Saturday, February 8, 2014

Caveat knitter! Zips Dry Cleaners SUCKS

WARNING: NEVER take your dry cleaning to Zips Dry Cleaners. They'll take your beautiful hand-knitted sweater and return it two days later 30 percent smaller, violently faded, felted, and covered with glitter and feathers. Here's the photographic proof:

Then, to make things even worse, they'll:
  • Promise TWICE to send the wrecked sweater to the Dry Cleaning Institute and then fail to do so.
  • Spend weeks trying to "block" the cardigan into shape - which meaning that they tried to stretch it out 30 percent which of course does NOT work.
  • Refuse to provide any compensation for the $150 and three months it took to make this sweater, saying that they are not responsible because the handmade sweater didn't have a care label - how many knitters put care labels in their own sweaters??? 
  • Admit several times that they machine washed the sweater and before claiming they dry cleaned it.
  • Assert that sometimes 100% wool sweaters shrink during the dry cleaning process - despite the fact that they'd cleaned this sweater successfully several times previously without incident, and despite the fact that everyone knows this is utter bunk.
  • Fail to meet with the customer on the appointed day to discuss restitution.
  • Fail to call the customer to discuss restitution either.

It doesn't get any worse than this. Zips Dry Cleaners and Russ Kaplan (the owner and aka the guy who beat feet and never called me), are the biggest bunch of shysters I've ever had the displeasure of working with. Please spread the word. ZIPS DRY CLEANERS SUCKS.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Custom Fit update

Wait. January is over? It's Groundhog's Day? Well, here's what I saw when I checked Punxatawney Phil this morning. Guess this means six more weeks of knitting. Works for me!

Since we last spoke, it's been 40 degrees below zero here in DC. Actually not; we just whine about any temperature under 40. But it has been unreasonably, unseasonably freezing, so I spent a couple of nights whipping up a Two-Way Cable Slouchy Hat by Sweater Babe. A quick knit and warm - probably too warm for a regular Washington winter, but at least I know own a hat for those few days every year I might need one.

Here I am modeling the creation, as well as a scarf I designed, Easiest Peasiest, a free pattern on Rav, if you're interested.

But mostly I've been working on my Custom Fit sweater, Springbrook. Named after my alma mater and its school colors, this is a sweater of my own design, created with Amy Herzog's Custom Fit software. I'm using Berroco Blackstone Tweed, a lovely alpaca, mohair, and angora blend in Narragansett (dark blue) and Foggy (light gray).

As you can see, I'm almost finished with the body of the garment. I like the results so much, I've decided to add sleeves to my original vest since I'm much more likely to wear a cardigan than a vest.

Thus far, the Custom Fit pattern has been spot on. Easy to use, easy to read, lots of details. I particularly like that the pattern gives comprehensive finished measurements for every piece. This lets you block your garment pieces to precise measurements rather than just laying out the wet sweater and letting it dry.  I've never seen a pattern offer this feature, and it's a good one.

The proof, of course, is in the pudding and by that I mean fit. If it doesn't fit, I must quit, as Johnny Cochran sort of chanted in a very unfortunate circus of a trial. At the end of this process,  I'm hoping I'm happy because I'd love to use Custom Fit to design sweaters of my own design, just as I've done with this one. I've got a million ideas and Custom Fit takes the worry out of the nuts and bolts of sweater construction so that I can just focus on the design.

Now I'm going to follow Punxsutawney Phil's lead and go back to knitting. Enjoy your Sunday, Groundhog's Day, and Super Bowl all in one!