Crafts, Knitting, Photography, Travel, Yarn/Roving

2017 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 10 – 24

Aloha!

I’m trying out a new theme for this blog and the header photograph is a panorama photo taken by my amazing hubby, Jake. And yes, this will be a colorway soon ūüôā

The past few months have been amazing and I’m still getting used to the new shoppe platform as well as keeping the Etsy shoppe. It has been a wonderful – albeit scary – learning experience and I have come to learn that both platforms have their pros and cons, just like everything in life. I’m so grateful for all the support from my fiber friends, non-fiber friends and family as I go along this fun journey of mine.

I’m super excited for the summer and have some fun things planned. We do have some family coming in tomorrow so I might put the shoppes on vacation mode or else just know shipping will be delayed a few days for in-stock items.

I’ll keep you posted on summer plans, but for now, here are the colors for weeks 10-24.

Starting with the most recent, I had dyed up this colorway in cotton yarn years ago and finally got around to dyeing it in wool. We were driving around pineapple fields on Oahu one year and I just loved how the sunset was making the fields a beautiful reddish color. In addition I did take a photo of a pink pineapple at the Dole Plantation which was astonishing to me since all I’ve ever seen were yellow! Here is PINEAPPLE FIELDS in yarn and wool.

 

This past week was Pride Week here in Los Angeles so I dyed up my RAINBOW PRIDE FLAG colorway. This was my very first self-striping colorway and I don’t dye it up very often. One of the first skeins I did dye was used for my Love is Love Sock Pattern. This years’ yarn skeins have already sold out, but the pattern is still available on both shoppes, Ravelry and Knitpicks.

 

For the Spring 2017 “Addicted to Sock Knitting” eZine, indie dyers were challenged to come up with a colorway based on their favorite children’s book. The book I chose was Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea¬†and created both a self-striping yarn and variegated yarn. The pre-orders are now closed, but here are the two versions I created.

 

You know how I love sunsets and I couldn’t help but create a colorway from this photo I took of a SAN CLEMENTE SUNSET. We have family living down in Orange County and we visited them just after Thanksgiving last year. So so pretty!
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This year I started a new dye collection inspired by food and drink. ¬†I just completed my final dye session and will be creating a new set of Mini’s (!) soon. In the meantime, this is a colorway based on a fabulous dessert we had at the Blue Bayou Restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland!! This is¬†CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE and the dessert was divine . . .

 

I expanded my Sports/Team self-striping yarn this year and found many colorways can be used for a variety of teams: football, basketball, baseball, hockey, racing, local schools, etc. Here are a few that I dyed up and can be suitable for schools/teams in Los Angeles, Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, South Carolina and more. These are now available in the dyed-to-order section of the shoppe.

I dyed up this one because I love these colors!

 

ROSE GARDEN is a self-striping colorway created using 2 different dye techniques! The inspiration came a few summers ago when we took our visiting niece to the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Gardens in San Marino, California. The Rose Garden was exceptionally beautiful and the photo I took of Alayna walking through the garden reminded me of beauty, romance, innocence and young love that I knew I had to create a colorway.

 

This next colorway is an oldie-but-goodie and it has oh, about 13 different colors in it so I don’t dye it very often. I did do a gradient yarn too, so the colors don’t repeat – I thought it would be fun for a shawl project! I took this photo at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and just love all the colorful fish and plant-life – not to mention the coral and rocks. I ended up spinning a small skein of the wool and love how the colors came out using a Navajo ply. Some skeins/braids of AQUARIUM are available on the shoppe.

Here is the Rambouillet/Silk yarn I spun:

 

My first set of 2017 mini’s sold out, but I was ready with my ‘Spring Set’ of MENEHUNE MINI‘s! I do have a couple of these sets available on the shoppe. These are 10x 10-gram balls of hand-dyed sock yarn that I already made into center-pull balls. You just pull the top yarn to start crafting!

 

Remember how I said I was doing a food/drink collection? Well, here’s a fabulous one from Oahu: MANGO SORBET. Jake and I were staying on the North Shore one trip and often dined at a restaurant called Ola’s at Turtle Bay Resort.¬†It was a family owned joint, right there on the beach where you can enjoy drinks or a meal while watching the world go by . . . Ola’s recently closed but I’ll always remember the view, the food, the awesome staff and their wonderful desserts.

