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reinventing: pivot to distancing

So we are starting week 3 of self quarantine/social distancing and it is weird. It has turned our home upside down. While I spend my time at home, working in my studio. Having DH home all the time changes my way of life. I now have to make more meals. I feel like I have to be a better listener. The dogs have also been changing. We had our rhythm. The knew when they would get to go outside. They knew when they could expect a treat and when they should just lay down and fall asleep. All that is different with both of us at home, ALL THE TIME.

And I know if you have children, your world has changed even more than mine. This week starts distance learning at the schools in Maryland. If you have grandchildren, your universe is also probably changed. Maybe you don’t get to hug them. Maybe you have to see them over FaceTime and not face to face.

A big part of my Winter and Summer months is in-person workshops here at the farm. And I think I need to pivot those as well. We had some great winter workshops dyeing yarn and roving. I have one workshop slated to go April 18th. It is a shibori-Indigo workshop. I’m not sure if it will go or not. I have limited this workshop to 3 students, so social distancing can be accomplished. And if you need to get out of the house and do something creative, click here to grab one of the 2 remaining spaces.

indigo class

I am currently working on distance eclasses for you. I will be converting my popular yarn and roving dye workshops into a series of 3-4 sessions. Are you interested in eclasses like that? If so, enroll in my Learn with Lisa email list. Members of that list will be the first to hear about the new eclasses. You can enroll here. You can also see my current array of workshop here.

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FO Friday–Shawl Edition

So here is a snapshot of the shawls that I have knit in the last few years. I know it’s not a lot. But you also know that I’m the slowest knitter in the world and maybe in the universe.

Shawls that I’ve actually knit in the last couple of years.

All of these are available on Ravelry. Front left to right: Striche, Shard, Camau, Raddiant, Conflagration and Maryland, my Maryland. Some of these are available as kits in our webstore: Strisce, Camau, Raddiant and Conflagration. You can find them here.

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favorite podcasts for a good listen

BFL roving

Today I wanted to give you some of my favorite podcasts. In this time, when we should probably be turning off the TV and the news in particular. You may really like to hear some fun conversations. The first one is with my shearer, Emily Chamelin. It is a great discussion about shearing, shepherding, raising children and I really loved it.

In this episode, Deb Robson talks about what it took to write her seminal work: The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook. And along the way we hear about this wonderful teacher’s life and how she got started on her journey into wool.

The Lady Farmer is a local mom and daughter. They ran a slow life challenge recently and there are 4 podcasts that talk about slow living: slow clothing, slow cooking, creating spaces and taking time in your life. Again, these 4 podcasts are really relatable in this day and age. Their podcast is called The Good Dirt.

Sock Blank

Levar Burton Reads is a great podcast. He reads short stories that are mostly sci-fi. It’s like Reading Rainbow for kids. Two of my favorites are “The Cell Phones” and “Playing Nice with God’s Bowling Ball”.

Sometimes I just want a quickie…I’m not willing to put 40 minutes or an hour into a podcast. And those times I really like Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark. I particularly liked her take on a Vietnamese Caramel Salmon and the one about Harissa Chicken sheet pan dinner. I’ve made both of these recipes and they were easy and really, really good.

Shawl trio

Enjoy! And take some time to relax, slow down and release!

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Social Distancing: Week 2

How are you all doing? I’m not gonna lie…I’ve had my ups and downs. I have been calling more people in order to have some more human contact.

I’m proud that I have the online store really well stocked. I’ve been taking photos. I’ve been making some videos too. You now have multiple ways to see what I have in the shop for you. Yes, I can’t help you in the feel department. I think I’ve described the products well. But please, if you have a question about the yarn or the roving or the sock blanks or the kits. Just shoot me an email.

I have a whole shipping station set up. Oh and guess what? I am out of packing tape…WHAAA? Yes but it is on order and should be here by the end of the week. And I have a work around in place. So your purchases will be packaged, labelled and set to you.

I just saw on the news that doctors are suggesting that you leave your packages outside, or untouched for a day. You can put it in a closet or in your garage for the 24 hours. Just to be safe. Not from us, but from whoever else has touched the package since we sent it to you.

So be safe, be happy, be making, be yarn buying and be hopeful.

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Canceled Festivals? No problem

We just found out this week that Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is not going to be held. This is the first time in it’s 47 years that it is being canceled. The first shows of the year, Fibernate and HomeSpun Yarn Party are also canceled. It’s hard to put into words just how I feel. On the one hand, I’m glad that we are taking Covid 19 seriously. I am glad that by canceling we are putting our neighbor’s health on par with our own. I’m sad to not be seeing all the wonderful knitting and crocheting and spinning and felting that you have done since the last time we saw you. I’m sad to not be able to see the excitement in your eyes as you think about a new project you could make with my hand dyed yarn or roving.

This is a time for a pivot. Especially if you have bought yarn or roving from me in the past. You know what to expect with my yarn. So the pivot will be that you will start to buy online.

I’m still here for you to ask questions. I’m here to take you (on your phone or ipad) into the studio and help you pick out the yarn you want to buy. I’m here to package it up and get it in the mail to you. I have been uploading virtual yarn shop videos to my YouTube channel all week, so you can hear about the yarn and see the colors I currently have. You can access them here.

BFL roving in Raisin Colorway

This weekend, Sunday specifically, we are trying a new experiment. During the hours that HomeSpun Yarn Party would be held, we will be having a virtual yarn party. From 12 to 5pm, we will have a special sales code for 15% off and any order over $100 will have free shipping. Anyone who buys during that time, will also be entered in door prize giveaways from the team at HomeSpun Yarn party. You can get the secret code in 2 ways: join my email list here in the popup window and I will be sending out a blast Sunday morning with the code OR tune into the HomeSpunYarnParty facebook group here on Sunday from 12-5. This is the first time we are trying a group virtual festival, so we’d love to see this work well for you.

