Love In Every Stitch

No matter who we choose to knit for, we knit for them out of genuine love and caring. Fresco is warm without being weighty and has a cozy halo. Isn't good love a bit like that? And what better week to knit with a special someone in mind?

 So, with Valentine's Day just a week away, we wanted to give you something special to knit up. This hat is knit in the round from the bottom up in two contrasting colors of Fresco.

Heart Hat

Designed by: Meg Kealey (Myers)
Skill Level: Intermediate

Adult M

22½" circumference x 7½" tall

Fresco by Classic Elite Yarns
(60% Wool, 30% Baby Alpaca, 10% Angora; 50 g = approx 164 yards)
1 hank each:
A – 5536 Oatmeal
B – 5317 Sangria

Set of 4 dpn and circular knitting needle (16") in size US 5 (3.75 mm) or size to obtain gauge.
Circular knitting needle (16") in one size smaller.

Stitch markers

23 sts and and 35 rows = 4" in St st, blocked. Take time to save time, check your gauge.

BOR: beginning of rnd
CO: cast on
dec('d): decrease(d)
k: knit
m1: (make 1) Insert LH needle under horizontal strand between st just worked and next st, from the front to the back, knit through the back loop (1 st increased).
p: purl
pm: place marker
rep(s): repeat(s)
rnd(s): round(s)
s2kp: Slip 2 sts together knitwise from the LH needle to the RH needle, k1, pass 2 slipped sts over knit st (2 sts decreased).
st(s): stitch(es)

Heart Pattern Chart

 Stockinette Stitch (St st) in the Rnd:
Knit on all sts every rnd.

2 x 2 Rib (multiple of 4 sts)
All rnds: *K2, p2; rep from *.

NOTE: When working stripes carry unused color up beginning of round on inside.

With smaller needle and A, CO 100 sts. Pm for BOR and join to work in the rnd, being careful not to twist sts.

Work 2 x 2 Rib for 1".
Inc rnd: *(K3, m1) twice, k4, m1; rep from * - 130 sts.
Change to larger needle and knit 1 rnd.
Join B and work Heart Pattern (rnds 1-13).

Work 2 rnds even with A.

Work 6 rnds B.
Knit 1 more rnd with B and place markers as follows: K13, pm, (k26, pm) 4 times, k13.

Crown dec rnd: With B,  [Knit until 2 sts before marker, s2kp] 5 times, k to end – 10 sts dec’d.

Note: Read the next section carefully before continuing – stripes and crown decreases are worked at the same time. Change to dpn when necessary.

Rep Crown Dec rnd every 3rd rnd 8 times more then every other rnd twice – 10 sts AND AT THE SAME TIME, work stripes as follows:
Work even 3 rnds with B, then 1 rnd with A, (work 12 rnds B, 1 rnd A) twice. Complete hat with B.

Cut yarn and thread tail through all sts twice, pull tightly to close hole at top of hat. Weave in ends and lightly block.

Now that you've fallen for Fresco, here are some other great accessory ideas.

Clockwise from upper left: Marta, Snowflake, Nell, and Lucretia.

Introducing Spring 2016

It’s still winter here in New England, but we can start to think spring and look forward to getting out of heavy coats and warm boots. And have you noticed that the days are getting longer?! It's time to pick some favorites from our new spring collections, and cast on now so you'll be ready when the temperatures start to climb.

In January we introduced WOODED GLEN, a collection of pieces made in our favorite trans-seasonal yarns. The pieces are great on their own or for layering - which you might need with spring's fickle temps.

'Elen' in Sanibel, 'Echo' in Canyon, the 'Neda Wrap' and 'Neda Tee' in Song
Looking for something new? How about CALISTA, just hitting stores now in early February. It's an elegant mercerized cotton in a chainette construction. The exclusive "Calista" book has nine designs (7 knit, 2 crochet), including a favorite in our office, the Charlette 2-color top.

'Carlie' on the cover, 'Charlette' and 'Cheri', 'Calista' garments, and 'Clarisse'
FORTUNA will be arriving in March. It has the same gorgeous drape, fiber and weight as our best selling linen blend Bella Lino but with a fantastic tone on tone dye effect. Fortuna’s palette of clear colors have a washed out look perfect for summer.

'Francine' on the cover, 'Faye', Fortuna samples, and 'Frankie'
For April we have another collection in favorite summery yarns, HIGHLAND SUMMER. Designs span the seasons and include BONNIE, a stunning lightweight stripe and chevron top with fringed edge short sleeves.

'Bonnie' on cover in Silky Alpaca Lace, 'Una' in Sandpiper, 'Barclay' in Firefly, 'Morag' in Seedling
Our designers really outdid themselves this season, and we couldn't fit everything into our pattern books. That means we will be introducing eight downloadable patterns from now through April as part of our weekly Web-letter.

'Calypso' in Sprout, 'Dryad' and 'Moreai' in Seedling, and 'Ampeloi' in Soft Linen

Coming in April: 'Skye' in Cerro, 'Garrow' in Provence, 'Latharna' in Song, and 'Morna' in Provence
Cast on today! And while you knit or crochet additions to your spring wardrobe, remember there are balmy days not too far away. [And if you hurry, there is a 48-hour Flash Sale on Ravelry. Buy one, get one free! Expires 2/4/2016 at 3:00pm EST!]

