Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Hate Robo-Calls

Ring. Ring. Ring. (I pick up phone.)

Silence. Followed by automated voice.

"Hello. This is a... call... for... {mispronounced name}. If you are not— {mispronounced name}, please hang up and dial—"

CLICK. (I hang up.)

(I reconnect, listening for dial tone. I hear automated voice continuing.)

"800... 7... 5... 8—"


(Buzz? No...)

" staying on the" CLICK "—line, you ack-" CLICK "-ledge that you are—" CLICKCLICKCLICK!!!! "—{mispronounced name}. Please stay on the line—"

(Rip cord out of phone jack. Wait 10 seconds. Reconnect.)

"—by staying on the line, you acknowledge that you ARE..."



"...this very important message for {mispronounced name}. Thank you."





Star 69. (Fuming, because I am NOT {mispronounced name} and I tried like he77 to hang up so as to avoid acknowledging that I am... {mispronounced name})

"We're sorry. The last incoming call cannot be traced because it is out of the service area or marked private".



Monday, November 23, 2009

Re: NoAnn's Fabrics and a Spout-Off

In response to comments...

Trillian, sorry to hear that your store is gone, too!

Emily, yes. Ben Franklin's is still here, but that is the issue. It's only cotton and acrylic and a scant few Paton's skeins. I am glad they exist and I don't mind the occasional project made out of ack, but quite honestly? (and Emily, this is not aimed at you; your comment merely inspired the rant. :-D )

/begin rant
I like knitting socks out of fingering weight superwash wool and blends. I like wool, silk, alpaca, mohair. I weave, so I like to get my yarn on cones sometimes. I am learning to spin sheep fluff. BFs and Hobby Lobby don't carry anything like that, last time I checked.

As far as fabric, I like to sew using suit-quality wovens; I like fancy fabric (but not sequins or bric-a-brac). I am not a quilter (yet) but when I become one (highly likely), I would like to have a wide variety of quality fabric with modern options like batik prints.

I'll admit it. I am a yarn and fabric snob, and proud of it (lol). But it seems that my only options now (if I wish to shop in town) are to find a source for undyed yarn and fabric that is to my liking, and dye/print/weave it myself. Or open up my own bricks and mortar fiber shop.

I don't mind paying $12.99/yard for good fabric that hangs well and sews up well, or $20 for a skein of sock yarn. I do mind having my choices limited to cheap fabric and man-made plastic yarn. After all, isn't this the typical stereotype of "homemade and handknit"? Granny's hideous toilet roll cover crocheted out of bargain bin Red Heart in colors that don't appear in nature? Homemade clothing that is easily differentiated from haute couture?

There's a reason for the stereotype, IMHO, and the dearth of better fabric and yarn stores in a town only promotes that image. /rant


Saturday, November 21, 2009

NOAnn's Fabric!!!

Eesh! It is getting harder and harder to add fiber to my diet!

First, Fiberworks closed (well, that was what, two years ago? But they were major, because they had LOOMS and weaving stuff nobody else had, and a workroom for teaching yarn dyeing). Then the Fibers program at BGSU was eliminated.

Now this.

The JoAnn Fabrics in BG is being liquidated and is closing January 24, 2010.

OK. I know we have several awesome LYS's in the Greater Toledo Area. And there are JoAnn's and other fabric stores in Toledo. And Findlay. And The Little House in Clyde deals in weaving/spinning stuff.

But all of that requires a DRIVE.

I live in a metropolitan community. We have a good-sized University and a mall.


Unless you count H*bby L*bby. (Sorry. I don't do trigonometry. Therefore I can't count it. Get it? Ha.) Even W*l M*art stopped carrying fabric and yarn, not that it was GOOD yarn. "Better Acrylics".

I'm quite bothered about the whole thing.

Now. I suppose I could whine and rant some more about it and see it as bad.

Or, I could look at this as an opportunity.

Question is... what kind of opportunity is this... and... do I have the wherewithal and the resources to pursue it?

Thinking out loud here...


Friday, November 20, 2009

Posting to Kill Time

As I wait for my Kung Pao Stir Fry to be "ready" to serve in Café World over there in FacelessBook, I thought I'd write a quick post about the good news/bad news University situation I heard about this week. (If you keep up with Faceless Book, you might have already seen my status updates.)

Bad news first. The Fibers program in the Fine Arts Department no longer exists. Not sure which came first, but the professor is now Emeritus status, officially retired in Spring, and the courses have been eliminated from the curriculum. The equipment is still there—for now. There are a few students finishing up their Senior work this semester. What will happen to all the looms, dyeing equipment and yarn remains to be seen. I'm looking into it.

Good news next, following a little background info.

Back in the late 80s, I took some of the sewing and garment construction courses in the Home Ec Department when they had a Fashion Design major. I almost majored in it, but backed away in fear that I would never measure up (no pun) to the "real" designers. Silly me. The courses taught me to sew, alter patterns, and do flat-pattern design. My motivation for these courses was to learn to make my own stage clothes because I didn't like the generic, poorly-constructed spandex offerings in the stores, and I wanted to have a unique look.

I was signed up for the course that taught the draping method (as seen on Project Runway), but got distracted (probably by yet another band) and didn't follow through. I always regretted that, because one of my underlying goals has been to know enough to "be" a fashion designer even if I didn't major in it. This was revived a few years ago, when I thought the perfect MFA for me would be a combination of Fibers/Textile Design as Fine Art coupled with a solid Fashion Design/Merchandising background. Top it off with Entrepreneurship education, and IMHO, I'd be a force to be reckoned with.

