Tuesday, November 28, 2006

May we interrupt again?

I was so excited to share my Thanksgiving and knitting that I forgot to include something very important.

Mitzi and I have KnitNite on Mondays, but a series of unfortunate events has interrupted our meeting for the last few weeks - until last night.

I was very surprised to receive this beautiful tree that Mitzi made especially for me! If you look really close you can see the ball of yarn, a little sheep, and a very true statement - I SmileyCentral.comto knit. She insisted that it should be displayed in my sewing room, but it possesses a place of prestige for all to see and enjoy.

Mitzi is heading off for holiday travels and KnitNite will be canceled for a week or two. Her pet, Birdie, is coming to visit with me and if she cooperates, I will get some photos posted.

Have safe travels and enjoy your sunshine!

...We interrupt this message...

Fiber Guru is traveling somewhere in the United States and is apparently in need of some juicy reading material...this is for you (I miss you)

Thanksgiving has come and gone but the wonderful weather remains! It is over 60 degrees today but the cold snow is looming in our near future.

My family came for Thanksgiving and I cooked dinner (mostly) by myself. 'Big Bird' weighed in over 21 lbs. and was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I wanted to get a photo that would make your mouth water, but Hubs was anxious to carve right in...and he did. I was very pleased with how everything came out and wonder why we don't do this more often than once a year.

My brother is on an anti-shave campaign(grey shirt)...he brought my Sister-In-Law, my nephew, and the Littlest Princess. Queen Moo (ma) is to the left looking at the camera and Dad-E-O is next to her. Hubs and Bugg are at the far end.

The picture is pretty awful, but I was anxious to sit and eat myself.

I did manage to get Little Princess to try on her green sweater. You know, the one that I re-worked the neckline for multiple times? Well, this time, I put in a rolled collar and - voila!

She refuses to be still long enough for photos, but I managed a shot of her and her mom anyway. At almost 3 years old, she moves pretty quickly reminding me why I chose to have my children while I still had the energy to chase them.

The animals were exhausted and took much needed naps.

...Of course I've been knitting! I have a load of Christmas presents to produce...
The socks are finished...ONE to-be-felted slipper...

...and a partially finished hat!

...and I found a little time to finish the Ketchup sweater (I think it will be too small!)

Other than that, I did some shopping and knit on a cardigan for myself (mom's stuff had my necessities blocked in and I couldn't roll yarn for a Christmas present project)

As for the little guy wearing fashionable knits in the beginning of this post...I made him a couple of years ago and couldn't bear to part with him. He will be traveling to live in his forever home before Christmas. Maybe he needs a scarf...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

'Accomplishment' is a four-letter word

Where have I been?

What have I been doing?

Christmas is coming and I have a load of gifts to make, but with going back to work last week, I am finding it challenging to feel like I can get ANYTHING done.

I did manage to knit this sock and it is a gift - the giftee has two feet, so I have cast-on for the second. It is out of Knit Picks Simple Stripes.

In all fairness, I did crochet my quota of three (3) afghan squares. I allowed myself to revel in the glory for a moment and then realized I needed four (4) a week to accomplish completion before Christmas - guess what, it ain't happenin'

My efforts will be better directed at knocking everything else off and then finishing the afghan a few weeks after Christmas.

Needlework has taken a back seat as well. A lot of work has been done on my gingerbread stocking
and I feel good about it even though it will not be finished in time for use this year. If you remember, there was not much progress last July.

Fiber Guru turned me on to this cool bargello pattern that is really so much nicer than it photographed. This pattern is pretty quick and fun to stitch. I have decided to double the width and was thinking 'pillow', but the further along it gets, the more I think of hanging it on the wall.

I can see this piece being finished long before the others and with cold weather setting in, results should come quickly.

In parting, I am sharing a Halloween photo of my dear daughter. In case you are wondering, she did have the 'butt crack' going on, butt I am saving you from viewing that spectacle. She makes a mom proud!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Company Boycott and My New Yarn-REDUX!

First order of business - Zip-N-Squeeze representatives did contact me (FINALLY!) via e-mail. The extremely long, sometimes rambling summarized - the could refund the re-stocking fee of $6.30, if I wanted. My reply - yes! of course I want my money! How gracious of you to offer to return it! I accept your offer, deliver it to me as soon as possible! Voila! Done! Apparently, they are still researching the shipping cost.

Secondly, and most important - I have been on a little yarn tear! I guess there wasn't enough yarn here to keep me company and more just keeps following me home.

There is the sweet sock yarn - Interlacement's Tiny Toes at the far right, Great Adirondack's Silky Sock at the top, and a skein of Schaefer's Anne.

Some Rowan Kid Silk Haze, KnitPicks sock yarn for Christmas presents, and - oooh, Socks that Rock named X-Mas Rock...

...And a skein of Schaefer's Trenna (which really is more beautiful in person).

That's all, you ask?

Check out this HandMaiden Sea Silk! I've been eyeing this and my EBay proceeds really made the difference in helping me decide on the purchase. It does smell of the sea. **The HandMaiden came right from Little Knits. They carry great yarn - check out the color I have Autumn. Their photo is better than this one.

Sure, there are other odds and ends, but this is enough to leave me adequately ashamed...Not!

