I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I live every day during these pandemic times. How many times do I get up and walk around the house or around the block…well our “block” is 25 acres of trees, grass, deer and rocks.How many times have I walked to the fridge or the pantry as a way to use up time or quell some anxiety or to relieve some boredom. If that is you too, watch this great video.
I’ve been thinking about being the slowest knitter in the world too. I have to say that my stitching isn’t that slow. No, really it’s that my time over the target, at the needles, is really limited. It’s not that I don’t have time either. It is about building the habit of knitting every day.
This week I am combining these 2 areas of my life and working towards a healthier life. If you have been reading lately, you know about my #norhinebecksweater. This is a handspun, colorwork, steeked cardigan. I want it to be done by the time that Rhinebeck really would be happening. That’s the 3rd week of October.
I consistently look for snacks at 3pm….you know….an after school snack. Geez.. how many years has that been a habit? So from 3-5pm, I will be knitting on my sweater. This solves 2 problems. I have more time at the needles. It’s built into my day. AND I won’t be snacking, because my hands and mind are occupied. There won’t be anxiety, well only a little bit when I wonder if I have spun enough yarn for this sweater. And I will not be bored. I can not eat because my hands are busy. It is a win-win. I’m in my 10th day today. I know it takes 28 days to form a habit, but I’m 40% finished with that. And I don’t suppose that this sweater will take 18 more days, but who knows, maybe it will. If I finish this, I’ll pick up another unfinished project. I’m feeling better already!!
What are you knitting these day? Anyone working on a No Rhinebeck Sweater? I’d love to be accountability partners if you are!!
Okay, it’s a strange time right? The stores have limited hours and limited availability. The festivals are all virtual. And it’s hard. It’s hard to find that skein you’re looking for. It’s hard to trust that the skein will look like the photo when you get it. It’s hard to try to look through all those Ravelry patterns to find your next project. Let’s not even get into the changed look of Ravelry and all the distress it’s causing many of us.
I know you’re knitting or crocheting or spinning or felting. You have to be, in order to maintain your sanity and to feel creative and positive. I am too.
Have you just given up? Do you say to yourself, “I’ll just use my stash. I’ll just find patterns in the books or magazines that I bought a while ago. I’ll just use the needles I already have.” And even if all these things aren’t thrilling to me, it is just too hard to do online shopping.
So how can I help you find what you need? Well there are a few ways…. First of all, you can make an appointment to come by. Bring yourself and up to 2 others. We will all wear masks. I have hand sanitizer. It’s a nice drive in the country.
Secondly, you can make an appointment for a Facetime appointment with me. I can help you shop for a project. You can ask me the same questions you might as in person. We can set up a project for you with the yarn and the pattern. And then I can send it to you in the mail. Especially if you want to make a Casapinka shawl or one from Steven West or maybe a nightshift, where you need so many different skeins. I can help you put it together. That’s the part I love. I love working with you to come up with skeins that will make wonderful projects.
So how do you set up an appointment? Just shoot an email to email@example.com and we can get out calendars out and make a date.
Lastly, I am holding open studio days. The next one is September 19th. Of course we will all wear masks. I will have the hand sanitizer and I’ll let 2-3 people in the store at one time.
Yes this weekend will be pretty busy around here. We are vendors at Vogue Knitting Live. See here for details. AND we are having an open studio on Saturday…. 10am to 3pm.
Here are the details: Wear your mask! We will have hand sanitizer for you to use when you enter and also when you leave. We will allow 2 people in the studio at a time. If there is a wait, we will have chairs appropriately spaced. So you might want to bring your knitting with you.
There are 2 other farms open on Saturday: Avalon Springs Farm and Dancing Leaf Dyeworks. So make a day of it!!
I am a little sick of cooking 2-3 meals a day. How about you?
I wanted to share with you some favorite meals that I’ve made the last few weeks.
In this time, I am wanting to keep up my healthy eating habits, but it’s hard. I’ve always used food as a reward and I feel like I need a reward, for sure!! And let’s face it, there isn’t much else to reward us with, like a massage or a pedicure. Of course there is always online shopping as a reward, right? If you feel like you need a non-food reward, click here to pick up a skein, some roving or a kit or a set of napkins or tea towels.
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.
WOW! I was blown away the last couple of weeks with pre-orders and dye to orders during the MD Sheep and Wool Virtual show. I was so worried that I was the weird one, the almost blasphemous one. To have a colorway inspired by the Corvid Pandemic, was a crazy idea…it’s not sweet, it’s not “nice”. And yet, it resonated with so many people.
So I’m keeping the listing alive. It is still dyed to order, because I just don’t know how many people want to have some “souvenir” of this time.
With dyed to order, I will continue to dye daily. You may get your order quickly because I happen to have some already dyeing. Or you may have to wait up to a week (with dyeing, drying and priority mail).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!.
So life is not normal and will probably never be normal. We, individually and as a society will be permanently changed by the social distancing, the fear of the virus and the uncertainty about how long this will be and will we be safe or will we be sick….
January through mid-March were full of new colorways and lots of creativity in preparation for the Spring shows. If you are a long time reader of my blog (or even if you’re new) you can see all those fun colors on new bases. But as you all know, festivals are either cancelling or going virtual.
I spent a couple of weeks feeling down and trying to figure it all out. And I started to read more and to take a few classes online. But I had an angel. An angel that helped to get me out of my funk and to allow the creativity to flow again. Rose is my angel. She had a lot of yarn made from the fleeces of her Coopworth sheep. She didn’t want to dye it herself.
So I started a custom order for her skeins. She brought fingering weight and worsted weight yarns. We decided that the fingering weight yarn would be variegated and fun for socks and some scarves. And the worsted would be done in sweater quantities in more semi-solid colors.
I’ve had so much fun working with this wool and working with Rose to make her color dreams come true.
Do you need a custom dye? Do you have a yarn in mind that you can’t find at a shop or show? Well send me an email and maybe we can work it out together, while we are staying apart.
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.
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.
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.
Where to find us
We are located in Frederick MD. You can stop by during our open studios. Or buy online and stop by to pick up…I’ll run your purchases out to you in your car.