Spinnery News

All that jazz

Our new Ragg-Time yarn is now available online, in our Mill Shop in Putney, VT and (for the next couple of days) at our booth at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI.

This 2-ply marled yarn is crafted by adding bale dyed wool in sequence in the carding process so that the colors of one ply shift gradually creating soft gradations in color that are balanced by a neutral ply which holds true.

You can see the subtle shifts here in the Berlin Poncho which is knit up with our classic marled colorway named after Irving Berlin.  The typical cream is paired with gradations of dark brown so that the marl moves from a stark contrast to a more subtle one.

On a side note, this fun accessory is knit sideways so those strong horizontal stripes are actually created vertically when worked!  So you’ll see a fun interplay of the texture and the subtle bands of color.

Our new Numina cardigan designed by Kristen TenDyke, is another pattern that shows how even understated variations in color can have a beautiful effect.  You can see that the soft shading characteristic of our Coltrane colorway (that pairs shades of warm golden wheat and soft olive green) presents ragg combinations in a whole new light.

This project is constructed from the top down, and worked back and forth with raglan increases; this ensures a symmetry to the striations of color.

The favorite of our friends at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival is our Holiday colorway.  These skeins combine 8 bright shades that graduate one from another, plied with a soft neutral grey that balances out their bright hues.  Several of our new patterns feature this colorway; the Trinity Mountain Hat pattern (shown below) includes instructions for three sizes.

One skein of Ragg-Time will be enough to make a hat in either of the two smaller sizes along with a pompom similar in size to our sample hat. If making the largest size hat, a smaller pompom could be made.

We have a couple of other accessory patterns that call for a single skein of Ragg-Time. Megan Barrett’s Rhubarb Cowl and Mitts pairs a single skein of Ragg-Time with 2 skeins of New Mexico Organic for a matched set that uses corrugated ribbing to craft a beautifully textured fabric that offsets the bright jazzy marl againsts a soft neutral to stunning effect.

And Maureen’s Zen Shawl is a FREE pattern that can be created with a single skein of Ragg-Time.  Our sample knit up with the Holiday colorway has been the hit of the Wisconsin Festival!

We hope that you’ll try a skein for yourself and that you’ll have a chance to see our collection of new patterns and samples in person at one of the upcoming shows we’ll be attending this fall.

 

 


We’re on board

Back in the fall of 2016, Maureen’s Green Mountain Flyer Tunic was published in a terrific collection of sweater dresses entitled All Aboard!   A total of 6 talented designers collaborated on this electronic anthology and their patterns inspired a more than a few of us to reconsider knitted dresses and tunics.

These patterns bring a contemporary spin to garments that some have wrongly relegated as a thing of the past.  Thanks to the many clever details in Maureen’s pattern, you no longer need to have a 1950’s pin-up figure to pull off a knitted dress.

And now, this pattern is available for individual purchase!

As you can see, when crafted with up to 10″ of positive ease, this design goes from figure skimming to comfy cozy.  It becomes a garment that is flattering, hinting at curves below without clinging or leaving us feeling self conscious.  (Though it can also look terrific made with a closer fit for the more confident among us who love to strike a pose!)

This garment is created with between 7 and 9 skeins of Spinnery Alpaca Elegance for sizes ranging from  30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50)” / 76 (86, 96.5, 106.5, 117, 127) cm.  Thanks to that 50/50 blend of wool and alpaca fiber, the simply created  k2, p1 rib fabric has some fluid movement that is perfect for oversized garments.  It prevents the dress from becoming stiff and unappealingly boxy on the body.

Subtle A-line shaping and a generous scoop neck also add to the design’s appeal.  3/4 length sleeves draw the eye to the waistline and keep the overall garment silhouette from becoming too long.  Plus, we can’t resist drawing your attention to the little garter stitch patch pockets.  Darling, right?

Paired with a great pair of boots and warm tights, this dress could perform double duty.  The subtle heathered shades of Alpaca Elegance will create a versatile garment that will suit almost any occasion.

With the beginning of September marking the start pumpkin spice season, a return to school and the eventual return of sweater weather; it’s a perfect time to consider casting on for this project.  Perhaps this year your Rhinebeck sweater will instead be a Rhinebeck dress?


Going, going…

Those of you who have had the chance to visit our mill have seen the tight quarters we work within.  Our mill shop is no exception, and we like to joke that our festival booth spaces are usually more roomy than our display space back home.  We wouldn’t change any of that for the world, but it does mean that we need to make the most of the space we have available.

