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, March 30, 2011

Organizing my yarn stash... or attempting to... 2KCBWDAY3

I really don't want to talk about my stash. I really really don't want people to know about my sickness.

But since I agreed to do this blogging week, I guess I will share.

This is the yarn storage I have at my parents place in my bedroom there. Mind you, it does not look as organized on the top of it anymore. Months upon months of me not being there, and the rents throwing mail, and whatever else on top... well it's messy now.

But this is how it looked before!

the blue container on top with the drum company stickers holds all my knitting/crochet magazines. The black wire container holds my pattern books. (now I have so many, including my quilting books, that it does not all fit there anymore...)

Ok, so you saw the organized portion. I have three big garbage bags full of acrylic yarn that people have donated to me. I am really trying to get rid of it. (if you are interested, I will send you some...

Imagine two more bags filled like this one...

Gives you an idea of how I am swimming in acrylic...

Now, including those bags and that storage thing in my room at my rents place, I also have a drawer full of yarn in my dresser.

Now in my apartment.... I have two of those big plastic tubs full of yarn. The two foot high, two foot wide and long bins? Yeah. Two of those filled with yarn.

And then under my bed... two of those long under bed containers, filled with *drum roll* good yarn. My non acrylics. My love nest. My "if you touch this yarn I will cut you" yarn.

Is that all? No. I have random balls of yarn in bags, on my desk, sitting around in my room, on my bed, really anywhere it will fit.

I love yarn. But I really don't buy it unless I need it. Most of it has been donated to me. And its nuts...

I am stash burning though, slowly...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day Two: Skill + 1UP

New skillz within my last year of projects eh?

Well lets start off with spinning. I am counting this as important to knitting and crochet because I eventually will use the yarn to knit or crochet!

I started to teach myself how to spin using a drop spindle. I have come close to feeling comfortable with it, and I am loving the results I have been achieving.

This is the second yarn I spun up which I knit into a hat, because I didn't have much of it, and I wanted to see how it would knit up. And I liked it. A lot. Alot alot alot.

My second skein that I spun up was a challenge. I taught myself the Andean plying method, which is pretty much just wrapping the yarn around your fingers in some sort of a figure 8. It helps making it easier to spin the yarn into a two ply. Which as you see I was able to somehow do it with this yarn!

My third skein of yarn I kept single ply, and I knit it up into a scarf as soon as I had it off the drying rack. I love this yarn. But then again, I have not spun a yarn that I didnt love!

And lastly for the spinning, I have to show my current pride and joy. I am just about done with the roving, so so so close. I was hoping to finish spinning it tonight so I could put it all together and soak it, but I don't think I will have time... Sigh...
Doesn't it just make you want to drool?

Socks. They were the next big step of the past year. If you follow my blog, you will see how much I hate knitting socks. I can knit circles around scarves, hats, blankets, toys, anything but socks. But I have been trying to love them. Trying to understand why no matter how small my needles are, the socks still seem... thin... I swear to myself I will do better with socks!

The three pairs of socks that I have completed in the past year. I WILL DO BETTER THIS YEAR!

That is all on socks.

My life with yarn revolves around multiple ideas though. Not just knitting and crocheting. (If you only care about knitting and crocheting, then stop reading here. If you are a cool person, keep reading!)

This past year I had an analysis project in... analysis. And I was kinda... dared to "cross stitch" the project. I embroidered it instead. So, here is my embroidery of Joseph Haydn's Symphony Number 101 in D Major.

I am a complete nerd. I know this. But I learned how to embroider pretty fast. even though this project probably took 30+ hours, compared to the 2 hours it took the rest of my classmates. Worth every extra second.

Lastly, the farthest away from knitting and crocheting in this post, was learning how to sew quilts, and how to actually quilt, quilts.

This was a big deal for me because I have always been able to sew, but never something equal to quilt magnitude. And I bow down to anyone who can make more than two quilts in a year. It is extremely time consuming. But the finished project is epic. EPIC!

