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Have you always?

I love to learn new things. Have you always wanted to learn how to dye or how to spin or how to knit socks two at a time? During this time of social distancing, I’ve turned my popular dyeing classes into an online course. And because I have the luxury of time, I’ve added a lot of extra lessons that are available only in the online class.

My online classes are rich with lessons that will develop your dyeing skills and also your color confidence. You will be able to tune in at a time that makes sense to you. You can view and review the lessons as many times as you wish.  But you aren’t doing this completely in a vacuum, there are weekly Q&A sessions and a discussion board to communicate with me and other students in the class.  You will end up with colorful skeins that you can use to knit socks, shawls or anything really.

The next 4 week Dyeability class will be starting on April 5th. This is Dyeability 1: Self Striping Yarn for Socks or Shawls. Click here to find out more about it. The class is usually $99. But, I am currently offering a $20 discount with the coupon code iheartyarn. Sign up and and gather your materials and we will have a great time dyeing yarn in April!!

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Always a sock on the needles

That’s my motto. I always have a pair of socks on the needles at my house. Oh did I tell you that I knit them 2 at a time on one circular needle? Well I do. I learned to do this many years ago. I prefer this for so many reasons. First, I hate DPN’s. I have a hard time managing stitches on them and typically lose stitches off the back side of the needles. Secondly, I never have to worry about the second sock syndrome. I will always have a matching or someone matching pair of socks. They will be the same length and the same width. The gauge will be the same for both socks.

This is the pair on my needles right now. Truth be told, I haven’t knit on these for a month or so, since I’m focusing all my knitting time to my Shifty sweater. These socks are made with our Chinook Sock Base which is a blend of superwash merino, cashmere and nylon. And they are so soft and great. Because there’s nylon in there, they should were well too.

Want to learn how to knit socks 2 at a time? I have a class for that. Click here to find out about it. I have EARLY BIRD pricing on that until Sunday at midnight. The class is totally self study. There are 4 parts from cast on to bind off. And you have access for 60 days which should be plenty of time to knit your socks. You just need a skein of yarn (or a sock blank), a stitch marker and a circular needle of 32-40″ in length. I prefer to use size 1 US needles for fingering weight yarn. But pick the needles that work with the yarn you are using.

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Holiday Gifting: Experiences

For the last few years, I’ve enjoyed giving experiences rather than gifts. And some of my favorite gifts to receive have been experiences too. We’ve give tickets to plays and concerts. And these gifts have included spending that time with the recipients, like a double date. One year, Bill and I did nothing but experiences: a Holiday train ride, a scavenger hunt, a visit to an orchid show and tickets to a play. It was so much fun. A family member found a food tour in our own city, here in Frederick. We learned so much about our downtown area in food and also history.

Dye up sock yarn like this!!

I’m offering an experience for you to give or receive….I have been teaching dyeing in person for many, many years. I now have my classes available as an ecourse. Courses available now are two 4-week courses: Dyeing Self Striping Sock Yarn and Dyeing Wool Roving to Spin or Felt. These classes will begin at the start of 2021.

You could make dyed roving like this!

I also have a knitting class: Knitting Socks Two at a Time. This class is 4 parts and is self paced as you work through your socks.

I’ll be offering Black Friday-Cyber Monday deals on these classes. Interested? Sign up for my special Learn with Lisa email list to be the first to find out about these great offers on fun classes. Click here!!

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Back to School

As most of you know I was a public school teacher up until the end of the 2019 school year. I am feeling all the love for my dear teacher friends as schools here in Maryland open.  The public schools are starting our virtually.  That is hard. Really hard for families, teachers, administration and kids.  It is a whole different kind of school and a whole different kind of learning. So if you are a teacher or a parent of little ones, know that I’m thinking about you.  

More than January 1st, my year has always started when school started.  This started when I was a kid, new clothes, new subjects, new friends and new opportunities.  Do you feel this way too? 

What is on your list this time of year? Do you want to learn a new technique? Do you want to learn to dye? Are you willing to do some online learning? I’ve got 2 classes up and running right now and working on 2 more.  You can learn how to dye yarn. You can learn to knit socks 2 at a time.  Coming soon you can learn to dye roving to spin or use in felting and if you are a weaver, I’m also working on a warp painting class. 

