Everybody wins!

Thea Colman’s newest pattern is remarkable in several ways.  We’d like to introduce you to Wild Mountain Thyme, and tell you all about it.

© Thea Colman

The sweater is a top down tee with an elegant diamond motif featured along the yoke. Intentionally placed yarnovers add subtle detail around the colorwork, and the fit is loose and boxy. Sleeves and body are short, but the silhouette is easily modified. Notes are in the pattern to alter as desired.  By trying your garment on as you create it, you can ensure a perfect fit!

Thea’s pullover was designed to showcase delicately hued, naturally dyed yarn.  When Kate was offered the opportunity to help test the pattern, she immediately thought of the yarns we spin for New England natural dyers.  She cast on for two versions of this sweater using yarn that was spun here and dyed not far away.

First, she cast on with Tidal Yarns 100% wool worsted weight yarn; intentionally not working to the pattern’s specified gauge.  This created an oversized sweater that is perfect to pop on over other layers for a cozy winter sweater that she often wears to work.  Patricia helped her select a subtle color combination that mimics the look of Thea’s sample.  The contrast color was over dyed with marigold and madder root!

Since Kate had a few extra skeins in her stash of Wing and a Prayer Farm’s Thelma & Louise, she thought she’s whip up another version that would have even more drape and fluid movement thanks to the addition of mohair to the yarn.  Tammy helped her select a subtle contrast color that was dyed with iron.

As you can see, this simple top works equally well when worn with a bit less positive ease for a closer fit (that wouldn’t accommodate extra layers). Kate’s first Tidal Yarns version is about 10 inches larger than her bust, and the second W&PF version is about 6 inches larger than her bust.

The pattern’s sizing ranges from 37.5(40,42.5,44.75,47.25,49.5)(53.5,57.75,61.5,65)” 95.25(101.5,108,113.5,120,126)(136,146.5,156,165)cm and Thea suggests between 4-6″ of positive ease.  Yardage requirements are as follows:

Main Color (MC): 700(800,850,900,950,1000)(1100,1200,1250,1300) yds or 4(5, 5, 5, 6, 6)(7, 7, 7, 8) skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery’s DK weight yarn.
Accent Color (AC): 75(75,100,100,150,150)(150,175,175,175) yds or 1 skein of Green Mountain Spinnery’s DK weight yarn for any size.

We’d love to encourage you to consider using either of the yarns that Kate did, knowing that they were made with love here at the Mill.  You could also consider using Cotton Comfort, Alpaca Elegance, Mewesic or Sylvan Spirit.  You may also want to consider using the naturally dyed skeins that Thea calls for in the pattern, Oysters and Purls.  While collaborating with Armenuhi who creates this lovely yarn in New York, war broke out in Armenia last year, and she’s been working to raise awareness and funds for families, displaced by the fighting. Purchases of this pattern will add to her efforts.

50% of all the proceeds of Wild Mountain Thyme to the end of Feb will be donated to kooyrigs.org, helping Armenian families in need due to the fighting. Thea will be matching that amount from other pattern sales, adding to the total on March 1.

So your pattern purchase will do more than just add a gorgeous garment that you’ll treasure to your queue, it will reach out into the world to support families in need.  Everyone wins!



A new sweater, three ways

Elizabeth Doherty released her newest pullover pattern this week, Sian.  It is a top-down slipped stitch sweater that is a dream to knit and wear.

© Elizabeth Doherty

This design, and the slipped stitch texturing that is featured in it were inspired by a trip to Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. Each of the stitch motifs reflect a different aspect of that landscape, including the waves, walls, flocks of sheep and little stone huts of the islands.  Her pattern calls for a DK weight wooly wool that will allow that design to pop with clarity and retain comfortable elasticity.

“The yoke’s slip-stitch motifs might look intricate, but they are actually quite simple to knit. Only one color is worked per round, so there’s no need to carry two strands of yarn at once. Choose from two body styles: a longer A-line shape, or one that’s straight and slightly cropped.  The pattern contains notes on customizing the design to suit your style or available materials, and includes a handy chart showing bust circumferences at a range of gauges.” (we’ll get back to that chart, because it is a game changer).

The pattern as written includes instructions for sizes (31¼ 34½, 37½, 40) (44, 47¼, 50½, 53½) (56, 59¼, 62½, 65½)“ with a suggested positive ease of  3 to 5″ at the bust,  1½ to 2½” at the biceps.  The yardage requirements depend on your choice of working the sweater with longer A-line shaping (as shown above) or a cropped version that is just adorable.

