Friday, August 31, 2007

Yarn Diet/Yarn Fast

I am now knitting exclusively from my stash. The only exceptions to the "fast" are needles and other notions necessary to continue to knit up what I already have.

...and I have quite a few skeins of Red Heart. Yes, I admit it... My current project for this is to make Christmas stockings. I need at least 5 stockings completed by the holidays and I am well on my way to finishing the first. It should be done by the end of the weekend. Yay :)

Also OTN: pink sock for DD#1 out of Cascade Fixation, 2nd sock (unknown wool yarn) for DD#2, and the Sherri by Berrocco (in Cotton Twist) for DD#3.

OTH: unnamed blanket started in the fall of 2002, I'm nearly 2 pounds in out of 3 using the Pound of Love yarn by Lion Brand.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FO: Presenting... The Never-Ending Poncho!

Start Date: Mid-September 2006
Finished: August 27, 2007

Pattern: Bernat Soft Boucle Poncho
Yarn: Bernat Soft Boucle in (26928) Grey Shades
Needles: size US 10

Comments: Why on Earth would it take so long to finish? It was an easy pattern, knitted flat, in two pieces which are seamed together and based nearly entirely on stockinette stitch. In short, BORING!

I bought the yarn after seeing a crocheted poncho in one of the magazines but due to the nature of the yarn, I found it nearly impossible to crochet with. So I decided to knit something similar and this is what I came up with. Despite the simplicity of the pattern, I soon found my attention wavering and I set it aside more than once to knit a variety of hats, etc. Then my knitting group got me hooked on socks! So after almost a year, here it is, my poncho... one less little fuzzy monkey on my back :) Final Result

Ok, my box arrived today, everything was included and all was in good shape. I am extremely relieved!

Here are my final thoughts about
1. I will never again use a Joann gift card to buy online from (easier to just use credit cards).
2. I will continue to shop my local Jo-ann's on occasion but not for the majority of my yarn purchases (we have a real LYS opening in town on 9/1).
3. I will avoid holiday shopping on at all costs!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I knew it!

I did in fact receive both my yummy Lisa Souza yarn AND my KnitPicks order before the Joann order (which is now somewhere between IL and CA). I absolutely adore the Hula Dancing yarn from KnitPicks, it is much prettier in person than on the website and it is still on sale, so check it out :) However, I am not thrilled about the feel of the Palette yarn but I am hoping it will be softer after it is knitted up and washed. My husband is happy with the colors (UCLA colors) and he only wants a simple ribbed sock so... Actually, now that I am pondering this, I wonder if he would like a tube sock as I haven't made those yet... either way, I'm sure it will all work out fine :)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Oh Happy Day!!!

The Lisa Souza sock yarn arrived!!! I loooooooooooove it!!! I can't wait to work with it but alas I must as I have promised my oldest I would finish her pink socks. Oh well, I can cuddle the skein for now :) This is the Lime N Violet colorway, isn't it purty?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Not Surprised... ( "update")

Good News: KnitPicks has shipped!
Bad News: No tracking number provided. ***Thanks to Carol (Needles), I figured out where I needed to go to find the info... my stuff is in Ohio at the moment***

No new information about my order. (It's too bad I can't cancel this out and have my gift card refunded/reloaded.) Plus, I just read a bunch of reviews on BizRate and while in general, has a good reputation, other customers have recently experienced difficulties which sound exactly like what I am currently dealing with.

Let's face it, Joann's doesn't have much in the way of competition when it comes to buying craft items online. Sure, there are lots of sites which sell yarn while others specialize in scrapbook items and still others who offer up fabric, etc. However, for the "big box" craft buying experience (i.e. a little of everything all at once), its If it wasn't for the gift card I wouldn't have even bothered, why? Because there are so much more higher quality products to be found if one doesn't mind spending a little extra time seeking them out. I truly regret not taking the $50 gift card to my local store and buying whatever I could see and touch. I tried to take the easy (child-free) way out and it is really biting me on the bootay.

