Jobo Designs

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

4. August 2009 14:45
by Jobo
2 Comments

Bubblegum Hero... Delicious Blue Sock Yarn

4. August 2009 14:45 by Jobo | 2 Comments

I finally got around to taking some pictures of my latest yarn...

My dyeing technique was rather haphazard that day, but as usual, the finished yarn has a mind of it's own :)  I must have been channelling the local dairy bar because it looks almost exactly like bubblegum ice cream!

After spinning the top randomly (torn into pieces and just randomly strung together) I decided to navajo ply to conserve the gentle stripes.  The finished yarn is 14-16 WPI (actually really even!  I impressed myself a little)  I was really surprised at the way the pinks and blues melded together too - Barberpoles, purple shades, all over gentle mixing.  The resulting colour is predominantly a robin-eggy blue with a mix of purples, lavenders, almost fuschia in some segments.  Because of the random colour placement, there are some stripes that are meters long, and others that are just short snippits.  I tried to be choosy with where my chain "joins" were so as to minimize any abrupt colour changes in the yarn.  From the 4 ounce braid I ended up with about 400 yards... so enough to make a decent sized pair of socks.  In a lot of ways this is the closest I've gotten to making something that is as thin and even as commercial sock yarn.

3. August 2009 09:42
by Jobo
0 Comments

Sock it to Ya! ...and Commuter-Knit!

3. August 2009 09:42 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Making progress on the latest pair of knit socks!  We had a really busy weekend, so I really didn't get that much chance to knit.  I did get a bunch of spinning done, one handfull of fiber at a time though.  I know it feels like not a lot of progress is made that way, but surprisingly enough, a few handfulls, a few stitches, a little fiber prep - slow and steady wins the race!

Here is sock #1:

 

Even though this is the second pair of Jaywalkers I have knit this summer, I am still really enjoying working on them.  I am starting to understand why there have been nearly 6500 pairs of documented Jaywalkers on Ravelry... this pattern is just plain ingenious!  That Grumperina is a great designer.

 

Please be tolerant of the dark pictures... it was a bit rainy the day I took them, but hopefully things will be more sunny and photogenic when I finish the second sock.  I was working on it in the car this morning on the way to work, and managed to turn the heel before arriving. 

I really enjoy knitting in the car these days - it makes a great relaxing start to my day.  When I was little, and even now, I have a really hard time being in the car long distances because I have a tendency to get car sick.  I find I can't really sit in the back seat, or read, or do anything that requires my focus to be taken off the horizon or I get really nauseus.  It had never occurred to me to try knitting in the car before I started commuting every day an hour to and from work.  I was always really afraid to try doing anything in the car, even digging in my purse, or doing anything for fear of getting sick ( I have puked in cars, on buses, at amusement parks, on boats, you name it - I've likely gotten sick on it!)  But in desperation, feeling anxious about my job, Marky suggested that I try working on something to ease my mind.  When we flew to Las Vegas, I knit all the way there, in the airport, in transit, during the flight, and he really noticed that I didn't seem to mind the waiting around as much.   So trying to knit a little in the car became an experiment.  I realized that when I knit I don't really need to look at my hands, I don't really even pay that much attention to what I am doing!  My fingers know how to make the stitches from muscle memory.  It seems that as long as I work on projects that don't require a lot of close attention and looking down, that I can stitch away without any problems.  What a gift for someone who was always afraid of getting sick!  Now, I bring an easy and portable project with me every day and Marky drives the morning leg so I can knit, and I take the afternoon leg of the trip.  If you haven't tried this, you should -  you might be surprised :)

5. July 2009 11:22
by Jobo
0 Comments

Another Feather and Fan Shawl... Looks Like Butterfly Wings

5. July 2009 11:22 by Jobo | 0 Comments

This yarn was my first go at Merino/Tencel Blend (50:50), actually one of my first attempts at spinning anything that wasn't pure wool, or wool with just a little bit of silk or bamboo added.



