A moan about non-crafty staff in craft stores

This past week I was fortunate to visit Sydney for a couple of days. My schedule was busy but I had enough spare time for a quick visit to a well known knitting and tapestry store in the CBD.

This store is beautiful. At street level is the cross stitch and tapestry sales room. Walk down the stairs and it’s yarn heaven. I walked down the stairs and was greeted by a display cabinet containing limited edition interchangeable needles. Each set is numbered. $180? Sure! My weaknesses are two phrases – limited edition and numbered.

Packing for my trip I had grabbed my Knit Picks dpn set but couldn’t find a sock circ. I know, I should learn how to magic loop. A female behind the desk finished serving a customer then politely greeted me. I told her I needed a small circular needle to knit a sock. A simple request for a knitting store. “What’s that?” Alarm bells went off in my head. An employee in a LYS who didn’t know what a small circular needle to knit a sock was.  I thanked her for her time and walked up the stairs.

It might be a simple thing but why do LYS’s employ non craft people? I hope no one comes in with a yarn substitution question. She won’t know what to do. Her lack of knowledge saved me $180 on a limited edition dpn set that I hadn’t researched. I won’t spend my money at a store which employs untrained staff. At least I have an excuse to road trip up to Berry to shop at Sew And Tell.

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Two projects finished already!

I am proud to say that yesterday I finished two projects.  I am embarrassed to say how easy they both were to finish.

I had a pair of Dragonfly Socks which just needed one of the toes to be kitchener stitched.


Next up was my Unicorn Pegasus Rainbow Scarf.  All I had to do was tidy up the ends.  One of my friends is very generous and would regularly send me yarn.  Some of it was acrylic from her local dollar shop. She stopped buying me yarn when I showed her my yarn cupboard.  I used some for this scarf and it is rough.   I have washed it once but am thinking I need to add fabric softener to my shopping list.  My chosen photo is a progress shot but I think it shows off the colours well.



Now that I have finished these two projects I can cast on something new.  I have the yarn to knit Stitches In Time which is a pineapple shaped bag on Knitty.  I am keen to build up some more finishing karma so I will knit some more rows on my Haruni first.

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Farewell 2013

It’s New Year’s Eve and I just received an email with my blog statistics for 2013.  I need to get posting in 2014.

The big event for me in 2013 was getting married in Hawaii.  We followed it up on a cruise back to Australia.  We stopped in at Tahiti and New Zealand.  I must say that Bora Bora is the most stunningly beautiful place I have ever visited.

My husband was sent by his work to Manila for a few months mid-year.  I visited and enjoyed myself much more than I thought I would.  It was helped by Qantas having an awesome business class sale and one of my mates living a five minute walk from our hotel.  I also took a donation of baby rompers on behalf of an Australian business to an orphanage.  That was a moving experience.  You can read more on the Baby Teresa blog.

In terms of knitting I didn’t achieve as much as I hoped to.  My goals for 2014 are simple. I have a plastic tub which is overflowing with ufo’s (unfinished objects).  I will finish two ufo’s then I can cast on a new project.  Once that new project is finished I will finish two more ufo’s.  Some of the ufo’s just need the ends tied in and some blocking.  I have a pair of socks where I just need to kitchener stitch one toe.  That won’t take long.

I am at the point where I can part with some of the yarn I inherited from my Nan.  I am happy to say I have found a loving home for the yarn.  My Nan was a member of the View Club which are an organisation who promote women – education, friendship and helping others.  One of the ladies Jenny, at my knitting group is a member of her local chapter of the View Club.  Jenny knits toys for her group to sell to raise money for charity and is always after more acrylic.  I am sure my Nan will be proud some of her stash is going to a View Club fundraiser.

I am currently knitting a Haruni Shawl out of Malabrigo yarn.  I am doing alot of extra repeats of chart one to make a big shawl.  After I finish my Haruni I will finish two ufo’s then cast on Stitches In Time.  Stitches In Time is a pineapple shaped bag.  I found the perfect yarn for it recently and am keen to get knitting.

I even had a yarn excursion this year.  I flew to Canberra then road tripped to Bendigo for the Australian Sheep And Wool Show.  We visited the woollen mill, attended a Ravelry dinner and had a great time.  Our 2014 adventure will be to Jumpers And Jazz In July.  This is in Warwick so the road trip will be under three hours from Brisbane.  I have already booked accommodation.  Now to knit a cardigan or jumper to survive the cold and to show off.

