Knitting

2016 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 12 – 19

Aloha! Happy Spring to you all!

These past few months flew by so quickly and I am excited for the Spring/Summer seasons. I am still dyeing wool for SPIN THIS BOX and did a couple months for SPINNING BOX.

Here are some of the colorways from each of these boxes.

SPIN THIS BOX

April box

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May box

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SPINNING BOX

April box – theme: English Garden. This collage was inspired by photos I took at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, California and the Wellington Botanic Gardens in Wellington, New Zealand.

ALBL_SBOX_04-16_v2

May box – theme: Birds of Paradise. This colorway is WAIMEA ROOSTER, inspired by a rooster that I photographed at Waimea Falls Park on Oahu, Hawaii. I later learned this rooster is named ‘Willy’ and is a long-time resident of the park!

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As some of you may be aware, the KnitPicks Community website has been closed down. The members have migrated to our own Ravelry group called “The Frog Prince and his Knitting Community Orphans” and is dedicated to Susan the Blue Lake Knitter, who we lost a few years ago.  Feel free to join us on Ravelry!

We completed a Spin-A-Long last month and they were kind enough to ask me to dye up custom colorways in our group’s colors for the next SAL, which will coincide with Tour de Fleece. Here are the colorways I will be dyeing this month:

THEFROGPRINCE

KCORPHANS

Most recently I’ve been working on more sock patterns while keeping up with some dye colorways for the shoppe. Let’s talk about some sock projects . . .

DIAMONDS AND PEARLS Socks feature a diamond pattern created with bobbles (pearls) and a diamond pattern on the foot/back.  This pattern is in honor of the musical legend, Prince, and was knitted with KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in Blue Violet and Stroll Duchess Heather. I hope The Purple One would approve 🙂  Pattern is in progress.

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LOVE IS LOVE Socks was completed this past month as well, and was knitted using KnitPicks Felici Rainbow (discontinued) and Stroll Firecracker Heather. Pattern is in progress.

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I love animated movies and these socks were inspired by a Disney classic from the 1990s. I loved how the the main character in ALADDIN was called a “diamond in the rough” and turned out to be a true hero in the end. DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH Socks is an homage not just to this animated hero, but to the hidden gems in all of us. Pattern is available on KnitPicks.com

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Onto the colors! This first new colorway is inspired by one of my artist friends, Sue Blanchard. I just fell in love with this image last year and knew I had to re-create I PROMISE TO BE GOOD in yarn and wool.

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PICCOLO is another art piece from Sue that I thought was pretty fabulous. Here is my re-creation in yarn and wool.

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Sue’s amazing artwork can be found at:

soobeeart.etsy.comsoobee.com

Facebook: Soobee Illustration & Instagram: soobee362

The next new colorway was inspired by an image that fiber friend, Faith, sent me. This is SUMMIT LAKE in her home state of Indiana.

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I also dyed up some pima cotton in fingering weight yarn:

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Having decided to go back to some of my Hawaiian/Tropical themes, I dyed up 2 oldie-but-goodies, with a few more on the way. This first one is COCONUT LIME (Put the lime in the coconut and drank it all up . . . )

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and POI, which is a Hawaiian side dish made from the Taro plant which gives it the purple color. Now, if you’ve ever been to a Hawaiian luau they would have most likely had a small bowl of Poi for you to try and the consistency is usually paste-like, though for most people, it is an acquired taste.

POI_2016_05

Onto some weaving projects! This first scarf was created for a friend’s mother who is once again fighting cancer. We hear she is doing OK and really loved the scarf.

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I did finish one more weaving project which I’m very happy about. This scarf is made from Merino wool that I dyed, spun then wove using plain weave and Brooks Bouquet techniques.

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I’m currently working on a table runner on my 32″ rigid heddle loom, and I’m excited for my 10″ Ashford SampleIt loom to arrive today! This smaller one will be easier to port around 🙂

Lastly, I have been spinning more and here are some of my finished skeins from this year.