Except... the University's Apparel-related department had eliminated the design portion (and all the related sewing/construction courses) and gone totally merchandising/marketing. Not what I wanted at all.

As recently as last year around this time, I'd contacted the department to ask about the Merchandising offerings, and figured it still probably wouldn't fit my plans.

So this week, I've been scouring the internet searching high and low for anything related to draping—a weekend clinic, a week-long workshop, a class in Michigan or within a reasonable distance in Ohio, a video, a good book... and then, on a crazy whim, I decided what the hey, I'll check out the University again, just to make sure.


Fashion Design is BACK! The course that sounds as if it will teach Draping techniques is being offered first summer session! The clincher might be the prerequisites. Thanks to modern technology and the recent overhaul of the course selection system, the HOEC 101 and 101 I took back in 1987 are not recognized, even though the course content (taught by the same teachers who are still there) sounds identical to AMPD 2510 (which used to be AMPD 251, which used to be AMID ####, which might have been... you get the idea).

I've put a call in to the head honcho over there to find out. I'll keep you posted; but mark my words. One way or another, I am IN THAT CLASS this summer (if it truly IS the class I think it is). Or some other draping class.

One fiber-related door closes, another opens. Oh, the Kung Pao dinged, it's done. See you later. If I'm not back this week, Happy Turkey Day.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why I'm Home and Not at Knit Night

It's because the cough is back. And since I'm still not sure if it's infectious or just dust/cat hair/vocal irritation, although I have the night off, I'm staying put.

Last Tuesday night, after pulling an impressive 2.2 CPH (calls per hour) at work despite feeling like garbage and having a rough voice, I decided I needed time off. The nice thing about temping is that you can do that. You can also, at this job, decide to not be on the schedule for a week and still have a job the week after.

So, I called my temp agency last Wednesday and had them remove me for this week (Mon, Tues, Fri, Sun).

I called them on Friday because I wasn't sure if I was supposed to go in or not (since the week runs Sun-Sat). Turns out the project was finished Wednesday night, and the company is shut down until the next survey project starts (which was supposed to be Monday). Which is cool for me, because it means I'm not "missing out" on work time anyway.

Turns out they weren't ready Monday either.

Could turn out that I didn't have to bother removing myself from the schedule after all--had I just left it alone, it would have worked out anyway.

However, I feel it's better to know I have the time off, rather than playing the odds. And I stood up for what I wanted for myself despite being terrified it would mean the end of my employment (despite the "flexibility" included). I did what was best for my voice and health.

This is a really important move for me: to stand up for myself despite the fear, rather than go along with it and be muttering under my failing voice about how resentful I am while feeling secretly vindicated when the company gives us the time off I denied myself.

My voice is recovering. I almost sound like a human being again.

I think I'm changing my availability to Thursdays instead of Tuesdays, and working a 4-8 that day instead of 4-9. That way I can have knit nights back, and be home in time for Grey's.

I'd really like to change my availability to "calling in on account of MegaMillions Jackpot Win", though.

So the first Coriolis is done. I'm a quarter through the second Coriolis (pre-heel) then I'm doing another Woven Ridge. This is monumental--two socks in one month! And I'm rearranging the offistudio so I can open up the loom.

The concept of clearing out the yarn stash first, however, has been deemed a procrastination attempt (by ME). Instead, I'm relocating the chaos from the space where the open loom will go to the space where the folded loom currently resides. Yep, that's right. All I'm doing is moving the mess out of my way. But if it means I can jump back into my craft, it's worth it. And I no longer have to kid myself thinking, "I'll just organize this THEN I'll be happily weaving away in my nice clean perfectly ordered offistudio".

I mean, really. Who are we kidding? LOL!

In other news, I've finally realized that my favorite books to read are How-To books. If you look at my shelves, that's what most of them are: How to quilt, knit, sew, design, spin, weave, dye, install tile, garden, make home furnishings, type fast, use internet software, record music in Cubase, notate music the Nashville way, play banjo and lap steel guitar, teach your cat to do tricks, communicate with your horse, attract money now using visualization... And wedged in between there are a few literary gems and a decent selection of Stephen King novels.


And a clue as to why I claim to love reading and love books themselves, but fail miserably at NaNoWriMo.

News flash: I am not a novelist.

If I were to write a book, it would likely be a How-To. Or a personal journal of my introspective journey through self-analysis. But, I have a blog for that.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Urgh. And an Update.


Apparently I let my free photobucket account go inactive, and all my image links are lost. So forgive the dust while I attempt to piece this back together. Maybe now is a good time to switch to the new Blogger layout?


There has been knitting.

There will be photos soon.

So far there is one of a pair of Woven Ridge socks and a half of a Coriolis. Both are patterns from Cat Bordhi's "New Pathways for Knitters". I got it for Christmas last year and it took me all this time to get enough courage up to read through it. Glad I did! REVOLUTIONIZED my sock knitting.

There has been no writing yet for NaNoWriMo. SIGH.

There has been much phone calling for the job. I pulled down a 2.0 CPH today (that is calls per hour), which rocks. My voice is getting stronger, thank God.

There has been very little riding due to odd weather patterns.

There has been a clock change all around the house. But you all knew that, as you did it, too.

That's all. For now.

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