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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Grand Prismatic Spring – April 2022 Tiger Club

Grand Prismatic Spring Yellowstone

While I had a general color theme in mind, along the lines of the vibrancy of the emerging spring, an image search solidified my choice. This is the Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone, and it is stunning with the contrasts of blues and rust and green.

I decided to make this variegated pattern more dappled, so I formulated three shades of brown and rust, two shades of blue, and three shades of green from new sprouts to old pines. Then I applied these randomly within their color area on both the yarn and fiber.

Grand Prismatic Spring - Falkland - April 2022

The fiber is Falkland type, always a great wool to use for dyeing. I say ‘type’ for this one, as it isn’t wool from the Falkland Islands, but rather follows their selection process for the product. The wool is American, chosen to be a medium fineness and for whiteness. This is a great all-around wool, happy to be spun worsted or woolen, and turned into whatever you like.

Grand Prismatic Spring - Zebra Sock - April 2022

The yarn is Zebra Sock, which is a lot like Tiger Twist in construction except there are random grey and black areas in one of the plies, giving a nice barber pole effect and toning the colors in areas. Here’s a close up of the dappled colors within each section.

GPP Closeup

I finally got a chance to make a swatch (which is why this post is late….sorry!). I wanted to see how the colors and the marling held up against each other…..is it too busy?

GPP Swatch

I have to say I’m delighted with how it turned out. I tried two different stitch counts, 72 (seen at the top) and 64, both at the same tension (8-9 stitches per inch). It’s interesting the change 8 stitches can make. I’ll be swatching this more when I’m ready to knit my socks to find the ultimate balance between stitch count, tension, and pattern to encourage the yarn to behave how I like, but still fit well. Which of these two stitch counts do you like better?

I’ve done the office work and picked out a color theme for May and will start dyeing tomorrow. If you are interested in joining the fun, check out the Club page in the shop, then jet me a message using the contact form. With the Summer Crazies coming up, I’m filling the club via wait list only until fall.

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Tropical Sunrise – March 2022 Tiger Club Reveal

Cape Canaveral Sunrise

We were fortunate enough to take our first beach vacation since 2017 a few weeks ago. Here’s the sunrise on our last full day. I couldn’t help but bring the bright, fresh colors of Florida to Tiger Club. I didn’t try to capture this picture, but rather created a fantasy of a Tropical Sunrise, capturing the impressions of the brightly colored homes, and the amazing changeable colors of light and sun and ocean throughout our week.

Tropical Sunrise TTT March 2022

The yarn is Titanium Tiger Twist, a high twist 2 ply with plenty of yardage, and a good amount of nylon to make it viable for socks. It would be just as lovely in a cowl or scarf. Look up planned pooling if you want to keep the colors more distinct….this will work, but don’t fuss too much keeping each color in line, let it waver. I dyed this pretty much as shown, scrunching the bare yarn, then injecting the lines of color. Each skein is a bit different, as scrunching is less than a scientific process!

Tropical Sunrise Swatch TTT

I made up a little swatch of this to see what it would look like in a stockinette sock. This cylinder of knitting is 72 stitches around at about 9 stitches per inch. The way your particular skein pools will be different depending on the dyeing, your stitch number, and gauge. I’m going to play with options a bit more before committing this one to a project. I’m wanting some really fun socks, but this would really shine as a woven piece using the faux ikat technique.

Tropical Sunrise Rambouillet March 2022

The fiber is my favorite of the merino types, Rambouillet. The white color shows off these neon colors beautifully, and the shorter staple will keep them from bleeding into each other as much when spinning. You can strip this down closer to your finished yarn weight to also minimize blending between colors. Or let it go and enjoy the new colors that form at each transition. Ply with a white or navy yarn to make this calmer or to pop the colors respectively, and to stretch this to a longer project…..or try a 2 ply technique to match or barberpole, or 3 ply. Or rip it up and reprocess into the colors you want….so many possibilies!

The gorgeous neon dyes used are not as washfast as my usual Lanaset dyes (ironic, since the brand is Washfast!), however if you use a bit of care and wash these using cool/cold water and a bit of vinegar in your wash and rinse water (and be brief about it….don’t let the water have too much of a chance to bind with the dye) it will look bright for many washes.

I do have spots in Tiger Club for April, but I didn’t turn the buttons on this month as I’ve been a little busier than normal. However, you may join by using that envelope contact form in the header of the main shop site, and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for joining me for March’s Tiger Club reveal!

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Tea and Madeleines – February 2022 Tiger Club

I’ve been sitting on this picture for several months, trying to decide how to do it, and in what fibers. February seems a good month to curl up with some warming herbal tea and beautiful cranberry-orange madeleines. I brightened the blues a bit to the rich sky colors of winter, and formulated a rich gold, cozy brown, and deep burgundy.

