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The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

Our new yarn, SilverSpun® Silk, is a glorious blend of American grown Combed Cotton, Tussah Silk and Silver.  Each skein is hand dyed using the best natural dyes available.  We are very proud that we are using only natural dyes for this yarn and thought it might be helpful to share what botanical dye(s) we used to create the beautiful colors of the SilverSpun® Silk color pallet. 

Today we take a look at, "Sea Grass".  The beautifully subtle color combination of green and yellow for this yarn was created using Indigo & Weld. 

Indigo - Species of Indigofera were cultivated in Peru, India, East Asia and Egypt in antiquity. The earliest direct evidence for the use of indigo dates to around 4000 BCE and comes from Huaca Prieta, in contemporary Peru. Indigo was actually a plant that got its name because it came from the Indus Valley, discovered some 5,000 years ago, where it was called nila, meaning dark blue. And by the 7th Century BC, people starting using the plant as a dye — Mesopotamians were even carving out recipes for making indigo dye onto clay tablets for record-keeping. By 1289, knowledge of the dye made its way to Europe, when the Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo reported on it.

Weld Extract – Weld (Reseda luteola) is the most light fast of the yellow dyes, used by ancient tapestry weavers in Central Asia, Turkey and Europe. Weld is the brightest and clearest yellow flower dye and in combination with iron creates a rich chartreuse, or overdyed with indigo is a clear lime green.

You can find this color, as well as all the other beautiful naturally dyed colors of SilverSpun® Silk here.

Continue reading

The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

Our new yarn, SilverSpun® Silk, is a glorious blend of American grown Combed Cotton, Tussah Silk and Silver.  Each skein is hand dyed using the best natural dyes available.  We are very proud that we are using only natural dyes for this yarn and thought it might be helpful to share what botanical dye(s) we used to create the beautiful colors of the SilverSpun® Silk color pallet. 

Today we take a look at, "Cloud Burst".  The variegated soft grays (with just a hint of purple) of this yarn were made using Logwood and Iron.

Logwood Extract – Logwood (Haematoxylum campechianum) originates from the Yucatan region of Mexico and is naturalized throughout Central America and parts of the Caribbean. It was also known as Palo de Campeche or Campeche wood. Like cochineal, it was one of the valuable dyes from the New World and Spain and England went to war over regions that were lush with logwood trees in an effort to control the lucrative logwood dye trade.

Logwood yields a rich, deep purple which was used as a base or “bottom” for the desirable dark purple and black colors of European fashion and aristocracy.  It was in such high demand that in the 18th century, nearly all black dyed cloth was colored from Logwood. Today it is used as a traditional textile dye, a laboratory stain and for dyeing sutures. Logwood by itself is not particularly lightfast, so keep from bright sunlight. With added iron, its lightfastness increases and the color darkens to a near black.

Ferrous Sulfate – Ferrous sulfate (iron) is used as a color changer, darkening or “saddening” natural dyes on protein or cellulose fibers and also increases lightfastness for dyes that are prone to fading. Many of the famous black dye recipes from the 17th and 18th century use generous amounts of iron and tannin to produce rich black and gray colors.

You can find this color, as well as all the other beautiful naturally dyed colors of SilverSpun® Silk here.

Continue reading

The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

Our new yarn, SilverSpun® Silk, is a glorious blend of American grown Combed Cotton, Tussah Silk and Silver.  Each skein is hand dyed using the best natural dyes available.  We are very proud that we are using only natural dyes for this yarn and thought it might be helpful to share what botanical dye(s) we used to create the beautiful colors of the SilverSpun® Silk color pallet. 

Today we take a look at, "Indigo".  The beautifully intense blue color of this yarn was made using Indigo.

