Pot Luck Anyone?

Pot Luck Anyone?ANYONE FOR POT LUCK?

It is the holiday season again!  The time of year when many plans are made for the joy of entertaining loved ones.  We have observed that, when it comes to entertainers, there are many different types.  Some avant garde, some preferring to create a quiet and relaxing experience for their guests, and some committed to dazzling guests with their culinary expertise.  We have chosen to focus on only one type of entertainer:

Let’s call her Martha (no subtlety here).  Martha has been planning her holiday meal for several months. Her goal is to create the most impressive meal that her friends and family have yet to experience,  creating a memory that they will regard with great reverence (she is also hell bent on outdoing her sister-in-law, who has hosted this dinner for four years in a row). She has set her perfectly ironed linen tablecloth, with matching napkins on the table, taking great care to measure the exact allowance for plate and silverware.  Her dishes, glasses, and silver, coordinate in every detail.  She has painstakingly created the ideal centerpiece, and has created the ultimate holiday playlist.  Martha’s sister-in-law has replicated a meal from different historical times, which has now become the tradition for all holiday meals going forward.  Martha is determined to replicate a meal from the 1700’s with complete authenticity.  Her menu, after long hours of research is the following:
  • Oyster Cocktail
  • Wafers
  • Clear Soup, with Custard
  • Celery 
  • Salted Nuts 
  • Roast Goose with Dressing 
  • Applesauce 
  • Glaced Sweet Potatoes
  • Mashed Potatoes 
  • Baked Squash 
  • Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts
  • Cranberry Ring with Grapefruit and Malaga Grape Salad 
  •  Plum Pudding Trimmed with Holly 
  • Apple Custard Pie

There is one catch, however, not all family members are aware of this new tradition. Many are attending this meal after missing the last few years of holiday reunions.  They are traveling from great distances, and are very excited to reunite with the family.

So, of course, the one thing that would be the epitome of horror to Martha would be a pot luck contribution to her meal.  Unfortunately, a good many of Martha’s guests are quite accustomed to this age old tradition.  And Martha would never consider hurting or insulting her guests by refusing their culinary contributions. So, each time the doorbell rings, ushering another covered container of God knows what, Martha’s malaise escalates a bit more.  
 
Her Aunt Harriet enters the foyer with a large bowl of macaroni and cheese, winks at Martha, and says this is her age old family recipe, and it needs to go in the oven (currently filled with courses on different timers) in about twenty minutes.  Did she just hear someone exclaim something about Chile Con Carne?  What does that ever go with? Are they insane?  Are those things hot dogs that just went by?  And, no, this can’t be happening, here comes her great Aunt Emily with a green, wobbly thing with bits in it.  A jello mold?  It continues to move on it’s own speed, until carefully placed down on Martha’s perfectly organized kitchen countertop.  Martha’s six year old nephew is transfixed on this gelatinous confection.  He quietly takes a spoon to sample it, as it jiggles an alluring dance that no six year old child could resist.  After a sample, he makes a face of revulsion, saying that he can’t figure out what the bits are made of, and that at the bottom it crunches with what seems very much like cat litter.  Suddenly, Martha has a great desire to lie down on the floor of her kitchen, and just not get up until tomorrow morning.

Do you know who always has a successful holiday party?  That awesome guy, Thor.  This year he has already won a contest for best menu against his brother, Loki.  Here is Thor and his brother, Loki, wearing the costume he has chosen to wear all holiday because he lost.  Thor’s meals always win.  He is that awesome.

 

Thor and LokiAwesome Thor and Loki, who lost menu contest.

Back to Martha, who, made of sterner stuff, decides not to give in to her second idea, which is to call Uber, tell the driver to come around the back of the house, pick her up, drive to a five star hotel, and, armed with her Aunt Harriet’s enormous bowl of macaroni and cheese, get a room, eat the entire bowl, drowning it with a couple of excellent cabernets, then passing out.  Instead she takes several calming, deep breaths, and says to herself, “I am going on.  I will complete my preparations, and table all of this until later…Wait, what did I say?  Table it?  That’s it!”  With lightening speed, Martha fetches the card table from the hall closet, places a delightfully scalloped tablecloth upon it (details always matter), and begins to place all pot luck offerings upon it.  She places her antique candle sticks behind the various dishes, and the table takes on a glowing, welcoming presence in the dining room.  All guests are seated and, much to her sister-in-law’s shagrin, the meal is a great success, and quite impressive to all.  The pot luck table was so appreciated, that it will most likely become part of the holiday traditions.

Speaking of traditions, why not start a new one by purchasing a gift card from our store for a loved one?  There is nothing like giving a gift that someone actually wants.  And that is precisely what our gift card does.  Come in or order one on line.  We wrap it beautifully, and you are sure to dazzle any knitter with one.  (We place it in a miniature mitten, and make it all nice and pretty like.)  They will love it.
We have gotten so many great things in for the season.  Brand new Madeline Tosh.  See below:

 

Madeline Tosh new Glitter Yarn
Madeline Tosh new Glitter Yarn

Also just arrived: New Loopy Mango, Knit Collage, Freia, Appalachian Baby, new bags, notions, accessories, and much more!
 
