Going to Knitting Lab? Want to Win?

Interweave Knitting Lab is next week! Who's going? What classes are you taking? Interweave promises:

  • Hands-on learning experiences in how-to classes filled with "aha!" moments
  • Deep, immersive instruction presented by icons of the knitting world including: Barbara Walker, Nilda CallaƱaupa Alvarez, June Hemmons Hiatt, Clara Parkes, Ann Budd, and Shirley Paden
  • Rarely-offered classes on unique regional, ethnic, and historical techniques, taught by authoritative experts in an intimate setting

  • Presentations by some of knitting's cleverest luminaries makes it worth a visit alone! Tea with Alice Starmore? Need I say more?

    We know that these events are often the best places to show off your most impressive FO's. Rhinebeck is a veritable fashion show of handknits, and with a four-day immersive event teeming with intermediate to advanced knitters, this one will be a doozie too. Our sales manager Heather will be there, walking the floor and mingling in the tasting area. If you are wearing a FO in Classic Elite Yarns, say hi! (If you can't find her, follow @ceyarns on Twitter for updates). She'll give you one of these awesome pins to write what CEY yarn you're wearing.

    Then, you're entered in a drawing! We will randomly choose one name to win a gift basket valued at over $75, containing a grab bag of CEY yarns including Kumara, Alpaca Sox, Silky Alpaca Lace Handpaints, and Liberty Wool Print, and the recently published Quick Knits, a book of 100 patterns compiled from our pattern archives.

    So what are you packing?

    Knitcircus Gifts Giveaway!

    Yup, I'll say it. Christmas is 69 days away. After Halloween, it's a slippery slope to the holiday season. Can you stand it? Knitcircus recently released its Holiday Gifts edition, and what an issue it is! Packed with small, simple knits, you're sure to find a pattern that's perfect for that special someone (or let's face it, for yourself. Am I right?) I was thrilled to see this piece by Jane Prater.  

    Scroll to the bottom for a special giveaway!

    The Shapely Shawl, a shawl that won't fall off! Here are some words from Jane Prater...

    Triangle shawls are so wonderfully easy to knit, but they fall off my shoulders. I wanted a shawl shaped like my body to stay on through the day, and a design easy enough to knit in public. The shaping is the star of this piece, yet the increases are super simple. Wear it pinned, tied, or just hanging loose. Any way you wear it, it will stay on your shoulders and keep you looking good!

    The yarn is Magnolia, a yarn I could go on and on about (and I have...) It's soft, luminescent, the perfect gauge, and comes in a stunning range of soft, sophisticated colors.

    Jaala Spiro, the editor of Knitcircus, is offering a very special giveaway!  

    Three people will receive the ENTIRE COLLECTION of patterns from Knitcircus Gifts 2011!

    That's 13 patterns! Not only can you make the Shapely Shawl, but you can make any number of the other 12 patterns. Because they're all yours! All you have to do is comment here, and tell us what you think about holiday knitting. Do you knit to show your love to all your friends and family? Or is it just for the extra-appreciative? Or, my personal opinion, who has time for gift knitting when there's so much to knit for myself? The contest will close at noon on November 1st, when the winner will be chosen at random. Please be sure to include some way of contacting you, whether it's by email (spell out the "dot" and "at" for extra security) or Ravelry. Comment away!

    Happy I Love Yarn Day!

    While we love yarn everyday here at CEY HQ, this is a day when we should all celebrate our craft. The Craft Yarn Council has designated October 14 as I Love Yarn Day! How are you celebrating today? By casting on a new project? By finishing up that basket of WIP's next to the sofa? Maybe by buying that special skein you've had your eye on? Here on the CEY blog, we thought we'd share what's on our needles in celebration of this day. Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page what you're working on today!

    We have two projects in Liberty around the office. I just finished up this Aran Baby Pullover in #7850, a rich gold color. This is leftover yarn from my Elizabeth cardigan from last year...

