About Me

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Illinois, United States
I am a band director at five private schools in Kankakee. Music is a big part of my life, but knitting and crafting are right up there too. I own a ridiculous stash of yarn, which I am slowly using... and replacing with better yarn... I tend to knit and crochet a lot, in class, out of class, while watching tv, while driving, pretty much constantly. I have been involved with crochet romantically for 15 years, and involved with knitting for 11 years. They sometimes get jealous of each other. I think its funny. Along with knitting and crocheting, I quilt, spin (drop spindle) and design patterns!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Found it online and wanted to share it!

Knitter's Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
There was unfinished knitting not under the tree,
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'Cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep---he was no help at all.
And the sweater for him was 6" too small.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash.
Tripped over my yarn and fell down in my stash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how far I still had to go.

When out on the lawn I heard such a noise,
I was sure it would wake up both Dad and the boys.
And although I was tired--my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment that it must be St Nick.

Yet what I heard left me very perplex-ed
For nothing I heard was what I expect-ed.
"Move Rowan! Move Patons! Move Koigu and Clover!
Move Shelridge! Move Starmore! Move Spinrite!
Move over!

Lopi, don't circle around, just stand there in line.
Pay attention you sheep and you'll work out just fine!
I know this is hard as it's just your first year
But I'd hate to go back to 8 tiny reindeer."

I peered over the sill. What I saw was amazing:
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing!
And then in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's big boots stomping on the porch floor.

I rose from my knees and got back on my feet.
As I turned around, St Nick I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his heat to his toe
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.

A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back.
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His hat was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosey red face.

The scarf on his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
On the back of his mitts was an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I spotted a small label:

"S.C." in duplicate on the cuff.
So I asked, "Hey, Nick, did YOU knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was just a kid."

He was chubby and plump, a well dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.

He spoke not a word, but looked down in his lap
Where I had laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He began then to knit, first one cap then 2--
For the first time I thought I might really get through.

He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks,
While I sat back drinking a scotch on the rocks.
Quickly like magic his needles they flew,
Good Grief! He was finished by two!

He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me.
I heard him explain as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year, start your knitting sometime around JUNE!"

Monday, December 19, 2011

Episode 8: Hi all! It's been a while!

The band! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpwrDarlze0

Christmas Blanket- stash bust Red heart
Blue and Silver Scarf- Vannas glamour yarn
Chunky Cowl- Malabrigo in Zarzamora (gifted)
Passafier Baby Blanket- baby yarn
Field of Greens- Baby yarn
Shawl- Handspun
New York Jets Hat- Red Heart Yarn

Slipped Stitch Cowl- random sock yarn
Socks- Salvia- 100% Merino
Black eye shawl- Zauberball

Taylored Fibers- Super wash Merino 100% wool 137 yards
Seaweed yarn 78 yards Navajo Plied
Gifted from Alpacaandwe 244 yards, plyed with white yarn I spun a couple months ago
Far Nebula - Madd Mess roving - 4 3/8 ounces from http://www.etsy.com/shop/Dingbattz?ref=seller_info - 548 yards  plied with three threads at once

Friday, December 09, 2011

But why do you spin???

This is not for those who spin.

This is for those who do not understand why I own a spinning wheel.

This is for those who stare at me weird when I say I spin my own yarn.

This is for those who are confused what I mean when I say I spin my own yarn.

Get ready for the extremely watered down version of how I go about spinning.

First off. You have your animal.

Sometimes sheep, sometimes alpaca, some times even silk worms. For realz.
You make the sheep bald and cold, then clean the wool.

Then someone dyes it. I have not gotten into dying yet, as I do not have the kitchen space, free time, or creativity as of yet. Though it will happen in my future.
^someone dyeing their fiber. Beautiful right?

After it is dyed, they dry it and braid it (depending on how they finish their fiber, sometimes they braid it, sometimes they batt it. There are differences but its just too much detail :) )

It is literally a thick....well... wrist thick...chunka.

Then you do this thing called drafting, which means you pull at the fibers so it is no longer thick, but looser and loftier.
And you take a drop spindle (which is what I started on)

Or a spinning wheel (Which I now have *SQUEE!*)

And you spend hours, (more so on the spindle) and I mean hours spinning. I am not very fast at the wheel yet, but I am getting better. The spindle and wheel literally twist the yarn, making it stronger (most of the time). And once you're done spinning half of the fiber you can stop there and call it a single. Or you can ply it, where you literally twist what you just worked with with another yarn, or onto itself. Confusing? It's really not. Its just alot of steps!

