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.

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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.

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cochineal

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.

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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.

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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!

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Thirty-Six and Thirty-Seven: 52

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Portraits of my main squeezes (just one again), every week (except when I forget to post before the Taproot Gathering…holy amazingness. More on that later this week. So, anyway, here: have two portraits today).

O, these past couple of weeks you…

…have been full of a whole lotta silly. The evening I got home from Squam, you sat down to have a perfectly normal conversation with me, except for the fact that you were a unicorn monster from outer space. I love you.

…only missed me a little while I was away, but really it was a much.

…have been very busy with your neighborhood buddies on the construction of a fort, complete with corrugated roofing. The sign nailed to the front reads “NO GRLS ALOWD” and you just had to make sure that was clear before the fort is finished.

…had your first soccer practice and your first soccer practice canceled due to weather. You have your first game today, and the whole season wraps up on October 17th. After that, we have to start thinking about Winter Sports. What??

…still covet my handmade objects, which is very heartwarming. I’m glad you like the acorn hat, and I’ll have to remember your “please, can I have it?” and those puppy-dog eyes when we’re struggling over bedtime later.

Speaking of the hat pattern (to play along with the new Sparkle Stories audio book, Martin & Sylvia: Knitting From the Beginning), the link wasn’t ready when I last posted about it, so here’s where you can find it:

On Etsy: The Acorn Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

On Ravelry: The Acorn Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

And here, have the adorable outtake that I couldn’t bear to actually take out:

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Tomorrow, I have a giveaway! If you don’t yet have the current issue of Taproot, you’ll want to pay attention. xo