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, 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?).

hawaiianprotea_collage_2016_08

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!
menehune_minis_collage2

~~

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!

praguecastle_coll_2016_08

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!

parisiansunset_coll_2016_09

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!

pietaalcove_2016_09

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!

portofino_2016_09

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.

medievalwall_coll_2016_10

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.

heypumpkin_collage

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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HawaiianRainforestSterling_collage

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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.

MadColorFiberArts_FallOfTheEleventh_polwarth_coll

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.

2016_06_FractalGradChallengeCollage

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!

WAIMEAROOSTER_MERTEN_COLL

~~ 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!

ChromaTweedScarf

 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.

JAN2016_STB_SCARF_COLLAGE

~~ SOCK PATTERNS ~~

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

LOVE IS LOVE SOCKS

New-LOVEISLOVESOCKS_FELICISTROLL_01

DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH SOCKS

DITR_THIRSTYTWEED_AGATEHEATHER_01

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.

DOLEWHIP_2016_06

HONOLULUFIREWORKS_2016_06_yarn

BURNINGSUNSETHALEIWA_2016_06

HONOLULUCOFFEE_2016_07

KIHEISUNSET_COLLAGE_2016_07

LIFESABEACH_2016_06

THURSTONLAVATUBE_2016_07A

Happy Summer everyone!

Some items are still available @ www.AlohaBlu.com

Knitting

2016 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 12 – 19

Aloha! Happy Spring to you all!

These past few months flew by so quickly and I am excited for the Spring/Summer seasons. I am still dyeing wool for SPIN THIS BOX and did a couple months for SPINNING BOX.

Here are some of the colorways from each of these boxes.

SPIN THIS BOX

April box

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May box

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SPINNING BOX

April box – theme: English Garden. This collage was inspired by photos I took at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, California and the Wellington Botanic Gardens in Wellington, New Zealand.

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May box – theme: Birds of Paradise. This colorway is WAIMEA ROOSTER, inspired by a rooster that I photographed at Waimea Falls Park on Oahu, Hawaii. I later learned this rooster is named ‘Willy’ and is a long-time resident of the park!

SBOX_MAY2016_MERTENR_01

As some of you may be aware, the KnitPicks Community website has been closed down. The members have migrated to our own Ravelry group called “The Frog Prince and his Knitting Community Orphans” and is dedicated to Susan the Blue Lake Knitter, who we lost a few years ago. ¬†Feel free to join us on Ravelry!

We completed a Spin-A-Long last month and they were kind enough to ask me to dye up custom colorways in our group’s colors for the next SAL, which will coincide with Tour de Fleece. Here are the colorways I will be dyeing this month:

THEFROGPRINCE

KCORPHANS

Most recently I’ve been working on more sock patterns while keeping up with some dye colorways for the shoppe. Let’s talk about some sock projects¬†. . .

DIAMONDS AND PEARLS Socks feature a diamond pattern created with bobbles (pearls) and a diamond pattern on the foot/back. ¬†This pattern is in honor of the musical legend, Prince, and was knitted with KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in Blue Violet and Stroll Duchess Heather. I hope The Purple One would approve ūüôā ¬†Pattern is in progress.

DIAMONDSANDPEALS_2016_05_collage

LOVE IS LOVE Socks was completed this past month as well, and was knitted using KnitPicks Felici Rainbow (discontinued) and Stroll Firecracker Heather. Pattern is in progress.

LOVEISLOVE_COLLAGE_2016_04

I love animated movies and these socks¬†were inspired by a Disney classic from the 1990s. I loved how the the main character in ALADDIN was called a “diamond in the rough” and turned out to be a true hero in the end. DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH Socks¬†is an homage not just to this animated hero, but to the hidden gems in all of us. Pattern is available on KnitPicks.com

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Onto the colors! This first new colorway is inspired by one of my artist friends, Sue Blanchard. I just fell in love with this image last year and knew I had to re-create I PROMISE TO BE GOOD in yarn and wool.

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PICCOLO is another art piece from Sue that I thought was pretty fabulous. Here is my re-creation in yarn and wool.

