There’s more to life than our stitches

Now that many of us are out of work, the satisfaction of a job well done is something that we need to seek out.  That sense of well being can come from finishing a project, but when our knitting takes several days or even weeks to complete, that reward can feel somewhat remote.

We’d like to encourage you to use your additional free time to try different pursuits.  Watching seed starts make daily progress in their growth, or putting together a delicious meal can bring that healing sense of joy with a bit less work on your part.

To that end, we’d like to offer you some reading material that can give you a creative respite from the daily news and provide you with patterns, recipes, and instructions for other pursuits that can enrich your life and beautiful your home.

A quick browse through our selection of Magazines, that could be on your doorstep by the end of next week, may give you some great material to try something new! Taproot and Making both offer a rich selection of content that extends way beyond the typical knitting periodical.

This week, the newest issue of Making has been released.  Within its pages you’ll find projects that include a variety of crafts: KNIT • SEW • QUILT • EMBROIDER • CROSS STITCH • CROCHET • NEEDLE FELT • RECIPES.  All of these have been inspired by the idea of simplicity.

And we have two signed copies to give away!  Head on over to our Instagram post here, and leave a comment there about what your favorite part of making is.  We will pick two winners at random on Friday the 15th.

What a breath of fresh spring air!  Enjoy.

An invitation to fun!

We usually spend Mothers’ Day weekend at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival.  We love sharing our yarn and newest designs with friends who come from all over New England to shop, take classes, see sheep dog trials and greet some new lambs.

This year, we’ll be continuing our quarantine at home but we wanted to share a new special edition yarn that we were hoping to debut at the festival.  We have a limited quantity of the most delicious fingering/sport weight 3-ply Alpaca Blend that you can imagine!

We’re offering you this gorgeous un-dyed yarn at a 35% discount!  These are just $10 a skein!

We combined 60% alpaca sourced from Maryland with 40% fine wool for a wonderfully soft hand.  The 3-ply construction provides some additional structure, and has a nice round shape that will show off textured stitches.

These unwashed 2 oz. skeins are approximately 200 yards.  We’ve left these skeins unwashed to pass along some extra savings to you.  We’ll provide washing instructions with your order so that you can remove the slight traces of spinning oil remaining on the yarn before you swatch.

Kate used this yarn to make a lovely version of Jennifer Steingass’ Gardengate.  She gently fulled her finished sweater by allowing it to agitate for several minutes when she gave it a bath for its final blocking.  This softened the crisp detail of the color work but has resulted in a dreamy soft fabric that calls out to be touched.

Happily, in the near future our friends at Must Love Yarn will be starting a knitalong that focuses on the gorgeous sweater designs of Jennifer Steingass (aka Knit.Love.Wool).  This yarn would make for perfect neutral background for more than a dozen of Jennifer’s designs that all call for fingering or sport weight yarn.

The gals are hosting a Zoom Meeting on the 14th to talk about the knitalong.  You can join the conversation here with Meeting ID: 889 7084 3202.

You might want to find a pattern that calls to you, and purchase a sweater quantity of this gorgeous yarn while our supply lasts!  Kate’s sweater shown above is a cropped 42″ chest circumference and required only 6 skeins!

While we’re waiting for the knitalong to begin, you may want to join the Must Love Yarn gals for their twice weekly remote knit/crochet/spin/weave/sew/stitch group! Grab whatever you’re working on, a favorite beverage and your computer/tablet/phone for a couple of hours of chat and fun!

When: Sundays, 1-3 pm EST AND Wednesdays, 5-7 pm EST
Where: Online via
How: Email Kelly ( for the link to join!

We hope you can join this virtual group that is keeping us all connected during these challenging times!  You may also want to tune into their podcast which is always a pleasure to enjoy.

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2020 Special Savings

We are very excited to be able to offer a special 15% discount on our entire Simply Fine collection to our friends this weekend.  Use Coupon Code MDSW2020 when checking out on the Spinnery website for savings available until 9am Monday May 4th.

This includes our three natural, undyed colors that are skeined at 450 yards each (Dark, Variegated, and White – shown in the center) as well as our nine new bale dyed Skinnies skeins that are a smaller 225 yards each.

This yarn blends the finest fibers we work with at the Mill into a single ply yarn that works beautifully for fingering weight and sport weight projects.  It blooms beautifully when blocked into a featherweight fabric that is comfortingly soft.  The halo of fine kid mohair protects the stitches from wear, and invites you to run your hand along your garment enjoying its inviting softness.

