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.

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

Turkey Vulture


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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Violaceous – March 2017 Tiger Club

Purple is one of my favorite colors, second only to green.  Due to a commission from PLY Magazine, I had an excuse to purchase some Gotland.  The deep natural gray of this fiber lends itself to amazing overdyes, and I wanted to see what a deep purple would do.  Yum!

Violaceous Gotland Tiger Club March 2017

I mixed up two different ways to get purple all together, knowing the component colors would strike at different temperatures. I folded the fiber and yarn gently so that it would create it’s own resist, and poured over the color. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Violaceous YakkityYak Tiger Club March 2017

Oh, and that yarn? It’s a new one to Painted Tiger, a luxuriously soft blend of Superwash Merino, Yak (!!!) and Nylon. It’s spun to smilar specs as our Journey yarn, making it practical as well. I used up all my supply for club, but I’ll be ordering more soon. I want to do gradients on this!

Are you interested in joining the fun? I do have openings in yarn, fiber, and combination clubs at this time!! Click over to The Painted Tiger Yarn and Fiber Clubs.

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Shop Update – Panda Sock Yarn

Well, Tiger Fans, here we go! For several years, the only way to get variegated yarn from me was to belong to Tiger Club. I had stepped away from them to focus on fiber and self-striping yarn, but I really miss making them, and I’ve come up with some really great colors through club that have been requested often. So, I’m sticking my toe in the variegated pool again with these 5 colors, with more to come in the future. Stop by and see them all at The Painted Tiger!
New Hand Dyed Panda Merino Bamboo Sock Yarn at The Painted Tiger

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