Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Green Mountain Spinnery, pt, 1

While we were in Vermont, we were able to visit the Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney. (Good call in the comments, Lazuli and Jasmine!) What a treat it was!

As we planned our trip, I was disappointed to realize that we could not be at the Spinnery on the day of a factory tour. But, I thought, just being in their front store would be enough. Of course when we arrived and the woman in the shop talked with Son, she immediately whisked us to the back and showed off the machinery and the products. The workers there were so kind to Son. They talked to him at his level without ever being disrespectful or patronizing or overly simplifying the process.

First, fleeces arrive.




They are sorted...


...and taken to the wash room to be cleaned...


...then go through the water extractor.


What an enormous drum carder! It was made in 1916.


The fleece is carded into batts...

...then go through this part of the machine...


...which turns the batts into pencil roving.


Son tests the strength of the pencil roving and sees how fragile it is compared to twisted yarn.


This machine, bought from one of the New England industrial textile mills, spins the roving into singles.


The yarn spins onto these beautiful old bobbins.


The woman running the spinning frame watches carefully to make sure everything is working properly. After a brief period, she skeins off several yards and weighs that skein to determine if the yarn is the right size. (She gave Son the test skein.)


The bobbins are collected...


...and the singles are taken to the plying machine.


Here the yarn is made into skeins on one whopper swift:


To be continued...

8 comments:

hillary said...

That looks so cool. I'm sure my daughters would get a kick out of it.

Lazuli said...

Hey, I was right! It looks like a fascinating process and place to visit, maybe I'll get to one day.

Sheepish Annie said...

Oh, I was drooling just looking at those fleeces...all those fleeces!!! What a great trip!

Specs said...

I'm going to quote my cheerleader cousin and say "That... is, like, sooo cool!"

Kirsten said...

Thanks for the tour! Looking forward to the next chapter!

Jeanne said...

Thanks for sharing the tour...very cool! I want to go now!

amy said...

Wow, what great posts about Vermont! I'm from Vermont (all my life), so hearing such nice things about the state makes me feel very good.

The UFO beer is really good- and they came out with a raspberry seasonal UFO for the first time this year. Kaleidoscope Yarns is amazing. It's better if you go in with a set amount of cash in your pocket (rather than bringing in a credit card or your checkbook). Putney is awesome not only for the GMS and Basketville, but Curtis's BBQ (in the big blue bus) really is one of the wonders of the world. And the Farmer's Diner is Quechee is only a few miles from me!

And all your knitting is most beautiful.

Kate A. said...

Wow, thanks so much for taking all these pictures and posting them - it's almost like being there! I can't get enough of this kind of thing (uh, I suspect I'm not alone in that around here...) I'm so enjoying all the posts about your trip...I lust after New England...

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