Jobo Designs

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

17. February 2012 05:57
by Jobo
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Startitis… and why I needed to start something new I’ll never get to work on…

17. February 2012 05:57 by Jobo | 0 Comments

- Stress is a funny thing… it makes us do strange things.  In the 6 weeks since my daughter was born I’ve gotten very little time to myself.  I often don’t manage to get cleaned up and have a shower before my husband gets home at suppertime;  I am so exhausted I need many naps throughout the day;  I spend many many hours trapped under a 10 lb cutie pie while she nurses. 

- Why-oh-why then did I need to start a new project?  My Monkey socks are still languishing (though they make an excellent purse-project, if I ever leave the house sans-infant again) and unfinished for the time being, staring at me from the coffee table like mean little orange beasts (neener neener… look at us sitting here, and you CANT work on us right now!). 

- One evening when my Mom was here visiting, she helped me wind a new skein of yarn into a ball, so that I’d have something pretty to play with once the socks were done.  This is, of course, assuming that they will ever actually *be* done… lol.

Erato in String Theory Black Cherry 1

- This is the yarn… and hence the reason I couldn’t resist it.  The yarn is so freaking pretty!  and cheery!  and bright shiny beautiful red!  (and contains cashmere) and in general makes me want to feel it up and carry it around with me in my pocket.  That’s how I knew *it* needed to become a scarf or a shawl or something that could literally walk around with me all day.  (also discussed in a previous post – linky)

- Yarn:  String Theory Caper Sock – in Black Cherry

- The Project:  Erato by Romi Hill which is one of the patterns from year 2 of the small shawls e-book. 

- I get email updates every time a new shawl becomes available… and it’s such a terrible tease!  I love all of the patterns, to the point of going into the stash and digging for yarn practically every time the ebook updates on Ravelry… though I don’t always follow through, bob-darnit, I have a skein of yarn that I think matches each and every pattern.  If only there were 28 hours in a day… and chocolate magically appeared in the bowl on my coffee table…

Erato in String Theory Black Cherry 2

- I haven’t made a lot of progress, though I’ve managed to cast on (win!) and work the first few charts (win win!) and get comfortable with the pattern in general so I don’t need to focus so darned hard (win win win!) 

- Side note:  sleep deprivation is cruel, and I am not a very smart or organized person on 2 hours of sleep.  Someone should tell my child this; she is ruining mommy’s knitting productivity.  Also, I have not yet devised a strategy to successfully knit while breastfeeding.  If you have a magic formula for this:  please advise!  (We could make a lot of money with that information!)

- My favorite part so far?  the little twisty cable columns!  So cute, and not that complicated now that I’ve done a few of them. 

- Bonus?  the majority of the rows are stockinette (score!) with just a few elements thrown in to keep things interesting.  Even sleep deprived new mommies can do stockinette (or so I keep telling myself between frogging sessions)

- Current location:  Chart E, starting 3rd repeat.  That leaves another E, F, G and H.  I might finish this shawl sometime in 2012… gosh I hope I get to knit enough to finish it before Romy graduates from college…

15. February 2012 09:36
by Jobo
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Monkey Socks? perfect knitting for Labor?

15. February 2012 09:36 by Jobo | 0 Comments

- I needed something easy but interesting to bring with me to the hospital work on the day that labor was induced? so I opted for another pair of Monkey Socks (Cookie A.)

- I had done these once before, so I knew the pattern was well written, and I also remembered that the basic construction was straightforward and I could work on them without really needing any paper pattern.  I took a photo of the main chart with my phone, so I?d have that to fall back on, but other than that, I just needed stitch counts to get started.

- I knit all morning while the contractions were getting started.  I worked the cuff, and then 3 repeats of the pattern design before things got too hairy and I needed to stop.  After the epidural I was exhausted and a little woozy, so I had to put the knitting away after that.

