Jobo Designs

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

2. December 2014 10:57
by Jobo
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Lazy Tuesday Spinning...

2. December 2014 10:57 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I find Monday mornings are always busy for catching up from the weekend...  Kat and I went out to buy groceries, while Daddy and Bear were away doing their big kid things.  It seems by the time we tidy a few things up and get a bit organized, the day is over already.

Tuesday, however is usually a bit lazier :)

Currently, the little one is taking her morning nap while I drink my iced coffee and inhale a croissant with Jam.

Keeping me company today is this:

20141202_103902

I bought a bag at last year's handspinners retreat... simply because of the colors!  It's a blend of locally produced wools (cheviot, border Leicester, with a bit of Merino and Nylon added in for good measure) that are carded into a nice lofty true roving.  I usually go for top, so this is not my normal preparation. 

20141202_103915 About a year ago I had just grabbed the bag and a spindle and went off to the races with no real plan in mind - just to spin it by "feel" and see where the adventure might take me.  I ended up spinning supported on a lovely little Texas Jeans Russian Support Spindle... in kind of a modified long draw.  The roving just glides into a medium fine single with so very little effort that the spindle just seems to fill itself! 

As you can see... there are various stages on the go here - raw roving, a spindle cop basically ready to wind off, and a plying ball resting in my white porcelain bowl.  The singles are nice and heathery... in shades from navy to plum, ocean blue to teal.

4. July 2011 10:57
by Jobo
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Yarn Candy Monday... More Lace Handspun

4. July 2011 10:57 by Jobo | 0 Comments

madli Swatch

Lately I've been gravitating towards ultra-thin, almost cobwebby handspun for lace.  I think maybe because I like getting the absolute most out of a pretty braid of fiber... that, and I love to knit lace in the first place! 

This - is from a bag of carded fiber from Belfast Mini Mills - a blend of Bamboo, Merino and Tussah Silk (percentages of which elude me at the moment)  I'm testing out a theory that I should be able to spin this very lightweight on my Russian Supported Spindle, and perhaps have enough out of the 4 ounce bag to make an estonian style haapsalu shawl... or at least something in that tradition.  I wanted to spin up a handful first and see how the finished yarn behaves before I go on to complete the whole bag.

The Yarn is a nice fine 2 ply... which shifts from light creamy green to denim blue and back and forth.  Basically the roving has a strip of each color side-by-side (will get more photos later) and as you spin back and forth across you get a blend.  When I started spinning, I noticed quite a few nepps and little blobs of the silk, which was a little disappointing.  I had hoped for an ultra-smooth spin, as one would usually find with bamboo and silk blend fibers.  I decided though, to just let it go - spin it as it comes - and try not to be too much of a control freak about everything.  I'm going to have to learn to let go a bit with the whole baby thing, so why not start now?  (Jobo - you can't control every aspect of the world... lol)madli thread swatch

I decided to try a swatch from Knitted Lace of Estonia, since that's what was on my coffee table at the time... though I will likely go back to the Haapsalu Shawl Book when the yarn is completed and I'm ready for the official cast on.  I plan to do the basic rectangle, with the vine lace and nupps, and the standard garter stitch border, then maybe a knitted border sewn on afterwards, sanity and remaining yarn notwithstanding.  This swatch was knit on 2.75 mm dpns (since also, this is what was on my coffee table!)

The resulting lace yarn has some lumps and bumps in it.  The colors come at you randomly (only blended a little by the 2-ply's effect) and I wasn't sure if the lace stitches would cover up and complement some of this effect, or hide the lace completely.  I think the finished swatch is alright... definitely less muddy than I might have guessed it would be.  I think it's promising enough to finish spinning up the bag this way, and then cast on and see how it goes.

What do you think?  does the yarn mask the lace too much?

30. August 2010 13:21
by Jobo
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Cashmere... oh my!

30. August 2010 13:21 by Jobo | 0 Comments

cashmererussianspindle

I keep hearing about how wonderful cashmere is as a fiber.  I've fondled cashmere clothing in fancy stores and touched a few cashmere blend yarns, but this is my first time working with pure cashmere fiber!

I tried to photograph the fiber itself, but white fluffy things just don't seem to show well with my camera...  The fiber is some 100% Cashmere roving that I bought from Belfast Mini Mills last month.  I bought a bag of 2 oz to try, and clearly I should have gone with the bigger bag because this stuff is wonderful to spin on the Russian spindle!

The soft and airy fluff is made up of a relatively short staple, and drafts apart like a dream.  It was very easy to achieve a uniform thin single.  In fact I managed to spin up 0.5 ounces in only a few evenings... each handful just drifted by!

 cashmererussianflat

angoraandcashmereNext step will be to ply this yummy cashmere single with the devilishly soft 100% angora single I finished last week...  Angora and Cashmere yarn - the absolute height of soft fuzzy decadence!

I think I might end up with a little bit more of the angora than the cashmere... just looking at the skeins... but it's hard to tell because the cashmere spun up a little thinner than the other.  I figure I'll try and ply them first, and if I run out of cashmere I'll have to spin a little more.  I had a feeling that 0.5 ounces of cashmere might feel a little different spun than 0.5 ounces of angora would...

More to come :)

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