Friday, June 27, 2008

amidst all the trouble and chaos of this week, there were some highlights. i was finally able to get enough money to buy my new cotton carders, i sent out and received my june fiber of the month swap package, and just today, the yarn i bought for my super top secret creativity 350 project FINALLY arrived!

i had been scouring the net looking for some good cotton spinning resources, there were some sites that lightly touched on preparing cotton, but nothing that i found particularly helpful. but, i persisted in my search *over a couple of days*, and i finally two sites that were extremely helpful!! the first is actually a blog that i already read called spinning spider jenny. not only does she talk alot about hand carding short fibers *including cotton* but she has posts on making punis, and LOADS of posts about techniques for spinning, preparing fibers, finishing your handspun and pretty much anything you can think of! i would suggest doing a search of her blog to find the topics you're looking for, because her posts are pretty long, and going through everything manually is pretty daunting *take my word for it!!!*

the other site i found was founded by joan ruane, who calls herself "the cotton spinner". and she worked hard for that moniker, too, being the master mind of the informational dvd/vhs: "cotton spinning made easy". her entire website is devoted to cotton, and i find this to be the most informative site i've found yet. she goes into many aspects of cotton such as; carding cotton, making punis, dyeing cotton, spinning cotton on a wheel and on a takli (support spindle), and even a little primer on planting cotton and caring for the plants. if you're interested in spcotton fibers, this is the website i would suggest you go to, it's the most comprehensive that i've been able to find, and by supplementing this site with a little info from the spinning spider blog, you can get most of the knowledge you need to start practising!

so, after doing all that research while waiting for my new hand carders *can you tell how freakin excited i am!?* what was the first thing i did when i got them?!?! try them out, of course! i grabbed my big, one pound bag of ginned cotton from cotton clouds and my puni stick *otherwise known as a dowel rod measuring around 1/4 arpund. i got mine at a spinning supply store, but these are literally the exact dowels you can get from a home improvement store, just make sure they're a little longer than the width of your carders to roll the punis and that they are sanded absolutely smooth*

now, i'm not the best at hand carding *which is why i got rid of my wool carders in the first place! i would've liked to have one set for wool and one for cotton, but i wasn't convinced i could, and would, use both sets!* my first bit of carding and the resulting puni went exceedingly well! i wasn't nervous or thinking about all the info download i had done *because my brain was already goo at this point!*, i was just there, in the moment, carding. and i was surprised at how well i did.... at least at first, until my brain came back and i started over-analyzing every move i made! the hand cards are wider than they looked on the internet, but it turns out to be a pretty perfect size for making punis. i'm not sure if that helps in the carding process, but it's nice to have a tool that is made specifically for excelling at one task. and so, i continued carding, and have amassed a nice little supply of punis:

success! and there's my puni stick

i'm hoping with a little more practice i'll keep getting better. i think i'm just too anal *if you can remember the post in which i mentioned my obssessive compulsive drum carding!* i'm okay with loading the hand card, but once i make the first pass, the top of the loaded fiber pulls the middle layer, kind of folding the fibers over the teeth of my stationary carder. and that happens with every pass, which i then try to brush out, and anyone who's a proficient hand carder knows that more carding only makes more and more neps! but i've never seen anyone hand carding in person, so i'm not sure exactly how it's supposed to look and no amount of internet searching can even compare to seeing it done in person! oh well, my punis look fine and although i haven't spun any yet, i'm thinking it will be fine.

since the cotton carding update was so long, i'll try to keep the fiber of the month update short and sweet! i sent my partner 4 ounces of hand dyed *by me* BFL and 2 batts of merino/corriedale with sari silk (didn't have time to weigh them) which went out on monday *and of course i forgot to take pics!!! my partner is supposed to email them, so i'll post them if she does!* and i got my fiber in yesterday!! my partner is new to spinning and this was her first fiber of the month swap!!! i was very glad to have been paired up with her for her first time, she was very nice and easy-going!! she sent also 4 ounces of hand dyed wool top *though i'm not sure of the breed* it's really one of my favorite color schemes, beachy blues and sand colors :O and i think this was her first time with acid dyes too!!! she did a really amazing job!

