Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Feeling semi-human today

Before I begin, let me just say that this cold has totally and officially kicked my ass! After four days without leaving the house, I finally crept out into the open yesterday out of necessity, and also to do little yarn shopping therapy. Not that I needed any yarn, mind you, but hey, since I had to go out and all....(To all of you who may have had to listen to my ear-crunching cough while out in public yesterday, I apologize. But even though I sounded tubercular, I'm not contagious....honest).

I was good....I bought only sock yarn, which as you know, does not increase my total stash count. I'm so well-behaved! I have been wanting to try some Tofutsies yarn for a while, but couldn't find the color I have been wanting anywhere. It just so happened that Let It Rain Yarn in Mukilteo got a new shipment, so I mosied on over there and picked up the great dark raspberry color I've been looking for. While I was there, I also spied some Cascade Fixation variegated in bright pinks. It was a pink thing for me yesterday! I guess looking at such happy pink colors made me feel better, and like there is some hope that spring may eventually get here.

No pics of the sock yarn, but here is a peek at these little lovelies I picked up last week while out on a fun day with a friend. I'm sorry, I couldn't resist the lure of the purple no less! I have been fondling this yarn in several yarn stores recently, but was able to resist temptation and return it to the shelf until I found this color.

I have been wanting to try entrelac for a while, and a couple of weeks ago the perfect opportunity arose with an entrelac tutorial in the new Interweave Knits. After some trial and error, and some small bits of ripping, I was able to finally get the hang of it. I must say that the directions in that tutorial by Euny Jang were not the most clear I've ever seen. I had to do a couple of extra rows before I could figure out where in the instructions to jump to do an end row, and on which row I could end it! Anyway, here's the swatch I ended up with---not perfect, but I think it resembles the intended technique...

Not related to the entrelac, but rather to Interweave's a little complaint for today---Does anyone else think that the new format is a little....,um,...sucky? I've always loved Interweave for the fact that I could page through and there was great content to the very last page, stuff to look at til the end, and that all of the directions for the patterns were on the same pages with the pictures. Well, no more. Now, like every other knitting magazine out there, you get about 10 pages of great pictures, with the entire back half of the magazine filled with pages and pages of pattern instructions. Boring. Maybe I'm weird, but I liked it the way it was. IMO, having the pictures and patterns together was a superior and more interesting format. I guess hoping that they'll reconsider and return to the old format is too much to hope for. It's so sad when good magazines go bad...(a slight exaggeration, but I do think the new format is definitely not an improvement.)

And finally, in the spirit of always being a little late with everything, I give you a St. Patrick's Day dishcloth that I made a few weeks ago. For the record, it was actually finished in time, but couldn't post pics due to aforementioned demise of my old laptop. So, Happy St. Patrick's Day! (hey, use your imagination here)....

This cute pattern is free on Rachel's blog. If you like to knit dishcloths, she has some really cute patterns she designed on her blog, both for sale and free as well. Thanks for the cute pattern, Rachel!

Hope you have a great week, and if you go out, watch out for a really nasty cold germ that is lurking out there and wants desperately to stick itself to you just in time for spring!

>^..^< >^..^< >^--^<

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I hab a code.....part 2

I was all ready to post all kinds of stuff today about what I've been working on, but unfortunately I've been sidelined by yet another cold. My throat felt kinda scratchy a couple of days ago, but I wrote it off to allergies. Then this morning, woke up feeling like crap, with my second cold in as many months. So I'm going to take my red nose and cough and go sit my butt on the couch. Maybe I can work up the energy to knit a few little stitches....

Note to any other cold viruses lurking out there that I haven't caught yet this winter: HEY! I already gave at the office. Two of your friends already attacked me this year, so give me a break, would ya?

Note to my immune system: Helllllllllloooooooo-ooooooooo? You are SO fired!

I'm going off to pout and sniffle now. I'll be back when I'm feeling human again......

>^..^< >^..^< >^..^<

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What's NOT in my wallet

****Fair Warning****

This is a post solely composed of ranting that has nothing whatsoever to do with knitting...I don't usually include my personal financial dealings on my blog, but these guys really frosted my cupcake today!

