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Episode 216

In this episode I share the details of my newest sock design, Venus & Cupid, as well as completed and just-begun knitting projects.  As I often do on this podcast, I investigate how poetry helps me to consider important subjects.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been turning to the poems of Lucille Clifton, both as a source of personal healing and because Clifton’s has been such an important voice on the topics of race and identity.

News and Notes 

Venus & Cupid is available for digital download on Ravelry at a special introductory price until midnight EST 2.10.19.  Your purchase helps to support the work I do in recording and publishing episodes of the Yarns at Yin Hoo podcast.

Do you have an interest in contributing to the Barbara Walker Knitting Project? Find out more on the Tatter website. While you’re there, check out the workshops and classes available at the workspace in Brooklyn, New York. I fell in love with this stitch pattern, Carillon, which is named for bells in a bell tower, but which reminds me of seed pods.

Mary Jeanne Packer of the Battenkill Fiber Mill is taking a trip to Denmark and invites you to join her this fall. The Knitters Tour of Denmark promises to be a delight for any fiber enthusiast.

The Back Porch

I’m so pleased to finally be wearing the Hog Island fiber that started out as a shared fleece with Emily of FibreTown.  Over the course of a year and a half, I scoured the fleece, made carded batts, spun a three-ply worsted-weight yarn, dyed it with indigo, and knit a poncho of my own design.

The Front Porch

I’m working on Nimue (bottom right), one of the designs I’ve selected for the MakeNine challenge in 2019.  I love the drape of silky wool, and the deep chocolate color I chose is very close to the sample pictured.  I think this piece will be a good fit in my wardrobe; the weight of the garment makes it appropriate for several seasons.

Off the Shelf

In this segment, I mention a few different entry points into the poetry of Lucille Clifton.  If you’re new to Clifton’s work, the best way to begin, in my opinion, is “Homage to My Hips.”  Even better, watch her read it!  You can find this poem, and many other frequently-anthologized works, in her collection Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir.  If you’re already familiar with Clifton, I suggest that you investigate Generations, which is the title of her memoir in verse and which appears at the end of Good Woman.  When I first encountered it, about fifteen years ago, it really broke open what I thought was possible in terms of personal narrative, storytelling, and verse.  To me, it is an American epic.  Finally, I share a Lucille Clifton poem that has held personal significance to me over the past year: 1994.

Episode 215

News & Announcements

  • contact me via PM on Ravelry if you’d like to enter the lottery for the Knit Local Getaway
  • the winter session of Fleece to Finished Object is fully-subscribed, but you can contact Hope’s Favorite Things for a waiting list or to find out about other fiber arts classes

The Back Porch

  • Hedgewitch by Nat Raedwulf in Isle Yarns Clayground & Barnleaze

The Pine Woods

by Mary Oliver

Just before dawn
three deer
came walking
down the hill

as if the moment were nothing different
from eternity–
as lightly as that
they nibbled

the leaves,
they drank
from the pond,
their pretty mouths

sucking the loose silver,
their heavy eyes

I did not really see them.
I came later and saw their tracks
on empty sand.
But I don’t believe

only to the edge
of what my eyes actually see
in the kindness of the morning,
do you?

And my life,
which is my body surely,
is also something more–
isn’t yours?

I suppose the deer waited
to see the sun lift itself up,
filling the hills with light and shadows–
they were leaping

back into the rough, uncharted pinewoods
where I have lived so much of my life,
where everything is so quick and uncertain,
so glancing, so improbable, so real.

Episode 214

Happy New Year!  In this episode, I share an update on recent projects, and respond to prairiepoet’s question about the tubular cast on and bind off that I have referenced so frequently over the past few years.  It has really become a favorite set of techniques.  If you haven’t yet tried them, I hope that this episode provides some inspiration and encouragement.  I also hope that knitters experienced with these techniques will share some of their tips and suggestions on the episode thread in our YAYH group on Ravelry.

A new four-session series begins on February 2nd at Hope’s Favorite Things in Richmond, PA.  Send me a PM if you have questions about this course, or call Hope’s shop to sign up!

I completed the Wood Hollow Hat & Mittens set designed by Kirsten Kapur and I am just in love with these warm woolies for the cold weather.  Knit in Blacker Yarns TOR from The Woolly Thistle and topped with a fur pompom from Hope’s Favorite Things. I began this hat with a tubular cast on on US 3 needles; when I joined to knit in the round, I shifted to US 4 needles and worked a twisted rib.