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Sue’s amazing artwork can be found at:

soobeeart.etsy.com & soobee.com

Facebook: Soobee Illustration & Instagram: soobee362

The next new colorway was inspired by an image that fiber friend, Faith, sent me. This is SUMMIT LAKE in her home state of Indiana.

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I also dyed up some pima cotton in fingering weight yarn:

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Having decided to go back to some of my Hawaiian/Tropical themes, I dyed up 2 oldie-but-goodies, with a few more on the way. This first one is COCONUT LIME (Put the lime in the coconut and drank it all up . . . )

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and POI,¬†which is a Hawaiian side dish made from the Taro plant which gives it the purple color. Now, if you’ve ever been to a Hawaiian luau they would have most likely had a small bowl of Poi for you to try and the consistency is usually paste-like, though for most people, it is an acquired taste.

POI_2016_05

Onto some weaving projects! This first scarf was created for a friend’s mother who is once again fighting cancer. We hear she is doing OK and really loved the scarf.

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I did finish one more weaving project which I’m very happy about. This scarf is made from Merino wool that I dyed, spun then wove using plain weave and Brooks Bouquet techniques.

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I’m currently working on a table runner on my 32″ rigid heddle loom, and I’m excited for my 10″ Ashford SampleIt loom to arrive today! This smaller one will be easier to port around ūüôā

Lastly, I have been spinning more and here are some of my finished skeins from this year.

A = SW Targhee/Nylon from the December 2016 SPIN THIS BOX

B = Mixed BFL in my KEEGAN colorway

C = Corriedale Cross in blues/greens

D = Mixed BFL in my MOODY RAINBOW colorway from the March 2016 SPIN THIS BOX

E = Merino/Black Tencel in my WAIMEA ROOSTER colorway from the May 2016 SPINNING BOX

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The following skeins were all spun from the January 2016 SPIN THIS BOX

F = This skein was spun from fun Merino/Firestar/Bamboo rolags from Tiffany King of The Wooly Witch

G = This wonderful 50/50 Merino/Silk wool was dyed by Joe Cole of What The Flock Hand Dyed Yarns

H = Nicholette Reynolds of Spun Sugar Yarns dyed this fabulous Merino wool

I (middle) = LaDonna April of Fistful of Fiber dyed the beautiful Merino/Bamboo/Nylon wool for this skein

J (two skeins) = These two art skeins were spun from vibrant¬†Mystery wool and Bluefaced Leicester locks from Jeri Powtak of Jeri Lynn’s Farm

K = This lovely Rambouillet was dyed by Cherish Stevens of Dandelions & Daisies

SPIN THIS BOX is curated by Anna Barnett of Fiber Felt n More

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Here are the individual images so you can see what the original wool looked like.

2016_04_TIFFANY

2016_02_WTFLOCK1

2016_03_NicholetteCollage

2016_03_JERI_JANSTB_2

2016_04_CHERISH

Lastly, I’ve been wishing for an electric spinner and my wonderful hubby was kind enough to give me one as an early birthday gift! Here is my Hansen Mini Spinner in Wenge wood.

AlohaBlu_HansenWengeSpinner

I can’t wait to do more spinning and weaving and dyeing and knitting! ūüôā

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors ‚Äď Weeks 15 to 17

Aloha! Here are the colors for Weeks 15-17! Most items are available on the shoppe.

ROOM SERVICE ORCHID is inspired by a beautiful flower that came on a tray when we ordered room service while visiting Oahu a few years back. I thought the colors were so pretty I took a bazillion photos of the orchid and dyed them up in superwash merino/nylon fingering yarn and merino/silk roving.

ROOMSERVICEORCHID_2014_04

HAWAIIAN MIST is one colorway I’ve dyed up only once before and had forgotten about. I love the photo inspiration and resurrected it for another go around. ¬†I just love how the mountains stop the movement of the clouds which creates this beautiful mist! These are superwash merino/nylon fingering yarn and merino/bamboo/nylon roving.

HawaiianMist_COLLAGE_2014_03

A true oldie-but-goodie, RAINY DAY EIFFEL in Shetland roving and merino/silk lace yarn.