We have magnificent Anzula cashmere, and a kit created just for the holiday season.  It is a limited offer of a beautiful mug created by Pawley Studios Pottery, along with Anzula Squishy Yarn, and a lovely cowl pattern, by Heather Zoppetti, and a cute stitch marker.  They come in two color combinations.  They can be ordered on line on our website, or purchased in our store.  Price:  $87.00

 

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We have tons of last minute holiday gift ideas.  Come in and finish up your gift list with us.  (Don’t forget to pick up something for yourself as well.  You deserve a treat.  Especially if you are the host or hostess this season.)
Our store will be open from 11:00 to 4:00 on Sunday, December 23, and will reopen Wednesday, December 26th, at our regular store hours. 

So, we wish you the most enjoyable holiday season!  And, if you are the host or hostess this year, and you aren’t the Martha type, we just might feature your type next year.  And if you are the Martha type, keep a stiff upper lip, keep working towards perfection, and, under no circumstances, do you call Uber.  

See you soon!
Diane and Christin!
Come back!  Here’s a table!

 

Does anyone have the time?

Time is a tricky thing.  Sixty seconds in a minute.  Sixty minutes in an hour.  Simple tools to measure time.  So, why do some minutes seem so long, and others fly by in the blink of an eye?  Obviously, it is one’s perception of the time that makes it vary so.  Two people within the same hour can have completely different perceptions of the same sixty minutes.  We thought we would explore this phenomenon a bit further.  Don’t worry.  We won’t get all sciencey.  We just want to look closer at a very odd thing.  Let’s compare same time experiences:

Stuff that feels like an eternity:

1.  Any dental work

There you are in that chaise lounge chair that is supposed to relax you. The soothing music is playing.  You stare up at the light that seems to burn directly through your corneas and into your soul.  As you examine the various sharp objects laid out on the tray, you understand that these tools will soon be used on you.  You break out in a cold sweat.  Time seems to stand still.  A paper bib is pinned around your neck.  You feel like it has been at least a half hour that you have been in the chair, and nothing has even happened yet.  In actuality, it has been less than five minutes.  The next hour is going to feel like a week.  Your life at this moment sucks a great deal.

2. Waiting for pasta water to boil when you are starving

You have been staring at the pot of water for what seems like three days.  How can this be?  There aren’t any bubbles in the water yet.  You need the bubbles to make the water work.  Your mind has lost all coherency.  You know this much.  No bubbles, no pasta.  That’s what you know.  This is impossible.  How can it not be hot yet?  Maybe if you walk away and not look at the pot, it will start bubbling.  Go to the window.  Look out and see the birds and the clouds and the trees.  Okay. That’s enough.  There have to be bubbles by now.  You go back to the stove to take a peek.  No bubbles yet.  You lie down on the floor in front of the stove.  No more peeking.  The bubbles know you are checking up on them.  So they won’t come out.  But you will outsmart the bubbles.  You will lie on the floor and hide so they can’t see you.  That’s right.  They aren’t as smart as they think.  Hah.  Stupid, slow bubbles.  Your life at this moment sucks a great deal.

3. The post office

Before you enter the post office, everything seems normal.  You have been running errands, and it all seems fine.  But, after the door opens and you enter, everything feels like you are suddenly under water.  Or maybe wading through an enormous vat of Jello.  Everyone is moving in slow motion.  You have entered a time warp.  Another dimension where nothing moves at a normal speed.  You are in a line that is so long, it snakes around and almost goes outside.  The person in the front of the line takes an unnatural amount of time to simply place his box on the counter.  Then there is an exchange of information about said package that lasts long enough that you could have gone home and made a pot of pasta. (See #2 above)  Again, time feels like it is standing still.  You have waited for one tedious transaction to end and another to begin for an eternity.  You are three people away from it being your turn.  Up next is a sweet, little old lady.  She wants to pick out the stamps she wishes to purchase from the pile of stamps offered. There are literally books of them.  The postal worker has no problem with this. He has all the time in the world.  And he moves like a sloth.  The two of them look at each stamp, commenting on them.  She might go for the bird collection.  Not sure though.  He likes the Elvis ones.  You know that, after she makes her final choice, she is absolutely going to pay for these stamps with pennies.  Your life at this moment sucks a great deal.

We are just going to list the things that go by quickly. That is the whole point of this study.  Fleeting, joyful moments.  Same sixty seconds, but a world of difference.  Here we go:

  1. Any great vacation
  2. Any great meal
  3. Any Disney ride
  4. Any massage
  5. Any day off
  6. Any minutes before snooze alarm goes off
  7. Any time left after your car finally warms up and you have to get out again.
  8. Any time between colonoscopies (didn’t say they were all going to be good)
  9. Any year before your first wrinkle

We could go on here.  But you get the picture.  The bottom line is that minutes are not created equally.  So what have we learned?  We think the best take away is to collect as many of the good ones as you can.  If you end up with more good ones than bad in your life, you win.

