Jobo Designs

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

29. November 2010 09:37
by Jobo

Yarn Candy Monday: Lettuce...

29. November 2010 09:37 by Jobo | 3 Comments

I call this yarn... "You don't win friends with salad."  If you know where this is from - you get 2 points!

paige skein

I had originally intended this to be a worsted weight single...   but you know how things never go exactly as planned!  I neglected to take photos of the roving, but it was basically green with splotches of brown, teal blue and yellow.  I thought that since I was planning on doing a single, I would gently card it into some fluffy rolags to blend the colors up a bit.  Apparently my fat single skills are lacking, because when I held it up to a strand of Malabrigo (which was my sample to match) I felt my single was too uneven. 

Now quite honestly, I am hard on myself when it comes to this stuff.  I bet that if I had just knit it up, the finished product would have been fine.  Knitting seems to cover up a multitude of sins, and even out yarns that aren't exactly consistant.  But I got the idea that I could ply the fat single back on itself and get a bulky weight yarn.  I had to weigh my options... skinny-cable mittens with light worsted weight yarn, or big-fat-chunky cable mittens.  I plied about a 3 foot section back on itself and hummed and hawed.

I guess you know which look won out ;)

paiges skein bobbin

This skein overfilled my Ashford Jumbo bobbins.  In fact, I had to do a chunk of it on a regular bobbin, because I had maxxed out the air space around the big bobbin and the darn thing wouldn't turn anymore. The roving was somewhere between 5.5 and 6 ounces, and the yarn is somewhere around 5 - 6 Wraps per Inch.  It looks large like caterpillars, as big as candycanes, the same diameter as a basic ballpoint pen... but it is very lofty and squishable.  I am knitting it on size 5 mm needles, and so far it is looking good.  The smaller needles for the yarn are making a very nice dense, thick fabric - which should be great for warm winter mittens.

paiges skein 2

I wasn't sure if I would like the color of this when it was completed... I worried that the browns would dull the yarn down too much.  My original intent in dyeing this was to make it christmas green, kelly green, really really green.  When it didn't turn out as such, I thought maybe I'd spin it and re-dye it after that, but I kind of like it the way it is?  Reminds me of salad.... *wink wink*

7. October 2009 08:26
by Jobo

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)

6. October 2009 15:44
by Jobo

Golden Rolags

6. October 2009 15:44 by Jobo | 1 Comments

When I got home last night most of my freshly dyed wool was still damp (sigh) all but one strand of roving - YAY YELLOW - which was almost completely dry!

Here they are on Sunday... fresh from the dyepot. Rainbowliscious!

I decided that since each color is such a small sample (somewhere between 2 and 2.5 ounces) I would card them by hand.  I do have a drum carder, but I thought it must be time for some good old fashioned rolags again for a change.  I really like the feeling of carding the wool by hand, rolling up the soft fluffy pillows of wool and then spinning from that kind of preparation.  Maybe because the wool just glides along from the end of the rolag.  I love the way it feels like a continuous spiral of fibers coming out of the roll until it's gone, and then grab another one! Repeat!  (More about Rolags... from a great Handspinning Website: the Joy of Handspinning)

soft puffy Rolags... gently blended colors too!  from Lemony shades to Deep Golden Autumnal shades

When spinning from "top" all of the fibers are aligned parallel to each other... whereas in Rolags the fibers are all willy-nilly, facing every which direction.  Some of course stay in a straight line, but enough of them loop and mingle to create a totally different spinning feel.  And of course the finished yarn has different characteristics than if the fibers were standing at attention.  'Worsted' yarns have long straight fibers in them, the individual plies are sleek and smooth and strong.  'Woolen' yarns are made up of lighter fuzzier individual plies.  The random arrangement of wool fibers traps air within the ply - leaving soft and light singles, which aren't quite as strong as worsted strands, but are less dense and more lofty.  Spinning from Rolags will allow me to make a yarn better suited to my mittens - light, soft, airy, fuzzy, warm, soft, bouncy.  Worsted yarns tend to be more durable for heavily washed and worn items, but I don't think a pair of adult mittens will really get tortured that extensively (unless they find their way into a really epic Car Scraping Session or and impromptu Husband-Pelting Snowball Battle... I think I'll take my chances!)

I find it a bit hard to tell if I have enough wool to make a finished product just by looking at it in it's rough state.  To me, the measley snake of roving looked to small to do anything with.  Surprisingly, once it had been carded and fluffed up my "tiny" Yellow sample pretty much filled a large mixing bowl (The same one that held 4 ounces of prepared fiber for the Mitten linings)  I know a lot of that is air, but I guess it just goes to show that looks can be deceiving.

about 3 rolags worth of spinning...

After all the carding, I didn't really have much time to spin before bedtime (it was getting late, that's why some of the pictures look darker than usual) but I did manage to spin about 3 rolags as you see above.  Drafting was smooth and even.  Very enjoyable. 

I also was able to ply the first installment of the lining yarn (Merino Angora Blend) and achieved about a 11 - 13 WPI average, and the first bobbin yielded about 120 yards.  I have enough to make that much again already blended and ready to go. I'll post more photos of that when I get farther along.

Hopefully tonight I will have enough time to spin some more, and maybe card up another color segment if they are dry (fingers crossed)

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