A-line body
(620, 680, 730, 830) (930, 980, 1060, 1140) (1270, 1360, 1440, 1510) yds of a DK weight yarn, or (4, 4, 5, 5) (6, 6, 6, 7)(8, 8, 8, 9) skeins of GMS DK yarns.

Straight cropped body
(570, 620, 670, 760) (850, 910, 970, 1050) (1150, 1230, 1310, 1380) yds of a DK weight yarn, or (4, 4, 4, 5) (5, 6, 6, 6)(7, 7, 8, 8) skeins of GMS DK yarns.


CONTRAST COLOR: (130, 140, 150, 180)(200, 210, 230, 250)(270, 290, 310, 330) yds of a DK weight yarn, or (1, 1, 1, 1,) (2, 2, 2, 2)(2, 2, 2, 2) skeins of GMS DK yarns.

You could work with our Mewesic (100% wool), our Cotton Comfort (80/20 wool and cotton blend) or our Alpaca Elegance (50/50 wool and alpaca).  Two of the knitters who tested the pattern for Elizabeth chose to work with our Alpaca Elegance and we thought we’d share their photos so that you can see how versatile this pattern can be.

© zanelaura

© Glennae










Laura’s version on the left is a subtle tonal variation of rich greens, and Glenna’s on the right uses different colors for each stitch motif.  And if this isn’t enough to tempt you, wait to you consider the implications of Elizabeth’s chart that she’s generously included in the pattern’s notes.  She has calculated the adjustments to the chest circumference that result when changing your stitch gauge from the 20 sts over 4 inches called for, to any whole number in the range from 16 to 26!  This means that you can potentially use any yarn from a fingering weight to an Aran.  Wow.

Kate used this chart to figure out which size to work from to create a finished garment that would be a comfortable fit.  The 6th size which would work up to a sweater with a bust size of approximately 47″ at the 20 stitch gauge, created a 38″ sweater for Kate at her gauge of approximately 24 stitches over 4 inches.  With a few tweaks to the decreases called for the sleeves, Kate has a lighter weight version of Sian that will be perfect when the snow melts.

She used our Simply Fine yarn with the Natural Dark as her Main Color and Nostalgia as her Contrast Color.  She loved the subtle contrast between the colors and the delicacy of the slipped stitch pattern so much that she opted to carry that texture throughout her sweater instead of limiting it to just the yoke.

We hope that you’ll take a minute to explore the other finished sweaters on Raverly from Elizabeth’s test group.  The selection can easily illustrate  just how adaptable this pattern is to any preference!

Elizabeth is offering a discount on her pattern for a limited time.  Enjoy 30% off the Sian pattern, now until midnight PST February 12, when you enter the code hello_sian in the Ravelry shopping cart.  Thank you, Elizabeth!


A trio of pattern updates

The dozen patterns that comprise the At the Spinnery collection are classically appealing and have been very popular since our book was first published.

Many friends expressed an interest in being able to purchase these patterns individually and so we have spent some time this fall and winter working on this project.  We’re pleased to announce that three more patterns from this collection are now available as single patterns.

Larisa Demos’ Sap Run Vest is a delicate layering piece that is ideal for transitional season wear.  Worked in the round from the bottom up, the Sap Run Vest sports a simple lace pattern on the front panel that evokes the welling up of sap in the Spring. Green Mountain Spinnery’s Sylvan Spirit adds to the versatility of this piece with its blend of fine wool and Tencel® Lyocell in a DK weight.

The pattern includes sizing that ranges from 37 (40, 44, 48, 52, 56)” / 94 (102, 112, 122, 132, 142) cm.  It calls for 4 (5, 5, 6, 7, 8) skeins of Sylvan Spirit, Alpaca Elegance, Mewesic or Cotton Comfort.  It is shown here in Hematite Sylvan Spirit with 7″ / 18 cm positive ease.

We’ve also just released Maureen Clark’s Green Leaf Pullover pattern.  This cropped lacey pullover is another ideal layering piece.  Maureen has a soft spot for working with Sylvan Spirit. This unique blend of fibers (Fine Western Wool and Tencel® Lyocell) adds a luster and fluidity to the yarn that she finds irresistible. It works up into a finished fabric that has a more polished feel—sweaters knit up with it are perfect for any occasion.

This pattern includes sizing 40 (42, 45, 49, 54, 58)” / 97 (107, 114, 124, 135, 145) cm and calls for  5 (6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins Sylvan Spirit, Alpaca Elegance, Mewesic or Cotton Comfort.  You could modify the length of this sweater, please remember that additional length will require additional yardage.  It is shown above in Jade Sylvan Spirit with 9” / 23 cm of positive ease.

