Monday, December 21, 2015

Customer Service and Courtacy

In the world we live in there is less and less thought about good customer service. In the full scope of things courtesy can be looked at as a thing of the past. So when I come across good customer service and courtesy it truly makes my day. And it doesn't have to be something big that makes good customer service in my eyes.

I went to Burger King and when the person waited on me at the drive thru window she gave such a pleasant and wonderful smile and greeting. I just had to tell her thank you for your smile. Well, that made her day also. But it didn't stop there. When I was leaving the parking lot I was coming out on a street that usually no one gives you a chance to turn. It can be a challenge. But a driver gave me the signal to come in and I waved thank you because I wanted him to know that I appreciate his act of kindness.

It doesn't take much to give a smile or a nice greeting when you are dealing with people. It's all about the experience that you either want to receive or give. It is not always easy when you have to deal with people. I know I've been so fortunate to be able to look back on my teaching experience with the knitting and crochet and truly say it has been such a pleasure. My students have been a joy to teach and I have grown some lasting relationships during this time that I treasure.

Across the board, it doesn't matter if you are in that customer service job or not, it is all about treating another human with respect and care and you never know how that could impact there day and yours. Since it is becoming more and more of a rarity I find it so important that the giver of such gestures of good customer service be told and especially kindness on the road be shown with a wave of thanks. Both are still out there but I don't look for it so when it happens I am pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Yarn Choices

When I learned to knit and crochet at 10 years old there was no where near the choices of yarns that there are today. And I was not shopping at a yarn store for yarn. Today it is a yarn explosion of companies, colors, textures and more. But one thing I never want to become is a yarn snob. Just like people in general come in all shapes, sizes and nationalities. People have different priorities, spending amounts, circumstances and responsibilities.

It's OK to just shop at a yarn store just like it is OK to just shop at a craft store. With everything that is happening today just to be able to have a de-stresser in our lives is a plus. As for me, I would not be respecting my students that can't afford to frequent a yarn shop if I only want to work with the yarns from there. And I don't have that kind of money either for the more pricier yarns. I'm thankful that I do work at a yarn shop so that I can try a variety of different yarns. But at the end of the day it is all good because there are some beautiful items that I've seen with a variety of yarns including acrylic. I also think of those preemie babies, children, special Olympics, seniors and ones battling cancer that I had the privilege of making items needed and donating them for ones to enjoy and to stay warm.

But my take is this, I love a lot of the acrylic yarns I've worked with from craft stores and my projects came out nice. But I think everyone should experience working with the yarns from a yarn shop as a special gift to yourself or a love one. The yarn shop I work at again is Knits Fabulous. You can click right on the name to go to the website. There are fabulous choices of yarns at a very nice range of prices and I love that.

I think that people feel all the yarns in a yarn shop are expensive and they are not. The yarn shop is really trying and I think doing a successful job at tilting the scale from high price and affordable price. So if you are one that feels I can't afford shopping at a yarn shop don't rule it out because it doesn't have to be a big project to taste some new flavors of yarn. There are store sales to consider as a time to treat yourself.

So if you are near the yarn shop or are itching for a road trip destination with yarn then come check us out and you won't be disappointed

I've been busy as usual with a couple of UFO's and new stuff.

One of my new items is this knitted slouch hat that I love. Especially since it uses buttons as an accent and I have lots of buttons. The hat is from the magazine: Make it! Knits. I picked it up while in Florida because I loved several items that I wanted to make. The name of the hat is Veronica Slouch. It fits great and I love that it has a different cable design to be worn on the side. And I just happen to have three great size charcoal color buttons that goes perfectly with the hat design.
The yarn I used was the Bergere Duvetine. It is a nice soft yarn but it is spun very loose, almost like roving with a thread wrapped around to hold it together. My needle kept lifting the string up so it got on my nerves after a while. I love how the hat worked up and I chose it because I do have to be careful of total wools on my head because it can cause my hair to break. This is 73% Acrylic, 19% Polyamid and 8% Polyester. Unfortunately, you have to make adjustments when your skin or hair has issues. For other items, I'm glad that a lot of the wools I can wear but need to test against my skin to see if it would be too itchy.
The second project is a knitted cowl from the same magazine. The name of the cowl is Ambrosia Cowl. I love the slip stitch design that flows diagonally and used also as a ribbing affect. The yarn I used is Land West Tweed. I loved how the color streamed and looks. It is 47% Wool, 47% acrylic and 6% Viscose.
I have one more to share. The name of this scarf pattern is Pearl-barred Scallop Scarf. It is a free pattern through Ravlery. The yarn for this one is the Baah Aspen - very soft and nice to work with. It is 75% Merrino, 15% Silk and 10% Cashmere. The pattern is a 12 row repeat but easy to do. I can see that this yarn is really going to block well.

I love opening up my world to new things. In this case working at the yarn shop has opened up my world to new yarn choices so I can work across the horizon of yarns. It has been really nice to sample these yarns.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

One Goal - A Continuous Struggle

I went clothes shopping which I am not a fan of. I guess it is because I am tall and I always have issues with length in pants and sleeve length for tops and sweaters. But my newest issue is weight gain. I know there are ones that can relate to this. It is a struggle especially for most of my life I had no problem.

Some say they knit or crochet or think if they start then the problem with eating or snacking will magically go away. Well, I multi-task very well. So that does't work for me. A little bit of knit and crochet and a little bit of snacking goes a long way. I just have to continue to make better choices, especially when I go out for dinner.

So as usual around the end of the year I start to work on goals for the next year. But this one goal of eating healthier and loosing a few pounds is a continuous goal. I don't want to use the word diet because eating healthier has mostly been a part of my life. I do enjoy sweets but especially things with salt. Several years ago I could eat and eat but not gain a pound. Life catches up with ya. My knitted and crochet tops I made in the past fit just a little bit too snug and don't look right so that is another reason to loose.

Let me change this subject to what I've been working on. Well, I have just finished this crochet cowl called Berry Harvest Bandana Cowl.
It is free through Ravelry. I love the pineapple design so this caught my eye. I made it out of the Lana Grossa Cool Wool Print. I do love the yarn. It is 100% Virgin Wool. I would call the spin of the yarn a coil tight spin but it is spongy with a stretch. I put a little different edging on it which I like. As you can see the yarn blocks beautifully. I wish I would have showed it before blocking. I am always amazed at what blocking does which I've said before, brings the stitches alive.
I've also made another cowl from the Crochet Noro book called Granny Triangle Cowl. This is made up of six triangles and then seamed together and finished with a top and bottom edging. The edging is one row double crochet but the next row is my favorite edging stitch - the reverse crochet. This gives such a nice finish to it. I am making this out of two different yarns - Juniper Moon Farm (Moonshine) along with Spud & Chloe (sweater worsted). They worked well together. I used the spritzing of water on just the edges and the seams to block it out then added the finished edging to it. I didn't want to stretch this anymore because the measurements were exact. If I would have used the immerse in water method then it would have stretched too much. With blocking you need to figure out which method will give you the results you want.
I have this shawl I am finishing called Blossoms by the brook using yarn I purchased from Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this year - The Verdant Gryphon (hand-dyed DK merino wool). It is really soft and nice to work with. The shawl I am enjoying the construction of the shape because it is different than other shawls I've made. You can follow how the design should line up clearly from the pattern. I think it will be really nice to wear.

I had fun making these and have others in the making. As is said, "You can't just eat one Layes potato chip." And I can't just have one, two or three projects at a time. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy creating and having fun doing it.