Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pictures, pictures, pictures....

Heeeere's Ene!! Sorry for the dark pics, I took them last night while she was blocking and the light wasn't any better this morning. She is pinned diagonally across our Queen size guest bed. so however big that is, is how big she is.
Pre-blocking - she didn't come down to mid-chest when draped around my neck only.
Light blocking - down to my elbow but not comfortably around me..
Stiff blocking - down past my behind and easily over my shoulders and overlapped.

Detail of Ene:

Finally, some fun kitty pics.... two weekends ago when it was really cold here on Saturday the sun was shining bright for the first time in weeks, I decided to go sit at the dining room table and soak up the sunshine while I worked on Ene. At one point, I felt a kitty rub up against my foot looked down. From under my chair, this is what I saw....

Apparently, we all missed the sun!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Car Updates and Clapotis -- Part II

Well, I got home on Friday evening and there was an "Urgent" message from my insurance company saying that a claim had been placed and that the other driver was ..... get this.....

The time stamp on the message is 4:15 p.m. I called back the office and got the following message: "Hi. This is Perky-So-n'-So with Allstate claims. Our office hours are M-F 8:30 to 4:30. I will be out of the office until Tuesday, February 28th. If this is in regards to a claim and it's during office hours... please press .... etc."

For the moment, let's ignore that this raging [insert expletives here] is lying about any injuries and is just pissed off that I wouldn't give him cash. Now let's ask the following question: What kind of fool calls at 4:15 on a Friday and leaves an "Urgent" message when she's going to be out until TUESDAY!!??

So, DH tells me to call the 800#. Which I do. The 800# guy tells me that there's nothing he can do, don't bother calling my agent tomorrow morning cause he won't know anything about it and I can leave a message if I want but there's no guarantee that anyone will return it before Tuesday when my claims adjuster get back in the office. Hello?? Can we say "Someone needs a lesson in Customer Service?"

Course, this brings to mind that whole "You're in good hands with Allstate" thing and makes me wonder who the hell they think they're kidding. Yeah, my agent is in my neighborhood, but according to the 800# guy, he can't help me. What-the-hell is the purpose of having someone close by if they can't help? Please, explain this to me. When I was a Geico customer (prior to DH) I could get a hold of anyone, anytime. Literally.

So, as of right now, I have a lying SOB claiming that I've injured him. (There's no damamge to my car. My license plate isn't even bent up, so you know I was standing on the brake as my car slooooooowly slid into his). A claims adjustor that I can't get in touch with. A premium that's going to go up, most likely, and unless I take this jack-ss to court, I'm screwed. So much for going through insurance to protect myself.

On to WONDERFUL news!! I've finished Ene's Shawl!! No pics today, but I'll publish tomorrow. I lightly blocked her last night and I'm wearing her today. Everyone's gushing {grin}.

I have to block again tonight...here's the deal. I got a whole mess of styrofoam sheets down from the attic. They're about 18"x 60". I taped 3 of them together with packing tape (approx 54" x60"). I set Ene on the diagonal to allow myself the most space and began to pin. Pinning, pinning.... not enough styrofoam. I took a 4th sheet that I'd brought down and put it along the short edge. Still not big enough. Sigh.... it's 10:30 pm and I can't get up in the attic right now because mostly I just don't want to. Un-pin... un-pin.... un-pin... fold the now barely damp shawl that has been lightly blocked and put it in the closet. [Note: I have three kitties, one of whom just last night ate a hank of Mom's ArtYarns super merino that she'd left available (e.g. not under lock and key).]

Speaking of Mom... she's so cool!! She gave me the money for the Catherine Lowe workshop at my LYS I've been pinning after for the last couple of months!! Basics of Couture Knitting the weekend of March 10th!! I didn't even ask and I was talking to her about it and how I just couldn't bring myself to spend the money on it and she just gave it to me!! I thought about saying no, but then I'm still pretty greedy and I really want to take it! So, I'm leaving work today at 4:00 so I can run to my LYS before it closes and sign up and get my HOMEWORK!! I'm so excited!!! Hooray for the world's coolest mom!!! THANKS MOM!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Car Updates and Clapotis

I put a message out on the Knitters' Review Forums saying I was looking for a single hank of Lorna's Lion and Lamb in Vera to complete the Clapotis that I'd started before I noticed that the dyelots were different.

