Sproing! – February 2023 Tiger Club

Our winter has been decidedly brown, so I was definitely ready for some bright colors when Club time rolled around. This plastic spring toy fit the bill for playfulness, and I love how they pulled out the tertiary colors when making the palette. I mixed up a nice sky blue, indigo leaning purple, a red-violet, reddish-orange, and an orange-yellow and painted them on our yarn and fiber for the month.

Sproing - TTT - February 2023 TC

The yarn for February is Titanium Tiger Twist, a fun textured two ply yarn with a good amount of hosiery twist and nice blend of soft superwash merino and a good dash of nylon to keep it longer wearing. I hand painted these skeins in a double palindrome, giving plenty of opportunity for these colors to stack and swirl in your project. Try varying your stitch count, needle size, or pattern until you find it patterns in a pleasing way for you. Pair with a solid for stunning stripes.

Sproing - Punta Arenas - February 2023 TC

Punta Arenas is the wool breed, it hails from the area of this city in southern Chile, and is a nice medium fine wool, similar to Falkland, and in fact the first 300 sheep in the Punta Arenas flock were imported from the Falkland Islands in 1876, and by the turn of the century gave rise to The Patagonian Wool Company. You can read more in this article (with the typical warnings it’s Wikipedia, so follow up on the sources, etc.).

I dyed the Punta Arenas in a long gradient, actually coiled just like the spring toy, which allowed the colors to blend and wander a bit rather than stark transitions. This wool will be equally happy being spun worsted or woolen. Ply with a solid…white, black, navy, any of the colors in the wool….all would look stunning and depending on the direction you go could lighten the colors, make them pop, or lean the whole palette in a certain color direction. Spin it straight and chain ply, or divide up for traditional plies….or work it into a fractal….so many options, all of them lovely….can’t wait to see what you make!

Would you like in on the fun? I have spots open in all Tiger Clubs at the moment….you have through March 15th to sign up!

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Myosotis – January 2023 Tiger Club

It is always interesting how things come together for Club each month. This particular picture caught my eye, and I try to be mindful of getting a good variety of colors within a year and this fit the bill, highlighting a section of the spectrum that I don’t use as often. I enjoyed mixing these moody colors from the primary colored dyes I use, with the help of a bit of brown to tone it all.

These little flowers are Myosotis arvensis, and this fun fact came up:

“The common name, Forget Me Not, comes from a German legend
about a knight who died trying to get the flowers for his lover and
called out with his last breath, “Forget me not!”. The Greek name,
Myosotis, means mouse’s ear because the oval, furry leaves
resemble a mouse’s ear.”

How apropo for upcoming Valentine’s Day?! (Although maybe we’ll overlook that these are toxic!)

Forget Me Not - Journey - January 2023 Tiger Sock Club

Our yarn is Journey Sock, a nice round and thin 4ply with a nice twist. I handpainted the skeins in a long down and back, pushing to make a lot of blue and less of the accent colors, although each batch of 4 came out differently. It’s going to pool, puddle, or spiral depending on your gauge/needle, stitch number, pattern, etc….so keep playing until you get a result you like. This one is also a candidate for planned pooling in knitting, or faux ikat at the loom, although I didn’t keep the transitions sharp so allow for some wiggle when aligning the colors.

Forget Me Not - 19.5 Micron Merino - January 2023 Tiger Fiber Club

Our fiber is 19.5 micron American Merino, cottony soft. I dyed this in a true long gradient, working each color into the next. Each batch has its own foibles and character. This one is a great candidate for fractal spinning, or take it apart and make it do what you want. This fiber is equally happy when spun as fine lace all the way to bulky singles. Use a solid to ply with if you’d like to stretch it, teal or navy or black or brown would make the colors pop more, a cream or white would tone the colors down. Or try a soothing green to tie it all together.

Would you like to receive a surprise in your mailbox each month? Check out the Tiger Sock and/or Fiber Clubs on The Painted Tiger’s website. I have spots in all options, and can customize a package for you upon request!

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Sunset Silhouettes – December 2022 Tiger Club

Probably the most spectacular kind of sunset is this type…..all golden orange pink and purple while casting all the objects…..palm trees, cactus, barns, into stark shadow. Such Sunset Silhouettes seemed a fitting ending to 2022’s Tiger Club.

