The Next Best Thing To Being Here

Man oh man, do I miss seeing my friends and collectors In Real Life. It is coming, soon, I tell you. Rod and I had our 2nd Moderna shots, yesterday afternoon and are feeling fine, so far. Do you know what this means??? This means that I can open my studio again, just like 2019, when happy knitters, spinners and crocheters could come to the studio for the fun and experience of touching , sniffing and learning.

In the meantime, are you feeling nervous or intimidated by the handspun yarns that I have been creating, to keep myself happy and sane? Would you like that experience of seeing how yarns and colors go together and compliment one another? Just ask me for suggestions!

Black Iris handspun on a fabric of Marionberry, with Regal Blue in the foreground.

I really do spend time with people, while we are apart, taking pictures of suggestions for projects.

Deluxe Sock in Quail Ridge paired with Black Purple

I already have people booking time with me for the deep summer, so if you are traveling, or local, let’s talk about visits and some time in the beauty of our forest setting. If you are fully vaccinated, this is a big plus.

Talking of health, we have been through a scary time, the last few months, worrying about Rod and his spleen. Yeah, you know, the juicy, bloody organ that you CAN live without, although it weakens your immune system. The poor guy has had every scan known to man but this last one, his Tuesday MRI (along with bloodwork) showed that the weird lesions are benign and he is weird but good to go. That news and our second Covid vaccinations have lifted our spirits so much that we have spent time digging in the dirt, which is also good for the body and soul. We are cautiously planting what can’t be harmed by a cold snap AND looking forward to having our West Coast vaccinated family here for Easter. Things are looking up!

Take care of yourselves and believe me, I revel in seeing your vaccinations because it means that we can see one another again! Happy Spring.

I really missed spinning!

I appear to be a bit obsessed, right at the moment, happily treading away on my little Majacraft Millie, the wheel that reminds me just how big my feet happen to be.


She fits me, right now, because after my healing, self imposed spinning hiatus, I came out on the other side, happily spinning much finer yarn than I used to make for a certain luxury beanie crochet artist. This feels right, because this is the weight with which I am much more comfortable, for projects.


I have actually been thrilled to have the new hand spun yarns go off to new homes, thanks to the latest newsletter revealing that the Specials page on the website is the home of these one of a kind skeins (although the website appears to allow you the illusion of buying more than one of a particular skein, believe me, each one is unique).

Something lifted off of my heart, yesterday, as I felt the little sting of the needle hit my left deltoid. That first shot, for which we drove an hour each way, has done something to my soul. I smiled all last evening, through the awkward Golden Globe awards and have had a lightness that echoes the feeling that in 6 weeks, I can hang out with my vaccinated daughter and her family. I was taught to WAIT, as an only child, WAIT as a latchkey kid, WAIT for everything. I have been mostly patient as I WAIT to be reunited with family and friends but the second dose and the two weeks post shot mean that for me, this signals the end of so much isolation. I celebrate each vaccination, because it means that we are getting closer to the days when driving to Rhinebeck, New York and Stratford, Connecticut, to see our East Coast Family, can become a reality.

The only ones who are delighted with all of this isolated togetherness are these guys.

Teejay and Kody

I look forward to seeing YOUR vaccination announcements and I will cheer each one! Now, back to this.

Cat slippers and teal Merino/cashmere/silk

Now, gift cards

Thanks to a very nice customer, trying to figure out how to purchase a gift card, on the new website platform, I figured out how to add it and Tah Dah, a gift card page!

I wanted it, when my designer helped me to set up the template but she had never set up a real e-commerce site, so I just let it go. I am actually really proud of my old-dog-learns-new-trick badge, because the Wix platform showed me how to set it up, myself! Hooray! No more awkward fiddly invoices. For those of you still holding the old gift certificates, you WILL have to message me to complete the orders using those, simply because there is no interface with the old numbers and the new payment system. Sorry about that! I will eventually have a Well Oiled Machine and I thank you all for sticking with me, through all of these years of website upgrades!

Something New

I can happily say that I have begun spinning again. Something seemed to right itself with my hands and so I am happily back at the wheel, in the latter part of my days. It has been a long hiatus, because of hand issues and knee issues and all of those things that seem to be happening as I realize how much abuse this body has had, in these decades of work. Whatever has happened, I celebrate it and I am back at it.

So, I added handspun yarn on the site, under the Specials section, simply because when something is gone, it is GONE. This is so much better than the old site, where people would have to ask me what I had in stock and I would have to send invoices for the purchases. No more! I am still offering free shipping on the handspun portion of your purchase and that will be reflected in the shopping cart, especially if you buy only that.

Everything dreamy lives here.

The newest yarn is actually at the bottom of the page, simply because it was the first thing that I added.

