Welcome to the
Great Tennessee Yarn Tour
We are very excited to bring back the Great Tennessee Yarn Tour in 2024 - this time stretching all over the great state of Tennessee. During August, "Tourists" are encouraged to hit the open roads of Tennessee and explore the great wealth and variety of locally-owned yarn shops - each with its own personality, flavor, and delicious selection of yarns and crafts. Crocheters, Dyers, Felters, Knitters, Spinners, Weavers and Fiber Enthusiasts of all kinds are invited to celebrate the rich tapestry of fiber and yarn that reaches from Kingston Springs to Chattanooga to Johnson City and everywhere in between!
From the Coordinator...
Hi! My name is Jillian; I run a small yarn shop (Walther Handmade) in a small town (Harriman). Both the shop and the town have a big heart, so I hope you come visit. I am so honored to be one of the organizers of the Great Tennessee Yarn Tour and wanted to take a moment to share what the Yarn Tour means to me...
In 2018, I was working a fairly standard 9-5 job and crafting (weaving or crochet) in the evenings. I saw something online about a "yarn crawl." I wasn't quite sure what that was, but it involved yarn, so it sounded like fun. Unfortunately, I found out about the event after it ended - so I made a mental bookmark to look out for the event the next year. In 2019, I was ready. I got my passport and tote bag (because you need a tote bag) and plotted out which stores I could visit after work, which days I could leave work early to go buy yarn 😉, and which stores I would have to visit on the weekend. My husband got in on the fun, and we planned our Saturday Yarn Store Road Trip Extravaganza: Harriman to Gatlinburg to Dandridge to Maryville and back, with stops for coffee and barbecue as needed.
This event was the turning point - both in my work as a fiber artist and in my consumer habits. First, I fell in love with Alpaca, and it is now my favorite fiber for all things. Second, I learned about SO MANY new and different types/brands/fibers of yarns - bamboo, rayon, merino, organic cotton, and so many more. This may have been the first time I ever bought a hand-dyed yarn. Third, I got to know my local yarn shops, what each has to offer and how each one is special and unique. Each one was a new little world to explore - and world that welcomed me with open arms.
I am thankful to that event for opening my eyes to the LYS and wonders within. Now that I have my own little local yarn shop, I wanted to bring that experience back to Tennessee: to share the joy of discovering new yarns and places, to have fun with your fiber friends, and to give our fiber community a chance to explore and connect with each other and local yarn shops. Whether you are just starting out and slightly scared (like I was) or are a dyed-in-the-wool-LYS-veteran, I hope you enjoy your time touring through the local yarn shops throughout Tennessee. Who knows? It may just change your life!