Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Shibui Knits event -- you want to be here for this!

Those of you in the Atlanta knitting community know how much we like our upscale yarn... and the newest of trends.

Shibui is definitely on the "A" list for knowledgeable knitters (say that 3 times, really fast) -- and they are on top of their game for 2016.  First of all, they are branding themselves as "Shibui Knits" everywhere, and making some subtle changes in packaging and the appearance online.  But that does not change the quality and fashion forward look of the brand at all... and the patterns that are coming in just a few days...  oh my.

Cast on Cottage will welcome Sandy Barnes to our store for a very special event on March 5th.  Please plan to be here -- you will want to make a reservation, so that you can be a part of the "Mix" party.  The design elements are up to you -- mixing the lovely yarns and textures to make your own artisanal garment or accessory.  There will be staff from the shop and from Shibui to provide any assistance you may need or want.  And the new colors... and a new yarn!  Oh my!

Plan to join us... call to make a reservation 770 998 3483.  There is a $10 fee, which will be applied toward your purchase.  (and the best part is free pattern support on Sunday, for the follow up "Cast on" party. 

We can't wait!
You'll be hearing more about this. Save the date -- Saturday, March 5th, 2016.  New yarn launches on February 12th -- come by the shop to start dreaming!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A few more words about Martin Storey... and a picture of SARK!

So many great patterns over the years from Martin Storey..... and here are some words about the Rowan KAL --

Remember -- Rowan started a worldwide KAL last Friday -- with another set of blocks from Martin.

“Once again, this KAL has been designed with the beginner knitter in mind.  In the first KAL, we explored simple texture created by knit & purl stitches, together with simple lace and cable techniques.  Having gained those skills, I've developed them a stage further and, in this blanket, we start to create more recognisable motifs in both one colour and two colour squares.  Delicate motifs in simple texture, lace and  a further option that introduces the beginner knitter to a simple bead technique, patterns and different stitches. Linking all these motif squares together and introducing a brand new 'colourwork' skill for this KAL, I have designed three squares using two colours, without the 'fairisle-headache' of stranding or weaving the yarns at the wrong side of work. All will be revealed in time……….!”

So many of our Cast on Cottage customers ask about color work (or is that "colour") -- I thought it might be helpful to post this -- just to show that everyone seems to be a bit apprehensive about it!  Even across the pond!  Speaking of KAL, there will be an update on the Rowan site every "fortnight."

The link to the free KAL from rowan is at

The Sark wrap is ongoing... and we continue to get good comments from our customers far away from the shop (we mailed out a lot of Rowan Kid Classic!) -- Let us know how you are doing!

Ethel came in the shop today... and here is her progress report.  Pretty impressive!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Welcome to February!

Since I write blog posts from time to time, I READ more blogs than the typical person... and there's so MUCH out there to read.  So little time!  Just like so much YARN!  and so little time....

Anyway, just a quick note to welcome you to February.  Aside from all that noise about the upcoming primaries, elections, debates, etc., there is just one thing standing between us in the Atlanta area and SPRINGTIME!  That thing is February!  And this year it is 29 days long!

So remember all the things that happen in this month... it's Black History Month, Heart month, Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day,  Ground Hog day... and a host of other things to celebrate.  Let's enjoy these last few weeks of real winter, and let's stitch those winter garments and canvases.... then get ready for a great Roswell/Atlanta springtime!

We've got some cool things coming up in the short term... stay tuned at Cast on Cottage for more threads, canvases and gadgets in the Needlepoint department.  Shibui Knits has a new website and a great new yarn launching on February 12th, and we have a party happening in the store on the weekend of March 5th!  Oops, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Also, don't forget the Spring Fling and Beyond event at the Perimeter Marriott on March 19-20.  There will be more vendors than ever, and a great "one stop" shopping experience for all sorts of artsy-craftsy!  Stay tuned, we will have more information about that in upcoming posts.

Shall we look for General Beauregard or Puxatawney Phil in the morning? I vote for the General.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

More designers... and let's "swoon" Maine!

