Flotsam – October Tiger Club Reveal

Well, I’ve been putting off this post, mostly because I saved a skein of this month’s club for myself, and I really wanted to proudly show off my completed socks for the reveal. You know how those ‘best laid plans’ go…..anyway, I can proudly show you a strategically photographed sock that will be ripped out and totally remade. I had a math fail.  Multiply by rows per inch, not stitches per inch.  Duh, me.

So, I guess I should back up. October’s Tiger Club was actually inspired by the yarn, which is Tiger Tweed. All those little bits of Donegal plus some shades of blue and green and a glimpse of rust made me think ‘Shipwreck’, and here we are….Flotsam!

Flotsam Bengal Tweed Sock - October 2014 Tiger Club

I really love how they turned out. And here is my proto-sock. Don’t feel too bad for me, now I’ll actually tweak my design and get them better fitting. If the first one had been ‘good enough’, I would have just made a second the same and been done with it. I think I’m going to take a few stitches out of the leg, maybe narrow the ankle, then add them back in for the foot. I also liked how I picked up one side of the heel, but somehow the other side is different. I am a little miffed that I cut the yarn already, so I’ll have to splice on the re-do.

Flotsam Sock....try 1

Ah, and our fiber. I brought back a great fiber from last year, Masham. It is naturally an oatmeal-gray color, and adds amazing depth to our Flotsam shades.

Flotsam Masham Wool - October 2014 Tiger Club

Here’s the inspiration photo:
Flotsam

Want to join the fun? There are spots in Tiger Club open until November 15th. This month, both yarn and fiber will be products of the USA. I love supporting the return of the wool industry to America, especially when the products are so great.

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Tiger Stripes and Polwarth and Silk, Oh My!

It’s time for a shop update, and I have a passel of things for you.

First off….you know I had to do it sometime…..here we go, Bengal Stripes!

Tiger Stripe - Safari

I’ve also put up new batches of Iris,
Iris Safari

Koi Pond,
Koi Pond - Journey

and Forest self striping sock yarns.
Forest - Journey

Next up is some Polwarth. Yum.
Out of the Deep Polwarth
Evening Haze Polwarth
Darner Dragonfly Polwarth
Citrus Splash Polwarth
Autumn Splendor Polwarth
Autumn Blaze Maple Polwarth

Next comes the Merino Silk. Oh yes, 50/50, soft as kittens.
Purple Passion Merino Silk
American Beauty Merino Silk
Stormy Seas Merino Silk
Mississippi Mud Merino Silk
Leaf Merino Silk
Dawning Merino Silk

Finally, I have a few batches of Mawata Silk Hankies.
Tropical Rainbow - Silk Hankies
May Flowers - Mawata Silk Hankies
Lily Pads - Silk Hankies
Lettuce - Silk Hankies
Lavender Sachet - Mawata Silk Hankies
Blue Skies - Silk Hankies
Black Tulip - Silk Hankies
Water Lilies - Silk Hankies

As you can see, I had a lot of fun with different yarn and fibers for this update. I hope you like them!

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New Toys

So, I had two fillings this morning. My tongue is numb, and I can feel the tingle of anesthetic in places it really shouldn’t have migrated to. I guess I’m thankful for the great dental care I am privileged to receive, but that doesn’t make me like it. Anyway, a long slender box arrived for me yesterday, and I saved the opening for after my appointment, so I had something to look forward to.

New Toys

Now, THAT, my friends, is a swift. I started with one of those metal and plastic swifts (well, I really started with a cobbled together thing of a box and a lazy susan….when I realized I didn’t want to niddy-noddy 800 yards of lace yarn), and for a long time it was plenty. Then I started to get skeins from one supplier that were a little too big for the basic swift. Sometimes it would work, but if the angle were just a bit wrong, I’d quickly find myself with a tangled mess. Spying my son’s K’Nex, I made myself a slightly bigger swift. It, too, works ok, but can snag. So, when the Woolery announced that Glimakra swifts were the Fiber Toy of the week, I said, ‘Yes, please’. I got the large one. *Cough* this is a very large swift, probably twice the size as my previous umbrella swift. Plus it is prettier, all wood and lacing and such. It’ll do, it’ll do. :)

Perhaps you noticed there is something else in that picture? Here’s the deal…..free shipping. My newly discounted swift didn’t meet the minimum, and it would cost $12.95 to ship it….half the discount. So I went looking for something else I needed, and tada, one Schacht double bobbin shuttle fell right into my cart. I still have the ends of my blanket (which I am cuddled up in with a cat right now on this blustery day) on my loom, ready to tie on the next blanket in my stash busting plan. I love the blanket, but the fulling made it almost too small. So my plan is to basketweave the next blanket….two ends per warp and weft pick. So I *needed* the shuttle. I did.

