Spinnery News

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!


yarn adjacent new arrivals

This Spring’s lambing season is wrapping up, and many of the folks that we spin for are finally getting a full-night’s rest. While we don’t have a flock here at the Spinnery, we do find ourselves happily distracted with thoughts of darling lambs this time of year, and so we thought we share some of that joy with you this week.

This little one is a new member of the Putney School flock, which grazes the fields of a local private school nearby.  Students there care for a variety of fiber animals that includes sheep, alpaca and goats.

If the sight of these babies brings you as much joy as it does to us, you may want to start following a number of of the fiber producers that we spin for on Instagram.  You can find regular updates from some of the folks whose fiber we spin by searching Instagram for their accounts:

@blueheronfarmvt
@cannonsatnoonfarm
@catskillmerino
@ewetopiayarn
@full_belly_farm
@lanaplantae
@olympiafarm
@sawkillfarm
@the_farm_school
@vreseis
@vtshepherd
@wingandaprayerfarm

You’ll enjoy “behind the scenes” insights into raising happy and healthy animals that grow the gorgeous fiber that we love to spin and you enjoy knitting.  Many of the local farms among this list will be vendors at the upcoming Spring Sheep and Wool Festivals, so you can see what they have been creating for you in person at Maryland and New Hampshire in just a couple weeks.

We hope to see you there, and in the meantime, enjoy this beautiful season!


Just released: a perfect warm weather cardigan!

This week, our friend Elizabeth Doherty of Blue Bee Studio released a new cardigan pattern, Farallon, named for the islands off the California coast near San Francisco.

© Elizabeth Doherty

Maureen and Kate got a sneak peek of this sweater at Stitches West. When they tried it on, they recognized that this cardigan’s unique construction and delicious fabric ensured that it would be the first cardigan they would want to reach for as warmer weather arrived in Vermont.  It looks and feels fabulous!

Thanks to Elizabeth’s signature top down construction, this sweater is blessed with figure flattering shaping that fits like a dream, because you can try it on as you go making small adjustments in length to your preference.  The seamless construction is given structure by the cast on edge that runs along the back of one’s shoulders. This removes the visual distraction of a seam when viewed from the front, and provides a stunning architecture to the garment’s back.

© Elizabeth Doherty

Clever placement of short rows along the shoulder seam and at the top of the sleeve, allow the garment to appear to be custom tailored.  The cardigan curves where you do, and features a-line shaping, so it seems to glide along your body as if it made for it.  Which it is!

The pattern calls for two strands of luxurious Shibui yarn to be held together throughout that creates a fabric that blends linen/flax, silk and wool.   Maureen was able to get cast on before the pattern’s publication, and has found that she was able to get gauge using Spinnery Sylvan Spirit.  Even as a WIP still on the needles, this sweater makes us happy.

Our special blend of wool and TENCEL has lovely stitch definition, bringing crisp clarity to the textured collar of this pattern.  The longer fiber length of TENCEL (man made fiber sourced from wood pulp) lends lovely drape and movement to the knitted fabric, which is exactly what you want to make the most of Elizabeth’s design.  When this cardigan is blocked, the fabric will move beautifully.

All 15 colors of Sylvan Spirit are in stock and can be found on our website, here.

Elizabeth’s pattern includes a generous range of 10 sizes from 36½” to 61¼”.  The yardage requirements for Sylvan Spirit vary from 5 to 9 skeins.  You can find all the details on the pattern’s Ravelry page.

Maureen is eager to finish her Farallon, and Kate imagines that she’ll be making more than one! We hope that you take a closer look at Elizabeth’s new pattern for a classic handknit that we know you’ll want to wear for many seasons to come.

 


Two spring knitalongs for you to enjoy

You may have already heard about it on our Instagram feed, but just in case you missed the news… we’ve started a Knitalong!

Knit anything in our latest book, At the Spinnery!! There are option for socks to sweaters. Our KAL is hosted on our Ravelry Group page, and will run until May 31st.  No need to stress about getting a larger project, complete, WIP’s are allowed.  If you post to Instagram, be sure to tag us #greenmountainspinnery and #gmswip #atthespinnerywip  And, feel free to tag each designer!

