Sperryville column for May 23

Yarn, gifts . . . coffee

Rebecca Abecassis, owner of The Knit Wit Yarn Shop, opened up shop not so long ago on Main Street in Sperryville. It was a small space, brightly lit and filled with wall-to-wall yarn. Her welcoming smile greeted me and I remember running my hands over the soft yarns and wools, recalling how my mom used to love to knit and sew.

The newly expanded Knit Wit is more than a yarn shop. Photo by Chris Doxzen.
The newly expanded Knit Wit is more than a yarn shop. Photo by Chris Doxzen.

Rebecca’s business has since flourished and she now occupies a much larger space within the old Sperryville Schoolhouse. A feast of colorful yarns still awaits customers, but now the shelves are also stocked with carefully selected gifts and all sorts of goods, including coffees and teas.

Rebecca’s passion was ignited when her husband was newly stationed in Iceland. She laughed, telling me at the time she was expecting their first and thus needed to find something to keep her occupied. She fell into knitting and began creating Icelandic sweaters, gifts she made for friends and family.

Rebecca spoke poignantly of the recent economic famine, a time that offered her, in quiet repose, a time to think of what was most important to her – namely family, friends and following her passions. So, while working full time, she invested financial resources and time into the growth of her store. Rebecca offers group and individual knitting lessons; you can learn more about those, and everything Knit Wit, at knitwityarnshop.com, or call 540-987-8251. Much success, Rebecca.

Grand to Gemuetlich

Cliff Miller IV is all about drive, determination, vision and execution. As a young man, he set his goals, one of which was to bring back to life, with his father, the beautiful country manor now known as the Inn at Mount Vernon Farm. Cliff graciously offered a tour of the inn and its grounds recently.

Cliff Miller IV is about ready to enter the pub business at the Sperryville Schoolhouse. Photo by Chris Doxzen.
Cliff Miller IV is about ready to enter the pub business at the Sperryville Schoolhouse. Photo by Chris Doxzen.

The view of the Blue Ridge Mountains is spectacular, with the inn itself filled with rich Rappahannock history and splendid stone masonry. The walls, too, speak of a family history, hung with portraits of his German ancestors, the Muellers.

Mount Vernon’s old dairy barn, the largest of its kind in America, has been restored with great care to honor the ancient wood and architecture of days of old and is now used for wedding receptions. Not surprisingly, it’s booked out into the near future.

He’s now ventured into the pub business. The opening of the Headmaster’s Pub is set for today (May 23), in time for Memorial Day weekend. As is Cliff’s signature, lots of thought went into the details, from the custom-made pool table to the booths, designed with comfort and style in mind, to the half-circle bar with deep swivel seats, facing the bright bay windows and large TV.

Accompanying me on my visit to the new pub was my cousin Christina, visiting from Germany. As we climbed back into my pickup, she looked at me with a big smile and said, “You know, he’s all about authenticity, isn’t he, Chris? You can see the love that goes into every inch of his work. It’s going to be a Gemuetlich bar.”

Yes it is, Christina, it’s going to be Gemuetlich – that is, quaint, warm and inviting – for families, young and older adults as well. Fare will be reasonably priced, including selections of beer for $2. The best to you, Cliff, in what is sure to be another successful endeavor. 

Chris Green
About Chris Green 132 Articles

Chris Green (formerly Chris Doxzen) is an an executive recruiter by profession who enjoys exploring and writing about all things Rappahannock. Friends and neighbors with potential stories for her Sperryville column should email her at chrisdoxzen@gmail.com.