Spinnery News

A pattern for your entire list

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us here at the Spinnery have started planning and crafting our handknit gifts.  When the knitworthy list is long, smaller projects are a perfect choice; and those that can easily travel move to the top of our list.  We wanted to share our current favorite with you so that you might be able to cast on this week and get a few gifts created while in the midst of your Thanksgiving travels.

Elizabeth Doherty’s Crosscheck hat pattern is as much fun to knit as it will be to wear.  This unisex pattern provides instruction for 6 different sizes (circumference measurements) and two different crown depths (beanie or slouch).  Seen here you can see Kate’s finished slouch version knit up with a worsted weight yarn from her stash and the beginnings of a beanie version knit up with the Spinnery’s DK weight Mewesic.

And that, my friends is the genius of this pattern!  Elizabeth (our most recent Knitters Weekend teacher) has provided comprehensive tables for cast on counts and crown decreases that adapts her pattern for different weights of yarn.  The same pattern can be used for a variety of gauges giving you chance to use up stash yarn while crafting handmade gifts for everyone on your list!  Win win, right?

Please keep in mind that changing the size, depth and gauge does affect yarn requirements.  Kate used less than 140 yards of worsted weight yarn to make a hat that is 9″ deep with an unstretched circumference of  16 3/4″, a single skein of Spinnery Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool will be sufficient to make a similarly sized hat.  Kate is confident that she’ll have the yardage she needs for her DK weight beanie using her single skein’s quantity of 180 yards (or less).  And Elizabeth has even included notes that guide you through using as much yarn as you can, to make the hat as deep as possible.

You can purchase the Crosscheck pattern through Raverly here, and if you purchase the pattern before Sunday, November 26th, 2017 using the coupon code spinnery, you’ll receive 25% off!  Thank you Elizabeth!

We hope that you’ll grab a copy of this pattern, and get cast on for several hats this holiday season.  You may find that this portable little project can come with you everywhere: getting through security at the airport, in the car stuck in traffic, while in line at the post office, or waiting to check out at the grocery store.  Your gift knitting will be done before you know it!

And all of us here at the Spinnery wish you a very happy holiday week ahead.

A knit and walk along for peace

Christina Campbell has launched a special KAL/WAL for the month of November that is as beautiful as it is noteworthy.  We wanted to share her thoughts about this project with you this week, thinking that you might be as inspired by it as we are.  This project will have us knitting and walking together all month long!

© Christina Campbell

“Meet Camino de Paz, the path of peace. Knit and walk (not simultaneously of course) the path of peace in November and find yourself ready for Project Peace (kicks off 12/1). Camino de Paz is a simple color work cowl using 2 colors of sport weight yarn. It’s the perfect first color work project yet equally rewarding for the knitter with lots of color work experience. The finished size is just right to wear on a walk to ward off a chill. Finally, it’s just the right size project for gift knitting…in case you needed to knit up a quick gift for someone.”

You can read more about Christina’s inspiration for this project on her blog.

The Walk-along.  November is one of those months that can be challenging to walk. As the weather changes, our thoughts of getting cozy on the sofa with a blanket, warm beverage, and some knitting prevail…walking takes a back seat. For this walk-along, the challenge is to walk every day for 30 days regardless of how far. Walk for 5 minutes or walk for 50; it doesn’t matter just as long as you get up and go for a “walk.” 

Giveaway. With the pattern purchase you’ll receive a 30-day walking log. Fill this out each day and at the end of the month, send Christina the documentation that you’ve walked all 30 days. Or you could do a 30-day post on Instagram with a photo from each walk. Use the hashtag #caminodepazwalkalong At the end of the month, everyone that walked daily will be entered into a giveaway for a project bag and some yarn (TBD) and she’ll randomly select a winner. Of course, the real prize is the fact that you walked daily for 30 days. 

Need some support? Join The Healthy Knitter Ravelry group and interact with other super friendly and kind knitters that love to walk.”

