Spinnery News

Another virtual gathering

Later this week, we’ll be hosting another fun gathering that we hope you’ll join!  Find a comfortable spot and be sure that your project is near at hand.   Using your computer, tablet or  phone, head over to this website: https://www.gotomeeting.com/meeting/join-meeting  

You’ll be prompted to add a meeting ID that you’ll find listed below in bold.

On Saturday 9/19 we’ll gather at 10 am – noon (Eastern Standard Time) using Meeting ID number: 423-682-741.

Larisa will be joined by Meredith who will be working in the shop.  This gives you a unique opportunity to visit our shop virtually from the comfort of your own home.  In between helping customers that arrive at the shop in person, Meredith can share our samples and yarns.  She can help you select colors, she may even walk skeins outside so that you can see them in natural daylight, to help with your selection.

She can also use the video connection to share with you our current collection of ply-ends!  This is yarn that we don’t list on our website. It is a special treat for our Mill Shop visitors.  This fiber is the best bargain we offer;  at just $0.25 an ounce, you can potentially work up a new garment for less than a fancy cup of coffee.

These cones hold a single ply fiber that has been wound off of our bobbins, freeing them up for the next lot of yarn in the production sequence.  In some cases, it might be a single continuous length, on other bobbins you may find many shorter ends.  All of it is lace or fingering weight.

It could be held together with fiber from another bobbin for a heftier ragg effect; and we’ve had some success Navaho plying the fiber with itself as we’ve worked, for a triple thickness that works up more quickly into warmer garments.  For weavers, or crafters who are eager to experiment (and aren’t afraid of a few extra ends to weave in), this is a treasure trove!

We hope that you can join our gathering this Saturday morning.


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!

 


A pattern suggestion and a knitalong for October

When our newsletter was delivered last week with news of the upcoming savings to be had on Alpaca Elegance this weekend, (please see in bold below) we received several messages from friends looking for pattern suggestions.

We thought we’d share a great possibility with you today that was published by our friend Fatimah Hinds: Modcast.  This pullover pattern was published a few years ago and it’s modern pattern block couldn’t be more timely.  This type of design is all over our Instagram feed, which means that patterns like this will likely be on everyone’s needles this fall.  She shared with us that, “It’s my favorite thing that I’ve designed and it’s the knit that I wear the most. ”

© Barbara Benson

Fatimah is going to be starting a knitalong in the coming weeks that will feature this design, so it is a perfect time to learn a bit more about it, find the perfect yarn and get swatching!

She shares these details about her pattern on the design’s Raverly page, “texture and visual interest in knitting can be created by changing various elements or in this case directions. For this seamless sweater, I used wrist to wrist knitting to create horizontal cables that change pattern at an off center point on the chest and back. Then I knit the body in the round and added garter stitch accents to keep it interesting. To echo the body a funnel neck collar is knit in garter stitch. Finally, to make this piece infinitely customizable and fun to style, I used 3 different colors. The color blocking and shape give this sweater a mod look that easily fits into a wardrobe today.

© Barbara Benson

What I loved most about knitting this piece is that the sleeves and chest/back are knit using fewer stitches than other sweater shapes, meaning the sweater can be ‘knit on the go’ for a longer period of time. The casual, easy to wear vibe comes from wearing the piece with 3”+ of ease as shown on the model. Or wear it with no ease for a tailored fit.”

The pattern includes sizing that ranges from 32 (36, 40, 44, 48)“ bust/chest circumference. The sweater is shown in 40” with 3” of positive ease.  Our DK weight yarn suggestions (Alpaca Elegance, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, Sylvan Spirit) are skeined at a similar yardage to the yarn she used when designing her pattern, so the yarn requirements should work perfectly. (Color 1), 3 (4, 4, 4, 5) skeins; (Color 2), 3 (3, 4, 4, 4) skeins; (Color 3), 3 (5, 5, 6, 6) skeins.

Prior to the launch of her Knitalong that will run through the month of October, she plans to increase the sizing to include instructions for a 52″ chest circumference.  To make the pattern accessible cost-wise, Fatimah will be providing the instructions, one step at a time for free on Instagram.  She has done this previously and it was well received.  Finally, for those who are able to support her design work by purchasing the pattern, she will offer a discounted price for those who purchase the pattern $6 instead of $8.

You can receive all the updates that you need by following Fatimah on Instagram and searching for #modcastalong.

