May’s color inspiration comes from Loresa Jordan of Prince George, British Columbia. Loresa submitted photographs from her wedding anniversary trip to the west coast of Canada. Congratulations to her and her husband who were celebrating 19 years of marital bliss! The happy couple stayed at a small seaside community of Sooke. They explored many miles of seashore and rainforests, took a whale watching tour in a zodiac, enjoyed afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, devoured scrumptious seafood meals, and watched seals playing from their room on Sooke Harbour.
The photo selected was taken in Sooke Potholes Provincial park, named for the series of deep, polished rock pools carved naturally into the bedrock of the Sooke River. Viewing opportunities of this park include coho and salmon spawning, old growth Douglas firs and wildlife including elk and bear. Loresa was happy to report that she and her husband did not experience a surprise encounter with the latter. Green is my favorite color and the variety of greens in these rocks was quite inspirational. I think we captured the beauty of the deep forest green with highlights of the bright chartreuse in our new colorway that we named Moss.
Loresa began knitting in earnest around the year 2000. She was determined at the time to knit sweaters for her new nephew. Her current passion is knitting lace. My business partner Kitman has designed many beautiful lace projects. If you are not already familiar with her designs check them out at her Ravelry site.
Thank you again Loresa for the inspiration and informing us about the beauty of Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. This July my husband and I will be celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary and we usually take a trip to celebrate. I have never been to Canada so this might be yet another type of inspiration for me.
Happy Knitting and Crocheting,
Diana and Kitman
This month’s color inspiration comes from BreeAnn from Bristol, RI. On a recent trip to New York City, BreeAnn ran into this amazing street artist in Washington Square. I did a little investigating and found out that the name of this artist is Joe Mangrum. The medium for Joe’s art is colored sand! His detailed, one-of-kind pieces can take 7 to 9 hours to complete. When it is done and time to go home, he sweeps up this beautiful swirl of colors into a dustpan. I love this type of art! It is in the moment. I guess that is why I have loved my work in live theatre. It is a shared experience that happens in that moment and then is never recreated in the exact same way ever again.
This artist’s vibrant and playful colors were a perfect inspiration for this month’s new yarn. As I have been working towards becoming an accomplished knitter of socks, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at dyeing self-striping yarn. The colors that Mr. Mangrum uses in his sand art inspired me in our first offering of self-striping yarn. After much reading on the topic, the building of a warping board, and enough math to make my head explode, I present to youSidewalk Sand. Thank you BreeAnn for the photo and the inspiration. If you want to know more about the artist Joe Mangrum there are several YouTube videos that you can check out to see this amazing artist at work.
Tumbleweed Yarn will be offering this self-striping yarn as a kit, which will include the 400 yards/100gms of Sidewalk Sand self-striping yarn and 30 yards of a matching pink yarn. The pink yarn can be used for a contrasting heel and toe if you choose to knit socks–or the pink can become fringe on a very festive striped scarf.
Kitman has also designed a beautiful lace collar that we will offer as a free pattern when you purchase our Rust yarn.
This is a simple, fast pattern for those of us who need immediate gratification. The open lace pattern makes the collar light and it can dress up a simple T for the spring weather or would be a nice addition to a sweater come fall and winter. Kitman knitted this collar using our Aubrey Fingering weight yarn in the colorway Rust.
Aubrey is 100% Superwash merino wool. This collar scarf only uses 55gms of yarn so this would be a nice project to knit in order to use up some of that extra yarn you have left over from other projects. Read a more detailed description of this collar scarf and the kits we are offering on our Etsy website www.tumbleweedyarn.etsy.com
Happy knitting and crocheting,
Diana and Kitman
“beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter.”
