Tabby – February 2020 Tiger 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.

Tabby Feb 2020 Cheviot

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!

Tabby Feb 2020 Bengal

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.

Tabby Feb 2020 Bengal Swatch

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.

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Blue Plate Special – January 2020 Tiger Club

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.

Blue Plate Special Yakkity Yak Jan 20

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…..

Blue Plate Special Swatch

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!)

Blue Plate Special Masham Jan 20

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.

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Mermaid – December 2019 Tiger Club

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.

Mermaid Sparkle Dec 2019 Sock Club Mermaid Sparkle Dec 2019 Sock Club skein

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.

Mermaid Glitz Dec 2019

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!

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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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