Jobo Designs

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

19. November 2010 11:09
by Jobo
0 Comments

Friday... So much Fiber... So little Time...

19. November 2010 11:09 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Where does the time go...  Seriously!  It seemed like there was a ton of time left before the holidays.  I have 2 pairs of mittens left to finish for other clients before Christmas, a straightforward hat, and a pair of pretty complex mittens for my own holiday knitting.  I have been plugging away at all of them, a little at a time, but I'm starting to get nervous that I won't be able to complete my own goodies after the "required" ones.  I know everything will be alright in the end, but you still start to worry a little bit.  *eeeek*

I've been knitting, spinning, carding fiber, finishing things, but haven't taken very many photographs unfortunately.  I did remember to photograph a fantastic meal we made this week:  I made my own homemade flour tortillas (from the encouragement and recipe I got over at 'All things Shea' - tortilla recipe!) and they were Fantastic!  Soft, yummy, and perfect for Fajitas and Quesadillas and the like.  See below:  Homemade flour tortilla, fajita topping made with leftover smoked chicken breast (smoked at home by the husbeast with his new BBQ toy) sautéed onions, green peppers, a little spice, some sour cream, cheddar cheese, and avocado slices!  (sorry if this makes you hungry, my stomach has started gurgling just reading this... I must make these again soon!)

homemade fajitasyummmmmmm!

Ruttiger Nov 8, 2010Also, the Bun Bun is doing great!  Nose wiggles, Ear scratches, and general fuzzybutt badness all around :)  We are working diligently on our grooming schedule and on being patient with each other.  That little guy just cracks me up!

He is almost ready for another full coat molt... so the grooming is pretty important right now.  With this breed of rabbits, they can ingest enough of their own fur during the "Coat Blowing" process that it can make them really sick, even die.  The condition is called wool block, or gut stasis, and basically it's a situation where the wool fills up the gut and it stops processing and digesting.  Either way, we don't want to have to deal with such terrifying sicknesses, so regular grooming, feeing healthy fiber (hay, hay and more hay) and watching to make sure his little bowels are moving regularly.  (I never thought I'd be as interested in the BMs of a 5 pound critter.  People tell me that once I have kids it's the same thing all over again!)

Hope you all have a great weekend... with lots of knitting time and R & R :)

25. April 2009 20:47
by Jobo
1 Comments

Natural Dyeing Series... Black Tea

25. April 2009 20:47 by Jobo | 1 Comments

and you say it's only available in Atlantic Canada?  Pity Ma'am...

The next colourful substance in my series on Natural Dying is Black Tea.

 

I had some older Red Rose teabags in the back of the Cupboard (since I prefer Earl Grey, the plain stuff seems to sit for quite a while) so I decided to grab some more wool, and give it a try.



For my dye bath I took a stainless steel pot (the same one I use to brew my tea for homemade Iced Tea actually... but thats another story)  and added 2 cups of boiling water to 5 regular sized tea bags.  Keeping the temperature hovering around boiling, I left the bags to steep for about an hour.  Resulting liquid - very dark brown tea.

For the wool - I used some polwarth top I had laying around... I had bought a pound of the stuff, and then played with a bunch of it and then forgot about it.  Well, time to enjoy it again!

I soaked the wool in lukewarm water for about 1 hour (while the tea steeped) and added in some lemon juice.  I don't know if tea needs acidity to dye or not, but I figured that since I had a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge, it really couldn't hurt anything could it?  For this experiment I did not mordant the wool... mostly since I did not have anything mordant-able in the house.

 

I laid out the wool in a single layer in a glass pyrex baking dish, after squeezing out most of the water first.  Then I carefully poured the now cooled extra strong tea over the wool.  My goal was a semi solid dye, so I added the dye in a blotchy pattern and then swirled the dish to distribute.  Then I covered the dish with plastic wrap and chucked the whole thing in the microwave and nuked on high for 2 minutes.  I followed the same method as my last dyeing attempt - cycles of 2 minutes cooking, 2 minutes resting, and of course waiting for a longer interval when it looked like the water around the wool was boiling.  I continued in this manner for several cycles, and unfortunately lost count after 5.  Basically I kept the wool hot enough to almost boil for around an hour.

Then I left the wool to soak in the dye overnight.  (it was bedtime, so I hit the pillow instead!)

The next day after work (soaking approximately 20 hours or so) I removed the wool from the dye solution and rinsed carefully in cool water in the sink.  After 3-4 rinses the wool no longer released dye when squeezed.  Of course all the rinsing and swishing were done carefully so as to avoid felting, though since this was all done at a cool temperature, I wasn't really all that worried :)

Next, the soggy wool was drained, squeezed out and rolled in an old towel to absorb as much liquid as possible.  I learned my lesson last time:  if you don't *really* try and get out as much liquid as you can... the Wool takes like THREE whole days to dry.  This means you won't be able to play with it for three days.  totally uncool!.  This time the wool dried on the mesh sweater dryer in a day.  Much much faster.  Point for me!  (wool 0 ; Jobo 1)

The colour?  kind of a brownish caramel gold.  My technique of pouring and swirling (very technical huh?) resulted in a varied semi-solid colouring, which looks like it will have a nice depth when spun up.  I am actually thinking of blending this with some other wool I dyed... which I'm sure will be another blogging project at some point.

The finished braid (set against a nice blue faux suede pillow off my couch!) is a warm comfy beige colour.  I think I would wear a sweater in that colour, since it would probably be complimentary next to my freckles!



Another view of the Braid showing some more dark/light sections of the wool

13. October 2008 20:38
by Jobo
1 Comments

Sock and Nacho Spectacular

13. October 2008 20:38 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Yeah, yeah I know, I have totally been neglecting my blog...  bad bad Jobo.

Things have been getting hairier by the day around here, what with work being nutso, and having the house now up for sale, it seems there is non-stop action around here.  Marky even has exams, so it's not just me with urgent, time sensitive crapola on the go either.  I need a vacation, or at the very least a nap I think!

On the cooking front: 

Nobody (I mean Nobody!) makes nachos like me :)  Not to toot my own horn, but I haven't found restaurant nachos this good in a long time.  Our secret at home is in the toppings.  I like to keep the leftover spiced ground beef when we make tacos, and save it in the freezer, so when the nacho craving comes along, all you have to do is defrost, and Wham!  Nachos with Mexican Flare.  Other must haves include:  Black Olives, Chopped Onions, Green Pepper (from my garden), Fresh Jalapenos, Grated Mozza and Cheddar, Spicy Salsa, Sour Cream, and Guac if you are totally starving.  This time for a change we used a mix of yellow and blue corn tortilla chips, carefully layered on a foil lined cookie sheet, and baked in the oven just until the meat had warmed up and the cheese melted and started to bubble a bit.  Craving Nachos Yet?  Good, thats what I thought.

 







On the Crafting Front:

Using up some Kroy Jacquard  Sock Yarn that has been laying around here for a while.  Now that I have learned to do the "short-rows" method socks, I'm not sure I will ever go back to the old Kitchener stitch toe graft ever again.  These are my first pair of "toe-up" socks.  (For those of you who aren't sock knitters yet, usually you cast on in the round at the ankle, and knit a tube all the way to the toes, then use a darning needle to graft the toe together.  Pro's make this look easy, the grafting stitch, called kitchener, is somewhat of an acquired skill)  I like the colours and the pattern that results, but I think they may be too flashy for Christmas gifts.  Oops, I may just have to keep them myself :) darn :)





Anyways, enough for now :) Happy Thanksgiving!

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