Posted by: AlohaBlu | March 18, 2015

2015 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 6 – 12

Aloha!

Been a while since I’ve posted so I have a bunch of fun images to share.

First, the Spring Edition of “Addicted to Sock Knitting” eMagazine was released this week and I’m one of the featured dyers!  Hubby helped take photos of me dyeing yarn in my studio. You can find the magazine on the Addicted to Sock Knitting website.

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Along with the interview, there are photos of my colorcards and favorite knitted socks I made for my Aunt Tina’s mother using hand-dyed purple yarn with my Hawaiian Tattoo Socks pattern.

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I also contributed two colorwork sock patterns to the eZine. The A.S.K. Socks were designed just for this magazine  . . .

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and the Flowers on A Fence Socks are more traditional colorwork socks.

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I’m truly excited to be part of such an amazing Facebook group and magazine.

 Now onto some colors! Here are the colors for weeks 6 – 12.  Some of these items are still available on the shoppe.

HAWAIIAN STORM CLOUDS is a new colorway that got me misty while dyeing it up. I guess I’m homesick and I love this photo of storm clouds rolling in over glassy teal water.

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Of course dyeing up some STRAWBERRY PAPAYA didn’t help either since I added hunger to my homesickness 🙂

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But I did remember how beautiful LANIKAI is and this braid was made from hand-dyed wool, drum carded then pulled off as roving.

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Sunsets are supremely magical at DIAMONDHEAD.

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I’m so very glad we live with such wonder all around us.  I thought outer space may be void of color, but learned it’s just a DARK UNIVERSE. . .

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devoid of any TREES . . .

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OCEANS . . .

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or BIG ISLAND VOLCANOes.

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Ha ha ha! Ok, enough with the seriousness. Here are a couple more I dyed up:

PARISIAN SUNSET in targhee and firestar

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WINTERGREEN kettle-dyed lace yarn

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STAINED GLASS ALTAR

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And another new colorway in lace yarn, MAD SCIENTIST: M.A.B.V (magenta, aqua, black, violet – yes, very creative of me . . . )

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Last December someone on Twitter sent me a photo of a beautiful bird and thought I could capture its color in yarn. I dyed a few skeins and posted one skein on Facebook. I sold the yarn before it was ever posted on the shoppe then proceeded to get inquiries about custom orders.  I’m so happy to be spending my time dyeing up more TANAGER colorways.

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The last post for this entry is one that I’m super proud to show. My hubby, Jake, directed a VR (virtual reality) project called “theBlu: Encounter” that was released at a big gaming conference (Game Developers Conference “GDC”) this month.  theBlu starts with the viewer on the deck of a shipwreck with sealife all around – manta rays, schools of fish.  I was able to move to the end of the deck and look at the rocky ocean bottom below. Even though I knew I was in a room in a building on dry land, I couldn’t help but get a bit nervous about being on the ledge of a ship!

As I turned to my left, a gigantic blue whale was swimming towards me. A. GIGANTIC. BLUE. WHALE. SWIMMING. TOWARDS. me. . . The whale stopped right in front of me and with his basketball-sized eye looked me over. He then turned with his pectoral fin to swim right over me as I ducked away.  His fluke pushed downward almost hitting the ship, propelling him to swim away. The force of his tail sent the mast of the ship wobbling so I ducked again thinking it would hit me.

As the whale swam into the ‘sunset’, my heart was pounding from this Encounter. I grabbed the headpiece to take it off when hubby said “Let’s do it again!” – this time he had me step even closer to the whale.

It was such an amazing experience that of course, I had to re-create that experience in yarn! Here is theBlu, in honor of my hubby and the hardworking crew of WeVR studios.

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Enjoy!

Posted by: AlohaBlu | November 4, 2014

A little bit of Hollywood

Aloha! I thought I’d share some photos of a bit of Hollywood I’ve viewed recently.

