Thursday, June 29, 2006

Instant Gratification

I remember now why I've never made an afghan - it's really boring knitting. The Knit Picks purple afghan has lost it's appeal with 45" knit and 30 agonizingly long rows to go to get to the required length. In the bag the yarns were lovely and I think in different projects they would all be okay to knit, but I've gotten hung up knitting this particular pattern using a furry (albiet pretty and soft) suri alpaca and bouclé (not available yet).

$2.50 Skirt

Not one to resist a 25% off coupon, I headed to the Mill End Fabric Store in Milwaukie to look for some cotton fabrics. The best buy was the "water stained" border eyelet, that rung up at 75% off. We were hard pressed to find the stain and since I needed a break from the dreaded afghan, I spent more time deciding on a pattern to show off the pretty border than it took to sew skirt. But I have my instant gratification. The underskirt was Tom's idea. I hadn't hemmed the lining and he liked it hanging below the skirt. Ironically, I'd carefully cut the fabric from the border to show it off.

The Clean Up
Even though Patti couldn't make it to the west coast after all, things still worked out - we finally did the "great clean up" and the house really is guest friendly. As part of the clean-up and organization, I earmarked about fifteen pounds of yarn and twenty-five yards of fabric and donated it to SCRAP--The School and Community Reuse Action Project in NE Portland. This is after donating a van load of yarn, fabric and other crafty things (no exagerration) to SCRAP - Scroungers Center for Reusable Art Parts in South San Francisco before we moved. Can you say SABLE?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

There's something to be said about birthdays - even non-significant ones like 48. There are the e-cards from fiberly friends, new and old, and the cards from the non-fiberly folks and family. And there seemed to be a theme in the very nice gifts I received.

It started with the very early gift of a sewing machine from Tom.

Yesterday, I received a very pretty Lantern Moon silk needle case from Evelyn.

The theme continued through the evening. We had a lovely dinner at Harrison in downtown Portland, with Dianne and John. After my favorite crème brulée, I opened the gift bag to find two notecards and three cool buttons.

Further was a very pretty glass stitch marker with a rose (for Portland, the Rose City) attached to a beautiful skein of Handmaiden Seasilk yarn - a yarn (and color) I've been looking at for a couple of months. Dianne must be a mind reader - among her other talents.

And some work got done, even though on my birthday. Now that I have the order of the yarns right, it looks better. I just need to finish it and get it on it's way to Knit Picks, so I can move on to my pretty new yarn.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

June Accomplishments

Organzation Project
It is amazing how visitors will make me more productive. You can see the floor of my sewing room. You can see the floor of the stash room and all fabric and yarn are contained. Yay! (Tom asked: "Now that the sewing room is cleaned up are you going to stay out of it till after Patti leaves?")

Peasant top and red Luna shrug are done

New Knit Picks project
I received an email from the projects coordinator on Thursday. On Friday, I received the yarn for an afghan. The yarns are lovely, but after beginning the project, the jury is out on how it will look using the pattern they provided. But hey! I'm just doing what I'm getting paid to do.

The Sasha Skirt so far
I have to say it sure doesn't look like much in the picture but here's where I am on the skirt. Not much will get done till after the afghan is sent off.

And it's upside down...the waistband is at the bottom of the picture and I'm knitting the bottom ruffle.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Customer Service

Not fiber or dog related content but it's so rare to get this kind of service (excellent), something has to be said. Well...I could put a knit spin on this since it started on the February day I arrived at the San Jose airport heading for Stitches West.

As I was pulling out of the car rental parking lot, I heard a crunch (not a pleasant sound, I might add.) However, because I'd overbooked the weekend, I tried to ignore it till the next day when I called my insurance company. After all the information was taken, the claims specialist suggested calling my credit card company, since many will cover the insurance deductible, when you don't accept the CDW on the car rental agreement. From there they handled everything with the rental company.

In the meantime, I did call Visa, got all the information on what to do, and initiated a claim online. I received an email confirming the claim and reitirating the steps that needed to be taken, along with three reminder email messages.

In late April, I received a letter from Avis asking for the money. I called AAA, and they took over. The insurance check and another letter requesting payment crossed in the mail in late May, but a call to AAA and Avis settled the matter with both.

On June 5 I called Visa to confirm the process, and faxed them documentation. On June 6, I faxed the documentation I'd neglected to include. On June 7, I received a call from the Visa Claims Examiner saying that the information had been sent off for payment of the claim. Today, I received the check for the deductible amount.

Now THAT's service!

(BTW, when I returned the car, according to the guy checking it in, this was not the first and probably wouldn't be the last time this happened.)

Busy, Busy

I'm still here - just been busy trying to get office, stash and sewing room in order. They are all intertwined because yarn and fabric have ended up in all of them.

I'm too easily sidetracked by computer things, so I'll report that I've finished the red shrug and have started the Louet Sales Sasha peasant skirt. As much as I love the drape of the linen yarn in my shrug, I've found another place where the yarn has failed. Maybe it was a bad batch...

Turns out this stash organizing has paid off in several ways - I found stash some (lots actually) DiVé Cina cotton/silk/acetate that is working out quite nicely for the skirt. I'm finally through the boring knitting working on the bottom ruffle. The underskirt and bottom ruffle are knit first - followed by the other three ruffles.

Pictures of both the shrug and skirt in process will follow. For now it's back to the stash room.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

One Skein

Thanks to my Secret Pal for the very soft Baby Bee Pitter Patter yarn. Not sure what to do with it, but I'm sure it will make some baby very happy.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Janet Lace Shawl Revisited

Not only did the Janet Lace Shawl get posted to the Knit Picks site, it's on the COVER of the May catalog. If you knit and you don't get the catalog you probably should - and not just because the shawl I knit is featured on the cover.

And on page 7 of the catalog.

My knit friend Michelle's work is also in the catalog and on the website.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Other things

Dog Pals
Cody and Mandy are pals, but it's not often that they actually hang out together. Here's what I saw.

I thought it would be cool to have the front view, but good and faithful Cody decided he had to come out for special attention.

Other gratuitous dog pictures.

Spring flowers

This is really our first spring in Oregon. Though our move in day was gorgeous, the weather soon turned winter-like for the remainder of the spring months, so we didn't get to see the color we're seeing this year.

Finishing Projects

The on-going project
There's nothing like anticipating visits from friends and family to get us (okay - me) cleaning and organizing. It took about nine months after we moved in to get my sewing and stash rooms presentable. Now it's time to get them organized. Two events are precipitiating this scary project - the Tigard Knitting Guild Yarn Rummage sale and a visit from Fiberly Friend, Patti. that I've made the project public, I guess I'd really better get on the stick and do it!

The latest project

In the meantime, my mom's peasant blouse is knit. The underarms need to be grafted and the tie added and it's ready to send. Gee, a project for my mom completed in the season it's to be worn - that's a first!