Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Breaking the fast...

Kathleen, Lisa, Angie
She Sells Yarn
222 South Beach St.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114

6 Hanks of Koigu KPPPM (assorted colors)
8 Hanks of Cascade Sierra Quattro (SummerDaze)
7 balls of Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic Cotton (Dusty Blue)

Yea! I bought yarn today. After a year long yarn fast, Angie and I visited "She Sells Yarn" in Daytona Beach, FL, so that I could fall/jump off the wagon. The owner, Kathleen, was lovely. We had a wonderful time. I choose her shop because she has Koigu, so leaving with some was no surprise. I chose these colorways with the Dipped Infinity Scarf in mind. Although, I have knit with other Cascade yarns, I have not come across Sierra Quarto before. I loved the color and feel of it. This will likely become a Shawl That Jazz shawl. After the petting, drooling, choosing, paying, and picture taking, were done, Kathleen was kind enough to give some recommendations for lunch. We ended up a couple of doors down at a pub with great burgers and (according to tween) awesome fish and chips.

One the way home, we stopped at Joanne's to get thread. While there I grabbed some Nature's Choice Organic Cotton. Yes, I know that this is a bargain yarn, and I am a self professed yarn snob, but I like the stuff. I used it for Nancy's Xmas shawl and liked it enough to want one for myself (Hopefully she will let me take pictures of it when she gets back from Chicago).

That was my day, yarn, lunch, more yarn, home. I am a very happy camper.

Monday, December 21, 2009

That most wonderful time of the year....

Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom
Taken by Hubby

Christmas is moving right along. The Shopping is done. All Handmade gifts for out-of-towners are finished and mailed. The kids are already out of school. Teen is in NJ with his father (Sad, this is the first time in his life that he has not spent at least part of the holiday with us :-( ). There are still a couple of handmade gifts to finish before the big day but I am not anticipating any problems (famous last words). Today I got up early, made two batches of spritz cookie dough and put them in the refrig. While they cooled, We (tween & I) met Hubby for lunch and brought friend, Nancy her present (I was supposed to take pictures, didn't, sorry). Two grocery stores later, we were back home baking sprintz cookie (one batch with preserves, one with dark choc. kisses). If I can get two batches of Martha Stewart's Pinwheel dough (one choc., one not) done and in the refrig. early, I will even be able to go to craft group.

Wednesday, after delivering cookies and brownies (tween is making those), we are going to buy yarn. I do not know what or where (time will dictate) but even if I end up getting just a ball of kitchen cotton, I will buy yarn. It has been a year. I am very proud of myself. I am done now. I want yarn!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All's well that ends well...

After much thought, I decided to return the B&N Nook. It is likely that most of it's problems will be resolved via software patches, but, honestly, I did not pay that much money for something that will likely work someday.

Yesterday, I ordered a Kindle2. Today, I went to my local Barnes & Noble and returned the Nook. At first the manager thought he would have to charge me a $26 re-stocking fee. I pointed out that the return policy calls for the fee on "non-defective" units and that since mine required a software "fix" to work properly that made it de-facto "defective". I was ready to fight but I did not have to. He relented quickly and gracefully. Not only did he not charge the re-stocking fee but he refunded the maintenance plan too. There was a moment when it seemed like the computer would only issue a store credit (rather than a credit to my charge card) but he quickly found a way around that and all was well.

Once home, my Kindle was waiting (I went for overnight shipping). It was good to go right out of the box. It was even already registered to my account so the books I bought last night were already loaded and ready to read. I have already cast on for a felted sleeve for it, which I am going to go knit now (while I read my book, of course). :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Knitting & Nook

I have not been able to post pictures of most of what I have been working on because they are gifts. However, these babies are for me. Just a simple pair of toe-up socks, worked on US#1 needles, using Colinette's Jitterbug (I forget the color name and I lost the ball band). Northern FL is starting to get cold days (yes, I know, our cold may not be your cold). Wool socks and clogs are perfect for keeping toes toasty.

The Nook drama goes on. I finally got an answer to my email to tech support. It addressed only the skipped pages, saying that they are aware of the problem and it will be addressed "soon". I tried calling 1-800-The-Book, hoping to get info regarding my not getting the promised in-store content. After 40 minutes on hold, I gave up and drove over to a different B&N than the one I visited on Sunday (closer to where I was meeting Hubby for lunch). Here too, the sample Nooks had said content (today it was an offer for five free books which I was not able to take advantage of). Nothing that Gabe, the very nice CS person, tried, worked. He called their tech support number, only to be told that the person answering the phone did not know what the problem was. Gabe would have to wait "3-5 minutes" to speak to someone in another department. 35 minutes later someone came on the line. After Gabe had to explain what he meant by "exclusive in-store content" (I had to laugh) , he was told that I would have to wait for the software upgrade. When would that happen? This weekend, or maybe February, but definitely "soon"

I am very conflicted about how to handle this. I have until Tuesday to return it. Even then I might have to pay a "re-shelving" fee (even though their product does not work as promised!). All of it's problems (mine and the others I have read about on-line) are software problems. That means that a software update could fix them (but will they?). Given our current financial position, this was a lot of money to spend on a toy. If it works out, fine. But I really do not want to find myself having spend the $'s for something I can not use. And then, there is the tech support which, frankly, sucks.

