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

Hawaii, Photography, Travel, Yarn/Roving

2017 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 1 – 9

Aloha! Happy New Year, Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Almost March!

I hope you had a lovely holiday season and a wonderful 2017 thus far. Hubby and I did a big loop for the Christmas holiday, first by traveling from Los Angeles to Florida to surprise my 97-year old grandmother for the holiday! She was happy to see us and it was Jake’s first visit to her beautiful hometown of Sarasota.

Next, since we were already on the East coast, we traveled to Ohio to visit with Jake’s family. After a brief stay, it was back to California for some sun and fun. ¬†We’ve had lots of rain since, which is fabulous for combating this multi-year draught, but the cold weather is something we’re not used to. LOL!

Lots of colors and plans this year for AlohaBlu. Firstly, soon I’ll be launching a new shoppe which will have the link AlohaBlu.com. ¬†My Etsy store will still be active and you can find it at AlohaBlu.Etsy.com. I’ve been working on the layout for the past month on the new shoppe and am excited to launch it!! I will be posting new colorways on this one as soon as it’s active.

Secondly, I’m also launching a new Facebook Group: AlohaBlu Yarn & Fiber Luau! I’m hoping to share more about my products, show you a bit about me and AlohaBlu as well as get to know you better! Feel free to join and I’ll add content in the next few weeks.

Ok, now for some colors!! Here are the colorways for January and February:

As I was rooting through Mom and Dad’s vacation photos, I came across this wonderful image of a fountain from their trip to ASPEN, Colorado. I loved the pinks/magentas of the trees, against the green hills with the gray concrete street. I did this colorway as an immersion dye which will result in a random pattern!

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CHESHIRE CAT was inspired by our 16-year old niece’s drawing. When she showed me this image, I immediately asked her if I can make it into yarn (she gave me the quintessential teenage response: a thumbs up). I thought Hannah’s color palette was just amazing and scoured my dyes for the perfect match.

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This colorway happen to coincide with the Chinese¬†New Year so that was serendipitous! CHINESE GARDEN is one of the many gardens you can visit atThe Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Here they have acres of various gardens and multiple buildings housing precious artwork.¬†I took this photo of¬†the Chinese Garden, which is artistically designed to combine Chinese culture with Henry Huntington’s style. Learn more about the Chinese Garden @ www.huntington.org/chinesegarden.

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Back in November, during our Maui trip, we had lunch at the Hana Ranch Restaurant which was fantastic! Along one wall was this whimsical display of colorful UKELELES, and of course I thought of yarn immediately.

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I touched on this colorway in the previous post, then decided to add it to the shoppe so I created a few more skeins of STUDIO CITY SUNSET AT VENTURA BOULEVARD, clearly one of the longest titles I’ve yet to manage. ūüėČ My hometown of Studio City was aptly named since many movie/tv studios used to be housed here. Over time, most of the studios dissolved but there is still one here today. CBS Radford Studios is located near where I took this photo and¬†produced some well-known TV shows in its 91 year history: Gunsmoke, Gilligan’s Island, Mary Tyler Moore, Hill Street Blues, Seinfeld, 3rd Rock from the Sun, CSI: New York and That 70’s Show to name a few. It’s always fun to watch some of these shows and see our happy haunts on screen!

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Another colorway inspired by our latest Maui trip: HAWAIIAN MACARONS. Jake and I visited a gourmet market at the Shops at Wailea and in the display case were these wonderful confections with names like Cookies & Creme, Guava, Melona, Mango, Toasted Coconut & Lilikoi. I knew I had to create a colorway for them.

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For Valentine’s Day 2013, my hubby gifted me a box of chocolates, handmade by a local artisan. They were so pretty that I had to take a photo of them and didn’t want to eat any of them. Eventually I did of course and they were amazing! ¬†I re-create BOX OF CHOCOLATES each year for Valentine’s Day.

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Another one of my parents’ vacation photos, EVENING AT NANOOSE BAY, was taken in Beautiful British Columbia. I’m such a big fan of shades of blue so I was eager to dye this up. When Dad told me this was one of his favorite photos, I wanted to be sure I did it justice. (He did like the end result – whew!)

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My most recent colorway was inspired by hubby’s photo from our trip out to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.¬†We arrived mid day, with the sun overhead so it was illuminating the bright red/brown/orange rocks and the ridges below. We’d love to visit again during warmer months, though WINTER AT BRYCE CANYON, was rather pretty!

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In my next post, I’ll share some of my finished projects (5 pairs of socks knitted so far in 2017) and new updates!

