Jobo Designs

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

13. July 2009 09:00
by Jobo

Swallowtail Progress

13. July 2009 09:00 by Jobo | 0 Comments

This was one of those weekends where crafting took a backseat to LIFE in general.  We are in the midst of trying to sell our house, so that means impromptu showings, open houses, and lots of prep work. 

We had been slacking bigtime on getting the yard work done before the wedding.  in fact Slacking may not even be the best word for it.  Marky and I both knew that the flowerbeds were starting to resemble an overgrown amazon weed pile... but neither of us had the will power to get off our butts and go outside and do something about it.  Well this weekend, we ripped out weeds and edged flowerbeds, moved things around, and generally removed the junk, reorganized what we had and attempted to make progress.  I must admit, the situation looked pretty dire in the beginning, but we really made a big difference in the end.   The vegetable garden had also gotten neglected this year.... we finally planted a few "fast growers" and hopefully in a few weeks we will have some basics coming up.  We planted mostly green leafy things (aka:  lettuce, spinach, oregano, basil, rosemary) which are edible before they are full grown anyways.  Usually, we do tomatoes but they tend to completely take over the garden (with mammoth efficiency) so we didn't plant any this year.

So basically... I had Really dirty fingernails... but didn't accomplish much fibery or knitterly this weekend.  I worked on my spinning a very little bit each day... just enough to not get kicked off the Tour de Fleece (it says spin each day... it doesn't say for how long!!)

In the evenings I did get to work on my Swallowtail Shawl a little bit though...

This is coming along quite nicely so far.  I haven’t had any segments of the yarn that felt like they would drift apart or like they were “weakened” in any way… despite being singles that are twisted the wrong way!


I have almost completed the “budding lace” portion of the body section… I’m finished of 13 of the 14 repeats of that chart!  Then the next section is a new lace pattern.  I’m not sure whether it is big enough though with just the 14 repeats – debating doing a few more, but I’m not sure the ramifications of whether the extra repeats will mess up the Lily Border or not?

I am also debating on whether or not to work the nupps.  I know that I have lots of resources to learn how to do them properly (I got a copy of Knitted Lace of Estonia while I was away off Island last month)  but I still kind of like the way that the beads look… and plus the added stress of worrying if I will run out of yarn!  Nupps apparently take a LOT of yarn to work… more than one would think, whereas beads are a pain to put in, but look sparkly and pretty… so many decisions so little time.  I have to either use the beads or not… which means I either have to go out this weekend and buy some, or take my chances with the nuppie things.

I am really enjoying watching the blue and grey and lavender shades fly by my needles.  The changes are subtle enough that sometimes I don’t even notice that I’ve moved through another colour… now that's relaxing.

I had been working on straight needles (since that's all I had in that size at the time) but recently switched over to a set of circs.  I'm really liking the feeling of the circs versus the straights for some reason... I usually hate circs!  maybe I'm coming over to the Dark Side?  shudder!

More later :)

13. June 2009 09:27
by Jobo

Breaking the Rules... Refusal to ply :P

13. June 2009 09:27 by Jobo | 3 Comments

Faced with a dye lot dilemma I cracked under pressure...  I couldn't decide what to do with the second bag, and I didn't want to waste all that lovely lavender and blue loveliness - I decided to leave it as singles.

This would be my first attempt at singles, so there were many things I did not know.  I.e.  how twisty should singles be so that they are still soft but not so twisty that you have a completely kinky mess!  Single ply yarns tend to be a little bit biasy anyways, so I've come to learn, so I figured that since I had tried to use a "minimal" twist in this yarn anyways that maybe it would be okay once it was washed.

So I wound the bobbins onto my Niddy Noddy and held my breath while I pulled one end of the skein off.... I was sort of expected super twisty disaster... but instead here is what it looked like:

Not nearly as messy as I thought.  It was kind of interesting too how the twist seemed to make a twirl about every inch or so.  I'm not sure if this is a sign that the twist was fairly even?  since it all decided to kink at even intervals? (or is this just wishful thinking? I think my consistancy HAS gotten better over the last year)

Another pic, because it's actually kindof pretty.  The sections of blue and grey combine to make a kind of Lavender color... and the polwarth is very clean and almost shiny.  I had a hard time putting it in the bath... I wanted to keep touching it.