We were so delighted by the peaceful intention of this KAL/WAL that we all want to get cast on!  The pattern calls for two contrasting colors of sport weight yarn (between 150 and 190 yards). We made our selections from our cozy 2-ply DK weight yarns: Alpaca Elegance, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic and New Mexico Organic.


Tracey selected Alpaca Elegance in Lavender Cream and Sencha

Maureen selected Cotton Comfort in Storm and Iris.

Megan selected Mewesic’s Green Eyed Lady paired with New Mexico Organic in Grey.

Larisa selected Cotton Comfort in Pine paired with New Mexico Organic in Grey.

Lauren has selected Alpaca Elegance in Darjeeling and Earl Grey.

Kate has selected Alpaca Elegance in Roobois and Cappucino

We hope that you decide to join the fun.   We echo Christina’s wish for our projects: “May each stitch and step be filled with peace.”

Let’s talk turkey

We have a great idea for what to do after you’ve enjoyed your holiday meal, the dishes have been done, and the leftovers have been organized.  “Once each year, just in time for holiday gift giving, our local craftsmen open their studios for the public to come and explore, to experience first-hand the making of our work, to understand our creative process, to hear our stories, and to purchase our unique crafts directly from us.”

We’d like to invite you to visit Putney, Vermont during the Putney Craft Tour November 24th – 26th.

This special weekend is a wonderful time to check out the diverse cultural offerings to be found in our tiny town.  Along with access to 24 local artists, local businesses will provide you an opportunity to sample local syrup, cider, wine or take in an award winning performance at one of our local theaters.

We’ll be open from 9 am – 5:30 pm on Friday, 10 am – 5:30 pm on Saturday and 10 am- 5 pm on Sunday.

The Spinnery will be offering mill tours, special sale yarns and unique gift ideas for the knitworthy on your gift list.  We’d love to visit with you and see what you’ve been working on.  And we have a wealth of new project ideas to share with you that will fill your crafting hours all winter long.  It’s a perfect time to plan a visit!

And on to Asheville!

Maureen and Kate arrived in Asheville, NC and set up the Spinnery booth for some fiber fun this weekend at SAFF.   The event is located at the WNC Agricultural Center, in Fletcher, NC; across Hwy 280 from the Asheville Regional Airport. (Exit 40 off I-26).  The marketplace will be open from 9 – 6 pm Friday and Saturday and from 9 – 4 pm on Sunday.  And we have so much to share with you!

Larisa Demos’ Long Trail cowl made its debut last weekend at Rhinebeck.  This terrific slipped stitch unisex cowl is equally appealing when knit up with our Mewesic (as seen above in the New Mexico Organic in Grey as main color, Atlantis and Mean Mr. Mustard as contrast colors), or Spinnery’s Cotton Comfort.

This infinity cowl can be created with a bit less than a single skein of each color.  The pattern as written creates a cowl that is 11.5″ high and 25″ circumference (29 x 63 cm).  You’ll have sufficient yarn to increase the depth of the cowl if you’d like.

You might want to play with some of our 4 new Cotton Comfort colors.  Shown below is a cowl knit up with Winterbeach as the main color with Gingerbread and Pine.  We love how these colors reflect the beautiful fall foliage on display all along the east coast.

We also have 4 new colors of Alpaca Elegance and a sample of Babycocktails’ Cranberry Gose in the booth, that Kate recently finished.  Plus, our favorite new design Maureen’s Seeded Pullover that may be your next sweater project!  These two samples are delightfully contemporary, and either one would be very useful additions to your wardrobe.

And for those of you looking for something that you won’t find anywhere else, we have limited edition shawl project kits that will only be available while supplies last this weekend!

We hope that you’ll have a chance to swing by and visit with us.  We’d love to see what you’ve been working on and help you find a terrific project (or two) to keep your fingers busy this winter!

Come join us at Rhinebeck!

Our tails are wagging at the thought of the fun we’ll have this weekend.  The New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, New York is a heck of an event.  Two days of gorgeous hand-knit goodness, fiber, yarn, delicious food, darling animals and new friends.