I just got a message today from a lovely lady in Canada, Amy from Make One Yarn Studio in Calgary, Alberta. She came to my rescue! She has a pale skein of L&L in Vera and was kind enough to send me 4 pictures!!! She rotated the skein in each pic so that I could see each side of the color changes! Now that's what I call customer service.

I immediately replied back and told her I'd take it and she sent me a PayPal invoice and said it was all packaged up ready to go before I even submitted payment. This whole exchange took less than 30 minutes. How cool is that?!

Go check out her site and buy something from her if she's got waht you need. I'm definitely going to bookmark her site and watch it grow.

Now for the car update....

Mr. Camry called and wanted the $300 (no surprise). I explained to him that my husband was very upset with me for making that offer and that we had to go through insurance. So, I ate a little crow with Mr. Camry and apologized. After much discussion and explanation he understood that I was not going to write him a check he said "That's ok, I take cash." Um, no. Let me go over this again.

Then he said "If they no pay my car, then you must pay my car."

I actually laughed and said, "I'm sorry Mr. Camry but No. That's not how it works. That's why I gave you my insurance number." "Okay. I call you later."

"Actually, if you call your insurance agent, he will tell you not to call me anymore and that they will contact me."

Long and short, $10 says he doesn't do anything. I feel badly, but I don't want to get taken advantage of anymore than the next gal.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Car and knits update

Editing to remind: tonight is GROUP night!!

I'm trying really, really hard to keep knitting on the same project until I finish it. I'm not exactly participating in the Harlot's Knitting Olypmics, but I wanted to see if I could do it. I'm still working on Ene and I'm in the middle of repeat 3 of 5 of Chart 3 and it's starting to go MUCH faster. I'll take some pics tonight and post tomorrow.

As for my Car saga, Mr. Camry called last week and said it was going to cost $498 to replace his bumper. I asked him where he went to get it looked at and he said "My Friend". Right....

Then I explained that I must talk with my husband before making a decision but that if we do choose to go with cash that I would require an estimate from his Body Shop and that he would have to sign a letter saying we are "done". Mr. Camry agreed.

Then I asked The Good Mr. Camry what year his car was and he stuttered 200...3. New car, my arse! Right... So, I decide right then and there that in the name of self-protection, I will be giving this man my insurace number and having him go through them.

DH and I discuss and I call my Agent (insurance, that is) who agrees with me and says I'm making all the right decisions, that I don't need his insurance number and that I just need to give him my info and if he chooses to file a claim, they'll call me. Sweet.

So, I called back Mr. Camry last night to tell him this and he says "I talked to my Body Shop and they say it will be $632 with labor." Right... here's my insurance number.

Now, I know that in the land where this gentleman comes from bargaining is a cultural thing. When I give him my insurance number he asks "If you would pay cash, how much? Just give me number." "$300".

"$300? Okay, I have to talk to my wife and see."

I know damn good and well that his car is not visibly damaged and that for him to file an insurance claim means a lot of extra work for him. Right about now I'm not caring a whole lot that Mr. "This-is-my-new-car!" might have to do some extra work. Harumph! I understand that it might be a New Used Car, not my problem. I do feel terrible about what happened, but I don't think he needs $600 of my dollars for it and especially if he took his Two-Thousand-and-Three Camry to his "Friend" and wouldn't tell me the name of the shop.

Sorry, Dude, I don't want to steal from you, but I don't want to be stolen from either.

DH, wanted me to give the guy a really hard time and get his insurance number et al and if he wouldn't give it, not to give ours... yeah. Not doing that. I want this done, over and dealt with. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Pits, Pats and Past Knits

Okay, so the title didn't really mean anything at all, but I liked the way it sounded.

