Jobo Designs

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

21. November 2011 09:12
by Jobo
0 Comments

Fiddlehead Mittens? in Chroma

21. November 2011 09:12 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I made a pair of hand-dyed, hand-spun and hand-knit Fiddlehead mittens last year . It was an epic project, and every step was done by hand.  I love the results (which you can see here)  but when someone asked if I could make another pair, I didn’t really feel up to the challenge of doing it all the hard way again.  Don’t get me wrong - the first pair was a complete joy, it’s just that if I go through all of those steps to make another pair of mittens, I’ll likely want to be creating something more unique in the end.  I don’t tend to make the same thing more than once.

So, then the hunt began for some suitable yarn.  I could do as the pattern says, and just buy the 6 different colors and this would have been fine also, but I would have enough yarn to make like 4 more pairs (if the second pair is an unwelcome thought, believe me, the 3rd and 4th pairs would simply not get done) and there really isn’t any point in that. 

Then it occurred to me that I could get a color changing / color gradient yarn and use it for the contrast strand instead of all of the different solids!  I knew I wouldn’t really want to use something like Noro (both for the price, and the unpredictability of color sequencing) but there are a lot of different options out there now.  I can’t remember the name of the one I saw at Michael's but I believe it was mostly acrylic, so I didn’t bother looking any harder at it for this project.  I bet it would work lovely too (I think it was Impeccable, something like that).  The next yarn I saw that fit the bill was the new Knit Picks Chroma Worsted.  From the catalog, it looked like there were repeating colors in the ball, and there was also a white or chocolate brown option for the solid to match.  I figured this was a perfect chance to try it out, so I ordered a ball of the cream/natural and a contrasting ball with a variety of greens/blues/purples called “pool party”

Chroma Fiddleheads

So far things seem to be working out quite well.  I like the texture and softness of the yarn (though I don’t think it’s really all that rough and tumble it’s a barely together single really) and the way the gradient is running through the design.  The colors are different enough for the nice swirl pattern to still stand out.  I’ll be interested to see how the lighter green holds up in contrast to the white in the end. 

I’ve made it up past the thumb on the first mitten, and plan on finishing the pair for sure.  I am really enjoying doing colorwork on a pair of long circulars too no gaps in between DPNS, and no fussing with the beginning and ends of rows.  I still very much like working with DPNS, but circulars certainly have their advantages too! 

As the mitten progresses, I’ll post again!  I think these are going to look great in the end!

9. November 2009 07:59
by Jobo
6 Comments

Fiddlehead Mittens? becoming ship shaped? erm Mitten Shaped?

9. November 2009 07:59 by Jobo | 6 Comments

Over the weekend, I finally had a chance to tidy up the rest of the Fiddlehead Mitten yarn.  I had finished the green singles last week, and had been letting them rest for a bit so that they would be easier to Navajo ply.  I had also completed a bobbin of creamy natural white, also needing to be plied.  I also needed to set the twist on the finished skeins.  Since there really wasn?t that much left to be done before the cast on, I just went for it and got started.  Funny how the promise of casting on a new project can get a knitter so excited?  I plied like there was no tomorrow?

progress yarn drying icordcaston

It was a chilly but sunny day, so I did my washing of the finished skeins (I suppose washing is a misnomer, I mostly just rinsed in hot water with a few drops of Apple Scented Dawn, probably not enough soap to be considered a washing?)  With the light breeze, the skeins were dry in no time.  I think I really achieved the feel I wanted with the woolen-spun yarns.  The skeins were light and bouncy, and very soft.

I took them over to my Mother?s place on Saturday morning and she helped me wind the skeins into balls, and I was off to the races with the knit up :)

The idea of an ?i-cord cast on? was completely new to me.  I will admit, the last time I made an i-cord was probably when I was 10, using one of those little red tube contraptions with the 4 pegs and a little tool to flip the loops over? So really I had kind of forgotten that it was a knitting technique to begin with. Adrian?s instructions were nice and clear :)  Do not fear the i-cord cast on? give it a try!  I will certainly be trying to come up with new ways to use this cast on in the future ? it makes a nice neat cast on edge that doesn?t roll up or look sloppy.  I thin it will keep the bottom of the mittens from looking stretched out too after being worn for a while

mittsinabowl

I am finding the pattern very straightforward to follow, and clearly written so far.  I was afraid that knitting these would take me way to long and that they would get in the way of my necessary holiday knitting.  Not so, thankfully!  I knit the entire first mitten (minus thumb) on Saturday, and finished the cast on for mitten number two before I went to bed.  Sunday I knit the majority of the second mitten while watching movies with the Husbeast (who was also amazed at the speed of progress)

stripe

During the spinning progress, I had been concerned that perhaps the slight uneven-ness in my spinning might show up as uneven points in the knitting, but I am quite happy with my results.  Overall, the cream yarn and the colors meshed together quite nicely, and the gauge throughout the mitten seems fairly consistent.  (It?s a little hard to tell from the pic above, the way the photo was taken, things are a little skewed? some of my photos turned out a little too blurry to use unfortunately, I?ll have to be more careful with the finished mitts pics)  The dyeing job also worked out as planned ? a Rainbow of slightly heathered yarns in a progression of colors.

Hopefully this evening I can finish the top of Mitt #2 (before I forget exactly what I did with the first one) and maybe spend some time spinning up the rest of the lining (I think I have enough done for one lining, but not the second complete one. 

Yay! This project is turning out as planned :)

23. October 2009 08:00
by Jobo
0 Comments

Can you see those Fiddleheads off in the distance?

23. October 2009 08:00 by Jobo | 0 Comments

If you squint and really use your imagination you might be able to see them off in the distance… or at least now you can see what they will be made of when the time comes:

yellowpurpletealangora

I have finished with the carding of all 5 contrasting colors and have also finished spinning all but the lime green!  I’m not sure how that happened exactly… since we have been extra busy around home the last few weeks what with our trip to Newfoundland for the family wedding.  I guess it really is true that sitting and spinning for a few minutes each day makes a difference in your progress.  I have 120 yards of angora lining finished too… but I need 140 yards, so I will likely do another skein just to be sure I have enough.  The lime green rolags are waiting for me at home on the coffee table.  The other big job will be the carding and spinning of the plain natural merino for the main color of the mittens.

skeins2 

I am actually pretty surprised at how consistently I have been spinning.  I know there are some thicker and thinner areas, but overall I think I have stayed between 11 - 13 WPI for most areas of the skein.  It will be interesting to start swatching and see how my yarn looks – and see if it will work for its intended purpose. 

skeins 

Boy, that yellow stands out!  I am quite shocked at how bright that golden yellow turned out… compared to the muted tones of the blues purples and green.  I think this has something to do with the intensity of the Landscape Dyes I have been using.  I started with that brand of dye simply because the prices were reasonable, no mordants were required, and there was a source close to home that sold them.  I have been satisfied with the results with the landscape dyes, but was a little disappointed with the intensity of the blues this time.  I had thought that the wools would have been more deeply dyed by looking at the dye baths.  I think my next dye investment will be for a different brand – maybe Ashford Dyes?  I still need to research some more before I decide.

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