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October 2018 Club Reveal – Black Eyed Susan

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I gain a lot of my inspiration from the natural world around me. I’ve always dreamed of having a wonderful garden…but truth be told, my backyard is in desperate need of some love. The previous owners were amazing gardeners and I just can’t seem to keep up with what they’d created. When I figure out how to duplicate myself so that I can do all the things all the time, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the beautiful flowers cared for and planted by friends! Like this variation of Black Eyed Susans that I absolutely love.

I decided that I would create a heathered batt this month and I took 4 different colours to make the orange base of the batt and then streaked it with some brown to emulate the center of the flower. I kinda love how it turned out. This month basic club was Finn and luxury club was Finn and Silk blended together.

I decided that I would spin a traditional four ply from my batt this month. So I split my batt into four section and spun from one side of it. I wasn’t concerned about how the colours would come together, as they were already fairly homogeneous.

I’ve recently been taking some lessons from my friend Kim from Claddagh Fibre Arts. One of the tips she has is to spin your worsted spun yarns from the end that you started spinning at. This requires moving your yarns from your wheel bobbins to weaving bobbins and plying from those. I’ve slowly been transitioning to this method of spinning and so far I do see a big difference in the smoothness of my finished yarns.

I didn’t have a scale handy when I separated my batt… so I ended up with some very uneven bobbins… which meant I had plenty left for a lovely two ply after I’d finished my 4 ply.

I love the roundness of the traditional 4 ply and I’m not going to lie… I’m in LOVE with this finished yarn. It’s plump, lofty and so pretty. Now the question is what to knit… I have a nephew who loves orange and this would make a pretty awesome christmas toque for him… We’ll see!

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. Cut off to receive December club is this coming Tuesday November 20th.

Until next time, Happy Spinning!!
~Katrina

September 2018 Club Reveal – Oh Chocolate!

Yikes… October 17th and I’m finally getting around to posting about September Club. I’m so sorry for the delay but with Knit City prep etc for the end of September, I just didn’t have time for much spinning!

I took a slight deviation this month when I was looking for photos and chose one that isn’t actually a natural one. Chocolate! Who doesn’t love chocolate?? These chocolates were actually ones that I made many years ago during a workshop. It was a fun workshop and I was sad when the shop went out of business.

This month, I used Cheviot for the basic club and a 50/50 camel/silk blend for luxury club.

With basic club, I decided to spin for socks, as Cheviot is a great breed for them! I decided to split my rolags into three equal piles based on weight. Then I took one pile and spun the rolags in succession from the brown to the white.

I took one pile and separated it into the different colours and I spun all of one colour, followed by all of the next etc, as you would for a gradient.

The last pile I took and split into the different colours and then split those piles in half, so that I would have slightly shorter repeats.

Despite spinning the same way from the same weight (or so I thought!) I still ended up with some very uneven bobbins. The large skein on the right was the traditional three ply that I spun from my bobbins initially. I have a very long length of white at the beginning of the spin and there’s a lot of white throughout the skein, based on how I spun each of the three bobbins. The skein in the middle is a two ply using up as much as I could from the remaining two bobbins and finally the smallest skein is chain plyed from what was left on the last bobbin. Interestingly, the one that had the most yardage was the one that I spun as a gradient.

I love to compare/contrast two yarns, made from basically the same colours but different fibres. The camel silk is naturally a warmer tone when it’s undyed…which really adds depth to the colours when it was dyed. With the camel/silk, I spun it with a long draw, keeping lots of air in the yarn. With the cheviot, I wanted the durability of a worsted spun yarn, so I used a short forward draw for it. You can really see the difference when you look at these two yarns side by side.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a photo of the camel silk. This skein was spun by spinning the rolags from end to end in succession and then plying from a centre pull ball.

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. Cut off to receive November club is this coming Saturday, October 20th.

Until next time, Happy Spinning!!
~Katrina

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!!
~Katrina

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!!
~Katrina

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!!
~Katrina

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!!
~Katrina

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!!
~Katrina

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!!
~Katrina

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!
Katrina

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!

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