29 April 2008

Is it Friday yet?

Note to self: rabbits like Addi Turbo needles.

Addi Turbo needles, however, do not like rabbits.



27 April 2008

Monday's Musing

"Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

That quote made me smile a giant smile. And also reminded me of a quote left me by Yarnhog (who I think is at least a hundred shades of cool): "Bloom where you are planted." I've been thinking a lot about that lately.

Thank you all for the get well wishes. The creeping crud has been officially vanquished. I lost my voice there for a couple of days, but now it's back! I think the kids are a little disappointed. ;)

Have a wonderful week, everyone! And don't forget the last day of my sale! :)


23 April 2008

More newness! And coupons!

I am battling the creeping crud, so I will keep this short! :) More new stuff! First, a Scottie dog shawl pin. The wonderful Liz Lovick commissioned this one, and I had to share it with all of you, too!

Next, I have a wine glass. You all knew it was only a matter of time, right? I mean, I am in wine country after all! This one started as a commission, as well. Yep, a knitting winery owner! :)

You can find both here if you scroll down a bit.

And to celebrate the new offerings, we have coupons for Designs by Romi!! $5 off purchases of $15 and above (enter 6EQTMQK at check-out), and $10 off purchases of $50 and above (enter
6EQU2HJ at check-out). If you are ordering earrings or pendants, put the coupon number in the comment section and I will refund the proper amount. How about that?! These are good through Monday, April 28th. So enjoy!! :)

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21 April 2008


Edited on 04.28.08 to add: To celebrate the new offerings, we have coupons for Designs by Romi!! $5 off purchases of $15 and above (enter 6EQTMQK at check-out), and $10 off purchases of $50 and above (enter 6EQU2HJ at check-out). If you are ordering earrings or pendants, put the coupon number in the comment section and I will refund the proper amount. How about that?! These are good through Monday, April 28th.

My friend Leigh asked for a pair of sterling yarn ball earrings that clip shut, and...

here they are! You can order your own pair here (scroll down and you may have to refresh your browser). :)

In other news...I'm not going with Haloscan unless I can figure out how to keep all my old comments. Stay tuned....


20 April 2008

Monday's Musing

Vanessa often sends wonderful and inspiring emails. And this quote came at exactly the right time.

"If I lack the courage to start, I have already finished."
-author unknown

Thank you, Vanessa!


18 April 2008

Is my tattoo showing?

No really. It is, isn't it?

So you know how everyone says things come in threes? Heh.

1. A couple of weeks ago, a guy contacted me by email to inquire about purchasing my pins wholesale. He said he was in the UK and wanted to sell in his European shops. So I told him my terms and the total, and he said he would send a cashier's check. Okay then. He called the next day, which happened to be Saturday. He did not sound British. His accent was definitely a US accent, but still there are many ex-pats in the UK, so I just thought he was a little odd. Then came the email. He said he had had a client of his who owed him money send a cashier's check from Chicago for $[insert ridiculous amount of money] and I was to cash it and send the remainder to his secretary in Florida to purchase textiles. And I could keep an extra $50 for my troubles. Right. And did I tell you before that I am really a Nigerian princess in disguise? Of course, at that point, I knew it was a scam. But I received the check that very day. Thinking someone might be interested in trying to catch this guy, I played along and asked him what he wanted me to do with the excess money. He gave me instructions to send it via Western Union and then he sent the addresses of two Western Union outlets in my area. He was obviously prepared. So I called the FBI's internet division and told them the story. They didn't care. It was an amount under $50,000. It didn't matter that this guy was probably doing the same thing to dozens of other people. It didn't matter that I had a forged cashier's check in my hands, or that he had given me instructions. They just didn't give a hoot. So I called the bank on the cashier's check. They didn't care either. At this point, I took said check down to my local bank. I showed it to the manager and said it was of dubious origin. She took one look and said she thought it was fake. So she called the other bank. They were rude. They said unless they knew what branch the check was drawn on, they couldn't trace it. And then they said it wasn't their problem. So she called the processor named on the check. They didn't care either.

