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 December – Cape Dod Fiddlers

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.

 

Our fifth hidden Chatham treasure is the Cape Cod Fiddlers. If you’ve heard the Fiddlers perform, you already know that no one on the planet gives a better live performance. And if you’re planning to see the Fiddlers at Chatham’s annual First Night celebration later this month, make sure you get in line early, because we’re not the only ones who are convinced that the Fiddlers are always the highlight of the New Year’s Eve festivities.

 

The Fiddlers are led by Billy Hardy, one of two professional musicians in the eight-member ensemble. The other members of the group are a pretty eclectic mix: an architect, a graphic designer, two teachers, a lawyer, the Irish music librarian at Boston College, and the retired shellfish warder from Chatham

 

 

 

 

The group has been playing together for nearly 30 years, and is known far and wide for their energetic performances, drawn from the best fiddling traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, Quebec and the United States. Their version of Simple Gifts from The Lord of the Dance will blow you away.

The Fiddlers are also part of the glue that accounts for the remarkable staying power of the fiddle, the common man’s violin that was an indispensable element of the house parties, barn dances, and social occasions that for generations bound communities together.   According to Hardy, “The only difference between a violin and a fiddle is that nobody cares if you spill beer on the fiddle.’’ Another was of looking at the difference is that “the violin sings, but the fiddle dances.’’

We’ve tried to do justice to the Cape Cod Fiddlers with December’s Chatham Yarn of the Month.   The yarn is DK weight, made with 100% superwash merino, and each skein contains approximately 231 yards. As always, our Chatham Yarn of the Month was hand-dyed by Shellee from HauteKnit Yarn.

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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