 

Since we are talking about Hawaii, here’s another one – inspired by a super special drink called the LAVA FLOW.¬†I had my very first drink at Duke’s on Waikiki Beach with a handsome man who would later become my beloved husband Jake. After he bought my first Lava Flow, it became an instant favorite and to this day is still my favorite tropical drink. I always loved the pinks and red of the drink and thought it would be a fun colorway for yarn and wool.

Just after I dyed up this colorway, my friend Chantal said she needed a pair of custom socks for her niece in Africa and they NEEDED to be pink! Well, how perfectly timed is this?? I used Lava Flow in sock yarn and used black yarn for the personalization. I was told recently that Zozi loves her socks!!

 

Continuing with the food theme, this new colorway was inspired by a breakfast I had while visiting with an old colleague. Jake and I met my old Producer at a well known waffle place in the next town over and though I knew this was incredibly sinful, I couldn’t help myself. I ended up only eating half this (it was already a half portion), but the whipped cream and caramel sauce on top of crunchy waffles was so worth it! This is COCONUT CARAMEL PECAN WAFFLES and luckily the yarn and wool are zero calories!

 

This next one is another oldie-but-goodie and ironically, I was with the same Producer when I had this dessert! AVOCADO CHEESECAKE seemed rather odd to me when I was first presented with it at an Indian vegetarian restaurant.  But, after the first bite, I realized why it was such a hit. The raspberry and mango sauce were a nice touch and the creamy cheesecake was amazing.

 

The final two colorways were inspired by photos my parents took while visiting the Seattle Art Museum last fall. My parents love to travel and I always ask them to keep an eye out for interesting photos that I might create into yarn. Dad took these amazing photos and I am told they have even more for me from their most recent European trip!  This one is called FILMSTRIPS and apparently the artist took these rolls of film and handpainted (!) each one in different colors and patterns.  It definitely made me nostalgic for the days when you would take your rolls of 35mm film into the drugstore to get processed Рha!

 

The last colorway is AFRICAN ART TRIBUTE Рinspired by this wonderful exhibit showcasing African art and culture.  Dad snapped this photo and thought it would look great in yarn & wool! The exhibit is now closed, but my parents were grateful they were able to see it.

 

Now for some projects . . .

Back in January I posted a new colorway called CHINESE GARDEN. I used an immersion dyeing technique and was thrilled with the outcome that I ended up dyeing a skein for myself and knitted up a shawl using the Ghost Gardens Shawlette pattern by Kelene Kinnersly. I just love this pattern and already have plans to make another one!

I am fortunate to have a customer who loves my Yin Yang Socks and I’ve made a few for her already. She challenged me with translating the pattern into a hat and scarf for her. I finished the hat already and did a snug cap design. I’m still working on the scarf and am using a double-knit approach so the pattern is reversed on the back – so far it’s working well but it does take some brain power (at least for me!).

I have also been working on a few custom order socks and finished a pair just last night!

And a few spinning projects. . .

This one I knit into a pair of shorties socks and have quickly become one of my favorite pairs! It’s hard to see, but it’s a Rambouillet/Bright Nylon yarn so there is some sparkle in it. The colorway is BOX OF CHOCOLATES.

I’m in LOVE with Rambouillet wool and dyed up a braid in my SATURATED SPRING colorway. I spun this up in a laceweight yarn and don’t have a pattern in mind yet . . .

This was my submission for the June SPINNING BOX – the theme was Sunsets and I snapped this photo on Maui while hubby was driving. My submission included 1 oz of Merino/Tencel roving, a photo of WEST MAUI SUNSET and a Hawaiian Islands Mango Maui tea bag. I spun up a small sample for myself!

More to come, so check back soon! Mahalo Nui Loa!

Shoppe: AlohaBlu.com

FB page: www.facebook.com/AlohaBluShoppe

FB group: www.facebook.com/groups/alohablu.luau

Ravelry patterns: www.ravelry.com/designers/christina-rowell

Etsy shoppe: AlohaBlu.Etsy.com

Photos: society6.com/alohablu

IG: alohablu

Knitting, Photography, Yarn/Roving

Launching the new AlohaBlu.com!

Aloha! After much anticipation, my new website is live! For this site, I wanted to share the products I create, but also show you the images that inspire the colorways. So, the new www.AlohaBlu.com will be part shoppe / part gallery and I hope you enjoy the views.

The first colorway I posted was inspired by a photo taken last year on Maui. THE COLORFUL MR. G is a brightly colored gecko who we found sunbathing near our room. I dyed up some yarn and roving, and even created a video about the colorway which you can see on each product listing on the new shoppe.

