Jobo Designs

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

21. May 2009 12:26
by Jobo

Knitting with Handspun is Addictive!

21. May 2009 12:26 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Especially if it's  your OWN handspun!

I finished my Sunshine Shawl last evening before bed, and blocked this morning.  Before blocking, I soaked the finished shawl in a bowl of lukewarm water for an hour or so.  Some people like to put a drop of wool wash in the water too, apparently to help the water soak in more completely (soap makes water wetter!  or so my highschool science teacher believes)  Since I forgot to add the soap component, I counteracted the blunder by simply soaking this puppy longer than necessary.  It's beautiful and sunny outside today here!  the sun's rays made the garter stitch bumps glisten like pearls in the soaking bowl.  Darn camera wasn't able to convey though.

The blocking process is always a neat transformation for me.  The lumpy, bumpy, uncontrolled look of unblocked lace kindof scares me.  Honestly, if you left a piece of knit lace unblocked... you might think your lace knitting skills sucked  needed more work... but after the soaking, and careful laying out, measuring, pinning, standing back and admiring - the real beauty emerges.  The geometrics of the design, open areas and more densely stitched areas seem to pop right out and things flatten and elongate in ways that you could have only imagined before blocking.

It seems that the long stretches of colour lined up beautifully throughout the whole project.  Gentle stretches of lime, sage, teal,  blue, purple, yellow, and various shades in between.  The barberpoling effect of the 2-ply yarn helped ease the colour changes, and blend the transitions between them.  I think I made a wise decision choosing the larger needles for this shawl too, since my yarn is a little heavier than laceweight, more of a sock weight give or take.  The blocking process really opened up the "holes" of the Yarnovers and made the ripples stand out nicely.

I must admit, I am overly impressed and satisfied with myself today.  Not to toot my own horn, but I LOVE working with the yarn I have spun.  I'm not sure if its the fact that I have such high stakes in it... aka carded, drafted, spun, drooled, plied, skeined, knit... or if it's just that I am not used to working with such interesting and unique products.  (Handspun vs Bernat?  c'mon you gotta be kidding here!)  It seems that I become very attached to the projects I am making lately too.  Mark asked me last night if I was going to sell the "Sunshine" shawl, and honestly I'm not sure I would be able to get enough for it to equal how much I love it.  True, I probably won't wear it myself, and I'm not sure I have the strength to give it away yet, but selling it?  I will have to think about that one.  Honestly, if I keep producing homemade goods at the same rate as the last few years, our home will be brimming!  But I'm not sure I am willing to part with any of the stuff yet either.  crafty packrat.

When Sunshine finally dries and I can peel her off the bed... I will try and take a few more pictures!



15. May 2009 20:02
by Jobo

Sunshine on My Shoulders - Rippled Shawl

15. May 2009 20:02 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I couldn't help myself... I know this isn't a Finished Object yet, but I had to get out the pins and stretch this out over my sofa cushion just to get an idea of how its turning out:

Feather and Fan Shawl (free pattern on Ravelry here) knit from my own handspun 2-ply yarn that started as this:

for those of you who are regulars, this might look a little familiar (I had 2 braids... one of which became sock yarn earlier this spring)

I have been wanting to make another handspun shawl for a while, and have been attracted lately to "Old Shale" style or "Feather and Fan" patterns, so Today when I saw someone post  a picture of their own handspun shawl made with this pattern I couldn't help myself... I went upstairs and grabbed a set of Circs and was off to the races.

The pattern is really well written, and simple to follow.  In fact, while watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy and trips back and forth to the laundry room I managed to get quite a bit of this done!  I'm sorry I didn't have the patience to photograph the yarn before I cast on.  (I have a habit of doing that... and also giving away completed projects before photographing, just because I am so excited to pass them on!)

A lot of the rows in this pattern are straight knit or purl, so the design works up fast, and is interesting enough to keep my attention but not so complex that I have to turn off the Television either.  I can see me making several of these, just because they do work up so quickly.

As per usual, please note the plastic yellow heads of the quilting pins impaled in my sofa cushion... Hey, they aren't just for quilting anymore I tell you!

When I spun Captain Corriedale into Sock Yarn, I was more focussed on adding the necessary extra twist, and other socky details.  When this yarn was spun, my only goal was to have really long stretches of colour, so that if I did manage to knit it into a triangular shawl, the colours would make effortless pretty rippled stripes.  Thus far, I have gone from Purples to greens, to blues, to lemon yellows, and am enjoying every moment of 2-ply barberpole deliciousness.

One more pic for the road... I think I might have to go finish this!  I estimate that since I have about 1/3 of my yarn used, I could potentially have this shawl completed and ready for blocking this weekend..... IF we don't have to show the house fifteen times before that. 

Note:  If selling your house sounds like fun, whoever told you this is a big fat stinking liar.  It is about as much fun as frogging a project you had 99% finished and then realized that you MESSED UP and have to frog it back almost to the cast on.  OH, and not only do you have to rippit rippit, you chocolate stash is gone, and there is no more red wine.  There.  That's how much I am enjoying selling my house.  Thankfully there IS a little bit of White wine left, and I think I have some imitation easter confectionnary somewhere hiding in the back of a drawer... So I am going to go back to my knitting. *steps down from soap box*

Have a good Weekend All


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