Episode 129: Peaches and Paisley

cover129This episode contains the following segments: The Back Porch, Ever-expanding Skill Set, and Sew Forth. The weather service informs us that we’re trapped beneath a heat dome, so I’ve been focusing a lot of my attention on hydration this week, drinking switchel (also known as haymaker’s punch). I’ve also started a batch of snaps, using market-fresh peaches, pineapple sage and whiskey. Two long-term projects are complete and I’m working on more sewing. This episode includes a thorough review of the Endless Summer Tunic pattern and Creativebug tutorial.


The Back Porch

Agatha socks: pattern by Claire of NH Knits; Gynx yarn BFL sock in the sea salt ice cream colorway

Agatha socks: pattern by Claire of NH Knits; Gynx yarn BFL sock in the sea salt ice cream colorway

599 yards handspun: Three Waters Farm wool/silk blend in June greens colorway

599 yards handspun: Three Waters Farm wool/silk blend in June greens colorway


Ever-expanding Skill Set

Snaps is an unsweetened alcohol infusion. The term comes from a general term from Sweden / Denmark. It's important to keep produce submerged beneath the level of alcohol. I used a small mouth jar lid to weigh down the contents. The flavors of the infusion can take hold within a few days, but it can take several weeks or even months to develop. The typical ration is 1 cup produce : 1 cup alcohol.

Snaps is an unsweetened alcohol infusion. The term comes from a generic term from Sweden / Denmark meaning “strong alcoholic beverage.” It is distinct from schnapps; it has no added sugars. It’s important to keep produce submerged beneath the level of alcohol. I used a small mouth jar lid to weigh down the contents. The flavors of the infusion can take hold within a few days, but it can take several weeks or even months to develop. The typical ratio is 1 cup produce : 1 cup alcohol. Pictured here – peaches and pineapple sage in whiskey.


And Sew Forth

I store sewing supplies in these clever boxes that look like books. I have one for thread and bobbins, one for sewing notions, and one for zippers and bias tape.

I store sewing supplies in these clever boxes that look like books. I have one for thread and bobbins, one for sewing notions, and one for zippers and bias tape.

Self-drafted tank in Liberty fabric.  The back is black linen.

Self-drafted tank in Liberty fabric. The back is black linen.

Self-drafted skirt in plum-colored linen.

Self-drafted skirt in plum-colored linen.

Kiomi dress in double gauze.

Kiomi dress in double gauze.

Endless summer tunic in lightweight denim chambray.

Endless summer tunic in lightweight denim chambray.

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Episode 128: Cool & Refreshing

cover128This episode includes the following segments: The Front Porch, Ever-expanding Skill Set and Off the Shelf. Inspired by the Eat Your Words Read-along and farm-fresh produce, I’ve been experimenting with refreshing drinks to ease the torment of this recent heat wave. Two popular beverages at my house are switchel (left) and a ginger-mint mule (right). I’ve completed a knitting project and I’ve made excellent progress on my Tour de Fleece goal of spinning a 4 ounce braid of wool/silk from Three Waters Farm. Last evening, I completed spinning the singles and I’m ready to ply.


The Back Porch

Geysir Stretch knit in Foster Sheep Farm kettle-dyed Romney / Wensleydale.

Geysir Stretch knit in Foster Sheep Farm kettle-dyed Romney / Wensleydale.

Singles from Three Waters Farm -- ready to ply.

Singles from Three Waters Farm — ready to ply.


ep128.6Ever-expanding Skill Set

Even though the recipe pictured at the right is from Cooks Illustrated, I recommend trying the Food52 recipe for Ginger Rhubarb Downside-up Cake, simply replacing the rhubarb with freshly sliced peaches, because I think ginger and peach make an excellent pairing and because I think that the cake with oatmeal in it is super moist and delicious. If you’re not so keen on ginger, you could add grated lemon rind and some lemon juice to the cake batter.

  • ep128.5Warm  Yellow Wax Beans with Bacon Vinaigrette
  • To try this week: Carrot Fritters
  • Switchel recipe
  • How to make a Ginger-mint Mule: In a tall glass, muddle mint leaves; add 1 shot bourbon whiskey (Smuggler’s Notch), 3 tablespoons ginger syrup. Fill glass with ice and seltzer. Stir. Garnish with lime wedges. Sip with an attractive companion.
Our new pantry adds eight cubic feet of storage capacity to our small kitchen. Click for a link to the Instagram video.

