Jobo Designs

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

6. July 2009 18:51
by Jobo
1 Comments

Finished... Camel / Tussah Silk Blend yarn

6. July 2009 18:51 by Jobo | 1 Comments

As part of my adventure participating in my first Tour de Fleece one of my goals was to finish spinning this: 



A deliciously soft and creamy 50 : 50 Blend of Tussah Silk and Camel!

I had picked this up while Honeymooning in New Brunswick the end of June, and simply could not wait to dig in... so I worked my way through it a little bit at a time (literally a handful here and there) and to be honest I'm a little sad that it's all spun up... 4 ounces was definetly not enough he he...

Here are the finished Stats:

I managed to spin up 2 x 2 ounce bobbins of singles about as thin and even as I ever have.  The silk really added a lot of strength to the fluffy camel down and really allowed me to go thinner than I'm used to.  Even though the single was fine, it felt solid and strong.  



Then I plied the two strands together.  I thought for sure that I would be able to fit the whole thing on one bobbin - I must have been crazy!  I probably got 3/4 of the fiber on the bobbin, but in the end had to give in and start a new one.  I hate tying in ends, so that was my main reason for the bobbin gluttony and trying to squeeze an excess on there in the first place.  I guess this is all the more motivation for me to go and order that lace kit and the jumbo bobbins for my Traveller... sigh.  I'd love to have those items but was trying to hold off as long as possible because of the cost associated.


thats a freaking full bobbin... and I still put a bunch more on there before I gave up and started a second!

From there I took a moment to breathe (as one wise raveller put it:  "was the rest for the singles? or for you?") and used my new fangled handy-dandy homemade WPI gauge to measure my yarn - averaging approximately 23-24 WPI.  I also counted the wraps on my niddy noddy while skeining to get an idea at yardage.  I know my NN gives about 5 feet per wrap, had 330 wraps - approximately 1600 feet or 550 yards of yarn.  So this places my yarn at a lace weight, and I think I have enough to make a really nice scarf or something.  


thats one big fatty of a skein!

The feel of this yarn is out of this world!  It's silky and smooth, but light also.  The camel gave it lots of squish and bounce, but still feels like silk too.  I think this will be really fun to work with.  I'm half thinking of waiting to use this until I have designed something decent and original of my own... since it would be a shame to waste this on any old mundane thing.  I will have to keep hunting for the perfect pattern in the mean time...  Anyone have any suggestions?


a close up (yarn pr0n! gotta love it)

and starting tomorrow to continue the Tour de Fleece... I plan on doing some carding.  I have a bunch of blendables that I think should be in a batt together:

     White Superfine Merino

     Cream Soy Silk

     Snow White Bamboo Fiber

     White and Fawn Angora

Happy Spinning everyone :)

 

7. June 2009 10:33
by Jobo
0 Comments

Spinning Shetland on a Saturday in the Sun... say that 5 times fast!

7. June 2009 10:33 by Jobo | 0 Comments

It was beautiful outside yesterday, and since the Husbeast-to-be was off playing golf with his boys, the house was wonderfully quiet...

So I snuck outside with my wheel to finish playing with that Shetland wool that had been calling my name.  (psst... hey you!  yeah you, spinner girl!  get your butt over here and play with us!  you know you wannnnnnaaaaaa...)

So I spun more singles, and measured them against my gauge... and then plied some more and more... until finally it was all done!

Usually I have a difficult time waiting until the yarn has been rinsed and the twist set.  I have patience issues - wanna touch it NOW want to knit it NOW! (I could be a 2 year old... )  But I did manage this time to hold on.  I really wanted to be able to count on the yardage I calculate, since that kindof dictates what kind of mittens I can make for Dad out of it (aka will I have enough yarn? or will I need to use a different one for the cuffs?)

Here she is soaking in a nice hot bath



Because a few parts of the batts were still a tiny bit greasy, I decided to do a bit of a Dawn wash.  Really just one "wash" and several hot water rinses.  I also wanted this yarn to shrink now, rather than later.  Thats why I chose to use hot water.  (how hot?  hot enough that I couldn't keep my hands in it for very long)



After the washing comes the drying... on a beautiful day like this, my yarn dried in a few hours.  I'm sure the fact that I wrang it out in one of those Super Shammy things didn't hurt either!  Those things suck up water from wool like a dream... I use them to remove the excess water from my wool sweaters after washing in the winter when the drying conditions are really poor around here.



It wasn't completely dry yet, but I couldn't resist another pic or two.  As I had hoped, the yarn turned out quite squishy and bouncy.  Not a bit of "itchy" or "scratchiness" in it at all! (Sorry Bart, no Itchy and Scratchy here!)  Very Soft even while still wet... I couldn't wait for it to be dry and see what it would feel like then!



And here we are... all Balled up!  Sitting like 3 ducks in a row outside by my veggie garden (which needs serious planting by the way, which is hard to muster when you know you will be moving anyways before harvest, well hopefully anyways)  It seemed that from the messiness and unevenness of the skeins after drying that perhaps the yarn did shrink some, so re-balling seemed the way to go before trying to measure the yardage attained.

During the unwinding of the skeins, I took the opportunity to measure the WPI of the finished yarn.  Yesterday using a ruler and the back of an old cereal box (no, not very hi-tech)  I cut out a basic WPI gauge to try and see how even my yarn turned out.  I had been very diligent trying to keep the size of my single even, so I was anxious to see if my careful attention had paid off...

I took 3 measurements at random intervals of each skein so I could get an average measurement. 

Skein One - 9 WPI        Skein Two - 9.5 WPI     Skein Three - 8.75 WPI

So all three were quite close to the 9 WPI I had hoped for... and of course there were some thicker and thinner bits in each skein, so I hope everything evens out in the knitting process.



Reskeined and resting in this morning's hot sun!  It is going to be another lovely sunny day around here.  I think summer has finally arrived (thank goodness)

The next part of the adventure was to see how many yards of yarn I ended up with.  I wasn't sure how much fiber I should buy to get enough to make a pair of man's mittens.  My dad doesn't have massive hands or anything, which is good probably, because I didn't end up with quite as much as I thought I would.  

Some time ago, I had calculated that my niddy noddy makes a skein with wraps approximately 60 inches around, or 5 feet.  So measuring yardage, all I had to do was measure how many wraps of the niddy I got, and multiply each wrap by 5 feet and that should give me the number of feet.

For you Math Yarnies... I'll do my work

      111 wraps (counting all 3 skeins) x 5 feet = 555 feet

      1 yard = 3 feet       so 555 feet divided by 3 = 185 yards

 



All finished!  here she is with all 3 skeins wrapped together for fun.  Don't you think she looks bigger that way?  Now all I have to do is measure dad and make some gauge swatches to see what needles will show off the yarn best and those mittens will be not far off.  At this point, if I am following an established pattern, I can make both mittens in less than a week (depending on how much time I am allowed to spend knitting that week) so this pair will likely take a little longer, but I can't see it taking much time at all.



One more gratuituous yarn picture, because I can.  I call this yarn "New Asphalt" because it has the same shiny lustrous dark black colour as a newly paved driveway... and some nice silvery accents like the sun is hitting it.  I think this name is exceptionally fitting because my Dad actually paved driveways for 35 years before moving on to a less physically demanding job last year at a provincial campground (which he likes very much, teasing tourists and maintaining the grounds)

More on the mitten process as I go along!

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