Chatham Yarn Makes the Big Time – Its Own Exclusive Michelle Kupfer Pattern

This summer we were delighted to get a visit from pattern designer, Michelle Kupfer. Michelle dropped by the shop a couple of times during her say on Cape Cod, and left with – among other things – several skeins of our August Chatham Yarn of the Month: Lazy Afternoon on Mill Pond.

To our great surprise, Michelle put her creative juices to work, and created a scarf pattern for A Great Yarn. She called her creation her “Lazy Afternoon on Mill Pond Scarf,” and it features a light, summery design that embodies all the teal, aqua and sea grass colors of a laid-back afternoon on the water in Chatham.  The scarf is knit using size 6 needles, and requires approximately 900 yards (two skeins) of Lazy Afternoon on Mill Pond. However, any fingering weight yarn will work. After blocking, the finished garment is approximately 15” wide and 75” long.

We are currently having one of our staff knit Michelle’s Lazy Afternoon on Mill Pond scarf for display in the shop.

By way of background, Michelle is a veteran knitter, and she has taught hundreds of students of all ages and all levels. She has also been designing patterns for a number of years, and 110 of her creations are currently available on Ravelry. Her patterns are designed to be easy to knit, with results that impress.   When writing her patterns, Michelle draws upon her experience as a teacher to explain things in such a way that knitters feel empowered and independent, rather than confused and frustrated.

In addition to Michelle’s “Lazy Afternoon on Mill Pond Scarf” pattern, A Great Yarn also has more than a dozen of Michelle’s patterns available in the shop.

Chatham Yarn of the Month for November – Training Field Triangle

For those who have not visited A Great Yarn, each month we create a unique “Chatham Yarn,” which is hand-dyed by our great friend Shellee Poulin. Our goal is to recreate an iconic Chatham landmark in yarn. Beginning last August, we decided that for six months we would focus on “Hidden Treasures of Chatham,” which are places that many visitors might have missed in favor of trips to the lighthouse or fish pier.

Stop number four on our “Hidden Treasures of Chatham” is the Training Field Triangle. To most people, the image the word “triangle” usually conjures up is “The Bermuda Triangle.” Chathamites included. It’s unfortunate, since one of New England’s most famous triangles is located right in our midst. The Training Field Triangle is a 39-acre parcel of land bounded on its three sides by Old Queen Anne, Old Comers and Training Field Roads. The area served as the center of Chatham in the 1700’s, and got its name from the fact that Colonial militia trained there prior to participating in the Revolutionary War.

At its peak, the Training Field Triangle included a tavern, a windmill, a meetinghouse and a church. While little is left of those structures, what remains from that period is the Smallpox Cemetery. The cemetery was established during the severe smallpox epidemic that ravaged Chatham from November 1765 until May 1766. Altogether 37 of the town’s 600 residents died from smallpox during that terrible six-month period, including 17 from one family. It was one of the Cape’s worst outbreaks, and was thought to have arrived in Chatham either via a shipment of clothing from the West Indies, or a bale of cotton from the South. Before it was over, the disease claimed a number of notable citizens, including the deacon and the local doctor, Samuel Lord, who cared unstintingly for the sick before falling victim himself and dying on January 12, 1766.

The smallpox cemetery within the Training Field Triangle was established during the epidemic and is separate from Chatham’s other cemeteries. Only eight of the epidemic’s victims were actually buried in the smallpox cemetery, due to fears of spreading the disease during funerals. Most victims were buried quietly without a funeral service on family farms.

 

 

The yarn we selected for this month’s offering is a worsted weight yarn. Each skein contains 218 yards, and is composed of 100% superwash merino.   We asked our hand-dyer Shellee to replicate the colors of sunlight glinting off of the now-crumbling slate grave markers in the smallpox cemetery.   Just our way of paying homage to a sad chapter in Cape Cod’s history, and also celebrating the fact that 250 years after the epidemic hit Chatham, smallpox has finally been eradicated from the planet.

Universal Yarn

We were so impressed by the products that the folks from Universal Yarns brought to our Yarn, Wine and Cheese Pairing event in September, that we decided to jump in with both feet. Listed below are different lines of Universal Yarn that we are now carrying.

 

 

  • Bella Cash – Sport weight; 60% superwash merino, 10% Cashmere and 30% Nylon. Soft and light, Bella Cash is a delicate dream – a mix of cashmere and fine merino with enough nylon to keep heirloom knits lasting for a long time

  • Bamboo Bloom Handpaints – Bulky weight; 44% wool, 48% rayon from bamboo and 8% acrylic. Thick and thin, matte and shiny, Bamboo Bloom is a versatile yarn that makes even the simplest garment pop

  • Deluxe Superwash – Worsted and Bulky – 100% plied superwash wool. Universal’s Deluxe family of yarns are affordable and washable wool products that come in an array of gorgeous colors and are a long-wearing delight

  • Pix Sock Yarn – Sock weight; 75% wool, 25% nylon. Do you love the look of Fair Isle knitting but don’t want to deal with changing colors? Now you don’t have to! Universall’s Pix Sock Yarn is a self-striping yarn that works up into a terrific Fair-Isle pattern.