Last but not least, is Kate Salomon’s Mill Stone, a circular throw blanket that is perfect for winter snuggling.  It has a blocked diameter of 49″.  Show here it is made with 1 skein of Alpine Shadow (in the center and I-cord edge) and 12 skeins of Grey Birch Mountain Mohair.

Several years ago, Kate came across an article about some local bakers turned millwrights. The photos of the millstones they are creating inspired Kate to create a cozy throw blanket that pairs the contradictory rugged look of the rough-hewn stone with the soft halo of Spinnery Mountain Mohair. This textured circular blanket is worked from the center out giving you the opportunity to adjust the finished size to your preference.

We will continue to work on laying out the other patterns from At the Spinnery that have not yet been released individually.  Please let us know via email if you have a favorite that you’d like us to move to the top of the list.




A Baby Cocktails Trunk Show

Tomorrow night on Zoom, we will be sharing a special collection of Thea Colman’s patterns with the Vogue Live attendees who tune in!  There is still time for you to register so that you can join us at 6pm EST January 14th, 2021.

We thought that we would summarize the details of these gorgeous patterns in one spot so that you can find all the information you need to get started on any of these designs that call for our yarns.

© Thea Colman

The internet is abuzz this week with photos of Claret, Thea’s newest release.  This V-neck pullover features an eye-catching combination of cables, a cropped length (that of course can be modified) and a boxy fit.  It looks absolutely adorable on Thea’s daughter who is modelling it layered over a linen dress.

The pattern includes sizing from 39(43,47,51,55)(59,63,67,71) inches and is intended to be worn with 5-7 inches of positive ease.  The yardage requirements of 1100(1200,1350,1450,1550)(1650,1700,1750,1800) yards reflect a cropped length, and you may opt to purchase an additional skein or two to make your sweater longer.

To save you a few moments with your calculator, we have figured out that these amounts translate to 8 (9, 10, 11, 11)(12, 13, 13, 13) skeins of Mountain Mohair.  Thea’s sample shown above is worked up in Claret (hence the pattern’s name).

Over a dozen of her test knitters chose to make their sweaters with Mountain Mohair, and only two selected the same shade! You can see a beautiful spectrum of sweaters by browsing among the finished projects to be found on Ravelry.

Next up is Thea’s Heady Topper.  This beanie style hat features more gorgeous cables paired with garter stitch columns, and a ribbed brim that can be folded up for extra warmth.  This pattern provides instructions for three adult sizes and calls for between 175 and 225 yards of worsted weight yarn.  Thea designed this hat with rustic farm yarns in mind, knowing that crisp woolen yarns would hold every detail of those textured stitches.

Kate knit up this sample for our Trunk Show in a just few hours of knitting using less than a single skein of our undyed worsted weight Organic Maine yarn.

© Thea Colman

Back in the fall of 2018, Thea released her Fernet Branca pattern, just in time for Rhinebeck.  Shown here in Pine Warbler Weekend Wool, this sweater provides a fun bright pop of color to liven up cold winter days.  Fernet Branca features a simple textured block motif, bookended by bold ribs and cables on either side of the body. Thea’s favorite part of this design might just be how those panels meet under the arms.  (We’ll be sure to show you that detail on our zoom presentation.)

The pattern has sizing that ranges from 38.5(39.5,42.25,44.25,46)(49.5,53,56.75,58.25) inches and calls for 1000(1100, 1200,1300,1350)(1450,1575,1675,1800) yards of our heavy worsted/Aran weight yarn.  This translates to 8 (8, 9, 10, 10)(11, 12, 12, 13) skeins of our Weekend Wool.  Thea recommends finding a finished sweater size that includes 5-6 inches of positive ease.

© Thea Colman

Next up is Glenfidditch.  This beanie features an unusual bold asymmetrical cable that transitions out of the ribbing like a climbing vine.  Nesting twisted cables  make for a “paneled” effect that lends itself to a almost star-like effect on top.  It’s stunning.

The pattern includes instructions for a single size and calls for approximately 225 yards of worsted weight yarn.  That would be two skeins of our Weekend Wool or a single skein of our worsted weight organic yarns.

Its 18 inch circumference has quite a lot of stretch thanks to that 2×2 ribbing, it can comfortably fit heads up to 21 inches in circumference.  Thea thoughtfully provides suggestions for modifying both the depth and width of this hat to accommodate a greater size range.

© Thea Colman

Travelling back to the Fall of 2017, Thea’s Cranberry Gose was another Rhinebeck hit for us!  This oversized short sleeved tunic is a perfect layering piece.  Thea found inspiration for this design from a beloved thrift store find that she modified with the addition of a little gansey detail, a few options for the neckline, a split hem, and most importantly – Spinnery Alpaca Elegance, with just the right amount of tweedy interest, softness, and drape.  This sample is made with our Rosehip colorway.

