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.

vitamin-d

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.*

gauge a

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.

 

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.

dk-wall
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.

shawl selections

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?

 

Shop Hop project ideas

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.


Green Mountain fingering weight yarn options include Simply Fine (which has 450 yards per skein), Sock Art: Forest (which has 400 yards per skein), and Sock Art: Meadow (which has 400 yards per skein).

Hand painted skeins of all three of these yarns are the shop’s best sellers and we’ll have an even larger selection of mouthwatering hues in the shop than we are able to make available on our website.

© Carolyn Glauz-Todrank

Stony Point Cowl is a FREE pattern designed by Carolyn Glauz-Todrank calls for 400 yards.

Starshower is a $5 cowl pattern designed by Hillary Smith Callis calls for 400 yards.

Appia is a $5 cowl pattern designed by Hillary Smith Callis has two sizes and calls for 250 – 375 yards.

Hitchhiker is a $4 shawl pattern designed by Martina Behm calls for 569 – 574 yards.

Rising Tide Shawl is a $5 pattern designed by Grace Akhrem that calls for 400 yards.

Herald is a $7 shawl pattern designed by Janina Kallio that calls for 437 yards.

Simple Scallops is a $5 crochet pattern designed by Kristy Ashmore that calls for 350 – 450 yards for various sizes from a shawlette to a larger shawl.


 

Green Mountain Spinnery DK weight yarn options include Alpaca Elegance, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, New Mexico Organic and Sylvan Spirit (all of which include 180 yards per skein).

© BabyCocktails

Windward Island* is a $5 hat pattern designed by Thea Colman that calls for 180 – 210 yards to span two sizes.

Whitman is a $5.50 hat pattern designed by Danielle Morgan that calls for a range of 160 – 200 yards to span four sizes.

Whitman Fingerless Mitts is a $5 pattern also designed by Danielle Morgan that calls for 80 – 150 yards to span two sizes.

Yes Checks is a FREE hat pattern from Stephen West that calls for 180 – 190 yards.

Ebb Tide Hats is a $7 Green Mountain Spinnery pattern that calls for 150 – 270 yards for two kinds of hat: beanie or slouch.

Nalu Mitts is a FREE pattern from Leila Raabe that calls for 109 – 164 yards to span two sizes.

Twitterpation Cowl is a FREE crochet pattern designed by Maryse Roudier that calls for 200 – 250 yards.


Our worsted weight yarn options include Mountain Mohair and Weekend Wool (both of which include 140 yards per skein) or our Maine Organic (which includes 250 yards per skein).

ascutney-boot-toppers-01-wAscutney 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.

Camp Out Fingerless Mitts is a FREE pattern designed by Tante Ehm that calls for 100 – 110 yards.

Adama is a $5 cowl pattern designed by Hilary Smith Callis that calls for 300 yards.

Windschief is a $6 hat and cowl pattern designed by Stephen West that calls for 100 – 160 yards for a range of three sizes for both the hat and cowl.

Divine Hat is FREE crochet pattern designed by Sarah Arnold that calls for 150 – 200 yards.


 

© Roko
© Roko

Our single Aran Weight yarn option is the softest yarn we make: our un-dyed Green Mountain Green has 120 yards per skein.

Cupido Cowl is a FREE pattern designed by Hiroko Fukatsu that calls for 180 – 380 yards for two sizes.

Oats is a FREE cowl pattern designed by tincanknits that calls for 200 – 400 yards for a range of three sizes.

The Amanda Hat is a FREE pattern designed by Gina House that calls for 160 – 216 yards.

Dashing is a FREE fingerless gloves pattern designed by Cheryl Niamath that calls for 142 – 164 yards.

Catesby Three-Hour Cowl is a FREE crochet pattern designed by Kathryn Jones that calls for 100 – 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.

$5 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery yarns?!

Yep! Our tent sale is featuring some terrific bargains on orphan skeins. These are small quantities of skeins leftover from older dye lots.

DSC_0080

We have found a few skeins of our favorites: Mountain Mohair, Cotton Comfort, Sylvan Spirit, Alpaca Elegance, and Maine and New Mexico Organics. Every skein is just $5. Great yarn for a great price!

These limited quantities could be perfect for small accessory projects, or striped projects that require small yardages of multiple complimentary colors.

