Jobo Designs

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

25. November 2011 09:20
by Jobo
0 Comments

Fallberry Fingerless Mitts

25. November 2011 09:20 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I really wanted to get as much holiday knitting done as possible well ahead of time this year… not knowing if the baby would arrive on time, or early, or what the situation would be like.  This is one of those projects that I’ve had completed for a while, but just hadn’t gotten around to photographing it with the lousy fall short daylight hours.  It snowed here the last couple of days… so it’s a bit overcast for photo taking, but the fresh fallen snow makes for a nice background :)

These are a pair of Fallberry Fingerless Mittens, as seen in the Knitty.com online knitting magazine.  All of the Knitty patterns are available free of charge… and if you aren’t familiar with this publication… you really should check it out!  Each issue is full of great patterns and a variety of different knit items – from socks to sweaters and shawls. 

I wanted to make something for Mark’s Aunt that would be straightforward, not a ridiculous amount of work, and also that would be useful.  I remember her mentioning before that she had chilly hands from time to time, so I thought fingerless mittens might make a practical accessory.  Normally I wouldn’t be interested in something like a fingerless mitten for myself, thinking that I wouldn’t wear them enough to make the effort justified, but I really like the way that these fit, and am considering making some for me after the holidays are over.

fallberry2

One thing that was really nice about this pattern… you get the illusion of working a fine lacy pattern… but of course, the mitts are made from sport weight yarn, and on decent sized needles so they work up fast.  I decided to go with some KnitPicks Stroll Sport, both for the old standby of practical wool with the added durability of nylon, and for the reasonable price point (less than 4 dollars a ball!).  I knew I’d need more than one ball, but I was able to make the entire pair with about a ball and a quarter.  Really, only the thumbs were worked with the second ball.  So I do actually have enough yarn to make a second pair if I decide to go for it.  (I know I’ve been using a lot of KnitPicks Yarn lately… I don’t work for them, I swear!  I just really like their products!)

fallberry 

I was also pleased with the simplicity of the pattern and the easy to memorize flickering flame style motif.  After a couple of repeats of the chart, I was good to go, and really didn’t have to refer back tot he pattern very often.  Also, because really there were 4 rows of “active” stitch movement, then 4 rows of basically ribbing, the mitts worked up very quickly.  I think it took me around 3 evenings worth of knitting to finish things off.  I made the “large” size, and was a little afraid that they might be too small in the end, but after a little soak and blocking on some mitten blockers, the finished mitts relaxed enough and fit me fine (even in my pregnant, swollen hands and feet state)

I hope the recipient gets lots of use out of them, and enjoys the toasty warm wrists and hands :)

12. October 2011 03:58
by Jobo
0 Comments

Magic Mirror Mittens

12. October 2011 03:58 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Finally!  Having a new camera means that I can start showing off the more recent projects I've finished! 

I wanted to make a special gift for a really nice person for Christmas... preferably handspun mittens... but I knew that I just wouldn't have time to be starting something so detailed so late in the year.  So I decided I'd just pick a really classy pattern and buy some extra nice yarn and go from there.  I know it isn't quite as special as a completely custom design with handspun/handdyed yarn, but I hope this person really loves the mittens anyways.

Magic Mirror Mittens 1

I decided to go with a long-time favorite mitten pattern - Magic Mirror by Kristel Nyberg.  I've been admiring this pattern over on Ravelry for quite some time, but had not gotten around to making a pair.  I rarely knit with Sport or DK Weight yarn, so I think that was the main inhibiting factor as to why I had never tried them.  I love the way that the mittens are covered with cables - from cuff to fingers.  And of course, the backs are plain (read: easy and straightforward) so at least half of every row was a basic easy knit.  All of the cables are charted, which always makes the process easier for me since I'm such a visual knitter. 

For the yarn, I decided to order a few skeins specifically for this project.  I had been planning a Knitpicks order, so I just went with it and bought 3 skeins of Andean Treasure - 100% Baby Alpaca Yarn in "fog heather".  I figured that the extra warmth and softness of the alpaca would make these thinner mittens even more cozy.  I wasn't sure how much to order... but in the end I made each mitten out of a single ball of yarn, and used the third one only for the thumbs.  I suppose if I had shortened the cuffs by one cable twist repeat, I would have had enough with just two balls (but I'd have been really annoyed to find that out after having knit an entire mitten!)

The reviews on the yarn were mostly positive - "Knitting with Kitten" was my favorite comment.  So I hoped that it would be plenty soft, and not scratchy like some other alpaca yarns I have worked with (AhemBERNATalpacaCOUGH) and was not disappointed.  There is a little bit of gentle halo but no scratchy bits. 

