Posted on August 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Last April, Susan Mills – the Creative Director at Classic Elite Yarns – asked me if I’d like to design for them.

And by design, she meant a whole book.

Which is all to say that I am working on a 10 piece collection for Classic Elite Yarns which will be published this winter.

I haunt the place enough, I think, that they finally decided to put me to work. When Susan asked me if I ever had considered doing something like an organized collection, I knew immediately where I would start.

2follyclassHarry Carter,  for Life Magazine

I have a long simmering interest in the block printed textiles produced by The Folly Cove Designers and appreciation for how those women (for the most part) fit art and craft into their lives aside family and practical concerns of life on Cape Ann during and after the Second World War. I have felt an affinity for them for much of my mothering life, and always admired their aesthetic and artistic output.

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Virginia Lee Burton The Song of Robin Hood

I brought in a presentation for Susan to familiarize her with what specifically about the Folly Cove Designers that inspires me, and then I showed her about 15 sketches for things I thought would work well together, spanning the breadth of Classic Elite’s amazing range of yarns, and covering the bases that a pattern book generally offers. This means that while I mostly design sweaters, I tasked myself to show what I can do, for example, with a lace shawl. We had to make cuts along the way, but happily my favorite of all the sweaters will be featured ahead of time in Classic Elite’s November pattern book.

The Folly Cove collection will have a few sweaters, but also a dress, a skirt, the shawl I just mentioned, and various other accessories, all inspired by the women of Folly Cove, among them Lee Kingman Natti, Louise Kenyon, Elizabeth Iarrobino, and of course, Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios. I cover a lot of my favorite techniques in the book: color, stripes, textures, cables, and lace. There’s even a modular piece I think will surprise people.

I’m still knitting (and re-knitting), and writing, and looking forward to letting it all out in January. But in the meantime, I have clothing to plan, and shoot locations to scout, and peeks to sneak. It’s been a knitter’s fantasy playing with all the yarn and getting the most affirming feedback from the crew at Classic Elite. I have a handful of weeks left before I have to be finished, so I’m going to continue to be a little on the quiet side as far as the blog is concerned. So here’s a little glimpse into the future: the colors I chose for the Kenyon Dress, in Classic Elite Chesapeake. I call them mermaid colors. Nice, eh?

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