Tea and Madelaines Romney TC Feb 2022

The wool is Romney, which I chose as it takes strong colors beautifully. It’s a nice medium wool, great for sturdier items like boot toppers, but can also be used for any number of next-to-skin items if the project is lined. Romney likes to be spun worsted, and you can go thin or thick….it’s a longer staple, so less twist will still hold together well and will keep the poky ends in line with the yarn itself making the overall yarn smoother. It also felts/fulls well. I like this wool for beginning spinner, the fibers have just the right amount of grip between them to help get the hang of drafting. If you’ve been wanting to try a modified long-draw, you can try with this….even as a worsted prep. Pinch the twist off with your forward hand, and gently pull the fiber back with your other hand, dancing the twist into the fiber as you go.

Tea and Madelaines Safari TC Feb 2022

I knew I wanted to do stripes with the yarn, as I wanted the colors to be crisp. I had a bit of fun with it and made a very long and not symmetrical pattern (so beware-if you knit from both ends of the skein you’ll have opposite socks). If you see the middle section of blue and gold, that’s a full repeat. I kept the blues together as the teacup sections, and the brown table littered with cranberries and madeleines.

Tiger Club is closed for March (but do contact me for the wait list, depending I might be able to slip you in).

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Chocolate Cherry – January 2022 Tiger Club

January is a paradox for the indie dyer….it’s a challenging time on the business side; inventory needs to be taken (ok, it’s fun to sort through all the bins) and taxes dealt with….and a really fun time, because I typically order for at least the opening quarter of the year. With shipping being a bit chaotic, I ordered from a supplier that is closest to me. I’m not afraid of color, and when I saw this merino….I had to have it…..and its rich color just called out Chocolate Cherry!

Chocolate Cherry - Comeback Merino - Tiger Club January 2022

This is Comeback Merino. What does that mean? Merino was bred to other sheep (Shetland maybe?) to bring in the rich brown color, and then once the color was established, it was bred back to Merino to get some of the softness back. This fiber clocks in at about 26 microns, comparable to other medium wools. It has a delightful springy hand to it, and just wanted to overflow the dyepots! I dyed this in a there-and-back method, so you can split in 2 for 2 matching plies, or spin straight, make a ball, and ply from both ends, or split in 2 and each half in half for matching mitts or socks.

Chocolate Cherry - Targhee Sock - Tiger Club January 2022

After the pouf of the fiber, I could only choose one sock yarn from my line-up: Targhee. I used two techniques on this, painting on the red and pink portions, heat setting that, and then using a hot dip method with an overdye progression of 3 different tones of brown to get the chocolate mousse portions and tone the red/pink down into nice rather than garish. So squishy. Mmmmm.

Want to join the fun? I have a few spots in both the Fiber and Sock Yarn Tiger Clubs for February.

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Hope is the Thing with Feathers – December 2021 Tiger Club

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

BY EMILY DICKINSON

I have been ‘sitting’ on this inspiration picture for a few years now, wanting to make it, but not quite sure how I wanted to do it. My community choir starting singing a song set to this poem in Spring 2020. The times made the message of the poem even sweeter, and we were finally able to perform it in November 2021. Just like the song, it was finally time to create this picture in yarn and fiber. While I do like color palette pulled out of the picture, I also wanted to pull in more of the wood and bark colors, get in some shimmer like the falling snow, and play with a deeper red. I decided to repeat the basic 5 colors 3 times….but with shade tweaks each time, for a total of 15 colors.

Hope is the Thing with Feathers Dec 2021 Shetland Tussah

The wool I used for Fiber Club is a beautiful blend of Shetland and Tussah Silk. I dyed it in a semi-fractal…dividing the length into 3 pieces, each about twice the length of the one before it, then dyeing the 5 colors for that section fairly equally. Depending on the batch, there was more or less water and thus movement and blending of the colors. You should be able to divide this down the middle and spin a nice 2 ply for a shawl, or chain ply each half for a pair of socks or mitts. Or sometime completely different….remember, you are the boss of your fiber! That tussah is more of a ribbon…it can just sparkle up every so often, or if you want it more blended in you could make rolags with your hand carders to keep the colors in order, but fluff and blend a little more. I’m currently doing this with a merino silk blend and really like the results and easy spinning.

Hope is the Thing with Feathers Dec 2021 Bronze Glitter Sock

I have to say, I’m really proud of how the yarn came out. For a while now, I’ve known I needed to discontinue making shawl gradients for Tiger Sock Club….invariably someone complains about it (it’s not for socks!) even though the list clearly states that dyed-for-a-shawl is a possibility. Add in that I generally choose a more expensive yarn for this….and costs continuing up….well, it was either drop shawl gradients from club or raise prices. It’s ok, this frees me up to bring them to the shop.

