Posts Tagged ‘Classic Elite’

Pink Hats, Bracelets & Scarves

Thursday, October 7th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

As you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  During each of the last 4 or 5 Octobers we’ve held a Knit for a Cure Event in partnership with Cancer Connection.  This year we included our Bead Store in the mix and had a lovely event.  I wasn’t able to make it down to the store – too many boys going in too many different directions all at the same time.  Yet the importance of this event is not lost on me – especially this year.

A good friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of last year.   For those of you who read this blog regularly, you will remember that I was in a very dark place back then.  My friend’s news simply validate my view that the world was completely upside down and backwards.  Why were bad things continuing to happen to good people?

Yet, over the coming months I watched my friend work her way through chemo and radiation with strength and grace.  As worried as I was about her and despite still being overwhelmed by the tragic death of a dear friend in December, I started taking great comfort in her ability to face her situation head on and just decide that this was not going to define her.  She’s always quick to point out that I helped her from afar during this time but what I don’t think she realizes is how much she helped me.

We had a lovely turnout for our event.



We knit hats for the folks who rely on Cancer Connection to help them through their difficult days.


A staff member from Cancer Connection was on hand to remind everyone how much they appreciate the event but to also emphasize the importance of self-checks and mammograms.

WEBS Beads designed bracelets that we offered as kits.  I don’t care how badly you feel, everyone deserves a little bling:


It seems like the folks at Classic Elite were on the same wavelength.  This week’s e-newsletter featured a lovely write-up from the owner Betsy Perry and a wonderful set of scarves – all knit with someone in mind they themselves loved and cherished and had battled this terrible disease.

Thanks to everyone who made it to our event and contributed a hat.  My heartfelt thanks to Linda Pratt of Westminster Fibers for donating some of the yarn that we used for the hats.

As Oprah would say – what I know for sure is this:  I’d love to eliminate this event from our annual schedule because it was no longer needed.


Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
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We have just received in the latest “special” issue from Interweave Knits.

This year’s Holiday Gifts issue is HUGE!  It has nearly 60 patterns – twice as many as most issues.  There are lots of great gift ideas, as you would expect.  Many are quick knits others are more involved.   There are several that spoke to me that I’d like to highlight below:

First is the Ripple Cardigan designed by Coralie Meslin and knit in Rowan Kidsilk Haze.

This is a gorgeous cardigan that has a simple style but very interesting construction.  It is knit in multi-directional pieces.  The pattern has 6 sizes and depending on your size, you’ll need 4-7 skeins of Kidsilk Haze.

Next is the Little Majolica by Kristin Nicholas.  Without even showing a picture of this pullover, you know it’s going to be a colorwork masterpiece.

Told you so!  This stranded piece utilizes two colors.  As if that weren’t enough, Kristin introduces a two additional colors by utilizing the duplicate stitch.  Duplicate stitch is one of those underrated embellishing techniques.  I think this garment gives the duplicate stitch instant credibility.  Little Majolica is knit using Kristin’s signature yarn Julia – named after her beautiful daughter.

I’m also lovin’ Slip-Stitch Layers by Simona Merchant-Dest.  Knit in Mission Falls 136 Merino  Superwash, this simple but stylish pullover is absolutely a sweater I would wear.

Unlike stranded work, slip stitch only uses one color per row and the knitter “carries” or “slips” stitches from row to row.  In addition to creating a beautiful result, the fabric is also warm.  Perfect for folks like me who freeze all winter!  Slip-Stitch Layers is generously offered in 7 sizes and requires 7-11 skeins of MC and 4-6 skeins of CC.  Just remember our yarn discounts apply!

The “story” in this issue that really spoke to me was “One, Two, Three” – beautiful projects that utilize 3 or fewer skeins.  Here are the ones that I particularly like.

The Quicksilver Bag by Norah Gaughan.

Really, do I need to say more than that?  Probably not, but I will!  Adorable and functional with a simple construction.  The picture shows the bag as a casual accessory.  With the sheen and texture of Bonsai, I can imagine it sophisticated and dressy as well – change the handles and such and Poof!  A completely different bag.  It would also be beautiful knit in Bonsai Colors.  A great and easy gift too that is affordable!