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what are you doing this summer?

States are beginning to open up, they are. But life is still so different.  Will you go on a plane to a summer vacation? Will you drive somewhere instead? Will you go someplace really crowded like an amusement park or will you look to a more remote place like a National Park?  

I think we are staying home.  We are lucky in that we have 25 acres to roam around. We have Netflix and Podcasts. We have a nice garden and orchard so we don’t really have to go to a pick your own place.  

Throughout all of this time, I’ve been working on taking my in-person dye class and making it something that is totally online. It is filled with short classes that breaks down the process of dyeing self striping yarn and kettle dyed yarn. You will learn the two techniques. You will also build your color confidence with color exercises and experiences. There will be live Q and A sessions and a facebook group so that you can share your great yarn and swatches. And you can get all your questions answered.  

I’ll be opening registration in the next 2 weeks.  The class is $149 with an early bird discount for those of you who are quick to sign up.  

The class will start near the end of June so that those of you who have been home schooling do have something of a break. And speaking of home schooling. This class is definitely one you can take with your child.  There does need to be adult supervision. 

So express your colorful self and learn a new skill.  You can learn more about the class here.  And you can sign up for the class list on that page as well. The members pf this list get first crack at registration.  

Vaccine Colorway on Sparkly yarn
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Have you started something new?

As we start week 8 of the quarantine, I feel like people are starting to get antsy. There are more people out and about. There are more people in stores. More people on the street. And we still don’t know where this is going, how this is going to end.

These times have been trying. There is a new normal of telework and teleschool. And tele-yarn buying. It was just the virtual Maryland sheep and wool festival. It was a great success. Even with some glitches with websites, we all came together to see yummy yarns and fleeces and pottery and jewelry. While is wasn’t what we were used to, it was a good substitute.

For me, I’ve been starting new routines, healthy routines that I hope to continue after this. I’m spending more time outside, taking morning walks. Observing the changing seasons with beautiful trees and active birds. I’ve also carved out time to learn some new techniques through online classes and continuing to read and study color, wool, clothing construction and doing deep work. I’ve started meeting with friends on Zoom, showing our current projects and seeing the scenes on their farms. And even last week, we had a surprise retirement party on Zoom with participants from Oregon to California, Geneva to Mexico City, Colorado to Maryland. It was fun to see friends and family from around the globe.

What I’m really excited about is my new online dye class. It is a 5 week class that will lead you from blank white yarn to the self striping yarn that you’ve only dreamed of finding. This is a class for the absolute beginner. I’m nearly ready to open registration. If you want to be the first to know when you can register for it, just sign up for my special Learn with Lisa email list here.

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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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working on new online dye workshop

Hey, due to these stay at home orders, I’m taking my really popular dye workshop into the cybersphere. I’m working on a 4 week workshop that will lead you to dyeing the yarn that you envision. We’ll go from inspiration to finished product.

Are you interested in being the first to know about it? Join this email list and I’ll keep you in the loop as I work through the lessons and figure out how to get the supplies to you.

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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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even I take classes

I do. I love to learn new things. And I’ve really wanted to learn about the brioche stitch from an expert in person. And so I took a 2 color Brioche in the round a while ago. And then I was able to make the time to go to the next step: 2 color Brioche knit flat with increases and decreases.

This is a challenge for me. I don’t really like to read patterns. I like to see how something is done and model my movements after the teacher. But here you have to read the pattern. The increases are not that hard…but the decreases have many “moves” in them. And I didn’t get them right the first time. So I got help with that. And then I got it wrong a second time and I couldn’t fix it myself. So what did I do? I ripped it out and started over. I gave myself the admonition to READ the directions slowly and carefully. And I did that row correctly….mostly.

I have to READ the directions slowly and carefully for the next few rows and I hope to develop the moves to make this an easy pattern.

I love the yarn I chose for this project. This is my synergy yarn. It is spun after the dye process, so it has a tweedy, marled look. It is Merino so it is super, super soft. You can find all the Synergy colors I have here.