knitting makes me its bitch... the debaucle of the yarn over cable socks

i have shamed myself. i spoke too soon. these socks have made me their knitting bitch.

ugh, isn't that always how it happens, just when you think you have it all figured out, something like the yarn over cable pattern socks come and slap you in the face. here are some progress pics i took yesterday evening

*check the lovely stitch pattern

this was my first time knitting a short row toe, and that was not the easiest thing i've ever done, but i got through it. knitting the foot of the sock was a breeze, of course, and once i got familiar with the yarn over cable pattern, it was simple enough *even at a repeat of 5 rows* that i had it memorized pretty fast. then i get to the heel. another short row technique, but this wasn't intimidating to me because i have knit short rows before, no problem!!

well, something goes terribly wrong with the heel. the heel flap goes by smoothly, yet when i come to turning the heel i run into all these problems. first of all, the way the pattern is written calls for TONS of stitch markers to remind you where the wrapped stitches are, so you know to pick up the wrap and knit it together with the stitch. so i examine one of the wrapped stitches and come to the conclusion that i don't need all those insulting markers, it's not so hard to differentiate the wrapped stitches from a regular knit or purl stitch! so i go along, knitting without them. to spare you from all the gory details, i'll just say that i frogged that damn heel more than twenty times!!!! then, to make matters worse, i realize that not only did the kyndra monster take my tiny closed box of stitch markers, but managed to open them, and then loose most of them!! nimble little toddler fingers
i know that i understand how to do short rows, that's not the problem. i think most of my mistakes came from simply being distracted. so after a few frogging sessions, i even resigned myself to using the markers i had left and waiting to knit until the monsters were in bed *to avoid all those distractions* problem solved right?!?! of course not!!! somewhere along the line, i discover that i had lost a stitch!!! from 60 to 59!! what happened?!?! i have no idea. i check the knitted fabric.... it definitely did NOT come from the pattern panel, so i start looking for dropped stitches in the stockinette panel.... NOTHING.

so, i'm thinking *with my knitting prowess, i can fix this*. or at least i'll fudge it and no one will ever know but me! so i continue trying to turn that heel, and every time i think i'm just about to finish it with no problems, i'll discover something i can't live with, an uneven number of stitches on one side of the heel or the other *which would create problems later on* or huge, ungodly holes along the turn of the heel that i can't fix no matter how hard i try. so i come to the realization that i'm not going to be able to make this work, at least not to a point where i would be pleased with the sock. and i was even worried about the integrity of the heel, i'm not going to make a sock i'll never wear, or worse, make a sock that i'm totally in love with, despite its faults, only for the heel to wear out in a matter of weeks!

*don't give up yet...... don't loose your patience, you can do this*

so i decide to do something only the most patient and loving knitter would do. i frog the ENTIRE heel and start slooooowly UN-knitting the foot of the sock, searching for stitch #60. if anyone here is unfamiliar with the process of UN-knitting, this involves frogging ONE stitch at a time, and lovingly placing that ONE stitch back on the left needle and going row by row repeating this with EVERY stitch.

and then it happened.

i lost my patience.

there is only so much a knitter can take, after all. and so, i started violently frogging the entire sock. i would stop every 7 or 8 rows to do a stitch count, hoping that stitch #60 would show itself, but apparently i never had a 60th stitch. so now i'm left with a ratty ball of yarn and my needles with NO stitches on them, blatantly showing the world my lack of knitting skills. i couldn't even get past the provisional cast on after that, i was so tired after all that frogging i went straight to bed.....
at least i have learned my lesson here. i have never claimed to be an expert knitter or anything, in fact, i've never even my told myself i'm anything over an intermediate level knitter. but sometimes, even something that seems so straight forward will present obstacles to you, and the universe will humble you in one fell swoop.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


i added a button to my side bar today for creativity 350.