With that in mind, and with the release of our new Ragg-Time yarn just around the corner, we realize that we’ll need to make some space.  So after a bit of soul searching, we’ve decided to slightly reduce the rich palette of Mountain Mohair colors we produce and display from 37 to a more reasonable 30.

We wanted you to be among the first to know that we will be discontinuing the following seven colors of Mountain Mohair (from top to bottom): Alpenglo, Concord Grape, Periwinkle, Blue Gentian, Ice Blue, Coral Bell, and Golden Rod.

It is sad to say adieu to these lovely shades.  We look back on some of the garments we’ve made with these colors and love every one.  We know that you have your favorites among this selection so we hope that you’ll take this opportunity to purchase quantities that will ensure you can use them for future garments before our supplies run out.

With every ending there is a new beginning, and so we hope that you’ll be pleased with the fruit of our summer’s labor when we share our new Ragg-Time line next week!


Sweater weather is coming!

This month’s heat may break this weekend here in Vermont; and welcome cooler temperatures will (of course) inspire us to cast on for autumn knits.  Our annual trip to the New York Sheep & Wool Festival in mid October has a few of us planning our Rhinebeck Sweaters.

And that has all of us eager to cast on with Weekend Wool.

The Spinnery’s worsted weight 2-ply 100% wool yarn makes wonderful sweaters.  Our palette is a joy to play with.  A terrific pattern that can give you some practice with stranded color work (and steeking) is Maureen Clark’s Putney Mountain Vest.

© gzucker

This garment is perfect for early fall outings when just a touch of extra warmth is welcome.  For something a bit cozier, you might want to consider Maureen’s Turning Sideways or Duncan patterns.  These two cardigan patterns offer interesting challenges:  the former is worked sideways from cuff to center, and the latter is a lushly cabled fisherman’s sweater with pockets that we adore.

But you don’t need to be a sweater knitter to find a perfect project for this lofty heathered yarn.  We have pattern ideas that will cover you from head to toe with Weekend Wool!  Thea Colman’s Glenfiddich or Amy Christoffer’s Mary Ann Hat are terrific hat patterns for your holiday knits.

Skeindeer Knits’ Speedy Selbu Mittens featured here last week call for just 2 contrasting skeins.  And 0ur Ascutney Mountain Boot Toppers can be knit up with the same yardage.  Or, if you prefer the idea of really cozy winter socks, you might want to consider IBH’s Toasy Socks for a classic pattern that never disappoints.

And now is the perfect time to select your skeins.  Until the end of the month, the code Weekend15 will provide you with 15% savings at checkout!

We hope that you enjoy the beginning of your autumn knitting season as much as we plan to.

 


A mitten for every month!

Our friend Eli of Skeindeer Knits has organized a club that you may want to take part in!   Her pattern subscription club will grant you exclusive access to four as of yet unpublished Norwegian colorwork mitten patterns. They will each be released at the beginning of every month until the end of 2018, and each will be sent straight to your Ravelry inbox.

The club has been composed with colorwork mitten beginners in mind, and will be released in order of difficulty, much like last year’s club. The club kicks off with a bonus Aran weight pattern, the ‘Speedy Selbu Mittens’, the ideal entry-level pattern for anyone who has never done colorwork mittens before. So even if you did not take part in last year’s club, you will not fall behind.

The Speedy Selbu Mittens are shown below, knit up in two colors of our Weekend Wool.  Gorgeous, right?!

 

The next two patterns will be in DK weight yarn, whereas the last two pairs will be made using anything ranging from sport to light fingering weight yarn.  Eli confided in us that our yarns could be used for some of the upcoming patterns.  Mewesic and Lana would be great for the Sept+Oct and Nov+Dec mittens, respectively.  What fun!

All mittens are constructed in accordance with traditional Norwegian Selbu mittens, so once you have made the first pair you will be able to make them all.  The 4 mystery patterns will be released in full, one per month to club members. They are remarkably quick to make, and perfect for gift knitting.

You can join The Selbu Mitten Club by simply buying this ebook here on Ravelry.  By joining, you’ll receive your copy of the Speedy Selbu Mitten pattern and you can choose which two colors of Weekend Wool you’d like to work with from the section to be found on our website, here!

We’ve been sending out packages with contrasting skeins of Weekend Wool all week, and each new color combination has us more smitten than before.  This quick project is a perfect one to work on when temperatures and humidity levels get too high for comfortable sweater knitting.  And it’s never too early to get started on your holiday gift knits.

This week, we’ll be hosting a contest on our Instagram feed that will provide one lucky winner with a FREE copy of Eli’s Speedy Selbu Mitten pattern.

We hope that you’ll join the fun of Skeindeer’s second Selbu Mitten Club.  It will be a gift that you can give to yourself and others!


