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   
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  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  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?)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Prices of Sheep...go figure

Prices of wool... leads me to think about prices of sheep!

After all, the material we love has to start somewhere. Granted, we don't always use the animal fibers -- but let's just consider for today the sheep.  Lovely, benign, uncomplicated sheep.

So, as usual, I did a little research.  Sheep come in many varieties, and there is much processing to do AFTER the shearing is done.  Let's don't think about that yet, because that will cause an argument about the price of petrol/gasoline/diesel, etc.  And as we have seen recently, the prices of gas have varied tremendously.  Remember the gallons of gas we bought in 2008 .... as high as $4.00?

I digress.  Back to sheep. The most expensive sheep was a member of the Texel breed, popular for meat... and the prize specimen was named Deveronvale Perfection.  He sold for $350,520 in 2009.  (Actually, he was in the UK, so his value was measured in pounds.) How about that name "Perfection" ?  Now that's not just any mutton.

The less exotic breeds sell for about $200-500 in the US.

This is Shaun, the sheep, with a lamb.  Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring Fling and a suggestion for you

Spent part of the day at the Marriott Perimeter in a ballroom, watching women shop for yarn and accessories!  A dream come true -- lots of pretty things in one place. Free parking.... what's not to like!

And one other quick thing -- check out this video to see Hugh Jackman "coaching" a woman -- knitting!

I wouldn't steer you wrong!