It’s been hot here the past week or so, and makes me long for sugar sand and a day beach combing for shells and beach glass. I took these three colors, a soft blue, green, and amber, and had some fun with two very different bases for very different results.
Panda (a blend of SW Merino, Bamboo Rayon, and Nylon) has a great subtle sheen, and a tendency toward pastels, which was perfect for the colors I wanted. I applied the colors randomly, then smooshed to blend before heat setting. The colors continued to migrate, giving the skeins an over all sea-green look, but up close you can see the subtle blue, green, and amber….and even some bright flecks where the fluorescent yellow split from its blend.
Our wool is Perendale. The breed was created in New Zealand for hilly country, and is a cross of Romney and Cheviot, making a sturdy meat sheep that also has nice springy and crisp medium wool with a longer staple length. This wool will be great for socks, mitts, and other items that need to stand up to a bit of wear. Spin worsted for very sturdy, woolen if you want some loft in your final yarn.
For the fiber, I layed the wool down in short repeats and applied each color, again smooshing to blend. I really had fun seeing the new colors emerge as the amber broke into yellows and pinks, and the green blended with the blue.
A week ago, Ravelry rolled out a site make-over. Since then, there have been reports of a number of issues experienced by users, ranging from eye-strain to nausea to migraines to seizures. If you are prone to the more serious of these symptoms, I would exercise care in visiting Ravelry, even the new log-in page animation is causing issues for people. TPTB are working on fixing the issues, but the new design is still problematic for some. With Rav sticking with the new design as default, I felt the need for this warning.
There are a few options to work around the new design:
1) Internet Explorer seems unaffected by the change. So far this is working for some.
2) If you don’t mind staying logged in so you don’t see the opening animation, have someone do that for you, then have them click on your Ravatar in the far right, and select Classic. This will get you close to the original look, although users are complaining of broken things, and some font adjustments that may be related to Chrome or Edge updates. If you purchase a pattern, there is another animation of bouncing yarn balls that is causing issues for some.
3) Rav user EVM has developed a Stylish theme to bring back the Green ravelry look, it works with a few different plug-ins and browsers. You can find her theme here. It does take care of the login page animation, I’m not sure on the zippy Bob right after, nor the yarn balls when purchasing a pattern….she is continually updating it and taking suggestions. Check the theme notes on the link above. She also has more information in a Ravelry Project (<–link to Rav) , but of course you must be on Rav to view it.
Be careful and stay safe, friends.
Updates as of 6/25/20:
The login screen balloon animation has been stilled, but Bob and the rainbow will still race across. Once you’ve switched to Classic, you’ll get the old login screen, no animations.
Classic Rav is default now, however if you’ve been on NuRav, you may need to change it to Classic.
Your choice of version is stored in your cookies. If you have agressive cookie deleting on your browser, or change devices, you may have to select Classic again. Some people are reporting issues if they switch functions, like from Forums to Patterns.
It was time for something completely different, and this handsome fellow was just the subject for the job. To add to the ‘something different’, I dyed this on two different merino treatments…one superwash yarn, and one 21 micron merino…non-superwash, for strikingly different effects.
The 21 micron Merino is super cottony soft, tons of fine fibers that just slurp up dye and disperses light to give a matte look. I dyed this in a variegated pattern. Think about how you want the colors to spin out….do you want longer stretches of each for a stripe? Plan for a single, or strip it down in half lengthwise for a 2 ply, and spin across the top to keep each color together for longer. Want to mix it up more? Strip the pieces even thinner and do a true 3 ply, starting each at a different spot so more colors will line up at once. Or tear it all up and pull random bits out to spin from the fold! So many options.
Our Superwash Merino Nylon Titanium yarn is a bird of a different feather…..this yarn lets dye strike hard and bright, perfect for speckles (and hey, that rooster has some!). This colorway required a multistep process…I dip dyed the base cream color, then wet sprinkled the yarn on ‘all sides’ in a hot pan to get great speckling, then finally added the red cockscomb stripe in the middle……and then heat set the whole thing.