Stay tuned!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2016 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 34 – 43

Aloha and Happy Fall!

The summer just flew by and now we’re in the home stretch towards the holidays!!

This past month, I was so excited to have met the amazing indie dyer, Margaret Chong, of Eat, Knit, Dye!! Margaret was here in Los Angeles and we met up at a Japanese noodle house in the fun Sawtelle area. We were the first to arrive and within the hour, the place was packed.

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We then went across the street to Volcano Tea for some awesome boba tea and sock knitting. . . well, that was the idea at least, LOL! We actually ended up talking the whole time and it was a blast. So fun to meet another indie dyer and chat about yarn, some trade secrets (sshhhhh), travel and life in general. Here we are posing with the sock projects we *meant* to have worked on! Thanks again for a wonderful afternoon, Margaret.

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~~

I finished up my Hawaiian Collection of yarn and wool this summer then moved onto the next theme which I’ll touch on in a bit. Here are some colorways from the Hawaiian collection.

LAST SUNSET AT TURTLE BAY was inspired by this photo I took during, you guessed it, our last night on the North Shore of Oahu. We stayed at Turtle Bay Resort and each night, the hotel patrons would migrate towards the beach to watch the sun go down. As always, it was truly magical and I thought I’d try to capture these colors in yarn and wool.lastsunset_collage_2016_08

HAWAIIAN PROTEA was inspired by a photo taken by my sister-in-law, Hermine, on the island of Maui. It’s such an unusual looking flower and I am now interested in seeing it up close (doesn’t it look like a huge flower?).

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MENEHUNE MINI’S are back! This set of 10x 10-gram mini skeins were all hand-dyed in Hawaiian colorways and already made into center-pull balls so all you have to do is pull the top strand to start crafting!
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~~

Now onto the European Collection! This first new colorway was inspired by a photo taken by my parents when they visited Prague in the Czech Republic.This is an amazing photo of the PRAGUE CASTLE. Prague instantly became one of their favorite cities and now it’s on our bucket list!

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I was a teenager the first time I visited Switzerland, and since then it has always had a special place in my heart. Hubby and I were lucky enough to travel there in the winter a few years back for our Godson’s baptism, and I took this photo during one of our walks. PILATUS is the name of the mountain where our Godson and his family lived and is a fantastic inspirational for a colorway!

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An oldie-but-goodie colorway, PARISIAN SUNSET, was inspired by the photo I took while in Paris for my Mom’s birthday. I just loved all the colors in this November sky!

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I’ve been to Italy twice and twice have visited Vatican City to bask in the presence of masterpieces including this one from Michelangelo. Just inside St. Peter’s Basilica is the famed marble statue, the PIETA, in a secluded alcove behind an iron gate. I took this photo through the spaces between the gates and¬†am grateful I was able to see it in person!

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During my first trip to Italy, I traveled to the Ligure area and one morning ventured to the famed city of PORTOFINO. The residents were just starting their day so it was fun to watch them get their boats ready!

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Back to our Switzerland trip, we did visit Lucerne one day and strolled through the town. We came across this fantastic MEDIEVAL WALL that¬†borders the ‘old town’. This high wall has many towers along the length of the wall – each fashioned with a different top. I took this photo at a park near a portion of the wall and love the different stone colors just on this part.

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I have one more European colorway to share next time. In the meantime, here are other colorways I dyed up for the shoppe.

The newest colorway, HEY PUMPKIN, was inspired by this photo from artist friend, Sue Blanchard! I loved all the different shades of pumpkins and thought they’d look great in yarn and wool.¬†You can find more of Sue’s amazing art @ http://www.soobeeart.etsy.com and http://www.soobee.com.

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PAGSANJAN FALLS, an oldie-but-goodie, based on the photo I took while braving the rapids in the Philippines!

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SEPTEMBER IRIS was inspired by a photo taken by Tim Batog of In the Way of Beauty @inthewayofbeauty on Instagram. This photo was the inspiration for the September SPIN THIS BOX and I dyed up some yarn and wool as well for the shoppe.
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PRINCESS CAYS, a small Caribbean island, was the inspiration for this colorway. I wanted to show the different colors of the ocean shot through palm leaves.

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I’ll post some of my sock projects, weaving projects and more¬†on the next post! Some items still available @ www.AlohaBlu.com.

Knitting

2016 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 20 – 33

Aloha!

It has been a very busy summer and I’ve been doing a little bit of knitting, dyeing, weaving, spinning and more¬†these past few months.

Here are some photos of this summer’s projects.

