Spinnery News

A gorgeous sweater – two ways

Many of us identify as either a cardigan person or a pullover person.  We like what we like.

Our friend Thea Colman (aka Babycocktails) has taken that into consideration and has recently published her scrumptiously textured sweater design Oban, as either a cardigan or a pullover.  And we find ourselves smitten with both!

She fell in love with the texturing in these patterns on a whim – in a single day while swatching this cable for something else, and boom – before she knew it, she’d cast on and was on her way.  In her words, “It’s classic but just a little different.”

Our ravelry friend Annie recently finished her cardigan using Spinnery Weekend Wool.  (You may have already seen this if you follow Thea’s instagram feed.)  Her selection of the classic white colorway has resulted in an heirloom sweater that shows off Oban’s lush cables to perfection.

The shawl color and pockets (!) make it a perfect comforting and flattering grandpa sweater. It is easy for us to imagine that it will be Annie’s first choice when deciding what to wear this autumn, as temperatures start to fall and she heads out for more firewood on a brisk morning.

The visual contrast between the garter stitch columns, two kinds of cabling and reverse stockinette adds up to a winning combination.

For those of you who prefer to pop your sweaters over your head, not to worry;  Oban is available as a pullover as well.  Kate knit her pullover Oban this winter with some undyed yarn from Savage Hart Farms (one of the New England Farms that we process wool for).  It couldn’t be cozier.

Our Ravelry friend Jenny completed her version, using Spinnery Mewesic and it looks like a million dollars on her!  What a perfect fit.  She selected the Sandman colorway which is a perfect warm neutral tone which allows that complex texture to take center stage.

We love how adaptable this design is.  It seems just as perfectly suited to a rustic landscape or an urban one!

Both patterns feature a bottom-up construction and all of the cable instructions are both charted and written.  The genius of Thea’s design is that it is simpler than it looks.  We love finished garments that come together easily and yet have a wow factor that impresses everyone (makers and non-makers) alike.

Thea’s size range in both versions is wide and inclusive.  She also generously provides notes to alter length or width of either body or sleeves.  In the cardigan pattern, the shawl collar can easily be modified for a deeper fold if desired – or worked without shaping as a straight button band.

© Thea Colman

And if all of this doesn’t convince you, you have a third option!  She started all of this gorgeous cabled madness with yet another pattern, her Oban Hat!

You could cast on a smaller version of this project to get the hang of the pattern’s cables, while it may feel a bit too hot to consider a lap-full of wool.  Our Maine or Vermont Organic yarns would work perfectly for Thea’s hat design and it requires just a single skein.

We hope that you’ll take a closer look at all of Thea’s Oban patterns this week.  We feel confident that one of them will be just right for you!

Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter if you aren’t already receiving it. (You’ll find a button on the bottom right hand side of the Spinnery.com home page.)  Thea has offered us a Ravelry coupon code that we’ll be able to share with our newsletter subscribers for 25% off any or all of the three Oban patterns will be good till Sept 1, 2019.


Released this week…

We’d like to introduce you to a perfect layering piece that will be a fun summer project!

Carley is a cardigan vest designed by Elizabeth Smith, that drapes over the shoulders and is perfect for easy layering. Its simple design and stitch pattern is easy to memorize too, making this piece a fun and relaxing knit.

Her pattern includes a generous range of inclusive sizing: 35 (41, 45.75, 50.25, 55, 60, 65)”/89 (104, 116, 128, 140, 152, 165) cm (shown in Size 41”/104 cm, being worn with approx. 7.5”/19 cm of positive ease at the bust.)

She suggests that you pick a size that is approx 4-8”/10-20 cm larger than your actual bust measurement. For a more fitted silhouette, choose a size on the lower end of that scale – for a more over-sized fit, choose a size on the higher end of that scale.


Carley is worked flat and knit from the bottom-up, starting with each front and back piece separately to create the split hem (with an icord edge detail). Then pieces are joined and worked together to the underarms.

Fronts and back are then split and worked separately to the shoulders and then joined at the top using the 3 Needle Bind-Off technique.  We love how that shoulder seam is slightly offset creating very clean lines for the front of the garment and some structural interest to the back.

Her vest in shown here in Silver Cotton Comfort and her pattern calls for  5 (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) skeins.  And we have a coupon code to offer you for 15% off Cotton Comfort until the end of July, 2019.  Simply enter CARLEY at checkout for your savings!