Excerpt from “Ode to My Socks”
By Pablo Neruda (translated by Robert Bly)
Knitting my first pair of socks was not near as hard as I first anticipated. Thanks to Staci Perry and her video tutorials. I happened upon Ms. Perry’s pattern and lessons doing an Internet search for beginner socks. Her pattern and instructions were very easy to follow. I am now a big fan of Staci’s and will visit her site for future projects. (www.verypink.com)
Being a visual learner, having a video of each step of the sock making process was fantastic. YouTube is a wonderful tool for the likes of me. You can find almost any knitting stitch demonstrated for you by some lovely soul who took the time to video the process and put on the Internet. Technology can be a wonderful thing. It was fun to see the shaping occur as I stitched along and when I completed both socks and tried them on for the first time it was like Pablo Neruda says in his poem
…my feet were honored in this way
by these heavenly socks.
they were so handsome for the first time
my feet seemed to me unacceptable
like two decrepit firemen,
firemen unworthy of the woven fire,
of those glowing socks…
Okay maybe that is overdramatizing the moment, but they sure were cozy and comfortable. I look forward to knitting many more socks and giving them away as gifts to my friends and maybe one day my hand knitted socks will inspire the poet in one of them to write a poem about my socks.
Happy knitting and crocheting,
I strongly encourage you to read Pablo Neruda’s entire poem “Ode to My Socks”
Pack up your spray paint cans you pesky graffiti artist because you cannot beat the guerilla knitters that have taken yarn bombing to the streets.
Yarn bombing if you don’t already know (and I didn’t until just recently) is a type of street art that uses knitted or crocheted yarn to decorate the everyday objects that you find in the great outdoors. Yarn bombers stitch cozies for everything from park benches to lamp post and everything in-between.
I found out about this fantastic form of expression just recently on a near-by neighbor street that is home to some wonderful homespun restaurants. I was going to one of my favorite said restaurants when I noticed all of these bright punches of color winding around the lampposts, bike racks, park benches and even the trashcans. My curiosity was peaked and upon further investigation I found out about yarn bombing.
Our neighborhood yarn bombing was the result of a local artist (Amber Bailey) who worked with children and adults alike to create these knitted goodies to adorn our street in order to call attention to an upcoming young artist street fair. HOW FUN IS THAT? You can bet that if this is an annual event that I will definitely be a part of this endeavor next year. And this type of street art makes you smile rather then reach for the phone to call the gang crime unit!
You should check out yarn bombing on the Internet. You will see some amazing examples of this art form. If you have seen or been involved in yarn bombing, I would love to hear about it and definitely would love to see some pictures. Share please!
Happy Knitting and Crocheting,
So I think I have mentioned before that I am a novice knitter. My Tumbleweed partner, Kitman, is our expert in all things knitting. When I was growing up my grandmother taught me to crochet so I know that I have some aptitude for crafts with needles. But that was many, many, years ago, and a few things have replaced that information in my already overworked brain. And when she was teaching me she only spoke Spanish and I unfortunately barely have the gift of English. So I am not sure how much of it took in the first place. So I have begun my journey to proudly and without hesitation call myself a knitter.
I began this journey with buying a beginner’s knitting book at Half Price bookstore. I worked on several of the projects to get a feel for the terminology, different stitches, and reading patterns. The fruits of my labor being several random pot holders.
It was fun, but I was anxious to make something that I could wear. I tried socks. My hands and brain were not ready for 4 needles and shaping. So my friend Cindy and I found this pattern by Lijuan Jing that we decided to do together. My first knit-along! Cindy assured me that I should not be afraid of more then 2 needles and the fact that it said “intermediate pattern” should not dissuade me from trying. Well, the scarf that I made did not come easily and no one should look too closely at the stitching–but I am proud of the final result. If for nothing else, I would not let dropping stitches, losing count, and a host of other frustrations deviate me from finishing the project. So like a 6 year old child showing mom my hand painted pencil holder, made from a milk carton covered in Popsicle sticks, I proudly share my Swirl Scarf with you. Next challenge…back to socks.
This month’s inspiration for our newest colors comes from self- proclaimed “nature nerd” Julia Gregory. Her picture of a Texas Coral Snake caught our eye with its bright yellow next to the dark black and rusty red. Julia works for the Texas Parks and Wildlife as a web content coordinator. She said she found this little fellow on her front porch in Bastrop, Texas. According to Julia, this beauty is a venomous snake, a member of the cobra family, but very shy and non-aggressive. This type of snake is relatively small as snakes go in Texas. After carefully picking up the snake, by using a pair of BBQ thongs, she took it to work to show her other naturalist colleagues. She then released it into the brush pile you see in the photo. Julia gave us very helpful information about distinguishing this coral snake from similar non-venomous milk and king snakes:
Red on black, venom lack (or friend to Jack)
Red on yellow, kills a fellow.
