All posts by knitewe

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:

490355f9e9b68a4dbd423e49_174x240

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.

thor

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

skittles

 

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:

Cellphone

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:

Robby_small

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

knitting 1

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

knitting 2

 

We Are So Not Kidding. You Really Don’t Want To Miss This

knit 3

The Habu Event

Get ready for a huge all day Habu Event this weekend. On Saturday, July 15th and Sunday, July 16th, everything Habu in our store will be 30% off! We told you it was big. Come in and grab all the Habu you want at a great savings while supply lasts, and make something that has been on your to do list.

Is there a blue moon this weekend? We’ll check.

See you soon!

Diane and Christin

Habu Yarn Sale!

We’re not kidding! Get ready for a huge, all day Habu event this weekend. I’m sure you’ve been looking for an excuse to experiment with these textiles and – oh! here it is. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this.

JulyBlog_2017On Saturday, July 15th and Sunday, July 16th, everything Habu in our store will be 30% off!  We told you it was big. Come in and grab all the Habu you want at a great savings! With savings this great, our supply won’t last long, so hurry in and make something that has been on your to do list.  

Is there a blue moon this weekend?  We’ll check.

See you soon!

Diane and Christin

New Yarn!!

We are beginning to receive the orders for new yarn that we placed at the convention last month!

sheep and a mug

Appalachian Organic Cotton has new natural beiges that just came in. They are great.

Appalachian Baby washclothes

Shibui Reed has arrived. Their new linen is so soft and wonderful.  

Burnished orange shibui linen

Rain has also arrived in some new colors.  

pink rain yarn

We are about to get in Big Bad Wool. All of it. You are going to love this yarn.  Along with all of these, 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!

Stop by and see us. Think about a new project you want to make, and we will help you put something awesome together.  You have the creativity, we certainly have the material! If you’re in a creative slump, we have lots of ideas and we’re here to help you through your project.

See you soon!

Diane and Christin

Tip of the day: Get yourself an audiobook, sit by the pool, and knit. Enjoy the summer while it lasts!

Looking to use up leftover yarn?

Sometimes, you have too much of a good thing. You finish up a project and have all this leftover yarn. We’ve all been there. But what do you do with it? In our experience, you stick with simple, clean, versatile patterns. Some people try and get creative, and while the human spirit of innovation is something to be celebrated, sometimes things are better left as classics.  As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Here are some our favorite classics that you just can’t beat:

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

GrilledCheese_June2017This is a perfect sandwich.  The bread lightly grilled with a touch of butter, the cheese (good ol’ American cheese) gooey and warm, and you can’t forget to serve it beside a steaming bowl of tomato soup.  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 there.  No cod fish; no wild boar. Settle down right now.

 

Pizza

cheese pizza with basil

A simple 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.  But there are some toppings that just shouldn’t exist: zucchini, pineapple, peanuts, snap peas, refried beans, chorizo…the list goes on and on.

Leave pizza alone; it right the first time.

Cheesecake

vanilla cheesecake

The perfect dessert: cream cheese, vanilla, butter, and sugar on a graham cracker crust.  But, of course, someone wanted to be fancy and ruined a perfectly good thing. Here come the unmentionable 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.

Sweater

Woman wearing Raiun sweater

Simplicity is a beautiful thing. There is nothing classier than a clean lined, simple sweater.  A well-made sweater should require no extra design. It simply highlights the incredible yarn with which it is made, letting the textile do all the work.

We have been making one sweater after the other from the Cocoknits Sweater Workbook. This is such a great book. The pattern is easy, fun, and extremely versatile – you can make sweaters out of any yarn you want!

All you need is the book, the worksheet book, and the color coded stitch markers, and you are good to go.  You can use your leftover yarn to make great sweaters. If you can’t get to our store, order the books and markers from our website!

 

Cocoknits book and sweaters

If you aren’t looking to use up your leftover yarn, and instead want to buy something new, 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 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