And if you need even more incentive to get stitching, last week the folks at Madder launched their Anthology Knitalong…encompassing all 3 volumes in their Anthology series!

© Making

To participate, chose a pattern of your choice from any of the Anthology books and start knitting! You can find a comprehensive list of all Anthology patterns here on Ravelry. Use hashtag #anthologyknitalong on Instagram to show  your progress, so everyone can follow your projects and share! If you’re not on Instagram and would still like to participate, you can share your knits and in progress projects in either the Madder or Making Ravelry groups. Everyone will be knitting away on our projects until Friday, May 17th, and the Making team will randomly draw three giveaway winners…  You can find more information, here.

To inspire you, we thought we’d share info about one of Maureen’s most recent finished projects from the pages of the third Madder Anthology…

We are smitten with her version of the Winter Escape Pullover designed by Carrie Bostick Hoge.  We love how the eyelets of delicate lace trace around the wide v-neck, for a feminine touch that counter balances the rustic tweed and garter stitch cuffs and hem.

She used Spinnery Cotton Comfort in the Iris color that provides a pop of intense color to chase away Mud season blues.  Carrie’s pattern includes a generous range of bust sizing: 34¾ (38, 41¼, 44½, 47½, 50¾, 54, 57¼)”  and calls for between 6 and 10 skeins of our DK weight Cotton Comfort.

All 25 shades are in stock and could be on your needles in no time!  We also have copies of Carrie’s 3rd Anthology, Seaside available for purchase here.  We hope that you’ll join in the fun of the Madder Team’s Anthology Spring Knitalong.

We hope that either (or maybe even both!) of these current Knitalongs may inspire you to get a new project started.  We can’t wait to see what you have on your needles.

 


Let’s play with Fall color!

We are pleased to announce that Maria Muscarella will be the featured instructor for the Spinnery’s 2019 Fall Knitters’ Weekend Retreat.  (Friday, September 27th to Sunday, September 29th, 2019).

© ninja.chickens

Maria Muscarella is the dyer, teacher, podcaster, and knitwear designer behind Ninja Chickens.

She began her career in the field of holistic medicine as a nurse-herbalist creating remedies, teaching herbal medicine, and running an herbal clinic & apothecary.  Maria picked up knitting as a hobby in the early years of her profession and her love of all things woolly steered her down the career path to fiber arts.  Her making is naturally influenced by her love of the gardens and woods that surround her home, and her passion for herbal medicine led her to natural dyes and eco printing. She spends her days working with fiber and herbs in a hand-built, 16-sided house.

Discover the creative art of Eco Printing!  Spend a weekend among the flora of Vermont, learning to capture the unique colors and patterns of plants on wool, silk, and cotton.  We will use natural dyes and plant materials to make lasting prints of leaves and flowers.  Learn how to prepare your fabrics, what plants produce dyed prints, and how to print with those that don’t during this relaxed weekend of exploration and fun.  Celebrate the change of seasons and the colors of Fall through eco printing.

© ninja.chickens

Saturday morning, Maria will walk us through fabric preparation, printing on plant vs animal fibers, making a simple natural dye bath for silk shibori, and we’ll get started with eco printing on sock blanks (shown above) using the steaming method.  After lunch, we will start by unwrapping our prints from the morning (always the favorite part of class).  Then, our hands will be busy learning the blanket method of eco printing, along with modifying our prints in an iron simmer bath.

The next morning, of course, will begin with the unveiling of Saturday evening’s prints.  We will then finish our weekend of exploration by eco printing on our shibori silks and embellishing our cotton from the day before.

The workshop will be held in Putney, Vermont, and will begin with dinner on Friday September 27th and conclude by noon on Sunday September 29th.  Your registration fee of $375 per person includes three meals (Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and dinner) and nine hours of instruction.

Registration Forms with housing suggestions can be found on the Spinnery website, hereSpace is limited to 20 participants, so please register early.


