Episode 199

On Thursday, July 19th, I’ll be facilitating an introduction to spinning on a Turkish spindle at Hope’s Favorite Things near Bangor, PA.  If you’re interested in the class, contact Hope’s shop!

The Back Porch

The Front Porch

Ever-expanding Skill Set

A Mindful Summer

Last summer, I completed the Mindful Educator Essentials course via mindfulschools.org.  Some podcast listeners were curious about my learning, so I created a separate series of audio content on the topic of mindfulness.  You can access it HERE.  This summer, I will participate in the Mindful Summer free online community, which is support network for starting a mindful practice or renewing your commitment to a daily practice.  From July 2 – August 12, there will be weekly inspiration posts and practice tips.  You can get more involved in the community with the APP.  Follow this LINK to sign up or find out more.

Episode 198

In this special edition of the podcast, I include a few of my regular segments, as well as interviews with two fiber arts students in the Gifted & Talented Program at the school where I work.

The Back Porch

Spindle-spun and wheel-plied Hobbledehoy battlings in the Wasabi & Ginger colorway: 541 yards light fingering weight 2-ply. Click HERE for project details.

The Front Porch

I’ve just separated for the sleeves on Brise, an open-front cardigan by Hannah Fetig.  Click HERE for project details.

Friends in Fiber: Two Interviews

Emily displayed her year of accomplishments at the senior art show this week.  Her published designs include:

Let’s help Elysa with her Knit Happens to Help Gold Award project. I will be offering up $25 gift certificates to online yarn / notions / knitting supply shops for each 25 contributions of warm weather wear (hats, scarves, cowls, mittens). Please send me a PM on Ravelry if you’d like to send a contribution.  I can also collect items in person if we happen to be attending the same event.

Off the Shelf

Knitting for Poets: Elizabeth Zimmerman by A. E. Stallings

Episode 197

The Back Porch

Handmade Endless Summer Tunics in knit and woven fabrics radiant despite a light drizzle.  My mother has made several of these and Laura is modeling her first knit version, which is even lovelier in person because she has such a fantastic hand for embroidery. I’m also wearing my completed Iris shrug, which pairs with so many things in my wardrobe that I foresee getting a lot of use out of it this summer.  Join in the #iriskal, which extends to July!  I’m co-hosting this knit-along with Emily of the FibreTown podcast.  Check out our Ravelry pages and post for a chance to win prizes.

Yarn Lover at Large

Some purchases from MDSW.  Battlings from Hobbledehoy; core spun necklaces from Anne Choi; a stole stitched in the kantha tradition from Wild Fibers, and assorted other goodies.

Ever-expanding Skill Set

A favorite recipe for a quick dessert, Rhubarb-ginger Downside Up Oatmeal Cake.  I make this with peaches in the summer, but Samuel really made it special by creating a quilting pattern with the rhubarb!

I couldn’t resist trying this pizza after hearing about it on a recent episode of Good Food.  Tinky Weisblat talks about savory applications for rhubarb and I was smitten with the notion of caramelized onion and rhubarb to make a really tasty pizza topping. YUM!

And Sew Forth

I’ve only recorded one episode of the audio podcast this month, but I’ve been celebrating #mmmay18 by posting photographs of my making on IG.  This has not been easy, but I have really wanted to honor the designers, producers and friends who have helped and inspired me to get this far with my #mostlyhandmadewardrobe.  On a  recent episode of Love to Sew, hosts Helen and Caroline talk about assessing everything you have made, and looking for the gaps in your wardrobe (for me that is where I’m wearing commercially-made items) in order to establish a direction for your making.  This was an incredibly helpful exercise even though I initially resisted it.  I discovered three large gaps that I am ready to address over the next six months: shrugs, sweaters and boleros to wear over sleeveless tops and dresses; pants, leggings and trousers; slightly-structured jackets. Congratulations to everyone who has been celebrating Me Made May by posting photos and stories of their making.



Episode 196

Post your photos of the Humblebee socks on this thread!

Yarn Lover at Large

Learn to Spin on a Turkish Spindle

What if you could create a ball of yarn on your suspended spindle AS you spin?  You can!

Easy to use and lots of fun, Turkish spindles are also a practical choice for hand spinners.  Spin and ply straight from the beautiful center-pull ball you create as you build your cop on to the cross-shaped whorl.  In this two-hour session, you will learn and practice the basics of operating a Turkish spindle:

  • making a half hitch
  • starting a cop
  • building a balanced cop
  • managing a center-pull ball
  • creating 2-ply yarn 

This class is suitable for beginning spinners as well as those who have some experience spinning and want to learn to use a new tool.

Participants will receive instruction and 2 ounces of fiber for spinning.

