Jobo Designs

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

17. December 2010 05:25
by Jobo
2 Comments

Norwegian Mittens for Dad... finally rounding the bend

17. December 2010 05:25 by Jobo | 2 Comments

back of dad's mitts fish

You might remember... way back when... I had started making some Norwegian mittens for my Dad, but I got stuck.  I was using KnitPicks Pallete yarn, which is a little thinner than I have ever used for stranded knitting.  I know other people love the stuff, but I couldn't seem to get my gauge just right, and ended up frustrating myself.  I really liked the way the knitting worked out, and the way the patterns were showing, but my gauge was wonky, and I was knitting more stitches in a round than I ever have for mittens.  Needless to say, these hibernated for quite a while...

Then Christmas was coming.  fast.  darnnit.

So I decided I should rework my pattern, get some bigger yarn, like I am used to using, and just get the darn things finished.  It's the only thing that Dad has asked me to make him, like ever, and I don't want to let him down.

I went out and got some Paton's Classic Wool... which is a light worsted, but knits up great stranded on about a 3.5 - 3.75 mm needle.  It's kind of like my old faithful when it comes to yarn.  It's wool, it's dependable, and it seems to always work out for me.

I borrowed the fish motif from the Fisherman's Friend Mittens by Jorid Linvik, and the dog motif from Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by Sheila MacGregor... and rearranged them and tweaked them to make a pair of man sized, "trigger" mittens.  (i.e. where the pointer finger has it's own glove like finger and the rest of the fingers share a spot)

I am more pleased now with the way things are going together.  I think dad will love them too!

 

dad's mittens dog

I'm hoping to get the pair completed soon... I only have the thumbs and the tops of the main finger area left to do... and then to tie in the ends of course, and block them.  I currently don't have any man sized mitten blockers, and certainly not any to fit trigger mittens.  I guess I'll have to do the cardboard cutout thing again and cover them with plastic wrap.  Someday I'd like to buy more blockers, but that would mean making up my mind about what sizes and materials I should get.  sigh.  No more major decisions until after the holidays, k?  tks.

13. March 2010 16:48
by Jobo
11 Comments

Another 198 Yds of Heaven... in Patons SWS

13. March 2010 16:48 by Jobo | 11 Comments

teresas shawl 6

Having worked this pattern before... I knew exactly what I was getting into as far as the actual knitting part goes.  I had not had the occasion to knit with Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) before though... so that was a pretty new experience.

SWS Yarn 

Basically, this yarn is like a big soft wooly single - a big fat worsted weight yarn.  I can see why people use it for felting.  When it is first knit it does show pretty nice stitch definition for a single-type yarn, but I can imagine that it would felt nicely into a fuzzy wooly felt without too much trouble.  I discovered near the end of the shawl just how easy it was to wet-felt splice the end of a ball together with the new strand... just by splitting apart the ends, feathering them together, wetting them, and rolling between my hands I was able to make some pretty solid joins!  Unfortunately, I didn't realize this until I had already had to weave in half a dozen ends... oh well :)

 

Just knowing the high Feltability (is that a word?) of the yarn, I will have to be sure and educate the eventual owner of this shawl that it should be washed with cold water only and with very little (no) agitation... or this shawl may become a felted mess!

The reason I chose this yarn is a little convoluted.  I had gone into a yarn store looking for something a) in a blue/grey/black, b) something worsted weight-ish, c) something that was made of natural fiber and warm.  The original 198 yds. of Heaven pattern used a worsted weight wool, so I thought I would take my chances on this.  I used the entirety of 4 balls... there are 5-6 very short pieces left and that is it.  I even ended up splicing a few pieces to complete the cast off.  It was close... I thought I would have to rip back a row and cast off again it was *so* close.

teresas shawl 2

Before blocking, I wasn't sure if the shawl would be large enough.  The Recipient wanted it to be large, wooly and thick.  When it came off the needles, it measured 56 x 24 inches, but after a soak, stretch and rest the finished shawl blocked to 66 x 36 inches.  Perfect size! 

  teresas shawl 10

 

The final texture was a nice mix of thick warm stockinette panels and lacy open YOs.  The Arrowhead pattern really stands out pleasingly from the garter stitch bars and ladders of Yarn-Overs.  This lace pattern would be a good one for anyone who wants to get more comfortable with lace stitches, because it uses a good mix of stitches but does so in a predictable and easy to follow pattern of those stitches.  It is easy to see what the next "move" is and where the patter is going.

 

When I started out on this pattern I had test-driven a couple needle sizes to see the possible fabric textures... I settled on the 6mm circulars for the perfect mix of solid/lace.

 

The last time I knit this pattern I ran out of yarn before I was able to complete the border charts... I really liked the way the border completed the shawl.  The "points" turned out perfect!  I am a complete sucker for the finished curves and points on a shawl :)

 

 

 

teresas shawl 11

Here is a photo to give you an idea of the finished size... it stretches most of the way across my sofa!  aaaaand it matches my living room decor!?  how weird is that?

teresas shawl 13

More gratuitous post blocking photos!  There are the lovely points again!  For the first stitch of each row I slipped a stitch "purlwise" with yarn in back and then continued on.  I learned this technique on another shawl, and have translated it into many other projects.  The resulting edge has a nice "finished" look... almost braided.

teresas shawl 4

And here she is all ready for pickup!  All in all, I was very pleased with this project, and I hope Teresa likes it too :)

15. January 2010 08:00
by Jobo
1 Comments

Shawl-la-la!

15. January 2010 08:00 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Here is a sneak peek of a shawl I've been working on the last week or so... getting ready to finish it up soon!

Yes folks, it is another "198 yds of Heaven" Shawl but this time not made from handspun.  I decided to try a commercial yarn to make this one, but still wanted the yarn to have a unique feel.  I originally went out looking for Malabrigo Worsted, and the only color that I could find was a butter yellow - which would have been ok if the shawl was for myself, but the person I am making it for isn't a yellow person.  So instead I ended up with Patons Soy Wool Stripes (SWS) in color "Natural Denim".  The ball band says it is Medium Weight (4) but I think it's likely a little bit bigger around than a standard worsted weight yarn.  That's ok for a project like a shawl though, where gauge isn't really crucial in the end.  The only thing that really matters size-wise here is that it has a decent wingspan, and the intended recipient wants to be able to wrap herself up for warmth as well as fashionability.  The yarn itself is pretty soft and silky... and the fact that it is a "singles" style yarn is resulting in excellent stitch definition.  I particularly like the way that the bars of garter stitch are showing up between the arrowhead lace panels, as you can see below.  I also really love the way the YO's are resulting in nice big open eyelets :)

Seeing as how Sock Wars V begins tomorrow evening, this may be the last shawl type cast on you will see for a week or so... depending on how long it takes me to polish of my target ;)

Sws 198 Yds pins Sws 198 Yds  

Sws 198 Yds sexy YOs Sws 198 Yds closeup

1. Testing out my progress... shawl pinned to faux suede couch cushion.  2. Sample of the lace pattern close up... showing denim color fading to pewter grey.  3. "eyelets" formed by the rows of YO's... I especially like the twisty laddders.  4.  Another view of the lace panel and the graduated colors as they stripe in the finished product.

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