crazy people on the internets.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My boss, Meredith, has learned the fine art of getting over annoyances - also known as her "Oh well!" Seeing as she used to work with people all the time, she had to get over things that she couldn't control. Luckily, she shared the secret with me (Thanks Meredith!) it goes like this: A crazy person accosts you. You wonder what you have done to deserve this. Shrug your shoulders and say "Oh well!" because it's not about you, it's about them, and they're putting it onto every other person they come in contact with.

So, right now I'm destashing. I've posted in several places - Knitter's Review, Knittyboard, and the destash blog. Maybe you can tell me if I'm doing something wrong here - two women email me, both ask about the same items (i.e. how much is shipping) and I reply, the same way, to both. One woman paypals me the full amount, I ship her yarn. The other woman (who has not paid, or asked me to hold anything) goes BALLISTIC. She sends more than 15 abusive emails that I cheated her (how, I don't know.) Now, here's my question. (I replied politely, in case you're wondering. It made no difference whatsoever.) If someone emails you and asks about shipping, but does NOT pay, or tell you s/he intends to pay by x day or x time, are you obligated to hold it? I don't think so, but maybe I'm wrong. I am holding something for one woman, because she asked me to. I don't MIND. But I cannot magically know which person intends to pay, and deny other people who have their wallets out. I don't even feel bad, which is unusual for me; probably because she told me to a) go choke, b) that she was leaving it to a higher power to make sure I reaped what I had sown (??) and c) that she was going to COMPLAIN. All I can say to that is...

Oh Well!

Anyway, feel free to sound off on the topic of destashing and the etiquette thereof. If you feel I didn't act properly, say so. I don't bite. :)

This yarn was all free.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Whole Shebang
Originally uploaded by The Prolific Knitter.
A while back, an old customer of mine caught up with me to tell me she would no longer be knitting, as she was having wrist problems. Did I want her stash? (I can hear you all, dying out there right now.) Of course, I said yes, and so swung by to visit and pick up the offending items. It filled MY ENTIRE CAR. I have a mini SUV (a Toyota Matrix). Five tubs, like the one in the background, stuffed with Noro, Fiesta, Debbie Bliss, Brown Sheep, Mountain Colors, Schaefer, and others. You can bet that at every stop light, I was ripping out another bag and sighing happily. If you want to see the whole haul, click on over to my Flickr page (just click the photo). Some of it is for sale (with her permission, of course) and that's all located in the destash album. Lots of Noro, as I'm not a huge Noro fan, and all of it around 40-50% off. I mean, I got it for free, I can't charge full price without feeling like an ass. I am willing to swap, of course, for specific things - luxury yarns, sweater quantities, and handpainted sock yarn. Just send me an email at nararabbit (AT) yahoo (DOT) com if you're interested.

I've got my safety helmet on.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Let's face it, when you have a blog, there is a responsibility to carefully think out what you say about someone else. Once it's out there and has been read by others, there is no taking it back. We can never know another person's situation, but occasionally conduct is so appalling that it is our responsibility TO comment on it, draw attention to it, rather than turn a blind eye and play nice. (This isn't going to be political, in case you're wondering.)

So, one of the LYS is owned by a woman whose behavior has become increasingly rude, to the point that is amazing to me that someone can be so "into" destroying themselves. She clearly feels that she is invincible, and that no matter how badly she acts, people will still shop there. (She's partially right; we'll get there in a minute.) I will be up front with you: I used to work for her, before she laid me off over email right before I was supposed to come into work because she "no longer needed my services" and charged my paycheck for a needle she had lent me to make a store model. I hadn't been impressed with her conduct anyway, which was very two-faced, but that's just my personal feeling on it. (I just wanted to be clear that I'm biased.) Recently I've come in contact again with many people, friends and customers that I knew while working/shopping at this particular LYS. Without fail, they tell me they will never go back, due to something she has said or done to them. We are not talking two or three people. I mean, people CALL ME AT HOME, to tell me how angry they are. I can think of three, just last week, that came in. Whether it was a rude comment ("Your mother is going deaf because you're so loud!") or not returning shop models, these people all feel strongly enough that they would rather shop elsewhere entirely than ever set foot into this place again. If I were reading this, I would be wondering how she stays open. Well, you and me both. Even on her blog, she's openly rude. When a customer emailed her, commenting that her blog contains very little about the shop or knitting (this is the blog FOR THE STORE, now!) the LYSO's response was to post the email, berate the woman and tell her that she can go somewhere to 'bitch and moan" (the original email's tone was not rude at all.) AND ASK OTHER PEOPLE TO EMAIL HER ALSO AND TELL HER OFF! I, of course, emailed her and said I was sorry she was treated so rudely. I know I would hate to get such hate directed toward me because I made a suggestion about improving another person's business! The bottom line is, no matter what special brands she gets, or what awesome sales she has, she will run herself into the ground. As much as I like to support small businesses, it is not a "get out of jail free" card for bad behavior and rudeness. On the plus side, the several LYSes that are staffed by nice and helpful people are no doubt enjoying the influx of customers that are finding new perches. So there is a good side to all this. (I, for one, will be there for her closing sale, to cart away loads of stuff at 50 and 75% off!)


