Spinnery News

So many options

This week brought some rainy weather and we found ourselves throwing on shop samples to stay warm.  You know what that means, Sweater Weather is here!  And we have some terrific pattern ideas to share with you this week that you may want to get started on.

 

We’ve just released Cap Sease’s wildly popular Snowy Woods Sweater design as an independent pattern.  Up until now it was to be found among the dozens of patterns included in the pages of our 99 Yarns and Counting book, published in 2009.

This bottom-up yoked pullover features slipped stitch color work, making it a perfect introduction to stranded projects. This pullover recalls the designs of the early 20th Century Bohus Stickning knitting collective of Sweden. The interplay of brown, black and grey with the white reminded Cap of woodlands on an early winter’s day.  Shown above in our DK weight Sylvan Spirit MC: Silver, CC: Luminosity, Moonshadow, Antique Brass.

Cap’s pattern includes sizing for 34, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52” / 86.5, (91.5, 101.5, 112, 122, 132) cm finished chest measurement; and it calls for 4 (6, 7, 8, 9, 10) sks Main Color (MC) 1 skein each of 3 Contrasting Colors (A, B, C) of any of our DK weight yarn options: Sylvan Spirit, Cotton Comfort, Mewesic, Alpaca Elegance, and New Mexico Organic.

If you’d prefer to work on something a bit cozier that you can wrap up into, you may want to take a look at Columella designed by Andrea Cull.  This stunning wrap is among the patterns included in the most recent Pompom Quarterly publication.  This generous and richly textured accessory measures  64½” /164cm  long x 17¼” /44cm wide.  Andrea’s pattern includes both written and charted instruction for those lush cables, for your ease.

According to the magazine’s publishers, “the cable swells resemble pointed seashells whose elegant forms spiral around a central axis called a columella, from the latin meaning ‘little column’.  While you won’t see the columella  unless the shell has been cut or broken, it’s always there, offering strength and  protection. We hope that this wrap will keep you sound  when you are buffeted by life’s storms.”

It is shown here in the Blizzard color of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair and the pattern calls for 7 skeins.  When worked with our lofty worsted weight blend of wool and mohair, this rectangular shawl blooms into a warm and reassuring garment that looks sophisticated and yet can comfort like a blankie.  Perfect for winter.

We’ve been working on several other patterns that we’ll be releasing in upcoming weeks, so keep checking back for a couple more new sweater options and a bulky lace throw blanket that you’ll adore!


Felix-along with us!

When we shared last week’s blog post with Amy, she let us in on the exciting news that a Cardigan version of her Felix sweater was in the works.  And now here it is!

© Amy Christoffers

This delightfully cropped cardigan could become everyone’s favorite winter sweater this season! It looks like the perfect layering piece to go over everything you love to wear.

The cardigan version is written to be worked top-down, back and forth in rows.  The neck is shaped with short rows, the body and sleeves are divided after the yoke shaping. The body is continued by working back and forth in rows, the sleeves are worked in the round. The body of the cardigan is 1” longer then that of the Felix Pullover – please note the body can be made any length but plan to purchase more yarn.

The pattern includes sizing from 39 (43 ½, 48, 52 ½, 57)” around chest at underarm.  It is shown above in size 43 1/3, worn with 7” of positive ease.  Selecting the correct amount of ease is a very personal, please choose a size based on your own preferences, Amy recommends a range between 2 to 10” of ease  for this garment.

We think that it is darling, and will knit up in a flash with our Mountain Mohair.  The gauge is meant to be light and airy so you’ll be working with a Worsted or Aran weight yarn with larger needles (Larisa used a US 10.5). Amy’s cardigan is shown in our Alpenglo color and her pattern calls for 5 (6, 7, 8, 8) skeins.

We can’t wait to get started, and so we are planning a FelixKAL. You can cast on with us and make either version of her sweater that works for you, Pullover or Cardigan.

For one week, Amy has generously made it possible for you to have both patterns for the price of one, so you can make your decision about which to knit later, or perhaps even make both!

Enjoy the Felix Cardigan pattern free with purchase of the Felix Pullover until the end of day September 10, 2019 (EST). No coupon code is required, just add both the Felix Cardigan and Pullover patterns to your cart on Ravelry.   This Promotion includes those who have already purchased the Pullover- in that case just add the cardigan to your cart and check out.

More details about the Felix knit along will be posted on our Instagram feed and on our Raverly Group’s Discussion Board.  Stay tuned!


