Share your passion!

Vermont transitioned from social distancing suggestions to a Shelter at Home mandate that will remain in effect for several weeks.  It means that many of us will now be sheltering in place as others of our friends around the country have been for a week or more.

In a surprising turn of events, many of our social connections are deepening, with friends and social knitting groups gathering with video conferencing technology to stave off feelings of isolation that can come from not interacting with co-workers and service workers in what used to be normal day to day life.

And families are spending more time together.  Parents who are working from home may be struggling to engage and distract their kiddos who aren’t accustomed to these new restrictions.

Why not try knitting?

It’s possible that the same benefits that your stitches can bring you, can be shared by others in your household.  Crafting can be meditative, it brings a sense of accomplishment, and perhaps a few welcome moments of quiet concentration(?)

© flax & twine | anne weil

We wanted to encourage you to delve into finger knitting.  Our friend Ann Weil (of Flax & Twine has a lovely photo tutorial on her website.  Or you may want to explore Youtube to find instructional videos like this one for right-handed finger knitting:

No special tools are required.  A bulky yarn is recommended, like our Yarn Over or Capricorn that will allow quick progress for impatient beginners.  You’ll find a similar video for left-handed instruction, so no one is left out.

Try sharing something that you love with folks you are quarantined with.  Take frequent breaks, and if your fellow makers are of a wiggly age, add some dance party intermissions to blow off steam and pent up energy that will allow your little ones respite from concentrating on something new.

Perhaps you’ll make something special together.  Or perhaps you’ll share a few laughs and learn that every tangled mess can be undone.  We wish you many moments of joy during these days ahead.  We hope that our fiber can bring you the same comfort that it does us!

Be well, and happy knitting!


Therapeutic knitting

Keeping one’s equanimity has been difficult this week, and it’s never been more important. Whether you are sheltering in place, practising a self-quarantine, or keeping a generous social distance; it feels like a good time to find solace in your stitches, so that we can best support our communities from that full-hearted place that knitting can help us find.

We have released a new pattern this week that we hope will keep your fingers busy, your mind engaged on the pleasant work of crafting something useful and beautiful.  Introducing, Bunny Hill designed for us by Sandi Rosner.

Learning how to do something new is tricky at any age. Starting to ski on a gentle slope takes some of the fear of failing (and falling) out of the equation. This top-down pullover’s repetitive motif provides recurring rows of stranded color work that can act as a similar form of training. Practice eventually makes perfect. We simply need to be willing to try.

Shown in White Simply Fine and Woodsmoke, Fresh Cut Grass, Dessert, and Summers Day Simply Fine Skinnies.  Our new mini skeins of Simply Fine are just as downy soft as the original undyed skeins, but in a lovely spectrum of colors that you might find therapeutic to work with.

Sandi’s pattern includes a wide range of sizes 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58),” /86 (97, 107, 117, 127, 137, 147) cm with yardage requirements as follows: 2 (2, 3, 3, 3,4, 4) skeins Undyed Simply Fine (450 yds) 1 skein each of Simply Fine Skinnies (224 yds) in CC1, CC2, CC3, CC4.

We hope that you enjoy spending some time with your needles with soft yarn running through your fingers.  We trust that connecting with the wooly goodness of natural fibers will bring you some solace, and a feeling of our love.

 

 


Socks for everyone!

Our friend Maria Muscarella has published a new sock pattern that includes sizing for your entire family!  Her Cozy Sunday Socks are fun, bright and delightfully comforting.

© NinjaChickens

“Sundays are the days for resting by the fire while sipping on hot chocolate, reading in bed under a soft blanket, or curling up on the couch with family to rewatch your favorite movie. These types of Sundays are just what your Cozy Sunday Socks are made for!

Knit toe up with a gusset, short row heel turn, and slip-stitch heel so there are no stitches to pick up! The color work is simple but fun, and creates an eye catching pop on the leg of your sock. Knit in DK weight yarn, the socks are super quick to create and wonderfully cozy to wear.”

Her sizing range is wonderfully considerate:

1 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6), leg and cuff height of 5.5” / 14 cm for all sizes
Measure foot circumference at widest part of foot, usually around the ball of your foot.
Size 1 to fit foot measurement: 6.5–7” / 16–18 cm
Size 2 to fit foot measurement: 7.25–7.75” / 18–20 cm
Size 3 to fit foot measurement: 8–8.5” / 20–22 cm
Size 4 to fit foot measurement: 8.75–9.25” / 22–24 cm
Size 5 to fit foot measurement: 9.5–10” / 24–25 cm
Size 6 to fit foot measurement: 10.25–10.5” / 26–27 cm

Any of the sizes can be made from a single skein of our Ragg-Time.  This yarn is generously skeined with a whopping 306 yards per skein!