What more could one ask for from a summer project?


Retrospective

Today marks the 96th International Cooperative day, so we thought we’d look back on the history of the Spinnery. Our origin story is one of thoughtful intentions made real through cooperative participation.

In the late 70’s Claire Wilson (a journeyman weaver), Libby Mills (a teacher and founder of the fiber program at The Putney School), David Ritchie and Diana Wahle (both recent graduates of the School for International Training in Brattleboro), began a conversation that would change their lives.  Inspired by their study group discussion around E.F Shumacher’s Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, the four founding members of the Spinnery began to explore how starting a small business together could play a part in revitalizing their community.

The small scale economics described in this book could allow them to re-establish links to local agriculture.  At the time, many New England dairy farms were downsizing and transitioning from large herds of cows to smaller flocks of sheep.  The 1976 oil embargo and fuel crisis was also informing their discussion.  It seemed to be a pivotal moment when a local focus could address many needs.  Their ideas began to coalesce into a three part goal of creating a workplace committed to sustainability, to the thoughtful and responsible use of natural resources, and the support of local small scale farms.

Building a mill that processed yarn from regional materials could lower the overall environmental impact of the skeins it produced, and provide a natural alternative to petroleum based yarns being mass produced outside the US.  Creating a productive use for local fibers of all kinds would support small farm growth and the continued proliferation of heritage breed animals who contribute to a robust biodiversity.  The more complex and robust the system, the more resilient it is against failure.

At this point in 2019, 65-70% of our production is spinning yarns for small fiber producers around the county.  It’s remarkable that these benefits remain as pivotal to our lives today.  In the prevailing years many of us have embraced a desire to use our purchase power more thoughtfully, understanding that our choices can have a cascading effect starting with our local economy, and subsequently the health of our biosphere.  More recently, the folks at Fibershed have worked to continue this conversation and disseminate a more nuanced description of these ideas through community outreach.

 

Casting back again to the early days, Claire, Libby, David and Diana embarked on a six year adventure of research and discovery that would have them travelling to mills around Europe and New England to learn as much as they could about processing yarn.  Fortuitously, they were aided by Ray Phillips, a mill technician at nearby Harrisville Yarns who offered them his valuable expertise.  With his support, they located the machinery they needed piece by piece, and eventually assembled a functioning production floor in a converted gas station at the edge of Putney.  Ray came to join the team within the Spinnery’s first year to supervise and mentor the group as their nascent experience developed.

In late December 1981 the mill shop opened for business and the daily work of the mill began in earnest.  Using and maintaining the machines (that for the most past were decades old), proved challenging.  Replacement parts often need to be machined or re-purposed from tractors, motorcycles or elevators.  The group also experienced a steep learning curve about fibers.  Each batch of yarn provided them a better understanding about how different fibers interacted with the machines and each other for different results. As their expertise grew, it allowed them to more effectively work with fiber producers to create yarns that blend their contents to the best advantage.

In 2003, members of the staff began to explore the possibilities of cooperative ownership.  Cooperatives are people-centered enterprises characterized by democratic control that prioritize human development and social justice within the workplace.  A perfect match for the ideals of the Spinnery.  Over the next three years David and a group of 6 interested employees worked with a consultant to restructure the organization while reaffirming a commitment to the founders’ original goals.  This transition allowed Claire and Libby to retire; to shift from daily work to participation as members of the Cooperative Board of Directors.

For the past thirteen years the Spinnery has continued to produce better and better yarns with a dedicated staff of roughly a dozen; while it’s smaller group of worker owners meets regularly to collectively oversee operations.  All decisions for the organization be they great or small are made by consensus.  This ensures a greater understanding by each member owner of the overall business and every aspect of its intertwined workings.

Gail, Maureen, Lauren, Larisa and David, the current GMS worker-owners, are passionate and dedicated to running a company with a vital working environment, where workers are challenged to make use of their skills. Our workplace prioritizes mutual respect among co-workers, and a healthy environment for our minds and bodies.
“We strive to have a healthy workplace with good pay, benefits, flexible schedules, and an environment where every employee feels supported to show their best ability in what they can bring to the company. We make sure we show integrity in what we charge and what we get in return, and are grateful to receive a fair and healthy profit for our commitment  As a ‘small is beautiful’ company, we work to stay informed about the  conditions of our environment (air, soil, water, planet, animals). Based on these needs, we make decisions and take actions every day to address these challenges.”