Make your plans!

In just a few months, we’ll be opening our doors for the 2019 I-91 Shop Hop.  And we can’t wait!

Passports and bags for the 2019 I-91 Shop Hop are now available for purchase!  You can get yours ahead of time so that you can dive right into to the yarny goodness when the yarn crawl comes around again this June.

The I-91 Shop Hop will take place June 27-30th. All participating shops will be open from 10 am – 6 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 12 pm – 5 pm on Sunday. For those of you early birds who really want to maximize the ground you’re able to cover, you may want to keep in mind that we open at 9 am on Thursday and Friday giving you an extra hour at the beginning of your day to enjoy a leisurely visit to our Mill before heading south.

You’ll have four fiber filled days to visit all 11 participating shops.

Green Mountain Spinnery (Putney, VT)
HandKnits (Brattleboro, VT)
Sheep & Shawl (Deerfield, MA)
Northampton Wools (Northampton, MA)
WEBS (Northampton, MA)
Marji’s Yarncrafts (Granby, CT)
Village Wool (Glastonbury, CT)
Country Yarns (Wallingford, CT)
Knit New Haven (New Haven, CT)
Yarn Barn (Woodbridge, CT)
Ewe & You Fiber Arts (Windsor, CT)

A visit to each of these shops during the Hop weekend, entitles you to a stamp on your official $5 Shop Hop passport. 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 Grand Prize, which includes gift certificates for all 11 shops, as well as yarns, needles and other goodies!

Each store will be featuring their own design in a kit, ready for purchase. This year’s theme is Color Pop Shop Hop! Maureen is working on a surprise pattern that we can’t wait to share with you!

We hope that you can get this event on your calendar and that we’ll see you then, if not before!


Last but not least

The final project from our 2018 Mystery Project Club collection, is Maureen’s Swedish Mitten.

The custom spun yarn that we shared with Club Members for our final project of the year, comes from our friends at Meadowood Farms in the beautiful rolling hills of Madison County New York.  This bucolic working farm has been in operation for over 100 years!

On their 225-acre farm, they produce milk from dairy sheep, which is made into award-winning cheeses, and they grow pasture-raised beef and lamb. In addition, they are also home to a Belted Galloway cattle herd, sheep-guarding Maremma dogs, and a flock of parasite-controlling hens.

Their flock of East Friesian and Lacaune ewes are highly prized for their milk production. This breed is sometimes referred to as the Holstein of the sheep world.

As with many flocks that are raised with a dual purpose, their fiber is not the primary focus for the farm. This breed’s wool is typically identified for use in sturdy outerwear, blankets, or rugged sweaters that will stand up to the test of time.

As we worked with this flock’s fiber when we spun this yarn, we instantly recognized how it is perfectly suited to ward off the chills of a New England winter.  That conclusion had Maureen imagining a stranded mitten that would do the same with a double thickness of warm wool.

Her Swedish Mitten pattern pairs the undyed Meadowood Farms’ 2-Ply worsted Lamb’s Wool with the Spinnery’s Weekend Wool. You can reach out to the Tolmans to try some of their yarn for this project; or you may want to consider working your mittens up with two contrasting colors of Weekend Wool.  Two skeins will be sufficient for a pair of mittens.

Before you get started on your mittens, we encourage you to head over to the farm’s website and view their Spring Gallery.  You’ll get a glimpse into their barns that will probably have you as smitten with their lambs as we are.  Those ears!

We also would like to encourage you to head on over to the farm to see this lively flock in person and chat with the folks who raise them.  They are open to the public for Lambing Day in April and Open Farm Day in July (Saturday July 27, 2019).   If you would like to visit the farm at another time, please contact them via email (info@meadowoodfarms.com) or call (315-655-0623) to make an appointment.  What better way to get to know your yarn?!


Craving color?

The great thaw started here this week, and as temperatures have moved above freezing, more and more of our grey landscape is being revealed.  If you’re as eager for some color as we are, you might agree that Larisa Demos’ new pattern is a perfect remedy for late winter doldrums.

