Guest Post: Rohn Strong

It has been an indie-designer week here at CEY. On Monday we highlighted our favorite designs in the new fall magazines and then Tuesday our Web-Letter featured indie designs available online. 

Today we celebrate indie designers with a guest post from Rohn Strong about his new book, The Heritage Collection: WWI & WWII. The book not only has 20 vintage-inspired designs (enough to pique my interest!), it also includes essays and stories about the period. Four of Rohn's designs feature our yarns, read on to learn about how he made the pairings.

When I began writing my book, The Heritage Collection WWI & WWII, I had a vague idea of who I wanted to represent as a designer. You see, as a knitwear designer, the yarn companies are my partners. I love working with yarn companies and showing off their yarns, and having the ability to do that is truly a blessing.

As the knitting process began, my assistant and I sat down to figure out who we wanted to use, and what of theirs would be best represented. The first company I said I wanted to work with was Classic Elite Yarns.

Marshall, knit in Inca Alpaca

We agreed and began looking for yarn that we could use that would fit perfectly. The color palette was solid. I would not budge. We would have military colors such as maroon, khaki, olive drab, grey, and blue. I was unwilling to go outside of this color range. I was able to lean toward colors of the same group but nothing too outlandish.

With that, the task became a bit more difficult. However, I dove in headfirst. The first yarn I chose was Classic Silk. The vintage look and feel lent itself perfectly to one project I had in mind, Bess, a knit cardigan, classic in construction and technique, but modern in the overall look. I knew Classic Silk would be perfect and the colors matched perfectly. I was sold.

Bess, knit in Classic Silk

The next yarn I chose was actually my favorite to work with, Inca Alpaca. A luxuriously soft alpaca that would make you want to live in a box of it. The hand is astounding and the colors allowed every design to come together perfectly. The first project I finished was Marshall, a pair of wonderful gloves inspired by a photo my grandfather had of himself. They were perfect, not the normal choice for gloves as alpaca tends to have little to no stretch. However I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

The next project was Pappy, a simple stripped watchman’s cap perfect for warm winters! I love it! The two colors of alpaca sit perfectly together and the softness is astounding.

Pappy, knit in Inca Alpaca

Lastly I had the opportunity to add a project to the book based on a design by my Grandmother. A simple stripped baby sweater, knit in both Classic Silk and Inca Alpaca. The three shades of green truly add to the wonder and beauty of it all. The softness and durability make it perfect for any child. And it’s a super quick knit!

Ann, knit in Classic Silk and Inca Alpaca

I am so proud to be part of the Classic Elite designer family. To use their wonderful yarn in my book was a great experience, and I hope to work with them again. Maybe on the next book?!

We are thrilled to have Rohn join the Classic Elite designer family! More information about The Heritage Collection, including how to buy the digital and paperback editions, can be found here. To keep up with Rohn's designs and day-to-day happenings, follow him on Twitter or visit his blog.

The Great Wall of Yarn – Complete!

We hope you enjoyed our video earlier this week. Now that you know how it's built, we thought it would be fun to share a few photos of the complete booth (a few observant commenters guessed that we had another post planned!). 

The Great Wall of Yarn – complete!

The Great Wall of Yarn is a well-known display at TNNA, the seasonal trade show where we launch our new collection for yarn shop owners to see, touch and try-on. When we arrive, the booth is completely empty and it's up to us to make it beautiful.

Along with every color of every yarn in our collection, we also bring every single garment for the new season. For our Fall 2012 collection, that was more than 140 different designs!

Garments from a few yarns in the MountainTop Collection: (L-R) Vail, Crestone, Blackthorn and Chalet
January Thaw cardigan, knit in Toboggan, in front of our booklet cover gallery.
The display from our partners at MillaMia
To browse the designs, yarns and colors in our new Fall 2012 collection, visit The specific pieces shown can be found at the following links:

The Great Wall of Yarn

Classic Elite is known for the "Yarn Wall", an installation of every color of every current yarn we carry. Each hank is individually tied, combed, and arranged in painstaking detail. And we set it up and take it down every season at TNNA.

We thought you'd like to see the process, so without further ado, may we present The Great Wall of Yarn, 2012!