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.

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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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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.

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!