Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas used to always be this big affair at my house. My brother and I would get TONS of gifts. Now that we're older and my parents are in more of a financial bind than they used to be, it's not like it was. They do the best that they can, though, and I really appreciate that.

I'll first say what I got everyone...

I got my mom a lot of stuff, but most of it she got early. 200.00 for fabric (early), a really nice Knit Picks knitting bag (early), a full set of bamboo dpns (early), a green tea bath/body set (she found it, so it was early), and 2 surprise gifts: a Scentbug from Bath and Bodyworks with Frosted Cranberry oil and an animated Christmas Snoopy that dances and plays music (she loves Snoopy).

My brother got a handknit golfclub cozy with robots on it (I plan on making him more of these) and a 25.00 giftcard to AMC.

His girlfriend, Michelle, got a pair of fingerless mitts (made from the wonderful Kathmandu Aran) and a really nice set of acrylic paints and a painter's tote board (my mom and I went in together on this).

My dad got a crocheted lapghan and some pj pants he needed.

I still need to get Shawn and Chris something. Kenny is getting a pair of jeans from American Eagle.

Here's what I got:


From my dad, a Snuggie, theater gift certificates, and a really nice Swiss Military watch (for when I got to Basic/AIT; it's practically indestructable but still attractive).

From my mom, the Caboodles bag set (love!), an alarm clock with a dinosaur on it (it roars to wake you up), some socks (much needed), a heating blanket, and 2 gorgeous skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino.

From Arthur, nothing. He promises to get my something soon. But, he also promised me my birthday/graduation gift soon and that was 6 months ago...

From Michelle....

WOW. She's a painter. An awesome painter. She's been working on this portrait of Black Jack (my 17 year-old dog that died this fall) in the back of my truck for a year and a half. It's perfect. That face is entirely Black Jack's. She even framed it for me and attached a fortune at the top that reads, "Nothing seems impossible to you." It's so nice to have such a beautiful gift. This is my first Christmas in 13 years without my baby girl.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Half an FO and Falling to Weakness


So, it's a horrible pic and the ends are all sticking out everywhere. But, it's finished! I think it's a personal best... one Fair Isle mitt in 24 hours? Maybe 2 sick days from work had something to do with it (I've been fighting a bad cold). I love how the color transitioned... I was worried it might be too blocky/stripey, but it's perfect. I've already cast on for the second (if I didn't, I never would) and am trying my best to match up the colors. I'll get a better picture when I have a complete pair. Wouldn't a snow pic be nice? Doubtful, though.

I was weak and cast on for another project yesterday night. This is a Noro Striped Scarf in Kureyon Sock. I'm using US 4 needles to make it light and airy, as well as to make it go a bit quicker. Not sure if I'll be keeping this or if it's going to Kenny (depends on if he likes it when I show it to him...). If he takes it, then I'm making one for myself. I love it.




Monday, December 21, 2009

Wow

Seriously? It's been over a month since I've last posted. I've been slacking on this blog and knitting both.

My time has been consumed with work, prepping for Basic (less than a month away!), and trying to spend time with some friends before I leave. I had a great time with my friend from Columbus (Kenny) and we've gotten very close; he needed a friend and I'm glad that I can be one to him.

I've been bitten by the knitting bug lately, though, after a while of not knitting much. Here's the proof:


This is the beginnings of the Endpaper Mitts (by Korean girl Eunny Jang). I'm using some 90 wool/10 nylon fingering weight purchased at Knitch during the Atlanta Shop Hop and Noro Kureyon Sock.

This is the Copper Penny Socks (from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn) in Tofutsies. I didn't think I'd like the yarn much, but it's pretty nice. I think it matches this pattern perfectly. Knitting up very quickly and is very pretty.
I'm fighting a bit of startitis... I want to just cast on for a ton of projects! But, I'm leaving for Basic on the 19th... not too much time to get a lot done.

Monday, November 16, 2009

RSP Drill

This weekend was my first RSP drill. I have to go to RSP drill until I leave for Basic and then once I come back from AIT until I get handed off to my unit. It's been described as "Purgatory."

It wasn't too bad, though. We left from the Griffin Armory at about 0700 and drove to Fort Benning in Columbus. We took a PT test (passed with no problems!) and then took some classes and went rapelling down the 60-ft wall. It was pretty fun. I haven't been rapelling since I was about 8, so it was neat to be able to go again. After that we went to shower and then drove to the Newnan Armory to sleep. I had fire guard from 0100 to 0200, but that wasn't too bad. The next morning came early, though. Did some PT and then we first timers had a bunch of classes and paperwork to do for the rest of the day. We lucked out of the 2.5 mile run (but next time I won't be so lucky).