You can read more about the Spinnery’s beginnings in The Green Mountain Spinnery Book.

 


Follow the flock!

Knitters, crocheters, weavers and crafters of all kinds will be migrating north and south along the I-91 corridor between Connecticut and Vermont this weekend for the I-91 Shop Hop.  Our delightful yarn crawl includes eleven shops, so there is a lot to discover.

Maureen has designed a new pattern for the occasion that will be previewed by our visitors this weekend.  It was designed for the Hop and is available to our Ship Hop visitors.

We’d like to introduce you to Migrating!

For some, colder temperatures trigger a seasonal instinct to move towards warmer areas.  Here in Vermont, we typically start adding layers of wool for extra warmth.  This beanie style hat decorated with off-set slip stitch motifs that mimic overhead migratory flocks, is the perfect solution to keep you cozy no matter where your travels take you.

In honor of this year’s Hop theme of COLOR, Maureen crafted this design with one of the Spinnery’s Mountain Mohair Mini Bundles.

We’ll have plenty of bundles available in the shop so that you can pick the color combination that is perfect for you.  You may opt to recreate this pattern as shown, or you might prefer to add a more personal touch by selecting different colors or working the pattern with just a main color and a contrast.

To create a fun striped version as shown above you’ll use approximately 50 yards each of five colors of worsted weight yarn.

All Shop Hop participants will receive a FREE copy of our Migrating pattern along with the a little GMS logo stitch marker made for us by Katy of Katrinkles, no purchase required.  You’ll also be entered into our daily door prize drawing for a bag of goodies that will make your day!

We hope that you can join in the fun of this year’s Shop Hop this weekend for our special event.  If you can time your visit for this Saturday, you’ll also be able to visit with Christina of Madder Root who will be here at the Mill with a Trunk Show of her iconic printed goods.

Perhaps we’ll be seeing you soon!


Heat beating project options

Summer is a perfect time to work on smaller projects.  When temperatures or humidity levels climb high enough to make larger wool projects on your lap an unappealing prospect, consider downsizing!

Accessories are fun to knit, giving us bite sized project opportunities to learn new techniques.  Smaller projects are also easy to pack away into your bags if you are headed off on holiday and hoping to travel light.

Ann and Kay of Mason Dixon recently published a new Field Guide that is a complete resource to mastering socks!  Bottom up and Toe down construction are both thoroughly covered by Wendy Bernard’s designs.  Fun stitch patterns are included so that you could spend weeks if not months making socks for everyone in your family.

© Kyle Kunnecke

If you’d prefer to work on something that would allow you to try color work or beading, you might want to consider our friend Kyle Kunnecke’s Vintner Cowl that was just released this week.

His stranded two color design makes dramatic use of contrasting colors of Spinnery Mewesic.  This 2-ply DK weight yarn is made with 100% wool.  Our woolen spun production ensures that this yarn has the perfect amount of loft and elasticity thanks to all of the air in the yarn’s construction.

Our Ravelry friend clellybobus shared this feedback with us this week: “This was PERFECT for stranded color work, I’ve never been happier with a yarn for that purpose. It stuck to itself just enough but the finished product is smooth and soft. I’ll definitely use your great product again!”

We hope that you find many new fresh ideas on our Instagram feed that keep you learning and enjoying your craft all summer long!


A new look at an old friend or two

Thea Colman (aka Baby Cocktails) let us know that she’s updated her very popular Tanqueray pattern this week.  This lovely pullover design was originally released in 2013 and knit up with our Cotton Comfort.  Our DK weight blend of wool and cotton is our favorite for warmer weather knits.

© 2013 BabyCocktails

“Like the gin, this sweater is appropriate for any occasion. Tanqueray is a classic pullover, featuring a deep V with an intricate ribbing that continues around the shoulders and is seamed together at the back of the neck.

The Cotton Comfort adds a rustic touch and a little texture to the stockinette, and it makes Thea’s favorite lace flowers so wonderfully delicate. The sleeve cuffs echo the ribbed flower and lace accent, and twisted ribbing stands out against the simple body. The weight is perfect for almost any occasion and the detail is subtle enough for any outfit.”

