Jobo Designs

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

10. August 2009 10:39
by Jobo

Golding Spindle - amazed beyond words!

10. August 2009 10:39 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I knew just from seeing photographs of Golding spindles that I wanted to have one of my own someday... but seriously folks, this is a Niiiicccceee spindle!

Like a kid in the candy shop, I arrived at the post office to pick up my new toy, and was so excited that I had the box torn open and was digging inside before the lady at the desk was even able to find my name in the received log!  Gently wrapped in tissue paper in all her glory - my new spindle!

From the moment I unwrapped it, it was obvious that this spindle was made by a seriously talented craftsman.  All wood surfaces are baby's-bottom smooth and pleasing to the touch. The bronze alloy accents add just enough gleam to compliment the walnut.  Classy. 


So I was obviously in love the second I saw it... but how does it spin?  Like a dream. 

Compared to the primitive old crappy thing I had been using before (made from a child's wooden toy wheel and a piece of dowel) the Golding feels so refined and professional.  The shaft has little grooves cut into the wood to help improve grip when giving the spindle a flick start - it feels like it takes no effort at all to get it started.  And once the spindle has started spinning... the balanced whorl just keeps going and going forever.  Even though I am not a very experienced spindler, I can draft all the way to the floor when working in the standing position (thats like 3.5 feet) and there is still plenty of spin potential.  Having the weight distributed in a ring around the perimeter of the whorl makes the spinning effortless.  Even the hook feels balanced.  Every stage of the spinning process is a delight working on this spindle.  I guess having quality tools to work with really makes a difference!?  Gotta love tools that are beautiful AND functional.

For my first project on the Golding I decided to use up my last braid of Fleece Artist Merino/Silk Sliver - blues and greens in the colours of the ocean.  I thought this might be a good thing to start with because of the clingyness of the preparation.  I found that the fibers weren't too slippery, and hopefully I wouldn't drop my beautiful new spindle on the floor too many times.  This is the third braid of this fiber that I had bought to learn on as one of my first fiber projects.


The resulting 2 cops of singles are quite thin, a thin laceweight likely.  My goal is to make a really airy gossamer scarf with it.  Something pretty and lacy.  I know I don't have much yardage, but that's ok - just because I live in Canada doesn't mean I want a hundred big bulky warm scarves!  I skeined and washed the singles last night, and they are hanging off the back of the bathroom door at home waiting patiently for me to get home from work tonight and ball them up.  The colours are sooooo beautiful... like waves on the ocean in every shade of sun-kissed blue green and turquoise.  Will post more pics later on :)

Bottom line:

- Thinking about investing in a Golding Spindle?  Go for it.  This is amazing craftsmanship, and worth every penny.  Every time I pick it up, I have a difficult time to put it down... kind of like putting down a good book.  This Spindle is my new favorite fiber tool!

Golding Fiber Tools


4. January 2009 15:26
by Jobo

I Got 'Mooned'! Lantern Moon Double Pointed Sock Needles

4. January 2009 15:26 by Jobo | 3 Comments

Isn't Christmas fun? and New Years?  and isn't all the holiday hubbub exhausting?

As much as I hate to admit it, its nice to be back to a regular routine again... Some people find January cold and dark and boring, but I think this year, that means perfect circumstances for me to stay in, get cozy, and stay comfy on the couch.  This year's homemade Christmas gifts went over well enough that I think I will try and get a move on early, and finish up a few presents that I can give away next year to some of the more difficult to buy for family members.  Yarn is ordered, patterns chosen.  Maybe I'll stay organized this year?  who knows.

On the Knitting frontier... I finally got around to testing out those Lantern Moon Double Pointed Needles I bought when I was on Vacation in Las Vegas back in November.  I'm not exactly sure why it took me so long to whip them out, but quite an unexpected change from the boring old steel needles from Walmart that I have been accustomed to. 

Specifically, I am using size US 0 / 2 mm Ebony Double Pointed 6 inch needles (you can see all of Lantern Moon's products here) paired up with the Chocolatey Brown Cascade Heritage Sock yarn I also bought while I was away.