Sunset Silhouettes Merino Tencel 70-30 TC Dec 2022

The fiber is a blend of 70% fine Merino and 30% Tencel, with the Tencel kept more in ribbons than blended with the Merino, lending another layer of interest to our colors. I split the top and dyed half the charcoal shadow color, and the other half in the bright gradient, then braided them together for presentation. You could hold them together to spin a marled single, or spin separately to ply together for a marl or separately to use as stripes (or separate projects).

Sunset Silhouettes Targhee Sock TC Dec 2022

The yarn is thick and bouncy Targhee Sock, and all American grown and processed yarn. To keep the idea of the silhouette, I striped this between the charcoal and the gradient….dyed as a double there and back variegated, which as you can see is stacking and spiraling nicely. Play with stitch count (or tension or needle size or pattern), you’ll find even a small change will made a difference in how the colors travel around the sock.

Here’s all of 2022 Tiger Club in one picture:

Ready to join in the fun for 2023? Spots are currently open in ALL club combinations!

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BOOP! November 2022 Tiger Club

BOOP! Safari Nov 2022

As I write, we’re tipping from fall to the edge of winter with fog and drizzly rain just at the edge of freezing. A wonderful day to curl up with a mug of something hot, a project to work on, and a fuzzy friend. Those friends like to be involved, and of course are so cute, so a friendly Boop! to the nose is in order! I chose this regal kitty to stand in for our own furry friends.

I mixed up a nice greyed turquoise, a golden buff, grey, and black….and of course our signature orange nose, and used a hot drizzle technique on Safari Sock Yarn (75% Corriedale wool, 25% Nylon). I wanted to keep a light hand on this, so there’s going to be a good amount of variation throughout the skein. If you want your project to be more consistent throughout, I’d suggest alternating every row or two from opposite ends of the skein. Otherwise, embrace the chaos.

BOOP!  Fine Fiber Nov 2022

The more I looked at this photo, the more it was obvious that the blended black and grey merino (last seen as Purple Highlights, July 2021) needed to be a part of this club package. I didn’t want to overdye it with the other shades, though, and was afraid of the blue and pinky orange getting muddy. I decided to create a fine fiber sampler. The Grey and Black is fine merino, straight from the mill. The buff color is 50/50 Merino Tencel, which lends a beautiful shine. The pink/orange is 19.5 micron American Merino, and the blue is American Rambouillet. I hope you enjoy deciding how to use these colors and fibers, whether it is together, or separate.

Tiger Club remains full for December (we’re musicians, so keeping things simple is the best plan at this time of year), however I do plan to open spots in January. If you’d like first dibs, do contact me to be on the wait list.

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Autumn RYB – October 2022 Tiger Club

For October’s Tiger Club, I started with a basic Red, Yellow, and Blue palette, loosely inspired by this picture. I made up a deeply red magenta, a rich almost black navy, and a soft wheat yellow. I also mixed up a deep brown, and although I made the grey color, I ultimately didn’t really need to use it. My plan was to let the yellow and red make the orange, and similarly for the blue and yellow to pull in some green that is in the picture but not the palette.


The fiber is one we haven’t had before, Swaledale, which came in a natural pale grey, which I like for deep colors, it helps get rich colors without having to use an excess of dye. This British fiber is much more on the coarse side, with a micron count ranging from 35 to 45. In the undyed fiber it’s easy to see two type of fiber in here….the bulk of the fiber is the light grey and toward the 35 micron side, but it also has a lot of wiry guard hairs in black and white, and they are definitely on the 45 micron end. The fiber has a longer staple length. I’d suggest perhaps spinning this in a worsted style while smoothing the fibers, bulky, and not a lot of twist….keeping it singles or maybe doing a wrap or ply with something thinner. Think lopi type yarn. This is going to be very sturdy….but scratchy, so choose something lined, or something not on the skin like maybe boot toppers or even a fulled or woven bag.

Autumn RYB Oct Tiger Fiber Club Swaledale

My plan to let the colors blend and create the in-betweens was somewhat foiled….this fiber was eager to absorb the dye and didn’t let it play too much. You be able to urge more blending out of it depending on your drafting while spinning, or have some fun with blending.