- Yarn:  Knitpicks Stroll Solid in Pumpkin                   - Needles:  2.5 mm Circular

Romy's Monkey 1

- Progress:  Normally I eat socks for breakfast.  I can knock off a whole pair of socks in a week or less when I?m feeling particularly focussed.  Compare that to now:  I finished sock number one around the 4 week post-partum mark? and sock number two is cast on, but only halfway to the heel so far.  At this rate, I?m looking at not finishing these until March sometime!  I?m finding that I?m gradually getting more time to myself with the little beasty having a little more independence, but still not what I was accustomed to? not by a long shot.  She is wonderful, but is seriously interfering with fiber and knit time!  sheesh kid!

- Strangely enough, it turns out that my Daughter, Romy is also a little Monkey.  I wonder if it?s a coincidence?  Or maybe she?s just following in her father?s footsteps.  He?s also a bit of a baboon sometimes *wink*

2. December 2011 15:07
by Jobo
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Haapsalu Shawl? or at the very least, an attempt at one

2. December 2011 15:07 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I have been in love with Estonian Lace from the second I laid eyes on it.  It doesn?t matter which pattern? a leaf, vine, geometric, lily of the valley, paw prints? I love them all.  It?s been in the back of my mind for years now that I neeeeeed to spin the finest yarn I can and go ahead and just knit one of these.  As close to the authentic ones as possible.  I know it will never be 100% right, as I can?t get the right materials here, and I?ll likely not be visiting Estonia anytime soon? but a girl can dream, Right?

At the last Maritime Handspinners? Retreat in October 2011, I bought an 8 ounce bag of Romney washed locks.  I wanted to try spinning for lace directly from the lock (as do some of the other lace spinning geniuses? ahem Margaret Stove cough) and see how well I could do with it.  This wool isn?t the softest one I?ve ever worked with, but the locks are overall quite clean, fairly free of VM, and have a nice bouncy texture.  I?ve been just flicking them open to untangle the tips, and going at it with a Bosworth Mini. 

So far, I think I?ve spun maybe 200 yards of it (very fine 2 ply) and just decided to cast on and give it a try in pattern to see if it ?works? or not.  I didn?t wash to set the yarn either.  I figure blocking will even that part out for me.  I?m not sure how much of the wool I?ve used so far, but there does seem to be a fair bit of loss.  I?m honestly just hoping that I?ll get enough for the shawl out of 4 ish ounces (since I?m estimating I?m losing 30 ? 40 % of the wool? that should be possible out of the 8 ounces).  My plan (if you can actually call it one) is to knit up this small sample ball and then measure and weigh it and extrapolate from there whether I?ll have enough to carry out the rest of the shawl.  I figure if I do run out? I can just make a borderless plain center panel.  That would still be quite striking, even without a border.

I?m using my Woody Knitters Straights size 3 mm, and I?m following the Haapsalu Shawl Book for the number of stitches, cast on recommendations, motifs, and general encouragement.  I chose to use the ?Double Lily of the Valley? chart as my main center design, with a 4 stitch garter border all around.  Then I?ll knit a border lace separately and sew it on to the central rectangle.  This aspect scares me a little, but I tried a sample tiny shawl last year, and my sewn on border looked ok in the end.

double lily of the valley haapsalu 2

As you can see? The little ball is going quite far.  I think I have enough to do the chart completely and probably another half dozen rows.  The shawl is going to be 141 stitches across (you?re only seeing a small portion here, since my needles aren?t that long) and features 3.5 repeats of the Double Lily of the Valley chart across.  To give you an idea of scale? remember that the needles are 3 mm, and I?ve posed a piece of the lace with a Canadian Dime (which is 18 mm diameter) for scale.  I found knitting with the ?thread? was a little bit tedious in the beginning, but I?m getting used to it now.  I had planned to try and work 2 ? 3 rows every day on it, but sadly I?ve gotten behind with all of the other holiday hub-bub.  I hope to get back at it in the new year, and also back into spinning more of this up.  The spinning itself has been quite enjoyable as well!  I?ll post more when progress has actually been made :)

double lily of the valley haapsalu

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