Every summer I like to create a color suitable for lace spinning and/or knitting. June came about somewhat serendipitously. When dyeing Annestown Beach (March Club), I really liked the idea of bright green against a dark background, and wanted to explore that. I also did a thorough clean out of my supply closet to sell on things that I didn’t want to dye, and found a lovely ball of the softest dark Alpaca, blended in streaks with silk. Was there enough of it for club? Yes!! I then did a little bit of image searching to narrow down a palette. I love this picture (Hostas?), so the gradient inspiration was established.
Next came out the colored pencils. The colors aren’t accurate, this is the idea. In the past, I’ve brute force mathed out the lengths of yarn needed, but this time I tried a spreadsheet a fellow dyer had made. I wound the yarn and the amounts came out pretty accurately, so yay!
Here’s the finished yarn. I went with Sumatran Tiger, which is 100% soft Superwash Merino yarn, 490 yards per 100 grams. I can’t wait to see it knit up!
And here is that dark Alpaca with silk all dyed up. It’s a luxury blend, so the portions are 2 oz this month. Both of these fine micron fibers go far as a lace (or cobweb…or froghair) weight, but you could easily extend it with something else as your second ply if you like.
Introducing Yakkity Yak, a luxurious blend of 70% Superwash Merino, 20% Yak Down, and 10% Nylon. It’s kitten soft (ok, Yak soft…but I don’t pet many yak), yet with the nylon you can expect your knit or crochet project to last a while. I had a lot of fun dyeing these in a random speckle dye style.
Here’s the full collection for this week:
And the ‘hero shots’…..
Dove on Yakkity Yak
It’s Not Easy to Turn Green on Yakkity Yak Sock yarn
CMY Party on Yakkity Yak
Black Tulip on Yakkity Yak Luxury Sock Yarn
Out of the Deep Hand Dyed on Yakkity Yak Sock Yarn
What a change a month makes…we were just shoveling snow, and now we are dealing with the streets heaving from the heat! A nice transition from spring to summer colors is this pretty Gerbera Daisy. Golden yellow, two shades of peach, some coral (or salmon if you prefer), and scarlet red.
For the fiber, I wanted to experiment with speckling, and wanted the fun contrast of crisp bright colors on the fiber which would soften and blend when spun. I chose Superwash Targhee, which I love for being grown and processed here in the USA. Superwash eats color for breakfast and asks for more, so I enjoyed layering on the speckles and just letting it do its thing.
For yarn, I wanted a softer look, so I went back to an old dye method I used a lot when I did OOAK’s….I like to call it the ‘starfish method’. This let me put gentle suggestions of the colors as a base layer, then add sprinkles of the full strength bold colors on top. Each skein is different, and it will be a lot of fun to see what club members make with it. If any of you want a semi-solid (or set of minis) of any of the colors to go with, let me know!
Did you see the headline this morning about lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) getting loose from a zoo in Germany? It seems all parties are safe now, but it certainly gave me a chuckle this morning. (edit: nope, the bear didn’t make it..:( )
I have shop update for you today, I had a couple of pounds of luscious Mixed BFL Silk, Wensleydale, and Gotland to dye, so I went into efficiency mode and made up two of our best sellers, Jeweled and Sunrise. They are so pretty. I also made Blended Rainbow on Wensleydale and Gotland….these two were dyed together, so you could ply them together, or use them together on a project….the light and dark sides of the rainbow!
No quite ‘new’, but flying under the radar has been Grand Old Flag on Journey. The SW Merino makes this yarn suitable for even the tenderest foot….or even baby items. I finally had a chance to knit up a swatch, so now it can be advertised properly!
Stop by the shop to see these, and there are a few other things I uploaded but didn’t advertise last week. http://ThePaintedTiger.com
After this endless winter, I was ready for some bright spring colors, but I didn’t want just simple rainbow colors, I wanted complex and interesting colors….just a shade off of what you might expect. My inspiration was this lovely shot of a daffodil (also called Jonquils) against a purplish sky.
