Flash Sale! 3 Hours only…right NOW!


Yep. This is happening. Right now. For three hours only, or until whatever time after that I finish changing all the prices back. And if you refer a friend to join one of the Calendar Clubs, you will receive double the fiber or yarn for your first month of membership! I’ve added a few more versions of the club…a little something for everyone!

(including this new worsted yarn club. so excited! click the pic for the listing!)



All prices will go back to normal at 10:15ish EST. Have fun!

Hunker Down Hand Pies and…a Sale!


As promised (but a day late), here’s the story: I had this great plan for amazing spinach-feta pastries for dinner a few nights ago and, even though a bitty little snowstorm was in the forecast, I didn’t make it out to town. Well, that bitty little snowstorm kept us all away from work and school and, consequently, town and the Co-op. There really isn’t anywhere within a twenty or thirty minute drive (in good weather) to get a missing ingredient, so here I was with a pile of pastry dough and no spinach. In fact, I didn’t have any greens to speak of at all, fresh or frozen. And not really enough feta. *note to self: freeze kale on purpose instead of just letting it while it’s still out in the garden.

Here’s what I found instead:

*one long-pie pumpkin
*1 1/2-ish pounds cremini mushrooms
*two onions
*leaves from daikon radish (okay, so I found a little something green)
*a small block of feta
*salt and pepper

Peel and cube the pumpkin, or any winter squash, and saute in butter until fork-tender. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add more butter to the pan to saute the onions (sliced) and the mushrooms (sliced). When they are cooked through, add greens if you have them, and cook just until wilted. Toss this into the pumpkin and mix it all together. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste, and either feta, chevre, or another favorite fresh, salty cheese.

If you’re new here, you should know that if it’s food, I’ll probably ferment it. I used the Yogurt Dough recipe from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook as my pastry dough, which admittedly makes for more of a Fork Pie than a Hand Pie. If you have a favorite pastry dough, that’s what you should use here. I have also discovered that I can tolerate Einkorn flour, in moderation, with no ill effects, so I used that as the flour in the Yogurt Dough. It does contain gluten, but very little compared to modern wheat flours.

And here is the basic recipe for Yogurt Dough:

Blend 1 cup yogurt and 1 cup softened butter, then add 3 1/2 cups flour and a pinch of salt. Set aside at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours. Tangy-in-a-good-way, delicious, and easily digestible. My favorite words to describe food.

Whatever pastry dough you like to use, pinch off a ping pong ball worth and roll it into a thin circle. I was able to fit about a 1/2 cup of filling onto each dough circle, and then I folded it and pinched it closed, like a won ton. If you use more dough and have thicker walls to your crust, it will be easier to hold these in your hand, if that’s what you prefer.

Onward to the SALE…


Before Christmas, I listed some new fiber clubs that I’m really excited about. I’m calling them the Calendar Club (available on two different fibers and also sock yarn) because there will be a brand new, repeatable colorway to honor each month of the year. Club members get to experience the new colorway first, and then it will become available as dye-to-order for the general public at the end of the month. I listed them for full year subscriptions, as a gift idea, but realize that this may be out of reach for a lot of folks who want to try it. So, tonight, I will not only be putting the year-long subscriptions on sale, but I will also be listing a six-month membership to each version of the Club, AND a season-long membership to each club (three months).

And for ONE WEEK ONLY, you can take 20% off your total order of anything in the shop, including the already-reduced Club price (for the one-year) by using the code CRAFTY2014 at checkout!!!

Did I mention that I’m really excited about this club? The polwarth/tussah silk blend is silky-soft amazingness, the falkland is just divine and my favorite forever, and who doesn’t love a good sock yarn?

Check in at 8:30pm for all the new listings and price reductions!



