Jobo Designs

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

28. October 2011 03:57
by Jobo

South African Fine Wool... Becomes Mittens

28. October 2011 03:57 by Jobo | 0 Comments

At the Retreat a few weeks ago... I decided to just let loose and spin a braid of fiber free-form - aka just let the darn thing become whatever it wanted to become.  I bought a braid of South African Fine Wool dyed by Waterloo Wools in a very bright and enthusiastic colorway and just tore it into 4 pieces and spun it up without thinking too hard about it.  The result was a nice bouncy, light and not over spun, 2-ply yarn in about a Chunky weight.  I didn't worry about where the colors lined up, and I didn't use a gauge or measure to monitor my singles.  I tried to divide the fiber in approximately half, so I would have two similar balls of yarn to make something "paired" like mittens.

Retreat Pretties SouthAfrican Fine and Lace2

Here is one half of the yarn posing with a skein of lace weight that just happened to match!  I really liked the texture of this breed of wool - soft like Merino, but really bouncy and fluffy.  Sproingy!

SouthAfricanFine Mittens2

As for a pattern... I decided to just wing it.  I've knit so many pairs of mittens in the last 15 years... it's not even funny.  I took a guess as to how many stitches might make sense, and was off without a plan.  In fact, I ended up knitting to the tip of the first mitten, decided that I should have done a longer cuff, and raveled back to the cuff and added half a dozen rows.  One nice thing about knitting with chunky fat yarn on reasonably large needles - the project knits up fast.  I had completed both mitts (including the false start, ravel and redo) in a weekend.

SouthAfricanFine Mittens3 SouthAfricanFine Mittens1 SouthAfricanFine Mittens4

The mittens did end up looking similar when finished, but still with a bit of variation in the color striping and placement.  I liked the texture and variation though... gives the effect of "matching" but not "identical" mittens.  More like a set of Fraternal Twins :)  If you like yarn and knitting close-ups... remember to click the photo thumbnails and you'll get a nice large version of the photo... thanks to the wonderful code-monkey-husband!

SouthAfricanFine Mittens5

I was thinking that I might like to keep these mittens myself... but lately it seems that everytime I post something new to the blog or Facebook... somebody wants to buy them!  I think if the right person came along, I'd let them go, maybe. 

I thought that I'd likely have zero yarn left when these were complete.  My luck (since there was no chance of me getting more of this fiber or colorway) I would run out with only a stupid 4 yard piece required to finish!  Not So!  For once I had a little bit of yarn leftover... and I used this as a perfect excuse to make another baby hat!  (I have a bunch in different noggin-sizes... just in case)

SouthAfrican Fine Babyhat 

I finished the little hat and then added a VERY LARGE pompom :)  I had a few scrap odds and ends from weaving in the tails on the mittens, and I didn't want to let ANY of this great stuff go to waste.  I basically just tossed the ends (2 - 3 inch pieces) in a pile, lashed them together into a non-fussy pompom and stitched it to the top of the little bright toque.  Maybe it isn't very practical... but I love it to pieces.  Maybe (child willing) it will fit and be appropriate for photos or something?


I'm not sure if you noticed my really-fancy-hi-tech Mitten Blockers?!  They're actually pieces of cardboard (2 layers of corrugated stuff from the box some electronic thing came in) that have been wrapped several times with plain old kitchen plastic wrap, and then taped haphazardly where the edges of the plastic meet.  I would like to have fancy, beautiful, durable wooden ones someday (like my Norwegian Mitten Blockers made by Roger!), but this was all I had to work with at one point... so I threw them together and they've been sturdy and trusty helpers for several years now.  They don't look all that pretty - but they get the job done!

17. June 2011 12:17
by Jobo

Excuses, Excuses... and an announcement!

17. June 2011 12:17 by Jobo | 0 Comments

The last few months, I've been going on about how my knitting mojo has been iffy, and how I've been tired.  Well, there has actually been something going on with me, but I wasn't able to share it with you all before now.  Honestly, I don't even know how to tell you now what the whole thing has been about... because it is just such a monumental and wonderful thing!  (wonderful!  There... now you can stop thinking I'm in big trouble or something.)

So, I guess the best way to get it out there is to just blurt it out.  We're going to have a baby.  Yes folks, a Baby! 