Indigo - Species of Indigofera were cultivated in Peru, India, East Asia and Egypt in antiquity. The earliest direct evidence for the use of indigo dates to around 4000 BCE and comes from Huaca Prieta, in contemporary Peru. Indigo was actually a plant that got its name because it came from the Indus Valley, discovered some 5,000 years ago, where it was called nila, meaning dark blue. And by the 7th Century BC, people starting using the plant as a dye — Mesopotamians were even carving out recipes for making indigo dye onto clay tablets for record-keeping. By 1289, knowledge of the dye made its way to Europe, when the Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo reported on it.

You can find this color, as well as all the other beautiful naturally dyed colors of SilverSpun® Silk here.

Continue reading

The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

Our new yarn, SilverSpun® Silk, is a glorious blend of American grown Combed Cotton, Tussah Silk and Silver.  Each skein is hand dyed using the best natural dyes available.  We are very proud that we are using only natural dyes for this yarn and thought it might be helpful to share what botanical dye(s) we used to create the beautiful colors of the SilverSpun® Silk color pallet. 

Today we take a look at, "Calm Seas".  The beautiful subtle color combination of green and blue for this yarn was created using Indigo, Weld & Tannic Acid (fustic).

Indigo - Species of Indigofera were cultivated in Peru, India, East Asia and Egypt in antiquity. The earliest direct evidence for the use of indigo dates to around 4000 BCE and comes from Huaca Prieta, in contemporary Peru. Indigo was actually a plant that got its name because it came from the Indus Valley, discovered some 5,000 years ago, where it was called nila, meaning dark blue. And by the 7th Century BC, people starting using the plant as a dye — Mesopotamians were even carving out recipes for making indigo dye onto clay tablets for record-keeping. By 1289, knowledge of the dye made its way to Europe, when the Venetian merchant traveler Marco Polo reported on it.

Weld Extract – Weld (Reseda luteola) is the most light fast of the yellow dyes, used by ancient tapestry weavers in Central Asia, Turkey and Europe. Weld is the brightest and clearest yellow flower dye and in combination with iron creates a rich chartreuse, or overdyed with indigo is a clear lime green.

Fustic – Fustic (Chlorophora tinctoria) is a tall tropical hardwood that grows from Mexico to Argentina.  Fustic is high in tannic acid, which makes it an ideal cotton dye; in fact, it was used in the military to dye the color khaki during World War I. On cotton, it will dye a clear gold and on silk and wool it will dye gold to orange. Fustic also provides a good base for other colors: overdyed with indigo for green; combined with madder and cochineal to make oranges; and mixed with logwood or with iron to produce olive greens.

You can find this color, as well as all the other beautiful naturally dyed colors of SilverSpun® Silk here.

Continue reading

April Design Challenge Winner - Nadene Carter

April Design Challenge Winner - Nadene Carter

Throughout 2017 we will be hosting the FGYCo Design Challenge where we introduce a “design challenge” project using one of our SilverSpun® yarns.  Designers will have approximately 2 1/2 months to complete the project.  Entries will be voted on by the general public and the design with the most votes wins.

Our April challenge was to design a wrap or shawl using a maximum of 1 skein of SilverSpun® Silk.  We had 3 beautiful designs submitted and after a popular vote, Nadene Carter won with her design, Feathers & Fronds Wrap.

Feathers & Fronds Wrap

In addition to a $100 FGYCo gift certificate and having her winning design published on our website, Nadene also won a guest interview on our blog.

And with that, I give you Nadene ….

Can you give us a little background intel on yourself? Where were you born? Do you still live there? How long have you been knitting? Who taught you to knit?

I was born and raised in the little town of Liberty in Bear Lake County, Idaho. I moved away soon after graduating from High School. I married and raised six children, spending several years in southeastern Washington State before moving to northern Utah where I now live. My mother tried to teach me to knit. She knit Continental style. I couldn’t get the tension right when purling and soon became discouraged. Later, in my mid-twenties I found a fiber arts teacher who taught knitting—English style—and that clicked with me. I’ve been knitting ever since.

Where do you do your designing? Do you have a special room in your house, a studio, a favorite chair?