Here’s an example of how it may knit up, a clubber made this infinity scarf on her circular sock machine, it’s a tube of 60 stitches…..depending on the number of stitches you use for socks, your red streak will turn out differently. I hope you’ll share what you make!
Knowing that I was going to make a self-striping yarn this month, I looked for a color palette that wouldn’t play nice as a variegated yarn. The deep pink-purple of the heather against the vibrant greens would invite muddy brown colors if all in one pot, but are marvelous when kept together-apart. (A nod to the current times? I didn’t mean it that way!) I also enjoyed playing with one of my new blue dyes, combining it with my other blues made a very pretty clear sky blue.
Our yarn is Safari, a 75/25 blend of Superwash Corriedale and Nylon. Most of my personal socks are made from this yarn, it fluffs out nice and cushy after a wash, and they wear like iron. The swatch shown here is a 64 stitch tube, about 7-8 stitches per inch. The stripes of blue, purple, and green are all about 4-5 rows, with thin 2 row stripes of grey and spring green. I really love how this turned out, and plan to give it a run in the shop when it comes off the exclusive club period (hey, I want one!!).
It’s always nice to have a similar fiber to the yarn so that the colors come out similar, and I was lucky enough to have a supply of Superwash Corriedale on hand. The superwash process knocks off and smooths the scales, so while this fiber is a little coarser than merino or BFL, it feels softer than non-superwash does. It also loves the dye, as you can see from the bright colors on this wool. As always, bend these colors to your will…..I enjoy seeing the creativity of spinners!
You may also notice the new logo. I’m not sure this will be the final iteration, my daughter designed this, and wants to work on it and another possible design once she’s finished with her college semester. I liked my original orange tomcat, but it is time for an update.
Interested in getting yarn and/or fiber delivered to your door each month? Tiger Club is open through Friday, May 15th, and I have both sock and fiber spots available.
In February, I told you about some new dye colors I purchased. Well, I really wanted to let them shine by themselves, so March Club was all about mixing my new Fluorescent Yellow with Fluorescent Pink (that really leans toward violet). The fun thing with dye mixing is that it doesn’t seem to always make sense to those of us schooled in making color wheels with opaque pigment paints. These two colors together in the right proportions make a great fiery red!
While it is exciting to have the bright (!!!!) colors (and I think these should black light react, too…..not going to try to find one right now, though!!) it does come with a drawback. These are NOT as wash and colorfast as my regular Lanaset dyes. You’ll note that I hand wrote in on the tags that it may bleed. I did rinse them clear in our water, but yours may get that pink bleeding again. I suggest you hand wash whatever you make in cool water, pH neutral wool wash (or shampoo) with a splash of vinegar, and don’t let it soak….just wash it and get it out again. That will keep the colors bright as long as possible.
Our wool this month is my favorite for bright colors….nice white Falkland. It’s a wool pool of corriedale, merino, and other similar breeds, chosen specifically for whiter fleece. It’s a nice medium micron, which can be ok for next to the skin for some. This would make a really fun hat or cowl. I do have two extra braids if clubbers would like some more.
Journey Sock Yarn is a favorite around here for being a nice blend of Merino and Nylon, and a nice smooth 4 ply that takes color great! I dyed this as a there-and-back gradient, which should either mini-stripe or pool depending on your pattern and gauge.
Interested in trying Tiger Club? Subscriptions are monthly, so there’s no big up-front commitment. Stop by, I have one more spot in Fiber Club and several openings for Sock Club.
We are currently owned by two tabby sisters, one is a more standard mackeral, the other leans Torbie (and she has the Torbie ‘Tude). While our girls have green eyes, I couldn’t resist this brilliant blue. With a few new dye colors in hand, I took on this picture, subbing the rusty brown color around the nose for the pale tan to provide a great contrast for the blue.
The fiber this month is Cheviot. It’s a great sturdy medium wool that has a non-regular crimp. This keeps it lofty when spun, and resists felting. Perfect for socks or mittens. I went with a back and forth stripe on this, you can break it at the turn-arounds if you want to keep the colors in order….or do whatever you like…remember, you are the boss of your fiber! One thing I wasn’t the boss of….that blue! It’s a nice bright aqua (see the yarn below), but the new dye stuck differently from the old yellow I blended it with, so it split into a seafoam green and an ocean blue. Gotta love happy accidents!
