Yarny Photo Challenge – Day 4: Speed

Hello

I feel this photo needs a little commentary.  Remember in 2013 I started a Beekeeper Quilt project?  So far I have made just over 70 hexipuffs (long breaks in between and lots of other projects on the go).  So I thought it would be funny to choose these for “Speed”.  The ones in the top of this jar were made in January, and each one is really speedy – taking about 40 minutes to make.  But the project?  The project is not speedy, I need to make hundreds of these to complete a quilt!  They’re a fun diversion and I still enjoy looking at them, even so.

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Sandi

101 things in 1,001 days – what’s happening?

Hello

It was fun writing such a long list of goals, and it was fun accomplishing some of them.  I could certainly look at accomplishing some more in the next six months before I close it down, but I feel I would be just paying lip service.  What the list has taught me is that it is very easy to procrastinate when you give yourself a huge pile of things to achieve and a very long deadline.  No I didn’t break it up into bite-size chunks, and so here we are.  101 goals, with not even a quarter crossed out.

What I am going to do is close the list down now, call it an experiment and accept that not all experiments are successful based on their original intent.  I don’t think this has been a waste, though.  It has made me think about the things I like to do, the things I clearly don’t like to do (ahem, housework, exercise) and about setting myself some shorter term goals here and there.  There is no need to worry about it all too much.

Do you know I was anxious enough about my lack of progress that I looked at running away from this blog altogether and starting a new one anonymously?  I still wanted to keep a blog, I still wanted to achieve some things, but was going to hide from the list in shame.

That’s dumb.  It was a momentary whim anyway.  An extrovert with tendencies to show off does find it difficult to be “anonymous” you know.  I don’t crave fame, but I don’t want to have to double-check my secret identity, either.  When I do good things I like to claim credit for them, and a little acknowledgement here and there gives me a boost.

A crafty update now, to swing the topic around and give you some pretties to look at.  Remember two years ago (if you were reading then) I got excited about and made nearly 50 hexipuffs?  They are a little squishy knitted hexagon, made from scraps of sock yarn, and the idea is to make hundreds of them and eventually sew them together into a big, warm quilt.  The pattern is The Beekeeper’s Quilt by Tiny Owl knits.  Well, this month I decided it was time to make some more, and so far I have added a further 17 puffs to my big glass jar, bringing me to 65 in total.  Here’s a little gallery of the hexipuffs made so far in July 2016 and a look into the top of the jar.  So much squishy!

Sandi

KnitCrate and the missing parcel

Hello

Anyone who reads this blog knows how much I love to knit.  Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am loving knitting hexipuffs at the moment among my many other knitting, crochet and other crafty projects.  What started me thinking about buying mini-skeins of perfect sock yarn for knitting these puffs was KnitCrate.  I even mentioned them in this blog post back in May:   Carrot or Stick?  … and Honeycomb.

Back in May, I was thinking about jumping straight into a subscription with KnitCrate.  Their website told me that by subscribing to their Mini-Skeins crate I could expect to receive all kinds of delicious yarns each month and I was so excited!  But I took a deep breath and decided to trial things first, and I made a single purchase, their Beekeeper’s Quilt Kit which would contain everything, including the pattern for the Hexipuffs, some beautiful yarn, some double pointed needles, etc.

I put in my order on May 25th, my credit card was charged, and then I waited.  On May 29th I received an email saying that my order had shipped, but the tracking number in it was for US parcels only.  I didn’t worry too much about that at the time.  A couple of weeks later I felt impatient and ended up starting to knit the Hexipuffs without that crate, knowing that when it arrived I would have some more cute mini-skeins to knit with.

Most parcels on average arrived from the USA to me within a few weeks.  I ordered boots online on July 12th and they arrived this week, for example.  I ordered other mini-skeins at a similar time to the KnitCrate order and it arrived by 19th June, remember this post?  So at the end of June I followed up on my order, asking politely if they were able to tell me if they knew where my parcel was.

The generic response I received told me that KnitCrate parcels can take 4-6 weeks to get to Australia and that I should contact them in mid-July if I still hadn’t received it.  Conveniently, this pushed me out past the PayPal 45 day dispute time, but I didn’t think of that at the time.  On July 12th I contacted KnitCrate to ask if they knew anything more, and got a similar response with a note that my query had been closed as resolved.  This sentence was in there:  “We pay extra to have undeliverable packages returned to us, which has only happened a handful of times since our launch in November 2012. If your package is returned to us we will immediately contact you.”