Being a fan of movies growing up, I loved seeing the wonderful things that were used in a movie. This summer I was started working at a studio with over 100 years of movie-making history. Here are some images from the Studios at Paramount Pictures.

Let’s start with a photo of the Hollywood Sign (yes, it’s back there above Stages 30 & 31). Paramount is right in the middle of Hollywood so we see the sign everyday!

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This next photo is of the Bronson Gate which was seen in the 1950s movie, Sunset Blvd. They say that touching the gate is lucky so I make sure to tap both sides when I walk through. This photo was taken when Transformers 4 was released so a Bumblebee statue graced the front of the studio for a week.

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One of the interesting parts of the studio is called “B Tank”. When not in use, it serves as a parking lot. When in use, the entire section can be flooded with water to serve as a water set. The wall on the right is painted to look like the sky so filmmakers can shoot against that wall for sky shots. And of course, every studio has their own water tower. Adjacent to the water tower is a cafe, appropriately called, The Water Tower Cafe which serves fresh sushi as well as sandwiches and special dishes.

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There is an area called “New York” where façades replicate the different boroughs of NYC. Here’s a shot without much action in the streets. The subway station gate is completely mobile so it can be removed.

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Here is New York with a bit more action. Apparently they were filming a commercial and brought in a rather large prop . . .

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For those of you who watch the show GLEE (yup, filmed here at Paramount), here is the diner where Rachel, Santana and Kurt work.

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We were granted a tour of the Prop Warehouse where we got to see a bunch of different movie and TV show props up close. Here are a few photos I took.

This is Bumblebee – the front side this time. He is rather impressive and a 6-ft tall person would probably come just below his kneecaps! He takes up an entire corner of the warehouse and we took numerous photos with him 🙂

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Tom Cruise drove this car in the movie, Jack Reacher. Tom did the car stunts himself and the car is in the same condition as when it left the film, meaning all ding’d up. The driver’s side door does not open and it’s missing some headlights, etc.

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This warehouse also had life-sized buggy’s from GI JOE movie, one of the captain’s chairs from STAR TREK (remember Star Trek is a Paramount property) and more! But, let’s move on. . .

A couple weeks ago, we were granted a VIP Tour of the Archives – the department which houses copies of Paramount’s TV and film properties (now, this is where I geek out a bit since all of this stuff has so much history and for a film person, I was in heaven).

The first floor of the Archives houses rows upon rows of tape. Some of these are digital archival copies of an entire movie or show series.

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Along the walls on the first and second floors were film canisters containing prints of some very famous movies . . .

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All the Indiana Jones movies were here and we loved seeing the rusted ‘old school’ canister as seen on the top row, far left canister.

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We then made our way into the temperature-controlled film vault (cue the angel choir) where the original negatives are housed (!!!!!!) – here are some you might know.

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And for you Trekkies/Trekkers . . . sniff, Data . . .

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Then we moved onto Costumes, Props and Jewelry. Yup, these were the ones the actors wore/used in the films.

Let’s start with Mr. Cary Grant in the 1955 movie, To Catch a Thief. The lady in the photo is 8-time Academy Award winning costume designer, Edith Head, who worked at Paramount for 43 years.

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Tom Hanks’ attire for Saving Private Ryan

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Tom Hanks’ hat and shoes from Forrest Gump

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Christopher Walken’s Headless Horseman costume from Sleepy Hollow

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Those cool gloves that Tom Cruise wore in MI: Ghost Protocol

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 The jewelry worn by James Earl Jones and Eddie Murphy in Coming to America

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These are from the 1923 and 1956 re-make version of Cecil B. DeMille’s Ten Commandments. The necklace is from his 1956 film, whereas the scarab is from his original 1923 version.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed a little bit of Hollywood. I’ll end with a fun one that I was very excited about. This is me touching Optimus Prime of Transformers 4. I believe he was out to promote the DVD release of T4 so we saw him near our offices. (He also parks in the same parking garage I do.)