As with all of Thea’s patterns, Tanqueray includes a generous range of sizing. Finished width at bust: 33.5 (36.5, 39.5, 42.5, 45.5)(48.5, 51, 54, 57)” Shown above in the Silver colorway with 2.5 inches of ease.  You’ll need 6 (7, 7, 8, 9) (9, 10, 11, 11) skeins of our DK weight yarns that are put up at 180 yards each.  Thea has mentioned that she thinks that Mewesic would create a great cooler weather version of this garment.

We adore the delicate flowers in the lace work and twisted rib detail that surrounds the flattering v-neck.

These iconic flowers are created with a dip-stitch technique that is also featured in two of Thea’s other patterns: her Chamomile mitts and the Apple Swizzle hat pattern, that was created as this month’s offering from Jen Arnall-Cuillford’s Boost Your Knitting: Another Year of Techniques series.

© Jesse Wild

This educational project launched this March and will continue through February of 2020.  “Members receive a digital photo tutorial and pattern file each month that will teach you a new skill to boost your knitting. Each pattern will also be accompanied by a video tutorial so that you have total confidence in exploring new knitting techniques. Every month a knitalong to celebrate that technique will run in their Ravelry group, and the projects are all carefully designed to be achievable within a month.”

You can still sign up and take advantage of this program to learn:

  • Brioche knitting, including increases and decreases
  • Choosing colors for stranded colorwork
  • Correcting mistakes in lace knitting
  • Tubular cast-on method in the round
  • Dip stitches
  • Double knitting, including decreases
  • Finishing techniques for toy knitting (sewing together, stuffing, embroidering faces)
  • Gusset short row heel for toe-up socks
  • Intarsia in the round
  • Joining in yarns for colorwork
  • Marlisle
  • Tuck stitches

Thea noticed that many members of the Ravelry knitalong group completed their Apple Swizzle hats already and the month is not yet halfway over!  She thought it might be fun to share all of her patterns that include this dip-stitch detail, so we can all play with these delicate lace flowers this month.

To make that choice even easier, Thea has generously created a discount code to be used on Ravelry for a 50% discount on all three patterns!

Simply enter DS Flowers at checkout on Ravelry to receive 50% off the patterns until June 30. 

And on our website the same discount code will provide you with 15% off any purchase of Cotton Comfort until June 30th.

Thank you, Thea!! Let’s get stitching.

** Thea’s Chamomile mitts pattern calls for something slightly different than the DK yarns indicated for her sweater and hat.  They knit up at 5 stitches and 7 rows per inch with a fingering yarn held double throughout.  You might want to consider using our Lana for this project.


Sheep and goats and bees, oh my!

The work crew at the Spinnery has grown dramatically this week, thanks to some four legged and winged helpers that are now in residence behind the Mill.

Our carder and general handy-man, Andy brought in a small group of his Shetland lambs to help with brush clean up.  Instead of using a gasoline powered tool to keep our property looking spiffy, we are using  grass-powered flock of this year’s lambs who have grown up enough to be comfortably separated from their mothers during working hours.

His small flock of Shetland sheep beautifully illustrate the wide range of natural colors this breed is prized for.  His total flock includes 8 additional ewes, two very handsome rams and a wether that are grazing his fields back home.  He hopes to be able to sheer the entire group later this year, and accumulate enough fiber for a small run of yarn that will be as local as we make!

To help pollinate our burgeoning garden plot and the nearby Putney Community garden; Andy has relocated two small hives.  So now there are a large number of us that are busy as bees on Brickyard Lane.

Be sure to ask about our wilder workers when you visit the Mill this summer.  We hope that we can include a small outdoor detour to our regular production walk-through for visitors that would like a behind the scenes look at how the Spinnery makes yarn.  Our commitment to improving our community extends beyond making terrific skeins!

 


Hop in for a Madder Trunk Show next month

Over the past several months, we’ve offered a few reminders about the I-91 Shop Hop, hoping that it will make it on to your calendar. This week we have an exciting announcement that may inspire you to solidify your plans for that weekend!

We’re delighted to announce that Christina of Maine based Madder Root will be bringing her iconic designs for sale at a one-day Pop-up Trunk Show during the I-91 Shop Hop weekend.  We hope that you’ll coordinate your I-91 Shop Hop travel plans to time your visit to the Spinnery while she is here, on Saturday June 29th 10 am – 6 pm.

She and her husband Andy are working on some special offerings that will be available on a first come first served basis.  She will be bringing her unique trundle project bags, tote bags, sketch books, T-shirts and more, all printed with her stylized designs featuring all things yarny!

