Jobo Designs

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

6. December 2009 09:00
by Jobo
2 Comments

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas 2009 DAY 6

6. December 2009 09:00 by Jobo | 2 Comments

Today’s favorite things:  more books… but this time ones I would like to find in my Christmas Stocking! 

(in case you’re wondering how I might fit larger books in my humble stocking… just know this:  My mom knit us each a stocking when we were little, and they were big enough to stand up in with both legs inside and pull up almost to our waists when we were 5 or 6 years old.  Over the years, they seem to have just stretched from use/overuse :)

Being as enthusiastic as I am about homemade socks… as you can imagine, I would love to have more sock books – all different shapes and sizes too!

 

sock innovation

Sock Innovation – Cookie A

Wandering around Ravelry, knitters are able to find all kinds of unique sock patterns and become introduced to many different breeds of designers.  Early on, I knew I liked Cookie A. designs because of the unique way she twists and turns geometrics.  Cookie’s socks aren’t just the same construction over and over again, each pattern has it’s own creative edge – these aren’t your basic socks with a basic stitch pattern on the back of the foot and around the leg, they are complete works of art!  In the beginning, I wasn’t sure I would be up to the challenge of knitting socks like these… but I think my skills have finally matured enough to give it a try :)  I think I would like to try every pattern in this book… and considering there are 15 in there, it might take me a while to work my way through.  I think this particular collection would stretch my current sock-knitting boundaries and help me step out of my comfort zone and challenge me in many new ways.

 cover-jpg-med

 

Toe-Up – Chrissy Gardiner

Another popular sock designer, Chrissy Gardiner has so many beautiful patterns available… this book Toe-Up!  being just full of unique ideas.  Personally, I have always been a traditional style sock knitter, and only recently have I ventured away from the standard cuff-down, gusset style heel, ordinary style sock.  Now that I’ve stepped outside that box, I’m not sure there is any way to rein myself back in!  I particularly love the clarity of Chrissy’s patterns… after making my first pair of socks guided by her straightforward and complete instructions I vowed that they wouldn’t be my last.  This book includes some toe-up formulas and tips for constructing different styles of heels and toes – and also 15 new patterns to help you hone your new skills.  I like the idea of learning some more general sock formulas so I can learn to ad-lib more.  I am still relatively new to the toe-up camp, so there is still lots that I can learn about this along the way.

  New-Pathways1cover

 

New Pathways for Sock Knitters – Cat Bordhi

One cannot discuss sock designers without mentionning Cat Bordhi…  another master of the craft.  How do you knit a sock that fits your foot perfectly?  Cat knows.  Without a doubt.  ‘New Pathways for Sock Knitters’  is a master class in sock architecture and design.  Apparently each new architecture opens doors to more unique and creative ways to knit socks… as if I need an excuse to get more hopelessly addicted to this craft?!  I haven't gotten to try knitting socks on 2 circular needles yet, but am anxious to jump onto that bandwagon and see what the view is like :)  All authorities on sock knitting say that Cat’s techniques are a must – I won’t argue with that.

All in all… I am amazed by the selection of fantastic sock knitting collections there are out there!  You might have noticed, a lot of my picks for books are the types of publications that include reference material and tutorial sections.  I really enjoy knitting patterns as is, but the idea of being able to do more customization and tweaking of existing patterns is a very exciting one.  I find it enjoyable to be able to really understand the process and be able to personalize the projects I am working on to my own needs and tastes.  At this point I think this is why I have such difficulty with sweaters and more complicated wearables.  I have yet to make enough of them to know what modifications are needed to make a proper fitting garment for my own non-standard shaped body.  Socks, however, are becoming more and more comfortable a project for me, and I think I am ready to challenge myself and learn more complex architecture strategies.  I’m not sure why socks excite me as much as they do, but they sure do :)  Happy sock knitting to all, and to all a good night.

4. December 2009 08:00
by Jobo
0 Comments

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas 2009 DAY 4

4. December 2009 08:00 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Phew!  the first 3 days of this series have just flown by!  Thanks for stopping by to read each day!

Today’s Favorite thing:  BOOOOKKKKSSSS!

Ever since childhood, I have always loved books of all kinds.  Lately it seems that my stash of “how to” and pattern books has grown a lot faster than my fiction collection, but hey… it’s not terribly surprising I hope.  I have dozens of books about quilting techniques, and patterns ranging from stitch-by-hand-appliqué to stack-and-whack.  My knitting and spinning collection makes my quilting books look like a *small* pile…  I am afraid the quilt books are sadly outnumbered up in the studio!