I do most of my designing and number crunching on our large dining room table, where I also have a bookcase with all my knitting and design books and several bins of yarn. When knitting I sit in an overstuffed swivel chair, and for lighting I have one of those goose-neck floor lamps. BTW, love it!

Where do your design inspirations come from? Nature, architecture, fine art, what?

Early on, I mostly designed afghans and blankets and relied heavily on nature and architecture at that time. In 2015 I started studying knitwear design and have several sweaters in varying stages of completion. I design for the young-at-heart and develop designs that are both feminine and functional with a classic flair. One cardigan design, which is still a work in progress, was sparked by something a close friend said. She wished she could find a sweater pattern that made her look slimmer. The vertical eyelet rows and longer ribbing at the hip pulls the eye vertically, enhancing the slimming effect of this design. I have also designed my granddaughter’s wedding gown, which has slowed my design progress in other areas. The knitting on that project is nearly complete. I find myself wishing for 48-hour days. So many fun things to knit; so little time!

Who are your favorite designers (and it doesn’t have to be knitwear designers)?

I truly admire Dee O’keefe and her lace design work. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Shirley Paden. I’ve learned so much from her Knitwear Design Workshop. I’m now taking an online class from Jill Wolcott: A System of Grading, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

What is it about designing that gets you to jump out of bed every morning and grab the needles?

I’ve always found it fascinating that one can take “two sticks” and “some string” and make something beautiful and unique. That is what I named my blog—Two Sticks and Some String. Since I started working on the wedding gown I’ve let my blog slip badly but hope to get back to that project soon. Also, there is something about knitting that smooths out all the kinks. It’s my reward after the many tasks that must be done in a day.

What do you have on your needles right now?

I always have an afghan on the needles—something I can grab and take with me to fill in waiting time. Besides finishing the wedding dress, I’ve put other work aside to focus on Jill Wolcott’s grading class.

While designing your piece for FGYCo, what qualities of SilverSpun® did you find most appealing?

I expected this cotton-based yarn to be somewhat limp and wondered about the stitch definition of the finished project. I needn’t have worried. The mixture of fibers used has created a unique yarn that is easy to work with and finishes up nicely. Also, the information about SilverSpun® says it may have therapeutic value. About three months ago I had an operation on my middle trigger finger. It left the knuckle-joint sore and painful. After working with this yarn I have no more pain. Coincidence? Maybe, but my brother-in-law had the same operation a year ago. It took 6 months for his pain to go away.

Do you have any other passions besides knitting?

My knitting teacher (mentioned earlier) held a wealth of knowledge about all things “fiberey”: spinning, weaving, dying, felting. I embraced it all, but as I’ve grown older I’ve come to realize I can’t do it all, so I’ve focused mainly on knitting. I still have my spinning wheel and my Harrisville loom. I’ll eventually have to part with them … but not today.

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Find Nadene's award winning design here.

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January Design Challenge Co-winner - Amanda Flock

January Design Challenge Co-winner - Amanda Flock

Throughout 2017 we will be hosting the FGYCo Monthly Design Challenge where we introduce a “design challenge” project using one of our SilverSpun® yarns.  Designers will have approximately 2 1/2 months to complete the project.  Entries will be voted on by the general public and the design with the most votes wins.

Our January challenge was to design a cowl using a maximum of 2 skeins of SilverSpun® Sport.  We had 8 gorgeous designs submitted and after a popular vote we had a TIE for first place (what are the odds?).  Amanda Flock was one of the winners with her inspired entry, Windy, using hairpin lace.

 

In addition to a $100 FGYCo gift certificate and having her winning design published on our website, Amanda also won a guest interview on our blog.

And with that, I give you Amanda …

Can you give us a little background intel on yourself? Where were you born? Do you still live there? How long have you been knitting? Who taught you to knit?

I was born and raised in a few suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I went to college at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL and completed my MBA in Finance online through Capella University. I have been living in central Florida for the past 4 years with my husband, 2 cats, and 18 month old daughter. My mom taught me to crochet about 10-11 years ago, right before I turned 20. I taught a friend to crochet and we both taught ourselves how to knit thanks to YouTube about a year later. I think that I am much better and quicker with crochet, but love the look of finished knit items so much more. I use crochet mainly for bags and blankets and knitting for tank tops, shawls, and chunky blankets.