When the weather cooperates we wear as many of our me-made crafts as we can, and find ourselves making fast friends with passersby who share compliments, are eager to learn about pattern and yarn details, or just wonder aloud if they can pet the stitches!  It’s a little like knitting heaven.

Several of us from the Spinnery will be on hand this weekend at our booth on the bottom floor of Building 22 (near some of the most delicious food vendors to be found at the festival).  We’ll have a tiny booth overflowing with gorgeous skeins, great samples, fresh patterns and hugs. Stop on by!

You may want to get the lay of the land from Kristy Glass who has created a brief video guide for this year’s festival. She shares her favorites and must-see list that extends from the indie events that precede the festival on Friday evening to the fun to be found on the festival grounds!

And if you enjoy watching Kristy, you may also want to watch her super-fun tour of the Spinnery that you can find here.

We hope that you already have planned your visit, and that you’ll bring along your Spinnery knits so that we can see what you’ve been working on.  The Festival has new extended hours this year from 9 – 5 pm on Saturday and 9 – 4 pm on Sunday.  See you there!

More fresh ideas

This week we thought we’d share some of our favorite new releases from non-Spinnery sources.  A friend brought in a copy of Hannah Thiessen’s Slow Knitting for us to take a look at, and we can’t wait for a long winter’s night to curl up with it!

Hannah describes the journey “from sheep to skein to stitch”, inspiring a more thoughtful reflection of the materials we choose to work with to create heirlooms worth cherishing.  We are honored to be featured in a chapter that describes how the Spinnery was founded and came to make the very special kind of woolen spun skeins that we all squeeze, sniff, and work with today.

Included in the book are 10 knit-worthy patterns from the industry’s leading style makers.  We found a handful of patterns that we’d like to cast on for.  You’ll also find informative chapters on other inspirational resources including some of the fiber folks we spin for such as Julie Asselin and Jill Draper.   We can’t imagine a better volume to while away a cozy afternoon.

© Thea Colman

And speaking of cozy, you should certainly take a look at the new sweater released this week by Thea Colman (aka Babycocktails).  Her Cranberry Gose is a loose pullover turtlenecked tunic that can be thrown over almost anything for an effortlessly stylish look.  Designed to be worn with quiet a bit of positive ease (10 – 12″), this lofty and warm fabric has a beautiful fluidity that is figure flattering, thanks to being knit up with Spinnery Alpaca Elegance.

© Thea Colman

The pattern includes subtle Gansey texturing around the neckline that works gently against the short row shaping of the shoulders for a soft curve that belies the overall boxy shape.  Sheer genius.  And doesn’t that rich tweed look like Autumn?  Don’t forget we have a few new Alpaca Elegance shades for you to choose from for this pattern.

Kate knit up a shorter version of the Cranberry Gose with our Earl Grey color.  She modified the tunic pattern with Thea’s careful suggestions to remove 5 inches in overall length.  This makes it a more practical layering piece for her wardrobe, and may inspire you to consider how you could make this piece a perfect fit for you!

Thea has offered a little discount to encourage you to consider making one of your own for Rhinebeck.  $1 off the pattern if you purchase the pattern  between now and Rhinebeck (ending 10/20) – because some of us need to plan, and others of us may need to knit vicariously if not at the fair….

Kate and Thea are likely to be wearing their tunics at the fair in a couple of weeks.  We hope that you’ll stop by our booth in Building 22 to check ours out, and experience our new Alpaca Elegance skeins in person.  We think you’ll be delighted by our new shades.  We hope to see you there!

Your next favorite sweater

Maureen has designed a new pullover that may be our most wearable design yet.  Her Seeded Pullover is a stylishly boxy sweater that feels like wearing a sweatshirt but looks far more sophisticated.  We think it’s perfect.

It has been designed with an intended positive ease of 2 – 4 inches, giving you room to throw it on over anything.  And thanks to the polished look of the stockinette body knit up with Sylvan Spirit, it looks put together.