Wrapping Up The West Coast

Wow! It's  hard to believe we have been home for a week now. The last couple of days/events were a whirlwind of activity.

We had a good ride over the mountain from Eureka to Ashland, Oregon.

Ocean views as we begin to head up the mountain
Our next destination was The Web-Sters for a luncheon combined with all kinds of yarny fun. Betsy talked about the history of the company and Heather talked about the yarns and discussed the ins and outs of why certain fiber blends work so well. It was a more intimate group, and lots of them tried on garments - one of the benefits of seeing our knitted pieces in person!  The cooler temps outside led to two of our woolier/warmer yarns getting a lot of attention - they loved Telluride and Camelot!
Knitters enjoying lunch  and yarn previews at The Web-sters
We headed out right after The Web-sters event to get a head start on our trip for the next day - we had another mountain pass to get through as we aimed for Mt. Shasta, CA. Once we settled in we were not only treated to some local live entertainment, the next morning Betsy had a chance to see her niece and family for breakfast.

The driving was a bit sloppy as we headed to Knitique in Elk Grove on Saturday.

It was worth it, as we were welcomed by a full house of enthusiast knitters and were treated to a customer "CEY project" show and tell. Again, after a little talk, lots of people tried on samples and made their project choices.
Colorful cowl knit in Telluride
 We made our way to the last hotel night, had "breakfast for dinner", and tried to make sense of our suitcases!
Breakfast for dinner!
The trip was sooo much fun. Thousands of miles covered. Beautiful sites. A few quick family visits. Best of all, we were able to meet a whole bunch of yarn lovers!

Last but not least, a great big thank you to all the welcoming shop owners and dedicated knitters and crocheters!

Til next time,
Betsy & Heather

The Next Leg of the Journey

Travel Journal

What fun we had at Northcoast Knittery. It was a full house with the store decorated with all of our spring garments.

That didn't last too long though! People were taking the models off the hangers and mannequins and trying them all on. It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves, declaring,"Ooh , I love this!".

The next day we started out very early, with plenty of caffeine on hand, and headed along the Pacific coast, through the redwoods and mountains and along the Smith River. 

We were fortunate and had clear weather as the mountain ride is steep and windy, with lots of warnings to "have chains ready for winter conditions." But clear skies allowed us to see the majestic changing landscapes. What an amazing country!

Three Events Left To Go

Travel Journal

We’re on our own now – no local chauffeur (thank you Stephanie!). We filled up the Durango after landing in NoCal, and made our way to the Bay Area. The day turned out to be quite special for Betsy. 

We were able to squeeze in lunch with her son and spent the night with her sister-in-law. What a treat!! 

Now we’re in way northern California. After a rainy drive through the mountains, we arrived in Eureka – as in eureka! we made it! Tonight we’ll be sharing our yarn-love with customers at Northcoast Knittery. The shop looks great, and we’ll let you know afterwards, but right now it looks like we’ll have over 40 people in the store – wowza! Eureka is a beautiful town on the Pacific Ocean: foggy and rainy today, but we expect it to clear out so we can see ocean on one side and mountains on the other when we say adieu tomorrow morning.

CEY On The Road

Travel Journal

Today is our last day in San Deigo; this afternoon we get on the road again and meet up for an event at Creative Ewe in Santa Clarita Tuesday evening.

We had expected to be dealing with heavy rain here in CA, but so far it has been delightful! The sunrise this morning makes us want to stay longer!

It was such a great TNNA show. Retailers were excited about seeing all the vendors; we vendors were so happy to spend some time with our customers. Having them see finished garments is important – then they can tell their knitters what the pieces looked like IN PERSON! It makes the patterns come alive like nothing else.

Besides all the “glamorous” parts of being at a trade show (trying new restaurants; seeing knitting-world celebrities; cooking up new projects with our trade show buddies), it’s a lot of hard work too.

There were only three of us to tear down the booth this year, three “middle aged” women. Three tired “middle aged” women. I won’t lie and say it was easy, but we tucked away our important booth components for their safe journey home. And Heather treated the team to massages afterwards. Ahhhhh. 

It was a nice way to end the southernmost portion of our adventure.

Northward we go!

Additional Inspiration In January

It's cold outside in the Northern Hemisphere, making this the perfect time to find a cozy spot inside (perhaps by a sunny window) and plan for your spring knitting now. What you knit in January will be ready to wear on the first warmish days that begin to pop up in April. 

With spring in mind, our January pattern collection, Wooded Glen, is full of happy pastel colorways and yarns that all have either linen or cotton in the mix. Fringe and gracefully shaped hemlines add texture and uniqueness to the pieces.

For a little extra inspiration as you begin your spring knitting this month, we'll be releasing an additional new single PDF pattern each week in January. We begin this week with 'Moreai' by Tonia Barry. This classically shaped cardigan is worked from the bottom up in our organic cotton, machine washable Seedling.

The rounded neckline of this cardigan is a universally flattering shape, while the 3/4 length sleeves are just right for showcasing your favorite bangles or bracelet style cuffs. 

Transitional pieces are such gems as they are wearable on their own in the warmer months and make great layering pieces in the cooler months. Keep your eyes open for both the free Web-Letter pattern and the announcement of the additional new PDF pattern each and every Tuesday in January. (If you haven't already, be sure to sign up so you so you don't miss out!)