Jobo Designs

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

17. October 2011 08:01
by Jobo
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Alligator Mittens and Hat Set

17. October 2011 08:01 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I love working on Children's projects... for several reasons.  The cute factor is overwhelming!  I love that for kids, you can use the brightest colors available!  You can also be as creative as you want.  If you can dream it up, you can do it.  And the best part - children's projects are small enough to finish in a reasonable amount of time, so there is lots of instant gratification.

For this little set, I was asked to make mittens and a hat for a 4 year old little boy... who like most little boys, has a thing for alligators.  this began the search for the perfect shade of Alligator Green!  Normally, I gravitate towards wool products, but for this project I chose a nice soft acrylic (mainly for the indestructibility factor) and Vanna's Choice had a lovely mossy bright green.

I set to work to find a hat that would be stylish, keep ears warm, but also be functional for everyday winter wear.  I had been admiring Thorpe (available as a free pattern... follow the linky) for a long time, and had eventually intended to make one from handspun yarn for myself... This seemed the perfect opportunity.  I made a few modifications (2 extra increase rows at the crown) to account for the fact that I was using a basic worsted weight yarn instead of a bulky one, and added a few stitches to the earflaps to account for the extra stitches... but other than that, I worked the pattern mostly as written and was very satisfied with the results. 

I always find it challenging to make hats for children because of the variety in head size...  Maybe now that I'm going to have a child sized noggin at home I will be a bit more fearless?  I consulted a bunch of different patterns to try and make sure that this would fit properly.  I think I did ok in the end, because the Mom was pleased with the fit.

Alligator hat full

And of course... the star attraction - Alligator Mittens!  When we were little I remember my Grandma making dinosaur/lizard mittens with tiny yarn, and them being quite complicated to make and not as functional as regular mittens.  For this reason, I chose to make just a basic regular mitten, and then embellish with eyes and teeth.  I hope that the little guy can play and use them as his everyday mittens this winter, so I wanted them to be comfortable, and perfectly adapted for making snowballs and general seasonal antics.  Also, because they are acrylic... they are fully washable :)

Alligator set

I added crocheted eyes with black French knot pupils, and duplicate stitched teeth along the underside of the mitten.  It was hard to photograph the tooth effect without having the proper sized hands to fit inside the mittens... but you get the idea.  I hope there will be lots of "RAWR" moments and "love bites" with these mittens.

Alligator mitts

26. August 2011 08:13
by Jobo
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Leaf Lace Hat... in Handspun Yarn

26. August 2011 08:13 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Yes folks, the Baby-Crazy is probably upon us.  I've been thinking a lot about what we should be getting ready for the jellybean, but it's tough getting started.  It seems that there are tons of lists and gadgets and piles of general junk that you are "supposed to" be acquiring before bring a new baby home, but I'm just not sure I buy into all of the hype.  I know there are certain things that are not optional (i.e. place to sleep, way to get and stay clean, some form of diapering, feeding equipment, car seat) but we're trying to avoid the buying-for-buying-sake type items.  The kid won't be able to use something like a bouncy swing the minute he/she comes home.  Take a deep breath and just take comfort in the fact that we don't need "everything" the second the brat comes home.

One thing that doesn't stress me out about getting ready for Baby - the Baby Knits!

Baby stuff is easy peasy... takes very little yarn, next to no time commitment, and carries that cutesy factor that makes us all go "Awwwwwww, wook at da baby stuffff!"

I was stuck waiting in doctors' offices a bunch last month, so I've been just tossing leftover balls of yarn in my purse (with coordinated needles of course) and just picking away at small projects when possible.

One such project:  Handspun Leafy (Lace-leaf hat by Sophy T. O'Donnell)

I basically took smaller yarn (heavy fingering/sport instead of worsted/aran) and smaller needles (4 mm instead of 5.5 mm) and worked the smaller size of this hat as written.  I have always enjoyed knitting leaf lace, and this was no exception.  Simple to follow, every second row is knit plain so it works up fast, and the gradually migrating colors of the handspun added some interest to the basic knit.  I don't actually have a baby head, or baby sized object to block this on, but soon enough I will! 

Leaf Lace Hat Handspun 

The yarn was leftover from these socks:  The "Not Mary Kate and Ashley" Jaywalkers I completed a few years ago (you can read more about them here) and I was quite pleased to find a use for the remnants.  I really enjoyed the way this yarn flowed between the pinks and yellows, almost like water-color paints swirling together on a painting.  I just wish my stupid camera phone would show the actual colors of things, instead of washing them out.  The new camera is coming, the new camera is coming, the new camera is coming.

marykate and ashley socks revisited

25. March 2011 08:15
by Jobo
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FO Friday: Tassel-Hat!

25. March 2011 08:15 by Jobo | 0 Comments

A friend recently had a cute bouncing baby boy... so of course, I wanted to be able to make him something! 

feb 14 2011 024

feb 14 2011 022Baby hats are a great project for many reasons... Basically they are a quick knit, so instant gratification; they don't take up much yarn; and they are so stinking cute!

For this little hat, I mostly winged it using measurements from some other free square hat patterns.  I just cast on a guess at the right number of stitches to work in the round (the yarn is worsted weight 100% super soft hand dyed Merino... left over from these mittens)  worked about an inch in twisted rib then plain stockinette until I thought it was tall enough for a toddler noggin and cast off the top with a 3 needle Bindoff.  The tassels were an afterthough, but I really enjoyed working on them!  I had hoped to make a hat that might fit the little guy a little longer than just his newborn phases, so it is a little big, but almost fits the little dude already at just over a month old. 

I also made a pair of teensy mitts to match, with fluffy 100% Angora (Ruttiger Brand) yarn used as soft thrums.  Basically I didn't cut thrums, but I wove in the loosely plied single as if it was a thrum with short floats so that little fingers woudn't get stuck, but would still feel the warmth that Angora brings.  The mitts fit right away! (Sadly I was not smart enough to photograph them before giving them away)

Baby Liam is as cute as a button... and I hope someday I'll get to see him with his Tassel-hat on!

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