Autumn RYB Oct Tiger Sock Club TTT

The yarn is Titanium Tiger Twist, a great SW Merino/Nylon blend with a tight two ply hosiery twist. I tried a new dye technique with this one, dyeing 3 at a time in a pan, twisting the yarn to use it as a resist. On the first pass, I heat set in the burgundy, navy, and brown. Then I untwisted the yarn and dip dyed them with a golden brown color. I was not quite satisfied with the variety of blending, so then I further drizzled the skeins with a bright orange, green, and gold. The picture doesn’t quite capture the subtlety and variety of colors. I do hope to see some of these knit up in the wild. I’ll be trying this technique again, but perhaps in more analogous colors.

Tiger Club is still full and on wait list, this is because I buy supplies several months in advance, and they come in minimum unit sets which doesn’t make it easy to just add one or two at a time. I anticipate opening up a block to new subscriptions in January when I’ll be ordering supplies for the first quarter or so. In the meantime, you are welcome to contact me to be put on the waitlist.

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On the Rocks – September 2022 Tiger Club

Tiger Club for September is a sort of continuum of August’s club. We had some ‘turf’ – or forest for last month, for September we are visiting some turbulent ‘surf’ beating itself ‘On the Rocks’. I ditched the pre-selected palate as shown above, and mixed up a pale blue-grey, a deeper but dove-ish grey-blue (yes, there’s a difference!), a deep turquoise, a deeper inky blue, and finally a grey-brown for the rocks.

On the Rocks - Merino Bamboo Tweed Sept 2022 TC

In August, our yarn had the tweed, but September the tweed is featured in the fiber. The blend is 33.33% each of fine Merino wool, rayon of Bamboo, and viscose Tweed bits. Neither the bamboo or tweed take up the dye (although may be a bit stained by it), with the bamboo giving a lovely shine to the overall look, and the tweed making the foam and tendrils of our waves. I expect this blend to want to separate while spinning it, I suggest using a technique such as spinning from the fold or making fauxlags to keep the fibers more together. I dyed the colors down and back again so that you can split it for a pair of something, and/or to ply to itself. This also matches how I dyed the forest inspired Northwoods Conifers, I think the two could work well together if you wanted to ply them together….or separately and use them in the same project. Just be mindful that Conifers is superwash, while On the Rocks is not, and a choose a project you’d be ok with handwashing.

On the Rocks - Panda 2 - Sept 2022 TC

The yarn is Panda 2, which is an 80/20 blend of Superwash Merino and rayon of Bamboo. It also has the lovely shine of bamboo, reminding of the sun glinting off the ocean. I also dyed this down and back for spiral striping that will change up a bit as the yarn was scrunched in the pan and a pour over technique was used, rather than precise painting. It lends to the overall organic look. I don’t have a swatch for you this month, while I did dye a skein for myself, it is on a different base and I just haven’t had a chance to do anything with it since life has been busy. It should pool/stripe similarly to the Conifer yarn, just more subtle since the colors are closer in value. My current thoughts are to use my On the Rocks as warp and Northwoods Conifers as weft and then make a long vest. I need to play with dimensions and see what the pooling will do, which may be a long process of stash and brain marinating!

I’m so glad you’ve joined me for this reveal, and thanks to those in club, it’s always a joy to come up with something new every month. We are still on waitlist for new subscriptions, you may drop me a line if you are interested in being added. If I get a few more interested in Sock Club, I can add a batch or two.

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Northwoods Conifers – August 2022 Tiger Club

A favorite vacation destination in my life has been the Northwoods. My grandparents would take me camping and fishing at Leech Lake in Minnesota. As an adult, I’ve enjoyed many adventures in the Northwoods of Wisconsin with my husband’s family. While we do have conifers in Iowa, it’s a different balance between conifer and deciduous up there, and the air just seems fresher. For our Northwoods Conifers, I mixed up a deep blue-pine green, a medium green, and a fresh blue sky, all to layer over a natural color of wool.

Northwoods Conifers Grey SW Merino Nylon 80 20 - Aug 2022 Tiger Club

The combed top for August is a wonderful blend of many colors of white, grey, and black superwash Merino wool and nylon, in a the perfect 80/20 ratio for making a yarn that can take some wear, such as for socks or mitts. The fiber was not blended all the way, leaving streaks of light and dark that lend a beautiful dappled look to our colors. I dyed this folded in half, so you may divide it more easily to make 2 matching skeins. Spin as is and chain ply the whole thing, then knit from both ends? Divide in half, then divide each half into 2 or 3 long strips for a conventional 2 or 3 ply? Or maybe something else entirely! It’s your wool, make the colors sing the way you want! This wool will be perfectly happy with pretty much any spinning technique you want to use.