The I-91 Shop Hop is a yarn crawl organized by 11 yarn stores located in the I-91 corridor that runs from New Haven, CT to Putney, VT.  This year’s theme is COLOR!  And Maureen is working up a special pattern that we’ll have kitted up and ready for sale as the fun starts on Thursday morning.

During the Shop Hop, when visiting the participating shops over the 4-day Shop Hop weekend (June 27th – 30th, 2019) you’ll have the chance to get your passport stamped.  Every time you get your passport stamped you will be entered to win the Daily Door Prize at that shop. A total of 48 door prizes will be given out to participants!  By visiting all 11 shops you will be entered into a drawing for the fabulous $550 Grand Prize, which includes gift certificates for the eleven shops, as well as yarns, needles and other goodies.

Here’s your chance to explore new yarn shops and win some great prizes. You can complete the Shop Hop all in one day, or make it a weekend event.

Feel free to purchase your $5 passport ahead of time.  You can find them available for sale on our website, here.

We hope that you’ll be able to visit us during this special weekend.  We’re looking forward to your visit!

 


Get to know our sale yarns

If you haven’t already taken advantage of one our biannual Sales, we thought we’d provide some more information about the yarns we’ll be offering at some terrific prices.

Unwashed Odd weight skeins:

Odd weight skeins are first quality, but the yarn is, overall, a bit lighter or heavier than in a regular weight skein.  We typically offer our odd weight skeins at 20-40% off.

During our production process, we add a light coating of spinning oil (either petroleum or vegetable based) to our fibers as they go through our picker, to help them move more smoothly through the carding machine.  This is normally removed by a final wash we give all of our regular skeins before we twist them up, label them and get them ready to be sold.

Before that happens, when skeining our yarns to particular yardages; if we discover that a skein is either a bit lighter or heavier than our specifications, we set it aside and don’t continue with our finishing work of washing, twisting and labeling.  This allows us to pass along the savings in labor that isn’t added to the finished costs of these particular skeins.

When we fill orders for any particular color, all the skeins will be either all heavies or all lights. Unwashed skeins will “bloom” to softness if gently hand washed before knitting. Easy washing instructions are included with your order.  So for a flawless finished project you may want to wash your skeins before working with them and check your gauge carefully before starting your project.

Orphan Skeins:

These are the limited quantities of first quality skeins available from an older dye lot.  Orphans are available at just $10 a skein and larger quantities are usually bundled together for a project’s worth of yardage.

When we run low on a given color of any of our yarns, we make another batch.  We distinguish each batch with a dye lot number.  When we are able to make our new batch of a color before we completely run out of the previous dye lot, we are occasionally left with a few skeins from an older dye lot that we can send out to knitters when we receive an anxious call for just a bit more yarn.

But since the Spinnery is very limited on space, we can’t store these skeins for long.  Twice a year we take advantage of this sale to clean out our collection of remainders.  Orphans are typically available in quantities of 6 or less; perfect amounts for smaller projects or adult sweaters that call for multiple colors.

Irregular Skeins:

Irregular skeins are our best bargain, available at $2.50 an ounce.

They may have more than a single knot that was necessitated by winding off small remainders of yarn from bobbin ends that.  They may have a few slubby bits caused by a irregularity in the plying process.  These can be simply cut out of the skein for a flawless finish.  These skeins are a wonderful bargain that simply require a few additional ends to be woven in.

Since our Irregular skeins and orphans are available in limited quantities, we don’t offer them online.  You’ll want to stop by the Mill this weekend Saturday 10 – 5:30, Sunday 12 – 4 and Monday 9 – 5:30 to browse our selection for the best deals we have to offer.  We hope that you’ll be able to enjoy some savings with us this weekend!


Head our way for some great deals

We’d like to give you a reason to plan a road trip to southern Vermont for your Memorial Day weekend.  Next Saturday May 25th through Monday May 27th, the Spinnery will be hosting its annual Tent Sale!

Our shop will be open from 10 am – 5:30 pm on Saturday, 12 – 4 pm on Sunday and 9 am – 5:30 pm on Monday.

