Jobo Designs

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

21. June 2010 09:07
by Jobo

I have been knitting too... I swear!

21. June 2010 09:07 by Jobo | 5 Comments

My knitting time has been a little compromised with the packing and new furry baby bunny distractions... but I swear I HAVE been knitting some too!


imageI started a "Bitterroot" shawl by Rosemary Hill, a free Knitty pattern available online... using some spindle spun yarn I made right after I got my Golding Spindle last year. The wool was a Merino Sliver handpainted by Fleece Artist... and delightfully soft!  you can read more about the yarn itself in another post here.  This yarn is somewhere around fingering weight, though maybe about the thickness of a thinner sock yarn.  The way the 2 plies gradually change from one color to the next, there is a slight heathering and gentle mixing of one color to the next.  I am excited to see how the transitions go :)

I decided that I would try doing the pattern as written even though I only have around 300 yards of yarn.  I can always take a repeat out somewhere when the time comes.  I hope that I don't come to regret the "Fudge-it" strategy on this one.

And of course the prerequisite baby pic... since I know you all wonder how the baby is!  Fuzzy warm and Growing!

Ruttiger June 20 002

7. December 2009 09:12
by Jobo

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas - Day 7

7. December 2009 09:12 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Glass, Stone and Clay Whorl Spindles

Although spindling was my first foray into the spinning world, I am gradually coming back to the fact that I love the simplicity and portability of the drop spindle.  I have a few already, but all of my current ones have wooden whorls…  which are great, but I really love the polished and classy look of spindles with other materials used for the weight.

Butterfly Girl Designs

Early into my etsy lurking days, I found Butterfly Girl… mostly at the time looking for fiber and batts (which are sparkle-liscious and rich looking)  but I have since come to find deep interest in her unique and fancy spindles too!  Looking at her products was really my first clue that spindles *could* be made from anything but wood… and boy is that point evident when you start browsing through the possibilities.  Glass, Stone, Shells, Polymer Clays, and more mounted on sleek Black shafts with sterling silver or gold filled hooks.  Really, some of the spindles look like they could be considered jewellry or decoration.  A quick search on ravelry will tell you though, in practice, these babies are beautiful AND practical… It seems that those who like ‘em like ‘em a lot!

Here are two of my favorites:


The swirling green and blue whorl of this cute little spindle is made from Millefiori polymer clay… a medium often used for beads and the like.  Something about the unique and girly design of this spindle just caught my eye!  We all need something girly from time to time don’t we?  I really love the way the painted black and white design ties in with the painted black shaft.  The whole piece looks unified… really like a piece of art :)


This spindle features a Murano Foil glass whorl and a carved hardwood shaft… if the Glass shines this much in a photo, imagine how it might gleam in person?  Blues and Greens tend to be my favorite colors, and paired with the earthy tones of the wood, and sparkle from the gold foil… this particular spindle is another serious temptation piece.  I was also surprised at the reasonable prices on Butterfly Girl’s spindles – this one is only $20 plus shipping!  Beauty and Value!

I am not often the type of girl who goes for lace, frilly or pink things.  Butterfly Girl’s spindles are feminine and beautiful, but in a mature and classy way - The glint of shiny glass, the swirls of carefully blended clay, and the smooth texture of shells and wood.

Zebisis Designs

When looking for unique spindles, this next company – Zebisis Designs – really stood out to me in their use of natural and earthy stones to make very simple and striking spindles.  (they actually have a sale on this week… might be worth a stop over there!)  I was surprised to find stones such as amethyst, jasper, labradorite, opalite, quartz, aventurine, and turquoise paired with both basic and rare wood shafts…  Bottom and Top Whorl too.  One of the store’s slogans is “beauty meets function”  which is totally true in my humble opinion.


This spindle caught my eye almost immediately! I love the way that this rhyolite round is dotted with rusty orange spots… almost resembling flowers.  The bright Rosewood shaft really compliments the stone, and adds to the cohesiveness of the pairing.    There is just something about this spindle that makes me want to hold it and turn it over and over in my hands.  Very earthy and natural.


I have always held a special place in my heart for Labradorite – so imagine my delight in finding a spindle featuring this unique and dazzling stone.  I have a pendant made of the stuff that I bought when were were on “the Rock” itself on vacation.  In Newfoundland, it is pretty common to see items made from labradorite since it is mined there.  I have always been facinated with the way that the stone shimmers and seems to change colors in different lights.  Greens, Silvers, Blues, Greys, and sometimes browns can be found depending on the quality and clarity of the labradorite used.  This spindle just seems to glow with mystery, especially set against the lovely swirled black shaft.

There is just something natural and honest about using these lovely Gemstones as spindle whorls.  In many ways, the simplicity and back to basics feel of these beautiful tools is perfectly befitting the art of spinning.

All photos used with permission

25. August 2009 18:01
by Jobo

Merino-liscious! more spindling with Golding

25. August 2009 18:01 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I've been playing around with my Golding some more over the last few weeks... kind of a novelty maybe?  A new toy to play with?

It has actually been quite nice to work at a spinning project that I can actually take along with me, kind of like I take my knitting with me.  I was able to bring along some fiber and work on my latest yarn while sitting around chatting at my inlaws place on the weekend.  I really enjoy working on my wheel, but for reasons different than the spindle perhaps.  Really when you think about the methods and mechanics of how one would spin on a spindle vs spinning on a wheel, there are some obvious similarities, and also some obvious differences, but I think that's what makes them both so enjoyable as unique activities.

Spindling is quite a bit slower for me than wheel spinning, especially since I haven't had as much time to cultivate my spindling skills as I have to hone my wheel spinning.  Although, apparently for experienced spindlers, the process can yield yarn just as fast as a wheel spinner.  Maybe when I have had more practice I will be more efficient.  Already I can make longer stretches of single at a time than I could in the beginning, and my actions are less clumsy and awkward. 

And what am I spinning?

Fleece Artist 100 % Merino - in greens/blues/purples

I was aiming for a fairly thin 2-ply yarn, and was trying a new technique with this one.  I wanted to end up with a yarn that had long stretches of colour, where both plies lined up colour-wise all along the yarn (with slight transitions where the strands overlap in colour of course)

Close up!

So I took my lengths of roving and fluffed them up carefully (Since they had been squished in a bag in the stash for quite some time) and then as evenly as possible, I divided the roving in half lengthwise.  I tried to eyeball it as closely as possible, and since I had carefully fluffed the fibers, it was easier to separate.  In the end I had 2 (almost) identical halves, and planned on spinning each half separately and then plying them together, hoping that both singles would be similar enough that the colour stretches would line up quite closely.  My roving was approximately 60g, so I hoped that I could fit 30 g on my Golding at a time without too much trouble. 


Once I had spun each half, and wound them off of the spindle onto some cardboard tubes, I was ready to ply.  I didn't think the finished yarn would fit on this spindle, since the cops themselves pretty much filled the shaft, I didn't want to chance having to splice.  (Sorry, I didn't think to take photographs of the full cops)  I decided to ply on the wheel (both faster and more orderly)

This is what I ended up with:  around 350 yards of fingering-ish weight yarn... with nice colour transitions.  8 transitions in all - Lime Green, to Teal, to Blue, to Green, to Olive Green, back to Lime, then Blue and Teal again.  

My goal was to have a light yarn that I could knit a scarf or shawl out of and hopefully highlight those transitions.  I'm thinking something like Ysolda's Ishbel?  Anyone have any suggestions?






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