Jobo Designs

Letting the crafty creative juices flow. Knitting, spinning, crafting, dyeing, rabbits, sheep and more!

12. September 2008 12:11
by Jobo

I Carded Wool... and I liked it!

12. September 2008 12:11 by Jobo | 1 Comments

more adventures with wool.  I finally got my wool cards in the mail (yay! mail that isn't a bill!) 

 I got a set of Ashfords, I guess a step up from the beginner ones.  Talk about torture though, they come unassembled, so you have to screw on the handles and wait overnight for the wood glue to dry before you can use them!  How uncool is that... I had to stare at them until I went to bed that night, and wasn't able to try them out right away. (sniffle) Isn't that a bit like giving a kid candy and telling her she can't eat it until tomorrow?  totally cruel.

But the next day... ready to go.  Glue was dry, and the cards were calling my name.  I started out by flicking open the tips of the locks with my Flick Card, then laid the staples of wool on the new cards and gave it a try.  After a little clumsy and awkward fluffing, and some mild profanity, I managed to get soft fluffy rolags to play with.  I was really surprised at how much softer and suppler the singles turned out from the rolags, as compared to when I spun straight from flicked locks.  This was also my first attempt at spinning woolen, as all I have had to work with up to this point is pre processed roving.  New experience, but a good one I think.  It would be nice to try and make a really fluffy soft yarn sometime. 

I was really surprised also at how much I actually enjoyed the carding process.  I've read before about how some people find it tedious and annoying to process fiber.  Me on the other hand? I found it to be as enjoyable as the spinning process itself.  I think maybe its the back to basics, grass roots feeling of it all.  Imagine... I took wool straight from a sheep, washed it, carded it, and then spun it.  Very primitive in its nature, but also thrilling in its simplicity too.

As part 2 of the Carding Experiment, I decided to blend some of the odds and ends of fiber I had kicking around at home.   The blending part was actually very exciting.  I really liked the depth of colour you can get by blending different things together.  In particular, the blend of soft natural chocolate brown alpaca, silk hankie, and leicester was quite surprising.  It made a nice soft brown colour that was unusually warm.  I'll have to wash it and see what the finished yarn knits up like sometime.  The next batch of locks I wash, I want to try dying and blending some colours on the cards.  sounds like a lot of fun... uh oh, what if dying is just as addictive?  Could be trouble

All three samples are navajo plied (3-ply) and fibers are as follows: 

    top sample - Leicester.

    middle - brown suri alpaca with leicester and a touch of raw silk hankie

    bottom - Romney.

And finally, Spindle Pics... this is that natural coloured Leicester, singles spun from the rolags in the earlier pics.  I have about enough of this I think for a small pair of mittens.  I was thinking I'd maybe try making thrum mittens, and use some funky dyed super-soft roving inside, since the wool itself isn't as soft as I would have liked

29. August 2008 16:20
by Jobo

Cow Pageant... Dairy Queens

29. August 2008 16:20 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Just got home from an interesting adventure in lovely livestock.  Marky's little brother was showing his calf today at the local exhibition, so I went along to see what it was all about.  I must say, I never imagined how much work it is to get a cow ready for that sort of thing.  This was definetly the first time I've ever seen anyone spray paint a cow!  (apparently the ridge of hair on the cow's back along the spine, needs hairspray to look good, and the black dye covers up the whitish marks the hairspray makes)  I got to see a cow get it's hair clipped, and baby powder put on it's knees, and even combed and sprayed... and when everyone was looking in tip top shape, off to the ring, to be paraded pageant style in front of the judges.  Participants were judged on their animal, and also on their showmanship skills.  Definetly a lot more complicated to do than it appears.  Some of the cows were a lot bigger than the kids leading them.  Luckily "our" calf behaved pretty well.  Educational day.



leading Savira carefully around the ring...



Black and White Butts... lots of em!


a young man and his cow


27. August 2008 19:20
by Jobo

Home Sick...

27. August 2008 19:20 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Over the last few months it has become painfully obvious that we should move to the city.  I drive 55 minutes a day to and from work, which isn't that awful most of the time, but is brutal in the winter.  Not knowing if the weather will change and you might get stuck driving in dangerous situations, and missing days because of snowstorms.  Atlantic Canada really is known for volatile weather.  You just never know what you might see.  And then there's the time investment of the drive in it's purest sense - I drive at least 6 hours a week.  Think of all the sleeping in and knitting that I could accomplish with 6 extra hours in my week.  So Bottom line, it makes sense to go.  Now we just have to do it.  It has been a real roller coaster for me looking at houses.  I fall in love so easy, then things turn out to be different than originally expected, or deals fall through.  Mark says I am such a "girl".  I say, yeah?  and?

So we've finally found a house we are interested in...  talk about stressful.  Now there's a barrage of feelings and worries and guilt to contend with.  Trying to get our home ready to sell sounds like such an overwhelming obstacle, but if it doesn't sell right away, then we lose out on the beautiful thing we have just found.  Thats the juggling act I guess... Selling what you have already vs. finding an eligible home to pounce onto.  At this point I am afraid to get too excited, but part of me is just bursting with anticipation.... then theres the other part that is nauseus, has heartburn, and honestly wishes she could go curl up in the corner and take a nap!  I guess I just have to resign myself to be patient, hope for swift simplicity of sale, and go along for the ride....


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