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.

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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!

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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The second in this series is called BLESS HIS HEART in polwarth roving and merino/bamboo lace yarn.

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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.

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WAILUA FALLS in BFL/silk roving and merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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MORNING AT BILTMORE INN in 50/50 silk/merino fingering yarn and targhee roving.

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And wouldn’t want some SWISS CHOCOLATE?? These are merino/tencel roving and baby alpaca/silk lace yarn.

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Some Fall-ish colors in DARK CAMO, merino roving and sw merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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MONSTER MASH in cotton worsted weight yarn.

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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.

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And in cotton worsted weight yarn.

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

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I also dyed up some small pieces of bamboo roving.

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And sparkly FIRESTAR!

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Whew! Now on to the SOCKS!

I presented WAHINE & KANE Socks on this blog before, however they are now available on the shoppe 🙂

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SQUIGGLE SOCKS were created using merino/bamboo/nylon yarn that I hand-dyed in my ALOHABLU colorway.

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Speaking of dyeing, these are two silk/velvet scarves I hand-dyed in bright fuchsia and lemon yellow.

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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!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2013 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 29-31

Aloha and Happy August! Here are the colors for weeks 29 – 31, available on the shoppe.

I’ll start with an oldie but a goodie: GLACIER BAY in merino/bamboo/nylon roving, sw merino/nylon batt&bump and merino/silk lace yarn.

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And the inspirational photo taken in Alaska

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CALICO GHOST TOWN in corriedale cross roving and sw merino/nylon fingering yarn.

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SUNSET SEA ALASKA in mixed BFL/silk roving and sw merino lace yarn

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and the inspirational photo

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COOL JEWEL PLAID in black alpaca/silk roving

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DARK AVALON in Falkland British merino/nylon fingering yarn

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WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING batt

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And a couple more ballet/pointe shoe bags

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Lastly, I’m working on a couple spinning projects.

The first is a spindle-spun lace yarn that I started a couple weeks ago. The fiber is merino wool in my FOG colorway that I carded on my drum carder then pulled the wool off as a center-pull bump of roving.

The spindle itself has an interesting story. It is a picasso jasper stone flower top spindle from ZebisisDesigns. In the fall of 2010, I was heartbroken when I hesitated to buy this spindle and it was sold on her shoppe to someone else. Instead I purchased another beautiful spindle from her over the Thanksgiving holiday and when my spindle arrived, this was also in the box as a gift! I literally stared at this amazing gift and could not believe my eyes. Apparently the seller gave everyone who ordered from her during that season an extra spindle. Of all the spindles she could have given me, she gave me the ONE that I really wanted! To this day I’m truly amazed at how it has come to pass that I own this amazing work of art.DSCN2612

The second spinning project I’m trying to finish is plying the last bit of wool from Tour de Fleece. It’s 6.2 ounces of Falkland wool that I spun in a laceweight single and am now Navajo-plying. For you crocheters, N-plying is basically looping the single strand as if making a single crochet and twisting the yarn together to form a 3-ply (strand) yarn. N-plying will give you long sections of the same color, and with 6.2 ounce that I’ve just started I’ll probably be done plying in time for next year’s TdF . . .

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Enjoy!