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!