Episode 122: Eat Your Words

ep122.4The Eat Your Words read-along begins on June 1st. Yarns at Yin Hoo listeners are invited to select a book and read along. Chatter in the Ravelry thread is welcome, and the loquacious among us will have a chance to win a prize just for participating. There will be a different prize each month, starting with some made-in-the-USA sport-weight superwash dyed by Carole of Foster Sheep Farm. I’m calling this colorway “Creamsicle.” I talk about completing the Kiomi dress and there are details regarding lottery entry for the Knit Local Getaway 2017.


eatyourwordsOff the Shelf

  • Alphabet for Gourmets by MFK Fisher
  • Aphrodite by Isabel Allende
  • A History of Cooks and Cooking by Michael Symonds
  • Food Rules by Michael Pollan
  • Coming Home to Eat by Gary Paul Nabhan

Kiomi dress complete! In a cotton/silk blend.

Kiomi dress complete! In a cotton/silk blend.

Episode 121: Metacog(k)nition

cover121This episode includes the following segments: The Front Porch, Ever-expanding Skill Set, and Sew Forth, plus some chinwaggin’ about metacognition. After spending a week doing more thinking about knitting than actually knitting, I thought it would be a good topic of discussion. Cooking with rhubarb has been so much fun this month. This week, I tried two new-to-me rhubarb recipes for #powerpantry. I’ve created a list of projects for summer crafting and have finally cut the fabric for a kiomi dress. Sewing with a cotton/silk blend isn’t as daunting as I thought it would be.


Chinwaggin

String Theory yarnstormed a cafeteria pillar to raise awareness about the stress-relieving powers of the fiber arts.

String Theory yarnstormed a cafeteria pillar to raise awareness about the stress-relieving powers of the fiber arts.


The Front Porch

I'm making lists for Stash Dash 2016 and Tour de Fleece.

I’m making lists for Stash Dash 2016 and Tour de Fleece.


Ever-expanding Skill Set

Cook along with rhubarb in May. Use #powerpantry on social media and join in the discussion on Ravelry.

Pizza with rhubarb compote "sauce," pork belly, chèvre, arugula and balsamic reduction.

Pizza with rhubarb compote “sauce,” pork belly, chèvre, arugula and balsamic reduction.

Click on image for a link to the original recipe for Spicy Rhubarb Pizza.

Click on image for a link to the original recipe for Spicy Rhubarb Pizza.

Rhubarb custard pie with mixed results. I used three eggs and reduced the heavy cream to 1/3 c half and half.

Rhubarb custard pie with mixed results. I used three eggs and reduced the heavy cream to 1/3 c half and half.


And Sew Forth

kiomiMost of the time I’ve spent on the kiomi dress has been procrastination and dread. Yesterday, I finally got up the courage to cut into the cotton/silk fabric and things didn’t go as terribly as I anticipated. Having a rotary cutter made the cutting process go smoothly. At my mother’s suggestion, I cut several squares from the remaining fabric and experimented with settings on my iron, as well as types of thread, stitch length and stitch tension. The most difficult part so far has been making bias tape with this slippery fabric. Here is the dress as it appears in Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Style.

Episode 120: Negative Knitting

cover120Warmer temperatures and clear skies have hampered my knitting this week. It has been a very, very long time since I’ve seen a negative trend in knitting. I blame it on all the time I’ve spent gardening, plus the fact that the Agatha socks by Claire of New Hampshire Knits are so beautiful that I’ve decided to knit them as a gift. Thus, I’ve ripped out my progress and cast on a larger size. The socks are so much fun to knit that I’m sure I’ll catch up in no time. This episode includes the following segments: Ever-expanding Skill Set, Off the Shelf, Yarn Lover at Large, and Sew Forth.


Sheep to Shawl

Our collection of hand-spun, hand-knit bunnies.

Our collection of hand-spun, hand-knit bunnies.

Sheep study with a variety of fibers to challenge our abilities.

Sheep study with a variety of fibers to challenge our abilities.

Sun-dye jars with yarn and fiber. These will take a week to mature.

Sun-dye jars with yarn and fiber. These will take a week to mature.


ep120.2Ever-expanding Skill Set

This week, I’ve been cooking with rhubarb, and I recommend this recipe for Rhubarb Ginger Downside-up Oatmeal Cake. It combines interesting culinary techniques and flavors for an absolutely delicious and moist cake.  I’ve made a few alterations to the original recipe, so I’ll post my version here. Find more great ideas for cooking with rhubarb, or add your own on the #powerpantry thread on Ravelry.

 preheat oven 350º

Carefully clean your cast iron skillet to remove off flavors. I scrub my skillet with coarse salt and olive oil, then rinse quickly with warm water. Set on on a warm burner to dry.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c oats (quick cooking or thick-cut), 2 tblsp butter, and 3/4 c boiling water. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together 3 c rhubarb (in 1/2 inch slices) and 2 tblsp freshly-grated ginger.

Melt 3 tblsp butter in an 8″ cast iron skillet. Turn off heat and add 1/2 c brown sugar to skillet. Make sure it is evenly distributed on the bottom of the pan. Top the sugar with the rhubarb and ginger mixture.

