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We are thrilled to introduce our new yarn: Mewesic

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

We have some exciting news to share with you this week.  At long last our new yarn is ready for you to begin working with!  We’d like to introduce you to Mewesic.

 

mewesic

 

These beautiful 2 oz. skeins include 180 yards of DK weight wool.  We have blended the fiber from a wide variety of different breeds to create a special mix that is lustrous and crisp.  Included in the fiber content are medium fine wools such as Rambouillet, Columbia, Targhee and Friesian sheep as well as lustrous fleeces from Corriedale, Montadale and Romneys. The result is a lofty yet durable yarn with great stitch definition.

 

sand sample all

 

We spent weeks coming up with a color palette that we couldn’t wait to get our hands on.  Now, we have a total of 13 beautiful heathered colors that have been created by blending our bale dyed wool.  You’ll love how rich and deep these hues are.

 

wool

 

Here you can see the wool for our Norwegian Wood colorway waiting to go through the picker.  All of our new colors are named after songs, and we think that you’ll have as much fun as we did remembering these tunes and humming along as you pick your next project or cast on.

For those of you looking for natural undyed neutrals, you can reach for our New Mexico Organic yarns that offer a creamy ivory and soft grey in the same gauge.

We introduced these skeins last week at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool festival to rave responses.  We hope that you are as excited as we are about Mewesic and we can’t wait to see what you make with it!

 

Postcards from Wisconsin

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Maureen and Kate headed to Jefferson, Wisconsin earlier this week to bring a little bit of Putney, Vermont to the Midwest.  They are participating in the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival that runs through this weekend.

They left the Spinnery on Tuesday morning and headed west.  They have been sharing photos on our Facebook page and so we’ve been able to track their progress across roughly 1,000 miles.  They are now smack dab in the middle of corn country where the surrounding fields are as green as our mountains.

 

wisonsin

 

They set up a booth in the “Country Store” of the Festival and are now showcasing our yarns in a space that has a bit more square footage than our shop here at the Spinnery.

 

booth 03

 

The local fiber fans couldn’t be more warmly welcoming and enthusiastic.  Friends new and old have been arriving at the booth to find out what’s new and share what they have been working on.  Here you can see our friend Cathy with her newly finished Putney Mountain Vest.  This pattern is part of the Spinnery’s most recent e-book publication: Green Mountain Weekend.

 

 

 

vest

 

Beautiful yarn, roving and fleece are just the tip of the iceberg of what this festival has to offer visitors.  There are several barns temporarily housing all kinds of livestock that have traveled almost as far to showcase the special qualities of their breeds.  Throughout the weekend there will be shearing demonstrations, sheep dog trials, as well as a few carefully timed births of new lambs.

Kate missed the moment of this particular arrival, but she was able to find a new lamb with its mother nestled in the straw of their pen.

 

lamb 04

 

As their day ended and they headed off to dinner and a sound night’s sleep, the girls were charmed by yet another surprise: a double rainbow made a brief appearance after a passing rain shower.

 

rainbow

 

It has been a wonderful working holiday, giving the gals a chance to see another corner of the country and share the last bit of summer with friends new and old.  This Festival marks the beginning of the fall knitting season, and they have enjoyed getting a chance to see what folks in Wisconsin are eager to cast on for as they start thinking about cooler weather.

Next week, we’ll be officially introducing our new sport weight 100% wool yarn; Mewesic.  The folks in Wisconsin received a sneak preview of the yarn we’ve been working on all summer, and they are thrilled with the beautiful new colors.

We’ll be able to share more details of this yarn with you next week, so be sure to check back to be among the first to see what we have in store for you.

Back to school!

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

School has started in Putney Vermont this week.  Backpacks were filled, pencils were sharpened, and apples polished.  And we at the Spinnery have been thinking about projects for little ones.  Perhaps a new sweater finished just in time for school photos?  We have a wall of restocked Mountain Mohair for you to choose from.

