Friday, December 21, 2007

Not a Nut, But a Swan

It may be Nutcracker season, but here is the debut of my Swan Lake - ta da!
I had never really been interested in knitting stoles. It seemed really boring - in fact, it was really boring - Kimono Shawl, which was really a stole, was a snore. This, however, was a fantastic knit. The point at the beginning was a challenge - I really had to keep my eye on the chart, as there's really no repeat.
I love the wing - if you remember from my Icarus knit, I love shawls that make me feel winged, about to take flight, and pretty, like a butterfly.

So while the Manos blanket is growing, and Growing and GROWING, there's only so much garter stitch you can do without turning your brain to mushy mush, so I've signed up for 2 lace knit-a-longs starting in January, Spring Shawl Surpise and Secret of the Stole ii. Spring Shawl promises 10 different stitch patterns, 1500 yards of yarn, and patterning on both sides - definitely not a humdrum experience. Secret of the Stole II is a themed knit-a-long, with a "hint" each week as to the theme of the stole, again, another 1500 or so yards. Why 2 knit-a-longs? you ask - wasn't one enough? Actually, there was supposed to be three, but, alas, I have been black balled from Secret of Bad Nauheim.

I've never been black balled from anything - it's really a blow to my little ego, and a strange source of shame. I feel like someone took away my marbles, or picked me last for the kickball team. And how did I end up on this road to exile? A series of very unfortunate events. I missed signing up for Secret of Chrysopolis. I was sad, as I watched everyone's shawl grow, and bloom, and become more and more beautiful every day. So, when the pattern was released for purchase, I bought it, using my paypal account, on the first day. The website is in German, but I figured I knew my way around, because it's just a ZenCart template. My officemate, however, is convinced, that I somehow hit a button that said, "Release all of my information all over the web, please." The day after I received the pattern, I got an email from the proprietor of the website, "What is this? You get the pattern, and take back your money? What kind of shopping is this?" Huh? I thought, take back my money? I checked my paypal account - there were over 40 unauthorized transactions on my paypal account. Noticing that my account had been compromised, Paypal had reversed all of the transactions. I checked my bank account - overdrawn - and going very down down down the drain. And fees! Once all was said and done, I ended up with no money for over a week while Paypal and the bank investigated the fraudulent transactions, and I'm still in negotiations with my bank over the $600 in fees.

In the meantime, the proprietor of the website then banned me from Secret of Bad Nauheim, and sent out an email to the list serve, with all of my email addresses - I must be a trickster if I have multiple email addresses, and informing everyone that I had welched on the $7.20 transaction. Obviously, I resent the money, hopefully she got it. I received an email a few days later, completely in German, that left me befuddled, obviously, since I can't even spell aufertersein. I emailed it to a friend of mine who does speak some German, and she said that the email was sympathetic to my paypal misery, but wanted to know if my account was restored so that she could process the order for the wool. What wool? I wrote back, in English, that I hadn't ordered any wool, and again apologizing for any problems caused by the fraud on my account, the time delay in receiving her emails, and the language barrier. I hope we're all settled up, because I really truly would never steal a pattern.

In the end, the pattern ended up costing me $307.20 - the $300 in fees that my bank does not feel like it should reimburse me (it refunded half), and the original $7.20.

And now the real dilemna - do I knit it. I love it, but do I really knit it? It seems like its nothing but bad luck now. But it's so pretty - do I knit it?

While I struggle with this dilemna, I also really love Anne Hanson's new pattern,the Irtfaa Faroese Lace Shawl, like Ene, eene, une, ena, I don't know how to pronounce it, but I love it -

I think my chocolate brown cashmere would be lovely. But, again, a dilemna - I have to use my newly restored paypal account to buy it - argh!


Lisa said...

The Swan Lake stole is so elegant. The Blackbunny you used is so lovely and subtle.

Too bad you are still being black balled by the gal in Germany. We all know you would never welsh on a payment. Hope the bank cuts you more of a break too.

Nautical Knitter said...

All I can say is Welcome to the Secret of the Stole II and I am glad you are in the group. Your knitting talent is superb!

calicokitty6 said...

Happy Holidays. Your Swan Lake is beautiful. Mine is on hold until my broken wrist heals.

I hope your bank is a bit more sypathetic towards you and gives you a better deal.

My DH is going through issues right now regarding a purchase.

Now, I'm going to be very careful with any item I decide to buy if it's not in English.

Bridget said...

Oh that Swan Lake is breathtaking! What a beautiful thing to have and to wear, I hope you enjoy it.

That is beyond sucking regarding your PayPal account. I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I don't, other than to say I'm trying to send good vibes your way.

In the meantime, that really is a gorgeous stole ...

anne said...

actually, we have several payment options at knitspot!

Jeanne said...

Swan Lake is beautiful - love the yarn you chose. The whole paypal thing really sucks! I can't imagine why your bank isn't refunding all of the fees - terrible!

Wendy said...

I love the stole. Absolutely gorgeous. And that whole PayPal thing ... well, there are words for that that can't be posted on a blog. And you should probably take the bank to task on those fees ... isn't there something they are bound too legally in regard to fraudulent charges and overdrafts that result??!?!?

Emily said...

I'm glad you've at least got *some* of the money back! I hope the rest follows.

I keep meaning to cancel my paypal account, and then just use paypal to pay with a credit card as and when - perhaps safer?

Your wing-ed stole is wonderful. And I think a brown Itfa'a (sp?) would be great.

Elysbeth said...

Your Swan Lake is glorious. Sorry about the PayPal thing. Sending good juju. And really, you are in 2 more lace things with a zillion other patterns out there and a blanket to knit - did you plan to sleep?

Wendy said...

After all you've been through, I think you should and deserve to knit the shawl! Your shawl knitting is beautiful. A beautiful yarn and your beautiful knitting will turn it into a good luck shawl!