Chatham Herringbone Stranded Cowl – from Koigu


Our good friends at Koigu have just come out with their newest creation — the herringbone stranded cowl – which they introduced at the recent VOGUE KNITTING in New York City.  And it is breathtaking. The cowl is made from a “pencil box” kit containing 10 Koigu mini-skeins. Unfortunately for us, the kit Koigu designed doesn’t much reflect Chatham’s unique colors. No problem. When we met with Koigu in New York we commissioned them to develop a “Chatham gradient” for us, so we could offer kits for making cowls more in keeping with our distinctive colors.

Slide1And just look at what they came up with: a pencil box containing mini-skeins that come as close as you can get to waves breaking off Lighthouse Beach, and sending shimmering fingers of water as far as they can reach up onto the sand.

Even better, there is enough yarn in the pencil box to make two Chatham Herringbone Stranded Cowls, and still have roughly 80 grams left to make something else Chatham-esque.


We commissioned two of our great consultant knitters – Jane Barter and Jean Williams – to each make a Chatham Herringbone Stranded Cowl.  They are close enough to be considered “twins.”

Jane came up with a “sandy” version.







Jean made a “watery” version.







Given their similarity, we decided to display them on another pair of “kinda twins,” namely Cathy and Patty Lane, from “The Patty Duke Show.”  Enjoy the pictures of Jane and Jean’s cowls, NS the “Cathy and Patty” display.


Apple Fiber Studio

We are delighted to announce that A Great Yarn is now carrying yarn from Apple Fiber Studio. Located in the Pacific Northwest (Bellingham, WA, to be precise), the folks at AFS and bill themselves as “micro-brewers” of plus, hand-dyed yarn. We got a chance to sample their yarn at the recent VOGUE Knitting in New York City, and found that their yarn is precisely as advertised: unbelievably soft and spectacularly colorful.

Being from Washington State, it’s probably not surprising that their different lines of yarn they work are named after varieties of apple, e.g., Jonagold, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, etc. We’ve chosen to start with the McIntosh line, which is sock/fingering weight yarn, that’s also washable, warm and squishy.  The yarn is composed of 60% merino, 20% superfine alpaca and 20% nylon.

Check out the colors.Apple Fiber Studios - Colors

North Light Fiber’s Special Scarf – Charlottesville

Charlottesville Scarf

In response to the violence last summer in Charlottesville that tragically took the life of a young woman, our great friend Sven Risom from North Light Fibers contacted The Magpie Yarn Shop in Charlottesville to see if there was anything he could do to help. The result was collaboration between North Light, Magpie, designer Heather Zoppetti and Interweave that resulted in “The Charlottesville Scarf.” Kits for preparing the scarf can be purchased for $70, which includes a $15 donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Thus far sales of The Charlottesville Scarf have raised nearly $700 for the SPLC, and Sven and his colleagues hope to raise $2,000 before the end of the year.

Slide1A Great Yarn is proud to support Sven and his collaborators in their efforts to raise money for The Southern Poverty Law Center, and the first Charlottesville Scarf Kits have already been delivered to our shop. Many thanks to Florence Seldin, who bought the first kit. The folks at The Magpie Yarn Shop in Charlottesville put it nicely: “We believe that the act of knitting can help to heal wounds and soothe souls. After witnessing the retrogressive events of the summer of 2017, we are committed to act and make a difference.”

Urth Yarn


A Great Yarn has partnered with Urth (pronounced “Earth”) Yarn, and the shop is over-flowing with some of the yummiest, most beautiful hand-dyed yarn on the planet. Urth Yarns is a family-owned company, specializing in soft, colorful, and “innovatively“ dyed fibers. Urth’s approach to innovation is actually to go backwards, in that they dye their fibers with roots, fruits and nuts.  Urth also has a policy of “giving back.” More about the giving back part later.

Slide1We carry Urth’s Uneek Chunky and Uneek Fingering, which are made with 100% merino wool, are machine washable, and come in a multitude of variegated colors. We will carry Urth’s Harvest Worsted and Harvest Sock, which are also made with 100% merino wool, are machine washable, and come in solid colors. Finally, we will be carrying Urth’s new line of 50% cotton and 50% viscose, which gives the fibers a bit more give, and also help finished projects hold their shape better.

Slide1Now for the giving back part. Urth has partnered with “Trees for the Future,” and for every skein of yarn they sell they plant one tree in the sub-Saharan countries of Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Senegal.  Planting trees in those countries prevents soil degradation, and also enriches the soil, give families the ability to transition from unsustainable farming techniques to a Forest Garden system that provides food, livestock feed and fuel.

Akerworks Swatch Gauges

Akerworks Swatch Gauge_orig

Akerworks Swatch Gauge_origNow available! These amazing gauges recently featured in Vogue Knitting, and they are the hottest selling product we have ever carried in the shop.  They were developed with suggestions and feedback from Leslie and Laura of The KnitGirliis, and offer a slip-resistant 4-inch cross measurement, for nice confident gauge counting. Each end of the cross has a set of little teeth that gently but firmly hold the swatch in place and prevent it from shifting around while you count.

Here’s what Knitter’s Review had to say about the Akerworks Swatch Gauge. “Swatching and gauge are the two least-sexy topics in knitting—and yet they are also the most vital. It’s like driving a car without a speedometer or a gas gauge and expecting to reach Boise the same time as someone else and without running out of gas.