There seems to be a blatant disconnect between the order process on and order fulfillment. I understand that stuff happens: a ball of yarn might get stepped on or soiled in the warehouse, or a lamp might get dropped, etc. What I can't understand, and can't excuse, is the lack of informed communication AND the lack of flexibility. I was told, on the phone, that I couldn't substitute items and I couldn't cancel... I suspect that the use of the gift card has thrown my order into limbo. If I had simply paid by credit card, they would have likely canceled that portion of the order which couldn't be fulfilled, shipped what they could and charged me for whatever I rec'd. The term BACKORDER has yet to be used either by email or during that one phone call to customer service.

So... I've sent another email to customer service, for all the good it will do...

On a happier note, I am very patiently (no, really) awaiting my order from Lisa Souza, as I already have a list of colorways I want for my next order!

Monday, August 20, 2007

On Hold with

I'm really not happy. I have been on hold now for who knows how long, trying to find some additional information about the order I placed (8/13/07). I'm going to tell all of my family/friends what a huge hassle this has been so that I don't get anymore Joann's gift cards! At this point, I would rather have the credit put back on the gift card and cancel out the order but guess what? That would involve actually talking to someone!

Ok. I got through. The customer service person (who seemed nice enough) says that the order is shipped but there is no tracking number and she didn't see two items in the box... Ok, does that mean those items are coming separately? Or will I be getting a partial credit back on my gift card? It was too late to substitute yarns or anything else... So I have a feeling that this ordeal is far from over...

In other news, there will soon be a real LYS opening in town. I am looking forward to it with just a touch of trepidation... more on that later.

Friday, August 17, 2007, why I may never buy online from them again...

My brother gave me a $50 gift card for a belated birthday present to Joann's. Since they are usually pretty picked over and slow to restock at my local store, I thought I would buy online from (8/13/07). The last time I purchased from them (September 2006) I had a pretty good experience. This time, however, I have yet to receive a confirmation email (as of 8/17/07) and my inquiry to customer service gave me a vague response. Who knows when I will get this stuff? (And do I really need to shop there anymore?) But I better darn well get my $50 gift card credited back if the whole thing falls through! Plus, I think I am turning into a little bit of a yarn snob though I still like working with Lion Brand Wool-ease.

Anyway, tonight I got the green light to purchase a dpn set from (yay!) and a special skein of sock yarn from Lisa Souza (yay! yay! yay!), somehow I have a feeling I'll get both of these before the Joann's order...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sock Yarn Family Portrait & Podcasts

The picture is long overdue, I know! My newest babies, the Panda twins are up front :)

I haven't been knitting much lately as I haven't had time to myself. Despite the cold and lonely state of my needles and yarn, knitting is never far from my mind as I am completely enamored by knitting podcasts! In addition to being a great source of information about yarn, patterns, needles, gadgets and designers, it is just nice to listen to the chatty podcasters and feel just a little less lonely for my knitting friends :)

I am caught up with 'Yarn Thing' and 'Stash and Burn'. I am about 11 months behind on 'Lime and Violet' but catching up quickly :) Once that is done, I will absorb myself in the wit and wisdom that is 'Cast On'... plus there are so many other great podcasts out there, I don't know how I will ever be able to listen to all of them! When I can, I download an episode or two of other podcasts to try them out :)

Well that's it for now... I'll post a WIP update soon and hopefully by the end of the month I will have some FOs to share :)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Greetings from the San Diego KOA :)

While on our RV vacation with my family, I was able to visit a cute little yarn shop in Bonita, CA. Since I had my three "assistants" with me (ages 2 years, 4 years and 6 years), I only stayed long enough to buy a little sock yarn. I was suprised to find Magic Stripes by Lion Brand but thought "Why not?" I've never tried it and one skein is enough to make a pair of socks :) I also purchased two little balls of Panda Cotton (yay!), in a gorgeous blue colorway. I was tempted by the light pink but since I am still working with light pink Cascade Fixation, I wanted something different (for myself)! Sadly, since I forgot my camera, I'll update with pictures when I get home.