Next, the soaking and drying.  I decided to put the skeins into very hot water to soak, and thwack it well once it had cooled off enough to touch.  I hoped that would be enough to hold it together.  It seemed that later on winding it into a ball that it did seem fairly strong, though I'm still not sure.  If it isn't strong enough, I may have to bite the bullet and find a plan C...

After the soak, there really wasn't much kink left, but to be sure that it evened out as much as it could, I strung some half-empty cleaner bottles from the skeins (Ignore the horrible coloring... this is my laundry Room)  Since it is almost summertime here, the drying conditions were so so and the skein was pretty much dry by the morning.  (it's not inappropriate to bring a damp newly made skein of yarn to work to show a friend is it?  oops.)

Here is one skein all finished!  (There are two, and goodness they looked great all snuggled up together, and better still nestled together as one skein... but some bozo was toooo impatient to wait for sunshine to take a picture before she wound number two into a ball.  She thought she could start knitting sooner... lol)

Here is a slightly blurry closeup... but it shows the colour so nicely.  Soft blue and lavender ripples.  Almost reminds me of the purplish colour you see as the shadow under big puffy white clouds on a sunny day.  I think I will call this finished yarn "Lavender Skies"

And here she is all wound up and ready to go.  Now I just need to find a pattern.  I'm thinking of making some sort of shawl/wrap/scarf?  Something pretty light duty that won't wear out fast or get all nubbly, but still a garment that will flatter the softness and lightness of the yarn.  My coworkers couldn't believe that this yarn was 100% wool (one gentleman even asked if it was cotton or something) because there is absolutely no itchy wool feel.  The finished texture is super soft and super squishy.  I ended up with about 750 yards or so of this yarn, so definetly enough for a small shawlette or a nice lacy scarf.  The final count was about 22-25 WPI and I used 4 ounces of fibre.


** Now I have come to realize days later that when you make singles you are supposed to twist in the opposite direction so the finished yarn has a specific twist, but I think I am going to try working it anyways and see what happens.  Another raveler suggested if it comes "unwound" in my knitting and gets to weak to use, that perhaps I can crochet something out of it, since crochet doesn't tend to untwist the yarn in the same direction as knitting it does. **


Happy spinning/knitting all :)

8. June 2009 17:19
by Jobo

Playing with Polwarth

8. June 2009 17:19 by Jobo | 2 Comments

Some time ago on a girls shopping trip I bought some hand dyed polwarth top... over at London-Wul

It had looked so cutsie in it's little bag I couldn't help myself really.  I bought 2 bags of 1/4 lb each (about 8 ounces total) and started spinning the first bag over the weekend.  I thought they were the same dye lot, but today when I went to dig in to bag number two I got a surprise... erm... well sort of.  bag number two had a bunch more vivid blue and dark grey bits than the first one!  I guess they will have to be separate projects now since I have 2 bobbins of singles done already and can't incorporate the new coloured bits all throughout the yarn.  I'm a little disappointed, but I guess it will be okay in the end.  This is lovely stuff, very soft and straight, spins effortlessly really.

Here is what the first bag looks like spun into singles:

Mostly grey and blue shades, this bag is more homogeneous with less variation in both colors of grey and blue, whereas the second bag has a bigger range of colour.  I'm toying with the idea of abandonning my original plan of making a  traditional 3 ply for my mom to make mittens out of... I'm just not sure what I can make of it instead.  Will have to ponder this one for a bit I think.

Here is the pic of the 2nd bag... Anyone got any ideas?

I suppose I could 2 ply it, using one dye lot for each ply... but then that's no good for mittens (which was the reason for the purchase originally)

Noob mistake... not looking at all the fiber before starting!  if I had looked I probably would have planned differently.  ugh.

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