Jobo Designs

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

7. August 2009 18:24
by Jobo

Not Mary Kate and Ashley Socks (and her Royal Highness: Queen Kitchner)

7. August 2009 18:24 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Another pair of socks off the needles... and even got all the ends woven in and worked a successful kitchener toe!

I used to be really afraid of toe-grafting, but I think I am finally over it.  I think part of the reason I always felt like I was awful at kitchener was that I thought the toe should look "finished" as you go... and after some reading of help sites and tips from other people I realized that most people work the toe and then have to gently tighten and bring the stitches together.  When the graft was first done, it looked like a messy unorganized pile of stitches, but after inserting my blunt yarn needle carefully into each stitch all the way across and nudging each stitch into place, (similar to tightening shoe laces) my graft is indistinguishable from the rest of the knit toe.  even the ends of the graft are clean and disappear once the end is woven inside. 

No longer will I shy away from traditional sock patterns for fear of her Royal Highness Queen Kitchener!  and neither should you!

My favorite How-to-Kitchener article is this one from Knitty:  clear, concise, useful, and with great pictures too!   With some careful attention and patience, I was able to work the graft following these directions step-by-step the first time through.

All in all, very satisfied with my second pair of Jaywalkers, and also with the striping/patterning in the yarn.  I think yarn made with this technique almost looks like it has watercolours splashed on... with the gentle blending and shifting colours.

3. August 2009 09:42
by Jobo

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 :)

26. July 2009 11:09
by Jobo

Hi, my name is Jobo, and I am a New-Project-a-Holic...

26. July 2009 11:09 by Jobo | 1 Comments

why is it that when you finish one project... you often feel the desire and inspiration to start a couple more?

Yesterday I finally finished another pair of thrum mittens that had been sitting on the needles for a few monthes hibernating... which felt good :)  I always like knowing that I finally completed something, that it turned out, and that another project is tidied up.  (The pile of UFO's is rather large these days, I take my small victories where I can!)  Then in the happy afterglow of a successful finished object.... it hit me!  Gee, you have that sock yarn you just finished... and a whole bunch of great ideas!  Cast on Cast on!

So I folded like a cheap suit... and I cast on another pair of socks:

Not Mary Kate and Ashley - Jaywalkers

armed with my latest sock yarn creation, I set out to find an acceptable pattern.  I knew that since the yarn was spun from handpainted roving, that the 2 balls were nowhere near identical.  Some people apparently have a compulsion to always wear socks that match perfectly - I on the other hand have worn mismatched socks since highschool.  Now when heading off to work, or somewhere serious, generally my socks match, but the idea that homemade socks can be more Fraternal twins and still be ok is fine by me.  I know other knitters who carefully align yarns to make self striping socks with identical lines, toes and heels.  For this pair my plan is to just knit, and see what happens.  Mary-Kate and Ashley might be indecipherally identical, but these Jaywalkers won't be!

I wanted a design that would keep me interested (aka not plain ribbing or stockinette) but one where the yarn's gradual changes and variations would be lost in heavy patterning either.   Even though I had just barely finished a pair of Jaywalkers, for some reason the elements of that particular pattern kept sticking in my mind.

Pattern in hand, I began to "swatch" - aka cast on the first part of the pattern, knit a few rows and see if the size looks appropriate.  My yarn is a little larger than standard sock yarn, but then again, the Fleece Artist Merino I had just worked with felt a little thick compared to some others I had worked with.  Following the pattern as is, my sock would have been very large, too large for me anyways, so I decided to modify things a little.  Instead of having 7 stitches between each inc/dec fot he pattern row, I decided to decrease to 5 stitches, and see how it went.  This meant I started with casting on 60 stitches instead of 76.

So far they look pretty good, but now I am afraid they might be too small.  When I slide the sock over my foot, I can get it on, but there is a little resistance in going over my heel.  Others have remarked that because of the inelasticity of the zigzag fabric,  that it can be a bit tough to get the socks over the heel, but that they feel good after that point.  I think I will knit on past a heel and see what it feels like to put on after that point.  Something tells me though that I will have to frog and start over with 68 stitches.  Will keep you posted on that!

I am really happy with the effect created with the pattern... subtle zigzags in colours that fade from yellow to pink, with hints of green and beige in there too.  It is fun to knit along, and see that in the last 10 rows I have knitted such gentle and blended waves.  I am pleased to see that my hand spun yarn is even, and smooth.  Marky said that you would almost think I knew what I was doing!  ( I guess that's a compliment? )

I even like the way the slip stitch heel looks!  Anyways, I should go and play outside, it's beautiful and sunny outside today for a change.  I might even go knit outside (though I should probably be cutting the lawn instead... gross)


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