Crafts, Knitting, Photography, Travel, Yarn/Roving

2017 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 25 – 34

Aloha!

It has been a busy summer so far and the Fall Season is proving to be just a busy. We’ve had a few family events before the kiddies went back to school so it was nice to see our nieces, nephews and godchildren. Amazing how fast they grow up!

In September I’m aiming to release some colorways from my Holiday Collection as well as some new Gemstone/Mineral colorways – so stay tuned!

As far as sock projects are concerned, I’m working on finishing up a couple more patterns that were recently accepted into the KnitPicks Independent Designers Program, so I will be busy wrapping those up to send out the final versions – exciting!!

More to come, but in the meantime, here are the colors for weeks 25-34.

 During my Senior Year in college (any fellow Cal State Fullerton Titans out there?), I had an internship on a TV show being filmed on the Warner Bros. lot here in Burbank. It was the first half of their second season, became wildly popular and ran for about 10 seasons! I created a colorway called I WAS AN INTERN ON FRIENDS, and posted a fun video story on my AlohaBlu group.  This is a 6-stripe colorway inspired by the show’s logo. I was gifted the cappuccino mug and bag for Christmas from the production staff and have kept them ever since.

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I knitted a pair of shorties socks for myself (wearing them as I type this) and experimented with a rolled cuff, a K2P2 cuff and reverse St stitch for the sole.

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Back in June we visited the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County with our niece and nephew – Hannah and Mason – who were visiting from Ohio. I made sure to visit the Gem & Mineral collection to take photos and I found a handful that were wonderful and interesting.  Here is the first of this collection in hand-dyed yarn. ORPIMENT is a mineral that was used for centuries as a pigment in painting and sealing wax – this was before learning that the mineral is arsenic. Another one of nature’s beautiful-but-deadly combinations . . .

This is a tonal yarn dyed using an immersion technique with shades of pink, orange, gold with a final overlay of light brown.

ORPIMENT_2017_COLL

When I switched to this new blog layout, I promised a new colorway was coming inspired by the panorama photo at the top of the blog page. Here is MAKENA BEACH SUNSET – photo taken by my hubby Jake on one of our favorite beaches on Maui. This panorama photo captures the sailboat on the left side to the sun setting on the right. We were married on this side of the island, not to far from this very beach. Mahalo Nui to my awesome hubby for the photo!

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I started a new collection this summer of yarn colorways based on food and drink – and yes, I made myself hungry each time I had to dye something! I made sure to take photos of these delicious dishes beforehand and ended up with some fun colorways such as Coconut Pecan Caramel Waffles, Mango Sorbet, Coconut Lime Pie and Chocolate Mousse Cake! I ended up creating a set of Menehune Mini’s called DRINKS & DESSERTS – the set includes 10x – 10gram center pull balls of fun. No need to wind them, just pull the top string to start crafting. Perfect for scrap blankets, hexipuffs, scrap socks, etc.

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As you know, I contribute to the Addicted to Sock Knitting eZine – patterns, interviews, photos – whatever fun thing Debra comes up with, I’m in! This past summer the eZine was dedicated to Harry Potter and Debra asked dyers to come up with a new take on HP-themed yarn. I found a beautiful image of Hogwarts castle online (click here for image) and dyed up a tonal yarn inspired by the nighttime castle. This is ALOHOMORA, the unlocking spell in Harry Potter.

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Speaking of tonals, this next colorway was inspired by a photo I took during a black-and-white photography class I enrolled in at Pasadena City College many moons ago.The assignment was to take photos of shadows , and the lines and shadows created by the sunlight coming through these vertical blinds made for an interesting photo. I processed the film and print by hand (in a dark room) and loved how it turned out! I decided to create a colorway in self-striping, variegated and tonal yarn. This is VERTIGO BLINDS, from the photo of the same name.

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 If you’ve ever seen the movie, Charlie’s Angels, with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu, then you’ve seen this garden before. One of the most famous areas of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is the JAPANESE GARDEN where I took this photo. The koi ponds and replica house are just amazing – not to mention the adjacent Zen Garden.  For this colorway, I used an immersion dye technique and ended up making a Ghost Gardens Shawlette for myself!

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Another one of California’s well-known spots is Santa Monica Beach. We don’t visit very often but when hubby’s brother and sister-in-law visited a few years ago, we headed out to the pier around sunset. I took this photo of a SANTA MONICA SUNSET at the beach park and loved the cloud patterns, sky color and palm tree silhouettes – perfect for a colorway!

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This next colorway was really fun to do! A few years ago, my parents traveled through Asia and visited Vietnam. One of the great things that they do is visit cities that have well-known industries (like hand-blown glasswork, lacework, ceramics, etc) and visited an embroidery business in Vietnam. They loved this piece so much, they brought it home with them and it now is showcased on their living room wall. I loved the handcrafted nature of this embroidery as well as the colors so I snapped a photo and created VIETNAM EMBROIDERY.

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Rounding out the last of the food collection yarns are COCONUT LIME PIE and WINE ON A VINE.

The former is a fun speckled yarn inspired by a super delicious and no-calorie dessert (yes, being sarcastic) from Lei Lei’s Bar & Grill on the fabled North Shore of Oahu.

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The latter was inspired by a photo I took while wine tasting at a well-know region of New Zealand called Martinborough. We visited 2-3 different vineyards and each one was wonderful! I snapped this photo of the grapes turning color and thought it would look lovely as yarn and wool.

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Come join the AlohaBlu Yarn & Fiber Luau group on Facebook for weekly updates.

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

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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 🙂

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 – ha!

 

The last colorway is AFRICAN ART TRIBUTE – inspired 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, 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!

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

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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!