In a large bowl, sift together 1 c all-purpose flour, 1tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 c white sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 large or 2 small eggs. Stir in oatmeal mixture.

Add wet ingredients to dry, stir quickly to incorporate, and pour batter on top of rhubarb.

Transfer skillet to oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Run the blade of a thin knife around the edge of the skillet to make sure the cake is not stuck to the side of the pan. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before carefully inverting and transferring to a cake plate to finish cooling.


eatyourwordsOff the Shelf

The Eat Your Words Read-along begins June 1. Select a book, read at your own pace, and post favorite passages and other comments in the thread. Each month, I’ll draw a post at random for a prize. The first prize is a skein of US-processed superwash yarn, donated by Carole of Foster Sheep Farm.


ep79.5Yarn Lover at Large

This year, the Fiber Festival will take place on Sunday, May 29th in Chestnut Ridge, New York. The event is held rain or shine and has the perfect family-friendly variety of activities. Admission is free. There are craft activities, fiber prep and dyeing demonstrations, a silent auction, plant sale, and great food. Click here for more information.


And Sew Forth

Thank you to everyone who has contributed thoughtful remarks and personal stories to the conversation about #memademay and the challenges of creating a handmade wardrobe. Your comments and questions have been a gratifying treat this week. Here is a link to a short, animated video about the taste/ability gap. Here is video of Glass explaining the concept.

Episode 119: Hello Sunshine

cover119After many days of soaking rain, the Howard County Fairgrounds in Frederick, Maryland were pretty muddy — but that didn’t deter eager fiber lovers, who shopped and ate and petted sheep happily at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this past weekend. This was my second trip to the festival, and on my way I fondly recalled 2014, when I met Sarah of Fiber Trek and Emily of Fibretown for the first time. This year, I found Emily at the fleece sale building, just after I got to reconnect with Carole of Foster Sheep Farm. Carole was assisting with fleece sales for the weekend. She shared the news that Abbey, her daughter, had successfully launched a new blog about farm life and helping to run the yarn shop at the farm.

ep119.10Emily was in the midst of shopping, and purchased two fleeces. One is a Gotland, raised with care by a young shepherdess named Mercy Melo. Even though I didn’t purchase a fleece from the sale this year, I enjoyed the frenzy created by other shoppers. I also learn so much from listening in on the conversations of shoppers and asking questions of the extremely knowledgeable and helpful volunteers. For instance, I learned some tips for ep119.15differentiating between yolk stains (which can cause discoloration) and canary stains (which indicate structural damage). I had been expecting to purchase my first fleece from The Ross Farm, but when I visited Amy and Scooterpie, I was greeted with very good and not-as-good news. The very good news is that Amy’s project was selected as a winner in the festival’s skein and garment competition. For Amy, a new knitter, this is great news and really a boost for her beautiful 100% Leicester Longwool yarn. Unfortunately, I will have to wait a little longer for a Ross Farm fleece, since their shearer didn’t make it in time for the festival. All this waiting has only caused my sense of anticipation to build, as I prepare to process, spin and knit from a Shetland fleece.

ep119.4MDSW emphasizes sheep, fleece and spinning, as well as raising sheep for meat production. There are several barns housing animals, and breed displays, which are a great way to start learning about breed characteristics that contribute to specific qualities in finished yarn and fiber products. Each year, one breed is featured at the festival, and there is a lot of emphasis placed on education and agriculture. I entered one barn in search of Cookie and Cream, two Finnsheep (the featured breed of 2016)  from Fair Winds Farm. Their shepherdess, Jan Hanby, was away from the stall when I found ep119.6them, but she soon returned and let me enter so that I could really get to know these affectionate eleven-month-old rams who would soon become award-winning sheep. Most Finnsheep in the US are white in color, but this handsome pair is unique, with coats ranging from light to grey, with dark patches). It was great to meet Jan and talk with her in person after several years of listening to her co-host the Twinset Designs Podcast with Ellen. While Jan was talking at length about the Finnsheep breed with passersby, I snapped a few photos.

Jan of Fair Winds Farm with her award-winning Finnsheep.

Jan of Fair Winds Farm with her award-winning Finnsheep.

ep119.14Emily introduced me to Sarah (flaneuse on Ravelry), who has been co-hosting the Fibretown podcast with Fibre West episodes, devoted to a year of knitting Stephen West’s patterns. Sarah was wearing a brilliantly-colored Exploration Station, and knitting on an equally vibrant pair of socks. I also got to chat quite a lot with Janice, co-host of the Carolina Fiber Girls podcast. We met at Rhinebeck, but had much more down-time at MDSW. In general, I have found the Maryland festival more relaxed than Rhinebeck, but that could be the result of Emily and Jaime’s tradition of setting up camp in a shady spot. Jaime was snuggling under blankets to escape the chilly morning, but when temperatures climbed, he emerged to work on his cowl and learn a stretchy bind-off. Emily and Jaime are endlessly hospitable; friends come to visit, show off their shopping, have a snack, and rest for awhile. Having enjoyed this tradition before, I was prepared with my Turkish spindle from TurtleMade, with which I began spinning Hello Sunshine battlings from Hobbledehoy. It was a great day and tiring.