So, if we’re going out, it’s with a bang! This shawl gradient is a graduated gradient, each ever larger color segment meant to result in somewhat even stripes when knit into a center/top down shawl, whether semi-circular or triangular. There was some math. Then winding…..and not having it come out right, and re-measuring and re-winding. Finally, it came out just right.

Hope is the Thing with Feathers Dec 2021 Bronze Glitter Sock collage

The yarn is Bronze Sparkle, a blend of sw merino, nylon, and generous sprinkling of bronze stellina. It’s a 2 ply, so it will nicely hold the holes of lace open. I love how the colors came out as a kettle wash in each segment, similar to the dreamy feel of the inspiration picture. I can’t wait to see projects made with this. (And if you are set on socks, go for it…they’ll have different width stripes and be fraternal twins. I’d suggest using the long (red) end for toes and heels while knitting from the short (tan) end.) I do have an extra or two of the yarn, it’s exclusive for club members right now, but if there are no takers it’ll be in the shop in May. (And if you need coordinates to make this into a larger project, do contact me!)

Once January rolled around, I had a lot of fun ordering for the next few months of club. If you check my Instagram, you’ll see the 3 huge boxes I got this week, and a bit of a teaser! If you aren’t in Tiger Club, jump on in, the wool is fine!!

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Lampwork – November 2021 Tiger Club

Lampwork bead by DivineSparkDesigns on Etsy.

November’s yarn and fiber are both in the category of ‘great for bright clear colors’, so I ran with it and took inspiration from this beautiful lampwork bead (she’s since sold this one, but she has many other lovely offerings, so be sure to check out her shop at the link in the caption). I pulled out the brightest green, then went both directions with it, on one side to the bright teal/turquoise, on the other into periwinkle, purple, and then a rich red/pink fuchsia.

Lampwork Targhee Sock Nov 2021

Our yarn is Targhee Sock, grown and made all in the USA. I love this one because it blooms up so fat after dyeing, and then again into your stitches after you knit it up. I dyed this in a there-and-back x 2 method for shorter color bursts that will overlap when knitting and should make a nice mini stripe depending on the pattern and stitch count….be sure to experiment until you find a combination you like. A fun part of the dye process was using the yarn itself as a resist….the dyes in the mixed colors bind to the wool at different rates, creating some subtle new shades, and some areas of pastels. Each skein is a bit different, even within the same batch.

Lampwork Falkland Nov 2021

Our fiber is Falkland, this one is American (so technically Falkland type) and is predominantly Corriedale blended with other fine wools, all chosen for being naturally very white which makes the dyed colors just pop. I’ve dyed this in a blended gradient, which allows some fun blending, but gives you the best opportunity to do what you’d like with the colors. It also allowed the dye to break in areas (where the mixed color breaks apart making new shades). Falkland is just a bit finer than medium, so perfect for socks, mittens, scarves, cowls, vests, and other things that will see some wear, be near the skin, but maybe on a less sensitive area. Suitable for spinning worsted or woolen.

I find myself with a few spots open for December, so if you’d like to hop on board the Tiger Club train, stop by the shop and subscribe. It’s monthly, so try it for a month or two and see if you like it, we’d love to have you!

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Abundant – October 2021 Tiger Club

It’s be a few hot minutes since I’ve dyed a rainbow, and October was a good month to do it, with the warm rich colors of autumn and thoughts of Thanksgiving emerging. I mixed up a bright berry pink-red, rich pumpkin orange, golden squash, rich greens, evening twilight/blueberry, and burgundy-purple grape.

Abundant Andean Stricken Oct 2021

Our fiber this month is Andean Stricken Combed Top. A special edition, this nice toothy medium wool from the Andes is a blend of white and darker brown fibers. It lends a bit of depth to the colors without being overbearing like stripy/tweedy tops can be. Tiger Fiber Club is all about trying new things, so I decided to dye the color separately so that you can truly be the boss of the fiber. Blend the shades together to make your own gradients or blends, make stripy rolags, or simply chunk it all up and do a random combo spin to make a totally fun marl yarn. I hope you’ll share your process and yarny creation on social, I’m excited to see what you will make!

