Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giddy Up!

Our very own Greer makes these wonderful project bags. And they're for sale exclusively at Cast-on Cottage.

She has a great eye for color - love the variety of fabric and ribbon combinations! - and her workmanship is flawless.
Choosing just one could be the hardest part.
Unless you're a die-hard fan! (and yes, that's an entire sweater project in there - yarn, knitting and two sets of needles)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Love Your Shop.

If you received the November newsletter in your email inbox* last night, we hope you're planning a trip to Cast-on Cottage to over the weekend to show off the shop to (or escape from - no worries, we understand!) your holiday visitors. And if you're thinking you might buy a skein (or two or three, who's counting - see, we do understand!) of yarn, there's something new you should know about.

Classic Elite has launched a very cool promotion called the "Love Your Shop" giveaway that celebrates the Local Yarn Store (LYS).

Here's how it works. You spend $40 or more between Nov. 11 and Dec. 15 on yarn, patterns or books at any LYS that carries Classic Elite (like Cast-on Cottage!). It doesn't have to be Classic Elite products - it can be anything. You send Classic Elite your receipt, and they send you a free pattern booklet plus 3 mini-skeins of yarn. All the details are here. How awesome is that?

*if your email address has changed since we added you to our database, you need to re-subscribe to the newsletter to update your address. the link is at the very bottom of the shop's website (here).  (p.s. you can also subscribe by clicking the Join Our Mailing List tab on our Facebook wall.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Progress Report on the Turkish Bed Socks.

We started our latest KAL two Fridays ago (on November 12) and we've had great participation in the shop these past two weeks. Admitedly it didn't seem like we made a lot of progress that first Friday - I spent the better part of one hour sewing the two seams - but it was fun and the conversation took us many very hilarious places. Looking back, I guess it's amazing any of us got knitting done! And sadly, since I didn't get a photo to share, if you weren't there, you missed it - Theresa sat with us and cast on a sock for herself.

Given our somewhat slow start, Joanna and I were very excited when we got to the finishing steps on our first socks this past Friday.
my sock on the left and Joanna's on the right (I love the way her yarn is striping!)
We must've excited Sharon, too. Because yesterday, she was wearing hers. Yep, a finished pair (raveled here). And we modeled the photo to match that one on the pattern. Which sadly doesn't show the big smile on the knitter's face, but you know it's there!
Cute, huh? Makes you want to knit a pair for yourself, doesn't it?

And in case you do, here are a few of the "key learnings" from the group so far:
  • The seams up the sides are tedious, but worth it - they add structure to the sock.
  • When you cast on the stitches across the top of the foot, really snug up the yarn across your dpn's. It's easy to get holes (and those aren't any fun).
  • Plan on at least a few extra rows on the foot - the pattern suggests 24 rounds and that is way too short (for everyone I've talked to). Sharon added a couple of rows, I added five and Joanna added a few more than that. The toe decreases add about 2" and you probably want the finished sock to be no more than 1-1/2" shorter than your foot. More stretch than that might be uncomfortable.
If you're knitting along virtually, please let us know in our Ravelry group. Questions, comments, etc. are welcome there, on facebook, or here. We'd love to have you join in the discussion!

...and of course now that we have finished objects appearing, there's talk about our next KAL. Stay tuned...or better yet, comment and share your ideas. Not only about the project (a beret or a cowl, perhaps?), but also the timing. We're game to start another project before Christmas if there's enough interest, otherwise we'll kick off the next one January 7.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rasta Cowl Craze.

A few weeks ago, I posted about this fabulous new yarn called Rasta and suggested a simple cowl pattern (Marian ) that might work. 

We wanted to try it out, so I bought a skein that day and made my Instant Gratification the next. I used size 15 needles because that was the biggest needle I had and cast on 57 stitches (I was actually aiming for 55, following suggestions from other Ravelers, but my long tail was just a bit too long and I added 2 more stitches). I knit until I had about 5 yards of yarn left and then bound off in pattern. I did add the full twist before joining - and that was probably the hardest part of the whole project. Turns out twisting on purpose is tricky!

I wore my cowl to Knit Night and Sharon and Pat (and a few others I'm sure) were inspired. We know y'all have knit dozens of these cowls because the Rasta wall is looking empty! (and no worries if your favorite colorway is gone - Theresa has reordered.) It is great fun to see the finished cowls - of course they're all gorgeous and they work up so quickly they put big smiles on knitters' faces.

But this past weekend, we saw a sight that confirmed this is officially a project craze.
Yes, that's Molly and Louise, who are regular customers for the "Needlepoint Garden" part of our shop and frequent participants in Knit Stitch Night. And yes, they're knitting (and smiling!). The Rasta Cowl. We love it!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Another Crush (and our next KAL).

Our infatuation with the gorgeous Churchmouse patterns continues. We're seeing quite a few Linen Stitch Scarves, all looking lovely - and so different. A few Fridays ago, we were sitting around the table for knit-along time and I was finally binding off my scarf and a woman came up to me and commented about the scarf and said she was from Bainbridge Island, and I asked if she'd been to Churchmouse and did she know that was where the pattern was from and turns out - she was one of the models for the pattern! (she's the one with the really cute hair wearing the green scarf). Wow!

Our conversation continued and she asked if we'd knit any of the Turkish Bed Socks. Well, no, but we love the pattern, especially because they look so cute with Danskos.

She said the pattern is really fun and it only uses one skein of Koigu (that's 175 yards - not much knitting at all!) So the group of us around the table bought the pattern and picked out our yarn and then shared the whole story with Theresa. And she suggested we do them as our next KAL. And I said sure, but will you join us? And she agreed!

We're going to cast on next Friday, November 12 at 2pm. Please join us! And if you can't make it to the shop on Friday afternoons, that's OK - please join the discussion on Ravelry or Facebook. These projects are all about the shared experience.

(ok - honestly, this one is also about making a really cute pair of socks to decorate the insides of our Dansko clogs!)