Jobo Designs

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

9. July 2009 22:33
by Jobo
2 Comments

Angel Blend - Heavenly Fibers!

9. July 2009 22:33 by Jobo | 2 Comments

After the slightly embarassing Mohair mishap...  I decided to go ahead with my original plan #2 for Tour de Fleece and do some Blending and Drum Carding!

I have been collecting fibery things for over a year now, and one thing that always seems to get me all excited is trying new fibers.  I have a small stash of many different types of fibers:  silk hankies, soy silk, tussah silk, angora rabbit (in various shades), Merino top, Polwarth top, Dark Chocolate Merino, Chocolate Raw Alpaca, Nylon for Sock Yarn, Mohair (uggggg), Chiengora (from the family pets)....

So I figured that a blending experiment might be fun?  Since I already had lots of goodies kicking around?  (Does it ever feel like your stash is calling your name?)

The Raw Ingredients:



I didn't really weigh or measure anything... I just started tearing and picking until I had a decent sized handful.  The goal here was to get more comfy with Blending things on my Strauch Petite... not to card enough wool to spin a sweater.  For a lot of other people the TdF is a chance to try new things and learn, so I figure I should take advantage of that too!

I know that in a lot of commercial yarns that the angora content is not super high... usually somewhere around 10 - 25 % so I tried to use a fairly small proportion of that.  The Bamboo was so shiny and smooth, I used a little more of that than angora.  I had purchased the Soy Silk originally to try making laceweight on a drop spindle... thinking that it was long and strong fibers like actual silk.  When I realized that this particular Soy Silk only had a staple length of 2 inches max, and was slippery as heck, I decided against the original plan and put it away for a rainy day... ta - daa Rainy day.  The Merino?  think of it as super soft "glue" that holds the other fibers together.

Most of the references I've read suggest to use fibers of similar staple length when you blend fibers together.  In this case, the angora, merino and bamboo were all similar in staple length, and the soy silk was short... but I threw her in anyways!  I thought it might add some gold sparkle / shine to the mix so I just went with it.

I layered all the fibers onto the drum (instead of feeding it in) in an alternating pattern with Merino first, last, and in between the layers of the luxury fibers.  Aka merino, angora, merino, soy silk, merino, bamboo, merino...

To blend a little further (without allowing the separate "ribbons" of fiber disappear into each other)  I ran it through the carder one more time... and then rolled and admired.  



I really wish the camera could show you all of the subtle little ribbons of bamboo and soy silk... they gleam in the light.  Unfortunately it was dark already here... these pics were taken under my Ott Light.  The angora lent it's baby bunny softness too :)  It's quite obvious touching the batt that there is angora in there!



I finally figured out how to fold batts into those beautiful "snail shell" configurations you see on all the pro fiber sites.  The shape is actually kind of fitting in this case... the bamboo shine and softness of the merino looks a bit like the inside of a shell coated with mother of pearl.



All Spun!  I tried to spin this with very little twist with hopes of lofty and soft yarn.  I think I would like to ply this with something thread like, but I don't want to use standard sewing thread.  I am thinking maybe a skinny bamboo single?  the shine would contrast the blended single I think.  Will sleep on it for now, since I won't be able to spin untill tomorrow after work anyways.  I also have silk hankies, so they would also be a possibility for the second ply....

19. April 2009 19:51
by Jobo
4 Comments

Sock Fever - (Heidi's by Hand - from London Wul)

19. April 2009 19:51 by Jobo | 4 Comments

Yesterday, we went on a shopping trip to Moncton for the day... we being a knitting buddy and her two twenty-something daughters.  The mall was nice, and lunch was nice.  I even got a new pair of Blue jeans at the Gap!  but seriously folks, the whole reason I went was to hit the yarn store.  I may have mentionned before, but my hometown of Summerside PEI doesn't really have much in the way of Yarn.  We have Zellers and Walmart.  'nuff said.

I kind of laughed... London Wul Fibre Arts was only open until 5pm, and we had lost track of time a bit at the mall, so when someone said - oh its 4:20!  I was thinking crap crap crap!  30 minutes in a yarn store?  you gotta be kidding right?  Anyways we got on the road, and drove there as fast as was legal in the province of New Brunswick, and managed to arrive and explore a bunch before close.  It was really refreshing to go around the store and touch all the fancy yarns.  Funny, when I go to our yarn retailers I do not feel the need to go fondling skeins and holding them up to my face, but in a REAL yarn store I have to hold back.  Really hold back!

I ended up finding some really cool sock yarn - handdyed 75% wool 25% nylon - in some nice big skeins (100 g, 420 m, 459 yds) Each skein should be enough to make a pair of adult socks.  I'm not sure exactly why I am on such a crazy sock kick these days, but I suppose there are worse things to be obsessed with.  At least they are functional items.... I mean, you don't *need* 20 scarves or 20 pairs of mittens... but having 20 pairs of homemade socks means you will never have cold feet.

Here are some pics for your drooling pleasure:  I only wish the camera could capture the squooshiness and texture of the yarn.  When I was at my mom's today I had to fight the urge to wind these two into balls so I could cast something on... Mom is great to help me wind skeins.  Two people, 4 hands, MUCH less tangling.  The designer didn't name the colours, so I am taking some liberties and naming them myself!

