Spinnery News

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 feast for the senses

Happy Holiday!  We hope that your day will be filled with delicious traditions to be shared among friends, family and neighbors.

Over the Holiday Weekend after Thanksgiving, the Spinnery will be open special hours as a participant in the 41st Putney Craft Tour.  Over this special weekend local artists and craftspeople open their studios to the public, offering you a unique opportunity to see them at work, learn more about their creative process and find artfully made holiday gifts that support their endeavors.  While you are exploring the area, we hope that you’ll be able to visit our Mill to share in the exciting wooly offerings that we’ll have on hand.

We’re releasing a new FREE pattern for the holiday knitting season.  Our Gathering Hat is a very quick knit, making it a great option for last minute gift making.

This sturdy topper calls for bulky yarn and can be worked up in just a few hours with a single skein of Yarn Over or our Capricorn yarns.  The hat is worked from the bottom up. featuring slipped stitch ribbing and clever decreases that form a five pointed star at the top.  The pattern is charted for your ease.

We’ll also have a fresh stock of our very popular Ugly Christmas Hat Project Kits.  This fun project kit includes all the yarn and the pattern to make an ugly holiday hat of your own for just $32.75. If you aren’t a knitter, but know someone on your gift list who is, you may want to pick one up as a gift that will certainly bring some laughter to your holiday gathering.

And last but certainly not least will be our annual Sample Sale! We’ve selected dozens of beautifully handknit items that are ready to find new homes.  These items were made to test our patterns and provide several color or sizing options among our sample selection to help visitors plan their projects.  We are bursting at the seams with gorgeous samples that can now be retired to make room for what’s next.  You’ll be able to find sweaters, hats and more!

This offers you an amazing opportunity to purchase hand knit items made with Green Mountain Spinnery yarns at unbelievably reasonable prices.  Plus, a percentage of the proceeds from these items will go to benefit the Putney Food Shelf: our local foodbank that needs our support especially during the holidays.

We hope that we’ve succeeded in enticing you to come and visit.  The Spinnery will be open 10 am – 5 pm Friday November 29 – Sunday December 1st; and we can’t wait to see you!

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.

Planning your holiday weekend

Thanksgiving Weekend is Putney Craft Tour Weekend, and we’ll be celebrating our 41st Anniversary Year!  This Open Studio event has been designated one of Vermont’s Top Ten Winter Events.  You don’t want to miss it.

November 29, 30 and December 1 (10 am – 5 pm)

The 41st Annual Putney Craft Tour, the oldest continuing crafts tour in the country, is held during the long Thanksgiving weekend and gives shoppers, visitors and collectors another reason to be thankful. Glass blowers, potters, jewelers, weavers, painters, woodworkers, – even artisan cheese makers, and winemakers- invite visitors to come in to their studios, discover, ask questions, sip hot cider and buy that one-of-a-kind gift direct from the artisan who made it.

Part of the fun is meandering through the beautiful Vermont countryside, following the map to find these prominent craftspeople and view the works where they are conceived and created. Most studios do demos. The weekend is promoted as the “Putney Craft Tour’s Craft, Culinary and Performance Weekend” with wine and cheese tastings and performances at night at Next Stage and Sandglass Theatre. Location: Putney, Westminster, Westminster West and Saxtons River, VT.

Visitors may start at The Gleanery Restaurant, 133 Main Street, Putney for info, maps, and a preview exhibition of the artisans’ works. www.putneycrafts.com

This year, the organizers will be hosting a Photo Competition: Snap pictures as you visit the studios and post them on Instagram to win a chance for a $50 gift certificate.

We have lots to share with you.  We will be offering Mill tours, we have some exciting new yarn offerings, and you’ll find our annual Sample Sale during which you’ll be able to purchase one of a kind hand knit items at prices you won’t believe!  We hope that you can stop on by, we look forward to your visit.

A Special Inviation

Fibershed Woven Together: From Farm to Fashion Within Fifty Miles

On exhibit November 4, 2019–January 3, 2020.
Opening reception Saturday, November 9, 11 am–1 pm.

FIBERSHED Woven Together: From Farm to Fashion Within Fifty Miles, celebrates the successful production of bioregional wool fabric (woven from yarn spun here at the Spinnery) that was fashioned into original designs by ten local craftspeople.

From bespoke shoes to flat caps and everything in between, ten expert artisans turned the flat fabric into one-of-a-kind, wearable items.  Alongside the completed apparel, the fiber, yarn, cloth, and narrative storytelling materials will be on display to educate the public about producing local textiles—introducing them to the land, the people, and businesses integral to the journey.