The collar, cuffs and the split hem are all decorated with a seed stitch texture that looks crisp and defined thanks to the reflective nature of this yarn.  Short rows at the shoulders ensure a flattering fit and the 3/4 length sleeves can always be adjusted to your prefered length.

We love the exposed shoulder seam that’s created with a 3 needle bind off ensuring that this bottom up sweater is as seamless to knit as it is to wear! And boy, will you want to wear it.

While this sweater can be created with any of our other DK weight yarns (Mewesic, Cotton Comfort, Alpaca Elegance or New Mexico Organic), we would encourage you to find your prefect color among the 15 shades of Sylvan Spirit that we’ve created. This yarn’s unique blend of wool and TENCEL (fiber created from wood pulp), has a special shine and drape that really brings out the best in this sweater.

We hope that the hardest part of working on this project will be selecting which beautiful color to cast on with!


More new skeins!

We’ve added four new shades to our Alpaca Elegance line!

Shown above is Lavender Cream, Chamomile, Darjeeling, and Roobios.  These additions were created by blending our bale dyed fine western wool with undyed alpaca (whose full range of colors can be seen among the undyed shades of this line: Cream, Chai, Cappucino, Cocoa, Dark Roast and Earl Grey).

We’re thrilled with how these new shades provide us with more options to play with!  Many of us are flirting with the idea of a reimagined version of Corrie, a new Windrow Cardigan might have a bit more cozy warmth (than if you selected to work with Cotton Comfort), or even a fresh sample of the Snowy Woods Sweater from the pages of our 99 Yarns and Counting book.

You can find many more pattern options that can be knit up with this DK weight yarn among those to be found on Ravelry here.

Don’t be surprised if you see a new design from Maureen that features many of these colors!  We’ll keep you posted on her progress.

You’ll be able to find these skeins in our booth this weekend at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival in Tunbridge, VT.  You can fondle them in person and find a perfect project to get started on while the Festival is open from 10-5pm on Saturday and 10-4pm on Sunday.  We’d love to see you there!



Fresh skeins and a new cardigan

Our new colors of Cotton Comfort are ready for online sales!  These beauties were a hit when we introduced them at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival.  From left to right we have Aubergine, Gingerbread, Duffel and Pine.


That lovely tweedy texture is created by the resistance of the cotton content of the yarn (20%) to absorb the dye that the wool soaks up like a sponge.  We feel that our four new shades bring some exciting new autumn colors into the spectrum that you already know and love.

And to help celebrate the launch, we have a new cardigan pattern to share with you so that you can cast on with these skeins without delay!  Our Windrow Cardigan, seen below in the new Gingerbread color is a quick knit and a great wardrobe staple that could work through 3 seasons here in the Northeast and year round in warmer climates.

This is a cropped top-down seamless pattern that you’ll be able to try on as you work, ensuring a perfect fit.  You can easily modify the length of the body and the sleeves for a sweater that is just right for you.  We love it paired with a t-shirt and jeans or over a me-made dress that you adore.

Above, Kate is wearing the size 38″ with about 2 inches of positive ease.  The pattern includes sizing from 35″ to 50″ and requires between 5 and 7 skeins of our DK weight yarns.  We’ve also knit it up with our 100% wool Mewesic in the Mean Mr. Mustard colorway and love the way it turned out!

Here, Kate is wearing a model that has about 8″ of positive ease for a looser fit some may be more comfortable with.  The seeded rib texture wraps around the back of the neck and down the front of the sweater to be joined around the waistline for a bottom border of texture that will match your cuffs.  It provides some visual interest on an otherwise stockinette background that is as quick to knit as it is easy to wear.

We hope that you’ll take a closer look at our new colors as well as this new pattern this week as you continue to plan your winter’s projects!

Make a hat day

Yesterday, Friday September 15th was make a hat day.  And just in case you didn’t cast on we thought we would offer you a few suggestions so that you could get started before the week’s end and join the fun!