We’ll have special items available in the shop that you won’t find among our sale yarns on the website.  We are going to be able to offer special savings on a large selection of irregular and orphan skeins.  These will be available at just $5 and $8 respectively.  Irregular skeins may have slubby bits or more than one knot; and our orphan skeins are the last remainders of older dye lots that are perfect for larger projects that call for multiple colors or smaller accessories that need smaller yardage amounts.  Because these quantities are limited, they are only going to be available to our tent sale customers that visit the shop in person.

While you’re here, you can check out 12 stunning new samples from the pages of our new book: At The Spinnery.

You can plan your sales purchases ahead of time by downloading a copy of our sales flyer here.  This includes all of the odd weight and unwashed skeins that we have available in larger quantities.  These yarns will be discounted from 20 – 40% and will become available in the Sale Items section of our website at 9 am on Friday May 24th.


We-Made-May

For those of you who love to follow folks who create, make and share on Instagram, you may be enjoying the recent stream of posts that are focused on #MeMadeMay2019.  We thought we’d help orient some of our readers who might not already be aware of this phenomenon, to the background of the project.

“Me-Made-May is a challenge designed to encourage people who make their own clothes to develop a better relationship with their handmade wardrobe. You set the specifics of your own challenge to make it suitable and useful for YOU. However, one very common pledge is for a participant to aim to wear one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May.”

Almost a decade ago, Zoe (author of the So, Zo blog) wanted to test herself to see how far she could rely on a wardrobe of things she had made herself. In her words, “I first attempted the challenge as a solo endeavor in March of that year. It was fun, informative, but mostly COLD! I wanted to try it again during a warmer month, so I decided on May and mentioned it on my blog to see if anyone else was interested in trying something similar. My own personal pledge was to wear only me-made things, aside from bras, tights, socks and shoes, but I left it open for anyone else taking part to set their own specific pledge and have done so ever since.”  And Me Made May was born.

Some of us crafters here at the Spinnery were talking about this around the water cooler this week, and we can’t help but recognize the network of producers and makers who make this all possible.  For every yard of fabric or skein of yarn that we use to make a garment, there is a large community of producers who work to provide the “ingredients” that make a handmade wardrobe possible.

Farmers nurture the plants or raise the animals which provide the fiber that eventually clothes us.  Many of them have made a commitment to produce their crops or raise their flocks more ethically, sustainably, or organically.  This has fostered a greater focus on soil health, biodiversity and heritage breed preservation that is benefiting the planet in myriad ways.

Mills of all sizes and even hand spinners produce skeins of all kinds.  We source fiber and make yarn that highlights the attributes of the included materials for a finished fabric that will delight and last for years to come.

Fabric designers and independent dyers play their part in creating and enhancing materials to mimic or even surpass industry trends; allowing us to make garments more personally suited to our preferences.  When this year’s “it” colors miss the mark for what we need, or would prefer, we can craft something that is exactly what we’re looking for.

Pattern designers and tech editors work tirelessly to create an almost continual stream of fresh ideas that fit and flatter.  Their test knitters work out many unexpected kinks so that when we get started cutting and sewing or casting on, we can be confident that our finished garment will work up as we expect.

Online communities such as Raverly make finding helpful comments, suggestions and feedback easy.  We no longer need to work in solitude, struggling to interpret cryptically worded instructions and second guessing our understanding.  Reaching out to other makers for help has never been easier.

Social Media plays a part by presenting new ideas and materials for our consideration.  A well-timed photo and description, blog post, or podcast can provide us with information that a generation ago would have only come to us with hands-on experience.  A workshop, online course, or video tutorial on youtube can increase our skills, making complex techniques something we can master without professional experience or a mentor guiding us along the way.

Behind every finished garment that you’ll see this month, with a hashtag for Me-Made-May, there is a we; a group of passionate makers who each play a role in making a handmade wardrobe possible.  We are thrilled to be part of this tribe. We hope that our yarns and patterns are allowing you to create pieces for your wardrobe that you’ll enjoy well beyond this May.

For those of you would would like to follow us more closely on social media, you might want to start following us Instagram or searching for hashtags that relate to us ( #greenmountainspinnery #greenmtnspinnery #gmswip)  you can also find us on Ravelry and Facebook if those are platforms that you prefer.   We’d love to connect with you there!


A year in review

This week, while preparing to head off to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, we took stock of all that will be new to friends who haven’t seen us since last year.  And we realized that is has been a REALLY busy year here at the Spinnery.

We thought it would be fun to create a scrapbook of our creations for all of our friends to review and enjoy.