I hope you are finding something to enjoy this day. I have some merino/silk to fondle braid this afternoon, and hopefully I’ll get a big shop update done for you tomorrow.

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Falling Leaves – Tiger Club Reveal – September 2014

Inspired by this lovely perspective shot of a tree in full autumn splendor, I pulled out shades of red, gold, and brown.  The result is our September Tiger Club, “Falling Leaves”.


Our fiber is Shetland, and oh, what a batch!  It is so soft and squooshy!  Spin it from the fold or make rolags for a traditional woolen spin.  The tonal randomness of this top will lent itself well to pairing with something else in your stash to extend it, or ply with itself.
Falling Leaves - Shetland - September 2014 Tiger Club

Our yarn is affectionately knick-named ‘Cement’ for the abbreviation SMNT (superwash Merino, Nylon, Tencel).  The Tencel doesn’t take the acid dye, but lends a nice sheen to the yarn.  Between the nylon and the tencel, this should indeed wear like cement!  Let me know what you thing, it’s club exclusive for now, but if it is well liked I can be convinced to add it to the store line up.  The dye method is ‘organized chaos’, and with the short color bursts it should make a mottled pattern….all those leaves raked up in a pile around your ankles!

Falling Leaves - SMNT- Sept 2014 Tiger Club

 

Would you be interested in receiving a lovely surprise of yarn and/or fiber each month?  Try out Tiger Club.  There’s no huge commitment (unless you want there to be), so try us for a month!

 

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2014 Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter and I spent the weekend at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Even without taking any classes, we had a wonderful time.

We arrived around noon on Friday, after pushing through driving rain that morning. Fortunately, it wasn’t raining in Jefferson, so we were able to pitch our tent right away. Once we got our admission bracelets, we ventured in for lunch. Nothing appealed to us immediately, so we went straight for the ice cream barn. The strawberry sundaes are so good, and only $3!

We took our treat to go watch the sheepdog trials, as we figured vendors wouldn’t appreciate our sticky snack. On the way, we saw a gathering in the arena where they have shearing demonstrations, the Hall of Breeds, and ….. newborn lambs. Yup, just missed it by 5 minutes, just like the last time we were at the festival. We hung out for a bit though, because….newborn lambs….so cute. This mama had quadruplets!

Quadruplets
New Lamb
Newborn Lamb

We took a turn through the market, and picked up all kinds of goodies. Like this natural brown pelt, possibly for my loom bench (although I could just pet it forever).
Natural Sheepskin
And some fiber…..some Falkland from River’s Edge, and some balls of Cormo/Angora from Prairie Moonrise Farm.
River's Edge Falkland
Cormo/Angora from Prairie Moonrise Farm

My daughter picked up a ‘Tube of Blue’ from Mielke’s (I got a new kate that will work with my Hansen bobbins). She has yet to decide what I’m going to make for her with it. She just likes looking at it all stacked in the jar.
DD and blue bin
Blue Bin

The next morning, we grabbed some breakfast and headed over to the sheepdog trails. They are always interesting, and this year they had asked a gentleman to explain things and add some color commentary. We then stopped over to watch some sheep judging (they had fiber and meat animals showing in side by side rings, so a lot to watch). Then popped over to watch David shear a few sheep. We grabbed an early lunch to avoid the crowds, and took a look at the silent auction items. We staked out a few things, and I managed to win this ball of Corrie from Four Crows Farm.
Corrie from Four Crows Farm

This was cool, too… but we ultimately decided someone else should have it.
Sheep Shingle

We also took in the hooked rug show. Here are a couple we thought were clever. This is a rabbit hole I’m sure I’ll fall into someday.
Hooked Rug Deer
Hooked Rug Cats

We enjoyed some more ice cream (but not the wasps) while spectating at the first Walk and Knit competition. It was pretty amusing. Then the competition was on at the Fleece Sale silent auction. I won a fabulous Corriedale/Fresian fleece from a junior shower, Anne Hinchley, with many shades of tan and brown, and maybe some grey. I’m looking forward to working with this fleece, and I’m sure I’ll be posting about it!