I don't have a whole lot going on in the knitting world today. I spent last night "tink"ing on Ene and knitting and switching from Chart 3 - Repeat 1 to Chart 3 - Repeat 2 and messing up the whole thing becasuse I'm not experienced enough to knit, place markers, reliably count to 6 AND watch the Olympic Men's figure Skating competitors slam to the ground over and over and over again. (Why is it that they keep saying the men are "better, stonger, faster" if they can't stay on their feet? Why is that, praytell?)

So, for your viewing pleasure, here are a few picks of some past knits that I've never posted.

First up tonight ladies and gents in the Past Knits Fashion Show we have the socks that I made for my Mum this Christmas. It turns out that one foot was longer than the other so she left them with me to undo and re-knit the toe on the bigger sock (I have a sneaking suspicion that I didn't actually fix the problem when I re-knit the one sock).

The yarn is Artyarns SuperMerino in this really fun Pepto /Exlax colorway (ick, sorry, I just dissolved into giggles over that one!) Ewww. Anyway, Mum has Gunboats stongly supportive feet so they required 3 hanks and it's kind expensive but the yarn is soooo squishy and soft and machine washable! I love Artyarns Supermerino! I almost love it enough to go and buy some of the same colorway for myself. But instead I got a really fun red/magenta/pink one.

The pattern came from sensational knitted socks and to tell you the truth, this is my 3rd pair of socks with a slipstitch heel and I'm not liking it so much, not so much. I'm going to have to forray (or is that foray) into my Nancy Bush Vintage Socks book for a short row heel adventure.

I knit this next bit of joyousness early last summer. He was accompanied by an adorable pair of little blue baby booties with bobbles on them for my cousin's new joy. This little chap came from Debbie Bliss' Toy Knits. I made him with Knit Picks Dye-your-own sock yarn (doubled) and some leftover JoSharp DK (recognize it from the Entrelac bag and the mittens? I got a LOT of this yarn for really cheap). I loved making him and my cousin swears her boy loves him, too. OK, not exactly washable, but small enough to hand wash without much fear of mildew. I should be getting my shipment from KnitHappens.net tonight, I'll keep you all posted on what happens....

Monday, February 13, 2006

They got it!!

After my nasty email to Knithappens.net, I got a reply. A VERY apologetic reply.

I will not reprint her email as I do not have her permission to do so, but suffice to say that Kristine will be sending me the correct color in the Misti Alpaca that I ordered, the correct dyelot in Vera and a return UPS envelope for the incorrect items. I am very pleased.

She was gushingly apologetic and even gave me her cell phone number should I want to call and talk to her more. She also gave me a coupon for 10% off my next order ("assuming I want to give them another chance" said Kristine) and give them another chance, I will.

They definitely have some great sales. Check them out here: www.knithappens.net

Some online retailers just don't get it....


On January 27th I placed an order with KnitHappens.net

3 hanks of Lorna's Laces - Lion & Lamb in Vera. (See below for my progress on Clapotis)
4 balls of Misti Alpaca - Lace in Natural Dark Brown
2 hanks of Lorna's Laces - Angel in Jay Pond.

On February 2nd, I received my shipment.

3 hanks of Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in Vera 2 different dyelots (I didn't notice this until a couple of days later: there's a significant color difference between the two lots) ($32.99 each)
4 Balls of Misti Alpaca Lace in Natural TAN ($6.20 each)
2 hanks of Lorna's Laces, Angel, in Jay Pond. (at $12.25 each, well,at least they got one thing right).

The shipping receipt that was in the package was blank up the middle as though their printer needed a new toner catridge so you can't clearly see the color in the lace requested, but when I checked my online receipt, it clearly states "Natural Dark Brown".

"Simple mistake" I figured, so I called the shop to find out what to do. The woman on the phone informed me that the online store has nothing to do with the retail store and that I would have to send an email to Orderinquiry@knithappens.net.

OK, I can do that.
So, on Feb 3rd, I sent this:
Subj: Incorrect Order Received

I placed an order last week and just received it last night. The order was for 4 balls of Misti Alpaca in Dark Brown (#408) and I recieved Natural Tan (#605). I would like the dark brown that I originally ordered, but I see on your site that the Dk Brown is out of stock. I'm wondering if that's due to my order or someone else's. If it's out of stock because of someone else, I'll take the Green Meadow or a refund instead.