© Ninja Chickens

Shown here with three different shades (from left to right: Thelonius, Jellyroll, and Holiday) paired with the creamy white neutral of our New Mexico Organic yarn.  Unfortunately, we are currently out of stock on both shades of our New Mexico Organic yarn and are waiting for the flock to be sheared before we’ll be able to make more.  But, either our White Wedding or Touch of Grey colorways of our Mewesic yarn will be a perfect substitute.

We think that these fun socks are a great project option to brighten up your life and provide your nearest and dearest with splendidly cozy toes!


A pattern release for the Equinox

As we prepare to greet the first day of Spring in a couple of weeks, in the southern hemisphere, friends are enjoying harvest bounties and getting ready for their colder season to arrive.  Temperatures everywhere are in constant flux with chilly nights giving way to daytime warmth.

Cloudy days and early mornings can be chilly without the welcome warmth of the sun.  Extra layers can be the key to comfort, and so we are happy to share with you Rachel Stecker’s Fall Waves Hat & Mitts.  This adorable matched set can be knit up with two contrasting colors of our DK weight yarns: Cotton Comfort, Alpaca Elegance, or Mewesic.  Shown here in Mean Mr. Mustard and Atlantis Mewesic.

Rachel’s pattern includes three sizing options for the hat: S, M, L – 18, 20, 22”/ 45, 50, 55 cm circumference & 7 ½”/19 cm deep.  Her mitts are generously sized for an adult.

The beautiful texturing is acheived with a simple charted lace pattern.  The clever pop of contrast color is done with a purl row stripe, making this a perfect project for advanced beginner or intermediate knitters eager to try adding some color to their projects without the complexity of stranded knitting.

We hope that you’re keeping comfortable in the shoulder season, and that you’re enjoying what is on your needles or hook!

 


Seen at Stitches West

We are over the moon to be able to share with you two new designs that have been released this week, that look absolutely terrific knit up with Spinnery yarns.

© Denise Bayron

Our friend Denise Bayron’s Wave of Change jacket calls for bulky yarn that is perfect for Vermont at this time of year.  “This jacket gets its name from the purl ridges that create concentric rings around the body. The name also references the last year of change in the fiber community.”

Her thoughtful approach to design has created a pattern that is gender neutral and size inclusive bust circumference measurements that range from 36″ to 63″.

“The jacket is worked flat and seamlessly from the top down. Circular needles are recommended to hold the weight and width of the stitches. It is designed to fit as a layering piece with a boxy and slightly cropped silhouette. You can, of course, knit the body to your desired length. Suggestions for lengthening are included. A two inch button(less) band is picked up along each front. Sew-on snaps will keep your jacket closed, while allowing the waves to flow without interruption. Lastly, the sleeves are knit in the round using either magic loop or DPNs.”

Her pattern includes a schematic to facilitate modifications for a perfect fit as well as a video tutorial for picking up stitches for the button bands.

One of the recommended yarns for this pattern is Spinnery Yarn Over, a recycled 100% wool 2-ply bulky yarn that we have available in four appealing shades.  We’re confident that you’ll also be able to use our dreamy soft Capricorn yarn that blends wool with mohair and is available in three natural undyed shades.  Happily, our Natural Grey shade is now back in stock!

If a lighter weight garment is more to your liking, you might want to consider Julie Weisenberger’s Sarah.

Sarah is a perfect in-between seasons jacket – just right for cool days in lieu of a coat. The half-fisherman rib is not quite as condensed as full fisherman rib, resulting in a lofty, slightly puffy fabric. Dramatic angled, drop-shoulders and over sized pockets make Sarah fun to knit and even more fun to wear!

Shown here is a sample that is hanging in Julie’s booth at Stitches West in Santa Clara, CA worked up in Spinnery Mewesic in the Mean Mr. Mustard color.  We love the juxtaposition of Julie’s signature crisp tailoring with the cozy lush fabric created with the half-fisherman rib.  And those pockets!

We hope that you enjoy these two new pattern suggestions as much as we do.  Happy knitting!


