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,
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!
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.
Till next time,
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
This month’s colourway is inspired by a photograph I took a very, very long time ago (1996 to be exact!). It was taken shortly after I finished courses in photography and was the first image I chose to enter into a member’s exhibit for a local darkroom gallery show. (Yes, this was taken on black and white film, and I printed the photograph myself in the darkroom!)
This is my Baba. She was a local farm owner in St. Albert, Alberta, where I was born. My parents first met her when they rented a plot from her and they were soon adopted as her “kids”, so when we came along, we quickly became her “grandkids.” This photograph hangs at the top of my stairs and reminds me every day that love is something that is universal and has ripple effects for generations to come.
With the image being black and white, I decided that I would take a departure from colour and celebrate “shades” this month.
Basic club was dyed on BFL, which is one of my all time favourites to spin.
With luxury being dyed on a beautiful blend of Merino and Silk.
I spun both up during Spinzilla week, so there are no bobbin shots this month!
For basic club, I spun each of the rolags in succession and then chain plyed them to keep the colours in order.
For luxury club, I again spun my rolags in succession, but then wound them into a centre pull ball to create a lovely two ply yarn.
I’m pretty pleased with this month’s club… and I can’t wait to share with you what I’ve done for November!
Till next time, Happy Spinning!
In the reveal I did for August’s Club, I talked a little about my excitement at waiting to see what our garden held with each passing season. So when summer was finally in full bloom in our backyard that first year, I was delighted to discover we had a beautiful bunch of Crocosmia growing in one of the beds.
These beautiful red flowers are a favourite for hummingbirds and I love to watch from my kitchen as they float from flower to flower, collecting nectar.
This month, I decided to create a gradient that went from the yellow at the base of the blooms to red at the tops. Basic club was dyed on Corriedale, and luxury on BFL/Silk. The sample I spun up was basic club.
Here are my little bundles… before spinning! (obviously)
I always find gradients difficult to see in the skein… so here it is opened up.
While yellows and reds are not colours that I am usually drawn to, I’m really happy with how this turned out!
I’ll be back on track with blogging and October club will be posted on Halloween!
Until next time, Happy Spinning!
Oh my… I’m a little behind schedule! I do apologize for this. Long story short, I got really sick at the end of August and then got busy with preparations for Knit City and am finally… albeit slowly… getting caught up on all the things that got dropped.
So without further ado, here’s the post about August’s club!
When we first moved to our home almost five years ago, I was so excited. Excited to see what the garden would show us as each new season came and went. We have two beautiful Magnolia trees in our backyard. One blooms in early spring, the other, at the beginning of summer. This is one of the flowers from our summer blooming magnolia tree. It’s very fragrant and I do love to spin outside next to this tree and catch the scent as the breeze drifts through our yard.
This month, I created gradient batts for club. Basic club was 100% Targhee, while Luxury Club was our newest blend of 80% Targhee, 10% Bamboo and 10% Tussah Silk (or TBS, as we affectionately call it behind the scenes!). As it’s such a small content of bamboo, the white streaking isn’t nearly as noticeable as it is in a blend like Panda, which has a 30% bamboo content! In the photo below, basic club is on top and luxury on the bottom.
I decided that since the bases are so similar, it would be fun to spin these two batts in two different ways. I took the TBS batt and pulled it apart, so that it followed the gradient. This is what it looked like when I was done. Just one big long rope of fibre!
I then chain plyed this braid and ended up with this yarn! The heathering from the bamboo is very subtle, as is the sheen from the silk, but it still retains all the bounce of Targhee, which is so very lovely!
For the other batt, I decided to spin it across the top of the batt, working my way from one colour to the next to the next and then back again. This is definitely a more challenging way to spin a batt, as it’s rather large and can be harder to control. I then created this lovely centre pull ball and plied from this.
The result was a rather mixed up, barberpoled skein, but I really like it!
For me, it’s interesting to see these final skeins next to each other and see how the exact same colours can look so different, depending on how you spin them!
I will hopefully have September club up for you tomorrow and then back to our regular schedule of posting on the last day of the month for October! Thank you all for your patience and until next time, happy spinning! ~ Katrina
Growing up, one of my favourite places to visit was the Queen Charlotte Islands or as it is now called, Haida Gwaii. My mom was born on the island and grew up there. It was place we would visit to see our extended family and to enjoy the quiet beauty of the landscape. As a kid, I remember taking the long hike out to the Pesuta Shipwreck and being in awe of it. It’s a pretty amazing sight to behold as you walk along the beach to find this huge shipwreck.
This photograph was taken when Eric and I visited my grandpa back in 2007 and is one of my favourites of the wreck.
When I’m trying to figure out what colours to pull out for dyeing, I convert my images into a pixelated version of the original. This allows me to see blocks of colours, rather than the subject. For this colourway, I decided to focus on the browns, adding just a little bit of blue for interest.
This was what basic club looked like this month. It was dyed on Cheviot, which is known to make really sturdy sock yarn!
For the first time, since we started club back in February, we had a subscription to luxury club, which looked like this. It was dyed on our organic Polwarth/silk blend, which I blended with a little more silk and some silk noil. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.
For my Cheviot spin, I spun really fine singles with a lot of twist, and then chain plied them with even more twist. This was my first time spinning Cheviot and I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely a coarser wool than I typically spin, but it’s produced a really solid feeling yarn. I’m looking forward to knitting myself some socks with it.