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Hooray for Hollywood!

Posted by: AlohaBlu | October 2, 2014

Nomination for the Creative Blog Hop

Aloha all! I was nominated by the incomparable Debra Garner on her blog for the creative Blog Hop. I will be answering 4 questions about crafting and then nominate fabulous individuals to do the same.

What am I working on?

I’m currently working on a pair of FLAG SOCKS: USA for fiber friend, Alison’s mom. I’m a bit farther along than this photo and should be done very soon!

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Of course I have many projects in progress as well and below is a photo of projects that I switch back and forth.

The front sock is being made from my self-striping “Zinnia” colorway yarn. The black yarn is Knitpicks’ Stroll and the pattern is called “Diamonds In the Rough” and is not yet available.

The top left sock is one of my very first designs, though I originally designed it for non-colorwork. Since I LOVE colorwork so much, I’m adapting the pattern using my hand-dyed gray/purple as the base and a beautiful Pagewood Farms yarn as the accent. The pattern is called “Tango Swerve” and is not yet available.

Top right sock is being knitted using my hand-dyed yarn both in a merino/bamboo base, I believe. The pattern is called “Smocked Socks” and is not yet available.

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I started my very first shawl project this summer! The pattern is by Emily Ross, called “Biltmore“, and after visiting the Biltmore Estate a few years ago I fell in love with it just as Emily had. It is a rectangular shawl which is perfect and the yarn is my hand-dyed “Monet’s House” colorway. This colorway was a custom request from a Facebook group called Yet Another Shawl. I just love seeing the different shawls all the ladies are making with Monet’s House – such talented knitters and crocheters in that group!

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I’m also working on dyeing up custom yarn orders and will have more on the shoppe soon!

 Question 2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?

One of the great things about being passionate about yarn and fiber is that I’m also a fan of other indie dyers, designers and creators. We all have a different ‘eye’ for design or color and I am amazed at how everyone expresses themselves in different ways.

When I started dyeing yarn and wool, I needed inspiration and decided that all those vacation photos that I took might be the ticket! So, I scoured my files – some digital, some real paper photos – and practiced replicating those colors in wool.  I found I really enjoyed it, and having a hubby who is a professional artist is great for asking questions about mixing colors, combinations, etc. I try my best to impress him with my creations!

Here are a few of my photos and the yarn/wool I created from the image.

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 Question 3: Why do I create what I do?

At first I started knitting as a stress reliever from a high-paced, high-stress (but equally fun) career. I found I enjoyed knitting and once I learned how to knit socks, the passion for yarn escalated. I joined the KnitPicks Community and was soon learning about yarn spinning and yarn dyeing. Funny enough, my first thoughts were “Why on earth would someone want to dye their own yarn when you can buy it already dyed?” . . . followed by “Why on earth would someone want to spin their own yarn when you can buy it already spun?”.

The answer is of course: because you love it. I create because I absolutely love it. After finding the passion for yarn I have found that I love sharing my passion with others, and the fiber friends I’ve met in person and online are kindred spirits that never cease to amaze me with their constant support and kind-hearted generosity.

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Question 4: How does my creative process work?

I am inspired by everything around me. Whether that be the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies, walking to lunch and seeing vibrant flowers, vacation photos or other photos that fiber friends send me, I’m always thinking of the next colorway or design.

Once I have a colorway in mind, I write down the dye colors I think would match what I have envisioned in my mind and let it marinate in my head for about a week. After a week, I come back to the written ‘formula’ and see if any changes need to be made. Then the experimenting begins.

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I can usually get the colors close the first time around (since it’s been marinating in my head for a week) though I have had to make some adjustments on the fly if the dye doesn’t turn out the way I want. The photo above is a colorway that will be on the shoppe soon, called Kai’s Dragon, which I created based on a drawing my godson Kai did for my birthday card.

