Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Yarns... rolling in!

New Stuff!!!

And classes are included -- School starts back in August, and Cast-On is going back to school, too.  If you know someone who has never held a knitting needle, please hook them up with us if they have said...."I might like to learn to knit someday."  That day is here!

WE have TWO new instructors, Dawn and Pat -- and both are going to offer beginner classes in August.  Saturday afternoon 1:30 to 3:30 for 4 Saturdays (Pat has designed a beautiful scarf as the first project) and Monday evening from 6 to 8 with Dawn.  Dawn is a Master Knitter (there are fewer than 300 of these rare persons on the PLANET!)

Call the shop and get involved in this...

And the new yarns... oh -- they just keep coming!

It is a lot like a holiday... when Doug, our favorite delivery man brings BIG boxes of yarn -- just opening them up and seeing all the fun colors!

This week's event was the delivery of our first shipment of Brooklyn Tweed.  We are one of the few retailers for this beautiful, American wool -- and it is brand new to us.  BT has been on the market for a while, but the closest shop to us was either Pennsylvania or Tennessee.... so we are pleased and proud to be an official stockiest of this quality wool. 

Our first yarns are Loft (a beautiful fingering weight in 35 colors) and Shelter (same colors plus some) -- and pictures are below.

Also -- with this treasure trove comes a collection of patterns by the talented Jared Flood (one of the principals of BT)  -- and they are well written, updated and classy -- every one.  We can't wait to share these with our customers.  One interesting item that comes along with learning patterns from different designers is the details that some designers insert into their patterns. 

For instance, a favorite cast-on for BT's staff is the "tubular."  This goes by other names, but for a ribbed start to a cuff, a hat, etc.  you will often see the tubular CO in the "special techniques" section of the BT patterns. I went back and checked in some 2012 patterns, and some written as recently as this summer.

   A quote:

"This Tubular Cast On is our staff favorite and go-to cast on for all regular
ribs – we think it strikes the perfect balance between beautiful, functional
result and not-too-fussy technique. We learned this method from our
dear friend and colleague Catherine Lowe (www.catherine-lowe.com)
who developed it as a modified version of the traditional Italian Tubular Cast On. "


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

All things "heirloom"

Image result for images heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom Knitting

Well, here are some heirloom tomatoes.... don't they look luscious?  Grab that salt & pepper...



and here are some heirloom dresses... (are you missing the Dowager Countess yet?)

Image result for downton abbey dresses






Don't we always sort of look at our unfinished projects (UFO's) and think... "I should have done something else with that time"....

Well, just knit the things you love.  And if you don't love a project, donate it to the senior center -- or -- put it in a bag and give it to someone who will love it or...

put it in the waste basket and don't think about it any more.  Stop beating yourself up about it. 

And knit something you will love -- or that someone else will love.  Like the lovely Lily Rose Dress -- pictured at left.





Dorothy knitted this for the little darling in these pictures, and it is an heirloom for under $30.  It will be cherished -- and will become a treasure that is eventually worn by a teddy bear (those " little darlings" grow up) or a little sister or cousin. 

Anything can be an heirloom! 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A bit of "Joie de vivre"

What does this have to do with Falstaff?

No, not Falstaff the beer.  (who remembers that?) Falstaff that guy in the pictures who always seemed to be smiling.

This is a picture of a scarf that is a new "classic" among the knitting community -- a simple concept, easily learned pattern, and hundreds of yarn combinations that might be just the thing for you.  Great with an LBD and pearls... or your jeans.  And your pearls.



Bateaux Mouches in Dappled Findley -- 1 skein

Here are all the new bags of Alpaca 1 -  16 colors!


 Here is a bucket of color in alpaca!   


This is a work in progress -- Theresa has started on another Bateaux Mouches -- these are her colors!
Lynn's Bateaux Mouches in Dappled Findley




















In spite of bad things that happen, we should find joy in each day.  Back to the Joie de Vivre -- the joy of living -- here's the guy who symbolizes that joy:

 
Knit on!
 