Midnight. Sunshine. Rust
I think that if I had the occasion to cross paths with a snake, I probably would not take enough time to ponder the venomous nature of the creature with a snappy rhyme. I would do that from the privacy and safety of my own critter-free home looking at the hurriedly snapped blurry photo of said snake that I took while screaming like a coward. But that’s just me.
From the information that Julia sent us she sounds like a real renaissance women. Not only is she a knitter and friend to all things that are creepy and crawly, she is currently learning to make her own wine! If you would like to know more about Julia she provided this link to her About.me page http://about.me/juliagregory. She sounds like a fun person to get to know. Thank you Julia for the inspiration and educating us about one of God’s creatures.
As indicated in previous blogs if you would like to submit a photo to help inspire our next group of yarns, please send us a copy (mailto:email@example.com). If your photograph is chosen we will send you a skein of our yarn in appreciation.
Hoping to inspire and ignite your imagination,
Diana and Kitman
Well, Kitman is off celebrating Chinese New Year with her family and friends in Malaysia. She promises to come home with wonderful stories and pictures with which to entertain me. Our first month of business has been fun and exciting. We feel so proud as we send out each of our little packages to customers from around the world. In fact, that is one of the most exciting parts–seeing what wonderful places where our yarn is sent and imagining the beautiful final products that will come from them.
We continue to build our stock with new colors. And as we build, we look to you for inspiration. A photograph sent to us by Brian from Midland, Texas inspired our 3 newest colors.
In our first blog we encouraged anyone to send us a photo that reflects a sense of home. In reply, Brian sent us this photograph of an orchid. Nature really does supply us with the most magnificent color schemes. Brian wrote to us that his mother was blessed with a green thumb and that his childhood home was filled with potted plants and fresh flowers. Although he claims that his thumb is not quite as green as mom’s, he still loves to have the beauty of flowers and plants decorating his home.
Brian is a beginning knitter and hopes to be knitting sweaters for his beloved pal Max before to long.
Being a beginning knitter myself, may I suggest that you start with a simple dog collar or small throw for Max’s dog bed? I made the mistake of choosing to knit a pair of socks as one of my first knitting projects. This was a mistake. My brain and hands could not handle a simple pair of socks, so I have decided to focus on flat objects for a while, to build my confidence before I try shaping again. But one day I will be a sock genius. As the expert knitter on our team, Kitman will help me to achieve this goal.
Because Brian’s photo was selected for our inspiration, Tumbleweed Yarn will be sending Brian a skein of yarn so he can get started on that sweater for Max. We would love to see Max in his finery, so perhaps Brian will be kind enough to send a photo when he is done. Living in Texas, I know there is a very small window of time in which Max will be comfortable in knitwear; but for our sake I’m sure he would be willing to model for us anytime.
Anyone who has a photograph that would be a good color inspiration, please send us a copy (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org). If it is selected, you will be helping us with our next colorway and receive a skein of our yarn in appreciation.
Diana and Kitman
Check out our new colors! Kitman and I have been working on a variety of colors to put in our store. It is so fun to consider colors we want to produce and imagine how to mix the dyes to achieve those colors. Most of the time we are pleasantly surprised by our results being close to what we intended. But sometimes it doesn’t exactly work out the way we envisioned. Surprise, it is actually better! I LOVE those happy accidents. As Bob Ross, (painter, TV art instructor) says, “We don’t have mistakes here, we just have happy accidents.” As we build our inventory I am sure Kitman and I will have many more happy accidents.
The Wimberley Shawl Kit is still available in our ETSY store. If you are interested, it is still not too late to grab one for yourself. Also, We have aFacebook Page now, please hop in and click like for our page!
