Spinnery News

Mark your calendars!

We have two fun events for you to look forward to!  In just a few weeks the I-91 Shop Hop Bag Day  (on Tuesday March 14th, 2017) could provide you with a discount of 10% at ANY of the 11 participating stores!

Simply bring in any of the bags from previous I-91 Shop Hops to any of the 11 participating stores, you’ll receive a 10% discount on your entire purchase!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT)
HandKnits (Brattleboro, VT)
Sheep & Shawl (Deerfield, MA)
Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA)
WEBS (Northampton, MA)
Marji’s Yarncrafts (Granby, CT)
Village Wool (Glastonbury, CT)
Country Yarns (Wallingford, CT)
Knit New Haven (New Haven, CT)
Yarn Barn (Woodbridge, CT)
The Yarn Basket (Branford, CT)

And while you’re here, you can purchase your $5 passport for the 2017 Shop Hop!  Mark your calendars for June 22nd – 25th, 2017!

Plan on a fun weekend full of yarn store visits, daily raffles and several prizes that you’ll be delighted by.  This year’s Grand Prize includes yarn, books, tools and accessories as well as a $50 gift certificates from all 11 participating shops!

We’ll have some exciting new patterns to share with you as well as some special limited edition yarns and sale items that you won’t find anywhere else.  We’re looking forward to your visit.


Stitches in the wild

Kay and Ann of Mason Dixon Knitting fame have created a new line of Field Guides that are delightful guides to knitting techniques to be enjoyed by beginners and intermediate knitters alike.

Field guides have more typically have introduced us to animals, minerals and plants to be found in their natural habitat. We carry their well thumbed pages on hikes or on birding expeditions to correctly identify the new creatures we come across and better understand their habits.

These mini books offer similar guidance through two knitting techniques with carefully constructed descriptions, artful photography as well as a handful of stunning patterns that give us the opportunity to practice these concepts.  Using your hands to learn these ideas with stitches on your needles transforms these ideas into muscle memory that you won’t soon forget.

Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 1 is all about the stripes: a trio of patterns that play with the way a single line of color can transform a project.  Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Station Wagon Blanket is a brilliantly simple stripe pattern–made in garter stitch blocks, it is perfect for travel or TV knitting.  Antonia Shankland’s Breton Cowl imagines what happens when you combine two of the softest yarns in the world in one delicious loop.  And Ann Weaver, always inventive, makes one brief and bright contrast stripe the star of the show in her Squad Mitts.

All along the way, Kay and Ann share stories, tips, and hints to make it all even more fun. Sara Remington’s photographs are at once epic and intimate, a special sort of inspiration for every knitter.”

Field Guide No. 2: Fair Isle,  provides a mix of patterns that make it possible to play with stranded colorwork at whatever level you’d like to try.  Easy. Easier. Easiest.  A colorful yoke. A modern Fair Isle pattern. Socks with something happening.”  Véronik Avery’s Hadley Pullover is a bottom up yoked pullover that features a simple modern design that recalls European stranded colorwork and Native American trade blankets at the same time.  Ann Budd contributed a quickly knit sock pattern: the Après-Anything Socks, and Michèle Rose Orne’ Asterik/Dot Hat and Cowl patterns will have you comfortable working with two strands of color in no time.

We’ve been delighted with these guides and have had to restock our supply several times since introducing them in our shop.  If you haven’t yet browsed through their pages, you may want to pick up copies now while armchair travelling is at its best.  These books will allow you to explore new knits without ever leaving home!


A knit along to welcome spring

Whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, we want to herald in the eventual arrival of spring with a fun knit along that will keep us stitching together through Vermont’s mud season.

We’ll be casting on this weekend for our Groundhog Day KAL that kicks off this morning, and we hope that you’ll join the fun!  All that’s required is working on a project that uses either un-dyed shade of our Vermont Organic yarn.

You can share photos and details of your progress by posting here on our Ravelry Group Groundhog Day KAL thread or by posting photos to Instagram with #groundhogdayKAL.

