Wood as the main color, with Mean Mr. Mustard, Passionate Kisses and Brickhouse Mewesic as contrast colors.

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And lastly, pictured here, the sweater is knit up in Diamonds & Rust as the main color, with Mean Mr. Mustard, Blue Bayou and Brickhouse Mewesic as contrast colors.

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The 13 shades of Mewesic present myriad options for color combinations that will flatter any complexion and enhance every wardrobe.

We hope that you’ll take a closer look at this pattern and consider it as a possible pattern for a Rhinebeck sweater. There are still several weeks of knitting time before the Sheep & Wool Festival in upstate New York and we’d love to see you modeling yours there!

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!

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!

 

Dreamed, spun, designed and knit

It all started with Julie Asselin.  She dreamed up a new yarn last summer; and when her Nurtured moved through our production line, we all knew that it was something special.

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This yarn is created by blending and spinning wool that Julie has dyed before sending it to us.  You can see in the photo above that the yarn has flecks of her carefully created bright colors that are blended with undyed fiber into a subtle overall tone that is as warm and comforting as the name implies.

You can read more about how it all came together on Julie’s blog posts about the project.

When Julie shared several skeins of this new yarn with Thea Colman, Thea couldn’t wait to start swatching.  She experimented with various stitch patterns and came to the conclusion that this yarn wanted to be knit up in gloriously lush round cables.  We couldn’t agree more.

Her design evolved into a new and improved cabled grandpa sweater that will be one you find yourself reaching for again and again.  We’d like to introduce you to Milk Stout.

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© 2016 BabyCocktails

Thea shared a few preview photos with us as her pattern became ready for test knitting and we were smitten.  Larisa (who spun this gorgeous yarn) cast on for the pattern using our Weekend Wool and the similarities between the two yarns has offered great results.

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Our natural undyed skeins of Weekend Wool are also a woolen spun worsted weight 2-ply yarn of blended fibers.  Our Natural Grey seen above is created by combining light and dark undyed fiber and is the base for the dyed skeins that are equally popular.

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Larisa’s new Milk Stout sweater is cozy, comforting and lofty.  Thanks to the woolen spun yarn it is a perfect weight with lush cables that provide texture that feels just like a hug when worn.

Whether you chose to use Weekend Wool or Julie’s Nurtured, you are going to love this sweater as much as we do.

Another request fulfilled

One of our most popular children’s sweater is the East Putney Aran that was included in our 99 Yarns book published in 2009.  This classic pullover pattern includes sizing for ages 2 – 12.

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As you can imagine, it knits up quickly with between 4 and 6 skeins of our DK weight yarn options: New Mexico Organic, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, Sylvan Spirit or Alpaca Elegance.

We are pleased to tell you that now we have an adult version of this sweater!  The Adult East Putney Aran includes sizing for bust sizes 38′ – 50″.  This often requested pattern has been drafted by Melissa Johnson so that now all of us can can have one of our own.

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The pattern is a perfect one for knitters eager to try their hand on an Aran knit and would like a great beginner pattern to get started.  The pattern includes two different cable motifs separated by columns of seed stitch making it ideal for newer knitters.

The sweater features a bottom-up seamed construction with a modified drop shoulder.  The stitch pattern is charted for easy reading, and as always, we are available at the Spinnery for phone support.  We hope that you’ll give it a try.

A lighter weight pullover such as this one will be a perfect addition to your wardrobe as temperatures get a bit warmer.  And with so many fun yarn options in mouthwatering colors, you may find yourself making more than just one!

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.

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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.

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© 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.

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© 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!

 

Are you ready?

We are setting up shop at Rhinebeck this weekend.  We look forward to this festival every fall.  The food, yarn, sheep and wool bring thousands of fiber enthusiasts to this gathering, but it is the mystique of the “Rhinebeck Sweater” that inspires all of us to knit a new garment each year.

We’ll have some great new samples with us in our booth and we hope that you’ll stop by to check out: Kristen, the Exit 4 Tunic ,  and Amy Christoffer’s Coolidge Cardigan, among others.

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We’ll also be debuting Suzanne Allen’s new sweater: the White Pine Pullover.  White Pines are a native Vermont tree once used for the masts of ships.  The strong vertical pine-like stitch pattern compliments the soft curve of a generous cowl neck on this comforting pullover.  Designed with lazy weekends in mind, the White Pine Pullover combines cozy comfort with effortless style.   

Suzanne has paired a light weight textured fabric with an over-sized silhouette that can be dressed up or down.  Equally perfect with jeans or leggings, you’ll want to snuggle into the generous cowl neck when temperatures drop.   This pullover is knit flat from the bottom up and seamed together.  Side vents and set in sleeves provide the perfect balance between relaxed ease and a flattering fit.

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The pattern includes a generous range of seven sizes from 31″ – 55″ busts and it calls for 6 – 11 skeins of DK weight yarn such as the Sandman Mewesic shown above.

We hope that we’ll see you this weekend at the festival.  We can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on and perhaps get you what you need for a new “Rhinebeck Sweater” that will be the hit of next year’s show.

Course corrections

Kate had an “ah-hah” moment in the midst of working on a sample of Heidi Kirrmaier’s Vitamin D cardigan that we thought might be worth sharing.  She cast on for the top-down pattern using Spinnery Sylvan Spirit in the Sterling colorway.

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She is thrilled with how the yarn is knitting up and things were sailing along smoothly until she started working her first sleeve.  Unlike similarly constructed top-down sweater patterns, Heidi has the knitter put the body stitches on hold while working the sleeves first.  The  pattern includes a note in italics explaining her directions.

“Note: instructions are for working the sleeve flat in order to ensure the same tension as yoke is maintained.”

Kate decided that the simplicity of working the sleeves in the round was worth any small shifts in tension that she was confident she could block out…do you see where this is going?

She didn’t have to work very far on her sleeve to have about an inch or two worth of stitches to test her theory.*

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The difference between the worked-flat stockinette and the worked-in-the-round stockinette more apparent in person.  There is a stitch per inch difference in the tension.  “What’s one stitch between friends?” you might ask.

Well, this creates a visible line in the fabric and more importantly translates into a substantial change in the finished measurements of the sleeve.  What should measure out at about 15 inches will in fact be closer to 12 1/2.  That is a difference that can’t be blocked out.

This shift in tension can often occur when switching between knitting and purling, but it can also happen when switching between needles made of different materials.  There is a fantastic article on Alexis Winslow’s blog Knit Darling that clearly illustrates how dramatic the effects of that switch can be.

Kate combined both by switching from carbon metal needles as she started her sleeve in the round.  Instead of cancelling each other out as she hoped, they combined to create a substantial change in tension.

So, Kate will frog back and instead follow the pattern working the sleeve flat using the same carbon needles she used for the yoke of the sweater.  We are looking forward to seeing the finished project that we know will be more successful for having been checked and adjusted.

*Kate is the first to agree that she could have figured this all out a head of time if she had swatched and blocked her sample ahead of time — but she prefers to dive into the deep end and check her progress as she goes.  She also recognizes that when that little voice tells you to stop and reconsider, you may find as Kate did, that it is worth listening to.