Basic (Not Boring) Black Band

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.

Black band weaving on the Saori loom.

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.

Black band weaving on the Saori loom.

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.

Black band weaving on the Saori loom.

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.

Black band weaving on the Saori loom.

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.

Black band weaving on the Saori loom.

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!

Black Headband

Overall, I’m super pleased, and I can see I’ll be weaving many more bands on this loom.

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A Blue Truck Holiday – Tiger Club Nov 2019

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.

Little Blue Truck

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.

Little Blue Truck Fawn Alpaca Tussah Nov TC 2019

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.

Little Blue Truck MCN Nov TC 2019

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!

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Almond Blossom – Tiger Club October 2019

Vincent van Gogh - Almond Blossom, 1890 (Van Gogh Musuem Amsterdam Netherlands) Van Gogh: Up Close at Philadelphia Museum of Art

Tiger Club for October explored “Almond Blossom”, a work painted by Vincent Van Gogh for his infant nephew in 1890. The work contains strong features of the Japanese Ukiyo-e prints that Van Gogh had been collecting. These elements include:Cropping of the image, Bold outlines of the branches, Absence of perspective/horizon, and large, bright blocks of color.

I particularly liked this color palette reduction of the painting, as it pulled out those large bright blocks of color.

The yarn for this month is Journey, a nice round 4 ply SW Merino and Nylon blend. I folded the skeins and eased them into my dye pan, then used a low water immersion technique to apply the color. I actually did not apply any green, I simply let the navy and peacock blues blend with straight up yellow and gold. I didn’t worry about white areas, as they can represent the actual blossoms. Even in the same dye batch, each skein came out a bit different, it will be fun to see them transformed into projects.

Almond Blossom Oct 2019 TC Journey

The wool this month is a new one to me, Rambouillet. It is also referred to as French Merino. I’d compare it to Targhee most particularly, and also Polwarth. It has a great fluffy hand, and was fantastic to dye. I went for shorter color bursts, and actually dyed these in the same pattern as the yarn, it was fun to see how the blending happened differently.

Almond Blossom Oct 2019 TC Rambouillet

Due to the upcoming Holidays, Tiger Club will not open for new subscriptions until January, however if you’d like to be on the waitlist I’ll fit you in when I can.

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Dappled Autumn – September 2019 Tiger Club

20101031 Bear Mountain, NY

For a little September inspiration, I chose this picture taken at Bear Mountain in New York. The picture has a really wide range of colors, though, and I was looking for something a little less wild. A tight crop, and bit of fun with the color picker, and I narrowed it down to this:

Sept 2019 2

And then I pushed the colors a bit further in the dye, making the burgundy much more purple, and the dark green a bit more evergreen. Welcome to Dappled Autumn!

The yarn I chose for this month is thick and bouncy Targhee Sock, which is 90% USA grown Superwash Targhee Wool blended with 10% Nylon. It’s a nice smooth 3 ply, and about 460 yards per 4 oz skein.

Dappled Autumn - Targhee Sock Yarn - August 2019 Tiger Club

I dyed these in a ‘scrunch and dapple’ method, so while it may pool for a bit, it will change up, making an interesting marbled pattern. If you aren’t finding the way it is pooling to be pleasing, try increasing or decreasing a stitch or two (or more), and/or your gauge. Slip stitch patterns are also nice for taming wild pooling. Each skein is unique despite using the same dyeing method for 3 at a time in each pot. I really love how the colors played with each other, and how the yarn brought out new colors as it acted as a resist to the differently sized dye particles.

Dappled Autumn - SW BFL Nylon 80/20 - August 2019 Tiger Club

The fiber for this month’s subscription box is a blend of 80% Superwash BFL Wool (Blue Faced Leicester) and 20% Nylon. It’s perfect for socks. Spin worsted with middling twist, then create a great hosiery twist using a lot of ply twist. If you find this to be slippery and want your handspun yarn to be a little more fluffy, I’d suggest pulling off tufts and spinning from the fold. I dyed this combed top in a back and forth variegated, and the colors could get muddy if you spin as is, if you’d like the colors more distinct, try stripping the fiber down into narrower pieces (or into color chunks as in the spinning from the fold).

Want in on the fun? As of now I have 2 sock spots, and a pound and a half of fiber spots open. Drop by the shop and check out Tiger Fiber and Sock Clubs. Thanks, and enjoy the transition into fall….I think it might arrive here shortly!