We’ll select a random winner from the folks who have completed their project by March 16th, 2017 and posted a photo of their finished project to either Ravelry or Instagram.

Larisa has decided that its never to late in the season for a warm pair of mittens.  She’ll be starting a pair of Cap Sease’s Double Stuff Mittens with our grey Vermont Organic for the outer layer and the richly hued Rosehip Alpaca Elegance for the inner layer.

Maureen has a bit more knitting ahead of her, as she has selected to work on Lori Versaci’s Barnard cardigan. Knit up in the charcoal grey color, this sweater is sure to be a wardrobe staple that she’ll wear all the time next winter.  (We all hope that spring will arrive in southern Vermont before she weaves in her ends on this project).

We’d love to hear from you about your project, please post photos as the mood strikes you so that we can share in your progress.  Happy Groundhog day!


A Putney Shepard shares stories of her flock

Are you eager to learn a bit more about Vermont’s rich history of wool?

This Sunday (January 29th) at 5:30pm at  Saxtons River Inn, Main Street Arts and the Saxtons River Historical Society will be sponsoring a FREE fireside chat that focuses on wool production in Vermont.

© Crooked Fence Farm

Putney based Sheep farmer Betsy MacIsaac will share details of her experience raising sheep.  Her flock of colored Merino and CVM/Romeldale flourish at her Crooked Fence Farm.

© Crooked Fence Farm

This herd proudly continues the tradition of sheep keeping in Vermont, which at one point was home to a population of over 1.6 million sheep, making it the Sheep Capital of the world!

Join the fun in Saxtons River this Sunday evening to learn more about it and mingle with other fiber friends.  It’s possible that Betsy may have some some of her most recently sheared fleeces and roving with her so that you can get your hands on fiber grown just down the road from the Spinnery!

 

 


The hats you’ve been waiting for?

Our collection of four hat patterns designed by Melissa Johnson for our 2016 Project Quartet Hat Club are now available!

Up until now, these patterns were exclusively available to those who signed up for club membership at the beginning of 2016.  Now that the membership for our current Project Club has been filled, we can share these patterns with everyone!

The Quartet Hats are wonderful additions to the Spinnery’s pattern collection.  Melissa designed each one to feature different Spinnery yarns that reflect the four seasons which inspired them.

Our club members loved working on these projects and many found that they reknit the patterns with left over and stash yarns.  Since the patterns call for small quantities of from 3 – 4 colors, you may find that you’re able to make several hats by swapping colors and using up your remaining partial skeins.

 

The Winter Hat features four colors of our Mountain Mohair and a unique braided detail.  The double layer of yarn created with the stranded colorwork will keep you cozy all winter long. If you don’t already have particular colors in mind, this hat could be knit up with a single full skein and 3 of the mini skeins available in our Mini Bundles.

 

Melissa’s Spring Hat is created with our Sylvan Spirit.  The addition of TENCEL provides an extra luster to the crisp stitches and makes your Fair Isle colorwork look its best!

The Summer Hat is made with Cotton Comfort and features beautiful lace at the brim and crown decreases, as well as a stranded color work section with a nautical theme. This lighter weight fabric is perfect for warmer climates and seasons.

Last but not least, the Fall Hat shows off the jewel tones of our Mewesic line.  As you can see, these skeins were created with color work in mind.  These hues play off one another beautifully; and this design uses 4 complementary colors to great effect.

We hope that you’ll take a closer look at each of these patterns.  You’ll be very happy that you did.


A new shade of grey

Back in the summer of 2015, we received beautiful organic fiber from our friends at the Open View Farm in New Haven, Vermont.  Anna and Ben are raising a flock of Tunis/Dorset sheep that you can read more about here.

They recently sent us some darker fiber and we couldn’t wait to see how it would spin up.  If you follow our Instagram feed, you already know that over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been busy working on a new Vermont Organic yarn with their fiber.

