Jobo Designs

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

25. January 2010 11:00
by Jobo
0 Comments

Yarn Candy Monday: <insert Pink Panther Theme Song here>

25. January 2010 11:00 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Once this yarn came off the niddy noddy... there was no denying it... the color reminds me of the Pink Panther... though the squishy softness is heavenly onto itself!

Lately, I have been trying to spin some "larger" fatter yarns, as a challenge to myself.  I really like spinning thinner yarns for lace and socks, but wanted to learn the full range of spinning techniques.  So this particular 2 ply yarn is a basic barber pole from a mostly pink hand dyed roving (with some purplish bits) and worked out to be a Bulky yarn - somewhere around 7 WPI

pink panther

I'm not sure what I'll make with it, but the skein feels huge and puffy!  I was thinking I might make a baby item for a friend's new little bundle, but since the yarn isn't super wash, it might not be very practical for that kind of project.  (I usually make new baby things from acrylic since you can machine wash it, and the darn stuff is nearly indestructible!)

pinkpanther 2 

The lightness and poofyness of this yarn makes me think it should be used to create something that will be worn around the neck or close to the body... since I have been rubbing my face in it every time I walk by it... lol. 

(pick up yarn, squish, raise to face, inhale.  repeat until stress subsides.  if necessary carry yarn around to pet.  repeat initial recommendation)

4. January 2010 11:00
by Jobo
22 Comments

Finished "198 yds of Heaven" Handspun Shawl

4. January 2010 11:00 by Jobo | 22 Comments

It sure didn't take long once I had started to finish up this quick knit shawl... I like to refer to it as my "Survival Knitting"

Knitting gifts is fun in it's own way.  I really enjoy choosing special patterns, and then hunting for the perfect yarns and trying to create gifts that the recipients will adore and find very useful... but the knitting itself can be a lot of work.  I am a pretty fickle knitter, and generally flit from one project to the next, finishing and starting things with gusto, but not in any particular order.  So for me, finishing projects on a schedule can be a bit of a chore.  This year in particular, I let my holiday gift knitting get a little behind calendar-wise, so I had to really push myself coming on the end.

This shawl, on the otherhand, was a purely selfish and fun knit.  I wasn't sure what I would do with it when it was completed... I wasn't even sure if I had enough yarn to finish the shawl in the first place!  Working on it was frivolous and fun, which is exactly what a knitter needs after a few months of forced creativity :)  I had a hard time this year getting into the holiday spirit and was really dreading the shopping, wrapping and decorating.  The stolen moments working on this shawl were really a godsend, and helped me keep my cool when I was feeling overwhelmed by the tasks at hand.  And then, when all of the chores were finished and the fun part of the holiday finally began, working on the shawl helped me to pass the time waiting to go out visiting and passing out gifts, and then it came with me for numerous turkey dinners and snuggled with me on the couch well into the evening on Christmas Day.  I'm rather in love with it, I must say!

unblocked Unblocked

Here she is, laying on the beautiful muslin quilt my Mom made us as a wedding gift!  I was afraid that the shawl wouldn't be big enough in the end, especially since the finished wingspan was only about 36 inches... but we all know that blocking is magic sometimes, so I was holding out for some major stretching.  I figured that if it didn't grow enough, worst case scenario I could give it away to someone who had a small child (wouldn't any little girl like blue and green butterfly wings to play with and wrap around her?  heck... I'm a BIG girl and I still want it to be big enough so I can play with it!)

pointcome right to the point

I think I am getting more efficient at blocking with the wires now... it didn't take near as long as it usually does for me to soak, lay out the finished piece, thread in the wires, and pin them out on the spare bed.  I think my favorite part is always the bottom point of any scalloped shawl... pretty little point :)

198 yards blocking

As you can see in the picture (as the shawl is pinned out on a queen sized bed...)  the growing process was satisfactory and the finished wingspan is more like 48 inches... which wraps nicely around my shoulders.  The silk blend is very smooth, perfect for an item that might be worn draped around shoulders or around my neck.  I am very pleased with the blended greens and blues and the way they flow into each other.  The shawl was finally dry on Christmas Morning, and I wove in the ends just in time to wear it out on Christmas day for the festivities.  Lately it seems I get a chill quite easily, so I wore it all day either over the shoulders or tousled around my neck.  I'm not sure how fashionable this stuff is considered now, but it is certainly comfortable and utilitarian.

