Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Warm Hands Network

I met Anita & Amy at the Hilton on Thursday night. They were sitting and talking with friends and when they were taking pictures of each other I asked if they'd like me to take a picture of them together. They remarked on my knitting and invited me to join them. We talked, ate, drank and knit - I knit squares for the Warm Hands Network that night.

Dilys - thank you so much! I had no idea you had included me (I didn't want to presume) so I didn't thank you. I was hoping to see you at the show, but I hope that you'll read this.

They invited Joan to join them at the booth and she did.
She and Joyce hit it right off.

The strips of knitting and crocheting that were done at the Fastest Knitter booth were donated to the Warm Hands Network, so all of my practicing is going to a good cause.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I could go on and on, drag out the story with a whole lot of fugly lead-up details, but I'll just cut to the chase.

I WON!!!

Nobody seems to know this (I guess it should top my "Random List") but I get massive stage fright. I really like public speaking and teaching and I've been told that I do it well, but even though I'm prepared, knowledgeable and able I am physically sick before I speak/teach.
I need to thank Joan and Carole for being there and with nothing but encouraging, funny & distracting words. I especially need to thank Cindy for being a grounding and centering force - I would have totally puked or fainted or curled up in the fetal position if it weren't for her. She was like the gentle pony (trust me Ed, she can be a gentle pony) that they let make travel with the high-strung race horse to keep her from totally losing it. Cindy also took pictures!
Monica was wonderful & I'm so glad that she showed up (the Saturday winner didn't) because they'd've made me sit up there & knit alone if she hadn't!!

I swear that I am going to figure out how to do a podcast because Cindy & I were fucking hilarious with our commentating at the Saturday night banquet!!! "It's not catty & bitchy if it's true" will be our motto.

It was a lot of fun, even the stage bit in hindsight, and I can't wait to do it again next year. I'm sure that there will be fodder aplenty for Cindy & I to podcast.

ETA pictures.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


It started with Fiona's book launch for her Inspired Fair Isle knits on Wednesday night and it just hasn't stopped. Classes (cross stitch & petit point - could these be my new loves?) speed knitting trials (I won Friday and my fastest time this year with the acrylic yarn that they're using is 233 sts), wandering around the show floor and meeting up with new friends and old ones ( Olga!!!)has me exhausted. And yet here it is, 3:01AM and I can't sleep. Even Paul Scheele's Deep Sleep Meditation skills are not up to the task tonight this morning.
I felt the niggling beginnings of a cold yesterday when I woke up, but hopefully sheer determination and the DayQuil that Joan picked up at Shoppers will keep me from debilitating illness for another day. I went to bed early tonight but that's obviously not working so well.

The CSNF is going with a knit-off on Sunday afternoon to determine the Fastest Knitter title and every time that I think of throwing down with the other 2 knitters my heart starts racing & my hands get sweaty! I won't mind not winning as long as I don't utterly embarrass myself (throwing up
from stage fright & knitting about 20 sts rank very high in my nightmares!!) in front of the crowd that the show is trying to drum up.

I've been utterly forgetful about taking pictures. I'll try to cram a whole whack of 'em in tomorrow.

Oh - and for some reason I haven't been able to reply to emails - I can get them & I can get online, but it's a one-way stream apparently - so I haven't been ignoring y'all, I'm just screaming from a sound proof room.
Krista - I'm just not a fan of any knitted pant or skirt because of what happens to knitted fabrics when they are stretched around derrières & knees when you sit. It only has so much resilience and then it's permanently misshapen. Unless you're going to stand up all of the time, then I'm all for them! However, I think that you would look great standing up in that skirt.
Sam - Of course it counts - good on ya!!
Kristina - Oh yeah, I know. LOL I wear dark colours and a towel tied around my neck when I eat curry at home.
Carol - You can't like 'em all. I'll like this one enough for bot
h of us.

No wonder I can't sleep - the bloody city is still awake!!
Halloween parties at the after hours clubs, sirens of all description, people who desperately need ice at 3AM and the wake up booty call in the room beside mine at 2:45. Oh well, I'll try to sleep again and maybe this is a good thing. I just be too tired & bleary-eyed to be a nervous wreck tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Let it Snow!

