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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

October 2107 Club Reveal – Baba

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!

September Club Reveal – Crocosmia

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)

And after.

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!

August Club Reveal – Magnolia

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

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