It's National Pink Day!

If I could buy a yarn each day
there would be no doubt,
which color brings me happiness,
which one I'd like to tout.

It's made with just a bit of red 
and a bit of white.
It brings to mind love and joy 
and sets my heart a flight.

Indeed I never have to think
which color is the best.
Obviously it is PINK,
except for all the rest.

Classic Elite Yarns' fans all over the globe love pink too. 

Check out all of these beautiful finished projects!

Daisy Knits from Michigan made this gorgeous 

Porphura Sweater with Liberty Wool

PinaKnitting worked up this swingy 

Sandshore in CEY Katydid. 

Try it in Sanibel.

Pthorne999 lives in California and used
Firefly to knit two designs from
Handmade Los Angeles 2 into a Modern Twin Set.

ZKBird lives in France and knit this lovely sweater for her sister in CEY Soft Linen.
I hope she kept the Flamingo for herself.Check out her blog!

Our Nation's Capitol Meets YARN!

Twice yearly, the "yarniana" congregate to celebrate our industry and reveal the newest, most irresistible yarns and designs. For the first time, TNNA - The National Needlearts Association's trade show -- was held in our nation's capitol. 

The Smithsonian must have known we were coming, as they set out a small but mighty installation about color at the National Museum of Natural History. I like to think it was just for us.

It's a bit of a frenzy but so much fun, as we go from enormous trunks packed just so, to racks of designers' newest pieces come to life. Finally the yarn wall rises and one skein of each yarn in EVERY color is set out on display!

We had the best time with our new Instax system snapping pictures of all the knitterati that came by the booth including BetsyCynthiaNina, Erin, Laura, Patty and Tricia. They're all modeling designs from our latest collections. These patterns and yarns will be hitting shops near you in the coming months.

It's a whirlwind four days, but each year it is so invigorating to bring our new products to market. Our shop owner partners really loved all the yarns. We hope you will enjoy them and FREQUENT your LYS and just knit and crochet and knit and crochet and knit!

The Colory Story from A - Z: with Creative Director Susan Mills

The work of a yarn company Creative Director seems so glamorous! Our minds fill with the idea of model auditions, photo shoots, beautiful locations and of course gorgeous yarns. Then there's the part where you get to hang out with the yarny celebs while following and creating new trends. It's a dream job for many of us on the outside.

Susan Mills has the  great good fortune to live the life. She's worked with some of the industry's favorite designers. She has designed a full catalog of beautiful, wearable projects. And she drives the selection and design of Classic Elite Yarns' irresistible offerings

I sat down with Susan to chat about how she chooses colors for each collection. Although she's constantly watching trends in fashion, working 18 months or more in advance brings some much needed guesswork to the process. 

Check out this brief photo essay that follows the process from concept to projects:

Step 1 - Create a color story. Pantone chips help a lot.

Step 2: Consult with dyers and the mills to create the best matches.

Step 3: The YARN brings your vision to life!

The beautiful design collection, Early Fall 2016 showcases all the colors just as conceived.  Which color do you find irresistible?

Winter, Spring, Summer and Early Fall

Classic Elite Yarns' newest design collection will make every knitter -- especially those among us who like to plan our knits -- very, very happy.  In a little spin on Christmas in July, we bring you Early Fall in June!

Designs clockwise from left: Virginia, Penny, Poppie
Knit in (clockwise from left) Big Liberty Wool, Soft Linen, Song

Susan Mills, Classic Elite Yarns' Creative Director, began work with the design team in January 2015 looking at trends in color, texture, style and detail. Early Fall is a celebration of simple cables. There is just enough texture to be completely on trend, while maintaining that easy-wear, simple-knit style that we all love. 

And the yarns in Early Fall are lovely choices for year-round knitting. Big Liberty Wool is breathable and washable in the Virginia cabled cardigan. Soft Linen is both crisp and full of drape, showing off the cable details in the Penny A-line pullover.  Song is a new classic, blending cotton and wool equally in this next-to-the-skin-soft worsted as seen in the stunning Poppie pullover.

Each of these 10 beautiful designs will be a joy to "quick-knit" now and wear when Fall comes back. Find all 10 designs as PDFs, E-Books, and Print Edition as well as the yarns, at your local yarn shop and individual PDFs and the E-Book on Ravelry.

A Time to Crochet

As far as handcrafting goes, turning yarns into heirlooms with a crochet hook is just as one-of-a-kind as creating with knitting needles. And this year, the fashion industry has embraced crochet for its versatility and style.

We thought this was the perfect time for a new Viewpoints book. Having culled together beautiful crochet designs from modern and skilled designers, we present you with A Time to Crochet, eight fresh and modern crochet patterns from seven different designers.

Kristen TenDyke combines Crestone and her eye for unusual construction to create Savona, a completely seam free cardigan. Dolman sleeves and the vertical textural strips of the button band are the added touches that make this cardigan stand out in the crowd.

Susan Mills uses crochet stitches to build Livorno with raglan sleeves and a striking striped yoke. The donegal tweed of Telluride adds extra textural dimension to this classically shaped pullover.

Robyn Chachula uses lacy crochet motifs to design Alessandria. The large ribbed collar and open sides flatters all sizes. The softness of Fresco allows this piece to drape beautifully about your body.