Guilford Shawl Lopez Island Cap Septor Moorit Gansey
Gillette Mercury Rising Phoebe Cowl Stony Point Cowl
Frilly Mobius Cowl Mad River Cowl Bunny Hill Be Simple Shawl
Thermal Cap Snowmelt Cowl West River Wrap

We have over a dozen patterns that were created with this yarn in mind including a brand new sleeveless Tunic made with crochet that we’ve released this morning!  We’re pleased to introduce you to the Sign of Spring Top!  This beautiful new pattern was designed by Moon Eldridge.

Spring is here! It is a perfect time to put winter clothes away and add a fresh new top to your wardrobe. This crochet tunic is perfect for warmer weather.  With a crisp textured background of crochet Moss stitch, and four centered ribs decorating the front, this top is fun to make and will become your newest favorite for many seasons to come.
The pattern includes a generous size range from 36 (40, 44, 48, 52)” bust circumference, to be worn with 2-4 inches of positive ease.  It calls for 7 (7, 8, 8, 9) skeins Simply Fine Skinnies (224 yds each).
This top is worked from the bottom up. The front and the back are worked separately in two pieces and then seamed at the shoulder. The delicate edge of the sleeves are worked after seaming.

If you have any questions about our Simply Fine yarns or the pattern selection that we have listed above, we invite you to reach out to Larisa via GotoMeeting

8:30 and 6pm on Saturday with Meeting ID: 543-527-429
8:30 and 5pm on Sunday with Meeting ID: 150-812-365

She has most of our samples with her at home in her adorable sewing corner so she can show you our garments and answer your questions.

We hope that you enjoy browsing the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival Online Community this weekend  and supporting your favorite small fiber related businesses that you would otherwise seek out at this festival.

More recently finished projects

Our collective needles and hooks have been flying!  Raverly is full of inspiration as crafters around the world are completing project after project, using this time of quarantine and social isolation to make and create.  We selected several projects made up with our heavier weight yarns to share with you this week so that you might enjoy some instant gratification!

Our friend WillowSnowKnits recently finished a Nightshift Shawl, designed by Andrea Mowry using 6 contrasting skeins of Spinnery Weekend Wool.  She picked out these colors while visiting our booth at Stitches West and we remember the care she took in her selection.  We love the way the tweedy colors work together in harmony to create lively contrasts that look gorgeous in combination.

Leslie opted for a neutral project that we anticipate will become a wardrobe staple for her next winter.  She worked up a bulky pullover, Column designed by Hiromi Nagasawa that utilizes unusual construction for a deceptively simple look.  Her sweater was created with our Natural Dark Capricorn a single ply blend of wool and mohair that is dense and snuggly warm.

We especially like that Leslie refers to this sweater as her bear hug.

Our friend Heather’s Moorland (deigned by Jennifer Wood) is like a breath of Spring!  We are smitten with her color selection of Lichen Weekend Wool with two shades of variegated yarn in garden fresh colors.  Her project notes are very detailed, just what we love to find when considering a new project.  Learning more about another knitter’s experience through their project can help inform our own!

We’ll have more recently completed projects to share with you in the week’s to come.  Next time we’ll focus on creations made with lighter weight yarns.  Until then, stay safe and craft on!

Go Big!

With several more weeks (at least) of quarantine ahead, it seems like an ideal time to consider an ambitious project.  Why not work on a blanket  Under normal circumstances, larger projects like knitted throws and bedspreads seem daunting.  It will take many hours of crafting to accomplish a project of this size.

Now that the time is available to us and before the weather grows to warm, let’s cast on!  We’ll have a keepsake of this unusual time that we can treasure next winter when we again are drawn back to snuggle indoors (hopefully due to more seasonal instincts).

We thought we’d share with you a few blanket project possibilities to see if one strikes you as the perfect option.

Diagonal Blanket

Cap Sease designed her Diagonal Blanket with our Variegated Green Mountain Green.  This yarn is one of our Mill’s softest, combining the finest wool with kid mohair in a loosely spun 2-ply construction that blooms into a fuzzy delight.  The un-dyed fibers are added in sequence into the carding machine leading to a self-striping yarn that combines creamy white and a soft taupe that is a perfect neutral to match any decor.

