Jobo Designs

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

27. June 2009 13:39
by Jobo
0 Comments

Mitten Progress...

27. June 2009 13:39 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I have Dad's Mittens mostly done, but haven't had a chance to photograph them on a model yet.  As a tease... I'll post what I have so far.  Overall I am very pleased with the end result on these... though they could probably use a good blocking just to smooth out any bumpy or wrinkly bits.



I'm not usually a "marker" girl either... but I found that working on the thumb gusset increases in this case because of the soft blended colour that I had a hard time seeing how many rows back since inc stitches.  I guess it's nice to have some in the house, but loops of another colour of yarn would suffice really.  I got a bunch of these beaded stitch markers in a grab bag - basically 25 of them in varied colours, none matching. 

My spinning seems pretty even overall, and I haven't been able to notice any thin or thicker bits in my finished knit fabric.  These will be nice and warm, and will get warmer with wear as the whole thing felts together



Now I just need to block... and find a mitten hand model... and take some more pics before I give these away.  I know I had said they would be for christmas... but I have a feeling I won't be able to keep a lid on it for that long.  (as per usual with me and homemade gifts)

 

7. June 2009 10:33
by Jobo
0 Comments

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!

21. May 2009 12:26
by Jobo
1 Comments

Knitting with Handspun is Addictive!

21. May 2009 12:26 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Especially if it's  your OWN handspun!

I finished my Sunshine Shawl last evening before bed, and blocked this morning.  Before blocking, I soaked the finished shawl in a bowl of lukewarm water for an hour or so.  Some people like to put a drop of wool wash in the water too, apparently to help the water soak in more completely (soap makes water wetter!  or so my highschool science teacher believes)  Since I forgot to add the soap component, I counteracted the blunder by simply soaking this puppy longer than necessary.  It's beautiful and sunny outside today here!  the sun's rays made the garter stitch bumps glisten like pearls in the soaking bowl.  Darn camera wasn't able to convey though.

The blocking process is always a neat transformation for me.  The lumpy, bumpy, uncontrolled look of unblocked lace kindof scares me.  Honestly, if you left a piece of knit lace unblocked... you might think your lace knitting skills sucked  needed more work... but after the soaking, and careful laying out, measuring, pinning, standing back and admiring - the real beauty emerges.  The geometrics of the design, open areas and more densely stitched areas seem to pop right out and things flatten and elongate in ways that you could have only imagined before blocking.

It seems that the long stretches of colour lined up beautifully throughout the whole project.  Gentle stretches of lime, sage, teal,  blue, purple, yellow, and various shades in between.  The barberpoling effect of the 2-ply yarn helped ease the colour changes, and blend the transitions between them.  I think I made a wise decision choosing the larger needles for this shawl too, since my yarn is a little heavier than laceweight, more of a sock weight give or take.  The blocking process really opened up the "holes" of the Yarnovers and made the ripples stand out nicely.

I must admit, I am overly impressed and satisfied with myself today.  Not to toot my own horn, but I LOVE working with the yarn I have spun.  I'm not sure if its the fact that I have such high stakes in it... aka carded, drafted, spun, drooled, plied, skeined, knit... or if it's just that I am not used to working with such interesting and unique products.  (Handspun vs Bernat?  c'mon you gotta be kidding here!)  It seems that I become very attached to the projects I am making lately too.  Mark asked me last night if I was going to sell the "Sunshine" shawl, and honestly I'm not sure I would be able to get enough for it to equal how much I love it.  True, I probably won't wear it myself, and I'm not sure I have the strength to give it away yet, but selling it?  I will have to think about that one.  Honestly, if I keep producing homemade goods at the same rate as the last few years, our home will be brimming!  But I'm not sure I am willing to part with any of the stuff yet either.  crafty packrat.

When Sunshine finally dries and I can peel her off the bed... I will try and take a few more pictures!

 

 

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