This was my first quilt. I kept it. I love it. It adorns my apartment couch. Simple pattern, but for someone practically teaching herself how to quilt, I say I did a pretty darn good job.

Next up, and lastly is the quilt I made my cousin when she graduated high school. I spent 6 months on it, far too much money (did you know making a quilt was expensive?) but every second of it was worth it to see her face when she received it!

Of course another music quilt. Because I am a music freak. Don't like it? I don't care! :)

I think all in all I have expanded my crafting knowledge over the past year. I of course would like to keep going, hopefully getting a good teaching job in the next few months so I can afford a spinning wheel. Yes, the spinning wheel will be bought before I buy a new car. I will walk to work every day if my car breaks down. As long as I have a spinning wheel to come home to!

With no surprise from me, it did not block well. The yarn was acrylic. *face palm*
But its still pretty. And I will wear it. No doubt.

Until next time my awesome readers.

Monday, March 28, 2011



*skips with joy*

A Tale of Two Yarns 2KCBWDAY1

Day One: 28th March. A Tale of Two Yarns.

Lets see.... yarn.... I have tons of favorites. Malabrigo, Araucania Quillay, anything silk or bamboo. But at this moment my absolute favorite yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select. I love love love this yarn. The colors are amazing, and for some reason I am obsessed with the way it is wound.

I think its wound with magic.

Fairies actually spin this yarn.

This yarn is dyed by tiny elves.

With this yarn I knit up one of my favorite shawls, Waves of Leaves Shawl by Ijeoma Oluo. I loved how it came out, I love how it looks. I love the colors. Have I said I love this yarn yet?

As for this yarn. It is still sitting in my stash. It beckons to me every week or so, but I cannot find a project I feel is worthy of it. It is driving me bonkers. Totally totally bonkers.

I will find you a pattern oh yarn of the heavens...

Now I must talk about a yarn that I love. A yarn that I find so interesting that I went through a stage where I spent hundreds of dollars just buying more and more of this yarn. The story behind this beautiful, catching, jaw dropping yarn is as follows:

This yarn is made from remnants and scraps of Indian saris. It is 100% silk and silk remnants. It is called recycled, but the yarn is actually made out of unused silk fibers left over after making the saris. You can even find little twigs in the yarn sometimes depending on how it was made.

What is this yarn?
It's the Himalayan Yarn, Nepalese Yarn, Kathmandu Yarn, Rungy Chungy Yarn, or Tibetan Yarn, or recycled silk yarn.

And its amazing. So pretty. So unique.

SO USELESS! Great. I can make purses. Scarves, hats, anything that touches the skin, NO GO. Why? Because the stupid yarn is scratchy, and uncomfortable. And it sheds like nuts.

But it sure is purdy.

This is a purse I knit with it. Put some really nice dark red fabric on the inside.

And now I have way too many skeins of this yarn, and a lack of interest. Sad, sad day..

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Good end to a crappy week!

I want to start off by saying that this week has been extremely difficult on me! I received a text from my roomie stating that we received a 698$ water bill. Our water bills are normally 35-45 a month....

Freaking out a little, I called the water department, who said that they contacted our landlord March 9th, and he sent a repairman in to check things out. The landlord never told me or my roomie anything. Did not even let us know that the repairman stopped by.

I called the landlord, and he said not to worry and we don't have to pay. He said he sent over the repairman to check things out and nothing was wrong.

So I skipped out on student teaching for a morning to go to the water department. They said they were told that the repairman fixed the toilet, which had been running. (I had called the landlord in November telling him that this was the case, repairman said everything was fine)
If I had a receipt from the repairman then they can do some deductions. Repairman seemed to be ignoring my calls for two days straight... Water company called 2 minutes after I did, and got into contact with him....

I freaked out a little with this whole issue, because I literally can barely pay my bills as it is. So I am sure the water department felt bad, which is why they lowered the bill down to 120$. (I would hate having someone crying in my office too.....)

So... landlord... when I say something is wrong with my toilet, I am not lying. 689$ is way too much for a water bill. About 14 times our regular bill. I am not dumb. Do not say nothing is wrong.