“I applaud the people of Akerworks for putting thought into a clever new design that actually makes the gauge-measuring experience better. It takes skill to improve upon something so utterly basic and fundamental. Akerworks, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a family owned and operated business that focuses on “modern, mechanically inventive gadgets and musical instruments meant to foster imagination while functioning as beautiful objects.”

“Which is the other thing about this tool: It’s pretty. It feels good in your hands. It’s substantial yet weighs nothing and slips neatly into any knitting bag.”

“Will your knitting life be incomplete without a Swatch Gauge? Of course not. People have been knitting well-fitting clothing for hundreds of years. But if it makes the much-dreaded, often-mistrusted gauge swatch process any easier or more accurate—which it really does—this is a home run in my book.”

Sock Blanks


Ok, we know what you’re thinking. What the heck are sock blanks?

Here’s the deal. A sock blank is a long, rectangular piece of knitted sock weight fabric created by a knitting machine and then dyed or stamped with color.  The edge of the sock blank isn’t bound off — it’s loose so that you can knit from it, pulling the stitches out as you go.

To knit with a sock blank you take the ending out of the live stitches on one side of the blank, and you unravel it as you knit. Because there are two strands of yarn, they have been dyed identically, and that’s why blanks are very suitable for things you need two of: socks, gloves, wrist warmers, etc.

Slide1The beauty of the sock blank is that you never know how the colors are going to turn out. Depending on what you knit and its size, the colors might turn into a stripe pattern, or they could create an interesting ombré effect.

Slide1A Great Yarn has ordered a ton of sock blanks from our great friend and terrific hand dyer Dalis Davidson, owner of Dancing Leaf Farm, and they are now in the shop.

I’ll Have What She’s Wearing

Slide1Who knew that Ingrid Bergman wouldn’t go anywhere without her Phoebe shawl, made with Mrs. Crosby and Madelinetosh. When Director Michael Curtiz tried to pull it off of her to shoot the final scene for Casablanca, Ingrid said the following: “If I don’t wear my Phoebe shawl I’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of my life.

Slide1Or that Grace Kelly had a thing for Blue Heron yarn.  Her original line from Rear Window was “A woman never goes anywhere but the hospital without packing make-up, jewelry and something she knitted with Cotton and Rayon Twist Lace.”

Those are just two of the amazing links between Hollywood and knitting you’ll learn when you stop by and check out A Great Yarn’s new celebrity garment displays.

Want more?

Slide1Julia Roberts: “I knit with so much Twig her middle name should be Shibui.”





Slide1Katherine Hepburn: “The only thing I prefer to my trademark turtleneck sweater is a cowl made from Biltmore Alpaca and This Fancy Yarn.”


Slide1Scarlett Johansson: “I’ve knitted seven Sundry shawls for each day of the week, all using Artyarns.”




Slide1Audrey Hepburn: “I never made a movie with wearing something made with Baah. Next time you watch Charade check out the hat I knitted for the ski lodge scene.”


Slide1Meryl Streep: “Mama Mia, I should get another Oscar for the shawl I knitted with my Freia Shawl Ball!”


Artyarns - watercolorshawl

Artyarns - logo copyArtyarns fibers are manufactured in the United States. They strongly believe in local sourcing of materials and equipment, and they utilize energy efficient systems and sustainable materials.

Artyarns was founded in 2002 by Iris Schreier, a celebrated knitwear author whose work appears in major knitting media outlets.   They work very hard to live up to their motto of “For the discerning, uncompromising knitter,” and to be “an innovator of luxury yarns tailor-made to elevate the experience and art of knitting.”

Sundry Shawl - 1A Great Yarn is currently carrying Artyarn’s Cloud Merino, which is a fingering weight yarn made with 80% Fine Merino 20% Cashmere. The yarn has been a huge hit since the second it arrived , and we plan to carry several other lines in the very near future.

DanDoh Cotton Fine

Mary and Yulimo Alexander

Cotton Fine is a unique yarn that was developed by lMary and Yulimo Alexanderegendary designer Yukimo Alexander. It has a smooth and crispy texture, because the surface of the yarn has a coating of viscous rayon films. It is perfect for spring and summer clothes and accessories.   It feels like linen when you knit with it, but the coating comes off after handling or washing, so that it will soften up greatly.

All of Yumiko’s designs create fashionable, functional, and wearable garments and accessories. They combine fun stitch patterns and simple yet elegant shapes.

Oasis Garment - yumiko-57s_mediumWe are currently knitting up one of Yukimo’s most popular patterns – Oasis – using her Cotton Fine yarn, and it should be on display in the shop within the next couple of weeks.

Dancing Leaf Farm


beebop-big_large-copy boogie_big_e9c0873a-45cc-4331-9e54-98a4bb5d3ded_large-copy slubby-big_large-copy dancing-leaf-farm-sock-hopDancing Leaf Farm is a small cottage farm located near Frederick, Maryland, whose yarns are named after…wait for it…dances! The owner — Dalis — features her own line of hand-painted yarns, vibrantly dyed in a rainbow of colors. A Great Yarn now carries “Be Bopp,” which is DK weight, and “Boogie Woogie,” which is a bulky yarn. Both are unbelievably soft, unbelievably colorful and 100% merino superwash wool. We also carry “Slubby Nubby,” which is a chunky yarn, with lots of character. It works up fast on size 11, 13, or 15 needles, it perfect for beginners, and can be knitted up into a scarf or a cowl in a couple of hours.