This pattern includes sizes from 44.25(47.25, 50.25, 53, 56, 61.75) inches and is intended to be worn with 10 – 12 inches of positive ease.  You’ll want 1300(1450, 1550, 1700, 1900, 2100) yards of DK weight yarn or 8 (9, 9, 10, 11, 12) skeins of our Alpaca Elegance or Sylvan Spirit for a garment with lovely drape.

Kate made a cropped version of this pattern that she still wears regularly three years later!

© Thea Colman

Thea released Greenbriar in June of 2016.  Greenbriar is a simple open cardigan featuring a shaped lace panel with leaves that travel from the neckline, down the center of the body, and then taper away at the small of the back. It’s knit seamlessly from the top down and uses contiguous shaping at the shoulders. The collar is picked up last and knit on.

This pattern includes sizes that range from 32.25(34, 36.25, 38.25, 40.25)(43, 45.5, 50.75, 54) inches and calls for 1150(1200, 1250,1300,1400) (1500,1550,1600,1650) yards of DK weight yarn.  That equates to  7 (7, 7, 8, 8)(9, 9, 9, 10) skeins of Spinnery DK yarn.  It is shown here in our Mean Mr Mustard Mewesic.  Our Cotton Comfort yarn could be another terrific option for a similar look and feel.

Thea suggests selecting a size that gives you 2-3 inches of positive ease, based on your bust size. That said, this is a style that works in a more fitted silhouette if desired. Buttons can also be added to the front for a less casual look, and the collar can be knit deeper or narrower if desired. Thoughts on modifications, including length and width are included in the pattern notes.

Thea’s City Park Hat was included in the pages of the 2016 issue of Knitscene Handmade, and has been included Interweave’s Ultimate Collection of 100 top patterns.  Kudos, Thea!  This two color lacey slouch hat pattern includes instructions for two sizes and is shown here in our Sterling and Citrine Sylvan Spirit.  A single skein of each color is sufficient for both sizes of the pattern, leaving you some extra yardage for a matching pompom.

© Thea Colman

Thea’s Windward Island hat is part of a six pattern accessory collection (the Tiki Collection) that was originally published in March of 2015.  Thea is in the midst of updating all the patterns in this collection with more sizes, new charts with written instructions, better layout, metric measurements and lots more details.   She estimates that the new and improved patterns should be ready later this month.

Her Windward Island hat shown above in Purple Rain Mewesic, plays with texture by mixing a smooth cable with with eyelets, and staggered decreases to create undulating lines.  This mix of lace and cables in this hat looks beautiful in a delicate tweed like Mewesic, which comes in some gorgeous, vibrant colors!  This pattern includes two sizes, creating a yardage range from 180 – 210 yards of DK weight yarn.  This means that for the smaller size you’ll need  just a single skein!

© Thea Colman

Thea’s Tanqueray is a classic pullover, featuring a deep V-neck with an intricate ribbing that continues around the shoulders and is seamed together at the back of the neck.  Shown here in Silver Cotton Comfort; this yarn adds a rustic touch and a little texture to the stockinette, and it makes the design’s motif of little flowers wonderfully delicate. The sleeve cuffs echo the ribbed flower and lace accent, and twisted ribbing stands out against the simple body. The weight is perfect for almost any occasion and the detail is subtle enough for any outfit.

Thea updated this pattern this summer and it now includes sizing that ranges from 33.5(36.5,39.5,42.5,45.5)(48.5,51,54,57) inches, which calls for 1000(1100,1200,1350,1450)(1550,1700,1850,1950) yards of DK weight yarn or 6 (7, 7, 8, 9)(9, 10, 11, 11) skeins of Cotton Comfort.

© Thea Colman

Last but not least is her Champagne sleeveless top, shown here in our undyed Winterbeech Cotton Comfort whose cinnamon color comes from the unusual FoxFibre cotton grown by Sally Fox.

Champagne is an elegant top that will take you from late summer right into fall. A soft, rustic yarn in a neutral tone like this one goes with anything – a tank top and flirty skirt in summer, or jeans and a crisp blouse as the days get cold. The 80/20 wool/cotton mix in Cotton Comfort is perfect for either, and the vest provides just enough warmth for the transition in season.

The diagonal lace creates a strong visual bias across your natural curves which is both elongating and camouflaging! Shaping is loose at the hips and fitted above, and the slanted lace accents the deep V.