The fiber came from FiberOptic - Kimber is Awesome to deal with.  I've bought a few things from her now, and the colours are always spectacular, and products are top notch too!  Speaking of which... If I wasn't on a self imposed fiber diet right now, I'd want some more of her fantastic sock pencil roving.  (This stuff doesn't even need predrafting! just sit, spin, swoon!)

When this package came in the mail, it was so smooth and silky feeling, I just kept it around petting it for a long while.  I was too afraid to wreck it by using it before I was experienced enough to do a decent job with it.  Isn't it funny that we order stuff because it is gorgeous and we can't wait to lay hands on it... and then we are too afraid to do anything with it?  There is something really wrong with that strategy in my opinion.



I tried to spin as thin as possible at the time (which really isn't all that thin now that I look at it compared to more recent attempts) and then 2-plied using a centre pull ball (inside and outside strand together)  The resulting yarn was somewhere between fingering and light fingering weights (a little thick and thin in places)  Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics of the yarn once it was done... I guess I was too excited to start working on it?


Because of the long stretches of colour, I thought that another feather and fan shawl would be a good choice.  The ripple effect did a nice job of showing off the colour blends and stretches last time I made one.  Plus I knew the pattern was well written, was simple to follow even for working on in the car and such, and there were no complex bits to have me shaking my head over and over.  This was started during the wedding planning/panicking stages... so I needed a brainless project.  This was my standby for something straightforward and stress free to stab away at.  It definetly served its purpose and was a joy to knit, even though I had just finished one not too long ago.

Closeup detail of the colour ripples and the shiny silky texture

Last night I finally finished.  By finally finished, I mean got frustrated... ran out of yarn 15 stitches from the end of the bind off... had to un-knit the bind off (285 stitches) then tink back 285 stitches, then re-do the extra loose bind off.  I did have to put it away one time out of frustration (aka threw it at the coffee table and walked away for a few hours) but now that it's home blocking on the spare bed - it looks so nice and tame, and not at all like the beast that had me so cheesed off 12 hours ago.  I think I like it again :)


Finished Shawl posing with a wedding photo / gift from our photographer yesterday.. I'll post a better one when I can get a proper scan.  The photos were taken in my Gramma's garden... these ones were in front of the barn door :)

The full Spread - Similar to last time I worked this pattern... Nice long stretches of colour turned into gentle ripples.  This one looks like Butterfly Wings to me, probably because of the Purples and Blues and Pinks and Burgandies.  For some reason those shades of purples and silvery blues make me think of fairies and butterflies.  ( I know, sometimes I can be such a GIRL )

 

The finished fabric has a lovely softness and drape... you can hardly feel it on your shoulders, but is still big enough to stay wrapped and not be falling off.  I have been trying to think of who this shawl should go to... and haven't had any brainwaves yet.... For some reason I have a hard time deciding those things, and I get pretty attached to homemade things.  I might have worn this one for half of the day yesterday, but I know I won't use it enough to deserve the privilege of keeping it, someone else would use it more and it would get loved more.

 

The tousled around the neck look... I think I would almost wear this as a scarf in the Fall too!

I had wanted to make homemade things for the grandparents this year... both my own and my inlaws.  That means a total of 4 Grandmas and 1 Grandpa.  I wasn't sure that they would use / need things like hats, scarves or mitts, but I know that a lot of them get a chill pretty easily, so I thought shawls might be nice?  and in stylish colours too?  even if they only use them every now and again, or as lap-robes when they are chilly around the house... I think they will enjoy the homemadeness of the gifts.  I did fingerless mittens  and headbands for my two sisters in law last year, afghans for 2 of my brothers in law, and socks for mark's mom and dad... not to mention a scarf for my Mom, dishclothes and swiffer covers for my Sister and Socks for my Dad.

If I want to keep up with that pile of homemade gifts I had better stop typing and start knitting!

More later :)

 

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