Introducing Hybrid!

We have a new pattern to share with you this week!  We’d like to introduce you to Hybrid.

This top-down yoked sweater designed by Kate Salomon, pairs woolen spun Spinnery yarn with beautiful super washed worsted-spun skeins created by some of our fiber friends whom you may already know.  Kimber Baldwin of Fiber Optic Yarns and Karida Collins of Neighborhood Fiber Co. are both working magic with buttery soft yarns that are a treat for the eye and hand.

Gardeners have been cross-pollinating plants for generations to introduce exciting new variations. This stranded pullover blends different yarns to startling effect, similar to an opening blossom or a spreading bird’s wing. Carefully blending lofty woolen spun yarns with brilliant worsted spun yarns can result in a comforting sweater that showcases a radiantly hued yoke like a prized bloom.

The sample shown on the lovely Magalie Remy above was made with a single strand of Dark Roast Alpaca Elegance as the main color and a double strand of Fiber Optic Yarns Unified Gradients in the Java Jive colorway.

By happy accident, this sample was lightly fulled in the soaking process of the final wet block. (The washing machine agitated for about 3 minutes before it was caught). This slight bit of felting had no effect on the super washed contrast color yarn, but pulled the alpaca blend woolen-spun main color yarn together into a deliciously dense and fuzzy fabric. Below, you can see  the difference in stitch definition between the fulled sample and another that not agitated when blocked.

The Yarn Requirements for this pattern are a little unusual.  The Fiber Optic Unified Gradients used as the contrast color is a fingering weight yarn. In order to get gauge, you will hold a double strand of this yarn throughout the yoke. These vibrant gradients are available in two lengths: Short (225 yards) and Long (400) yards. The two versions are created with an identical color spectrum. This ensures that the larger sizes of the Hybrid pattern can be created with a similar effect using a double strand of the longer gradient.

© Neighborhood Fiber Co.

If you opt for Neighborhood Fiber Company’s mouthwatering Studio DK as your contrast color, you’ll work the yoke with each yarn held as a single strand.  Karida’s signature colorways are all named after neighborhoods in the Washington DC and Baltimore areas.  One of our test knitters is in the midst of a sweater that pairs a soft pearly grey (Charles Center) with our classic navy Ceylon Alpaca Elegance. A sneak peek of her wip is below.

Finished Measurements (Chest circumference) – Chest: 34 ½ (38 ½, 44, 50 ½, 56 ½, 63.2)”/ 87 (98, 112, 128, 143, 161) cm

Yarn Requirements  — MC: 4 (5, 6, 7, 10, 11) skeins Alpaca Elegance CC: 2 skeins Fiber Optic Unified Split Gradient 255 yd each, 400 yds for 3 largest sizes (held dbl); or 1 (1, 1, 1, 2, 2) skeins Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio DK 275 yds each.

And to celebrate the launch of this new pattern we’ll be sponsoring a contest over the month of August that you can read more about on our blog post here!  We hope that you’ll join us this month in spending some time reconnecting with fiber friends and sharing your love for gorgeous yarn and fun new patterns.

 

 


Crafting for action!

We are excited to share with you a great trio of projects that can bring the fiber and crafting community together and working towards social justice.

“emPower people is a purple colored craftivism project aimed at uniting crafters to spark conversation, engagement, and action. Wear it when you vote, grocery shop, march, or knit in your socially isolated bedroom. We would love to see a sea of purple to represent unity so please tell your friends, family, knitting groups, or anyone who can knit, crochet, or sew a simple pattern. Make a bandana and a commitment to vote!”

 

© Casapinka

The FREE pattern for the emPower People Knit bandana can be found here.  There is also a crochet pattern here and a sewing pattern and all three are free and available at the emPower People website.

We’ve gathered a collection of skeins that will work beautifully for this project and we are donating all the proceeds of their sales for justice!

100% of the sales of our purple yarns sold between now and the end of the month, will be donated to our local The Root Social Justice Center.  This local organization is growing a movement here in Southern Vermont for racial justice and it operates with a collective leadership.

This list of skein options show above includes: Purple Rain and Purple Haze Mewesic, Amethyst, Agate and Blue Opal Sylvan Spirit, Iris and Violet Cotton Comfort, Lavender Cream Alpaca Elegance, Elderberry, Lupine, Blue Violet and Alpenglo Mountain Mohair.

To ensure that your donation is recorded, please use coupon code: empower.  This will allow us to more easily track these sales, and make sure that the funds are properly allocated.  We hope that you’ll join the fun of this crafting for justice movement; and please be sure to register to vote if you haven’t already!


Join in

Our next virtual meet up is scheduled to occur later this week!  This Thursday evening from 6:30pm – 8:30 pm 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: 176-221-037.

Going forward you can connect with her and our other crafting friends twice a month. This month, those gatherings will occur on July 2nd 18th.

On the first Thursday of each month we’ll gather at 6:30pm – 8:30 pm (Eastern Standard Time) using Meeting ID number: 176-221-037.

On the third Saturday of each month we’ll gather at 10 am – noon (Eastern Standard Time) using Meeting ID number: 423-682-741.

Larisa will be there to knit with you, and get caught up.  We hope that you can gather your current project and a cool beverage and join our virtual group for some socially distant crafting.

We hope that you can add these regular meet-ups to your calendar and join us whenever you are available.


