Jobo Designs

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

7. October 2009 08:26
by Jobo
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I'll Give You Three Guesses...

7. October 2009 08:26 by Jobo | 0 Comments

... as to what I did last night...

Yes, that is a large shoebox overflowing with hand carded Rolags.  I was a little tired when I finally got home at 7:30pm so I decided to just sit and veg out... while carding and carding.  I finished prepping all of the Blue, Teal and Purple last night, the Yellow the night before, and the Lime Green is all that is left.

We have a nice big coffee table that makes an excellent work surface to hold all of my junk, having a warm propane fireplace nearby was a nice touch... and the Carding was an excellent way to unwind from the day.  In the second picture you can kind of see the slight variation in color of the rolags - the heathery blend worked out as planned!  I found that if I divided up the roving into darker and lighter portions that I could use a little of both in each of the rolags, and got a nice depth of colour.  Sorry I couldn't get any quality close ups.  It was after dark, and even with my Ott light, I couldn't get any true colour captures (I did try)

14. September 2008 11:44
by Jobo
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The Cure for the "Denim Blues"

14. September 2008 11:44 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Still not over the carding cravings yesterday, so I thought I would use up the last bit of the "Hamlet" 100% Merino Batts I had bought to make Marky some socks. 

There was a little over 5-6 oz left, so definetly enough to make it worthwhile... and plus the original batts were kindof chunky strands of sky blue, pale blue and black, so using my new carders made it easy to blend things a bit better.  When I made the socks, I had blended this fiber with some natural gray carbonized bamboo, which made for some squishable soft fingering weight wool.  (see pics of man + socks below)  The finished carded rolags were so fluffy and soft... when I took them outside to take a pic of them, one nearly blew away in the fall breeze!When I mixed the batts a little more, I got a sort of worn faded denim color, just right for another pair of socks likely, though I think this 100% wool yarn will knit up a little different than the bamboo blend... likely will have more fluff and bounce (not to mention the fact that I spun this yarn woolen, as opposed to semi worsted last time)

This next pic seems to show the colour best, smokey worn faded denim blue.  As time goes on, I am actually getting better at producing a more consistant yarn.... I thought it would take me a lot longer to get a useable product, but surprisingly, no.  I had been saving some of my fancy luxurious fiber purchases until I knew what I was doing, but maybe that will be here sooner than I thought?  who knows.  I might have to start on the Merino/Angora/Mohair blend I got a few months back.  Maybe that sweater isnt' far over the horizon? 



This is a pic of the original batt I started with.  I got it from a great company on Etsy - (www.theranch.etsy.com)  They were one of the first places I bought spinning fiber, and I have found that everything I get is exactly as pictured, and is wonderfully prepared and ready to spin.  This particular batt was called "Hamlet" and I think the colourway was named after a family pet? The Carbonized Bamboo was a dream to work with... felt like silk!




And Finally the Marky Bamboo Merino Blend Socks.  Nothing like having a woman who will spin ya some wool, then knit ya homemade socks?  Men out there, eat yer hearts out! (this pattern can be found for free on ravelry from Marimi Knits - called "Ankle Socks")

 

12. September 2008 12:11
by Jobo
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I Carded Wool... and I liked it!

12. September 2008 12:11 by Jobo | 1 Comments

more adventures with wool.  I finally got my wool cards in the mail (yay! mail that isn't a bill!) 

 I got a set of Ashfords, I guess a step up from the beginner ones.  Talk about torture though, they come unassembled, so you have to screw on the handles and wait overnight for the wood glue to dry before you can use them!  How uncool is that... I had to stare at them until I went to bed that night, and wasn't able to try them out right away. (sniffle) Isn't that a bit like giving a kid candy and telling her she can't eat it until tomorrow?  totally cruel.

But the next day... ready to go.  Glue was dry, and the cards were calling my name.  I started out by flicking open the tips of the locks with my Flick Card, then laid the staples of wool on the new cards and gave it a try.  After a little clumsy and awkward fluffing, and some mild profanity, I managed to get soft fluffy rolags to play with.  I was really surprised at how much softer and suppler the singles turned out from the rolags, as compared to when I spun straight from flicked locks.  This was also my first attempt at spinning woolen, as all I have had to work with up to this point is pre processed roving.  New experience, but a good one I think.  It would be nice to try and make a really fluffy soft yarn sometime. 

I was really surprised also at how much I actually enjoyed the carding process.  I've read before about how some people find it tedious and annoying to process fiber.  Me on the other hand? I found it to be as enjoyable as the spinning process itself.  I think maybe its the back to basics, grass roots feeling of it all.  Imagine... I took wool straight from a sheep, washed it, carded it, and then spun it.  Very primitive in its nature, but also thrilling in its simplicity too.

As part 2 of the Carding Experiment, I decided to blend some of the odds and ends of fiber I had kicking around at home.   The blending part was actually very exciting.  I really liked the depth of colour you can get by blending different things together.  In particular, the blend of soft natural chocolate brown alpaca, silk hankie, and leicester was quite surprising.  It made a nice soft brown colour that was unusually warm.  I'll have to wash it and see what the finished yarn knits up like sometime.  The next batch of locks I wash, I want to try dying and blending some colours on the cards.  sounds like a lot of fun... uh oh, what if dying is just as addictive?  Could be trouble

All three samples are navajo plied (3-ply) and fibers are as follows: 

    top sample - Leicester.

    middle - brown suri alpaca with leicester and a touch of raw silk hankie

    bottom - Romney.


And finally, Spindle Pics... this is that natural coloured Leicester, singles spun from the rolags in the earlier pics.  I have about enough of this I think for a small pair of mittens.  I was thinking I'd maybe try making thrum mittens, and use some funky dyed super-soft roving inside, since the wool itself isn't as soft as I would have liked


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