Now, on a personal note, while things were intense, for the last few months, with Rod’s health scare, he has been through lots of tests and each one is eliminating whatever the doctors are guessing at. He is doing well and is waiting for the next scan, to see how his spleen is doing. (the phrase “Venting Your Spleen” has taken on a whole new meaning around here and we just have to laugh.) No Covid, because we are super careful and now, with our West Coast Family getting their injections, we are halfway to hugs. Rod and I are trying to be patient and have signed up where we can, but being here at “Rancho Souza”, as a friend used to call it, we are able to live and work safely. I am just dreaming, like everyone else, about the time when we can travel, once again.

Ok, I am done with all of this and it is time to go ply some yarn.

A new website!

So very different!

Through ISP changes and all of the stresses that have tried to kill me, these past couple of months, I took almost 1000 photos, edited them, renamed them and one by one inserted them into what would, today, go Live. It is still a work in progress ( nothing on the Specials page) but when you go HERE you can root around to see what I have been up to. I can finally edit my own photos and add or subtract at will and will be adding colors as I go along.

This site looks different on all devices but the big plus is the you can click on pictures to make them bigger! Have fun playing

One last thing is that the Gift Certificate feature is gone with this new template. Simply use the Contact Me box at the bottom of the main page to let me know that you would like to have me send a virtual certificate and I will take it from there. Where there is a will…

It feels good to be back.

Now what?

I have been a Monogamous Knitter for my whole career, mainly, because as an artist, I wanted to see my one of a kind knitted creation, through to the end. Never say never, or so I hear.

The last Finished Object was the “Non Ask”, for a piece that I found intriguing, which is why I Cheated On the project that I was committed to, at that moment. Yes, I know, the reason that so many of you have One Milllllllion project bags is because we seem to be cut from a different cloth and because it is fun to flit from socks to sweater to shawl. I get that and because I knit OTHER PEOPLES DESIGNS, these days, it was easier to be happily led astray.

Today, I finished that first wrap and man, in my humble opinion, is it gorgeous. I know that this was done as a Knit-along, so there are probably oodles of you who made it, but, if you haven’t, I highly recommend it.

Festival of Stitches by Lisa Hannes

See what I mean? You just need three skeins of fingering weight yarn.

Festival of Stitches front

I used two different yarns, just because I could, because I appear to be knitting out of my big stash/aka my showroom racks. The light one is the natural Silk/Baby Camel and the other two skeins are Deluxe Sock in Zin ( the dark one) and Blackbewwie. I truly need something to keep me distracted and interested, these days, and this one checked all of the boxes.

As the title of this post implies, I am going through my giant stash of patterns ( yes, I buy them, just like you), trying to fall in love with The Next Thing. I guess that I just need to PICK ONE and get started. This latest Covid lockdown is going to work my last nerve, so for the sake of The Spouse, I had better get on with it.

Good (?) Morning!

I know that I heard what sounded like a plane or huge truck, early this morning, which was followed, seemingly shortly, by the sound of at least one siren racing up our canyon. I fell back to sleep until a weird crashing sound got both of us fully awake at 4:30. The roaring was still there and because rain has been sparse, it certainly was not the creek!

Rod got dressed and grabbed his flashlight and, because I had failed to pull down the laundry room shades last night, he saw it, right away.

Oh, hello!

The wind decided to whip the Ponderosa Pine SO HARD that the top of it did somersault over the garage, to the spot where it landed.

Yes, THAT Poderosa Pine!

It had to be some sort of a mini burst to get that treetop to be blown into this position!

Oh, hello…

It seemed incredible that there was no structural damage. Yeah, I changed that to the past tense, because all but about 4 inches of that, down there, was buried in the roof! He had to get up there to clear debris, to really see it. (Now, he is calling roofers.) Thanks 2020!

Just kidding, this pierced the roof!!!

Inside of the house, I have decided that the pretty, artificial tree that we bought last year, is just fine with Nothing but the tiny lights. Seriously, I am just not up for the ritual of putting up all of the 51 years of ornaments, for just the two of us. He agreed. He is, however, determined to put the outdoor lights up, because that is the part that brings us the most pleasure, even if we can’t have a Normal Christmas. I just want to hurry and bring this Covid Year to a close, so that we can get our lives back.

Wash your hands. Distance AND wear a mask. We can do this, I know that we can.

Annnnd, We’re Live!

Man do I miss my friends; fiber friends. I miss seeing them at shows and festivals; catching up with gossip, hugs and shared meals. I know that these terrible times (that as an introvert has not been THAT hard) will end but when things get slow, old timers like me start whispering the R-word. Lucky for me, the spouse will hear none of it, and so we wait.

