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August 2018 Club Reveal – Wood Duck

I simply can’t believe it’s September 1st today. In a couple of days, my girls will head back to school and at the end of the month, it’s time for Knit City… and it honestly feels like yesterday that I was just at Knit City…not that a year has passed already! Time just doesn’t seem to slow down for anything these days!

When I was searching through our photographs for this month’s colour inspiration, I was struck with an idea. What if I chose colours from a photograph that weren’t as obvious as one might initially see… would it change the look and feel of things? Would it make it more challenging for me to create a palette I was happy with? Would it make it harder for people to see my inspiration? Ultimately, I decided it was worth a shot, so that’s exactly what I did this month!

My inspiration this month was this photograph Eric took of a wood duck. The initial colours I see are the deep, rich jewel tones. However when you start to examine the photograph a little closer, you can see a few of the lighter colours I ultimately chose for the fibre.

The light blue is the colour just barely visible on the wing, the pink is in his beak close to where the light is reflecting, the green and purple are from his feather colouring, and finally the very light caramel colour is from the feathers on his wing. I’ll be honest, this wasn’t my favourite month in how the colours turned out, but it was an interesting challenge for me to look a little deeper to see what I could find!

Basic club this month was 100% BFL and Luxury was a blend of 75% BFL/25% Tussah Silk. My set this month was basic club and I had a lot of fun spinning it. I opted to spin each bump in succession and then ply from a center pull ball. When I was spinning each bump, I worked my way back and forth along the top. Effectively this was creating little tiny stripes of each of the colours. I also arranged my battlings in such a way that I alternated between ones that had green in them and ones that didn’t. This was my ball ready for plying.

As you can see there was a lot of barber poling on the yarn, but there were also several places where the same colours lined up. This actually surprised me a little bit!

Overall, I’m pleased with how my yarn turned out, even if I wasn’t as happy with my initial colours. I will likely try this experiment again in the future, just because I think it’s important to try new things and expand our comfort zone.

I would love to see what you do with club! Please feel free to share it over on this thread in the Wool N Spinning Ravelry Group or tag me on Instagram with the hashtags #craftyjaksboutique or #craftyjaksclub If you haven’t signed up for club and you’d like to, please follow this link to my Etsy shop.

Until next time, Happy Spinning!!

July 2018 Club Reveal – Cornflower

This month, I wanted to play with some softer colours, so I went searching through my photographs and came across this Cornflower and thought it was perfect. The soft greens, blues and purples are some of my favourites and such a great analogous colour scheme.

Basic club was Wensleydale and for luxury club, I blended it with silk and mohair! I opted to spin basic club this month, as I haven’t had much opportunity to spin Wensleydale before. This was my gradient set.

Just before we left on our road trip this summer, my beautiful new spindle arrived from Natural Knot Wood, so I quickly took it with me and decided it would be the perfect tool to use for this month. To sit by the ocean, contemplate life and spin on a beautiful tool seemed like the perfect way to pass time while we were camping!

I managed to fit my whole gradient set onto this large spindle, which at nearly 4oz was a bit of a feat!

I love the little turtles that come off a turkish spindle. They’re just so cute!!

I decided to “cheat” and ply my yarn on my wheel after I returned home. It was the fastest way to finish this up!

I love looking at gradients in a cake…they just make me happy! I chained plyed my singles straight from my little turtle and wound up with about 200 yards of three ply. I’m not sure what I’ll make with it yet, but I’ll be sure to share when I do!

I would love to see what you do with club! Please feel free to share it over on this thread in the Wool N Spinning Ravelry Group or tag me on Instagram with the hashtags #craftyjaksboutique or #craftyjaksclub If you haven’t signed up for club and you’d like to, please follow this link to my Etsy shop.

Until next time, Happy Spinning!!

June 2018 Club Reveal – Paris at Dawn

Yikes! I’m very sorry that I’m so behind in posting the club reveals and wanted to offer a little insight as to what’s been happening lately. At the end of June, we decided to flip things upside down and move things around in our home. It means that I have a better work space and my kids have a better playroom, but as with all changes, it takes way more time than you anticipate… so it meant my spinning time got eaten up with cleaning and organizing. Then we had to get ready for Salt Spring Island Fibre Fair and then we went on holidays shortly after that! So now that I’m home, I’m working hard on getting things caught up, in between getting ready for our next big show, Knit City, which happens in September!

