The Debate

I have walked into more than one local yarn shop and found myself in the middle of 'the debate'. It's a discussion with passion on both sides about the perks of cardigans versus the pros of pullovers. We knitters and crocheters are known for having strong preferences and this is no exception.

In our new book Emerald Isle, 'Skibbereen' makes both sides happy by including the option to make this sweater as either a casual pullover or a five button cardigan, both knit in the tonal shades of Big Liberty Wool.

'Skibbereen' as either a pullover or a cardigan, by Susan Mills
No matter which sweater style is your preference, 'Skibbereen' has the great details that we all love in hand knits. First there are the pockets. Topped with ribbing and set into the sweater fronts, the pockets on both the cardigan and the pullover are cozy and convenient.


The textural Seed stitch adds interest to the sweater both in front and in the back. I love how the tonal shading of the Big Liberty Wool looks in this stitch. To tie it all together, the sleeves are worked in Seed stitch from the shoulders down to the ribbing at the cuffs.


The classic shaping of both the cardigan and pullover versions of 'Skibbereen' will make either of them a welcome addition to your fall wardrobe. Which side do you fall on in the pullover versus cardigan debate?

Emerald Isle

We knitters know that if you want to get that new piece done in time to wear this fall, the knitting must begin soon. With that in mind, we've just released a new book of patterns, Emerald Isle, all ready for you to whip up something to wear this coming season.

Devlin and Kildare by Tian Foley
Devlin and Kildare are great pieces for when there's just a bit of chill beginning to form in the air. The vented sides of Devlin, and the lightness of the Inca Alpaca it's knit of, make Devlin a perfect layering piece.  Kildare is knit in Mohawk Wool, whose organic shades result in neutral pieces that can easily be mixed and matched with most of your existing wardrobe.

Kilkee and Dungloe by Tonia Barry
Cast on now and as the chill in the air gets a little more intense, these could be waiting for you to cozy up in. The relaxed boxy shape of Kilkee is modern. The positive ease also makes it everyday comfortable. The bulky weight yarn means that you can go quickly from start to finish. Casual with jeans, or dressed up with a fitted skirt, you're sure to get a lot of mileage out of this pullover and its striking side cables.

I always want the option of wearing my fall jacket just a few weeks longer before pulling out the bulkier winter one. Do you? Wrapping a warm scarf like Dungloe around your neck will extend 'light coat weather' by keeping your neck and upper body a bit more toasty. Knit up in our new bulky weight, Big Liberty Wool, the tonal shades add even more depth to the textural stitches.

Kinlough by Edith Murphy and Clifden by Tonia Barry
By the time it's downright cold outside, you'll be more than ready for snowball fights and sledding with the Kinlough mittens. The fibers in the Big Liberty Wool mix team up to make these mittens both warm and durable. To keep the bitter cold off your neck? Clifden's double layers of cables will keep you snug as a well dressed bug in a rug, even in the deepest chill.

With such a varied assortment of yarns represented, in so many lovely jewel tones and natural shades to choose from, the hardest part may be limiting yourself to casting on just one project from Emerald Isle. Then again, who says you have to limit yourself?


Two Right Sides

Although the weather is still balmy, it's time for us, as knitters, to begin creating the things we will want to wear when the chill in the air arrives. Each fall, I am drawn to the thought of a new scarf. When I find a scarf with two beautiful sides, as opposed to having an obvious wrong side that might be exposed, I feel especially motivated to begin knitting one up.

Lacole in Ava and Marvel from pattern book 'All Seasons'
The versatility and reversibility of Lacole (from our pattern book 'Winter Lace') offer up so many possible cozy ways for it to be wrapped and worn. The width of Marvel makes it a cross between a wrap and a scarf. Firefly's drape pairs perfectly with the airy drop stitch pattern of this scarf, which is also reversible.

Haystack from 'Autumn Leaf' and Wabasha from 'Classic Fall'
Organic Mohawk Wool is lovely against the skin, and it has great stitch definition making the lace of Haystack really pop on both sides of the scarf. The twist of Wabasha is that the center cables are reversible. It's an easy technique with plenty of star power! Shown above, on the right, in the softly heathered Stream colorway, this year's new saturated colors of Avalanche would be a great fit for this scarf as well.

So, before the nip has already returned to the air, pick a new scarf for yourself and cast on. I've got mine on the needles already.