I don't have my order number with me, but there were 3 hanks of Lion & Lamb and 2 hanks of Angel in the shipment as well. I am very happy with both of those. My home address is 12345 Main St. etc.. I can be reached at the number listed below during the week and at nnn/nnn-nnnn via cell.

Please let me know how to procede in returning this Natural Tan to you and getting the Dk Brown that I ordered. I also see from your site that I am responsible for the shipping costs on returns, which would make sense if the mistake was mine or if I didn't like an item that I had ordered specifically. Since this shipment is an error on your part please advise about return shipping charges. Finally, I will be happy to include a copy of the original invoice I received with the yarn however, the middle of the page is not visible as it appears your printer needed a new toner cartridge. Please understand that the poor quality of the printed receipt copy is not due to an error on my part.

That was Friday, by the following Monday I still had no answer. So I reforwarded my email thinking it might have gotten lost.

Still no answer by Wednesday. To their credit, they've had contruction in the area and a couple of stints with no power... still. At this point I realized that I'd gotten two different dyelots of Lion and Lamb, so I sent this:

Subj: FW: Incorrect order recieved

Alright, so I went back and looked at ALL the yarn I recieved from you and it turns out that of the three Lorna's Laces hanks you sent to me, there are two different dyelots! Now come on, for $33.00 a hank you could at least have sent me the same dyelot. Shall I drop the odd numbered dyelot in with the Misti Alpaca that I'll be returning and get the dye lot # from the two that match in hopes that you'll send me the correct one?

I'm really disappointed and I can't believe that I still haven't heard from you. There's no contact number that I could find for the online store on your website and this is something that could be resolved quickly over the phone. When I called what turned out to be the retail store, the woman told me that I would have to send an email to this address. Not feeling real satisfied with your customer service these days (power outage or not)

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,

Then came Friday with still no word. So I called the retail store again and asked the woman who answered the phone what I had to do to get in touch with this "Kristine" who the website says is responsible for the online store. Is there a way I can reach her? I've sent 4 emails since last Friday and I haven't gotten any response. Is there a phone number I can call or can you get her on the phone for me?

"No, I'm sorry, but you can try emailing her directly at Kristine@knithappens.net. Why don't you give me your name and email address so I can tell her to look for your email?" So, I gave her my name and email address and I sent all of the above plus this to kristine@knithappens.net:

Dear Kristine,
It has now been a week that I have patiently awaited a reply from your Returns address. Please review all *three* messages attached below and let me know how to proceed.

Monday, February 13th, 2006.
Still no reply and so off this went. Which I really didn't want to do, I just want the correct yarn but I'm not sending the yarn they've sent me back until I hear from them (I don't want to lose what I've already paid for, I don't trust that I would get a credit for it).

Last chance. Order #xxxx. Three hanks of Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in Vera: you shipped two different dyelots ( I would like a third hank of dyelot #4657). I ordered 4 balls of Misti Alpaca Lace in Natural Dark Brown: you shipped 4 in Natural Tan. I am not interested in paying to return ship an order to you that you messed up.

This is my 4th email, I have called twice, the first time I was told by the live person in the retail shop to use the Orderinquiry address. Most recently on Friday and the young woman in the retail store took my name and email address promising to ask you to look for my messages. I was also told that there is no way to reach you by phone.

10 days after my first attempt: nothing.

I have a knitting blog that's hit by 100 people daily and I'm a regular poster on the Knitter's Review Forums. I will post this correspondence and the lack of response from you, advising that my readers and the Knitter's Review readers not do business with you. Honestly, I don't want to do this and should you contact me and make amends, I will explain how you've chosen to do so but in this instance I feel I have been more than patient.


I hope she replys and recitfies the situation. I really just want the right yarn...

Here's my progress on Clap

Friday, February 10, 2006

Bad to Worse

After yesterday's horrible day I was really glad that today is Friday. Then the inevitable... this morning with the light snow I had an accident on the way to work. It was not a bad accident and I'm fine but consequently I'm an emotional wreck today.

