Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Rowan's Panama is a cotton, linen, viscose blended fingering weight yarn with a lovely soft handle, beautiful drape and a subtle sheen. 

photo credit
I'd admired the yarn since we started carrying it last summer, but  never found the right project for it. That changed when the 2012 Spring/Summer Twist Collective came out last April, featuring Laresca , a simple tank with lace inserts on each side...suggesting Panama.

I swatched a few weeks ago and it was love at first stitch. I wasn't sure it was possible, but I loved it even more after I followed the designer's suggestion and gave my damp swatch a quick tumble in the dryer on low heat. Oh my. So soft. Such drape. It's knitting up beautifully!
my Laresca in progress (raveled here)
Recognizing that a sleeveless tank - even one as pretty as this - isn't for everyone, we started talking about what else we could knit with it...the excitement spread...Theresa restocked all 14 colors...and now it's official. We have a new yarn crush!
Panama, currently located near the back end of the Rowan Wall
And in case you need project inspiration, here are a few suggestions to get you excited too!

First up, Traveling Woman . You'll need three balls to knit the medium fingering weight size (18" depth and 58" wingspan).
photo credit
If a shawl isn't your thing, how about Meadlowlark , a lacy vest with clever seamless construction. Diane is knitting this now and it's lovely. You'll need four balls to knit the medium or large sizes.
Meadowlark Vest - Front

For sweaters, Amiga , a free pattern from Knitty is a perfect match for the yarn. Or Vitamin D , modified to have short or cap sleeves (like this one on Ravelry).

...and saving my best for last (yes, I know, I already have a project on the needles with this yarn)  how about Cecily Glowak MacDonald's Twist Pullover , the cover design from the latest knit.wear Spring 2012.

Perhaps in Begonia?
that's Begonia upper right, then Mizzle (314), Lotus (309) and Orchid (304)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Two Wishes Come True.

Remember when I wished for a Brown Betty? Well, I got one! (thanks, Martha!)...proving - once again! - that those folks at Churchmouse know their stuff. The tea cozy fits perfectly.

Of course, it's so darned cute, I can't resist making one for myself! I've chosen the ruffled version with the i-cord tie.  And now I  have two skeins of Noro Silk Garden waiting to be knit up. (well, actually I have three - the yarn requirements stated in the pattern will use only a bit of the second skein, so I bought a third, planning to knit two - one for me, and one for a gift!)

And last week I wished I could read french. Or even better, have someone translate for me. Kind customer Molly asked kind customer Karen (who not only speaks and reads french, she teaches it!) to help. Here's her translation:
Live from the USA, a super soft wool that my husband went out for one Thursday evening between two meetings at the shop Cast-On-Cottage. I exchanged a number of emails with one of the employees, Mary, who helped me choose the wool from over here...my experience was even a study for a knitting lesson, to see which color would go best with my complexion and hair; pictures from my blog prove it.  My husband was amazed by all of the walls full of skeins of wool.
Um, yeah, that's much better than what Google said! Thanks Molly and Karen!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Color Affection.

Have you been bitten by the bug? As of this writing, over 15,000 people have favorited the pattern and there are over 3,600 projects on Ravelry. Yes, it's Color Affection ,  a crescent shaped shawl, knit in three colors with short-row shaping (and remember garter stitch short rows are wrapped and turned, but not picked up!)
© Veera Välimäki
It's also known as Color Affliction, or Color Addiction...and it's going to be our next knit-along.

We helped Melody choose her colors and a few weeks ago we saw her finished shawl; it's stunning. Deanna's too!

I guess it's amazing we held off this long, but all that garter stitch seems like the perfect project to follow all of Bandit's stockinette. Of course it's even better that we have a new shipment of Malabrigo Sock and plenty of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light and Sock.

Doing a bit of research on Ravelry, I saw a lovely version in Kidsilk Haze, which makes me think Shibui's Merino Silk would be fabulous, too.

No rush to decide on your colors; we're still knitting Bandit and won't be starting this new KAL until July 6.

Hope you'll make plans to join us... and let us help you pick the colors. That's the fun part!
Tosh Merino Light in Composition Book Gray, Terra and Moss
Tosh Sock in Vanilla Bean, Clematis and Composition Book Gray

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wishful Wednesday.