Has Amy just published your next knit?

Our friend Amy Christoffers published a lovely new pullover this week that we’d like to bring to your attention.  This is Paper Birch.

© Amy Christoffers

It is a raglan pullover worked from the bottom up in the round.  The sleeves are worked in the round to the underarm. Body and sleeves are joined at the yoke and worked with hybrid-raglan shaping on either side of a graduated lace panel.  Seamless construction is such a pleasure to knit!

Paper Birch calls for DK weight yarn. Shown here in Green Mountain Spinnery New Mexico Organic: 6 (7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) skeins.  Her pattern’s sizing range is generous: 36 (40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64) inches around chest at underarm; and Amy is wearing the size 40 with 4 inches of positive ease.

© Amy Christoffers

We just love the thoughtful detail of the gradually diminishing lace motif.  Those little leaves are a perfect reference to autumn.

Amy’s choice of soft neutral shades of our un-dyed organic yarns acts as an ideal wardrobe staple, but we can offer you a wealth of more colorful options among our other DK weight yarns.  You might want to consider casting on with Mewesic.  These skeins’ rustic tweed is perfect for evoking the vibrancy of Vermont foliage and twilight walks in the woods.

If Paper Birch looks a little familiar to you, it is no wonder.  As Amy shared on her Instagram feed, “there is a strong resemblance between the Paper Birch and the Felix pullover patterns but funny enough I made this one first. Even though they may bare certain resemblances they couldn’t be more different in the construction, the fit and of course the yarn. Two different ways to execute the same idea. Isn’t knitting amazing??? And yet, the two couldn’t be more different.”

We couldn’t agree more.

© Amy Christoffers

Felix‘s pattern features top-down construction and calls for a heavier Aran weight gauge.

Amy designed it to be the perfect sweater to wear layered over tunics and dresses though she finds it is well suited to high-waisted pants as well. Her thoughtful  suggestion of putting all the stitches on waste yarn and trying the sweater on before beginning the ribbing, will ensure that have a length you will like and will enjoy wearing.

The Felix pattern also features a wide range of sizing: 39 (43 ½, 48, 52 ½, 57) inches around chest at underarm. It is shown in the photo above in size 43 1/3, worn with 7” of positive ease.

The required yardage ranges from 650 (700, 850, 950,1050) yards.  Both of our worsted weight yarns (Mountain Mohair and Weekend Wool) that could work for this pattern are put up at 140 yards per skein.

Larisa and our Ravelry friend Kathy cast on for this pattern without delay last spring, using Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair.  The soft halo works beautifully to keep those delicate lace eyelets open.  Both are pleased with their finished projects and look forward to adding them into their winter wardrobe this season.

We imagine that you’ll agree, these are two terrific sweaters from a delightful Vermont designer that may need to be added (or bumped to the top) to your knitting queue.


Knit, frog, re-do

One of the wonderful things about knitting is how forgiving it can be.  When we find a mistake we can work back, tinking or frogging larger sections to rework, when required. Lifelines can be added as we go so that particularly tricky lace sections or finer stitches can be more easily recovered.

Undoing weeks of work can take mere minutes which is both heartbreaking and exhilarating if you’re willing to think of it as a second chance to get it right.

Learning to fix our mistakes can liberate us to try new things, work more complex patterns, and even knit socially (where distractions can abound).  A simple google search will provide you with a wealth of resources that should provide you with the information you need to get things back on track.

We find that when you hear that little voice in your head expressing some doubt with what you see, it’s best not to ignore it for long.  Take a break from your work and look at it with fresh eyes when you feel ready.  Many of us have had to put a project on time out before we’re prepared to address its issues.

Kate worked up a version of Elizabeth Doherty’s Clio sweater with Green Mountain Spinnery Cotton Comfort in the Silver colorway a couple of years ago without blocking her gauge swatch as carefully as she should have.  The finished fabric of the sweater was close to the right size, but didn’t have the fluid movement that she knew this yarn could create.  This is a big re-do, but one that she knew would make the sweater one of her favorites.

So she put the whole idea on hold, working other projects until she felt ready to get back to work.

This time for Clio 2.0, she followed the pattern exactly as written, going up in needle sizes to what Elizabeth recommended.  She also added an additional inch of length to the cropped version’s instruction.  And every reworked stitch was worth it!

She is very happy with the look and feel of her re-knit sweater and will be looking forward to cooler sweater weather to give her a reason to enjoy its warmth.