And there is much, much more!  We have an even larger selection of unwashed odd weight yarns that we’ve been able to make available to our online friends who won’t be able to attend our Tent Sale in person.  You can find all of our special Tent Sale savings here.  These prices will be available (while supplies last) through Friday June 12th!

We hope that you can take advantage of these prices. Our Tent Sale hours this weekend (May 23-25) are Saturday 10am – 5:30pm, Sunday 12 – 4pm, and Monday 10am – 5:30pm.  And our special $5 skeins are only available to those of you who can visit us in person.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and happy knitting!

A light cardigan for shoulder season

Cap Sease has designed a new cardigan pattern that knits up into a perfect sweater for Spring.  Tekle is knit up in Spinnery Mewesic.  Shown here in our popular Blue Bayou color, it makes for a beautifully textured swingy layering piece whose design subtly shifts as you move.

 

tekle-w

The pattern includes a generous range of sizes extending from 34 to 54 inch bust measurements.  It uses a bottom up construction with sleeves that are picked up at shoulder and worked towards the wrist. A short band is added to finish the neckline and front of the sweater where buttons could be added if you’d prefer.  But we love the casual look of the open sweater as Cap envisioned it.

You could easily substitute some of our other DK weight yarn options in this pattern.  Using Sylvan Spirit would increase the drape of the finished piece and make the provide the textured stitches with a crisp pop.  Cotton Comfort would make for a lighter sweater that could extend the sweater’s wear further into warmer weather or for warmer climates.  And choosing Alpaca Elegance would result in a warmer sweater that could be perfect for Autumn or a better choice for folks who tend to easily catch a chill.

For those of you who may be curious, the design was named after a new arrival in Cap’s family.  This new addition to the Spinnery family of patterns is a welcome one, and we hope that you are as excited by this pattern as we are!

We’re polishing a few new “gems”

The production team has had a colorful week as a collection of new yarn has moved from fiber to skein.  As evidenced by Laurie’s color change spool from the carder, we have been working with such beautiful colors that the combination looks a bit like a geode.

color change spool

We are working on a total of five new shades of Sylvan Spirit and we can’t wait for you to see them.  You were among the first to see our new Hematite shade last week, and this week we have some new colors to share.

sylvan

From left to right we have Jade, Agate, Aquamarine and Turquoise. These new additions to the Sylvan Spirit spectrum are going to give you a wonderful palette to play with this Spring.

Our 50/50 blend of Wool and TENCEL® Lyocell  makes a soft yarn with a satiny sheen. You will love its beautiful drape and spectacular stitch definition.  This DK weight yarn includes 180 yards per 2 oz. skein and is a wonderful choice for lighter weight knits that will provide that touch of warmth and comfort we like from Spring and Summer knitwear.

For those of you who are curious, TENCEL is a natural derivative of wood pulp from cultivated Southern oak and gum trees grown on land unsuitable for grazing.

These new colors of Sylvan Spirit are making their debut at Sitches WEST this weekend and we will have skeins available for everyone on our website later next week.  We hope that you enjoy working with this yarn as much as we loved making it!

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.

 

wonderland

 

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.

 

cowl 01

 

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.

 

side 02

 

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.

 

Gold rush back 02

 

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.

 

A few gift ideas

We had a wonderful time last weekend greeting visitors from all over the country who dropped in to the Spinnery during Putney’s 36th Annual Craft Tour.  We opened our doors to new friends and offered all who were interested tours of our facility.  By walking through the mill and explaining how our yarn is created, we were able to share our story and our passion for beautiful fiber.

Along with our tours we also offered our guests a chance to buy a selection of our “retired” shop samples.  These hand knit sweaters and accessories are destined to make wonderful holiday gifts this season for thrifty shoppers who won’t have to rush to finish knitted projects for friends and family on their gift list.

garter stitch pullovermaureen 01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a few remaining samples that are now available on our website.  If you are running short on holiday knitting time, take a minute to browse our selection.  You might find a perfect gift among them!

gifty

We also have a shop full of great stocking stuffers: from crafty magazines, project totes, bottles of Eucalan, needles, hooks, and tools of all kinds.  We hope that if you are in the market for a crafty or handmade gift, you’ll stop in or give us a call.  We can offer you all kinds of suggestions that we hope will take a bit of the guesswork out of your holiday purchasing.

 

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.

rhinebeck

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!

Summerhill

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.

© ANKESTRICK
© ANKESTRICK

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.

shoulder

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:

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!