Thursday, 27 October 2011

and finally......

I have produced a fully working all singing, all dancing properly stitched needle case for my Knit Pro Interchangeable Needle Tips.

Why? Well there are plenty of needle cases for sale but there didn't seem to be one that fitted the picture I had in mind and I did spend quite some time searching for something that I liked and did the job. Lots of needle cases are designed for standard needles (which seems rather short-sighted particularly as knitting on circs is becoming very popular) and consisted of a roll of material. Would you believe that some weren't even padded - can't see what protection that would give to your needles, unless of course they are the metal variety.

I particularly wanted something that would hold all my tips, the cables, the little cable ends and the diddy thingy that you use to tighten the tips and cable together (which is grandly called a tightening key) and the needle gauge which is really important and the early tips don't have the size on them, so you need to check before use or face the consequences

I came up with two potential formats - one that folded sideways like a book and the other more like a clutch bag. I quickly disgarded the book type as despite a flap the tips kept falling out

Also there wasn't room for all my tips - I have at least two of each size - so although easy to make I felt I could do better - and I think I have - and here it is

Closed up with the tips safe and sound

and here the inside with plenty of slots for the tips and a zipped pocket for all those bits and pieces.....
and the outside showing the extra pocket.

I am thinking of going into production - would make a really nice christmas present for an avid knitter perhaps?

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Mr Bond has some new cousins

Despite all the upset over the new car life hasn't been all bad - Friday we spent the day at the NEC where the latest Axcess caravan was being introduced. It was really great to see the faces of people who had no idea that there was such a thing as a wheelchair accessible caravan. As the owner of one of the first Axcess caravans in the UK I spent a lot of the day talking to people about the difference having the caravan has made to our lives. I do hope that enough people buy to justify Adria and Simon's investment in the project.

At the Caravan club stand I managed to get to talk to someone about the hard standings on their sites - 4" of gravel is the norm and it isn't easy to push through gravel. I have seen what I think would be the perfect answer grasscrete a plastic honeycomb through which grass can grow while still allowing awning pegs and the like. Just a pitch or two on most sites would make life so much easier for me and other wheelchair users - we will just have to wait and see what happens. Campaigning does work - shower heads in disabled showers being my most recent success.

Imagine you go to have a shower and the last person to use the facilities could stand (this does beg the question why they needed to use the disabled shower room in the first place) and left the shower head at the very top of the rail. You sat in your wheelchair have as much chance of reaching it down as climbing Kilimanjaro - your options are to forgo your shower or find someone to get it down - neither is very satifactory. Constant nagging and emails have resulted in notices requesting that the shower head is left in the lower position - more power to the people...

On the new car front - nothing - no phone calls no communication what so ever - I am keeping a log so that when it comes to the satisfaction survey I won't forget the smallest detail - I would cancel but that would only hurt me and my pocket - but you can be sure that I won't be getting a new car from Nissan Wessex again or recommending them - except to avoid at all costs...

Stop Press - Good news Simon won the Innovation Award for 2011 at the NEC.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

If I wasn't so angry I'd cry..

I just cannot believe the incompetence of the local Nissan Dealership for the last two weeks I have been waiting for the registration of my new car to come through from the DVLA - and for two weeks nothing. Yesterday a very helpful lady ascertained that the reason why the application hadn't been processed was because IT WAS STILL WITH THE GARAGE.................

This is just the final straw in a saga of incompetence - I ordered my new car on June 3rd (yep that over 5 months ago) with a delivery date of September 5th. Not until the begining of July did I find out via the firm who fits the hand controls that there was more than a month's delay on this - giving a delivery date of October 13th - OK, but why did I have to find this out from them - the garage never thought that I needed to know this rather important detail. At this point I really should have cancelled......

At the end of August Motability sent a reminder that my contract would end and to take my then current car back - this took several phone calls to sort out and I then had the option to return the car and lose my cherished plate and the rails that I had paid for or tax the car for another six months - as the delivery date had now been brought forward to the last week in September I took the car off the road and went away on holiday. On our way home on September 28th I paid in full and arranged to pick the car up a week later - if only................

It is now 9.50am and I still haven't had a call from the garage with an explanation or an apology - why isn't there a Ken Jervis in Bristol???

Monday, 10 October 2011

No Boats or Planes just plenty of Trains!!

The last month has been crazy and I have spent much of it away from home and thus parted from my PC. OK the laptop is fine for keeping up to date with emails and the like, but I never seem to have enough time to blog in the caravan. We did have a lovely week staying on our favourite CL which did both of us the world of good - unhurried and no pressures - great, we also were lucky enough to see Tornado go through the local station and were nearly witness to what could have been a nasty accident and two idiots stood right on the edge of the platform with arms out-stretched to take a photo as several tons of steam train hurtled towards them at around 50 miles per hour - this pic isn't very clear but you can see that they are well beyond the safety marker on the platform!!!
Bureaucracy requires us to have the car and the caravan serviced yearly. As the local KIA dealership has all the charisma of a lump of lard, and the efficiency of monkeys (for the last two years they have failed to collect the car on the agreed day, never billed me correctly and been generally disinterested in any form of customer satisfaction) we decided to have the car serviced in Stoke on Trent - why - well back in May when we visited Macclesfield 's silk mills, we had a minor problem with the car electrics - Ken Jervis (the dealership from whom we bought the car) sorted things out, provided a courtesy car and couldn't have been more helpful - so why suffer inferior service when you can have the best? Plus our very special caravan has to be serviced in Driffield - so a northern holiday was arranged - and it happened to co-incide with two (yes two) model railway exhibitions - well you do have to keep the man in your life content, don't you??

The second of these exhibitions saw the first proper public showing of Yate Rocks Tramway and gave me the opportunity to spin for a whole day without being moaned at - could get used to this. This meant that I got a whole morning at the Threshing Barn in recompense - not a bad exchange (and Mr S got to hear about shenanigans of the local preserved railway which were upsetting the locals). What's more I got a pair of the new Knit Pro Cubics to try - I have to say I might have been more impressed if I hadn't got a splinter in my finger! Stupidly I pulled - rather than sticking it back so I have a rough surface - but they do seem to fit into the hand very nicely and are cheaper than the other square needles on the market.

On the crafting front - I have been spinning my lovely Polwarth and am determined to fill the bobbin on my Hansen MiniSpinner - I have also been making various prototype bags - particularly a case for all my Knitpro tips. After searching the web I couldn't find anything that I couldn't make myself cheaper and possibly better. I finally settled on a clutch bag format and have come up with this

And inside
I am not happy with the zipped pocket, but this can and will be bettered for the final version!

But back to trains and Saturday just gone - which again saw me spinning for the whole day - uninterrupted while Mr S talked model railways with fellow nuts - life could be so much worse....
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