You know that credit card commercial that says "What's in your wallet?" Well, funny commercials---really CRAPPY company with unbelievably horrible customer service!! I can say this with confidence, having just spent the better part of an hour on hold, and the better part of another hour arguing with a not one, but two total morons about why they should not be charging me a late fee and finance charges for a late payment that they received electronically four full days before it was due. That means they received the cash from my account on that day, and then did not credit until one day after the due date!

Yes, I'm ranting! Cr*pital One then goes on to give the most horrible, robotic and moronic customer service available, sufficient to tick me off until my head almost exploded. They were willing to reverse the service charge of $29 and the interest, but I still had to pay the minimum due of $20 on an account that had a zero balance except for what they were charging me in fees! BUT, even though they were reversing the fees, again making my balance zero, I still have to pay, and then carry a credit on my account, since the fee reversals won't post until the next statement date. Unbelievable. Is it just me, or is that just a little twisted?

The 2nd person on the phone then also went on to warn me that even though he could reverse the actual fees, he couldn't reverse the fact that my payment was late, and my account would be subject to increase in APR to 5 billion percent if it happened again.....DUDE! It was your company's mistake....not mine! And you can't reverse the fact that my payment was late due to YOUR error? Geez!

At that point, when I attempted to point out the silliness of having to make a payment on a late fee that was being reversed, and then having to carry a credit of money I shouldn't have to send to begin with due to their error, the robotic guy on the other end of the phone said he would be happy to close my account.

DONE! That was the first thing he said that made sense in the whole conversation! At this point, I was overjoyed to choose that option and relieve myself of even the tiniest outside possibility that I will EVER have to call them again to try to resolve an issue. Although, I do understand the logic that they would rather keep all of those good customers who never pay on time and never pay off their balance. (What ever happened to having good credit and paying bills on time being a good thing...?)

Oh, and that $20 that I have to pay them to hold hostage until they process the credit of fees charged me for their mistake....they will send it back in the form of a check 30 days after my account is closed. I'm so glad that I get my ransom money back in the form of a check I have to go cash.


If you have an account with them, pray you never have an issue to dispute with them---you will be bald from hair-pulling by the end of the conversation. That is, if you haven't gone into a coma waiting for them to actually put a live person on the phone. If you don't have an account with them---do yourself a favor and find another credit card to use----your sanity and your bank account will thank you.

Another instance of most excellent customer service, carried to it's pathetic extreme. Now I know where they get all of those Huns for their commercials---plucked fresh from the ranks of their customer service trainees!

Bite me, Cr*pital One.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I'm doin' the happy dance!!

Can you tell that this post is being typed on my brand-spankin-new, really purty, 17-inch-screen-havin, awesome hp laptop? You can't? I thought perhaps you might be able to tell by the jumping up and down I'm doing while typing...

Let me just say, before I go on, that I REALLY love my husband! (...and I'm not just saying that because he reads this sometimes..). After spending a good portion of his time after a long workday last week recovering my precious digital pics and data from the dying laptop, he then spent a good portion of this past weekend helping me investigate laptops, features, prices, processors, and other techie-type stuff to help me pick out the best laptop ever! And then, he let me pick the kinda expensive one! And then, he paid for it! Woooo-hoooo, I'm doing the happy dance here people! (Out of courtesy, I won't go into the fact that he would have to share his computer with me the entire time I did not my own, but we know that did not factor into it in the least!) Just kidding, sweetie! Love you bunches. I really do send profuse and sincere thanks to cute hubby and yes, I am lucky he is mine....and cute, too!

All the gratitude and honorable mentions aside, I really freakin love this computer! I didn't expect to have a replacement this soon, so it's extra exciting! I've had it out of the box and turned on for less than two hours, and I'm loving all the great features, easy set-up, etc. In case you are shopping and interested, it's an HP Pavilion 9230US. My poor, dying laptop was a (much) earlier Pavilion model, and it served me practically fuss-free for 6 years before it croaked. When I shopped again, still loved the HP the best! (No, I'm not a paid spokesmodel...)

(Happy dance temporarily paused and jumping up and down has now subsided---in case you were holding on, I'll stop shaking the table now....)

In between laptop shopping, got together with Miss X this past weekend for a little lunching and knitting, not simultaneously. We both decided that we wanted to learn how to do entrelac, so with out latest Interweave Knits issues in our hot little hands, we forged ahead. Mine is coming along, but can't take any pictures yet.