Humming along

The Mill has been back up and running for several weeks now, and we are getting the hang of yarn production while socially distancing.  We’ve got fresh air moving through the building with as many fans as possible; and our production floor is operating at partial capacity to allow our co-workers to work freely without crowding one another.  This has had the added benefit of cooling down the Mill as not all of our machines are operating simultaneously, generating unwelcome heat that can be unpleasant in the summer’s humidity.

Out behind the Mill, these worker bees don’t have such concerns.  Andy has re-established his hives here for the season, and we are thrilled to see these pollinators happily at work gathering pollen from the nearby field of wildflowers that is currently in bloom.

 

It feels good to be getting back to the business of making, transformation and participating in Nature’s cycles.  What are you busy creating or nurturing this week?


Painting with tweed

Yoked color work sweaters can offer us an exciting blank canvas with which to experiment with color.  We thought we’d share with you several sweaters that were recently finished using our Mewesic yarn that is currently on sale!  All three of these projects are the same design: namely Nelchina by Caitlin Hunter.  It is so inspiring to see hw the same design can be reimagined by different knitters with such beautiful results!

This top-down sweater can be worked as either a cardigan or a pullover and has a generous size range from a 35″  to a 56 3/4″ bust.  It calls for four contrasting shades of DK weight yarn.

© meiklem

Our friend Elissa created hers with a warm autumnal palette that includes Norwegian Wood as her main color that works beautifully with Sandman, Diamonds and Rust and our undyed New Mexico Organic.  (The organic yarn is currently out of stock but could be substituted with our White Wedding color of Mewesic).

She shared with us that ” I love it by the way – the yarn is so comfortable to wear, it is going to be my go to sweater for the fall.”

© blv1248

Barbara opted to make Evergreen that star of her sweater.  She also chose to work with Sandman and a creamy white for her neutral shades, but opted for Brickhouse for her pop of contrast color.  Wow!

She, “planned this sweater for recovery period after having right knee replacement surgery on 2/17/2020. Did not start right away due to pain meds. LOL.   So this project turned into a covid-19 sweater which has offered me lots of time to work on it. I’m looking forward to being finished with it and hopefully can wear it a couple of weeks before the weather gets warm.”

Just last weekend she added to her project page: “I want to add that this yarn, Mewesic from Green Mountain Spinnery, is the perfect yarn for a sweater like this one. It is light, not heavy like so many other sweaters I have knit, and yet it provides just the right amount of warmth on a chilly day. I can’t say enough good things about this yarn!”

© Elainemaxseb

And finally, Elaine (a hand dyer living in Switzerland) modified her cardigan for a cropped short sleeve version that is adorable!  She paired our Atlantis Mewesic with several other yarns from different manufacturers that all work together beautifully.

Perhaps her sweater may inspire you to do a bit of stash busting and find some suitable DK weight yarn options that have been waiting for the perfect project to come together?  How would you like to combine our beautiful shades of Mewesic?


Join us

For many of us social butterflies, the quarantines, social isolating, and distancing required in the past several months have been difficult.  Knitting and crochet can be so much more rewarding when made more communal through shop visits, fiber festivals and community crafting groups.

It is such a pleasure to meet other fiber enthusiasts, see what they are working on, and share our own progress.  It is also very helpful to be able to run questions by other crafters who have different experience levels. Advice, helpful suggestions and out of the box solutions can help us overcome all kinds of stumbling blocks, allowing us to complete projects that would otherwise languish under the couch.

Tomorrow morning 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.

From 10 am – 12pm Larisa will be there to knit with you, and get caught up.  We hope that you can gather your current project and a cool beverage and join our virtual group for some socially distant crafting.

We are going to try hosting these gathering more regularly, so that you can add them to your calendar and join us whenever you are available. You can plan to set aside a couple of hours on the first Thursday of the month in the evening, and the 3rd Saturday of the month in the morning.

Larisa may occasionally plan additional virtual meet-ups when we have specials, or when we would normally be gathering at a Sheep & Wool Festival.  We hope that this will allow us to stay connected with our fiber friends around the country and perhaps reach new ones as well!

 


Another glimpse from the lamb cam

Since we all missed our opportunity to see some sheep this weekend at the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival, we thought we’d start our week with a tribute to some of the sheep that we’ve enjoyed in our Instagram feed this month.

Our friend Kathryn Ashley-Wright of Ewetopia Fiber Shop in Wisconsin shared a snapshot of her flock’s first arrival a week ago and her more recent Instagram post expressing gratitude to all Mothers for their tender (and woolly) care brought tears to our eyes this weekend.

© ewetopiayarn

Tammy shared a post about her little May Queen, Jubilee to wish us all a happy start to the month.  And a quick visit to the Wing and a Prayer website will have you captivated by a little video of this adorable Valois Black Nose sheep wandering around the yard wearing her lovely spring garland.  What an adorable vision of Spring!

© wingandaprayerfarm

But the star of this week’s lamb watch has got to be Melody.  She gave birth to three ram lambs over the Mother’s Day weekend much to the delight of Tammy and her daughter Char who you can see smiling with joy.  You can read all about the surprise birth in Tammy’s Newsletter.  Signing up to receive her regular updates will provide you with heartwarming news about the farm and her entire varied flock.

© beavertidesfarm

Even our knitting friends who aren’t shepherds are drawn to lambs.  Meta shared a photo of a recently finished sweater modeled by her adorable nephew who has his hands full of fiber.  This pattern is the Little Star Sweater, worn backwards with great panache by a guy who feels like he prefers the star on his back.

While we hope that you are able to find and pet a lamb yourself in the near future — they do grow up quickly — we hope that these photos may suffice to bring a smile to your face and some joy to your heart!