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The next colorway is a new take on an oldie-but-goodie: DARK UNIVERSE 2 uses similar dyes as the original, but these yarn skeins are kettle dyed rather than handpainted so they result in a wonderfully random pattern!

Years and years ago when I was first starting out in my film career, I was able to go on a ‘field trip’ with other team members to JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in Pasadena, CA. After getting information on space, stars, constellations and galaxies, we left with packets of material including fabulous photographs taken from high-powered telescopes. I was amazed at how colorful outer space was and this colorway¬†reminds me of those bright accents of color against a dark background.

I also created a video for this colorway, which can be seen on each of the product listings.

DARKUNIVERSE2_ALL

It’s time for MENEHUNE MINI’S! This set of 10x – 10 gram mini balls are from my European collection. These colorways were inspired by my travels through Italy, France and Switzerland. I’ve already wound them into center-pull balls so all you have to do is pull the top yarn and start crafting.

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Here are some of the inspirational photos that I took on my travels:

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Lastly, some extra skeins of immersion dyed yarn:

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LAPIS_DK_01

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All available on the new AlohaBlu.com!

For sneak peeks and other videos, join the AlohaBlu Luau Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/alohablu.luau.

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2016 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 6-11

Aloha!

I’ve been working on a few projects though knitting has been on the back burner as I’m nursing tendonitis in my left thumb. I am itching to get back to my needles! In the meantime, I thought I’d share some fun images.

First, the Winter 2015/2016 edition of Addicted to Sock Knitting eZine came out yesterday! Debra Garner is in charge of the magazine and asked if I was interested in being the featured designer for this edition Рgasp. So, not only am I interviewed but she used my image as the cover Рdouble gasp.  These are my YIN YANG socks and the pattern is included in the eZine.

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This is one of my favorite dresses and thought it would be a fun accent to the sock photo. Here is a photo of me¬†in the dress back in 2006 . I can still fit into it so long as I don’t try to breathe, sit or move – otherwise, I’m good!

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My interview starts on page 108 and is 8 pages long (lots of photos of my knitted socks). So honored to be a part of this publication again. Last year I was interviewed as an indie dyer, so I’m thrilled to be back as a designer!

Onto the colors!

January was a sad month as we lost some really amazing artists. One of them was the legendary icon David Bowie.  Yarn friend, Kloie, suggested I come up with a colorway to honor Mr. Bowie Рso I researched and found two images that would look great in yarn, but also showed different sides of the great man. Here are two colorways for the renegade and the gentleman:  REBEL BOWIE RED and BODACIOUS BOWIE BLU.

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I then went back to some of my inspirational photos and found this one taken at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. These are LION’S MANE JELLYFISH!

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Yarn friends have been asking me for mini skeins, and after doing the set for the Sock Yarn Swappers group on Ravelry last year, I started dyeing some for the shoppe. These are 10gram “Menehune Mini Skeins” that I’ve wound into balls, so all you have to do is pull the yarn on the top of the ball to starting using.¬†In Hawaiian mythology, the MENEHUNE were people of smaller sized who lived in the hidden parts of the islands in the forests and valleys. They were known to be very crafty people so I thought the title to be fitting.

The first set:

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And the second:

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These were so popular that I’m working on another set to be posted soon.

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Two SPIN THIS BOX editions have been released since my last posting.

February had a sweet theme and I used sw merino/nylon roving:

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and I even dyed up some yarn to match . . .

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The March box was just released and has a bit of a lucky feel to it. I was even able to spin up a skein myself in wonderful Mixed BFL roving!

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I’m starting on April’s submission soon and will be using Merino/Silk roving – swoon!

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And, I promised last time I would show some weaving projects that I’ve done. Our friend, Nghia, gave me this amazing 32″ Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom for Christmas. He was aware of my yarn obsession and thought a loom would be a nice addition. I was completely surprised by the gift. I mean, I own an Ashford Joy wheel, Ashford hand carders and generally am a fan of the brand (almost got an Ashford Drum Carder but opted for a Patrick Green instead) – but he didn’t know this when he got my loom! Aren’t supportive friends the greatest?

Ok, so I put together the loom which is as wide as my dining table . . .

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and started on my first project, a scarf, in Minnesota Vikings colors, of course!

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After finishing that one, I wanted to make something for Nghia. I bought some darker colors and decided I needed  to try the clasp weft technique.  Here are my first two weaving projects!

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I just acquired a 12 dent reed so I can use sock yarn for weaving, so stay tuned for more fun images in the next post!

Much Aloha!