I was at the Mobile station near my house (which I hate by the way because it's such a friggin' rip off) and when I was pulling out there was a car in front of me. We were sitting on a downward slope waiting for traffic to clear when I realized that I was sitting on a patch of ice and my car was sliding inexorably towards his silver Camry.

Thunk! Crunch!

I rear-ended him. He leapt out of his car and said "This is my brand new car!!" "I'm sorry. I'm on a patch of ice, there was nothing I could do." "Look at my bumper. That's going to have to be replaced." "Actually, it looks like just paint that we can rub out."

I went back to my car, Dear Knitters, and I didn't have anything with which to rub on his car except.... a beautiful swatch of Lilac colored Rowan Aran weight in a discontinued wool. I showed it too him and said "It's soft wool, I'm going to see what we can do." I started rubbing and all the streaks came off. Then he looked underneath the bumper and there is a little scratch /indentation thing that's smaller than a plain M&M and he said "See, that won't come out."

Now, Dear Friends, I have no idea where that little bump came from, it could have been me, it could have been something else, but in the grand scheme of hurt bumpers, it wasn't. He said he would be willing to negotiate if I didn't want to go through insurance. When I asked what that meant, he said "Well, the whole bumper will have to be replaced." If Dude lived in the city and had to park on the street that little thing underneath his bumper would be that least of his concerns. Nonetheless, I feel terrible. I cried almost the whole way to work. Talked to my Mom who, graciously, was only happy that I wasn't hurt.

Now for the "I'm so stupid, stupid, stupid... part." I gave him my name, phone and address along with my license plate number and I didn't get his. Do you remember how I said yesterday that it's easier to take pics of your knitting when you have the camera with your knitting? Yeah, I usually have my knitting in the car with me but today? Nooooo, I figured after yesterday that today would be hellish and so I left my knitting at home along with my CAMERA!!

Then I had to call and tell my hubzind. Boy, that was fun, too. Let me tell you.

I'm just sick thinking about the whole thing.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

A little joy in an otherwise icky day

I'm having a nasty icky day but one thing I've learned recently is that it's much easier to blog about your knitting if you keep your camera in your knitting bag!!
Here is the beginning of Clapotis in Lorna's Laces - Lion & Lamb, coloway Vera. I'm just loving the sheen of the silk and wool. It's so soft and lustrous.... yummmm. And I like the little pools of color. If they were big honkin' blobs I might not be quite so happy, but these little gentle blobs, I'm diggin'.

My hands have been cramping with my Ene so I'm taking a little break and working on something in bigger yarn with bigger needles. Heaven's knows I can't stop knitting, that would cause me to go into withdrawl!

Tomorrow, the online shopping experience. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Lovely ladies of GROUP & a FO

I wanted to show you all a picture of the lovelies that came to GROUP last night but one pic was WAAAAy too dark and the other was not all that flattering so you'll have to wait until next time and I promise to stand when I take them next time... fewer nostril shots.

To tide you over until I can produce better pics of the lovely GROUP ladies who are so cool, here's few pics of the Husband Christmas Socks that I finally wove all the ends in for about two weeks ago (so? so they got finished didn't they?)

Imagine the color to be a lot more red burgundy and a lot less red-pink...

I hope you enjoy the pics!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Books , Knits and Group

Right now I'm reading The Outlander. It's the first book in a series by Diana Gabaldon. I've heard a lot about this series and I know a bunch of people who have just flown through them. The problem for me is this, while I love the book, it cuts into my already limited knitting time. Also, I'm thinking there might be a bit too much bodice-ripping "love making" in this one for me.
I've never been a big fan of the Romance genre and while I love the way this author is developing her story, the sexual interludes are getting (dare-I-say-it) somewhat tiresome. That being said, I'm not going to stop reading and seeing as how I've got the next two or three already on my shelf, there's no sense in stopping now.

Darling Mum's read them all in about six weeks total and while she found them completely absorbing, admitted she was happy to have her life back. I guess I feel like knitting has done that to me in the last year.

What are you all reading lately?