Once the yarn is spun, I wrap it around this swift which my awesome dad made me for Christmas last year. wrap wrap wrap, tie, measure, and then its off to the sink.

You have to soak the yarn to set the twist, then you fwack it. (Slam it against the wall, pull it, yadda yadda.)

Once the yarn dries, you have a skein of yarn! (I navajo plied this! First time and it went sorta well)
Close up of the yarn, not too shabby!

Some other yarn I recently spun and navajo plied. I was not fond of it at first but now I love it. I only wish I had more!
I LOVE IT! But seriously. 74 yards wont even get me a hat... hmmmm
What do I do with the yarn once its all spun up and pretty? I usually put it up in my store for a couple months, and if no one buys it and it expires in the store, I usually knit it up into something.
For instance! This was some of my favorite yarn that I spun up. It was 100% wool, and so colorful! The hat will be sold in my store shortly.
This is a shawl I made with some yarn I recently spun. It will also go up in my store soon.

Hopefully that gave you an idea of how I go about spinning my yarn.

Why do I do it?
It's relaxing
It's fun
It's exciting to really get down to the basics.
I couldn't find a good rainbow yarn, but I found some fiber. So I made my own yarn. How many people can say that?

I like knitting with the yarn I spun.

It's unique.
I like saying that I spin yarn.
It's what I do when knitting, crocheting, and quilting get boring.

And lastly.
It hypnotises my cat.
Which just makes it that much more worth it.

Spinners out there? Why do you spin?

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I want to start out by apologizing for not doing a video this time around. I was planning on it, but with all the chaos of holidays I just wanted to lounge around the apartment in sweats!

But I still wanted to update as I have had such a great holiday (minus a couple of not so great issues...)

First up, Steve finally has his diagnosis. He has been having severe issues for months now, and
after multiple ER visits, and doctor visits, he was diagnosed with Crohns disease... So... well. Lets just say it sucks. Especially right around Thanksgiving. Mind you, he has had symptoms for years now, but it just got really bad these past couple months and he finally decided to take my advice and go see a doctor.

If anyone out there has some advice for making mornings less miserable for him, please let me know, I have done my research but its not the same as first hand accounts!

Other than having to deal with that, things have been pretty great. I have gotten a whole bunch of knitting done while he is resting, and I have been able to chug out quite a few things!

So heres the pictures!
First up is a squirrel from a squirrel family that has been haunting my poor Kitty day and night. Partially my fault for leaving a pumpkin to rot on the front porch, they have their nightly meals of pumpkin and it drives Kitty nuts.
His name is Ted, and he is a cutey!

Kitty glares at me from her table whenever I laugh at her....

Onto the knitting! I just finished this hat, earflap style. It is knit out of the yarn I spun on my drop spindle, 100% wool. I love this hat. I loved the yarn. I am just so proud of it!
It will be going up for sale in my shop this week, I dont wear hats, otherwise I would keep it!
Next up is a shawl I knit with the wool I also spun on my drop spindle. It was a pleasure to knit up and it went by really fast. I winged the pattern, but it sorta reminds me of the The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower. Though not really.

I love it and I plan on keeping it for myself unless someone gives me a great offer! I love it and its soft and warm!

Lastly for the works in progress (which truthfully is not even half of what I have going now, I got lazy and didnt take more pictures)

is my silk hankie cowl. I must say, it is such an interesting thing to work with. My hands are slightly rough so the fibers stick to me like nuts. I love how it looks, I love how it knits up, but I cannot stand how my fingers stick in it!

Will I do it again? probably. Will I like it? eh. I'm sure I will once its done!

When I got to my rents place for Thanksgiving, I was greeted with multiple packages. Some I had ordered and knew about, and some were a complete surprise! Every single one made me smile ear to ear all day.

First up was the Far Nebula - Madd Mess roving - 4 3/8 ounces from http://www.etsy.com/shop/Dingbattz . I love the shop on Etsy, and I loved this fiber.
I cannot wait to spin this up, not sure what I will do with it yet, or what weight I will spin it, but I love it. LOVE IT. Epic. It has merino top and fleece, corriedale roving, mohair locks, bamboo, firestar in it. And it is gorgeous!

After that I opened up my last shipment of Sunset Fibers roving of the month club. It is cute pastel colors, and super squishy. I would reorder for the next three months, but currently I cannot afford any more, and I really have a lot of fiber at this point!

