Kudzu Redux

Kudzu has been refreshed and re-released in Issue 330 of the CEY web-letter! Of course, you already know this, because you subscribe to the web-letter, right?  (What? You don’t? Go sign up right now!  Free patterns every week, designed for awesome CEY yarns, delivered to your inbox!)

I’ve always felt grateful to CEY for taking a chance on me when I was just getting started.  Kudzu was instantly my most popular pattern on Ravelry, and it has held that position without serious challenge ever since.  I’ll admit I was a little sad when the original yarn was discontinued. I’m so glad that CEY decided to have Kudzu re-knit in the soft and beautiful Cerro.

The fiber in Cerro isn’t new — it’s been around as Mountaintop Canyon for about a year.  Canyon comes in four natural un-dyed colorways.  Cerro takes this fantastic base to twelve lustrous spring colorways — really delightful.


New Pattern Release: Trinette Hat and Mittens

Introducing my latest pattern: the Trinette Hat and Mitten set!

(Photos from Classic Elite!)


Pattern: Trinette Hat and Trinette Mittens

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $6 on Ravelry, or as part of the booklet #9245 “Belle” (from Classic Elite Yarns)

Yarn: CEY Liberty Wool; MC: 7815 “Bright Olive”; CC 7865 “Violet Glen”

  • Hat only: 2 balls MC, 1 ball CC
  • Mittens only: 2 balls MC, 1 ball CC
  • Hat & Mittens: 3 balls MC, 2 balls CC

Design/Skills Needed:

This vibrant hat use a variety of different techniques to create playful color changes and textures.


New Pattern Release: Astrid

Introducing my latest pattern: Astrid!

(Photos from Classic Elite!)

Pattern: Astrid

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $6 on Ravelry, or as part of the booklet #9236 “New Mode” (from Classic Elite Yarns)

Yarn: CEY Alpaca Sox; 4-7 balls (depending on size); sample knit in 1869 “Amethyst”

Design/Skills Needed:

Frothy lace at the hem, throat and cuffs make this cozy pullover dramatic and feminine. This pullover is worked primarily in the round.  The lacy portions are worked single-stranded; the stockinette portions are worked double-stranded. This makes for a suprisingly quick knit!



CO Monday: Mesa and Lustre Design Projects

This week I started two new design projects!

The first is for Classic Elite’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection — so, even though I’ll be done with the design and sample in a few short weeks, I won’t be able to share until that collection debuts early next year.  But, I want to give CEY Mesa a plug! Both in swatching and in the actual garment, this 100% cotton yarn is delightfully plush. I love the subtle tonal colorways.

The second project is something you’ll get to see a bit sooner! I’m working on a one-skein project for A Hundred Ravens Lustre (aka Luster DK on Ravelry).  It’s a nicely spun merino/silk blend, hand-dyed by local dyer Kate.  The silk blend takes yarn differently than pure wool, with smoother blends between hues and a beautiful, well, luster.  (This all makes me think of this couplet: The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow/Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.) With only 231 yards to work with, I’ve got quite a challenge to make something dramatic!  I’ve decided to go with a VERY open lacy stole, with lace patterning on both right-side and wrong-side rows.

Here’s my skein of Lustre:


FO Friday: Sheep Head Hat

I’m so pleased with my Sheep Head Hat! 🙂


I used CEY’s soft and lovely Vail, which is an alpaca/bamboo blend, available is eight naturally-dyed shades of grey and brown.  When I bought the yarn for this project, only six shades were out — the other two were added with this fall’s line of new colors.


Project: Sheep Head Hat

Pattern: sheep heid

Designer: Kate Davies

Available: £2.75 GBP on Ravelry

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarn’s Moutaintop Vail, six hues

The original pattern called for nine natural sheep colors, so I had to modify my hat to use the six shades I had to work with.  I lost a bit of the dynamics of the original hat, but I still love my version.  The alpaca-bamboo fingering weight yarn is amazingly soft and lightweight.  The standing sheep in the hat body are adorable, but I love the graphic rams-head decreases on the top. UPDATE: my hat was featured in the CEY blog!