It’s unlikely I will remember to mention everyone with whom I spoke at the podcaster meet up; in fact, I said hello to a few podcasters before the meet up occurred. Early in the day, I saw Laura and Leslie of TheKnitGirllls. Jennie and Devon of Tiny Paper Foxes were shopping for Jacob fiber at The Ross Farm tent. It was really nice to finally meet Heather of Fiberista Files and say hello to Lisa of 90% Knitting, too.

Listeners of the podcast know that I’m not a tenacious shopper because I don’t have a lot of room for stash. Also, having a lot of yarn on hand gives me anxiety that I need to get knitting it! When I visit a festival, I like to do some holiday shopping, since my family appreciates the things I find from local producers. I have already begun planning next year’s purchases. Below is a list of vendors I mention in this episode.

Episode 118: #MeMadeMay

cover118This episode includes the following segments: The Back Porch, The Front Porch, Ever-expanding Skill Set, and Sew Forth. It has been a few weeks since I’ve talked about my projects, so this episode is devoted to an update. May has been dubbed #memademay, when many crafters celebrate their journey of making. I’ve completed three pieces for my handmade wardrobe, and have begun two more. I’m also cooking with rhubarb this month — searching for new sweet recipes, some savory recipes, and even methods for using rhubarb leaves to make a mordant.


 The Back Porch

Finished ribbed socks on US 0 dons; toe up with a FLK heel and tubular bind off.

Finished ribbed socks on US 0 dons; toe up with a FLK heel and tubular bind off.

Bonny tank by tincanknits in wool/silk blend on US 4 needles.

Bonny tank by tincanknits in wool/silk blend on US 4 needles.


The Front Porch

Agatha socks by Claire of NHKnits in Gynx Yarn BFL Sock in colorway Sea Salt Ice Cream.

Agatha socks by Claire of NHKnits in Gynx Yarn BFL Sock in colorway Sea Salt Ice Cream.

Paper Cranes stole by Lori Versaci in Swans Island fingering: indigo.

Paper Cranes stole by Lori Versaci in Swans Island fingering: indigo.


rhubarbEver-expanding Skill Set

This month, I’m cooking with rhubarb, a vegetable that is popular in the Northeastern US during the spring and early summer. I found great information and some recipes on the Rhubarb Compendium. You can cook along and share your photos and links on the Ravelry thread. This week, I’d like to try this Rhubarb Ginger Downside-up Oatmeal Cake.


ep118.7Sew Forth

Last week, I sewed a skirt based on a beloved garment I purchased from Anthropologie more than ten years ago. The wrap skirt looks simple, but it is made of four irregularly-shaped pieces of linen with a tie waist and pocket. Since I didn’t want to dismantle the skirt to make a pattern, I enlisted Samuel’s help to trace the pieces as carefully as I could. With a ruler and pencil, I added a 5/8 inch seam allowance to the hem and sides of each pattern piece.  I made some final adjustments ep118.1and cut out the paper pattern. It was a thrill to find that I could cut the skirt from 2 1/4 yards of linen/cotton blend in a deep plum color. I ripped two lengths of the fabric to create a waistband. Flat-felled seams create a sturdy structure and smooth finish, although my seams are located on the inside of the skirt instead of the outside. I might try a different approach on my next skirt. The waist band pictured is wider than the one on the original, which I think is an improvement. It passes through the skirt via a buttonhole opening and is secured with a loop sewn into the back of the waistband. I didn’t add a pocket, but I might add one later. This skirt will be a spring / summer wardrobe staple. The small amount of yardage make it an affordable choice for a handmade wardrobe.

Episode 117: Knit Local

ep117.4This episode is devoted to a detailed Yarn Lover at Large segment. You’ll hear all about the getaway to Washington County, New York for the annual Farm & Fiber Tour. Nineteen extraordinary women joined me for a weekend of fiber, fun, and friendship. It was a special time that I will continue to reflect on throughout the year. Pictured at left is one of the newest lambs of Foster Sheep Farm. We spent a lovely afternoon with Carol and Tom and had plenty of time to cuddle with lambs.


 


Christ the King Retreat Center has excellent trails and beautiful views.

Christ the King Retreat Center has excellent trails and beautiful views.

Ella is the loveliest spinner; she demonstrated her skills at St. Mary's on the Hill.

Ella is the loveliest spinner; she demonstrated her skills at St. Mary’s on the Hill.

Thanks to Jaclyn's color theory course for beginners, I selected this set of analogous colors for a future project.

Thanks to Jaclyn’s color theory course for beginners, I selected this set of analogous colors for a future project.

I only managed to take a photo of the delicious panna cotta at Dancing Ewe Farm.

I only managed to take a photo of the delicious panna cotta at Dancing Ewe Farm.


MORE FROM THE GETAWAY:

  • Jaclyn (jaclynsalem) of Brooklyn Knitfolk gives you a glimpse of the getaway in her “In the Wild” series
  • Lisa (saratogaknitting) shares her getaway experience on IchigoAbroad Episode 42
  • Candy (paws4stitches) has a new podcast