It's not often that I have a chance to really peruse a book in the shop...but the new collection of patterns from Maine (and featuring American yarns, mostly from the Northeast) really caught my eye. The patterns are classic and unstructured, but fun and an eclectic mix of women and children cowls, caps, sweaters and vests -- there will be something in this book to pique your knitting interest.

Shoreline Vest... and there is a tiny version!

What's in this for Atlanta knitters?  The photography almost qualifies it for "coffee table" status.  The pictures of the Maine shore are lovely, and Carrie Bostick Hoge is not bashful about her love for her home state.  Now the Roswell shore of the Chattahoochee is beautiful, too -- and I am certainly partial to our state's scenic spots... but this book will make you think about visiting the Maine coast, and taking your knitting bag along.

Next time you are in the shop, check out this book.  And while you are there, take a look at the Swan's Island yarn... it will put you in the mood to knit and dream of a coastal view...maybe Savannah or St. Simon's?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sark wrap

We don't always pay much attention to the designer of a certain pattern... and how many times do we knit EXACTLY what the pattern prescribes?  (Or do you consider the pattern directions a "dictate"? A rule? A "guideline"? ) Atlanta knitters do their own thing!

We can have fun with those thoughts, but often the designer has spent a great deal of time and energy in getting it "right" -- just as an architect would plan a building structure.  This quarter's knit a long is no exception: the talented Martin Storey is the designer and he has quite a history of solid patterns and beautiful results.

Martin Storey started out in Beeford, in Great Britain.  He actually worked on a pig farm, according to the bio on   There are some charming videos of him promoting last year's afghan KAL, and you get a sense of his soft spoken tone, as well as his sense of humor.  He went to art school eventually, and became a designer at Jaeger, before they were acquired by Rowan.  Since then he has been the lead designer for the "Classic" lines at Rowan.   Note: if you want to see what Martin has to offer for 2016, there is another KAL afghan.... the introduction of the first month's "square" is late January, and it is knit with Pure Wool Worsted.  We just got a new shipment! 

Our Ravelry group notes indicate that the Sark will be an "epic" knit.... but what a beauty!  Mary is our moderator for this KAL and her initial notes are on Ravelry.  (Go to groups, find Cast on Cottage, and the list of topics will come up... or go to  this url:


Here is a picture:

How about that notecard technique?  Mary takes a row, puts it on an index card, and so she is ONLY LOOKING AT ONE ROW AT A TIME!!!!


(A certain little pattern called Creature Comfort comes to mind.... that one put me off patterns like this for a while.... I think I knit only in garter stitch for about 3 months after that....).  I digress...

And tell me if you think Martin Storey's favorite embellishment is the bobble.  Ya think? 

Monday, January 11, 2016

This & That from the Needle Arts market & show

Back home to Atlanta today and our knitting/needlepoint community has turned on the icebox

Here are a few more photos and comments from the show.  The photo above is from our primary supplier for gadgets and notions.... we found a great product to help with cable stitches ( a safe way to hold them in front or back - should arrive at shop soon), and we found a new type of Double Point Needles.  We'll be interested in your feedback -- they are light and have a great "touch."

Don't we all love the beautiful Atenti bags?
This is the booth at TNNA.  There were people there every minute!
We had such a great time looking at the new designs (and some classics) from the needlepoint artists.

Of course, we had to post the 'Bama one in honor of tonight's big college game, and don't we all love the admonition to
"Keep Calm?" 
Do you have a favorite canvas? If not, we might have just the perfect one for you soon, at Cast on Cottage!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Did I break my step counter thingy?

These trade shows are hard work....12,000 steps yesterday, but only 4000 so far today (but the day is still young in California! I wonder if steps are counted differently while one is shopping and looking at new yarn, new canvases, and great new "bling" products?

I'll have some pictures to post later (my phone is charging now) but check our Instagram feed for some new things from TNNA. 

We want to be Atlanta's premier knitting and needlepoint location.  Got any ideas for us?