FO Friday: Purple Endgame



I finished (another) Endgame!  This one is a shop sample for the Hub Mills Store


Project: Purple Endgame

Pattern: Endgame

Designer: Rachel Henry

Available: in booklet #9207 (“Checkmate”) (single-pattern download may be available in the future)

Yarn: Wool Bam Boo

Closeup of the faux-woven (and fully reversible!) pattern:



Amazing drape!



Please ignore the author’s wrinkled and inappropriately-bright-red shirt:


New Pattern Release: Endgame Stole

Introducing my latest pattern: Endgame!



DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: Booklet #9207 from Classic Elite

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Wool Bam Boo in Garnet (4 balls)

This is my first pattern published in the CEY booklets — I’m so pleased to be included! Check out the drape of this stole in the modeled photo:

Design/Skills Needed: This fully-reversible stole is worked flat. The woven pattern is achieved with increases/decreases and dropped stitches.  I added a lacy edge with a full column of dropped stitches. Twisted stitches on either side of each dropped-stitch panel keeps the look sharp and the dropped-stitches open. The overall effect is stunning, and the Wool Bam Boo is silky-soft to touch. I love, love, love this yarn.



I used my “interchangeable cable ” trick to block this stole.  Before washing, I threaded a long cable through each loop on both edges.  I screwed on the end caps to make sure the cables didn’t fall out, and put the stole in for a good long soak.  After squeezing out the water, I stretched out the stole on my blocking board (aka, old alphabet letter foam squares).  I put pins in every two inches or so, pulling against the cable — not the individual stitches.  Using the cables meant a lot fewer pins to get the “fully stretched” effect, and also gave a more even blocking overall.


FO Friday: Very Orange Hoodie

I finished the big orange hoodie!!


Project: Very Orange Hoodie

Pattern: Hooded Guernsey, highly modified

Designer: Debbie Bliss

Available: in Family Knits, among other sources

Yarn: CEY Duchess


Astute readers may recognize this hoodie as one of my “Finish It or Frog It” projects from January.  See the orange bit in the upper left?  Now it’s a sweater, yay!


I bought two bags of unlabelled Duchess from the back wall at Hub Mills — a great yarn shop (yes, I work them and am justifiably biased) that often has great finds along the back wall.  Off-label and discontinued CEY yarns can often be had for a song! And let’s be honest kids — I wouldn’t normally make a kid’s hoodie out of a cashmere blend yarn, right?


Let’s get on to the mods …

First of all, the pattern calls for DK yarn and only goes up to size 4.  I actually made the size 4 for Eli a few years ago, following the pattern more or less exactly.  When he asked for a new sweater, he wanted the same one, only in orange.  Since bright orange can be tricky to find, I bought the bulky-weight Duchess anyway, knowing I’d have to alter the pattern.

I did a bunch of math to figure out how big the finished size 10-ish sweater should be, and how many stitches I’d need with the Duchess (I got 7 sts/2 in), and went to work.  One major change I made was to work the body and sleeves in the round.  I also worked the inside of the kangaroo pocket from picked-up stitches, to avoid sewing later on.  I did use 3-needle bind-off for the shoulders, to give it a bit of structure.  I worked the hood from a “Judy’s magic cast on” center, again to avoid a seam.

To prove that even seasoned knitters can make dorky mistakes, I carefully sewed in the hood …. facing backwards.  Ugh.  Picked it out and sewed it in correctly and was finally done! Eli is pleased, but considers it a bit TOO large — I made a classic mom error and knit with next fall in mind.  But, at least I have a good chance of having it fit him in the next cold season.


FO Friday: Yar

I made something fun for the shop!


Project: Yar

Pattern: Starboard

Designer: Susan Mills

Available: $6 on Ravelry, in CE #9168 (Harbor) for $10

Yarn: CEY Seedling Handpaint in #4567

“Starboard” is a quick and fun knit, using just two hanks of soft and colorful Seedling Handpaint.  I was asked to make a store sample for the shop, and I was pleased to do so!  The cast-on edge of 135 elongated picots was … sorry to say … a bit tedious.  But, I knew that once the edge was done, the rest would be quickly completed.  I played a board game with friends while making the picots, and two hours later, I was at work on the short-row ribbed body.  I finished the next day.

Thanks to my model Eli for showing off Yar for me! 🙂