The IK Winter issue preview is up. I'm in lust for the Ivy League Vest. I think that we can declare a preparedness for winter - bring it on!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Working Much, Knitting Some

Days are blurring into each other. Route verification, garter stitch scarves, spelling bee lists, cable charts, laundry sorting, gauge swatches ... they overlap and run concurrently. I probably have cables in the bus runs (like the maps could be any more confusing!!) and word lists in my tension notes.
Mix in a day trip to London to meet Kim and buy her
Majacraft Saxony and stopping in Kitchener at my cousins to get my (an Amanda's) hair did on the way back.
And trying to get everything that I could possibly need (and a few things that I probably won't, but you can't be too careful) for my 4 - YES!!! FOUR - days away from home while I'm at the CSNF.
Making sure that Amanda has some supervision for Friday (normally I'm all for PA days, but this one is NOT helping me).

All of this on top of everything that I always have to do. And while I will totally enjoy every minute of my time at the CSNF, that too will come to an end with a bang. Kerwyn is jetting off to Vegas for a week right after I get back.

Ah well, I hate being bored so even though this is a bit of overkill, I'll take it.

Oh, Kristina tagged me so I'll do it quick.

Page 161, 5th line of the book that I'm currently reading.

"The owner of the hotel, Monsieur Annaud, had a strong local accent, all flat vowels and nasal consonants." Labyrinth by Kate Moss

I know that these five people read my blog and will likely take the tag & run with it, so Kenny, Julie (don't edit out the good bits!), Sandra, Roxie & Bonne are tagged.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Discounted Yarn

Of the 5-fingered variety.

It's Here!!!

Kristi sent me my copy of her new book & the cutest little key chain!

I knit the Ruffled Cowl,
the kid's long sleeved T-shirt and the Fair Isle Scoop Neck Pullover. Amanda is excited because the child's sweater is for her! It's knit in Colinette Wigwam but with the long sleeves will still be a great sweater for winter. Kristi will be sending it along next month - I can't wait to see it again.

Cindy has pictures up of the Vivacious sweater that I knit for her - it looks amazing! Here's one -

The book launch for Fiona's Inspired Fair Isle Knits is Wednesday, October 24th at the Textile Museum of Canada - I'll be there, will you?

I've been working in the office again this week so the blog posts are going to be short & sweet.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I am Weak

I was tempted, so very, very tempted but was resisting the siren song of Tom Bihn's Swift knitting bag. But then there were these two especially wretched children who shall remain nameless who forced me into online retail therapy. It worked - I feel so much better now that a Steel/Black Ballistic Swift is on it's way to me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

You May Call Me "Empress"

kristina knows what a sucker I am for a blogthing!

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

It's Knittin' Time!

I've been helping Sandy in the office the last couple of days (between runs) so my knitting has been minimal. I've finished my errands for today so, to paraphrase The Thing - it's Knittin' Time!!

I did have time to open a few packag
es - look at what I've got!! I ordered a light tent from Olivon Optics and got it about 4 days later!!! I know - freakin' blowed me away! I paid less for the tent and for shipping and got astonishingly excellent customer service. Bonus - they're a Canadian company. As a small aside/update, because of the length of time between my paying for the light tent from that other wretched, cursed, mo-fo company and when they refunded my money, I actually lost $7.00 for not doing business with them. Yeah, I know. I was seriously pissed off but now I can think about it with a disbelieving chuckle. So, here is the new light tent and some yarn that came (did I buy that?). The light tent + my Ott lights really do make the colours come out more true & I love the look of the clean background.I bought the Claudia Hand Paint & Cherry Tree Hill to make socks to go with my new Chucks.

Oh - and the Lobster Pot Whale of a Skein that I won from Woolgirl arrived!! I just couldn't choose a colour so I left it up to Jen & she done good. It's frelling gorgeous - I think that I'll make a hat & mittens, but I just have to find a hat pattern that I really like.

And Amanda ran in a cross-country race on Thursday - out of 53 grade 5 girls she came in 3rd!! The 1st & 2nd place girls were also from her school - I'm sure that Miss Cornfield is just about to burst and that the other schools are inquiring into drug-testing. They practiced very hard for the last few weeks & I'm so glad that it paid off. Run like the wind Amanda!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Despite a record-breaking Thanksgiving day heatwave, the knitting goes on. I refused to turn on the A/C for one day & especially when that one day is in the middle of October! Turkeys were practically cooking themselves up here.

