Jobo Designs

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

13. April 2011 16:05
by Jobo
1 Comments

BFL Sample... tons of fun in every one!

13. April 2011 16:05 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I recently subscribed to a Fiber Club with All for love of yarn  and part of the lovely package (which you will see as soon as I manage to take decent photographs of it!) was a little 0.5 ounce sample of Blue and Purple BFL Top.  I've worked with BFL before, and have enjoyed it, so I was excited to play with it and see what I could do with it for the Spin-Along.  There is a prize for the most creative use of the fiber, so I couldn't miss out on that!

Blue BFL Sample with card

Here is the sample - just a little chunk of fiber really.  Since I have been working on my thin spinning... and BFL would lend itself to a nice shiny lace-weight... and the thinner you spin you get more yardage... I decided that I should try spinning up a very fine lace from this and perhaps use it as my yarn to swatch for a Mini-Haapsalu Shawl.

I have been fascinated with Estonian lace since receiving the Haapsalu Shawl book a few months ago, and I've been just itching to make an authentic one, with the proper dimensions and traditional lace motifs.  One thing that has kind of irked me though, is the fact that traditionally the lace borders are knit separately and then sewn on.  And you thought sewing a sweater together sounded like fun?  How about sewing on several meters of lace edging?  I know I am capable (at least I really really hope I am) but I wanted a trial run to make sure.

April 11 2011 101

So I spun a nice cop of teensy singles on my little Golding Dragonfly (which weighs 0.7 ounces, so nice and light) and used andean plying to fold the single in half.  I managed to get 150 yards out of the 15 g sample, which I was pretty proud of in the end!  The finished lace-weight is light, strong, shiny, and quite smooth.  I'm sure it will fuzz up a little more over time, but in the beginning it was quite tight and ordered.

Blue BFL Sample Singles

Here are the Singles again... with a penny for comparison of size.  I always seem to forget to do WPI measurements of the singles.  For that matter, I tend to forget to measure WPI for anything really.  Woops.

Blue BFL Sample Skein  

I set out right away to work on my lace sample - I chose a simple leaf-lace for the center of the sample-shawl, and one of the simplest borders to try and sew on.  The Haapsalu Shawl book shows lots of examples, and the beginning sections of the book explain all of the calculations to know how many stitches you will need.  It isn't a "pattern"  book in the strictest sense of the word, but everything you need is there to come up with a shawl on your own.

Blue BFL Sample lace center

Here is my Leaf Lace center panel blocking (Yes, it is pinned out on a Sham-wow... why do you ask?)  and waiting for me to get my act together and make the lace edges.  I've done the math, and planned things out, so now I just have to get started.  I do have the first border cast on already...  170 stitches for each half, that's 340 stitches of casting on, and then casting back off.... for only a sample shawl.  The real deal will have more like 600 - 700 stitches for those border edges.  Eek!

Blue BFL Sample lace leaves

And here is a closeup of the pretty Leaves... just because the fine Handspun looks so goooood.  Despite being Blue layered on the most hideous, offensive orange known to man.  So far so good :)

22. February 2010 14:01
by Jobo
3 Comments

Yarn Candy Monday: Rainbow

22. February 2010 14:01 by Jobo | 3 Comments

I finally finished spinning up my braid of Rainbow BFL from Sheepish Creations...  and what a delightful spin it was!  The fiber itself was very well prepared and light and lofty.  I really didn't need to predraft anything, the nice long staple length and fine quality fiber just sailed through my fingers and onto the bobbin.  I can't wait to dig into the 8 ounces of Corriedale I purchased from them...  I have a feeling it might be even more fun... with all of the plummy purples and rich gold and blues.  It's a good thing I am on vacation for a couple weeks! 

over the rainbow 2

I ended up with around 470 yards of light fingering weight 2-ply yarn.  I tried to keep the colors together as much as possible, so the result is a long barber pole with a few meters of blended colors as the shifts happened.  At the time I was spinning it, I thought my finished yarn would be much thinner, and perhaps I would have gotten more yardage, but after a quick soak it seemed like the yarn really bloomed more than I would have expected.  It's all good though... My plan is to knit a scarf out of this to show off the long color changes.  Maybe something around 8-10 inches wide and open and lacy.  Originally I had thought of something like a "feather and fan" or "Old Shale" type pattern, but I have to do some more looking to see what else is out there.

over the rainbow

1. February 2010 05:55
by Jobo
0 Comments

Yarn Candy Monday: Sheepish Creations... nothing short of Magical!

1. February 2010 05:55 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Sheepish Creations BFL

Sheepish Creations - 100% Hand painted BFL (4 oz)

While Surfing on Etsy.... (don't do this unless you have room for MORE BEAUTIFUL FIBER) I came a across a great little store:  Sheepish Creations - a great little fiber store featuring hand dyed fibers and handspun yarns from a very creative mother and daughter team of fiber artists!

I was particularly intrigued by their "Mystery Colorway" listings... basically for 4 oz hanks of various fibers (i.e. Corriedale and BFL) in unique mystery colors.  I often buy fibers that are photographed and described listings, but this was the first time I felt compelled to order "Surprise Fiber."

I have been really inspired by other spinners lately who choose braids of hand dyed fiber in colorways that I don't seem to be drawn to (browns, oranges, etc) and somehow come up with amazing beautiful hanks of yarn!  I thought, hey why not!  I'll get some lovely fiber, and someone else will choose the color for me... give me a chance to step outside the box!

Sheepish Creations Corriedale2Sheepish Creations - 100 % Hand painted Corriedale (8 oz) 

I was ecstatic when the box finally arrived!  (I *might* have freaked for a few minutes thinking that it was my "Death Socks" for Sock Wars V until I saw the postmarks and such)  The colors are VERY vibrant, and both fibers are soft and fluffy and bouncy!  I have to seriously fight the urge to bury my face in each of them every time I walk by!  The lovely Ladies of Sheepish Creations must have advanced re-fluffing diplomas because these braids are so lofty and light!  I'd love to know the technique to get such heavenly results! (hint hint!)

I'm not sure what these will become yet... but I'm sure I will have fun petting them and daydreaming of what they will be "when they grow up" into yarn later on this month.  I'll keep you posted as the spinning unfolds!  Needless to say, I will definitely be ordering more of this stuff... exceptional quality and enchanting colors!

If it wasn't for Iron Knitter and Sock Wars, I would have jumped right into the spinning.  I am showing *much* restraint!  Don't you Think?  How do you resist the urge to dive into a new project?  are you a Monogamous knitter/spinner?

For more info about Sheepish Creations... click the banner below!  Thanks for the Great Fiber Ladies!

 

sheepish banner

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