Our new pantry adds eight cubic feet of storage capacity to our small kitchen. Click for a link to the Instagram video.


eatyourwordsOff the Shelf

Select a work of food-related journalism, memoir or fiction and read along this summer.  Listeners have suggested excellent titles and there is lively conversation on the thread. Each month, a post will be randomly-selected for a prize. July’s prize is a set of notecards from JoAnna of Knit Spin Farm.

Episode 127: Always Have Your Spinning

cover127We have lived our lives by the assumption that what is good for us would be good for the world.  We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption: that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and what is good for it.

                                                                                                             — Wendell Berry


The Front Porch

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Selkie Hat and Mitts set by Bristol Ivy from Taproot Issue 17: Myth

The first two ounces of merino/silk blend from Three Waters Farm have been spun. I'm addicted to the #twftdf16 thread on Instagram for constant inspiration.

The first two ounces of merino/silk blend from Three Waters Farm have been spun. I’m addicted to the #twftdf16 thread on Instagram for constant inspiration.


The Back Porch

316 yards 2-ply sport weight East-Friesian/Tunis, and Jacob

316 yards 2-ply sport weight East-Friesian/Tunis, and Jacob


Ever-expanding Skill Set

These grilled snap peas with spicy peanut dressing from Dishing Up the Dirt were so delicious. I'm looking forward to trying more of Andrea's recipes.

These grilled snap peas with spicy peanut dressing from Dishing Up the Dirt were so delicious that they disappeared within seconds. I’m looking forward to trying more of Andrea’s recipes.


powerpantryLinks and References

 

Episode 126: Indigo Dreams

cover126This episode features the following segments: The Back Porch, The Front Porch, Off the Shelf, Ever-expanding Skill Set, and Sew Forth. Last week, I traveled to Vermont to visit my sister. From baking, to gardening, shopping, watching new baby chicks, and trying indigo dyeing for the first time — we managed to pack in a lot of fun in three short days. Our only excursion from the farmstead was an afternoon in Brandon, where we met up with Jennie and Devon (of Handmade & Woolen) at Creative Fiber Designs. Listen for the details of my trip and two prize drawings.


The Back Porch

Paper Cranes by Lori Versaci, knit in Swans Island fingering weight yarn.

Paper Cranes by Lori Versaci, knit in Swans Island fingering weight yarn


The Front Porch


farmpostcardsOff the Shelf

The Eat Your Words read-along continues for two more months. In this episode, I announce the winner of the sport-weight “creamsicle” yarn donated by Carole of Foster Sheep Farm. July’s prize is a set of notecards donated by JoAnna of KnitSpinFarm. Check out her shop; she is having weekly updates this summer!


Ever-expanding Skill Set

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Cake made with coconut flour — recipe from Nourished Kitchen


and Sew Forth

Dip-dyed linen

Dip-dyed linen

Dip-dyed pinafore

Dip-dyed pinafore

Jessie and her beautifully well-mannered Blue Orpington rooster, Gabby

Jessie and her beautifully well-mannered Blue Orpington rooster, Gabby


PRIZE DRAWING for Tamar yarn

Episode 125: Who’s the Knitter?

cover125This episode includes the following Segments: On the Porch, Ever-expanding Skill Set, and Off the Shelf. Last night, I saw Maggie’s Plan at my local cinema and I can’t stop thinking about the knitwear, knitted accessories, and knitted home decor in this independent film written and directed by Rebecca Miller. There were fascinating textures and textiles in every shot; Some commercial, some definitely hand-knit. The costume designer Malgosia Turzanska explains some of her choices in this interview on IndieWire, but I can’t help wanting to find out more. If you enjoy seeing knits on screen, this movie will not disappoint.


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Bill Hader and Greta Gerwig — scene after scene of knitwear in Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan.


On the Porch

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Washing day for my hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn.

East Friesian / Tunis X gradient singles.

East Friesian / Tunis X gradient singles.