Abundant Journey Oct 2021

Our yarn is reliable and soft Journey, a perfect go-to for socks (that actually fit in your shoes), or really any thing you might like to make. Instead of keeping the rainbow in order, I interleaved them, allowing for some new colors at the junctions. The dyeing method is cold pour, and the yarn itself made resists on some skeins. Each skein turned out a bit different, and all are amazing. My skein is the one shown open….I chose that one to keep because it was the most ‘boring’! 😉

I finally had a chance to knit up a swatch, and I love how it has turned out. Interleaving the colors made a much nicer blend and less striping than keeping the rainbow in order.

Abundant Swatch Oct 2021

This is a 72 stitch tube at a good tight stitches per inch, I’d say 8-9. How yours will pattern will depend on the skein itself (to fit in the pan, the yarn was artfully squished, so each batch has a bit of a different ratio of colors), your stitch count, your tension, and your pattern. Experiment with various things until you get something you are satisfied with.

I do have a few spots open in the Tiger Fiber Club, and one Sock spot. We’d love to have you for November’s Club!

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Iowa Gold – September 2021 Tiger Club

soybeans

This is usually what the soybean fields look like in early September. This year they turned fast, and most were harvested by the end of the month since it has been so hot and dry. Tiger Club was inspired this month by Soybeans when I found this fun Merino Soybean combed top to try. I mixed up a cheery gold, and paired it with an autumn golden orange, then developed three greens from nearly lime to a leafy green, to a deeper hunter green. For both fiber and yarn, I dappled all the colors with wet speckles of brown, the three shades of blue I used, yellow, and red.

Iowa Gold Merino Soybean Top Sept 2021 TC

This top is 70% Merino and 30% Soybean top, which you can see is not blended in too much, but runs in ribbons throughout. This fiber was originally developed by Henry Ford, you may have heard of Soy Silk. It was doing quite well as clothing and car upholstery, but was a victim of WWII and was replaced by cheaper Nylon. The fiber was re-developed in the early 2000’s as interest increased in moving away from petrochemicals. The fiber is derived from soy waste from making oil, milk, and tofu. Source.

Interesting fact about Soy Silk is that it dyes like a protein fiber, a fact I actually forgot until I got into dyeing it…..I was expecting it to be lighter and the soy bits to shine, but instead it took the color like a champ, and while it does have some sheen, it isn’t as much as Tencel. If you want to keep these two fibers blended more in your spinning, I suggest spinning from the fold, or keep moving across the top being careful to not spend too much time in one spot.

Iowa Gold Merino Tencel Nylon Sock Sept 2021 TC

The sock yarn is a variation on the Merino/Tencel I usually get….this one has Nylon also. The blend is also trended more toward socks, and is much bouncier. I like this one and will likely use it again for our ‘plant fiber’ yarn in the future. The colors took great, and there’s still that bit of sheen from the tencel. While I did twist the skeins to attempt to get the speckles evenly distributed, this is a very organic yarn dyeing process, and I can’t promise your socks will match. The overall color pattern should make mini-stripes on plain stockinette socks, and you could have fun with pooling in a large project, modular patterns like entrelac, or crochet.

I have one remaining Sock spot, and a number of Fiber spots open for October, I’d love for you to join us!

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Southwest Sunset – August 2021 Tiger Club

August has been a stretch for me….just a lot going on, some good some bad, and some not-so-great turning into pretty good!

So why not stretch my colors a bit, too? I tend to stay away from much orange since many don’t like them, but these terra cotta colors called to me. A bit of tweaking to the colors in this palette, and we have Southwest Sunset, with shades of terra cotta from peach to reddish, a rich purpley maroon, and a deep navy. It says ‘autumn’ to me without being in-your-face.

Southwest Sunset Southdown August TC 2021


Our fiber is a new one, Southdown. This breed has the distinction of being the oldest of the ‘down’ sheep, development of the breed started in the late 1700s, and was also imported to the USA in the early 1800s. The breed is listed as ‘recovering’ with the Livestock Conservancy, which means I was able to get this great combed top for you. Southdown is primarily a meat breed, but the fleece is a nice poufy medium wool, coming in at about 28 micron. I’ve dyed this in my classic blended gradient, allowing the colors to play with their neighbors. Be sure to bend this to your will, though….you are the boss of the fiber and the color order.

Southwest Sunset Safari Sock August TC 2021


Our yarn is Safari, my fav sock yarn of 75% Corriedale wool and 25% nylon. I’ve dyed this in a self-striping pattern, with a stripe for each of the colors, then an additional stripe that is a variegated blend of muted shades of the colors, which look a bit ‘painted desert’ to me…and one each batch this variegated segment is different. I had hoped to have a sample knit up for you…..but those August curveballs are running into September, so this ‘raw’ photo will have to do for now. The yarn should stripe about 4 rows per color on socks, and the colors will stay in order.


I have new spots open in both the yarn and fiber clubs for September, do join us!

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