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the joy found in abundance

I told you I was re-reading Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee. In her 2nd chapter, she writes about the joy of abundance. I think this is a particular importance to use yarnie and textile pieces. When I think of abundance, I think of sprinkles, candy stores, yarn stores, multicolored quilts and my very own stash.

Earlier this year, before this pandemic was on the horizon, I went through my fabric stash. I wanted to “Kondo”ize it. I went through each piece of fabric and kept only what gave me joy. And I can honestly say that my fabric stash now gives me so much joy. I ended up giving away 3 trash bags full of fabric, elastic (I know…I wish I had that today) and seam bindings (yes I wish I still had that too).

5 mini skein gradient

When I walk into my studio, I also feel the joy of abundance. All those colors are chaotic and evocative. They inspire me and they thrill me. I think that’s why it’s so fun and overwhelming to go to a fiber festival.

Even with all the festivals going into virtual mode, you can still experience joyful abundance by visiting our website, watching our Instagram stories and watching our YouTube videos.

Be joyful now and forever!

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book I’m re-reading

Yes, it’s that good. Actually I’m re-reading it and also listening to it as I work in my studio. What’s the book?

Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee

Read this book!

Why is this book resonating with me? I think because I can see so many textile, yarn, color, dyeing connections. I also think that with all that is happening in the world around us, I need to find some more joy. I need to savor what brings me joy. Bring more of it into my life. I want to examine what brings me joy and do more of it.

Lee organizes the joyful world into 10 aesthetics:

Energy (vibrant color and light), Abundance (lushness, multiplicity and variety), Freedom (nature, wildness and open space), Harmony (balance, symmetry and flow), Play (circles, spheres and bubbly forms), Surprise (contract and whimsy), Transcendence (elevation and lightness), Magic (invisible forces and illusions), Celebration (synchrony, sparkle and bursting shapes), and Renewal (blossoming, expansion and curves).

So for the Energy chapter Lee tells us that it is impossible to separate color and emotions. Just think about blue Mondays and having a sunny disposition. Having a red hot temper and looking for the silver lining in a hard situation (social distancing, perhaps?)

Pandemic Colorways L to R: Antibody, Corona and Vaccine

Color is energy made visible. If I go into my science geek again, well this is proven. Each color has it’s own wavelength. It is energy. And it is color.

And what about Chromophobia? That’s the fear of color, especially seen in our houses. People love colorful spaces but it is really hard to make a choice on a wall or room in your house. I see this fear all the time. I think that some are so afraid of making a mistake that they either decide to pass on the choice, or more likely they rely on their more color confident friends. Do you have to live this way? No you can train your eyes and build your color confidence. It takes looking at lots of colorful art or photos. You can do this in an art museum. You can do that in Pinterest. Get to know what you like. What makes you say “Ahhhh” or what makes you smile.

Pinterest color board

I will be blogging more about this book because it is just so full. So full of interesting ideas and “Aha” moments for me and I think for you.

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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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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.

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book review Faerie Knits

My absolute favorite author is Alice Hoffman. I love all of her books and all of her short stories. There is always an element of the paranormal whether that be a witch or a heron husband. She writes stories of family and love and apple orchards and death beetles. Perhaps her most well known book is Practical Magic which was made into a wonderful movie.

Blue Heron Shawl is on the cover

So when I saw that she co-wrote a knitting book with her cousin, well, I just had to have it. I was fortunate to get a signed copy, but not so lucky to actually meet Ms. Hoffman. I did however have a really nice conversation with Lisa her cousin.

This book includes 14 fairy tales which were originally published in Faerie Magazine. Each story features a heroine who knits and a knitted object. I think that my favorite of all the stories is the one featuring the Blue Heron. This heron story has made appearances in Hoffman’s books, most recently in “The World That We Knew”.

I also love that each well written pattern includes Knitting Wisdom to explain some technique or to help with making color decisions.

The mix of patterns is very diverse. There are items you could make in an hour or two and there are larger more intricate patterns. I think the mix also is good for beginners, intermediates and maybe even some advanced knitters. I highly recommend this book for it is a good read and inspires great knitting.

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Book Review: Untangled by Shelley Brander

Untangled by Shelley Brander of LoopsLove.com is a wonderful book that I want to share with you. The subtitle is a step by step guide to joy and success for the modern yarn lover. I have to say that it is a really quick read. BUT if you are going to actually follow the steps it will take you a while to complete it. If you are a reader of this blog or on my email list, some of these steps will sound familiar. I think all of us yarnies try to figure out ways to help our community of knitters to find a way to be happy and stash shame free. But Shelley has gone a little deeper in each step. She has also combined an accountability piece through her online community.

The steps that Shelley takes us through are all challenges. And they are:
The 21 day stitch every day challenge, the 90 day LoopsLove stash challenge, the WIP challenge, the Love to Give Challenge, the Love Sweater, and the Love Yourself Challenge. Each of these challenges is broken down into smaller achievable steps and accountability if you so choose to pick up the challenge. In some of the chapters, Shelley suggests patterns for you to use that are easy and quick and can help you to work through your stash and to knit for quick gifts.

The first challenge is the 21 day stitch challenge. Shelly has you remember your why. What do you love about stitching. And she challenges you to create a knitting place where you have peace. You can add smell, taste, touch, sound and sights (including the color choices) that will make you happy, content and peaceful. She has you pick 3 projects to work on in this challenge period. She wants you to find an accountability partner and to share with the Loops Love Community. I am working on this challenge myself. I also added the layer of allowing for knitting just 10 minutes per day. In all honesty, I have knit longer than the 10 minutes. And I have finished on WIP and am within a day or two of finishing a tank top. I know this works. Will you join me in this? Many of you have said that you are doing thisā€¦I’d love to see and hear about your progress in our Ravelry group here.

So if you are ready to regain your joy and love of yarn and knitting, I urge you to get this book and work through the challenges within it.