One last Snow Day

If you follow our Instagram feed, than you may have seen that Maureen recently cast off a Snow Day Shawl designed by Knitting Expat Designs.

This beauty is created with three skeins of Spinnery Cotton Comfort (seen above in Juniper, Weathered Green and Unbleached White).

This shawl stole its fair share of attention at our booth at STITCHES West last weekend, so we thought we’d share some of the different color combinations that shoppers came up with that you might enjoy working with.

Pictured here is Navy, Denim and Bluet

Pictured here is Yarrow, Maize and Unbleached White

Pictured here is Iris, Violet and Unbleached White

Pictured here is Leaf, Peony and Phlox

March usually delivers a few more heavy snowfalls, so in spite of the recent balmy temperatures, we anticipate that there may be a few more snowy knitting days in store for us this season.

We’ll make sure to have a trio of beautifully complimentary skeins ready to go so that we can create a shawl like Maureen’s to enjoy this Spring.  Are you tempted to as well?


Just around the corner

Temperatures are warming up here in Vermont and that has us eagerly anticipating Spring, which is likely to be delayed by a few more messy late winter storms.  In an effort to change our perspective on any upcoming precipitation, we’ve got a new pattern to play with: Wintery Mix. We hope that this project will have us looking forward to gloomy weather forecasts instead of dreading them.

The pattern includes four stitch patterns named after weather patterns (snow, rain, sleet and ice) that can be worked at your discretion.  A bit like a choose your own adventure novel, you can select your stitches based on the weather outside your window, or follow your creative inspiration and knit them as you like.

This asymmetrical shawl pattern designed by Kate Salomon is worked from the bottom up, making each row a couple of stitches shorter than the last.  Your shawl will be worked up in time for warmer weather giving you a light and comforting three season accessory that you’ll enjoy in the weeks to come.

Wintery Mix calls for 3-4 skeins of our DK weight yarns: Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, Alpaca Elegance, Sylvan Spirit or New Mexico Organic.  Shown above, our samples were knit up in Brickhouse Mewesic and Silver Cotton Comfort.  Yardage required to complete the pattern will vary based on the stitch patterns you select so we recommend getting adequate yardage to ensure that you don’t run short.

We’ll be featuring these two beautiful shawls at our booth in Santa Clara, CA at the STITCHES West Marketplace, this weekend.  We hope that you can drop by and visit us to see them for yourself!  This fun project is one you are sure to enjoy.


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 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.


Thank 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.

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As a small token of our gratitude, we hope that you’ll enjoy a FREE pattern for the Common Cap.

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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.


The Athens Key Hat

This time of year has many of us doing a bit of armchair traveling.  From the cozy comfort of our chairs by the fire we can dream of warmer climates and alluring locales around the globe.  Occasionally, those dreams of far off places can inform and inspire our knitwear designs.

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Cap Sease created a beautiful hat pattern that  reminds us of the classic architecture details that can be found on landmarks located on the other side of the Atlantic.  Her Athens Key Hat features a classic Greek key motif created with slipped stitch garter rows that result in a thick warm fabric that will keep your ears delightfully warm.

We used Spinnery Mewesic and our New Mexico Organic yarns for these samples.  Pictured in Pink Cadillac and Purple Haze Mewesic with White New Mexico Organic (on the left) and Diamonds and Rust and Norwegian Wood Mewesic with White New Mexico Organic (on the right).

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We hope that you’ll consider casting on for this pattern while planning your next getaway.  You may find that having a new hat to toss in your bag may broaden the destination options to include the perfect spot!


Another request fulfilled

One of our most popular children’s sweater is the East Putney Aran that was included in our 99 Yarns book published in 2009.  This classic pullover pattern includes sizing for ages 2 – 12.

east putney aran

As you can imagine, it knits up quickly with between 4 and 6 skeins of our DK weight yarn options: New Mexico Organic, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, Sylvan Spirit or Alpaca Elegance.

