Episode 55: Mellowing Agents

cover55In this episode, I announce the winners of Asymmetri-CAL prizes. If you hear your Ravelry user name announced on the show, please send me a PM with your full name and mailing address. Use “Winner!” in the subject line. Segments in this episode include: Ever-expading Skill Set, Yarn Lover at Large, and Double Happiness.



Thank you to the generous folks who contributed prizes and congratulations to everyone who completed a project during Yarns at Yin Hoo’s first craft-along. For anyone interested in further exploration of asymmetrical design, have a listen to Episode 28 of Ewe University, in which Dr. Kelly discusses Human Aesthetic Preferences.

Simone Eich of WOLLWERK designs

Patricia of Beesybee Fibers

Maggie of Maggie’s Corner Dot Org

Sherry of Spinner’s End Farm

Cindy of Conversational Threads

Susan of A Riot of Color

Ever-expanding Skill Set

catsup5During a weekend visit to Vermont, I helped my sister turn the last of her tomato harvest into catsup. This is a long process because the product that goes into jars has been reduced to less than twenty-five percent of its original volume. First, we removed tomato stems and washed the tomatoes in Jessie’s gorgeous farmhouse sink.

catsup1Next, we added the tomatoes to the largest pot on the homestead. Jessie reached in to give some of them a squish. We added a minimal amount of water to the pot — just enough to start the cooking process without burning the tomatoes at the bottom of the pot. Behind Jessie is the control center for the farmstead’s solar power.

catsup3Once the tomatoes had cooked down enough to release their juices, we set up the Squeezo in the yard. This contraption removes seeds, skins and unripened tomato from the delicious juice and pulp. It’s fun to use the Squeezo, but very messy, so it’s a good thing we had such a nice day to work outside.

While Jessie attended to her other chores, I kept the fire going and stirred the pot while the tomato sauce reduced, gradually, to a catsup consistency. I kept myself busy with my drop spindle for a full afternoon and the next morning too. My job of fire duty was made easy by the beautiful scenery, sunshine, and cool breezes.


Cooking over a fire keeps heat and mess out of the kitchen, reduces the need for expensive propane, and imparts a delicious smoky flavor to the catsup. Jessie added spices and several onions which had been diced, caramelized, and put through a food mill.

catsup4Once the catsup had reduced enough to fill a small pot, we took it back inside to continue reducing on the stovetop. It’s difficult to keep the mixture from burning since the heat of a campfire is difficult to control. In this photo, you can see some of Jessie’s other canned products.

Yarn Lover at Large

duckherdingI was delighted with the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival in Greenwich, NY. The assortment of vendors was fabulous, the pumpkin ice cream was delicious, and the fairgrounds were lively without being crowded. Summer, an Australian shepherd, entertained the crowd with her duck herding skills. The fiber show and sale was incredibly organized so that even the uninitiated (like me) could appreciate the categories and breeds represented.  I highly recommend this festival and hope to attend again next year.


Here is a list of the vendors from whom I made purchases:

Spinner’s Hill

Fat Cat Knits

Amity Farm Batik

St. Mary’s on the Hill

Battenkill Fibers

innerspaceREGISTER for Classes and Workshops at The Inner Space

Beginning Spindling

Meditative Spindling

Spindling the Chakras

Ekphrasis: A One-day Creative Wellness Retreat


Double Happiness

Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival – October 23-26 in Newark, NJ

Part of Eve’s Discussion” by Marie Howe