Our yarn is Bengal, which is a great 4 ply sock yarn that is 100% BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) wool. BFL is a much longer fiber than Merino, so it holds up well to being socks without needing to be blended with nylon. It’ll be great for anything you would normally use a sock or fingering weight yarn for. This was a lot of fun to dye, I laid the skeins out and basically painted on the random tabby stripes. So, while the colors are the same across all the batches, and the blue is in the same spot, each skein is going to ‘tabby’ a bit differently.
I was lucky enough to have an extra this month, so I’ve swatched it up here to check my tension (it’s a bit tighter at the bottom, a bit looser at the top…not a huge difference to the patterning, but you can see it in the black especially….not going diagonal at the bottom, making right leaning diagonals just below the middle, then making left leaning diagonals above that, before settling back to no diagonals at the top!) I’m super pleased at how this turned out and I’ll be applying this technique to yarn in the future.
Speaking of yarn, would you like to join the Tiger Sock Club? I’ve opened up a number of new spots and would love to have you join us. I also have one more fiber spot. March Club is open through March 15th.
For January’s Sock and Fiber Clubs, I wanted to use naturally grey base yarn and fiber, as I really love the depth it adds to the dye, and it makes it easier to get good dark colors. This speckled plate and its sueded background provided inspiration, however I didn’t use the suggested colors this time. Blue Plate Special seemed to be a good tongue-in-cheek name for this one.
The yarn is Yakkity Yak, a blend of soft superwash Merino, Yak, and nylon. It is very soft, and a beautiful warm grey. I dyed much of the skein a semi-solid navy, then drizzle dyed the remaining part with all the other blues. I spent quite a bit of time with the planned pooling calculator to see if I could design the yarn and have it turn out how I planned. Since I’m already late with this reveal, I’m going to save most of that for another post, but here’s a picture of the swatch I made…..
This is a 64 stitch tube knitted on my Brother 930 knitting machine. I started at tension 10 (the largest) at the bottom of this picture, then tightened a tension number every 20 rows or so….and you can really see the difference in the patterning each time. I’m working on a pair of socks, and I’ve knit a half leg, full heel, and half foot to see if my gauge calculations are right (spoiler: not so much). Mostly, I’m working out a heel that fits better, I’ve been following the directions in my patterns, and they are much too shallow, which leads to the yarn wearing more in spots where it is being pulled. (Ok, ok, wait for the post on that!)
Our Club Fiber is Masham, a nice medium wool. This will be great for mittens (that Spin Off Mitt challenge is still going on!) or socks or a hat, or maybe something lined or boot toppers for those more sensitive to more wooly wools. I dyed this in a gradient from the natural grey through navy, but you divide it up and spin it however seems best to you.
Tiger Club has a few sock spots open if you are interested. Fiber Club is full for February, and likely March, but do use the contact form on the main site to get on the wait list.
The Holidays of December call for some bling, plus soon we’ll be facing the bleak mid-winter, so I wanted to dye something light and fun and sparkly. I actually chose the colors first, so no inspiration photo this time, but the lime green blending to seaweed green, a sky/sea cyan, indigo, and a pinkish violet reminded me of mermaids.
The yarn this month is Sparkle, a 4 ply with 3 plies superwash Merino and one ply sparkly lurex. I dyed this in a dappled gradient…..the color changes aren’t distinct, the colors will waffle back and forth giving a handspun kind of look to your project.
The fiber is a new one for TPT, it’s a blend of 70% Merino wool and 30% firestar nylon. That’s a lot of sparkle. The firestar was pre-dyed in rainbow colors, so it also lends some depth and movement to the colors. Dyed in a long gradient, but you do with it what you like….I just put the colors on the palette, you paint the masterpiece!
Tiger Club filled up very fast at the beginning of January, however I have a possible spot for you if you are interested in Sock Club, so do contact me if that is you. Otherwise, you are welcome to contact me to be on the waiting list, or check back on February 1. Happy New Year!