Has anyone ever heard of this?  “pay extra to have undeliverable packages returned to us”?  Why didn’t they pay extra to register the parcel for international tracking?  A week later I contacted them again to tell them that I was unhappy that they closed my query and that this is an unusually long wait for a package from the US.  I got another generic response, this time telling me that parcels to Australia can take 6-8 weeks and that if the parcel was undeliverable it could take them 4 months to receive it back and that I should wait.  “If the package is returned to us then we’ll contact you. Otherwise, we currently assume the package is in customs clearance and will reach you shortly.”

When I wrote back and asked what their next step would be if the parcel never reached me or was never returned to them, I got no response at all.  So now I am very unhappy and as KnitCrate encourage their “subscribers” to post reviews online, I guess that is what I am doing here.  They clearly have many happy customers in US but I would never recommend anybody order internationally from this company.  The postage cost was ample for them to register this properly with international tracking, and their response to my queries about my missing order has only left me $75 or so poorer (Australian Dollars).

I am sad.  Lucky I have lots of yummy yarn from other reliable suppliers to get me through.

Sandi

Edit:  Update, after my friend suggested I post something to their Facebook page I did so this morning.  And … they deleted it.  I wasn’t abusive, so there was no need.

Bendigo wool show

Hello

Today was my sister’s birthday, and I mentioned that I had been considering going to the Bendigo wool show this weekend.  Although this felt like it was all about me, she immediately agreed and even helped plan things so that we could meet our Mum, Nanna and Pop there!

I was concerned that perhaps I would be dragging her from stall to stall and spending all my money on yarn.  But I had a bit of a “too much choice, not sure what to do” afternoon and ended up buying some knitting needles and four mini-skeins to make more hexipuffs with.  Then I spent the rest of the time wanting to buy many things but not being able to make a decision.  Now I am worried that I should have at least bought one or two other beautiful skeins for future gifts or something!

Oh, wait, I did also buy a magazine with some beautiful patterns in it, that was worth the purchase!

When we met with Mum, she gave me a giant glass jar that had belonged to my Dad.  The peanut jar will now be my hexipuff jar!  Here it is with the puffs I have knitted so far in it, plus the things I bought today.

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It was a lovely day, the sun was shining (quite unexpected after coming from cloudy, drizzly, cold Melbourne) and we all did have fun.

Also, I was worried about dragging my sister everywhere today and spending all my money?  I didn’t consider how much my sister loves woolen clothing – she wears merino thermals all the time and loves to buy Australian-made items.  So when she was unleashed on little pavilions full of lovely items she bought a gorgeous new wool winter coat with the birthday money Mum had given her just that morning, and an alpaca jumper with a hood.  She was in heaven!

Sandi

 

Sunday night brain dump

Hello

Today we went out for lunch with Dave’s family because it will be his birthday on Wednesday.  I ate a huge meal at the Pancake Parlour, and followed it up with a big dinner tonight.  Dave’s Mum sent us home with the entire birthday cake – everyone was too full to eat any.  So that’s in the fridge looking at us.  Each day I eat huge amounts and promise myself I’ll start being good “tomorrow”.  This isn’t new information for anyone who reads this Blog regularly.

It has been a week since I logged onto Facebook.  I have very mixed feelings about this challenge, because of course I have still played on the internet, logged onto other social media sites – particularly Ravelry.  But it’s getting me to think about how much time I spend (waste?) checking up on what my friends are doing online, rather than what they’re really doing.  On Tuesday I caught up with a friend, on Wednesday I went to knitting/crafter’s circle with friends, on Thursday I caught up with my sister after work.  This doesn’t leave much time to stress about Facebook.  I would really have liked to log in this weekend though, I admit.

I am currently knitting my 33rd Hexipuff!  Here is a picture of the 32 I finished so far.

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I’m waiting for more yarn to arrive so that I can add more to this pile.  It needs more rainbow – more green, more purple, more everything!  It’s a fun project.  I really do need to get some other projects completed too, though, so these addictive little mini puffs need to take a bit less of my concentration!

Lots of things on my list of 101 goals are work in progress.  I am knitting things, drawing things, taking my Facebook break.  I have been very lazy about my goals around nutrition and exercise, though – no surprises there.  This needs to become more of a focus over the next few weeks, and some decisions made around which ones to pick up and do!  Just do, rather than plan to do!

Sandi