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!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First week of school is over!

I made it through my first full week of teaching, and it was great! I think the kids were overwhelmed with the big selection of music I picked out for them for the football and basketball games, but I know that they have grown to love the music, even if its a little more difficult than what they are used to.
As for the four grade schools I work at, its a slow process seeing who will be in band and who wont. These are four private schools, so the band will be small no matter what. But I am extremely excited about one of the schools who has 8 6-8th graders in the band as of right now. Thats more than the other schools combined so far! Though, I am not 100% sure of the numbers in the other groups until this coming week when I do presentations to all the schools about why joining band is fun!

My days have been pretty slow recently. Mostly because I am teaching HS band at 7:30-8:30 every morning, and then I pretty much have nothing to do since the GS bands have not started yet. So, I am able to get some crafting done. Not much, but just enough to keep me satisfied.

First up is the socks that I have been knitting up for quite some time now. They could have been done weeks ago, but I was having trouble getting internet connection, and I wanted to make sure I was grafting the second sock correctly. So here they are finished! They are the Charade by Sandra Park. 2.5 mm needles, and the yarn is unknown as I cannot find the tag for it.

These are the first pair of socks that fit well, They do not have weird gaps anywhere, and they are snug. So I am very happy with them!

You can see the cute pattern. It was easy. I would recommend the pattern. For sure. I would have made them longer, but I still do not have a sense of how much yarn I will have left over. Next time I am in a yarn store I will buy two balls of yarn and make long socks out of them.
And of course, Kitty wants to be in the pictures too!
Now for spinning, Sarah (rainlover on pretty much everywhere) gave me this fiber a while ago, and I decided to practice my lace weight spinning. It is not great for lace weight. But I am trucking through. This will also be the first yarn I plan on dyeing. With Koolaid. To test it out.

As I have been stash busting all summer, I continue on. This is a baby blanket I am working on of some baby yarn that has been sitting in my yarn stash for ages. This will be on sale in my Etsy store within the next week or so, along with my Emma baby blanket. Let me know if you are interested!
It looks like just plain white from afar, but it actually has some cute baby colors in it!
Also going along with the stash busting, I crocheted up this scarf in a couple days, and when winter comes I will be posting it to the shop.
I actually like how the colors came out. I think I would like it more if there was now white part, but still, I dont mind it!
Also with the yarn, I made these cute little circles, which will eventually be built into a unique scarf. Not quite sure what I am going to do with it, but when the time comes, I am sure it will be great!

I have two tomatos that are gaining color, and I cannot wait for them to be done. Not sure how I am going to devour them, but I will come up with something. Maybe Grilled cheese with tomatos. hmmm
And then the Cherry Tomatos are coming out! Look at the little cuties! I also caught a few more cherries popping up, and eventually these will be in a pesto, gnocchi type salad.

As for my weight loss. I purchased the 30 Day Shred after hearing how it is working wonders by Sarah, and Erin at Mommy Needs Yarn- http://www.mommyneedsyarn.com/
I thought I would add it to my exercise routine. I try my absolute best to make it to the gym every other day, and on the opposite days I don't go to the gym I do the Shred. I have done Level 1 twice, and did not have too much trouble with that except for the push ups. (My upper body is weak while my thunderthighs are intensely muscle.) I did not get too sore the day after, so I moved on to level two. Big difference. It has been a while since I have sweat that much. Its tough because I'm tall and alot of those moves use the upper body, whicha s I said before... needs some work.

But with Zumba at least twice a week, and foundations once a week, and then cardio (including walking the mile back and forth to the gym, elipticals, and stationary bikes) I think I am doing pretty good. I have decided Fridays will be my day off of working out. I was not losing weight, which I am sure has to do with the muscle gain, until I took a day off and then weighed myself the next morning. Today I am at the lowest weight I have been in 6 years. I have finally reached 150.0! And I am so happy.

So to treat myself with something sinful, but still somewhat healthy, I made myself blueberry ricotta pancakes for breakfast, and tilapia fish tacos for lunch! :)

And did Shred level two for the first time. wow.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Spinning wheel in the future??? I hope so!