When in doubt, rip it out (when you’re ready).


Two skein wonders

This week, our Raverly friend Irene returned to our Mill shop to share a shawl with us that is fresh off her needles.

Andromaque is a slipped stitch triangle shawl designed by Marie Adeline Boyer. Irene opted to make a version of the shawl in the soft neutral tones of our Simply Fine Dark and Simply Fine Variegated.  We adore how those shades complement her hair perfectly.

This yarn combines the softest fibers that we work with for Spinnery yarns.  We blend 40% premium kid mohair with 60% Targhee wool to produce a singly ply fingering weight yarn that is as soft and light as a cloud.  Fibers for this yarn are GREENSPUN using vegetable based soaps and oils in the processing and then washed gently to preserve the natural sheen and resilience. This yarn blooms and becomes fuzzier with use.

Can you imagine a more comforting choice for a garter stitch shawl? Squish!

And just as we were getting ready to cast on, we were distracted by this photo that arrived in our inbox.

This is Laurelie designed by Lisa Hannes.  This stunning sample can be found at one of the Spinnery’s retailers, Rows of Purl in Chester New Jersey.  The crafters at that LYS made this shawl with a single skein each of Spinnery Forest in the Gold colorway and Spinnery Lana in the Noche colorway.  We love how the two work together in that show-stopping mosaic section in the middle.

These two yarns are made with slightly different ingredients: Lana is made from 100% Targhee wool and Forest contains a blend of that wool with 30%  TENCEL® Lyocell.  This is a man made fiber sourced from wood pulp that is similar to its cousin, rayon.  Thanks to the longer fiber length, Forest has a bit of extra luster and stitch definition that makes every detail of that lacework clear.  Since they are both constructed with 2-plies, they work well together allowing each to shine!

So now we’re stuck with the happy dilemma of wondering which to start first!


Show and tell

Our dear friend John Crane is always up to something interesting.  His fiber interests range from traditional Gansey knitting, to natural dyeing techniques.  His visits to our Mill are always a treat, because he often brings projects with him so that we can see (and feel) what he’s been working on.

You may recognize his name, because last year he shared with us a treasure trove of unique fleeces that he had collected from all over the world, allowing us to make 5 unusual limited edition yarns.  These precious skeins gave many of us our first chance to work with unusual heritage wool blends.  You can read more about that project here.

This week, he brought in a beautiful basket of skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery Lana, that he’s recently dyed with plants from his garden.  These subtle hues were achieved with flora common to many New England flower beds: goldenrod, marigold, Joe Pye weed, sumac, rhubarb and blood root.  In the center of the basket you can see the single skein of creamy white undyed Blanco for comparison.

We love the range of colors that he’s created, and know that this spectrum will complement the soft tweedy shades of the Lana line for a larger “paintbox” to play with for stranded color work that will reflect nature’s diverse palette.  He’s assured us that he’ll share future projects that feature these skeins.

In the meantime, we thought we’d share a valuable resource with you, in case you feel inspired to do a bit of natural dyeing yourself while your garden is replete with options.  Kristine Vejar’s book: The Modern Natural Dyer is as beautiful as it is chock full of helpful instruction.

© Kristine Vejar

She is one of the creative forces behind A Verb for Keeping Warm, a unique creative space in Oakland, CA.

“Located at 6328 San Pablo Ave, their Oakland brick-and-mortar houses a store, an indoor and outdoor classroom, an indoor and outdoor natural dyeing studio, where they produce their own line of naturally dyed yarn and fabric, and a natural dyeing garden. The garden is used to educate local school children, customers, and aspiring dye gardeners about which types of plants make dye. At Verb, you can find batches of yarn dyed with these plants.”

We are connected with the folks at Verb through our love of fiber and because we have the honor of spinning many of their lovely yarns.  You can learn more about that collaboration by tuning into the second episode of their Reverberate podcast which features an interview with one of our founding Co-op members, David Ritchie.

Many of our un-dyed yarns work well for natural dyeing.  You can find a fun selection of various weights and fiber blends on our website, here.  We hope that you’ll consider giving natural dyeing a whirl this summer.  It can be fun to try something new and you can give yourself a mini craft camp experience in your own back yard!

 


Lighten up

Temperatures this past week have had us all seeking out bodies of water to submerse ourselves in up to our eyes;  pools, streams, lakes, rivers, anything to cool us down.  As the dog days of August loom ahead on the calendar, we want to get heavier weight warm wool off our laps until the mercury starts to fall.