The first trimester has been a bit of a trying experience.  I've known since very early on, since this was a very planned and very wanted baby, so it's been exceptionally hard to keep the secret.  I've had a lot of "morning sickness" from about 5 weeks on (hah "morning".... more like all-day-sickness) which I actually had to get help for.  I wasn't vomiting so much, but feeling like I could/should/might vomit all the time.  I've heard people explain that they were very exhausted in the first number of months... for me the exhaustion is like nothing I've ever felt before.  I've felt tired before, but this kind of exhaustion is so much more than just a hard-days-work tired.  I'm usually a night owl, and lately I'm ready to fall asleep much before 11 pm.   Since starting the nausea medication (which is a complete lifesaver) things are coming around quite a bit better.  Most days I almost feel like a real person again.  My husband might argue that point.  His wife has turned into an even wimpier, hormonal mess who cries over baby commercials, ice cream, and generally unimportant things.  Maybe when we get a little further along I'll get to feeling more like myself again.

This coming Sunday marks 14 weeks - and the little beast is doing great!  We've had several doctor's visits, tests and bloodwork, and lots of questionnaires.  All results are coming back boring and ordinary - exactly what you want to hear in this kind of situation.  In the office last week, Marky and I got to hear the little one's heart beat for the first time.  That little swish-swish-swish-swish sound was music to our ears!  I was disappointed I didn't get to listen for very long, but it was *there* all steady and regular. 

So do you have your calculator out now?  are you trying to calculate out the dates?  I'll save you the trouble!  The baby should arrive around December 20th... just before Christmas.  Unless of course the little Martian is anything like his dad, he will likely be "late" and we will be one of the lucky families to spend the holidays in the local Labor and Delivery department at the hospital.  Honestly, I don't care when he/she gets here... as long as everyone is happy and healthy.

So while none of my old clothes fit, and the belly is starting to grow a little each day.... I'm hoping that my energy will return for Act 2, and that the rest of this pregnancy will also be as boring and ordinary as possible!

There I finally said it!  Jobo is going to be a Mommy :)

28. September 2010 08:03
by Jobo

A Favorite Hiding Place...

28. September 2010 08:03 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Before I had a Rabbit as a pet... I often thought that a caged pet would be boring and do nothing but poop and eat and stay inside a cage most of the time.  Well, I'm sure if you left a rabbit in it's cage all the time, this could be the absolute truth.  In our family's case though, having Ruttiger come out and hang out with the rest of the gang has been a staggering success.

Before we got him (he was 4 months old on Sept 10, in case you were following)  I read a whole lot of forums and articles about "house rabbits" to try and get a feel for what I should do with the little guy when he arrived home.  I remember one article that suggested just getting down to the rabbits' level and just do what you normally do, and their curiosity will win out and the rabbit will come and see what you're up to.  The article suggested that if you normally come home and open the mail... just do exactly that.  Come home, open the cage, sit on the floor and open the mail - chances are the Bun Bun will come and see what you are doing.

I've tried to incorporate this philosophy into my Rabbit Care regime.  As a bonding activity, I make sure to take 15 minutes around feeding time morning and evening to sit right on the floor with Ruttiger, and feed him the first handful of his pellets while sitting on my knee and nibbling the kibbles out of the palm of my hand.  In the beginning I would have to coax him over... Now, he's on top of me before I have both buttcheeks firmly planted on the floor.  He curls right up and relaxes with me for the first handful or so, and then eats the rest happily from his bowl inside his cage.  For me, this activity has been a very rewarding and connecting one - My one-on-one time with my Furry little Bun-Child.

The bonding process seems to be going well... now the little guy follows me wherever I go.  If I'm gathering laundry in the bedroom, he's right there sniffing around and running under the bed.  If I'm cooking supper, he is flopped at my feet vegging out.  If I sit down, he comes over and walks all over me and checks me out thoroughly.  he will gladly hop into my lap, and doesn't run away when I try and pick him up as often.  I think he believes me now that I'm not going to Eat him!  though I might hug him and tease him a bunch!

Here he is following Momma into his favorite room... if he is out playing and suddenly disappears you can bed he's flopped on the cool tile floor.  We had a friend visit the other day.... who asked if he could use our other bathroom... since this one was "occupied" already lol ;)

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