Through the Wardrobe...


My first visit to the CEY office in Lowell was a little like a combination of "woooowwww" and "this is it?"...For such a ubiquitous brand, I half expected to see a floor of humming offices and fluorescent lights, people moving and shaking to get their yarn into as many knitterly hands as possible. Instead, I stepped out of the elevator onto the vast open floor of an old mill and then into a room with original mill doors almost to the ceiling and exposed brick archways over enormous picture windows. Sunlight poured in over the rustic table , and the tone was, just, peaceful. 

The rooms I passed along the way were like a knitter's dream, open shelving with yarns of every color arranged for creative stirrings, white boards covered with scribbled jolts of inspiration and boxes of knit samples from their many booklets (did Jared Flood actually knit that mitten?!?) I came to knitting only in the last few years, but doesn't it feel like knitting found me? There is nothing so ultimately satisfying as creating something beautiful, lasting and authentic with my bare hands. And the sheer simplicity of knitting and purling combining for an infinite array of patterns is so transformative, it's like stumbling upon a secret every time I pick up my needles.The best part came at the end of the meeting:

Betsy Perry: And we receive the yarn upstairs and then ship it out to our retailers... 

Me: You mean, all the yarn you ship  is upstairs? 

BP: Yup...(and then with a sly look) Wanna see?

Um, yeah? We took the elevator up and the doors opened onto a sea of yarn, endless rows of boxes and bags of yarn, all waiting to be shipped out.  A stroll down any of the aisles yielded an A to Z of Classic Elite Yarns, new and old. Just at that very moment, I knew I was home. 

So, with this blog, we hope to bring you home too, through the work of the people who make it happen and the stories of the yarn themselves. You will meet some of the designers who bring you beautiful knitwear season in and season out, and even some of the knitters that make them at home. You might even get to see how that crazy skeining machine works. Maybe.

4 comments:

  1. Oh, I miss living in Massachusetts. But now when I drive through Lowell between NYC and Maine, I can think of all that lovely yarn.

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  2. You described it brilliantly and what an incredible setting. In my region there is a mill (very similar to the photo) on some rapids that has been home to a series of failed restaurants, galleries and gift shops. I now think it is crying out for its true destiny; what it really wants is to become a wool mill, shop, enterprise. If only....

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  3. First time poster here at your blog --- please keep it up! I'm enjoying the reads.

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