Charles Voth makes Cerro's blend of soft pima cotton and alpaca really shine in his design Bergamo. He uses reversible motifs to form the stunning neckline and the airy lace stitches of the body are also reversible.

Lillian May's crochet accessories are right on trend. Combining Mohawk Wool and Telluride, she uses beautiful flower shaped motifs to form Ferrara. On the other hand, or on both hands in this case, 8 granny squares made of Alpaca Sox are seamed together to form the two fingerless mitts of Novara.

Kathy North designed Biella with overlapping fronts in our bright self-striping colors of Camelot. Openwork edging is a lovely added detail that really completes the look.

Jill Wright's Ravenna embodies the joyful lightness that can be achieved with crochet. Worked up in our much loved Mohawk Wool. The flow of this poncho moves when you do, keeping things simple and elegant at the very same time.

With crochet firmly established as one of the top five trends of the year, this is a great time to give it a try! There are so many viewpoints represented on the art of crochet here, you're sure to find something that pulls you to pick up a hook and begin.

Our Mothers' Influence

When we knit and crochet, we not only feel connected to the fiber at our fingertips, we also are reminded of those who honed their skills at handcrafts before us. With Mother's Day just days away, we at CEY were talking about what influences our relatives have had on our love of creating things with our own hands.

Sales Director, Heather says,
"I learned from both my mother and step-mother. Both of their mothers were also knitters. My mother’s mother used to knit in the ski lodge while my grandfather skied. This same grandfather used to work in the weaving mills in Uxbridge. He designed the fabric used as seat covers in Ford automobiles. He also was recognized for making the covers for the cameras in the planes during WW II. Working with fiber seems to be in the blood!"

Model Lindsay and her son.
Designer, Tonia says, 
"Ever since I can remember my mother and aunts gathered together to knit. I grew up with family knit nights. When I was little I tried my hand at it but somehow never succeeded at making anything more than some very interesting Barbie clothes. Honestly, in my teens I was "too cool” to appreciate what they were doing, but after I got out of college, I really came to appreciate their knitting so much, so my cousins and I joined them. Sadly, we don’t gather as much as we used to with the larger group. However, my mother, sister, daughter (age 23), and niece (age 9) do often get together and knit. My mother and I sometimes tag team projects since we seem to get the same gauge on different size needles. One of my most treasured possessions is a blanket that she did sections of and I did others.We passed back and forth until we finished it."

Betsy and her granddaughter.
Head of CEY, Betsy says,
"I learned to knit in the Girl Scouts; I had wanted to learn badly because my mother knit and my grandmother crocheted. The first real thing I knit was a long scarf with some kind of pattern stitch knit in an acrylic yarn, probably the only kind available in our neck of the woods. I was also learning to ski about the same time, and I proudly wore my scarf for a ski lesson. It got wrapped around the rope on the rope-tow and was completely ruined! Lesson learned – hand knits are to be carefully loved!"

So we say 'thank you' to all who came before us and paved the way for the knitting and crocheting that we love so much. Who influenced your desire to create things by hand?

The MountainTop Collection

In celebration of Earth Day, we'd like to tell you about our MountainTop Collection of naturally undyed yarns. Did you know that each of the yarns in this collection is made using a range of naturally occurring colors from alpaca and sheep blended with other undyed fibers? Read about each of these lovely qualities, then leave a comment on which you would like to sample - and why - for a chance to win a skein of your choice!

The MountainTop Collection currently includes seven yarns across a variety of weights, each with its own unique characteristics.

The thinnest yarn in the collection is Vail, pure luxury in a light fingering weight of 70% baby alpaca and 30%. The bamboo gives the yarn a most delicate luster and drape, while the alpaca contributes an ethereal softness.

Mohawk Wool is grown and spun in the USA. The natural colors of lustrous merino and lofty Romney wool combine with a bit of nylon in this sport weight 3-ply yarn. With a generous 375 yards in each hank, the yarn makes beautiful fabric for shawls, accessories and garments. The bit of nylon adds the strength necessary for cozy, durable socks, if that's to your liking.

Canyon combines Pima cotton with just a hint of undyed alpaca. The alpaca brings loft to the cotton, creating a smooth and silky yarn in a perfect weight for summer.

Crestone is a worsted weight 100% wool for the those that like working with a true woolly wool. It  makes a beautiful, durable fabric, perfect for long wearing garments and accessories. The marled colors add a bit of extra interest!

Vista is interchangeable with Crestone being spun at the same weight and twist, but by combining it with 50% superfine alpaca, we've added an extra bit of softness and silkyness.

Chalet is a chainette yarn - the construction simultaneously provides strength and lightness. Add a luxury fiber blend of baby alpaca and bamboo to that inherent lightness and you have Chalet, a decadently soft yarn with a lovely drape in a chunky weight yarn.

A chunky weight of alpaca and wool merge in a plump, squishy 100 gram hank of fiber scrumptiousness in Blackthorn - truly a joy to knit with!

(Psst - Keep a lookout this fall for a new addition to this earth-friendly collection.)

Remember, leave a comment (by midnight EDT Sunday April 24, 2016) letting us know which of these lovely yarns you would like to win and why. Please include a Ravelry name or contact email. Good luck!