This exhibit features the work of: Leonore Alaniz, Daphne Board, Katie Cavacco, Larisa Demos, Anna Gilbert, Erin Kiewel, Gretchen Laise, Joanne Semanie, Sarah Shields, Nur Tiven (and Green Mountain Spinnery).  We are proud that we we asked to spin the yarn that was woven into this very special fabric used by the artists listed above.

Western Mass Fibershed received a microgrant for this debut project from Fibershed California, an organization that develops regional fiber systems that build soil & protect the health of our biosphere. With this funding, our local Fibershed organization embarked on a two-part mission: first, to navigate new territory to map the process and potential for future bio-regional cloth-productions and second, to inspire, educate, and generate interest for locally sourced, sustainable materials.

Uniquely situated, regional resources enabled the metamorphosis from farm to fabric within a 50-mile radius!

The exhibit opened earlier this week on Monday, November 4.  This weekend marks the opening reception on Saturday, November 9 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.  There, you can meet the Fibershed founders, farmers, spinners, weavers, and designers who are involved with this exciting project and others interested in sustainable practices.

For questions and to learn more about this project please contact WMF co-founder Michelle Parrish, 413-461-5588. She is a natural dyer, weaver, spinner, and blogger living and working in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts.

Our shop hours

As evenings begin to fall earlier in the day and when Daylight Savings shifts our clocks (both internally and externally), we will be adjusting our shop hours just a bit.

Starting on Monday November 4th our Mill Shop will be open:

Monday – Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday 10 am to 4 pm
Sunday noon to 4 pm

We will always be able to offer FREE Mill tours to groups that visit us.  We can best accommodate groups of 8 or fewer, and typically have the staff on hand to walk you through our production floor on the spur of the moment Monday – Friday 10 am to 2 pm.  Emailing or calling us ahead of your visit is appreciated and will allow us to ensure that you have a woolly great experience!

We look forward to your visit.

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!


So many choices!

Now that sweater weather is fully upon us, we have some new designs for you to consider and a fun invitation to extend to you.  We thought that we’d showcase all of this season’s new patterns in one place so that you can select between them.

All in a Row is a yoked pullover pattern designed for us by Cap Sease. The pattern features a bottom-up construction and is worked with our DK weight yarns, shown above in Rooibos and Dark Roast Alpaca Elegance. So cozy!

Based on a Norwegian ski sweater, the geometric pattern on this pullover creates a stylized design. Alpaca Elegance produces a lightweight, yet comfortably warm, sweater that you can wear for any occasion.  The pattern includes a wide range for sizing from 34 (36, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62)” / 86 (91, 97, 107, 117, 127, 137, 147, 157) cm, calling for MC: 6 (7, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12) skeins, CC: 1 skein of Alpaca Elegance (CC) or Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, Sylvan Spirit or New Mexico Organic (180 yd skeins).

We are also smitten with Maureen’s new cabled creation, Your Irish is Showing. This cropped pullover modernizes the classic Aran sweater with some contemporary styling ideas. When worked in a lighter weight yarn for a more fluid fabric, and designed with a fun up to date length, this sweater is transformed from a Fishermens’ knit into a more relevant garment that may become your new classic.  It ‘s shown above in our white New Mexico Organic yarn.

This pattern is also worked from the bottom up, so you can easily add more length if the current trend of cropped sweaters is not your thing.  The pattern includes sizing from 36 (39, 42, 47, 51, 53, 57, 61, 65)” / 91 (99, 107, 119, 130, 135, 145, 155, 165) cm calling for 6 (7 ,7, 8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 12) skeins New Mexico Organic, Cotton Comfort, Sylvan Spirit Alpaca Elegance or Mewesic (180 yds each).

** Our stock of New Mexico Organic is running low and we will need to wait for the flock to be shorn in the  Spring in order to make our next batch.  In the meantime, we are in the process of creating two new shades of Mewesic that will come close to matching the white and grey New Mexico organic yarns, but will not be made with wool from organically raised sheep.

You may have read here last month that Snowy Woods is now available as an independent pattern.  Cap’s slipped stitch yoked pullover is a classic design that has been popular since it was first published in our 99 Yarns and Counting collection.  We’ve seen it worked up in Alpaca Elegance for a cozy look, and the Sylvan Spirit used below highlights those textured stitch details to perfection!