Berries and Wine: 




Blueberries:

 




So now all I need is to find patterns for these!  any suggestions?  I'd be glad to hear what you think would look nice with these colours.  I am thinking the semi-solid nature of the dying would make some excellent lace socks?  or something fairly detailled - the yarn is subtle so would show patterning well I think.  If you have ideas:  please leave me some comments :)

Once I brought these home... I realized that I am actually building quite a sock stash!  More yarn/eye candy:


Clockwise from the top:  1. Berries and Wine (Heidi's by Hand - Specialty hand dyed sock yarn)  2. Blueberries (Heidi's by Hand - Specialty hand dyed sock yarn)  3. Handspun by Me!  (Squoosh - "Sun Ray" Superwash Roving, spun 3 ply)  4.  Handspun by Me!  (Squoosh - "Navy" semisolid BFL roving)  5. Santa Fe (Yukon Hand Dyed Sock Yarn- Pagewood Farms, Merino/Nylon/Bamboo)

Now I need to go finish my current pair before my head explodes and I feel the uncontrollable urge to go and buy another set of DPNs... I know I have about 4 sets of size 1's, but whats another pair really?

Don't fight your urge... Go Cast on a Pair!

27. October 2008 14:02
by Jobo
0 Comments

Boo! Its a Halloweeny Post!

27. October 2008 14:02 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Do you ever feel like you have a million things on the go, but somehow nothing new completed?  Well thats how I feel these days.  The weather is changing finally here, the leaves are turning wonderful reds and oranges, and the wind has a certain nip... Fall is definetly here.

This year has been declared the Autumn of soups and casseroles... comfort food yum!  And of course, since I have never really been a soup or casserole maker, this is all new.  It's like mad kitchen science - soup creation labs. 

Here is the latest creation: 

Italian Wedding Soup... Which may look complicated, but it ridiculously easy!

- Remove the casings from 5-6 Mild Italian Sausages, and form into small meatballs, approximately 1 - 2 cm round.  Cook in a frying pan, make sure these are completely done, as they wont really have time to cook fully in the soup.  Drain fully.  I even let mine drain on paper towels similar to what I would do with Bacon, just to get the excess greasiness off.  Set aside for later.

-Prepare 1 medium onion, 2 Carrots, 2 Sticks of Celery - all chopped into about the same sized pieces

- In a heavy bottom Pot, saute the veggies on medium heat with a splash of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt.  Cook about 10 minutes, or until the veggies start to get glossy and softened.  

- Add spices to taste - I added freshly cracked black pepper, and about 1 tsp of Dried Rosemary and Thyme, and 1 tbsp Dried Parsley.  You could add more or less... up to you. Saute for about 5 more minutes (ok, so the kitchen smells really excellent at this point!)

- Next, add about 8-10 cups of chicken stock (I like the Campbells' low sodium Chicken Broth you can get at the supermarket... for when you don't have a spare chicken carcass laying around) and simmer on med-low, try not to let it boil, just simmer away for about 30 minutes.

- Add the Meatballs prepared earlier,and continue to simmer.  Once the meatballs are heated through you could serve it there, or let it simmer longer on the stove if you want.

- For an extra treat, I added Tiny round pasta (about 1/2 cup) about 15 minutes before serving (you could use whatever you have in the kitchen, or little alphabet noodles if there are children at your table)  Some recipes mention adding Spinach leaves also at this point, where they would wilt and also give their flavour to your soup.  I didn't bother this time with the spinach.

- This soup is great as leftovers the next day, or for work lunches, but remember, the longer the noodles sit in the broth, the soggier they get.  If you were planning on making this ahead, I would perhaps not add the noodles until just before you wanted to serve it.

 
Aromatic Vegetables on Parade...



Finished soup!  Hungry?

 

On the Crafting front...

ever notice how your projects sometimes go seasonal without you even realizing it?

I have been working on blending some Black Superfine Merino with just a touch of the Pewter/Silver colored Carbonized Bamboo I had leftover from another project.  This stuff seems to be turning out really soft and smooth.  My goal was to create some Worsted or heavier weight, but the singles feel so nice, they may end up being consumed as they are :)  Definetly love those hand cards... very simple to use, and there is something so back-to-basics about the combing of wool and then spinning those fluffy rolags.  



Also on a Halloweeny note... I decided I should use up some of the sock yarn I've accumulated over the years.... and started a scarf.  A few years back, I found a whole bunch of Bernat Sox sold color sock yarn on sale at Zellers, and couldn't help myself.  I think I bought 2 balls of every colour there!  (Yeah I know, bad knitter!  bad!)

I have always admired knitted lace shawls and stoles, so I decided to try out the"Woodland Shawl" pattern on Ravelry.  I'm finished of one ball... about 3.4 of the next to go.  here is a sneak peak! It's kindof a burnt orangy colour. 



And just to finish off -some orange "Chinese Lanterns" from my Gramma's Garden...

Trick or Treat!!

Powered by BlogEngine.NET | Theme: Yoko by Elmastudio, adapted by onesoft

Top