We’re Moving…

Well, sorta.

We are changing our blog address. The new address will be www.ceyarns.blogspot.com and will go live next Tuesday, July 16, 2013. You'll still be able to get to our blog via blog.classiceliteyarns.com as well as the link on the left side of the navigation on our main website.

So that you don't miss out on any new posts, please make sure to update the address on any feed readers that you use.

Knit on!

Monkeying Around

When my friend announced that she was having a baby, I was filled with glee. Not just because I was so happy for my friend and her fiancé, but because that meant I got to knit something for the wee one.

My friend is a knitter and has lots of other knitting friends, so I knew that she would be getting lots of knitted gifts for her first born son. I also knew that meant I needed to pick something that would be extra special. I thought about a blanket, but I had heard through the grapevine that she was getting a blanket as a group gift from some of the other knitters. I also thought about a sweater, but he was expected last week and it would be too hot for him to wear a sweater right off the bat. So I settled on a stuffed toy.

I had made the Monkey Jacobus by Annita Wilschut for my nephew a few years ago and it was a hit, so I knew this was the pattern I was going to knit. I absolutely LOVE this pattern. It is knit all in the round, which means no sewing of tiny parts when you are done! The thought of doing intarsia for the face in the round scared me to death, but her directions and photos make it not only crystal clear…but a snap to knit.


I use Liberty Wool Print in color 7821 Caribbean Tidepool, which is a great baby boy color. It is made up of blues and greens. It’s one of those colors that isn’t too soft or too bright. I decided to not try and match up the prints too much and just let the yarn do what it wanted to do. And I love the way that each of the monkey's appendages are different colors because of that. I think it gives the little guy a sense of whimsy. For the face and paws I used Liberty Wool Solid in 7836 Taupe. I wanted something that would coordinate well with the print, while standing out on its own. I found some scraps of a dark orange to make the mouth and some dark brown to embroider the eyes (safety first – nothing that the wee one could possibly pull off and put in his mouth). And since he is made from Liberty Wool, my friend can pop the monkey in washing machine when he gets dirty.

I really hope that the yet-to-be born little boy loves the monkey as much as I do and that they become best buds.

P.S. Wee one – you were supposed to come last week. I think your mom would appreciate it if you made an appearance soon!

It’s hip to be square!

Take it from me (or Huey Lewis), it is hip to be seen in granny squares! Especially if it is this cute tank top in Interweave Crochet designed by Theresa Schables.

Made from Firefly (one of our favorite summer yarns), the vertical squares outlined by solid squares to give the illusion of waist shaping. The linen and rayon blend gives the granny squares the perfect amount of drape and stability at the same time. Joining the squares as you go gives the tank the added bonus of having minimal finishing.

Wear with flower power jeans and wedge sandals for a bohemian look or with a pencil skirt and kitten heels for a hip city look. Either way, you are sure to be hip!

Photos courtesy of Interweave Crochet. Matt Schodorf Photography.

On a personal note

I have mentioned on the blog before that I recently moved to Massachusetts to work for Classic Elite Yarns.

The hardest part of moving, whether you are 5, 15, 25 or even older…is making new friends and leaving your old ones behind. Some of the best friends I had made in NYC (and even in life to date) are from my knitting group. Of course the common bond was knitting and yarn, but our friendships grew from there. Talk quickly turned from yarn to jobs, families and even romance. We also looked forward to seeing each other once a week to get updates on projects, as well as catching up with each others' lives.

A tradition in our group was that when someone moved away or had a major life event (such as a wedding or a new baby) we would get together and coordinate a group project - usually a blanket. When I moved, I was so busy with everything, it didn't occur to me that I hadn't gotten a blanket. Although I had been planning on moving away from the city for quite awhile, the amount of time from when I started interviewing for this job to my actual move date was quite brief.  So even if they had wanted to make a blanket for me, they wouldn't have had the time.

One of the ladies from our group was passing through Massachusetts last week and stopped by for a visit. One of the first things she did was hand me a box. It was wrapped in simple brown paper with yarn wrapped around it. I KNEW what this was. (Full disclosure – I went back to NYC for a good friend’s wedding 2 months ago and they had presented me with a card explaining that they were working on the blanket). I would like to say that I was a picture of patience as I opened the box, but I was more like a little kid at his/her birthday and just ripped into that paper. My wonderful friends had made me a blanket!

They made me a 64 Crayons using Liberty Wool. Apparently there was some discussion as soon as I accepted the job that they knew they wanted to make me a blanket and they wanted to use Classic Elite Yarns. The ironic thing was that we had just finished making a 64 crayons for our friend (whose wedding I went back for). I can only imagine how difficult it was for the people who were working on both blankets to not spill the beans to either of us!

There are so many great things about this blanket. The first, of course, is that it was made with love by people I love. I am sure it will keep me warm on cold New England winter days, but also warm my heart during those times when I am feeling lonely for my friends.