Northwoods Conifers Tiger Tweed Aug 2022 Tiger Club

To bring in some of that conifer texture, I chose Tiger Tweed for the yarn. It’s a nice soft superwash merino, flecked with brown, black, grey, and white bits of donegal. I dyed this in a down and back, with the yarn randomly squooshed in the pan (that’s highly technical) which softens the color changes. While I really love the look of this yarn, I’ll admit this isn’t my favorite for socks. Because the nylon content is concentrated in the tweed bits, the merino is left on its own, and is just going to wear faster. I advise a tight gauge if you are going for socks or mitts, and/or knit in reinforcement where you need it. However, it would be lovely in a number of other projects, so I swatched with that in mind.

Northwoods Conifers Tiger Tweed Swatch

It’s always helpful to see examples of hand dyed skeins and their swatches to get an idea of how to ‘read’ a skein. This particular down and back pattern did some very interesting things depending on the gauge used. This tube is 64 stitches throughout, and I loosened the tension on my knitting machine from a sock gauge of about 9 stitches per inch all the way to the largest it could go, about 6 stitches per inch (for this particular yarn).

Northwoods Conifers Tiger Tweed Marked Swatch

I’ve marked on the swatch roughly where I changed tensions, and I find it very interesting, because these are really small tension differences. The bottom is the tightest tension, the one I would prefer for socks, and you can see the colors make a lazy loosely organized stripe that spirals around. As I loosened the tension, the striping got a little wider as more yarn was used per round, until suddenly the colors were stacking, the light green with the natural grey, the blue with the medium green, and the pine color with itself. I loosened the tension again, and puddling reversed directions. You can’t quite see the top due to the roll of the loose end, but at the loosest tension, the yarn went back to striping. So if you don’t like puddles, be sure to try subtly changing things….add or subtract a stitch or two, try a pattern, or change your tension/needle size. There are also a number of patterns than contain modular bits that would make these colors stack up, which might also be interesting to you. Try some things! I’d love to see what you discover this yarn can do, so please share here, on Rav, or FB or Insta.

I do have an extra of the fiber, if you are in Club and would like it, drop me a line. Otherwise it’ll be in the shop in 4 months (if I don’t spin it myself). Tiger Club is full at this time, you may send a message to be on the wait list for any spots that come up. Thank you!

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Thunderbolt – July 2022 Tiger Club

It’s severe storm season, and we can’t go a hot second in Iowa without talking about the weather (wait 5 minutes….it’ll change!). This inspiration picture struck me as the right balance between bold and summery, yet could be a nice fall into winter feel. I pulled out some different colors than suggested, focusing on the purple into grey and black….with a shazam of light.

Thunderbolt Icelandic Wool Combed Top - July 2022 Tiger Club

The fiber is Icelandic combed top. It’s a 34-36 micron wool, lightweight and good for felting. The fibers are long, suitable for lace spinning, or make the traditional Lopi low twist thick singles yarn, held together and relaxed into the twist by some light felting in the finishing. This wool is probably be spun worsted, but it could be fun trying to add some loft to it. The colors and micron are somewhat close to last year’s Southwest Sunset on Southdown (except Southdown is much more reluctant to felt). Think carefully, but they could be interesting used together….maybe differential shrinking in a woven project?

Thunderbolt on Safari Sock Yarn - July 2022 Tiger Club

The yarn is Safari, and I went with a double there-and-back variegated pattern. The yarn acts as a resist against itself where folded, so it really did a nice job of catching the moody and billowing thunderheads of the inspiration picture. Your skein will be unique in the way it took the colors, and how much the blues and golds show up on each segment.

Thunderbolt Swatch

I went a little overboard with my swatch, but I always enjoy showing how a small change can make a big difference in how variegated yarns behave. If you see near the bottom of this swatch, I was knitting with a pretty firm tension, probably about as tight I can comfortably knit this yarn on my machine. See how the bold is making a bold diagonal from bottom left then off to the right? For my taste, that’s maybe too bold and regimented, and the way it is spiraling will shift with the heel and such and maybe not quite come back the same (I guess I could do an afterthought heel to avoid that). I ticked my tension dial (like loosing your gauge, or switching to bigger needles….or adding a stitch or two), and the yarn settled into a more organically soft spiral stripe, and that’s what I’ll aim for if I do socks with it. I continued to tick the tension looser, and the stripes got a little fatter. That’s probably the loosest tension I would want for socks, I’m pretty happy with the middle bit. Do experiment with your gauge, I know swatching is a dirty word, but a bit of time at the outset will give you a better idea of what your yarn will do with your gauge and stitch number….and give you an opportunity to adjust before you’ve invested time in a fancy cast on and ribbing.

