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A few crafty things to do while in quarantine

Free Blueprint classes here https://shop.mybluprint.com/a/shop/free-preview

Good Housekeeping magazine has a nice list of museums, zoos and even theme parks offering virtual tours here: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/a31784720/best-virtual-tours/

Our own Kitchen Studio in Frederick has great recipe videos that you can follow along with here: https://kitchenstudiofrederick.com/grab-the-kiddos-and-lets-make-french-toast/

Are you or your children fascinated by origami? Here is a great video to follow along with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScbyB8XxX1I

Making a sketchbook journal of this time of quarantine? Frederick Book Arts has a few great videos showing really creative journals here: https://www.frederickbookarts.org/post/the-sketchbook-project

Happy Making!!

This class is almost ready to be released. Want to know more and be the first to be able to register? Click here
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fiber farmer in the time of corvid

First of all, I want to thank all the wonderful knitters, crocheters, spinners and felters who are coming to our online store and finding just the right yarn or roving to express their colorful selves. I hope you are feeling your creativity fill up and overflow. As we are all slowing down, getting out of the traffic, having more time to explore, to take more walks and to play more games or solve more puzzles with our families, it is also time to let our creative juices going.

We have hand dyed roving, yarn and farm yarns from our own fiber flock

This coming weekend, Maryland Sheep and Wool will be managing a virtual marketplace where there are hundreds of vendors. We will be online to answer questions and to fulfill your orders. AND you can also be looking at what we all have to offer right now. Here is the link to our online store.

I just had to do it. Corona is gold/cherry/grey, Antibody is purple/green/spreckles and Vaccine is orange/red and grey

Many of us are offering discounts and free shipping, some are offering special extras in your bag too.

What do you need to do? You need to be a member of the online community. Find it here. You also need to look at this page….the posts will not come through your own feed.

Have a question? Just ask it and one of us there will be able to help you by answering. So see you there! Have a question now? Just reply to this blog and I’ll find you an answer!

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FO/WIP Friday Sock Edition

9 pairs minus one that I gave away

I really love knitting socks, but I don’t spend a lot of time knitting. I always think I will spend the time. I’m at the lightning speed of 1 pair a year. I know, I know….most people do 1 pair per month. Still I love my hand knit socks!

I have 2 pairs going now. One, the bright pink and orange from a sock blank and the other from our chinook yarn…a luscious blend of SW Merino, Cashmere and Nylon in my Nautical colorway.

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color inspiration in a book

Palette Perfect by Lauren Wager is a book all about color. It’s really more of a lookbook. I think it took me less than 30 minutes to read, but I have spent a long time studying the palettes that Lauren has put together.

The book concentrates on the moods of your life. Colors that represent those emotions and moods. She then makes palettes of 3-5 colors that represent the mood.

She presents 15 different emotions such as tranquility, curiosity and trendy. Within each chapter she gives images such as paintings, photographs and textiles. Each of these has a “color wheel” of colors shown in that image. The size of the pieces of the wheel represent the amount of color in that image. And then for each color she gives the CMYK percentages and the RBG percentages.

CMYK is used for printed materials. Dyeing can use the CMYK numbers too. But the numbers aren’t a direct % of each color, as the numbers add up to more than 100. But lets say that if the number is 14/0/35/80 You would have a color that is mostly black with about half as much yellow, no magenta and a small amount of cyan. So the color is a deep green color. If you aren’t a math nerd, that’s OK.

I love this book for it’s pure inspiration. Looking through it you can find some combinations that you may not have thought about before. Get yourself a copy here on Amazon. This is just a link, I haven’t received a fee for reviewing or promoting this book. It is merely a good book for those who want to hone their color sense and widen their creative use of color.

If you’ve always wanted to learn to dye, I’m working on a dyeing ecourse that is almost ready to be released in the world. You can find out more here .

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viral colorways on sparkly yarn

I’m loving these colorways and so I’m making them in many of my fingering weight colorways. Our Sparkly yarn is 92% Superwash Merino and 8% Lurex (the man-made sparkly factor). There are 414 yards in each 4oz skein.

Here is the yarn in Sparkly:

Corona Colorway

You can grab these here. I’m dyeing to order and will let you know when to expect your yarn.

Antibody Colorway

Think you want to make a shawl with these? Here are a few suggestions:

Road Trip shawl

Free Your Fade

Jacinta Shawl

Rainbow Wings

Of course there are more than 5000 shawls on Ravelry using this amount of yardage. These are just a few I thought might work well.

Happy Knitting!!

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sometimes I get wild ideas

So, dear reader, you already know that all the yarn shops are closed. The restaurants are closed. The fiber festivals are closed and going virtual. There aren’t any sports. And our homes are now our offices and schools.

I always do a special colorway for large festivals. And Maryland Sheep and Wool is in 2 weeks. I had to get up off the couch and put together a special colorway.

My wild idea was to make a corona virus colorway. But then I thought, Lisa that’s really weird. Maybe people will be upset or put off about it.

Corona colorway on Chinook

Then I thought some more. I relied on my Biology Major background and thought about viruses. And it lead me to think about how miraculous our bodies are. How our bodies make antibody particles that basically neutralize the virus or bacteria that has invaded the body.

So my corona colorway uses the colors in the electron microscope image that we see online and on the news every day. And my antibody colorway uses complementary colors that “neutralize” the virus colors.