  • Universe – Thread weight; 42% Linen, 41% Cotton, 9% glitter and 9% nylon. Universal’s Tenth Anniversary offering, Universe is a special fiber blend with just the right amount of glitter to call to mind a sparkling night sky.

  • Bella Chenille – Velvety soft, Universal’s Bella Chenille makes quick work of projects with its super bulky weight. Bella Chenille is 100% polyester and machine-washable, which means it’s an excellent choice for nearly every type of baby garment, as well as blankets, pillows, and any soft and snuggly accessory you can think of.

Chatham Yarn – Fall Leaf Collection

Anyone who spends any time on the Cape in September or October knows that autumn on the Cape is a glorious time of the year. The sky is a crystal blue, humidity drops to next to nothing, and the leaves turn to colors that make you think all the trees were decorated with gold nuggets and rubies. To make the season last longer, we’ve asked our favorite hand-dyer Shellee from HauteKnit to work her magic and provide us with a “Fall Leaf Collection.”

The colors are every bit as exquisite as the “Sea Glass Collection” that Shellee created for us back in June. She also gave the collection names that will evoke everyone’s best memories of walking in the woods with leaves gently drifting to the ground: red maple, horse chestnut, ash, sweetgum, white oak and ash.

New from Baah Yarns – Dipped and Dappled

Baah’s Mira Cole has always been known imparting her elegant La Jolla yarns with some of the best jewel-tones ever seen.

Now she has added her “dipped and dappled” colors to La Jolla, and the results are spectacular.  With names like “Wild Blue Yonder,” “Grapefruit Sangria” and “Violet Martini,” you know that every skein is bursting with color.

 

 

Even better, Mira has come up with a unique pattern to show of her amazing color schemes. Called “Diamond in the Rough Scarf,” the pattern takes advantage of Mira’s color-waved to create a repeating pattern of solid and semi-solid diamonds that is simple to knit up and is guaranteed to garner compliments whenever you put it on.   How cool is the pattern?  Since Susan Bartels knitted the scarf up for us in the shop, and we’ve already had to go back to Mira for three more orders of “Dipped and Dappled.”

Customized Buttons from Katrinkles

Our good friend Katy – founder of Katrinkes in nearby Rhode Island – has been supplying A Great Yarn with an assortment of “stitch-able” buttons and wooden knitting tools since the beginning of the year. And every month she seems to come up with something new.

This month it’s customized buttons. Now you can personalize the garments you’re planning to give as gifts by adding your name to one of Katy’s stitch-able “Knitted with Love by _____” buttons.

They’re a great addition to any garment, even if your name is not Morticia, and you’re not knitting something for the newest member of the Adams Family.

The buttons come in either ¾” or 1” diameters.

Chatham Yarn Sea Glass Collection

We are excited about our newest offering: our Chatham Yarn Sea Glass Collection. Working again with our favorite hand-dyer — Shellee Poullin at HauteKnit — we have created sock weight yarns that a vision to look at, a dream to knit with, and a near-perfect match for the various colors of sea glass. It takes decades for the ocean to turn a perfume bottle or vase lost overboard into a bit of precious sea glass.  A Great Yarn can recreate the experience in a matter of hours with a scarf, a shawl or a cowl knitted using yarns from our “Sea Glass Collection.”

 

Urth Yarn’s Uneek Sock Kits

A Great Yarn has added Urth Yarn’s Uneek Matching Sock Kits to our already extensive selection of Urth products.  Urth’s Sock Kits make a pair of self-striping socks that match perfectly.  The yarn is an extra-fine superwash merino (fingering weight), that is hand-dyed in vivid, striking colors.  The kits contain two pre-wound cakes, each of which is 220 yards (50 grams).

The kits are available in ten amazing colorways, and also come with a free pattern for knitting up the socks.

Urth Yarns, in partnership with Trees for the Future, will also plant a tree for each hank of yarn produced.

Edward’s Menagerie Crochet Kits

A Great Yarn has partnered with TOFT UK, which provides crochet kits based on the number one best-selling crochet book, “Edward’s Menagerie,” by Kerry Lord.  TOFT’s Edward’s Menagerie Collection is unbelievably adorable.  These amigurumi animal designs are crocheted using TOFT’s DK yarn and make perfect gifts for children and adults alike. WARNING: they are addictive!

Each kit contains 100% British wool yarn, along with everything you need to complete your project — a printed postcard pattern, stuffing for the finished animal, a TOFT branded 3mm crochet hook, a wool needle for sewing up and a short black thread to sew on the eyes.  Most of the animals in the collection measure approximately 7″ tall when seated.

We recently tripled the number of different kits we now carry. In addition to knits for crocheting Lisa the Black-Nosed Sheep, Hank the Dorset Down Sheep and Cedric the Crab, we have added kits for another dozen of Kerry’s adorable creations, including Caitlin the Giraffe, Alice the Zebra, Lauren the Angora Bunny and Chablis the Unicorn.

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.

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Jean made a “watery” version.

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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.

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