(You know who knows this already?  That awesome guy, Thor.  He is smiling here because the majority of his time is composed of excellent moments.  That’s how awesome he is.)

thor

Awesome Thor, thinking about his excellent moments

Speaking of great moments, we have some terrific events coming to our store:

Yarn Tasting of Manos Del Uruguay, Sunday, October 7th at 1:00 pm

Lisa, of Manos Del Uruguay will be at our store with new yarns, patterns, samples for you to see and play with.  It is always great to see Lisa and her beautiful yarns.  Admission is free. And it’s a great way to collect a pile of really fun moments.

Loopy Mango Trunk Show, Sunday, October 14th at 2:00 pm

This is their show for Fall!  Loopy Mango Shows are always fun. Come try beautiful new things on and meet the Loopy Mango staff.  It should be an awesome afternoon.  Again, admission is free.  Come in and have fun with us.

We are continuing to get in new yarns, notions, and all around fabulous stuff.  Think holidays.  (They are coming really fast. And time will run out before you know it.)

Please don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  We really appreciate it.

We will leave you with one final time measurement:

Time it takes to eat a slice of cheesecake: Under five minutes

Time it takes to lose the calories from one slice of cheesecake: Infinity

If life was fair, these would be the same.

See you soon!
Diane and Christin

These Are The Breaks

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When a child needs dicipline, an adult will usually place the child in a chair. The child is told that he or she is being punished with a “time out,” and that they are not allowed to get up from the chair until the adult tells them that it is okay to do so. At that moment, the child hates the chair, because he or she has been told that this is a punishment. They are dying to get up and be freed of the chair. But, as the child gets older, the very same activiity will become a precious gift when someone utters the words, “Let’s take a break.”

Ah, the wondrous break. Who doesn’t love it? Whether it is a rest from something one is enjoying, like dancing, or from something not so enjoyable like working, it is always a great thing. So, we decided to pay homage to the break, and examine the different types of breaks one can take.

Ah, the wondrous break. Who doesn’t love it? Whether it is a rest from something one is enjoying, like dancing, or from something not so enjoyable like working, it is always a great thing. So, we decided to pay homage to the break, and examine the different types of breaks one can take.

The lunch hour break: This is a much better break. Not only because it is longer, but there is food involved. On this break you can actually sit, relax, chat with friends, and eat. True, it definitely goes faster than any other hour of the day, but it’s a much better “time out.” Some people actually grab something to eat quickly, and use this hour for other things. If you are spry, you can go shopping, run an errand, or do something else that’s fun. And yes, there are actually people who work through their lunch hour, thinking they are superior to others. This, in our opinion, is a foolish endeavor. Nobody thinks that you are superior working through your lunch hour, pal. You are eventually going to die with the rest of us. Have a chicken leg. Live it up. The work will still be there an hour from now. Carpe Diem.

You know who knows exactly what to do on a break? That awesome guy, Thor. He doesn’t waste an hour on stupid stuff. Thor naps. That’s how awesome he is,

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The afternoon off: This is paradise. There is only one thing that beats the afternoon off, and it is the snow day. Let’s talk about the snow day for a second. This is a perfect day if you don’t have to travel to work in the snow. (If you have to travel to work, you get both a sympathy and a “hat’s off to you” gesture) But, when the announcement is made that the office is closed for the day, it’s like Christmas. Like your birthday. It is a beautiful, guilt free, surprise slice of heaven right there. A gift you weren’t expecting. Nothing better. As a matter of fact, it’s so great that we will override the afternoon off break, and just talk about the snow day. It is a WHOLE free day off. You get to stay in your jammies, and do whatever you want to do. These days don’t come along frequently, so we suggest that they are used wisely. Don’t emulate the “work through lunch guy”, and do something incredibly stupid with such a gift like he does by cleaning out a closet or reorganizing files. What a jerk. Bet he likes to say “Okay, back to work” as frequently as possible. And you know he was the kid who reminded the teacher she didn’t give out a homework assignment. You are not well liked, sir. The least you could do is work from home.

Is there wisdom to be found when examining the break? We think so. Our advice is to find your happy place within any break, and enjoy it to its fullest. Sure, that hairy, pocket protector guy mentioned above may get a raise or a promotion from working through his break times, but how wise is he to do so? He may have a bit more money, and a better office, but what does he spend his money on with no one who wants to spend any time with him? He blew up all his happy moments on a bigger desk. He is Hairy Attila the Hun Missed The Whole Point Of A Break Guy. And he is definitely not getting a weenie this summer. Let’s remember that. So, our advice is live it up in the free time that we are given. Read a good book. Sit in the sun and eat a sandwich. And, maybe, knit?