 

Since last May, we released our deliciously fun Ragg-Time yarn.  This new 100% wool DK weight ragg yarn includes a playful mix of colors and variegation to make any garment a jazzy work of art!  To launch the new line we created ten new shades that span the spectrum.  These skeins are all named for Ragg-Time musicians and composers.

And to support this new yarn’s release, we published seven new pattern that spanned a gamut of styles and yardage requirements.

Clockwise from the top left we have the Berlin Poncho which is worked from side to side, the FREE Zen Shawl that calls for a single skein, Numina, a delightful top-down raglan cardigan, the Trinity Mountain Hat  which can also be completed with a single skein, the Rhubarb Cowl and Mitts that pairs Ragg-Time with neutral New Mexico Organic yarn, the Melody Cowls that can be worked up at two different circumferences depending on your preference, and lastly the Knotweed Wrap which really showcases the stunning artistry of the skeins in a classic rectangular shape.

We didn’t stop there.  We also published five new adult sweater patterns.  (You may see some repeats in the photos to follow as our patterns often cross categorization).

Clockwise from the top left we have two great unisex sweater patterns designed by Cap Sease.  The Moorit Gansey on the left is created with our fingering weight Moorit Singles and John’s Sweater on the right calls for our bulky weight Yarn Over.  Maureen designed Stella to showcase our Alpaca Elegance in a stranded yoke pullover, Bea’s Cardigan features our classic Mountain Mohair in bold visual motifs that are created thanks to an unusual construction.  Last but not least is the Numina Cardigan designed by Kristen TenDyke that could be a classic wardrobe staple.

And then there are the hats!

Clockwise from the top left, you’ve already seen the Trinity Mountain Hat whose pattern includes options for three sizes.  Next is the Whitinsville Hat that can be knit up with a single skein of our Aran weight Weekend Wool.  When Melissa Johnson was working possible color combinations for her Bea’s Cardigan, she opted to create Bea’s Hat that places all the visual elements of her cardigan in close proximity to best judge their suitability.  Larisa Demos designed the Winter Kaleidoscope hat to give color work beginners a smaller project to test their skills.  The Lopez Island Cap features two layers for extra warmth; and lastly we kitted up My Big Ugly Christmas Hat as a fun alternative to working up an ugly Christmas sweater to save some time!

Phew, can you believe that we still have more to share!?

Our smaller accessory patterns have been a huge hit.  Clockwise from the top left we have the FREE Zen Shawl, Onding a lushly reversible cabled cowl that is worked up with two skeins of our bulkiest yarns.  Cirone  is a delicate crescent shawlette that can be worked with two skeins of Alpaca Elegance. Our Polar Teddy calls for our softest yarn, Green Mountain Green for extra snuggliness.  The Melody Cowl and Rhubarb Cowl and Mitts showcase the bright hues of  our Ragg-Time yarns. And last we have Maureen Clark’s Swedish Mittens that can be worked up with two contrasting skeins of Weekend Wool.

Last but not least are the larger accessories that all feature beautiful stitch texturing that look more complex than they are to create.  The Knotweed Wrap knits up quickly thanks to an easily memorized four row repeat.  The Berlin Poncho calls for a straightforward 4 stitch, 2 row pattern that will have you singing along in no time.  And the Suspension Shawl is worked with a twisted rib pattern that makes the classic ribbing pop!

In total, we released just over 20 individual patterns but we may be most proud of our new pattern collection: At the Spinnery.

Visitors have been eagerly awaiting a new book from us for several years since the publication of the Spinnery’s second volume of patterns: 99 Yarns.  Thanks to the hard work of Kathleen and Alice of One More Row Press, our newest creation came off the presses as smoothly as wool roving moves through our carding machine.

This collection includes 12 new patterns crafted by beloved designers who are fans of our Co-op.  You’ll be delighted with matte finish pages that feature the stunning photos taken by Gale Zucker.  Each copy of the book includes a Ravelry download code for digital versions of the patterns for those of you who may prefer to keep your volume pristine.

We are delighted that we’ll be able to share all of this with folks who visit our booths at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend (8:30 AM – 6 PM Saturday May 4 and 8:30 AM – 5 PM Sunday May 5), and the NH Sheep & Wool Festival next weekend (9 AM – 5 PM Saturday May 11 and 9 AM – 4 PM Sunday May 12).

We hope that we’ll see you there!