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!

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!)
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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Mulberries – July Tiger Club Reveal

July brought plenty of excitement…we bought kayaks and took a family vacation in the lovely Wisconsin Northwoods.  The excitement didn’t stop when we returned home…..a new yarn AND a new fiber were ready to greet me, begging for color.

My inspiration this month is a childhood memory.  Generally considered a weed, my parents did allow one mulberry tree to grow in the fence row of our farm.  It provided a bit of shade for the sheep, and was just the right size and shape for a little girl to climb in.  I spent many summer days in that tree, contemplating life and staining my hands red and purple from the juice of the fruit.

I’m very excited to announce the triumphant return of Tiger Twist.  Not just a return, but an improvement….now the yarn is completely American.  The sheep live here, the superwash treatment is done in the US, and the yarn is spun in an American mill.  I am proud to offer this tight twist two ply, perfect for socks and more.

Tiger Twist Returns

Naturally, I needed to do a striping yarn for this debut.  Our Mulberry Twist has a pattern of about 8 rows dark burgundy, four rows red, four rows pink, and 8 rows medium burgundy, then the pattern reverses.

Mulberries - Tiger Club July 2014 - Tiger Twist - Self Striping

I’m always excited when I find new wool, I want to try them all! This month is Gotland, straight from Sweden. It’s a courser wool with a nice wave to it and a long staple…about 6 inches. Gotland is very wearable, however. Just spin it worsted style to capture the ends, and be sure to keep your hands far apart if you have trouble drafting. A special breed of Gotland was used to make the elven cloaks for the Lord of the Rings movies. The natural grey color made a perfect background for the reds and burgundies of Mulberry.

Mulberries - Tiger Club July 2014 - Gotland WoolAre you interested in receiving a lovely surprise every month?  There are several spots open in Tiger Club.  You can try it for a little as a month, and may stay as long as you like.   We’d love to have you!


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Tiger Club – May and June 2014

Summer hit, and well….as usual I’m expecting to relax.  Instead, it’s a new kind of hectic, and even though they are fun activities, it takes a toll on the schedule.  So, please accept my apologies for not getting the May reveal of Club done….until now!

May Flowers is a take on this beautiful mountain scenery. Purple, blue, peach, red, white, pink, gold, and green are splashed in short color segments for more blending.

Our yarn is Bengal, a smooth 4 ply of Blue Faced Leicester yarn.
May Flowers Bengal Sock - May Tiger Club

The fiber is Falkland, a versatile favorite that shows off color brilliantly.
May Flowers Falkland - May Tiger Club

For June, I stuck with nature (can’t go wrong!). I wanted something summery, so to the beach we went with Conch Shell…..shades of sand and coral.

Broken Conch

Our fiber is Hemp sliver, a bit of a different challenge! Crunch it up and loosen it, then spin like flax. Do a quick YouTube search, I know there are a couple of videos.
Conch Shell - Hemp - June Tiger Club

And finally, our yarn is Panda, a blend of superwash merino, rayon of bamboo, and nylon. The bamboo makes a wonderful shine to bring out the pearly qualities of our subject.
Conch Shell - Panda - June Tiger Club

Thanks for bearing with me! July club will continue with our summery nature theme, and I will have a new yarn and new fiber. The clubs are full for this month, but we will open for new subscriptions on August 1.

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Finally Fiber Friday…..

I quietly uploaded a number of new things to the shop this week, and I’m excited to share them with you.  There are a few kinds of wool, plus silk in both fiber and lace yarn! I found some Shetland in the supply closet, and I couldn’t wait to dye it up.

Autumn Maples Shetland Combed Top

Autumn Maples Shetland

Fairy Ring Hand Dyed Shetland Wool

Fairy Ring Shetland

Bands of Autumn Shetland Wool Combed Top

Bands of Autumn – Shetland Duo (Half Autumn colors, half rich brown to make a marl yarn).

Spiced Chai - Moorit Shetland Combed Top

Spiced Chai – Moorit Shetland

I also started replenishing the Zephyr Lace Yarn…..these are some fun semi-solid and kettle dyed lace yarns.

Aubergine Zephyr Silk Merino Lace Yarn

Aubergine Zephyr Lace Yarn

Hand Dyed Abyss Zephyr Merino Silk Lace Yarn

Abyss Zephyr Lace

Chestnut Hand Dyed Lace Yarn

Chestnut Zephyr Lace Yarn

Dawning Kettle Dyed Zephyr Lace Yarn

Dawning Zephyr Lace Yarn

18/2 Hand Dyed Merino Silk Zephyr Lace Yarn Lemon Lime

Lemon Lime Zephyr Lace Yarn

Kettle Dyed Pine Forest Zephyr Lace Yarn

Pine Forest Zephyr Lace Yarn

And there are some new Mawata Silk Hankie sets!

Mawata Silk Hankies Pink Green Hand Dyed

Rose Mawata Silk Hankie Set

Hand Dyed Mawata Silk Hankies Grey, Blue, Green, Gold, Tan, Brown

Cascade Mawata Silk Hankie Set

And last (but certainly not least!), I have a number of creamy lovely Falkland braids for your spinning pleasure.

Hand Dyed Falkland Wool Combed Top Pink White Brown

Neapolitan Falkland Wool

Hand Dyed Falkland Wool Spinning Fiber Blue Turquoise

Inky Depths Falkland Wool

Tropical Rainbow Hand Dyed Falkland Wool

Tropical Rainbow Hand Dyed Falkland Wool

Dove Hand Dyed Falkland Wool Combed Top Grey Gray Blue Pink

Dove Falkland Wool Combed Top

Hand Dyed Gradient Wool Combed Top Pink Coral Orange

American Beauty Falkland Wool

Water Lilies Hand Dyed Wool Spinning Fiber Blue, Green, Pink, Yellow, White

Water Lilies Falkland Wool Combed Top

Forest was requested by a lovely lady who has followed my Forest Fractal Shawl project.  I rearranged the colors to alternate between the greens and the browns.  You can click here to start following my project.  I have dyed these Forest braids, and the following Raspberry Mocha braids specifically for a triangle shawl project….each color is a longer run than the one before it.

Hand Dyed Falkland Wool Greens and Browns

Forest Falkland Wool Gradient

Hand Dyed Falkland Wool Combed Top Pinks and Browns

Raspberry Mocha Gradient Falkland

Whew!  Hope you enjoyed the update.  I also hope you are enjoying your summer.  Are you taking part in the Tour de Fleece this year?  I’d like to invite you to spin for our team, The Painted Tiger.  I’m offering a gift certificate, plus there will be other prizes….and a discount code for everyone who participates.  We’re a ‘wild card’ team, so we’ll be eligible for prizes from the larger Tour community, also. Enjoy that lemonade or iced tea, and I’ll talk to you again, soon!

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