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!


Unexpected Journey

Today he said, “Mama, let’s go Explore!”

Who could say no to that?

I’ve been spending too much time mourning over the loss of being able to bicycle anywhere we need to go, mourning my old life and my own space…when here my son gives me a gentle lesson in being present.

We started our Journey in a now-familiar place…

Madrone everywhere. He calls it Redwood, and when we walk into this little circle he says in the sweetest awe-filled way, “Mama! They’re so beautiful!

We called around for the shy gnomes hiding amongst the rocks, but instead of pointy-hatted friends, we found a pile of old tin cans…

…which somehow was just as exciting.

We ended up on what we now know is probably a deer path, but at the time we were following one of the farm dogs and assumed she knew where she was taking us. Suddenly, we were on a very steep hill, making our way down towards the river by slip-sliding through the mud and poison oak and down the mossy rocks. Eventually, we made it safely down to the river’s edge where we met some mushrooms.

And busied ourselves with Fetch.

The way back up was daunting, precarious, and once or twice even a bit frightening. The pup led the way and it differed from the path we’d taken down, but she got us home and for that I am quite thankful. Home…where we stripped down, scrubbed with Technu and threw our clothes in the washer. I am not susceptible to poison oak, but C gets it baaaaaad.

In shop news, I am posting new goodies on a daily basis. I have added some acorn-dyed wool nubbins, from my experiments whilst staying the Bay Area. This dye batch was very special, the acorns having come from beneath a venerable and beloved pre-Colonial California Coast Oak named Grandpa Dad. He is quite magnificent. Besides the wool nubbins, there will also be some acorn-dyed tussah silk noil going into the shop. I decided to keep the merino and merino cross for myself, which you can see in the middle picture below.

Noils on the left, merino in the middle, nubbins on the right. The nubbins can be found here.

Also, some yarn! My focus for the next several sessions are to play at striping yarns with the rainbow of kettle-dyed falklands and merino I brought with me to the farm. Biohazard is now in the shop. Click the pic to get there.

Night night!