 

mountain mohair wall

If this bright spectrum is not enough to spark your creative inspiration, perhaps a quick browse through the pages of the beautiful Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book?  For those of you who love to play with color, perhaps the Stained Glass Hat or Stained Glass Sweater (pictured below on the right) might be perfect for your kiddo.

stained glass

The Puntas Sweater and Puntas Edged Cap are also fun knits with decorative edges that can be highlighted with contrasting colors for an extra twist.  The sweater pattern includes sizing from children’s size 2 to a 50 inch bust measurements for adults.

RoseL178

One of our most popular patterns is Rosemary’s Little Sweater.  A pint-sized version of the adult pullover, this pattern includes five sizes ranging from 2 to 10.  It is a wonderful sweater for a little one who has a single favorite color.

We have dozens of other project ideas that call for Mountain Mohair, and even more that call for a lighter weight yarn such as our Cotton Comfort.  We would love to help you find the perfect new sweater for your little one to help celebrate a fresh start this Fall.

 

 

A new shop sample

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

A new shop sample joined our collection this week: the Walnut Vest for Men designed by Mary Beth Temple.

© Hooked for Life LLC

© Hooked for Life LLC

 

This vest was created with three colors of Spinnery Alpaca Elegance in the natural un-dyed range from Cream to Dark Roast.  The butter soft yarn makes a wonderful fabric that is warm and very fluid to the touch.

Mary Beth says that she “was inspired by classic menswear patterns — (she) wanted to create a crochet pattern that men would actually want to wear, rather than focusing on what the stitcher might want to stitch! Tunisian crochet with a DK weight yarn is perfect for classic pieces — it retains its shape but isn’t stiff or bulky.”

The decorative panel of basket weave pattern created with a combination of Tunisian Knit and Tunisian purl stitches is a great touch that adds visual interest, and draws the eye towards the broadest part of the chest to flatter the wearer.

vest 02b

We hope that you can pop into the Spinnery shop if you are in the neighborhood, or passing through this month.  Seeing a sample up close and in person can make all the difference.  This vest might be a perfect choice for a holiday gift for a well-dressed someone on your list!

Another Knit Along to jump start our Fall knits

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Joji Locatelli’s most recently published Grandpa Cardigan looks as though it will be a very interesting pattern to work on.  She has created a top-down, seamless, set-in sleeve cardigan that looks appealing for folks of all knitting abilities.  And who wouldn’t be tempted to make a comfy cardigan to snuggle into this Fall?

© Joji

© Joji

“Worked from the shoulders down completely seamlessly, Grandpa features a different set of cables for every size, making it look complex and sophisticated as any seamed garment, but without any finishing required.

All the instructions are charted out, so there is no guessing with this sweater. Just enjoy watching all the pieces come together to create this beautiful timeless cardi.  Even if you have never knitted a cabled sweater before, you’ll find Grandpa’s instructions clear and easy to follow, making it a great choice for your first challenging project. ”

Joji has incorporated a contiguous shoulder into her pattern to create set-in sleeves, so there should be some interesting fun for more experienced knitters who haven’t yet had a chance to try this technique.

More fun can be had if you join the Ravelry KAL.  You’ll have a chance to win prizes, and have the gratification of seeing and reading about other knitters’ progress.  The group will be casting on August 1st with a goal of finishing the sweater in three months.  This gives you plenty of time to pick your yarn.

Some of the girls at the Spinnery started plotting out our selections this morning, and this is what we came up with.

grandpa

Alpaca Elegance was the most popular choice!  From left to right you have Rachel’s choice: Earl Grey, Maureen’s selection: Sencha, and Kate’s preference: Rosehip.  Larisa opted for the New Mexico Organic yarn in grey.  We know that these yarns will all perfectly highlight the beautiful cables.

What Spinnery yarn would you be tempted to cast on with?

Hop over to the Spinnery

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

We are getting excited about the upcoming I-91 Shop Hop that will run from Thursday June 26 through Sunday June 29, 2014.

EVENTSWEBSSHOPHOP.detail.1

Stop in your participating LYS and purchase your Shop Hop passport for $5. Along with your passport you’ll receive a tote bag with the map and details about each of the eleven fabulous shops.

