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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.

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Fun was had by all

We had a full weekend of workshops. And each student made great yarn or adorable chicks. Dawn and I are not always the best at remembering to take photos. Here are some from my Dye your Socks workshop.

I have another one of these workshops coming up March 7th. Click here to grab a spot. There are only a few left.

Not a yarnie? Dawn has an egg painting class. You will learn how those beautiful Ukrainian eggs are made in the workshop. Click here to secure your spot in this class.

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new classes scheduled

It’s a new year and it’s the time when I think about what I want to learn. It is the time of year, when the fiber festivals are all done and I have more time to devote to teaching you a new skill, such as dyeing, knitting, spinning or weaving.

Hand Dyed Sock Yarn

First up is my Dye your Socks workshop, I have scheduled 2 dates for this: Jan 20 (MLK holiday and Feb 8th. I limit the number of participants so that you have lots of individual attention. All you need to do is come with an idea of what color(s) socks you would like. You will leave with a variegated skein and a semi solid companion skein. Click here to register.

sock class
Painting your sock skeins

Dawn Viands will be offering a needle felted chick class to get you in the mood for spring. This class will be on Feb 9th. Mark your calendar and join our mailing list to be the first to be able to register for this class when it is available.

Dawn Viands will also be teaching pysanka–Ukrainian Egg painting class on March 8th. These are beautiful and can be put in your Easter basket or an egg tree for the spring holidays. Mark your calendar and join our mailing list to be the first to be able to register for this class when it is available.

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what do you want to learn?

The new year is upon us. For me that means that I’ve been using this last couple of weeks as a time of reflection about last year and what I want my life to be in the new year. It is a time to think about what new ideas and creations I want to bring into my life. And it means that I usually also decide about what I want to learn this year.

My reading/study list for next year….not pictured is Fibershed by Rebecca Burgess since I have the Kindle book

As some of you know, I’ve taken some time off from teaching here. And now, I am ready to dive back into offering more classes on a more consistent basis. Most of these classes will be taught by myself, however we will also have some guest instructors as well. To be the first to find out what classes are scheduled and to get access to early booking, sign up for our email list here.

Examples of what you can make during my Dye your Socks classes Jan 20th or Feb 8th

So I’m asking you, what do you want to learn? Leave a comment so that I can add your ideas to the list.