The Cocoknits Sweater Workshop Book, by Julie Weisenberger, is a new way to create different sweaters, using a sweater structure that is in every pattern. Once you learn how to make the “yoke”, you can then choose different versions of it, using different yarns. The sweaters are clean, and cutting edge in design. They are the sweaters you would choose to buy at the store. Simple and beautiful.
Here are what they look like:

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Starting on Sunday, February 25th,, will be the first class of the workshop. There are four classes altogether. You sign up for each class individually, so that you are not committed to all four classes if you don’t feel that you need them. You must register in advance for each class, though. There is a guest instructor, and you need to reserve your space. You can sign up for one or all classes on our website, by going to this link: http://www.knittingtoknowewe.com/classes-and-events/

Class #1

Sunday, February 25th, 1:00 to 3:00

You set up your pattern in your workbook, you cast on and learn the increase stitches, and set up the yoke markers. You then do the twelve rows that begin the yoke.

Class #2

Sunday, March 4th, 1:00 to 3:00

Your twelve rows are completed before this class. You learn how to pick up the stitches for the shoulders. You then do the rows that complete the shoulders, joining in the round to begin the body of the sweater

Class #3

Sunday, March 25th, 1:00 to 3:00

With the body completed, you will pick up the stitches for the sleeves, knitting in the round, using double pointed needles or the magic loop.

Both will be demonstrated in this lesson.

After the first lesson, you will be able to register for the next class in the store while you are there. This is a beautiful way to make a sweater that actually fits, and we think you will enjoy learning this method. The class is $30.00 per hour. Please let us know in advance if you can’t make it. You can call us at 215.598.9276, write us, or stop by the store.

We also want to mention that we just got a lot of new yarn in, and it will keep coming. (Great stuff to make a Cocoknits sweater with). Right now, new Manos Del Uruguay, Madeline Tosh, and Big Bad Wool just came in. What also just arrived are the square needles from Knitter’s Pride that have become popular recently. Lots of new patterns, notions, and cool stuff.

Our store will be closed Tuesday, February 20th, Wednesday, February 21st, and Thursday, February 22nd. We will reopen on Friday, February 23rd.

So, we invite you to learn something new, or buy something new. Take a break and come over. Don’t be like that misguided, Hun guy with no weenie. (Don’t think that came out right.)

Happy Valentine’s Day And See You Soon!

Diane and Christin

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The Limitless Things We Do For Our Clients

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Pet owners certainly love their pets. We all know that. But, people just don’t get the difference between taking care of a cat and other animals. They just don’t understand that there is a difference.

We have observed that most cat owners are programmed exactly the same way. Here are some real life examples of cat programming. (Note: The names below have been changed to allow mentioned cat owners to remain anonymous and sustain a public appearance of dignity.)

Scott is a large, construction worker that looks like he could break you in half with no difficulty. But, if you ask Scott about his cat, Snowflake, he isn’t tough Scott anymore. Snowflake, apparently, does not like to drink water that is not completely fresh. So, Scott showed her how to drink from his bathroom faucet. Now Snowflake literally lives in Scott’s bathroom sink. In the morning, Scott has to go to the kitchen to brush his teeth and shave. The world may perceive Scott as a scary dude, but Snowflake would think that is hillarious. Snowflake perceives Scott as a big poof.

Henry builds an entire “fortress wall” every night out of chairs, blankets, and boxes to keep Pumpkin from getting out of the bedroom. When Pumpken gets out, he screams all night to come back in. It is our suspicion that Pumpkin has a sadistic sense of humor (not uncommon in the feline community). He enjoys seeing Henry build this “wall thing” every night. It tickles him.

(You know who gives into his cat’s whims, but still maintains his dignity? That awesome guy, Thor. Asgard, his cat, knows he has that huge hammer, and isn’t afraid to use it. Even though he gave Asgard his own hammer. His is still a lot bigger. So, he doesn’t push him too far. Truly awesome.)

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Then there is Dorothy, an award winning chef. She likes to create great food. But Theodore is a problem. He constantly leaps on the cutting board or counter, while Dorothy is preparing her meals. He gets great enjoyment in knocking food, utencils, etc. onto the floor. He likes to walk across the stove while the flame is on. This frightens Dorothy a great deal. He also scavenges food and loves to go into the refrigerator, refusing to come out. Needless to say, Theodore’s antics have greatly curtailed Dorothy’s desire to cook. It is such a battle with Theodore, that Dorothy has given up cooking altogether. She has recently reached a new low by buying a bucket of Chick-fil-A for guests. Theodore owns the kitchen now. He also enjoyed playing with the empty bucket. He couldn’t be happier.

It is our opinion that all cats are sociopathic.

You know how your cat occasionally chatters? You think it is adorable. You think your cat is wishing it could hunt the birds it sees outside of the window. We are considering this is not at all the case. We are beginning to suspect that that chattering is how a cat laughs. Sometimes they are so entertained with you, they can’t maintain their usual state of indifference. Chattering just might be your cat bursting out laughing at you, while pretending to be interested in something outside. A scary thought. But it makes more sense than just chattering at stuff. That never made sense, did it?

We allow our cats to torture us, laugh at us, and manipulate us on a daily basis. Why do we allow it, you ask? Cats also train their owners to understand what a great honor it is that they have continued to live with them. We believe this, and continue to allow our cats to target all the things we love to own, and love to do. Like stealing and destroying beautiful yarn, knitting needles and the blissfull activity of knitting itself.

