Signs of Spring

In celebration of the first hints of Spring that have appeared in Vermont this week, we have a new pattern to share with you that has made our winter months more colorful.  We’ve been hard at work over the past several weeks knitting up samples that have made us feel like artists.

Our Expressionist Shawl pairs our tweedy neutral Sock Art Lana with Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes Paintbox gradients to spectacular effect.  Shown here, it’s knit up with 2 skeins of Lana in the Gris colorway and the Light Into Darkness gradient set.  Kate worked her stripes moving from dark to light with the lengthening spring days in mind as she worked.

It’s simple asymmetrical shape is constructed with a lengthy cast on and diminishing rows that speed your progress.  The garter stitch fabric is lofty and elastic, and oh so comforting to wrap up with.

It’s a perfect project for social knitting or a lengthy trip.  A bit of intarsia at one end keeps things interesting and you’ll love watching the progression of colors as you work through Kimber’s mouthwatering gradient shades.

This second sample was made with Lana in the lighter Plateada colorway and the Onyx to Crimson gradient.  Jenny created this shawl working her stripes from light to dark ensuring that her favorite shade of crimson would make the boldest impression on the longest edge of her shawl.  As you can see, the shawl’s generous dimensions (56″ x 32″) make it a cozy fit.

The hardest part of this project will be selecting which paintbox colorway to play with!  We hope that you’ll select a spectrum of your favorite colors, or one that recalls a special place or time. Your shawl will become a beautiful expression of what you love.

Our friends Kimber and Ellie of Fiber Optic Yarns are debuting their stunning samples of the Expressionist Shawl this weekend at their booth at the DFW Fiber Fest in Dallas Texas.  We hope that if you are in that area, you’ll have a chance to stop by and check out their works of art in person.

We’ll be debuting our samples later this month at the Spinnery booth at Stitches United in Hartford, CT; and would love to share the fun of this project with you there.  In the meantime, we hope that your days ahead are made more colorful with beautiful knits and spring blossoms.

 


Celebrate National Crochet month with us

Perhaps you already knew that March is National Crochet month.   The fun folks over at Crochetville, have organized a blog tour that you should follow if you are eager to get some inspiration for great crochet projects and yarns. This year’s theme focuses on “glamping” otherwise known as glamorous camping.

If your idea of the perfect camping trips includes a warm bed under a sturdy canvas roof, or a warm beverage beside a fireside; you’re in good company!  We like to imagine glamping as if we were characters in Out of Africa, fine china, polished silver and all.

And with that in mind, Maureen has created a fun new crochet pattern: The Sierra Cowl.  This pattern was inspired on her recent trip to California, home of some of the most glamorous camping we know of in Yosemite National Park.

This fun infinity cowl can be crafted up in just a few hours with 2 contrasting skeins of Spinnery Cotton Comfort.  Maureen completed hers on a transcontinental flight that brought her from Hartford, CT to San Jose, CA.  Shown above, our sample was created with a skein each of Phlox and Silver.

For the next 30 days, we’re offering a 10% discount on the Sierra Club project.  You can receive 10% off your purchase of Cotton Comfort and the pattern by using the coupon code NATCRO17 at check out.  (This offer is valid through 4/18/17).

We hope that this may inspire you to get a cowl of your own started before the end of March so that you too can be part of the fun of National Crochet month!


Off the needle superstars

We love browsing through photos on Ravelry.  It can be so inspiring to see what other folks are working on and better yet, what they’ve recently finished.  This week, we want to share some of our favorites so that you can enjoy these knits as much as we do.  You might find your next project among some of these ideas!

© jennaleeashburn

Our friend Jenna Lee from nearby Massachusetts joined the Fancy Tiger Knitalong and created a Wolf River pullover designed by Melissa Schaschwary using Spinnery Weekend Wool.  We love how the grey ragg color adds visual texture enlivening the sweater’s stockinette sections.  It looks wonderfully wearable with almost anything! Beautiful work Jenna, and thank you for sharing with us!