Working the Hedgewitch Shawl along with so many wonderful knitters has been one of the joys of my holiday season.  With only the border left to knit, I feel confident that I will complete this project by January’s Wolf Moon.


The tubular cast on method I use requires knitting the piece flat for the first few rows, then joining in the round.  This results in a gap, as you can see in this photo of my sock cuff.

Use the tail of your long-tail tubular cast on to seam up the gap.

Episode 213

How many knitting projects is the perfect number of knitting projects?  For me, three is ideas.  Any more, and projects languish.  Fewer, and I don’t do as much knitting. Since the last episode, I’ve completed three knitting projects and three sewing project. Plus, I have three new things on the needles.

The Back Porch

The Front Porch

  • Hedgewitch shawl designed by Nat Raedwulf in Isle Yarns
  • Wood Hollow hat and mittens designed by Kirsten Kapur in Blacker Yarns Tor
  • Venus & Cupid (pattern coming in early February) socks knit with Fibernymph Dye Works Ridgetop (NEW!)

And Sew Forth

  • Klimt dress from Japanese pattern book
  • Staple dress by April Rhodes
  • Mandy Boat Tee by Tessuti

Episode 212

I’m smitten with this little ceramic village by Allison Borthwick of Buchlyvie Pottery. It’s such a charming addition to our holiday decorations and sits in tranquility on my kitchen window sill. At the opening of the episode, I go on quite a bit about IndieMart in Narrowsburg, NY.  Some other spots I mention are The Heron and Tusten Theatre.

Did you miss out on the fall/winter sessions of From Fleece to Finished Object?  I’ll be starting up a winter/spring series beginning in February.  Check the details on the website of Hope’s Favorite Things and call the shop to sign up!

The Back Porch

Here’s a glimpse of my recent sock design, to be published in early February.  The pair you see here is knit in Carole Foster’s Northumberland 100% USA made superwash merino/nylon blend–dyed by Carole.

As I knit along with my test knitters, I’ll be trying out a new base from Lisa of Fibernymph Dye Works.  The color here is Wild Bergamot.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  I’ll be reporting back with my impressions of this new base as I knit.

The Front Porch

And Sew Forth

Gustav Klimt’s THE KISS cut into a front dress panel.  This could be a very cool holiday frock or a total disaster.  I’m going to use the burrito roll method and try for a completely lined dress.

Episode 211

What’s November 31st? It’s a holiday for knitters. How do you celebrate? Stay up late to complete the project you had all month to knit.  Around 11:45 pm, pour yourself a Scotch to celebrate while you bind off!

The Back Porch 

Midnight libations! I still have  a lot of finishing to do on my tunic-length version of Doocot by Kate Davies, so I’ll post photos to my project page later. For now, here’s the designer modeling her cropped sweater.  I think that I do want to knit this version. I think the piece would pair well with sleeveless dresses and extend my warmer weather wardrobe into the colder months. Look how good this is with a bold necklace!

Off the Shelf

This week I share a passage from Kate Davies’ memoir, Handywoman. I purchased my copy from The Woolly Thistle and I’m really enjoying it.

Ever-Expanding Skill Set

I didn’t take any photos, but I’ve made Eric Kim’s recipe for Sheet Pan Chicken several times.  I use a package of six boneless, skinless chicken thighs and find that the spice blend is enough for two dinners, so I reserve half in a small container to make the next preparation EVEN EASIER! On another sheet pan, I spread a mixture of vegetables (potatoes and carrots or broccoli and Brussels sprouts) that have been tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt. The chicken is great the first night and even better in the dishes I dream up over the course of the week: quesadillas, rice bowls, grain salads  . . . the list goes on.

This is my favorite recipe for pumpkin gnocchi.  I’ve used canned pumpkin, but I may try sweet potatoes in my next batch.  I say that this recipe is from Food52, but I found it on Recipe Tin Eats.  The ricotta makes these gnocchi pillowy soft and the dough is easy to handle.  One batch is enough for two dinners. I reserve half the gnocchi and put the remainder on a sheet pan to flash freeze and then bag for an easy meal.  I like these gnocchi with a creamy sauce., but the sage butter is also very good. There were some chicken-apple sausages in my freezer, which were perfect in the dish.