"Creativity 350 is a partnership between five craft- and DIY-themed websites who are looking to help creatively spread the word about the important new climate change awareness group called"

so, what's this have to do with crafting? craftster is hosting 2 craft challenges to help spread the word about the number 350. there are two categories for the challenge:

1) any crafty way of getting out the number 350 (more details on site links)
2) a make your own 350 t-shirt contest

now, if you're interested even slightly, you have GOT to check out the prizes for the winners of the challenges- they're AWESOME!!! I WANT, I WANT!!! the details and deadlines for entering your projects are at creativity 350, and the best part is, you don't have to mail away your project, you just take pictures of it and send them in!!! the deadline is coming fast though, so you'd better go check it out, pronto! crafting for a global warming?!?! i LOVE IT!

the projects are voted on by viewers and help decide the winners of the challenges, so this a project for the people! i for one can't wait until people start sending in their pics!! and you can get buttons and badges like the one on my side bar from the creativity 350 website, so let's pull together for a good cause!
quotes from the website stating their goal and what they're about:

" spreads the most important number on the planet by building a global grassroots climate movement united by a common call to action. Everyone on the planet, from the smallest village to the largest nation, needs to know what 350 means. And the movement to spread that number needs to be beautiful, creative, and unstoppable. With your help, we will organize actions around the world to spread the number 350 and highlight equitable solutions to the climate crisis."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Me and the monsters take a day trip

Me and the monsters took a little day trip today, sans daddy, as usualy. unfortunately my husband never goes out with us because he works nights and therefor sleeps days. it sucks, and it must seem much harder to those on the outside looking in, but i've gotten used to it, and the kids have never known anything else, hell, he had this job even before i met him!! that's a long ass time ago!

we went to my grandparent's house and swam at their community pool (they live behind the gates) so it was nice and quiet, only 2 other people were there. the kids had way more fun than i thought they would! with my husband working nights, they're left with me during the day, the mom who hates heat, humidity and sweating!!! not to mention i can't get my son not to scream bloody murder in the bath tub!! i was really proud of them, does that sound dorky? to be proud of your kids for swimming?!?! oh well, i don't care!

i didn't actually swim, but i was there *with my wheel of course!* and, since i totally forgot to take pictures of me spinning, i'll barage you with pictures of my little monsters with their great-grandparents!!!

here's kyndra with her great grandmother- check out the armpit action on her swimming shorts!!!

that was the first time i've taken my majacraft out of the house, and also my first time taking it apart and putting back together. it was relatively easy, only taking a couple of minutes which was nice. i've been working on spinning the cotton punis for the last week or so, and trying to fit in more time to get spinning done at all. of course, i can never get enough time for spinning, but it has gotten so bad. since my daughter became mobile and interested in everything, i've only been spinning when she's asleep, which of course leaves practically no time for me to spin and take care of everything else that needs to get done around here! so i'm slowly integrating the spinning wheel back into the time the kids are awake. she's doing pretty good with it. sometimes she tries to touch the flyer while it's in motion, but i close eye on her little fingers when i'm spinning and luckily, my majacraft *which i do 99% of my spinning on* doesn't have a spoked drive wheel like my ashford. those spoked wheels could probably break my three year old's arm, much less my one year old daughter.

i'm still trying to perfect my technique with the cotton. it's gotten better, but it's still tricky. sometimes i'll get in good rythym, but by the next day, i've totally forgotten what worked so well the day previously! i did make a MAJOR break-through, though!

i had been trying to spin the punis long draw with no predrafting. the problem with that was that when i'd start to draw my hand back, the momentum of the wheel would pull out a big slub real fast and then the yarn would just get progressively thinner and thinner, and it would eventually break if you'd let it because it would be too thin. i found that with predrafting, the yarn would be much more consistent.

you see, the punis i'm working with are imported from india. they are the same kind of punis i've seen at every spinning supplier that sells them. if you do a search for them online, you'll see they all come rolled up in indian newsprint and tied with twine.

now, the way these punis are made is they are carded on hand carders and then rolled into a really tight rolag! so tight in fact, that it makes predrafting them difficult at best, so imagine spinning them with no predrafting, and you'll understand why i had problems!!

