When I was growing up, my father always encouraged me to do the hard thing. I can still hear him telling me "Never take the easy path" and "You should always do what's right, not what's easy," He was an academic who believed in taking the harder hardest classes. I suppose that's how I ended up in the engineering school when engineering wasn't at all what I wanted to do with my life. Not that I knew what I wanted to do with my life when I was 18, but that's a story for another day. I know he meant well, and for the most part, the right thing is often harder than the easy thing, but there's also a basic human tendency to undervalue things that come too easily. We believe that it's not worthy unless you've earned it or learned it with much pain and suffering. I'm a long way past college, and my dear father has been dead more than 15 years, but I still hear his voice discouraging me from taking the easy way on anything at all. Well, sorry, Daddy, but not everything has to be difficult to be good.
Like what, you ask? Well, like Brioche Stitch and Fisherman's Rib. These are two names for a beautiful cushy stretchy fabric that looks amazing in two colorways. They look nearly identical, but one of them is simple, and one of them is, well, let's just call it fiddly. While the Brioche Stitch is a terrific way to impress your knitting friends with your skill, no one else could discern the difference between the two fabrics. In fact, when Ginni taught the Brioche Class earlier this year, she knit one sample in Brioche and one in Fisherman's Rib, and we can only tell them apart by the colors she used. At the beginning of that class Ginni went over the Fisherman's Rib, and everyone got it in about thirty seconds. So, when we saw this gorgeous accessory we immediately decided to rewrite the pattern the easy way.
Not only is it gorgeous, it's easy. In fact, since it's a little trick that gives you an awesome treat, and it's dead simple, we decided to offer it as a fun knitalong for Halloween. Join Ginni next Tuesday, October 31st at 2 pm to get started on this great cowl. She'll share with you her tips and teach you the trick for keeping track of where you are every stitch, every round. You deserve this Halloween treat for yourself - fabulous and not fattening!
I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here. ~Ellen