  1. Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT)
  2. Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA)
  3. WEBS (Northampton, MA)
  4. Marji’s Yarncrafts (Granby, CT)
  5. Creative Fibers LLC (Windsor, CT)
  6. Yarnover Avon (Bloomfield, CT)
  7. Village Wool (Glastonbury, CT)
  8. Country Yarns (Wallingford, CT)
  9. The Yarn Barn (Woodbridge, CT)
  10. The Yarn Basket (Branford, CT)
  11. Knit New Haven (New Haven, CT)

Get your Shop Hop passport stamped by visiting the participating shops over the 4-day Shop Hop weekend.  Every time you get your passport stamped you will be entered to win the Daily Door Prize at that shop. A total of 44 door prizes will be given out to participants!  By visiting all 11 shops you will be entered into a drawing for the fabulous Grand Prize, which includes gift certificates for the 11 shops, as well as yarns, needles and other goodies.

Here’s your chance to explore new yarn shops and win some great prizes. You can complete the Shop Hop all in one day, or make it a weekend event.  Along with all of the fun prizes, you’ll be able to pick up clues to a mystery pattern at each of the shops.  That way we can all share the fun.

You can learn more about the event on the 1-91 Shop Hop Facebook page and their Group page on Ravelry.

kit

This year’s theme of gold and black mystery is a fun one.  In honor of this, and Kate’s insistence on referring to the Shop Hop as a Sock Hop, we will be offering an exclusive kit that includes a skein of our deep gold Sock Art – Forest yarn, a packet of lavender Eucalan, a darling needle gauge, and your choice of one of three Spinnery sock patterns that can be created with your new skein.  All of this for under $20 (including Vermont sales tax)!  This offers you a savings of over 60%

If knitting socks is not your favorite, you might find a pattern to your liking among the FREE Ravelry pattern selections of over 700 shawl patterns that could be knit or crocheted with the included skein.

© Inn Vicoria

© Inn Vicoria

While you are here in Putney, VT you may want to find a comfortable spot for a meal, a snack, or to cast on without delay.  We recommend our favorite local spot: the Gleanery for a delicious lunch or dinner.  They are open from 11:30 am – 9:00pm Thursday – Saturday and 11:30 – 8pm on Sunday.  Basketville is another great spot for a quick visit that could provide you with beautiful storage for your new yarn!

We can provide you with local maps and more tips for a wonderful adventure when you visit.  We can’t wait to see you!

A new yarn for the Spinnery: Alashan

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

The Spinnery was founded on a commitment to providing locally sourced yarns. We wanted to connect discriminating knitters and crocheters with yarns that are created from the beautiful fleeces that are grown on small farms across the country. Our link in this locavore chain means that all of us can make more informed choices in terms of the sustainability of the fibers we love.

This passion for responsible fiber has brought us to an interesting turning point. Today we have a very special yarn to introduce to you to that comes from the other side of the world. This yarn wasn’t created from the fleeces of nearby animals, nor was it spun here at the Spinnery. However, due to the current global marketplace for fiber, this yarn impacts us and our environment.

Our friends at Ecologia drew our attention to the grasslands of Inner Mongolia with an award winning article written by Evan Osnos that was published in the Chicago Tribune.  (The article was written in 2006, but now eight years later, the facts remain undisputed and Ecologia’s connections in the area have confirmed that progress has been slow in improving the situation.  A recently published article about the True Cost of Cashmere by Melissa Mall also confirms that  the damage caused by Cashmere goats is a current issue for the area).

America’s insatiable appetite for inexpensive cashmere has wreaked havoc on the fragile ecosystem of the Alashan plateau. Shepherds there have felt the devastating results of over-grazing; and many have been forced out of the area or into other lines of work. And the goats are barely surviving on unsustainable diets of imported corn.

Even though the fragile ecosystem of the Alashan plateau is a world away, air monitors on the West Coast have been able to confirm rising pollution levels that are attributable to the loss of these rich grasslands.  Without the grass to anchor it in place, dust is blown thousands of miles away in sand storms that impact the air quality here in the US.