I hope you had a lovely 2013.  Cheers to 2014!

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I have been looking on Ravelry for a stash knitting group to join.  There are plenty but none of them seemed quite right for me.  Some seemed more interested In seeing who could knit the most yards/kilometres/miles while others want to knit HUGE projects. Yes they will knit the stash but not in a way I want to.  I looked at some patterns and saw some that are fun and small.  They won’t use a lot of stash yarn but they will help use some of it up.

An idea formed and I found a random website which specialised in generating catchy names.  This website which I forgot to bookmark suggested Stashampions so I decided that was a perfect group name.

If you have a spare couple of minutes say hello in the Stashampions group on Ravelry.  Our May KAL is a nice and small Twilight Apple Pouch.

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I wonder how some stores survive…..

I live on the northside of Brisbane and have been looking at buying a new sewing machine.  I love my 20 year old machine but I’m ready to upgrade.  The Singer 160 at $499 is gorgeous.  It is limited edition styled like the original machines.  The other sewing machine I like is the Brother NV-600 at $999.  It’s targeted at quilters and has alot more features.

There’s a shop near home which stocks the Singer 160.  I went there last year for a test drive.  I had to sew on paper without thread.  That’s ok but I wasn’t allowed to touch the paper!  The woman said that when I sew I shouldn’t touch the fabric!  My friends were surprised and said you HAVE to touch the fabric when sewing!

After that experience you think I would never return.  I was at the shopping centre (they have a really good yum cha restaurant) and wandered in.  DING DONG I set off their sensor.  Two women were huddled round a sewing machine.  They glanced at me then decided to ignore me.  Straight after me an older gentleman walked in setting off the sensor.  They leapt up, asking how they could help him.  Turned out they didn’t stock what he was after.  I walked over…..

Me:  Excuse me.
Woman:  Yes?
Me:  Is there a reason you ignored me when I walked in?
W: Um, I didn’t know you’d come in.
Me: I set off the doorbell and you looked at me.  You leapt up to serve that gentleman.
W: Um….

Me:  I’d heard the service here was a joke and you’ve confirmed it.  I know why people say to avoid your store.
W:  We’re doing training.
Me:  You need to do some customer service training.

I walked out head held high leaving them open mouthed.

wonder how they survive.  The staff at my local quilt store had heard many similar stories and do not recommend that anyone shop there.

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Fabric Cutting Fail

The back of my knee length Pippa dress (Butterick 5710) consists of two pieces. I’ll insert a zip and sew a seam. Should be straight forward however look at this. The pattern wasn’t sitting flat when I cut the first piece. The side seam is missing some fabric.


Mr talked me out of throwing it under the lawn mower – something about possibly breaking the lawn mower. I’ve decided I will sew on. Worst case scenario is I have to buy more fabric and remake the outer layer. Mid-level disaster will be inserting a feature panel each side out of the green and gold fabric. Best scenario will be it’s fine.

I should own up and admit I was pinning and cutting on the tiles. I really should use the table.


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Birthday Eve

Tonight is my birthday eve and it’s one of my most boring ones. I normally enjoy my birthday eve and farewell my old age. It makes my birthday more than just one day of celebration.

I guess looking at it from a broader perspective it’s not a completely sucky eve. I received flowers today from Mr. We’re drinking 18 year old wine which a friend gave me. We put the movie Cleaner on which I chose by name and it was good.


Besides the flowers I know I’m receiving socks. Mr and I went for a run the other day and I complained about not having any good socks for running. I then told Mr that if he hadn’t bought me anything the could buy me socks. Last night we went shopping and I got to choose some pairs.

Tomorrow night we’re seeing the musical South Pacific then staying in the city. I saw South Pacific in 2010 in New York City. It’s one of my favourite musicals plus it’s set in the Solomon Islands which is a country I lived in for six months.

Maybe tonight needs to be boring because we’re having such a special night tomorrow. We haven’t made dinner reservations but have a few ideas on where to go. I need to stop sitting round thinking my birthday eve is boring and choose a pretty dress to wear to the theatre tomorrow night.

Cheers everyone!


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