I've only got a couple little things to report, but soon I should have an FO and a pattern available! The Vintage cardi is blocking, needing only her button bands and neckband (which I find easier to do evenly on a blocked piece.) Sometime tomorrow afternoon or evening, as the dog is going to the vet in the AM on Wednesday. (he's allergic to grass, and gets yearly shots. Have you ever heard of a dog allergic to grass? Me either!)

I was also nominated by my pal, Sourire as best pal for Secret Pal 8. Obviously my efforts to improve didn't go unnoticed! I was randomly drawn and won a prize, and I'll post about that when it gets here. No idea what it could be, but I'm very excited. Thank you, pal!

I also got paid a lot extra than I thought I would, and got a refund from the bank for an overdraft charge, so I was feelin' rich. I ordered my very first Socks that Rock, in Rooster Rock (Jaywalkers for my mom or me, not sure yet.) I also have been watching Bo Peep's Wool Shop sale for like... two months now! She had Suri Merino on sale for $25 a bag, so I got a bag of the green/purple heather that is so gorgeous. I'd link to it, but she's pretty much sold out now except for a few balls here and there. Only $30, even with shipping! You may remember that my Hourglass was made of Suri Merino, and it is so soft and warm I just had to get more of the same yarn. (It's going to become Grumperina's Knitted Bodice, FYI!)

Not much else going on at chez Bronwyn, there's a trunk show tonight at the Knaughty Knitter, I'll be working that from 5-7. I WILL resist buying anything except the pattern I need for my next shawl. Icarus has only about 20 (very long) rows left before she's finished, so I've been shopping around for a pattern. I won't show you my yarn just yet, though... you'll have to wait for that! ;)

Icarus in Alchemy Haiku

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I've been bad lately about WIP photos; here is one of my current WIPs, the Icarus Shawl in Alchemy Haiku, Forest Waltz colorway. It's so gorgeous, I don't know if I'll be able to gift it when Christmas comes!

consider this stash enhanced!

Yesterday was not a very productive day. I woke up groggily this morning, realizing that I had fallen asleep around oh, 7 pm last night! (Ugh... and I fell asleep on my bed, which was covered in all my sock yarn, and stayed there, all night. I had yarn and needle impressions all over! Good thing I didn't poke my eye out...) I didn't mean to fall asleep. It's just that I'm knitting the most boring sock in the universe, and Icarus (also not that interesting right now.) Anyway...