Here’s my original colorway:

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I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit about me.  I can’t wait to learn more about my nominees, Sue of soobeeart,  Jenny of Marigoldjen (Marigoldjen on Ravelry) and Susanne of SussesSpindehjrne (SmilendeSusse on Ravelry).

Mahalo nui loa,

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Posted by: AlohaBlu | June 28, 2014

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 24 to 26

Aloha!

Here are the colors for Weeks 24-26 that I posted on the shoppe, www.AlohaBlu.com

This new colorway is AQUARIUM, in sw merino/cashmere/nylon fingering yarn and sw merino/nylon fingering yarn. This colorway used 14 dyes to showcase the bright colors of the fish & coral anchored by the greens and tans of the rocks. This inspirational photo was taken at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.

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An oldie, but a goodie, PAGSANJAN FALLS,  in sw merino/silk fingering yarn, sw merino/nylon fingering yarn and Falkland roving was inspired by this photo I took while on a ‘roaring rapids’ experience in the Philippines!

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A new colorway, BRIGHTS, was added to the shoppe in a bright self-striping sw merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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Another self-striping yarn, JILL’S BLANKET, in sw merino/nylon/stellina fingering yarn.

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More pink yarn! This is WAIMANALO FLOWERS, which I don’t have an inspirational photo for as we were driving through the town of Waimanalo on Oahu and all my photos came out blurry. I guess I’ll need another trip back to get a photo, right? 😉 These pieces are merino/bamboo lace yarn, sw merino fingering yarn, merino/bamboo/nylon roving and targhee roving.

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HONOLULU SUNSET 2 is a re-vamp of the original colorway. This time I added more colors in the orange/peach/yellow range.  When we were watching this sunset on Oahu, at one point I was checking the photos on my camera when I heard hubby say “Take this picture, NOW!”. What great timing he has, as the sun was illuminating all the windows on the cruise ship below! These pieces are sw merino/nylon fingering yarn, sw merino/nylon/stellina fingering yarn, polwarth roving and sw merino/nylon roving.

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On my birthday this year, hubby took me to a nearby restaurant where I saw a pretty sign for their Happy Hour. When I went to dye it up, I was not impressed with the outcome . . . so, I overdyed it with my favorite color PURPLE! Much happier with these now. Both of these skeins of HAPPY HOUR are fingering weight yarn: one is sw merino/nylon/stellina and the other is 600 yards of sw merino/cashmere/nylon.

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SOUTHERN SUMMER SUNSET 2 is another ‘re-vamp’d’ colorway. This time I added blues to the mix! This photo was taken whilst vacationing in beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina.  These pieces are sw merino/nylon fingering yarn in variegated and self-striping, merino/silk/stellina lace yarn, and a small braid of alpaca/merino/silk roving.

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Please join me on my Ravelry page for sneak peeks of upcoming shoppe postings, as well as on my Facebook page.

More to come! Enjoy!

Posted by: AlohaBlu | June 6, 2014

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 21 to 23

Aloha! Here are the colors for Weeks 21-23. Some of these items are still available on the shoppe.

WENDY’S MAPLE LEAVES is a new colorway inspired by fiber friend, Wendy, who sent me this wonderful photo of maple leaves she had raked up into a beautiful pile in the Fall. I kept the photo for months and finally had the right dyes to do it justice. Thank you Wendy for sending me such a beautiful photo and for permission to use it. These pieces are superwash merino fingering yarn, merino/silk lace yarn, merino/bamboo/silk roving and mixed BFL roving.

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POISON DART FROG is also a new colorway inspired by this little fella I met while touring the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific a few years ago. He had his own little terrarium since you can’t pet him, but his bright colors were awesome and I added the foliage in the colorway as well. These pieces are merino/nylon fingering yarn, mixed BFL roving and polwarth roving.

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CAMO self-striping is one of my first self-striping experiments! I’ll post another blog about my adventures in self-stripe yarn later . . . This is merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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PAPAYA PALM was once called Coconut Palm, however some very smart people saw that I had incorrectly identified this tree! So, I’ve corrected the title and these pieces are merino/silk fingering yarn and sw BFL roving.

