We have been working hard this week sprucing up the Spinnery in anticipation of the 36th annual Putney Craft Tour that will occur later this week. We are thrilled to be a part of America’s oldest craft tour.
We will be open from 9am – 5:30pm on Friday, 10am – 5:30pm on Saturday, and 10 – 5pm on Sunday. We’ll be offering tours of the Spinnery and some special items will be available for sale on a first come first served basis. Our “retired” antique spinning bobbins will be available for $5 each.
We have dozens of hand knit shop samples that could make perfect holiday gifts! We can save you hours of crafting time over the next month, and perhaps even offer you something that you’d like to wear yourself this winter.
We are offering our adult sweaters for $50 each, adult vests for $30 each, children’s sweaters for $25 and accessories of all kinds for $15.
And this one-of-a-kind hand woven shawl is $100 and all of the proceeds will be donated to the Putney Food Shelf.
We are looking forward to this weekend, and hope that you will be able to join the fun.
We’ve released a new pattern this week that you may want to take a closer look at. This is the Ebb Tide Hats pattern designed by Kate Salomon. The pattern includes instructions for two version of the hat: a “low tide” slouch and a “high tide” beanie.
This hat was inspired by long walks on the Cape Cod National Seashore. We love the texture reminiscent of tide washed sand and windswept dunes.
Knit up with Mewesic, with its rustic good looks and tweedy rich color, this hat knits up into a medium weight cap that drapes beautifully and wears well. Style, yarn, and two versions of the pattern combine into the perfect accessory for him or her!
The pattern calls for a bit less than a single skein of DK weight yarn for the smaller beanie version and would look great with any of our DK yarns such as our New Mexico Organic (as seen above), our Cotton Comfort or our Alpaca Elegance.
The 50/50 alpaca blend will provide beautiful drape for the “low tide” slouch hat which requires just over a single skein. You’ll have plenty of yarn left over for some fingerless mitts!
This pattern may make for a fun collection of hand made gifts for everyone on your list this year. Give us a call at 800-321-9665 and we can help you find the perfect colors for everyone you’d like to knit a “little something” for.
We have had a busy summer at the Spinnery, and our beautiful new yarn Mewesic isn’t the only new offering we have to share with you. We have several new patterns that we’ve released this week that you may want to take a closer look at.
Here you can see Lauren modeling the Snowfall Scarf designed by Cap Sease. This delicate accessory can be beautifully knit up with 2 skeins of Spinnery Sock Art or Simply Fine. The graduated lace pattern illustrates either an accumulation of snowflakes or a gentle tapering of a blizzard into a light dusting depending on your perspective.
We also have a warm hat to add to our collection of patterns. Melissa Johnson designed the Lattice Cable Hat with brisk Vermont mornings in mind.
The double brim created with lush garter stitch can ensure warm ears no matter how cold it gets. These were knit up with a single skein of Spinnery Maine Organic (in the foreground) or two skeins of Dark Green Mountain Green (in the background).
If you are looking for something a little more substantial to snuggle into this winter, you should consider casting on for our new Diagonal Blanket designed by Cap Sease. This elegantly simple design combines simple stockinette and garter stitch texture with a bias construction that is made more complex by the tonal variations in the variegated Green Mountain Green yarn it was knit up with.
This blanket is an easy introduction to both diagonal and multi-directional knitting. The pattern is a pleasure to work, and you’ll enjoy seeing how the subtle tone shifts in the variegated yarn make each row unique.
Last but not least is Maureen Clark’s FREEDuet Cowl pattern. This brioche stitch infinity cowl highlights the tweedy rich colors of our new DK weight Mewesic. The pattern calls for a single skein of two colors for a richly textured accessory that has no wrong side.
This week on our Facebook page, we are running a little contest that you may want to enter. The winner (who will be chosen at random on Thursday September 25th) will receive a kit that includes a copy of this pattern and two skeins of yarn in their choice of colors!
We hope that our new patterns offer you some inspiration to get cast on for some fresh new knits this season. We look forward to see what you work on next!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 joined our collection this week: the Walnut Vest for Men designed by Mary Beth Temple.
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.
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!
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?
“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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Thea Colman and Ellen Mason are coming to the Spinnery!