Taproot Gathering, Taproot Giveaway, and 500 Something or Other

I wish I could share the Everything of my experience at the Taproot Gathering with each and every one of you, but in the words of Inigo Montoya:

“No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

Really, too much. I must extend my most sincere gratitude to the Taproot and Squam Art Workshops lovelies, especially Elizabeth, Kaitlyn, Amanda and Jason for putting together such a deeply meaningful event, full of creativity, connection, inspiration, and beauty. And amazing food. We were nourished in every way possible.

The sum up:
I arrived at the Rockywold-Deephaven Camps late in the evening, and when I had unpacked from my car into the cabin, the sky, which had been lightening-lit the whole of my drive, finally released a torrent of rain. So, I missed the opening ceremony, affording myself the opportunity to explore the indoors and settle in quietly. I’m a nester like that, so it worked out well.

I hadn’t stalked my roommate ahead of time, so I knew nothing about the person who would be sleeping in the bed one foot away from mine in our cozy little room. It turns out she’s pretty awesome, has excellent taste in chocolate, and doesn’t mind giggling until 2am. She also creates sweet house portraits.


Oh, that? Eh, just my walk to class in the morning.

I took Forage and Ferment, a natural dye workshop with Rachel Bingham. We used powdered natural dyes and then explored in the woods for various materials to experiment with.



Above is from a cochineal dyebath, and below is the pot I pushed for: black eyed susan. These flowers weren’t exactly in the wild, but the landscaping needed a little tidying and so I dead-headed the bushes, clipping only the flowers on their way out. The mordant used was alum and the result is a the loveliest sage green. I have a feeling the susies in my yard will find their way into a dyepot, too, since the frost will take them soon, anyway.



Another favorite was goldenrod, and I’ll share the results once I spin the fiber. It’s nearly exactly my Biohazard blend, but with plant dye. Oh, and there is so very much in the way of goldenrod lurking all about my world right now.

I’m overwhelmed, so I will tell you about day 2 tomorrow. I’m still processing all the emotional Whoa, reigning it all in and absorbing it as I settle back into a daily grind which is different than the one I left behind.

In other news, this funny thing happened. At some point during the Sparkle Stories tutorial posting frenzy, I passed the 500th post mark. Is this significant? Not really, but I thought it might be worth mentioning, and that it’s a nice excuse for a giveaway.


I happen to have an extra copy of the current issue of Taproot (#7: Gather). I also happen to have a piece included in its pages, so if you want to make my Blueberry Pie Sauerkraut, you’d best get your hot little hands on it. How about I send it to you?

How about I also sweeten the deal by sending the winner a skein of my handspun merino, dyed up with cochineal during the class I took at the Taproot Gathering? It’s bulky and squishy and delicious and is pictured above (the skein on the left), dripping with blood beautiful dye.

Leave a comment between now and Sunday, September 22nd, and tell me one of your favorite recipes or crafts that gets you feeling all Autumnal, and a winner will be chosen at random.

Good luck!


17 thoughts on “Taproot Gathering, Taproot Giveaway, and 500 Something or Other

  1. Lovely photos, a craft in process is a beautiful thing and the colors of those dye pots are amazing.
    Nothing is more Autumnal than casting on a giant scarf in a golden warm color. Having something cozy to work on while the weather gets cooler makes up for the impending winter.

  2. It sounds like you had a lovely time in your dye class. I’m hoping to start experimenting with natural dyes again. My only *real* success has been with black walnut (because it’s really hard to mess that one up). Our local wooded parks have rules against gathering plants and things so harvesting matierials for dyeing has been tricky. Perhaps I’ll start a dyers garden. Hmm. I feel like you may have just inspired something here.. (:

  3. What fun!!! That red is GORGEOUS! Glad you had a wonderful time playing!! The recipe that gets me feeling all Autumnal is pumpkin cake! Pumpkin anything, really. But I have this recipe from one of King Arthur Flour’s Baking Sheet mags, it’s vegan and you bake it in one of those round cake pans with the hole in the center and drizzle maple icing over it. Store it in the frig. WOWZER. My daugther was just asking me to make one the other day so looks like I’m not the only one who craves it when the temperature drops! LOL!

  4. I thought about going on that retreat, but time was not available for me this year. 😦

    Having grown up with a German mother (I’m a first generation ‘merican…) my falls were full of all the various cakes in her lengthy baking list. Once I hit my 30’s I transitioned to loving pies. All the fruit ones! I have 4 moments in the fall that I bake pies. Around the equinox I bake berry, around Halloween I bake apple and pumpkin, Thanksgiving I bake more apple and pumpkin, often mixing raspberry or peach to the apple, and finally, in preparation for the solstice (still technically fall!) I do my final round, back to all fruit. I’m the only one in my family who likes pumpkin pies (it’s a texture thing for them) so I make it the way I love it: double the spices!! 🙂

  5. What a great giveaway!! Thanks for the opportunity! The results of your natural dyes look amazing! A favorite autumnal yumminess here is squash soup…oh yum!

  6. Thank you for sharing your Squam experience! I am feeling the magic!
    My favorite Autumnal food – simplest thing ever, home-made stovetop apple sauce. I like to cut up the apples – always local and crisp – in rough and rustic shapes, and cook them down slowly with a touch of butter or coconut oil, and LOTS of cinnamon. Simple, delicious, and great hot or cold. SO SO good.

  7. Sounds like a great experience! My favorite fall recipe is homemade apple butter cooked all day in the slow cooker. Mmmmm smells and tastes just like fall!

  8. The children love collecting, so when we gather all of our nature-gifts and start putting together an acorn or leaf garland really tells them it’s time for autumn. And the wool socks… putting on those wool socks is a sure sign that the barefoot season is coming to a quick end.

  9. Pingback: 9-19: Community Thursday! | Threeravens Fiber Studio

  10. autumn is my favorite season, my birthday time, my anniversary time, my rejuvenation period….my favorite things to do in fall are pick apples and make pie, pick beach plums and make jam and start diving back into the curry jars and making one pot dishes and soup! my favorite craft is anything fiber related, tactile, warm and cozy…in front of the fireplace, with a cup of tea…

  11. we bake whole sugar pumpkins – with the top cut out and seeded. once it’s baked, i put risotto in the pumpkin and serve it with spinach that’s sauteed in olive oil with garlic and onions. the kids always act surprised when they open the top at the dinner table! i think i’m going to serve it with soup or chili sometime, just to mix things up a bit.

  12. I dearly wanted to attend the Taproot Gathering at Squam. Twas’ not to be as we closed on our dream farmstead this same time frame which of course we are so excited about. So, instead I am enjoying it through the blogs of those that attended – thank you! Autumn is indeed a lovely time of year. And this year, it will be filled with apples. Applesauce will likely be coming out our ears as there are so many apples growing in the wild here!

  13. I love to make a pot of Ginger Squash soup, leave it to simmer on the wood stove and then going tramping through the woods with my family, foraging for mushrooms. Some mushrooms I dry and save for future dying projects.

  14. Knitting, knitting, knitting, and cooking! This is when I start thinking about sweaters that I want to wear when it gets really chilly. I also get pretty excited about roasting squash and making soup with root veggies.

  15. Yay fall!! I am trying to temper my desire to buy tons of yarn as soon as the temp drops, but no luck so far! 🙂 For me fall = pies! Lots of pies of any kind!

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