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.

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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 🙂

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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 – colorways 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

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 11 to 14

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

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

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

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

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

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Tencel is great for blending with wool projects!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More stuff on the shoppe soon! Enjoy!