Purchase a spindle from the selection at Hope’s Favorite Things or bring your own Turkish spindle.

Saturday, May 12th 10-noon
Thursday July 19th 10-noon

Instructor: Sara Bauer
Class Fee: $45


I’m hosting a knit along for this beautiful shrug designed by Melody Hoffmann.  Join me and Emily of FibreTown and create a versatile piece for your warm-weather wardrobe.  Cast on is May 5th!

Off the Shelf

This week I shared “Ted Kooser Is My President” by Naomi Shihab Nye.  The piece appears in her collection titled Honeybee, but I have also found a link to a video of her reading two poems at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in 2008.  The Kooser poem is the second in the recording and begins at 3:00.

Ted Kooser served as the US Poet Laureate from 2004-2006 and has maintained a poetry column to promote interest in American poets.  A free, weekly column available to newspapers and online publications,  American Life in Poetry is a great place to search for accessible poems that give voice to the range of American experiences.

Episode 195

Thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy of Humblebee, my first pattern for knitted socks.  Your purchase funds Heifer International‘s effort to provide gifts of honeybees to agrarian communities.

Local Yarn Shop Day

I’ll be hanging out at Hope’s Favorite Things in Richmond, PA with printed patterns for Humblebee socks. Hope is dyeing up a special colorway and we’ll celebrate with honey-themed drinks and snacks.

Yarn Lover at Large

I met up with Amy, Svea, and Laura on Sunday, where we did some shopping at the Allentown Fiber Festival and enjoyed a picnic lunch in the car. It was such a pleasure to finally meet Jen and Scott of Turtlemade in person.  Just look at that fun array of 3D-printed Turkish spindles. I also visited Colleen and Sean of Mulberry Hill Farm and picked up some fingering weight yarn from their very own sheep.  I’ve been wanting to try spinning a fiber blend with flax, and this braid from hipstrings is just the thing. Last year, I was entranced by the natural dyeing of Spencer Hill, so I was sure to pick up a beautiful skein of Ruth’s “Bruised Ego” in the Harriet base.

Iris KAL

Join me and Emily of the FibreTown podcast as we knit Iris, a shrug designed by Melody Hoffmann. Iris is the perfect warm weather garment, and we’ll be knitting with dreamy Samite yarn from Blacker.

Cast on: May 5
FOs: by July 5

You are welcome knit along with any yarn you like, but if you’d like to use Samite yarn from Blacker, Claire of The Woolly Thistle is offering 10% off your purchase until May 5th.

Post in the Iris KAL thread on Ravelry to knit along with us and for a chance to win prizes.

And Sew Forth

I’ve been dreaming of all the possible tunic and sweater possibilities in UNIFORM, a very special collaboration from Madder and Grainline Studio.

Episode 194

The Humblebee pattern will be available on Ravelry on Saturday, April 14th.  Knit from cuff to toe, these socks feature a beautiful textured pattern on the front, a column of bees down the back, and several design elements to give you a great fitting sock. Check out my IG feed for a chance to win the pattern, yarn dyed by Julie of Sweet Sparrow Yarns, and a set of stitch markers from A Lovely Homemade Life.  Each pattern purchase will benefit efforts of Heifer International to supply agrarian communities with honeybees.

Yarn Lover at Large

Ever-expanding Skill Set

In this episode, I share some of the techniques I learned from my sister Jessica when she tutored me in making injera.

And Sew Forth

I’ve had the pattern and fabric for two garments and finally settled in to do some sewing.  Part of the holdup was the fact that both of these patterns are only available as pdf downloads.  Since I don’t care for printing out and taping together pattern pieces, I stalled on these projects.  But once I got started, they really moved along.

Floaty and feminine, the Ogden Cami from True Bias is sure to be a wardrobe staple. I’m dreaming of the fabric for two more of these dreamy tops. A little nerve and a few extended  lines and even a novice sewist could turn this top into a sweet summer dress.  For my next version, I plan to lengthen the top to just above the hip.  I stitched a tag to the facing in order to tell the back from the front.

I made the Metaporphic Dress from Sew Liberated with very lightweight fabric in two solid colors.  The skirt in this photo has been lengthened by 2″, and I wish I had added another inch to the bodice as well.  The straps around the top are a bit ill-fitting, but the gathers worked beautifully in this fabric. The pattern description specifies that this is a layering piece and that is certainly how I intend to wear it–under my Deschain sweater or my Tegna top (when I complete it).  There is an excellent video tutorial for completing the burrito method.  I may have another go at this pattern with the same fabric since I have enough to make one more.

Off the Shelf

Bees Were Better” by Naomi Shihab Nye

a podcast about the fiber arts and other post apocalyptic skills