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

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.

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!”

Local Cape Cod Wool from the Biltmore Wool Barn

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