I played hooky from work yesterday (don't worry, I'd arranged coverage) and went with some lovely gals to Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney VT.
Yesterday, by the way? Below freezing. Remember, I was out on my porch knitting not two weeks ago.
The trip from Rutland took about 1.5 hours. I'd brought one of my charity hats along, and I was able to work on it. I stopped before it was time to start decreasing, though, because the car ride made me sleepy!
We found the Spinnery very easily and all 7 of us crammed into the shop. It's so tiny! David, one of the original founders, was our tour guide. He was very nice and informative. I'll be honest with you, though: I don't spin very well so my brain may have taken a vacation while he was talking about those machines. Don't worry, I'll supplement my crappy note-taking with help from the Spinnery's Tour the Mill page.
David did suggest that we try not to get his face in any of our shots, and while I'm pretty sure he was joking, I did cut his face out of this one anyway! This was our first stop on the tour. It's the back shed where wool remnants are kept. Some of this wool can't be used for whatever reason, and the shop was selling big bags for $5 each. Apparently you can use wool for mulch. I didn't know that. (I don't know what mulch is either, but that's okay. I learn one new thing a day.)
The next stop was the washing room. It was pretty steamy in there. There was a woman from New Hampshire (Linda?) who was washing wool in preparation for a big spinning weekend going on at her farm today and tomorrow. The wool is fed through a bunch of rollers until it comes out the other end. You can sort of see the white wool on the middle of the roller. When the wool got stuck and caused a leak, Linda used a coat hangar to pull it out! I think this machine is pretty old.
This is what the wool looks like after it's washed and dried.
After it's done being washed, the wool is put into a spinner to take most of the water out, and then they put it in the dryer. Crazy!
This is ... I don't remember. David was telling us about how they were making their Yarn Over yarn, and how the original color he mixed up kind of sucked, so they added red and black. You can still see it on whatever machine this is. Sorry!
This is the carder. (No, it wasn't running! He was cleaning it.) By the way, there were literally pieces of wool everywhere. On the right, you can see the plastic sheet that protects other equipment from getting wool on it.
After it's done going through the carder, the fiber is on big rolls and there are a bunch of pencil rovings hanging off the end.
Then those big rolls go on this thing (the website calls it the spinning frame) and that's where the yarn has the twist added to it.
This is where the yarn gets plied. They needed more of the singles first, though!
We just missed the gal making the skeins, but she uses this machine to do it. They weigh each and every skein, and the ones that are too light and too heavy get put aside and marked that way. Neat!
By the way, there is literally yarn everywhere. I had to resist sneaking some out under my coat.
I thought this was such a cute touch in the workplace!
The tour lands you right back in the shop (how convenient ...). This is just one of their walls of yarn. On the left, you can see the gold and green yarn I fell in love with.
And that was the tour! Now let me reveal what I bought.
This is Wonderfully Wooly in Fiddlehead. This green shocked me out of my Blue Period.
And this is Wonderfully Wooly in Goldfinch. I almost didn't get this, but it goes too well with the green. (I didn't notice while I was purchasing it, but this was marked as being a heavy skein.)
This is their Forest sock yarn. Mmm. Again, I almost got a blue, but I think I have the spring bug.
After the tour, we ate at the Putney Co-op, which I highly recommend. I had the Putney Club, which was so good. On our way back, we stopped at Six Loose Ladies, but I don't have any pictures of that other than what I bought. And that, my friends, was my Spinnery trip!