Jobo Designs

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

8. September 2009 07:30
by Jobo
6 Comments

Big Big Blueberry Bobbins... say that 5 times fast!

8. September 2009 07:30 by Jobo | 6 Comments

If you are a Maritimer... Blueberry season is almost over :(

Every August there is an abundance of delicious local blueberries, delicious to eat as is, or bake with, or freeze to use later...  and in my house - even the fiber I've been spinning is Blueberry in colour!

Fiber Notes:

- "Blueberry Whip" Colourway

- blend of Merino/Alpaca Bamboo/Silk 60/40 (This is what it says on the bag, I don't know the original blend proportions)

- From Belfast Mini Mills, Belfast P. E. I.

I started with 2 bags of 4 ounces each (8 ounces total) and made each of the individual plies on my old regular sized Traddy Bobbins, and then plied onto my new Jumbo Bobbins.  (That's how I got a continuous skein so freaking big!)

This fiber is like cotton candy in a bag.... sweet and soft and smooth.  I am not sure exactly how the roving was prepared, but the mix was very light and airy.  The Merino/Alpaca Content was dyed a lovely navy or blueberry colour, and the silk/bamboo component dyed light blue almost turqouise with some white through it.  In places it seemed as though all the fibers were completely blended and were indecipherable, but other areas where the shiny ribbon of silkiness was quite visible.  I was unsure how this unevenness would show in the yarn, but because I was planning to do a traditional 3-ply, I knew that even if some of the light colour showed up exclusively in places, the other 2 plies would tone it down.  

Check That Bobbin! She is Full!!! with 250 yards of continuous yarn... love that length! 

The end result is a heathery blue yarn, 3-ply of course, at approximately worsted or light worsted weight.   With the super jumbo skein and her little sister (not shown) I have about 350 yards of yarn, so definetly enough to make some mittens, and maybe a hat or something too?  This yarn is a gift for someone, so it will be up to her what to make with it.... I'll make her photograph it for you to see when it's done.

mmm Blueberry... hanging out with our Sci-fi/Fantasy Book Collection.  Showing the Geek Colours today aren't we?

As I was spinning this blend, there were some areas where the silk/bamboo seemed to "slub" a little, but you can't really see it in the finished yarn.  I find 3-ply is great for smoothing out any imperfections in diameter and is pretty forgiving.  It is really hard to capture the sparkle and shine of this yarn in a photograph.  In the sun, the shiny bits really gleam, and the dark blue looks even darker of course next to the glinting bits.

I am pretty proud of this yarn!  I am really just starting to "design" yarns with specific purposes in mind.  I am still practicing keeping my plies even so I will get the desired yarn when I am finished.  I still need to set the twist in this yarn, but other than that I think she is done and ready for gifting (I won't tell you who, in case she is reading :P)

and... you can't have Blueberry Season without having some Blueberry Baking! 

Mark's favorite... homemade blueberry pie - homemade filling, homemade crust, happy Husband.

 

28. June 2009 13:12
by Jobo
0 Comments

Winery Tour - Bay of Fundy / Moncton

28. June 2009 13:12 by Jobo | 0 Comments

While we were on our honeymoon, we got the chance to tour a couple of New Brunswick Wineries - Wine made from Fruit not from Grapes!  Strawberries, Rhubarb, Raspberries, Blueberries! 


from the car.... love those big puffy clouds... and the enless forest

Just outside Moncton in Magnetic Hill we went to the Magnetic Hill Winery, housed in an awesome Mustard Colored period home that the owners are renovating.  The view from this hilltop house is really pretty!  The family who owns this winery have been fruit farmers for like 20 years, and recently began making fruit wines to help supplement their income and uses Raspberries, Rhubarb, Strawberries and Blueberries in their wines.  One of them "Illusions" is made from Rhubarb, but totally tastes like a dry white wine!  I guess that's why they call it Illusions?!

The tourguide, and owner's son, also explained that the rolling hills on the property overlooking Moncton were being prepared for planting the farm's first Grapevines!  Someday I hope to return and perhaps taste some of their grape wines?


Marky with his tasting glass - and the selection of wines in the cellar!

Our favorite (we had to bring home a couple bottles) was their Strawberry wine... which tasted like fresh summer strawberries.  It was just sweet enough, and can still be served with food. We also picked up some Chocolate River Raspberry - a desert wine that is named after New Brunswick's Muddy Chocolate colored rivers... and apparently also compliments Chocolate :) I don't argue with anything that goes with Chocolate.  (is there anything that doesn't go well with Chocolate?  seriously!)


Entrance to the Wine Cellar at Magnetic Hill Winery

We also had the chance to Stop at another Fruit Winery near where we were staying in Alma (near Fundy National Park) - Waterside Winery



This winery had similar flavours, but had a wine made from Rhubarb that really tasted like Rhubarb!  (this one was Marky's Favorite) and various blueberry wines ranging from Dry to Sweet to Dessert wines.  Our favorite of the blueberries was a semi-sweet which really had a nice not-too-tart not-too-sweet blueberry flavour.

All in all, nice to have the chance to try new things, taste some great local wines, and spend the day with my new Hubby :)

*********************************************************************

Links:

Waterside Winery (I couldn't get this to work in Firefox, but works fine in Internet Explorer)

Magnetic Hill Winery  (doesn't have much on here, but has contact information)

17. May 2009 18:53
by Jobo
0 Comments

More Tea and Blueberries... Spun Up

17. May 2009 18:53 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Feeling a bit like spinning today?  Well I certainly was!

I had a million things on the go today, so the thought of knitting and having to get up all the time was annoying.  I find spinning is a better activity for starting and stopping, since usuallly I have to stop every so often to pre-draft some more fiber.  I hear that hand combed top is so lovely that you don't even have to pre-draft at all... hrm.  I guess I will have to get some combs sometime.  Between loads of laundry and checking on the pot of split pea soup I was simmering on the stove, I managed to spin up 2 of the big poofy batts of Polwarth that I had dyed last month with Tea and Blueberries and then blended on my Strauch Petite.

The end result:  a 2-ply barberpole type yarn, with subtle bits of cream, dusty purple and caramel running through it.  I had hoped that the colours wouldn't muddy and blend too much, and it appears that the individual strands have quite a bit of simple colour to them.  It's hard to tell in the skein, but I am hoping that when I get around to knitting it up that it will remain kind of tweedy and stripey in the finished product.



Here are a few strands along with a batt... just to show the colours.  For some reason this colour combo is difficult to photograph (kindof like the water in the carribbean)  I have tried natural light, fluorescent light and my Ott light... but still am trying to find a pic that shows it best.  My 2-ply technique tattles on me... that my spin still isn't as even as I would like on thinner yarns... and that perhaps the spin in my plying is the same.  I will have to continue working on that part.



Here it is in natural light, looking very oatmeal-y

My plan is to spin up the other 6 batts (about 8-9 ounces worth) and knit a shawl out of it since it is so soft and light.  Maybe a gift for one of the Grandma's for Christmas.  Depends on my ambition.  Some days I think I can knit the whole world Christmas gifts... other days it seems I can't knit a few rows without swearing!   I also have a quilting class coming up - hand piecing hexagons - which I am teaching at the local quilt shop, so I have to get my lesson plans done before I start any new projects.  Or at least that is what my logical brain tells me... I may have to ignore it and follow my heart (it tends to get me in more trouble hehe)

 

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