December 09 035 on the wing

So here are some final finished shots:  Sorry it took so long to post the finishing ;)

198yardsfinished

  198yardsfinished3

21. December 2009 14:17
by Jobo
5 Comments

Another Handspun Shawl...? do they ever get boring?

21. December 2009 14:17 by Jobo | 5 Comments

nope? I don't think they ever get old.  I really enjoy working with yarns spun from handpainted roving in every type of setting - from mittens to socks to shawls and scarves. 

This particular yarn is extra special to me, since it was one of the first yarns I ever made? spun on a toy-truck-wheel spindle.  After I had used up all of the wool samples that came in my beginner kit I went out and bought a couple of Fleece Artist Handpainted Slivers as a treat.  At the time I didn't realize that silk wasn't really a beginner fiber, and I bought 3 braids of a Merino and Silk Blend in a mix of Greens and Blues.  I was so attracted to the color and softness of the fiber, I couldn't help it!

2624394029_abe98a3057  

The finished yarn was a softly spun (probably not quite enough twist in retrospect) basic 2-ply? with colors ranging through every color from medium and dark blues through turquoise, teal, baby and sky blues all the way to creamy white sections.  As far as weight goes? the yarn is pretty inconsistent overall, with thick and thinner sections.  The whole thing averages out at around light fingering weight or so, maybe a smidge thinner.  For one of my first yarns though, I am still quite impressed that I was able to make anything useable at all at that point.  I really like the way that the barber-pole effect blends the different blues and greens together.  I think this may have been the point that I realized how in-love I was with 2 plies.  It certainly wasn't the last one I made either.

As you can imagine, my Ravelry queue is completely ridiculous.  Everytime I see a neat pattern, I add it to the list of "someday" projects, and try and remember what's in there when a special yarn comes along.  I wanted to work on something for *myself* now that the majority of the Christmas Knitting is done.  It seems like I've been slogging away on stuff for everyone else but me for the longest time (sooo unfair!)  so after rediscovering this yarn again while digging in my stash for something else, I decided it was time to knit this skein into something unique and pretty

I had been admiring a shawl pattern for some time that was designed to use Worsted weight yarn in a fairly small quantity? which I thought might suit this yarn since it was a little on the bigger side, uneven, and I wanted to knit it into something lacy with some open bits.

The pattern is this:  198 Yds of Heaven by Christy Verity (available as a free download on Ravelry)

closeup handspun ocean yarnClose-up of yarn and the beginning section of the shawl :)

The pattern itself is very neatly organized and well written.  I particularly like how it is provided as written-out instructions and also charts so anyone can give it a try, regardless of lace background and skill. 

198 yards in silkHumble Beginnings of ?198 yds of Heaven?

When I decided to cast on, I was away from home and did not have access to printed patterns so I thought this might be the perfect time to try accessing patterns from my new i-Phone.  I am still searching for the best knitting and fiber "applications" (basically little programs that you can download and use on your cell phone?)  and ways to use my new gadget-copter-phone to enhance my knitting on the go.  It was very convenient and easy to save the link to this pattern in my "favorites" and then bring it up to follow the charts.

knitting with iphone 198 yardsknitting in public with my i-Phone

So far, I have made it through the chart 2 repeats and things are working up very nicely.  The lace is pretty straightforward and intuitive, so not too complicated for travel knitting.  I often stay away from patterns that require me to carry paper patterns around when it comes to knitting-on-the-go, so I think this ability to read patterns from the internet at the touch of a finger will be very useful.  I also downloaded a little Ruler program so I can do approximate measures, and there are a couple of row counters available as free downloads too. 

198 yards lace close up 

Knitting with hand dyed and then hand spun yarn is always a surprise.  you never quite know how the colors will line up, whether they will blend or stripe, how they will coordinate, and how they will look all piled on top of one another.  I think it's that unpredictability that I am addicted to.  It's like the yarn has it's own story to tell and it adds another deep dimension to the whole process and finished appearance.

Speaking of *finishing* I think I might go and do some more knitting? see how long it will take me to get this puppy all finished :)

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