Sunday, March 02, 2008

A Long Post But Worth It!

Someone put up such a fight on Friday, we didn't make it to the V-E-T.

"Go. Away."

I gave up after one scratch, a few kicks, and a tinkle or two.

So we try again in a week. I need a new strategy.

(Oh, and please bear with me through this looooong post. It'll be worth it in the end!)

We have updates! It's been awhile since I showed off some of them, which doesn't mean I have been neglecting them - just neglecting to update you on them.


Mmmmm...Laleli. I had hoped to have the body completed, and I'm around 10 rounds short of that. It WILL be completed today!

Once I've done that, I want to finish Delores' body. Then I can work the sleeves on both, and the button bands. I was pleasantly surprised (more like a "right on!") when I realized that I have around 15 rounds left until I start the armhole shaping. It seems kind of short... but then I remembered that the buttonband continues all the way around to hem the body. Now that is going to be a LONG, LONG knit... Oh well... Probably shouldn't get too ahead of myself.

And a new kid on the block! I alluded to her briefly last week.

"Lalalalala...oh, a pointy thing...lalalalalalala...I wonder if playing with it would have the same outcome as "running with scissors" Mom always tells me not to do?...Hey! Wait a minute! Hey! Are you taking a picture? Wha' the..."

This would be Columbia, from the Starmore book "American Portraits". I did have a picture of the lower edge of Columbia last week , however I wasn't too happy with how it came out, so I didn't post it... This is much better. I'm using some of the Jamiesons Aran I just stocked up on - this is the "Chartreuse" colour - and it's perfect for this design.

Oh...and my little Nordic Sweetheart hat? Um. I kind of forgot to block her... Got caught up in other stuff and she remained unblocked (although not unloved!). But, I WILL block her today. Yessiree.

What Would You Have Done?

OK. Bear with through this.

I'm really fortunate that I live in a great apartment, in a very nice area of town, close to everything, and painless to get to and from work downtown. It's my home, the longest I've lived anywhere in my life, and has been my home for almost 10 years. I've always had wonderful neighbours. And I still do. My neighbour in the apartment downstairs is great; she's always been considerate, and besides - she has a cute dog! She's not the issue. The issue is her adopted sister, who lives with her.

Now, she's also very quiet for the most part, works hard (the girl gets up at 4:30am everyday for work) - and has special needs (she was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome).

However. There was a time last spring or early summer where I went a period of time where I received no mail. I asked next door to see if it had maybe been delivered to the wrong house, and it hadn't. I had my suspicions that the sister may have taken it (Lorraine, remember me telling you about that?), but I thought - nah, that's just paranoid. And besides, after a couple of weeks or so, it again started showing up, and I received a pile in one day. And that was that. The odd time I would find some of my stuff in the flyers pile next to the door to be recycled, but didn't think much of it. Then, about a month or so ago, I got home from work and went to put my newspaper in the recycle bin, and found some mail addressed to me in the bin! It was my book club catalogue, and although annoyed - I didn't say anything; I just didn't think about bringing it up. About 2 weeks ago, I came home and found one of my magazines thrown on the lawn, in a spot where the wind could not have blown it. I have a big front porch that's pretty much protected from the wind due to the construction, and even if it had been windy - no way it could have been blown there.

Now for this past week. A week this past Friday, a couple of people at work who live in the same neighbourhood as I do told me that they had received their T4 slips in the mail (for non-Canadians - this is the summary of your previous years' income that your employer puts together for filing your taxes). I figured - cool, I should be getting mine. Nothing came on the Friday. I was a bit concerned, I figured by Monday for sure it would be there. I got home from work, and there was NO mail for me. I had a sneaking suspicion... The recycle bins were by the side of road for our next day pick up, so I went over to have a look.

And what do you think I found in the recycle bin? A magazine, my KnitPicks catalogue, my cell phone bill. And my T4 slip.

I was LIVID. Rumaged through the bin, and didn't find anything else.

Went into the house, calmed myself down, and called my neighbour downstairs. I talked to her for a good while, and she herself was not impressed that her sister had been doing it (because we both knew it was her). To her defence, she made no excuses for this behaviour. And she confirmed that she had placed my mail that morning by my door - so she knew it had arrived that day. She said it was her sister's "passive-aggressive" mind, and once she gets a bee in her bonnet, she obsesses over it. Now, I was very nice about the whole situation - I like her, and she's always been a good neighbour. She said she'd talk to her about it, and she did. I understand completely about her sister - I know she has special needs. She's had a rough go of it (their adoptive mother is a saint for having raised her to the level she's at), and her way of thinking is not like yours and mine.

