Annestown Beach – March 2018 Tiger Club

Annestown Beach Kiln - HDR

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.

Annestown Beach - March 2018 Tiger Club - Safari Self Striping Sock Yarn

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.

Annestown Beach - March 2018 Tiger Club - Wensleydale Wool Combed Top Spinning Fiber
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.

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Gradients – Shop Update!

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.)
Jeweled MCN

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.

SaltedCashmereMochaccinoMCN

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.

One Rainbow Journey
One Tropical Rainbow Journey

All available in our sock yarn section!!

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Jelly – February 2018 Tiger Club

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!
Jelly - February 2018 Tiger Club - SW BFL

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.

Jelly - February 2018 Tiger Club - Silky Sock

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!

Tiger Club has a few limited spots open for March club, which I will start dyeing on the 15th. Sign up now and join the fun!

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Fiber Friday Shop Update!

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.

Lily Pads - Polwarth
Rugged Polwarth
Peacock Polwarth
Jeweled Polwarth
CMY Party Polwarth
Blended Rainbow Polwarth
Shocking Polwarth

I also have some sock yarn for you!
Twenty Below Sparkle
Tiger on SafariGrand Old Flag Journey
seaside sunrise sumatran tiger

All are available for immediate shipping, check out our ‘New Items’ section!

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Shards – January 2018 Tiger Club

January this year was one of the coldest in recent years, and when I saw this picture of mineral crystals, I thought it a fitting theme for Tiger Club. The pale blue is positively icy, and the accents of two deep teals, plus a tan and brown keep the whole interesting.

Shards - January 2018 Tiger Club - Falkland Combed Top

Our wool is warm and cozy Falkland. In this case, Falkland isn’t a breed, but a location…..fleeces that go into the Falkland Island wool pool are chosen for whiteness and fineness, and is generally in the range of Corriedale. It’s a very nice all around wool, and this batch is especially nice. I dyed this in a layered back and forth, with the darker colors added randomly and the center pale blue added around them and allowed to blend. It makes a very soft look. It really is random, so go with the mottled look when spinning.

Shards - January 2018 Tiger Club - Journey Sock Yarn

Our yarn is Journey, a 4ply sock yarn of Merino and Nylon, at 460 yards per 4 oz. I chose a different path for this yarn, making the colors sharp by sprinkling, setting the colors, then over-dyeing with the pale blue. There’s a twist to the yarn, though…..it is actually subtly striped. I’ve never been thrilled with trying to randomize on a regular sized skein, the randomness just tends to stay a bit too orderly. So I wound this yarn into a two stripes, each making a stripe of 4-5 rows. I speckled one half with the dark blue and brown, and the other with the two lighter colors. I feel this accomplished a more random look, and I’m pretty happy with it. Here’s the same picture, but showing the approximate stripes. Each batch will be a bit different, but this is the general effect.  The sample is a 64 stitch tube.

Shards - January 2018 Tiger Club - Journey Sock Yarn

Want to join in the fun?  Tiger Club has a few spots open for February.  You can find out details and options on our Club page in the shop.

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Projects……

Although I’ve been pretty busy with life in general, I have been working on a couple of projects. The latest is when I took this Tiger Club fiber and took it for a spin on my Flat Iron.
Red Meets CMY - NE Fine Grey Combed Sliver - September 2017 Tiger Club
I made a true 3 ply, dividing the fiber roughly into color congruent thirds, but not really minding how the colors lined up in the final product. I’m pleased. This will probably become a hat for someone.
Red Meets CMY Hand Spun New England Fine Gray Wool

My longer term projects has been a hoodie sweater from the book Big Knits, Big Needles by Hanna Charlotte Erhorn. Usually chunky doesn’t appeal to me much, but I liked several of the projects, and I’m a sucker for outerwear….so here we are.

