Knitting

2016 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 20 – 33

Aloha!

It has been a very busy summer and I’ve been doing a little bit of knitting, dyeing, weaving, spinning and more these past few months.

Here are some photos of this summer’s projects.

First, I put together my very first project bag/sock kits!  These were a great collaboration of amazing artists and I’m so happy with the result.

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The AlohaBlu logo and pineapple design were created by my wonderfully talented artist hubby, Jake Rowell. He has a fantastic eye for color, design, merchandizing and marketing and has been my biggest inspiration and supporter.

Debra Garner of AddictedToSockKnitting.com hand sewed the bags for me. She carries her own line of fabulous project bags (I have one!) and I am thrilled and honored that she helped create mine.

I also partnered with Denise Ilmanen, the creator of the Sock Ruler, to bring this amazing sock knitting tool to the kit. I already was using the Sock Ruler so I knew how valuable this was to have.

I loved partnering with these wonderful small-business owners to bring this sock kit to life. Thank you Jake, Debra and Denise!!

~~ On to SPINNING ~~

I did take part in this year’s Tour de Fleece and though I wasn’t able to finish all my projects, I managed to spin up a little bit.

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This next one I started during TdF, but only finished recently. I tried a new technique – lacing the flyer – which worked out wonderfully well. My friend Chantal gifted me this gorgeous roving that she bought from Mad Color Fiber Arts when she was up at Stitches West. These are ‘my’ colors so she did a fantastic job picking it out. The organic Polwarth was a dream to spin and I was able to spin 582 yards of lace weight yarn! I’m thinking it will make a pretty shawl.

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In June I took part in the “Fractal Gradient Challenge” on the Facebook group, A Spinner’s Study. This is where you take say, 2 different rovings (roving A & B) and you spin a 2-ply yarn in A:A, A:B and B:B. Here are my results using my own hand-dyed wool.

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Back in May, I tried out my new Hansen MiniSpinner using wool I dyed for the May 2016 SPIN THIS BOX. I ended up with 422 yards of Sport weight yarn (I mistakenly wrote fingering on the photo). I’m still thinking I can make socks with it 🙂

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For the May 2016 SPINNING BOX, I dyed up an oldie-but-goodie colorway for the theme “Birds of Paradise”. This is WAIMEA ROOSTER in Merino/Black Tencel which I spun up a sample. This little rooster – named Waimea Willy – resides at the Waimea Falls Park on the island of Oahu and I took this photo of him while he was stalking the tourists!

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~~ On to WEAVING ~~

I actually never thought I’d become a weaver, but after receiving a gift of a rigid heddle loom for Christmas it has been all downhill ever since (in a good way, of course). Earlier this year, I started having pain in my left thumb which left me unable to knit for a while. After 2 MRI’s, they still don’t know what caused the pain. I recovered earlier this summer only to have it start up again recently after thinking I could go back to speed knitting (I know, what was I thinking?). Weaving has been a godsend as I can still be creative while giving my thumb a chance to heal. Here are a few of my finished projects.

My very first table runner! This was woven with pima cotton and fits our table perfectly.

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My friend Joanne Alderman of Knitter’s Nest sent me this awesome blue handspun yarn for a yarn exchange a few years ago and I wove a wonderful scarf for myself.

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This green scarf using a wonderful Merino/Silk worsted yarn that is just yummy!

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This scarf uses a Merino/Silk fingering yarn for the warp and weft. It was the first time I used a single-ply yarn for the warp and learned fairly quickly that it wasn’t strong enough to withstand the rigors of constant beating. I ended up using a dog comb to beat each strand into place which took a bit more effort, but I’m happy with the result.

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This next one uses my hand-dyed yarn for both the warp and weft. The weft is a self-striping yarn so there are fun blocks of color in this scarf.

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I finished this scarf recently and it has become one of my favorites. I used KnitPicks‘ Stroll Tweed for the warp and Chroma for the weft. I love how the tweedy bits poke through the fabric for a great texture!

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 In my last post, I showed the yarn that I finished spinning from the January 2016 SPIN THIS BOX – colorways from 7 different artists! Here is the scarf I wove from the yarn.