I’ve worn headbands pretty steadily since high school….I love having long hair, but when brushed out my curls go full Merida with extra static, which makes visibility an issue and containment a must. I perform with a variety of musical groups, and of course black is the standard attire. A few years ago, I bought an inkle loom made a few bands, I have red and lime green, purple, and nice patterned one in cream and browns. It’s been time to make a black one for quite some time, and I’ve had the crochet cotton dyed for it for a year or so, but just getting the motivation to weave through a basic back band was lacking.
Earlier this year, though, I realized I could try weaving it on my Saori loom. It could handle switching the sheds, and maybe I could even use the beater, which would be very nice….my hands really hurt after a bit of using the belt shuttle on the inkle. (And honestly, I find the whole inkle to be awkward, and a bit of a hassle to warp. Hey, not all looms are for everyone!)
So, I pulled out my ball of dyed black (ok, charcoal) yarn, and my warping pegs, and that cream/brown band for measurements, and decided to go for it. The day before the latest big concert, with both of my groups….the symphony AND our community choir. What can I say….I guess I like pulling off the seemingly impossible.
It turns out our dining room table with two leaves is close enough to the length I needed, plus a bit for loom waste. It even turned out that the one knot I had in the yarn hit right on the peg where I’d be cutting anyway.
I lashed the back loop on with a festive holiday pencil, and cranked on the warp (not much needed, just a turn or two, so I didn’t fuss with paper). Then I threaded the heddles….which I lost some of the cross, or messed up holding it somehow, I found an end without a home, so I just left it out. What’s 59 threads instead of 60? I sleyed the 10 dent reed at 4 threads per dent, as that seemed to work out to the width of my original band. I tossed a few pics of thrums from my last project to get the tension evened out, I should have used something larger (to even the tension out better with fewer pics) and more slippery for later removal, but this was handy. I finished this Friday afternoon, and went to our first rehearsal that evening.
Well, eureka, it works a treat, and so fast. Now I can stop lusting over a dedicated band loom, because this Saori loom can totally do it, and I don’t need a weaving knife. It was very easy to open the shed, pass the yarn, press the pic in about half way, then snug up the yarn to the selvedge and finish the beat, change sheds, and repeat. So fast.
It took me an hour or so Saturday morning to weave the band off, and I wasn’t working particularly quickly. I took the completed band (which ended up only have a few inches of waste…..I like plenty of fringe on these) to our second rehearsal Saturday afternoon, and braided ends during the pieces I didn’t sing or play on.
I didn’t quite get all the ends braided, but it was done enough to wear at the concert that evening. A friend in the choir Kineared me during bows, so there’s proof of use!
Overall, I’m super pleased, and I can see I’ll be weaving many more bands on this loom.
Since club ships at the end of the month, I knew you’d be receiving this in the thick of ‘all the packages’ and the festive busyness that December brings. For a theme, I was thinking of the vintage trucks hauling home the tree….and I’m rather fond of the blue trucks rather than red. I couldn’t make up my mind about vintage royal blue, or the baby/turquoise blue….so I put them both on there. In looking for inspiration pictures, there were so many….but I was charmed by this children’s book. I’ve surrounded our blue truck with festive deep red, pine green, reddish fawn of moose.
Our fiber is a special one, 50% Fawn (pale tan) Alpaca and 50% Tussah Silk. It’s always interesting dyeing a blend like this, both fibers can be hit or miss on taking up the color, which is fine…this allowed the naturally colored Alpaca to shine through at times.
The yarn is an old favorite, MCN (sw Merino, Cashmere, Nylon in a 80/10/10 blend), but the skein size from my supplier changed, so now it is 100 grams and 437 yards. I doubled the skein over and painted, which leads to two back and forth repeats of the color pattern.
I was hoping to have a swatch of the skein I got to keep for myself, but our December is being crazy busy. It settles down for me after the Symphony concert this weekend, so hopefully next week I can show that. It’ll be nice to have more time and dedicate a blog post, it is always interesting to me to see the changes a stitch count, tension, or pattern can make in a variegated yarn.
Tiger Club is currently closed for new subscriptions, however you are welcome to contact me through the website to be put on the wait list. I hope you all have the happiest of Holidays!