Twenty Five – June 2023 Tiger Club

For June’s Tiger Club, I took a bit of owner’s leeway, and celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Our wedding colors were green and purple, and remain favorites to this day, which I’m sure you’ve noticed through the years of Tiger Club! I like to pull in a reference photo, and while I briefly toyed with a ‘Peck of Purple Peppers’ (photographed on a green background), I decided to go with this mushroom pic as it had nearly all the colors within the actual picture and pallete. I did add an additional lighter green.

For yarn, I chose Targhee Sock, 100% American made and so bouncy! I dyed this in the round, one half of the skein being the purple shades, and the other the green. The navy in the purple mix took over a bit, pulling the lighter two purples toward blue, but I think it makes a very nice effect. Interestingly, the navy broke to brown in the dark green section….I originally thought some purple was bleeding through to the green side, but nope….it was making these rich browns on its own, so I embraced the organic nature of it and let it do its thing.

For fiber, I chose Hoof and Leaf, a blend of Llama, Whitefaced Woodland sheep, Ramie, and Bamboo. The two very different protein fibers soak up the acid dye in differing amounts to create subtle color differences and the plant fibers don’t take the dye at all, lending their ribbons of natural white to add texture, silkiness, and shine. To maintain some order to the colors, I decided to create this as a twin-set, one braid of the three green colors, and one braid of the purple. You’ll see some of the green braids had the same breaking to brown of the navy that the yarn did. I’m wondering if it isn’t something in the water, as while I’ve heard of this happening, I’d never experienced it before. We were experiencing quite a drought at the time of dyeing these. (Pardon the ramblings of a dyer who hovers at the junction of art and science!) I’d suggest spinning this in a way that keeps the fibers together…..if worsted be sure to keep moving across the top (you could also rip it down to thinner sections), if you want semi-woolen spinning from the fold or making faux-lags or other such methods are perfect.

I don’t plan to open Tiger Club publicly to new subscriptions until September, and even then it will be limited, however I do have spots open from time to time and I will fill those from the waitlist. Check out the Clubs then use the contact form to let me know which club you are interested in. Thanks for celebrating with us, 25 years is both long and over in an instant! Hope to have 25 more and beyond!

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Wonder Lake – May 2023 Tiger Club

For May, we stayed in Alaska, but veered inland to take in Denali National Park. This is Wonder Lake, and I was captivated by the dusty blues and purples with that kiss of pink on the snow topped mountains. To finish this colorway out, I added a sagey green, and a murky green-brown to tie in the pines and moose. For both yarn and fiber, I chose a blend of BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) wool and trilobal nylon. Also known as Firestar, this nylon lends a subtle sparkle to both yarn and fiber, like the shimmer on the water of this lake.

Wonder Lake Glitz May 2023 TC

Our fiber is BFL blended with Rainbow Firestar…..the colors of the nylon lend extra subtle shading to our gradient. I dyed this in blended style, encouraging each color to blend into the next in random ways. Spun worsted, this will make a lovely smooth and drapey yarn, if you want more loft and stretch, try spinning semi-woolen by spinning from the fold or making rolags (either fauxlag style, just rolling a bit you’ve pulled off, or going full on with carders or blending board).

Wonder Lake Shimmer May 2023 TC

The yarn is Shimmer, also a blend of BFL and Firestar, this time it’s plain so the colors are clear, but perhaps a bit more sparkle. I dyed this in a down and back, so I anticipate this making spiral stripes on socks, but of course all will depend on your stitch count, gauge, and pattern so if you don’t care for what the yarn is doing, try changing one of those things up a little and see if you like the results better. You could also try your hand at planned pooling, either in the round or back and forth for a scarf, or even faux ikat on your loom.

Thanks for joining me on May’s journey! Tiger Club is closed for June as I will be on vacation and am dyeing club a bit early to get ready. However you are welcome to drop me an email through the contact page on the website if you’d like to be on the waitlist.

