Jobo Designs

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

21. November 2011 09:12
by Jobo
0 Comments

Fiddlehead Mittens? in Chroma

21. November 2011 09:12 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I made a pair of hand-dyed, hand-spun and hand-knit Fiddlehead mittens last year . It was an epic project, and every step was done by hand.  I love the results (which you can see here)  but when someone asked if I could make another pair, I didn’t really feel up to the challenge of doing it all the hard way again.  Don’t get me wrong - the first pair was a complete joy, it’s just that if I go through all of those steps to make another pair of mittens, I’ll likely want to be creating something more unique in the end.  I don’t tend to make the same thing more than once.

So, then the hunt began for some suitable yarn.  I could do as the pattern says, and just buy the 6 different colors and this would have been fine also, but I would have enough yarn to make like 4 more pairs (if the second pair is an unwelcome thought, believe me, the 3rd and 4th pairs would simply not get done) and there really isn’t any point in that. 

Then it occurred to me that I could get a color changing / color gradient yarn and use it for the contrast strand instead of all of the different solids!  I knew I wouldn’t really want to use something like Noro (both for the price, and the unpredictability of color sequencing) but there are a lot of different options out there now.  I can’t remember the name of the one I saw at Michael's but I believe it was mostly acrylic, so I didn’t bother looking any harder at it for this project.  I bet it would work lovely too (I think it was Impeccable, something like that).  The next yarn I saw that fit the bill was the new Knit Picks Chroma Worsted.  From the catalog, it looked like there were repeating colors in the ball, and there was also a white or chocolate brown option for the solid to match.  I figured this was a perfect chance to try it out, so I ordered a ball of the cream/natural and a contrasting ball with a variety of greens/blues/purples called “pool party”

Chroma Fiddleheads

So far things seem to be working out quite well.  I like the texture and softness of the yarn (though I don’t think it’s really all that rough and tumble it’s a barely together single really) and the way the gradient is running through the design.  The colors are different enough for the nice swirl pattern to still stand out.  I’ll be interested to see how the lighter green holds up in contrast to the white in the end. 

I’ve made it up past the thumb on the first mitten, and plan on finishing the pair for sure.  I am really enjoying doing colorwork on a pair of long circulars too no gaps in between DPNS, and no fussing with the beginning and ends of rows.  I still very much like working with DPNS, but circulars certainly have their advantages too! 

As the mitten progresses, I’ll post again!  I think these are going to look great in the end!

5. October 2009 10:14
by Jobo
6 Comments

Fiddlehead Mittens... Still in the Mitten Prepping Stages

5. October 2009 10:14 by Jobo | 6 Comments

Some time ago I saw this amazing pair of mittens...

David's Handspun Fiddleheads

                                                        Photo Courtesy of David, at Southern Cross Fibre

 

That's when I knew that SOMEDAY I would have to make a pair too.  I think what struck me particularly about David's pair is the fact that the yarn colours were so cheery, and the mittens looked so well made and luxuriously soft.  Imagine my surprise when I went on to stalk read that they were made from his own Handspun yarn too!  (you can read all about it on his blog - here )

So I set out to try and come up with my own ideas about color and fibre to try and make a pair for myself.  I have some really fine, soft merino in my stash, so I think that's the natural choice for my main fiber, but I think an Angora Blend will add some luxury for the lining.  (see last post for more about my lining designing!)

I wasn't at all sure how much fiber I would need for each part, so I started studying the specific yarns called for in the pattern (Fiddlehead Mittens - Hello Yarn) and checked on Ravelry project pages to see what kinds of yarns other people had used.  Both original yarns were approximately 11 - 12 WPI (wraps per inch) and considered about a DK or Sport Weight.  In some ways it is kind of fun to try and "match" a required yarn with my own handspun.  Makes me feel like I am finally able to use my skills, and that all of the Wooly-Internet-Surfing has finally paid off?

David used about an ounce of each of the 5 contrasting colors for his mittens, so I started there.  Because I was afraid that I might lose/waste some of the fiber and be in trouble, I decided to use a little more than he did - about 2 ounces and hope that it makes enough for two pairs in the end.  For the lining I carded up about 4.5 ounces of merino/angora.  I think I will spin up all of the individual colors before I do the Main color, and hopefully I will be able to extrapolate a fiber quantity from my experience with the other parts.

Here is what my final swatch of Angora Merino (10% / 90%) looks like - at around 11 - 12 WPI, I think it will work just fine.  I've carried the swatch around in my pocket for a few days, hoping to bloom the angora halo of the yarn similar to what a little wear will look like.  It doesn't seem to be getting pilly or anything, but the light angora halo is definetly starting to come out.  At first I was a little disappointed with the greyish-oatmeal color, but I think it is growing on me.  For a lining (where hands, and dirt may enter) it's Probably best that the lining isn't pure white anyways.

The next step was to choose some colors and dye up some wool for the 5 contrasting colors.  (My main color will be a natural white wool)  I have a very minimal selection of Landscape Dyes, so for this project my colors were limited.  I want to achieve heathery shades similar to David's so I settled on dyeing the roving in a "kettle" fashion, where the wool would be semisolid and then I'll card it to mix up the darker and lighter shades. 

As for Dyeing process... I had read a post a while back (sorry I forget who posted it!) in a dyeing group on Ravelry, that another user would sometimes just shove the wool into a big jar with some hot dye solution and let the color wick from the bottom of the jar up the wool.  If done correctly, the wool would be darkest near the bottom of the jar, since it would have had the most contact with the wool and things would get lighter near the top.  I have been saving the 12 ounce Jars that Spaghetti sauce comes in just for this purpose... sorry I forgot to take pictures of the wool in process

Here is what I ended up with!  You can sort of see in the picture how the color is more of a semisolid with some lighter and darker bits.  I had folded up the roving accordion style, so when it went into the jar there was a repeating dark/light pattern.  I made sure to put Hot wool (soaking in hot water) into the jars full of hot dye bath to avoid felting.  After the wool was in, and comfy of course, I filled the sink with water as hot as the tap would allow, and stood the jars in the sink and left the whole thing to steep for about an hour.  (I refilled the sink with hot water about halfway through)  It was surprising just how hot it stayed in the jars.   After the hour, when I rinsed, there was quite a bit of dye runoff which was disappointing.  I had eyeballed how much dye to use.  Must really go out and buy scale sometime. 

Now I am waiting for them all to dry (were still damp this morning) so I can start carding them up.  I think I will try carding each colour alone first, and if there isn't a heathery enough feel, I might throw in a few handfuls of natural merino just to give it some contrast.   Speaking of which... this means I should probably clean out my drum carder too.  Sigh.  Always more cleaning isn't there?

It's nice to have a new project to daydream about :)

Powered by BlogEngine.NET | Theme: Yoko by Elmastudio, adapted by onesoft

Top