A = SW Targhee/Nylon from the December 2016 SPIN THIS BOX

B = Mixed BFL in my KEEGAN colorway

C = Corriedale Cross in blues/greens

D = Mixed BFL in my MOODY RAINBOW colorway from the March 2016 SPIN THIS BOX

E = Merino/Black Tencel in my WAIMEA ROOSTER colorway from the May 2016 SPINNING BOX

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The following skeins were all spun from the January 2016 SPIN THIS BOX

F = This skein was spun from fun Merino/Firestar/Bamboo rolags from Tiffany King of The Wooly Witch

G = This wonderful 50/50 Merino/Silk wool was dyed by Joe Cole of What The Flock Hand Dyed Yarns

H = Nicholette Reynolds of Spun Sugar Yarns dyed this fabulous Merino wool

I (middle) = LaDonna April of Fistful of Fiber dyed the beautiful Merino/Bamboo/Nylon wool for this skein

J (two skeins) = These two art skeins were spun from vibrant Mystery wool and Bluefaced Leicester locks from Jeri Powtak of Jeri Lynn’s Farm

K = This lovely Rambouillet was dyed by Cherish Stevens of Dandelions & Daisies

SPIN THIS BOX is curated by Anna Barnett of Fiber Felt n More

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Here are the individual images so you can see what the original wool looked like.

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Lastly, I’ve been wishing for an electric spinner and my wonderful hubby was kind enough to give me one as an early birthday gift! Here is my Hansen Mini Spinner in Wenge wood.

AlohaBlu_HansenWengeSpinner

I can’t wait to do more spinning and weaving and dyeing and knitting! 🙂

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Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2013 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 46-49

ALOHA!

Aloha all and Happy December! Just an FYI –  the shoppe will be closed on December 9th, re-opening later in the month.

Here are the colors and projects for weeks 46-49.  These first 3 colorways all were inspired by photos I took during the Christmas/New Year’s holiday season 🙂

MR. BUTTERFLY in superwash merino lace yarn and superwash merino roving. I took this photo at a butterfly farm in St. Maarten, French West Indies during a Christmas cruise to the Caribbean.

MRBUTTERFLY_COLORCARD_2013_11

SUNSET OVER FüRIGEN in Falkland roving and superwash merino/nylon fingering yarn. I took this photo while visiting our godson and family in beautiful Fürigen, Switzerland over Christmas 2010.

SUNSETOVERFURIGEN_COLORCARD_2013_11

HONOLULU FIREWORKS in 50/50 silk/merino fingering yarn, superwash merino/tencel roving, sparkle lace yarn and mixed BFL/silk/firestar painted batt. This photo was taken at Waikiki,  just before New Years’.

HONOLULUFIREWORKS_COLORCARD_2013_11

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I had great fun dyeing this new OVERLAY SERIES, inspired by the 2D animation technique of ‘overlaying’ a cel on top of another to bring an object to the foreground. For these skeins, a base color was applied, then a top color was ‘overlayed’ for a multi-color effect.

BLUEBERRY, OLIVE & PEACH-RASPBERRY

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and LANIKAI, MOSS & BLACK-PURPLE

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 I carded this fun batt of hand-dyed purples & black in superwash merino/nylon wool.

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JOKER in handspun, hand-dyed corriedale yarn

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And some socks!

These are CHUTES & LADDERS SOCKS in olive tweed.

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BLOCKED SOCKS in green & red-multi

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ROMAN FORUM SOCKS in green/purple-multi

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I was excited to learn this week that my Roman Forum Socks pattern was approved and published into Knitpicks.com’s Independent Designer Program! This is my 7th submission into the program with my colorwork sock patterns and can be found here.

I also posted a set of rolags in hot pink and black. I must admit these are quite bright and fun!

ROLAGS_HOTPINK-BLACK1

This past week we had a fun gift exchange in our knitting group and we were to make either fingerless gloves or a pair of potholders. I made a pair of smocked fingerless gloves, but fearing I may have made them too small, I also crocheted a potholder using hand-dyed mercerized cotton yarn. I also added a small skein of undyed wool yarn with some kool-aide and dye-your-own-yarn instructions. 🙂

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This is me opening my exchange gift – a pair of fingerless gloves is sparkly black and red made by Diana! They are super comfy and I just love the bling!

