Thursday, December 25, 2008
I will be teaching three workshops this January at The Point. Classes are $65 and materials are included.
Sunday January 7: Spindle Spinning (click on link to register)
Sunday January 21: Spindle Spinning (click on link to register)
A fiber prep workshop on how to use a drum carder, blend colors and different fiber types is in the works- check back at The Point's website for more details.
My holiday season has been one of much peace and joy. I hope yours is filled with the same.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
It turns out there is another pre-Christian Christmas monster just for fiber artists. The legend of Jólakötturinn, or the Yule Cat, comes from Iceland and relates to the autumn wool harvest. A legend designed to incentivize the timely carding, spinning and knitting of newly-shorn wool, the community would sacrifice lazy knitters who didn't finish their projects in time for Christmas to the Yule Cat.
His whiskers, sharp as bristles,
His back arched up high.
And the claws of his hairy paws
Were a terrible sight.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Sweet sounds, oh, beautiful music, do not cease!
Reject me not into the world again.
With you alone is excellence and peace,
Mankind made plausible, his purpose plain.
Enchanted in your air benign and shrewd,
With limbs a-sprawl and empty faces pale,
The spiteful and the stingy and the rude
Sleep like the scullions in the fairy-tale.
This moment is the best the world can give:
The tranquil blossom on the tortured stem.
Reject me not, sweet sounds; oh, let me live,
Till Doom espy my towers and scatter them,
A city spell-bound under the aging sun.
Music my rampart, and my only one.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Last night the New York Philharmonic played Beethoven's 4th Symphony, among other works, in Prospect Park- fireflies were everywhere, the grass was lush after several weeks of rain, families eating picnics on blankets, there were fireworks afterwards. I could have sworn the trees were bending forward to listen.
The Yarn Harlot has a beautiful post on why spinning is so wonderful.
I'm still teaching spinning lessons at The Point- spindle and wheel. Sign up online!
Long Island Railroad has some great beach getaway packages this summer. I went to Robert Moses beach a few weeks back and can't wait to return, just to listen to the surf.
I was highly amused when a giant wave soaked the blanket and book of the sunbaked couple next to us. He was cursing that his copy of Be a Million Dollar Consultant got wet. Don't mess with nature!
I am now reading a lot more inspiring blogs in Google Reader. Check out my feed. Warning: some items are mildly risque and offensive to the more delicate among us.
I finished knitting the Rowan Sarah Dallas pattern from Knit Crochet #42. It turned out beautifully. I need to shorten the main section by about a foot to eliminate a gap in the back. I made it 3/4 sleeves. Pictures soon! I'm getting a new computer since I am unable to connect my current camera to the vintage machine I'm currently using.
I saw the first walnut fall from a tree in Prospect Park. Walnut dyeing!!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
It's been a busy spring here at BIH Yarn- the dyeworks has started up again, new yarns are being produced, there are new spinners running loose in New York City, and the pope is here. Snowdrops have yielded to daffodils have yielded to forsythia is fast being overtaken by honest to god LEAVES! The birds are back with their morning chatter, the windows are staying open all day and I'm walking around town without any socks on. I brushed over 10 brushfulls of winter undercoat out of my cat Papi. Yep, spring is here. No, I'm not going to spin the cat hair.
Two new colorways from the dyepot. These skeins are about 400 yards of merino/nylon sock yarn, ready to be made into whatever lovely project you can imagine. These are for sale at my Etsy store.
The violet colorway:
The green colorway:
Last week I went to the dog park with a friend and his Pomeranian dog Samson. If these shots of dogs running zooming around the Nethermead in Prospect Park during off leash hours don't make you smile, then I really can't help you.