I'm not a vindictive person, I'm very much someone who can look at the big picture in a situation like this and say - what's it worth? Sure, it's my mail, my IMPORTANT mail, but I trust it won't happen again. Oh, and WHY did she do it? She said I make noise. ??? Which I dismiss out of hand, as my neighbour has told me that this is the first time she's lived outside her mother's house, and doesn't understand the concept of daily activity. She takes it personally.

Now. Sure I have 3 cats, but they are 95% of the time very quiet. If Gandalf and Atticus roughhouse, it never lasts more than 15 - 20 minutes at most. And - this is an old house, built in 1892. The hardwood floors are old and creaky. It apparently bothers her to hear this noise. Well, as I told my neighbour - if she can't understand that walking around will make the floors creak in spots, she may not be ready to live outside her mother's house. It's life - and it's going to happen. I will say - I am a quiet person, I'm very considerate, and after all, I've lived here for 10 years in perfect harmony and NO problems or complaints with others below me. And our mailman? It's been the same guy for the past 6 years. It's not him.

Anyway. I'm going on, and you get the picture.

If it happens again, my options are to call the owner, which I'm reluctant to do at this point because it would result most certainly in both of them being evicted (they are NOT on good terms with the owner), and to report this as mail theft to the police. I am on very good terms with the owner - after all, I've been an excellent tenant for 10 years, and her parents who owned the house prior to her taking it over, were wonderful people and very good to me.

Being the person that I am, I'm not keen on either option. But, at what point do I kick my tolerance level aside, and do what is well within my rights to do? If it happens again...

They are walking on eggshells right now, and deep down inside I'm not convinced it won't happen again. I understand my neighbour's sister has special needs, which is why I'm giving her this second chance.

Should I have given her a second chance? Or should I have just told the owner of what's been happening, and let her deal with them?

Anyway, thanks for lending an ear...

Moving on to more exciting stuff!


I swapped some Campion in my stash with a lovely lady on Ravelry for some Dunedin she had hibernating. I now have 15 skeins of lovely Dunedin in Mulberry.

Mmmmm, nice... Notice how someone keeps injecting himself into *every* picture I try to take...

Your mission. What should I make with it? Because I can't decide.

Here are your choices (the links are to projects on Ravelry):

1. Elizabeth of York, from "Tudor Roses",
2. Kimberley, from "A Collector's Item's",
3. Spanish Knight, from "A Collector's Item".

Send me an e-mail (bdepocas at rogers dot com), giving me your choice, and very importantly - why. Or, leave it in the comments. If you do leave your choice in the comments, be sure to include your e-mail address! Blogger doesn't record it unless you put it in.

Which ever gets the most votes becomes my Dunedin project, and from those who nominated the winning design, a winner will be chosen.

Contest closes at midnight, Saturday, March 8th, and the winner will be announced next Sunday.

And you will win a most fabulous winter pick me up box with some of my favourite comfort foods, yarn and other fun stuff!

Anyone, anywhere is eligible! Just remember to include your e-mail address.

Thanks again for listening!


Michelle said...

First and foremost it......KIMBERLEY~hands down! The little inset of pattern in the solid design is soooooo elegant and impressive! Understated but makes a bold statement (does that make sense)?! Second.... have you learned to knit in your sleep or have you secretly purchased a knitting machine?! WOW! You're pretty impressive and each piece is more lovely than the next. Even the kitties agree :)
Finally.... next episode you MUST contact the landlord and report the mail situation to the authorities as well. Believe me I understand your hesitation but you are certainly WELL within your rights, you are being extremely understanding and accomodating but are simply.... (without meaning to worry you) keeping yourself at risk. It is sad that this woman is unstable but this is definitely serious and unsettling. That being said.......
how's it looking on the bohus kit? :)
ta ta for now.... Michelle

Vaedri said...

Oh, what an awkward situation. I hate, hate, hate neighbour problems. They just make life so miserable. I've moved just to get away from horrible neighbours. So - I have no advice or helpfulness on this. I run, which is not a good solution.

But, to speak of happier things - I love Kimberley. It's just beautiful. My second choice would be the Spanish Knight, but it's far behind Kimberley.

Keep warm - there is hope - it's supposed to get up to 8 tomorrow! 8!

kirstie 42 @ gmail .com

Marina said...

Whatever you do, not Elizabeth ;-)

I'm a sweater sort of girl, so my choice is Spanish Knight! Is that the right answer, Carrie?

Hey, how did you overtake me?! I finally started the second hank yesterday. I should be where you are (on Columbia) tonight.