June club was inspired by this photo that we took more than 10 years ago on a trip to Paris. We got up before sunrise this morning and went to Sacre Coeur to watch the sun come up over the city. It was beautiful and I love the pinks and purples that dance off the deeper colours of city and the orange glow of the street lights.

I decided that we’d do a large gradient style batt and keep the colours separate. Basic club was 100% Targhee and luxury club, was a 80% Targhee, 10% Silk and 10% Bamboo blend. This month, I decided to spin luxury club, because this particular blend is one of my favourites to spin.

I love spinning gradients, because the colours stack on top of each other on the bobbin…and with the fun Akerworks bobbins, you can actually see it!

I always find it interesting to look at a gradient yarn in a skein. It’s really hard to see how the yarn will knit up until you actually cake it up!

I have approximately 250 yards of three ply DK weight yarn that is destined to be a cowl. I just love the lofty squishness of Targhee!

All caked and ready to cast on… the challenge will be whether or not I can get it done in time for Knit City next month!

I would love to see what you do with club! Please feel free to share it over on this thread in the Wool N Spinning Ravelry Group or tag me on Instagram with the hashtags #craftyjaksboutique or #craftyjaksclub If you haven’t signed up for club and you’d like to, please follow this link to my Etsy shop.

Until next time, Happy Spinning!!

May 2018 Club Reveal – Majestic

There are moments when you’re outdoors and everything just falls into place… the light, timing and subject are in the perfect spot at the perfect time and you capture something beautiful.

That’s the case with this month’s inspiration photo of this beautiful Bighorn Sheep. We arrived at a campsite in the Kootneys, an hour or so before sunset and the sheep were out grazing. All I can think when I look at it, is how proud and majestic he looks soaking in those last rays of sun.

This month, I opted to do hand pulled rovings for club….the only thing I don’t like about them…. they are incredibly hard to photograph! Basic club this month was Romney. The Romney was a natural light grey, so it really added some depth to this month’s colours as well.

And luxury was a blend of 60% wool/40% flax.

For basic club this month, I was craving a simple “no brainer” spin…so that’s exactly what I did. I spun long draw straight from the end of the roving, allowing the colours to mix and blend together at random. I love the heathered effect this gives to the yarn.

The Romney is a little on the coarser side of things for me, so this will likely end up as a pair of mittens for my husband, but I do love how the yarn bloomed after a good soak.

For luxury club, I decided to do things a little differently. I broke the roving into small pieces like this.

Then I separated each of the pieces into their respective layers.

I spun each of the pieces in a repeating order and then I chain plyed. It resulted in this beautiful yarn that I think will stripe really well when knit. I’m thinking with the flax content and the stiffness this currently provides to the yarn, that it’ll end up as coasters or placemats!

Two yarns from the same colours… yet so different.

I would love to see what you do with club! Please feel free to share it over on this thread in the Wool N Spinning Ravelry Group or tag me on Instagram with the hashtags #craftyjaksboutique or #craftyjaksclub If you haven’t signed up for club and you’d like to, please follow this link to my Etsy shop.

Until next time, Happy Spinning!!

April 2018 Club Reveal – Blackbird

I can’t believe we’re at the start of May already. Time seems to be moving at warp speed and there are days when I simply don’t seem to be able to keep up. I love that club gives me an excuse every month to play!

April Club was inspired by this photo. Eric has always had a love of birding and I think this image is one of my favourites. The red and yellow on the blackbird’s wings just provide so much life to an otherwise very subtle image.

This month I decided to create rolags… can you see my mistake in the two rolags on the right? When I initially carded the rolags, I didn’t card enough for me to spin in the basic club, so I had to card it at a later date and I accidentally reversed the location of the yellow and red! OOPS! (ps, I had way more of the basic club than the two rolags I show in the photo below, but some were a little bigger than normal, as I was using it as a way to teach my sister to card rolags…so they didn’t all make the photoshoot!)

I love the Akerworks bobbins because it’s so much fun to see the colours layered on each other!

Basic club this month was 100% Falkland. It’s surprisingly soft and lofty.

I spun each rolag in succession, starting with the light tan tip each time I picked up a new one. I then opted to chain ply it, as I wanted to create a very striped yarn.

For Luxury club, I blended the Falkland with Mohair and Silk…and oh my word, so lovely to spin! I love the halo from the mohair!!

For the luxury club, I spun one rolag from the yellow end and then reversed the second one and spun it from the tan end. It baberpoled a lot more than I thought it would, but I love comparing it to the basic club. You can really see how the same colour way can be made into such different yarns, just by changing a couple of small details!