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Apple for Teacher – August 2019 Tiger Club

"learn" written on blackboard with apple, books

We started back to school the last few weeks of August, DD in her 3rd year of college, DS in his second of high school, DH his 29th of teaching, and me on year 20. The apples start ripening this time of year, so I suppose that is where the ‘Apple for Teacher’ thing began. Pair that with an old fashioned slate chalkboard, and you have our color for this month’s yarn and fiber subscription box.

Apple for Teacher Shetland Wool August 2019 Tiger Club

Our fiber is Shetland, a wool that makes me think of fall for some reason. I really wanted crisper colors than a gradient or variegated would give me, so I decided to kettle dye each color separately and assemble them into a pack for you. There are so many possibilities for combining these, let your creativity roam! You could hold colors together to make a marled single, you could design a fractal or striping yarn. You could spin each separately and combine them in your project with the yarn. You could get out your combs, hackle, carders, or blending board and make your own special combed top or rolags. Have fun, and be sure to share with us in the Club thread on Ravelry, on Facebook, or Instagram!

Apple for Teacher Safari Self Striping Sock Yarn August 2019 Subscription Box

The yarn this month is Safari, a great sturdy 3 ply made of superwash Corriedale wool and nylon that wears like iron. I designed a striping pattern for it that reminds me a bit of notebook paper, a much needed school supply. The sample shown is 64 stitches, it’ll stripe a bit wider if you use less stitches or snugger tension, a bit narrower if you use more stitches or looser tension. Because the pattern isn’t too busy, you could use a variety of sock patterns for this, there are a lot of fun ones to make stripes do interesting things.

Want to join in the fun? I have openings in Tiger Sock Club and Tiger Fiber Club (and even combinations, just jet me a message!).

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Deepening Twilight – July 2019 Tiger Club

Purple Skies

While this picture captures the inspiration pretty well, I was actually inspired this month by last November’s Receding Twilight. I wanted to make something that would go with it, particularly with the fiber (see below). I started with the deep blue of Receding Twilight, then pushed the color into blue purple and finally out to a deep pink leaning purple.

Tiger Club July 2019 - Deepening Twilight Polwarth Wool and Silk Combed Top Spinning Fiber

Our fiber is luxurious 60% Polwarth wool and 40% Bombyx Silk. I managed to squeeze 3 ounces of this goodness into club, and I’m glad I did. It’s gorgeous and shiny and soft. It should make a good addition to the tail end of your Receding Twilight, or will be great on its own, or as a border with something else you have.

Tiger Club July 2019 - Deepening Twilight - Merino Alpaca Nylon

I’m still not happy with this picture, the yarn looks much more like the purple parts of the fiber above, with bits of the deep blue peeking through. Ah, well….I can’t win all the time at photo editing.

Anyway, this is another new yarn I wanted to try. It’s a blend of 60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, and 20% Nylon. It isn’t superwash, but it held up very well to dyeing, and should make good socks (keeping in mind negative ease, as both merino and alpaca like to ‘grow’). Otherwise, this mottled semi-random kettle dye could make a great edging on your Receding Twilight project, or stand on its own.

Tiger Club is open for August, I have a number of fiber spots open, and one more sock spot. Join us!

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Wonderful Wensleydale and more (Shop Update)

While much of my time lately has been dyeing more skeins of Grand Old Flag and getting July Club ready, I’ve been able to dye a number of colors of Wensleydale, plus some Horn Dorset….and even Jacob and a batch of Journey sock yarn!

Plenty of Wonderful Wensleydale in gradients….most of these are in 5 oz braids to give you just a bit extra for a decent sized shawl.

Jeweled Wensleydale 4 Salted Caramel Mochaccino Wensleydale 5 Peacock Wensleydale 5 Out of the Deep Wensleydale 5 Mountain Majesty Wensleydale 5 Autumn Maple Wensleydale 5

On to Horn Dorset…..this is a nicely toothy wool in the down family, it has an uneven crimp so it will puff up nicely and resists felting. Great for socks or mittens or scarves.

Mississippi Mud Dorset Horn Denim Horn Dorset Koi Pond Horn Dorset

And I have two jumbo 8 oz braids in Tropical Rainbow….one in Horn Dorset, the other in Jacob Humbug… fun!

