Jobo Designs

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

17. February 2012 05:57
by Jobo
0 Comments

Startitis… and why I needed to start something new I’ll never get to work on…

17. February 2012 05:57 by Jobo | 0 Comments

- Stress is a funny thing… it makes us do strange things.  In the 6 weeks since my daughter was born I’ve gotten very little time to myself.  I often don’t manage to get cleaned up and have a shower before my husband gets home at suppertime;  I am so exhausted I need many naps throughout the day;  I spend many many hours trapped under a 10 lb cutie pie while she nurses. 

- Why-oh-why then did I need to start a new project?  My Monkey socks are still languishing (though they make an excellent purse-project, if I ever leave the house sans-infant again) and unfinished for the time being, staring at me from the coffee table like mean little orange beasts (neener neener… look at us sitting here, and you CANT work on us right now!). 

- One evening when my Mom was here visiting, she helped me wind a new skein of yarn into a ball, so that I’d have something pretty to play with once the socks were done.  This is, of course, assuming that they will ever actually *be* done… lol.

Erato in String Theory Black Cherry 1

- This is the yarn… and hence the reason I couldn’t resist it.  The yarn is so freaking pretty!  and cheery!  and bright shiny beautiful red!  (and contains cashmere) and in general makes me want to feel it up and carry it around with me in my pocket.  That’s how I knew *it* needed to become a scarf or a shawl or something that could literally walk around with me all day.  (also discussed in a previous post – linky)

- Yarn:  String Theory Caper Sock – in Black Cherry

- The Project:  Erato by Romi Hill which is one of the patterns from year 2 of the small shawls e-book. 

- I get email updates every time a new shawl becomes available… and it’s such a terrible tease!  I love all of the patterns, to the point of going into the stash and digging for yarn practically every time the ebook updates on Ravelry… though I don’t always follow through, bob-darnit, I have a skein of yarn that I think matches each and every pattern.  If only there were 28 hours in a day… and chocolate magically appeared in the bowl on my coffee table…

Erato in String Theory Black Cherry 2

- I haven’t made a lot of progress, though I’ve managed to cast on (win!) and work the first few charts (win win!) and get comfortable with the pattern in general so I don’t need to focus so darned hard (win win win!) 

- Side note:  sleep deprivation is cruel, and I am not a very smart or organized person on 2 hours of sleep.  Someone should tell my child this; she is ruining mommy’s knitting productivity.  Also, I have not yet devised a strategy to successfully knit while breastfeeding.  If you have a magic formula for this:  please advise!  (We could make a lot of money with that information!)

- My favorite part so far?  the little twisty cable columns!  So cute, and not that complicated now that I’ve done a few of them. 

- Bonus?  the majority of the rows are stockinette (score!) with just a few elements thrown in to keep things interesting.  Even sleep deprived new mommies can do stockinette (or so I keep telling myself between frogging sessions)

- Current location:  Chart E, starting 3rd repeat.  That leaves another E, F, G and H.  I might finish this shawl sometime in 2012… gosh I hope I get to knit enough to finish it before Romy graduates from college…

8. December 2011 15:47
by Jobo
0 Comments

Pretty Yarns…

8. December 2011 15:47 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I gave in to a weak moment last week and ordered some pretty new sock yarns.  I wasn’t going to do that again before the baby arrives, just in case I don’t have time to knit much over the next little bit.  These were just too pretty to resist though:

Dream in Color Starry

This is Dream in Color Starry (Sorry for the link absence… their site is under construction)… which has little sparkly strands of silver incorporated right into the yarn… resulting in a shimmery sparkly yarn.  I’m not sure just how sparkly it looks knit up, but I’ve liked the way other people’s projects looked.  Lately I have a thing for neutrals and browns.  I might end up doing a pair of Cookie A. Socks with this or maybe some Hunter Hammersen Socks… hmmm so many great choices!

String Threory Caper Sock 

And This is String Theory’s Caper Sock… a bouncy, deeply jewel colored, Cashmere Merino Blend.  I tried to capture the gentle sheen and depth of shade… and this is the closest I can get.  This is really really garnet colored yarn.  It’s soft, squishy, and I love it to pieces.  This will need to become a shawl for me.  Not for anybody else… but to be wrapped around my shoulders and neck.  Now I just need to decide… which Romi Hill Pattern will it be :)

25. January 2011 11:58
by Jobo
4 Comments

Last Minute "Muse"-ing...

25. January 2011 11:58 by Jobo | 4 Comments

allegheny pincushionThe Muse is complete!  Blocked and dry, and ready to go!  I hear that my comrade polaropposites has blocked hers as well... and I have it on good authority that it is Beee-youuu-teee-ful!

For those of you who aren't familiar with the blocking process... the idea is simple.  You thoroughly wet the knit lace, lay it out flat on a surface of some sort, and pin out the piece to shape to enhance and open up all of the lace elements.  In this case I used a few "helpers"

- Quilter's rustproof pins (since I do my blocking on a mattress, I didn't want ginormous holes from big blocking pins, and also I didn't want any rust stains on either the lace or the mattress)

- Tig welding rods!  Cheap blocking wires... you don't have to go and buy a fancy blocking set at the yarn store, instead go to a local welding or metalworks shop and buy some stainless steel welding rods.  Thin, bendable, rust free, and about 20$ for a whole pound of them!  I just wiped mine down with a damp cloth when I got them home, and they've been great ever since.  Mine are around 40 inches long, and perfect for the job.