On the other hand, I can read on it (even though the reading screen is neither a touchscreen nor color, as I was led to believe, it is really quite easy on the eye), it is comfortable to carry around in my handbag and, I love the compatibility with my Blackberry. Good enough? I am still thinking (obsessing really). Tomorrow I will try to load a couple of PDF's. That not working could be a deal breaker.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nook a Disappointment....

Remember how excited I was when I ordered my Nook? I am somewhat less so now that I have received it. To begin with, I was promised a Nov 30th ship date. Close to that date, I received an email with a new date of Dec 18th and a $10 gift cert by way of an apology. I was disappointed but because they handled the news well, so did I (stuff happens). To my delight, I actually received my Nook this Thursday. I charged it, and turned it on, only to find out that the color, touch screen is only the bottom part. Not what I expected, but even then I was mostly good to go.

So far my favorite part is that I can load the same book on my Nook and on my Blackberry. This really worked out this weekend while we were at Disney. At home and in the car, I could read my book of choice. At Disney, while waiting in lines, I was able to continue reading that same book on my phone. I really like that part.

Unfortunately, there are 12 (so far) pages missing from the Nook version of my book. It skipped from page 146 to page 158 and no amount of going back and forth caused those pages to appear. Oddly, the pages were available on the Blackberry version. Bare in mind that both versions are downloaded from the same B&N Library.

Today, I had the chance to go to a B&N store to check the promised "exclusive in-store content". Unfortunately, I could not access it. The folks at the info desk were wonderful. They worked with me for nearly an hour, trying different things, in the hope that the content would emerge. It did not. Their sample Nook was having no trouble at all. A call to tech support started with a twenty minute (I timed it) wait for a human. Said human had me try this and that, still with no luck. When I gave him my serial number, he said that I had a trial version but not to worry, there will be a software upgrade "soon". "How soon is "soon", I asked. He had no idea, but he was certain that it would be "soon".

I am pretty ticked. I did not agree to, nor did I pay for, a trail version. There is only a 14 day window to return this device. Even with my reservations, I do not want to have to return my new toy. On the other hand, I can not afford to wait very long for problem resolution.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

There they go a caroling...

Today I had the pleasure of watching/listening to our son perform at "Feast of Carols" concert at a local university. Sometimes I am just awed at the thought that one of my babies is part of something so beautiful. Our little one is sick, so hubby stayed home with him. I got to spend two hours knitting and listening to beautiful music. It was a delight.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Nancy??

Friend Nancy was feeling a bit blue about her birthday. She thought she was going to have the day off of work but at the last minute, it did not work out. By way of a pick me up, I invited her to lunch, my treat. Just as I was leaving my house, she called to say that she was probably going to be late since her bank was robbed at gun point, while she was making her deposit, and she was waiting for the police to take her statement and let her go. OMG, poor Nancy.

Eventually she was allowed to leave and we were able to meet, as originally planned, at our local Chili's. After telling the waitress her story and ordering a Bloody Mary (which she totally deserved), she was brought two Bloody Marys, and told that one was on the house. Soon the manager stopped by. He was so sweet. Apparently, he was once held up at gun point. He seemed to know just what to say to put her at ease. Lunch was yummy and the Molten Lava Cake was stellar. Not only was there a candle and singing, but they gave her a card with a coupon for a free appetizer. Then, when the bill came, it turned out that we were comp-ed both drinks and the desert.

This, my friends, is customer service. You can bet that my family and I will be visiting this Chili's again.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Decision Made...

Not only have a made up my mind about my next project, but I went to my LYS yesterday and left with only the pattern. My "no yarn for a year" plan is still on track.

I have succumbed to the lure of the Swirl Shawl ( After checking it out, it looks like it will be challenging enough to keep me interested, yet not so difficult as to dirve me over the edge. As I do not have the called for yarn (, I hit the shrinking stash and found four lovely hanks of Colinette's Jitterbug ( in Blue Parrot.

My car is at the dealership today so I am house bound. I am actually kind of relieved as it gives me a good excuse to stay home and knit, etc. Last night I cleaned my office (it can get unruly) so that I can get a good start this morning finishing up the last of the embroidered Xmas gifts. Since I hate the noise that the machine makes (I just don't do loud noises), I get it going on a design, leave the room, and return when the noise stops. Today, I will head to the family room, catch up on DVR'd TV, and work on my new shawl. I hope it works out for me.

Yesterday, I taught a knitting class for the first time since moving to FL. I had forgotten how much I love to teach. Thank you friend Nancy for volunteering me.

8 am, have to go the teen up now (a challenging prospect).