Then! After my Germany trip was approved, I bought the extremely expensive plane tickets (non-refundable) about a thousand bucks... and a week later I receive an email stating that they cannot approve me for the class I signed up to go to Germany with. By the time I got to the email, the secondary education office was closed. Commence Freakout All Night.

I did get that figured out tho, pretty simple too, which was nice. All I have to do is sign up for Graduate school, pay an extra 30 bucks, and sit tight.

I save money, I barely spend it unless I am buying yarn. I am a stickler for money. So when someone tells me I owe over 500, or that I wasted my money, I freak out.

Thats just me though.

Now for what cheered me up!


I wanted to start a new pattern, to find out that my 6 needles were being used by my Citron. So I put forth the effort to finally finish it. It takes forever when you get to the last 11 ish rows... so many stitches! But its a good TV knit, and I was able to watch Diners, Drive ins, and Dives while finishing it!

Isn't she just so pretty?

I blocked it on my BRAND NEW............... Puzzle piece thingys!
I made Steve step away from his video games to take me to Walmart so I could pick up some T-pins for blocking, and saw that these mats were only 5 bucks, so i bought a pack, cause I am tired of getting dirty knitted items from the floor! (Fellow Charleston knitters, go to Walmart!)
I couldn't even wait to get home, and I blocked the shawl at Steves place, on his big bedroom floor. Which is not possible in my place, cause I do not have a bedroom floor. Since the darn room is so small....

But when I woke up this morning, and I saw that I have not yet blocked my Eliina Shawl? Well duh, I blocked that too! Only issue is.... well... I did not buy enough mats, but it still is blocking fine!

Eliina shawl. huge. Absolutely the biggest lace thing I have knitted. I loved the yarn (Malabrigo Yarn Lace) and I love the pattern. I am glad to have it blocking though, cause it was getting in my way sitting on my desk!

The next thing I have to block is the *GASP* Yellow Scarf Of Death! Yes I have finished it. Yes it is sitting in a crumpled heap on the floor. Yes it took me forever, because it was one of those projects you liked when you started, and then by the middle you loathe it. But being the person I am, I was not about to frog it. I finished it. All of it. Now I wait until Eliina is done blocking so I can block Scarf O Doom.

Next up is the give away that In it To Knit It won. She posted pics on her blog (http://iitki.blogspot.com/2011/03/look-whhat-i-won.html) and I am glad she liked it so much! I plan on doing my next giveaway with in the next couple weeks!

Lastly, my new workout and weight loss goals. I of course want to eat healthy. And I have been doing my absolute best to do so. I found a new calorie and workout tracker on my Ipod, and I will be using that a bunch. I also have been looking up great low calorie recipes. Yesterday morning, Steve and I made mushroom, and turkey bacon omelets when I got back from the gym. Last night we made a tuna steak salad, with browned portabella mushrooms, and baked herb garlic potato "chips". Everything from scratch and it was just amazing. Plus it filled me up.

We decided on blueberry pancakes this morning, and I asked for three but really only ate one. I guess I was still full from last nights dinner, which made me smile. Once I am done with this post I will be heading over to the gym for another workout. So far, as of Friday and Saturday, I have burned 900 calories. 2,600 more to go before I burn off a pound. (As long as I am eating healthy and not stocking up on calories)

Tonight, we are making Portabella mushroom burgers. Something along the lines of this-> http://www.ivillage.com/portobello-cheeseburgers/3-r-310704

Can you tell that we are a couple that likes mushrooms? Loves actually.

I just have to make sure I am not too tired during the week nights, so that I can go workout and keep myself going.

Does anyone out there have any good low calorie meals? I am pretty good on dinners, but its the lunchs that I have to pack for school that really throw me off. I eat my sandwich and I am still starving. So I need something else to fill me up! Give me some ideas!

That is all for today.
Tomorrow starts the Second Annual Knitting and Crochet Week!! I am so excited! http://eskimimiknits.com/knitting-and-crochet-blog-week-2011/

Monday, March 21, 2011

2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

I cannot wait.