Where do you do your designing? Do you have a special room in your house, a studio, a favorite chair?

I have a craft room, but I usually do most of my designing where ever I am at, at that time ( in the car, on the couch, sitting in bed, pretty much anywhere an idea hits me). The craft room is great for storage and working on large projects, but for the most part I bring out my knitting books and a notebook and work on my design ideas where ever.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Nature, architecture, fine art, what?

Various things, lately nature has been a big influence. I recently designed a large cable knit scarf, my Climbing Vines scarf. The intertwining of the cables reminded me of the vines climbing up a fence near my house. My most recent design, the Biscayne Shawl, was inspired by the colors and textures of waves in the Florida keys.

Who are your favorite designers (and it doesn’t have to be knitwear designers)?

Helle Slente of Helle Slente Design for her really wonderful designs, especially her brioche designs, Frenchie of Aroha Knits for her beautiful shawls, Kate of KGThreads for her gorgeously woven wraps and delicate lace knit shawls, and way too many more to mention, but those three very talented ladies are definitely worth checking out!.

What is it about designing that gets you to jump out of bed every morning and grab the needles?

There is just something wonderful and fulfilling about being able to come up with a design from scratch and bring it to life with your own two hands, and some yarn and needles or hooks of course. There is an even greater feeling of accomplishment when hearing and reading positive feedback from other knitters/crocheters, especially the designers I admire.

What do you have on your needles right now?

I am currently working on a lightweight asymmetrical shawl, and a few cable pattern designs for a submission.

While designing your piece for FGYCo, what qualities of SilverSpun® did you find most appealing?

Usually cotton yarn is coarse, thick, and hard to work with, but SilverSpun® Sport was a dream to work with, and very soft for cotton!

Do you have any other passions besides knitting?

Crocheting is my first love, as I learned that before knitting, but I am also breaking into indie dyeing of yarn (mostly for gradient cakes with smooth transitions as opposed to solid striping yarn), spinning on a drop spindle, needle felting 3D objects, and weaving on a small table top rigid heddle loom.

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View Amanda's winning design here.

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January Design Challenge Co-winner - Taciana Simmons

January Design Challenge Co-winner - Taciana Simmons

Throughout 2017 we will be hosting the FGYCo Monthly Design Challenge where we introduce a “design challenge” project using one of our SilverSpun® yarns.  Designers will have approximately 2 1/2 months to complete the project.  Entries will be voted on by the general public and the design with the most votes wins.

Our January challenge was to design a cowl using a maximum of 2 skeins of SilverSpun® Sport.  We had 8 gorgeous designs submitted and after a popular vote we had a TIE for first place (what are the odds?).  Taciana (Taci) Simmons was one of the winners with her beautiful entry, Northwest Shore - inspired by the northwest beach shores of the Pacific Northwest where she lives. 

Taci's winning design

 

In addition to a $100 FGYCo gift certificate and having her winning design published on our website, Taci also won a guest interview on our blog.

And with that, I give you Taci ….


Can you give us a little background intel on yourself? Where were you born? Do you still live there? How long have you been knitting? Who taught you to knit?

I was born in Brazil in a historical city in North East Brazil called Recife. I have been surrounded by art, crafts and very artistic people my whole life and I have  loved every aspect of it. Both my parents were always very artistic. My dad was a journalist and writer and and my Mama, a nurse by trade, taught me and my 2 sisters to knit and crochet when we were 5 years old. With her I also learned to sew, up-cycle, recycle and find use for everything before you decide to throw it away. Both my parents inspired me to always find beauty even where we least expect. My two sisters have also kept me motivated by supporting even the craziest ideas I have had.