That may mean that you put down your needles for several weeks and turn your attention to your garden.  But if you find as much solace in the practice of knitting as we do on a daily basis, you may not want to take a break from the craft.

Smaller and lighter projects are the name of the game.  What could be more appealing than a pair of socks on the needles?

We have over a dozen patterns for you to choose from. You’ll find patterns for both top-down and toe-up construction, so you can work in your comfort zone.  Or try something new if you’re not too hot to concentrate on a new technique.  Show above is our Putney Flock Socks.

Our Fingering weight yarns are as light as a feather and most of our sock patterns are designed for a single skein.

Our selection of muted tweedy Lana may be just what you are looking for.  It is perfectly suited to lightweight projects of all kinds, including larger accessories and garments if you are so inclined.

Our Hatteras Cardigan is a terrific shoulder season layering piece that works up at a variety of sizes with 3 – 4 skeins.   Grace Note is another light cardigan that features delicate lace along the front and short sleeves.

 

Havana is a contemporary boxy pullover made even more airy thanks to its overall lacework and delicate cap sleeves. Maureen’s pattern calls for this design to be worked at a delightfully loose gauge on size US Size 7 / 4.5mm needles which makes it a perfect choice for warm weather knitting that could still be off your needles by Labor Day.

If you are a devoted shawl knitter, we have some terrific options for you.   Our Jordache Shawl is a fun garter stitch and lace textured triangle shawl that makes the most of three contrasting shades of Lana.

Our Suspension Shawl is worked up with three skeins of a single color.  It’s richly textured ribbing is thanks to twisted stitches that pop with clarity and make for a reversible fabric that looks crisp no matter how you wrap up in it.

We hope that you’re keeping cool and still enjoying the craft. Perhaps some of these breezier project options will help you stay on the lighter side this month.  Happy Knitting!


All that beautiful color!

Our Mill is small and our space is limited.  As visitors move through our production floor on one of our tours, they often ask, “Where do you dye your yarns?”  And the answer that frequently surprises them, is that we don’t.  We don’t have the space or the water to dye skeins here at our facility in Putney.

Our glorious spectrum of many hues is created (for the most part) by carding unique “recipes” of various shades of bale dyed wool. The Mountain Mohair shown above also includes a touch of light or dark mohair as well.

One of the fun surprises that we share with on our Mill tour, is the back corner of the fiber shed where we store all of our great big bales of dyed wool.  This is fiber that was sent to be scoured and dyed in Philadelphia at Littlewood Dyers. (We don’t know of any sheep that are growing fiber of these glowing shades.)

When designing a new color, our favorite fiber genius Melissa Johnson hand cards minute amounts of these colors; and comes up with the perfect ratio of various colors (and occasionally un-dyed fiber as well).  Below you can see various versions of a new color that allow us to select the perfect iteration that will complement the other shades of yarn in the line it will eventually join.

Once we have the “recipe” for our new color, we can use those ratios of color and fibers at a much larger scale to create a batch of yarn than might yield several hundred skeins, all perfectly matched.  Adhering to that ratio ensures that our next dye lot should be as close as we can make it to the last one.

Often, it’s the un-dyed fibers that can present some fluctuation.  One year’s shearing of a natural dark wool may be closer to charcoal; the next may be a warmer dark chocolate in hue.  This is all due to the natural variations in the flock’s experience from season to season when weather and access to water impacts their grazing; which is in turn, reflected in the fiber that they grow.

Here, you can see the several stages the fiber goes through: weighed out and ready to be blended by the picker, before heading into the carding machine, and finally in a finished skein where you can see that those colors cohere into something more harmonious than the individual parts.

Our Cotton Comfort is an exception to this rule of blending color in the carding process.  Our unbleached white skeins are sent out to be dyed after they have gone through our entire production process, once they are in skein form.

You can see clearly illustrated how the cotton and wool in this yarn react differently to dye.  In all of these skeins, the wool in the yarn absorbed the dye faster than the cotton, causing tweedy flecks of lighter material which is actually the 20% cotton blended throughout the yarn.

The beautifully dyed skeins are shipped back to us in great big bundles and we complete the finishing here at the Mill by twisting up each skein and labeling them for sale.

We hope that your summer travel plans will allow you to stop by the Mill and check out our production floor in person.  We’re confident that we’ll be able to show you something that will surprise you; and give you some additional insight into how our yarn is made.


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!