It wasn't my choice of ways to spend a perfectly good weekend, but it could have been a lot worse. I did start feeling sick Saturday with a sore throat and ear and now I'm really congested, sneezing, coughing, etc. I really hope I get over it soon. Wouldn't really mind it if I was able to just stay home and do nothing, but I have to work everyday this week.

Speaking of work... my last day off was LAST Monday and my next day off is NEXT Monday. I did have this weekend off from Walgreens, but I was definitely working (drill is a lot more work than managing Walgreens). Sooo... that's 13 days of straight work. No fun at all. Thankfully, I have next Monday and Tuesday off, so that's nice. I am going to Columbus Sunday after work to spend some time with a friend for my days off. I can't wait... it'll be fun.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Philly


This is Springtime Bandit, a really pretty and easy wrap based on the Springtime in Philadelphia beret. I'm using some olive green Araucania Nature Wool. I love it!
I ended up frogging the Vineland Mitten. I finished it and realized it was HUGE. Will try again on another day.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I promise to update more...

I will try to update the blog at least twice a week. I think I was pretty good about it, but I've really let it slide to the bottom of the list of things to do.

To prove that I really have been knitting, here is a cute little project I made yesterday:

It's a drum. Really cute and quick pattern. These pictures don't do it justice... it's really adorable. I made it for Chris, my best friend, who plays drums in his band (Halfmast). Maybe he can hang it in his rearview mirror or on his Christmas tree or something.

>I used size 4 needles and Patons Classic Wool Merino scraps I had. I like it

Second form of proof of knitting activity:
I've been in love with the Vineland Mitten pattern for a while now and have finally started on them. I'm using Lamb's Pride Superwash I got during the Shop Hop (oh, by the way, I won an awesome prize of 4 skeins of Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere! Pics to come...). This is my first time using this yarn and I really like it. Very soft and sturdy.

The mittens are going to be a little big, but that's Ok. I'll probably wear them over cheap gloves from Walmart or whatever.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm still here...

Still alive! LOTS of changes, but I'm still kicking.

One, the biggest change, is that Shawn and I are just friends for now. I did some major thinking and realized that I am not ready to settle down. So, we're just friends. Not sure what's going to happen with us, so we'll have to see.

Two, I am rehoming a lot of my animals. We're going down to just one horse (Rowdy). My dad is taking Handsome Rob and a neighbor down the road is taking Acorn. A friend took the hamsters. Crunchy the rat died (my boys are getting up there in age) and I'm not replacing. I might find a home for my bearded dragon if someone is interested. Don't get me wrong... I LOVE my animals. They are a huge part of my life. But, at this point, I'm not able to spend the time and money on them that they need and deserve. I am leaving soon and will be gone for half a year. Just can't do it right now. I'm still keeping most of them, just getting rid of the real money/time-consuming ones.

Three, my mom is starting school in December. She's going to a local cosmetology school. I'll be taking over some of the bills to help out (another reason for number two). I'm really happy for her.

These are the biggest changes. I have been knitting some, but not much lately. Most of my time not working is spent with my friends in Fayetteville. I usually hang out with Chris and the others 2-3 times a week. I've also been in contact more with my brother, Arthur, which is cool. Life is tough, but I'm loving it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm in the Army now...

I did it!

Monday evening I arrived at the hotel (the military has a contract with them) and hung out with all the other MEPS people. Mostly guys and mostly 17-18 years old. I think I was the oldest one there. The next morning I was up at 0330 to get ready for the 0400 wake-up call. Breakfast and then waiting (wait was the word of the day). Bus ride to MEPS and then I did all my processing.

It was so boring. Hurry up and wait is how it goes in the military. I took the ASVAB (I made a 93 and did great in individual sections) and then did the physical and exams. Overall, it wasn't to bad. Just boring and if anyone is caught sleeping, talking too much, etc. you get sent home and have to come back another day.

Then, the bad part. The computer system was messed up, so all but one of us for the National Guard were held over another night. The boss wasn't too happy since he had to cover my opening shift, but oh well. The same routine at the hotel and the next morning and the same wait (I waited about 5 hours straight). FINALLY, I got my contract and got sworn in. So exciting! I'm now a member of the Army National Guard!

It was a rough 2 days, but so worth it. I am leaving for Basic Training (boot camp) January 19th and will be spending 10 weeks there in Fort Sill (Oklahoma). After that I'll be at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, for 16 weeks of AIT. I am going to be a "Health Care Specialist" (formerly known as Combat Medic). My unit will be at Fort Gordon (Augusta, Ga)... a good 3 hours one way, but my grandparents live out there and my grandmother actually works at Fort Gordon, so it's not too bad.