First Impression:  Wow these things are bendy compared to steel needles!  In fact I was a little afraid at first that I would break them, because they felt so malleable in my hands.  Think of skewering firm vegetables for kabobs in the summertime... those skewers feel pretty weak, but are actually stronger than they feel.  After knitting a few rows, I think I learned to hold them a little bit differently, because the initial fear of toothpick-snapping passed.

Second Impression:  Warm and Cozy.  I never really noticed just how COLD metal needles are.  While I was working on my first toe, I grabbed a spare metal needle sitting on the coffee table to use to untie a knot in my foundation crochet chain, and there was a noticable Chill to it, whereas the ebony needles always feel warm, and natural.  I suppose that coolness is to be expected from a bare metal product, but the awareness of it is news to me.  Also, these things are as light as a feather.  The whole set of 5 ebony needles is quite light compared with a similar sized steel needle.  I noticed no rough areas on any of the 5 needles, and felt Zero catching on the soft Merino Sock yarn.  The points were not excessive, but sufficient to do some lace stitches with no problems.  I am not sure I would want to do any tight knitting or complicated stitch work with them at this point though, because of the bendy nature, I would be afraid to put too much pressure on them.  I am also afraid of breaking them in my purse (c'mon... don't most people carry some sort of knitting project with them at all times?  geez.)

So once I got over the basic fear of breaking essentially a 5$ toothpick (a set of 5 DPN's retails for a little over 22$USD compared with the same sized steel needles from a department store retailling at around 3-5 $ a set) I think I am really going to enjoy the switch.. though affording a set of every size may take some saving up.  At this point, I have a set or two of virtually every size in Steel collected!  The only real issue I see with the Lantern Moon Needles is the durability of the product for the cost.  There are no retaillers in my direct area that sell this product, so I am limited to local purchases of steel or bamboo needles, or mail ordering or buying on the internet, and snail mail is definetly too slow if you want to start a new project this upcoming weekend.

Final Rating - 2 Thumbs Up!

Anyhoo!  That's the scoop for today!  Being at work at the Hospital all weekend has made me crave an evening of TV watching and spinning/knitting, which I will be heading off to do really really soon.  1 hour to go!

Happy "Kn"ew Year


19. November 2008 00:46
by Jobo

Adventures in Las Vegas: Wooly Wonders

19. November 2008 00:46 by Jobo | 0 Comments

More Yarn Envy... While in Las Vegas on vacation the first of November, of course I had to seek out local yarn shoppes while I was there (duh!) 

I used Ravelry as a resource to find stores nearby, and found a little spot called Wooly Wonders - which advertised yarn, knitting supplies, and some spinning equipment and fiber. 

Main Store Section!  look at all that yarn... I guess they do classes too! 

Of course, I was mainly on the lookout for original items, patterns, gadgets, yarn, etc.  There was a great selection of any kind of yarn you could imagine... balls and skeins and floss OH MY!  I almost purchased enough Debbie Bliss Cashmerino to make myself something reaaaaaly niiiiice, but reined myself in and put it back :P  The sales clerk working was very friendly and knowledgeable, and was great to show me everything I had asked for.  They had lots of selection of knitting needles also, including some really cute hand made ones with clay heads!  The blue jays especially caught my eye, and the apples with ladybugs resting on them.

Since I've been on a sock knitting kick, I did pick up some sock yarn (mmm bamboo sock yarn), and some Lantern Moon Ebony Wood DPN's as a treat for myself.

While the spinning section was abysmal, I was kindly encouraged by the sales clerk that if there was something I wanted, she was sure they could do a special order for me. In stock, they only had beginner spindles, basic fibers, a few wheels for demonstration.  I wonder what it would be like to have spinning classes nearby?  This store really felt like an inviting place to hang out and work on things... so I bet the locals have lots of fun there... Imagine a cup of tea, some good company, and an inspiring project!

For more information about this store... they have a website, but it is really not well put together.  Pretty much all you can get on it is the store contact information and map.

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