When I ordered my silk hankies from http://www.etsy.com/shop/SheepishCreations I also bought some fiber (Romney Wool Roving (Top) - Handpainted Spinning or Felting Fiber, "Samwise Gamgee" - 4.0) Which I love. And it is named after a character from the LOTR, which just makes me love it even more. When will I have time to spin it? No idea. But I will make it happen!
Next up was something I did expect. A teacher that I met when I was doing my graduate study abroad in Germany sent me an awesome care package! I had told her that for some stupid reason I forgot to get myself the one thing that I wanted to get while in Germany. A German made cuckoo clock magnet. She sent me one!
I left it on my parents fridge, but I swear she got me one and it works too! She also sent another cute magnet from/of Esslingen, which is the town we stayed in when we were there. AND sent me a whole bunch of German chocolate, which I did of course take pictures of!

The next package I opened was an RAK from a fellow Ravelryer. She sent me a very nice card thanking me for my dedication to teaching, and I almost cried. It was so sweet. Its just nice to know there are people that appreciate teachers out there.

She sent me chunky Malibrigo yarn in the Zarzamora colorway. It is beautiful, and I have no idea what I am going to do with it. Any ideas for bulky yarn out there?

Last but not least is the part of the post that made me say "OOOOOHHHH AWESOME!" So loudly that my parents came rushing down the stairs thinking I was dying or something.

Once I bought my spinning wheel, I started saving up to buy myself a flute. I have a trumpet, 3 clarinets, and a tenor sax. I find that when I am doing private lessons, some student benefit from hearing what the part should sound like before they play it. So with trumpet and flute I would just take their instrument and wipe it off before playing on it. But I really did not want to have to do that for sanitary reasons. Hence wanting to buy a flute.

I had posted on Plurk that I was attempting to save money through my Etsy store to purchase a flute, and Gail aka Alpacaandewe on Plurk messaged me saying that she might be able to help me out. She said she had one but was not using it, and would love to see it go to someone who could use it. She asked for a very small amount of money (flutes can range anywhere from 400-3,000$, and I was so grateful for the price she asked!)

She told me she would package it well, and sent it on the way.
I love the decorated case!
Its so beautiful! Plays like a charm too. I wouldnt say I am expert flute player, but now I can actually practice ahead of time to work with my students. Next podcast I will include a little tidbit of me playing flute, I am so happy!

But to my surprise.... She had not only included the flute. She kept her word on making sure the packing was suitable as to not hurt the flute. But I had no idea how awesome the packing would be!!!

Instead of actually packing peanuts, she included fiber. And lots of it. Everything except the braid (handdyed and falkland) is alpaca, which I have never actually worked with.
Look at all of that fiber!!! I think I started foaming at the mouth when I realized what it all was. Mom actually asked me if I was going to be alright. I explained to her how EPIC this package was. She was excited about the flute, but didnt understand my excitement when it came to the fiber. "It just looks like a bunch of stuff."

After I refused to talk to her for five hours, I explained how awesome it was.

The alpaca was dyed and processed by Gail, and grown by her sons. It is so soft. should be illegal.... I am so excited to work with the black and white fiber in the first picture, and the peachish in the second picture. You dont even understand how excited I was. I almost asked greg to take of picture of me throwing everything up in the air, but then decided I didnt want to risk felting anything.

Because Gail is so epically awesome (EPIC is the word of the week) I am pimping her store and blog.

Blog: http://alpacaandewe.blogspot.com/
Store: http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/AlpacaandEwe

Some days you just feel like crap after how the day has turned out. But knowing there are people out in the world who care makes me smile day in and day out. Thank you Gail, Maren, and Janie. You three are some of the most amazing people I know, and I cannot explain how grateful I am to know you!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Plurk Cookbook!

It's hard to keep replurking for all the new people interested so I am just going to make this the common link so I can just post it for people who are interested!

I am collecting favorite recipes from fellow plurkers to make a plurk cookbook. It can be any recipe, and since I am giving this cookbook away as PDF files to my plurk friends, (not selling) you can also send me your favorite recipes from cookbooks or whatnot.

This will be my Christmas present to all of you out there in Plurkland!

My mouth waters whenever I see all the Dinner plurks, and I though what a great way to create variety, and accessibility.

If you are interested in having one of your recipes included please email me at luganchica102@yahoo.com.

