Have you been looking to learn a little bit more about wool in the US? We found a great article about the history of the American Wool industry among the “pages” of the most recent edition of Twist Collective.
Our very own David Ritchie is quoted. And the article contains a concise story of the revival of wool production here in the US. (For the first part of the story that details the arrival of European sheep breeds on this continent with the colonists, you can look here).
You may want to browse around among the beautiful patterns included in this edition. We have to confess that our favorite is the his and hers versions of Shannonmore designed by Melissa Leapman.
These beautifully cabled pullovers call for Spinnery Weekend Wool. This 100% wool yarn provides the stunning cable details crisp definition that will showcase your knitting prowess.
And in case you were wondering, Weekend Wool is made with wool sourced from farms in New England and across the US. The unique blend of fibers features a blend of the soft wools from Rambouillet, Columbia, Targhee and Fresian sheep mixed with the lustrous fleeces from Corriadale, Montadale and Romneys. The result is a lofty yet durable yarn with great stitch definition. yum.
(We’d like to extend a very special thank you to our friend Kathy Cadigan for sharing the photo of David you see above that she caught when she visited the Spinnery this spring.)
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.
Sugaring season is almost over here in Vermont which has us all very eager for Spring. Temperatures are no longer dipping below freezing at night and while we are seeing some occasional snow flurries, the snow drifts are no longer deepening.
In celebration of the change of season, we’ve created a FREE pattern addendum to the very popular Ascutney Mountain Hat & Earwarmer pattern. With our addendum, you can make a pair of boot toppers that feature that beautiful braided cable.
This pair was knit up with two skeins of our Weekend Wool. This crisp 100% wool 2-ply yarn provides wonderful stitch definition to compliment the brilliant color palette.
What could be more fun that a pop of bright color to brighten up your work boots?
For those of you who already own a copy of the pattern, downloading the FREE addendum will set you on your way. If necessary, purchasing a copy of the Ascutney pattern here will provide you with all the information (and cable charts) that you’ll need.
Before you know it, signs of warmer weather to come will blossom all around us. We can’t wait!
The Aran sweater has a rich history, full of Irish island lore and fishing stories about the one that “got away”. In the past, each cable included in the pattern acted as a symbol that could weave a tale about the home port or invoke a bountiful catch for the wearer.
Maureen has created a fresh new pattern that combines the reassuring comfort that we associate with these classic designs and thoughtful details that ensure a perfect and flattering fit. We’d like to introduce you to Duncan.
Maureen has designed the pattern with a size range of 40″ to 51″ and has used set in sleeves to make sure that the sweater fits with a minimum of positive ease. It is warm and snuggly knit up with worsted weight Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair; and will never create the impression that you are wearing a cardigan meant for your favorite Fisherman.
Shown here in the undyed White Weekend Wool, this 2-ply 100% wool yarn lends the sweater a crisp stitch definition making the cables pop. And the classic creamy white color ensures that this sweater could work for any outfit making it a wardrobe staple that you reach for most months of the year (if you live in New England like we do).
We also love the addition of pockets that maintain the cable pattern for continuity but give us the option of warming our hands on a bitter cold or damp morning.
This sweater is sure to become a Spinnery classic and we can’t wait to see yours!
We are eager to cast on for another Knit Along. We thought that a smaller project with a larger gauge might make for a quick knit that will be done in time to help us stay warm through the tail end of winter.
All of us agreed that Hilary Smith Callis’ Adama cowl pattern would be fun to work on. We spent a few moments this week browsing through our worsted weight yarn options in the shop and we each found a selection that we can’t wait to get started with.
Larisa and Maureen both gravitated to our Green Mountain Green yarn. This deliciously soft blend of Wool and fine kid Mohair is going to be a treat to snuggle into.
Tracy decided that the Wintergreen color of our Mountain Mohair would create the perfect match for her complexion.
Kate has already cast on and gotten started so that we can figure out if the pattern needs 3 skeins of yarn or can be finished with just two. She’ll be sharing her findings on our Ravelry Group Page early next week, so be sure to check in before you place your orders.
The rest of us are going to be casting on for our projects on Valentine’s Day (as a little gift to ourselves). Would you like to join the fun?
We have released a new pattern this week that you may find irresistible: Maisie designed by Cap Sease.
This magical little red riding hood is sized for pint sized folks aged 2-4. And we think it is darling. The pattern calls for up to three skeins of any of our worsted weight yarns: Weekend Wool, Mountain Mohair, or the softest of the bunch: Green Mountain Green.
While local temperatures have dropped below the “in between” Fall and Spring range that is perfect for this little poncho, this quick knit can be cast on and ready for the Spring thaw in no time.
You’ll enjoy working on the delicate cabling that decorates all sides and wraps around the edge of the hood. This is a great pattern to work on through this Winter’s chill.
Give us a call or visit us to explore our rich spectrum of color options. We look forward to your visit.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
Occasionally, a pattern that turns up on Raverly, Facebook or Pinterest that gets our attention. This week, Isabell Kraemer’s Audrey Cardigan has been the talk of the Spinnery as all of us realized that we’d added it to our must-knit lists.