Thea’s recently updated pattern includes sizing from 33.25(34.5, 36.75, 38.25, 40.5, 41.75)(44.75, 47.75, 49.25, 51.25) inches and she recommend selecting a size that would allow for 2-3 inches of positive ease.  The pattern’s yardage requirements are 750(800,850,900,950,1000)(1050,1100,1150,1200) yards of DK weight yarn or 5 (5, 5, 5, 6, 6)(6, 7, 7, 7) skeins of our Cotton Comfort.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about Thea Colman and her designs.  We are certain that if you aren’t already a fan of her work, you will be as soon as you cast on for one of her patterns!

A new cowl collection, a KAL and a giveaway!

In her new e-book, Cowls: A Colourwork Sourcebook & Patterns, Inspired by Persia, our friend, knitting designer and podcaster Mina Philipp explores her Iranian heritage, and the motifs found in traditional Persian woven rugs.  This exciting collection of 12 new designs will be published on Thursday November 5th, 2020.

This 78-page full-color e-book contains information on techniques and links to further resources, as well as 12 full patterns to make the beautiful,
colorful cowls featured in this collection. With Cowls, Mina has created a fun, inclusive, inspiring, step-by-step guide to creating your own unique knitted pieces, always with the beginner knitter in mind. We hope you will enjoy knitting from this e-book, and that it will inspire you to try something new with your knitting.

One of Mina’s overarching goals with her design work is customizability and accessibility. In the past year she has worked on developing her “Any Gauge” method of designing, which allows knitters the flexibility and freedom to use any yarn and needle combination that they would like to knit up her projects. These “Any Gauge” designs provide knitters with the tools and confidence to truly create something unique and customized to them!

For those of you who have followed Mina’s work, you may already be familiar with two of her previous patterns that feature this method: the Any Gauge Tube Cowl and The Hug Shrug (which is modeled on Mina above).

Mina uses this “Any Gauge” approach when creating her new colorwork cowl sourcebook using yarns from fingering-weight to bulky. Knitters can find their perfect combination of yarn, gauge and shape from the many options presented, and can even design their own, using the calculations and the knitting graph paper provided.

We are particularly smitten with her Evil Eye pattern that has been designed with our fingering weight 100% wool Lana; and is modelled here on Mina’s mother.  The Noche and Playa colors that she selected provide a sharp contrast that makes the geometric pattern really pop!

The e-book will be published on Nov 5th, 2020 and will be listed for £19.50 (approx. USD $25) on Ravelry, (Knitting Expat Designs) and Etsy (MinaMakes), it is also going to be available for £16 (approx. USD $20) with a coupon code that will be on the pattern page. This is part of Mina’s philosophy of having a “Pay What
Works” pricing structure for her designs, allowing people to choose how much they can afford to pay for a pattern/e-book based on their personal financial situation.

Mina has graciously gifted us with THREE copies to give away, so send us an email or tag us on Instagram @greenmtnspinnery and we’ll draw three lucky winners at random on Thursday the 5th.

To help launch this new collection, Mina is hosting a Knit A-Long with the Spinnery and several of the other yarn companies that supported this project.  The KAL starts on November 5th, 2020 and will run to January 31st,  2021. Details for the KAL can be found on the dedicated Ravelry thread on Mina’s Group page.  Mina will also be publishing a video over on her YouTube channel –  going over the details of the e-book, and the KAL. The details for the KAL will also be included under that video for those who are unable to access Ravelry.

Entry for the KAL will be on Ravelry and Instagram (you do not need to do both).  For posting on Instagram use the hashtag #PersianCowlKAL and #KnittingExpatDesigns; you can also tag Mina @knittingexpat!

We hope that you’ll take a closer look at Mina’s newest patterns and join the fun of our KnitAlong.  Fingers crossed, you may be one of our lucky winners!

Come join us for the season’s last virtual festival

We wanted to send you a special invitation to join Maureen in our virtual SAFF booth (aka our Mill shop).  Friday, October 23rd, at 9 am EDT you’ll find us LIVE on Facebook!  You can join the fun, here!  Maureen will quickly run through some great project ideas and our new yarn offerings in a whirlwind 30 minute video that we hope will get you excited about this season’s projects.

We hope that you join the Missing SAFF Facebook Group this weekend to enjoy the full schedule of Facebook LIVE videos that will connect you with some of your favorite vendors whom you usually see this weekend in Ashville, North Carolina.
It will be almost as if we were gathering in person!

Show us what you’ve been working on

While the hot cider donuts at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival tend to get the lion’s share of the credit for the greatness of this event, we’d like to argue that it’s the “Rhinebeck Sweaters” that steal the show.  This gathering inspires most of us to wear our newest creations.  It is not uncommon to see folks stopped in their tracks by other knitters and crocheters with the question, “Can you tell me about what you’re wearing?”