I don't understand how the mail is set up there, but couldn't you get a locked mail box and have parcels sent to work? Or Lorraine could volunteer to have all you yarn purchases sent to her ;-)

You're a good person, Brigitte! One more time and I would do something "official".

Good luck with the kitty!

Bridget said...

I sure hope that when you finally do make it to the vet, you don't have to go back for another year!!

Re: the neighbor situation. I've been in a similar situation myself, and like you tried to be considerate, and consider the person who was problematic. But at the point when important mail (i.e., bills) are "recycled", it becomes a bigger issue that can have an effect on things like credit ratings, and that is a big deal. If you can't somehow set up a locked mailbox, I think you have to say something ... whether to the building management, or to the mail authorities. I'm not familiar with your building, are there other people having mail problems too?

Face it, it's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation no matter what ...

Boy,I'm comforting, arent' I?

As for the knitting project, I vote for Kimberley. Because the insets do it for me - it's like a nice article of clothing with a surprise ...

Kelly said...

ohhh spanish knight spanish knight!!
I can't see the full shot of the finished sweater but the patterning is soo yummy!!!

Chris said...

Kimberley! Wow, you're cruising on all those other projects, too.

I have the UTMOST SYMPATHY for your neighbor issues. There isn't a good solution, alas. My downstairs neighbor takes all the noise personally, too. *sigh* But I do think giving a second chance is good - but definitely don't let it go on if things continue as they have been.

miyamojo said...

I think you handled your neighbor situation well. You know WHO and WHY and it's NOT your fault. If you decide to give her a second chance, include what will happen if it continues, so there's no suprise. She needs boundaries - like 'if it's not yours don't touch it!' I agree she might need to live in a house.
Atticus - you stinker! Get in that carrier and go to the vet!
You sure knit fast Brigitte!
Hang in there! We're on your side!

Anonymous said...

I agree with "Miyamojo" -- ensure that they understand that the next time you will have to take official steps....because mail is important and under no circumstance should anyone be touching your mail.

Oh dear, nothing worse than problems with the neighbors....I feel for you.

Atticus - typical male, won't go to the Dr LOL!

Lorraine said...

Brigitte- You did the right thing to speak to her sister. While I sympathize with the FAS, she needs to understand the boundaries, and that she can get into trouble.
I hope she makes it clear to her that she is not to touch anyone's mail.
Other than that, my poor darling Atticus. He's having a tough kitty time.

Just moving ahead on those projects- you go girl.

Carrie K said...

Kimberly. I was just eyeing her! No, Marina, you did not guess right! lol. I want to knit Spanish Knight first. OTOH, waiting for me......not a good idea.

Eliz of York is just too....Maude. (old US sitcom w/Beatrice Arthur)

And I'm clearly eyeing Marina's knitting because I recognized Columbia before you named it.

Erg about the neighbor's. I hate stuff like that it always seems to escalate. And it's her fault! I don't know. A second chance, sure, I would. Because I'm softheaded. Hearted! Softhearted.

But messing with your mail? That can be pretty vital. It's either move, report them or get a PO Box and how will they fit your yarn in that?

Maybe she'll move back home. Noisy? Good grief.

BTW, I LOVE that pic of Gandalf lounging on Atticus! And bad Atticus. Typical guy. Hates going to the doctor.

Kathryn said...

First, I got this idea from the vet. Maybe you've tried it. I take a towel and drop it over the cat, especially the eyes. I know all cats are different but this has worked quite a few times with two cats.
Then, I think you're right with your idea to see if the talk w/neighbor helped. At the first instance of mail disappearance, I would do every other thing you mentioned. Unfortunate but necessary.

Anonymous said...

just wondering - no mail boxes for each apt? is that only an american thing?

If there are none available - does the nice sister get to the mail first? if so maybe she and you can decide on a place to put it?

or can you get a slot put in your door so it can be put thru?

this is so annoying! and unfortunately illegal. you have to gifure out a way to resolve this.

unlike my neighbor problem which is about garbage and recycling sigh.

Nicole said...

1. Poor Atticus. Doesn't he realize that this will just continue until he goes to the vet?

2. I would make sure to tell your neighbor that if it happens again, you will talk to the owners/police. Because then you have given fair warning, and hopefully she can make the consequences clear to her sister.

3. Spanish Knight. Because of the name. I'm a sucker for a good name. =)

Jewel said...

I've always wanted to see an up-close picture of Delores and she's beautiful! I'm thinking I need to add her to my list, but I have way more now than I could ever knit in 30 lifetimes.