The beautiful contrast between the two yarns created from Open View Farm fiber has us all thinking about casting on for patterns that would feature the two.  And that got us planning a new Knitalong for 2017!

We’ll be launching our Groundhog Day KAL on Thursday Feb. 2nd.  Perhaps you’ll want to join us, by casting on for a project using either (or both) of the Spinnery’s Vermont Organic yarns.  You can share photos and details of your progress by posting to our Ravelry Group Groundhog Day KAL thread or by posting photos to Instagram with #groundhogdayKAL.  We’ll select a random winner from the folks who have completed their project by March 16th, 2017 and posted a photo of their finished project to either Ravelry or Instagram.

Our worsted weight organic skeins skeins are put up with a generous 250 yards.  So just a couple of skeins will provide you with more than enough yardage to make something as special as the beautiful organic fiber we started with.  You can browse through the MANY pattern options available (that call for 500 yards or less) on Ravelry where you’ll find small accessories, knits for kiddos, and grown-ups too.

Larisa is flirting with Elizabeth Doherty’s Sans Serif sweater.  And Kate is struggling to choose between Kate Gilbert’s Kirigami (which Larisa knit up with two shades of the Maine Organic in 2015), Melanie Berg’s Rikochan, or Diana Walla’s Sundottir pullover.

Tell us about what patterns you’re considering!  We’d love to help you decide and get ready to cast on.


His and/or Hers

Sometimes seeing a garment styled a bit differently, or even on a different model can totally change the look.  That different look can change our perspective and looking with new eyes can make a pattern seem new as well.

When we first introduced Melissa Johnson’s Adult East Putney Aran Sweater we featured pictures of the sweater on two lovely female models.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both of them loved the sweater; finding it comfortable and easy to wear. In fact, one of our models cast on for a version of her own within days of trying the sweater on for the first time.

As we took the sample to various Sheep and Wool Festivals last year, many of the visitors to our booth considered knitting the unisex pattern as a men’s sweater since there is no waist shaping, and we wanted to see if they were right.

Last month, we were able to shoot a few more photos with the same sweater modeled by our friend Caitano when he visited our mill.  The sweater is transformed by his different body type.  And we love it!

He and his lovely wife agreed that it was a perfect fit for him.  We love how the neutral color can make the sweater work with any outfit from jeans to cargo pants.  Our sample was created with the Chai colorway of Alpaca Elegance.  This shade is one of the 6 colors created by blending undyed alpaca and wool fiber, making it one of the softer selections.

He loved how comfortable and cozy the sweater felt.  (And truth be told, he was reluctant to leave it behind when he headed out the door).  He thought that the sweater could be one that he and his wife could share.  Possibly making it the sweater version of “boyfriend jeans”?

We hope that these new photos may inspire you to reconsider Melissa’s pattern as we have.  With finished chest measurements that range from 38 – 50 inches and a flattering and comfortable fit within a range of positive ease from 1 – 4 inches, this pullover could work beautifully for a lot of us.

Give us a call if you have questions about the pattern, or better yet stop by the shop or our booth at any of the upcoming festivals and shows we’ll be attending and try our sample on for yourself!


Holiday Knits – a new project for a new year

With 2017 just hours away, all the bustle of the past weeks is beginning to wind down.  A heavy snowfall has blanketed us here in Vermont, giving us a perfect excuse to enjoy some reflective time inside by the fire.

Do you have resolutions or goals for 2017?  Perhaps the New Year will bring with it intentions to learn new techniques, try your hand at something a bit more complex than you’ve tackled before or a chance to play with a fresh color, fiber blend or yarn combination.

With the prospect of a new project in mind, we’d like to share with you Cap Sease’s new pattern, the West River Wrap.

This beautiful rectangular lace shawl is knit up with 3 skeins of our Moorit Singles or Simply Fine.  (The sample shown above was made with Moorit Singles.)  This limited edition yarn is made with 100% undyed merino wool that is a pleasure to work with and snuggle into.