This project is worked on the bias with a random placement of garter ridge bumps that will give you some creative leeway to play.  We love the juxtaposition of texture and color changes.  It may be a perfect project for you to enjoy while listening to your favorite audio book, podcast series or Netflix selection.

If you’d prefer a smaller throw or your family will be celebrating a new arrival in the near future, you might want to consider casting on for Blankie.  The alternating blocks of Shaker Rib and Garter Stitch create a rich texture that will show to advantage indoors and out. By adding or removing blocks, you increase or decrease the dimensions of the blanket.

Shown here made up with 6 skeins of our Maize Cotton Comfort, this throw can be worked up with any of our DK weight yarn options: Alpaca Elegance or Mewesic would be ideal.  It might be just the thing to use up that sweater quantity of yarn that you’ve been holding on to waiting for the perfect pattern.

Among the pages of our newest pattern collection, At the Spinnery, you’ll find the Millstone Blanket.  This lushly textured garter stitch circular throw uses two shades of our Mountain Mohair for a comfortingly cozy blanket (or shawl) that is a showstopper!

This project is worked in the round from the center outward with regular increases, slipped stitch columns and a shifting pattern of stockinette against the garter stitch background.  This fabric will keep you engaged from one row to the next.  The pattern is charted. You may find that after several repeats, the consistent shifting becomes easily recognizable, and you’ll start anticipating where the chart is leading you next.

© Margaret Holzmann

And fresh on Ravelry this month is a new blanket project that couldn’t be more timely.  Margaret Holzmann’s Safe at Home blanket calls for approx. 270 yards each of twelve colors of Aran weight yarn.  Our Weekend Wool will make for a perfect palette if you don’t have sufficient yardage in your stash that you are eager to use up.

This quilt-like work of art is worked in garter stitch strips then sewn together. You will be using intarsia, color striping, and pick up and knit techniques.  Finally, the border is added by picking up and knitting along the completed blanket edges.  And best of all, there is a KAL (knit a-long) you can join on either Ravelry or Facebook that will connect you with other makers who are enjoying the same project and will be sharing their progress.

What a wonderful way to virtually connect with friendly makers and learn a bit more about how they are faring in these days of change.  We wish you well and many happy hours of stitching.

Show and tell – Sweater Edition

We have been so inspired to see what you all have been creating during our quarantine.   The projects range from the small and intricate to the ambitious and wonderful.  It warms our hearts to know that in a small part we are continuing to stay connected through our shared love of wool and the solace that our crafting can bring.

Today, we want to share with you some of the fabulous finished sweaters that are popping up on Ravelry that have recently been created with Spinnery yarns or patterns.

Lisa has been working on a stunning stranded pullover, Goldwing.  She made this work of art designed by Jennifer Steingass with our Cotton Comfort as her main color.  She managed to get this on and off her needles in under a month!  What an achievement!

Robbie, better known as BoxySweaterGal on Ravelry, recently finished a rich and flattering Ceilidh.  This delightfully comfy pullover is designed by Julia Farwell-Clay and Robbie chose to work her up with Brick House Mewesic.  We encourage you to check out her project page so that you can see what she did for her pockets.  Yep, this pattern has pockets!  And, Spoiler Alert, her contrast color was sewn in!

Our next project to share with you is a very special one.  Marathonknitter is a serial knitter, making more than one version of a pattern, when she finds one that she really enjoys.  This sweater is the third version of Juniper designed by Ash Alberg, and her second one using yarn that we’ve spun.  She selected the Miel colorway of Julie Asselin’s Nurtured (a delicious 3-ply worsted weight yarn).

While we adore her finished garment, the reason why she made it was what caught our attention and warmed our hearts.

“A local farmer was feeling blue and stressed, so I gave her my second Juniper, in Chambray colored Nurtured. Wrapping a friend in wool seemed the kind thing to do. But, then I had the perfect excuse to make another one!

Knitting it at the height of the virus crisis, a great comforting project that brings together Julie’s talented dye techniques, Green Mountain Spinnery production, and the good efforts of Alisa at Firefly Fibers, my beloved but not-so local LYS.”

We feel fortunate to be able to work on projects that bring us joy through the calming meditative practice.  When the finished object can then bring pleasure or comfort to others, it amplifies the grace to be found in the craft into something that knits our communities together.  What a blessing!

Stay tuned for additional posts to come that will feature other finished objects made by your fellow crafters.  Please feel free to send photos and project details to Kate at if you’d like to share your work with our friends here.

