Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Etsy

After trying for 4+ hours to purchase limited edition yarn from Goth Socks during their release today and dealing with Etsy's cart issues (and not getting any yarn!!), here is the letter I am planning to send.

Dear Etsy,

I am big fan of your site, or was until today. The fact that you support independent artists and artisans and give them an outlet for their talents and expressions is laudable. However, after trying for 4+ hours to purchase yarn during the Goth Socks release today and interacting with your cart system I have to say you need to work on how you interact with your customers. You may not know it, but knitters are a tight group and we talk to each other. How you treat us individually will get around quickly to the group. Your new and "improved" cart system failed and the customer service you provided was appalling. Abandoning the shop owner in the middle of her customer service chat, blocking her from being able to chat with you further and stripping control of her shop is bad service and just plain rude. Never mind your interactions with those of us trying to purchase said yarn. Your continued canned responses and denial of the situation made all of us only more frustrated. After waiting all of that time and dealing with your problems many of us were unable to get what we wanted due to your selective restocking of the shop in an attempt to "fix" the error. Instead most of us just continued to get the same error over and over and the shop continued to crash and then suddenly everything was gone. Obviously everything eventually sold, but the whole situation was handled exceedingly poorly by your staff. If you want sellers who sell limited products to continue to use your service you should seriously consider fixing your cart issues ASAP. Also, pointing the blame at PayPal rather than owning up to your issues is also unprofessional. Perhaps while your programmers are fixing the cart bugs, you could in service your customer service representatives on how to handle upset, frustrated and otherwise distraught people. Having worked in customer service myself, I know this can be difficult, but it is part of the job. I hope you take the time to read this and to learn from the situation rather than discarding it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday accomplishments

So, work has been really busy, which has cut into some of my knitting time. It seems since all the other hospitals let their surgeons go on vacations for the holidays, that they are shipping their cases to us. As such I've had some late nights lately. That said, I think I have done pretty well for myself.

As I type, I am soaking my mom's present in preparation for blocking. Yeah, it'll arrive after Christmas, but hopefully she will forgive me when she sees it. It's made with Cascade Kid Seta. Apparently there is a disclaimer that you are supposed to sign before starting your first Kidsilk Haze, Kid Seta or other fuzzy silk and mohair blend yarn project. I didn't get this disclaimer if so I might have re-thought things. Because "warning this yarn is highly addictive and will cause you to loose sight of reason when it is around," might have made me think twice about using it. OMG it is so soft and fuzzy and warm and and and yum!!! So yeah, I'll post pictures after my mom gets it.

I managed to finish all of my Christmas knitting save 3 objects currently. I know I have time left, except my family is doing gift exchange tomorrow. So right now I am rushing to finish stuff for my friends and I will get the last 3 items out to my family after shipping insanity has ceased. So I will probably post pictures on here Monday.

The other bit of recent news is I GOT MY BRACES OFF!!! The nearly 2 years of facial manipulation is over! Or is it? Apparently my co-workers only have to wear their retainers at night, but I was told I have to wear mine 24 hours. They are driving me crazy so far and making me talk funny. Hopefully it will get better. I was told it is only for a year. Bleh! Being able to floss in under 10 minutes is nice though.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Keep on keeping on

I think I have knitted for at least 7 hours today, maybe more. I am trying to hurry and finish all of my Christmas knitting projects so I can get them in the mail. I just added in the second skein of yarn for my mom's present and I am going to try and hurry and finish it over the weekend. The bad part is I haven't been able to work on my project for my knitting class. Oh well, I can just take notes based on other people's projects. I still have bind off one present, fringe another and repair a third. Then I have one more to cast on and knit in a hurry. I have resigned myself to the fact that part of my cousins present will be mailed a bit later. Oh yeah, let me explain my extra special hurry. My family is doing Christmas on the 19th this year. Yeah, so I loose a week of time I didn't know I was going to. Bleh!

So, as usual I am watching TV as I knit. Since this pattern is especially boring, I needed something interesting to keep me going. I selected Battle in Seattle from Netflix. I think my mind has been officially blown. On Monday when I get to work I have to ask my co-workers what it was like being a medical employee during that. Were they all locked into the hospital? Was the OR overrun? I know the ER must have been. I would love to hear their stories about their experiences during that event.

I have decided to follow that with Leonardo DiCaprio's 11th Hour. It is a documentary on the environmental crisis. Gee aren't I cheery tonight? This is put together in a really interesting fashion. However, as it is getting late and I am really tired, I might have to finish it later.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Last minute knitting book review

I have checked out several "quick knitting" books over the last couple of months. If any of you (assuming anyone reads this) are in the same boat as me and trying to knit for the holidays, I thought you might appreciate my assessment of these books. So as to save others the trouble of going through them all.

One Skein and One More Skein by Leigh Radford I didn't really like. The patterns for the most part weren't anything I would want to knit, give or receive

101 One-Skein Wonders and 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant  are both books I decided to buy after checking them out and looking through them. They both have several patterns I would love to make. In fact the Marialis End-to-End Scarf is the answer to my skein of alpaca sock yarn I got on the LYS tour last year. Also I plan to use the Cross-Stitch Scarf to use up my di.VĂ© Fiamma I've had forever. Both of those are in the Designer book. There are a few scarves, a bath set and other items in the original book that I also want to make.

Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson are both also good. There aren't as many patterns that I would personally make in these. The first book starts off with some tutorials on fibers, tools and colors. The book is also separated out by average knitting time. I really appreciated the knitting time estimates as it lets me know how ambitious a project is. I also love the section at the end on how to wrap hand knitted gifts. One of my favorite projects is the linen tassel. I know it sound like something simple, but it can be quite elegant and as a linear thinker, it's not something I could have figured out how to make and have look nice on my own. There is also the usual array of scarves, hats and handbags in here as well as some super cute knitted toys. The second book is laid out similarly only instead of the tutorial at the begging, there is a section on finishing techniques at the end. There are lots more cute patterns in here including a quick knit mens vest and a cute women's cardigan.

The last book for today is Knitted Gifts by Ann Budd. This is full of patterns from big name knit designers such as Nancy Bush, Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Kristin Nicholas. There are some really cute things in here such as the hat and mitten set on the cover, a gorgeous mans scarf in sport weight yarn, a hobby horse, felted oven mitts and slippers and other items. I somehow feel this is the most glamorous of the books. Not sure if it is the pictures or the patterns themselves. I feel like these would take longer to make though and would be less versatile giving. What I mean is that I can look at each pattern and only think of a couple people I could give that to. Not something where I could make 5 copies of the same thing and give it to 5 different people. 

Anyway, I hope that perhaps this review helps out a couple of people. If nothing else I figure I can refer back to it next year when I am in this predicament again.

Now back to my frantic holiday knitting.