One of my dear and much younger friends happens to be an old soul and a mensch, full of ideas and enthusiasm that seemingly only a Sag can convey. Linda Dean has been the head of the Hangtown Fiber Guild and then moved on up to be the president of the Crochet Guild of America. (The girl knows how to herd cats.) She has been trying to figure out how to create collaborative work with folks of different artistic disciplines, which ties into the work of ANOTHER mensch; Brenda Atchison. Brenda is the head of a faith based women’s empowerment organization and just happens to be the business end of LickinFlames, with the artist part being taken care of by the very creative Jim Atchison. We all met at a fiber show and have been buddies, ever since. Are you sending a connection?

Linda’s idea was to create this collaboration between the three artists and have a kit that would include a one-skein piece that could be crocheted or knitted AND a beautiful embellishment. That kit has gone live on their site! LickinFlames

Here are better shots of the colors of both options.

Deep Sea

The yarn is Timaru and that lovely shimmer is due to the Bamboo ingredient. Cellulose fibers do not accept the acid dyes and so they just are a bit more muted and silky than straight protein fibers. Jim’s “pins” are actually magnetized and will STAY PUT!

The kits are $48, which is actually a great deal, considering the normal retail price of the components! This will make a great gift!

Staying Safe and Cozy

While the western half of the family is having some peace and quiet and hiking time, we are entertaining and boring the bejeebers out of our one and only grand dog.


It is mighty quiet for her, here with Grammy & Grampy, instead of the constant commotion of a household of 5, with two young girls with lots of energy. Walking the dogs feels a lot different when one pulls you up the hills and the other lollygags along behind. True, her little legs are just that, little. She went to the groomer before the “parking lot handoff” (better known for children of divorce) and man, this cut makes her keep moving, because it is COLD up here, in the mornings! I think that her papa is sick of picking out weed seeds, from a longer coat, so there’s that. She is mighty low to the ground and would prefer to go through the bushes than around them. Oh, Ziggy.

We are canceling the need for Thanksgiving, this year. He and I will be doing the same old, same old and not minding it, one bit. When I see little videos of folks packing airports, I just wonder why I have had to sacrifice 90% of my business, to stay safe and keep others safe. Oh yeah, because I give a rat’s patoot, that’s why. The folks who look after our seniors, in the nursing homes, at least here in California, are from the Philippines and we now are coming to find out that they and Pacific Islanders are being hit the hardest of all ethnic groups. They are caring for the most vulnerable population; frail people in care centers. They may have to interact with the scoffers who are going to gather, despite pleas from doctors and scientists, and then infect great grandma. There is not one thing that I can do about any of it, other than to stay as safe as I can and be respectful to the lives of others. I am willing to sacrifice this year and income, so that life can go on, once the vaccines become available. Where we live went from Orange to purple tiers, skipping the red one, because there are so many scoffers here. So be it.

I just paid for the services of Wix and have to get busy taking photos and deciding what it is that I want from the newer and sleeker website. Rod found someone who will help me to set up the template and then teach me how to use it, so that I can not only pare things down a bit but be able to add or subtract offerings when I want or need to. I especially want a spot for specials, which will be kits and other things available for a short time. It is exciting and daunting but things have come SO far, since Brenda Zuk first dreamed up the website, in 1999. Holly Haynes took over, years later and helped move me further along in this long journey from Analog Lisa to someone much more comfortable in this digital world. Grandma told me to learn something new, every day, and, well, this will be the next phase. I just want something user friendly for folks on phones and tablets, so I will be excited to get started, whenever Kathy carves out some time for me.

In the meantime, be good to yourselves and stay safe. I will be here, putting one foot in front of the other, keeping you all in my thoughts.

Can I Get An Amen?

There is a meme floating around about yarn hoarders and another round of shutdowns, saying that knitters, crocheters and spinners have just been Prepping. Yeah, that’s it, Prepping.

No longer monogamous, it seems.

I have had nights of dream filled Deep Sleep, since last Saturday, knowing that while we have Shenanigans to wade through, there WILL be an adult in the room, on January 20th. There is something called happiness creeping up on me and after we Went In, in March, this was so far out of reach, it seemed. There were soul saving visits by our thoughtful daughter, who always wanted to keep us safe, all the way up to my back porch birthday party and then, the final Halloween picnic at her house. I think that I have enough happiness stored up, right now, that Distance Holidays will be just fine; you know, no weeping.

You see, as of about 12:30pm today, this happened.

My Bug-out Bag

It is all because of this.

The rain has come.

Yes, I unpacked that Run For It bag and put the suitcase away. We have rain bands coming in at regular intervals, which makes me SO HAPPY! Teejay got a bit worried when I brought my bag in, not fathoming that clothes being put away does not mean that he is going to be here, alone with the kitties. Oh happy day, the sound of rain.

View from the dye table.

I am going to spend the rest of the day knitting, and with a weird bend to my mouth; a smile.