I decided with the Cheviot that I would simply spin all of my rolags in succession, starting from the blue end each time. It was easy to keep the colours separate when I was chain plying, as there’s such a definition between the colours.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this knits up. I have about 150 yards of three ply from the 70 grams I spun, so it won’t be enough for a full length pair of socks, but I think some little anklets will be perfect!
For the luxury club, I only kept about 10 grams to spin. I’ll be the first one to admit, that I love a smooth spin, so there was a lot of letting go with this spin due to the silk noil. With this one, I decided that I would spin the rolag from one end and then make a centre pull ball and ply it back on itself. I knew this would create a really barber poled yarn, but I wanted to be able to show the contrast between a couple of different ways of spinning the rolags.
Can you see the difference between the two yarns?
I loved these colours so much, that I decided to make it one of my new hand painted braids. These were ready for ANWG back at the beginning of the month and were well received! They will be added to our Etsy shop soon 🙂
Have you spun up this month’s club yet? I would love your feedback.
Until next time, Happy Spinning!
Last summer, we took our girls on a road trip through southern BC and into Alberta before coming home. One of the places we visited was Drumheller and we stopped at The Little Church. It was a place I’d visited as a child and I was so excited to take my girls there to see this teeny tiny creation!
One of my favourite features of the church is it’s beautiful stained glass windows and this window serves as my inspiration for this month. I loved the soft colours of bluey-greens, pinks, oranges, yellows, and purples – all with a stark rusty red running throughout.
I dyed seven different colours and then created battlings with these colours in mind. I kept the red throughout all the bumps but changed up the other two colours for every bump. There were so many different options, that it was easy to make sure there were no repeats!
I decided that I would treat each of my bumps as a combo draft, and to make it easier, I split each of the strips of colour in half and drafted from half the bump. I spun it all to one bobbin and then created a centre pull ball to ply from.
My 50 grams of club created a beautifully soft 78 yards of squishy worsted weight yarn. My youngest has already claimed it for herself!
If you’d like to join in the chatter, please join our thread over in the Wool n Spinning Ravelry group. Till next month, Happy Spinning!
Many years ago, I volunteered at Camp Goodtimes, which is a camp for kids who have a history of cancer and their families. There are no words to truly describe the magic that is camp. At camp, the kids are truly free to be kids, away from their worries about cancer, hospitals and treatments. They can laugh, have fun and talk to other kids who understand. I volunteered at camp for four summers and LOVED every minute of it. Camp was a defining moment in my life. It changed the way I viewed the world around me and it was my yearly gratitude reminder. A reminder that life is a gift and to treat it as such each and every day. It also introduced me to so many truly inspirational people and today’s story is about one of them.
I met my beautiful friend Ann at Camp in 2001. She was just finishing up her treatment for Leukemia and was often tired, so I would sit with her while she rested or napped. It was through those quiet conversations, that our friendship started. We stayed in touch after camp via email and I loved getting updates on how she was doing. Then the cancer came back, and she was going to be in Vancouver for treatment, a long way from home, all her friends, and her sister. I was lucky enough to be in a position that I could be there for her. We went for ice cream, watched movies and just hung out. We laughed, we cried but most of all, we became really close friends. My husband, Eric and I often try to determine if Ann is our oldest daughter or our younger sister, my girls will tell you she’s their best friend, but no matter which way you slice it, she’s family.
I’ve watched Ann bravely battle cancer and put it into remission four times now. I wrote this blog post about her when treatment was just starting for the fourth time. The words I wrote back then apply now… she has an amazing strength of spirit and has somehow managed to remain positive throughout all her experiences. I’m in awe of her determination, her kindness and her thoughtfulness.
Last year, the cancer came back for the fifth time. The doctors here tried a couple of new treatments, but none succeeded in curing the cancer. In March of this year, the doctors told Ann that she was out of treatment options in Canada, but she had one last hope, to raise $700K to attend a clinical trial in Seattle. Now if there’s one thing I can tell you about Ann, it’s that she does not like to be the centre of attention and she definitely does not like to ask for help, so the decision to start a fundraiser was a challenging one. Ann’s aunt started a YouCaring page for her and we started planning fundraisers. I reached out to one of our suppliers, Ashland Bay, to find out if they had any yarns on sale, so that I could dye it as a fundraiser. I was moved to tears when I received an email back from Jill Laski saying that they had just over 10 pounds of yarn they would like to donate.
Shortly after I had sent the email to Ashland Bay, Ann had a change in health. The cancer had spread and was now in her bone marrow. This was a good news/bad news situation. The good news being she was now qualified to attend a FUNDED clinical trial in Maryland, which meant she no longer needed to raise that huge sum of money! This was a huge relief, but I knew her family would still need some financial support, so I still wanted to go ahead with the yarn fundraiser. The obvious bad news being that the cancer had spread, so the treatment was even more urgent.
The yarn arrived back in April, but due to various other commitments, the dyeing took way longer than I’d hoped. Originally, I was going to dye all the yarn with one colourway and retire that colourway after the fundraiser was over. However, after much deliberation, I decided that it would be way more fun to have a few different colourways to choose from, so I ended up with seven!
I have 42 fabulous skeins up for sale in my Etsy shop. While some of the colours may make another appearance in the near future, this special Amour Yarn, which is a blend of 80% sw Merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon, will only be available until these skeins have sold! I’ve named the yarn Amour because it is French for Love. And this yarn was created because of my love for Ann.
Thank you for reading and if you’re able to adopt a skein of yarn, I would be so grateful.
With love and gratitude,
p.s. Ann just updated her You Caring page and I’m thrilled say that the treatment appears to be working, despite the challenges Ann has faced in receiving it. She’ll still be in Maryland for a while longer, but things are looking up!