I also really love that they used Liberty Wool. Not only is it a tribute to my decision to work for CEY, it is a great yarn for a blanket. Liberty Wool is machine washable, so when a messy life moment happens, I don't have to worry about how to clean it. I can just throw it into the washing machine.

Another great thing about the use of Liberty Wool in combination with this blanket is that it will always go with whatever my décor is. There are so many colors, that they all work together, just like a great quilt would. For the time being, the blanket will be in my living room, but I feel that if I want to put it in the bedroom at some point, it would go with whatever is in there.

I know that this is an heirloom piece for me. And one I will forever more treasure! Thank you to my NYC knitting friends. It means more to me than you will ever know.

A Light in the Window

We all know that the fiber community is ...well…a tight-knit group. There is something about seeing another person knitting or crocheting, that we feel the need to introduce ourselves as a fellow fiber enthusiast and tell them what we are working on, even if we don't speak the same language. Fiber is the great common denominator that becomes a universal language.

So when there is a loss in the fiber world, it is one that we all feel personally. I am sure you have by now heard about the loss of our fiber friend, Kathreen Ricketson. She and her husband recently passed away, leaving behind two small children.

Our good friends, Kay and Ann at Mason Dixon Knitting have released a pattern called A Light in the Window. The pattern is free for a limited time (from now until June 3, 2013) and Ann and Kay ask that you consider making a donation to the Education Fund for Otijillo and Orlando Shugg (Kathreen’s children).

Originally designed as a knit-along for Ann’s book Bowling Avenue, the blanket is made from Liberty Wool and Chesapeake using mitered squares and garter stitch trim. This is one of those pieces that will become an instant classic. With lots of colors to choose from, your options are limitless. 

Nova Cardigan

How many times have you looked at a picture on a knitting pattern and thought "I wonder what the back looks like?" only to find yourself disappointed? This is NOT the case with the Nova Cardigan by Sarah Fama in the Summer 2013 Interweave Knits. The focal point on this cardigan is the back.

The triangles meeting in the center back give the cardigan an optical illusion that is flattering to most shapes. And I love the way Sarah incorporated the waist shaping into the eyelet detail - very clever! The i-cord detail on the seed stitch collar gives the cardigan a polished feeling - perfect for the office yet casual enough that it would be really cute over a sundress or with a pair of jeans.

The Nova Cardigan is made from Firefly, one of our favorite summer yarns. Made from linen and rayon, Firefly is a great choice for warm weather knits. It makes great layering pieces and has just the right amount of sheen with a slight thin/thick texture. This is one of those yarns that gets better and better the more you wash it!

The hardest part thing about this cardigan? Picking a color.

Photos courtesy of Interweave Knits. Photographer Joe Hancock.

Squam Art Workshops

There are three little words that so many crafters love to hear—Squam Art Workshops. Known simply as Squam to many of us, it is a retreat for adults featuring classes in many creative endeavors including knitting, crochet, embroidery, drawing, woodworking, sewing, creative writing,  photography, jewelry making and more. And it all takes place in beautiful Holderness, NH on Squam Lake.

This year Ravelry is hosting a party - the Ravelry Reverly - and it sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun! Classic Elite Yarns is very excited (and proud) to be a sponsor of this year's event.

Each sponsor will have an activity booth on Saturday June 8 from 1-5 PM. For our activity booth, we decided that we wanted to do something fun, and good for our community at the same time. We will be teaming up with Warm Up America to make blankets for those in need. We'll have squares on hand for people to join together to make blankets, as well as yarn and needles/hooks for people to make additional squares in our booth. We'll also be hosting races to see who can knit* a 7” by 9” square the fastest. There will be several ‘heats’ starting every half hour on the half hour. A basic pattern and some CEY yarn will be provided for you to use; we'll also have some needles and hooks available, but if you'd like to bring your own, please bring size 6 or 7 needles or size G-H hooks. The person with the fastest time at the end of the day will win a certificate that entitles them to a copy of our entire fall 2013 pattern collection!

If you are unable to attend Squam, but still want to participate…you can! You can make a 7” by 9” square and mail it to us and we will happily join them into one of our Warm Up America blankets. Please mail them to us by June 5 (address below), and be sure to include your contact information.

Classic Elite Yarns
16 Esquire Road, Unit 2
North Billerica, MA 01862

And the fun doesn't end there! Each year, Squam Art Workshops ends the retreat with an Art Fair, on Saturday evening from 7:30 - 10 PM, focusing on fiber arts. We'll be having a table at the fair with lots of CEY goodies, including some that are unique to the Fair (I REALLY wish I could give you a sneak peak, but I am sworn to secrecy). The Fair is open to the public, so if you live in the Holderness area and aren't attending the workshops, you can still come down and check out all the fibery goodness.

We hope to see you at Squam. Stop by and say ‘hello!’
*Please note that while we encourage crocheted squares as well as knitted for the overall project, the contest is for knitted squares only.