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.
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.
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.