"Do you hear that sound? That's your yarn...it's crying"~ Magenta Sequins

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Service With a Smile

My regular reader(s) know(s) I’m a bit of a stickler nag bitch when it comes to retail customer service. There are more than a few posts on this blog about businesses which provided (in my opinion) sub-par experiences; businesses that I’m resolved to neither use again, nor recommend to my reader(s)/friends. You can read about those experiences here.

There are, though, some businesses that continually do right by me; businesses, products and services that I’ll gladly recommend to you, my reader(s), and my friends. You can read about them, here, but I’d wait until after you read about the following two businesses which are currently setting my heart a-flutter (in a good way).

Case Logic:

Over the last 2 years of knitting, I’ve amassed alot of knitting needles, in alot of sizes; different projects require different sizes and sometimes my wooden needles break. Anyway, the number of needles I had acquired had begun to become unmanageable for the two cases I had made to hold them, and I’d yet to find a way to keep my circular needles organized. Enter Grace’s Cases. I saw a posting about them on Ravelry (ironically in the Darn Pretty Group’s message boards) and hit up her shop on Etsy. She had beautiful stuff to be sure, but could she make a case based on my particular needs; a knitting needle case to accommodate 23 sets of double pointed needles (with at least 4 needles per set) and 14 pairs of circs, in a material that wasn’t girly and feminine? It couldn’t hurt to ask. From the 1st private message, Grace was a joy to work with! Right off the bat she was honest about the wait time for a custom case (and her queue-system), gave me options about fabrics (as well as guidance on avoiding plaids and/or stripes) and was both convivial and professional. She kept me in the loop for the next month or so to let me know where I was in her work queue and we continued to hammer out all the necessary details (number of pages, etc). The whole process (from the 1st message to the day it was delivered to my house) lasted just shy of three months and I could not be happier with the results:

The price was neither astronomical nor unreasonable ($59), and the workmanship is superb, with enough room for all my DPNS and (fixed) circs, with plenty of room left for my collection to grow; it was worth every penny. If you need a case for your needles or hooks or some other tool, talk to Grace!

Marker Magic:

Let me reiterate #17, “you can never have enough stitch markers...”. They’re tiny little buggers that will get lost. Plus you can never have enough different kinds of stitch markers; big ones, small ones, safety pin style, ring style, etc. I’ve also found, when working a project that, for whatever reason, requires more than one or two stitch markers that it’s ideal to own a few different styles. Say you’re working a sweater and you’re decreasing for the shoulders, you’ll need at least 5: 2 for each shoulder and one for the beginning of your round. Thusly, it’s best to have at least 2 different style of marker to denote the shoulders versus the beginning of the round marker. That’s my way of thinking, at least. Possibly I’m just rationalizing the hoarding side of my knitting hobby…

Anyhoo, one day while on lunch, I came across an ad for this Etsy shop. Cue the frantic exchange of e-mails with Magenta, where we both reverted to little girls and giggled at how cute the animal stitch markers were and how much we wanted little Yorkies to match our little Yorkies. Fast forward to about a month ago when we finally exchanged Christmas presents (what? Don’t judge…life is hectic, bitches) and she gave me a set which made me squeal like the 14 year old fat girl inside of me:

Now, let me say this: they were way smaller than I thought they were going to be, but in a good way. See, I’d gotten other stitch markers, from other Etsy stores, and was kinda disappointed in their size (which wasn’t really listed well in the postings); they were alot bigger than they appeared and are really clumsy to work with on a sock or smaller needled item. Now, that’s not to say I’ll never use them, just not right now. Remember the other half of #17, “…everything gets used/re-used at some point”. Anyway, back to the Yorkies….

They’re the perfect size for all my knitting and with more detail than I’ve ever seen on something that small; I fell totally in love with them and new that these would be just the 1st of many more stitch markers from this wonderful artist. About a month ago, I visited her shop again and inquired about some custom markers: rainbow coffee mugs and little phoenixes (I have a thing for both cawfee and self-regenerating mythical birds). In less than a month, and after sending pics of prototypes (based on my descriptions and a couple of pics of my own) I got these:

The perfect size, the perfect colors, and exactly what I wanted! I’m not going to lie, they were a little pricey ($41 for the lot), but when you consider the detail and precision with which they’re made, the price was great. Honestly, I’ve not seen a custom item this perfectly in tune with my “vision” since our wedding cake topper.

Check out Jillian’s shop and browse the rest of her goodies or see what she can create for you!
ridiculously tiny
goofing off at my desk

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