Archive for the ‘Stillwater Stuff’ Category

A Reenactment…

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

 
A reenactment of the daily struggle for random passersby to find the entrance to Smalley’s.

 

 

Nope, the entrance to the pirate bar is not through the yarn store:)

 

 


Aimee’s Oscar nomination is forthcoming we’re sure.
Oh and don’t get us wrong…we love our friends at Smalley’s and we are happy to have anyone find our shop, even if they are just looking for good jerk bbq:)

 

 

Learn to Knit Special

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

 

 

Come learn to knit with us this Spring and early Summer!

Class is only $15 for 4 hours of instruction.

Isn’t it time you learned to knit?
Did you learn to knit when you were a kid and need a refresher?

Join us.

Share with your friends!

Click here for details.

 

 

Ice Castles 2017

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Our lucky Sweater Campers were treated to an Ice Castle visit this past weekend. What fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save our Schools

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

save our schools
I’ve hesitated to jump into the mix on this issue. I didn’t think I really had a stake in it. We live in Somerset, WI and my kids go to Somerset Middle School. I am not a resident or building owner.

 

I have jumped into the mix on plenty of issues that affect downtown. I’ve taken a stand on the new St. Croix River Crossing. Which got people talking about boycotts. I’ve talked about Lumberjack Days. I’ve written about anonymous social media trolls. Then talked about censoring myself.

 

I’m on the parking commission here in Stillwater and that brings up other issues I don’t want to relive.

 

So I thought, why not?  Why not finally after all these days of listening, reading & learning about the BOLD proposal, jump in. My friend Meg, who owns Alfresco has expressed her frustration with the administration and proposal in public.  Lightening didn’t strike her down. Why not me.

 

For the many friends of Darn Knit Anyway that don’t live or work in Stillwater, you probably don’t know anything about this. So, the basic issue is this…the administration has put forth a proposal to the Stillwater School Board to close 3 elementary schools. You can read all about it here from the Stillwater School District, or here from Stop Bold Cold, the organization formed to oppose the proposal. The proposal is said to be the path to “right sizing” elementary classrooms and to make more services available to every student in the district. The Stop Bold Cold group has rebutted every issue with statistics and real life examples.

 

There have been listening sessions and Facebook pages and petitions. The community is connecting over this issue like nothing I have seen before. Resources are being pooled. The skills of different parents and concerned citizens are being utilized. They are supporting each other through this very stressful time.  I am a member of the Stop Bold Cold Facebook page and am amazed at the civility of that group.

 

The vote is a measly 9 hours away now. Opponents of this issue have had many sleepless nights worrying about their children’s educational futures. Now the Superintendent has submitted a request to postpone the vote this evening for a month from now. So that they can “better educate the public” about B.O.L.D. The public already knows. They feel the betrayal and believe the administration has deceived them.  From an outsider standpoint. I think they’ve been betrayed too. All parents and voters of the district. Not just those that are in the 3 schools slated to be closed.

 

I hope for the sake of families in the district that the vote happens tonight. That it doesn’t drag on another month. That they can move on from this now and either way get out of the limbo that has been weighing them all down.  I hope they vote tonight and I hope its a no vote. I hope that if you are my customer and you disagree with me that you’ll be civil in the comments and won’t plan a boycott:)

 

I know I’m publicly late to the game, but…

 

Save our schools.

 

Garage Sale Birthday Party

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

garage sale
It’s spring cleaning time at the yarn store!

 

We found so many things we just don’t need that we decided to have a garage sale.  We don’t have a garage, but we do have a big classroom that will be full of interesting finds.

 

This isn’t a yarn sale.  There may be a few random skeins of yarn in the sale and some yarn remnants, but it’s not a yarn sale.

 

There will be baskets, zippers, random sewing patterns, button tubes, shop display items, purse handles, duct tape and random containers…all priced to move:)

 

Like any garage sale, it’ll be CASH sales only:)

 

happy birthday

The other fun thing about Saturday is that it’s my (Aimee’s) birthday.  We love to celebrate birthdays!

 

So, to celebrate my birthday we are offering 15% off any regularly priced purchase that is over $43.00 when you wish me a Happy Birthday!  Cause yep, I’m turning 43.

 

Oh and we are opening at 8am on Saturday!  You’ll be able to get in and out before traffic gets crazy:)

 

If you get in early enough you’ll find plenty of free parking on the street in front of the shop.  If you prefer a lot, behind us in the Brick Alley Parking Lot is free to you.  You’ll need to bring $5 cash for the attendant and we’ll reimburse you in the shop.  This is only for the lot BEHIND the shop, we can not reimburse for the city lot.  More parking details here.