Both of these single-ply fingering yarns are a delight to work with.  The simple un-plyed construction of the yarns highlights the cable/lace texture of this fabric, allowing all your stitches to shine.

The pattern’s instructions are both written and charted for ease of use.  The repetition of the lace pattern can become familiar allowing your mind to wander a bit as you watch your project grow.

And grow it will!  This large shawl will help wile away the dark winter hours ahead growing in length as the days gradually grow longer as well.

As you contemplate your crafting year ahead this weekend and make plans for new projects, keep in mind that we are here to help with suggestions for designs and yarns as well as answering questions as they come up while you work.  We can’t wait to see what you make in 2017.

 

 


All is calm, all is bright

A fresh blanket of snow fell earlier this week giving us a white Christmas to enjoy here in southern Vermont.

As we gather with friends and family around hearths, tables, and on the slopes this weekend, we send our many thanks to you.  We often marvel at how lucky we are to be able to share what we love with such a vibrant and passionate community.

To all our fiber friends, may this holiday season be all that you wish it could be!


Holiday Knits – toasty toes

All kinds of people stop into the mill to visit us.  Often the group includes a knitter or two as well as some friends and family who are along for the ride. We love to ask our visitors what kinds of projects they like to knit, and often the non-knitters in the group will chime in with what they love to have knitted for them!
Almost everyone agrees that there is nothing quite as luxurious as a pair of hand knit socks; perfectly fitted, delightfully textured, and often breathtakingly beautiful.  Hand painted yarns have their chance to shine.
For those of you who are speedy sock knitters, Maureen Clark’s new sock pattern may be a perfect one for you to try.  With a week remaining before Santa’s arrival, you may have just enough time to add a pair to the gifts under the tree.
The Jenness Pebble Socks pattern calls for a single skein of our 2-ply fingering weight yarns: Sock Art Forest, Sock Art Meadow or Sock Art Lana.  Our 3.5 oz. skeins include 400 yards of yarn which is perfect for the women’s medium finished size of 9 1/2 inches.
The pattern features a top-down design with a German short row heel construction.  The lovely pebbled lace pattern is both written and charted for ease of use and you may find that it gives you something fun to work as your stitches fly.
And if you need a bit more time to complete these socks, not to worry.  You won’t be the first among us to wrap a project still on the needles with a promise to finish just as soon as possible.

Holiday Knits – A gift for yourself?

Last year we created our first project club with the Quartet Hat Club. We launched the project in January and sent our members four exclusive project kits throughout the year. Melissa Johnson crafted all four beautiful designs that reflected the seasons and featured different Spinnery yarns.

Our members were delighted with club and shared their appreciation with us.

Continue reading Holiday Knits – A gift for yourself?


Holiday Knits – warm woolen mittens

We have a new pattern to share with you this week that could be a perfect choice for your holiday gift knitting.  Cap Sease has created the Double Stuff Mitten for those of you looking for a little something that will be as snug and comforting as a cup of cocoa and a plate full of our favorite cookies.

double-mitten-1w

These double layered mittens were inspired by classic Estonian mittens that combine a hard wearing outer layer with a second softer inner layer for maximum protection against winter’s chills.  Cap’s pattern pairs either Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool with Alpaca Elegance.  And the results are as snug as you could wish for.

She has embellished her mittens with a bit of embroidery, and you may opt to personalize your pair by adding stripes, textured stitches such as cables, or working in school or team colors.  We can’t wait to see what you come up with.  You’ll probably find yourself making pair after pair this winter as requests from friends and loved ones for warm woolen mittens begin to accumulate like snow drifts!

Cap’s pattern is beautifully constructed and easy to follow.  Newer knitters considering this pattern should be successful if they are already comfortable working in the round with double pointed needles, and decreasing.

More new patterns will be added to our website as we get closer to the holidays and we hope that you’ll enjoy working on what we have in store for you.