On a knitting note, I've made a lot more progress on Ene but my throwing hand seems to be rebelling against the really tiny yarn and getting stiff and sore that the juncture where my thumb meets my hand. So, I did two rows on chart three last night and decided to take a break. Here's what I did:

The camera had a really hard time focusing on the Angora cause it's so fuzzy... :)

Oh yeah, and what with Valentine's Day happening mext week, we'll be meeting the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month for February. That's TONIGHT (2/7/2006) and two weeks from TONIGHT (2/21/2006).

Hope to see you there!

I finished the 2nd bootie over lunch. the color in the pic above is truer.

P.S. I've noticed a preponderance of Exclamation Points!!! in the titles of my posts. I promise to stop that. BTW, what do you think of the new design? I like that it's cleaner but I guess I liked the blue as well. I'm going to have to learn more about HTML and such to be able to customize the template for myself.

Girlfriends and other ravings

I started this post thinking I was going to write all about how important it is to have girlfriends and how glad I am to have the ones I've already got (be they knitting girlfriends or otherwise).

THEN I got that little tickle in the back of my brain that reminded me that there's one of those horrid junkmail things that covers the very same topic which got me off on the the following rant. Please forgive the rant-before-the-interesting-post that follows.

Let's start out with this: I hate junk mail. Prayers, baby pics (of the Anne Geddes type), tearjerker stories that are often Christian based and those "forward this or your house will burn down" emails are nothing but a nuisance. Please don't hate me for this. If you've sent me junk mail in the past, don't worry, I'm SOOO VERY NOT MAD at you. I don't think there's anything worng with those individuals who forward that dreck, I just hate being on the recieving end.

Why?? You might ask? Because I get all excited that I've gotten an email from a friend when their name shows up in my inbox and then I'm totally disappointed when it says "FW:blah blah drivel" in the subject line. I would so much rather get a one liner that says "Hi, I don't have anything new to report, I just wanted you to know I was thinking about you and hope you're well."

So, please don't send me junk. I'm already cleaning out about 80 spam messages a day. I would love to hear from you, even if you've got nothing to say.

That being said, girlfriends are important. I love having them and I don't spend enough time with them. I love my friends dearly and I wish I was a better friend as far as being available and spending time together. I guess part of that is the newly wed syndrome (it's only been a year and a few months) so I'm still crazy about my DH (which I hope stays that way forever despite life's ups and downs). Even so, here's a public apology to all my girlfriends that I don't see or talk to often enough. I'm sorry and I'll try not to suck so badly in the future.

Last Monday, my girlfriend "R" who is pictured here on the bottom right had surgery. She had her thyroid removed and I took both Monday and Tuesday off of work to be with her. You see her (biological) family is very far away and could not travel to Chicago to be with her. So her Chicago family was there in the waiting room breathlessly awaiting word to hear that she was alright. She is alright and came out of surgery looking as beautiful as she does in this picture, if a little groggy (I wish I looked as good as her when I came out of thyroid surgery in 1995!).

The Saturday morning before, we all got together to celebrate her birthday at a really yummy Mexican restaurant that has awesome food and beautiful decor. It's called Hay Caramba! in downtown Park Ridge, IL. I'm told it used to be a much smaller place but they've moved across the street and they're still in the process of getting beautiful handpainted trees on the walls but it's just gorgeous and the best part is: you can't smoke in the restaurant! (Sorry to my smoking friends, but that makes me really happy!)

So here we are last week (I know, I'm slow) celebrating a belated birthday for R. We love her and I'm so lucky to have friends like her. :)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ene's Shawl

So lately there's been some discussion about how to pronounce the name of this lovely lace shawl. I, personnally, pronounce it Eee'-nahz

That being said, Alyssa asked me to post some pics about my progress on the shawl because she wanted to see the colorway and how it looks in Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace. So, Miz A, here you go.

This one gives a good color example but you can't see the eyelet row above the border. When I did the first chart, I put markers at every pattern repeat. I ripped and re-started 3 times before I learned that I MUST COUNT EVERY STITCH BETWEEN EVERY MARKER for lace. Now i'm happy as a clam.

Next pic shows the eyelet row but isn't in very good focus... sorry and enjoy!


Mesothelioma Lawyer
Mesothelioma Lawyer Counter