Red Meets CMY – September 2017 Tiger Club

No inspiration photo for this one, just an idea I had to combine an old fun color of CMY Party (where I put Cyan (blue), Magenta, and Yellow next to each other and let them Party), with the deep reds of fall. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, and it seems club members are, too!

Red Meets CMY - Tiger Tweed Sock Yarn - Tiger Club Sept 2017

The yarn is Tiger Tweed, which is a blend of Superwash Merino and Donegal NEP, which is a kind of nylon that is acid dye resistant, so it leaves little flecks of color in the yarn. I usually like to do a light wash of color on this yarn to show off both the light and dark neps, but decided to experiment with a stronger color. I like how it turned out. If socks aren’t your thing with Tweed yarn, this would be fun in a Planned Pooling project….a scarf for back and forth, or in the round with a cowl. Or try faux ikat on your rigid heddle loom!

Red Meets CMY - NE Fine Grey Combed Sliver - September 2017 Tiger Club

Our fiber is a bit of an experiment. Usually I bring you industrial combed top, which has been carbonized, flattened, and combed….the dyeing process brings it back to life a bit, but it still feels a little ‘clinical’. This carded sliver is from a wool pool from New England of fine wool, and leans to a pale grey-brown color. I enjoy over-dyeing natural colors (besides white) because of the depth of color that brings life to the project. I love how light and fluffy it is….you’ll notice the braid is much longer for the 4 oz!  I’ll have more about spinning this wool in a future blog post.

Want to join the fun? Tiger Club is open for new subscriptions now through October 15th!

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Fading Summer – August 2017 Tiger Club

Goldfinch diorama

Inspiration this month came from my backyard….we have a rather steep hillside that is not fun to mow, so a number of years ago I over seeded it with wildflower mix. Over the years many of the species have been crowded out, and now it is mostly Purple Coneflower and Goldenrod….with an occasional Black-eyed Susan. It’s very pretty and bright at it’s peak, but as fall comes on the colors dull a bit, and the Goldfinches descend to eat all the seeds. The colors this month reflect that ‘Fading Summer’ of the pink, purple, green, blue, gold, and neutral greys and browns of this landscape.

The yarn this month is Safari, and while I wanted to do a gradient so each color could shine, I also wanted it to be appropriate for socks. So I made you two matching 50 gram skeins. I used my own ‘kink free sock blank’ method, and came up with this:
Fading Summer - August Tiger Club

Here are the finished skeins….one wound each direction.
Fading Summer - August Tiger Club - Journey Sock Yarn

Cheviot Ewe And Lamb
The wool for August is Cheviot. This Scottish breed is characterized by its helical (spiral) crimp structure to the wool. This keeps the wool top open and easy to spin, and your finished yarn will puff up in the finishing wash. It is a little coarser than the fine wools, at 27-33 microns. The staple is generally 3-5 inches.
Fading Summer - August Tiger Club - Cheviot Wool Combed Top

I’m thinking cozy, yet sturdy, mittens….I’d strip this down lengthwise into 4 parts and spin two matching skeins of 2 ply in the sport weight range.  Want to mix up the colors?  You can do that, too….pull it apart and draw bits out of a bag, or make faux-lags….or use hand cards or a blending board for true rolags.  These colors are all of similar value and will look good however you combine them!

Want in on the fun?  Tiger Club is still open for September subscriptions through today!

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Tallgrass Prairie – July 2017 Tiger Club

I00664 Big Bluestem Tallgrass Prairie

It’s the height of summer in Iowa, a time when the corn goes from ‘knee-high by the 4th of July’ to six feet tall, seemingly overnight….you can actually hear it grow if you listen close enough (hard to do when you are swatting mosquitoes!).  The weather is hot and humid, and there is often a haze over the landscape.  Way back when Laura Ingalls Wilder was a girl and pioneering, Iowa was a sea of Tallgrass Prairie.  In college, I took a class about them, and it was so interesting.  Prominent in most tallgrass prairies is the grass Big Blue Stem, seen in the foreground of this picture.  Like the corn, it is over your head tall, and does indeed lean blue.  (And yes, there is a Little Blue Stem!)  I really love this state….the green and rolling hills, and wanted to share it with you.

Tallgrass Prairie - July 2017 Tiger Sock Yarn Club - Merino Tencel

To capture the ‘haze’ of summer, I decided to use a Superwash Merino/Tencel blend.  The Tencel does not take the acid dye, so the overall look is a bit hazy, and has a lovely shine.  This 50/50 blend does have enough twist to use as socks, but I’d suggest a shawl, cowl, or other such item.  The dyeing (of 3 greens, a golden tan, and rust) is a quite random drizzling, so if anything pools it shouldn’t stay that way for long.

Tallgrass Prairie - July 2017 Tiger Fiber Club - Merino Wool and Tencel

Our fiber is also a 50/50 blend of Merino and Tencel (no superwash, though).  The technique I used is a layered one, so the colors are somewhat random, and you will notice that in places the color changes across the width of the fiber.  This can be a slippery blend, if you have issues, you may have better luck pulling of a bit and spinning from the fold.

Deer in the yard

Fitting into our color theme were our visitors the other day.  About 100 yards beyond this picture is one of the busiest streets in town, but our neighborhood offers a quiet sanctuary of ravines and wooded backyards.  We’ve seen this pair, and sometimes last year’s fawn, frequently this summer.  I was surprised to see them so close, and laying down mid-day, so I had to get some shots.