- Measuring tape... when you aren't sure if you are pinning the shawl out symmetrically.  Does this point look longer than that point to you?  Measure it!

- Soaking basin... aka a repurposed mixing bowl.  My family gets annoyed with me (read husband) when I leave woolen things soaking in various sinks around the house.  I soak for around 30- 45 minutes.  You can add soap/hair conditioner/wool wash in your soak.  I like it plain and simple.  Clean shawl?  doesn't need soap.

So here we go... Since blocking highlights the best characteristics of Lace, I thought I might use the blocking photos to show the best characteristics of this shawl!

allegheny edge slip stitch blockingSlip 1 edging...

Do you hate how edgings curl sometimes... or the way that an edge can look sloppy?  This solution (common among various lace styles, including Russian Orenburg lace and Estonian Haapsalu shawls) is to slip the first stitch purlways with yarn in front, and then continue along the row.  The resulting edge has a beautiful even feel, and looks almost like you crocheted a chain up the side.  This type of edging also makes for a great blocking pick-up edge.  See how nice and even the edge looks?  It's the slipped stitch!  I had nothing to do with it

allegheny points Pretty Points

Allegheny Muse starts in an unusual way... with a crochet beaded cast on.  I wasn't sure what to think in the beginning... but look how nice the points block out!  The crocheted cast on is nice and "loose" and stretches just the right amount to create those dramatic arches of lace.  I must admit, I think my favorite part of a lot of shawls is that dramatic arch edging.  The bead placement for this edging was also top notch.  The four beads at the very ends of the points dangle and sparkle at the perfect angle. 

allegheny closeup shells main body of lace - Shells

The main lace panel section of this shawl was quite enjoyable to knit.  The few rows here and there with no beads were a nice refreshing rest, and then back to the mega-beaded rows.  The break was much appreciated!  The lace stitches were pretty basic ones, K2tog, central decreases, lots of YOs and clear instructions on where to place the beads on the decrease stitches made the lace quite straightforward.  I found the placement of some of the internal beads to be a little wonky, but maybe if I had blocked more severely they might have come out more "even" in the end.  One thing that was unusual for this shape of shawl is that you don't start with shorter rows that increase over time to be longer and longer like you would with a triangle shawl.  The edging began with many stitches, and you maintained that number throughout the lace panel, losing a few on the last few lace rows, and then completing the garter section with short rows to create the crescent shape.

allegheny picot bind off and garterspeaking of the garter stitch crescent...

Once you reached the garter stitch portion... it was smooth sailing for the finish line!  I was surprised at how much the blocking process changed the texture of the garter stitch section.  I liked the little stripes that it created, and the bouncy, slightly stretchy feel it has.  The pattern also called for a crocheted picot bind off... which was also a new one to me.  In the end, instead of knitting 3 stitches together and then chaining, I found it easier to slide 3 stitches onto my crochet hook and then chain them together, and then complete the picot chain.  Once you get the hang of it, the edging was actually pretty simple!  To save time in blocking, I didn't pin out each individual picot, instead I ran a wire through them and gently pulled it into a curve (carefully pinning the curve to avoid any disastrous un-coiling).  If you were pinning by hand without wires, you could also use a shoelace, string, or any other reasonably tough cord to accomplish the same thing.  Basically by using a string or wire, it eliminates the need to measure each picot so closely - each one is pulled up the exact same amount!  genius right?  (I did not think this up... I read it somewhere!)

Allegheny edge beads gentle curves...

All in all, I liked the process and the elements of this shawl very much!  and I am pleased with the final results.  The cashmere blend yarn really blocked well, and feels soft and drapey in the finished piece.  The opalescent beads I chose have just enough sparkle to be seen, but not overpower.  The effect is kind of like dew on a rose... you know it's there, and it enhances the design, but doesn't take your attention completely from the elegant lace.  Some people like contrasting beads, but I tend to like the blending-in strategy more often. 

Now for the Modeled Pics (are you tired of hearing about this yet? lol)

allegheny jumbled around the neck allegheny over shoulders allegheny double draped

getting people to take shawl pictures is hard.... I tried the usual bathroom "Self-Pose-Photoshoot" and got a few decent ones.  The shape of this shawl is more long and skinny than some of the triengle ones I've made in the past, so I'm still not sure how I should really wear this one.  Jumbled around the neck?  simple shoulder drape?  double wrap?  I think I might have to play with this one a little more to decide.  I do very much love the color though!  Soft Purples and pinks, paired with the opal shimmer of the occasional bead. 

allegheny dark I know it's difficult to get decent night-time photos... even with a flash... but I think maybe this shawl might even look good with a dress or evening wear from the look of the last photo.   (I also noticed that my hair is getting really long again)

All in all - a very nice pattern, very well written, with neat style elements, fun sections, and a chance to learn several new techniques and skills.  Allllll gooooood.

Now... what should the next project be for the PEI KAL crew?  I think we are entertaining the idea of making some lace socks (yesss!  I love socks)

I just bought a copy of Hunter Hammersen's new book Silk Road Socks... and it is fabulous!  I hope we get to do a pair from there!  (please please?)  I think the plan is to choose something next week for the cast on.  I'll make sure to post in case anyone else out there is interested in knitting along with us!

Happy Tuesday!

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

Top