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have you been out?

How are you feeling? I have to say that I’m feeling a little lonely. I always work from home. And I haven’t felt lonely before. I have an advantage of being an introvert, so no people doesn’t really get to me. But it is getting to me. I went out today. I took orders to the post office. It was empty. Downtown Frederick was empty. The Common Market was limiting people entering so there weren’t a lot of people in the produce section. I had my wipes with me. I had my own bags. The cashier was wearing gloves. It’s the new normal.

When I got home I found out that MD Sheep and Wool has been cancelled and that was just a punch in the gut. All the work I’ve been doing to increase my inventory is for naught. The optimist inside me says “It’s not for naught!! People need yarn. They will want to have happy colors of yarn delivered right to their doors.

To help my people find those happy colors, I’m doing daily Instagram and FaceBook stories about the yarn. You can see the colors up close and personal there or on my You Tube Channel here. So far I’ve uploaded sessions of our Chinook yarn, Alto yarn and Sparkly yarn.

So to say it again. You can come by and shop in alone or in a small group. Or you can arrange a Face time call and we can look at the yarn together. And lastly, you can watch my videos and then go directly to the shop and get it delivered to your door quickly.

Reply and tell me how you are dealing and how you are coping with the new normal.

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Virtual Studio Tour

Now that we are living in the time of Coronavirus, it’s time to think outside the box. You, our talented and creative customers, buy from us at fiber festivals. They are big! There are more than 50 people. And now that we are all limited and advised to stay at home and safe from exposure to the virus, we need to get yarn to you in a new way.

First of all, if you are local, you can always make an appointment to come and shop. Our space is clean. We are out in the country. The surfaces that you touch will be cleaned before and after your visit. Just shoot me an email and we can decide on a time.

If you aren’t local, we can still get yarn to you. If you would like your own personal tour, you can make an appointment for a face time call. We can go to the studio and you can see the yarn you need and ask any questions that you have about quantity, texture, patterns, all of that.

Sparkly yarn

Or you can just go to our web store HERE. You can explore the yarn and kits and roving that I have in stock.

In order for you to get to know our yarn better, I’m making a video everyday that highlights one of our yarns in all the colorways that are currently available. I did the first one today. You can find it by clicking HERE. If you subscribe to my YouTube channel you will be notified each time a new video is uploaded. You can also see these each day in my Instagram and FaceBook stories.

Yarn for Conflagration kit

It’s a perfect time to use our isolation to make beautiful, creative projects, to take a walk in the woods and to spend quality time with our families.

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FO Friday Sweater Edition

I’ve written here before that I happen to be the slowest knitter in the world. And part of that is because I try things that are over my head. And then I have to take things out and redo. But even with that, I just finished another sweater that is still drying from the blocking process. So this sweater is not on the stack for obvious reasons.

This Friday, I wanted to celebrate….celebrate something, especially now when the world is upside down and small businesses like mine are being squeezed by the travel and festival closures.

Cables, lace and simply stockinette sweaters I knit all by myself

So here is my pile of sweaters….these sweaters were knit by me. I have many sweaters that I commissioned. Those should be celebrated as well, and I will do that in the future, I promise. Today is about the skill of my own hands, dye pots, and animals.

Pile O Sweaters

What does your sweater pile look like? Are you knitting them yet? Do you want to knit one now? Reply to this post and let me know!

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love this scarf

I fell in love with this scarf several years ago, when a customer came into my MD sheep and wool booth with it on. She said at that time that it was made with a “specially” dyed yarn. It remained in the back of my mind…I should look that up and dye some. So I did. And then I dyed more and more. Now I have 7 colorways that you can use to make this scarf: Optical Delusion: Conflagration.

Let me just say that it is a charted pattern. It is made with short rows, cable cast on’s and bind off’s to make the fingers of the flame. You do have to count each row. Each repeat is 100 rows. Really? Yes! But a row is somewhere between 4 and 40 stitches. You can complete a repeat pretty quickly.

I used Knit Companion to keep track of my progress, since you know I’m the slowest knitter in the world! I used the parts of KC that are free. I love that I could keep track of the number of repeats I had done. And that when I put the needles down, I could pick them back up knowing where I left off.

So if you are looking for something that is fun and beautiful. If you are looking for something to take your mind of the current world health situation. Click here are get a kit. The price includes the yarn (already caked up) and a digital copy of the pattern that’s delivered to your email and/or Ravelry accounts.

Another colorway for Conflagration Scarf
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Time for a staycation?

Wow! Let’s be real here. The world is changing by the minute, right? Two weeks ago I was dreaming about my 10 days in Europe on a river cruise. I was thinking about what clothes to take, what books to read and what knitting projects to take for the long plane ride. Now? We’re staying home. Not because we are worried about getting sick, but because we were worried about getting stuck someplace. With MD sheep and wool festival coming up and off farm jobs awaiting, we just couldn’t risk getting stuck. Are you experiencing something similar?

Yarn for Conflagration scarf kit

If you want to drive out to the country and shop for materials to make a new shawl or sweater, just shoot me an email and make an appointment to come over and shop.

Another colorway for Conflagration Scarf

Do you need to self quarantine? Well, you can always buy a kit or a sweater full of yarn in our webstore.

Yarn for a Fade cardigan

Knitting is always there to help you through long days. And we are here to help you with new inspiration and ideas to make your hands and heart soar!