Friday, July 24, 2015

Updates on Knitting Along.

We had three winners for last quarter's knit-along (cottageQ2KAL15). Congratulations Lydia, Pat and Julie!

For the third quarter, rather than hosting a KAL of our own, we're encouraging y'all to participate in KALs hosted by two of our favorite groups on Ravelry.

First, the Yarniacs Podcast Colors of Fall 2015 KAL. You can read all about it in their forum, but the gist is that you knit something with one or more of the Pantone Fall 2015 palette and post an FO photo of it styled for fall. The KAL started on June 21 (Summer Solstice) and ends on September 23 (Autumnal Equinox).

image thanks to Kirsten's daughter
And Kirsten Kapur's Through The Loops Summer Shawl KAL. Again, Kirsten has shared all the details in that linked post along with a coupon code to get 20% off eligible patterns (the code expires August 1, so act quickly!) Kathy and I are both participating. Kathy is knitting Saranac and I'm knitting Rivington (as soon as I get a few more things off the needles!) One of my colors has a lot of that Pantone Oak Buff in it, so I'm hoping to enter it in the Yarniacs' KAL as well. We'll see!

Kirsten's KAL runs through September 15, so there's still plenty of time to join in.

We'll be back in September with news about our Q4 KAL. In the meantime, we're still gathering informally on Friday afternoons for knitting and needlepoint and - as always! - fun conversation around the yellow table. We hope you'll join us!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Time for A New Knit-along.

Hopefully you saw the news we shared on Ravelry that we had three winners for our first quarter KAL.

Congratulations to Louisa, Lydia and Sherry for participating and knitting these lovely pieces.

photos copyright Louieash, Lifeandyarn, SherryK
And that means it's time to announce our plans for the second quarter! In honor of it being Q2, this knit*-along is all about TWO.

Two yarns
Two colors
Two pieces
A pair of socks
A pair of mitts or mittens
...or two in any other way you can think of

We hope you get the idea! This week's newsletter (you can see it here if you missed it in your mailbox) featured a project that would certainly fit - it's two yarns and two colors (but thankfully just one piece!)

We'll be sharing more project ideas in upcoming newsletters.

Please plan to join in the fun - the requirements to participate are simple:
  1. Start your project on or after April 1, 2015 and finish on or before July 3, 2015.
  2. Post a finished photo to your project page on Ravelry.
  3. Tag your project (this is really important!) "cottageQ2KAL15"

Also, you must use yarn purchased from the shop (it doesn't have to be a new purchase).

If you have any questions, please let us know. We can't wait to see how you do two!

*please note that even though we're saying knit-along, crocheting counts too

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A New Year and a New Knit-along!

the latest Churchmouse Classics collection - all patterns are available at the shop
Happy 2015! Are you ready for a knit-along? We've been planning this one since last fall when Churchmouse released their latest Classics patterns. The collection includes three sweaters and three accessories. And most of the pieces feature a lot of knitting - all three sweaters are straight-up stockinette and one of the scarves features linen stitch in a fingering or lace-weight. Sounds like the perfect excuse for a knit-along!

The Knit-along officially kicks off tomorrow (Friday, January 16) and runs through April 3. Any project that is started and finished within that timeframe counts. If you post your project to Ravelry - and we encourage you to! - please use the tag CottageQ1KAL15 - just saying...there might be prizes!

We highlighted three of the patterns (Modern Wrapper Fine, Two-tone Twill Scarf and Walking Rib Cowl) in our newsletter last October (direct link here), including yarn and color suggestions. Below are our suggestions for the other three patterns. These are just ideas to get you thinking. One of the great things about the Classics is that they are suitable for a wide variety of yarns (and budgets).

The Go-To Cardigan has A-line shaping, a split hem and a relaxed fit. Knit in a DK-weight, there are plenty of yarn and fiber options. Of course we love the suggested Rowan Felted Tweed; it's a nice yarn to knit, holds up well and comes in great colors. Shown above are a few of the neutrals (left to right shades 175, 190, 154). For a year-round piece, how about Rowan's Wool Cotton. It's a machine washable 50/50 blend of cotton and merino wool and it comes in a full range of colors. We like navy (shade 909) and purple (shade 969) for now, but there are also lighter colors for the warmer seasons. Finally, if you're thinking about a warmer season piece, Rowan's Revive fits the bill. It's a silk/cotton/rayon blend with tweedy flecks. There's also an extensive color palette; shown here are 465 Rock, 474 Silt and 467 Ironstone.

The pattern itself is eight pages, but don't let all that detail scare you. There are plenty of pictures and helpful tutorials for techniques like an invisible cast-on and wrap-less short rows. The pattern is sized XS (37-1/2" bust) through XL (53-1/2" bust) and suggests 4-6" of positive ease - in other words, choose the size that is 4-6" larger than your bust.

The Better-Than-Basic Pullover is that easy, simple just-right sweater you'd buy...if you could find it! It comes in two lengths (hip-length and tunic, along with tips to customize) and two necklines (rib-neck and funnel-neck). You can mix and match to suit your taste and style. The pattern suggests a light worsted (5 stitches to the inch) yarn. That pale blue version on the cover is Rowan's Kid Classic, which knits up light and airy and surprisingly warm. For a wardrobe staple, we love cream (shade 282), navy (shade 873) or khaki (shade 889). Another option is Rowan's Colourspun. This yarn is labeled DK, but we love it knit at the looser pattern gauge. Shown above are shades 274 and 273.

This pattern is also eight pages - for the same reason! It's also sized XS (42-1/2" bust) through XL (59-1/2" bust) and suggests 8-10" of positive ease - in other words, choose the size that is 8-10" larger than your bust.

If a sweater seems daunting, how about striped mitts or a cowl? The Accelerating Stripes pattern suggests Rowan's Finest, a lovely fingering weight blend of merino, alpaca and cashmere. The mitts take one skein of each color and the cowl takes two. The color names are pretty cute, too! We chose (left) Charm (62) and  Rapture (68) and (right) 59 Rare (59) and Love (65). That Rare/Love combo would be perfect for Valentine's Day!

A few of us have yarn already...and a few of us have even swatched (ahem, that would not be me!) But please don't worry if you're just getting started. You still have plenty of time to participate.

We'd love to help you choose a project (or two). There will be a crowd of us at the shop tomorrow afternoon...just getting started. We hope to see you there - or on-line in our Ravelry Group. There's a thread in our forum to share what your knitting.

We do hope you'll join us!