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~~ SOCK PATTERNS ~~

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

LOVE IS LOVE SOCKS

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DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH SOCKS

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FLOWERS ON A FENCE SOCKS

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TORCELLO BRIDGE SOCKS

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~~ On to COLORS ~~

And finally, the colorways. I’ve been dyeing up Hawaiian-themed colorways in preparation for a set of mini-skeins that will be out soon. Here are some of my favorites.

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HONOLULUCOFFEE_2016_07

KIHEISUNSET_COLLAGE_2016_07

LIFESABEACH_2016_06

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Happy Summer everyone!

Some items are still available @ www.AlohaBlu.com

Knitting, Yarn/Roving

2016 Yarn & Fiber Colors – Weeks 6-11

Aloha!

I’ve been working on a few projects though knitting has been on the back burner as I’m nursing tendonitis in my left thumb. I am itching to get back to my needles! In the meantime, I thought I’d share some fun images.

First, the Winter 2015/2016 edition of Addicted to Sock Knitting eZine came out yesterday! Debra Garner is in charge of the magazine and asked if I was interested in being the featured designer for this edition – gasp. So, not only am I interviewed but she used my image as the cover – double gasp.  These are my YIN YANG socks and the pattern is included in the eZine.

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This is one of my favorite dresses and thought it would be a fun accent to the sock photo. Here is a photo of me in the dress back in 2006 . I can still fit into it so long as I don’t try to breathe, sit or move – otherwise, I’m good!

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My interview starts on page 108 and is 8 pages long (lots of photos of my knitted socks). So honored to be a part of this publication again. Last year I was interviewed as an indie dyer, so I’m thrilled to be back as a designer!

Onto the colors!

January was a sad month as we lost some really amazing artists. One of them was the legendary icon David Bowie.  Yarn friend, Kloie, suggested I come up with a colorway to honor Mr. Bowie – so I researched and found two images that would look great in yarn, but also showed different sides of the great man. Here are two colorways for the renegade and the gentleman:  REBEL BOWIE RED and BODACIOUS BOWIE BLU.

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I then went back to some of my inspirational photos and found this one taken at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. These are LION’S MANE JELLYFISH!

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Yarn friends have been asking me for mini skeins, and after doing the set for the Sock Yarn Swappers group on Ravelry last year, I started dyeing some for the shoppe. These are 10gram “Menehune Mini Skeins” that I’ve wound into balls, so all you have to do is pull the yarn on the top of the ball to starting using. In Hawaiian mythology, the MENEHUNE were people of smaller sized who lived in the hidden parts of the islands in the forests and valleys. They were known to be very crafty people so I thought the title to be fitting.

The first set:

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And the second:

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These were so popular that I’m working on another set to be posted soon.

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Two SPIN THIS BOX editions have been released since my last posting.

February had a sweet theme and I used sw merino/nylon roving:

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and I even dyed up some yarn to match . . .

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The March box was just released and has a bit of a lucky feel to it. I was even able to spin up a skein myself in wonderful Mixed BFL roving!

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I’m starting on April’s submission soon and will be using Merino/Silk roving – swoon!

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And, I promised last time I would show some weaving projects that I’ve done. Our friend, Nghia, gave me this amazing 32″ Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom for Christmas. He was aware of my yarn obsession and thought a loom would be a nice addition. I was completely surprised by the gift. I mean, I own an Ashford Joy wheel, Ashford hand carders and generally am a fan of the brand (almost got an Ashford Drum Carder but opted for a Patrick Green instead) – but he didn’t know this when he got my loom! Aren’t supportive friends the greatest?

Ok, so I put together the loom which is as wide as my dining table . . .

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and started on my first project, a scarf, in Minnesota Vikings colors, of course!

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After finishing that one, I wanted to make something for Nghia. I bought some darker colors and decided I needed  to try the clasp weft technique.  Here are my first two weaving projects!

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I just acquired a 12 dent reed so I can use sock yarn for weaving, so stay tuned for more fun images in the next post!

Much Aloha!