We are pleased to tell you that now we have an adult version of this sweater!  The Adult East Putney Aran includes sizing for bust sizes 38′ – 50″.  This often requested pattern has been drafted by Melissa Johnson so that now all of us can can have one of our own.

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The pattern is a perfect one for knitters eager to try their hand on an Aran knit and would like a great beginner pattern to get started.  The pattern includes two different cable motifs separated by columns of seed stitch making it ideal for newer knitters.

The sweater features a bottom-up seamed construction with a modified drop shoulder.  The stitch pattern is charted for easy reading, and as always, we are available at the Spinnery for phone support.  We hope that you’ll give it a try.

A lighter weight pullover such as this one will be a perfect addition to your wardrobe as temperatures get a bit warmer.  And with so many fun yarn options in mouthwatering colors, you may find yourself making more than just one!


Vermont at it’s best

We are headed to the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival this weekend and we couldn’t be more excited.  Tunbridge is lovely this time of year.  And in our opinion, there is nothing quite so fine as a gathering of fiber enthusiasts eager to share what they’ve been working on.

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There will be sheep aplenty as well as over 70 vendors offering all your favorite fibers and yarn along with equipment and supplies.  The Spinnery will have a booth there and you can visit us to see a selection of our yarns as well as some samples that can demonstrate how our yarns and patterns work up.

Anticipating that shoppers might be eager to find a unique local offering, and inspired by Amy Christoffer’s beautiful Coolidge Cardigan, Kate spent a few hours this week knitting up a new sample with our Vermont Organic Yarn.

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These creamy skeins include 250 yards of worsted weight yarn and Kate thought that a simple hat pattern that could highlight the terrific stitch definition was called for.  She knit up a Koolhaas hat, designed by Jared Flood.

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The pattern includes two size options and Kate knitted the larger of the two for the deepest possible version of this unisex beanie.  She was delighted to find that she had enough yarn remaining for a second hat!

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We love it when you can create two projects from a single skein!  You’ll be able to make two holiday gifts or keep one for yourself as a little reward.

If a trip to Tunbridge Vermont is on your agenda this weekend, we look forward to seeing you soon.  If some knitting time on the couch at home is more your speed, we wish you happy knitting!


Farm fresh: Vermont Organic yarn

We’ve created something special this spring and we thought you’d like to learn all about it.  Vermont Organic yarn is back in stock!  And we had a chance to briefly interview Anna from Open View Farm who raises the sheep whose fleeces have created our delicious new yarn.

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Anna and her husband Ben raise certified organic lambs, grow certified organic vegetables, and produce maple syrup on 180 acres in New Haven, Vermont.  The farm is unique in that it has a 2.49 megawatt DC solar array, which is owned and operated by Crosspollination Inc.

The array spans 17 acres and is composed of 8,448 photovoltaic modules. These produce an estimated 2,700-megawatt hours of electricity per year (which is enough electricity to power approximately 400 homes).  Anna and Ben’s sheep seem to appreciate the shade and shelter the panels provide when they graze under and around the panels for part of the summer months.

 

© Open View Farm

© Open View Farm

As it turns out, Open View Farm is a resurrected dairy farm.  Anna and Ben’s flock is raised for meat and was started in the fall of 2010 with 30 Tunis ewes.  Tunis sheep are dual purpose, fat-tailed sheep well known for delicious meat.  They’ve been added to the Slow Food movement’s Ark of Taste, which has identified 200 “delicious and culturally significant foods in the US in danger of extinction”.

Open View Farm’s original flock of Tunis ewes has been bred with Dorset rams to increase the size of the animals.  Dorset animals are slightly larger and thrive on pasture ensuring a quicker growth to market weight.  More than 50 lambs are born at Open View Farm each spring, bringing the total number of sheep on the farm to over 100 during the summer months.