But really, it did set me straight about one thing. I no longer wonder how people get away with all of the scams that seem to be floating around these days. Truly. No one cares. Except for the victim.

2. Yesterday, a woman called from a "production company" and let me know that her company was putting together a "gift suite" for the MTV Awards. She thought my product would be great. Hunh?! All I had to do was give them at least 70 pins and be there to meet and greet all of the celebrities that are just waiting to put on their new...shawl pins. Hee. Because really, Beyoncé needs one, don'tcha think? ;)

3. Then there is the worst one. We have had the same web host for about 11 years now. We thought we had a great relationship with them and we steered tons of business to them. Well, it now seems that they have been systematically over-charging us. And probably many many others. Here's how they did it. When we signed up, hosting a website cost a lot more than it does now. And came with a lot less storage space. So we signed up for the package that gave us what we needed. Over the years, we have accumulated more websites, for a total of four with them. Also, over the years, unbeknownst to us, they lowered their prices to be more competitive. But they did it in a super sneaky way. Instead of lowering prices on their plans, they apparently increased the amount of storage and traffic that each plan includes. Several times. Without saying a word about it. (I love the Wayback Machine). So instead of letting people pay for what they use and reducing charges, they charged us for services we weren't using and didn't even know we had. Pretty clever, eh? I figure that just over the past three years, they have overcharged us more than $3,000 for something we have never even come close to using. When we were talking to the tech guy about reducing costs, the first thing he said was "why on Earth are you on this plan?!" He changed it all and guess how much our bill went down? $100 per month. Yeah. I am feeling a little sick. :P

On the lighter side, the Faroese Muir is progressing! I can never get over the fact that so much knitting can fit in so small a space:

Amazing, no? :)

Have a great weekend! And watch out for scams, ya hear?!


15 April 2008

A peek in my backyard

First of all, thank you for all of your great comments! I guess I wasn't the only one who needed a little "umph" to get through Monday! :) And, btw, I think I am going to add Haloscan to my blog so I can actually respond to everyone! Stand by.... Has anyone had any bad experiences with Haloscan commenting? How about when you installed it? Did you lose any previous comments?

And now for the little peek. :) We have wisteria:

the smell is intoxicating!

and apple blossoms:

and cascades of little yellow roses.

:happysigh: I love spring. :)

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13 April 2008

Monday's Musing

Whenever I get really tired, I think of this quote:

"The difference between try and triumph is a little umph." ~Author Unknown

I love it. :)

Happy Monday, everyone!


10 April 2008

Ef! Oh!

But not a knitting one. :) Nonetheless, I am so excited about this one that I may use up my yearly allotment of exclamation points!!!!!

My husband, the cabinet and fine furniture maker, who loves kids (probably because he is a big kid himself) started building The Totally Most Coolest Wooden Toys this past Christmas when the Chinese toy scare was raging full blast. They are all wood with absolutely no metal or plastic parts and are painted with milk paint, which is completely non-toxic. Kids (and grown-ups) cannot keep their hands off. So I convinced him to sell them, and
after two weeks of taking them around the area, he is in a bunch of upscale local shops (plus a very upscale tractor dealership :g:)! And get this: he is already booked for two toy signings in local shops around Christmas time! Can you believe it?!?! Eeeeee! And they are already putting in Christmas orders! Here is his train:

and his barrel truck:

and his pick-up truck:

and his tractor:

They are all hand made and they look like folk art! I lurve them! Okay. I could go on and on, so I'll stop now. :)

So, what's my FO? I finished his logo, packaging and most of his website! And I am so happy to have it up!!!!!! (See, I told you I would use up my allotment!) Go! Check it out!

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09 April 2008

Lace surgery, part deux

Wow! You all! Thanks for all the kind words! But it really looks way more impressive than it is. All lace surgery really takes is some patience and a towel to wipe your sweaty palms. Once you get past the shock of ripping the lace out, this method is very straightforward!