It sounds like a few of my friends are jumping on the Socks That Rock bandwagon. Yipee! It sounds like a lot of fun. We all have plenty of UFO's so we'll need to keep each other on task.

Finally, this caught our eye a few nights ago and I wanted to share. Had I more time, I would have edited out the sale sigh. **Dear, dear Stitcher Bomb, do not get excited - I am not moving. This is a lot across the way...buy the lot and you can get your very own moon straight out your back window!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Impromptu Knitting Just Happens

Where on earth did I find time to knit the Droplet Hat for my daughter? I was on a craze to get that yoga bag finished and felted in time for Monday night yoga class --
I know you're anxiously awaiting the news - did my felted yoga bag get knit?

Yep, looks like I did ok getting that part finished, but estimates pointed to the need to actually FELT the bag late Thursday or early Friday in order for it to be dry in time for use on Monday Night...

I passed on a very tempting day trip with my Hubs Friday to trek to the laundry mat (why do they call it that?) for the felting. My washer is front load and this bag was too large for me to feel comfortable to chance it. The water there was semi-hot resulting in about 20 minutes worth of washing before the dimensions were correct. The finished photo isn't great, but Darby was peeking around the corner and I liked it. -That is Lucy in the background.

The hat came to be as I was feeling satisfied having used up a lot of left over Manos...with the exception of one mostly intact skein. Hmmm, I have been wanting to make that hat in Knitting Nature...

Of course I ran out of yarn and had to track down another skein to finish it. Now I have another mostly intact skein. Hmmm, I wonder if there is enough to make some fingerless gloves...

I didn't travel 45 minutes to a yarn store and not bring home extra goodies...I'll be saving those photos for my next post.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Boycott Zip-N-Squeeze - A Rant to be sure!

Rarely do I company-bash. I have been known to bash those in customer service who have clearly chosen the wrong field of work - - you can tell who they are because they are miserable and treat you, as a customer, cruddy. When the two collided for me in the form of Zip-N-Squeeze, I could not resist sharing.

What is a 'Zip-N-Squeeze', you ask? How have they wronged me? What could they have possibly done to make things better before it came to THIS?

Zip-N-Squeeze is a company out of Orange, CA that offers products to aid when a person has had jaw surgery. You can pick up bottles and bags with straws to transport processed food to a place in your mouth to provide nourishment when your jaw is WIRED SHUT! They also offer ice packs designed to fit on your jaws to limit swelling and pain. Maybe they offer more, but this is what I know of them.

At my surgeon's urging, I placed an order with this company and paid through Pay Pal - right away! Then I waited and waited, but received nothing. I called to check, received a machine and left a message to inquire -- NOTHING! Sure the order was only $45.08 which included $8.78 in shipping, but it was what I needed, right?

Surgery came and went. During my 2 1/2 day stay in the hospital, my husband told me that the package had still not arrived - HELLO, think I needed the ice pack? We decided that I had made it this long and we probably weren't going to hear from them in the near future so my husband called, received a machine and left a message (does ANYONE work at this company?). My husband distinctly told them that the package had not arrived and we wished to cancel the order. Two days after leaving the message, we received the package - BIG SURPRISE!

My surgeon and the hospital were expecting a report on the helpfulness of these products due to the fact that they recommend them often. Of course, by this time we had figured out how to get me enough 'food' to continue to live and we were disappointed in the service we had received and we returned the package requesting a refund.

Get a cup of tea because this is where it becomes unbelievable

-On 10/16/2006 someone (who shall remain nameless) signed for our return package.
-On 10/23/2006 we had not received credit and had not been contacted in any way. I sent an e-mail detailing the package information and requested they let us know when to expect to receive the refund.
-On 11/2/2006 I called their number and -- received a machine and left a very long, detailed, frustrated message (SHOULD THIS COMPANY EVEN HAVE A PHONE NUMBER?)
-On 11/3/2006 I received a refund through Pay Pal. In the attached message Zip-N-Squeeze...oh, let me just cut and paste it HERE:

Message From Seller:
We do not accept returns normally. However it looks as though the package was not opened.The products were shipped in a timely manor. We do not credit shipping and there is a $6.30 restock fee. A credit of $30.00 is coming back to you today.

You are frickin' kidding me! I scoured my Invoice, their Website, and my receipt from the order and cannot find ANY reference to any restock fee. And $6.30, how did they figure that? MAYBE they only had $30.00 left in their corporate account? I expected to pay for shipping, even to be responsible for postage to send the box back (with receipt confirmation - smart on our part, heh?) The nerve of these people has sent me into this rant and I WANT MY $6.30, DAMN IT!

A very calm e-mail went to them this morning - yes, I receipted it and the message has been delivered. What do you think their next step will be?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rockin' Sock Club

Blue Moon Fiber Arts is going to send Socks That Rock to MY mailbox!

They are hosting Rockin' Sock Club that you register for now and pay for in January!!! With the holidays coming, that deal fits into my budget.

Yarn, patterns especially designed for STR yarn and a ton of other goodies will arrive and all I need to do is grab my needles and knit. The excitement of being able to sample their other weight of yarn excites me to no end.

I can't wait!

I'm excited, can you tell?