I would love to see what you do with club! Please feel free to share it over on this thread in the Wool N Spinning Ravelry Group or tag me on Instagram with the hashtags #craftyjaksboutique or #craftyjaksclub If you haven’t signed up for club and you’d like to, please follow this link to my Etsy shop.

Until next time, Happy Spinning!!

March 2018 Club Reveal – Last Light

It’s hard to believe that it’s already April! Where has this first quarter gone? I’m a couple of days late but I’m so excited to share March Club with you.

Inspiration for this month came from this photograph. It was taken by Eric on a backpack camping trip he did with our youngest daughter a couple of summers ago. I’ve always loved this time of day, right before the sun sets for the night and you’re met with the most glorious light.

For this month, I decided to try something a little different and instead of making battlings that were all matching, I focused on the blues of the photograph and just added in hints of white and pink. This month was Orgranic Polwarth for Basic Club and Organic Polwarth/Silk for Luxury club.

While this particular set could lend itself to so many different options… like spinning each of the colours separately for a future colour work project, or combo drafting them or spinning them in succession for a gradient, I decided that I would take all of my bumps, break them in half and then strip each of those halves into smaller strips. My idea was that I would spin whatever colour I grabbed from my bowl, as long as I hadn’t just spun that colour. This is how my bowl looked before spinning!

I spun all my singles to one bobbin and then plyed from a centre pull ball. I loved watching the colours come together and to see that there were even some places where the colours matched up!

I also love what happens to the yarn when it’s finished. I opted to give this skein a simple soak and snap and it puffed up beautifully.

I’m left with a soft, squishy skein that will likely end up being a hat for one of my daughters.

I would love to see what you do with club! Please feel free to share it over on this thread in the Wool N Spinning Ravelry Group or tag me on Instagram with the hashtags #craftyjaksboutique or #craftyjaksclub If you haven’t signed up for club and you’d like to, please follow this link to my Etsy shop.

Until next time, Happy Spinning!!

February 2018 Club Reveal – Canyon Waters

I’ve loved going through some of our old photographs to find inspiration for club. This month’s inspiration came from a trip we did as a family a couple of summers ago. I love the play of the green river running through the brown and grey of the surrounding cliffs. It’s just such a pretty contrast.

This month’s basic club was Perendale and I created gradient batts. I used two shades of each of the colours you see to create a little more depth in the colours.

For Luxury club, I blended the Perendale with cultivated silk and silk noil. I decided that I would only spin luxury club this month, so this was my batt.

When I went to spin it, I opened it up and decided that I would spin from one side of the batt to the other by striping off sections from one end and then ply it from a centre pull ball. Here’s how it looked when I opened it up.

I spun the batt using long draw, and not worrying about the little clumps of noils. I love how crazy it looks when it’s fresh off the niddy noddy with lots of active twist.

And then how calm it becomes after you’ve given it a good soak! Depending on how I spun my yarn and what I want it to look like when it’s done, I change the way I finish it slightly. In this case, I soaked the yarn in hot water for 20 minutes, squeezed out some of the water, gave it a quick snap and then thwacked it on the side of the tub for a couple of minutes. I’ve found this really causes the yarns to bloom and settle into their twist.

As I plyed from a centre pull ball, you can see that the yarn has become a gradient from the green to the brown to the grey and no longer reverses out with green in the centre. When you have a batt like this, a centre pull ball for plying is a great technique to make a two ply gradient.

A lot of this spin was me letting go of the need for “control” and “perfect” yarns. I typically spin really fine, worsted spun yarns and generally don’t enjoy a lot of texture in my yarns. However, I really did have a lot of fun with this one and I do love how the yarn turned out. The Perendale is a little on the coarser side, so it’s not next to the skin soft for me, but it may grow up to be a fun pair of mittens or something along those lines!

I hope you enjoyed club this month and are looking forward to what I have in store for you for March! If you’ve spun club, I would love for you to share what you’re doing over in this thread of the Wool n Spinning Ravelry group. You can also tag me on instagram with #craftyjaksclub or #craftyjaksboutique Want to get in on club, you can subscribe either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually over in our Etsy shop.

Until next month,
Happy Spinning!

January 2018 Club Reveal – Starry Night

New Year, new start and lots of exciting things in store for us here at Crafty JAK’s! Club is going to be a different breed every single month and I’m looking forward to trying out some of these breeds myself!

I based January club off of this photo. It was a long exposure that my husband did one night while winter camping. I love how the sky looks almost like a sunset, even though it’s the middle of the night!