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Glacier Bay – April 2023 Tiger Club

For April’s Tiger Club, we travel to Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. This spectacular photo shows the amazing blues that can occur in this land of ice and snow. I decided to keep things simple, and mixed up the bright ocean blue (which required 3 different blues to achieve!), plus a soft grey and a black, and of course I let the wool itself shine as our ‘snow’.

The wool combed top this month is Radnor, a rare breed from the United Kingdom. It’s a medium to medium coarse wool, averaging about 32 microns, and a staple length that can range from 3-6 inches (this top is coming in around 3-4). It takes bright/strong colors beautifully. If you’d like to learn more about the breed (and see a number of adorable sheep and lamb photographs), here’s a link to the Hill Radnor Society.

Glacier Bay Radnor Wool TC April 2023

I chose to dye the wool in a shorter color palindrome (so down and back again). It should be great for making stripes, or take it apart and make a gradient if that’s your preference. This wool is great for sturdier applications, such as mittens (lined with something softer), boot toppers, maybe even a bag. If you are more tolerant of the wool feel in general, I think it would be good for socks, also.

Glacier Bay Safari Sock Yarn TC April 2023

It’s definitely time for a self-striping yarn, and my fave Safari is a great base for it. I worked up a winding method that kept the grey/black areas roughly the same width as the blue areas, and did a crammed kettle dye. It made the colors break a bit, lending some violet to the grey at times, and making some batches glacier blue areas with more variation than others. The swatch shown is a 64 stitch tube at about 7 stitches per inch. If you prefer solid toes and heels, a black would pair nicely with this pattern.

I have openings in Tiger Club for May, and then Club will close to new members for at least June, perhaps the whole summer (although you can always ask to join the wait list!) Thanks for joining our latest adventure!

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Hippity Hop – March 2023 Tiger Club

It was time for some light and cheerfulness, and of course we have that in spades in our spring colors. Taking inspiration from our favorite (chocolate) bunny, I mixed up nearly a rainbow of soft, yet not quite pastel colors.

Hippity Hop March 2023 TC Wensleydale

The fiber is Wensleydale, which I knew would take these colors brilliantly, as longwools tend to do. This is dyed to-and-fro, so if you’d like to keep the colors in order you can divide the braid. I also left a good bit of white space to lighten everything up. Wensleydale tends to like to be spun thin with not too much twist, use worsted technique to smooth the ends into the yarn and it will look and feel silky. If you don’t want too much movement/blending of the colors, strip the wool down closer to the width needed for the grist of yarn you are creating so that it will not need to be drafted as much.

Hippity Hop March 2023 TC  MTBN Sock

The yarn is a new one to TPT, it’s a blend of superfine SW Merino, Tussah Silk, Bamboo rayon, and nylon, coming in at around 410 yards per 4 oz, it’s a thicker fingering weight. I haven’t given it a name yet, as I wanted feedback on whether this is something you’d like me to carry in the regular shop. I think it will be plenty sturdy enough for socks, and yet is wonderfully soft and a nice weight for shawls and light sweaters and such. Be sure to let me know what you think. I wanted the yarn itself to shine, so I left plenty of white space and applied 4 areas of color, spacing them through the width of the yarn to encourage the colors to change up somewhat randomly while knitting, but still have a nice balance of the warm and cool colors with each row. Of course, the proof is in the pudding (mmmm, pudding), or rather swatch.

Hippity Hop March 2023 Swatch

So here we go! The bottom wider portion is 72 stitches around, and you can see clear signs of this making a nice wide spiral with stripes of colors and stripes of white. Interestingly, I decreased to 64 stitches at the top, and the colors seem more random. It’s still spiraling, but it’s nearly flat, with the color areas and white areas not as well defined. So, if you don’t care for what this yarn is doing in your project, change something up. A subtle change in needle size, stitch count, or pattern can dramatically change what the colors will do for you.

Are you interested in joining the fun? Tiger Club is a month to month club, so no huge commitment. I’m open for new subscriptions through the 15th with Club to ship at the end of the month. Subscribing now will mean you have plenty of time to consider your new yarn and fiber and decide if you want to continue with the club. Thanks for stopping by!

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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.

Swaledale

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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