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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
As we gather around holiday tables this weekend with friends and family, we can’t help but count our blessings. We are so grateful for your enthusiasm for our deliciously wooly yarns. Your support of our mission allows us to continue to partner with small farms raising heritage breeds, and that keeps the American fiber shed thriving.
As a small token of our gratitude, we hope that you’ll enjoy a FREE pattern for the Common Cap.
This unisex hat pattern was designed to fit almost any head from the age of 3! A very stretchy ribbed brim will accommodate heads with circumferences between 18 – 24 inches. With directions for three separate depths, you can knit up a short beanie, a cuffed watch cap, or a slouchy hat and almost anything in between.
Providing those that we love with beautiful wooly warmth is one of the many benefits of our craft. We hope that you’ll use this pattern to knit up some warm hats for anyone who warms your heart. You can download the FREE PDF here and cast on without delay. We recommend using our Weekend Wool, but you’ll get gauge with our Mountain Mohair or the Maine and Vermont organic yarns.
Even with the few weeks remaining until the next holidays, you’ll have time to knit several of these hats as last minute gifts for anyone on your knitworthy list.
All of us here at the Spinnery wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season. Thank you from the bottom of our wooly hearts.
An important part of the pattern design process is test knitting the garment in question. We like to create a version (and sometimes two) of each pattern to ensure the different knitters can follow the pattern’s instructions with varying materials and achieve success! A happy by-product of all of that knitting, is a shop full of samples in various sizes that show off our designs.
Crafters love getting a chance to see how our patterns knit up and feel the fabrics made from our yarns. They can examine a piece from all angles, getting to know the garment in greater detail than the photos included in the pattern or on Ravelry can illustrate.
Visitors who don’t knit are often curious about these pieces of knitwear, and are crestfallen to find that they are not available for sale. But that will change for a few days next weekend.
Once a year, for the Putney Craft Tour, we select a few samples and other test knits and offer them for sale. Our test knitters and designers have collected some stunning garments and accessories that will be available for visitors to purchase Friday November 25th – Sunday November 27th.
Hats – $25
Cowls – $35
Shawls/Wraps – $40
Vests – $50
Sweaters – $60
Kate’s sample of her Yosemite Blanket is a queen-sized work of love. This hand-knit garter stitch blanket was created with over 3,100 yards of un-dyed natural wool in three beautiful shades. It is priced at $250 and all of the proceeds from the sale of this blanket will go to benefit the Putney Food Shelf.
We hope that all of these beauties find new homes next weekend, and hope that you can be among the lucky few who gets a chance to snap them up!
As temperatures start to drop and days become shorter, we find ourselves drawn to working on projects that will take a bit more time. The prospect of sitting quietly with a lap full of knitting is comforting; and so larger projects have a greater appeal. With this in mind, earlier this fall Maureen teamed up with several New England designers to create a unique collection of sweater dress patterns that you may want to take a closer look at.
All Aboard! is an $18 e-book that features 6 new designs made with warmer weight yarns ranging from DK weight to Aran. These sweater dresses represent a wonderful modern take on a 1950’s wardrobe staple that will be the perfect choice for a festive holiday gathering or a weekend away.
Becky Herrick’s design, Essex Junction features eye-catching color work at the yoke, cuffs and hem. Beth Brown-Reinsel’s Alouette is knitted in the style of the British gansey. It features typical gansey textured stitches above the waist to add visual interest and provide you with something fun to work on. Lars Rains has contributed a top-down seamless pattern featuring brioche texturing: Brattleboro. His pattern includes directions for various special techniques that will make for a fun project that will build your skills this winter. Rosann Fleischauer’s Rensselaer is a flirty feminine A-line dress with cabling at the waist that makes for a figure flattering silhouette.
We have to confess a special preference for the designs included in this collection that call for Spinnery yarns.
Maureen’s Green Mountain Flyer pattern was designed with Alpaca Elegance. This yarn creates a lush fabric with beautiful movement that is as pleasurable to knit as it is flattering to wear. The overall texture is created with an easily memorized knit 2, purl one rib stitch variation. And those garter stitch patch pockets are just darling!
Suzy Allen contributed the Montpelier pattern to the collection. Her design features small symmetrical cables and an elegant empire waist; with sizes ranging from a 27″ to a 43″ bust measurement. She wore this beautiful dress to the Sheep & Wool festival at Rhinebeck last month and was frequently stopped by complimentary visitors eager to learn more about her design.
She created this pattern with the Spinnery’s worsted weight Weekend Wool in mind. And our new expanded color palette gives you even more options to choose from.
We hope that your upcoming weeks are filled with fun knitting projects and scrumptious yarn that warm your spirit as much as your hands. And if a new knitted dress looks like fun, we hope that you’ll treat yourself to the All Aboard! collection that you can find on Ravelry.