Deer in the yard

Deer in the yard

Good thing this little one is cute….she has a penchant for my flowers.

Thanks for enjoying July’s Tiger Club!  If you want to be part of the fun for August, I do have spots open in all clubs right now.

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Modern Retreat – June 2017 Tiger Club

For June, I wanted to use Superwash BFL and a high twist SW BFL sock yarn, both of which I know take great deep colors and have a bit of luster to them.  I wanted something a little out of my comfort zone, and I love this combination of red, black, steel blue grey, searing green, and beige.

Modern Retreat - June 2017 Tiger Club - Superwash BFL Wool Combed Top

As mentioned, the fiber is Superwash BFL.  It has a little longer staple, and a great sheen.  It’s perfect for about any clothing use.  The mottled look will blend together in spinning.  Strip it down narrow to keep the colors more pure and shorter, spin across the full top for longer and more blendy colors, or take it apart entirely and do what you want.  Take a look at the article “Challenge Accepted” by Maggie Casey in the Summer 2017 edition of Spin Off…you’ll see a somewhat similar top, and six ways it turned out!!

Modern Retreat - June 2017 Tiger Club - Bengal High Twist Sock Yarn

The yarn is Bengal Tiger Twist….same great construction of fan favorite Tiger Twist, but using superwash BFL wool instead of Merino.  It’ll make the yarn sturdier, and the colors just shine!  The dyeing method is controlled chaos, so it will likely pool some, but then change up.  Each skein had to be dyed individually, so you truly have a one-of-a-kind.

Want to join the fun?  Tiger Club is open for new subscriptions through Saturday, July 15th.

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Seaside Sunrise – May 2017 Tiger Club

Coming up to summer, I like to have a summery shawl project for you.  This picture is fabulous, and I found a great new yarn to try.

Sumatran Tiger Sock yarn takes its name from the smallest species of Tiger…..and this yarn is right on that thinness border between heavy lace and really light fingering weight yarn.  It’s 490 yards per 100 grams, made of 100% silky soft superfine superwash Merino (yup, that’s a lot of ssssss’s!!).  I dyed this in a single long repeat through the colors, each color about equal, each color block overlapping its neighbor somewhat.

Seaside Sunrise - May 2017 Tiger Club - Sumatran Tiger Sock Yarn 490 y

The fiber this month is Shetland, just because I usually offer it in the fall….and by no means should this great fiber be restricted to fall colors only!  I dyed the fiber as ‘there and back’, so divide in the middle for an easy two ply, or spin the whole thing as is and live daringly by plying from a center pull ball.  Be sure to join us for Tour de Fleece….info is on our Ravelry group.

Seaside Sunrise - May 2017 Tiger Club - Shetland Wool Combed Top Roving

We’re taking a little vacation this next week, then I’ll be in the thick of dyeing for June’s club!  Want in?  I’m taking new subscriptions through the 15th (or when spots fill up, whichever comes first).

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What I did this spring….

I feel like a need to write an essay of what I did with my life this spring! For a variety of very good reasons, we decided we should look around for a different house in our city. So this winter and spring, we’ve slowly been doing various updates….paint, new caulk, etc. Long story short, we found a house that would work….in our current neighborhood….and for a variety of other very good reasons, we undecided to move.

It’s ok, I’m thrilled with the new paint and other updates, and the frantic packing up found a lot of room in the dry side of my studio. Unfortunately, I have to get it all back in there eventually….but I get to take a bit of time and sort out what really needs to go back, and how I’m going to store it. I finally got motivated to find bins that fit my wire cubes (which make up the ‘store’), and found a great deal on ones that fit about perfect. Although it isn’t quite as convenient to keep an eye on stock, the cleaner look is sure nice. We found some cool LED light fixtures for the basement, and I ended up juggling some fixtures and bulbs around….so even though I still need to make the space I have in the wet studio work….it’s a lot brighter and makes me smile when I go to work in there. And working I have been…..mostly making Grand Old Flag yarn!!

Here are a few recent pictures, these are all taken from my living room. Yeah, we had to stay for a while longer.

Raccoon
(Ok, so that is my least favorite visitor….I bring in the bird feeder every night.)

Turkey Vulture

Hawk

Almost caught up, I’ll get May’s Club reveal posted here in a day or so. Off to dye some more flag yarn!

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Rugged – April 2017 Tiger Club

Yes, I realize it’s June!  I’m catching up on a lot of things, so bear with me!

For April, I wanted to go all denim and leather, useful colors for anyone.
Rugged - April 2017 Tiger Club - Safari
Safari is the perfect yarn to go with the rugged theme, as it’s the toughest yarn I offer….75% Corriedale Wool, and 25% Nylon.  I have yet to wear out a pair.  I like to do stripes on Safari, so I went with wide stripes of denim blue and rich leather brown, with paler shades of the same on each side, and a nice creamy tan in between.  It’s not busy, so you can use a stitch pattern and expect it to show up.  Or try some fair isle!
Rugged - April 2017 Tiger Club - Targhee
The wool isn’t rugged, but it’s from Big Sky Country in Montana.  Targhee was bred especially for conditions in the Northwest.  I’m always pleased to offer American grown and processed wool and yarn when they are available.

I’ll get a post about May’s yarn up soon, in the meantime, Tiger Club is open for June, and spots are going fast.  If you want one, go here!

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