I have been keeping myself extremely busy trying to make a little extra money when it comes to crafting. I have decided that I really want.. no need a spinning wheel. The drop spindle is great, but I am really wanting to make more yarn. I love knitting, crocheting and quilting, but I really want to spin more. I am enjoying it, and I think I can make some interesting and fun yarn.

Also, I am getting a gym membership. I want to be in good shape this year, not only because so many diseases run in my family, but because I know I will be exhausted after work. I want to be able to work out, so that I can not be so tired. The whole do more exercise to gain energy. Who thought that worked out that way....

So this is where the making extra money comes in. Every single item I sell in my shop, I will put that money towards both the spinning wheel, and then the gym membership. I can technically afford the membership on the small amount of cash I get from teaching at the four grade schools, but I really would like to get this spinning wheel. Badly. So if you buy something from my shop, you are helping me not only get healthy, but also enjoy my free time all the more!

Going along with that, I have updated my shop a whoooole bunch.

But first, this may or may not go in the shop. It really depends on if you (the reader) are interested in buying it. I may just knit it up this winter to make a fun chunky ish hat. Something with earflaps. and tassels! :)
So first pic is before soaking and blocking. On the awesome yarn swift my dad made me out of the blue!
Next is it all skeined up an beautiful. I did not like how the yarn was spinning up, colorwise that is. But now? I LOVE IT. I like how sometime the colors are different, and sometimes they blend together. I think it would make a great hat! It is about 167 yards of ..... I wanna say worsted to bulky. It is pretty consistent with the weight of the yarn, and I am doing my best to work on that! Though the thin and thick yarn always looks so awesome!
I bought the fiber from GreenwoodFiberworks, on Etsy and it was about 4 ounces of awesome fiber. It just spun up really well. I love it. Its squishy. mmmmm

Right then. I knit this hat up one night as a stash bust, and it will be going in the store come colder weather. Right now, its hanging out in my living room... waiting for me to stop being so lazy and put it in my FO bin.... hmmm.
These washcloths will be going in my shop as soon as I can get a good internet connection. I have two sets of four which I will be selling for 10$ a set, with shipping, and then a set of three for 7$ and a set of 2 for 5$.
I had originally made these to make a blanket, but that was before I decided that the yarn was not really suitable for blankets. But just perfect to wash your dishes! :)
I tried my hand at felting a few days ago, and found out that I actually don't mind it. The only issue I have is that the washer and dryer here in my apartment are both a dollar each. I don't want to spend a dollar to felt a darn bowl. ugh.
But I did, and washed some towels along with it. This is my first bowl. Its blue. I made a second one, and doubled up the yarn, but it did not felt so great the first time, so I have to go back and pay another dollar to throw it in the wash again. BOOOOOOO.....
I am working on my next pair of socks. Trying to make Sarah (Rainloverknits) proud of me!!! I am slowly, slowly learning to love socks. This is the first sock of the Charade by Sandra Park. I love this pattern. I am using size 2.50 cm needles, the smallest needles I have worked with when it comes to socks so far, and they are turning out really well. I dont mind them. I am almost to the heel with the second sock, so that should be done in the next couple days.
Ok now for the sales. I made a whole bunch of stitch markers now that I have my materials in my apartment. (They were at the rents place!!)
These beautiful stitch markers are made from ocean jasper, and are just... I love them. I am keeping a set for myself because I love them so much. They are being sold in my store! Go buy some! Help me afford a spinning wheel!
I made these awesome green ones too, for sale in my store. I feel they are really girly, and if you know me, I am not very girly. SO I am not keeping these for myself. Buy them! :)
Lastly another girly set of stitch markers made with some cutesy pearls. Also for sale.
Fun fact, I will be heading to Micheals tomorrow to buy more beads. 25% coupon for the entire purchase! :)))))))) <- I am that happy!