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I also finished a pair of cabled fingering gloves for myself using a beautiful yarn my friend Debra gave me. The wool is merino and silk and the length is about 17″ so they are above the elbow (opera length, I think?).

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Lastly, I am trying to finish spinning 5oz of beautifully dyed Rambouillet roving from CorgiHillFarm. I’ve never spun Rambouillet (a fine merino wool) and it’s wonderful to work with. I am thinking about plying the single with silk thread for a lace weight yarn.

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Happy Holidays!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2013 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 40-42

ALOHA!

Here are the colors for weeks 40-42.

First is FALL HARVEST in sw merino/nylon roving and merino/nylon sock blank. A sock blank is basically one full skein of yarn that I knitted with two strands held together to form a ‘blank’ – essentially a long knitted piece – which then I hand painted. The knitter unravels the yarn from one end and can make two socks at the same time that will have a near-identical pattern.

FALLHARVEST_COLORCARD_2013_10

I also created a custom order in 50/50 merino/silk fingering yarn.

FALLHARVEST_5050MERSILKF_01

TEAPOT STILL LIFE inspired by artwork by artist friend, Aaron Spurgeon! This is sw merino/nylon roving, sparkle fingering sock blank and cotton roving.

TEAPOTSTILLLIFE_COLORCARD_2013_10

BILTMORE BENCH 2 in merino/bamboo/nylon roving and merino/silk lace yarn.

BILTMOREBENCH2_2013_09_COLORCARD

BERRY PIE in superwash BFL mini-batt and rolags.

BERRYPIE_COLLAGE_2013_10

EGGPLANATEE (inspired by Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2) in merino/silk lace yarn and alpaca/wool/bamboo roving.

EGGPLANATEE_COLORCARD_2013_10

SUNSET OVER TITLUS in sw merino/merino/silk roving and lightweight fingering yarn.

SUNSETOVERTITLUS_COLORCARD_2013_10

and another braid in polwarth for me to spin!

SUNSETOVERTITLUS_POLWARTHR_01

WORLDLY in merino & leicester longwool roving.

WORLDLY_MERLONGWOOL_01

Purple & Gray mercerized cotton in sport weight and cotton worsted.

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MONSTER MASH in cotton worsted.

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I also created some rolags!

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SOCKS! My Desiree Diamond Socks pattern is now available on KnitPicks.com!

These socks are available on the shoppe.

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And lastly, here’s the finished alpaca skeins that I processed from raw to sport weight 2-ply handspun in LANIKAI colorway.

Before re-skeining:

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After re-skeining

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And a close-up 🙂

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Enjoy!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2013 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 37-39

Aloha and Happy Fall! I’m excited for my favorite season and the weather has already been cooler here in SoCal.

Lots to post, and I’ll start with colors for weeks 37 – 39. These first 2 are new colorways inspired by my friend and folk artist, Sue Blanchard. Her “Overheard” series is based on comical snippets of overheard conversations which she then re-creates as whimsical pieces of art. The first is called MY FRIEND and I re-created this in 50/50 merino/silk fingering yarn, superwash merino/merino/silk roving and an alpaca/wool/bamboo mini batt.

MYFRIEND-COLORCARD_2013_09

The second in this series is called BLESS HIS HEART in polwarth roving and merino/bamboo lace yarn.

BLESSHISHEART_COLORCARD_2013_09

Sue’s artwork can be seen on Etsy @ www.soobeeart.etsy.com, on her site @ www.soobee.com and on Facebook.

These next colorways are ‘oldies but goodies’ starting with PIETA ALCOVE in a new base, merino/superwash merino/silk roving, and superwash merino fingering yarn.

PIETAALCOVE_COLORCARD_2013_09

WAILUA FALLS in BFL/silk roving and merino/nylon fingering yarn.