Ribs with a twist

The delicious scent of BBQ often drifts down the hill from Curtis’ BBQ on long summer afternoons setting our minds to picnicking.  But this week, we have ribs of another kind to tell you about.

We’ve just published Kate’s newest design: the Suspension Shawl.  She got her inspiration for this pattern from the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge that graces Boston’s skyline.

Delicate suspension bridges elevate form and function into graceful works of art that become iconic landmarks. The twisted ribs of this shawl fashion vertical cables anchored by a symmetrical sweep of diagonal spokes for a perfectly balanced interplay of structure.

This shawl’s unusual construction allows you to build a light-weight and comfortingly pliable shawl to your preferred dimensions, resulting in a classic accessory that will always be in style.

Her reversible triangular shawl has a wingspan of approximately 62″ and is knit up with just over two skeins of Lana, shown here in the Borrasca colorway.

Based on the way the shawl is constructed, you can adjust the size making it smaller, to form a shawlette that could easily tuck inside a jacket; or larger, for a more generous fit.  You’ll just need to consider adjusting your yardage requirements.  Who wouldn’t enjoy a few more ribs?

We’ve got a lovely collection of Lana shades for you to choose from.  The delightful elasticity of this 100% wool fingering weight yarn makes for a surprisingly crisp and defined fabric when worked with twisted stitches.  The shawl does have a right side, but it is almost indistinguishable from the reverse, ensuring that no matter how you wrap up in this accessory, you’ll always look put together.

We hope that you’ll have as much fun with this new pattern as much as Kate did in creating it!


As light as a feather

This week has been a steamy one here in the Northeast with lots of (welcome) rain.  It has us wishing for a smaller project on our needles and Amy Christoffers’ newest pattern delivers!  This week, she introduced her Hen of the Wood shawl.  It may just be the perfect travel project.

© Amy Christoffers

“The Hen of the Wood Shawl is a 1/2 Pi shawl- beginning at the center top and worked down. It is knitted in a garter stitch lace, a combination Amy loves for being both rugged and delicate at the same time- perfect to show off the beautiful rustic qualities of this woolen- spun fine wool. Lana has a subtle tweedy 2-tone color created by blending bale dyed wool in the carding process. This 2-ply yarn is bouncy and soft and minimally processed to preserve wool’s natural resilience.”

The pattern calls for 2 skeins of Lana and so will weigh just 7 ounces for a featherweight accessory that will be a pleasure to wear, even in the height of summer.  The generous dimensions of Length – 68” across and Depth- 24” could be adjusted by more aggressive blocking, but we’re confident that you’ll prefer the more elastic fabric that results from blocking more gently.

 

We love the way it looks all intertwined with the rich textures of the different lace patterns playing off one another.   Amy’s pattern includes charts for the lace work, so you may want to use stitch markers and some highlighter tape to make the pattern even easier to follow.  We’ve found that lace repeats can make for delightful holiday knitting that are complex enough to be interesting for intermediate knitters but not so tricky as to require fierce concentration.

You’ll find a little contest for a free copy of Amy’s pattern this weekend on our Instagram feed.  We hope that you’ll join in the fun!


What’s on our needles?

One of our favorite things about attending sheep and wool festivals is that opportunity they provide us to see everyone’s completed knitwear.  And it can be just as fun and inspiring to see what other knitters are working on.  We hope that our current wips (works in progress) may help inform your next project choices…

Like many of us crafters who enjoy having some choices to play with, Scott has a couple of Spinnery projects on his needles.  His smaller more portable project that often comes to work with him, is a lovely version of Maureen Clark’s Melody Cowl.

It will likely be a gift that will make someone very happy this holiday season.  And for himself, he is working on a classic cabled sweater: Annie Lupton’s Navigate Pullover.

This crisp design was featured on the cover of the second issue of Rib magazine.  When Scott saw that photo, he knew that it was just what he wanted to cast on for.  However, he did have some reservations about working an entire cabled sweater in fingering weight yarn.  So he’s opted to use Spinnery’s DK weight New Mexico Organic yarn, and has been making pattern modifications as he goes to accommodate for the difference in gauge.

We can’t help but admire his willingness to work out mathematical equations in summer’s heat.

Lauren, who works with our custom spinning customers is working on two projects with yarn she purchased directly from the sources.  (We often become so enamored with the yarns we create for local growers and dyers that we purchase some of this yarn before these skeins even leave the building! )

She has several muted skeins of Patricia Fortinsky’s yarn (@tidalyarns) for a worsted weight sweater of Debra Parcella’s design.  Patricia uses all kinds of botanicals to create beautiful shades that we all admire.  When you see this yarn in person, you’ll see subtle shifts in color from a soft grey-green to mauve this is softly breathtaking.  The Tidal High-Low pullover is a top-down raglan design that creates a flowing boxy shape that is perfect for every occasion.  Lauren hopes to have it ready to wear for Rhinebeck this year.