Kelly from Texas is an amazingly prolific knitter.  Her project page will delight you, as it did us!  We discovered her Cascade cardigan designed by Amy Herzog and knew that you’d want to take a peek.

© KellyInTexas

Kelly’s sweater is such a perfect fit because she made use of Amy Herzog’s Custom Fit program that generated a version of the pattern specially tailored to her body measurements and gauge.  We’ve been continuously delighted by Amy’s designs, and the one of a kind ability to make them a perfect flattering fit is such a treat.

Kelly created her cardigan with Brickhouse Mewesic, for a 3 season sweater that is a classic.  You’ll want to browse through her other photos to be able to appreciate the crisp lacework on the back that makes this project such a stunner.

Our friend Charissa played with four different yarns to create a gorgeous pair of Baa-ble Mittens.  Her sheep look picture perfect with their realistic coloring.

© cmflame

The feet and faces of her darling flock were created with our Jet Black Mountain Mohair.  What a fun pair of mittens; who wouldn’t want a handful of sheep to help keep their fingers toasty warm?  And speaking of which…

© oalewis

 

© oalewis

Olga created a breathtakingly delicate shawl with yarn that was spun here at the Spinnery as a custom project for the folks at Catskill Merino Sheep Farm in upstate New York.  She knit up the Echo Flower Shawl designed by Jenny Johnson Johnen.  Her project page features a series of photos that follows her yarn from the flock to the finished work of art.

© elliemay

Straight from the cover of Winter 2016 Knitscene, Ellie created a Slopes Cardigan with Spinnery Weekend Wool.   She opted to create a version of the sweater exactly as it was depicted and we love how the elegant simplicity of the pattern compliments the rusticity of our woolen spun yarn.

Next, we have two sweaters created with our Cotton Comfort.  This 80/20 blend of wool and cotton is a pleasure to work with.  It’s soft hand has a wonderful bouncy elasticity thanks to the high wool content.  It makes a comforting breathable fabric that is perfect for 3 season wear.

© yarnfloozy

We think you’ll agree that the tincanknits Prairie Fire pullover looks as though it would be as much fun ton construct as it will be to wear.  Dotty created her sweater in crisp and classic navy, and we love how the tweed and lace work together.  Beautiful work Dotty!

Michele’s Arcade pullover was designed by Isabel Kraemer.  She selected silver Cotton Comfort and has created a sweater that looks fantastic on her.  She indicates in her project notes that the pattern was well written and a pleasure to follow.  We want to cast on for similar sweaters without delay!

© MicheleDesautels

Last but certainly not least is a project dear to our hearts because it was created as part of our Groundhog Day Knitalong that concludes next week  on the 16th.

© riversidespinner

Carrie created a lovely version of the Brezel hat designed by Svetlana Volkova, using our Vermont Organic yarn.  She is flirting with the idea of dying her hat and we look forward to seeing how it will be transformed!

We hope that you enjoyed this little tour through some of our current Ravelry favorites.  We hope to be able to share your photos in the near future so be sure to share your progress with our Raverly group or on our Facebook page.  That way, our little community can remain in touch no matter the distance between us!


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!


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.


Winter woolens

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_cover_small2

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.

dress-bw

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!

montpelier

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.

weekend-crop

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.


Thank you

This week, we’d like to share a poem that David Ritchie wrote as a submission for the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival.  The Spinnery sponsored the Festival’s contests again this year, and as a judge, David’s submission was not eligible for prize consideration.

Nonetheless, we’d like to pass it along to you as a little thank you for all that you do to honor sheep and their impact on our craft and our lives.

poem-cover

David published his poem in an hand-felted cover.  And each of the pages is illustrated with a delicate line drawing drafted by Lauren VonKrusenstiern.

I am not a commodity

I see you in school,
feeling out of place,
majoring in economics
needing your calculus
for all your formulas
representing the goals
of Chase Manhattan Bank

But I am another being

I live next to the earth,
and in my own way,
I pray
for the best soil,
and the richest greens.
You can even teach me
to graze on the ones
you need to be digested.
(buckthorn for example)

poem-open

As your sheep,
I am both strong and frail
fearing many predators
These days my fears are many,
as I know are yours,
making us very humble beings.