WAILUAFALLS_COLORCARD_2013_09

MORNING AT BILTMORE INN in 50/50 silk/merino fingering yarn and targhee roving.

MORNINGATBILTMOREINN_COLORCARD_2013_08

And wouldn’t want some SWISS CHOCOLATE?? These are merino/tencel roving and baby alpaca/silk lace yarn.

SWISSCHOCOLATE_COLORCARD_2013_09

Some Fall-ish colors in DARK CAMO, merino roving and sw merino/nylon fingering yarn.

DARKCAMO_2013_08

MONSTER MASH in cotton worsted weight yarn.

MONSTERMASH_COTTON_W_02

Our eldest niece, Alayna, is now a freshman at Ohio State University, so I created OUR FAVORITE BUCKEYE colorway in her honor. This first skein is superwash merino/bamboo/nylon finger yarn.

OURFAVORITEBUCKEYE_MBNF_01

And in cotton worsted weight yarn.

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Keeping with the red theme, this is PELE batt in CVM/Romeldale, Merino/Romney and Peruvian wool.

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I also dyed up some small pieces of bamboo roving.

BAMBOO_2013_09

And sparkly FIRESTAR!

FIRESTAR_2013_09

Whew! Now on to the SOCKS!

I presented WAHINE & KANE Socks on this blog before, however they are now available on the shoppe 🙂

KANE-WAHINESOCKS_COLLAGE_2013_09

SQUIGGLE SOCKS were created using merino/bamboo/nylon yarn that I hand-dyed in my ALOHABLU colorway.

SWIGGLESOCKS_ALOHABLU_BLUE_MERBAMNYLON_01

Speaking of dyeing, these are two silk/velvet scarves I hand-dyed in bright fuchsia and lemon yellow.

SCARF_ABSTRACT_FUSCHIA_01

SCARF_BAROQUE_YELLOW_01

I love crocheting ballet bags and thought I’d add a mini bag to go along!

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And finally, some spinning projects!

First, I spun up 2oz each in purple and orange of Opulent Fiber’s merino/silk roving for Chantal.

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Here’s the final yarn. 2-ply lace weight, 696 yards.

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Next, some spindle spinning using a Spindolyn and Russian support spindle. I am in the process of plying the Merino/BFL/Silk with silk thread for a cobweb lace yarn. Will post photos when done!

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And finally, I’m working a ‘test’ project to process raw alpaca wool from start to finish for DK weight yarn. Here are some photos of my progress so far.

WASHING/SCOURING

Raw white alpaca!

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I separated the raw wool into two 8oz sections and one 3oz, and washed the first 16 oz. Here the wool is soaking in the right sink and I’m filling up the left sink for the rinse.

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This is what the right sink looks like after draining the water out (knitting group ladies asked to see the process so I thought I’d post the good, bad and ugly!).

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Next, rinsing in clean water. I repeat the scour/rinse process one more time to get more dirt and debris out. Note: there will still be vegetable matter (VM) in the wool all through the process as it is impossible to get it all out, but I try to get the bigger pieces out as I go along.

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DRYING/DRAFTING

After taking the wool out of the rinse, I draft out the wool into smaller pieces so they dry faster and to make sure the wool isn’t felted.

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Once dried, I draft again to loosen more VM and get the wool ready for carding.

CARDING/SPINNING

I use my drum carder to create lofty batts to spin up.

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Taking a batt off the drum.

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A batt ready for spinning. On the upper right is my spinning wheel with yarn-in-progress.

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Spinning fingering weight singles.

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Each of these bobbins have 3oz of fingering weight singles, ready for plying.

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2-ply DK weight on my Jumbo bobbin.

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Here is one skein of spun yarn and the specs:

6oz Alpaca Wool | Prep: Woolen | Spin: Worsted

Spinning Wheel: Ashford Joy | Singles @ 14:1 ratio | Plied @ 8:1 ratio

WPI: 14 | DK weight | 180 yards

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Next steps: finish spinning the remaining wool then dyeing them up!