Later this week, we’ll be hosting a Facebook Live Video Show and Tell of our recent projects and patterns.  You’ll find us on Friday September 11th at 9am Central at Virtual Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival gathering that will be happening on Facebook.  You can join the group here.

To celebrate this first Fiber Festival of the fall season we will be offering 15% off savings for our DK weight Alpaca Elegance from Thursday 9/10 through Monday 9/14.  Please use code wisconsin at checkout to receive your savings.
We’ll post again in a couple of days with more DK weight sweater pattern suggestions that you can browse through to take advantage of this weekend’s sale!

 


Let’s reconnect!

We have two virtual craft meetings scheduled for September.

Find a comfortable spot and be sure that your project is near at hand.   Using your computer, tablet or  phone, head over to this website: https://www.gotomeeting.com/meeting/join-meeting  

You’ll be prompted to add a meeting ID that you’ll find listed below in bold for each gathering.

On Thursday 9/3 we’ll gather at 6:30pm – 8:30 pm (Eastern Standard Time) using Meeting ID number: 176-221-037.

On Saturday 9/19 we’ll gather at 10 am – noon (Eastern Standard Time) using Meeting ID number: 423-682-741.

We can use the gathering as a chance to catch up, share our progress on our current project(s), problem solve any snags that you may have come to, or even model what is off the needles.  Your beautiful work may inspire a friend to make something similar!


Two Yarny gatherings this Saturday

We have two virtual gatherings to invite you to this week!

This Saturday morning we’ll gather at 10 am to noon when Larisa will be hosting our next virtual meet up on Go To Meeting.  Using your computer, tablet or  phone, head over to this website: https://www.gotomeeting.com/meeting/join-meeting and enter our Meeting ID number: 423-682-741.

At the same time, our friends at Must Love Yarn are hosting a virtual marketplace that will feature 8 terrific artists that you’ll want to check out!  Join their Zoom gathering between 10 am and 2:30 pm to see what some of our favorite fiber farmers, yarn producers and crafters (many of whom are Vermont locals) have been working on this summer!

Larisa will be our host of the Green Mountain Spinnery “power hour” between 12:20 and 1:20 pm.  You can join the fun by using the zoom app on your phone or heading to https://zoom.us/join in your browser.  The meeting ID is 814 1364 0706 and the password is 853118.

You’ll be able to purchase yarn and other knitting related goodies from these vendors directly and your purchases will be shipped to you without delay.  What fun!


Its never to early to start gift knitting

Our friend Maria Muscarella (aka Ninja Chickens) recently released a clever hat pattern that is wildly adaptable.  This top down hat that can be knit with any weight yarn in two contrasting colors. You simply cast on 8 stitches and continue increasing until you have the perfect size hat for you!  It will work for everyone on your knitworthy list and could allow you to use up some stash yarn to boot.  Win/win.

We’d like to introduce you to her Andromeda Cap.

You’ll see on Ravelry, that this pattern works for a variety of yarn gauges.  She worked up several versions, two in sport weight and one in worsted weight, using Green Mountain Spinnery Weekend Wool.

© NinjaChickens

“This worsted weight version is so cozy and feels very warm. I also love the 2 solid color version and how well the slipped stitches show up. The Green Mountain Spinnery Yarn is also wonderful for filling in the spaces when it’s blocked and creating a nice solid structure to the knitting.”  It couldn’t be cozier.

She used less than full skeins of two colors for this sample that fits a 22″ circumference adult head.  We love the gorgeous contrast that allows the different textures of the fabric to pop!

Which colors of Weekend Wool would you consider pairing together?

 


Not exactly out of stock

Our Mill is almost back to being fully operational; with our team working most of the hours that they did before COVID social distancing required that we keep a generous distance from one another.  We are continuing to stagger our scheduling to allow the machinery operators as much room as possible to work comfortably with their equipment and not feel as though they are crowding one another.

Our team’s shorter work week has impacted our production schedule.  We are prioritizing our custom processing orders to ensure that the fiber producers for whom we spin for are not waiting overly long to receive their finished skeins.

 

This means that re-stocking our yarns has taken a bit of a back seat.  As a result, some of your favorite yarns will need more time to be produced.  Out of stock skeins may be unavailable for longer periods than the 3-4 month worse case timeframe that we have worked with in the past.  And for that, we apologize.

We wanted to offer you a valuable tip that may provide a small bit of silver lining to this news.