Melissa Johnson’s Hat Quartet patterns are some of our best selling patterns this season.  The four patterns were created for our 2016 Project Club and kitted up for the members who signed up.  They became publicly available earlier this year, and we’ve been delighted to see how much folks are enjoying their projects.

Each of the patterns feature different Spinnery yarns.  Going clockwise from the top left, Winter calls for four colors of worsted Mountain Mohair, Spring calls for four colors of Sylvan Spirit, Fall calls for four colors of Mewesic and Summer calls for three colors of Cotton Comfort.

Much of this beautiful stranded color work requires less than full skeins, so you will have extra yardage available to make additional ones by alternating your colors.  This could be a really fun way to start your holiday knits, do a bit of charity knitting, or use up some stash yarn that has been waiting to be put to a good use.

Ease your way back into larger cool weather projects with an accessory (or two) that will be off your needles in no time!  Happy Knitting!

Up next…

We’re pleased to release a second new pattern designed by Larisa Demos this week: the Flat Iron Cowl.

This cozy cowl features a feathered lace stitch pattern that reminded Larisa of the Latte Art created by her favorite baristas at a Bellow’s Falls coffee house.  She named her design after the Flat Iron Exchange where she meets with other local crafters every Thursday evening for a stitching gathering that shouldn’t be missed.

Our favorite version of her cowl can be knit up with 4 skeins of deliciously soft Green Mountain Green.  The soft neutral tones of this yarn make it the perfect match for any outfit.  And snuggling into our finest fiber is a true pleasure.  Even better than that first sip of a perfectly drawn latte.

You can see that the cowl acts as a bit of a caplet with enough volume to surround your shoulders with soft warmth and cozy comfort.  The pattern is worked from the bottom up with written instructions and a chart to simplify the lace work.

We made several samples of this beauty this summer, because we were so smitten with it, so we can confirm that it also knits up beautifully with 3 skeins of either our Mountain Mohair or Weekend Wool.  On the left you can see it knit up with Blizzard Mountain Mohair and on the right, is a fun bright version created with our Orchid Weekend Wool.












Any of these lovely versions would be the perfect accessory to wear to a last minute gathering to meet friends for coffee.  Whether or not they are knitters, you’ll be the envy of the group!

Stay tuned as our new patterns keep coming!  We’ll have two new sweater patterns for your consideration releasing in the next two weeks.  We can’t wait to hear what you think of them.

Our first new pattern for fall!

Our needles have been flying this summer as we’ve been working to get new patterns ready for the upcoming fall festival season.   Our goal has been the start of the  2017 Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival which kicks off next weekend at 10am on Friday September 8th.

We’ll have a fun selection of new offerings to share with visitors including some new sweaters, and cowls as well as a few shawl project kits!

And, there will be new colors of yarn on display!  We’ll have 4 new shades of Cotton Comfort, 4 new shades of Alpaca Elegance and 2 new shades of Sock Art Lana.  All of these yarns will become available on our website in upcoming weeks.  We’ll post updates on Facebook and Instagram as we have skeins washed, twisted and labeled for sale!

In the meantime, we have a stunning new pattern that we’re releasing today, so that you don’t have to wait!  Larisa Demos designed a breathtaking shawl for us that you won’t want to miss: the Mercury Rising Shawl.

This garter stitch crescent shawl is worked from the top-down with regular increases on every row, creating a generous wing span without bulk!  This beauty was knit up with two contrasting skeins of Spinnery Simply Fine, which is comprised of the finest fiber we work with.  The fine wool and yearling mohair is as soft as a cloud!

The contrasting wedge sections of stockinette are created with staggered short rows for a pop of color and texture variance that makes this design so appealing.  We’ve also knit this project up with our Sock Art Meadow to great effect.

We hope that you enjoy your long holiday weekend with a few leisurely hours spent with a project you enjoy.  We’ll continue working on our shop samples so that we have a wealth for you to choose from.