Jobo Designs

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

4. July 2011 10:57
by Jobo
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Yarn Candy Monday... More Lace Handspun

4. July 2011 10:57 by Jobo | 0 Comments

madli Swatch

Lately I've been gravitating towards ultra-thin, almost cobwebby handspun for lace.  I think maybe because I like getting the absolute most out of a pretty braid of fiber... that, and I love to knit lace in the first place! 

This - is from a bag of carded fiber from Belfast Mini Mills - a blend of Bamboo, Merino and Tussah Silk (percentages of which elude me at the moment)  I'm testing out a theory that I should be able to spin this very lightweight on my Russian Supported Spindle, and perhaps have enough out of the 4 ounce bag to make an estonian style haapsalu shawl... or at least something in that tradition.  I wanted to spin up a handful first and see how the finished yarn behaves before I go on to complete the whole bag.

The Yarn is a nice fine 2 ply... which shifts from light creamy green to denim blue and back and forth.  Basically the roving has a strip of each color side-by-side (will get more photos later) and as you spin back and forth across you get a blend.  When I started spinning, I noticed quite a few nepps and little blobs of the silk, which was a little disappointing.  I had hoped for an ultra-smooth spin, as one would usually find with bamboo and silk blend fibers.  I decided though, to just let it go - spin it as it comes - and try not to be too much of a control freak about everything.  I'm going to have to learn to let go a bit with the whole baby thing, so why not start now?  (Jobo - you can't control every aspect of the world... lol)madli thread swatch

I decided to try a swatch from Knitted Lace of Estonia, since that's what was on my coffee table at the time... though I will likely go back to the Haapsalu Shawl Book when the yarn is completed and I'm ready for the official cast on.  I plan to do the basic rectangle, with the vine lace and nupps, and the standard garter stitch border, then maybe a knitted border sewn on afterwards, sanity and remaining yarn notwithstanding.  This swatch was knit on 2.75 mm dpns (since also, this is what was on my coffee table!)

The resulting lace yarn has some lumps and bumps in it.  The colors come at you randomly (only blended a little by the 2-ply's effect) and I wasn't sure if the lace stitches would cover up and complement some of this effect, or hide the lace completely.  I think the finished swatch is alright... definitely less muddy than I might have guessed it would be.  I think it's promising enough to finish spinning up the bag this way, and then cast on and see how it goes.

What do you think?  does the yarn mask the lace too much?

10. June 2011 12:12
by Jobo
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Laminaria... in BFL Silk Handspun

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

Purple Butterfly BFL Silk BraidI've been working along on this... a few rows at a time - Using the nice shiny smooth handspun from "Purple Moth" Wings n' Things Fiber club from Allforloveofyarn (Shown at the left, to refresh your memory of the lovely purply pinkishness)

The yarn itself is coming along pretty well... though I guess you might call it "thread" over yarn really.  My first spindle full was 17g and yielded 170 yards of nice fine 2 ply.  I decided I would do a smaller amount to test first and make sure it was turning out as planned.  I hope to be able to put a bunch more on for the next couple of skeins... maybe as much as 40 - 50 g before winding off?  If the calculation holds true, I should be able to get 900 - 1000 yards from this 112 g braid - which should be lots and lots!

Normally Laminaria is knit from a regular laceweight yarn on size 3.5 - 3.75 mm needles.  Since my yarn is a bit finer, I decided I would use slightly smaller needles (my 3 mm Woody Knitters Needles to be exact)  that way the finished piece wouldn't be too airy.  I really like the way the wood needles grip the thread, and creates such a nice feel for the knitting process.  I know if I was working on steel needles I'd knit tighter, so I figure that my loose knitting on the smaller wood needles shouldn't be that bad.  Either way, I'm going to have lots and lots of yarn (the original large pattern only calls for 600 ish yards of yarn) so if the shawl isn't looking big enough when I reach the point where you normally switch to the border transition... I'll just do more repeats!  How's that for knitting on the fly?

The spinning itself is taking place on a Zebisis stone whorl spindle... I've never actually weighed it though, so I can't tell you the exact weight.  I'd say it's around 1 ounce, based on behavior and comparison to my Golding.  It took a little practice to get used to working without a notch in the whorl, but I think I've gotten the hang of it now, and the yarn is fairly consistent.  The second cop is in progress as my current travel spinning project.  I've been working on it during lunch break and when waiting.  I had better get going on it though... the first 170 yards has almost been knit up!

purple moth spindle

I've completed the first section of the pattern:  the star stitch portion.  I like the texture of this stitch, though I bet it will flatten out a lot during blocking.  I'm finding the yarn size vs needle size to be satisfactory so far.  This stitch pattern is supposed to be more dense than the lacy open part... so I guess I won't know until I get some lacy bits whether I will be completely satisfied.  I've gotten over half of the transition section done, but that's mostly just more star stitch.  Hopefully tonight I will be able to progress more into the flower lace section and see how that's going to look!

Laminaria star stitch section

2. May 2011 08:47
by Jobo
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Yarn Candy Monday - Superfine Finery

2. May 2011 08:47 by Jobo | 0 Comments

On my quest for the Haapsalu Shawl..... I've been looking at various fine yarns, to try and find some suitable product to try a prototype shawl before I set out to spin my own and make one entirely from scratch!  I found this soft, white, superfine beauty from Webs!  It's Filatura Di Crossa - Centolavaggi... a 2 ply, very fine, Italian superwash Merino lace yarn.  How fine?  100 g has 1531 yards... hopefully an acceptable amount for a very Nupp embellished full sized Haapsalu Shawl.  Time will tell... I guess :)

filatura di crossi white yarn fine

filatura di crossi white yarn

This stuff is so light and fine... it practically floats in your hand!  The winding process was fairly straightforward (i.e. no knots or messes) but because of the fantastic yardage - took the better part of an hour!  The Merino is very bouncy and luxurious :)  I hope it works out fine for the desired project.

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