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GLACIER BAY 2 is another experiment in self-striping yarn. This photo was taken back in 2010 while on an Alaskan cruise through Glacier Bay National Park. This yarn is merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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I also finished a pair of test socks –  I’m calling this HAWAIIAN QUILT SOCKS: PINEAPPLE. It was a challenging image to design (remember the canvas is 4″ wide) but a fun colorwork pattern and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!

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And lastly, my SCI-FI SOCKS Pattern was published on the KnitPick’s website this past week! I’m terribly excited to have another pattern accepted into the program 🙂

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Enjoy!

Posted by: AlohaBlu | May 19, 2014

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 18 to 20

Aloha! Here are the colors for Weeks 18-20, posted on the shoppe.

A new colorway, PARISIAN SUNSET, was inspired by this photo I took from our hotel room in late Fall 2010. The week long trip was mostly overcast with little bits of sun popping through the clouds. This sunset was amazing and I had to re-create it in yarn and wool.  These pieces are merino/tencel fingering yarn, sparkle fingering yarn sock blank, sparkle lace yarn and a targhee/firestar roving that I plan on spinning!

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PACIFIC SEA NETTLE is an oldie-but-goodie colorway in Corriedale Cross roving and superwash merino lace yarn. And yes, the turquoise is from the gentlemen’s shirt in the background!

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I don’t do too much cotton dyeing but it’s always interesting how cotton comes out. This colorway came out more muted than I had expected but still pretty! This is FADED DESERT SUNSET in cotton roving.

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JILL’S BLANKET is an almost-self-striping merino/nylon fingering yarn that was inspired by my friend Jill’s baby blanket project years ago. Her yarn colors were more pastel but I remembered how pretty the pinks and browns looked together and dyed a variation.

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A couple more cotton projects . . . these skeins are both #10 Crochet thread, so a laceweight yarn. The first one is a pretty blue color that when I dyed the first time came out a very pale blue-gray. I overdyed it and got a more saturated color.

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This second skein is perfect for summer with bright green and peach-pinks in the yarn.

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One of my fiber friends asked me to dye a rainbow yarn. I had never done a rainbow before and the colors are so pretty that I was eager to try. Later I was asked to make it self-striping, which seemed brilliant, but I didn’t have the tools for it so at first I said I wasn’t able to. BUT after thinking and thinking and thinking, I decided to have a go by manually winding the yarn in 6 sections and dyeing them in the appropriate colors. Here is the custom order with both the self-striping and variegated rainbow yarns.

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SUGAR CANE SUNSET is a new colorway! This photo was taken on the beautiful island of Maui during our Christmas trip last year. We didn’t know if these fields were sugar cane because of the flowering tops. We later learned those tops meant the sugar cane was ready for harvest! These pieces are merino/cashmere/nylon sock blank, merino/silk roving and merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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PATRIOT is a hand-dyed, handspun yarn in merino wool plied with silk thread. I dyed the wool in pieces of red, blue, light blue and turquoise then spun the singles in sequence. Half of the skein is plied with black thread, while the other in off-white! The colors reminded me of modern and vintage American flags that used various shades of blues for the stars section background. 

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KIHEI SUNSET is another new colorway (13 new ones so far this year!). This inspirational photo was taken at Maui Hill Resort in Hawaii. My family has been staying there for nearly 3 decades and we spent Christmas there recently. The sun was just about set, with beautiful pinks on the clouds and a gradient blue/green sky when I took the photo. These pieces are superwash merino lambswool roving and superwash merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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SWISS CHOCOLATE, an oldie-but-goodie colorway inspired by some wonderful pieces of heaven on a plate. These pieces are merino/cashmere/nylon fingering yarn and a new wool base, merino/yak/silk roving!

