Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Tuesday, July 01, 2003  

There is no end to the opportunities to screw up. Yesterday morning I sat back down to my mohair single - first stage in the glittery loopy boucle process - and couldn’t find the end of the yarn! I’m pretty good at unraveling, untangling and tinking, but after 168 years of fiddling with the darn stuff I resorted to scissors. Thank heaven I did my snipping only about 10 feet from the end, which I never did find. A short length of yarn just wrapped around the rod on the lazy kate. With the snipped end I did find, I wound the single up on my ballwinder and then treadled it back onto an empty bobbin.

After that bit of agony, I spun a little to bring my heart-rate back down and, like getting back on a horse, to prove I really did know how to spin. I will know better next time. Usually when I park a half full bobbin that I intend to completely fill, the fluffy unspun end of the yarn sticks up like a little flag. Not so this mohair, which merged into the fiber and disappeared. So, with a fuzzy, soft, entangling multicolored single, I will tie a knot in the end - or loop it through a button, if I ever have to stow an unfinished bobbin again.

After that, though, I didn’t do another fiberish thing all day. Of course, I had to go to work - that’s going to be an interruption for sure. And BigDarling and I spent the evening watching an Agatha Christie play on video - or rather - he watched, I slept through most of it. We’re both very summerishly sleepily lazy these warm days. But I want to get this bobbin finished before company comes on Friday the 4th. Maybe even get stage 2 done, which is to loosely ply the mohair around the thread. I’m using a lovely chocolate brown quilting thread I got last February, at the quilt show in Williamsburg. I wish I’d bought more, now, for quilting thread is much easier to use than sewing thread. It doesn’t tangle. It also crosses neatly and decoratively around the effect yarn (the part that makes the loops) instead of disappearing into the fuzz. But it’s $8 a spool for 330 yards. That means I’ll only get about 150 yards of boucle per spool so I’ll need what - 8? 10? spools? at $8 apiece! Yikes Suddenly my sweater is getting expensive. If it costs $400, I’ll really be miffed since I could have bought the stuff for that. But it won’t, and really, the making is half the fun, and the bragging is the other half.

“This old thing? Pooh, I’ve had it forever.”

Nah. I’ll never say something like that. I’ll probably grab people and say “lookee look! I made it myself!”

BTW, the shiny stuff is called Glitter and it’s made in Japan.

And I’m getting an idea now about making my own core for boucles out of handpainted silk, perhaps trapping natural colored and pastel mohair loops in their cage. Silk is easy to spin into a thread, in fact, that’s what it wants to do naturally - it’s spinning it into something bigger that takes such concentration. I got on the phone to Barbara Gentry yesterday and asked her to put together a dye kit from all the products we used in the workshop: the 8 colors, the synthrapol and that wonderful stuff for washing your hands. I asked her to throw in another lb. of merino top. She said it’d go in the mail before Thursday - maybe...I hope I hope, it’ll be here ...oh rats. no mail on Friday. Ahh, well, I’ll just have to wait till next week.

Larry, from Little Barn in Alabama, called yesterday, apologized for the delay and said my order is packed and ready to ship out. I was getting a little worried about it, since it had been just over a week since I ordered, but his explanation was completely understandable and it was he who initiated the call once things got backed up. I didn’t have to track him down and ask what was going on.

Which brings me to thoughts about customer service. It’s amazing how understanding people can be if you make the effort to keep in touch, explain, apologize. It’s such a tiny thing. Yet, how many places just leave you in the dark, hanging, clawing through your records to find the person’s name, the phone number, something with a date on it. Perhaps there should be a consumer’s movement to boycott all places without a call-back email-back policy. How about a form letter that says:

“Dear Sir or Madam, I never shop with people who do not send me follow up confirmation of my mail-order purchase and keep me informed of expected shipping dates. When you have added this procedure to your business I will return as a customer. Please cancel my order. Sincerely, irate customer.”

But to end this grumbling (good god, Bess, do you have to complain in every post? what is this menopause?) and leave with a happy comment - Ozeyarn is one mail-order yarn shop that has AAA+++ service. Julianna sent me e-mail confirmation and e-mail when the items were shipped and everything came fast, efficiently, at the price quoted and in perfect condition - in about 10 days, from Australia to Virginia. Good, yes? Great.

posted by Bess | 6:11 AM