Speaking of knitting, our shipment of Madeline Tosh Yarn is in. Home, Dk and Twist, in gorgeous, new and old favorite colors. Our Big Bad Wool is in with new colors in Yeti. Here is a great jacket to make with any of the new colors:

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We received a lot of flack for not sending out a newsletter in December. We apologize. The month just got away from us. To make up for it, we have planned a pretty nice thing on the last weekend in January, the 27th and 28th. We are calling it “The Never Before KTKE Shibui Event.” On this weekend, everything Shibui will be 10% off. Soak it up. We don’t plan on missing another newsletter any time soon.

So, stay safe in all this weather. Please follow us on Twitter @knittingtoknow and Facebook @Knittingtoknowewe.

And why not knit your cat a bunny costume? He’ll hate it.

See you soon!

Diane and Christin

 

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If It Ain’t Broke…

What should be more celebrated than the human spirit of invention? It is, indeed, a wondrous thing. We certainly covet and appreciate creativity and innovation. However, one must not reject a past creation, with its perfection, in the name of improvement. Some things simply do not require improvement. And, in the attempt to make it “better,” some inventors miss the entire point of what made the thing great to begin with. There are some things that just need to stay the way they are. They just end up being pretentious and wrong. Here are some examples:

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This is a perfect sandwich. The bread lightly grilled, the cheese (good old American cheese) gooey and warm, and served beside a steaming bowl of soup (tomato is our preference). This is a good thing right here. So, who’s idea was it to make a brie grilled cheese sandwich? Or goat cheese? Even the three cheese thing is overkill. We will, at this point, allow bacon to be added. But the line must be drawn here. No cod fish. No wild boar. Settle down right now.

The Tunafish Sandwich

This is a sacred sandwich. We don’t mind if you change the bread to a roll. You can even put tomato or cheese on it. That’s fine. But seared ahi tuna is an abomination. It needs to stay on the sushi menu or in a stir fry. Whoever came up with this idea needs a time out. He needs to look within himself closely and come to grips with some of the issues that he’s been carrying around. Did his mother not hold him enough? Is he afraid of something like heights or inclosed places? Whatever his issues may be, he needs to work some heavy stuff out. Try to find his soul again. Geez

Pizza

Here is the recipe:

Tomato Sauce, Cheese and Dough.

Okay. We get it that people like to add things on their pizzas.

Pepperoni, sausage, onions, ground beef, olives, etc. So let’s just mention what shouldn’t go on a pizza. Or, better still, let’s list some that have wicked combinations:

Tropical Veggie Delight (yes, this is a real thing) has zuchini and pineapple on it. Are you kidding? Zuchini shouldn’t be within ten feet of a pizza.

Asian Fusion Pizza. Chicken, peanuts, and snap peas. No comment.

Mexican Fiesta Pizza. Refried beans, chorizo, and beef. Sounds good if you are at Taco Bell.

At this point, we are willing to renegotiate. Let’s just call all the above flatbreads and we are good. Leave pizza alone, though. It is an icon. They got it right the first time./span>

Cheesecake

Again, this is a perfect thing. Cream cheese, vanilla, butter, sugar, on a graham cracker crust. Here come the wicked combinations:

Pistachio Coconut Cheesecake, Macadamia Mango Cheesecake, Walnut Lemon Cheesecake. Who are these people with their nuts and fruit? If they have to add all this stuff, put it on top so we can scrape it off.

Ice Cream

This might be the worst one. Ice cream has always had a great range of flavors. We have no problem with that. But, today, the attempt to create the most pretentious ice cream flavor in an attempt to modernize it, has reached a feverish level. Here are some examples:

Lavender, hibiscus, and green tea ice cream. This is not ice cream. It is potpourri.

Cillantro, watermelon, cucumber ice cream. Not in a million years.

Cayenne, sage, vanilla ice cream. We like the vanilla part.

We could go on, but what are we trying to say here? The best way to say it is that, sometimes, simplicity is a beautiful thing. Like a great cup of coffee. (Let’s not go into what they have done to coffee. Adding all that whipped cream and syrups. That’s not coffee anymore. It’s a sundae. Who can drink that first thing in the morning without going into insulin shock?)

Or a great, clean lined, simple sweater. A sweater that requires no extra design. It simply highlights the incredible yarn with which it is made. It allows the yarn to do all the work. And it fits and looks great.

We have been making one sweater after the other from the Cocoknits Sweater Workbook. This is such a great book, and you can make simple, clean sweaters out of any yarn you want. The pattern is easy and fun. If you get the book, the worksheet book, and the color coded stitch markers, you are set. You can use your stash yarn up making great sweaters. If you can’t get to our store, here are the links to order the books and markers from our website:

http://www.knittingtoknowewe.com/patterns-and-books/

http://www.knittingtoknowewe.com/notions/

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There is a great event at our store on July 15th and 16th this month. It is The Great Habu Event! Everything Habu will be 30% Off! Now is the time to load up on all the Habu projects you have wanted to make. It should be a fun weekend.

Our store is open this weekend before the Fourth of July. If we don’t see you this weekend, have a great holiday!

