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!