Episode 165


This episode includes the following segments: Yarn Lover at Large, Off the Shelf, Ever-expanding Skill Set, and Sew Forth.

Yarn Lover at Large


Coleen and Sean created a beautiful display of the Braided Berry Hat and Mitts set in their booth at the Steel City Fiber Festival in Allentown, PA. And, great news, they just received notice that they will be vending at Maryland Sheep & Wool. Meet them, Meghan of Distelfink Fiber Co, and see samples of Letterpress and Braided Berry in Barn 6, Booth 13!


Off the Shelf

Are you memorizing a poem in celebration of National Poetry Month?  Here are some more tips.

  • Print out a large version of the poem and use it as a worksheet.
  • Divide the poem into chunks or “poetic sentences.”  Look for end marks like periods, question marks, or exclamation points.
  • If there is no end punctuation, add your own where it makes sense.
  • Underline or circle key words: words that convey an image or words with long vowel sounds can help.
  • Memorize poetic sentences around the key words.

Ever-expanding Skill Set

It turns out that radicchio has been in the spotlight this month.


Chicken Under a Roasted Radicchio Salad

serves 2

Preheat broiler.

Toss one head of coarsely-chopped radicchio and a handful of coarsely-chopped squishy dates in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil. Arrange the radicchio on a sheet pan lined with foil and broil until it has become crispy, but not burned.  Hide the dates so that they do not burn.  Remove from oven; set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 350.

Use a mallet to pound two chicken breasts to an even thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Sear the chicken breasts on each side in a cast iron skillet coated with tbsp of olive oil, then continue cooking in preheated oven.  Remove pan from oven just before chicken is cooked through and allow to rest in pan until serving.

While chicken is cooking, grate 1-2 tbsp of orange rind and reserve. Cut all rind away from orange and, over a bowl,  supreme (cut into segments without pith) with a sharp knife. Set orange segments aside and use the orange juice to make a dressing.  Add 2 tsp miso paste, a few drops of tamari or soy sauce, a dash of pepper and dried dill.  Whisk together and then whisk in the pan juices from the chicken when you remove it from the oven.

Stir the orange rind into 2/3 c ricotta cheese.

To serve:

Create a base for the chicken by spooning some ricotta onto the plate. Top with the chicken breast, a dollop of ricotta, the roasted radicchio, orange segments, and a handful of chopped pecans. Drizzle with dressing.

And Sew Forth


The Salt Marsh Skirt from Merchant & Mills Workbook. Sewn in 100% European linen.



Episode 164


This episode is intended for participants in the upcoming Knit Local Getaway. I provide an overview of the weekend, some packing tips, and other details. If you’re registered for the retreat, you should have received an email and access to a Google doc with lots of information. We’re discussing getaway-related details here.

See you soon!

Episode 163


This episode features the following segments: The Front Porch, The Back Porch, Ever-expanding Skill Set, and Off the Shelf.

Cover Art by Samuel St. Thomas

The Front Porch


Join in the Summer Tops Make-along.  Begin April 1; conclude on the first day of summer. Projects in progress are welcome. Tell us what you’re making and share resources on the Ravelry thread.

  • knit
  • crochet
  • sew
  • embellish
  • up-cycle

The Back Porch


Socks with a double gusset heel, as written in a pattern by Cristi Payne. This type of heel is ideal for a wide instep. I experimented with 1×1 and 3×1 rib on this pair. Click image for a link to my project page.


Ever-expanding Skill Set

  • History of salad
  • Bittersweet Roasted Radicchio recipe — this looks so delicious
  • Dishing up the Dirt by Andrea Bemis (recipes on blog and there’s a new cookbook!)
  • share your recipes and photos of salads

Off the Shelf

It’s National Poetry Month.  I’m going to try something new and memorize a poem in celebration.  My choice is “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye. In the recent issue of Taproot magazine, Andrew Maxfield suggests turning poems to songs by first memorizing them. Would you like to join me?  You can memorize a whole poem, a stanza, or just a few lines.  Reciting memorized verse is a great way to enter meditation, or just take a few moments to push the cares of the world from your mind.  I’ll be providing some tips and encouragement for memorization this month.