Just cannot wait.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Yarny Goodness

I want to start off with some... yarn porn.

I have been spinning this yarn on my drop spindle for a couple weeks now. I am loving how it is turning out. I love the intensity of the colors. I love that I am getting better at creating a constant flow, instead of the thick and thin yarn I made the last time. I have been doing more research to figure out what I was doing wrong. I have learned a ton!

I have been looking for a rainbow yarn that wouldnt break my budget. I could not find something I loved, so I bought this roving, which was just perfect. And it is turning into something I am obsessing over. I love it.

Oh btw, thats the yarn swift my awesome father made me. It is kicking butt. I love it. It is exactly what I needed!

And this is the man of the year! With one of my kitties!


These are three of my best friends in the world. We were getting ready for Sarah's 21st birthday party, which was a masquerade theme. Aren't they just the little buggers?

Short entry today. I was just wayyy to excited about the yarn I was spinning. Still a couple ounces of roving left!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Birthday Girl!

Happy March everyone! It is the month of my awesome birth! (March 31st)

I was born at 7:11 am, I weighed 7 pounds and 11 ounces, and I was 21 inches long!
How freaking cool is that? My life revolves around 7, 11, 21.

My lucky numbers!

A couple weeks ago, I emailed my dad about making me a yarn swift, thinking, "well all I can do is ask...." And I came home this weekend to my family, friends, and work my high school bands' pancake breakfast. When I got home, dad handed me four short wood dowels, and told me to go in the kitchen to shut off the light. (Mom had been complaining that someone left the light on in the kitchen. It was her....) I was slightly confused as to what these dowels would do. I walked into the kitchen thinking that they would be glowing in the dark or some weird thing like that.
Until I saw the kitchen table. My dad had made me a yarn swift. OMFREAKINGG.

Its heavy duty. Like hard core heavy duty. But I am so freaking happy about it. I am currently housing it in my car, until I clear off my cabinet in my ridiculously small bedroom. I only have a crappy phone picture of it right now, but I will be getting one of it in action in the next couple days.

I tested it out, and it worked like a charm, except my cats found it very interested and really would not let me get any work done on it....

Here it is!!!

How cool is that? Seriously. Best birthday present ever. My dad is absolutely the greatest. When my moms old sewing machine crapped out on me, (right when I was about done with a purse) he learned how to take it apart, replace the broken parts, and fix the timing so that it worked correctly. And then he taught himself how to use it! He was also the one who first taught me how to crochet. Which I am forever grateful to him for that, because it changed my life.

My grandma of course taught me how to perfect my skills. (Along with my grandpa's Lithuanian caretaker, even though back then I didn't know Lithuanian as well as I do now, so I don't think I learned much!)

Now for some cute stitch markers I threw together! I will be selling them in my etsy store as soon as I finish this post!

I made one of the markers with an extra bead, so you can use it as the beginning of the row. (I always find it helpful!
Check out my store for new postings, I want to make a whole bunch of fun stitch markers in the next couple months!

I am spinning again on my drop spindle. I have been doing a bunch of research, to try and find out how to fix mistakes I am making when I spin. I am going to try to use the "park" technique tonight. Pretty much meaning I spin the spindle, then I "park" it, by sticking it in my armpit or knees, and then I work with the drafting to spin. I have just been jumping right into it, spinning the spindle and hoping that everything works out. But I want to start from the basics, to make sure I am doing everything right.

I love love love this roving tho. Love. The colors are amazing. I am debating on making a two ply bulky yarn.... and debating and debating. The colors would stand out more... but I am not sure yet. Choices choices....

Lastly, a picture of a hat I knitted up. I love this yarn.
But gosh darnit... I cannot find the label for it. I know it was pricey. But I also know I have enough left over to make even another hat out of it.

And a great picture of me after my nap wearing it.

Naptime has become a customary thing when I get home from student teaching. Though when I wake up I am groggy, even more exhausted, and I cant get back to sleep when I need to. Ya just can't win....

