Having successfully beaten back yet another deadline storm, and having survived the annual school year February break, some semblance of normalcy returns to the String household. I spent a dreary but strangely relaxing weekend catching up on house maintenance – one that finally allowed me time to knit.
And what did I knit?
I continued my two dueling projects – the dropped leaf sweater, the two side-by-side knit sleeves of which are now approaching the 60% completed mark. There’s no point in showing a blurry picture of yet another pair of indistinct gray objects, larger but still not much differentiated from the last. I am also only four stripes short of finishing the Rainbow Scarf that matches the hat shown off last week. That at least has color and drama, even if the knitting is very mundane:
You can see the long tails at the right hand edge. These will be crocheted into tendrils. Similar strands will be added to the left hand edge after the knitting is done, also to be crocheted into tendrils. I am happy to report that one skein each of seven colors of Frog Tree Alpaca is enough to complete the scarf and hat project. Also that I like the Frog Tree. I’ve met with some minor knots and a couple of unevenly spun spots, but nothing drastic. I haven’t washed the stuff yet so I can’t report on whether or not those Crayola-intense colors hold up. I am already looking on to my next mindless project. I’ve gotten a request for another Klein Bottle Hat. I am thinking of getting more Frog Tree in navy blue to do it.
In other news, I can report a miracle of modern commerce and customer satisfaction.
I have had a small Coach bag for years. I splurged on it when I was gravid with Elder Daughter – so that’s something like 16 years ago. So long ago that Coach no longer includes it in their inventory. It’s a good size, just big enough to hold a wallet,keys, and a phone, and not so large that stuffing it into a backpack or briefcase is inconvenient. Although I have a larger bag and a dressier bag for occasions that demand them, my little Coach has been the default handbag of choice for over a decade and a half. Needless to say that much daily wear took its toll. The binding around the edges was worn through at several spots, and the clasp had given up all hope of fulfilling its function. My bag was well loved, and looked it.
Now Coach has tried to go a bit more trendy in styling and moved more upscale, expanding beyond the “do you want that in black, brown, or camel” mindset of my bag’s day. You’d be hard pressed to find anything similar on their shelves now. But Coach bags are guaranteed for life. So I took my friend to a nearby stand-alone Coach store just after the holidays. My bag was so old that no one in the store recognized the style – not even the manager. I asked if they still repaired bags, and only the manager had an inkling of what I was talking about. But they verified the pedigree of my little guy via the serial number stamped into the inside pocket, and taking a shipping and handling fee (plus issuing a lot of “I don’t know if it’s fixable” type comments), sent it off for repair.
Lo and behold, my little bag returned to me on Friday. Cleaned and somewhat refinished, with a new clasp, new edge bindings all the way around, and a new shoulder strap. All for the handling fee. My friend is back, and I’m very happy.
Moral of the story: That $80 that was so exorbitant 16 years ago was very well spent, and my expensive bag ended up being a better value than any number of cheaper ones I might have bought and worn to death since. You’re always better off buying fewer things of classic style from vendors known for quality and service.