I have finished 1 of my Waterfall socks with very little to spare. I stayed up way too late because I just couldn't put them down without knowing whether I'd have enough yarn. Well, it wasn't too late because it was a long weekend so I had lots of time for sleeping in the next day. I love them - I did a 2x2 rib (my favourite for socks and most everything), and did 6 pattern repeats on the leg with no stockinette stitch portion (I'm not a fold-down cuff kinda gal). They are my colours, they went fast and they fit perfectly - I went down to a 3mm needle. Check out the wonderful swirly stripe on the sole. It's also on the cuff, but not as visible.

And with this step forward into FO-dom, I take a few steps backwards with these deep and luscious skeins from Sundara Yarn. The Wine over Ruby
sport merino was just because I loved it so much (and now that I know how fast sport weight socks go ...) but the Black over Violet Aran Silky Merino is for a Turtleneck Shrug (by Teva Durham in Scarf Style). It doesn't have quite as much blue as shows up in the picture - it is exactly as it's named - Black over Violet - but with a depth that just begs you to dive in and not be mired in it's depths.

I signed up for Sundara's Seasons Yarn Club - I can't wait to see what "Winter" brings!! I can't imagine being disappointed.

And if you're in Ravelry & want to look me up, I'm "Wannietta". Well, I didn't go there to hide!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Astonishing but True

Have pigs started to fly?
Is the moon made of cheese?

Maybe the sky is falling.

You might think so since me knitting loosely is as likely to happen as any of the above!
I started on my Waterfall socks from the Woolgirl Sock Club. I don't knit loosely - on anything. And even though I like my socks
to fit snugly, I can roll with a bit of stretch in them, but this is a bit too much! The lace pattern really isn't showing up so I'm going to give them a go on 3mm needles and see how that is. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Psssst ... over here ....

The IK Holiday 2007 preview is up. Pass it on!


I'm fashionably late, but I Rocked the BMFA Rockin' Sock Club Inside Out socks!!!

Part of the delay was that they bunched fiercely (and not in a nice, Tyra Banks Fierce kind of way) at the ankle. I was determined to make the pattern that had come with the yarn and yet there was no way that I could wear them as they were coming out. Fortunately, being fashionably late I was able to benefit from the wisdom of those that had knit before me. I searched the messages and found some tips on putting in a gusset - these were my first toe-up socks so I had no clue how to modify the design - and things proceeded from there. Not quickly, I've been doing a lot of work knitting, but they are now done and I like them.

I think that I will do my Woolgirl sock club sock next. I'm a great one for starting. Finishing without a deadline - .

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

When Customer Service Just Isn't

Since it was going to be forever and a day before I made a decent light tent for myself I went ahead and ordered one.
I've been anticipating it's arrival for weeks.
And weeks.
Anticipation turned into annoyance.

So I went back through my inbox, found the company and my receipt (August 20th - time flies when you've got too much to do) and emailed them.
They said they had no record of my purchase - did I have more details?
So I found the information that they needed to find my order. Cool - they'll send it out right away. Right?

They had the nerve to ask me for an additional $15.99 for shipping since the original shipping cost (that was calculated and added to the invoice by them!!!) just wouldn't cover it.
Thinking that maybe they were just simpletons, I pointed out that they have had my money for over 6 weeks, the error was theirs and that perhaps they could just absorb any additional shipping expenses (like I was going to believe them about this anyway) as a way to provide some positive customer service.
And I was calm and professional in the way that I made this suggestion. Really.

They wrote back telling me how competitive their pricing already is and having to put out any additional monies for shipping, why, they'd make no money at all. So they refunded my money.

  • Rude. No apology. Not a one, not for anything.
  • Attitude - and not a nice one. Like somehow I've inconvenienced them by asking for what I paid for 6 WEEKS AGO.
  • Entitlement. I paid what they asked for to have it shipped but now they think that they are owed more?
  • Dismissive. Refunded my money like they were doing me a favour.
So, while I'm not into trashing people or businesses, forewarned is forearmed. I believe that I was reasonable in my actions & request (just ship the thing). A high level of customer service is almost as important as a quality product, yet this company rejected an opportunity to provide both.
Word of mouth is like a double-edged sword - it can work in two ways. To defend and protect you or kill you. While I am not so conceited to think that with one negative review I can bring ruination to eagle.com, I share my experience in the hope that you will find what you need elsewhere.
I'm sure that there are people who have had positive (or at least not negative) experiences with this company, but I believe that how a company deals with problems and issues says a lot. Today they spoke volumes to me.