Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Much easier than I thought

Have you ever tried to figure out something that you spent a long time searching for information, only to find out it's one of those 'duh' moments? This week I figured out how to roast corn on the cob on the grill! I've spent many years thinking (or is that over thinking) that I couldn't find the recipe for the 'secret' handshake method to making this at home. I was resigned to enjoying the roasted flavor only at city festivals. Well boys and girls, festival no more! I soaked the corn in a pan of cold water for about an hour and plopped them on the grill and waaaaaaaa-laaaaaaaaaaaaaa the starchiest of the veggie world was a success. Way.too.easy. Why I thought I couldn't figure this out, is beyond me. Hand me the DUH sign. I earned that one.
Now, a couple of years back I had actually given myself some New Years resolutions. One was color work. With the stranded work, I think I got the hang of it while knitting all those Norwegian hats back when I had been staying with Mom and Dad after Dad's surgery in 2010. Eh? Not too shabby. And while intarsia work was technically learned and used a bazillion years ago, like back in 1996 on a sweater for my youngest, I haven't used it all that much since.'s time. Notice the yummy stuff I'm going to use! (yes, it has been awhile since I bought it all. But to be fair, it had been sitting back in California when I came to Michigan for a 4 day trip. ha. Thanks Dad for 'stretching it out' a 'wee bit longer'!
 I have to say over and over again, how much I love this stuff!
Which is a really good thing because I had to start it over three times last night.
Turns out in my never ending quest to learn new things. I should stop over thinking what I'm working on at 2 am. And stranding a section that not only should be done with intarsia, but the directions also say to use intarsia...really should be done with intarsia. Good thing the feel of this stuff running through your fingers is sooooooooooooo blooming soft and the rosewood needles? What a wonderful combination. No, I don't need the double points for the flat work, right now I'm just enjoying the combination of the two together. 'like buttar'.
Here's another one of those items on the 'to do' list. I've read over and over in blogs, folks have bought the sponge floor mats to use with their knitting, etc... I picked up a set yesterday. Yes, I opted for the princesses pack rather than the cars, the sponges or the alphabet packages. We are a house full of girls here these days after all!
See how thick they are?
When they're all put together side one looks like this. Cute? Sure, but for function...
I'm going to use the back side which is white. I don't want to take any chances that the colors will run. The alphabet mats have colors on both sides. I do believe I'm going to pick up another set so they will cover the whole length of Mom's dinning room table. Compete coverage. I'm getting way too old..errrrrrr......pissy to want to cut fabric and dry lace work and sweaters on the floor.
In the meantime, I've started looking at fabric again. the two solids are rip stop nylon that I'm going to use to back the prints.
I want to make some 'adult bibs' that we're going to call 'short aprons' for Mom to wear while she's eating. For awhile now she's been using some old towels. I'm rather tired of the grungy look they have, plus they don't seem to want to stay up easily. I found some softer velcro to use as well that I'm hoping won't be so scratchy behind her neck.
In the meantime, it's gorgeous and sunny outside. So I'm going to take the start of another NMCRS Basketweave Baby Blanket with me to the park and do a little KIP today. This decision doesn't need a single bit of over thinking. No DUH moment here! I'll save the story of the boomerang box for another day and why I have to knit up another one and a few more to refill the box. *sigh*...always something. Happy Knitting!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Here's what's fun....

Ya know what's a lot of fun?  Getting a box like this....
From here.... 
Writting this on the box before dropping it off at the Post Office
Because this was delivered....
And now looks like this...
Thanks to Knitting Warehouse and, their prices were better than Joann's. Hope Clint likes the returned box/loss of a sale!

I'm off to knit!

Friday, June 1, 2012

2 letters to Lion and Joann's.

Dear Lion Brand.
I'm so very upset that the day after I finished knitting 4 dishcloths from my NYD '05 Dishcloth pattern,
I found out you've discontinued the Lion Cotton.
Time after time I find something I really like and poof it's gone. Lion Cotton was my first choice in cotton yarn for knitting dishcloths. It's a great long staple cotton and wears very well without fading. Now, it's going to be gone. The Michael's nearby is totally out of it. Joann's has a few colors I'm not fond of left. Yarn Supply is trying to get some more in. I'm not a happy camper. Replacing it with your new yarn stinks. I can't make a complete hanging towel

out of only one skein like I could with your 5oz balls of Lion Cotton.

First a few years back you got rid of cotton-ease. After many of us hollered, you brought it back, but in stupid colors. I preferred the original colors. Why can't you yarn companies stop messing with what works? Crayola 8, sports teams colors and baby colors-you can never go wrong keeping them in stock. Especially when it's a great yarn for summer baby blankets. Thankfully, I have a little bit left from when I picked them up when you got rid of it years ago. And no, I'm not sharing. See how pretty it looks?
You should rethink both of these terrible decisions. Must not be knitters thinking this through these days. I won't even get started on what's happened with the Peaches & Creme labels since they were bought out by Spinrite. What's a kitchen knitter to do? What's left?