I could have commissioned and become an officer right off since I have my degree. I chose to go enlisted instead to feel it out first and to gain that experience for when I am an officer (which I plan on doing in the next few years). So many that commission right out of college aren't respected as leaders because they don't know what it's like to be enlisted or even in the military first. I'm a Specialist going in rather than just a Private because of the degree. I'm happy for the better pay and head start in rank, but I also know that I will be picked on at training... I'll be put into the leadership positions (even though I don't know anything) and will be rode a little harder since I went to college and the drill sargeants probably didn't.

I am supposed to have drill this weekend, but I won't be able to make it because of work. The notice was too short. The future drills and such will be no problem.

I'm so happy! I really wanted this and I got it. I worked hard to lose weight, get into better shape, and all that and now I'm in. I'm nervous about training, but it's a ways off and I'll be drilling to get prepared for it. I think that I will go active eventually so that I can retire and get those wonderful benefits.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Haul

The prizes of the Shop Hop. We still have one more shop to visit on Saturday since they were closed today.

* 4 skeins of Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn
* 2 skeins of Lamb's Pride Superwash (for a pair of colorwork mittens)
* 8 ounces of roving
* 2 skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine
* 2 skeins of Malabrigo Lace in the Cadmium colorway
* 1 hank of Noro Daria
* 2 hanks of Atacama (100% alpaca)
* Aslan Trends Santa Fe sock yarn (2 skeins)
* 3 skeins of Talinay in a pretty reddish and purplish colorway
* 2 hanks of ecru sock yarn to dye (enough for 2 pairs at least)
* Some notions including a mini crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches, yarn needles, needles for Moma, and others.

It was really fun, but a LONG day! We drove nearly 300 miles today trying to visit everywhere. And, I only got 2.5 hours of sleep yesterday night since I didn't get back from hanging out with the boys until 0430 (yeah, time got away from me!) and had to be up at 0700.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mixed Feelings

I'm just having a lot of mixed feelings right now. I think that too much is changing in my life and it's taking me a minute to get used to it all!

A close friend is making life a little complicated, but in a good way. It's nice to actually have friends. I've been friendless for a long time and I really missed having someone to talk to and hang out with. Shawn is my friend, of course, but I can't go complaining about him to him, ya know? My only real problem is that I don't have girlfriends. My friends are all boys. My best friend is a boy (fortunately, Shawn's not the jealous type). I just relate so much better to guys than I do to girls; it's not a real problem, I guess, but it would be nice to have a close girlfriend.

I think it's that girls are mean and complicated. Guys seem to be so much more "this is me, take it or leave it" and are more open and honest. I can deal with that and appreciate it (even if it's annoying sometimes). I just can't deal with the way so many girls my age are. Not all are like that, but enough that it makes me not want to even try to make friends.

Anyway, that's one thing. The other thing is work. I started at Barnesville today. I was so excited earlier in the week, but it really hit me yesterday... I won't be working with my friends anymore. I know, I'm a manager and they are employees... fraternization isn't good. I agree with that. BUT, I spend most of my time with these people and they are the same age as me, so they aren't "just" employees to me. I really care about them and hate not seeing them everyday. It was a little sad to say goodbye. But, I realized that I can still see them whenever I want (and I won't have to see the witch anymore!).

Barnesville is DEAD. I remembered that it was slow, but I didn't think it was this slow! We're trying to find things to do, but you can only clean and straighten so much, right? It's a huge change and is kind of nice, but I see myself being bored a lot. Maybe I can sneak in some knitting time...

I kind of wish that I were back at Fayetteville, but I think what I'm really wishing for are the people I worked with. I guess I just can't be happy with what I have, huh? Really, though, I think the transfer was a good thing for me; I just need to adjust (something I'm not good at).

Anyway, that's about all I have right now. Not much knitting has been happening around here. Moma and I are going on the Shop Hop Monday (we hit up 10 stores and each spend 10.00 at each one to be put into a drawing for 1000.00 worth of giftcards (100.00 from each place) and other prizes). I can't wait for that.

Plans for tomorrow... a run, dropping off my keys at Fayetteville, lunch with Chris (the best friend), working to about 2215 or so, then off to hang out with some people from Fayette. Can't wait to get the work part over with since I'm off Monday and Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great News

Yesterday was a day for great news.

First, I visited Sgt. Jeane again and we got my application finished and all the paperwork done. Everything is looking good and I will be taking my tests (ASVAB and DLAB) next week. We're hoping to get me going in October, but it might be November. As long as my medical does ok (the surgery, namely), I'm in. And, I make height/weight! I don't have to lose the 5 lb like I thought. I'm a half inch taller than I guessed (I'm 5'2.5"), so that put me in the next bracket. I meet the standard no problem. If for some reason I'm a little heavier when I go, I pass the BMI test no problem as well. I did lose 3 lb since the initial meeting with Jeane.