    Speaking of the "Magic Sweater", Meg is working on her Elizabeth sweater in Liberty Print, color #7897, Sunrise. The twisted stitches on the cuff are an inspired choice, twisted rib is so much neater than 1x1 rib. Aren't the colors perfect for Fall?

    Cheryl, aka Snuzy, is on her 19th and 20th sweaters of the year and just completed Arabesque in Pirouette. She is also polishing up her Nikko cardigan in Portland Tweed and Twinings from Twist Collective in Magnolia.

    Tonia just completed her Abstract shawl. It is SO soft and elegant in Magnolia in the Granite colorway.

    I have many things in the pipeline for Fall! This box of yarn under my desk is destined for great things:

    There are also quite a few Highland Flings around the office. What do you think of this little be-bobbled garter stitch shawl? I've heard it's quite fun to knit...

    Designer Spotlight: Laura Zukaite

    Laura Zukaite is an independent knitwear designer with an impossible-to-miss style and yen for luxury fibers and sophisticated looks. Her patterns are often thoughtful and well designed, with feminine details and a touch of the unexpected. Take a look at the Magnolia Swirl Cowl, a free pattern published in our weekly Web Letter. It is a tapered cabled strip that is joined in a coil of sorts, not with regular seams, but with a spiralling silk ribbon, integrating the finishing into the design.

    Laura is already familiar with Magnolia, having used it in her Golden Girl Cardigan, another clever, feminine piece from her independently published collection at LauraZukaite.com.

    She is the author of two books, Luxe Knits and Luxe Accessories, both featuring sophisticated designs in luxury yarns, and is also a frequent contributor to various online and print magazines, like Knitting, Vogue Knitting, and Knitty. She was kind enough to do an interview with us here at the blog.

    How long have you been designing?
    I have been knitting since I was five. All of my knits and later sweaters came out of just my imagination. Back then I never thought of what I was doing as "designing". But now when I think about it- I was designing all along.

    How did you get started? 
    Actually, I do not remember. As far as my memory goes, I have always been knitting. My mother is an excellent knitter, so I assume that she taught me somewhere along the way. But I do not have a recollection of my first project or yarn that I used.

    What's the first piece you ever designed (not necessarily for CEY)?
    I think that the first piece that I have intentionally designed was when I was about 14 or 15. My mom bought me a cone of a beautiful Gray Heather Alpaca yarn and I knit myself an Aran Turtleneck. I still have it and wear it to this day: it became my favorite skiing sweater.

    What pieces did you design in the Fall Collection?
    For CEY Fall Collection I have designed two pieces in Kumara: Afternoon Light (off-shoulder top) and Landscape (ribbed hat), a piece in Ariosa: Glacier (ribbed cardigan), and an accessories set in Giselle: Merry and Bright (Hat and Cowl).

    What is the timeline for one of your designs, from swatch to pattern to sample?
    Depending on a complexity of a design- it could take anywhere from one to three weeks to turn around a sweater piece.

    Approximately how many patterns do you publish a year?

    Do you use test knitters?

    What is your "design process"?
    I usually start with the yarn and swatch. After I have the fabric created- then I move into sketching. I usually sketch-up a few ideas for one swatch and then pick my favorites. After that, I select colors and start the knitting process. I like to take notes as I knit and write the pattern afterwards.

    Where do you do your design work? What does your "creative space" look like?
    I usually design at home and execute “on-the-go”. But sometimes I would come up with ideas while just walking around and then only put it on paper when I get back to my studio. I knit pretty much anywhere (subway, train, waiting for doctor’s appointment…etc) but rarely at home.

    What is your favorite piece you designed for the Fall Collection? What was your inspiration? My favorite piece is Afternoon Light (off-shoulder top) in Kumara. I remember at that time I was obsessed with subtle little ways of exposing the skin- and the piece just came to life naturally.

    Fire! Somebody Grab the Yarn!

    This is what a fire alarm at a yarn company looks like:

    In case you were wondering.