Yesterday morning I had total house fever and just HAD to get out. I had been arranging my sock yarn stash, trying to inspire myself to finish these STR socks, when I noticed I have NO red sock yarn! (except for one lonely ball of LL sport. We'll forget that for a moment.) Combined with the fact that there was a new shipment of koigu in over at Angel Hair, I knew what my mission was. Sadly, it proved harder than I thought! They had lots of pretty rainbows, blues, purples, and a nice solid red, but only this one red variegated. And it's really more orange. But that didn't stop me from snatching it up and purchasing it! I still wasn't ready to go home, so I got directions to Haus of Yarn. I had heard bad things about this place: that it was dark, the women cliquey, the prices jacked up... all of it untrue! The women were all very nice, letting me browse but checking on me from time to time. (I roamed around the same display 15-16 times. I'm surprised I didn't wear a track into the carpet.) They have LL, the only place in Nashville, though they had no red LL. I did pick up this Watercolor, which I had wanted since I started knitting, to make Jaywalkers for my mom! (who told me they were her favorite of the socks I've knitted her. Obviously she will receive more Jaywalkers in the future!) They also carry Claudia Handpaints, and a big ol' display of koigu. How I missed this before, I DON'T KNOW. But now the situation has been rectified, and I will be going back after payday. (That's so wrong, I know. To take your paycheck from one yarn shop, and spend its money at another. Awful! I'll have to buy something at the Knaughty Knitter too, just to be fair.) In the background there you'll see eight balls of Cashsoft 4 ply for my next design. I am really excited about it! I need to find a good (inexpensive) source of Kidsilk Night though. If you have any ideas, let me know!

almost.... there...!

Monday, September 11, 2006

I was a good girl today, and have nearly finished the second sleeve (the second time I've knitted it, too) as well as updating all my pattern notes for the vintage-ish sweater. Now all that's left is one cuff, and the edgings for the bottom, front closures, and neckline. I have never knitted a cardigan OR a top-down sweater before, so if I can do this, anyone can! I think though, I'll offer it as a separate pattern rather than in booklet form. I'm hoping to move after Christmas and it will be 2009 before I get all 10 designs finished. :P I did get 8 balls of Cashsoft 4ply in a rich black to knit the next sweater with, and ideas are buzzing around. Something that hugs the bust, with baby cables and a deep vee neck. (That's a good part about being an hourglass, by the way. Most clothes won't fit you, but when they do? Va-va-voom!)

Two exciting bits of yarny news: one of my LYSes just got a new shipment of Koigu in. I'll be visiting them today, after putting out all my sock stash and realizing I had no red sock yarn! Obviously this must be rectified. Also, another LYS may be carrying BMFA Socks that Rock soon; at least, I hope that's what she meant by her cryptic message. Seeing as everyone else carries/has carried Soxie, and the colorway doesn't look like Claudia Handpaints, I can't imagine what else it could be. Too bad my heart is set on an obscure colorway, called Puck's Mischief (named by fellow blogger tapmouse! Cool!) I like that the sock club get to do cool things like name upcoming colorways and win free yarn, but I haven't been crazy about any of the colorways except the first one. Maybe next year... (who am I kidding. I am rarely pleased by "mystery" gifts...)

I did cast on for a regular sock using my STR in Peaseblossom. I am not loving the colorway, the colors in my skein just don't suit each other. Magenta and teal, ok. But cloud blue and grey, WITH the magenta and teal? Nah. I am glad I swapped for it, because now I know what everyone is talking about. It is good stuff, but I don't think I'd buy it without seeing it. It's sort of like koigu: when it's good, it's very very good, and when it's bad, you feel a little ill.

new Knitpicks stuff

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sory guys; even though the camera has been found and is charged, I worked all day and am too tired to bother with it. So you'll get a review sans picture.

I ordered the color cards for Swish and Gloss from Knitpicks, as well as one of their new circulars (the classic kind, a size 3 32".) Let's talk yarn first.

Of course, since it's a color card, I couldn't knit a swatch. but it's a good thing too, because I wasn't impressed with the Gloss. At all. I thought for sure I would be; I mean, it's silk and wool, what's not to like? But it has a distinctly tussah silk feeling - know what I mean? Dry and a little crunchy. It's pretty, and the colors (what few there are) are saturated and well chosen. (No three shades of green here!) But the texture to me is unappealing. I get eczema very easily from sock yarns high in nylon or other thin, scratchy yarns that catch the skin. I can see Gloss doing this to me, because it doesn't have the silky smooth glide that I had hoped for. If your skin is less sensitive, maybe it will be a good choice for you, but I can already tell it will irritate the sensitive skin on my fingertips (I also knit left-handedly, so the yarn spends more time on one area of my finger than it would if I were a "thrower.")