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And lastly, some sock photos. I’ve been battling tendonitis in my wrists so have had to slow down the knitting a bit which is not at all fun. BUT I was able to finish this wonderful project for myself! The pattern is Mermaid  Anklets & Socks by Debra Garner. She includes a pattern for both the anklets and socks and since I don’t have any handmade anklets, I gave it a go. Pretty simple pattern and it worked up quickly. I memorized the instep pattern so I was able to just knit knit knit!

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Some of the inspirational photos are available @ www.society6.com/alohablu. Enjoy!

Posted by: AlohaBlu | April 24, 2014

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 15 to 17

Aloha! Here are the colors for Weeks 15-17! Most items are available on the shoppe.

ROOM SERVICE ORCHID is inspired by a beautiful flower that came on a tray when we ordered room service while visiting Oahu a few years back. I thought the colors were so pretty I took a bazillion photos of the orchid and dyed them up in superwash merino/nylon fingering yarn and merino/silk roving.

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HAWAIIAN MIST is one colorway I’ve dyed up only once before and had forgotten about. I love the photo inspiration and resurrected it for another go around.  I just love how the mountains stop the movement of the clouds which creates this beautiful mist! These are superwash merino/nylon fingering yarn and merino/bamboo/nylon roving.

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A true oldie-but-goodie, RAINY DAY EIFFEL in Shetland roving and merino/silk lace yarn.

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One of my favorite desserts on Oahu is the DOLE WHIP, a pineapple sherbet that I first had at the Dole Plantation! I thought it would be fun to create a yarn that had soft yellows and a bit of beige (because you can get it in a cone, after all). These are sparkle lace yarn and superwash BFL roving.

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 SUNSET IN GALLIPOLIS‘ photo was taken by the owner of Nybble Cafe in Gallipolis, Ohio. These pieces are merino/silk sock blank, superwash merino lace yarn and merino/bamboo/silk roving.

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AHI POKE is a colorway inspired by one of our favorite Hawaiian dishes. Made with sashimi grade ahi tuna fish, Japanese seaweed, onions and seasonings. Upon landing in Hawaii, we always head to our nearest favorite restaurant for a plate or two. These pieces are both superwash merino/nylon in fingering yarn and roving.

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And for some socks! Here are a few I completed recently.

HAWAIIAN QUILT SOCKS: BREADFRUIT is an original pattern that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. I am always fascinated by quiltmaking and Hawaiian quilts in particular. While there are many beautiful quilt patterns available the challenge is to design a sock pattern that will fit in a 4″ wide canvas! After much finagling and re-designing, here’s the final outcome.

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This next pair is a wider version of my original SCI-FI SOCKS using a new yarn line from KnitPicks. Kinda funky, but still fun to make!

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And I just finished another test pair of FLAG SOCKS: CANADA using some sparkle yarn! This is a wider width version and I really love how it came out. I am aiming to write up the pattern next month for a summer release.

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Last but not least, a skein of handspun yarn. This was dyed by retired indie dyer, Sosae Caetano, in merino/bamboo wool. I spun up a fine lace weight yarn then plied it with silk thread and over 1300 size 6 glass seed beads. I am thinking about making a small shawl with the yarn for myself 🙂

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Enjoy!

Posted by: AlohaBlu | April 3, 2014

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 11 to 14

Aloha! Here are the colors for Weeks 11-14!

APPLE PICKING is a hand-dyed, hand spun yarn in superwash merino, then double plied with silk. The dyed silk roving is from Phoenix Fiber Co on Etsy, which I spun into a thin thread for plying.

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LIGURE SUNSET 2 in merino/tencel roving (not pictured), alpaca/merino/silk roving and cashmere/merino/nylon fingering yarn was inspired by a photo I took while in Monterosso, Italy.

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OLYMPIC SKI TEAMS were inspired by the uniforms I saw during the Winter Olympics. I dyed the wool, ran them through the drum carder and pulled them off as roving. These are available as a set.

