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 – gasp. So, not only am I interviewed but she used my image as the cover – double gasp.  These are my YIN YANG socks and the pattern is included in the eZine.

ASK_Winter2015:2016_cover

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 – so 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:

ALBL_Minis_Collage_2016_02

And the second:

MENEHUNE_MINIS_V2

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!

Vikings_Nghia_Scarf

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!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2015 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 42-49

Aloha and Happy December!

So excited for the holidays this year. Last year I was waist-deep in work and felt the holidays came and went so I didn’t really have the opportunity to savor the season. This year, I’m taking it all in and even taking the “One gift for you, one gift for me” a bit too seriously (I know, I know – how many parkas do I really need?).

As is consistent with working in film, our jobs start & stop and this holiday season I’m ‘between jobs’ as they say, so I’m taking the opportunity to knit more, dye up more and maybe even get a jump on my taxes (well, it’s on the to-do list at least).  I’ve been taking meetings/interviews so I’m excited for what the future holds!

Next year for AlohaBlu, I’m hoping to do a bit more pattern work, add some ‘Dyed to Order’ colorways on the shoppe, and folks have been asking for sock kits – a skein of yarn for the body of the socks and a small skein for the toes, heels and cuffs – so I’m working on adding those as well.

Thanks so much for all your friendship and support. Without further ado, here are the colors for Weeks 42 – 49.

First, two of my sock patterns were published today on Knitpicks! These are my KANE SOCKS and my & hubby’s MAORI TATTOO SOCKS. This pair of Maori Tattoo Socks uses KP’s Ash yarn paired with my hand-dyed “Hawaiian Storm Clouds” yarn, and this pair is mine 🙂

Maori_KanePatterns

Speaking of socks, here are a few I finished recently. TANGO SWERVE SOCKS were actually first done as a non-colorwork socks many years ago. In 2013, I thought I’d try a colorwork version, knitted one sock too tight, then threw it in the bottom of my UFO stash (Un-Finished Objects) because I didn’t want to deal with frogging (rip-it, rip-it) and re-knitting. Picked up the needles again this year – yup, 2 years later – and finished the pair. No pattern yet, but hopefully it won’t take another 2 years!

TANGOSWERVE_2015_11

This was a custom pair of my YIN YANG SOCKS. No pattern for this one yet but it was sure fun to make again.

YINYANGSOCKS_2015_11_custom

When folks contact me about these next socks, they call them my “Wedding Socks” though they are actually a variation of my Sweetheart Socks pattern. This particular pair is a custom order for a bride getting married this year. She wanted the date on socks and I incorporated them into the back – what a great idea!!

SweetheartSocks_JenL_2015

Here’s the colorway I created for the November SPIN THIS BOX edition. This year, hubby and I spent my birthday on Oahu’s ‘Fabled North Shore’ at the Turtle Bay Resort. When I made the reservation, I told them we are returning customers who loved their resort. They gave us the honeymoon suite (complete with window from the bathtub to this view!).  Man, I just love Hawaii.

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Here’s the yarn I created in the same colorway – TURTLE BAY.

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Another fun thing I did recently was complete the 30 skeins in 30 colorways for the Sock Yarn Swappers Ravelry group. A few new colorways in there too!

AlohaBlu_MiniSkeins_2015

More colorways to come.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2015 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 24 – 28

Aloha!

Summer is in full swing and we’re having beautiful days here in SoCal. I thought I’d start with a photo from our Hawaii trip back in May. This was taken from a corridor window of the hotel where we stayed. The weather was just perfect for a hike around the bay.

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Now, onto colors! Continuing with the Hawaiian theme, here is WAIMEA ROOSTER, inspired by this lovely rooster I saw while up at Waimea Falls.  After a 3/4 mile hike through botanical gardens you end at the falls where there is a bleacher-style seating area. This rooster was stalking a poor lady who was trying to get away from him! I, in turn, stalked him with a camera. I later learned this fella’s name is Waimea Willy.

WAIMEAROOSTER_2015_06

AMERICANA is a self-striping colorway in a muted tones. I have been wanting to knit up samples and bought one of those 9-inch circular needles that some sock knitters rave about and gave it a go. It was really nice being able to knit in the round without switching needles like I do with my circulars. I don’t think I’d switch completely as I really love 2 cirs for socks, but it was fun to try!

