Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just as you said, Helen: the Royal Mail system for translating an on-line customs-fee payment into action on a specific package lying on a shelf in Edinburgh, works just fine. I got the yarn from Angelika in yesterday’s post (marked "Paid") – two more skeins of Charcoal, and one colour, Huron. Even I don’t need to have that one explained. It’s green-y, pretty bright, similar to Panopticon. That must have been the idea, to help link Panopticon in.

It’s a relief to have the Charcoal. I bought two skeins to start with. The first one is nearly finished, won’t last for more than a couple of further dividing stripes. And I need it not just for dividing stripes, but also for a final edging of the whole and perhaps a collar.

I reached the neck edge yesterday, as hoped. I’ll take a pic tomorrow, when I’ve advanced another inch. The neck-edge stitches left behind don’t do much to make photography easier. And it won’t get easier, until I’ve finished mitering and left all the front-edge stitches above the diagonal on waste yarn. Another 48 rows.

I could happily spend the rest of my life knitting Lorna’s Laces colours into random stripes, but if I had to choose one, it would be Mother Lode. Not a Chicago place at all, unless there’s a local (copper?) mine.

I’ve packed my knitting for London next week – I am determined to finish those tiresome red socks for my husband, and start on a Christmas-present hat – I don’t think I’m giving too much away, there – with the Lorna’s Laces Charcoal Shepherd Sport yarn I bought by mistake (instead of Shepherd Sock).

Indeed, it occurred to me as I worked on the Mysterious Christmas Project yesterday that I will have enough expensive and delicious Cocoon left over that I might just dash off a brioche hat – EZ has a pattern somewhere – for someone not on my Christmas list at all. Daft.


I was the non-victim of a brilliant scam yesterday. I belong to a little group of knitting friends, six women, the other five American-based. We haven’t met as a group since Stitches East in ’02 but we have a name for ourselves and we are, I am sure, grouped in each other’s mailing lists under that name.

One of us, Mary, is an Englishwoman by birth, from a numerous family. She made her career in Hollywood – as a writer – and still lives in California. But she is an intrepid traveller, adventure-prone, and the message from her was therefore perfectly plausible, saying that she had been robbed at gunpoint in London -- she often comes over to visit family -- and needed money urgently to pay her hotel bill so that she could catch her flight home.

I assumed the message was for our little group. We haven’t been in close touch lately, but we still love each other.

The prose didn’t sound like Mary, but she was supposed to be upset. I didn’t do anything but felt guilty and uneasy all afternoon, until I heard from her alive and well in California. Someone had hacked in to an old email address and sent the appeal for help, apparently, to her entire address list, not just our little group. She doesn’t know whether anyone fell for it – a Western Union address was given, to which you were asked to wire money. The police aren’t interested.

I have always felt not too worried about security for things like Googlemail, although I’m pretty careful about on-line banking and eBay. This episode sort of shows what a dangerous world we're involved in.


  1. Cynthia9:38 AM

    I had the same sort of message, asking for money for a family friend who was stranded in Nigeria while on a mission to help a children's orphanage. Since the e-mail came from a 90+ year old in Florida, I knew that it probably was a fake. He had inadvertently clicked on a spam message, and that was the result. One good tip: never use the "next message" button on your e-mail, because the next message might be a hoax. Always go back to the mail page and open from there.

    At least London seems more plausible than Nigeria. The scam artists are becoming more refined.

    Love the sweater!

  2. That's rather a bit more clever than the scam e-mail I just received yesterday. The entire text reads:

    "You've won 891,934.00 pounds
    Send Necessary information:name,age,country"

    I replied back that clearly they must already have my name if I'd been selected as a winner, and that all my other information is a matter of public record so I expected they'd already have that, as well, and they should send my winnings as cashier's check via certified, insured mail. Then I forwarded the complete e-mail with headers and IP addresses to an agency in the Dept of Homeland Security that handles such things.

  3. I had the same thing happen, and there is a grandchild one that my stepmother nearly fell for. Also quite plausible. Nephew was apparently on a fishing trip in Canada and arrested for overfishing. The western union counter person stopped her from sending the money until she had spoken to his father, as she had been warned about this. The scammer had a remarkable amount of information. Really scary.

  4. Anonymous4:22 PM

    I would assume any email request for money to be a scam-- anyone of my acquaintance who needed an emergency loan would call me. Someone in trouble in a foreign country would call her embassy before calling anyone back home, for that matter. What would bother me is the apparent amount of knowledge the scammer had-- perhaps he actually knows the person he's claiming to be in the message?
    -- Gretchen