Also, the field I'm going into, Military Intelligence, is one of 2 that are still offering sign-on bonuses (the other is truck driver). It's a 10000.00 bonus (half after training, half 3 years later). BUT, since I'll be doing a quick-ship and it's the off-season, the bonus is doubled to 20 000.00! Not too bad, considering that I'll be getting married right after, so that will help SO MUCH.

The other great news came at work... I'm being transferred! I start Saturday at the store I did my internship at. It's about 30 minutes closer to home and I really like the manager. I am so glad. I tried to tone down my enthusiasm in front of the she-devil when she told me, but I couldn't. I was grinning my head off and laughing. I am SO GLAD to be going from that manager. I love the employees, but I hate the management. I was so much happier at Barnesville and am glad to be going back.


Here is a pic of something I've been working on a little bit. The Chevvy socks from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn. I'm using Knit Picks Handpainted (Stroll) in the Make Believe colorway. I'm using 4-inch needles... they are cute and convenient in the knitting bag, but it's like knitting with toothpicks! Strains the hands a little, but not too bad. Oh, these aren't going to be socks. They are huge (recommended needle size of 3, and I'm using 1.5....). I'm making these into mittens instead.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A new obsession?

So, I got this sudden desire to sew yesterday. My mom is an avid sewer and used to spend every weekend at craft shows selling her dresses. I have my own machine and I've dabbled in it before (I made, I thought at least, a great stuffed dinosaur when I was 10. I was heartbroken when no one bought it at the craft show). Anyway, it hit me and I decided to make a simple project bag based on one I received in a swap and use to store my wedding wrap wip in. I don't have a pic of it... it's definitely not perfect and was a learning experience. So simple a bag and it turned out Ok, only not what I wanted. I remembered so much I wanted to do to it after it was too late. I plan on using it as a Christmas gift bag for Arthur.

I was off today, so decided to get this sewing thing down. I made another simple project bag and it came out much better:

The lining came out 100 times better and everything is lined up perfectly. The only issue I had was the drawstring... there isn't one. I planned for it, but couldn't get the buttonhole thing to work on the machine (my mom was at work and showed me when she got home, but it was too late by then). So, I'm just going to add buttonholes all the way around and have an exposed drawstring instead of the hidden one I wanted.

This was my next attempt. I found a pattern for a cute wallet at Sewing Mama Forums. It's just a pattern, no instructions. This was a challenge and required some thinking ahead... which didn't really happen at the right time. It was more... "Oh, I should have done this! But, it's too late now." I made it work, though it's not the prettiest thing. It has velcro inside and I'll be adding a button and loop to keep the flap down. I'll just use it to hold my change in my purse.



Now, this I am proud of. I made it right after the first one and am so happy with it. I really thought it out and I think it came out great. So, it isn't perfect, but what is? It's perfect enough, I think. I remembered to use interfacing for stability, planned the lining out, planned the velcro, the little snap thing, etc. I didn't really follow the pattern too much other than for size; it's heavily customized with the flap and such. The button is a vintage leather one and was sent to me in a swap. It isn't attached yet... will get the buttonhole done tomorrow.

I also made the wrist thing. I want to use this bag to carry my money, lip stuff, and the little essentials when I don't want to carry my purse. I used a dog collar buckle snap thing to attach the bag to the wrist strap.

I'm really liking this sewing thing. I don't think it will replace fiber crafting, but it's definitely something that I plan on doing more. I'm already planning my next project... a lunch bag.

On the knitting front, I am getting farther and farther along on the wedding wrap. I'm on repeat 11 of 13, but I think I'll add 2-3 repeats to make it a little longer. After that, it's the decreases and I'm finished! I started on the Chevvy socks from the Knitting with Handpainted Yarn book. It's a neat and interesting pattern. I've decided to turn them into mittens instead. The Pyewacket socks get worked on a little at a time. I still need to spin more yarn to do the sleeves on the Buttony Sweater (which I'll be giving to my mom... just don't think the bulky yarn is flattering on me). Instead of spinning that, though, I've been working on 4 ounces of superwash merino from Lisa Souza (I already spun the first 4 ounces a while back and am almost finished with the singles on this batch).

I'll be going Wednesday to see Sgt. Jeane again. He'll be finishing up the undone portions of my application (mainly employment gaps from when I was in school and wasn't working) and I'll leave my paper records he needs (college diploma, transcripts, etc). Things are looking up!

