Episode 239

There were so many lovely posts about listener interest in Little Women in the thread for Ep 238.  Thank you for sharing.  I learned that the style of shawl worn by all five characters at one point or another is called a “sontag.”  And I found several articles related to fashion and textiles in Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation. Congratulations to StudioNoodling and Selkhet for winning the pattern prizes for Beth’s Shawl!

The Front Porch

  • Washington designed by illitilli
  • toe-up socks in Gedifra cotton/poly sock yarn
  • Skerries Mitts designed by Marie Wallin


The theme for January is “you’ll thank yourself later.”  As an example of this kitchen mantra, I share my recipe for a single pastry crust, which is just the thing to turn a fridge of unappealing leftovers into a delicious, nutritious savory pie.  Here is mine just set to bake in my very dirty oven!

The thing about making a pie crust dough in advance and letting it rest in the fridge is that you don’t have to worry quite so much about your technique.  A crust is much more forgiving and easier to roll out if has had several hours to rest.

I walk listeners through my technique at 40:00 in this episode.  I recommend using a wire pastry cutter and a metal bowl, which can be chilled in the fridge in warm months.

Single Pie Crust

  • 1 1/8 c. all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/3 tbsp cold butter, diced
  • salt (small pinch if you use salted butter, big pinch if you use unsalted butter)
  • ice water

Roll out the dough and place in 9″ pie plate.  Crimp edges. I spread a thick layer of shredded cheese and chopped leftovers on the bottom, then fill with a mixture of 4 beaten eggs and some milk / cream / sour cream / ricotta.  Bake in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set and the crust is nicely browned.

Listeners, I invite you to share your tips for working ahead on the thread for this episode.  What is your signature move in the “you’ll thank yourself later” category?


Thank you to Mary Jeanne Packer of Battenkill Fiber Mill, Jennie (salmonknits), Melinda of the YarnderWoman podcast,  and Barb Lynn of Wild Rose Textiles for contributing prizes to our #homedecmal.  I look forward to hosting this make-along again in 2020! Here is my finished linen stitch table mat in Mucklemarl yarn, something I have been very unlikely to begin or complete without the momentum provided by my fellow crafters.

Episode 238

Beth’s shawl in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women took my breath away. The whole film is a whirl of beautiful textiles, but this piece in particular caught my interest. The colors are rich; the garter stitch is sumptuous and squishy. So I was thrilled to find that the Beths Shawl pattern is already available on Ravelry–posted by the designer herself–AND the money raised through pattern sales will support the efforts of Barefoot College. I’ll be giving away two copies of this pattern. Enter by leaving a post on the thread for this episode.


The home dec makealong runs through the end of December.  In this episode, I announce a few additional prizes that have been contributed by generous listeners.  Post to IG and the Rav thread to enter the prize drawing.  I’ll be announcing winners in mid-January.

I’ve been working on a linen stitch table runner in Starcroft’s Mucklemarl, as well as some knitted mushrooms using Hunter Hammerson’s pattern, Foraged.

The Back Porch

I finished Burra, a cowl designed by Marie Wallin.  Making some adjustments to achieve a long, skinny cowl, I was able to use up lots of my J&S yarn leftovers from Yell.

And Sew Forth

My Ginger Jeans are all sewn up and ready for button and rivet installation.  I’m so proud of this project, as jeans represent a major achievement in my #mostlyhandmadewardrobe.  Thanks to Emily for providing so much excellent guidance and nudges to keep me going! 

I found the video tutorial by Sew Sew Live (chickenboots) to be very helpful in getting me past the waistband hurdle.  Although I did not end up using her method, I learned a lot by watching the last half of the 3.5 hour video.

Rabbit and Bullfinch by Archibald Thorburn

Winter Sleep 

by Elinor Wylie

…Just as the spiniest chestnut-burr is lined within the finest fur,

So the stoney-walled, snow-roofed house, of every squirrel and mole and mouse

Is lined with thistledown, sea-gull’s feather, velvet mullein-leaf, heaped together

With balsam and juniper, dry and curled, sweeter than anything else in the world.

O’ what a warm and darksome nest where the wildest things are hidden to rest!

It’s there that I’d love to lie and sleep, soft, soft, soft and deep, deep, deep.

Episode 237

#homedecmal prizes

Use any of the fiber arts to craft something for the home.  This MAL will run through the month of December and prizes will be awarded in January.