“Worked in one piece from the top down, the sweater features reversible front borders and elegant shaping. Faux raglan, back and doubled side seams add visual interest. The optional longer sleeves include thumb openings which make the cuffs function like built-in fingerless mitts – perfect for those cooler days!”
We all agreed that we loved the boxy shape, the faux seams, and best of all: the long sleeves that could double as wrist warmers.
The asymmetric front can be belted closed, clasped with a shawl pin, buttoned, or left open. The myriad ways in which this sweater can be worn made it attractive to all of us although we typically have widely disparate ideas about what we want in a sweater.
Another commonality was that all of us selected Spinnery Weekend Wool as our yarn of choice. Our 11 colors can provide many compelling combinations. Here are the ones that we selected:
You’ll notice that Pine Warbler was a very popular choice for that bright pop of color at the bottom of the body and sleeves. Its vibrant hue works nicely with the differing main colors and the combinations couldn’t be more individual, from subtle to vibrant.
Kate and Larisa didn’t stray far from the neutral grey background pictured above, but each has her own idea of what she’d prefer for those deep cuffs.
What colors of Weekend Wool do you gravitate towards? You may also want to consider using Spinnery Mountain Mohair for an even larger array of color combinations to select from. We can’t wait to see what you choose to work with!
You may have already seen our brand new patterns if you follow us on Facebook. We gave our friends there a sneak peek of the four new patterns that made their debut this week at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.
For those of you out there who are able to crochet (or are ready to give it a try) Gee’s Bend Afghan is a cozy, warm afghan inspired by the corduroy color block quilts of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. It was designed by our friend and neighbor Melissa Johnson. You could vary the colors and sizes of the blocks to suit your own personal style and yarn supply. Working in bold colors and single crochet throughout makes the afghan fun and quick to create.
Gauge: 12 SCs and 12 rows over 4 in / 10 cm
Size: approximately 44 in / 112 cm wide x 62 in / 157 cm long
Yarn: Weekend Wool – 12 skeins in assorted colors
Hook: Size K / 7 mm
Pictured in Natural Dark, Poppy, Blue Jay, Spruce, Pine Warbler, Lichen and Pumpkin Weekend Wool.
Next up is lovely Tracy modelling the Islander Pullover designed by Libby Mills and Cap Sease! The Islanders’ Vest pattern has been such a big hit that we decided to turn it into a pullover. Knit in one piece from the bottom up in Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair, it has easy inserted sleeves that are knit right on. Minimal finishing means you’ll be able to wear your masterpiece almost as soon as it is off the needles.
Gauge: 18 sts over 4 in / 10 cm
Finished Chest Measurement: approx. 35 (38, 42, 45, 49) in / 89 (97, 106.5, 115, 124.5) cm
Yarn: Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair – 7 (8, 8, 8, 9) skeins
Needles: Size 7 US / 4.5 mm circular needles, 16 in / 40 cm AND 29 in / 60 cm long AND dpn, size 7 US / 4.5 mm
Shown here in Spruce Weekend Wool.
Lauren is wearing the Equinox Poncho designed by yours truly! This is a simple poncho, with an elegant chevron edge and the option to personalize fit, this is the perfect garment for spring when knit in Cotton Comfort. Alpaca Elegance will make it a bit warmer, and Sylvan Spirit will add a tad more drape.
Gauge: 28 sts over 4 in / 10 cm before blocking
Size: approximately 64 in / 163 cm wide x 22 in /56 cm long after blocking
Yarn: Cotton Comfort, Alpaca Elegance or Sylvan Spirit – 7 skeins
Needles: Size US 5 / 3.75 mm circular needle, at least 32 in / 80 cm long
Shown here in Cotton Comfort Silver.
Last but not least is a fun new accessory pattern brought to us by Rachel Stecker. Her Wicked Good Moxie Hat and Handwarmer pattern makes a fun set that we imagine will be a huge hit this fall as the weather starts to cool, and knitters start looking for perfect holiday gifts. You could get a head start this year!
Sizes: Hat – Infant (S, M, L) Finished hat circumference approximately 16¾ (20, 20¾, 21½) in / 43 (51, 53, 55) cm
Gauge: 20 sts over 4 in / 10 cm
Yarn: Weekend Wool or Mountain Mohair – 2 skeins
Needles: Size 6 US / 4 mm AND size 7 US / 4.5 mm circular needles 16 in / 40 cm long AND size 5 US / 3.75 mm needles, any type, AND dpn, size 7 US / 4.5 mm, cable needle
Shown here in Deep Lake.
We hope that you are as excited as we are about these fun new patterns. You can find a downloadable copy of any of these new patterns for purchase on our website. They are $7 each. You can also call us at the shop at any time at 800-321-9665 if you have questions or would like our help picking out the perfect Spinnery yarns to work with.
If you are in the New Hampshire area this weekend you can check out these samples in person. We’ll be in Deerfield at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival. And next week you can stop into the Spinnery to visit us and try them on. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Thea Colman and Ellen Mason are coming to the Spinnery!