This phenomenon even inspired a great pattern book published in 2013 by our friend Ysolda Teague.  (It’s currently 20% off on her website!)

We love to know about the pattern, the yarn that was used, sometimes even the specific colorway.  Seeing a project in person can make all the difference in assessing whether it could work for us.

These quick conversations can be even more informative than a knitter’s Ravelry project page because we can ask follow up questions that can help us figure out if this project that caught our eye is one that we want to make ourselves.  It has even been known to steer us to seek out new vendors that might not have been on our “must see” list to get exactly what we need to get started without delay.

We’d like to invite you to send us photos of projects that you would have shared with us if we’d been able to connect at the festival this weekend.  Share projects  that you are proud of, that may feature a technique that you’ve learned during quarantine.  Show us what is on your needles, let us know what yarn you are using and if you are enjoying the work.  We’d love to see what you’ve been up to.

Post these photos to Instagram with the hashtags #greenmountianspinnery or #gmsrhinebeckcreations.  You can also email them to us at spinnery@spinnery.com.  With your permission, we’ll create a blog post for later this month that will gather these images together in a scrapbook for everyone to enjoy.

To help get the ball rolling,  we’d like to share what is on Kate’s needles this weekend.  This is her almost complete Alaska Sweater designed by Camille Descoteaux.  Kate started this sweater as wildfires were sweeping through the western forests last month, and making new trees felt to her like a hopeful response to that calamity.

She is pairing Sylvan Spirit in the Hematite color with a double strand of Sun Valley Fibers fingering weight yarn (from her stash) in the Log Cabin colorway.

She’s making a few modifications, such as adding some length and a-line shaping so that the sweater will demonstrate that gorgeous drape that is one of Sylvan Spirit’s superpowers. She hopes to have it done in the next couple of weeks.

We are so looking forward to seeing what you are eager to share with us!

Behind the scenes

This week, we thought we’d share with you a few additional details about our new pullover pattern, Elevate.

Kate found inspiration for this stunning yoke on one of her early morning coffee walks to downtown Brattleboro last spring.  While she was waiting at a crosswalk she noticed the manhole cover under her feet and she decided that its simple geometry was compelling enough to translate to a stranded yoke.

She spent the early months of our quarantine holed up at home making several prototypes, working out the details of the yoke design and shaping to ensure the perfect comfortable fit.  As she worked on this design with various skeins from her stash, she found that her favorite samples used vividly dyed worsted spun yarns paired with Spinnery woolen spun yarns for the most dramatic effects.

Kate found that the blank canvas created by the almost matte fuzzy finish of Simply Fine contrasted beautifully with the lustrous shine and stitch definition characteristic of the worsted spun yarns that she was using as her contrast colors.  And thus the second intention of this pattern began to take shape.

She hoped that with a pattern like Elevate, she could encourage knitters to experiment with blending yarns from different producers in the same project.  Perhaps they might already have the perfect skein of fingering or sport weight yarn in their stash that was purchased on a whim and was just waiting for the chance to be the focal point of a special new garment.

This pairing of disparate yarns could potentially introduce knitters to new yarns, new vendors and new friends in the way that a stroll through a fiber festival would normally allow.  In the absence of this year’s crafty gatherings, Kate hoped that with her design she could somehow recreate the sense of community, play and regenerating enthusiasm that she enjoys when festival season comes around.

Her next challenge was to find a couple of models who could demonstrate the unisex appeal of this sweater; and she wanted to find a pair who would be comfortable being photographed together, unmasked.  Happily, Lauren’s kids Magnus and Zola came to our rescue.  They are local siblings who were quarantined together, and were willing to be photographed one morning this summer in exchange for breakfast at the local food co-op (steps away from that manhole cover that started us on this adventure).

Shown on the left –  MC: Shown in MC: Stargazing Green Mountain Spinnery Simply Fine Skinnies CC: Java Jive Fiber Optic Yarns Short Unified Gradient (225 yds) and on the right – MC: Woodsmoke Green Mountain Spinnery Simply Fine Skinnies CC: Log Cabin Sun Valley Fibers MCS Fingering.

One last detail that we’d like to share with you concerns the fit of this sweater.

You’ll see in the photos above that Kate (at the top of the page) and Magnus are wearing the same sweater.  It has a finished chest circumference measurement of 38″.  On her that means that there is approximately four inches of positive ease and on him there is less than two.  The overall length of the sweater from neckline to hem is 26″ which fits him perfectly and is about five inches longer than Kate would prefer.  With a french tuck into the waist of her jeans, (thank you Tan France from Queer Eye), it feels cozy, looks stylish, and works perfectly.