 

See you at 8am on Saturday!!!

 

St. Croix River Crossing

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

 

Last week, our IBA group (Mainstreet Stillwater Independent Business Alliance) had a meeting with the people who are running the St Croix River Crossing Project for MNDOT. Many of us have been very supportive of the new bridge project, we very much believe that the new bridge is going to make historic Downtown Stillwater a better place to live and visit.
 

Me being supportive back in the day

Me back in the day


 

We believed it then and supported the St. Croix River Crossing Coalition. Even with threats of boycott. Remember that? Oh well…water under the bridge:)
 

Anyway…I was fascinated with this guy, the MnDOT project manager. I asked all sorts of enlightened questions like…”Do you sleep at night?” and “How do you even know both sides will meet up perfectly in the middle”.  In case you wonder, “No” was the answer to the first question and “GPS Coordinates” is the answer to the second question.  There were more questions that were equally hard hitting but I don’t want to bore you.

 

But I couldn’t imagine having this job. I can’t imagine the stress.  When someone special orders yarn and it doesn’t come in to meet their deadline I feel so bad about it. I feel terrible disappointing someone. Imagine if you made a mistake or missed a deadline on the St. Croix River Crossing project. Whoa!

 
But you can tell this guy loves this job.  Someone would ask a question about something and he was genuinely excited to answer. You could tell he felt lucky to have this gig. He talked with what seemed like pure joy about creating new habitat for the over 30 different mussel species in the St. Croix.  He talked about how the water quality in the St. Croix River will improve because of this project. He knows how special this is. How this is a project that doesn’t come along often.

 
How cool to know that he helped build this bridge that will last through the lifetimes of his children’s, children’s, children.  How cool to know that I was around when the bridge was built too.  My kids will be able to say, “I remember when…”

 
Among those other hard hitting questions, he answered lots of others that were much more interesting.

 

They updated us on the timing of the bridge completion. It’s still set for Fall 2016.

 
They updated us on the cool bike trail that will be completed.  Some of the loop will be finished as soon as this fall!

 
There are really cool video animations on the website.  Check them out!

 
The updated us on what will happen with the liftbridge when the new bridge opens.  It’ll close to cars and will be modified with a bike path and a walking path.  It’ll be repainted green.  The same color it was when it was built.

 
In case you are dying to see up to the minute photos, there is a cool webcam webpage!

 

We hope you love to see the changes as much as we do. We are excited for the changes to come!

 

Trade History for Progress?

Monday, January 5th, 2015

 

If you’ve followed Stillwater news lately, you’ve been treated to a few interesting stories.  In the shadow of all of that you may have missed one that I think is pretty important.

 

Chamber of Commerce

Concept Drawing from the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce

 

This image was floated around social media recently. It’s an old story and I didn’t give it much thought really until a customer came in and told me that this is what Stillwater will look like when the bridge is finished.  She was surprised to learn, after a conversation with me, that this is not a plan that has been approved or even designed by the City of Stillwater.

 

The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce’s initiative, the Downtown Revitalization Committee, commissioned a group of architects to come up with a plan for downtown.  These very skilled architects donated their time to come up with this concept.  I’ll admit that it does look pretty cool.

 

But just because they have drawn these plans up, doesn’t mean they will come to be.

 

This concept was designed without city planners, historic preservation committee members, or other city staff.  This concept was designed assuming no obstacles.  Obstacles like delivery trucks that cross Chestnut all day long.  Obstacles like the increase in property taxes that businesses, already paying high rents, are going to have to absorb for these changes.  These changes won’t come free to building and business owners.  How about the construction that will have to happen to get this done?  Businesses will have to live with more construction on our front door steps after surviving through years of bridge construction?  I know I seem like a Debbie downer but these are realities that will need to be considered.

 

And, then just because it CAN happen, does that mean it SHOULD?

 

This plan also includes widening sidewalks and putting in sidewalk cafes and trees.  That sound’s great too, but if we do all those things, what do we lose?  Do we lose our history?  We don’t want to look like any other shopping and dining district.  We don’t want to become 50th and France or Woodbury Lakes.  We are historic Stillwater MN for gosh sakes!