Oh, and remember my weight loss thing? I've lost 19 lbs and am able to keep it off... I run daily and try to watch what I eat (though I can eat out and eat more than I should on ocassion without a problem... my metabolism has picked up from the snail speed it used to be). I also drink A LOT of green tea (I'm in love with Arizona Diet Peach Tea and their Diet Green Tea with Ginseng), which helps the metabolism. I still need to lose 5 lb for the Army, but I pass the bmi test, so I'm good. I'm trying to lose the 5 anyway, though.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

References and Woodburning

The meeting with the recruiter went great! We actually met with a different recruiter (the guy that flaked wasn't there again, but he does have a good reason... his dad's in the hospital). Sgt. Jeane is really nice and helpful. Everything is looking good, so far, and I'm in the process of doing my application.

I have to have about 20 or so different references... very annoying and difficult since I don't have many friends to begin with and I can't use family. And, I have to go back at least 10 years because I need to get my top secret clearance for the field I'm going into (military intelligence). Sgt. Jeane wants me to try to be an interpreter, which I would LOVE to do, but the school is very long (like, 2 years) and is in California. It would be a great opportunity and experience, that's for sure, but I would have to leave Shawn and my animals behind. I think I coudl handle it, but do I really want to? It all depends on how well I test and such, so it's not really a decision that needs to be made right now anyway. Also, there's still no guarantee that I can actually join up... I need to get my physical and all that ready first. I'm REALLY hoping and praying that I can join with no problems! I am so excited about this. Keep thinking/praying about me!

I found a new home for Yankee, the Morgan gelding. He's across the street at the neighbors. Our property and my time is better suited to 3 horses, not 4, and he's now a spoiled pet and yard ornament. They don't ride, only pet and love on him. Acorn, my mare, is in with the Paint (I've changed his name to Handsome Rob, or Robbie). He'll eventually breed her.

Work is the same. Fortunately, the big boss is on vacation this week, so all of us managers are much more relaxed and at ease. It's sad when the entire store feels like that about you.

I got out the woodburner today after a long time of it being kept in the drawer and made this:

My swap group on Ravelry, the Flat Rate Box Swap, is working on a fall themed package. My pal is a dairy goat farmer and is quite obsessed about them (anyone who has been around goats should be the same way; goats have a charm that most can't resist), so I made her this woodburning of a trio of Alpine Dairy Goats out to pasture. I hope she likes it.

I'm more than halfway finished with my wedding wrap... it's getting there! It's actually an enjoyable knit when I work on it. I just hate the thought of it. I'm not much for deadline knitting, that's for sure.

I'm thinking of casting on for a new cardi/pullover/etc. Been checking patterns and the stash and I'm really liking St. James in Brooks Farm Mas Acero. But, really, I should be casting on for my wedding garter, the wedding handbinding scarf (definitely on this one, since it's probably going to be time consuming), and my mom's Christmas bag. We'll see what wins out.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Some FOs

So, I've been a bad blogger. I've been neglecting my little blog, but for good reason. I've just been working all. the. time. When I'm not working, I'm running, sleeping, and trying to get in a little fiber time.

I had an appointment with the recruiter Friday... but, he flaked on us! He was in Atlanta, despite the appointment, and couldn't see us. Sooooo.... we're seeing him tomorrow at 0800. I'm not too happy about the whole deal, but what can I do? Not really in a position to be scolding and picky.

I've been really down lately. My manager is awful and hasn't given me a day off that I want (and when she does happen to give me a day off that's good for me, she changes it last minute, like the day before, and I have to work). She has also been giving me the worst schedule, even though I'm no longer the newest assistant manager. I have several turn-arounds per month while everyone else might have one. Talking to her hasn't done much.

Anyway, this is part of my brother's Christmas gift. It's a golf club cover thing. I used a robot colorwork pattern. I used some scrap Caron Simply Soft. I want to make him 2 more (different color robots). I'll be adding pompom things to the top.

This is another Amanda's (not so) Squatty Sidekick. I used the same mods as my last one, but made it larger. A coworker loved my bag, so I made her one. She loves it. The button is ceramic and from Hobby Lobby.
I haven't been working on much else. I did finish sock number one of Pyewacket and am on the cuff of number two. The buttony sweater only needs sleeves, but I need to spin more yarn before I can do that. I bought a few patterns I'm very excited about, but need to finish up a few other things first. Like the wedding wrap. I'm about halfway finished. It's quick if I actually work on it.
Has anyone else noticed that it's taking FOREVER for the fall Interweave Crochet to come out?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Carding

I love my drum carder, but I rarely use it. I hate using it. It's not fun. I just love having it and what comes out of it... the process isn't the funnest.