I currently have 6+ projects going on right now... but none have made much progress. I am going to spin tonight while watching tv tho. Because I feel like it. So there.


Sunday, March 06, 2011

Hats for Haiti

I want to start off this post by talking about Estella's awesome idea for donating hats for Haiti.
Go check out her blog at this website -> http://justonemorerowplease.blogspot.com/2011/02/hats-for-haiti.html

I have multiple hats laying around, ones that I have made, but have not necessarily given away or sold.
I thought, 'hey why not' when I saw her post. I also have some free time in between my band periods, and usually I work on my Citron, or something of the sort. But I have been working on hats, and I hope to have another three done by the end of the week. Check out her blog! I follow it now, and I think this is a great idea!

These are a few hats that I had laying around, and I will donate these to Estella by the end of the week! I am planning on a few more too!

I finished crocheting this today, and I will send it along with the other hats I have done!

This is a hat I knit up during Casey high schools solo contest yesterday. I was planning on donating this hat as soon as I finished it, but a student saw me knitting it as I was binding off and asked if he could buy it. He handed me ten dollars, I sewed in the ends, and he walked off. It caught me by surprise!

Now the next thing I have going on is a big sale in my store. I am trying to reduce some of the boxes and bins I have laying around in my apartment. They are all full of knitted/crocheted/sewn items that I either have in my store, or because I knit them from a pattern and I am not allowed to sell it.

I have cut all the prices in my etsy store, (all the winter items) so I can attempt to empty out these bins. By the end of April, I will take all the listings of wintery items off the site, and donate them.

I have two coupon codes for my shop, along with the slashed prices.

GRADUATION2011 will give you 25% off on check out.
CASEYBANDTRIP will give you free shipping.

If you leave near me, or attend EIU or even Casey schools, you get free shipping anyways. So use the 25% code!

This is one of the bins that resides in our living room. See that awesome melted gash? Thats from being pushed against the heater... it melted, and caught 5 different scarves in the melted plastic. I had to cut into the fabric and throw all those scarves out... I just wanted to cry...

This bin is not as full, but it is strategically placed away from the heater..... I learned my lesson once...

I am also working on my usual, Citron, and that yellow scarf of death. I have done a few more repeats on it, so it's getting there. I did start another scarf tho, using the basic stitch idea behind Pedestrian Crossing Cowl by Melissa. I really liked the pattern, but I just thought a cowl wouldnt work... I had too much yarn that I wanted to burn through, so I am making it into a long scarf. Pretty much until the yarn runs out. Which may be a while!
I really like this pattern, and when I can find a cute baby style yarn, I plan on modifying it so that I can make it into a baby blanket. One of my students is having a baby, and the knitter in side of me says "BABY!" So a baby blanket is in store.

I think I will give this scarf to my mom as a present, she has been asking for something knitted from me forever. And she usually just grabs something I have made and throws it on. So I figure, why not give her something to call her own!

I feel like I am slurring my words today. When I type. Which does not make sense. I am exhausted... (not drunk) (though I have a great story about a drunk)
I spent all day yesterday at solo contest with the Casey high school band, and when I woke up today I went into Catering to make some money. I was a little upset with one of the student workers, who decided to show up drunk. I usually wash dishes, and I am darn good at it. I work fast, I get things done, and then I leave. But because this kid was drunk, he was working slow at cleaning the tables. So after I finished washing all the pans, dishes, and serving tools, I went upstairs to find out what was taking so darn long.

He was moving like maple syrup. Only slower. There were twenty tables (ish) to clear. He had maybe gotten half done. I started helping and by the time I cleared 6 tables he was still on the one he was working on when I got up there. I wanted to scream at him, GO HOME! I took all the dishes I had collected downstairs to finish them, and he still was not done by the time I finished those dishes. I decided he could finish the rest by himself and left. It was just so stupidly ridiculous.

I love that job.

But I hate stupid people.

I am relaxing for a few hours before heading into the EIU recording studio to get some cds done.

I am hoping for a good paycheck. Because being broke is not fun....