It’s a Fairy Princess-palooza!

Well, maybe less of a -palooza and more of a crochet-a-long, but a good time nonetheless!

Last week, I was approached by a fellow Raveler who asked if I would be interested in being a guest blogger in a series she was calling “Think Happy Thoughts” where she was hoping to feature my crochet pattern, Fairy Princess Daisy Chain Crown.  After perusing her blog and getting lost in its whimsical, fun content, I jumped at the opportunity.  Today she posted my guest blog, and you can find that here.

Her request give me the idea to do a February Crochet-a-Long (CAL) featuring the Fairy Princess Daisy Chain Crown.  I will be hosting the CAL at my Ravelry group, Must.Knit.Faster, but will share the pattern here for those of you not on Ravelry.

The CAL will begin tomorrow, when I will post the pattern here on the blog, or you can download that pattern as a pdf on Ravelry here for free!

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Must Have Monday- Preita Salyer Designs!

Must Have Monday is back this week with an old favorite, and a definite must have- the designs of Preita Salyer of Mr. Poopers Day Out!

I first became enthralled with Preita’s designs back in 2009 when I knit her Hawk Hat design which was intended to warm my own noggin, but instead was claimed as a birthday gift when my friend Joan saw me wearing it and promptly swiped it  right off my head.

Her pattern was extremely well written, and very clear which seems to be a continuing trend in her pattern writing.

One of the things that I appreciate the most about Preita’s designs is that even while she is releasing more complex and detailed designs such as Weave it!, and her English Garden Cardigan, she maintains and continues to release quick and simple, yet equally gorgeous, designs for new knitters or knitters desiring a instant gratification project such as her Perfection Cowl and her Outlaw Cowl.

Behold- some pattern-y goodness designed by Preita Salyer:

Cherry Surprise Shawl- FREE on Ravelry

Rough Sea Shawl- FREE on Ravelry!

Zag Hat- FREE on Ravelry!

Channel Islands Shawl- $7 on Ravelry!

Pix Shawl- $6 on Ravelry!

Weave it!- $6 on Ravelry!

And finally, her newest design, Outlaw- $7 on Ravelry!

And while Preita’s designs are amazing in themselves, her blog nearly deserves it’s own featured Must Have Monday.  Mr. Poopers Day Out features not only knitting fun, but also fun pictures of her life on her farm, including hats on goats (it’s worth the blog visit, trust me!).  So check out Preitas designs and blogs today and tell me what you think!

 

New Free Pattern: Wee Toshettes

With all of the stress of the past month, I had not found the time to introduce my newest pattern, Wee Toshettes.

After many requests for a child-size version of my popular Toshette pattern, I was finally able to sit down and design a quickly knit version of the original.  These are knit in bulky weight yarn (as seen in the purple version) or worsted held doubled (as seen in the yellow version) and you can easily knit a pair in a weekend.  A pdf of the pattern is available here on Ravelry free, so check it out and let me know what you think!

E.R.B.

Last year  the United States Navy, faced with increasingly overmanned ratings with fewer people getting out of the Navy, implemented the Enlisted Retention Board.  The Navy set parameters for whos records would be reviewed by this board for involuntary discharge from the Navy.  We were told that while my Husband fell into the catergories for record review, he had only a slim to none chance of actually being involuntarily discharged.  He has a spotless record, and ZERO of the people in his rate were slated for discharge.  “Only the real douche bags with DUI’s and additudes will go.” they said.  In November 2011, the Enlisted Retention Boards decisions of who to involuntarily seperate were released.  Sadly, my Husband was not selected for retention and is slated to be released from the United States Navy 1 September 2012.  We were shell shocked to say the least.  How could this happen?  My Husband has never in his 13.5 years of honorable Navy service failed a physical readiness test, been reprimanded for his weight, been on the recieving end of any kind of disciplinary action- AND is in a rate that was supposed to have ZERO discharges.  His evaluations have always been top notch, and he has always been a dedicated leader.  And yet, he was told that his service was coming to an end- his dream to retire from the US Navy as a Chief was not going to become a reality because someone made such a terrible decision. 

How do you mend a broken spirit?  How do you look my Husband in the eye and tell him that it is going to be ok?  That the past 13.5 years were not in vain and that someone is going to hire him straight out of the Navy.  That he IS worth a damn and that this decision was just a number pulled from a hat, and not a reflection of him as a construction professional.  That our family will survive this. 

How can the big Navy decision makers live with this terrible decision?  Would it not have been a better option to put out a letter to everyone who was eligible for the board that they were looking for volunteers to voluntarily end their contracts, recieve a seperation package, resume and job finding assistance?  Tell me that they couldn’t fill their quotas that way. 

But here we are.  Facing a new life after the Navy.  Facing uprooting our children for the last time, finding a new career for my Husband, and trying to find the positive in all of this.  My military “friends” have already begun the shunning, claiming that they just dont know what to say.  Really?  I hate to be all uppity, but someday this will be you too.  The military isn’t forever, and maybe this is just fate giving us a head start.