Today’s post is about books I am already lucky enough to own… and the next Book Feature will discuss some books that I am hoping will show up in my stocking ;) ahem*hint*hint

selbuvotterThe Ultimate Norwegian Mitten Book - 

Selbuvotter:  Biography of a Knitting Tradition by Terri Shea

Some time ago, when I was new to searching the internet for knitting resources, I came across a review of this book quite by accident.  I had never been exposed to fair isle knitting or the breathtaking art of knitting 2-colored patterned mittens.  I was completely dumbstruck.  I remember just staring at the patterns featured in the article and thinking “holy crap… I simply must learn how to make these!!!”  At that point in time, I did not have a lot of experience purchasing things online, but decided to go for it anyways and boy am I ever pleased that I did. 

Terri Shea’s book is full of folklore and history – and some amazing mitten patterns.  The charts are easy to read and the mitten patterns are quite complete and straightforward to follow.  There are errata available where errors exist, but these are uncommon.  The one challenge I found to making these mittens was finding suitable yarn, as the majority of the yarns listed in the book are not sold by any yarn stores in my area. 

If you think you will ever want to learn to make Norwegian mittens, this book is an ultimate anthology of patterns and a very helpful resource.  Everyone I have shown this book to has wanted a copy… and for good reason – it’s the best book I’ve been able to find on the subject.

knittingsockswithhandpaintedyarn Great Sock Knitting collection -

Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol Sulcoski

I am a self admitted Sock-a-holic… and I have a serious willpower problem when it comes to purchasing skeins of temptingly beautiful hand painted Indie yarns.  The truth of the matter is – I love to knit socks, and the more patterns I can find that make my fingers itch to cast on something new the better.

I knew this book was going to be a winner before it was even released.  One of the designers featured in the book, Deb Barnhill, worked at the Dalhousie College of Pharmacy where I spent 4 years of my life.  I have been lucky enough to keep in touch with Deb over the years… and when I heard that one of her patterns was to be featured in a sock book, I ordered it before hearing another word.  This book does not disappoint.

The beginning section of the book teaches readers about the many types of hand painted yarns available today, and helps outline the nuts and bolts of the way that each yarn behaves in different types of patterns.  I liked the simple and no-nonsense descriptions and advice given – i.e. how to avoid/encourage pooling and flashing, and of course choosing patterns that will most complement the delectable yarns that you already have in your stash too!  Also included are handy tutorials for several kinds of cast-ons, bind-offs and Kitchener Stitch.

Then comes the patterns section… I have flipped through this book countless times, drooling over admiring the eye-catching photography and day dreaming of the process involved in each pair of socks.  This books features many different sock construction types, and lots of unique and different strategies to avoid pooling.  With 21 different patterns by 17 different Sock-RockStars (i.e. Chrissy Gardiner and Ann Budd) – there is something for every sock knitter in this book… in fact I have personal plans to make at least a half-dozen of them, maybe more.  Every time I look through it, I find something else that I want to try.  Make sure you have a couple skeins of hand painted yarn and some needles close at hand when you bring this little gem home… you might not be able to resist the urge to cast on!

13. November 2009 22:28
by Jobo
2 Comments

Pine Forest Socks done :)

13. November 2009 22:28 by Jobo | 2 Comments

Finally I managed to be home during the waning daylight hours to take some photographs of these socks? they?ve been sitting on the coffee table blocked for almost a week now waiting for their unveiling!  This time of year I find it very challenging to take photos, especially since it?s dark outside most days by the time I get home.  These images were taken indoors in the best light I could find.  (Sorry if they are still a little dark)

pine socks 4

toesThe Pattern:  Kaibashira by Chrissy Gardiner

The Yarn:  Dragonfly Fibers ? Dragonsock in ?Texas Bluebonnet?

Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do with a given yarn.  I really loved the colours in this skein, but every time I tried to knit them up I just had a hard time deciding if it was the right project.  In the end I decided on this pattern because I loved the way that the colours blended into the curves, and the way that the garter stitch rows added dimension to the design.  In the end I am quite pleased with the way they turned out.

There is something very enchanting about knitting socks for me, just enough interest to keep me entertained, but the utility of the finished product is also addictive.  I mean, you really only *need* a certain number of afghans, or cardigans, or mittens? you don?t necessarily use those everyday.  But I wear socks almost every day of the year!  On Prince Edward Island it is quite chilly (and the downright cold!) from the middle of November until April sometime.  On a frigid winter?s day, there isn?t much nicer than a pair of homemade wool socks? or at least to this ?lil knitter ;)

I think I would like to try this pattern again using handspun yarn, since the ripples were so easy to do? they knit up in no time really.  I hope the pattern for this year?s SockWars is as simple? my target won?t know what hit him/her!

pine socks 2

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