Happy New Year!

Did you accomplish all you set out to accomplish this year? I outlined three resolutions in my New Year's Post for 2011:

Learn to knit Continental-style.
I did! I've knit two sweaters and a hat this way, and it gets easier every day. And guess what? It IS faster!

Attend a big knitting event.
I went to two knitting events in 2011, Vogue Knitting Live and TNNA in June. Go me!

Put all my projects on Ravelry.
On this goal, I sadly fell short. I did improve my Ravelry notebook though!

I had another goal of completing a sweater every month in 2011...I did get through 11 of them (11.5 if you count an Aran knit baby sweater I made for a friend in the fabulous Liberty Wool), but Christmas gifts dominated my month of December and I just couldn't pull through. I do have a fellow knitter who went above and beyond...

Cheryl, aka Snuzy. May I present to you her 20 Sweaters of 2011!!!!

She wants you all to know that she will be finished with more sweaters by 12/31. Stay tuned for an addendum.

What are your knitting resolutions this year?

Image credit Sally M

Hello Billerica! Moving, Pt. 2

We're finally settling into our new spot, and everything is falling into place quite nicely. It's strange to move from an historic mill building, which has its pluses (character!) and its minuses (lots and lots of dust!), and into a completely new spot.

No more boxes on the floor!

Yup, all this yarn had to be shelved. There were TONS of it. Literally.

We spent a whole week just unpacking yarn...

TNNA bound in just a few weeks, can you believe Spring yarns are coming soon?

The crane we used to get mill equipment out of the giant doors. 

This crazy thing survived the move. A little bit of an anachronism in our new modern digs.

My favorite part is my outlet, that sits at waist height in my office. Is that weird? I'd show you a picture, but it's really boring.

A much more exciting addition, a forklift!

Anyway, goodbye, Lowell!! It's been grand!

See ya later!

CEY, Hot Off the Press

Even if I knit a sweater a month (ambitious!) I wouldn't make it through my queue of cold-weather sweaters until SEPTEMBER 2012! Sigh, I still couldn't resist casting on for a project from one of the new Winter knitting magazines. Given my current lust for angora, can you guess which one it is?

See projects in Classic Elite yarns from new editions of all your favorite magazines here!

Vogue Knitting, Holiday

Arm Warmers by Twinkle 1 hank of Twinkle Handknits/Baby Chunky in #81 Amethyst #28. Photo by Paul Amato.

Textured Jacket by Pat Olski, sized for X-Small/Small, Medium, Large 15 (19,23) hanks of Vista from Mountain Top/Classic Elite Yarns in #6003 Ash. Photo by Paul Amato.

Interweave Knits, Winter

Pan Am Jacket by Ashley Rao, Classic Elite Yarns Mountaintop Collection Crestone, #5103 smoke, 14 (16, 17, 19, 22) skeins. Photo by Carmel Zucker.

Interweave Knits Accessories

Pointilist Hat by Nikki Wagner, Classic Elite Yarns Princess: #3409 proud peacock, 2 skeins. Photo by Harper Point Photography.

Two Ribs Infinity Scarf by Susan Pierce Lawrence, Classic Elite Yarns Kumara: #5736 thistle down, 4 skeins.  Photo by Harper Point Photography.

Knitscene, Winter

Francisca Hat by Amanda Scheuzger, Classic Elite Yarns Lush, #4466 peach fuzz, 2 skeins. Photo by Brad Bartholomew.

Knit Simple, Winter

Drop-Shoulder Cardigan (#6) by Mari Lynn Patrick, photo by Paul Amato, Classic Elite Yarns Montera for Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-large, 1X, 2X; 9 (9, 9, 10, 10, 11) hanks in #3853 black cherry

Twist Collective, Winter

Oscillate by Amy Herzog, Classic Elite Yarns Lush: #4412 Banana, 7 (8, 8, 9, 10, 11, 11, 12, 13, 14) skeins. Photo by Jane Heller.

Knitcircus, Winter

Duplicity by Talitha Kuomi, Classic Elite Yarns Woodland, from the Verde Collection, 2 balls. Photo by Tracy Harris.

Jile Vest by Jean Clement of Desert Rose Designs, Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool Solid and Print. Photo by Tracy Harris.

You Can STILL Knit This Stocking!

We have a winner!!

And don't worry if it's not you. These stocking kits are available for purchase! Just click any of the images in this post to buy one from an LYS near you. Or scroll down to see where you can buy them in person!
Candy Cane (4 balls of yarn plus the pattern)

Cables (3 balls of yarn plus the pattern)

Nordic Star (3 balls of yarn plus the pattern)

You can buy stocking kits from the retailers listed below. 
  • WEBS, Northampton, MA, http://yarn.com 
  • Yarn Garden, Portland, OR,  http://www.yarngarden.net 
  • Stitch House Dorchester, Dorchester, MA, http://www.stitchhousedorchester.com 
  • Sweet Pea's Yarns and Gifts, St. Clair, MI, http://sweetpeasyarn.com/ 
  • Hub Mills Store, N. Billerica, MA, http://www.hubmillsstore.com 

Lastly, here is the winner, as chosen by random out of the 154 commenters:

cynthiapoppe said...

I prayed for a man to love. What showed up was a cat with a heart shaped patch of white wool on his nose! We are fast friends. I'd love to knit him a stocking filled with kittie goodies to decorate his food dish. This would splash up a sweet corner of the covered porch where he nestles into a box of felted alpaca scraps from me wee herd. ahhh family...