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Linen, Summer's fiber

Every now and then, a great pattern comes along, and a "pairing" with an equally beautiful yarn occurs.

The pictures below are Mary's Shibui Linen Cowl -- and it is a beauty.  The pictures don't do it justice -- you just have to make one!  It takes 3 skeins of Shibui Linen -- so many pretty colors to choose from.  This color is Ash, but there is also an ORANGE (and I put that in all caps because it really POPS!)



 
Our inventory of Shibui Linen is online at castoncottage.com   
 
How about a summer cowl?  Pattern on Ravelry -- come to the shop & we'll introduce you to this great look!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Susan Bates

We take pride in our "notions" for knitting, crochet and needlepoint in the shop.  There are all sorts of tiny gadgets to help you pull a needle through a canvas, or protect your knitting project from falling off the needles, or a plastic thingy to keep small amounts of yarn handy for multi-strand knitting.  I don't know much about that ( Multi- strand)so I refrain from writing about it. 

However, I do know about gadgets, and so I went to find out about one of the ladies frequently mentioned on the notions wall -- Susan Bates.  My favorite "Bates" creation is the knit check -- known by other names, but the checker is the best moniker IMHO.  You can check your needle size (who can read those tiny numbers?) and you can check your gauge.... because does anyone really make those swatch thingies? and it also is a tiny measuring device.  I always thought Susan came up with this.



But I found out -- my research -- THERE WAS NO SUSAN BATES!!!

The original name of the company was the C. J. Bates & Son -- and when they needed a name for their new line of needlework implements, they just arbitrarily called it Susan Bates.   Apparently they were hoping for an icon like Betty Crocker.  I was very disappointed -- I had been thinking that there was some wise, Jane Austen type knitter who came up with all these nifty things. 







Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Poncho Post

Everywhere we look these days, there are ponchos.

Here is a very small one...






We are currently featuring Poncho's in our shop Newsletter....go here www.castoncottage.com  for "inspiration" to see the newsletter and perhaps shop some of the yarns mentioned below...

This is Amy, in our shop, wearing a poncho called "Sasha"....



... looks good!  (It is a winter weight... in case you were thinking about finishing another project in the meantime...)


And Cheryl's in Zooey DK -- a classic look.  Zooey is a good yarn for our Southern climate. (tropical?)



Here are a few more...  This is Blue Sky Fibers "Two Harbors"....



It's the new sweatshirt,

they say.  But doesn't a poncho look more "fashion forward" and "put together" than a sweatshirt? 

This is a Cima & Linen combo from Shibui Knits.... in the perennial favorite "Churchmouse" easy folded poncho pattern!
 
 
 
 





 
Always good in Red!  Check this out.... BJ has a great poncho for game day, or for almost any event!


You can knit one... like one of these -- Elisa (on the left) is wearing an Easy Folded Poncho (knit by Elisa) and Carole is wearing "Lolita."

Elisa and Carole

Do you have a poncho to show? Let us know... just go to the Cast on Cottage website and send your picture/pattern/ideas to info@castoncottage.com.  We  will continue to showcase our customers and their beautiful work.... a festival of poncho's!


Monday, April 4, 2016

A bit of knitting history - Maybe?


I don't want our blog to be considered just a piece of knitting "fluff".... so here is your history lesson for today.


As a fine example of the nalbinding/knitting confusion, the famous (notorious?) Dura-Europos fragment is considered by many to be the oldest fragment of knitting in existence. Found in the Indus River Valley and dating back several thousand years, it is listed in many books and the original dig report as knitting (I sincerely wonder if they HAD a knitter on the original dig.) Barbara Walker has even written a pattern so we can all knit something historical. Unfortunately, the Dura-Europos fragment has been proven to be made of nalbinding. Still, the knit version would make a cool pair of socks. 

Next:  any comments on "nalbinding"?  (What the heck is that, anyway?)