I’ll end with a fun image or two. On 21 September, hubby and I attended the Premiere of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 in Westwood, California. Cloudy2 is the last project I worked on and I’m always nervous when my projects come out just because I’m so proud of the work and hope my crew and viewers like it too.

We had great seats in the theater, right behind Lou Diamond Phillips and his family, and what was I doing to calm my nerves? Knitting socks of course!

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And if you do get a chance to see the movie, please look for me at the end. This is the artwork for my ‘card’ credit that I share with our wonderful digital producer, Mandy.

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Thanks for reading this rather lengthy post! Hope you enjoyed it! ~ christina

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2013 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 34-36

Aloha!

This week through 9/15, I’m having a ‘20% off purchases over $15’ sale. Use coupon code: 20OFF @ www.AlohaBlu.com.

Here are the colors for weeks 34- 36.

A new colorway, STAINED GLASS ALTAR, in sparkle lace yarn and merino/silk roving. I took this photo while we were touring Our Lady of Paris, the famous Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France. It was an overcast November day so it was pretty dark inside. For a quick moment, the sun came through and illuminated this altar just as I was passing. I snapped the photo and now here is the wool & yarn. 🙂

STAINEDGLASSALTAR_COLORCARD_2013_09

We are less than a month away from the opening of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and this colorway – WILDEBEETS – was inspired by the creatures that are part wildebeest, part beet. This is corriedale cross roving and sparkle fingering yarn.

wildebeets_colorcard_2013_08

This is an updated version of NZ SHELL in BFL/silk roving and cashmere/merino/nylon fingering yarn. This inspirational photo was taken while strolling on a beach in Wellington, New Zealand.

nzshell_colorcard_2013_08

Another Cloudy2-inspired colorway: FRUIT COCKATIEL in BFL/silk roving and merino/bamboo lace weight yarn. This fun creature is made up of a pear body, orange slices for feet, pineapple and cherry eyes, a grape nose, and parts of a banana for wings and hair!

fruitcockatiel_colorcard_2013_08

ZION 3 in superwash BFL roving and Falkland British Merino/Tencel lace yarn was inspired by a photo I took years ago while visiting Zion National Park in Utah.

zion3_colorcard-2013_08

MEMORY 2 in merino/tencel roving and a hand knitted sock blank in sparkle fingering yarn was inspired by a fiber friend’s winter memory. If you’re wondering what a sock blank is, I’ll explain. I took a full skein of yarn and cut it in half. Using both strands held together, I knitting a long piece of undyed yarn (kind of resembles a scarf) and dyed that up. The knitter will then unravel from one end and start knitting two socks at the same time from the two strands I held together resulting in two identically patterned socks. Cool, huh? (Nope, the idea is soo not mine!)

MEMORY2_COLORCARD_2013_08

LANIKAI DEEP is a beautiful mercerized cotton worsted weight yarn that reminded me of the deep waters off Lanikai Beach.

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BILTMORE SUNFLOWERS batt in targhee/polypay, corriedale cross wool and banana fibers were inspired by well, sunflowers at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina.

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EVIL STEPMOTHER batt in corriedale cross, silk, merino, peruvian & BFL wool was named for a KnitPicks yarn colorway that I love! I believe they still have that in stock 🙂

EVILSTEPMOTHER_BATT_CORRIEXMERPERUBFL-SILK_1.6oz_01a

These two are my new favorites. Having ‘can’ dyed each color separately, I then drumcarded each colorway and pulled it off as roving. This is TOXIC WATER in polwarth roving.

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And WEATHER WATCHER in 80s count merino roving.

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I dyed up another silk/velvet scarf in blue with a fun paisley pattern.

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And a few more ballet/pointe crochet bags.

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Thanks for stopping by and remember the sale goes through 9/15! Mahalo!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2013 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 32-33

Aloha! Here are the colors for weeks 32-33.

Since I haven’t posted socks for a while, I thought I’d start with those. Here are some newly finished pairs. (I’ll post them on the shoppe at a later date.)