For those of you living in warmer climates, or looking for a sweater that will be useful before it gets chilly,  Cap Sease’s Whitby pullover may be the pattern for you.  The seaside towns along the east coast of Yorkshire were noted for their elaborately decorated fishermen’s sweaters. The pattern stitch on this pullover originated in Whitby, one of these towns.

It is shown below in the Ancho color of Lana, our 100% wool 2-ply fingering weight yarn.  The pattern is worked bottom-up and features delicate texturing in the yoke created with a simple sequence of knit and purl stitches.

Our pattern includes sizing from 35 (38, 42, 44, 48, 52)” / 89 (97, 107, 112, 122, 132) cm, and calls for 3 (4, 4, 4, 5, 5) skeins Lana, Meadow or Forest, which are all put up in 400 yard skeins.

And we have a warm cozy scarf that we think you’ll adore! Tosh.

Our favorite scarves are voluminous to wrap up into and have no “wrong” side to complicate styling; and our preferred patterns look more complex than they are to make. This woolen scarf is made doubly warm by being two-sided (a trick easily accomplished not with double knitting, but by working in the round and blocking flat).

And it features two-color stranded knitting made more sophisticated thanks to the variegation in the Ragg-Time yarn used as the main color. Finished with a crocheted fringe edge, this scarf doesn’t take itself as seriously as it will be able to keep you warm.

It’s generous dimensions can be knit up as pictured with 3 skeins of GMS Ragg-Time (MC), 4 skeins of New Mexico Organic, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic or Alpaca Elegance (CC).  Shown here in Bessie, Ragg-Time and Grey New Mexico Organic.

We are very proud of these five patterns, and we’re delighted that we have even more options to share with you that have been designed by our friends.

Thea Colman (aka Babycocktails) has crafted many Rhinebeck sweater designs that call for Green Mountain Spinnery yarns, including Cranberry Gose and Fernet Branca.  Using the coupon code SHEEPANDWOOL at checkout on Ravelry will provide you with 25% off her patterns until the weekend’s over on October 19th, 2019.

Her newest hat pattern, Heady Topper can be knit up with a couple of skeins of our Mountain Mohair, shown on her husband Craig, above in the Balsam color.

And our most exciting news for you this week, is our Felix-along meet-up that we have planned for Saturday October 19th at the New York Sheep & Wool festival. We’d like to invite you to come meet  Amy Christoffers who designed the Felix Pullover and Felix Cardigan that many of us are happily working on.  Bring your project in whatever form it is in and share your progress with the group.

We’ll be gathering on the grassy area near Building 22 (where our booth is) at 2:00 pm on Saturday.  We hope that you can come join the fun!

Simply Fine Skinnies

We’ve got a new yarn to share with you this week, our Simply Fine Skinnies!

These gorgeous skeins of blended bale-dyed fine wool and baby soft kid mohair are put up in skeins that have half the yardage of our undyed Simply Fine skeins that you already know and love.  This yarn includes the softest fiber that we work with at the Spinnery; and now is available in an irresistible spectrum of luscious colors that could be used for some of this season’s most popular patterns that call for fingering or sport weight yarn.

Thanks to our woolen spinning process and this yarn’s single ply construction, it blooms beautifully when washed.  This allows it to gracefully accommodate a wide range of gauges.

Kate quickly cast on with a skein of the Golden Hour color to make a Thermal Cap.  Just one 224 yard skein provides more than enough yardage for the FREE pattern.  It knits up quickly for a light weight cap that is perfect for crisp autumn mornings.

These beautiful skeins could also be used to work up a stunning Mercury Rising Shawl.  You’d need 2 skeins each of two contrasting colors.  Or you might want to consider pairing a single pop of color with one of the neutral undyed options. You could even try working the pattern with four different colors.  What a fun experiment!

All 9 colors have been named for some of our favorite simple pleasures from gazing at the stars on a clear dark night, to the smell of woodsmoke in the air on a crisp cool morning.

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Fall than with some seasonal color on our needles.  We hope that you find working with this yarn to become one of your simple pleasures. Enjoy!

A wonderful visit

Vermont is a destination location, especially at this time of year.  “Leaf Peepers” and maple enthusiasts head our way to enjoy long walks to enjoy the foliage, and scuff through fallen leaves with pumpkin flavored snacks of all kinds.

In the spirit of celebrating the season, tomorrow morning, we are headed to the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival in Tunbrige, VT where we hope to connect with fiber friends from all over New England to enjoy a wooly special weekend.

For those of you who haven’t planned to attend the fair this weekend, you might want to consider picking up a copy of the newly published Vermont issue of Nomadic Knits.  You can visit the area vicariously from the comfort of your armchair!