Basic club this month was Lincoln. Lincoln is a longwool and while it has beautiful lustre and strength, it is quite coarse. Lincoln is often used for making rugs and I plan to knit a little basket out of my finished yarn!

Starting with the yellow and finishing with the black, I spun all the bumps in succession and then chain plyed to retain the order. For me, this is the simplest way to spin gradient yarns.

Gradients are always a little tricky to see in the skein…

So here it is, all opened up!

It’s always interesting for me to see my ideas turn into yarn. The gradient worked out exactly as I’d hoped for and I can’t wait to see what it looks like as a basket!

I decided to take a slight deviation from carding club this month and did silk hankies for Luxury club!

I used exactly the same dye recipes for the two different clubs, but as you can see when they are side by side, basic club and luxury club are quite different from each other.

I stripped off each hanky and then stretched it out before spinning it. I definitely recommend having really well moisturized hands before dealing with your hankies…the silk sticks to EVERY. SINGLE. NICK! I didn’t worry about trying to keep the colours in order, I just opened up each hanky and started spinning. I then plyed from a centre pull ball. There are very few spots where the colours line up, but I like that effect.

It is far from a perfect yarn, but it is crazy soft. This was my first time spinning hankies and it was definitely an experience!

Have you spun up club yet? I do hope you’ll share your results over in the Wool n Spinning Ravelry group. You can find the thread here. Be sure to share on Instagram with hashtags #craftyjaksclub or #craftyjaksboutique I love to see what you’re up to!

December 2017 Club Reveal – Hush

For many years now, I have followed a local painter, Amy Stewart. So when she posted the photo below back in October, I quickly sent a message to my husband, telling him that I loved it. We had a short discussion and decided that it would be a great second piece to add to our home. When the piece arrived, I quickly decided that it would serve as the inspiration for December club.

The painting is named Hush, and it deeply resonated with me. 2017 has been a busy, busy year. There’s been so much growth and change in Crafty JAK’s and lots happening in my personal life as well. I’ve been craving some peace, and starring at this painting has brought some of that to me.

When choosing colours, I decided that I would pull the two shades of blue out of the bottom of the painting and use that as the base, streaking the other colours throughout with some Tussah Silk.

Luxury Club was a base of Merino/Alpaca/Silk and Basic Club was a treat of Organic Polwarth Silk. I loved how the batts turned out.

I wanted a really really simple spin, so I spun my whole batt to one bobbin and then created a centre pull ball to ply from.

The result is a plump, soft and squishy 2 ply yarn.

I love that you can see hits of the different colours throughout the yarn. It adds a depth and sheen to it that I adore. My only disappointment is that the green tones I pulled from the painting really blended in with the blue background, so they are hard to see.

I’m thinking this might become a cowl for myself, but I haven’t decided for sure yet.

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you to the club subscribers for your trust in me and for continuing to support our little business. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you. I’m looking forward to another exciting year of club, with something new planned for each month. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

If you’re new to club, be sure to check out our thread in the Wool n Spinning group on Ravelry.

Till next time,
Happy Spinning!

November 2017 Club Reveal – Starling

10 years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Europe. When we were in France we visted Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. I’d first visited this little tiny island when I was 13 and on a school trip. I loved going back and experiencing it as an adult. While we were there, the colours in this Starling caught my eye. I loved how the gold played off the cool jewel tones of emerald, royal blue and amethyst. This is the photograph that served as inspiration for this month’s club.

This month, I decided to make layered battlings. When you open up each bump, you’ll find a layer of gold, purple, green and then blue. Basic club this month was Gotland and as some of you know, Gotland is naturally a lovely mid tone grey. This undertone really serves to enhance the jewel tones I chose this month.

I forgot to photograph luxury club before I spun it… oops! But this month, it was a lovely blend of 50% Merino/50% Yak. It was a natural heathered brown and took the dye beautifully.

For basic club, I decided to strip each battling down to the original colours to spin a gradient.

The colours remained beautifully rich and I love how the yarn turned out.

For luxury club, I decided that I would spin straight from the tip of the battling, allowing the colours to jumble and mix together. I love comparing the two bases side by side and seeing how they work together.

It’s hard to believe that the year is almost over! One more club reveal for 2017 and then we’re into 2018!! I’m so excited to share December with you, it’s one of my favourites from the year!! We’ve already sat down and planned out all the different club bases for 2018 and I’m pleased to say that every month will be a different breed!

Till next time, happy spinning! ~Katrina

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