Last week, we received an email from Estelle ... who lives in France! Her husband was in Roswell on business and she wanted him to visit our shop Thursday evening to buy her yarn for a sweater. A few emails later, we learned she was planning to knit Veera Valimaki's Shift of Focus , a lovely sweater that suggests a sportweight merino blend. I visited her blog and Ravelry projects and saw she has lovely light coloring (she's also a beautiful knitter!).

The Wednesday morning ladies all agreed that the Nuna, in colorway 1015, a peachy beige would be perfect. I emailed back a photo and she agreed.

Saturday morning I had one more email, thanking us. She loved the yarn!  And later that day, I saw another photo...on her blog.
photo from le cabinet gris
along with some french words. I saw my name, and the name of the shop. but it's all in french. I wish I could read French, because something tells me Google Translate isn't quite getting it right!
Live from the USA, a super soft wool that my man has gone for Thursday night between two meetings in the store Cast-On Cottage ... I exchanged many emails with officials, Mary (Mere thanks! It was so fun!), who helped me choose the wool remote ... my case has even been a study for a knitting lessons, to see which color would go best with my complexion and hair, pictures of my blog in support ...;-) all this history that Mr. is not too taken aback by the walls of skeins ... nuna wool (merino, silk and bamboo) colori 1015

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Creative Linen: one, two, three, four.

Creative Linen is one of the newest yarns from Rowan. It's a light worsted weight blend of 50% cotton and 50% linen that comes in twenty colors; and yes, we do have all of them.

The blend and the weight make this yarn a lovely three-season choice for our climate. One of the nice things about knitting summer-weight pieces from a light worsted yarn is that you won't need many skeins, especially when they come with 219 yards. Today, we have three projects to share - taking one, two and three to four skeins each. Better yet, all the patterns are free on Ravelry!

First, a single skein cowl Gossypium
copyright Jenn Kinzel
We love this in a neutral to layer over white or black and it looks great with blue denim, too.
size 9 needle; 6" high and 33" long knit as written
suggested modifications: cast on an additional 36 stitches to add about 9" in length (and use up more of that single skein)

Next, a two-skein cowl Casu . This one also looks great in two colors.
copyright Galia Lael
size 8-9 needle; 9" high and 45" long as written
suggested modifications: none!

And finally... a sweater. Yes, even for the summer. Gemini is written for a cotton/linen yarn and the lace detail at the neck will allow plenty of circulation...even on a hot day. One of my favorite things about the design (of course it's seamless...that's a given, right?!) is that it's reversible.
copyright Jane Richmond
We chose a not-quite-navy blue for this one - perfect to pair with white, black or khaki.
size 5-6 needle (gauge matters to ensure fit - check it before you start!)
the pattern suggests up to 4 inches of negative ease (i.e., the finished bust measurement of the sweater could be up to 4 inches less than your bust measurement). the Small (30.5") size takes 2-3 skeins, and the Medium (34.25") and Large (38.5") take just 3-4 skeins.

Have we convinced you to try the yarn? We'd love to help you choose a project and a color!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How Many?

As in "how many girls does it take to get 228* skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh DK ready for you?"

It took two on Monday (Kathy and Diane) to check in and sticker (and of course I wasn't there, so there's no photographic proof, but you can trust me!)

Then yesterday it took two more.  Marci cleared out space,

while Jessica sorted it all into piles.

Marci hung it on the wall...in color order of course.

So now we're up to four.

Plus one to take photos. Did you guess? it takes FIVE!

And now I'm thinking we need to rename that back wall the Madelinetosh Wall.

*12 skeins each of 19 colorways = a LOT of yarn!

Friday, June 1, 2012


We've been smitten with this project since it debuted at Stitches South in April.
photo credit 
the Louet/Claudia linen
Louet sportweight linen, 2-3 skeins. check

or better yet, Claudia's handpainted version? double check

(...oooohhh or Shibui's new linen?!)

Looks great on everyone. check

Simple simple simple knit. check (as long as we're in a very social setting)

KAL? check plus!

Yes, this is our formal announcement for the next Knit-Along.

Bandit. Recommended for a sport-weight linen. I love a project where the hardest part is choosing the yarn.

These are close-ups of my two favorite rows of colors from the display above. (note that I wasn't kidding about choosing the yarn!)

We'll be casting on next Friday, June 8 at 2:00pm. Hope you'll join us!