i know people are probably thinking "why didn't you try that before!?!" it's so elementary, that's like the first rule of spinning, predraft before you even start thinking about spinning! everybody knows that!!! well, i'm not from that camp. i don't predraft unless it's absolutely necessary! i mean, if i have a roving that's a little felted from the dyeing process *and i have bought commercial roving that was slightly felted, believe it or not!* and also if the roving is like steel wool, but i don't usually buy that kind of wool! i think that predrafting sort of takes some of the fun out of the process of spinning. i mean, if you're a beginner i would certainly tell you to predraft. you are learning, and that will make the process much easier.

and people say "oh, spinning cotton is so easy! all you have to do is predraft the roving to the EXACT size you want the finished yarn to be, then, when you spin it, you are only putting in the twist!" well, i call that a down-right waste of time!!! i wouldn't even clasify that as spinning! some would call that "careful preparation" but if you're going to do all that, you might as well save your time and effort and go buy commercial cotton yarn.

i believe that spinning is not necessarily "easy", but that doesn't mean it's impossible!!! it takes time to learn the intricacies of the fiber, but once you understand the cotton itself the actual spinning is no different than any other fiber or technique you would use. and interestingly i'd like to add that i've seen of surge of people on craftster that have become interested in, or already are spinning cotton! and that does kind of surprise me, but i'm over the moon about it! i think i'll go on a campaign:

maybe i can even get it funded by the official people that own the rights to that cotton label, you know, the people that have been making those commercials about cotton for like the last year. they show all these hot young women throwing their clothes in the trash because they're not cotton.

when i first wanted to learn about spinning cotton, i headed straight to the joy of hand spinning website and was shocked to see not one word about it! they have articles and videos on every fiber imaginable on that site, and i visited it often as beginning spinner to touch up on techniques. so i emailed them about it. i told them how many people have begun showing an interest in spinning cotton again, and how important i think it is that the information be out there. they emailed me back saying that they're adding new videos this summer, and they would consider adding some info on cotton spinning. we'll see, i hope they do!
and one last little thing- i finally got to order my new cotton hand cards!!! i wasn't sure of the specifics of each brand, so i looked around to compare them. after much debate, i decided to go with the strauch carders. they're a good size *wide for making punis* and they had what i felt was a *good* number of points per square inch (which is totally objective, some can have as little as 80 whereas the strauch's have 225! that's a big difference!). but mostly, i felt they were the best hand cards at the best price for me. i can't wait until they arrive!

Monday, June 9, 2008

"Today, I dyed a little on the inside"

to make up for my recent lack of pictures i went a little crazy this time! hey, i wanted you to have something pretty to look at, so don't complain! besides, there's PLENTY of text to read while the pictures load :b

lots of exciting things are going on in my neck of the woods these days! i'll start with the title, and this is a hot topic! i don't think i mentioned that my package from hello yarn *the one that went on the road trip to NJ* was a dyeing kit and 8 ounces each of 3 breeds *24 ounces total* of wool that i haven't spun yet! i got shetland, falklands and BFL i know it seems weird that i've been spinning for quite some time and these are very common breeds that most have maybe even learned on, but the only things available to me at driving distance were merino, mohair and something the shop called "new zealand" wool, which i've never heard of being an actual breed of sheep, so who knows, the lady working the day i bought it said "it comes from new zealand" go figure, at a spinning supply store the only person who spins is the owner, who is never there!! but now that we have the almighty internet, i have a wealth of new wool types to choose from!!

