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.

MAIN COLOR:
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.

and

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 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!


Happy New Year

We have much to be thankful for as this tumultuous year draws to a close.  Thanks to your continued support, our Mill is open and running safely and smoothly. We are grateful for your trust and affinity.

Many new friends have discovered our yarns for the first time, and we look forward to sharing more woolen goodness with them as their love for our yarns grows with familiarity.  We have hundreds of pounds of wooly fiber waiting to be spun into skeins that will transform this year’s fiber growth into useful and beautiful goods that will warm all of us for years.

© Boston Fiber Market

We hope that your love for making has given you many hours of quiet solace.  It has been inspiring to see the steady stream of finished projects shared with us via email and social media.  Your diverse creations illustrate that our collective spirit remains buoyed by what is possible.

We wish you a very happy, healthy and joyful New Year. May your making continue to breath new life into the days to come.


A new shade of Yarn Over

We’ve added a new shade of Yarn Over to the selection currently available, just in time for the release of Denise Bayron’s new pattern: Wave of Change Pullover.

© Denise Bayron

Our Pasture colorway features a soft green color with flecks of primary colors that will remind you of a wildflower meadow or an impressionist landscape.  We love its tendency to remind us that Spring is on its way.

For many of us who spend the last several weeks of the year making gifts, it can be exciting to plan for the projects to come in the New Year that will fill our needles.  January can be a perfect time to learn a new technique, challenge yourself with a larger project that you typically work on, or take a break with a project that will work up quickly, easily and provide you with a new garment to enjoy during the coldest weeks of the year.

Denise’s Pullover could hit all those objectives for you!  Her new design offers an alternative to her Wave of Change Jacket for those of us who don’t prefer wearing cardigans.  This new pattern is worked at the same gauge as her original, so we are confident that our Yarn Over will be a great yarn option for you to consider.

Several Raverly friends have made the Jacket with this yarn, we think that a quick browse through their projects will inspire you to make one of your own!

We hope that you have fun taking a closer look at both of Denise’s patterns and that you are able to find your prefect skeins among our current palette of Yarn Over shades.

 


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!


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.


Waste not, want not

My grandmother lived through the depression and took that phrase to heart.  We here at the Spinnery, aspire to waste as little as possible in our production process, to ensure that every ounce of fiber that was grown, shorn and delivered to us with care is put to its highest use.

We capture the leftover scraps of wool and spun roving from every batch of yarn, and save it for future use.  Each lot of custom yarn generates its own small bag that is either returned with the finished yarn, or popped into storage here at the Mill to be added to the next batch of yarn we’ll make for that producer.

The leftovers from all of the Spinnery yarns that we spin is separated out into two categories.  Usable waste fiber from the mill floor and weight rolls is gathered in giant $5 bags and sold on a first come first served basis.  We’ve had customers use this fiber for crafting, felting and even as a natural insulation for their home!

The cleanest fiber that remains from our production process is saved and re-carded into our bulky Yarn Over.  Each dye lot of this yarn is truly unique.  It includes a differing combination of fibers and colors that has accumulated from our most recent batches of yarns.  We occasionally supplement this mix with some additional bale dyed wool to create a more appealing shade.  Our most recent colorway, Ember (shown on the left), even includes a subtle variegation of shades that can be found among the dying ashes of a comforting campfire.

We thought we’d highlight this warm yarn this week, and share with you some terrific pattern suggestions that make great use of it.  Now that the weather is turning cooler, bulkier knits are going to be more in demand.

Earlier this year, our friend Denise Bayron published the Wave of Change Jacket.  This jacket gets its name from the purl ridges that create concentric rings around the body. Denise’s pattern includes a generous range of sizes: 36 (40, 45, 50.5, 54, 58.5, 63) ” or 91.5 (101.5, 114.5, 128.5, 137, 148.5, 160) cm: and calls for 4 (5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8) skeins.

This yarn has also been used in some of our most popular patterns.   From largest to smallest is a collection of some of our most recent favorites!

Thistledown Throw.  We hope that this bulky throw that features a botanical thistle lace will bring you sweet dreams, whether it’s used for an afternoon nap or a good night’s sleep.  This pattern creates a blanket that measures 53”/134.5 cm wide x 54”/137 cm long, (after blocking) and is created with 10 skeins.

