Friday, May 05, 2006

Work, home, dinner, TV & spinning. How repetitive life can be. And my relatives ask why I don't write? I did receive a package yesterday which was an eBay purchase from 3 months ago. I now digress into the pros and cons of eBay. This purchase was 8 oz of moorit Shetland roving, 8 oz of Wensleydale roving and some Cushings dye. Straightforward order from a vendor who apparently had a good rating. I ordered, paid via Paypal and order sent. As an aside I wish to make a plug for Paypal which is a very nifty invention and makes things so much easier for money transfers especially from those of us who do not live in the US. Banks have made it incredibly difficult to change currency and charge horrible fees to do so. Paypal makes it all so easy and I think their fees are totally reasonable. End of plug. Although I paid for airmail postage, my items did not arrive. I emailed the vendor who promised that he would fill my order even tho I didn't ask for insurance on the parcel. So why did the parcel take so long? If he paid for airmail postage, he didn't mark the parcel as airmail. People outside the US do not always make the connection of how much difference in shipping times (2 weeks vs 3 months) this can make. Secondly the vendor got cute and labeled the customs declaration as "doll making supplies" for reasons I can only guess at. Stupidity. Of course, Quarantine opened it (they might have anyway); it was perfectly legal if marked as "hand-spinning wool" and I hope I don't now have (another) mark against me with Quarantine. I am very careful about what I import and have asked questions about everything. I did not anticipate that 3 whole allspice would cause them to confiscate pickling spice, but who could have known that? Back to eBay: I have gotten a lot of absolutely wonderful spinning stuff from eBay vendors and the worst transaction was the one just described. I have been an eBay vendor to de-stash and de-accession craft books and I think in general it's a wonderful marketplace. I view transactions just as carefully as I would any other "blind" transaction and am suspicious of a lot. However, there are vendors online I have to restrain myself when viewing their site because I want nearly everything. There is one vendor Highland Cottage Crafts from whom I've bought a lot and sells great stuff, everything from Downs wool for socks to camel/silk/alpaca blends. At any rate, purchase completed, even if a lengthy one, and stuff to add to the stash, along with the black part of the spotted fleece which I finished carding. I now have to get all the dark hairs out of the white part (oh, what fun that shall be) and then card the grey and white portions.

It appears that the reason the Bear didn't want me to buy a fleece in Robertson was he thought I was going to send it away for processing and that is expensive. I have now assured him that the only reason I sent the earlier fleeces to be processed was that they were way too dirty for me to process myself. Full of stuff like shredded feed sacks that don't wash out. If a fleece is generally clean I don't mind washing it and that's what I bought the carder for.

I also got a package of books from Amazon last week: 2 lace knitting books I'll address later and Mary Thomas's knitting book which is a Dover reprint (cheap) and is one of the most thorough and clear books on knitting I have seen. Beginners' books show beginning stuff, lace books show lace, etc, This book does it all. This in combination with Barbara Walker's stitch directories could enable you to knit just about anything. Add Sweater Wizard and your imagination and anything is possible.

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