Sunday, we ate our breakfast while watching sheep dogs, and met a couple of nice ladies, who also happened to be entered in the yarn and design contests. We all headed over to the judging for those. I entered my rainbow shawl to the design contest on a whim. That show was won by one of my new friends, with a lovely argyle crop sweater.

I entered a couple of skeins of yarn, and they did well!
This was a Shetland gradient I spun up super quick the night before the show. They have a separate class for Shetland, and I had these delicious natural shades I wanted to try out. Don’t get too excited by the blue ribbon, it was the only skein in the class (but I did score 90/100 on it, so that is good!)
Shetland
That big fluffy grey skein next to mine? It won Best of Show.
Shetland Hand Spun

And here’s my Autumn Splendor Polwarth, which I spun while on family vacation in Wisconsin during the Tour de Fleece.
Autumn Splendor Polwarth
Autumn Splendor Polwarth Hand Spun

So, I’m pretty excited that my everyday spinning is apparently pretty good, and even my ‘throw fiber at the wheel’ spinning is decent. Next year I’ll have to enter in the Advanced Class, but that is ok. :) We are already looking forward to next year’s festival!

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August Tiger Club Reveal – Katydid

I love finding inspiration in nature, and this month was no exception. I wanted something Amazon green, and a search turned up this Katydid. I love the addition of black, red-brown, orange, and that surprising spot of blue.

Colours of the Amazon rainforest

Here’s my riff on the theme, our yarn this month is Tiger Sport.
Katydid - August 2014 Tiger Sock Club - Tiger Sport

And the fiber is always a favorite….Polwarth.
Katydid - August 2014 Tiger Fiber Club - Polwarth

Interested in Club? It’s open until about 9pm CDT tomorrow (Monday, the 15th).

I have to express my apologies for not keeping up with the blog. I have a lot of things to tell you, and I have actually been keeping up with dyeing, but a new project is occupying much of my computer time. We’re replacing some windows and getting new siding for our home. As these things go, one project leads to a new one. My current fun is stripping a zillion layers of paint off our garage door with a heat gun. Whee, paint fumes! Here’s a little pictorial of before and progress so far.

House Construction
House Construction

The Zebra look was a ‘winner’.

House Construction
House Construction
House Construction

It’s coming along, I’m pretty excited. Now to decide definitely on a color for September’s Club!

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I’m so confused – Shop Update

So, I missed Wooly Wednesday, and I’m too early for Fiber Friday….but hey, I’m doing a shop update anyway. Yummy stuff!

I have a new fiber for the shop, Gotland. It is a fiber from the Island of Gotland of Sweden. The fiber is lovely and long, a staple of over 6 inches, and has a beautiful shiny wave. It is naturally gray, so it takes overdyeing to make fantastic colors. These are grouped in the Limited Edition fiber category for now. I hope it will become a regular.

Dark Side of the Rainbow Gotland
Xanadu Gotland
Black Tulip Gotland
Dove Gotland
Inky Depths Gotland
Lily Pads Gotland
Passage to India Gotland

Next up, I have some Romney Roving for you. This is a product that is proudly American: the sheep live in Michigan, and the wool is pin drafted into roving for us by Zeilinger’s.

Tropical Rainbow Romney Roving
Fairy Ring Romney Roving
Tertiary Romney Roving

And finally I have some odds and ends. There’s some Hibiscus Superwash Corriedale, Nesting Shetland, and some Tertiary in self striping Safari sock yarn!

Hibiscus SW Corriedale
Nesting Shetland
Tertiary Safari

Thanks for taking a look at the update. We have construction going on here in the house (yikes!), but we are getting back into our regular schedule so I hope to have updates more often.

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