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!

7. June 2009 10:33
by Jobo

Spinning Shetland on a Saturday in the Sun... say that 5 times fast!

7. June 2009 10:33 by Jobo | 0 Comments

It was beautiful outside yesterday, and since the Husbeast-to-be was off playing golf with his boys, the house was wonderfully quiet...

So I snuck outside with my wheel to finish playing with that Shetland wool that had been calling my name.  (psst... hey you!  yeah you, spinner girl!  get your butt over here and play with us!  you know you wannnnnnaaaaaa...)

So I spun more singles, and measured them against my gauge... and then plied some more and more... until finally it was all done!

Usually I have a difficult time waiting until the yarn has been rinsed and the twist set.  I have patience issues - wanna touch it NOW want to knit it NOW! (I could be a 2 year old... )  But I did manage this time to hold on.  I really wanted to be able to count on the yardage I calculate, since that kindof dictates what kind of mittens I can make for Dad out of it (aka will I have enough yarn? or will I need to use a different one for the cuffs?)

Here she is soaking in a nice hot bath

Because a few parts of the batts were still a tiny bit greasy, I decided to do a bit of a Dawn wash.  Really just one "wash" and several hot water rinses.  I also wanted this yarn to shrink now, rather than later.  Thats why I chose to use hot water.  (how hot?  hot enough that I couldn't keep my hands in it for very long)

After the washing comes the drying... on a beautiful day like this, my yarn dried in a few hours.  I'm sure the fact that I wrang it out in one of those Super Shammy things didn't hurt either!  Those things suck up water from wool like a dream... I use them to remove the excess water from my wool sweaters after washing in the winter when the drying conditions are really poor around here.

It wasn't completely dry yet, but I couldn't resist another pic or two.  As I had hoped, the yarn turned out quite squishy and bouncy.  Not a bit of "itchy" or "scratchiness" in it at all! (Sorry Bart, no Itchy and Scratchy here!)  Very Soft even while still wet... I couldn't wait for it to be dry and see what it would feel like then!

And here we are... all Balled up!  Sitting like 3 ducks in a row outside by my veggie garden (which needs serious planting by the way, which is hard to muster when you know you will be moving anyways before harvest, well hopefully anyways)  It seemed that from the messiness and unevenness of the skeins after drying that perhaps the yarn did shrink some, so re-balling seemed the way to go before trying to measure the yardage attained.

During the unwinding of the skeins, I took the opportunity to measure the WPI of the finished yarn.  Yesterday using a ruler and the back of an old cereal box (no, not very hi-tech)  I cut out a basic WPI gauge to try and see how even my yarn turned out.  I had been very diligent trying to keep the size of my single even, so I was anxious to see if my careful attention had paid off...

I took 3 measurements at random intervals of each skein so I could get an average measurement. 

Skein One - 9 WPI        Skein Two - 9.5 WPI     Skein Three - 8.75 WPI

So all three were quite close to the 9 WPI I had hoped for... and of course there were some thicker and thinner bits in each skein, so I hope everything evens out in the knitting process.

Reskeined and resting in this morning's hot sun!  It is going to be another lovely sunny day around here.  I think summer has finally arrived (thank goodness)

The next part of the adventure was to see how many yards of yarn I ended up with.  I wasn't sure how much fiber I should buy to get enough to make a pair of man's mittens.  My dad doesn't have massive hands or anything, which is good probably, because I didn't end up with quite as much as I thought I would.  

Some time ago, I had calculated that my niddy noddy makes a skein with wraps approximately 60 inches around, or 5 feet.  So measuring yardage, all I had to do was measure how many wraps of the niddy I got, and multiply each wrap by 5 feet and that should give me the number of feet.

For you Math Yarnies... I'll do my work

      111 wraps (counting all 3 skeins) x 5 feet = 555 feet

      1 yard = 3 feet       so 555 feet divided by 3 = 185 yards


All finished!  here she is with all 3 skeins wrapped together for fun.  Don't you think she looks bigger that way?  Now all I have to do is measure dad and make some gauge swatches to see what needles will show off the yarn best and those mittens will be not far off.  At this point, if I am following an established pattern, I can make both mittens in less than a week (depending on how much time I am allowed to spend knitting that week) so this pair will likely take a little longer, but I can't see it taking much time at all.

One more gratuituous yarn picture, because I can.  I call this yarn "New Asphalt" because it has the same shiny lustrous dark black colour as a newly paved driveway... and some nice silvery accents like the sun is hitting it.  I think this name is exceptionally fitting because my Dad actually paved driveways for 35 years before moving on to a less physically demanding job last year at a provincial campground (which he likes very much, teasing tourists and maintaining the grounds)

More on the mitten process as I go along!

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