My yarn for this project is Bollicine Victor in a nice neutral tan. I bought it to learn to knit and make an Einstein Coat. Pfft. Here’s the ‘skirt’ of that coat in its garter stitch glory…..no way would I want to put that unevenness sideways. So it has been marinating in the stash since 2008!
Hoodie Sweater Project
Hoodie Sweater Project

I’ve been working the bottom of the new sweater with the balls of yarn I hadn’t used yet, but I’m nearly through all that, and need to split for the fronts and back (which I’m going to do all on one circular, instead of knitting each part separately….I’m more likely to keep an evenly uneven gauge that way!!). So we have yarn fusilli….there was much satisfaction in ripping this out.
Hoodie Sweater Project

A hot bath, a dry, and a quick spin on my new TUG cake winder, and I’m back in business.  It isn’t quite the gauge called for in the pattern, but there’s a schematic with measurements, so I think it will work out ok.  (No, I don’t follow recipes, either.) Hoodie Sweater Project
I am thinking at this point that I should have maybe over dyed the yarn so the uneven large stitches (some of it is me, some from overlapping the joins, as this yarn is frustratingly short with lots of knots) could hide in some variations. Ah well, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Plus perhaps an excuse to make another one in hand spun.  I have more than 4 pounds of that New England Fine Grey!!
Hoodie Sweater Project

And here is my full progress, with a picture of the final sweater.  Hrm, that looks a bit confusing, it’s knit from the bottom up, so that’s the bottom hem.
Hoodie Sweater Project

I hope you are enjoying a project this weekend, I’m debating if I will take the sweater, or cast on a hat with the new red handspun for the Superbowl party.

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Happy Golden Days of Yore – December 2017 Tiger Club

December, a time of getting together with family and friends; enjoying and making memories.  I wanted to give a nod to the season without using the stereotypical colors, and I think this picture fit the bill nicely.  I didn’t want the orange, as that leans the colors toward fall, so I swapped it for the warm gold of the lights.  Listening to Christmas radio brought the line I used for the color name from ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, and it was perfect.

Happy Golden Days of Yore - December 2017 Tiger Club - Silky Soft Fingering Yarn

Our yarn is a new one, Silky Soft.  It’s a blend of 85% 19.5 micron Merino and 15% mulberry silk.  The skein comes in at a generous 490 yards, hovering between lace and sock weight, making it perfect for shawls or other lace work.  It also is 2 ply, which will help your lace holes stay open.  For this colorway, I created a long blended gradient.  Each color was allowed to overlap and blend into the next, so you will have areas of solid and areas of variegation.  It’s a cool effect, and I look forward to seeing Clubber’s projects!

Here’s a skein of the gradient laid out to show the color changes.
Happy Golden Days of Yore - December 2017 Tiger Club

The combed top this month was a lucky special I managed to grab (and I’ll be looking to see if I can grab some more!!) It is a blend of 80% USA Targhee, 10% Rayon Bamboo, and 10% Mulberry Silk. The blending was not complete, leaving ribbons of silk and bamboo to shine on this top, making a lovely effect. I’d suggest spinning from the fold to keep these fibers together.

Happy Golden Days of Yore - December 2017 Tiger Club - Targhee/Bamboo/Silk Combed Top 80/10/10

Sock Club has been filling up fast, but I do still have a couple of spots, plus some fiber spots.  If you’ve been looking for a club to stretch you into colors, dye methods, and fibers that you may not normally use, please join us!  Sign ups continue through January 15, or when the clubs are full.

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Sleeping Beauty – November 2017 Tiger Club

I really had a lot of fun with Tiger Club this month. Some of my dyeing made it into Spin Off magazine (Winter 2017, article by Devin Helman), and the wool happened to be Polwarth. I love the wool, but hadn’t really used it recently since I could get US grown Targhee, which is fairly similar fiber. I got a chance to try a new source for fiber, though….and they had Polwarth sourced from the Falklands….it is super white, and since there are no natural sheep pests in the islands the wool is pesticide free. I decided to use bright clear colors to show off the whiteness, and threw in black for contrast. It reminded me of the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty….the ever changing color of Aurora’s dress, and the brooding black evil of Maleficent. The fiber made its own resist when packed into a dyeing pan, creating great shades of the colors.

