Jobo Designs

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

26. March 2012 12:59
by Jobo

Silk and Satin ? Calculations...

26. March 2012 12:59 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Ever since learning about the fine wonderful lace of Estonia, Orenburg, and Shetland... I have been dreaming of spinning a truly cobwebby and fine yarn to knit something as authentic as possible.  These yarns are so fine, froghair fine, intimidatingly fine...

Silk and Satin Angora compare with knitpicks lace

My latest yarn is actually not that far off of being fine enough to try ? ack!

To give you an idea... here is my 2 ply yarn compared with a skein of Knit Picks Lace yarn ?>

Their skein is 440 yards per 50 grams. (that?s approximately 4000 yards per pound)

Mine was 185 yards in 9 grams.  No that isn?t a typo.  9 grams. (That?s about 9300 yards per pound!)

I bet if my yarn was 100 % wool instead of having a silk component, the yards per pound ratio would have been lighter still...

To give you an idea... true gossamer threads used in Orenburg lace knitting are somewhere around 10000 ? 15000 yards per pound.  Cobweb is considered to be anything finer than 6000 yards per pound, or 40 wraps per inch.  My thread was around 50 wraps per inch.

:)  Maybe I can accomplish something like the old master lace knitters some day?  I guess I?ll keep on practicing!  Knitting with thread you can hardly see is quite a challenge also.  I find going back to sock yarn after knitting with this feels like knitting with rope...

Silk and Satin Angora Skein LoopsA nice balanced 2 ply... super shiny... and with just a little halo!  As it is knitting up... the halo is gently rising to a nice soft fuzz...

Silk and Satin Angora Skein Glamour ShotFull Skein Glamour Shot:  9 grams = 185 yards.  Yes, it fits in the palm of your hand, literally!

2. November 2010 08:25
by Jobo

Replies to the Peanut-Gallery!

2. November 2010 08:25 by Jobo | 2 Comments

A reply to Kim... who was asking

October 26. 2010 15:44  "What is a Orenburg Lace shawl, Jolene?  Why so coveted?"

Orenburg lace is one of the craziest and most beautiful lace styles I've ever seen... These shawls are made from very very finely spun goat down and silk on tiny little spindles.  The goat down is specific to the Orenburg Region in Russia, where the climate and elevation is just perfect to prompt the goats to grow a very soft airy down undercoat that is harvested by hand at a specific time of year.  The lace is then knit on tiny (2 mm long needles) WITHOUT a pattern, featuring motifs full of history and significance.  Young girls would learn to work each motif without following a pattern, they just "know" where to put the holes to make the design work.  The designs are geometric and romantic all at the same time, with picoted edgings that are knit at the same time as the center panel, or the stitches are picked up and knit on...  The finished shawls are huge, but so fine and light that they can be pulled through a wedding ring.  The one at the conference was pewter colored, and as gossamer as a spider's web.  You could see through it like you can see through a light snoflakey frost on the windows in February.  The goat down has a light gently fuzzy shimmery halo, as soft as a butterfly landing on your hand and fluttering it's wings.  The silk in the yarn lends strength, but also the glint and shine of spun metal.

I thought I could appreciate the beauty having only seen photographs... then I saw and touched a real Orenburg shawl.  Unbelievable!  I had already purchased several books on the topic, acquired a russian spindle, and started practicing making superfine laceweight yarn with cashmere and silk... Now I know that I must someday give this a real try. 

Another talented blogger I follow (Rebecca over at Doilies are Stylish) showed some photographs of a similar shawl in her private collection... which can be seen here.  I tried to find Photographs that showed these shawls... but was sadly disappointed by the lack of adequate pictures that show the true art.  Go and See Rebecca's photos... they're great!

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