In your class, they called me stupid,
but I have my own personality,
my own ways, and who is to
say which of us is wise.

Even with our differences,
I will know your voice,
And listen for your approach,
showing you still
I am glad you are here.

So, I ask,
will you remember my gifts?

As a ewe,
I can give you offspring,
often two at a time,
and as a ram?….
who knows how many of your ewes
will become pregnant?

Breed me carefully and I can soon
produce enough milk to make
your glorious cheeses.

Or breed me another way
And I will sacrifice my life,
just for your survival,
and the taste of choice
at your dinner table.

poem-illustration

Yet,
you also may keep me
and protect me for my wool.
Just caress your hands on my coat of fleece,
and see how they will be healed..

You can follow my miracle fiber
to your local mill,
where every person and machine
from washing to skeining
is dedicated to my beauty.

In these days of drastic weather events,
(created by your people)
whatever you spin from me
will keep you safe and warm.

Who I am,
what I do,
(If you are paying attention),
transforms lives.

When you felt so lonely
and out of place
In that college class……..
you were confronting
within yourself,
what has now become clear,

I am not a commodity

From all of us at the Spinnery, we’d like to offer you a very heartfelt thank you.  Your visits to our mill and our various booths at Sheep & Wool Festivals give us a chance to meet those of you who value our craft and see the extraordinary ways in which you transform our skeins into handknits to be cherished.  Thank you for sharing our love of all things woolly.


Coming soon

We were lucky enough to get a chance to preview the newest samples from Pompom Quarterly while at Rhinebeck last weekend.  The girls flew all the way from their home turf in the UK to share issue 19 (winter 2016) with visitors to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival.

While all 18 patterns are worth checking out, our favorite has been topping the popularity charts on Ravelry this week.  We’d like to introduce you to Cesium designed by Sachiko Burgin.  This stunning pattern will be available for purchase through Ravelry on Nov. 1st.

cesium-by-sachiko-burgin-pom-pom-quarterly-issue-19-winter-2016

©Amy Gwatkin

The cozy sweater is knit up with between 6-11 skeins of Mountain Mohair and is shown above in the Ice Blue color.  The pattern includes a generous size range: 29½ (33, 37½, 41, 45½, 49, 53½)” and is intended to be worn with 1-1½” positive ease.  The model has a 35” bust, stands 5’6” tall, and is wearing the 37½” size.

cesium-by-sachiko-burgin-pom-pom-quarterly-issue-19-winter-2016

©Amy Gwatkin

We love the soft subtle cabling.  The asymmetry of the cables adds visual complexity to a comforting, flattering shape.  And the wide neckline beautifully balances the strong vertical of the cabled panel; it will look fantastic on all kinds of figures.

On Sunday, Sachiko and her twin sister Kiyomi stopped by our booth and so we were able to thank and congratulate her on her stunning design.  Her sister and fellow designer also has a lovely pattern included in this issue of Pompom, Fragmentation is a beautifully designed slouch hat that makes the most of gradient fingering weight yarns that are so impossible to resist.

You’ll find many treasures in the pages of this magazine.  We found that Bristol Ivy’s article about asymmetry and imperfection ties the theme of the collection together in a thoughtful and delightful way that may help you find a new appreciation for the inherent inconsistencies that make our craft unique.

If you don’t already have a subscription to this delightful quarterly, you will be able to find Pompom Winter 2016 available for sale in our shop on Nov. 1st.


Rhinebeck Sweaters

We are so looking forward to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY this weekend.  Every year, all of us that return for the fun wear our hand knits looking forward to the accolades and recognition that are such a rewarding part of the day.

You will be hard-pressed to find another group as appreciative of a beautiful shawl or sweater, because they know exactly what kind of time and patience was required.  It’s likely that their outfit was created with an equal amount of love and care.

You’ll see hand knits that you would never know were still on the needles just a few hours earlier.  Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram become filled with photos of late night and last minute steam blocking and seaming. Laughed confessions of car knitting on the way to the festival abound.