Anyway, I'm off today and wanted to get a lot done. Hasn't happened yet, but I did manage to wash Johnny Cash, go for a tiny little run (it started sprinkling), and pluck one of my angoras (Flippy, the black doe). I got a lot of fiber from her and decided to blend it with some Corriedale I got from Carolina Homespun at Stitches.

There was 4 ounces of wool. I blended all of it with angora. There's definitely more wool than angora, but enough bunny is there to make a pretty halo after it's spun/knitted. I'm thinking of making some gloves like in Lorna Miser's book (Faith, Hope, Love, Knitting (or something like that; don't have it in front of me)).

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yarn

I've made a few recent yarn acquisitions.

After making those mitts, I needed more Kathmandu Aran. I mean, merino, cashmere, and silk!? I found someone on Ravelry who had 15 balls in a really pretty purple. I snatched it up and am so glad that I did. This stuff is gorgeous and makes a wonderfully soft and thick fabric. I'm thinking of a sweater of some sort...

While looking at yarn for sale/trade on Ravelry, I checked out what Cattywampus (link to the right) had available. That led me to acquiring 19 balls of elann.com Uros Aran, a 50/50 blend of wool and llama. I've never seen any elann yarn in real life and I do like this stuff. It's not too coarse, but isn't too soft either. Seems strong and I like it. My mom is going to make a vest and I'll use the rest for something.

The other addition is Bernat Satin. I got 5 or 6 skeins to make a baby blanket for a coworker who's due with their first child, a little boy, in January. I think I want to knit a chevron blankie, but am really tempted to check out the crochet patterns because knitting a blanket just doesn't seem like much fun.

The knitted blob in the picture is another Amanda's Squatty Sidekick purse. It's just like the one I made for my trip to New Jersey... same color and everything. The pregnant coworker asked for a bag like mine and I am almost finished with it. I found a really pretty blue ceramic button at JoAnn's.

Not much else going on right now. When I'm not working, I'm running with the dogs and trying to get a little fiber time in. Shawn's making the appointment to see the Army Guard recruiter this week! We're going Friday after I get off work. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Puppy for Ayden

My (future) sister-in-law, Haylee, is expecting their first baby September 11. The shower is oday. I am taking the Baby Ribbed Jacket and my mom has a box full of baby wipes and made 3 burp cloths (monogrammed with cars, which the daddy loves). I got home from work yesterday night at 12am and decided that little Ayden needs a puppy.

It is a freebie pattern I picked up at Hobby Lobby Friday. I used Caron Simply Soft held doubled. The eyes and nose are drawn on with Sharpie. Really quick and really cute.


I love the tail. It's just like Mike (pronounced Meeka), my brother's female Yorkie, who came from Korea and has almost no tail.



This is just a cute, though dark, picture I got of Pepper. She was sleeping and used her rock as a pillow. She even has one little hand under her head like a little person would do.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Christmas Knitting

This is half of Michelle's Christmas present (Mom's Cabled Mitts (Rav link)). I'm a good ways into the second one now.

I used Kathmandu Aran... a wonderful silk, cashmere, and merino blend. I won 2 balls in a contest and am hooked. I have 15 balls on the way to me now for a sweater...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kindness Never Fails to Astonish

Yesterday was a day for kindness. I received two different packages from friends with gifts.

Above is from Jen, who I met through the first swap in my group, Flat Rate Box Swap, on Ravelry. I sent a package to her. She sent me a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) on the day that Black Jack died (she didn't know about Black Jack at the time).

She bought a gorgeous amber orifice hook for my spinning wheel. I've been wanting a pretty hook and this one is stunning. She got it from an etsy shop. She also sent a pattern I had in my queue, Carmine, a really pretty skirt that will be great for fall. The card she sent was touching and so thoughtful.
This is the second box. It's from Tammy, a good friend from the knitting group/spinning guild I went to in north Georgia. I haven't seen my fiber friends for a long time now and I miss them. Tammy got me these two skeins of gorgeous yarn (that I haven't seen before) as well as The Yarn Harlot's At Knit's End book (not pictured) for graduation.

Aren't I a loved girl? I feel like it right now!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hamster Hut

My first project from The Animal Knits Bible is a hamster house.

Dot is modelling.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What Knit Picks order?

I went on my 3 mile run (go me!) and walked the 3 miles back. Johnny Cash and I were hot and tired and this box was waiting for us (ok, me) when we got back.

So, I'm bad. I have made a KP order once a month since graduating. I'm supposed to be saving money, not enhancing the stash. I wasn't going to order anything this month, but my mom needed yarn to make a Woodland Shawl to go with the dress she's wearing to my wedding. She wanted something affordable and in the right color (a pretty limey green). Of course, Knit Picks Palette was the first thing that came to mind... inexpensive and in any color you could want. Well, KP has a deal that if you spend 50.00, the shipping is free. I know it's a strategy to get you to buy more. I understand how retail works (I'm living it right now, quite unhappily). But, despite that, they get me every single time.