The Swish: I like the color choices here. They kept it relatively simple, but covered the whole rainbow, down to a buttery yellow (often skipped! I hate that!) They did skip the Natural (which is in the "Bare" line apparently, but I'd rather have it all together on the same page and color card.) The feel is soft, but still maintains a bit of that superwash squeak feeling. It's not as pronounced as say, Cascade Superwash, though. It has a feel similar to the Merino Style, with a bit more loft and is a thicker yarn (of course), and definitely softer than Wool of the Andes. At only $3.29 a ball, you could easily knit a woman's medium sweater for less than $40 unless you did lots of cabling. If I order any of the new yarns, this will be it.

As to the circular - it is much sharper than a similarly sized Addi. I'm knitting my Icarus on an Addi, size 3, and once it's long enough it's definitely going onto the Knitpicks circular. The cord is softer and more flexible (thinner and plastic, so it doesn't attack you right out of the package. Yay!) The joins seem strong on the pair I have, though I decided against trying the Options line until they worked out the cord issue. (A few people have had issues with the glue not holding cord and screw together, FYI.) I also like the purple cord. Irrelevent, I know, but I like it nonetheless! And while they are just slightly heavier than my Addis, I didn't even notice it right away. It won't cause a problem for me, I feel.

I'm almost through my third of five repeats on my Icarus shawl. I'm still loving the Alchemy Haiku and feel it's worth the money, about $20 per skein. It's so soft and the colors are absolutely luminous. It's the WIP I've gotten the most compliments on by far. I'm also finding the pattern extremely easy, probably because I'm "reading" the knitting, rather than staring at the pattern. I also received the new Rowan, no. 40, in a swap and will be ripping out my "Pam" sweater to knit the lace corset sweater - gorgeous! (As much as I love Pam, I will never finish. It just takes too much damned time.)

I hope you are all doing well out there in blogland, and I'll be making the rounds again soon. :)

Christmas knitting...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I had fun felting today! I had never done it before. I mean, I did the felting with the roving and the soap and super-hot water, not the washing machine knitted kind. Sadly, the camera cable for my camera has vanished, and my mom's camera is MIA, so there are no pictures. Which is just as well, because while I had fun, I didn't produce any museum-quality pieces. :P I did make an eyeglasses case out of a piece that's cream on one side, and dark brown wool on the other. I embroidered a little eyeglass picture with some handpainted rayon thread I purchased in NZ... no idea who it'll go to. Maybe Mark? hehe.

Nothing's really getting finished right now. I know, that is not exciting for all 3 of my readers, but I am feeling the knitting ADD come on, as well as Xmas looming! Here's my Xmas progress so far:

Dad: hat in Cashsoft DK (done) and vest in Encore Chunky, baby blue (this is not a man afraid of color. thank god! I've ordered the yarn, and have an excuse not to start it til it gets here.)
Mom: sweater in Silk Road Ultra. This may not get done, as I have ripped it out a couple times and am tired of it!
My sister & her husband: gift certificates. They are nice people, but more Pottery Barn than Earth Guild, you know?
My aunt & uncle: felted wine bottle cozy (him; not done at all) and Icarus shawl knitted in Alchemy Haiku (about 1/4 done, loving it!)
My cousin Sara: I bought her a cool purple knitting bag and will gift some yarn. Saves knitting, and she likes to knit. Also, I have good taste in yarn and she has to, you know, pay bills and not buy yarn with her money.
My best friend who now lives 5000 miles away: lace shawl, all the way. Not even started.
Mark: He has requested a felted hat, with, and I quote, "No stripes. I know you like stripes (I do?) but.. just.. plain. Please." Ok!
Grandma: lace shawl. (Done!! in glorious Koigu, too!)

I am also knitting a little dress for my niece, but I accidentally gave the needles to charity and now have to find Susan Bates metal needles in sz 7 to knit the OTHER half.

Anyway; I want to knit a shawl for best-friend-across-the-sea. I rarely get to talk to her, and want to send her something fancy. She likes baby colors; pink and baby blue. I am thinking a fingering or sport weight yarn, good quality for not hoards of money. I have some Alpaca Cloud, but it's like thread and I don't know if I love her quite that much, you know? I do have all these koigu leftovers I've been saving... but... I don't know if I can part with them. Isn't that selfish?! If you have any yarn ideas, let me know. I'd prefer something wool or wool blend.