We typically identify a yarn as being out of stock on our website before we actually sell out of skeins.  This ensures that we don’t oversell the limited number of skeins remaining and disappoint our online shoppers.  We usually have a project quantity or two of inventory that we keep in our back stock to cover our bases.

If you fall in love with one of our yarns that is identified as out of stock, send us an email at spinnery@spinnery.com or give us a call at 800-321-9665 (9am to noon M,W,F) to confirm its availability.  It is likely that we’ll have the skeins you need, and we’d love to get them into your hands without delay.

 


Call a friend!

Our newest design, Hybrid was inspired by the partnership and community that is created and maintained by the vendors and attendees of fiber festivals all across the county.  It pairs yarns from different producers to showcase the inherent beauty of each.  (You can read more about the pattern here).

When Kate approached Kimber and Karida with her initial concept of a sweater design that would pair their vibrant yarns with Green Mountain Spinnery’s rustic and lofty skeins, both responded with delight and enthusiasm.  They all agreed that the differences between the yarns would make the combination a winning one.  This partnership started at a fiber festival, and was solidified with a few moments on the floor of the booth spreading out all the colors and finding the perfect combination.  Super fun right from the start!

One of our favorite parts of the many fiber festivals we are lucky enough to attend, is the opportunity to meet and reconnect with festival friends.  These are folks from all walks of life who share a common passion of ours, making things with wool.  There are teachers, knitters, people who crochet, weavers, dyers, fiber producers, and shepherds.  They are people we typically only see once or a few times a year, and yet we look forward to each visit.

But this year has turned all that on its head.  With the fall festivals transforming into virtual gatherings, our typical reunion has to be re-imagined as well.  Instead of relying on the convenience of catching up at the show, we’ll need to seek them out in a way that feels as real and connecting as our annual hugs did.

In the spirit of sharing that love, we want to invite you to reach out to someone who you were looking forward to seeing at one of this year’s fiber festivals.  Send a postcard, letter or message, give your friend a call, or schedule a video conference so that you can see one another and catch up as you were planning to do before the festivals were cancelled.

We hope that this opportunity to re-establish the bonds that have knit this community together over the years, offers you a chance to connect with a fiber friend you’ve been thinking about, but have not yet reached out to.  Let’s take some time this month to share some fiber love.

If you’d like to share your story of how you’ve reconnected, or how met, how often you’ve gathered over the years, or photos of your reunions at festivals of years past, post them on social media with the hashtag #reknittogether or send them to us at spinnery@spinnery.com.

We’d love to see your Rhinebeck sweaters, your favorite group meet-up photos, or an update you’ve received thanks to your recent conversation.  Each message we receive, as well as each post on social media with the hashtag #reknittogether will be recorded as an entry.

With your permission, we will share and repost them over the course of the month and on September 1st, we’ll select one of those submissions at random and gift both you and your friend all the materials you’ll need to make Hybrid sweaters of your own.  You both can pick a sweater quantity of Spinnery yarn and a contrast color yarn of either Neighborhood Fiber Co.’s Studio DK or one of Fiber Optic Yarn’s Unified Gradients.

We hope that this invitation helps launch our new pattern with all the love we have for each of you.  Our fiber community is a generous, funny and wildly creative one.  We are deeply grateful to be a part of it and to participate in the work of helping it flourish.


Introducing Hybrid!

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Neighborhood Fiber Co.

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

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

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

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

 

 


Lamb Cam – late July

This morning’s lamb cam update comes from our own backyard!  Andy’s small flock of ram lambs have returned to act as groundskeepers in the meadow behind the Mill.  They got to work without delay and are munching their way happily through waist high grasses and wildflowers.

Since visiting them and our Mill may not yet be on your agenda thanks to COVID quarantine guidelines, we’ll make a concerted effort to share photos of these adorable sheep at least once a week on our Instagram feed.  We hope that your virtual visits with our flock feel almost as much fun.


Announcing Saturday Hours!

We are extending our shop hours a bit to better meet the needs of folks who aren’t able to visit during the week.

In addition to being open Monday and Friday from 9 am to 12 pm and Wednesday 3 pm – 6 pm, the Mill will also be open from 10 am – 2 pm on Saturdays!  Yay!

We understand that our limited hours can make it difficult to reach us while we are working towards getting the Mill back to full-time production.  Thank you for your patience as we work out the logistics of social distancing in our very limited space.

We hope that you’ll continue to reach us via email at spinnery@spinnery.com with questions about custom processing or yarn purchases.  We look forward to helping you and perhaps even seeing you soon!