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The Rhinebeck Sweater phenomena was formalized in 2013 in part by Ysolda Teaque’s book that features a dozen stunning sweaters patterns inspired by the gathering.  They were created by 12 different designers who selected yarns that could be purchased from among the Festivals vendors.

The book is filled with beautiful photos shot at the Festival that provide you with a chance to relive the weekend from your armchair any time of year.  And the inclusion of Ysolda’s thoughtful interviews with the folks who grow, spin, and dye these yarns gives the reader a rich history that can sometimes be hard to glean directly from the producers due to the crowds and hectic pace of the weekend.

Included in these pages you’ll find Gudrun Johnston’s Pippin sweater which was created with Spinnery Weekend Wool. You’ll find some terrific new colors to choose from in our booth this year!

weekend-crop

But that’s not all.  Since last year’s festival we’ve added other new yarns that you’ll want to see, feel and possibly smell.

Our Sock Art Lana is a 100% wool 2-ply fingering yarn that knits up into beautiful shawls (like our Jordache pattern) and lightweight sweaters (like the Hatteras Cardigan).  We have two different yarns comprised of Moorit merino fiber that is naturally soft and beautifully hued; a fingering weight single-ply and a DK weight 3-ply.  This year’s batch of Yarn Over is as utilitarian as you remember, comes in two shades (grey and a faded red), and has been worked up into the Beekeeper’s Smock.  This quickly knit pullover has been a hit at this season’s other festivals.

Along with these new yarns, we’ll be featuring all of our new patterns in our booth.  Stopping by will give you a welcome chance to see some of the patterns you’ve seen on Ravelry, our website and on Facebook.  We know that it can be invaluable to check them out in person and get a closer look at elements that may be difficult to distinguish in a photo.

yoke-5w

We’ll have several different versions of Maureen Clark’s Corrie.  This yoked pullover can be worked up with 4 complementary colors of Mewesic; and you’ll have a ball selecting your favorites from among the 13 shades we’ll have sweater quantities of.

We’ll also have all of Cap Sease’s new accessory patterns: the Beinecke Cowl, the Guilford Shawl and the Athens Key Hat.  If you prefer working with bulkier yarns, we have several projects for last minute gifts.  Maureen has crafted a cozy infinity cowl with Tunisian Crochet techniques (Cowl Up). And Kate Salomon has created the Granite Cap that can be knit with a single strand of bulky yarn, a double strand of worsted or a triple strand of DK for three very different looks.

We hope that no matter what you enjoy working on, we can provide you with a whole winter’s worth of beautiful projects that will keep you and your loved ones warm and woolly!

The fun starts at 9 am tomorrow morning.  We can’t wait to see you there.


New for fall (part two)

This week we are proud to share with you another new pattern as well as six new shades of Weekend Wool!

ww-new-2016

From top to bottom and left to right is Fawn, Pollen, Chestnut, Grasshopper, Teal and Orchid.  These new shades round out our Weekend Wool spectrum with additional rich tones that our friends in Wisconsin are delighted with!

All of these new colors were created by blending our bale dyed wool in the carding process for a unique depth of tweedy color you are going to love working with.  You may want to consider casting on for the Putney Mountain Vest pattern which features a total of four colors of Weekend Wool in the colorful yoke.

hand knits in Green mountain Spinnery yarns Green Mountain Spinnery yarn fashions, handknit handcrafting

© gail zucker

And for those of you who prefer to crochet, Maureen has crafted a special pattern for a new accessory you are going to love working on.

cowl-06w

Cowl Up is a cozy accessory is created with the Tunisian Crochet technique.  With 2 skeins of our bulky weight Capricorn yarn and a very large hook, you’ll have a finished project to curl up into in just a few hours!  It has been a hit in our booth at Wisconsin and we hope that you’ll enjoy it too.

yoke-5w

And in just a few days we’ll have the finishing touches ready for another circular yoke sweater that you may recognize from our newsletter!  We’ll let you know on our Facebook page as soon as the pattern is ready for downloading.

Until then, happy crafting!