Old friends

Even though Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring earlier this month, our forecast has been full of ice, snow and rain this week.  While we wait out the inclement weather and for the plow to free up the roads, all we want to do is hunker down with a great project and get stuck in.

In our efforts to keep up to date on what’s new and fresh, we can occasionally lose sight of great patterns that got lost in the shuffle.  This week we thought we’d look back on a couple of timeless stranded colorwork sweater patterns that we released a year ago that could easily move back to the top of our knit-next list.

Maureen Clark’s Stella is a classic yoked pullover pattern that is worked up in our Alpaca Elegance for a three season garment with beautiful drape and softness.

Maureen’s great grand mother Stella was born around the turn of last century on Prince Edward Island. She’s notorious in family legend for drinking rye and playing the horses. This yoked pullover was designed with her in mind. Perhaps by trying a yoked construction or stranded knitting for the first time; or by casting on with an adventurous color scheme you’ll celebrate the creative renegade that lies in each of us.

© Gale Zucker

Melissa Johnson’s Bea’s Cardigan is an eye-catching boat necked sweater with an unusual construction.  This pattern has you casting on at the cuff and working sideways towards the center.  When both halves of your sweater are complete, they are joined at the back with a three-needle bind off in pattern that forms a beautiful geometric motif.

It is shown above in a subdued monochrome palette of Jet Black, Raven, Blizzard and Edelweiss Mountain Mohair that reflects the winter landscape that surrounds the Spinnery on these cold days in Februrary.  This yarn is our favorite choice for cold weather knits.  That delicious halo (thanks to the mohair in the yarn) buffers the stitches against pilling and keeps us as snug as we could wish.

These two designs make for delightful projects that can help you while away the last few storms of the season.  If clouds are filling your forecast as well, we invite you to cast on and wait for Spring with a project on your lap.


Special Delivery

With the new year, comes the release of the four patterns that have been exclusively available to the members of our 2019 Mystery Project Club Members!

We’re pleased to share with you four new accessory patterns.  These projects allowed us to introduce our club members to four gorgeous yarns that we’ve spun for fiber producers we partner with.

Clockwise from the top left is Dominique’s Tuck Socks, Margeau & Rebecca’s Cowl, the Nezinscot River Hat & Mitts, and Jill’s Boots.  These designs have paired our yarns with theirs to highlight scrumptious fiber blends, and unique hand dying.

Our members received seasonal packages that included the pattern, all the yarn needed to complete their project, and a little gift. Their first delivery also includes a Spinnery project bag to keep everything organized. What could be more fun than finding such a precious package waiting in your mailbox?

With that in mind, we have developed a new idea to continue that pleasure of a surprise package arriving just for you.

Do you remember the joy of opening a letter from a pen pal? Or receiving a care package when you were away from home at school or at camp? What about the fun of selecting a mystery grab bag at the candy shop?

For 2020 we are curating a collection of seasonal care packages that will ship out with gorgeous skeins, a credit for your choice of pattern available on Ravelry, and a little sweet treat that will bring a smile to your face as you swatch with your new yarn and consider what you’d like to make! We’ll also have a limited quantity of additional skeins available for separate purchase, so if you find that you’d like more yardage to complete a larger project, we can send you what you need to get started.

Our first Mystery Care Package is available to pre-order now! It is inspired by springtime crafting and will include fingering weight 100% wool yarn. In order not to spoil the surprise, we won’t divulge any more details except to offer you four rough color themes that will customize your package to include shades you prefer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve selected your color, and placed your pre-order, Melissa Johnson will handpaint your yarn and your package will be mailed to you in time for St. Patrick’s Day.  We’re offering these special packages for a limited time, since each one is custom assembled.  Purchase your choice before the opportunity vanishes on February 29th, 2020!

We hope that you’ll take advatage of this fun offer, and that you’ll take another look at our four newest accessory patterns.  We love giving you new ideas and beautiful new skeins to enjoy!


Baby, it’s cold outside!

We have a snugly warm Nordic inspired sweater pattern to share with you, that is just what we want to be wearing while temperatures hover below freezing.  We introduced this new pattern at Vogue Knitting Live last weekend, and the makers there were raving about it!

One of our very talented sample knitters, Elinor reached out to us this fall to share photos of a sweater she made for her brother.  It was a careful recreation of a beloved sweater that was more than 60 years old.

