Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Slower work than I expected, this last bit. As so often.

The final row of knitting went briskly enough, but getting the fourth border stitches from their waste yarn onto a needle wasn’t instantaneous. And we had trouble with the video recorder last night – that’s my province. And the grafting itself is laborious – I am working with far too long a piece of wool, in my anxiety not to have to attach another half-way across. And every stitch – every two stitches – must be drawn all the way through and carefully tensioned.

I’m maybe 3/4s of the way across, so the rest shouldn’t take too long, barring further disasters. Gosh, I might even get a skein of madeleinetosh wound and a swatch cap cast on this evening. Blocking is not an evening job.

I’ve ordered two more skeins from Jimmy Bean, and had an email from them last night to say that the two skeins they have in stock, although both madelinetosh scarlet, look rather different from each other. Should they send them, or wait until their new order arrives in 2-4 weeks? I was impressed. But I told them to go ahead and send. I’m up to the eyeballs in dye-lot problems already.

With those two skeins, I’ll have enough if the gauge turns out to be 5 stitches to the inch, but without much margin of error. I’ve said before that anxieties about yarn running out are more than I can bear, so I have ordered three more from Happy Knits in Portland, OR. By now, I could probably knit a reduced copy of Jared’s pattern for Thomas-the-Younger as well. Or matching hat and scarf.


I spoke to Rachel last night, and learned that Lizzie, on the very threshold of going off to Birmingham University, had her card cloned and her bank account cleaned out. The bank has replaced the money, several hundred pounds, although it is inaccessible until the new card turns up. I am sure Lizzie has never been careless with her card, nor did she notice anything funny at an ATM. Scary.

I had a funny phone call recently from a man purporting to be phoning from the Bank of Scotland – or did he say HBOS? – about some interest that should have been paid into our account and hadn’t been. His voice didn’t sound very BofS but I talked for a while, and even told him my date of birth. When he asked what standing orders were paid from the account, I hung up.

I got more and more worried overnight, and in the morning tried to phone the bank. I utterly failed. Automated voices kept asking me for random digits from my security number and I didn’t know what they were talking about. (I bank on-line, and get into the account with user name, password, and “memorable information”. None of those seemed apposite.) I decided to stop worrying – if I couldn’t talk to them, he probably couldn’t either, if he was a bad guy. And he didn’t know my mother’s maiden name or the name of the dear cat, dead more than half a century, which I incorporate into some passwords.

This was in Strathardle. When we got home, I found a letter from the bank about interest they should have paid us and hadn't. So maybe he was on the level. But I remain unhappy about not being able to talk to a human being when I need one.


  1. AnnaLivia11:40 AM

    The security number is set up for telephone banking- which doesn't help you if you don't do it that way. I would have tried the Lost and Stolen number.

    As a former HBOS employee, I'd say you've done the right thing. The letter was one thing, but sometimes letters to several people about interest/refunds due send out a round of scammers on their backs.

    We got plenty of calls from people that had calls out from 'us'. If you're in any doubt, watch Direct Debits set up on accounts- a lot less info is needed to set one up and most people don't keep close enough track of those.

  2. I am so with you in talking to machines:(( they ask for a phone number to give to call back - and then I wait - and no call ever comes in, even with companies I'd like to order from:(( well, tough, if they're not willing to answer - I'll order from somewhere else or not at all!
    and with the credit card - we recently had a scam at the bank, where someone put a very tiny camera over the keypad - and stole numbers with that! there's been a note at the atm since, that people should cover their hand when putting in their code..... all reasons for me to prefer cash wherever possible at all!

  3. The secret to getting through to a human is to pretend you are on an old-fashioned analog phone. Do not press any numbers, and eventually they will connect you to a human.

  4. What I do is keep pressing zero to get a human being. Works for me.

  5. =Tamar7:14 PM

    I automatically distrust any telephone call. I just tell them I never do anything over the phone (nor by computer). If they are a legitimate charity, they can send me material in the mail. Banks can set up an appointment. And if I really did win the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes, they'd send a man in a limousine :-) or at the very least, spend the money for certified mail. (It's not paranoia when they really are out to get you.)