Tropical Rainbow Dorset Horn 7.65 Tropical Rainbow Jacob Humbug 8

And finally…..a new batch of Mississippi Mud on Journey sock yarn!!

Mississippi Mud

Stop by for these, and other goodies!!

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It’s A-Boat Time! June 2019 Tiger Club Reveal

Row boat with faded red to coral interior on water reflecting a blue sky.

I’m finding it very amusing that the color title is this, and I’m finally getting around to posting this reveal! June continues the theme of this year related to water (because we sure still have a lot of it here in the Midwest)! I changed the color sampling on this one, see your club note for my color picks….the blues are similar, but I went for the gray metal of the boat, a bit more peachy tan on the paddles, and obviously the glorious coral of the faded boat interior.

Its A Boat Time Dorset Horn Wool - June 2019 Tiger Club

The fiber is a new one for club, Dorset Horn. It’s actually a threatened breed, as the polled (non-horn) are generally more popular for farmers. You can read more about them at the Livestock Conservancy. The wool has an irregular crimp and twist to it, which encourages loft and bounce even when spun worsted, and it resists felting. It’s a medium wool, your tolerance to itch factor will determine what you want it to be. I’m thinking socks, at which point I think I might do a combo spin on this…..tear it into much smaller pieces and grab randomly (or color ordered if you prefer), then chain ply to make stripes. You make it do what you want, you are the boss of your fiber.

Its A Boat Time Panda 2 Sock Yarn - June 2019 Tiger Club

Our yarn is a new version of an old favorite, Panda. This version leaves out the nylon, because really….you already have the Bamboo rayon in there. This leaves room for more wool, which lends more bounce and memory. This is also spun thinner, so there’s more yardage to play with. Finally, the skein put up is several inches more around, which gives me more options on color placement. I like it, I hope you do, too.

Tiger Sock Club is full for July, but I can still take a few fiber club members. Stop by if you are interested, Club is open through the 15th. (Kaspersky insists my club page is some sort of risk, if your antivirus says the same, I assure you it just has a bunch of PayPal buttons on it!)

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Shop Update – Falkland and more….

Believe it or not, I have some new things for you! Grand Old Flag orders have been pouring in whenever someone shows off their socks on FB or IG, so I’ve been busy keeping up with that. I’ve got a small supply of each now, so it freed me up to get some fiber dyed!

I had a special request for more Sea Breeze on Falkland:

And then I went through my recipe pile and pulled out some favorites to dye the rest.

Dove Falkland
Water Lilies Falkland
Fairy Ring Falkland
Raspberry Mocha Falkland

To round out the update, I have some Tiger Club extras. I don’t always have extras (and clubbers get first dibs) so if you are finding you are liking this stuff…..consider signing up for Tiger Club.

Derelict Door on Finn
S’more Please on Superwash Corriedale
Crazy Paisley on Jacob Humbug
Receding Twilight on Alpaca Merino Silk

And here are some sock yarns……

S’more Please Stripe on Safari Sock Yarn
Great Pumpkin on Tiger Tweed Sock
Elemental Stripe on Targhee Sock

You may find all of these new items at , thanks for stopping by!

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Severe Weather Warning – May 2019 Tiger Club

May has been one wet month here in the Midwest along the Mississippi….and we’ve had a few of these storms, where the plants take on an eerie vibrancy, and the sky is all blue and black and grey (and cheerful and white and fluffy in the middle!). It’s a great subject for our May yarn and fiber.

Severe Weather Warning Bengal Sock Yarn - Tiger Club May 2019

The yarn is an old favorite of mine, Bengal, which is a nice round 4 ply of 100% Superwash BFL. The longer fibers of the Blue Face Leicester sheep make for a sturdy, yet soft yarn. I folded the yarn and basically painted on this picture, so the color sections are shorter and repeat twice. I can’t wait to see how socks in different stitch numbers and gauges work up.

Severe Weather Warning SW BFL - May 2019 Tiger Club

The wool is also 100% Superwash BFL. I also folded the fiber and painted on the landscape. Be sure to hold your hands a little further apart for BFL, and if you find it too slippery (superwash does that), try pulling off a chunk and spinning from the fold. This is also a good option if you want to rearrange the colors. Go ahead, I really don’t mind!!

Not in club? I have one sock spot, and a couple of fiber spots open through June 15th. Stop by and join!

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