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KA’ANAPALI BEACH always brings back great memories of my friends’ wedding. This photo was taken while waiting for a spa session for us bridesmaids. These are alpaca/silk yarn and merino/bamboo/nylon roving.

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Tencel is great for blending with wool projects!

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In the area called Days Bay in Wellington, New Zealand we came upon a bus stop painted in bright colors of pinks, yellows and orange and lovingly adorned with hearts. On the bench were two beautiful words: Love Life. These pieces of LOVE SHACK are polwarth/silk roving and sparkle fingering yarn.

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This is a sample set of rolags I created using Corriedale, Wool, Silk, CVM/Romeldale, Merino & Banana Fiber.

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I hand-dyed the yellow/green/black multi yarn for this ballet bag, then added the black top for contrast.

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Finished up another test pair of FLAG SOCKS: USA, but adjusted the pattern on one sock and found an error as well so I’ll be frogging/re-knitting/re-testing this pair, but here’s what it looked like when I finished.

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Another pair of BOARDGAME SOCKS in KnitPick’s Stroll Tweed yarn. This one goes to Ms. Chantal.

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Speaking of which, Knitpicks just sent out an email introducing the new line of sock yarn called Hawthorne and included my pattern in the email. Super cool!

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More stuff on the shoppe soon! Enjoy!

Posted by: AlohaBlu | March 24, 2014

Images of Hawaii 2013 – Part 3

Aloha all – here is Part 3 of my Hawaiian photo blog. These photos were all taken on the beautiful island of Maui.

My family has been staying in Kihei in South Maui for decades. Though it has changed dramatically in that time, it still is pretty laid back and the views are wonderful. This photo was taken while on a morning walk on South Kihei Road.

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This photo of the last itty bitty bit of sunset was taken in the car – yup, I’m one of those people hanging out a car window with a camera . . . or two. I love that the lens focused on the horizon and everything else is nicely blurred. I also love that the orange just about matches the color of the rental car we had (mix-up at the rental agency awarded us an upgrade to a sports car with a rather loud bright orange paint scheme. We affectionately called it “The Monarch” after the Monarch butterflies found on Hawaii). Sigh, I miss that car.

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We hopped over to Lahaina one day since I had to do some last minute shopping for Christmas. Doesn’t everyone need a box of cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company? We strolled Front Street and I snapped this photo of the sailboats on the water.

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Taking a drive along the northern part of the island, we ended up at Honalua Bay. There was a single sailboat in the bay and you can even hike down to the beach for some lounging and swimming. I took several photos of the bay and the single rainbow. A few minutes later the second rainbow on the left started to appear.

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We often wondered if these fields with the flowered tops were sugar cane and during our ziplining expedition, our guides did confirm they were sugar cane fields. The flowered tops meant the fields were already past the harvesting time. I took this photo from my vantage point in the Monarch and loved the lighting at sunset.

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We visited the Maui Ocean Center which is a fabulous aquarium on Ma’alaea Harbor. They have a wonderful collection of sea life and beautiful views from the outside exhibits.

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This glass tunnel through the shark tank is AWESOME! There is even a glass panel on the floor so you can see sharks above and below you. I did get rattled once when I failed to see a Hammerhead coming around me. Despite the heart-racing drive-by, I would still venture to dive this shark tank 🙂

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OH – I also updated my storefront, so some of these photos are now available at Society6. Enjoy!

Posted by: AlohaBlu | March 10, 2014

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 7 to 10

Aloha!

After seeing the vintage-style knit sweaters worn by Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony , I was inspired to knit up some patriotic socks.  This first pair was started the very next morning and was based on a flag pattern I had designed in the summer of 2013, but never got around to testing.  I finished the first sock in a day and the next sock by the following Saturday. These are FLAG SOCKS: USA in US Womens 8-10 | Mens 7-9. I will post these on the shoppe later this spring.