As I’ve said previously, I freeze all winter.  When temps dip below 70 degrees I’m not happy.  Also well documented is my affection for cashmere.  Let me show you one of the ways I get through our long, cold New England Winters:

Cashmere.Fingerless.Mitts.  The delicate and feminine Wine and Roses Mitts were designed by Jolene Treace and were knit in Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply.   That would be One Skein of Cashmere.  I know, times are tight and even one skein of this lovely yarn is a bit pricey at $41.00.   Maybe this is your splurge, maybe it’s the project you find a nice substitution from your stash for.  I love the design and I think we all deserve a bit of luxury if possible.

Next up is a lovely project that features one of our Valley Yarns!  Building Block Scarves by Sarah Hoadley are knit in our Sugarloaf.

Sugarloaf is 52% Merino and 48% Acrylic Microfiber.  It’s super soft, knits at 4 sts/inch and has a nice drape.  I’m tickled with the results!  The construction is pretty neat too.  If utilizes a long cast-on to form the perimeter and then knit in the round to the center and features mitred corners.  Also, if you scroll back up to the cover image, guess what you’ll see!  One of the scarves!  I knew the scarves would be in this issue but I was simply tickled to see one of them on the cover!  Woohoo!  Congratulations Sarah and thank you Interweave!

Last but not least are the Kumara Red Socks.  How could I not favorite a sock pattern?  I think it has unofficially been the year of the sock.

The Kumara Red Socks are a quick knit and will wrap your feet in warmth and luxury.   Kumara is a merino/camel blend from Classic Elite which is super soft and lofty.   These socks only require 2 skeins and what a great gift they will make!  I’m just not sure I’d be giving them away.

I have just highlighted 7 of the 57 projects in this issue.  There are just over 60 days until Christmas (fewer if you are knitting for Hanukkah) and these are all possibilities in that time frame for most of you (some are beyond my reach at this point, but I’m slow and steady so don’t go by me).

I hope these ideas have inspired you!  What do you like in this issue?  Are one of my faves one of yours too?


The Joy of a Gift

Thursday, October 8th, 2009
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There are officially 89 knitting & shoppping days left until Christmas.  90 if you count Christmas Day.  My sister is already emailing me about gift ideas and getting lists together.  I haven’t even resolved what the kids are wearing for Halloween and although I have a plan for Thanksgiving, I cannot even begin to wrap my head around Hannukah (which is early-ish this year) and Christmas.

What I have been pondering this week is the magic of a gift.  Not just in terms of the holidays but in general.  Gifts are very powerful things – no matter how big or small.  Especially when they are unexpected and not related to any special occassion.  I’m not discounting major holidays or birthdays.  Trust me – I get as excited as can be with anticipation on my birthday and Christmas morning.

There is just something special about the unexpected gift.  It’s even more magical when it comes from someone you wouldn’t have thought would give you a gift.   Someone who would take the time to think of you and think that something that catches their eye in a store might just tickle you.  Take it a step further and consider that someone thinking of you and picking a project to knit (or crochet) for you.  For no reason.  Just because.

Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?  I know first hand because I went into my office on Monday morning and found this on my desk:

It was a gift for me from the lovely, thoughtful Guido of Its A Purl Man, Common Cod Fiber Guild and million other things he has going on.  He and his lovely wife came by the shop on Saturday to visit and despite my best efforts, I was unable to connect with them.

Guido knit me a hat.  Guido is ridiculously busy and has a gazillion friends and family and yet, he knit me a hat.  The Elkins/WEBS clan have been operating at warp speed lately with with barely a second to breath.  The hat stopped me dead in my tracks.   I’m sorry life got in the way last Saturday and I wasn’t able to meet up with Guido.  I am grateful for his friendship.

And I love my hat.

It also reminded me that taking the time to make simple gestures to those around you is really important and not just at the holidays.  Especially those that simply don’t expect it from you.  Something to keep in mind.

For those who are interested, the hat is Quincy  from Jared Flood’s Made in Brooklyn pattern book, published by Classic Elite Yarns.

It’s knit in Ariosa and took two balls.  It’s soft and cuddly and I love it.

Guido also just posted his latest podcast that includes and conversation he and I had over the summer.   Check it out when you have a minute – you’ll also hear about some of the great things Guido  has going on.

During our conversation I mention a 5 projects for 5 people endeavor I was considering at the time.  It never materialized for me but I think I may just revive it.  I may not create “five” items but even just one – a small little gift for someone for no special reason.  What do you think?