more to the point; i bought a dye kit, lets get to the actual dyeing!!! first off, i have to say that this dye kit is AMAZING!!!! ANYONE who is nervous about dyeing, never had experience and has been petrified to try on your own, THIS KIT IS FOR YOU!!! it comes from hello yarn *and the girl who owns the site is super helpful and very sweet* and it comes with, get ready to hold on to your hat: jacqaurd acid dye (either in primary or customizable kits with color options), one of those doctor's masks *because breathing the dye powder will KILL you. hehe, just kidding. but seriously, it's dangerous!*, latex gloves *so you don't have zombie hands from green and black dye*, 4 bottles for making dye solutions, 4 beer-type plastic cups for mixing colors with one another, an eye dropper and the best part of all? written by adrian herself, 5 pages of FULL instructions and tips printed out and sent in a sheet protector , so you can keep it close while dyeing and don't have to worry about accidentally splashing dye on it! and you can get the set of primary colors for $20, that's a steal!!! as if it couldn't get any better, she also carries a staggering amount of undyed yarn and fiber. the only thing i regret about my order from her? i didn't get the kit with more colors of dye!!!

so after putting it off for a couple of days to mentally prepare myself, i mixed all the stock solutions up the night before dyeing to lessen the number of steps and give myself ample time for dyeing *i did this because i have kids, so i have limited periods of uninterrupted time, but if you don't have kids, you can do this all at once*. the next afternoon, i set off.

my initial color scheme was from a digitally created picture of marigolds with a few shades of sky blue, it was really beautiful and i decided it would be easier if i had something to reference for color mixing. once i chose the picture, i used a technique from an older issue of spin *i would tell you exactly which one, but it's now suspiciously missing...* however, the idea is that you take a picture with a color scheme that you love *the picture can be anything, nature, inaniment objects, people, etc*. you then open it in a photo editing software and pick the colors you like out with the eye dropper tool and take it over to a second blank document and drop it there.

now, in theory it sounds easy right? well, you can't use the cheesy old microsoft paint program *which of course is what i have* and in the article the author uses a serif suite program, so i go check out their website, and turns out they have the serif photoplus 6.0 for free *there are more you can download, but they aren't free, guess which i chose!* i was still not able to do exactly what the article had described, but with ALOT of tinkering around, i found a way you can do pretty much the same thing. the tutorial follows here, but if you don't want to read it, scroll down past the picture of my computer monitor where the rest of my dyeing journey takes place! :)

i want to say, before you read these instructions, these aren't profesional instructions, this is just a run down of how to do it, don't take it word for word. but if you DO have questions, feel free to contact me or leave a message here on the blog, and i will try to help you to the best of my knowledge!
open your picture into said software and chose the eye dropper tool. this is used to hand pick any color in your picture, and it's VERY TINY, so pretty much any color you can see in your picture, you can get it back out with that eye dropper! click on the color you want, and it will come up in the color tool bar *you may have manually open this in the top most tool bar by clicking on "view", then scroll down, and you should see "color tool bar" then click that to open it* at the very left of the color tool bar will be two squares, the top one will be the color you just picked up, click on that square. it will take you to a color customization pop up. on the right will be a color wheel, don't touch it. on the left will be rows of colors and some blank (white) squares underneath them, if you click the next white space, it will say "add custom color?" click yes. now repeat this with every color you want in your color scheme. once you've finished all the colors, open a new file in photo plus. this is the part where you put all your colors on one page *see a picture of what my finished document looked like below* you can do this any way, but i found it very easy to use the paint brush *or spray paint* tool and pic the tip that covers the most area, then just apply your colors in a big enough area so it's super easy to see *think paint swatches* and print! `voila! it's not as hard as it sounds, if you print these shoddy instructions out to follow along with AS YOU'RE DOING THIS, it will make it much easier.

sorry for the crappy picture, but i didn't want to put the original artwork up here and i'm lazy, so i just took a picture of the colors i chose!

i gave my wool a little soak in warm water, using only four ounces, for i may not have enough counter space to coil anymore than that, and boy was right! i got out all my pre-mixed colors, and began blending them together, all in all i had 6 different shades: red orange, orange yellow, stock yellow, 70's yellow *yellow stock with a little black added*, stock blue, and sky blue. and since i wanted a yarn that wasn't self-striping, i chose to apply my dyes randomly to my pre-soaked wool.

