Friday, June 20, 2008

The Swift May Not be So Swift After All...

I just received my Tom Bihn Swift today, and I may be the one and only person on the entire planet that is not thrilled to bits with this bag. For starters, I am not crazy about the color choices that were available, and I selected the cocoa and olive bag. It is just okay in person, but there are no other colors that are currently available that I would prefer over this. The one HUGE plus for the Swift is that it does allow my knitting/purse items to live in one bag. There are some things I really like about the Swift, but unfortunately there are just as many things that I do not care for about it as well. Before you ask, I am not going to return it. One bag functioning as a replacement for two is worth it - maybe...

This is the view from inside the bag.

This is the outside of the bag with the olive side showing. The brown side did not show up that well against my wallpaper and door.


1. The handles - they easily accommodate over the shoulder carrying.

2. The wide opening and no-snag closure.

3. The clear pockets with nice zippers.

4. The space within the bag is very nice.

5. The drape of the bag is also very nice.


1. The color choices available are very limited, and not something I would normally buy.

2. No exterior pockets. I knew this when I ordered, and thought the interior pockets would be more usable than they actually are. They make the bag sit in an odd way if I put my wallet in either one of them. No, I am not buying a new wallet.

3. I thought the whole bag would be lined, not just the clear plastic pockets. The unlined bottom feels kinda cheap for a $70 bag. This is not a cheap price in my opinion. I have admired a friend’s swift for a few months, but unfortunately I never took the time to dissect her bag the way I have my own - this is my fault.

4. The key strap was a purchase I made to use with my scissors. The clasp is so narrow that my little Fiscars cannot fit the jaw clamp. I like the scissors I have, and I am not buying a new pair.

5. I ordered two clear organizer pouches thinking I would love them - not so much… The colors they sent do not match my bag. I could return them, but that is a hassle, and I do not want to pay to ship them back for a return/exchange. Never mind the fact that UPS hates me and I hate them!

Overall, I feel that this bag may grow on me because I take my knitting to work every day, and now I can leave the house at O-dark-thirty with one bag instead two.

Maybe I am being too critical, but with my two clear pouches and key strap (they did not tell me that one key strap came with the bag) the total came to $94 including shipping. It took me a little while to save this money, and I expected to be quite a bit more enamored than I was at first blush.

I will confess that I feel somewhat guilty because most everyone else on-line, as well as my friend, seem to adore their Swifts from the second they took them out of the box. As I stated earlier, maybe the Swift will grow on me…

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Great Customer Service from Two Companies

A week ago last Friday, my favorite set of ebony wood Lantern Moon circs came apart while in the midst of a project. As you might imagine, an easily identifiable fit ensued. After I regained the power of speech and stopped shrieking, I had the presence of mind to speak with Lantern Moon's Customer Service Department.

For those of you that have not heard, Lantern Moon has changed their design so that this "coming apart" that has been experienced by many, many knitters is no more.

Long story short, after explaining to Lantern Moon what had happened to my needles, they gladly shipped me a set of #9 26 inch in ebony. I happened to mention that I had a second set, yet unused, and that I hoped that they did not have the same "coming apart" issue. To this, they suggested I give a yank on the set of #3 26 inch circs in rosewood. Sure enough, I heard a crack, and they were more than glad to send a replacement set for those as well.

What makes this such good customer service is that they did not wait to ship the replacements out until I shipped the defective sets back, but rather took me at my word and shipped two sets to me free of charge with an apology for my trouble. They in fact do not want me to send the defective needles back, and within five calendar days, Lantern Moon had the new circs in hands. I cannot tell you how happy I am with their level of customer service.

Thanks in no small part to the Knit Night Enabler, also know as Christy, I have ordered a knitting bag combination tote/purse so that I may exit my home with only one bag in tow. I take my knitting to work with me every day, and several other locations as well. This multiple bag issue has become tiresome, and I decided I needed this. I ordered the cocoa/olive version, and I am nearly beside myself waiting for it to arrive.

Another long story short, I had saved my money, and decided to splash out on said bag. I am a person who needs not be given too many choices lest I become confused. Of course there are several color options, and I absolutely became confused. The person at Tom Bihn was more than patient during my three week decision process whether to purchase or not to purchase, what colors were available, and finally helping me place the order. I was lucky enough to speak to Josh every time I called, and he was always very kind and patient with my multitude of questions. The really great part is that Tom Bihn's Customer Service Department has a Buffy fan on duty (the aforementioned Josh) who readily identified favorite episodes and seasons of BTVS by name. What more could a Buffy fan ask for???

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Gnomes Have Arrived

Jingle, Tingle, and Dingle have arrived!

Let me be the first to tell you Merry Christmas, 2008!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Santa's Workshop is Open for Business!

Santa's workshop is open for business, and I am on track for Christmas. This is the first time ever that I will have my holiday knitting ready to roll by Thanksgiving Day - good on me.

I have finished the stockings for the Chu Family, five in total as per my sister's request, and I have made personalized and dated name tags for each member of the family as well - double good on me...

The picture is not that clear, but you get the idea...

It looks as though I have gone into a fit and dismembered a gnome, but I in truth I am nearing the finish line for my third gnome. He should come to life sometime this evening. He is the third in the set of Christmas gnomes, and their names are Jingle, Tingle, and the latest being Dingle.

I am torn between starting a lace rib camisole (interactive link to Creative knitting, move your mouse around and the pages will turn - it is the white shell on the page with the light blue lace dolman, a pair of socks, or an Alan Dart Snowme. The Snowme may win out as I am on the "finishing my Christmas projects high" right now.
As you might guess, I am revelling in the fact that I am not in school right now, but I realize that time is marching on, and 08/25/2008, the start of the fall semester (also known as doomsday at my house) will be here before I know it. "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee" (bleck)...
ETA: It is no small feat to felt five separately knitted objects (with different wools), and have them turn out nearly the same size. The Knit Picks Wool of the Andes felted very, very quickly and made a nice fabric, but the Cascade Heather (the darker red) had to be felted twice, and make a slightly thicker fabric which is also very nice.