 

I think most people who have been around Stillwater long enough, locals, they would say one of the worst things that our city ever did was tear down the old Depot building.  Can you imagine if this building was still around?   It was raised in 1960 to put up a grocery store.  I wasn’t around in 1960 but I’ll bet many people thought it was a good idea.  Had I been around then I might have even thought it was a great idea.  How terrific it must have been to finally have a grocery downtown  (and I think people have fond memories of that grocery store too)  But that store is also gone and a parking lot sits in it’s place.  Progress?

 

Historic Stillwater Depot -

Historic Stillwater Depot

 

People complain that there isn’t a drugstore or hardware store downtown anymore.  They say that downtown is just not like it used to be.  If we do these modern changes to our streets, I fear we’ll be even further away from our history.  We need to be very careful not to trade our history for what could be a fleeting moment that some see as progress.

 

Luckily, our voices can be heard.  I’ll keep you updated on city meetings and hope that if you care, you’ll come to one:)

 

 

Black Friday 2014

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

It’s back!  Our Black Friday sale is happening again!

Come to Stillwater at 8am on Black Friday.  Well, you might want to get there a little early, we always have a line:)
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Downtown Stillwater is doing their Sleepyhead Doorbusters again this year.  There will be fun things happening that day and all season long downtown.  Check out Discover Stillwater for the details on the other happenings…
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Here are our plans for Black Friday.
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20% off everything in the store from 8am – noon*
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The first 20 people get an additional 20% off coupon to use in the store at another time.
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Hikoo yarns will be 20% off all day long!  That is Simpliworsted, Simplicity and CoBaSi.  We love, love, love these yarns and know that you will to.  We have almost every color of Simpliworsted and Simplicity on our shelves.
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All of our prepackaged kits will be 20% off all day long!  We’ll have a few new kits ready for you on Black Friday.
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Come join us.

A few little rules:
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  • We can’t hold yarn for you before the sale.  So if you have something on the hold shelf that is waiting to be purchased, that yarn won’t be included in the sale.  That just isn’t fair!
  • We’ll do our best to wind your yarn that day, but the winder will be working overtime.  So either you’ll have to be patient, or leave your yarn and we’ll wind it up for you to pick up later!
  • You have to be in a good mood.  We can’t have crabby, overfed knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers wandering about!

 

Log Jam Time

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

stillwater logjam
Well, we’ve been talking about it for a year now.  Actually, not quite a year.  Stillwater Log Jam is upon us.   It’s this weekend, July 18th, 19th & 20th.

 

It was back in October that I posted this blog and asked locals to be vocal.   The decision was made by our City Council to bring back a big summer festival, so now the decision was what group would treat downtown the way it deserved to be treated?  Did we want a big promoter to come into town or would a more locally run event earn our support?  I, like many residents and businesses, felt that a locally run event would be our best shot at getting back to an event that the community could enjoy.  That’s why The Local’s earned my support and the support of the Mainstreet Stillwater IBA.
I know that summer festivals in Stillwater are divisive.  Some are disappointed that the event might be smaller, some are glad it’s smaller and some wish there wasn’t one at all.   Whatever your feelings about the event, it’s here and I hope you bring your family down and support it!

 

 

If you are planning on coming downtown for the event, and I hope you do, watch for us!

 

 

Soap Box Derby
Yes, we are participating in this crazy event!

 

  • Wednesday night we’ll be downtown at the car show showing off our Soap Box Derby Car.
  • Thursday night at 7:30 we’ll be at The Freight House for the soap box awards ceremony.  You know our car will look good!
  • Friday at noon is check in for the soap box derby.  We’ll be hanging out on 2nd street and Mulberry making sure our Derby Car can make it down that hill:)
  • Then Friday between 2 and 4 we race!

 

Parade
Yes!  There is still a parade!  Sunday at 1pm we hope to see lots of you on the route.  Our Mainstreet Stillwater IBA is going to be walking in the parade.  We have a fun “float” and many downtown businesses will be walking together.

 

If you do see us this weekend out and about make sure to say hi!

 

Oh Hay’ll No!

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

 

Our old historic bridge is only so tall.

 

Yesterday, a truck hauling hay across from MN to WI misjudged the height of his load and off went a good dozen bales.  Stopping traffic both directions…right around rush hour time.

 

hay on bridge

Hay!

 

Jen thought we should make the most of the traffic so she made a little sign for us…

 

jennifer darn knit anyway bridge

The back side reads…”You might as well stop for yarn!”

 

Here’s to a hay-free, delay-free summer of driving in Stillwater!

Build faster MNDOT and WISCDOT!  Build faster!