So, her 7.00 order of yarn turned into a 60.00 order. I took advantage of the 40% off book sale and got Pet Projects: The Animal Knits Bible (Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne). It's really great. There are projects for all animals, even rabbits and goldfish!

I also got 2 balls of Palette in Chicory. They'll probably end up being socks. For now, they'll go with the other million balls of Palette I have no plan for yet. I just can't quit buying it. The colors are so pretty and it's sooo cheap (1.99 at the most!), so I use it as a filler when I only need a few dollars to meet my 50.00 goal (ok, I went 10.00 over this time, just ignore that little detail...).

I picked up a ball of the new City Tweed in Yellow Curd. I'm really stuck on mustardy yellow right now. I'll probably make me a pair of Fetching with it.

Lastly, I got 9 skeins of KP Stroll (formerly called Essential, which I much prefer to Stroll) in sportweight. It's a new weight for KP. I got the Sarge colorway (can you guess it's OD green?) to make the Carnaby Street Pullover from the Fall Knitscene.

Here's miss June after trying to steal that ball of Palette in the lower left corner. I had just told her a few seconds before that she looked like a yarn stealer... she didn't disappoint.

A Little Update

I'm making great progress on the Buttony Sweater! I'm about to increase for the hips. I did do waist-shaping... just tried it on and decreased as I went. I think it'll turn out great. As always, I did increase it a little too much before putting the sleeves on holders. I'll seam the underarms a touch to fix that (as well as do some sleeve decreases). Sorry the pic isn't the best (it's almost 0100 and my room lighting is awful).

I'm about halfway through the foot of my first Pyewacket sock. It's a quick and easy pattern, but still entertaining. Despite being simple, I made a huge mistake. The dumbest mistake. I started doing ssk decreases on the foot instead of sssk like I should. That made a few pawprints kind of wonky (ok, very wonky). Am I about to rip back? Um, no. I'll just have to live with it (hey, it's in a shoe anyway, so who'll know?).

I've been good and have added one repeat to my wedding wrap. I've found new motivation toward it. I'll be casting on for the handbinding scarf soon (Waves of Grain).

The Air Force is a no-go. The only positions in the Ga. Reserves are pilot and navigator. Can you believe it? The most coveted jobs are the only ones available! I'm too short for them and am really not interested in them anyway. Soooo... I'm trying to go enlisted in the Army Guard (I could go officer, but am afraid I'm not tough enough for Army officer training, so will go enlisted to feel it out first). I hope that everything goes as planned. Shawn can help recruit me and will get a nice little check for it (2000.00). I am so afraid that I'll be disqualified for some reason. The military has gotten very selective since the economy has made it an appealing option for so many. I've been running a lot (did 2.25 miles today, trying to 3+ tomorrow). Sit-ups are no issues. Push-ups... well, that's definitely my weak point. But, a week of training will fix that (I remember being able to do a handful before ROTC in college and a week later being able to knock out 25 easily... yeah, I was in the front leaning rest A LOT).

Pray for me that I'll be able to join up! I want to be a flight planner. I got the Ok to be in Shawn's unit (different platoons, though), so we could ride together on drill weekends/for AT (annual training). I hope to go to a recruiter this coming Friday.

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday with Shawn. It was so nice. I love that boy and can't wait to get married.

June Carter is doing great! She and Johnny Cash are getting along better. She's definitely going to be my running buddy (I'm so glad that all 3 of my dogs love running with me). I don't want to run her too much right now since she's still growing, but she just cries and cries if I leave her at home. I took her today on the long run, but will be leaving her in the future unless I'm just walking. June's a hyper little thing and has no manners... we'll be starting training in the next week or so and she'll be a polite and obedient girl in no time. I plan on going through advanced obedience and hopefully some sort of specialty work as well (I think we'll do some fun service work like getting things on command and turning on/off the lights and such).

Anyway, that's it for now. I'll try to get more knitting pics this weekend.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Already in trouble...

Thank you, friends, for the kind words about Black Jack. I still can't believe that she's gone.

June Carter is settling in well. She's still a little scared of the other dogs (probably because the inside dogs surround her and bark non-stop when they're outside and Johnny Cash runs and tackles her), but is definitely doing better than yesterday. Here's some proof:


The flower pot, with a planted flower in it, looked like a good place to dig a little and stand in.
Oh, actually, it's a great place to sit!