pre-soaked wool, waiting for it's dye!!this picture is to illustrate the ONLY tiny space i have in our kitchen that i'm able to utilize for dyeing! yes, it sucks! i had all the mixed colors lined up in that 3 inches in front of the sink and at the VERY back inch or so of my little set up there.


i know this picture is pretty scary looking, at this point, i thought my first hand dyed roving was going to absolutely SUCK!!!

at this point, i thought i was doomed. i rolled it up in the saran wrap, and banished to my stock pot for steaming.

but look what came out!!!

i didn't even check it until after the 20 minutes of steaming was up and it had been cooling for a while.... i was too scared! but i was SO pleasantly surprised when i took the foil off the top and i saw the glimmer of PRETTY colors!! now that looks like more of what i was going for! i wish someone would have told me it would look terrible until after heat setting! and the funny thing is, once the roving dried, you could really see the personality of the shetland wool had really come out with the heat, see all the little waves? the ends are curly, too! it's going to be soo fun to spin it!!! hopefully in a couple more days i'll find the time to play with some more colors!! :D

OK, this one is just gratuitous! i couldn't resist!!!

in other fiber news, i signed up for the june fiber of the month swap on craftster, it was so nice last month to get a hand-picked selection of things based on your questionaire that you love, but still, you may not have picked for yourself! it's like, having a personal fiber shopper! these are the fibers i like/don't like, these are my favorite colors... no GO forth and bring me fiber! and speaking of last month's swap, i can't believe i'm so dense i forgot to post about what my partner sent me!!! the main fibers were 2 little balls of hand dyed roving in turquoise/teal and brown *really pretty* and 2 different brown rovings, one is a natural brown, and the other was commercially dyed merino, but they're both beautiful and then she sent me TONS of extras *hooray for extras!!!* a little tussah silk, a sandwich baggie FULL of purple bits and bobs of left over wool, another full baggie of ECOSPUN (!!!! i've been wanting some of this forever!!!).... and, i may be missing something but suffice it to say, she was AWESOME!!!

anyhoo- the send out date for this month's swap is the 22nd again, so i'm assuming it's the same every month. maybe this time i'll actually take pictures of what i receive so you can see it, too! i think the most anxious part of the process is waiting to get your partner, to see what they're hoping for, and whether or not you have it or can get it! well, i think for me the fear is magnified since i don't have ANY local fiber suppliers, i have to order all my stuff off the net or travel considerably far away *and pay for gas!*

since all that writing took me FOREVER, i only have a moment to mention some knitting updates! i finished kyndra's socks!!!! yay!! i thought this day would never come! after all those tries of coming up with socks that didn't fit, i finally got it right! and they look so cute, if i may say so myself! i L-O-V-E that yarn, and i'm glad i was able to use more of it for such a special project, because i'm saving those babies forever!!! not just because it took my so long, but because they're so sentimental....*tear.

here is the first sock that fit, all finished up! navajo plied merino yarn, dyed with kool-aid. 2x2 ribbing on cuff, pattern made up as i went along, cuff down

and here is the second one, all done but the toe. WOOHOO!!! no second sock syndrome for me!!! well, i guess it may be hard to get SSS on toddler socks, as they don't take so much time to knit, but it's an accomplishment nonetheless, damnit!
i also have started a new knitting project! SOCKS!!! i told you i love knitting those darn socks!!! but i'll be keeping this pair all for myself!!! i'm using the navajo plied autumnal handspun, which was spun specifically for a pair of socks for me. the pattern is.....drum roll please.... out of my NEW book sensational knitted socks, which JUST came in the mail a couple of days ago! it's great, and from just flipping through it, i KNEW i had to start on a pattern immediately! but i want to talk more about the book in a later post, when i have more time to ellaborate!