 

© Open View Farm

© Open View Farm

(In case you were interested, you can purchase Open View’s lamb and other organic products at the Shelburne Farmer’s Market in the summer, and on yourfarmstand.com any time.)

As delicious as Anna and Ben’s organic lamb may be, here at Green Mountain Spinnery we are more interested in their fleece.  Tunis sheep are born a soft cinnamon color that transitions to a lovely soft warm tan color.  Dorset’s wool is known for its springy elasticity, which adds a delightful resiliency that makes each creamy ivory skein wonderfully squeezable.

© Open View Farm

© Open View Farm

Our skeins of worsted weight organic Vermont yarn include 250 yards per 4 oz. skein. Only 42 pounds of wool was processed in this first batch so our supply of these scrumptious skeins is limited. We hope to be able to make more in the near future.  And we hope that you’ll be able to get your hands on some of these first few skeins!


Simply beautiful

Our ravelry friend Jessica recently finished a show stopping shawl that we thought you might like to take a look at.

Annie Rowden designed a stunning lace shawl this spring inspired by a small batch single source yarn much like the Spinnery’s New Mexico Organic yarn which Jessica chose to create this shawl.

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© sugarhousewkshp

 

The Isle of Purbeck Shawl Mystery Knit Along started in early May and by now all four clues have now been released and you will receive the whole pattern when purchased on Ravelry.

You can still join the Ravelry group MKAL thread for friendly and enthusiastic knitting company that includes tips, encouragement and general chitter chatter.

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© sugarhousewkshp

Jessica created her version of this shawl with just four skeins of our DK weight New Mexico Organic yarn.  These skeins are created from 100% Rambouillet fiber which has a similar softness to Merino with more loft and resiliency.  When it is woolen spun like ours is, you have a bouncy airy yarn that your fingers will never tire working with.

If you’d prefer a version with more color, our Mewesic would provide a perfect option.

We’d like to thank Jessica for letting us share her beautiful photos.  Your shawl is simply breathtaking, Jessica!


$5 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery yarns?!

Yep! Our tent sale is featuring some terrific bargains on orphan skeins. These are small quantities of skeins leftover from older dye lots.

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We have found a few skeins of our favorites: Mountain Mohair, Cotton Comfort, Sylvan Spirit, Alpaca Elegance, and Maine and New Mexico Organics. Every skein is just $5. Great yarn for a great price!

These limited quantities could be perfect for small accessory projects, or striped projects that require small yardages of multiple complimentary colors.

And there is much, much more!  We have an even larger selection of unwashed odd weight yarns that we’ve been able to make available to our online friends who won’t be able to attend our Tent Sale in person.  You can find all of our special Tent Sale savings here.  These prices will be available (while supplies last) through Friday June 12th!

We hope that you can take advantage of these prices. Our Tent Sale hours this weekend (May 23-25) are Saturday 10am – 5:30pm, Sunday 12 – 4pm, and Monday 10am – 5:30pm.  And our special $5 skeins are only available to those of you who can visit us in person.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, and happy knitting!


A treat for you

Several seasons ago we sent a few dozen skeins of our New Mexico organic yarn to our friend Roy Kady in order to be hand painted. We received a wonderful care package this month filled with gorgeous skeins from the Navajo Nation that we want to share with you as a little holiday present.

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We have small quantities of limited edition Hand Painted New Mexico Organica 100% Fine Wool (Rambouillet) grown in New Mexico and hand dyed by the indigenous Diné (Navajo) community.

Using traditional methods of dying has resulted in a subdued palette of natural tones that reflect the high desert environment of the American Southwest. The skeins are named for the plants used to create each hue.

Even more exciting, part of the proceeds from the sales of these skeins will benefit the artists who painted them, allowing us to give back to the Native American community that is such a vital part of our heritage.

We hope that you’ll take a look at these skeins on our website, or visit our little shop to enjoy the colors in person. They are $15 each and will disappear quickly.