Lauren is also working on a Jump in the Leaves Hat designed by Rachel Stecker.  The yarn she’s using for this project was spun here and hand dyed by Andy who works on the carding machine alongside Laurie.  When he’s not knee deep in wool on our production floor, Andy stays busy on a small homestead raising goats, chickens and more.  He and his partner Rachel offer these beautiful skeins on their website and at the Brattleboro Farmers’ Market; and Lauren couldn’t resist this lovely combination.

Andy is also a knitter, and on his needles this week is #991 Neckdown Pullover for Men from Knitting Pure & Simple.  He’s working this raglan pullover up with our Maine Organic yarn; and this sturdy fiber will create a very useful garment to toss on for farm chores as the fall turns into winter.  It will work as hard as Andy does.

This week, several members of a Bellows Falls’ knitting group that Larisa is a member of have decided to start a Steven West KAL.

Larisa cast on for the Askews Me Sweater using a neutral shade of Mountain Mohair and our new Ragg Time as her contrast yarn.  As you can see, the unexpected color changes in the variegated ragg yarn will make for a stunning finished result of lush brioche ribbing that will be a delight to snuggle into this winter.  She also hopes to have this ready for the exciting release of our Ragg-Time yarn line in early September!

Kate started a modified version of Veera Välimäki’s Gemstone cardigan using Hematite Sylvan Spirit earlier this Spring.  Her project has languished on the needles for several weeks, but she hopes to get back to it before long.  We all admire how this yarn’s TENCEL content creates a luster that makes those gorgeous cables featured down the center back and around the shawl collar crisp and clear even in our darkest shade.

We hope that you’ll continue to share your projects with us.  You can email photos to us or tag us on Instagram (@greenmtnspinnery) if that is where you prefer to post your work.  We love to see your progress and we’re often inspired by your projects to start new ones of our own!  Until we see you next, happy knitting.


Meet Meaghan

Our friend Meaghan Schmaltz in the creative genius behind The Unapologetic Knitter.  She’s a designer, a blogger, and her instructional youtube videos are a delight.  And we have a crush on two of her newest designs!  We’d like to introduce you to Cribble,  a ribbed sock featuring a beautiful classic cable and designed with Spinnery Lana.

© The Unapologetic Knitter

These socks are worked from the cuff-down and feature a Gusset Heel. These socks are mirrors of one another. Links to video tutorials and written instructions of all special techniques are provided.

Generous sizing options include: 7 (8, 9, 10)” / 18 (20.5, 23, 25.5) cm circumference (unstretched).  The leg of the sock is designed to be approximately 5½” / 14 cm (including the cuff) before starting the heel. And instructions are provided to create a longer sock if desired, you’ll just need a bit more yardage.

This pattern includes written and charted instructions for the entirety of each sock; and is intended to be worked with the Magic Loop technique.

As you can see, we have a great selection of tweedy Lana shades for you to choose from.  But that’s not the only choice for you to make…

But Meaghan didn’t stop with just one pattern!  Based on feedback she received from her fans, she also created a more streamlined stockinette version of the same pattern: Cribble Light.  These beauties were crafted with Spinnery Forest yarn.  The addition of Tencel to the fiber blend adds a bit more strength and a perfect touch of lustrous shine!  Look at that cable pop!

© The Unapologetic Knitter

We’ll be receiving a freshly hand dyed batch of Forest early next week.  If you keep your eyes on our Instagram feed (@Greenmtnspinnery), you’ll receive an update when those skeins arrive and you can call us at 800-321-9665 to grab a skein of your choosing.  Plus, we’ll be hosting a fun contest on Instagram that will offer two lucky winners the Cribble Project kit of their choice!  We’ll provide a copy of the pattern a skein of our yarn and a little project bag to hold it all.

A hearty “Thank you!” to Meaghan for sharing her patterns with our winners. 🙂


Isn’t it always the perfect occasion for bubbles?

Thea Colman has been busy as a bee this summer working on new patterns and revamping some of her favorites.  And what’s worth celebrating, is that she’s discounting each renewed pattern as it’s relaunched.  We hope that you’ll take advantage of this special deal and treat yourself to something as delightful as a flute of sparkling wine!

She recently updated one of our favorites, Champagne.  The original pattern is wonderfully workable, and Thea has improved it by adding more stitch counts, comments, centimeters, a new layout, and more.

