Our Staff – A Great Yarn
I love knitting. It’s my yoga. It’s also my way of expressing creativity. Most of the items I knit are gifts, and everything I make reflects how much I care about the yarn I use, the patterns I select, and colors I choose.
I may not be a perfect knitter, but I am an excellent teacher. I’m also blessed with a great staff of knitting consultants. So bring us your problems and together we’ll find an answer.
I learned to knit when I was young, and one of my major goals in life is to pass my love of knitting on to children. So please bring your kids to the shop, and also look for the summer knitting classes that we offer to girls and boys.
The name of our shop — A Great Yarn – is a play on our two specialties: fine knitting products and quality new and used books. And while we gave a great deal of thought about what to call the shop, we’ve put even more effort into making sure that A Great Yarn is a warm and inviting destination for finding the best yarns, the most interesting books, and the friendliest, most knowledgeable staff.
Chief Consultant and Instructor
Jean is a truly gifted knitter, and the range of her talents extends to a host of techniques most knitters only dream of mastering. Whenever people close their eyes and think about the expert knitter they would like to become someday, the person they usually picture is Jean. In addition to her many technical skills, Jean is also a thoughtful and patient tutor, and she will coordinating activities for Knitting 301, which is A Great Yarn’s Advanced Knitting class. She is also available for appointments if anyone needs one-on-one help or private lessons.
Jean will also be working part-time in the shop to assist with pattern and yarn selection, and to provide any additional guidance that customers might require.
Melissa is the newest member of A Great Yarn’s team. She is an exceptional and confident knitter: there is simply no project that Melissa cannot take on and master. She has terrific sense of humor, and brightens the shop with her friendliness, optimism, infectious laughter and self-deprecating humor. We consider Melissa our own version of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the noted knitter, writer and humorist, who once said of her knitting “…no matter how well you knit, looking at your work too closely isn’t helpful. It’s like kissing with your eyes open: nobody looks good that close up.”
Saturday Morning Knit-Around Leader
Kathleen Read leads our Saturday Morning Knit-Arounds, which are held weekly from 10 am until noon. By way of background, Kathleen learned the basics of knitting as a child in England. After she married, she found the “portability” of knitting ideally suited to her nomadic life as she traversed about the United States, and raised her children. In her travels she met many friendly knitters with whom to share ideas and new skills in creating “wearable art,” and eventually she began to sell her work at local craft fairs. She especially enjoys working the interplay of colors in the Fair Isle tradition, and also lace knitting.
After retiring to Chatham, Kathleen founded the popular “Busy Fingers” group at the Chatham Senior Center. She finds great satisfaction in helping other knitters with everything from dropped stitches and pattern interpretation, to encouraging the finishing of abandoned projects and finding new ways to re-purpose them.
Please stop by on Saturday morning and meet Kathleen. And if you are having problems with your knitting, chances are that Kathleen will be able to point you in the right direction.
A Great Yarn has added another new member to the team. Jane Barter joined us in July, and will serve as a consultant knitter. Jane is a veteran fabric artist, and a charter members of Kathleen Read’s Chatham-based “Busy Hands” knitting group. She also previously served as the leader of the “Cape Cod Knitting Guild,” and currently knits items for “A Baby Center” in Hyannis. Jane is also one of the fastest knitters on the Cape, which means you’ll be treated to many of her creations in the shop.
Susan has been a regular customer since A Great Yarn opened. She is an exceptional knitter – with a particular penchant for Shibui — and a former knitting instructor. She recently moved from Burlington to the Cape, and offered her services as an instructor in the shop, and we are delighted to add her to the staff. Susan has an analytical mind (in her former life she worked in finance), and a creative soul, and both are obvious in the garments she knits, which combine quality craftsmanship with eye-catching style.
Antonia is a student at Smith College and a gifted knitter. She has a terrific eye for color, and loves designing projects based on colors and textures. She also has a whimsical nature that manifests itself quirky creatures in ways that will compliment the rest of the staff. Think Cecilia’s crochet octopi. Antonia is also available for assisting any left-handed knitters struggling with a pattern.
Lilli is a veteran knitter. Her Aunt taught her to knit when she was seven years old, and she hasn’t stopped since. Icelandic sweaters, aran sweaters, socks, shawls. You name it.
Lilli was born and raised in Denmark, in the lovely Danish city of Roskilde on the island of Zealand, which is famous for its twin-spired cathedral. Not surprisingly, she is a continental knitter, and much of her knitting has a distinctly Danish look to it. Indeed, we like to think Lilly is the second most famous Danish export of all time, eclipsed only by Victor Borge.
As many Cape Codders know, Kay is a renowned director of local theatrical productions, and her efforts regularly result in sold-old playhouses and phenomenal reviews. Kay is also an exceptional knitter, and beginning at the age of seven, she worked her way up from pot-holders to socks (with a specialization in argyles) and finally on to sweaters. Two particular accomplishments of Kay are noteworthy. First, in college, Kay made all her boyfriends “beer mug socks,” so obviously she never had a shortage of dates. And second, Kay is one of the few knitters who ever made a sweater for her husband that actually fits, and which he actually wears.