This publication comes from our friends Becky and Melissa who visited the state this summer to collect stories, interviews, patterns and travel tips for our Green Mountain state.  Within these pages you’ll find a great article about the Spinnery and over a dozen knitworthy patterns inspired by and often worked with yarns from local producers.  Yay!

When Becky and Melissa visited our mill they brought along a photographer to capture the magic of our production floor.  While they were here, they snapped a few photos of Kate in one of the designs included in this collection.  Kate fell head over heels for Rose Beck’s Stowe Away pullover knit with Mountain Mohair.  She got permission to work up a sample of the pattern ahead of its release and will be bringing this stunner along with her to all the festivals this season.

With over two dozen shades of Mountain Mohair to choose from, finding the perfect hue to match your view, or your mood is easy!

We hope to see you this weekend, or at any of the other upcoming festivals. We look forward to seeing what you’ve been working on since we last saw you.

Sweet Dreams

For some of us, a sound restful sleep is a little hard to come by.  Hectic daily routines, stress, and our love of caffeinated beverages can make slipping into dreamland difficult.

Various scientific studies have shown that heavier blankets “can be beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety, and testimonials from owners who have used them for years prove that curling up under the comforting embrace of a weighted blanket can be beneficial for just about everyone.”

Kate loves to snuggle under weightier covers for a good night’s sleep, and so she’s designed our newest pattern, the Thistledown Throw to provide extra comfort to crafters like her who would enjoy a bulky weight blankie to wrap up in.

Actual thistledown is light enough to be dispersed on the wind. But some of us sleep more soundly when snuggled by the heft of a weightier blanket. That close embrace can provide a gentle, constant pressure, producing a calming effect. We hope that this bulky throw that features a botanical thistle lace will bring you sweet dreams, whether it’s used for an afternoon nap or a good night’s sleep.

This bulky lace throw blanket blooms beautifully with blocking and measures 53”/134.5 cm wide x 54”/137 cm long.  This size is easily customizable.  If you’d prefer to make your version to fit your bed or couch to perfection, simply work a smaller or larger amount of the thistle lace motif.  Size details of the lace pattern is included in the pattern to help you calculate those modifications.

Our sample was knit up with ten skeins of Spinnery Yarn Over in the Frost color.  We currently have four great shades of our unique recycled yarn for you to choose from (woodland, flannel, frost and fog — top to bottom).

This yarn allows us to re-purpose wool that would otherwise be a waste by-product of our production process.  Every fresh batch (dye lot) of Yarn Over that we make is a bit different, including fibers from our recent runs of different yarns, occasionally blended with bale dyed wool for a lovely touch of color.

Worked on US 11/8mm needles, this project will quickly start to wrap you up with comforting warmth even as it is still in progress.  What could be better?

We hope that you’ll consider curling up with this new project that your whole family will be able to enjoy this winter.

Tune in to Larisa and Marly

Marly Bird’s interview with Larisa is now available on Youtube!  You can watch our favorite Yarn Thing Podcast episode any time you like.  We recommend having a project in hand (as long as you’re not following a complicated chart).

We hope that you’ll enjoy tuning in and learning a little bit more about the Spinnery.  Plus, there is a contest that you could win!

You could be eligible to win a copy of our newest pattern collection, At the Spinnery, by heading over to Marly’s website and adding a comment about her video there.  You’ll need to watch the video to learn the keyword (that Larisa and Marly will provide) and be sure to include that in your comments.

And elsewhere on the internet, our friend Mina Phillips (of Knitting Expat Designs) has just published a darling cropped pullover with Spinnery Mewesic.

© Knitting Expat Designs

Her Yorkville Sweater is a natural extension of her New York Hat Collection that she published last fall with a variety of Spinnery yarns.  Like the seven hat patterns, this sweater features lush texturing that works beautifully with the tweedy rich colors of our DK weight yarn offerings.

Her sweater shown above is knit up in the Brickhouse colorway in the 42″ size with approximately 4 inches of positive ease.  Her pattern is available in ten sizes ranging from a finished chest circumference size of 30.5″ – 65.5″.

She has very generously created several coupon codes to provide a sliding scale of pricing to make the pattern available to a broader range of knitters.  She asks that you pay what you can, understanding that the full price of the pattern fairly compensates her for all the work and time she put into developing this beautiful design.

We love that this pattern can be worked from the top-down allowing you for a custom fit that will be the perfect length to highlight your curves or act as a comfy layering piece for three season wear.