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?

Interweave Knitting Lab!

Did you go? Did you have fun? We had an amazing time!

If you have any pictures of your own, head over to our Facebook page and post them on our wall, we would love to see them. (Most of these pictures were taken with an iPhone, please excuse the quality!)

Setup at shows is ALOT of work!

The tasting area

We brought along Liberty Wool Print, Avenue, and Soft Linen.

People were excited to try Signature needles! We also had free patterns and ruler bookmarks.

We made 108" long (!!) scarves in Liberty Wool to be auctioned off.

Another auction prize: a bag of Avenue, booklet 9145, and a set of US6 Signature needles

A happy knitter and her haul of Alpaca Sox

The winner of our giveaway yarn grab bag, and her gorgeous Silky Alpaca Lace shawlette

Slow down, knitters! A speed bump a la Interweave

Nine Rubies in San Mateo brought along some Liberty Print. If you're looking for it, they've got it!

Tasting some yarn with Signature needles at the Classic Elite Yarns table
We can't wait for next October. See you in Manchester, Interweave!

Knitcircus Winners!

Last week we selected the winners of our Knitcircus Giveaway! Jaala Spiro, editor, offered to give three winners the entire collection of patterns from the Holiday Gifts Issue. That's 13 patterns, including the lovely Shapely Shawl by Jane Prater, knit in Magnolia.

I loved reading people's thoughts on holiday knitting, head over and check them out. It seems the consensus is that only the most deserving receive us more time to knit selfishly! Without further ado, here are the three winning commenters, as chosen by the random number generator at

Shannatheshedevil said: This year, only I am getting holiday knitting! I did knitted gifts last year and have decided I am just not organized enough to do it.

Graceannecarter said: There will be a white Christmas in southern California because I am knitting up a storm!!!

Mamsy said: I have so many projects going, I love knitting presents. I am sure I will need some last minute pattern for someone I may have forgotten, perhaps even me.

Congratulations, winners!

CEY and Signature Needles, Together!

This has been a great year for knitting events. One particularly exciting one that's approaching is Interweave's Knitting Lab! As knitting creeps deeper into the public consciousness, knitters are becoming more and more advanced and their hunger for intermediate to experienced-level knowledge grows. Interweave responded with Knitting Lab, an event with shopping, classes, lectures, and special events, all catering to the inquisitive, post-beginner fiber enthusiast...and Classic Elite will be there!

Heather, our sales manager, will be walking the floor and checking out all the CEY knits out there (if you didn't catch the blog post on Friday, we are giving away a $75 gift basket to a lucky knitter wearing CEY). You can probably catch her by the yarn tasting area, where you'll have a chance to knit some luscious fibers with some fabulous needles!

This year, we are thrilled to be bringing along Soft Linen, Avenue and Liberty Print to the show floor.

Soft Linen is a blend of fibers that can only be described as perfect: 35% Linen, 35% Wool, and 30% Baby Alpaca. I love the crispness of bast fibers (linen, hemp, nettles, etc.) but find them to be hard on my hands. Soft Linen combines that crispness with the softness and drape of baby alpaca, and the insulating qualities of wool.

Avenue is a new yarn for Fall 2011, and, as the name suggests, it imparts a city feel. Not particularly "woolly", Avenue is a marled fiber in eight sophisticated colors made up of 42% extrafine merino, 29% silk, and 29% viscose. It is soft and knits up into a unique fabric that is perfect for simple silhouettes that benefit from a fabric with plenty of drape. Try it out, you might like it!

What can we say about Liberty Print besides that it's fabulous! The color shifts, the springy ply, the machine-washability without the weird squeakiness of "superwash"! Contributing to Liberty's buttery feel is a secret process that renders it machine-washable but helps it retain its soft woolliness. It can be difficult to see the spectacular colors without knitting a swatch, so we thought this would be a great yarn to bring along.

At this event, Classic Elite Yarns has a partner! Signature Needle Arts, cult producers of precision-crafted, lightweight aluminum needles, have generously provided us with needles for the tasting area! The opportunities to use these stunning needles are so rare, and their following so devoted that this is a must-visit if in San Mateo area. 

For updates from Knitting Lab, whether you're there or following along from home, follow us on Twitter at @ceyarns. See you there!