Saturday, January 30, 2016

More designers... and let's "swoon" Maine!

It's not often that I have a chance to really peruse a book in the shop...but the new collection of patterns from Maine (and featuring American yarns, mostly from the Northeast) really caught my eye. The patterns are classic and unstructured, but fun and an eclectic mix of women and children cowls, caps, sweaters and vests -- there will be something in this book to pique your knitting interest.

Shoreline Vest... and there is a tiny version!

What's in this for Atlanta knitters?  The photography almost qualifies it for "coffee table" status.  The pictures of the Maine shore are lovely, and Carrie Bostick Hoge is not bashful about her love for her home state.  Now the Roswell shore of the Chattahoochee is beautiful, too -- and I am certainly partial to our state's scenic spots... but this book will make you think about visiting the Maine coast, and taking your knitting bag along.

Next time you are in the shop, check out this book.  And while you are there, take a look at the Swan's Island yarn... it will put you in the mood to knit and dream of a coastal view...maybe Savannah or St. Simon's?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sark wrap

We don't always pay much attention to the designer of a certain pattern... and how many times do we knit EXACTLY what the pattern prescribes?  (Or do you consider the pattern directions a "dictate"? A rule? A "guideline"? ) Atlanta knitters do their own thing!

We can have fun with those thoughts, but often the designer has spent a great deal of time and energy in getting it "right" -- just as an architect would plan a building structure.  This quarter's knit a long is no exception: the talented Martin Storey is the designer and he has quite a history of solid patterns and beautiful results.

Martin Storey started out in Beeford, in Great Britain.  He actually worked on a pig farm, according to the bio on   There are some charming videos of him promoting last year's afghan KAL, and you get a sense of his soft spoken tone, as well as his sense of humor.  He went to art school eventually, and became a designer at Jaeger, before they were acquired by Rowan.  Since then he has been the lead designer for the "Classic" lines at Rowan.   Note: if you want to see what Martin has to offer for 2016, there is another KAL afghan.... the introduction of the first month's "square" is late January, and it is knit with Pure Wool Worsted.  We just got a new shipment! 

Our Ravelry group notes indicate that the Sark will be an "epic" knit.... but what a beauty!  Mary is our moderator for this KAL and her initial notes are on Ravelry.  (Go to groups, find Cast on Cottage, and the list of topics will come up... or go to  this url:


Here is a picture:

How about that notecard technique?  Mary takes a row, puts it on an index card, and so she is ONLY LOOKING AT ONE ROW AT A TIME!!!!


(A certain little pattern called Creature Comfort comes to mind.... that one put me off patterns like this for a while.... I think I knit only in garter stitch for about 3 months after that....).  I digress...

And tell me if you think Martin Storey's favorite embellishment is the bobble.  Ya think? 

Monday, January 11, 2016

This & That from the Needle Arts market & show

Back home to Atlanta today and our knitting/needlepoint community has turned on the icebox

Here are a few more photos and comments from the show.  The photo above is from our primary supplier for gadgets and notions.... we found a great product to help with cable stitches ( a safe way to hold them in front or back - should arrive at shop soon), and we found a new type of Double Point Needles.  We'll be interested in your feedback -- they are light and have a great "touch."

Don't we all love the beautiful Atenti bags?
This is the booth at TNNA.  There were people there every minute!
We had such a great time looking at the new designs (and some classics) from the needlepoint artists.

Of course, we had to post the 'Bama one in honor of tonight's big college game, and don't we all love the admonition to
"Keep Calm?" 
Do you have a favorite canvas? If not, we might have just the perfect one for you soon, at Cast on Cottage!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Did I break my step counter thingy?

These trade shows are hard work....12,000 steps yesterday, but only 4000 so far today (but the day is still young in California! I wonder if steps are counted differently while one is shopping and looking at new yarn, new canvases, and great new "bling" products?

I'll have some pictures to post later (my phone is charging now) but check our Instagram feed for some new things from TNNA. 

We want to be Atlanta's premier knitting and needlepoint location.  Got any ideas for us?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Stumpwork revealed!

More about Stumpwork... which is the art of bringing dimension to your canvas.  Kelly Clark had an illustrative slide presentation for us before the stitching and demonstrations started.  Almost anything can be incorporated into your canvas work, and Stumpwork will provide us a place to use those charms, buttons, vintage fabrics and wire work (anyone still have their jewelry/beading equipment?).

Flower Sampler
Kelly took us through the various materials that can be used, as well as equipment and types of thread.  We had a lesson on wire gauge (smaller number - is that thick wire? ) and we reviewed and remembered terms like "trapunto." 

It is almost a combination of the best parts of embroidery, with an updated flair of needlepoint embellishment!

The red gerbera daisy on the right side of this picture is shown close up below....ask Marci about that technique. She completed several of her flower petals on Thursday afternoon.... (overachieving...).

Beads are also an integral part of Kelly's vision of this work, although she leaves the needle artist open to work his/her magic. 

Also, look around in your needlepoint tool kit -- you may have some needles that you haven't used in a while, and stumpwork will challenge you to do something new with them.  (That super long one is a bouillon needle...and that little sharp one is a beading needle! )

Challenges await in 2016 -- let's do something new!

Below is a close up of  needleweaving in a red  Gloriana thread....

More TNNA news coming this weekend!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wow -- What a day!  I can spin you a "yarn" about the first day of our trip to TNNA ... and when I say "we" this means Marci and Debra.... two needle-wielding travelers who left the perimeter area at 5:30 A.M.  - headed for San Diego!

Travel was uneventful (in an airplane, that's the best kind).... and we arrived in plenty of time to register, check in and get to our Stumpwork class with the charming and talented Kelly Clark.  (I posted a few pictures earlier -- check Instagram for all the up to date photos).  Marci wanted to learn some more needlepoint embellishment and stitching techniques... it was like drinking from a fire hose! It was good, and we are bringing back some ideas for our Wednesday and Monday stitchers at Cast on Cottage and Needlepoint Garden.  What happens in San Diego does NOT stay out here!

The weather has been much like the weather in Atlanta... but energetic knitters and needlepointers don't let weather get them down... right?

It's been fun to be around some folks who think an important newsflash is a new color introduction in
______________ yarn (fill in the blank!)

By the way, Marci wanted to dine here tonight...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

We are headed to TNNA!

Headed to TNNA... in San Diego!  It is THE marketplace for the needle arts.... and we will be posting some pictures and information from our favorite suppliers.  Stay tuned!