 

 

What may eventually save that fragile ecosystem is a revival of the local camel population. Bactrian (two hump) camels have long been a valuable animal in the Inner Mongolian ecosystem, providing wonderfully soft, warm fiber; as well as traditional transportation across the dunes that once were part of the Silk Road. These animals are well adapted to that rugged environment, and cause far less damage than goats by grazing higher up on fragile plants that are uprooted by a goat’s voracious appetite and pointy hooves.

 

alashan

 

We all have a bewildering richness of choice in the fiber marketplace these days. It is possible for almost any item to be delivered to our doorstep. And it can be startling to recognize how our purchasing decisions can impact those who live half a world away.  When we spoke with Randy at Ecologia earlier this week, he confirmed that our new Alashan yarn encourages and provides a livelihood for  the remote herdsman who are eager to see a positive change in their part of the world.

We thought that this very special yarn was worth getting involved with. Purchasing, using, and sharing the story of this yarn will change the world; just a little, but enough to be worthwhile.  You can learn more about Ecologia’s efforts to support the camel fiber industry of Inner Mongolia here.

We hope that you will check out the beautifully hand-dyed skeins that we have available while supplies last.  And a beautiful new Milan shawl pattern that Maureen designed in honor of this new arrival!  This exclusive pattern is our FREE gift to you with the purchase of Alashan.

 

milan 02

 

This yarn is perfect for luxuriously soft accessories that will become instant heirlooms.  The 350 yard skeins are more than enough for a shawl, scarf or cowl that will cradle your neck in downy warmth.  The stitch definition is terrific, and will remain crisp as the day it was knit for ages.  You may decide that it is just the thing for your special holiday gift this year.

We hope to share more photos of this lovely yarn in the future as new colors are developed and more skeins are knit up into beautiful samples.

 

What’s new?

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

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.

Gee's_photo

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.

Islander_Pullover_photo

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.

Equinox_Poncho_photo

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.

Wicked_Good_photo

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!

A week at the Spinnery

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

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”.

skeins

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.

carding

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).

spinning

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.

 

steamed

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.

gmg 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!

Meet a Spinnery knitter

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

If you have “liked” our page or postings on Facebook, you will have already seen some of the beautiful projects that our friend Melissa has created using Green Mountain Spinnery yarns.  We found her projects on Ravelry, and we thought it might be fun to learn a little bit more about Melissa.   We imagine that you will enjoy seeing some of her projects and finding out a bit more about what she loves to work on.

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Who taught you how to knit?

One day while exploring, my mom and I saw the book Knitting Pretty: Simple Instructions for 30 Fabulous Projects by Kris Percival.  We bought it thinking it would be fun to learn together.  At the time I had a long commute on the train, so I taught myself how to knit using that book.  About 5 years later I taught my mom; and even later I taught my daughter.

How were you introduced to Green Mountain Spinnery?

My husband, daughter and I had recently moved to New England and I saw an article about the Spinnery in a magazine.  The article mentioned that visitors could go on a tour.  I already loved the yarn and was curious to see how it was made – it seemed like a perfect reason to organize an outing.

We decided to make a girls’ trip out of it – my daughter and I met my mom in Putney and spent the weekend.  We explored the area and did many fun things. By far our favorite part was the Spinnery.

Do you have a favorite GMS yarn (and why)? ?

I love all of the colors of Mountain Mohair – they are great for colorwork.  But I bought a skein of Simply Fine (natural) at Rhinebeck and that is hands down my favorite.  I am planning to copy the booth sample of the Holden Shawlette – it was stunning.

holden

* The Holden Shawlette is a $6 pattern designed by Mindy Wilkes and is available on Ravelry.  Our sample seen above was knitted with a single skein of Simply Fine in the Variegated color.

What technique/skill have you most recently learned?

I recently knit the Lotus Blossom Hat by Melissa Johnson because I wanted to practice stranded colorwork.  It was the perfect project for that, and I knit most of the hat with yarn in both hands – it worked well, and it was a new technique for me!

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What technique/skill are you eager to tackle next?

I really enjoy knitting socks and am a big fan of DPNs, but I think I need to try Magic Looping.  That is next on my list.

You may want to friend Melissa on Ravelry so that you can see what she’s up to.  We know that whatever she casts on will be inspiring for the rest of us.  We can’t wait to see what Melissa knits up next!

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