Normally, we'd be out the door to run off and spank someone in the flower pot. But... she's the new baby and, look at that German Shepherd face we're suckers for... she's lucky she took after the Shepherd in her!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Goodbye, My Friend

My best girl died yesterday.

Black Jack was dumped in my front yard when I was 9 years old. She and I were best friends... we went everywhere together and did everything together. She waited for me at the bus stop every afternoon... if I went to a friend's house and didn't get off the bus, she would sulk back to the house, lay under the truck, and refuse to move or eat until I returned.

She was the best dog. I could take her anywhere, training was a breeze (she was the first dog I trained), she got along great with other animals.

Black Jack was 17 years old. My mom accidentally ran over her yesterday and she died instantly. I am beyond sad about it, but it was almost a blessing at the same time. She went quickly. I was always so afraid of going out one day and just finding her dead or having her get sick and having to make the decision to put her down. But, there is no easy way to lose a pet, a member of the family, my best friend for 13 years. We are having the funeral tomorrow. My dad built a really nice coffin for her.

She had 17 good years. She was healthy up until the end, only having lost her hearing and most of her eyesight. I am so thankful for that. She will be missed forever. There will never be another like my sweet BJ Girl.


We say goodbye to Black Jack and welcome June Carter:

I dropped BJ's body off at the vet to be kept in the freezer until the burial. As I was leaving, my old coworker and friend gave me an ad for a puppy with a sweet face. My friend helped in the c-section that gave us the litter this little girl was in. I am the type that needs to get another pet soon after losing one... it helps me to keep my mind off the lost pet, keeps me from dwelling on it. Moma and I went this morning and picked up June Carter, a 15 week old mutt with a sweet personality and face that reminds me of Black Jack when she was young.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Knitting, Bunnies, and Pepper!


Moma went with me to the allergy doctor today, so it was a great chance for knitting on the ride and in the waiting room. I am almost through the heel flap on my Pyewacket Socks; it's an Eye of the Partridge, my first, and I really love how pretty it is. I usually go for a regular slipped stitch heel. The true color is really a pretty purple, not the bluish purple in the picture.

I've gotten a lot done on my Buttony Sweater. I love how it's coming out. I was worried for a bit about gauge... it's handspun and I could have been a tad more consistent with thickness in some places, but it ended up being ok and isn't enough to worry over/make it look funny. I have a few more increase rounds before I can start knitting straight on the body.

While in Gainesville, we stopped by my rabbit buddy's house to pick up my final three bunnies (you can see her website here). Here they are (they are all English and are littermates):

This is Dandy, a chinchilla buck.

Butters, a lilac tort buck.

Rigby, a self chin (black) doe.

And, Pepper, who gets little blog time. She's a Bearded Dragon. I got her as a tiny little hatchling in 2007. She's grown so much and gains more and more color with each shed. She's an excellent eater. Her color is more vibrant in real life.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

New WIP



I really should be working on my wedding wrap. But, it's so boring. I am going to make myself knit at least 1 repeat a week, though, starting this coming week. It should be finished soon enough.

This is the Buttony Sweater in my handspun Romney x (roving from Hello Yarn, spun into a heavy worsted/bulky 3-ply). I have modded the pattern to suit my wants/needs and I think this is going to be a winner. I have my KP Options set, so have circs long enough to actually try the thing on as I go (my problem with past raglans... just wing it and they are too big). I have 4 skeins spun so far and haven't made to large of a dent into the 2 lb I originally purchased, so yardage shouldn't be an issue. I can't wait to have the FO and I really can't wait for winter so I can wear it!

In other news, I've been looking for a new job. With no luck. Surprising, huh? I actually could get a job in ID at the Sheriff's Department (and would be sent to CSI school... I have Daddy connections and part of my degree is in CJ ;-), but the application/hiring process takes about 3 months. I need to leave my job before then. It's become unbearable and I have found out about a few things going on in upper management that have made working there really tough. The entire store wants to be transferred/quit, but they won't move us out of the store and we can't afford to quit without another job lined up and ready to go. Anyway, I'm talking to an Air Force recruiter Tuesday. It'll be an enlisted recruiter, but he can point me in the right direction for OTS (Officers Training School). I hope to be able to leave for training in a month or so... train for 4 months, start back at Walgreens (and hopefully have some changes by then... new manager or I get put in a new store), and start the process for getting hired at the Sheriff's Dept. That's the plan. I'm really hoping that I can go through with the AF thing... I have had ankle surgery, but I'm not looking to fly, so that shouldn't be something that I can't get a waiver for if needed. I know that there's a hold on enlistments since the military has become a very popular job option in this economy... hoping that it's not the same for officers. I'll go either Guard or Reserves. Very excited!