Ever-expanding Skill Set

Coconut custard pie: Click for a Food Network recipe that is similar to the one used.

Coconut custard pie: Click for a Food Network recipe that is similar to the one I used. I’ve finally hit upon my preferred butter/lard ratio for a pie crust. Can you see the very browned portion of the crimped edge? I forgot to rotate the pie while baking, which is essential in my small-capacity oven.


eatyourwordsOff the Shelf

Episode 124: So Much for Science

cover124The close of the school year is very busy and I haven’t had too much knitting time, so this episode will be low on knitting content. I have been trying some experiments with dying and mordants, however. The Eat Your Words Read-along began on June 1 and continues through August. Choose a work of food-related fiction or non-fiction and read along with us. There’s great conversation on the Ravelry thread, and one prize will be awarded each month for those who participate! We’re cooking with coconut this month and I have some recipe suggestions for you.


On the Porch

I've used up the first skein of yarn for the Paper Cranes stole and I'm about to begin the second.

I’ve used up the first skein of yarn for the Paper Cranes stole and I’m about to begin the second.


Ever-expanding Skill Set

Here's my version of Coconut Quick Bread. I used a combination of coconut water and half&half in place of the milk, added one egg, and eliminated the melted butter from the recipe.

Here’s my version of Coconut Quick Bread. I used a combination of coconut water and half&half in place of the milk, added one egg, and eliminated the melted butter from the recipe.

This was my first attempt at grilling tofu and it turned out very tasty. I smeared a piece of heavy-duty foil with coconut oil before grilling marinated sliced tofu. This is delicious with coconut rice and sautéed or grilled vegetables.

This was my first attempt at grilling tofu and it turned out very tasty. I smeared a piece of heavy-duty foil with coconut oil before grilling marinated sliced tofu. This is delicious with coconut rice and sautéed or grilled vegetables.


Sheep to Shawl

This month, my Sheep to Shawl class made dye pots with a variety of plants from the dye garden at Fiber Craft Studio. Here I am cleaning and breaking up madder root for a dye bath.

This month, my Sheep to Shawl class made dye pots with a variety of plants from the dye garden at Fiber Craft Studio. Here I am cleaning and breaking up madder root for a dye bath.

I prepared four skeins for dyeing: the two on the left were treated with an alum mordant; the two on the right with my homemade rhubarb mordant.

I prepared four skeins for dyeing: the two on the left were treated with an alum mordant; the two on the right with my homemade rhubarb mordant.

From L to R: alum mordant / madder pot; alum mordant / weld pot; rhubarb mordant / weld pot.

From L to R: alum mordant / madder pot; alum mordant / weld pot; rhubarb mordant / weld pot. My rhubarb mordant / madder pot has gone missing.


Chinwaggin’

Our Eat Your Words Read-along has three lovely sponsors. Check out their wares and look for updates.

June’s prize is a skein of American superwash merino dyed by Carole of Foster Sheep Farm.

July’s prize is a set of notecards from the KnitSpinFarm Etsy shop. JoAnna Spring takes charming photographs of her very charismatic goats, chickens and sheep.

August’s prize is a $25 gift certificate to spend at The Woolly Thistle. Proprietor Claire bridges the ocean, offering customers choice yarns from across the pond.


stash2Giveaway: The Woolly Thistle

The Woolly Thistle bridges the ocean to bring you selected yarns from The Old Country. Claire from NH Knits podcast (who is Scottish) opened her virtual doors in April with wool from West Yorkshire Spinners.

The Woolly Thistle just received its latest shipment of British yarn this time coming direct from Blacker in Cornwall, England.   She has a beautiful selection of Tamar colors in both the 4ply fingering weight and the DK. Tamar is Blacker’s latest offering where lustre, softness and strength combine to create yarn you will love to knit and wear.   You will also find unique blends such as Hebridean & Mohair for nylon-free socks and lovely West Country Tweed in DK. Let The Woolly Thistle deal with the international shipping so you don’t have to!

Enter to win a skein of Tamar 4-ply in colorway Lerryn by visiting the contest thread on Ravelry. You must be a member of the Yarns at Yin Hoo group to enter the contest.