TIP 1: Type your poem.  Word for word — type it.  Use the same capitalization, punctuation, and line breaks as the author. Print it and place in your wallet, or other location where you can access it during the day. Better yet, print several copies.  Place them all around. Leave one on your night stand so you can read it just before bed and upon waking up.

Episode 162


This episode includes the following segments: The Front Porch, Ever-expanding Skill Set, and Sew Forth.

The Front Porch

Yarn and fabric selection for some summer wardrobe staples.

Yarn and fabric selection for some summer wardrobe staples.

Pattern Ideas for the Summer Top Make-along

Ever-expanding Skill Set

Shrimp served with a lemon-ginger sauce.

Shrimp served with a lemon-ginger sauce.

  • Spiced shrimp with lemon-ginger sauce from Food52
  • Roux: a thickener for sauce and soup that requires equal parts flour and fat and BEGINS the cooking process (before liquid is added)
  • Slurry: a mixture of cornstarch or arrowroot and liquid (water or stock) that is added to liquids near the END of the cooking process

And Sew Forth

Episode 161


This episode features the following segments: The Back Porch, The Front Porch, Ever-expanding Skill Set, and Off the Shelf.

Stella's snowfall at Yin Hoo.

Stella’s snowfall at Yin Hoo.


The Braided Berry Hat & Mitts set is now available for purchase on Ravelry.

Distelfink Fiber Company DK-weight yarn

The Back Porch

Three French Hens by Susan B. Anderson, from Issue #21 of Taproot magazine.

Three French Hens by Susan B. Anderson, from Issue #21 of Taproot magazine.

The Front Porch

Vest and Haramaki design from Fiber Craft Studio and knit in their 50/50 alpaca & wool blend -- dyed with indigo and Brazilwood.

Vest and Haramaki design from Fiber Craft Studio. Haramaki translates “belly band.” It is a traditional undergarment that now functions primarily as a fashion statement.


I’m knitting with gorgeous 50/50 alpaca & wool blend — dyed by Fiber Craft Studio with indigo and Brazilwood.

Off the Shelf

  • Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
  • REVIEW — The Mindfulness in Knitting by Rachael Mathews
  • Mindful Schools


Snow Scene


It’s a cozy snow day here at Yin Hoo. Nearly 10 am and the snow is falling fast in big, thick flakes.  I’m thinking of one of my favorite poems. I hope you enjoy it, and stay safe and warm.

Shoveling Snow with Buddha 

by Billy Collins

In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wok
you would never see him doing such a thing,
tossing the dry snow over a mountain
of his bare, round shoulder,
his hair tied in a knot,
a model of concentration.

Sitting is more his speed, if that is the word
for what he does, or does not do.

Even the season is wrong for him.
In all his manifestations, is it not warm or slightly humid?
Is this not implied by his serene expression,
that smile so wide it wraps itself around the waist of the universe?

But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
one shovelful at a time.
We toss the light powder into the clear air.
We feel the cold mist on our faces.
And with every heave we disappear
and become lost to each other
in these sudden clouds of our own making,
these fountain-bursts of snow.

This is so much better than a sermon in church,
I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shoveling.
This is the true religion, the religion of snow,
and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky,
I say, but he is too busy to hear me.

He has thrown himself into shoveling snow
as if it were the purpose of existence,
as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
you could back the car down easily
and drive off into the vanities of the world
with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.

All morning long we work side by side,
me with my commentary
and he inside his generous pocket of silence,
until the hour is nearly noon
and the snow is piled high all around us;
then, I hear him speak.

After this, he asks,
can we go inside and play cards?

Certainly, I reply, and I will heat some milk
and bring cups of hot chocolate to the table
while you shuffle the deck.
and our boots stand dripping by the door.

Aaah, says the Buddha, lifting his eyes
and leaning for a moment on his shovel
before he drives the thin blade again
deep into the glittering white snow.

a podcast about the fiber arts and other post apocalyptic skills