RainyDayEiffel_2014_03

One of my favorite desserts on Oahu is the DOLE WHIP, a pineapple sherbet that I first had at the Dole Plantation! I thought it would be fun to create a yarn that had soft yellows and a bit of beige (because you can get it in a cone, after all). These are sparkle lace yarn and superwash BFL roving.

DoleWhip_2014_03

¬†SUNSET IN GALLIPOLIS‘ photo was taken by the owner of Nybble Cafe in Gallipolis, Ohio. These pieces are merino/silk sock blank, superwash merino lace yarn and merino/bamboo/silk roving.

SunsetInGallipolis_2014_03

AHI POKE is a colorway inspired by one of our favorite Hawaiian dishes. Made with sashimi grade ahi tuna fish, Japanese seaweed, onions and seasonings. Upon landing in Hawaii, we always head to our nearest favorite restaurant for a plate or two. These pieces are both superwash merino/nylon in fingering yarn and roving.

AHIPOKE_SWMERNY_2014_04

And for some socks! Here are a few I completed recently.

HAWAIIAN QUILT SOCKS: BREADFRUIT is an original pattern that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. I am always fascinated by quiltmaking and Hawaiian quilts in particular. While there are many beautiful quilt patterns available the challenge is to design a sock pattern that will fit in a 4″ wide canvas! After much finagling and re-designing, here’s the final outcome.

HI.QUILTSOCKS.BREADFRUIT_COLLAGE

This next pair is a wider version of my original SCI-FI SOCKS using a new yarn line from KnitPicks. Kinda funky, but still fun to make!

SCIFISOCKS_SAUVIEIS_MERLOT_COLLAGE

And I just finished another test pair of FLAG SOCKS: CANADA using some sparkle yarn! This is a wider width version and I really love how it came out. I am aiming to write up the pattern next month for a summer release.

FLAGSOCKS_CANADA_72STS_01

Last but not least, a skein of handspun yarn. This was dyed by retired indie dyer, Sosae Caetano, in merino/bamboo wool. I spun up a fine lace weight yarn then plied it with silk thread and over 1300 size 6 glass seed beads. I¬†am thinking about making a small shawl with the yarn for myself ūüôā

LUCITE_HANDSPUN_MERBAM

Enjoy!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors ‚Äď 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.

APPLEPICKING_COLLAGE

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.

LIGURESUNSET2_COLLAGE_2014_03

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.

AQUA_PEACH_WHITE

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.

KaanapaliBeach_COLLAGE_2014_03

Tencel is great for blending with wool projects!

TENCEL_COLLECTION

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.

LOVESHACK_COLLAGE_2014_03

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

ROLAG_SAMPLER

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

BALLETBAG_BKYGR_01

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.

USA_FLAGSOCKS_5-7finished_needfix

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

BOARDGAME_TWEED_01

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!

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 11.47.19 AM

More stuff on the shoppe soon! Enjoy!

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2014 Yarn & Fiber Colors ‚Äď Weeks 7 to 10

Aloha!

After seeing the vintage-style knit sweaters worn by Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony , I was inspired to knit up some patriotic socks.  This first pair was started the very next morning and was based on a flag pattern I had designed in the summer of 2013, but never got around to testing.  I finished the first sock in a day and the next sock by the following Saturday. These are FLAG SOCKS: USA in US Womens 8-10 | Mens 7-9. I will post these on the shoppe later this spring.

FLAGSOCKS-USA_COLLAGE_FINAL

During the second week of the Olympics, I thought I’d knit up another pair for our fabulous friends to the north! For the top portion, I made the maple leaf a silhouette instead of repeating the flag. When I write up the pattern, the knitter will be able to choose whichever image to the socks (all flag, all silhouette or a combination of both). I’ll post this pair on the shoppe later as well.

FLAGSOCKS_CANADA_FINAL_COLLAGE

The following socks are available on the shoppe. I almost ripped out my test pair of SCI-FI SOCKS because it wasn’t looking like I had envisioned in my mind. Fortunately I was so far along that I decided to just finish the sock and see what it looked like on the mannequin. The stitches stretched out and looked like something from The Matrix movies! From then I was happy with the design and kept going. ¬†I made these green/tan socks . . .

SCI-FI_SOCKS_COLLAGE_GREEN

and made a purple pair too!