Antibody Colorway on Chinook base

I’m taking pre-orders for these. I am offering them in the Chinook base, Corrie Sock base and Sparkly base. Click here to grab a few for yourself and gifts for your knitting friends. I will be dyeing these to order. I will keep you in the know about when you can expect them. I expect to be able to dye and dry within 3 days of your order, then out in priority mail so from the date of your order you should have this yarn in your hands in one week.

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virtual fiber festivals

Have you heard? At least the Spring and Summer festivals and tours will be a virtual experience. This is a whole new world for vendors, festival organizers and you, the public. There have been a couple of these so far. And it is really a learning experience. This is what I know to help you have a good experience for Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and my own Fiber Art Studio Tour.

  1. The “festivals” will be held in special facebook groups. Here’s link for MDSW. Here is the link for FAST. Join these groups. You need to be checking on the posts in these groups. Any news, video or discounts won’t just come to your feed. So when you are ready just enter facebook and click on the group.
  2. Many, many vendors will be having special discounts and/or free shipping. The information will be listed during the virtual event. You can also just look at a vendor’s website as well. I will be offering 15% off your entire purchase AND free shipping on orders over $100. Those of you who are on my email list, will be getting the code early for pre-ordering. You can go here to sign up to be on the list.
  3. Many vendors have been making videos so that you can see for yourself what is available. I have a youtube channel where I’ve posted the complete colorways for each base. You can go here to see them.
  4. Many of us yarnies will continue to have a special colorway for the event. Stay tuned. I’m working on mine this week for MDSW.

So I hope you come out and “see” us at the new virtual fiber festival experience!

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what’s happening on the farm

As we start WEEK 5!! of the stay at home orders…quarantine. I’m not sure what to really call it. It’s not a lock down, it’s mostly voluntary, right? We can still get in our cars and go to the store. I hear that people are just wandering around Home Depot and grocery stores. We are so used to going 24/7, never having a minute to slow down and just be. And now we are forced to just be.

Even Gus is thinking about this all being over

I’m doing okay with it all. But I’m an introvert. What about you? How are you handling it? I have my animals and a partner here. And I’m connecting with friends and family on phone calls and zoom calls.

BLT’s for breakfast. You can use grape tomatoes thinly sliced.

I don’t mind all the quarantine cooking, but I am making plans for some great dinners out at our favorite restaurants. I sure hope they don’t go out of business.

Local Distiller is now making hand sanitizer. We had to buy some booze to get it…..but what a treat all three are

So here at the farm, the apple trees are in bloom this week. The plums and apricots have been pollinated. I picked my first asparagus this week….but the bed is SO FULL of weeds. I really hate to weed, but I’ll have to get on it, if I want to find the asparagus. We have a couple of new keet’s (baby guineas) that were hatched by a couple of moms. The sheep and goats are munching on beautiful green grass.

Forest Rock Colorway on Sparkly yarn

We hope to see you in person soon. In the meantime, if you want some new color or texture in your yarn collection, you can always stop by our online shop and find just what you are looking for!.

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question answered: how did I get myself into this

I was asked this question on Instagram and I promised to answer it. So here goes… I’m not from a farming family at all. But really my maternal grandfather was a citrus rancher around the time of the Depression. And my paternal grandfather was a subsistence farmer in N. Carolina. And my Bill’s maternal grandparents were farmers in the Poconos and he has lots of great memories about growing up harvesting and canning vegetables. So maybe our farming roots really do run deep.

Really early FGF dyeing

I grew up in S. California and worked in healthcare and travel and loan origination and apartment owner until I met Bill in the early 90’s. Also during that time, I learned how to weave and dye and began my creative journey in the textile world.

We moved from California to Oregon and then on to Maryland. And when we came here, I told Bill that I would love to have a little farm with goats and chickens. Little did I know that he had always wanted to have a small farm as well. So we did just that.

Our first 2 goats: Winter and Inkblob

So remember I’m a weaver, spinner, dyer and cat owner. I didn’t know anything about goats. But I liked how Angoras looked. So one day at the Howard County Fair I found a set of goat for sale. Our thinking was that we would just get 2 and we would see how we liked having them. We got a small Amish building that served as a barn and fenced in our large lawn for them. I thought that I would just have some fiber to spin and I could weave with it.

I love this photo!

Soon we were buried under lots of pounds of fleeces and I realized that there was no way I could keep up. I had to send them out to be made into roving and yarn. And from there the business of making farm yarns and dyeing them and commercial yarns has grown and grown.

Our first two sheep: BFL named Puck and Cormo named Viola

Thanks Kyle for asking the question. Do you have a question? Add it to the comments and I promise to answer them in the future.

Just the beginning of the FGF yarn business
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books I’m reading: True Colors

I don’t really know how I found this book. I bought it for myself and added it to the mastery books I plan to read this year.

This book is fun to dip into. You don’t need to read from front to back. Each “chapter” is devoted to a master dyer. There are indigo dyers and cochineal dyers. There are dyers from every continent, except Antarctica, of course. There is a loose organization by dye type, for example there are several dyers profiled who work with Indigo in various parts of the world. I’m enjoying reading about how these dyers learned their craft. The stories of family and of place.

The photographs are wonderful. It truly is a coffee table book. And it is well written and interesting.

This book has made me think about mastery. Some like those dyers in the story learned their skills and mastered them within the confines of their cultures and families. My journey to mastery has been much different. My expertise has developed through years and years of practice. Lots of great results and also heartbreaking failures as well.

As you know I’m working on some online ecourses to help you on your way to learn dyeing techniques so that you can get the yarn that you dream of. You can be first to be able to enroll if you are on the Learn with Lisa email list. Click here to sign up.