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During the second week of the Olympics, I thought I’d knit up another pair for our fabulous friends to the north! For the top portion, I made the maple leaf a silhouette instead of repeating the flag. When I write up the pattern, the knitter will be able to choose whichever image to the socks (all flag, all silhouette or a combination of both). I’ll post this pair on the shoppe later as well.

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The following socks are available on the shoppe. I almost ripped out my test pair of SCI-FI SOCKS because it wasn’t looking like I had envisioned in my mind. Fortunately I was so far along that I decided to just finish the sock and see what it looked like on the mannequin. The stitches stretched out and looked like something from The Matrix movies! From then I was happy with the design and kept going.  I made these green/tan socks . . .

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and made a purple pair too!

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I posted this pair of ROMAN FORUM SOCKS on the shoppe.

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Here are a few pairs of socks I knitted for 3 wonderful girlfriends who make me laugh every time we meet. ‘DB’ recently got married so I made her a pair with her new last name, ‘SueB’s’ pair has her art company name, and as for CLA’s ‘Reindeer’ socks . . . well, let’s just say what happened in Upper Montclair, New Jersey in the winter of 2006 STAYS in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

These pairs were completed on Dec 2013, Jan 2014 and Feb 2014 respectively and I was able to present the socks yesterday so I can post them here now!

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This last pair was completed in Jan 2014 for a bride who will be wearing them later this year in her cowboy boots on her wedding day.

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Now onto colors! These first four colorways are brand new (11 new colorways for 2014 so far)!

APPLE PICKING was inspired by this photo taken by my cousin Laura. I immediately fell in love with the photo and had to re-create it in yarn and wool. The yarns are superwash merino lace weight, sw merino/nylon fingering sock blank and alpaca/merino/silk roving.

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My 5-year old godson, Kai, drew this image on my birthday card last year and I knew I wanted to create a special colorway from it. I had the card on my desk for a few months and finally dyed up KAI’S DRAGON in sw merino fingering yarn and sw merino/nylon roving. Artwork is used with permission of the artist . . . and his mommy.

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BROKEN SUNSET 2 was an attempt to re-create a broken colorway! I attempted to dye up some cotton yarn but the dyes broke into many different colors. The broken colorway was well received and I was asked to try to do again – this time on purpose – in  polwarth wool roving, sw merino roving  and merino/tencel yarn.  And yes, it was much harder to replicate a ‘happy accident’.

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The background in this collage is a CROTON plant that I took a photo of while on Maui this past December. I loved  the bright magenta and greens and used some hand-dyed wool for the project. I ran the merino/silk wool through the drum carder, layering some wonderful soffsilk (silk waste product) between the solid colors. I pulled the wool off as a continuous piece of roving and made a braid. The soffsilk will add some texture when spinning.

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And some ‘oldie-but-goodie’ colorways. . . ORANGE HIBISCUS in sparkle lace yarn and merino/bamboo/silk roving was inspired by a hibiscus plant I used to have. It only bloomed an orange flower every few seasons and when it did,  I tried to take as many photos as I could!

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DIAMOND HEAD SUNSET 2 is a variation of the original which was more pastel. This version incorporates the blue/gray sky and a darker gray for contrast. This is merino/silk fingering yarn and polwarth/silk roving.

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I dyed up these next two pieces for the shoppe since I was already creating them for a custom order. HONOLULU FIREWORKS is 5oz of merino/tencel roving.

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SEA DRAGONS is 5.4oz of merino wool roving.

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Now for some bags! These first two ballet/pointe shoe bags come from European and South American wool. The pink/green version was crocheted with two strands held together while the rainbow bag was made with a single-ply yarn.

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I finally put together a “Dye your own” ballet bag kit. These fun kits include a crocheted ballet bag, printed dyeing instructions and a few packets of kool-aid ‘dye’. Available in Orange/Yellow/Red and Red/Pinks.

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Lastly, I posted a spring-inspired scarf in velvet/silk  in bright lime green!

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Enjoy!

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