SCI-FI_SOCKS_PURPLE_COLLAGE

I posted this pair of ROMAN FORUM SOCKS on the shoppe.

ROMANFORUMSOCKS_PEAPOD.LOCKNESS.02

Here are a few pairs of socks I knitted for 3 wonderful girlfriends who make me laugh every time we meet. ‘DB’ recently got married so I made her a pair with her new last name, ‘SueB’s’ pair has her art company name, and as for CLA’s ‘Reindeer’ socks . . . well, let’s just say what happened in Upper Montclair, New Jersey in the winter of 2006 STAYS in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

These pairs were completed on Dec 2013, Jan 2014 and Feb 2014 respectively and I was able to present the socks yesterday so I can post them here now!

COVEN_SOCKS

This last pair was completed in Jan 2014 for a bride who will be wearing them later this year in her cowboy boots on her wedding day.

SHANNONBENNETT_WEDDINGSOCKS_04

Now onto colors! These first four colorways are brand new (11 new colorways for 2014 so far)!

APPLE PICKING was inspired by this photo taken by my cousin Laura. I immediately fell in love with the photo and had to re-create it in yarn and wool. The yarns are superwash merino lace weight, sw merino/nylon fingering sock blank and alpaca/merino/silk roving.

ApplePicking_COLLAGE_2014_02

My 5-year old godson, Kai, drew this image on my birthday card last year and I knew I wanted to create a special colorway from it. I had the card on my desk for a few months and finally dyed up KAI’S DRAGON in sw merino fingering yarn and sw merino/nylon roving. Artwork is used with permission of the artist . . . and his mommy.

KAI'SDRAGON_COLLAGE_2014_02

BROKEN SUNSET 2 was an attempt to re-create a broken colorway! I attempted to dye up some cotton yarn but the dyes broke into many different colors. The broken colorway was well received and I was asked to try to do again – this time on purpose – in ¬†polwarth wool roving, sw merino roving ¬†and merino/tencel yarn. ¬†And yes, it was much harder to replicate a ‘happy accident’.

BROKENSUNSET2_COLLAGE2

The background in this collage is a CROTON plant that I took a photo of while on Maui this past December. I loved  the bright magenta and greens and used some hand-dyed wool for the project. I ran the merino/silk wool through the drum carder, layering some wonderful soffsilk (silk waste product) between the solid colors. I pulled the wool off as a continuous piece of roving and made a braid. The soffsilk will add some texture when spinning.

CROTON_COLLAGE_2014_02

And some ‘oldie-but-goodie’ colorways. . . ORANGE HIBISCUS in sparkle lace yarn and merino/bamboo/silk roving was inspired by a hibiscus plant I used to have. It only bloomed an orange flower every few seasons and when it did, ¬†I tried to take as many photos as I could!

ORANGEHIBISCUS_COLLAGE_2014_03

DIAMOND HEAD SUNSET 2 is a variation of the original which was more pastel. This version incorporates the blue/gray sky and a darker gray for contrast. This is merino/silk fingering yarn and polwarth/silk roving.

DIAMONDHEADSUNSET2_COLLAGE-2_2014_02

I dyed up these next two pieces for the shoppe since I was already creating them for a custom order. HONOLULU FIREWORKS is 5oz of merino/tencel roving.

HONOLULUFIREWORKS_MERTEN_R_5OZ_2014_02

SEA DRAGONS is 5.4oz of merino wool roving.

SEADRAGONS_GRAYMER_R_5OZ_COLLAGE

Now for some bags! These first two ballet/pointe shoe bags come from European and South American wool. The pink/green version was crocheted with two strands held together while the rainbow bag was made with a single-ply yarn.

BALLETBAG_PINK-GREEN_01

BALLETBAG_RAINBOW_03

I finally put together a “Dye your own” ballet bag kit. These fun kits include a crocheted ballet bag, printed dyeing instructions and a few packets of kool-aid ‘dye’. Available in Orange/Yellow/Red and Red/Pinks.

ORANGES_Collages

PINKS_Collages

Lastly, I posted a spring-inspired scarf in velvet/silk  in bright lime green!

SCARF_LIMEGREEN_ABSTRACT_01A

Enjoy!