Here in the US touching anyone's mail is a federal offense. I'm sure it's equally serious in Canada too. You're in a tough situation but I think you did the right thing by trying to talk it out first.

Poor Atticus. Doesn't he know that us humans eventually win when it comes to the V-E-T?

WendyKnits said...

Kimberly! :-)

Sorry to hear about your woes with your mail and your neighbors. I've lived in my condo for almost 14 years and have been pretty lucky with my neighbors on the whole, but lately have been having some issues. Very annoying, and I have to tread carefully, because I still have to live near them. Oy.

Raven said...

I'd leave the carrier out on the floor all week (or until A's is scheduled to go in next). It won't be as suspicious if it's left out as opposed to if it appears 5 minutes before you want to leave.

Maybe we could arrange it that I could come over and give you a hand if need be.

As for the mail, ask the landlord if he'd consider hanging up separate mailboxes outside?

bev said...

Brig; It would have to be Kimberly. That is one of the most beautiful sweaters ever designed by Jade. And the color you have would look truly smashing with your hair and complexion. Truly a masterpiece in the making!

Next, the WIPs! Would you please send Laleli my way as a "I really wish you a safe trip/housewarming gift? It would be oh so very thoughtful of you! And,just how fast do you knit?

Then, the mail theft is really serious. I know you wish to maintain good neighborly relations, but it is really, really serious. If it happens again you need to take steps to resolve it. Notifying the landlord would by my next step. You are not being mean or vindictive by doing so. If the landlord can't remedy the situation, you have no choice but to turn it over to the authorities. Mail Theft Is A Serious Crime! Don't allow your good nature to cloud your view of your rights.

Redheadskydiver said...

I have 3 cats too and totally understand. Ours are due to the v-e-t too but have been putting it off forever due to one having bad issues. But my vote goes also to spanish knight. The pictures on Ravelry aren't great but it looks like it would be lovely.

Dotty said...

I vote for Kimberley. It looks absolutely stunning!

Sorry to hear about your neighbour troubles. Your T4 is not something you want to lose. Is there anyway to install a locked mailbox so that the sister can't get at your mail?

One of my cats doesn't like going to the vet either. We put his carrier on a shelf so that the door lines up with the edge (i.e he either goes into the carrier or falls to the ground). Then we pick him up, cover his eyes, and pop him in. Works like a charm.

5elementknitr said...

I adore that Kimberley! It's got a happy little surprise in the sleeves!

Turtle said...

emailed you as well but also love the Kimberly, especially the photo that shows the colar coordinating with the insert on the sleeve...gorgeous! Good luck withthe neighbors! lol at vain kitty getting in every photo!

allergicmom said...

Kimberley is stunning and gets my vote!

And man, that's an awful neighbour problem. I think you're doing a great job of being sensitive to special needs, and it's nice that your actual neighbour is trying to find ways to work with you. Good luck.

Carol said...

Kimberly is loveliest, I think. As for the neighbour problem, that is a nasty issue. Is there any way you could get a separate, lockable mailbox? Or the neighbour could and not give her sister the key?

As for the cat to the vet thing, I have a BIG cage and kitty might not want to go in, but she does anyway. The small cage, on the other hand is very difficult to get her into. Or you could get one of the top-opening type and lower kitty into the cage. That's what the MIL had to get.....

Marji said...

I almost forgot to read to the end of the post. I followed one of your links off, and you know how it goes.
I hate that blogger doesnt' open a new window but instead navigates away from the one you were reading.
Anyway...Can you call the Canadian Post office and find out if they have an alternative such as locked mailboxes they could install? Or talk to the owner about having a locked mailbox?
It's great that you're giving the neighbor notice, you're nice that way, but you can't have her toying with mail. And from personal experience, someone with those kinds of challenges isn't going to change the behaviour because they were talked to. I'd hate to see an eviction, so maybe a locked mailbox is the way to go.
Meanwhile, def NOT Liz of York. I agree with whomever said it was too Maude.
I don't know what the whole sweater of Spanish Knight looks like - can't find a pic anywhere, but I love WIPinsanity's partial one...and while I think Kimberley is a pretty sweater - that is a whole lot of stockinette for just a little bit of interesting bit. So I'd vote for Spanish Knight.

Anonymous said...

I vote for Kimberley!

As for your neighbor problem, assuming the sister doesn't stop messing with your mail, I can think of two options: (1) Ask your landlord to install a separate, lockable mailbox for you; or (2) if there's a nearby mail center or post office, get a P.O. box and have all your mail sent there (and ask the downstairs neighbor to pay half the cost for this).