Since the pattern is constructed top-down, modifications are easily made.  We recommend that you block and try on the sweater after separating the sleeves so that you can customize the length of the body and sleeves for a personalized fit.

Kate modified her second sample, shown here on Zola (who is wearing her sweater with about 6 inches of positive ease).  Kate made this sweater for herself and so customized the length of the sweater to hit her just below her waist and the sleeves to be 3/4 length.  This change meant that her MC yardage requirement was reduced by roughly 300 yards.

The pattern as written does not include body shaping, for a unisex appeal; so folks who would prefer a closer fit with close to no positive ease, may want to add waist shaping.

We hope that this additional information about our new Elevate pattern answers some questions that you might not have known you wanted to ask.  If you find that you have a few more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Kate at spinnery@spinnery.com.

Another virtual gathering

Later this week, we’ll be hosting another fun gathering that we hope you’ll join!  Find a comfortable spot and be sure that your project is near at hand.   Using your computer, tablet or  phone, head over to this website: https://www.gotomeeting.com/meeting/join-meeting  

You’ll be prompted to add a meeting ID that you’ll find listed below in bold.

On Saturday 9/19 we’ll gather at 10 am – noon (Eastern Standard Time) using Meeting ID number: 423-682-741.

Larisa will be joined by Meredith who will be working in the shop.  This gives you a unique opportunity to visit our shop virtually from the comfort of your own home.  In between helping customers that arrive at the shop in person, Meredith can share our samples and yarns.  She can help you select colors, she may even walk skeins outside so that you can see them in natural daylight, to help with your selection.

She can also use the video connection to share with you our current collection of ply-ends!  This is yarn that we don’t list on our website. It is a special treat for our Mill Shop visitors.  This fiber is the best bargain we offer;  at just $0.25 an ounce, you can potentially work up a new garment for less than a fancy cup of coffee.

These cones hold a single ply fiber that has been wound off of our bobbins, freeing them up for the next lot of yarn in the production sequence.  In some cases, it might be a single continuous length, on other bobbins you may find many shorter ends.  All of it is lace or fingering weight.

It could be held together with fiber from another bobbin for a heftier ragg effect; and we’ve had some success Navaho plying the fiber with itself as we’ve worked, for a triple thickness that works up more quickly into warmer garments.  For weavers, or crafters who are eager to experiment (and aren’t afraid of a few extra ends to weave in), this is a treasure trove!

We hope that you can join our gathering this Saturday morning.

Since we saw you last

Over the course of the past year since we last saw you all at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival we published quite a few patterns!  Clicking on the pattern name will lead you to that pattern which will include all the details you need to know about sizing and yardage requirements.

Our newest garments include these adult sweaters, clockwise from the top left we have: Your Irish is Showing, Whitby, Sign of Spring Top (yes, that is crochet!), Sanderling and All in a Row.

We also published these, clockwise from the top left we have: Terry’s Sweater, Raggedy, Hybrid, Stansfield and Bunny Hill.

Our newest accessories include four patterns that were originally part of or last club: clockwise from the top left is Dominique Tuck Socks, Margeau & Rebecca’s CowlNezinscot River Hat & Mitts, and Jill’s Boots.

Our selection of accessories also includes four more great patterns.  Clockwise from the top left is Tosh, the Gathering Hat, Thistledown Throw and Fall Waves Hat & Mitts.

And launching today, we have two new patterns to share with you. The first is Cap Sease’s Cricket.  This wee bottom-up henly sweater is designed for kiddos between the ages of 2-10.

As cute as a bug is an expression that sums up our new worsted weight pullover perfectly. This sweater’s easy fit will allow complete freedom of movement for your little one. It will render your favorite kiddo as snug as a bug and can be worked up as quick as a cricket. Appropriately enough, it is pictured above in Grasshopper Weekend Wool.

Last but not least is a reboot of a classic Spinnery pattern.  Cap Sease has updated a classic worsted weight Spinnery pattern to make it more adaptable and easier to create. The Slip Stitch Cardigan (which is actually created with an eyelet pattern) is now new and improved!

Cap has reimagined this design with a DK weight gauge for a broader range of appropriate yarn options as well as three season wearability. The new almost seamless construction of this revised pattern will appeal to any knitter who prefers to avoid the added work of old-fashioned finishing.

The revised pattern includes a generous size range: 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 54, 58, 62) ” / 81 ( 102, 112, 122, 132, 137, 147, 157) cm chest with corresponding yarn requirements of  6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14) sks Cotton Comfort, Alpaca Elegance, Mewesic or Sylvan Spirit (180 yds each).  It is shown above in Bluet Cotton Comfort.