Happy 10th Anniversary to Knitscene

Ten years ago, an Interweave editor and the heads of three yarn companies sat in a West Coast hotel room hashing out the details of a new kind of knitting magazine. One of those people was our very own Betsy Perry (owner of Classic Elite Yarns). The result? Knitscene was born, 'a magazine for knitters who can't get enough of knitting' (according to the Editor Note in the very first issue).

#43 La Gran Pom Pom Scarf by Kristin Nicholas

 Lots of things have come and gone in the knitting world since 2005, but CEY's flagship yarn La Gran which was featured in the premiere issue is still going strong. This yarn was featured in two of the first Knitscene patterns. One of these is the 'La Gran Pom Pom Scarf' that was spotlighted as the free pattern in our Web-Letter this week.

#05 Tweed Jacket by Leslie Scanlon
The other is the #05 Tweed Jacket, a lovely mix of La Gran and Inca Alpaca. With one strand of mohair and two strands of alpaca held together as you knit, the fabric created is interesting and unique. How would you mix and match colorways to create a fabric all your own?

#06 Neck Warmer by Emily Bixler
Inca Alpaca is another long running CEY yarn. The softness of this yarn makes it ideal for anything that will cozy up against your skin like the #06 Neck Warmer, also from the premiere issue of Knitscene. Two strands of alpaca are held together as you knit giving you ever so many possibilities of color combinations.  Choosing two similar hues will result in a tonal look. Picking two contrasting hues to hold together gives more of a tweedy feel. My favorite patterns are the ones like these that give us, as knitters, enough room to let our own personal choices really shine.

Congratulations to Knitscene on the last 10 years and here's to many more to come! We at CEY are so glad to be part of the magazine that "brings you the stuff of knitters' dreams. Now wake up and get clicking!".


Socializing

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Sing, Sing a Song

In music, one guitar is not like the next.  Each has its own distinct tone. But it is not just the instrument playing the note which determines the sound. The way the note is actually played makes a world of difference in what we hear.

In our newest pattern book, Sing, the yarns are like different instruments. The drape of Bella Lino, the squish of Sprout, the merging color tones of Mesa and the versatile fiber mix of Song all play their own tunes in the knit pieces.

It's the way these yarns are 'played,' the details of novel construction and the chosen stitches themselves that really make the patterns ring out loud and strong.

'Unforgettable' a 3/4 length sleeve cardigan in Song.


The textured yoke of 'Unforgettable' elevates a classic raglan cardigan to something memorable. This pattern uses our new yarn Song whose cotton and wool combo make this a great knit for humming through from late summer into early fall.

'Stand By Me' by Susan Mills in Bella Lino.

The unexpected construction combined with an airy lace stitch in 'Stand By Me' allows the self-striping Bella Lino to shine. It also duets with the lightness and drape of the yarn to compose the beautiful flow of the sweater fronts.

'Heart of Gold' in Verde Collection Sprout.

See the way that 'Heart of Gold' shines a little spotlight on the soft texture of Sprout? And the large eyelets dotting the upper body work in beautiful harmony with the top down construction.

It's the extra touches that cause a lilting melody to get stuck in our heads and become a part of our day.  For me it's the details of patterns like these that make me want to knit them and then urge me to keep them at the top of the playlist that is my closet for years to come.

Inspiration

It is always exciting to see how a magazine editor or an independent designer will envision one of our yarns being used. Recently CEY yarns were featured in three different patterns in three new magazine issues.

First, we saw the Bartram Vest by Cassie Castillo in Interweave Knits Summer. Look how they've taken the natural, undyed shades of Mohawk Wool and set them in the great outdoors. What a perfect match!

Photo by Harper Point Photography. Copyright Interweave.
Next up Interweave Crochet revealed the Lattice Lace Shrug by Lei Wilkins. The drape of Firefly is such a perfect fit with this flowing vest. They must have had Firefly's light-catching sheen in  mind, knowing that it would really pop when this piece is in motion.

Photo courtesy of Interweave.
Most recently, Veera Valimaki's Multi-Directional Cardigan was released in the Early Fall issue of Vogue Knitting. The softness of Inca Alpaca matches the softness of the setting, and is put to good use in this two color piece. There are so many possible color combinations. Would you choose a tone on tone combination or two colors with a stronger contrast?

VOGUE Knitting Early Fall 2015. Photo by Rose Callahan.
As much as we are moved by the vision of the editors and designers on these magazine pages, it is the next step that is our favorite. Now you, the knitters and crocheters, will choose your colors and make the patterns your own. Seeing what you come up with inspires us the most.