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Kimberley, definitely! That is a beautiful pattern. What really caught my eye (and clinched it for me) is the colorwork on the sleeves. Gorgeous!! The yarn you received in your swap is gorgeous too. :)

Kassia (

Lynn said...

Ok first of all, I had a cat like Atticus and OH trying to get them to the vet was fun!!!! I used the towel trick and put the cat box up on end so I could sort of *drop* them in it. I would also carry the cat to a room and close the door so that they couldnt run around the house under things.

Second, i feel for you with the neighbors. The mail thing would make me NUTS! I think you've gone over and above what you needed to and the T4 would have put me over the edge. Can you get a locked mail box either at the apt or at the post office? I could see that being the way to go if you don't want to get them evicted. And as far as you being noisy, that is apt life. If the sister can't handle it, she needs to live someplace else.

Lastly, I like spanish knight. I love the patterning on it!

Olga said...

Ahhh, I'd have to go with the Kimberley- its cool looking!
Sorry about the neighbor woes- hopefully that will be cleared up before more damage happens!

Sonya said...

Oh, I hate neighbor issues. I'd probably do what you're doing; give them another chance but call the police if it happens again. We have pretty good, if slightly annoying, neighbors now, but we've had some doozies in the past.

Your projects are looking wonderful. I think I'd vote for Spanish Knight. What a great name.

Traceyleezle said...

Oh I completely love the sleeve insets on Kimberly! So yep, that's my vote.
As for the mail thing. This is a tough one, if you decide to say something and they do get evicted, this will of course be seen as entirely your fault, and you are completely overreacting, etc. even thought it's not. Or at the very least I wouldn't be surprised if your downstairs neighbor changed her attitude towards you. Despite that I wouldn't let it keep me quiet, your mail is private, and extremely important, your livelihood is at stake. I am quite sure this sister is able to distinguish right from wrong and you shouldn't be subjected to her inability to cope with "how life is".

Heide said...

I sent you an email with some links to lockable mail boxes. I wish you the best of luck for a successful and peaceful resolution with that problem.

I vote for Spanish Knight. The cables would look lovely with the yarn colour.

Kenyetta said...

I vote for Kimberly, the sleeve detail is awesome! What would you use as a coordinating color?
When I lived in a apartment, I had a po box just to avoid situations, but then I had the UPS dilemma. But I agree with everyone, got to your landlord or superintendent. That's what they are there for.
kenyetta dot davis at gmail dot com

knitseashore said...

Atticus is a bad boy. What I do with Tim is to pick him up and put him in the bathroom (where he can't hide) and then get the carrier and take it in and put him in it. You could try putting a towel over A so he can't see -- the vet did that once with Tim and it calmed him ever so slightly.

That stinks about the neighbor issue. You've been more understanding than most. Maybe your postman/woman could suggest something that wouldn't be too expensive or inconvenient? A locked box sounds like a good idea.

carolyn said...

What a pain about your mail! That is just awful. Is there any way to get a lock box type mailbox" Probably not, but it's just a thought.
You will probably never get that much Dunedin again! That is so great. You have enough to make Spanish Knight or even Cape Cod! Kimberly takes a lot less, and Elizabeth of York only takes about 8 or 9. What choices!

Good luck with your vet trip... I don't envy you that or your mail thief!

LadyLungDoc said...

Kimberley. Definitely Kimberley.

You do the math.

Brenda said...

Kimberley is so striking; I think it should be the one.

Sorry about your neighbor troubles. I think the second chance is the way to go, but if that fails I think you need to take action. Mail, as you found, often has some pretty important things in it. Is there anyway to have a locked mail box? The postal carrier would need the key, but that is often used as a solution in apartments and condos where I've lived.

Welders gloves. The answer to getting Atticus into the carrier and you not scratched.

All your WIPs look fab!

kimberly said...

I vote for Kimberley, and not just because my name is Kimberly (alas, without an e). I love that sweater and want to make it one of these days.

I was so sorry to hear about your neighbor problems. You are such a nice person to be so understanding about the sister's special needs. Most people would have gone off the deep end over it long before. Is the sister someone you could talk to and reason with? Maybe explain that you don't try to make noise and mention that you know the floors are creaky in the house, etc.? And in the same conversation, mention how upsetting it is to you that your mail is going missing and that you hope you don't need to talk to the owners about it? Just a thought. I really really hope it gets resolved soon.
And those two sweaters are BEAUTIFUL!
email address is kimberlyATcatmtnDOTcom. best wishes!