I mixed up violet with a shot of yellow, blues with the purple, greens with some pink, and a yellow that had both enough pink to lean it golden, and bit of blue to keep it from being brassy. I had a lot of fun playing with application techniques.
For the fiber, I went with 50/50 Merino / Tencel. It is a fun fiber to dye, as the tencel acts to get the merino wet and carry dye to the wool, but isn’t dyed itself, leading to a pretty and shiny look with threads of white throughout. I dyed a true gradient on this, using 9 colors. Each batch came out differently, which is a big reason why I love to dye….you get something not available from a machine. I suggest spinning this one from the fold or make fauxlags, that will help the tencel and merino stay together. This would be lovely as a straight gradient spin, or try a fractal!
Our yarn is Bengal Tiger Twist….a similar construction to my old favorite plump 2 ply, but made with sturdier Blue Faced Leicester wool, a longwool that in itself lends a bit of shine to the finished yarn. I went with dyed-across gradient, using 5 colors, and allowing the golden yellow to dominate. It’ll make a nice swirling variegated pattern, or this is a great chance to try Planned Pooling, or weave it up on your loom for a great plaid effect, or faux ikat. So many possibilities!
You may have noticed that I went old school on the shipping labels, using paper and tape. PayPal has decided that I cannot print my subscription labels through them unless I input the addresses manually and individually each month. Oh. My. Head. So, I did a search for an alternative shipping provider, and found Pirate Ship. I’m tickled with their fun theme, and although it is a very simplistic website, it uploaded my spreadsheets and made labels slick as grog. Plus it automatically looks at the tracking and tells me when packages are delivered, which is why I can post Tiger Club reveal today….a little parrot told me that everyone has their club!! The drawback is that they do not support my thermal label printer, so I’m in the process of researching alternatives. I wouldn’t mind so much, except I just bought a year’s worth of labels for the old printer….I won’t use them up that fast if I can’t print club on them. Ah, well….I’m sure I’ll figure something out!
Are you looking for a Sock Yarn or Spinning Fiber Club of the Month? I invite you to try my Tiger Club, which is now open for new subscriptions. It is small, so you get personalized service, and my crazy experiments each month. There’s no huge commitment, join for one month and then decide if you want to continue, stay as long as you like. The subscription is serviced through PayPal, so you have complete control (however, a PayPal account is not required, contact me for options). I’ve been running this club since April 2010, and have enjoyed every month of new colors, fibers, and yarns. I hope you’ll join me on this adventure!
I picked up a great blend to try on December’s Tiger Club, and I ordered more so I can share with everyone. It’s a lovely blend….80% USA grown and processed Targhee wool, with shiny ribbons of 10% Bamboo and 10% Mulberry Silk. It is gorgeous….the pictures don’t really do it justice. Here are the first three gradients, I’ll be dyeing more of this blend as I have time. If you’d like to request a particular colorway, I’m all ears!
Hibiscus gradient of USA Targhee, Bamboo, and Mulberry Silk
Sunrise gradient on USA Targhee, Bamboo, and Mulberry Silk
Twenty Below on USA Targhee, Bamboo, and Mulberry Silk
A few weeks ago, I had a customer request to bring back Serenity, and here it is, plus its sisters, Rose Quartz, and The Long Winter. The Long Winter started this whole series as it was a commission for PLY Magazine. (The grey and white shawl and hat). All of these are on Falkland combed top, which is great for about anything you want to make with it.
Serenity on Falkland Wool Combed Top
Rose Quartz on Falkland Wool combed top
The Long Winter on Falkland combed top
Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend. I’ll be singing Haydn’s “Creation” with my choir, combined with another community choir and their local symphony orchestra. We’ll be repeating the experience in two weeks, except here with our local symphony orchestra. I’m looking forward to the bus trips with friends, and making some new friends.
Picture by Nicolas Raymond, used under Creative Commons License – Attribution 3.0 Unported. Click picture to be taken to the original for download.
March is another month where I went with the colors I wanted, and fit an ‘inspiration’ to it. This has been just a long dreary winter and I was ready for some colors of spring! I love this picture of the limestone kilns at Annestown Beach in Ireland. Blue sky, green grass, natural browns and tans.