We hope that you enjoy perusing these new designs.  Feel free to pop over to the Spinnery Facebook page where you’ll be able to enjoy a saved LIVE video of Kate and Maureen talking about these projects and their memories of Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festivals of year’s past.

A pattern suggestion and a knitalong for October

When our newsletter was delivered last week with news of the upcoming savings to be had on Alpaca Elegance this weekend, (please see in bold below) we received several messages from friends looking for pattern suggestions.

We thought we’d share a great possibility with you today that was published by our friend Fatimah Hinds: Modcast.  This pullover pattern was published a few years ago and it’s modern pattern block couldn’t be more timely.  This type of design is all over our Instagram feed, which means that patterns like this will likely be on everyone’s needles this fall.  She shared with us that, “It’s my favorite thing that I’ve designed and it’s the knit that I wear the most. ”

© Barbara Benson

Fatimah is going to be starting a knitalong in the coming weeks that will feature this design, so it is a perfect time to learn a bit more about it, find the perfect yarn and get swatching!

She shares these details about her pattern on the design’s Raverly page, “texture and visual interest in knitting can be created by changing various elements or in this case directions. For this seamless sweater, I used wrist to wrist knitting to create horizontal cables that change pattern at an off center point on the chest and back. Then I knit the body in the round and added garter stitch accents to keep it interesting. To echo the body a funnel neck collar is knit in garter stitch. Finally, to make this piece infinitely customizable and fun to style, I used 3 different colors. The color blocking and shape give this sweater a mod look that easily fits into a wardrobe today.

© Barbara Benson

What I loved most about knitting this piece is that the sleeves and chest/back are knit using fewer stitches than other sweater shapes, meaning the sweater can be ‘knit on the go’ for a longer period of time. The casual, easy to wear vibe comes from wearing the piece with 3”+ of ease as shown on the model. Or wear it with no ease for a tailored fit.”

The pattern includes sizing that ranges from 32 (36, 40, 44, 48)“ bust/chest circumference. The sweater is shown in 40” with 3” of positive ease.  Our DK weight yarn suggestions (Alpaca Elegance, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, Sylvan Spirit) are skeined at a similar yardage to the yarn she used when designing her pattern, so the yarn requirements should work perfectly. (Color 1), 3 (4, 4, 4, 5) skeins; (Color 2), 3 (3, 4, 4, 4) skeins; (Color 3), 3 (5, 5, 6, 6) skeins.

Prior to the launch of her Knitalong that will run through the month of October, she plans to increase the sizing to include instructions for a 52″ chest circumference.  To make the pattern accessible cost-wise, Fatimah will be providing the instructions, one step at a time for free on Instagram.  She has done this previously and it was well received.  Finally, for those who are able to support her design work by purchasing the pattern, she will offer a discounted price for those who purchase the pattern $6 instead of $8.

You can receive all the updates that you need by following Fatimah on Instagram and searching for #modcastalong.

Later this week, we’ll be hosting a Facebook Live Video Show and Tell of our recent projects and patterns.  You’ll find us on Friday September 11th at 9am Central at Virtual Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival gathering that will be happening on Facebook.  You can join the group here.

To celebrate this first Fiber Festival of the fall season we will be offering 15% off savings for our DK weight Alpaca Elegance from Thursday 9/10 through Monday 9/14.  Please use code wisconsin at checkout to receive your savings.
We’ll post again in a couple of days with more DK weight sweater pattern suggestions that you can browse through to take advantage of this weekend’s sale!


Two Yarny gatherings this Saturday

We have two virtual gatherings to invite you to this week!

This Saturday morning we’ll gather at 10 am to noon when Larisa will be hosting our next virtual meet up on Go To Meeting.  Using your computer, tablet or  phone, head over to this website: https://www.gotomeeting.com/meeting/join-meeting and enter our Meeting ID number: 423-682-741.

At the same time, our friends at Must Love Yarn are hosting a virtual marketplace that will feature 8 terrific artists that you’ll want to check out!  Join their Zoom gathering between 10 am and 2:30 pm to see what some of our favorite fiber farmers, yarn producers and crafters (many of whom are Vermont locals) have been working on this summer!

Larisa will be our host of the Green Mountain Spinnery “power hour” between 12:20 and 1:20 pm.  You can join the fun by using the zoom app on your phone or heading to https://zoom.us/join in your browser.  The meeting ID is 814 1364 0706 and the password is 853118.

You’ll be able to purchase yarn and other knitting related goodies from these vendors directly and your purchases will be shipped to you without delay.  What fun!