We were so delighted with her work that we asked her if we could partner with her to share this pattern with you.  After many weeks of grading, tech-editing and testing, we’re pleased to introduce you to Terry’s Sweater.  This unisex ski sweater is worked up with our Mountain Mohair and is as warm as a hand-knit gift from a sibling can be.

Shown here on David, the main color is Midnight Blue and the contrast colors are Blizzard and Claret.  At the top of the page, the same design is knit up with Claret as the main color with Blizzard, Maritime and Vincent’s Gold as contrast colors.

Elinor’s pattern includes a generous sizing range: 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60)”/ 81 (91, 102, 112, 122, 132, 142, 152) cm.  The yardage requirements are:  Mountain Mohair 6 (7 ,7, 8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 12) skeins MC; 1 (1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) skeins CC1 & CC2; 10 yds for CC3.

While temperatures are still at their lowest here in the Northeast, it is a perfect time to work up this warming garment.  We hope that you’ll enjoy working on it as much as we have.


Planning ahead

We have a new design for you to consider adding to the top of your queue so that it is ready to wear for Spring.

Cap Sease’s Stansfield vest harkens back to Vermont’s agricultural past when practical knitwear needed to transition from town to field and back. The rugged texture of this lightweight layering piece is created with a simple repetition of knits and purls, rendering a lofty fabric that is an instant classic.  (While we have shown it here modeled only by men, this pattern is intended to be unisex and will be equally useful and appealling for women.)

This pattern features bottom-up construction that is worked flat up to the armholes.  The two front sections and back are worked separately until they are joined at the shoulder with classic three needle bind off.  The piece is finished with a garter stitch border at the armholes and along the neck, where button holes are placed evenly along the placket.

 

Designed to be worked with our fingering weight yarns, this vest will make an ideal lightweight layering piece that could work equally well for him or her.  Cap’s pattern includes sizing from 34 (38, 41, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62)”/ 86 (97, 104, 117, 127, 137, 147, 157) cm and calls for 3 (4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6) skeins Lana, Meadow or Forest (400 yds each).  It is shown here in Plateada Lana.

You might also want to consider working with our Moorit Singles or Simply Fine skeins that are put up at a more generous 450 yards per skein for the three undyed colors. Our Simply Fine Skinnies are put up at 224 yards per skein and would allow you a larger palette of fresh spring-like colors to consider.

We hope that you enjoy this little preview of Spring.  It will be here before we know it!


Other takes on a perfect pullover

A pair of new patterns that call for Spinnery’s Mewesic have been published in the past couple of weeks; and we think that you’ll want to take a closer look at both.

Fresh from the pages of the newest issue of Taproot Magazine 36: WEAR, is Beatrice Perron Dahlen’s Sabellica, shown here modeled by the designer and her younger sister.  On the left is a cropped version made with Brickhouse Mewesic and on the left is a longer version made with Mean Mr. Mustard

@threadandladleThe design is named for the latin term for kale, one of Beatrice’s favorite cooler weather veggies. Sabellica’s pattern includes sizes from 30 (33 1/2, 38 1/2, 40 3/4, 48, 50 1/2, 53, 55 1/4, 60, 64 3/4)” /  76 (85.5, 97.5, 103.5, 110, 122, 128, 134.5, 140, 152.5, 164.5) cm and calls for between 4 and 11 skeins of our DK weight yarns depending on the size and length you choose.

Her design has you working the pullover from the top-down, so you’ll be able to try it on as you go adding length where you prefer.

On Beatrice’s Instagram feed she shares her thoughts about this design.  “Sabellica is knit up in Green Mountain Spinnery Mewesic, and I’ve already been living in this pullover. It includes a top down construction, a circular yoke with an eyelet pattern throughout. It’s great over a long sleeve for functional warmth, but it has options for a long sleeve as well.  Photos by the ever talented Hannah (@mindfulfolk) in one of my favorite Maine places!”

If you’re looking for a whole new outfit, and are as comfortable sewing as you are knitting; you could layer this sweater over Ellen Mason’s Smith River Tunic (whose pattern is also included in this issue)!

For those of you looking for a great pattern geared towards men, you might agree that Carol Feller’s new Corcra Pullover is a winner!

© Joseph Feller

Shown here (with approximately 4 inches of positive ease) in Purple Haze; this top-down sweater features a beautiful textured thermal stitch to create an interesting and wearable knit.   The saddle shoulders and short row set-in sleeves it will fly from your needles!