We hope you and your beloved pet enjoy it! Email me at chelsea AT classiceliteyarns DOT com to claim your prize!

We've moved!

Many of you already know, but Classic Elite Yarns is now in North Billerica! After decades in Lowell, we picked up and went south.

There was a certain mystique to our former spot, in an old mill building on the banks of a canal, hearing the drone of freight trains navigating their way north (though we might not miss the exhaust from said freight trains)...

And having our workspace in an artists' building was pretty cool, and gave us lots of backdrops for good photography.

A shot from the aptly named Artwork booklet, shot at the Western Ave. Studios.

From the booklet Panache, a trio of scarves in front of an old mill door.
But moving gave us an opportunity to regroup, to sift through decades of old stuff, and to evaluate what to keep and what we could let go of. And boy, was it a mess.

All our office stuff had to go in these giant boxes on wheels.

However, life must go on, in spite of ever-increasing disorganization.

That's A LOT of yarn to move

Still more yarn to move...

Oh wait, that was just what doesn't fit on the shelves.

Where all our pattern books once lived.

Heather cleared out this entire thing, and many others just like it.

They always look so big when they're empty.

Goodbye Lowell warehouse!
And now we're finally settled in to a completely new office and warehouse space with shiny new floors, super-organized (for now) shelves packed with yarn and books, and, this is the best part, a FORKLIFT. More pictures of our new space to come!

MillaMia Stocking Kits, just in time!

Have you knit a Christmas stocking yet? Christmas stockings have long been on my to-do list, and we may have found the perfect pattern from MillaMia, a line of yarns and patterns based in England.

Scroll down for a holiday giveaway!

MillaMia is an established European brand that is now being distributed by Classic Elite Yarns here in the States. Founded and operated by two sisters who spent their childhood summers in Sweden, MillaMia's style is distinctive and contemporary.

Their products include Naturally Soft Merino, a 100% extrafine Merino machine-washable sportweight yarn in 17 colors, a collection of beautifully styled patterns for children, and cushion and stocking kits for the holidays. You can find their entire range of products here in the States beginning in January 2012, but stocking kits are available now! 

Kits include the Candy Cane (4 balls of yarn plus the pattern), Cables (3 balls of yarn plus the pattern) and lastly the Nordic Star (3 balls of yarn plus the pattern). Though pictured above in Scarlet, these kits also come in Moss and Snow (red, green and white for the holidays!) You can buy stocking kits from the retailers listed below.  If your shop isn't listed here, don't worry! Keep checking our website here for new retailers and ask for it at your LYS.

  • WEBS, Northampton, MA, http://yarn.com 
  • Yarn Garden, Portland, OR,  http://www.yarngarden.net 
  • Stitch House Dorchester, Dorchester, MA, http://www.stitchhousedorchester.com 
  • Sweet Pea's Yarns and Gifts, St. Clair, MI, http://sweetpeasyarn.com/ 
  • Hub Mills Store, N. Billerica, MA, http://www.hubmillsstore.com 

We want to give one lucky reader in the United States a chance to experience MillaMia and Naturally Soft Merino this holiday season. We're giving away one stocking kit of your choice! You'll be hooked. Just comment here and let us know how you prepare your home for the holidays. Be sure to include a way to reach you, either through Ravelry or email so we can notify you if you win! We will choose a winner on December 8th at noon. Comment away!

The Old Norwegian Cast On

This week's Web Letter comes from Rachel Henry, arguably one of our most popular Web Letter designers of the last year. She contributed the Katydid Drop Everything Scarf AND the Ravelry hit, the Cotton Bam Boo Kudzu Shawlette, which made it to #16 of the Ravelry "New and Popular" Top 20 list at its peak and currently has 2750 faves and 179 projects!

Our latest Web Letter, the Bifurcate Cowl, is also destined for greatness. Any inquisitive knitter will be intrigued by the prospect of knitting cables flat in the round. Say what? And Kumara is so luscious, it begs to be worn next to the skin...

There is one teeny detail in the pattern that caught my attention, as I'd never heard of the "Old Norwegian Cast-On" before. Rachel posted a video on her blog explaining what it is and why it's awesome. Watch out for a cool trick to avoid tying a slip-knot in your knitting when beginning your CO. The Old Norwegian cast-on begins at around 2:10.


Another technique that would make the Bifurcate Cowl a little easier is cabling without a cable needle. This is my preferred method of working cables, and I learned from the fabulous and ever-wise Grumperina on her blog. Her tutorial does not include a video, but there are lots of clear pictures to guide you along your way.

Can't wait to see all your Bifurcate Cowls!

Elizabeth Revisited

I know we've been over this, but remember the Elizabeth cardigan? We dubbed it the "Magic Sweater" because it looked good on so many people. By the way, this sample size is small, and is the same sweater featured on the model above.

This is one of my favorite sweaters in my collection of handknits. The deep 1x1 ribbed collar folds over just so, and the machine-washable Liberty Wool is soft, squishy and springy. The slipped rib waistband hugs my waist and keeps the silhouette feminine and tailored, while still cozy. Mine is knit in a solid, #7850 Gold.

Though, to truly let this garment live up to its potential, one should take advantage of the color shifts in the wildly popular Liberty Wool Print, available in 15 distinct colorways.

If this post inspired you, you can buy the pattern on Patternfish as part of their 10,000th Design Competition. While you're there, will you vote for us?