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

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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

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.

This Fancy Yarn

araminta

A Great Yarn has partnered with another great local fiber artist – Danielle McEachern from Fall River, Massachusetts – to carry some of the most exotic yarns available on the planet. How exotic? Just take a look at the accompanying pictures.araminta

This Fancy Yarn’s spinning wool — both raw that they process themselves, and milled roving — come from local sources, either farms whose practices they know of and trust, or mills who can certify that they use wool from local small farms with humane practices.

 

Dancing Leaf Farm

dancing-leaf-farm-sock-hop

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.

Local Cape Cod Wool from the Biltmore Wool Barn

Biltmore's Aplaca Yarn

A Great Yarn is pleased to announce that we have partnered with local Cape Cod farmer Kathleen Mealy and her Biltmore Wool Barn.

Mary and the Biltmore Crew

Kathleen and her family live in nearby Brewster and raise alpacas, including Elvis, Tess, Q-Tip, Rosie, Jackson, Prince, Rudy and Cowboy (who is also know as “Phantom.”) Together they are responsible for some of the finest all natural and un-dyed alpaca wool that can be found anywhere.

Two white alpacas in medium shot

Kathleen’s alpaca wool is available in four natural shades: white, light gray, dark gray, and a blend of brown and gray.  Each skein is 300 yards, and retails for a very reasonable $24.

Stop by and see Kathleen’s terrific alpaca wool.  And don’t forget to check the pictures of Elvis, Tess, Q-Tip and the rest of the crew.White alpaca in full-frontal head shot