Carol’s pattern includes a broad range of sizes: 38.75 (42, 45.5, 50.5, 54, 57.25, 62.25)“ / 98.5 (106.5, 115.5, 128.5, 137, 145.5, 158) cm with a recommendation for 4-5” / 10 – 12.5 cm of positive ease.  It calls for  8 (8, 10, 11, 12, 12, 13) skeins of Spinnery Mewesic, but you could substitute any of our DK yarns such as Alpaca Elegance, Cotton Comfort, or Sylvan Spirit.

While these sweaters may be better suited for 3 season wear here in wintery Vermont, these could be terrific layering options for our friends in warmer parts of the world.  We hope that you agree!


A great layering cardigan to brighten your winter

Our Mill shop is diminutive; so our staggering yarn selection can have a strong impact on visitors as they come through our doors.  Our wide range of Mountain Mohair colors (right inside our front door) makes for a delightfully eye-catching display that brightens many a grey day.

We’ve seen how the perfect hue can call to a crafter and bring them joy as they reach right out and squeeze their favorite skein, wondering aloud what it will become.

Cap Sease’s new cardigan pattern uses our Mountain Mohair to great advantage and we want to share Sanderling with you this week, in case you are wondering how you can use this delightful yarn to make something beautiful.

A Sanderling is one of many small shore birds with a delicate gait that leaves mesmerizing patterns in wet sand. This classic crew neck cardigan features an easily worked lace pattern that is reminiscent of these tracks.  That lace gives this cardigan a delicacy that belies its straightforward boxy shape and easy construction.

The pattern is worked from the bottom-up without shaping, making it a great layering piece that will work with almost anything in your winter wardrobe.  The body is worked to the armholes, then split so that the fronts and back can be worked separately, to be joined at the shoulder with a three needle bind off (that could be bound off and seamed if you’d prefer).

Each sleeve is picked up along the armhole edge and worked with the same charted lace pattern.  Regular decreases provide shaping, and Cap suggests that when the stitch count prevents you from working a full lace repeat, you simply work those stitches in stockinette.

The neckband of the sweater can worked with or without buttons and buttonholes , depending on your preference.

Cap’s pattern includes sizing for 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62)” /86 (97, 107, 117, 127, 137, 147, 157) cm and calls for 7 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) skeins of Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool (140 yds each) or 4 (4, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8) Maine Organic or Vermont Organic (250 yds each).

We hope that this new design appeals to you as much as it does to us.  We can’t imagine a better way to spend your upcoming holiday weeks, than with some delightfully soft and beautifully colored yarn on your needles.


Works in progress

Our Felix-along is humming along, and there is still time for you to get involved.  Our knit-along continues until November 18th; and any project that is in progress at that time is eligible to win our prize!  You can check in on the recent updates to our Ravelry Group.  Folks there are sharing photos and project notes.

Both of Amy Christoffer’s Felix patterns are a delight to work up.  They are well crafted for clarity.  Both designs knit up very quickly on large needles for an airy fabric that is comforting, warm and flattering.  Just what you’d want for a new cool weather sweater.

As usual, we like to keep the rules pretty casual, so the only guidelines are …

  1. Knit either the Felix Pullover or Cardigan.
  2. Bonus points for using Mountain Mohair, or other GMS yarns, Amy recommended Weekend Wool, and Green Mountain Green would be a great option as well.
  3. WIPs are allowed, up to 50% done, we know several of you have already started.
  4. Ends on November 18th, because we know you have more than one sweater on your needles, this way you won’t feel rushed.
  5. Have Fun!!!

While we were at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival last week, Amy Christoffers (third from the right, wearing her newest design: Lunenburg Pullover) met up with some of the knitters who have finished their sweaters who were at the festival, for a little photo op that you may find inspiring.

Some of the projects that we know are in the works include Larisa’s (shown on the right), who is wearing her Partidgeberry Pullover and holding her Felix Cardigan wip in Fern Mountain Mohair.  Maureen is making great progress on her pullover that she is working up with Glacier Lake Mountain Mohair.

Our Ravelry friend Chelsea from Australia has finished her cardigan and we love how it knit up for her!  We’re so thrilled that our knit along has spanned the globe and brought us all closer while working on this terrific pattern designed by Amy Christoffers.

We hope that you join the fun.  We loom forward to seeing what’s on your needles in the next few weeks!