© Caro Sheridan (@splityarn)

“Champagne is an elegant top that will take you from late summer right into fall. A soft, rustic yarn in a neutral tone goes with anything – a tank top and flirty skirt in summer, or jeans and a crisp blouse as the days get cold. The cotton wool mix in Spinnery Cotton Comfort is perfect for either, and the vest provides just enough warmth for the transition in season.

The diagonal lace creates a bias across your natural curves which is both elongating and camouflaging! Shaping is loose at the hips and fitted above, and the slanted lace accents the deep V.”

© Caro Sheridan (@splityarn)

 

Show here in the Winter Beech colorway, this unusual undyed yarn gets its color from the lovely cinnamon toned cotton grown for us by Sally Fox in California.  As you can see, this DK weight yarn shows off Thea’s elegant lace panel to perfection.

And our Cotton Comfort line has such a rich palette for you to play with!

If you’ve already purchased a copy of this pattern, you’ll find an updated version in your Ravelry Library ready to download; so now’s the perfect time to cast on.  For anyone who hasn’t bought the pattern yet,  use the Ravelry Code: “More Champagne ” and it enjoy 50% off the pattern till July 10, 2018. Thank you Thea!


A new cowl pattern and a limited edition kit!

We’re pleased to announce the public release of Maureen’s Melody Cowl pattern.

This ruched cowl can be knit up at two different circumferences according to your preference.The pattern was created for visitors who participated in last week’s yarn crawl.  It features a brand new yarn for the Spinnery that will be officially available for sale this Fall.  We provided the I-91 Shop Hop visitors a sneak peek preview of some hand painted skeins of this ragg yarn and it became an instant best seller!

Happily, we still have a small quantity of the $25 Melody Cowl kits we created for this event.  If you act quickly, you can enjoy one of your own!  The project kit includes the project pattern and a single skein of hand painted Ragg-Time.  Each hand painted skein is a unique work of art, and each reflects the lush green palette of Vermont in late June.

Our Ragg-Time is a 2-ply DK or light worsted yarn that has a very generous 306 yards per skein. Shortly after Labor Day, we’ll have a handful of beautiful colorways for you to choose from, and some more exciting new patterns that feature this yarn.  News of those releases will be the focus of September’s newsletter!

In the meantime,  you can craft up a beautiful version of the Melody Cowl pattern using two skeins of any of our DK weight yarns: (Alpaca EleganceCotton Comfort, Mewesic New Mexico Organic or Sylvan Spirit.  You may find yourself working up more than one!

We hope that you have a delightful holiday week and that you find plenty of time for crafting, relaxing and enjoying your time off.


Swatch whispering

Many of our friends groan and roll their eyes when they think of having to work a swatch.  For many knitters, this step represents a frustrating delay before we can enjoy the fun of getting stitches on our needles, and a sense of real progress towards our goal of a finished garment.

But in some cases, what can be learned from a swatch could dramatically impact the final product.  Learning that before spending hours on our stitches can make the difference between a flattering fit or a disappointing one. Occasionally, it can provide the insight that redirects the yarn to an entirely different project!

This week, Kate created a swatch with John Crane’s Medium Wool.  She thought that it might be perfect for Thea Colman’s Oban Sweater.  This yarn includes a blend of Beltex, California Red, Columbia, Corriedale, Finn, Ile de France, Montadale, Polypay Rouge de Roussillon, Texel, Tunis, and Zwarbles fiber.  This combination lends itself beautifully to projects that are soft enough to be comfortable and strong enough to wear well: the perfect sweater wool.

But she found that the lovely garter and cable texture of Oban’s pattern did not present itself as clearly as she would like.  All those blended undyed fleeces produce a visual complexity of many shades of grey.  As her swatch dried from it’s blocking, she surmised that a more pronounced stitch texture wouldn’t compete with the yarn, but highlight it.

After a brief Raverly search, she found Lille kongle (Little woodland) by Ingvill Freland.  This pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn knit at a dense gauge for a warm winter hat.  Kate opted to work the largest size with the pattern’s recommended needle and created a lighter version of this deeply textured accessory that makes this unique yarn shine.

Dressed up with a removable fur pompom, this is a finished project we’re delighted with!  What do you think?

As frustrating as it can be to delay the gratification of getting a project started, the reward of a really successful FO can make a swatch an invaluable investment of time.  We hope that when you fall in love with one of our yarns you’ll consider working up a swatch, especially if you don’t have a pattern in mind.  We’ve found that starting a project search with the information learned from our swatch can produce the best match between yarn and finished results!