Episode 74: Spindle Q & A

cover74Ravelry membership has exceeded 400, so in this episode, I announce the winner of the Think Green contest!  Yarn from the #soulfulstash swap is already being knit into a shawl, and I made considerable progress on sewing projects during my spring break. My contribution to Easter dinner was tomato tarte tatin, an incredible dish prepared in my cast iron pan. The majority of this episode is devoted to an overview of spindles; I concentrate on Turkish spindles, share listener advice, and respond to questions posted on Ravelry, the blog, and Instagram.

The Front Porch

aggregate1Using yarn from my lovely swap partner, Gretchen, I’m knitting Aggregate by JimiKnits. The yarn is gorgeous, lustrous Romney from Great Bay Woolworks in Durham, New Hampshire. It’s my second time knitting the pattern, and this time, I’m thinking of adding one red section and maybe a red bind off, for flair. When I began listening to and watching knitting podcasts, it wasn’t long before I heard mention of swaps. I confess that, initially, I didn’t think they were appealing. But Sarah of the FiberTrek podcast and Claire of New Hampshire Knits teamed up to host a swap that was informative and fun. I had just as much fun creating the package I sent off to Gretchen as I did receiving the local goodies she sent my way.

Ever-expanding Skill Set

tartetatinEven though it’s March, and the #powerpantry exploration of cast iron has concluded, I couldn’t resist one more recipe from The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook — Tomato Tarte Tatin. Oh my goodness, if you want to impress with a vegetable dish, TRY THIS RECIPE! I sinned a little by caramelizing my onions in bacon fat, but you need not take that step. Tomato halves, diced black olives, and caramelized onions are set in homemade caramel, topped with a pie crust dough (I made my own), and baked in the oven. This recipe is a prime example of cast iron’s versatility: from stovetop to oven, sautéing to baking. When you flip the pan (carefully) and the gorgeous tomato tart is “unveiled,” you will feel like a culinary rock star.

Chin Waggin’ — All About Spindles

This segment is a response to several questions I’ve received recently about spindles and spindling in general, and Turkish spindles in particular. I begin with an overview of the types of spindles, then talk about some of my favorite spindles, and conclude with Q&A from listeners. I have included a summary of the content, plus links and resources, on the Meditative Spindling page of this website.

clockwise from top: TurtleMade Turkish mini; Jenkins Lark, Kuchulu, and Aegean
clockwise from top: TurtleMade Turkish mini; Jenkins Lark, Kuchulu, and Aegean

Jen of TurtleMade on Etsy has generously contributed a giveaway for this episode. Enter to win your choice of spindles by responding to the contest thread on Ravelry.

 And Sew Forth

ep74.1This week, I regained my confidence in sewing by starting small, and working my way up to the skirt project that I set aside over a month ago. First, I got familiar with my upgraded sewing machine by making a small zippered wedge bag, then enlarged the pattern to make a more expansive version. Next, I experimented with adding buttons to embroidery, something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I first sewed the Everything Tote from Heather Ross’ Weekend Sewing. My new spring bag has a sassy orange lining and an embroidered flower patch on the front.

ep74.3Finally, I felt ready to work on my skirt. Instead of going back to the a-line maxi skirt, I decided to try the Yard Sale Wrap Skirt from Heather Ross’ book. Although I did need to lengthen the pattern (which I did from the center this time!) it was comforting to follow a pattern rather than make my own. The skirt falls gracefully and has a nice waistband, although I would like to add a buttonhole so that the waist tie can pass through the garment instead of bunching in an unflattering way. Now, I need to think about where and how to add the strip-pieced feathers I created for the original project.  I have eight, but I think I will just use four across the front of the skirt.