A little Stream-of-Consciousness style list for a Tuesday morning, and for all of 2014. GO:

*daily yoga practice (so far, so good!
*daily gratitude journal
*cultivate farmer’s hours: early to bed, early to rise
*root in self not circumstances
*pre-dawn “office” hours
*laugh more
*leave sometimes (to explore, to breathe)
*check my first response (patience, patience)
*learn coptic stitch
*learn how to use my sewing machine and make a thing to wear
*earn more through writing
*teach more art classes
*be okay with slowing down sometimes
*be okay with quiet
*be okay with doing my best
*start the garden earlier, even if we have to do without the greenhouse
*create a big-boy workspace for O. He’s ready.
*tackle unexpected projects with joy rather than desperation
*find the silver linings (see above)
*get back on the road bike
*learn how to maintain said bike
*learn how to change a tire (on a car)
*learn some basic carpentry with C
*learn how to tan a hide
*revive my fiber business in an unexpected way
*menu plan to save time and money and brainspace
*read more
*make more
*believe more
*keep in better touch
*use USPS instead of gmail (see above)
*keep on top of deadlines
*use a calendar, like really use a calendar
*print photos
*be conscious of protecting myself from other people’s drama
*remember that it’s usually not personal (see above)
*give more, even when I don’t think we have anything to give
*remember that time is a wonderful gift and is often needed (see above)
*take piano lessons
*learn how to milk the goats
*purge our life of unused/unwanted things this Spring. They might make someone else happy.
*make a trip to Denver to see my dearest
*spend some time in the homeland, but just a little.

This seems like enough for right now. Have you made a list of goals for 2014? Link it, yo.



Dear 2013,

You were a test I’m not sure I passed. I survived, though, and am more than ready to say goodbye. It’s not that you weren’t peppered with beautiful happenings. You know, and I know, that they were there. I have been grateful for these things. I was published! I met beautiful people at Squam! I’m still processing a bumper crop of garlic! Two evil kittens were acquired! Love grew, and so did my boy! There are so many more things I could punctuate with joyful exclamation, but man, the not-so-great things? They were really fucking harsh. Seriously. Even with all the fantastic things, I can put this down as the most difficult year of my life, hands down.

So, today, on New Year’s Day, I will make lentil soup for luck and prosperity, probably something like this one, because I’m Italian and that’s what we do. I will finish up a few lingering creative projects, like my Autumn poem, so I can say goodbye to that, too. I will make lists. I will clean the house. I will change the water in the aquarium, because axolotls must also enjoy a fresh new start. I will pat the goats and coo at the ducks. I will finalize my list of reasonable goals. I will play games with my son and it will be a full, full day, but not in an uncomfortable way. Rather, in an overstuffed chair kind of way.

I’ll try my best, 2013, to hold only your goodness in the moving forward.

And there you have it, my word for 2014: FORWARD.

What’s your word?

Into the light…


Solstice came and went in a haze of nasty-head-cold-brain, misty rain, and spilled tea. It also came with silver linings, pumpkin soup, rainbow birthday candles in the Yule log, and lovely neighbors bearing guacamole and pineapple.

It’s usually the day I spend setting down my intentions for the new year, but I needed rest, and that’s okay. I can do that today or tomorrow or the next day, and it will be okay. Certainly, one of the key themes for 2014 will be gentleness. 2013 was full of sharp edges, and some of them, perhaps most of them, were honed on my own strop.

I’m ready for rounded corners, clear direction, and fair winds to bear me. I’m ready to be kind to myself, to give more, and to connect more deeply with my community. I’m ready to forgive myself for not being where I thought I would be when, long ago, I imagined my life at 35.


I can release the clamps, and the glue will hold.


…there it went.

A week or so.

And, also:


Our Greenhouse. RIP.


Clockey, the best rooster we’ve ever known. RIP.


Li’l, the Littlest Axolotl. RIP.

Harsh climate + farm life = constant lessons in the art of Letting Go. Somehow, it just doesn’t stick and we have to learn it over and over and over again and it’s harder every time.

In more pleasant news, I’ve been around the Sparkle blog here


and here


and updating my shop here.


It’s not to late for the holidays, btw. Free upgrade to Priority Mail between now and Saturday, December 21st, and of course, there are always clubs and gift certificates, too:


Whew. Well, back to regularly scheduled programming henceforth.

nablo…what? gratitude and, a giveaway

hi hi hi

I didn’t make my goal of posting here every day this month, but I have been writing every day. Does that count? I was here this week


with my serial poem on Literary Traces, Autumn, and I was here this week


sharing a special Advent project on the Sparkle Stories blog.