Now before I go, I want to talk about the weight lost/get healthy. I have signed up for a gym membership, and they waived the membership fee. Which was 40. So I saved 40! Which makes me happy. I have been going to the gym almost every day for the past week. It has gotten a little iffy because Steve came to visit, and he does not want to go to the gym. I was not about to leave him!
But I have been eating healthy, making all my meals from scratch, or as close as I can get to scratch. I have been trying out new veggies, for example eggplant. I LOVE EGGPLANT! I seasoned the slices and then brushed them with olive oil before putting it in a pan and "dry frying" it. Once they got some color I put them in the oven until they let loose of their water. Came out with a gooey mess. OH SO GOOD! mixed up some tomato sauce, pasta, and ate it like a pro!

I have been hearing alot about this 30 day Shred, and I just purchased the DVD off of Amazon. I figure it would be a great thing to do on the days I cannot get to the gym because of rain or tornado or whatnot.

Welp. Off to knit more!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/luganchica102 <---------- Go there! Help me get a spinning wheel, and help me get healthy! :)

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Summer home update!

I want to start this post with food ...porn. I decided to make peach cobbler a few days ago, and I absolutely love peach cobbler. LOVE. I ate most of it. Steve does not like peaches. Too bad for him!
Next up, Steve and I went over to a farmers stand orchard shop thing and picked up peaches, corn, and something I have never tried before. Green tomatos. I decided now was the best time as ever to try making fried green tomatos. They were pretty darn good. Could use more spice though, I felt they were sorta plain. But for a first try they tasted great!
Lastly for food, Steve and I made up some beer battered bluegill. When I asked the Deacon (from my school) where the good fishing places were, he handed me a bag of frozen bluegill that his friend had caught. Told me they were great beer battered. He was absolutely right.

This is also something I have never done before, but they turned out realllllly good. Like... so good I wanted to go out and catch more...
Too bad all I caught was a stupid catfish... ;)


Ok now onto your previously scheduled show. The summer home. If you have followed my blog you know that this has been the.... most stressful part of my life other than school. Long story short, its on an island in Indiana. The water level went down for 8 ish years, and we could not get onto the island, unless we wanted to walk through waist deep muck. So for 8 years... we didnt do any yardwork, we didnt clean, we didnt do laundry, we didn't kill any mice or bugs, we didnt turn on the electricity or water. So everything .... went downhill. Last year my brother and I went against dads will to start cleaning since the water was back up. It was bad. But we did alot of work. ---> this is the blog post from last year. It has some great pictures! http://dreamknitter.blogspot.com/2010/05/welcome-to-island.html

Ok, to continue on for this year. Our row boat was stolen a few years back. Some idiot. We think we know who it is. I want to punch him in the gut. Because it has to be him. ugh.
Annnnyways. We ended up buying a jon boat so we could get to the island to do work.
Greg and I got ready to get some work done in the heat! Gotta love my little brother.....

Alright, Here are before and after pictures of the stuff we did in the two days we were there. (excluding stuff inside)

The front entrance-all overgrown and insane. We did a whoooole bunch of work cutting down the weeds and raking up everything.
Much better once we got all the leaves into the fire pit!

Looking down the hill at the main shed. Very overgrown and weedy.
Now all deweeded and cut down, the are by the shed was pretty much overgrown like it is next to the water. We cut some of that down and then mowed the rest.

The view from the front window out towards the lake. This used to be a view of the lake, and had turned into a bush grove.... so I took the liberty to cut all the bushes down.
And I did a great job. It was hard with the litte saw I was using, but I got it done. And then realized the area I was standing was actually.... a poison ivy patch.... Thank God for the kitchen gloves I was using to keep the bugs off of me! :)

Dad on the old swing. Not very safe...

While I was working on a bunch of yardwork, and eventually cleaning up the inside of the house with mother, Greg and dad went to the shore and built our pier. They did a lot of work. A LOT OF WORK to get those piers in. They had to clear the water of the water plants. See how the plants on on the left of the pier? Yeah, thats how it was everywhere....

All those bushes I cut down, along with all the branches I picked up got thrown into a pile. And that night, we started a bonfire!
See my brother holding a giant stick? Greg is over 6 feet tall. The fire was three feet above his head! Awesome!

Then the side hill, which we chopped up and made accessible.

Lastly the view from the back of the island. I cannot wait to spend Labor day weekend here!