Sleeping Beauty - Tiger Club November 2017 - Polwarth

For the yarn, I decided the best counterpart to the Polwarth would be Journey. It is also bright white, and has a great structure of 4 ply, and the superwash qualities will slurp up the bright colors. I wanted to experiment with some ‘messier’ dyeing techniques, as speckles and ‘imperfect’ color are the in-thing right now. A hot pour later, and I got this….I think it is a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing how it turns out in projects!

Sleeping Beauty - Tiger Club November 2017 - Journey Sock Yarn

Are you interested in joining the fun?  Technically Tiger Club is closed for December, but drop me a line in the next couple of days and I could squeeze you in.  Otherwise, Tiger Club will open again on January 2.  I hope you all have a lovely Holiday season!

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Shop Update – New England Grey Carded Sliver

Long draw fans, do I have a treat for you…..this domestic wool from small farms in New England, scoured, carded, and pulled into sliver. So fun to spin into bouncy lofty yarn, and the natural oatmeal color adds a great depth to the colors.

Sunrise NE Fine Grey Sliver
Peacock NE Fine Grey Roving
Jeweled NE Fine Grey Roving
Black Tulips NE Fine Grey Sliver
Autumns Breath NE Fine Grey Sliver
Autumn Maple NE Fine Gray Roving
Verdigris NE Fine Grey Sliver

These do contain some VM (vegetable matter such as hay….sheep gotta eat!), and some neps and noils from the shearing and minimal processing.  Most of the VM falls out when spinning, and the rest plus neps can be either pulled out easily, or left in for a charming rustic texture.  You can see my assessment and spinning of this wool here.

You can find all these New England Carded Slivers at ThePaintedTiger.com.

 

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Purple Mountain Majesty – October 2017 Tiger Club

Purple Mountain

America the Beautiful, from sea to shining sea there is a lot of beauty here.  October’s Tiger Club is a fantasy on the song, I made a rich purple mountain majesty color, and some amber waves of grain, and mixed them up with rich pine forests and clear teal blue sky.

Purple Mountain Majesty - October 2017 Tiger Club - Targhee Sock Yarn

The perfect yarn for this month is Targhee Sock.  Targhee is a breed that was developed in the United States specifically for the conditions in our Western states.  It’s part Merino, so has that soft hand you are used to in a sock yarn, but it’s a bit more durable as each fiber is a bit thicker and longer.  It’s blended with nylon, has a good hosiery twist, and 4 plies.  Another benefit of the superwash Targhee is how it takes color…..yum.  I did a hot pour technique on these, to allow the colors to mingle and break.  They just turned out great, I think!  The long blocks of color should make a swirling stripe on socks, or try your hand at Planned Pooling in the Round…..or Faux Ikat on your loom!

Purple Mountain Majesty - October 2017 Tiger Club - Targhee Sock Yarn

Wensleydale is really tops for shine, so it was an obvious choice for these colors.  It’s dyed in the round, so the colors stay in order (unless you have an 8oz braid, those switch in the middle).  I kept the color segments long so you should have less mud, but you still make like to strip this down before spinning for clarity.  Or take the whole thing apart and re-organize it how you like….you are boss of your fiber!  Keep your hands further apart for this long stapled wool, and try a soft spin and use the ply to add structure for a beautiful lace yarn, or get daring and try boucle.

Purple Mountain Majesty - October 2017 Tiger Club - Wensleydale Wool Combed Top

If you want in the fun, Tiger Club will be open through November 15th.  Due to the Holidays, Tiger Club will not open in December so that I can dye and ship ahead.  So join now, or wait until January!  I can arrange gift memberships, just use the contact form on the website.  Thanks!!!

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