Deep Forest Green
As we mentioned in our previous blog the photo inspiration for our first colorway comes from Ylva Forstén. Ylva is a native of Finland and now resides in Texas. She is also a fellow knitter. She recently has been busy knitting for her new grandbaby, the cute and lovable Felix. Because we began our new business adventure in the fall we wanted a photograph that reflected what we see at home in the fall.
This photograph is an image of Ylva’s fence line in front of her home in Wimberley, Texas. She captured our Texas fall wonderfully in her photograph. This gave us the perfect feel of a beautiful sunny fall day with a Texas flare. The colors that we created for our yarns are called golden grass, cactus blue and weathered grey. These colors were not meant to be perfect reproductions of colors found in the photograph but are colors inspired by the image. We are very pleased with our results. I hope we have produced colors that will inspire you on your next project. And if you are looking for a project to begin, Kitman has designed a beautiful shawl she is calling Wimberley.
We are offering this pattern in a kit from now until January 6th. The kit is comprised of one of the three yarns (golden grass, cactus blue, weathered grey–you may choose which color), and the Wimberley pattern that Kitman designed for the launching of Tumbleweed Yarn. You can now order this kit at our ETSY store, www.tumbleweedyarn.etsy.com.
Just like most of Kitman’s designs, Wimberley is a heavy textured bottom up lace shawl. In this pattern, you will get to play with some twisted stitches and simple cable stitches. A skein of weathered grey Aubrey (100% Superwash wool) was used to make a mini size of Wimberley that gives size 19″ x 44″. To make a larger size Wimberley, you will have to add a few more repeats of the pattern at both sides of the triangles and use two skeins of Aubrey.
There are two different kits now available in our ETSY store. You can buy either 1 skein or 2 skeins of yarn in the colorway you wish. We will dye the yarn once the orders are received. This kit is available through the 6th of Jan. Please allow 10 – 14 days for the yarn to be dyed, packaged and delivered to you.
Hi, my name is Diana Story and 2013 is going to be an exciting and rewarding New Year. Most exciting for me is my new creative endeavor. My very talented sister-in-law, Kitman Figueroa, proposed to me a while back that we learn to hand dye yarns. Kitman is an accomplished knitter and designer and was interested in broadening her knowledge of her craft. She has been fortunate to work with some very high quality yarns in a glorious array of colors. I love to hear her talk excitedly about a new skein of yarn. I remember her referring to one skein as the queen of her collection. I wonder what that skein will turn into one day. Maybe it will remain, as it is, a little piece of art unto itself.
I myself am a jack of many trades. I have always had a love of the arts and have been fortunate enough to work all my adult life in creative occupations. Most recently I was a high school theatre teacher for 12 years. Before that, I was a professional costume designer. Materials, and more importantly color, have been a love in my life for a long time. Kitman thought our combined talents should give birth to our new business of hand dyeing yarns. So Tumbleweed Yarn was born. We named our business Tumbleweed Yarn because of where we live. We are both transplanted Texans. Kitman is from the exotic country of Malaysia and I am originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Not so exotic but very different from Texas. We wanted a name that was reflective of our adoptive new land. I remember as a child moving from Wisconsin and not knowing much about Texas, I expected a Texas that I had seen in the TV shows—cowboys on horses and tumbleweeds blowing across the dry lands. A little naïve of me, after all I was moving to the big city of Dallas where there is nary a tumbleweed.
Because of our new business, the last few months have been a wonderful time of learning and growing for us. A photograph taken by a friend named Ylva Forsten inspired our first three yarn colors. We wanted colors to reflect the natural beauty of where we live. Even though Kitman and I live in big cities we do not have to travel far to see what Ylva has captured in her photo. We not only want to provide a quality product but we want to help inspire your projects. Working in the theatre has given me the chance to work with wonderful artists and has shown me how exciting collaborating on a project with other talented people can be. We want to bring that same collaboration to our business. In fact, every month or so we would like to feature a photograph that one of you have sent us that will inspire our new line of colors. The photograph should be reflective of what you consider home. It could be a landscape or a favorite old chair. It will be so exciting to see your interpretations of home. The person who has their photograph selected will be featured and they will receive a fabulous door prize. So email us your photos and lets work to inspire each other.