Thunderbolt and Southwest Sunset Safari

Just for fun, here is last year’s Southwest Sunset with Thunderbolt. I think these could be interesting to use as a project together, which is why chose the same yarn for this color. I’d love to hear your ideas!

Tiger Club is currently full and available from the waitlist only. You may drop me a message to be added to the list and I’ll let you know when I have a spot!

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First Light – June 2022 Tiger Club

With Wensleydale in hand, I knew I wanted to make a gradient for the fiber this month, and I must have the beach on my mind because this picture stood out. Is it sunrise or sunset? I went with First Light. 😉

Here’s that Wensleydale gradient, from bright coral through to grey then black. I used my dappled gradient method, so it isn’t crisp color stripes, there’s some back and forth between them.

First Light Wensleydale June 2022

Wensleydale likes to be spun thin and in a worsted style, smoothing the ends in while you minimize the amount of twist. This fiber is longer and has low crimp, so less twist is appropriate and keeps it from being ‘pokey’ or itchy. This will make a lovely lace yarn, or try boucle.

The yarn was a bit of a conundrum, but I settled on Targhee. It was a nice smooth and creamy canvas for the coral, grey, and black. I went really impressionistic on this one and used a hot dapple technique to create a random pattern on the yarn. This is actually much more involved than simply painting! There are at least 3 sides to the yarn….top, bottom, and inside, that need to be randomly….but systematically speckles with the liquid dye….all while up to a simmer. I’ll admit I appreciate this technique more in winter than summer, but fortunately my dye studio is in the cool basement.

First Light Targhee Sock June 2022

As you can see, even with a system, each skein comes out a bit differently. I had some odds and ends of a different yarn and made myself some…..here is how mine is turning out in a sock tube swatch….

First Light Swatch

I’m pleased that it’s coming out in a mottled pattern as I had planned. I think this would be fun in socks or shawl or whatever paired with any of the 3 colors in it. I have some coral made up for toes/heels/cuffs for mine. If you want a mini to match, let me know!

Tiger Club is not open for new subscriptions at this time. You are welcome to join the waitlist by sending me a message. Thank you!

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Macarons – May 2022 Tiger Sock Yarn and Spinning Fiber Clubs

Time for a tasty treat! I have a number of macaron pictures saved on my inspiration board, I love the fun colors. I chose this one, but added a darker blue as a 6th colors to keep the whole thing from becoming too sweet (is there such a thing?).

Macarons 19.5 Merino May 2022

On our fiber, I knew that if I did shorter color runs that the darker shades would bleed into the lighter and pretty much obliterate them. To ensure the color sections would be longer, I created a twinset of our cottony soft 19.5 Merino wool…..one have is the purples and pinks, then other half the blues. I had to show them off unbraided above…..the marbling of colors is cool! Spin them to ply together, or tear them all into color sections and combo spin…or make fun rolags. You can lighten your yarn into pastels by adding a white or pale ply, or make the yarn more dramatic with a black, navy, or deep purple ply. Remember, you are the boss of the yarn you make!

Macarons 19.5 Merino May 2022 b

I had the itch to make some stripes….and stripes within the stripes for this yarn. I wound a skein for 3 colors sections with shop favorite Journey Sock Yarn, then variegated each section with the light and dark sections of purple, blue, and pink. The idea was to get the suggestion of stripes of cookie and filling.

Macarons Journey May 2022

I started my swatch with 72 stitches (shown at the bottom), and it made very bold stripes of the two colors with a slow spiral. I reduced the stitch count to 64 (the top half), and you can see how the spiral tightened and become thinner….more like my original vision. Each batch is going to come out a bit different as I don’t exactly measure for variegation, but it should be similar. Play with gauge, stitch number, and even stitch pattern until you find the combination that works the way you want.

I’ve put new subscriptions on hold over the summer (it helps me plan better around spontaneous summer things with the family) however DO contact me to be on the waitlist, I have spots open up from time to time, and I will fill them from the list. Thank you!

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