I have lived in the US for 27 years now and I would never have changed a minute of my life. I met my husband 26 years ago here in Oregon. We have 2 beautiful children, a daughter and a son and they are growing up to be such beautiful adults who bring blessing in our lives every day. My husband and my children are my biggest fans they love everything I make for them and they are the reason I am who I am today. They keep my “wheels going”. I also am encouraged everyday for the beautiful gift of friendship. I’m blessed to have so many great friends. We have a fabulous knitting group that we meet at least once a month and I know that without their support and encouragement my ideas would've never become reality.

I went to school for Psychology in Brazil and I’m a social worker by trade here in the US. Although that is a rewarding profession I do love knitting and it has always been one of my biggest passions. I have never been able to fully follow a pattern and I always modify it a little. After a few years of knitting and “modifying” some patterns I decided it was time to start designing my own and share my ideas with this beautiful community. The FGYCo was my first opportunity to have a pattern published and released. I have released a couple of free patterns on Ravelry.(ravelry name is taciravelry)


Where do you do your designing? Do you have a special room in your house, a studio, a favorite chair?

I have a small area in an extra room we have in my house which I share with my daughter. She loves to paint and make jewelry and I have all my yarn, my computer and my sewing machine there .. we seem to share it very well and live in harmony in the little space we have. But I have to confess I do most of my knitting and my best designing ideas come to me while I’m sitting in the couch in our living room or in our deck. We live in an area in Oregon called Happy Valley and I’m very blessed that from our living room I can see the whole valley and beautiful Mount Hood. In Spring and Summer especially, I cannot believe that I get to see this beautiful view every day.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Nature, architecture, fine art, what?

I also get inspired by everything in nature and all the beautiful landscapes that surround me every day. Sometimes it is the waves at the beach, sometimes a little branch in the ground and sometimes the color or shapes of a beautiful flower.

Who are your favorite designers (and it doesn’t have to be knitwear designers)?

There are so many fantastic designers out there that it would be too hard  for me to single out who my favorite one is. I think we are so blessed to have so many beautiful and talented people in this community it is impossible for me to narrow one single person. What I can say is that I really love modern and clean designs with yet a romantic flair. I also really like pieces that have an elegant flavor to them.

What is it about designing that gets you to jump out of bed every morning and grab the needles?

My day is not complete until I see my husband, my children, talk to my family, and knit - if only for 15 minutes. For me knitting is like a good medicine when you are sick, it makes everything better. I love art, love expressing my ideas and feelings and I see knitting as a daily opportunity to express my creativity and the artistic side of my brain and my heart.

What do you have on your needles right now?

I’m not a monogamous knitter.  To be honest,  I’m always working on too many projects at a time. I strive to try to only have 2 or 3 projects going at the same time, but most of the time 4 or 5 and is more truthful. I’m always working on a blanket, and right now I’m also working on 2 shawls. I am also always working on a crochet baby blanket (I make at least one every month either for a gift or to donate for a mother in need in Brazil). I sew a flannel blanket and trim it with a crochet edge - which is another one of my passions.

While designing your piece for FGYCo, what qualities of SilverSpun® did you find most appealing?

Being from Brazil I have always loved cotton, but I had never found the perfect cotton to work with until I worked with SilverSpun®. Plus I love the surprising fact that the yarn has some flexibility which makes it absolutely perfect … the final piece is not only soft, but it has a smooth stretch that makes each garment more comfortable than you expected. I cant wait to make some baby hats with it. I think that it will be a perfect combination of warmth and comfort … now I can say I have finally found the perfect cotton.

Do you have any other passions besides knitting?

When I was younger I loved painting, but this days I find that painting with yarn is what I really love to do. So, I have to say that knitting and crocheting are my 2 very favorite things to do. I also love watching good movies ( while knitting), going in hikes (and knitting in the car while my husband drives us there), doing Yoga and drinking a good cup of coffee or tea.