on a bit of a side not, i have ALOT of that roving left over as it was sold in 10 ounce bundles, and i had decided early on that i would make a matching article for myself with whatever was left after the socks. i initially thought a pair of gloves would be nice *and i've really been wanting to knit a pair, as i NEVER have* but now i'm thinking i would get much more use out of fingerless mitts, because i DO live in texas, but on the odd day when it's cold here, my fingers stiffen up real bad which makes for not-so-fun knitting, and even when it's not so cold, i have low blood circulation in my feet and hands, so i need something i can wear more often than a regular pair of gloves, and i think these will be perfect!!! has a great pattern, but i've seen ALOT of other patterns that i like, too, so i'm gonna have a hell of a hard time choosing!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

going postal.... Part II

so, you may be thinking that my last post just kind of dropped off the earth there at the end....close, it was our internet. turns out, we never got a bill for the service *they apparently had the wrong address*....and somehow we mystically forgot to pay the bill..... that's my side of the story, anyhow! so, without notice our internet connection cuts off right in the middle of the last post, and subsequently, the hour or more i had spent getting everything just right for my moo cards, was lost. que sara...

here starts the bad luck part of yesterday's post-cut-short:

the last week has been spent corresponding with 4 different companies and sellers about LOST packages!!! it was exhausting, not to mention that my brain is so damaged from my earlier years, that i can't remember anything.

the first package i got was actually the day after i contacted everyone. it had never been lost, it just took a while for the payment to reach the seller *who only takes money orders...STILL*

another package had been shipped from around Massachusets to my hometown in texas. after over a week, i contact the seller *helloyarn*, who was very sweet, and then very concerned to find out that somehow the package was only about an hour NORTH of her. boston to texas, you can't get much more SOUTH than that!!! it stayed in NJ for a couple of days until all the sudden, the next day it was on my doorstep! so neither of us have ANY CLUE what happened there! i'd actually like to know how they got it from NJ to TX in one day, it could be helpful for my business in the future!! lol, i guess the package just jumped out of the truck... you see? EVERYBODY hates texas in the summer!!!

the last two packages had actually been sitting in the neighborhood's communal mailbox for an unknown ammount of time. our *new* mail man put the parcels in the mail box, but we never received a key for it, not to mention, he always drops the packages off at the house, so i had no reason to suspect they were there! can you believe that?!?! less than a block away! so i'm waiting and waiting, and i've contacted the two sellers. one was from etsy *lindabelinda*, and she was AMAZING about the whole ordeal!! she promised to send another one out as soon as she got back into town, and even refunded my money!!

the other seller *a larger company* was not so nice, and was not in the least bit helpful. they had delivery confirmation on the package they sent, and according to the tracking number, it had been delivered to my house. i assured them no such thing had happened. and since usps states on their website that the seller of an item is responsible to make ANY lost package claims, i requested that they do so. not only did they NOT do it, they literally just ignored me!!! they would send response emails, but they would just say "the confirmation number says it's been delivered" and that was EVERY email they sent me!!! it was like a spam email:

is anybody out there?!?!?!....

are you HUMAN????.....

i was not going to stand for that crap, so i contacted usps myself. they never said anything along the lines of me not being able to make a claim (?) and the guy was very nice and assured me that i had done the right thing by calling them. two days later, i get a voicemail from the local post office saying the packages have been in the box the entire time, waiting for me to pick them up. not wanting to argue, i go pick up their spare mail box key, and head off to rescue my packages!!

oh, i almost forgot the best part! as an added F_you bonus, the box from the android company sent me a sweet little bonus!!

some kind of gigantic mutant ants, these are big even by texas standards!

and believe it or not, they were MAILED inside there! now i'm not saying that they knew there were ants in the box when they mailed it, but they COVERED the box in packing tape and there was no possible way those ants got in there on the trip here. i just can't imagine how they didn't notice them in the first place?!?! and i can bet those ants were pretty pissed after staying in that mailbox in the 90 degree weather with no food, i'm astonished they actually survived!!! they're probably africanized....

at any rate, i'm just glad it's all worked out, and i felt bad for being so angry at the robot customer service company, EVEN THOUGH they were no help at all, but this was OBVIOUSLY not their fault. and i also sent lindabelinda's money straight back to her *again*

speaking of linda, not only was she amazing, but i also really love what i ordered from her, so i'm doing a little plug for her:

she sells yarn "caddies" for guarding your current project yarn while in use to keep your cats, kids, and any other pets or wild family members from turning it into a bird's nest. they're really cute, too! she has great pictures in her etsy store of them. i put mine to use straight out of the package, and they work great! so go check them out!!!

