Eggplant anyone?

It's such fun when the cleverness of pattern writing mixes with the wonder of merino and perfect colorways, to make such adorableness.

Edith Murphy used MillaMia Naturally Soft Merino to make this cute hat from her Sport Weight Fruit or Vegetable Hat pattern. It can also be made in Liberty Wool Light, another great machine-washable wool. So many choices.

Thanks Julia!

We have been fortunate enough to work with great designers over the years, and Julia Farwell-Clay is certainly one of them. Her most recent work, found in From Folly Cove (at your LYS and on Ravelry) is breathtaking, and full of historical information as well as inspiration. Thank you, Julia, for allowing us to publish your beautiful work. 

Did you see Julia's blog tour? - some great bloggers had a lot of insights!

Leave a comment here before 5:00pm eastern time February 26th, and maybe you will be lucky enough to receive the From Folly Cove and enough yarn for one of its projects. Good luck!!

Crafting a Colorful Home

We got a beautiful package from our friend Kristin Nicholas last week - a copy of her new book Crafting a Colorful Home. And it is absolutely charming and inspirational!

As you know, Kristin was with Classic Elite Yarns for many, many years, and her signature style is reflected in many of our older, vintage patterns. But she has designed for us more recently too.

Susie in Color by Kristin, by Tonia Barry
We were lucky enough to have a photoshoot at Leyden Glen Farm for this cardigan, and the backdrop just adds to the inspiration. It's the same with her Crafting a Colorful Home book. Just look at the colors she uses!

Scrap Yarn Afghan
Besides knitting inspiration, you'll find recipes (check out the Shepherd's Pie - YUM!) and lots of great painting, sewing, and crafting projects. Her chapter on "how to re-cover a chair seat" caught my attention. I could use some color on my old dining room chairs!

I highly recommend this book. You might not think you can have as colorful a home as Kristin does, but with a few small projects, you'd be well on your way!

Leave a comment, and you have a chance to get a signed copy of the book that might change your home decor for life.

Thanks Tal!

What fun we've had with Talitha Kuomi and her designs. And her blogging friends have had a lot to say about her fabulous new book, Artistic Differences! She will be with us in New York for VK Live this weekend - very exciting - but also exciting is that we are giving a way a copy of her book, and enough yarn for a project! Just leave a comment here, and we'll draw the lucky winner next week. (Please note, this giveaway is now closed.)

In the meantime, we leave you with more yarny inspiration.
Trume Socks from Artistic Differences

From Folly Cove

When we began thinking about our Viewpoints collaborations, Julia Farwell-Clay came to mind. I have long admired her designs and she is local to our CEY offices - a regular visitor to our factory outlet store. One day, while she was innocently browsing for yarn, I cornered her and asked if she would be interested in doing a collection with CEY and what her concept for such a collection would be. I heard back from her just a few days later and was blown away by the depth and breadth of her inspiration and design ideas. We immediately started talking yarn and deadlines and photography and neither of us has looked back!

Julia’s idea centered around Illustrator Virginia Lee Burton, best known for her children’s books.
books by Virginia Lee Burton
Virginia Lee Burton taught an informal design course to her neighbors in Gloucester Massachusetts in the late 1930s that, over time, grew into a design guild producing beautiful block printed fabrics. Known as the The Folly Cove Designers, their popularity grew and the group remained active until 1970, the year after Virginia Lee Burton’s death. 

Their artwork and incredible block prints are so beautiful and varied, Julia had enough design ideas for several books. We narrowed down the focus and Julia got busy knitting. The Arts and Crafts feel of the Folly Cove Designers blends well with Julia's signature style. The results are timeless, yet have a modern vibe. 
Butterflies, blocked printed fabric by Elizabeth Iarrobino a member of The Folly Cove Designers
Iarrobino Vest and Cowl in Fresco by Julia Farwell-Clay, inspired by Butterflies fabric above
In addition to the Iarrobino cowl and vest, From Folly Cove contains nine more outstanding designs, including a dress, a skirt, and jackets and coats. All designs are available now at your LYS, online as individual pdfs, and as a downloadable ebook. 

Artistic Differences

Early in 2014, those of us at Classic Elite Yarns began talking about a different way to work with independent designers. We hadn't quite figured out what that "different way" would be when Talitha Kuomi approached us, asking if we had thought about working one-on-one with an indie designer. The time was right to jump in and figure out the details, and Tal's vision of Artistic Differences* was born!