Samson action shot:
Camera stalking the first robin of spring in a Magnolia tree:
More Nethermead dogs:
Saturday, March 22, 2008
- plants are putting out new leaves in response to the sunlight
- geranium is blooming again
- the equivalent of a nuclear bomb of cat hair due to spring shedding covers every surface
- garden planning in full swing
In honor of St. Patrick's day, I made up a Shepherd's Pie recipe. I'll be making this again very soon! Here it is:
8 medium potatoes
5 cloves garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
1 tsp. flour
1 tsp. butter
2 c. whole milk (or cream)
1 lb. sausage (lamb or pork)
1 tbsp. Herbs de Provence
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. celery seed
salt and pepper to taste
assorted cheese ends: I added the remains of blocks of mozzarella, cheddar and asiago (about 1/2 c. total)
Peel and cut the rutabaga, carrots, turnips, potatoes and onions into 1" cubes. Boil the potatoes until soft in a separate pot. Boil the rutabaga, carrots and turnips until soft.
Place raw chopped onions in the bottom of a 8"x12" casserole pan (you may need a second casserole for overflow). Mix in the boiled rutabaga, carrots and turnips with the onions. Chop the sausages into 1" chunks and add casserole. Add Herbs de Provence, rosemary and salt and pepper.
Make the cream sauce: melt the butter in the bottom of a frying pan, and then add the flour. Cook the flour /butter mixture on medium for a minute or two. Heat the milk or cream to nearly boiling. Gradually add the milk to the mixture, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, then add more until all milk is added.
Pour the cream sauce over the vegetables in the casserole pan(s). Grate about half of the cheese onto the vegetables and cream sauce.
Mash the potatoes: using a mixer or potato masher, mash the potatoes with some butter and milk until smooth.
Layer the mashed potatoes over the sausages and vegetables until fully covered. Grate the remaining cheese on top of the potatoes. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Remove cover and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes.
8 - 10 servings
Monday, March 17, 2008
- no more plastic food storage containers. Now I use mason jars for everything.
- no more plastic bags. I'm sewing up three small, medium and large canvas bags this week for shopping.
- All One! I'm using Dr. Bronner's classic peppermint soap for everything now- shampoo, laundry detergent, mixed with vinegar and baking soda for an all-purpose cleaner, and tonight I'm going to see if it works as dish soap. I'm using it because it contains no SLS or parabens like most industrial soaps and detergents. My parents used Dr. Bronner's as well, and I recall reading the crazy label and uses for the soap in the bathtub when I was little, including a frightening tip to use it as a douche. Gross.
- PearBudget. I'm keeping a budget down to the penny and it's not nearly as scary as I thought. In fact, it's kind of fun in an OCD kind of way. It makes frugality a fun challenge.
- Paper bags for garbage can liners. This means I have to go to the Trader Joe's wine store every week to get a new trash bag.
I'm trying to do this without being too cranky or turning into an annoying hippy. I think so far I'm succeeding.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
To fuel my dreams of biking, I've been reading about the European biking tours of Roy Jenkin and his daughter Nina Jenkin's tour 50 years later. (via Cabinet magazine)
In 1953 Roy Jenkin, a 21 year-old student from Exeter, cycled around France, Switzerland and Germany with his schoolfriend Gordon Newbery. They covered 2,286 miles, slept in potting sheds, hay barns, and even a railway marshalling yard, and the whole trip cost them £24 15s. His diary and this website, describes the long-gone Europe of horse carts, cobbles and old fashioned hospitality, a continent which was still recovering from six years of war.
This summer - fifty years on - Roy's daughter Nina retraced her father's route. Life on the road was very different for her than it was for Roy - she had a modern bicycle with plenty of gears, and she visited web cafes and e-mailed despatches home instead of posting letters - but she still had to average 55 miles a day, feed herself, and find a place to stay. Roy died of cancer when Nina was eight, and so this trip was also more than a mere cycling holiday - it was a chance to learn more about her father, of whom her memories are limited. Nina, together with her friend Simon, covered 2,432 miles in the end, and had many adventures along the way - read the rest of the site to find out what happened!
Also: take the Minimalist Quiz. I got 92% correct but was fooled by the Walmart bookshelves.