oh, i have been doing some actual spinning lately! here's the black tie affair roving all spun up!!

i L-O-V-E how this one turned out! i spun the roving with a low twist and then thread it wrapped with a variegated cotton and a blue-green metallic thread- it makes the yarn look really cool!

and this one's already been spoken for, even before i got it up on etsy! i'm trading another seller for some of her prints, one is a print from an original painting of hers, the other is a pen & ink print. her stuff is really cool, you should check her out!

bee's knees industries

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

going postal.....

ugh, i've been meaning to post for the last couple of days, honest, i have!!! there's been some trouble in paradise. but before i go there, i have alot of GOOD news! i would like to note that i've made some changes to my layout!! i have added some new functions *yay, flickr badge!!* and changed some things around to try and make it a little easier to navigate. i also changed my font size in an effort to make it easier to read, because i hate trying to read small fonts, as i'm sure everyone else does!

i've also been updating my flickr with more current handspun and created that nifty badge, so you can now have access to my pictures. when i created my flickr account, i wasn't very thrilled about it, in fact i only did it because i'm a craftster addict, and i thought it would be easier to upload my pics, and i quite like flickr desktop uploading function, it's a little easier than the online uploading. anyways, my point is, i'm trying to keep EVERYTHING more up to date, not only to make it easier on me, but for my few blog readers *if any :b* can have more access to my handspun pictures, all in one place!

i hadn't mentioned this previously on the blog, but i was trying to get rid of my hand carders. the poor things only sat gathering dust as i was never exactly a proficient carder anyway, and almost as soon as i got handcards, i wanted a drum carder!! *it's just my nature, what can i say?* but then when i got interested in spinning cotton *and had that horrible failed attempt at carding it on my wool carders* i started wishing that i had fine hand carders so i could spin from punis *and if i would've known that i would only be spinning fine wools to begin with, i would've bought those in the first place, as they can be used for ANY fine fiber!* so anyways, i started whoring them out on ravelry. i posted in every sale/destashing/trading group and i got a reply almost immediately from a lady that wanted to trade her cotton carders for mine. i was so excited, and i spent so much time talking to her, but then she realized that hers were mini, and i knew i didn't want to go down in size. that was the first sale the bottomed out. the second woman that expressed interest, i don't know what was up with her. i gave her all the long, drawn out specs, and she just never contacted me again, i tried to contact her twice more, and she kept giving me these weird excuses. so i forgot about her, too. then finally, a girl contacted me that was willing to pay what i considered fair for them *as they were practically brand new and the shipping with insurance and delivery confirmation, was over $10!!!* she was extremely nice, and very grateful to get a pair of carders in such great condition, and was excitedly telling me about how she had plans to use them with her daughter over summer vacation! *heart melting...awww!* so i finally got them sold, she received them in only a few days, and everyone's happy!!! now, hopefully sometime soon i can the cotton carders, because that money went straight back into the business. oh well, some day soon!

speaking of business, i had heard of these things called "moo cards" and thought it was weird at the time, but i never checked it out. then, i was reading someone else's blog *can't remember whose* saying they had just ordered them, and how awesome they are, so i went to check them out. turns out, moo *actual name!* is a company that prints these mini "calling cards" but the thing that makes them freakin awesome is that you can use ANY of your own photos, put any text on the back, and you get 100 for 20 bucks!!! how freakin cool is that?!?! i have been wanting to get business cards for a while now, but i'm glad i procrastinated so long!!! i'm actually in the process of ordering right now, picking out my pics and such... but i have no idea what i'm going to put on the back! i get nervous about that kind of stuff, what if i sound totally stupid? i have so many ridiculous anxiety/ paranoias! so although it will probably take me the rest of the day to perfect the text part, i'm psyched!! and this is one business expense i'm actually excited about!!