Do you know about Tidal Yarns?

Today, we’d like to introduce you to our friend Patricia Fortinsky of Tidal Yarns.  She is a natural dyer who is making locally sourced yarn in southern Connecticut.

For those of you who have been fortunate enough to attend nearby Fiber Festivals and Farmers’ Markets, you may already be familiar with her booth that is a haven of muted earthy tones.

Patricia has worked hard to create a network that enables her to produce a uniquely local product.  In addition to finding a nearby printer for her labels and patterns, Patricia has developed relationships with several New England Shepherds.

Several times a year, she visits fiber growers in upstate New York, Massachusetts and near her home in Connecticut, filling her trusty mini van with fleeces.  Here you can see a photo taken of Mary and Bob Pratt at Elihu Farm, near Albany, New York.

Her round trip includes a delivery to the Mill, to drop off this beautiful wool for us to spin into glorious 2-ply yarn at a fingering weight and a worsted weight.  Her visits are always an occasion for joy.  Her infectious laughter makes sorting her fiber into a fun project that we look forward to.

Every batch of yarn that we make for her is a little different based on the fleeces she finds. But typically it is a soft dove grey in color that she then over-dyes with natural botanicals that she grows in her garden and forages on walks through the countryside and along the shore near her home.  She also utilizes natural extracts mixed with her natural ingredients to expand the range of her palette.  The additional depth of color that results from the hints of grey in her yarn creates a tweedy look that makes her yarn irresistible.

Her skeins are tagged with the plants she used to create each color.  Browsing through her skeins is almost like walking through her garden. You’ll find names like marigold, madder root; and it is a pleasure to imagine the lush beds that are the source of these shades.

While her yarns can be worked up into almost anything your heart desires, we are particularly smitten with the designs that Patricia generously offers as project kits with her skeins.  These pullovers and cardigans are classic, comfy sweaters, designed by Deb Parcella to be worn with a great deal of positive ease.  Their raglan construction ensures a proper fit at the shoulders with a boxy structure that flatters a wide range of figures, and is ideal for layering.

It can be a delight to see happy knitters return to Patricia’s booth wearing their Tidal Yarn garments with pride.  Confessions that their cardigan is a new favorite, and rarely taken off, are a regular occurrence!  These makers return to purchase more of Patricia’s yarns for wardrobe staple garments that we know you’ll treasure as much as we do.

Since Fiber Festivals and Farmer’s Markets may not be available to us for several weeks if not months, Patricia is sharing her weekly yarn updates with her Instagram followers.  On Tuesdays and Fridays, you’ll find new posts with photos of her newly dyed skeins along with a pattern suggestion or two.  We encourage you to follow her Tidal Yarn Instagram account, so that you’ll have access to these updates.

We hope that you have a chance to get Particia’s yarn on your needles this season.  We know that you’ll enjoy the experience as much as your newly finished sweater!

What a winner!

Our friend Thea Colman (aka BabyCocktails) has been pronounced a knitting champion this week!  Kay and Ann at Mason Dixon Knitting just wrapped up March Mayhem 2020 and Thea’s Oban Cardigan pattern was designated this year’s winner. Congratulations, Thea!

We shared with you our enthusiasm for this pattern last July in this blog post.  And now the public has spoken and selected this pattern as their favorite among 64 different patterns ranging from shawls, socks, hats and more!

The Mason Dixon gals phrased it beautifully when they summed up the pattern’s winning attributes:

The Oban Cardigan combines so many of the beautiful elements that we think of as signatures of Thea Colman’s work: Cables that are interesting in themselves, and made more compelling by deft placement. A traditional shape for a timeless garment that dresses up or down and can be worn in a huge variety of styles. And pockets!— pockets with perfectly centered cables.”

© Thea Colman

With a very characteristic generosity, Thea is celebrating this news by paying it forward.  She is donating 50% of every Rav pattern sale of this delicious sweater to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy until this Friday, April 10th, 2020.

Our Aran weight Weekend Wool will be a perfect yarn to work up this pattern.  The photo at the top of the page features a version knit with our White Weekend Wool that shows off those cables with crisp clarity.  We are offering a special discount on Weekend Wool at just $12 a skein until May 14th, 2020.  Simply use the discount code OBAN at checkout to receive your savings.

We hope that you’ll enjoy a fun project that can ensure that when Fall eventually arrives, you’ll have a brand new sweater to snuggle into!

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!