Magic Mirror Mittens 2

The finished mittens blocked out quite nicely, and fit my hands perfectly.  I seem to have average ladies shaped and sized hands, so I hope they will fit the intended recipient just fine.  I worked the mitts on a set of KnitPicks Circulars, which was a first for me for mittens.  I've done lots of socks on Circs, but never really had the proper sized needles to do mittens.  I was quite pleased with the ease of working in the round, basically magic loop style, and the no-ladders finished look.  I will definetly look for more sizes of circs to make mittens with, especially for next time I do colorwork mittens.  I think this method would be perfect for something like a fiddle-head mitten or a Norwegian style mitten since I found the last time on DPNS, I had a hard time hiding the places where the needles separated.  I had loose and tight stitch ladders that even blocking wouldn't even out in some places. 

All in all - a great knit, great yarn, and beautiful finished mittens!  Scratch another holiday gift off my list!

7. December 2010 05:26
by Jobo
1 Comments

Silver Strawberries... first foray into Orenburg lace...

7. December 2010 05:26 by Jobo | 1 Comments

    I finally finished my first lace yarn using my boy?s fluff! I made a very fine ply of angora (blue in color to be exact) and a find ply of white silk, and combined them together to get a light lace weight yarn.  It isn't gossamer by any means, but it's still pretty, and light by most standards.  I spun the Angora Single on my Golding Walnut (heavier spindle, though I can't remember the weight off hand) and the Silk on my new Golding Porcelain Dragonfly spindle.  Both parts were so enjoyable to spin, and even the plying was straightforward.  I started with around a half ounce of Blue English Angora - which had been hand carded with just a tiny wisp of Carbonized Bamboo and an equally tiny wisp of creamy merino.  I just wanted a few longer fibers mixed with the angora combings, hoping it would make a more stable yarn in the end.  I used very little of either addition... and in the end, you really can't see the bamboo or wool.  Maybe it wasn't worth the trouble to add it in?  bowl of batts

     

    The angora used here was the combings from Ruttiger's daily grooming.  I'm greedy with my fiber I guess... I've been saving every last wisp that isn't tangled or dirty... so in addition to the lovely prime fiber (which I am saving until I actually KNOW what I'm doing lol) I have quite a lot of "seconds" quality fiber.  I didn't want to use up the prime fiber right away, so I decided to try carding up some of this just to see what it would be like.  The results are heavenly!  I did have to pick out some neps and tangles, but overall, the little combfulls of fiber opened up beautifully and were very enjoyable to spin.

    The silk was just plain ordinary silk... that I bought 4 ounces of from Belfast Mini Mills earlier this summer just for this purpose... and was the most fun I've had with silk to date.  I've finally gotten comfortable with "spinning from the fold" - and silk is definitely a good choice for a fiber to be spun this way.  The resulting thread is smooth and shiny.  Everything Silk is meant to be! 

    And my new Golding Dragonfly is the perfect weight for these light singles.  I can see I will be using her quite often from now on!  I think her name will be the "Dragonflier"... which is actually a name I used to go by on a forum back in the dark ages of college!The color reminds me a bit of sterling silver? with a bit of soft dove grey and the shine of the silk. So far, just in handling the knitted piece a bit, there is a light halo beginning to form? can?t wait to see how it goes!

    points 

    I have been admiring orenburg lace for quite a while now, and I have bought some fairly complicated patterns for some day down the road when I have the skill to tackle them? but for now, this simple stole looked perfect for my (very basic) skill level. This will give me a chance to try out the basic elements and see how it goes from there. (the pattern is Orenburg Stole: Just a little strawbery by Russian Lily)

    points vertical

    I have been using the Gossamer Webs Design Book as a supplement to this pattern to make sure I have been doing the stitches properly.  The strawberry pattern itself is more of a schematic, and not really a complete pattern intended for a beginner knitter.  I have several reference books at home that I have been referring to, and they help a great deal.  So far, I'll I've accomplished is 6/10 "teeth" for the bottom edge of the stole, but I hope to spend a few minutes each day until I have the stitches picked up for the main body of the stole, and then a few rows each day as a treat to myself as I slog away at the Holiday Knitting.  The teensy yarn takes some getting used to... and dropping stitches in a case like this is a disastrous event.  I have a feeling I will need lifelines for this project.

    I went up a few sizes in needles already from what the pattern recommended, because I am a tight knitter, and because I wanted this fabric to be light and airy in the end. On the 2mm needles, there wasn?t much space between the stitches. Maybe someday when I have been able to spin actual gossamer yarns I will be able to try a more authentic needle size for this type of pattern. Now I just need to finish my remaining holiday knitting so I can sit down and do some more of this!  I need to spin likely 3 more cops of each silk and angora... and then find time to sit and knit of course!

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

    Top