  • Ravelry pattern prize from Melinda of the Yarnderwoman podcast
  • HVTP mitts and socks from Mary Jeanne of Battenkill Fiber Mill

Post to IG and on the Ravelry MAL thread for your chance to win!

The Knit Local Getaway 2020

Yes, it’s happening!  The dates are April 24-26. Last year’s attendees will receive registration information in mid-January.  If you would like to join us, but did not attend the 2019 getaway, use this LINK to enter the lottery.  Learn more about the event, lodging, and pricing HERE.  More information about the Washington County Farm and Fiber Tour can be found HERE with updates as the event draws near.

Sustainable Fashion

Twinsetellen shared some helpful details about B Corps (Benefit Corporations)  in response to my segment about sustainable fashion in Episode 236.  You can find more information HERE and add to our conversation on the Ravelry thread for Episode 236.

The Back Porch

  • legwarmers knit to Jessie’s specifications in KnitSpinFarm self-striping sock yarn
  • Hyldemoer by Yuko Shimizu knit in Blacker Yarns Tor

On the Porch

  • Burra cowl by Marie Wallin in J&S 2-ply Jumper Weight leftovers
  • linen stitch table mat in MuckleMarl

The Front Porch

Off the Shelf

  • One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop

Episode 236

What considerations guide your clothing purchases?  In this episode, I share some of my thoughts on this subject and talk about a few places I shop when the “BUY” pinnacle of the purchasing pyramid seems warranted.  Plus, I talk about what’s on my needles and share three poems in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Yarn Lover at Large

I’ve been working on corespun LED lights and I’ll have them for sale at Hope’s Favorite Things in Richmond PA.  StarString is one-of-a-kind; each strand is made from specially-blended wool, silk and sparkle.  These are fun to decorate with an bring some extra warmth and light to your home during the cold, dark winter season.

in Richmond, PA on Small Business Saturday.  Stop in for a visit, shopping, tea and coffee.  Or bring your wheel and join in the fun at The Wool School.

A Few Notes on Ethical Fashion

Thank you Suzanne, for the Ravelry post that got me thinking about my #mostlyhandmadewardrobe and what I do when I don’t have the skills or inclination to make my own clothing.  This is a broad topic on which I humbly offer a few of my thoughts.  I think that a good start is to consider “The Buyerarchy of Needs” illustration by Canadian illustrator Sarah Lazarovic.

Here are a few articles: one on the first three levels, and another on the top three levels.

In the segment, I mention the following:

Off the Shelf

Poetry Foundation’s The Cranberry Cantos — Thanksgiving Poems for Family and Friends

Episode 235

A farm visit, a friends’ getaway, shopping at Finch, finished projects and jeans making!  This episode is packed with fiber-y goodness.


Join in the fun of the Home Dec Make-along, running through the end of December.  Use the hashtag to post on IG and share your making with YAYH listeners by posting on the Ravelry thread.

  • Knit Pumpkins by Stacey Liekfeldt
  • Foraged by Hunter Hammerson
  • linen stitch table runner

The Back Porch

The Front Porch

Yarn Lover at Large


Episode 234

It was a beautiful Saturday at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival last weekend.  In this episode, I reminisce about my weekend of fiber, friends, and fun, talk about my shopping, and plan new projects based on the inspiration of Rhinebeck.  I also go into some detail about the making and dyeing of my York Pinafore and read a poem by a new-to-me poet.

Yarn Lover at Large

The Haul: 1 1/2 yards of locally-sourced and spun yardage from Lily Marsh, yarn from Foster Sheep farm and Hudson + West Co., and the Glynn pullover pattern from Harrisville Designs.

And Sew Forth

I created full pattern pieces and placed them very carefully on fabric before cutting.

The walnut hulls ended up soaking for two weeks before I actually got around to dyeing my garment.

I strained the dye bath through a metal strainer and a cheesecloth-lined strainer to remove any bits that would get stuck in the fabric.

The York Pinafore before dyeing.  Pockets a little wonky and one strap wider than the other, but oh well.  

I put my fully-dampened garment into the warm dye bath and let it soak until cool, checking occasionally to make sure that the garment stayed fully submerged.

I’m pretty pleased with the finished item.  It’s warm and versatile (great for layering) and I love the size of the pockets even though the piece has a distinctive hand-made quality to it!

Off the Shelf

Italian Vacation” by Michelle Brown

a podcast about the fiber arts and other post apocalyptic skills