Episode 180

Two days: two dresses.  I talk about  using the skills I’ve acquired over three years of working on my handmade wardrobe and how I employed them to take on some new challenges in dressmaking.



The Back Porch

Toad approved: Socks knit with Fibernymph Dyeworks yarn in the S’mores Swirl colorway. I used a French Toe for these autumnal socks.

The Front Porch

And Sew Forth

Dahlia dress.
Kimono dress with obi sash.

Episode 179


New Pattern:  Concordia

My most recent pattern design is knit with Concordea yarn, created by Carole of Foster Sheep Farm and spun at Battenkill Fiber Mill. Concordea is a gorgeous, sport weight yarn in two natural colors. Soft and incredibly springy, it is spun from a 50/50 blend of Carole’s Romney fiber and Falkland fiber.

The Concordia pattern includes instructions for a luxurious cabled neckline and an easy-to-knit ribbed option.  There are directions for three sizes, and the split front makes this capelet comfortable and effortless to wear.

Visit Carole and shop her wares . . .

Ever-expanding Skill Set

Week 1: grain salad with radish, pecan and dried cranberries
Week 2: deep dive in the pantry, fridge and freezer for lentil soup ingredients


On the Needles


And Sew Forth

  • The #embroidermore stitch along will start on October 1st
I followed Rebecca Ringquist’s tutorial to make these charming needle minders. They will be prizes for the upcoming #embroidermore stitch along.

Episode 178

One of my little notions pouches features this cute pig and the the mantra “Change is Good” — a nice sentiment for the start of the new school year and the return of structure to my days. This episode includes discussion of sock patterns and needles, a few things I neglected to mention about features of a knitted dress in the previous episode, sewing projects, and a poem that combines bees and embroidery.  Winners of the Clark socks pattern giveaway are announced at the top of the episode.

The Front Porch

  • S’MORES: Collywobbles socks with a riverbed gusset in Fibernymph Dyeworks’ S’mores Swirl colorway
  • ECLIPSE: Vanilla is the New Black socks in Socks that Rock 100% BFL yarn in the Total Eclipse of the Sun colorway

On the Needles

Last week, I forgot to mention the ribbed panel in the center back of Ujo. I liked this feature so much that I have added some 4×1 rib to the Bressay dress.

And Sew Forth

  • Dahlia dress by Colette patterns

Off The Shelf

                                                                  I think
the bees have learned to embroider,

to stitch the sky with warnings
untouched by smoke. Buzzing

is the sound of bees perforating the air,
as if pulling thread through over

and over, though the thread too is air.

Episode 177

One complete knitted dress and another on the needles, it has been a busy week of knitting. I also talk about embroidery, the drudgery of planning sack lunches, the winner of the Brushwork giveaway, and a new pattern giveaway. It’s all here in Episode 177!


The winner of the Brushstroke yarn is announced at the top of the episode. Look for Brushswork from Blacker Yarns on its release date of September 28th. The Woolly Thistle will be stocking this very special, limited-edition yarn.

This week, I announce a new giveaway, for the Clark socks pattern, the first pattern release from Jacklyn of the Brooklyn Knitfolk podcast.

The Back Porch

I made some modifications of the Ujo dress by Ankestrick. Even though the pockets were very challenging, I’m pleased with the way they turned out, and really happy to get a dress quantity of yarn from three single skeins.

The Front Porch

It’s been nearly a year in the making, but I’ve finally cast on my Shackleton project: a dress knit entirely in Shetland yarn, the colorwork yoke handspun and hand-dyed with botanical dyes. I’m also changing Fair Isle motifs, exchanging the more traditional design for this mushroom motif. The result of botanically-dyed yarn is much more subtle than in most colorwork, but so far, I like it.

And Sew Forth

I’ve been enjoying the slow process of adding embroidery to fabric with a botanical motif, and completed a Willow tank with embroidered detail this week.

Episode 176

It’s been a beautiful week here on the porch of Yin Hoo. In this episode, I talk about making progress on knitting, fleece processing, and sewing projects. I also review some of the gorgeous Brushwork yarn from Blacker. Listen for the details of how to enter a prize draw for 4 balls of this plush and beautiful limited-edition yarn.

The Front Porch

I’m knitting Vanilla is the New Black socks on US0 dpns, using Fibernymph Dye Works’ S’mores Swirl in the Bounce base.

The Back Porch

This week, I took the time to wash a portion of the Cheviot X fleece I purchased at Maryland Sheep & Wool this year.  Just look at the extraordinary crimp.  The staple length averages 6″ and the fiber is wonderfully lustrous. After a 24-hour cold water soak, which removed the majority of the dirt and grease, the fleece endured one hot scour bath and one hot soak.

Brushwork Review

Blacker Yarns sent a ball of their new yarn for review. I received the Impasto colorway, and knit two swatches on US4 needles.

Soaked and blocked swatch top/right.

This sport weight,  2-ply, woolen-spun yarn is plump and bouncy as you knit; it is plush and velvety upon soaking and blocking. The knitted fabric has real integrity and softness, a combination that is quite unusual. Because the fibers have been dyed in the wool and blended, some qualities in the color include tweediness, heathering, and even a bit of frostiness, as undyed fibers form a halo above the knitted surface. The first thing I thought of was a hat, cowl and mitts set, maybe with some colorwork. This yarn would be incredible worked up into cables or texture.  At first, I was doubtful about the appropriateness for a shawl or anything with drape — but a bit of drape did emerge in the soaked and blocked swatch. I think this yarn would pair well with any woolen-spun yarn in stash.  What comes to mind is a sweater in a neutral color featuring a colorwork yoke knit in two or three of these Brushwork colorways.

Katie sent along 4 balls of Brushwork yarn (660 yards) in the Velatura colorway, a beautiful, rich blue. Yes, I peeked into this package! Enter to win by posting in the Yarns at Yin Hoo thread on Ravelry.

Episode 175

Casting off, casting on, incorporating magic ingredients, and new sewing challenges.  It’s all here in this episode.

The Back Porch

This heirloom piece will be a favorite and a wardrobe staple. It’s A Twist to It by Melanie Berg, knit with 1,000 yards of Flat Island / silk blend Shackleton yarn.


The Front Porch

  • Ujo by Ankestrick
  • Tempting Ewe Yarns / Ewe So Happy Sock / Maryland Sheep & Wool colorway
  • Becoming Art / Agave Fingering / Phenomenal Woman
  • Malabrigo / Sock / Rayon Vert (854)

Ever-expanding Skill Set

  • Magic ingredient ideas — click here for the discussion thread!
  • nutritional yeast
  • fresh ginger
  • cinnamon
  • balsamic vinegar
  • cashews soaked overnight
  • horseradish
  • smoked paprika
  • pickled red onion
  • red chile paste
  • smoked sea salt
  • miso paste
  • za’atar (Middle Eastern spice blend)
  • pesto

a podcast about the fiber arts and other post apocalyptic skills