John’s Sweater.  This sweater is based on a well loved sweater Cap’s father wore for years. The boat neck allows for layering to make this a perfect sweater for your winter outdoor activities.  Cap’s pattern includes sizing that ranges from 37 (40, 44, 48, 52, 56)”/ 93 (101, 111, 121, 132, 142)cm and calls for 6 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11) skeins (MC) and 1 (1, 1, 2, 2, 2 ) skeins (CC).

Beekeeper’s Smock.   This pullover has been designed to provide you with a hard-wearing outer layer that is as comfortable as it is practical. Pop it on as you head out for errands, chores and cool weather excursions this season and many to come.  The pattern has two sizes: approximately 50 & 60”/ 127 & 152.4cm (designed to fit with 11-15”/ 27 -38 cm of positive ease) and can be made with 5 or 6 skeins.

Gathering Hat.  This FREE pattern creates a hefty hat that can protect from brisk winds and cold ears, giving us a bit more time outdoors to enjoy the best of the season.  The pattern creates an adult cap that fits most – Circumference: 18” x Depth: 8½; (after blocking) and is created with a single skein.

You’ll find even more great pattern suggestions by browsing through the 150 projects listed on Ravelry that were created with our Yarn Over.


Two terrific shawls

Two of our Raverly friends, Tara and Amanda recently finished Andrea Mowry shawl patterns to equally beautiful effect!  We’d like to share their new shawls with you and introduce you to the patterns they selected to work with.

First up is Andrea Mowry’s recently published Cinnabar shawl pattern.

© taracelsus

This asymmetrical pattern combines garter stitch and brioche for deliciously comforting stretch and coziness.  It has a wingspan of approximately  74”/188 cm and a depth of 32”/81 cm when worked at the recommended gauge.  One of the fun and rewarding aspects of any shawl pattern is that you can adjust the finished measurements with your yarn selection.

© taracelsus

Tara paired our DK weight Touch of Grey Mewesic with Aran weight Spincycle Dream State in the Devilish Grin colorway.  Andrea’s pattern calls for two contrasting yarns of slightly different gauges.

“Using two different weights of yarn adds even more texture to this shawl. I kept my MC neutral and used my CC to play with color. Anything from another solid, to gradient sets or even stash scraps would be great! You are looking for a flowy fabric with nice drape. I recommend yarns with some bounce back (wool, for example) to help keep the brioche from stretching out too much. The best way to know if your yarn choice will work is to do a swatch and wet block it! If you like the drape and feel, then go for it!”

Earlier this summer our friend Amanda started Andrea’s Satellite shawl; another design that pairs garter stitch and brioche to play with color and texture.

Amanda used our 2-ply fingering weight yarn and paired undyed creamy white with several hand painted skeins in autumnal hues of gold and ochre.  This design has an even more generous wingspan of  83”/211 cm and a center depth of 32.5”/82.5 cm.

Both of these shawls will be large enough to snuggle into on a brisk fall morning.  When worked up with any of our woolen spun yarns, their generous volume will not weigh you down.  The bounciness and elasticity of our yarns will ensure that the brioche sections don’t stretch beyond reason, which will keep your shawl looking freshly knit.

We hope that these two beautiful projects may inspire a new shawl of your own.  Thank you Amanda and Tara for sharing your photos!


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.


What to knit next

To help you find some terrific pattern ideas that would look terrific knit up with our discounted Alpaca Elegance, we did a little online searching.

We found a listing of almost 300 patterns on Ravelry that will work beautifully with any of our DK weight yarns. You can sort through them all here.  Adding some additional search parameters (to be found on the left of your screen) will narrow this large group down.  You may want to focus on particular kinds of projects and selecting a particular criterion in the categories filter will allow you to look only at your preference, sweaters or hats for example.

Our DK weight yarns include Cotton Comfort, Sylvan Spirit, Mewesic, Ragg-Time and Alpaca Elegance.  With the exception of our Ragg-Time yarn, all of our DK weight yarns are available in 2 oz. skeins with approximately 180 yards each, so they can be substituted for each other with out any special yardage calculations.  Ragg-Time has been skeined in a more generous amount of 306 yards to take better advantage of the playful variegations in colors that we created for each colorway.

Our special coupon for the virtual Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival will give you 15% off your purchase of Alpaca Elegance through the end of day Monday, September 14, 2020.  Use the coupon code wisconsin at checkout for these savings!