My planning (yes, I do plan ahead) had Safari in a self-striping pattern, and Wensleydale for a fiber. I knew these would take the dye quite differently, so I decided to work opposite of my usual methods….I designed the yarn first. Eventually, I’ll show you my prototype….it was not pretty, but I will transform it with an overdye later. Anyway, I wanted strong colors, and a nice stripe…I guess it would be more an abstract modern take on Annestown Beach! I’ll get a picture soon for you, as I’m making my own pair of socks from this, but it will stripe about 4-5 rows each of the lime and the turquoise, with about 2 rows of the brown in-between them. I love Safari for a sock base, easy to knit, fluffs up great when washed, and the 75% Corriedale and 25% Nylon blend wears like iron…..I have several pairs I have had in heavy rotation for 6 years and there’s no sign of holes.
Next up is the fiber, Wensleydale wool combed top. I chose this this fiber looking ahead to summer where you may prefer to be knitting something laceweight. I didn’t want to muddy the colors, and wanted to give you the most flexibility in making the yarn fit your vision for the colors, so I dyed them separately….1.5 oz each of the green and blue, and 1 oz of the brown. The colors are the exact same dye recipe I used on the yarn….I love how it came out muted and heathered, and much more like the inspiration photo. I hope you don’t mind the ‘messy bun’ presentation…it made more sense than braids for the length of each color. Just clip the tag cord and it’ll all be ready for you. Remember, Wensleydale is a long-wool. It will do great as a laceweight, keep the twist and ply low to keep it from being harsh. Wensleydale is also a good fiber to use for Boucle.
Thanks for joining me for March’s fiber journey. I have a few limited spots in April Tiger Club if you would like to join the fun.
I’ve been experimenting again, because I really want to make these long smooth gradients without having to knit the yarn into sock blanks first….I’m not fond of the kinks, and although the tweed look is kinda cool, I want saturated colors on these….so no knitting! I’m getting close to a workable solution, in the meantime you can enjoy the fruit of my experiments!
Of course, I had to make Jeweled. I’ll dye this color on about anything that moves in my studio….it’s a gorgeous colorway with my favorite part of the spectrum…Emerald to Amethyst. Dyed on MCN Sock yarn, plenty of yardage at 490. Act quick, these have been dibbed on. I’ll make more eventually, but club is up next, and then I need to tweak my equipment again to get it right (no problem with the colors, just the winding/unwinding is tedious as is.)
Next up is Salted Cashmere Mochaccino, which I’ve wanted to bring back since I made it for club a few years ago. Not just because of the punny name, but man, these colors are nice, and go with about everything. Again, just 4 of these available, who knows when I’ll get more done.
And finally, we have the return of One Rainbow. It was originally a sock blank colorway, and while I did like it….I really want to get away from the knitting machine. These first attempts at Rainbow and Tropical rainbow are great, but the blends are a little too blendy, so I’m offering these at a discount. I’ll get it right, I promise. This is a matching set of two 50 gram mini skeins.
Some months, I just know what I want for colors, but still need to tie it together with a name and an ‘inspiration’ picture…..and this month I was stumped. I wanted to play with vivid colors of Violet, Magenta, and Scarlet, and I think it came out really bright and fun. After some image searching, this creatively lit jellyfish picture came up. Maybe jealousy is often thought of as green, but my ‘Jelly’ is passionate about it, and that calls for red! I couldn’t pass on the play on words, so there we have it!
The wool used this month is Superwash BFL. It’s a bit longer in staple, so do get your hands a bit further apart for spinning. The superwash can make it slippery, so if you are having trouble I would suggest spinning from the fold.
The yarn is Silky Sock, a blend of Superwash Merino and Tussah Silk. It is just right for socks, as remember nylon was created to be a cheap replacement for silk. It would also be great in a fun shawlette, cowl, scarf, or hat. Or combine it with some other yarn for a fade!
First off today, I have a few batches of lovely Polwarth fiber. You can see some of our fiber in the Winter Spin Off (and Interweave Blog), the article by Devin Helmen about Spindle Spun Socks! The color used was Lily Pads.