Oh, and there was Thanksgiving, when I gave myself an internet fast except for pictorial representations of oven drama and a quick recipe search. We had friends over, and it was lovely, but the boy stayed up until ridiculous o’clock and then he and I were on our own today, having woken up at the usual AM version of ridiculous o’clock. I wrote up a preposterous, impossible to-do list (typical), and when I looked up from it, O was curled up under blankets with The Way Things Work and a cat.

In an instant, I put the brakes on. It was 28-but-feels-like-2 degrees outside. We were tired. So, I decided to make today about him. I did everything he wanted to do. We drove 15 minutes to the library that was closing in 30 minutes. We made the most of it and came home with a silly adorable book. We drank cocoa and made a list of all the people we want to give gifts to, and brainstormed handmade ideas. We went for a walk and crunched the icy leaves. We played a card game. He painted while I made him lunch, and I stopped what I was doing whenever he wanted me for something.

There is something special about a day home from school that isn’t the weekend. The weekend is full of all the errands and tasks we couldn’t perform during the week. More harried, even, than the crash of coming together on a weekday evening to dohomeworkeatdinnerwashupstorytimebed, especially as we enter the final stages of winter preparations.

So, I put the brakes on. I didn’t wash the yarns for an update. I didn’t cross off 80% of the things on my list. And my heart is full.

I’ll let that be the first on the list of things I’m grateful for today:

full heart * the sound of thin ice cracking underfoot * he still wants me to hold his hand * the wood on my porch * kitten cuddles * leftovers for dinner * lovely neighbors * new traditions * the capacity of our new-to-us oven (there are five baking dishes full of winter squash on one rack in there right now) * our menagerie of creatures who nourish us in so many ways * fulfilling collaborations * supportive family * blankets * patience * color * the sound of him coming home * Earl Grey, hot * well water, cold * good stories * clean laundry * the ability to create with my hands * the folks who appreciate it *

Let’s talk about that last one. You’re awesome, and I’m glad you’re here. If you play on Facebook and haven’t yet found my page, I encourage you to check it out, even if it’s only to be reminded every once in a while that I have a coupon code just for you that is valid 365 DAYS A YEAR for a good chunka change off any Etsy orders. No expiry.  So, you won’t see any special holiday sales for The Spun Monkey. You can choose to make it a sale day for yourself any time you want. Or not, if you don’t need to save the dough and you wanna help a mama out. Heh. Anyway, it’s yours to use as you desire, and always available. If it makes the difference between you picking up that one-of-a-kind spun-with-love-and-luxury for yourself or a loved one and, say, not picking it up…well, I want my work to be accessible.


Speaking of the Facespace page…my likeage has exceeded 700! I want to celebrate with a GIVEAWAY! A randomly chosen winner will receive his/her choice of a fiber-y gift, a yarn-y gift, or a gift certificate towards a custom hand-spun, hand-knit wearable. To enter, leave a comment on this post before midnight Sunday. I’ll choose a winner via random number generator on Monday morning. Tell me something you are grateful for!



…over at the Sparkle Stories blog today!


I’ll be there every Thursday sharing a seasonal craft project for children and their adults to enjoy.

Today’s tutorial is on making cloth napkins by hand, which I mentioned in a previous post. Oh, I think we’ll be making lots of these in the coming weeks, and a special delivery of birch bark from a friend this afternoon is a gift we’ll put to good use in adding a special touch to each one.


Happy crafting!

on a roll…

…or maybe I finally have some actual inventory to share.

Also, it’s the Cozy Season now, and all I want to do is touch fiber and turn it into things.

What it all boils down to is this: I’ve added more yarns to the shop. Twice in the same week!

A few of my favorites:



Pear Tree:




I’ve also been continuing to post every Wednesday on the sister-blog to my baby, Luminous Traces (currently on hiatus until Winter Solstice), Literary Traces. My serial poem, Autumn, has a new installment today. This weeks topic is: Gather. Enjoy.