We have already started to get the orders we placed at the convention last month. Appalachian Organic Cotton has new natural beiges that just came in. They are great. Shibui Reed has arrived. It is their new linen, and it is soft and wonderful. Rain has also arrived in some new colors. This is Shibui’s pure cotton yarn. It is what the dark gray sweater above is made out of. Really beautiful stuff.

We are about to get in Big Bad Wool. All of it. You are going to love this yarn. Madeline Tosh, Loopy Mango, more Shibui, Freia, and a brand new yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas are also coming, plus tons more. We will keep you posted as they arrive. This Fall is going to rock.

So, stop by and see us. Think about a new project you want to make, and we will help you put something awesome together. We have lots of ideas and are here to help you through your project. So, get yourself an audiobook and sit by the pool, knit and listen. That’s our tip of the day.

We are here to help and welcome you. We’ve got a lot of time. After all, how long does it take to make a grilled cheese sandwich?

See you soon!

Diane and Christin

 

Is Competition Really That Healthy?

We have all heard how competition can make one strive for a higher level of achievement. How it makes one look at what someone else has achieved, and want to surpass them, simply for the experience of atttaining a higher standard and gaining personal growth. That’s sounds great, right? But, we got to thinking how, a lot of the time, for most, it is just about winning. About telling the world they are, unequivically, the best. And, we have observed that this can sometimes take a nasty turn. Get really weird. So, we thought we would show you some examples of how competition sometimes derails the original goal, and sends some people directly to crazytown.

Case #1: The Executive Competition

Steve and Brian have both coveted a promotion in the company they work for. They have been working for months at a feverish pace to win. Steve’s strategy is to work overtime to the point where he has had to rent an apartment near the office. His family doesn’t see much of him, and, in effect, he has literally moved out of his house. He works long hours, not sleeping, eating, or taking a break. But he has gotten the boss’s attention. Brian sees all of this. He really wishes that he had thought of the apartment thing. He is single, and it would have been easy for him. But, it is too late to copy Steve. His strategy is to bombard his boss with gifts. Tickets to events, celebrity introductions, car detailing, restaurant reservations, etc. He is broke paying for all these bribes. Had to sell his car. Steve is now in the hospital with exhaustion, and his wife wants a divorce. But, he tries to dazzle his boss by working from the hospital bed. Brian panics and, in a moment of insanity, proposes to the boss’s daughter. Who looks a lot like this:

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So, who got the job? Neither. Because the boss had a heart attack giving his daughter away at the wedding.

Case #2: Prom Queen Competition

How about Marcy and April, who both wanted to be Prom Queen? Marcy thought she needed to fit into a size 2 dress, and went on a diet of Skittles (only the yellow and red ones). April decided she needed a makeover, and had plastic surgery and a boob job. She cleaned out her college fund. Marcy was so weak that she could barely stand up at the prom. And, nobody recognized April, and thought she dropped out of the competition. They both lost to Tiffany, who paid for all the decorations and the food for the prom. Marcy freaked out and took a tire iron to Tiffany’s limo on prom night. She was arrested. But she said, ” It wasn’t so bad in jail. “They give you a lot of food there.”

Case 3: Pie Anyone?

Hazel and Jeanette have always competed in the pie competition. Every year they alternate in getting the coveted blue ribbon. ( For their families, it is a year from hell when they don’t get the ribbon.) This year, there is a GOLD ribbon. They both want it so bad, they can taste it. They make pie after pie for weeks, perfecting their baking skills. They eye each other at the competition with blood lust. But, to their astonishment, a newbie has entered the arena. Calista, a new addition to the Food Channel Network, has arrived with cameras and a staff, ready to document her presence at the competition. She presents her famous “Calista Caramel Macchiato Pie” and takes the gold. Hazel and Jeanette are in shock. They both go after Calista with the first thing they can pick up. Hazel has a stapler, and Jeanette grabs a box of forks. They are stopped by security, but the press takes their picture and headline reads, “Two Sore LOSERS At Pie Competition Go After Winner.” They are currently both in a mental hospital. They share a room. Both want the bed by the window. You don’t want to know.

Crazy, right? What happens to these people? There should be some kind of red alert to get people to throw cold water on these competitors. Just to shake them up and get them to see they have entered into a dark place. Or how about a taser? Yeah. A taser is good.

You know who never gets competitive? That awesome guy, Thor. (Yes. He is back. Did you think we would forget about him?) He always wins. That’s how awesome he is.

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So, what have we learned from all this? People need to stop competing. As it turns out, it’s not very healthy at all. Why not do something beneficial? Something relaxing. Like yoga, meditation, reading, or knitting?

Speaking of knitting, we are getting tons of new stuff delivered regularly for the new season. Birch, Shibui’s new yarn is now in, and it is awesome. And, TAH DAH…the first shipment of Madeline Tosh has arrived! All new DK and Home are on the shelves. New colors and a few favorites as well. And, while we are on the subject of Tosh, we are having a great End Of The Run clearance on Tosh Dk. Still lots of colors and enough to make a big project. And the price? How about $10 a skein! That’s a pretty winning price. (Not to be competitive.) Better hightail it to our store before it all disappears.