AMERICANA_CASHMCN_SS

The original RAINBOW PRIDE colorway was a custom order for last year’s Pride Week. After the 6/26/15 SCOTUS’s ruling, I’ve been dyeing up more of this self-striping yarn ;).  This was my very first self-striping colorway!!

RAINBOWPRIDE_2015_07

Back in May,Hubby and I visited his parents in Ohio about a week before this crabapple tree bloomed. Mom-in-law took this fantastic photo of her tree and sent it to me so I can see how nicely the flowers came out. I thought it was so pretty that I had to try it out in a colorway! This is SUSIE’S CRABAPPLE TREE.

SusiesCrabappleTree_COLLAGE

My most favorite Broadway musical is The Phantom of the Opera (I know, totally cliché, but I did grow up in the 80s . . . ) and the touring group finally made it’s way to Los Angeles this summer. Hubby and I went to a matinee showing at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre and had a great time.

Phantom

I remembered how much I loved ballet, even though I haven’t taken a class for a while. So, I started crocheting up some new bags for the shoppe.  Here are some of the available ballet/pointe shoe bags. The shoes were ones I had ordered years ago and never wore so now they are great props.

This one was knitted with two strands of Highland wool held together.

BALLETBAG_BLUE.GRAY.HIGHLANDWOOL.01

This bag is made with hand-dyed wool for a fun tweed effect.

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This was made with holding 2 strands together, one was a gradient yarn and the other was a solid.

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This one was made with a tweed wool yarn.

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This was fun to make – so bright! Two strands of Highland wool held together was used for this bag.

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Some items still available @ www.AlohaBlu.com. Enjoy!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

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.

ASK_Spring2015_eZine

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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ASKSOCKS_MED_MULTI_02 ASKSOCKS_MED_PUR-PINK_02

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.

ALOHABLU_HAWAIIANSTORMCLOUDS_COLLAGE_2015_02

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

StrawberryPapaya_Collage_2015_02

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

LANIKAI_BATT_2015_02

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.

BigIslandVolcano_2015_03

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

PARISIAN SUNSET in targhee and firestar

PARISIAN_SUNSET_2014_12

WINTERGREEN kettle-dyed lace yarn

WINTERGREEN_SPARKLEL_01

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.

theBlu_Collage_2015_03

Enjoy!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

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.

AQUARIUM_2014_06

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!

PAGSANJANFALLS_2014_06

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

BRIGHTS_COLLAGE_2014_05

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.

WAIMANALOFLOWERS_COLLAGE_2014_06

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.

HONOLULUSUNSET2_2014_06_COLLAGE

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.

HAPPYHOUR_2014_06

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.

SoSummerSunset2_2014_06

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!

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

HONOLULUFIREWORKS_SPARKLEL_01

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

OVERLAYSERIES#2_2013_11

and LANIKAI, MOSS & BLACK-PURPLE

OL_SERIES_#1_COLORCARD_2013-11

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

PURPLE-BLACK_SWMERNYL_BATT_01

JOKER in handspun, hand-dyed corriedale yarn

JOKER_HANDSPUN_CORRIEDALE_03

And some socks!

These are CHUTES & LADDERS SOCKS in olive tweed.

CHUTESANDLADDERSSOCKS_TROOPER_01a

BLOCKED SOCKS in green & red-multi

BLOCKEDSOCKS_GREENHAYRIDE_01

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.

PURPLEGRAY_MERC.COTTON_S_01

PURPLEGRAY_COTTON_W_01

MONSTER MASH in cotton worsted.

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I also created some rolags!

ROLAGS_COLLAGE_2013_10

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

These socks are available on the shoppe.

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DESIREEDIAMONDSOCKS_PINKPUR_01

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:

LANIKAI_ALP_01

After re-skeining

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And a close-up 🙂

LANIKAI_ALP_03

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.

OURFAVORITEBUCKEYE_COTTON_W_03

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

PELE_BATT_3OZ_02

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.

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!)

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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 🙂

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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!