First, I put together my very first project bag/sock kits! ¬†These were a great collaboration of amazing artists and I’m so happy with the result.

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The AlohaBlu logo and pineapple design were created by my wonderfully talented artist hubby, Jake Rowell. He has a fantastic eye for color, design, merchandizing and marketing and has been my biggest inspiration and supporter.

Debra Garner of AddictedToSockKnitting.com hand sewed the bags for me. She carries her own line of fabulous project bags (I have one!) and I am thrilled and honored that she helped create mine.

I also partnered with Denise Ilmanen, the creator of the Sock Ruler, to bring this amazing sock knitting tool to the kit. I already was using the Sock Ruler so I knew how valuable this was to have.

I loved partnering with these wonderful small-business owners to bring this sock kit to life. Thank you Jake, Debra and Denise!!

~~ On to SPINNING ~~

I did take part in this year’s Tour de Fleece and though I wasn’t able to finish all my projects, I managed to spin up a little bit.

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This next one I started during TdF, but only finished recently. I tried a new technique – lacing the flyer – which worked out wonderfully well. My friend Chantal gifted me this gorgeous roving that she bought from Mad Color Fiber Arts when she was up at Stitches West. These are ‘my’ colors so she did a fantastic job picking it out. The organic Polwarth was a dream to spin and I was able to spin 582 yards of lace weight yarn! I’m thinking it will make a pretty¬†shawl.

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In June I took part in the “Fractal Gradient Challenge” on the Facebook group, A Spinner’s Study. This is where you take say, 2 different rovings (roving A & B) and you spin a 2-ply yarn in A:A, A:B and B:B. Here are my results using my own hand-dyed wool.

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Back in May, I tried out my new Hansen MiniSpinner using wool I dyed for the May 2016 SPIN THIS BOX. I ended up with 422 yards of Sport weight yarn (I mistakenly wrote fingering on the photo). I’m still thinking I can make socks with it ūüôā

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For the May 2016 SPINNING BOX, I dyed up an oldie-but-goodie colorway for the theme “Birds of Paradise”. This is WAIMEA ROOSTER in Merino/Black Tencel which I spun up a sample. This little rooster – named Waimea Willy – resides at the Waimea Falls Park on the island of Oahu and I took this photo of him while he was stalking the tourists!

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~~ On to WEAVING ~~

I actually never thought I’d become a weaver, but after receiving a gift of a rigid heddle loom for Christmas it has been all downhill ever since (in a good way, of course). Earlier this year, I started having pain in my left thumb which left me unable to knit for a while. After 2 MRI’s, they still don’t know what caused the pain. I recovered earlier this summer only to have it start up again recently after thinking¬†I could go back to speed knitting (I¬†know, what was I thinking?). Weaving has been a godsend as I can still be creative while giving my thumb a chance to heal. Here are a few of my finished projects.

My very first table runner! This was woven with pima cotton and fits our table perfectly.

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My friend Joanne Alderman of Knitter’s Nest sent me this awesome blue handspun yarn for a yarn exchange a few years ago and I wove a wonderful scarf for myself.

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This green scarf using a wonderful Merino/Silk worsted yarn that is just yummy!

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This scarf uses a Merino/Silk fingering yarn for the warp and weft. It was the first time I used a single-ply yarn for the warp and learned fairly quickly that it wasn’t strong enough to withstand the rigors of constant beating. I ended up using a dog comb to beat each strand into place which took a bit more effort, but I’m happy with the result.

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This next one uses my hand-dyed yarn for both the warp and weft. The weft is a self-striping yarn so there are fun blocks of color in this scarf.

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I finished this scarf recently and it has become one of my favorites. I used KnitPicks‘ Stroll Tweed for the warp and Chroma for the weft. I love how the tweedy bits poke through the fabric for a great texture!

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 In my last post, I showed the yarn that I finished spinning from the January 2016 SPIN THIS BOX Рcolorways from 7 different artists! Here is the scarf I wove from the yarn.

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~~ SOCK PATTERNS ~~

I did manage to publish some sock patterns too! These are available now on KnitPicks.com.

LOVE IS LOVE SOCKS

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DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH SOCKS

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FLOWERS ON A FENCE SOCKS

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TORCELLO BRIDGE SOCKS

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~~ On to COLORS ~~

And finally, the¬†colorways. I’ve been dyeing up Hawaiian-themed colorways in preparation for a set of mini-skeins that will be out soon. Here are some of my favorites.

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Happy Summer everyone!

Some items are still available @ www.AlohaBlu.com