Dear Joann's. You've gone and really pissed me off. Last night after I finished knitting 4 dishcloths, I came up with an idea for a new set of patterns. Since I 'saw' it in my head in a color that isn't always easy to find in store, I was happy to find it on your joann's dot com web site and placed an order. I paid full price for several balls. forward to this afternoon when I walked into your store here in Michigan. Imagine how I felt when I found out that you have the same yarn for sale on your shelves at LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE I PAID FOR IT LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!!

Now, it's bad enough that the manufacturer has made the dumb decision to stop making Lion Cotton. I've loved that stuff as my all time favorite since the first moment I laid hands and needles on it. It was only through finding the gazillion of colors that Peaches & Creme offered that I could get past the fact that Lion Cotton stopped selling so many of their colors by 1# cones. Peaches & Creme blew them out of the water with their color selection and customer service. Lion Cotton still had the quality that I wanted in my kitchen knitting cotton yarn. You get what you pay for.

However, You, dear joann's...have hit the all time low in the customer service department this afternoon. Just as I left the store after finding Lion Cotton for less than $3/ball, I received an email via my phone that my order from last night had shipped. I was hoping since the Lion Cotton has been clearanced from the stores, you would have given me a price adjustment on my order since you are the same company. After all, who in their right minds would WANT to spend more than double the price for an item they'd ordered online when the same company has it for less than half price in their stores???

Let me help you with that answer. NOT ME! In this time of economic downturn, on the day that the stock market dropped from a bad report of unemployment numbers, I would think someone trying to stay in business would do everything in their power to not piss off a 40+ year customer! I've been doing business with your company since it was Cloth World before Joann's bought them out. I called and talked with your supervisor, CLINT in your Hudson, Ohio offices today, and found him to be a very rude 'non-knitter'. By his own admission, he doesn't even buy products, specifically yarn from your own company. He told me he doesn't have yarn in his budget at all. Then, he just didn't 'get it' that all I asked for was a price adjustment since the yarn in question isn't being clearanced because you're not going to carry a particular color, but rather because the manufacturer has stopped making it. We both know that it won't be too long before you're going to drop the price on your web site and add it to your sale section.

So please explain to me why it's such a great corporate policy that when a knitter calls and asks for a price adjustment on an order that was placed for full price after your company put the same item on clearance in your stores for less than half price, you tell her no? Don't you know that we knitters have computers and can share our stories very quickly? I didn't call and ask you to match your price, but rather I asked you to give me a good faith gesture price adjustment to acknowledge the fact that there is a nearly 60% price difference between your store price and your online price. I'm thinking that your over all sales have dropped since the economic down turn back several years ago. Making your customers happy, will that's just smart business. That's what we refer to as GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE. Because then, by word of mouth, or the touch of a computer keyboard, word travels fast. Both about good service...but even faster when it's very poor customer service. And Joann's. Let me explain to you. Today, with the words over the phone from CLINT in your corporate offices in Hudson, was very poor customer service. Being unwilling to apease a 40+ year customer and give me a bit of a price adjustment...means I've now posted this letter online.

And I'm hoping some of my knitter friends will want to pick up their phones and explain to CLINT of Joann's from your HUDSON, OHIO offices that he made a really bad choice to not try and close the gap on a nearly 60% difference in your online and store prices for my purchases last night on Lion Cotton yarn.

This type of very poor customer service, once my Lion Cotton stash that I had bought back when Hancock Fabric closed so many of their stores years ago is gone, might make me go to snooty fabric stores. After all, knitters don't need to live on wool alone, and the Loopy Ewe

has impeccable customer service! (Wollmeise in 2 days of shipping!) So I'll keep on knitting sweaters

and blankets

and socks.

But...when I run out of cotton, I'll have to find some snooty fabric store to shop in. Your customer service is horrific.

See? I'm ready to start stocking up on fabric. After all, I may have started knitting when I was seven years old, but I've also been sewing my own clothes since I was ten. I'm no slouch. CLINT, on the other hand, needs to have a review of proper customer service attitudes.  And the value of long term customers. After all, not only have we been around long enough to remember the 'good old days' when companies wanted customers to return to shop again and again, but we generally have that many more friends to pass on word of mouth to about your customer service, or the lack of intelligent decision making skills.

sincerely...a really pissed off customer who is not only a knitter, but also, unlike CLINT, purchases products from your store thus providing CLINT with his paycheck, me.