Our shelves are full of beautiful yarn, and it would be a good time to think about a gift card for your knitting loved ones for the upcoming holiday season. We have new notions, project bags, shawl pins, needle sets, and Cocoknits Blocking and Sweater Care Kits that make excellent holiday gifts too. See? You don’t have to get crazy to win. You just have to be smart. Words of wisdom. You are welcome.

Our store will be closed on Thursday, November 23rd, for Thanksgiving. Have a great turkey day! ( And don’t get all caught up in making a turkey that is better than your sister-in-law’s. Stay focused.)

So remember. Don’t take everything so seriously. Life is supposed to be fun. And, we know, there will be people who take away this message and start trying to have more fun than anyone else. Well, whaddya know. That actually could be healthy for you.

See you soon!

And, by the way, follow us on Twitter and you are entered to win a $25 gift card! Yay!

Diane and Christin

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How To Be Cool

Do you sometimes think, “I used to be cool, wasn’t I?  What happened? When did I lose my edge?  My overall coolness? Well, we have a theory on this.  This lack of coolness might stem from the fact that we are surrounded by a new generation of technologically, savvy people with their own set of rules as to what is cool and what definitely isn’t.  If you have kids, grandkids, younger siblings, or whatever, and you want to impress them, you might need some guidance.  So, we thought we would share our observations with you.  Here are some tips and facts, that just might put you back in the game a little:

What to do and what not to do for overall coolness:

Stop calling people.  Kids today do not call each other. (Or write emails, by the way.  Don’t think that if you sent them an email, they actually read it.)  This is an annoyance to them.  They post stuff.  Texting, Instagram, Skyping, and Tweeting are the most frequently used ways to communicate.  Facebook is not as popular with kids as it used to be, but is still used.  An older generation now wants to dazzle you on Facebook, with their announcements of where they ate lunch, or when they stopped at the restroom.  Kids like to take pictures of their lunch, and a selfie in the mirror of the restroom.  See the difference?

Texting abilities are important.  If your grandaughter watches you text slowly, pecking at the letters with one finger, she will start talking to you like you are three years old, and this is your first day at kindergarten.  Kids text, generally, with their thumbs.  Like this:

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Don’t feel bad that you are not great at this right out of the gate.  These kids have been texting since they were babies.  Practice in privacy, and maybe do some thumb strengthening exercises.  Don’t go overboard and try to do chin lifts with just your thumbs. ( Although, a lengthy hospital stay will give you lots of time to practice.)  Nah.  Don’t do it.

What appears to be a great idea to people of all ages these days, but especially kids, is to walk down the street, looking at your phone.  This tells people that you are not only popular, but busy doing important things. (Maybe, in the future they will have cool I-Helmets to protect people from walking into poles and things while texting on their phones. They will say it prevents I-Concussions.)   Also, talking on the phone and walking is also done with frequency.   Gone are the days when you got home, sat in a chair, and called a loved one for a chat.  Nope.  People today talk on the phone in any setting.  They can have an entire business conversation at a table in Starbucks with their laptop and phone, where everyone can hear (whether they want to or not).  Note:  This is a very impressive activity with kids.  Take your granddaughter to Starbucks along with your laptop or tablet. Get on your phone, and have a very official sounding business meeting with a pretend someone.  Embellish it with phrases like, “Sell that one.”  And “Excellent progress.  Keep me informed.”  Superhero stuff right there.

This is a texting addition.  Learn to write in abbreviated terms as much as possible.  (Sadly, all those “A’s” in grammar you accumulated are out the window.) Today, it’s a bunch of letters.  We will provide a few to get you started:

BTW is by the way, IDC is I don’t care, 2moro is tomorrow, NVM is nevermind, BFF is best friends forever, B3 is blah, blah, blah (one of our favorites), SEP is someone else’s problem, EM? is excuse me?, KMN is kill me now, FYI is for your information.  We could go on here, but you get the idea.  Note:  Do not attempt to make up your own abbreviations.  This does not work and is a CWOT (complete waste of time). In it to win it.

Here is a trick to get your granddaughter to stop texting someone while you are sitting at the table, having lunch with her and feeling isolated and lonely.  Send her a text saying “I am sitting here waiting for you to stop texting. WYWH.” (wish you were here).  Good one, right?  LOL (laughing out loud). See?  Getting savvier all the time.

The bottom line here is that, even though you don’t know how to create shortcuts, create a link on Youtube, or set up your keychain, you are still pretty cool.  How many of these kids can make a pie from scratch or, even better, knit?

Speaking of knitting, our store is loaded up with new yarn, accessories, and great new projects.  Big Bad Wool with the big fur pompoms is an awesome new hit in our store.  Here is the Oshare the love…..blanket, also from Big Bad Wool, that we are working on:

oshare blanket
Shibui’s newest yarn, Birch, 100% extra fine merino, is on it’s way to our store this week.  Here is one of the new patterns for this wonderful yarn:

Shibui BirchBeautiful, isn’t it? It’s the ICON Colorblock Wrap

We are getting ready for a boat load of Madeline Tosh to start coming in.  New colors in Twist, Pashmina, DK, ASAP, Home, and Light.  GR8!