Now I'm off to play with my new toy for a while----lots of exploring, downloading and installing to do....

Tomorrow I'm off for a day of shopping for yarn I shouldn't be looking at and am forbidden from purchasing. But Miss X has never been to Acorn Street and I have generously agreed to show it to her. But I'm not going there to buy, only to be a good friend....really.....yep.......


Friday, March 09, 2007

This can't be good....

Yesterday while happily web-surfing, something very disturbing occurred. Yes, out of nowhere I suddenly received the gift of "the dreaded blue screen." Sigh. At the top was something about Windows being shut down to due an error that could damage the computer, followed by lots of ugly code, and ending with "physical memory being removed...."

Even with my minimum of computer savvy, I could tell this was not good. Heck, I even tried to shut down the computer to make it all go away, and it wouldn't even turn OFF! After a couple of minutes it sputtered and clicked, and turned itself off. If this is not the end, it certainly is a terminal illness that will come to it's ugly end very soon, I feel sure.

Of course, when my surly tech support person (cute husband) got home, he turned on the computer to see if he could retrieve any of my data, and it booted right up in the normal, molasses-slow fashion. Slow, but it booted. After a few minutes, the poor laptop again gasped and collapsed. After letting it rest, he was again able to turn it on long enough to set up a network to his computer and transfer some of my stuff. Yeah for cute husband and his computer abilities (it's good to have a computer geek in the house----I believe it's even become fashionable these days!) I love him for so many reasons, but especially so last night since he spent his whole evening after a long day at work rescuing all of my digital pics and documents to his computer.

So, the upshot is that posts may be scarce for a while, and unfortunately, pictures will be non-existent until I can go shopping for a new laptop, get it up and running, and get picture editing software loaded.

I hope my laptop is in a better place. It offered me dedicated, almost glitch-free service for many years now. I've had it since early 2002, with almost daily use, so I guess I can't complain about it's longevity!

Maybe I shouldn't have discussed shopping for a new laptop in front of it a couple of weeks ago. I think it heard about a possible replacement and lost it's will to live.....

I will miss you, hp pavilion zt1130---sniffle, sniffle.....

Now, did someone say something about shopping for a new laptop?!! Whooo-hooo! I am so there!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Keeping the Socktoberfest Spirit alive.....

....Or that's my excuse, anyway. Yes, as embarrassing as this may seem, I proudly present my (finally) finished Socktoberfest socks!! (recently renamed Parade socks)

It IS still October, right? (never mind that calendar situated to the left of the socks...) Okay, so I'm a little late. But I'm still representin' for the Socktoberfest Spirit! Someone had to knit the last completed pair, right? (help me out here, I'm justifying as fast as I can.....). At this rate, I'll be completing a whopping TWO pair each year! I wasn't actually working on them for the entire five months, so that lets me off the hook a little bit. Considering the humongous size of my sock yarn stash and how many possible years of life I have left, I now have an excuse to live to the ripe old age of around 120 years old to make sure I knit it all up into socks!

Had a fun weekend---On Friday night went to a pajama party at VY&T. Bought some great new yarn from the Yarn Pirate. I got a great colorway called "Rosie," which has the bright, beautiful colors of one of those fun, vintage oiled tablecloths with the cherries and picnic baskets on it---shades of pinks, blues, greens, red and white. (sorry, no picture yet...). I can't wait to find just the perfect sock pattern and knit it up!

On Saturday, went to lunch at Blue C Sushi and hung out in Seattle for a while with cute husband. I love going to Blue C. The sushi plates are on a moving belt that goes past in front of you---see it, like it?, grab it, eat it! Very fun and delish.

On Sunday, met a friend for a fun afternoon of gabbing, lunch, more gabbing and off to a Sunday knitting group, where of course, there was lots more gabbing with knitting thrown in! All in all, a fun weekend! Hmmm, maybe that's why it takes me five months to finish a pair of socks---too much gabbing?.......Never!!

Thanks to Rachel, I started on a very cute dishcloth that she created for St. Patrick's day. Still need to sew up the seams on those felted clogs so I can felt them, but I've been suffering from a bad case of sewing avoidance.

Here's a so-cute pic of Toebi from this past weekend. Now, that's a kitten really knows how to get his nap on. Wish I could sleep like that!

Have a great week!

>^..^< >^..^< >^..^<