One of my favorite things is to seat in our deck with a good glass of wine, with my knitting in my lap while looking at the beautiful view we are blessed with. As you can see I love lots of different thing, but as crazy as it can appear knitting is in one way or another always present in my daily life and I love that my husband, my children, my family and my friends support me and that I feel completely happy while I’m doing it. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a little bit of my life with you and I hope you enjoy knitting with SilverSpun® as much as I did.

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Find Taci's award winning design here.

 

Continue reading

The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

Our new yarn, SilverSpun® Silk, is a glorious blend of American grown Combed Cotton, Tussah Silk and Silver.  Each skein is hand dyed using the best natural dyes available.  We are very proud that we are using only natural dyes for this yarn and thought it might be helpful to share what botanical dye(s) we used to create the beautiful colors of the SilverSpun® Silk color pallet. 

Today we take a look at, "Brick Dust".  The intense, deep red color of this yarn was created using Quebracho Rojo.

Quebracho Rojo –  Found in the Gran Chaco region of Argentina,Quebracho (Schinopsis quebracho-colorado) is a dense hardwood that is commonly used as fuel for the legendary Argentine barbecue but it is also an important tannin for the leather industry as the heartwood contains between 20-30% tannin. Recently quebracho has been listed by winemaking suppliers as it is used to resist oxidation of red wines as well as impart flavor. Quebracho is  suitable for dyeing cellulose fibers and also performs well on silks and wool, and yields a lovely pinkish peach to brown rose color.  Try Quebracho on wool with aluminum acetate as your mordant for a brightened color effect. When overdyed with indigo, it creates a deep steel gray-blue.

You can find this color, as well as all the other beautiful naturally dyed colors of SilverSpun® Silk here.

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April Design Challenge - a Wrap

April Design Challenge - a Wrap

Our April design challenge is a little more free wheeling than our previous two.  This month we'd like you to design a Wrap.  It can be any kind of wrap, as long as it covers the shoulders.  It could be a lacy shawl, a long rectangle, a simple triangle, anything your creative mind can come up with, just as long as while wearing it it can cover the shoulders.  

This month's challenge uses SilverSpun® Silk (max. 1 skein)

  • The deadline for submissions is June 5, 2017
  • Public voting will take place June 7-14, 2017
  • Winner will be announced June 16, 2017
  • Read full details here.

Think you want to give the Challenge a try?  Let us know by clicking here.

Thanks for taking the challenge and good luck to all!

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The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

The Naturally Dyed Colors of SilverSpun® Silk

Our new yarn, SilverSpun® Silk, is a glorious blend of American grown Combed Cotton, Tussah Silk and Silver.  Each skein is hand dyed using the best natural dyes available.  We are very proud that we are using only natural dyes for this yarn and thought it might be helpful to share what botanical dye(s) we used to create the beautiful colors of the SilverSpun® Silk color pallet. 

Today we take a look at, "Terra Cotta".  The warm, orange/yellow color of this yarn was created using Madder Root & Weld.

Madder – Madder (Rubia tinctorum) is one of the oldest and most frequently used traditional dyestuffs known. It has extensive history in Turkey, India and Iran where it is still being used for dyeing knotted and woven carpets. The secret for Turkey red, a deep rich red color, was guarded for centuries throughout Central Asia and involved more than twenty steps to create this prized shade. Madder extract will produce pale pink and peach shades all the way through a deep, wine-colored red.

Madder is found in different forms: Rubia tinctorum in Central Asia, Rubia cordifolia in India and Pakistan, Rubia peregrina (Wild Madder). In Japan, madder is called akane and refers to Rubia cordifolia, which was obtained through trade with India. Lady’s Bedstraw, a common member of the Rubia family, was used for stuffing mattresses and its roots yield a lighter red dye.

Weld Extract – Weld (Reseda luteola) is the most light fast of the yellow dyes, used by ancient tapestry weavers in Central Asia, Turkey and Europe. Weld is the brightest and clearest yellow flower dye and in combination with iron creates a rich chartreuse, or overdyed with indigo is a clear lime green.

You can find this color, as well as all the other beautiful naturally dyed colors of SilverSpun® Silk here.

Continue reading