We are having a promotion that will, not only make you cool by using Twitter, but might make you another kind of winner.  Follow us on Twitter, and you will be entered in a contest to win a $25.00 gift card for our store!  (Practice by texting your information with two thumbs. But don’t doing it while walking.  You are probably not ready for that.) 

If you know someone who always wanted to learn how to knit (like, maybe your granddaughter?), we are now offering two different kinds of beginner’s knitting classes.  The first is our usual one-on-one lesson (Usually 1-2 hours at $28.00 per hour.  We teach you the basic knit stitch and purl stitch.) and now we are offering a Beginner’s Knitting Course.  This is a five hour course (first lesson is two hours, then one hour a week for the next three weeks), where you make this great hat below:

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By making this hat, you will learn several techniques.  Ribbing, teaching you how to read stitches, decreasing, and following a pattern.  The course is $140.00, and we give you a 10% discount on materials.  You can come in for your hourly class when it is convenient for you every week.  At the end, you have a great hat, and a lot of skills for knitting your next project.  This would be a great gift for someone who wants to knit.  (You are on your own with the pie making.)

So, start practicing your texting and tweeting.  Soon you will, once again, be hip to the jive.  (We know you know what we just said, but don’t ever say that out loud to your granddaughter).

BTW, FYI, this may all be BS. See?  You already knew the last one.  Cool.

See you soon!

Diane and Christin

 

It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature

Did you ever attempt to do something that just didn’t feel right? Trying to force something in one direction, when it really wants to go in the opposite direction? You know what we mean. We all do it everyday. Things like going to work, when you really want to take a nice nap. Or eating steamed flounder and broccoli, when you really want a pizza with everthing on it. You get the idea. We all force ourselves to do things that we really don’t want to do all day long. It is our belief that this kind of activity goes against nature. So, we got to thinking. Is this really a good way to go? Perhaps we should be more discriminating with these unnatural choices we are making. We have chosen a few examples of some things that should be ruled out immediately. Things that go against nature in extreme ways. Things that probably should be never be done again. Here they are:

1. Upper Arm Exercises: These are painful. They force one to lift one’s arms in a direction that is not natural in the least. Plus, after doing them, you can’t lift your arms above your waist for several days. This rules out essential activities like driving, talking on the phone, or opening up a window in case of a fire. This could actually place one in danger. Solution: Do not do these. Wear long sleeves if you don’t like your arms. Your body is clearly saying it does not want to do them. Listen to that inner voice. We don’t think it will steer you wrong.

2. A Colonoscopy: There is only one word to describe this procedure: Unreasonable. There is nothing found in nature that is involved in this procedure. Case closed.

3: A Mamogram: It is clear to us that this test was invented by a man. If men had to get mamograms, there would already be special mamography glasses that would give the wearer x-ray vision like Superman has. The guy that invented this test was probably thinking of the pancakes his mother used to make him for breakfast. Anyone who has experienced a mamogram understands this reference. The point is that, again, this is a highly unnatural activity.

We have pretty much stuck with anatomical examples here. But, we are certain that you could come up with an unending list of unnatural activities on your own. Stuff like stopping eating when you are still hungry, ironing (aren’t wrinkles supposed to be natural and beautiful? That’s what they keep telling us.), and descaling your coffee maker (there are natural minerals in there).

In our opinion, one should always choose an activity that is compatible with nature. How about meditating? Or taking a nice bubble bath? Or doing something creative with your hands like maybe knitting?

Speaking of knitting, our store is just full of new things with more on the way. Here are some peeks at what has already come in (just in case you have never been to our store, here is what it looks like:

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This is American Scenic Limited Edition Worsted Yarn that just arrived from Blue Sky Fibers. It is soft and quite beautiful. It knits like a dream. It is Limited though, so we can’t put it on our website. If you can’t get to our store, and you want it, we can special order it for you. Just let us know by calling 215.598.9276, or contacting us on our website www.knittingtoknowewe.com

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Big Bad Wool is a new line for us. Everyone is making this glorious scarf shown above. We have the fur pom poms too. They snap on, so that you can use them on other things as well. The yarn also comes in great colors that are just right for making a kid’s pattern or something for yourself.

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Shibui Knits has just delivered their newest yarn called Lunar. It is gorgeous. Have a look.

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We are all about the pictures today. We just also got in the cutest project bags by Binkwaffle. They are handsewn, and are really swell. They are also reversible. Wow.

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Before we go, we wanted to tell you to make sure you follow us on Twitter at @knittingtoknow, and on Facebook at @knittingtoknowewe.com

This way, you won’t miss a thing.

You know, even though Labor Day is just around the corner, there are still a lot of hot days ahead. And, you might just want to get busy knitting something with long sleeves, and cancelling your personal trainer. If he argues with you, tell him you can’t talk right now. It’s your naptime.

See you soon!

Diane and Christin

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