KANE SOCKS in merino/silk.

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DESIREE DIAMOND SOCKS in merino/bamboo/nylon with glass beads.

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DESIREE DIAMOND SOCKS in merino/alpaca/nylon with glass beads.

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SQUARED SOCKS – work in progress. After over a year I finally finished ONE sock and am having serious Second Sock Syndrome. This pattern calls for 2 fingering weight and 1 lace weight yarn and it taxes my brain (I designed the pattern so only have me to blame!).  This pair will be for me so I’m in no rush to complete them.

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On to the colors. . .

The first is PACIFIC SEA NETTLE in polwarth wool roving and baby alpaca yarn. The photo was taken of the North Pacific Sea Nettle at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.

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Next up is FOG in a 64 count merino 2oz mini-batt and superwash merino light-fingering weight yarn (750 yds).  The inspirational photo was taken while cruising through Alaska.

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JOKER batt in merino & peruvian wool, banana fibers.

More ballet/pointe shoe crochet bags

And here are some other fun color projects that I’ve done these past couple of weeks.

First, I FINALLY completed the last bit of Tour de Fleece yarn. This is 6oz of Falkland @ 512 yards of Navajo-plied yarn. Am thinking it’s fingering weight yarn but haven’t checked it yet.

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Here are the other yarn pieces completed for the 2013 TdF season.

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Secondly, some dyeing and  carding projects . . .

These next two braids were fun to make! I first dyed each color separately, then carded them on my drum carder. Using a 1/4″ diz, I pulled the wool off as thick roving which I was able to braid. Here are the before and after photos.

80’s count merino dyed in gray, blue, bright green (colorway name TBD):

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Carded & Braided:

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And polwarth wool dyed in black, aqua & bright green (to be called TOXIC WATER):

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Carded & Braided:

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And since I was inspired by a friend’s (Susan D) tomato canning, here’s mine. I was playing around with iPhoto, trying to make a collage and did this ‘card’.

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Enjoy!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2013 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 29-31

Aloha and Happy August! Here are the colors for weeks 29 – 31, available on the shoppe.

I’ll start with an oldie but a goodie: GLACIER BAY in merino/bamboo/nylon roving, sw merino/nylon batt&bump and merino/silk lace yarn.

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And the inspirational photo taken in Alaska

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CALICO GHOST TOWN in corriedale cross roving and sw merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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SUNSET SEA ALASKA in mixed BFL/silk roving and sw merino lace yarn

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and the inspirational photo

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COOL JEWEL PLAID in black alpaca/silk roving

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DARK AVALON in Falkland British merino/nylon fingering yarn

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WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING batt

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And a couple more ballet/pointe shoe bags

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Lastly, I’m working on a couple spinning projects.

The first is a spindle-spun lace yarn that I started a couple weeks ago. The fiber is merino wool in my FOG colorway that I carded on my drum carder then pulled the wool off as a center-pull bump of roving.

The spindle itself has an interesting story. It is a picasso jasper stone flower top spindle from ZebisisDesigns. In the fall of 2010, I was heartbroken when I hesitated to buy this spindle and it was sold on her shoppe to someone else. Instead I purchased another beautiful spindle from her over the Thanksgiving holiday and when my spindle arrived, this was also in the box as a gift! I literally stared at this amazing gift and could not believe my eyes. Apparently the seller gave everyone who ordered from her during that season an extra spindle. Of all the spindles she could have given me, she gave me the ONE that I really wanted! To this day I’m truly amazed at how it has come to pass that I own this amazing work of art.DSCN2612

The second spinning project I’m trying to finish is plying the last bit of wool from Tour de Fleece. It’s 6.2 ounces of Falkland wool that I spun in a laceweight single and am now Navajo-plying. For you crocheters, N-plying is basically looping the single strand as if making a single crochet and twisting the yarn together to form a 3-ply (strand) yarn. N-plying will give you long sections of the same color, and with 6.2 ounce that I’ve just started I’ll probably be done plying in time for next year’s TdF . . .

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Enjoy!