Limit 5 recipes each plurker. Try and think of an appetizer, salad or soup, main dish, and dessert!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Knitwithlove Episode 6: All Tied Up

Show Notes:
Fundraising for Kappa Kappa Psi

In Progress:
Test knit purse for Kelly- Red Heart yarn
Braided cowl- random sock yarn
Christmas Baby Blanket- stash busting red heart yarn
Linen Stitch Scarf- ramdom sock yarns

Baby Hats- stash yarn
Fundraisers for Kappa Kappa Psi
Scrap scarves for shop
Halloween socks-Knit Picks Felici in Abracadabra

4 ounces Sunset Fibers Merino wool= 489 yards on spindle
100% wool= 266 yards
Kromski Prelude = love

Check out my shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/luganchica102
Any profit from my shop will go straight into buying myself a flute (not brand new of course) so I can help my beginning flute players play strongly.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sick and Lethargic!

Forgive me, but I really have no motivation this week to do a podcast. I have been in and out of feeling ickky and sleepy, and in my free time I pass out!

But I really really really want to show you some things I have been working on!

Steve got his socks this weekend, and turns out I could have made them much longer! But he was really happy with them, and wore them every night I was there! I made him wear slippers so his icky carpet wouldnt dirty them, but he seemed to love them, so I am happy!

Kitty was not so fond of the socks though....

Now I was working on some fiber from Sunset Fibers Roving of the month club. 4 ounces of merino wool that was just absolutely awesome to work with! I was able to get a whopping 489 yards with it, and I am very happy with the results.
It was spun with a drop spindle, and took literally forever... oih.

Glad it is done though! BECAUSSSEEEE.......
I bought myself a spinning wheel!! I have been saving up for this wheel since the beginning of my job, and once The Yarn Studio started selling wheels I knew it was going to happen.

So I went over to the YS this past weekend and the owner Jeanette had the wheel set up already, and showed me how to spin with some scrap fiber.
The gray part of the yarn is what I spun, the red is just plain commercial wool. But it gives you an idea of how even I was able to get it. Soooo much easier than drop spindle! I am so happy!

Once I got home and Steve got out of the hospital... (long story) I started spinning some 100% wool that I purchased when I got the wheel. I was able to finish it in 2 days, and I love the result.
I was able to get 266 yards before I filled up my bobbins, and even though I can't stand how rough the yarn is, I absolutely love it.
So I was very excited about it.
I have started spinning up some roving from WoolGatherings (http://www.etsy.com/transaction/56781947) This is how much I have gotten so far. I have been moving slow recently. If I knit or spin I get sleepy within five minutes and want to take a nap... I think I am getting sick, but I don't know yet! It might just be the weather. Gah.

That is all I have for today, I do have some In progress items I am knitting, but the light is just not right in my apartment and will not do it justice. Until next time!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Knitwithlove Ep. 5 What else could go wrong?

Halloween Socks
Knit picks Felici yarn in Abracadabra

Linen Stitch cowl
Random sock yarn

Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits
Sock scraps

Steve's socks

Plying the merino wool!
New spinning wheel!!! WEEEEE!!!!

Store updates:
Scrap scarves, stitch markers, ear flap hats, winter hat and scarf sets!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Knitwithlove Ep. Four: Getting Caught Up

Toe up socks loosely based on Lifestyle Toe Up Socks by Charisa Martin Cairn
Yarn: Heritage 150
(technically FO now, finished it last night after I recorded!)

Linen Stitch Scrap Scarf
Yarn: ALLLLL different types of sock yarn

Sunset FIbers 4 ounces Merino Wool

Technically nothing this week....

Corriedale Fiber from Sunset Fibers
The Whole Craft of Spinning- Carol Kroll
Start Spinning- Maggie Casey
Intertwined- Lexi Boeger

Check it out!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Knitwithlove Podcast 3

I promise to get the shownotes done tomorrow!
Please excuse how frumpy I look! It was my day off!

Sunshine on the Horizon Scrap Scarf- done with.... scraps

Shop Updates
Stitch markers and earrings!
Check out my shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/luganchica102

Black and gray scarf- red heart yarn
Steves socks: Pattern "referred to" Lifestyle Toe Up Socks- Charisa Martin Cairn
My own pattern technically: K2 P1 yadda yadda
Cascade Yarns- Heritage 150

Spinning: Sunset Fibers 4 ounces of M6-11
$132.70 dollars saved up for the Prelude spinning wheel!!!

Lithuanian Blanket- Now turned into scarf :)
Jeweled Cowl- Alpaca with a Twist Fino