We’d like to introduce you to Winter Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscopes have been used to create and play with luminous symmetry for more than 3 centuries. This stylized design allows you to experiment with color, bringing a seasonal palette to life. The complex tweed of Spinnery Mewesic yarn will enrich your three contrast yarns, providing pops of color in myriad hues for breathtaking results.

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Knit up with four colors of any of our DK weight yarns, this beanie will allow you to experiment with color combinations that will have you feeling like an artist!

Our Mewesic, Cotton Comfort, Alpaca Elegance and New Mexico Organic are all 2-ply DK weight yarns that are skeined up at 180 yards per skein.  They can easily be substituted for one another and used in combination, as you can see above: MC: Grey New Mexico Organic, CCs: Mean Mr Mustard, Purple Rain and Atlantis Mewesic.

Larisa also knit up a version of this pattern with several shades of Cotton Comfort.  Shown above, MC: Silver, CCs: Maize, Storm and Juniper Cotton Comfort.

The pattern uses very little of a couple of the colors, so we are confident that you could swap colors and make several hats; or use up remaining bits of stash yarns that can have a habit of accumulating around your craft space like seed catalogs at this time of year.

If you’d prefer to start fresh, we have dozens of shades for you to choose from.  Our DK wall of yarn is as delightfully varied as an artist’s paint box.  We’d like to invite you to pop into our shop to check out our sample and see what colors you could cast on with, to brighten your days ahead.

 


Some more background on our 2018 Mystery Club projects

This week we’d like to fill you in on the story behind our Lopez Island Cap pattern that was the third project of our 2018 Mystery Project Club collection.

The yarn for the rustic lace outer layer of this hat comes from an island off the west coast of the US.  Our friends at Island Fibers gather fiber from a variety of flocks located on Lopez Island, WA.

© Island Fibers

This island is roughly 30 square miles and home to farmers and fisherman alike.There are no highways on Lopez Island, and no bridges connecting it to the mainland or other islands. Lopez Island is locally famous for the longstanding custom of waving at every motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian encountered on the island’s roads.  What a friendly place!

These small roads fill with bicyclists during summer months who enjoy travelling the rural roads and drinking in the scenery.

© Island Fibers

To give you a feel for life on Lopez Island, and to let you see what goes into the making of Island Fiber’s unique yarns, we can share some snapshots of the island’s local flocks and the farmers who tend them.

© Island Fibers

Kate Salomon designed a hat pattern that blends Island Fibers’ rustic sport weight 2-ply in the natural heathered grey color that mimics the rocky shores of Lopez Island, with Spinnery Meadow. Our 2-ply fingering weight blend of soft mohair and fine wool will knit up to create a much softer thermal layer of stockinette stitches that is a pleasure to wear next to the skin.

The lace pattern allows glimpses of underlying color to be seen through the gaps, and a small border of color wraps around the ribbed band to frame your face.  She pictured the rocky seaweed strewn coastline of Lopez Island with its surrounding blue waters as this design flew off her needles.

The cap has a slightly unusual construction, having you start at the top of the inner lining and working in stockinette stitch in the round, down to the ribbed brim.  After switching yarns, you’ll work back up through a reversed rib and charted lace section with slightly larger needles.  The two layers snuggle inside one another for a fitted beanie that is very warm thanks to its double layers of wool.

You may want to order a skein of Island Fibers’ sport weight yarn and a skein of Spinnery Meadow to work the pattern as written, or you could opt to work with Spinnery Lana (which is available in an array of lovely shades shown above) and an outer layer of Alpaca Elegance or Mewesic which will mimic the rustic look of the Lopez Island yarn that we used for the lace work.

We hope that you enjoy learning a bit more about the Lopez Island Cap.  And we hope that you’ll consider a visit to the island.  Later this Spring, on Saturday May 11, 2019 you could attend the Lopez Lamb, Wool & Goat Festival and meet some of the animals whose fiber we’ve enjoyed spinning!