Brainstorming in Paris ! The Story of The KNIT Lessons


The last 2 Sessions
The KNIT Lessons

Click HERE to get all the details about the Spring 2016 Session.

This is my new studio in the attic of the Louvre.  Cool, eh?!

My Dream Studio at the Louvre - Handwork Homeschool I’ve always dreamed of working in a light-drenched space with soaring ceilings…
OK, it’s not really my studio – yet – maybe one day… but I did spend an amazing weekend of brainstorming & planning for The KNIT Lessons in Paris.  Want to come see where I worked, what inspired me & how I created this totally unique course?  Allons-y…

I actually did a lot of work here, in a tiny apartment just south of the Opera on the
Right Bank.  My Mother visited us a while ago.  When it was time for her to leave, she was incredibly generous & gave me a real treat – she rented this apartment for me,
just for a weekend, so I could work on this course(& I assure you, I worked – a lot!)

Handwork Homeschool - The KNIT Lessons

It was quite decadent (but not totally, we took the commuter train in at 6 AM
– we were the only ones awake & since I know the owner we got a great last-minute deal).  It is in a building where Benjamin Franklin used to hold a Salon in the 18th century when he was Ambassador to France.

The best part ? The scent of the jasmine in the courtyard each evening!

So what did I do, exactly?  Well, I gathered a lot of images that appealed to me – I’m a
totally visual type so I usually start planning this way.  I look for colours, shapes &
themes that catch my eye.  My collection of antique journals always inspire me
as do my art books & postcards, which I gather in my travels.

Vintage Inspiration - Handwork Homeschool

Just look at those colours!!

Vintage Papers - Handwork Homeschool

Of course, one must get out & see the sites whilst in Paris.

I’ve always loved French art & was thrilled to hear that this exhibition was on –

Petit Palais - Handwork Homeschool - the KNIT Lessons

I was totally set to spend my Sunday wandering around the Petit Palais
until I discovered that I’d have to wait almost 3 HOURS just to get in.
Well, despite my love of some good Art Nouveau swirls & chorus girls
swishing their skirts- I wasn’t about to stand in a line that long.

Luckily, a smaller exhibition with a much shorter line ( like 10 minutes)
was also open –
Carl Larsson - Handwork Homeschool

Carl Larsson was a Swedish artist who made his name mostly in France.  He’s known best for his marvelous watercolours of country life – one filled with children & laughter.
I enjoyed every minute of the exhibition &  didn’t regret not going to the block buster upstairs at all.

Handwork Homeschool Carl Larsson

And I did get to see some marvelous swirls & curves after all!

Petit Palais staircase - Handwork Homeschool

Inspiration plays a huge part in the creation of my courses but so does
brainstorming – putting the pen to the paper.  I did a lot of it in a place
that you might be very familiar with –

Handwork Homeschool - Paris Starbucks

Yes, this is the entrance to a Starbucks.

“Starbucks”, you say!?

“Seriously, when there are all of those fabulous French cafés
on every corner?”

Well, hold on just a minute – this wasn’t just ANY Starbucks.

Handwork Homeschool - Paris Starbucks

It was like the Versailles of Starbucks – yes, this is a picture I took
while sipping my CHAI!  Mirrors, columns, chandeliers & frescoes –

Handwork Homeschool = Paris Starbucks

At first, it was definitely hard to concentrate but somehow, I managed
to settle into my giant, leather comfy chair & get down to work.

After sorting through my notes & sketches, I drew this mindmap to get
all of my ideas happily in one place & see how all of the course parts could
fit together. (CLICK to enlarge it if you want to see the “big” picture!)

The KNIT Lessons - Mindmap - Handwork Homeschool

My steps to creating a NEW course:

    • decide on a general topic (obviously, this time it’s KNITTING!)
    • make a big stack of related books (creativity, knitting, Waldorf handwork)
    • sort through my notes & photocopies (I’ve been gathering these for years!)
    • think about how I want to spend the summer (knitting, researching, writing)
      (not necessarily in that order…!)
    • write a giant list of everything that would make the course fun & memorable
    • focus on the key ideas – it’s always better to go deep & keep it easy
    • consider ways to make the course interactive (exercises, projects & videos)
    • add one new element that I’ve always wanted to explore
      (this time it’s a collaboration with Becca from Cedar Ring Circle – see below)
    • gather my tools, yarn, pencils & paper – swatch, sketch, measure – repeat
    • tell YOU all about it !!

Handwork Homeschool - The KNIT Lessons - planning

So, what did I come up with?

This is the course that  I’ve imagined for years, long before the possibility of presenting it online even existed.

One that will allow you to learn at your own pace & take in what you need to know.

If you’ve never knit a stitch, you’ll enjoy the step-by-step videos.  Maybe you’re a bit further along your knitting “journey” & are ready to learn how to break down the skills into smaller segments to make them easier to teach to your children.  As a more experienced knitter, you’ll find the creative exercises, mini history tidbits & design lessons take your appreciation of this fibre art to a whole new level.

Princess & the Pea - KY Craft - Handwork Homeschool Knit Lessons

Video lessons, printable design sheets, checklists, project patterns, creative prompts – it’s all here…!!

(Have questions?  Keep reading!)

The KNIT Lessons - Handwork Homeschool



Customization is the name of this game…

Remember how I told you about my collaboration with Becca from Cedar Ring Mama?

The KNIT Lessons - Complete Supplies KIT

Isn’t this the most delicious collection  of knitting delights you’ve ever seen ?!

Becca & I worked together to create an All-In-One Kit that includes everything you need to complete all the exercises & projects during The KNIT Lessons.  She has carefully gathered up all of the goodies on my wish list & even wound up smaller balls of some colours – so that you’ll have JUST enough.

** The Kits are absolutely optional – but they will really save you a lot of time & money.

The KNIT Lessons - All the Details & Enrollment

Want to read what other students say about my courses?  Go HERE
Ready to browse all of the yummy yarny things at Cedar Ring Circle – it’s all HERE.

Handwork Homeschool - The KNIT Lessons


This spring, come on over to Handwork Homeschool &
let’s knit up a story together – it’s going to be lots of fun!!!

Happy Making!


P.S. By the way this is my REAL studio – the only things I’m missing are a

big glass pyramid in the front yard & a few statues!

Stacks of Inspiration Studio - Handwork Homeschool

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