When I first tried fixing lace mistakes, I didn't pin them and I usually got messed up with the yarn overs. Yarn overs twist two rows of yarn together in such a way that it is difficult to differentiate between rows. Which brings us to my biggest problem: joining the already knitted section of lace with the newly knitted section without twisting the yarn together and mixing up the rows. Am I making sense? I hope?

So here's the process I followed to make sure that I didn't twist those rows into the wrong order! First, I looked at the piece of lace and figured out exactly what needed to be ripped in order to fix the mistake. I made sure no other stitches would be dropped in the process (I put point protectors on my needles) and I ripped those rows back one by one, making sure I could tell the order of the yarn strands by pinning them out. I put the stitches on the dpn and grabbed my chart to compare to the mess patient. I wanted to be sure not to put in extra yarn overs, so I compared the edge stitches particularly carefully. I recognized that the odd tangle on either side of the ripped area:

resulted from knitting yarn overs together with other stitches on subsequent rows, so I knew that the edge stitch in the ripped area was not a yarn over. That meant it was a k2tog or an ssk. I counted the stitches across and determined the exact spot that I had ripped. I marked it on my chart. This is the area I re-knit:

As I re-knit the piece, I checked to make sure that I was, indeed, not missing a yarn over. As you can see here:

the yarn over looks totally normal when the row is knit across. After that, it was only a matter of following the chart for every row. Kind of a pain, but not terrible. The chart is pretty straightforward. And with the pins holding the rows, I even left part of it over night when the light got bad, and picked it up again in the morning. This is really, totally, something you all can do. The pins make a giant difference! And even without caffeine, no children, spouses or pets were harmed during the process. :)

I hope I made sense. But if not, please feel free to ask questions! You can all do this!

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07 April 2008

Lace Surgery

Important note: next time you go off caffeine, don't knit lace for at least a week.

Exhibit A:

16 rows of screw up! So.

There was nothing to do but rip it down within the repeat. I always try this once at least. If it doesn't work, then I rip the whole rows. I whipped out the foam core, my double points and the pins.

I chose not to rip the entire repeat, but rather did just the affected area. I took the lace off the needles and put point protectors on the ends of my working needles (very important!).

I began carefully ripping row by row and pinning each length of yarn as I did. This is an important step when there are so many rows to knit back up. It is easy to lose track of the working yarn when you rip yarn overs.

At the last row I intended to rip, I took out one stitch at a time, putting each stitch carefully on a double pointed needle.

I began with US 6s, and then recalled how difficult it is using the same size as the working needles, and so I switched to US 2s. The smaller needle size left more play in the yarn and made the process much much easier.

I took out my chart and located the problem area (boy, it looked huge!). And then I took in the full impact of the situation.

I started knitting.

Row by row.

As I went along, I evened out the stitches at the end of each row.

I knit each row from left to right right to left (caffeine issues again - thanks Susan!) - much easier to do when everything is pinned out, but requiring constant futzing with tension at each end of the affected area (sounds important, eh? "affected area" Hee).

I knit some more.

I evened out stitches.

I knit.

And then it was time to put it all back on the working needles. Yay!!!

I had a pile of pins.

And a fixed lace project!

And I'm even starting to get used to being caffeine free. Sort of. :)

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06 April 2008

Monday's Musing

"Opportunity is often difficult to recognize; we usually expect it to beckon us with beepers and billboards."
~William Arthur Ward

Isn't it true? My husband and I were having a discussion this past weekend about how things, both good and bad, pass by in life and then a bit later, we realize what had just happened. No theme music, no lighting cue and no slow motion. It's tough living in the real world sometimes. ;)

Have a wonderful week, everyone!


02 April 2008

It's growing!

Slowly but surely...

It's too big now to pin the whole thing out, so we are just looking at one side as it grows from the center panel.

I cannot wait to block it and see how it looks! :)

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