top of page

Welcome to the
Great Tennessee Yarn Tour

The Great Tennessee Yarn Tour started in 2023 with a simple mission: to bring back some sort of fiber-focused event to Tennessee that would be fun for the fiber community to participate in and would showcase Tennessee's local yarn shops. Starting with 13 shops in East Tennessee, the Great Tennessee Yarn Tour was born! For 3 weeks in August, fiber enthusiasts from Tennessee and beyond embarked on a road trip all over East Tennessee. Along the way, they made new friends, explored yarn shops, met alpacas, and enjoyed the beautiful Tennessee scenery. What a fantastic event that brought local shops and the fiber community closer together! We are honored and excited to continue the adventure in 2024! We hope you will join us on this month-long road trip exploring some of Tennessee's finest yarns and fibers.

GTYT 2024-1-Event Cover.png

After the 2023 Tour, we heard from Tourists that one thing they loved experiencing was how different each shop was from another - no two shops were alike or carried the exact same products. Each shop had its own focus and personality. Tennessee is blessed to have such a rich community of yarn and fiber-focused shops. What makes our yarn shops really shine, though, is you! You all make our fiber community vibrant and lively, creating a truly rich tapestry out of thousands of unique threads. To celebrate this, we have chosen the theme "Uniquely Ewe" for 2024. We can't wait to meet all of you and hope you enjoy visiting yarn shops that are as wonderful and unique as "ewe" are!

From the Tour Director...

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 a part 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. Lastly, I got to see so many brilliant pockets of Tennessee that otherwise I would not have known about.

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!

bottom of page