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.


maggiesplan

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


On the Porch

ep125.1

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.

Episode 123: Inner Color

cover123This episode features some conversation among members of String Theory, the knit and crochet club for which I serve as advisor. The date of this recording is one week after Emily, one of our members, brought in all of the supplies needed and taught us how to dye yarn with KoolAid. We talk about our current projects and the yarn we dyed. We are all working on projects as we talk and we’re tired and a little worn out at the end of the school day, so our volume is inconsistent.  The photographs below show some of our process in the foods room at school.


We were each given instructions to make six different colors of dye, and we could blend them for further colors.

We were each given instructions to make six different colors of dye, and we could blend them for further colors.

I attempted some speckles and variegated sections of one skein.

I attempted some speckles and variegated sections of one skein.

Emily made yarn labels for us.

Emily made yarn labels for us.

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.