Classic Elite Yarns had its origin in the late 1940s as part of an old-line textile manufacturing mill in Lowell, MA. Classic Elite was created as a marketing division of the mill and catered to hand weavers and designers. At the same time, the brand expanded beyond its original iconic mohairs to include cottons, silks, alpacas, wools and natural fiber blends. CEY began presenting at industry trade shows and producing two annual collections of handknitting designs and the new company also began to make the pages of international fashion magazines.
Today Classic Elite Yarns is owned, managed and staffed primarily by women, and is no longer in the manufacturing business (the mill operation having shut down in the 1990s). Instead it focuses on distributing fine handknitting yarns from numerous international mills. Classic Elite Yarns prides itself on distributing some of the best hand knitting yarns to shops all across the US and Canada. In addition to providing exemplary customer service, Classic Elite’s in-house staff also manages all pattern design and development, pattern writing, tech editing, graphic design and much of the designing for its collections. Patterns using CEY yarns can be found in nearly every major hand knitting magazine, such as Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting, and in numerous online publications as well.
Partnerships are also important to Classic Elite Yarns.We distribute Jil Eaton’s MinnowKnits pattern leaflets, featuring adorable designs for babies, toddlers, and young children. And in 2012, CEY began distributing MillaMia books and its Naturally Soft Merino yarn, a product line with European influenced designs for children.
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