You may be familiar with Talitha's work through The Fiber Factor's first season. You can read more about Talitha here. Tal has also contributed many designs to CEY pattern books and I love her creative style - her ability to make a simple garment or accessory unique and different, by just adding small details.

Squishesse in Chalet, Cedar in Firefly and Lana in Color by Kristin (all available on Ravelry)
Her concept for Artistic Differences, taking one design and altering the details to make it fit your style, inspired by her two muses - an edgy rock 'n rock chick, and a more dreamy bohemian, hippy girl - seemed a perfect way to showcase her creativity and design aesthetic. Below are just a few of my favorites from the ten projects in Artistic Differences, each shown two ways.

Forte is a pullover knit in Blackthorn, with a unique drop stitch V-neck. The Boho version (left) has a higher V, and is shown worn with a wide beaded belt. The drop-stitch V-neck on the Rocker version is much deeper (right). Both are standard fit - a couple of inches of ease - but would have even another look if worn more oversized.

Forte pullover in Blackthorn
I am in love with the Tensity bag! The only reason I haven't cast on yet is that I can't decide which color of Wynter to use. 

Tensity bag in Wynter)
Both versions are knit exactly the same. The difference is in the hardware, which is available as a kit from JUL Designs. Choose from a classic shoulder bag or a backpack-type shoulder sling bag. The cabled outer layer and the lining are knit in one piece for a bag with more stability than most knitted bags. Tal suggests the option of knitting the lining in a contrasting color.

Terva pullover in Magnolia
The lacey Terva pullover is shown oversized (Rocker version - left) or in a more fitted silhouette (Boho version - right) Both are shown hip length but could easily be knit to tunic length

What I love about Artistic Differences is that by showing more than one way to knit and wear a sweater or accessory, it gives the knitter even more ideas for options in making each project perfectly suited to her own particular style.

* The entire collection and individual patterns will be available January 1, 2015!

A New Way of Thinking

Knitters today have more pattern choices than ever before! A quick look at Ravelry shows the ever-expanding variety of designs and designers. 

In CEY’s monthly pattern anthologies, we aim to showcase our yarns at their best, and each collection is a compilation of many designers, styles and perspectives. We strive to show a balanced collection each month with something for everyone – accessories and garments; trendy pieces and more classic styles; projects for beginners as well as experienced knitters.

But we also imagined a new and different way to present pattern support: 


What if we created a more in-depth and focused way to work with designers? By giving a talented indie designer the freedom to tell a story with a themed collection of their designs, we could present their favorite CEY yarns in a different light. And that's how VIEWPOINTS was born. It represents an open collaboration between the indie designer and the experience and resources at CEY. No restrictions, no seasonal deadlines. Just the designer's imagination brought to life and sent out into the knitting world.

The first two collections in this on-going series will be available January 1, 2015, and we couldn't be more excited!

Artistic Differences pattern book, by Talitha Kuomi
Talitha was inspired by her musical and performing background to create ARTISTIC DIFFERENCES. She imagined one design altered to be knit and styled two unique ways - a bohemian acoustic style and an edgier rock n roll look.

 Setto, a cabled pullover in Inca Alpaca, is shown as a high hip length on the Boho girl.

Each of the 10 projects is shown twice giving the knitter ideas to customize for their own particular style.

  For a different look, the Setto pullover is shown cropped on our rocker chick.

FROM FOLLY COVE, by Julia Farwell-Clay
From Folly Cove pattern book, by Julia Farwell-Clay
Julia's FOLLY COVE collection was inspired by block prints created by a mid 20th century design guild founded by artist Virginia Lee Burton on the north shore of Massachusetts. 
Iarrobino Vest in Fresco 
The arts and craft feel of the The Folly Cove Designers blends well with Julia's signature style resulting in fresh, modern designs with a vintage feel.
Lanesville pullover in Liberty Wool Light
As with all our monthly books, the two new VIEWPOINTS collections are available many ways: visit your Local Yarn Store to purchase a printed book (it includes a code to also download an eBook version); purchase the eBook online; or buy individual PDF patterns. 

A more in-depth preview of each VIEWPOINTS collection is coming soon - stay tuned!