Jobo Designs

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

25. August 2009 18:01
by Jobo

Merino-liscious! more spindling with Golding

25. August 2009 18:01 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I've been playing around with my Golding some more over the last few weeks... kind of a novelty maybe?  A new toy to play with?

It has actually been quite nice to work at a spinning project that I can actually take along with me, kind of like I take my knitting with me.  I was able to bring along some fiber and work on my latest yarn while sitting around chatting at my inlaws place on the weekend.  I really enjoy working on my wheel, but for reasons different than the spindle perhaps.  Really when you think about the methods and mechanics of how one would spin on a spindle vs spinning on a wheel, there are some obvious similarities, and also some obvious differences, but I think that's what makes them both so enjoyable as unique activities.

Spindling is quite a bit slower for me than wheel spinning, especially since I haven't had as much time to cultivate my spindling skills as I have to hone my wheel spinning.  Although, apparently for experienced spindlers, the process can yield yarn just as fast as a wheel spinner.  Maybe when I have had more practice I will be more efficient.  Already I can make longer stretches of single at a time than I could in the beginning, and my actions are less clumsy and awkward. 

And what am I spinning?

Fleece Artist 100 % Merino - in greens/blues/purples

I was aiming for a fairly thin 2-ply yarn, and was trying a new technique with this one.  I wanted to end up with a yarn that had long stretches of colour, where both plies lined up colour-wise all along the yarn (with slight transitions where the strands overlap in colour of course)

Close up!

So I took my lengths of roving and fluffed them up carefully (Since they had been squished in a bag in the stash for quite some time) and then as evenly as possible, I divided the roving in half lengthwise.  I tried to eyeball it as closely as possible, and since I had carefully fluffed the fibers, it was easier to separate.  In the end I had 2 (almost) identical halves, and planned on spinning each half separately and then plying them together, hoping that both singles would be similar enough that the colour stretches would line up quite closely.  My roving was approximately 60g, so I hoped that I could fit 30 g on my Golding at a time without too much trouble. 


Once I had spun each half, and wound them off of the spindle onto some cardboard tubes, I was ready to ply.  I didn't think the finished yarn would fit on this spindle, since the cops themselves pretty much filled the shaft, I didn't want to chance having to splice.  (Sorry, I didn't think to take photographs of the full cops)  I decided to ply on the wheel (both faster and more orderly)

This is what I ended up with:  around 350 yards of fingering-ish weight yarn... with nice colour transitions.  8 transitions in all - Lime Green, to Teal, to Blue, to Green, to Olive Green, back to Lime, then Blue and Teal again.  

My goal was to have a light yarn that I could knit a scarf or shawl out of and hopefully highlight those transitions.  I'm thinking something like Ysolda's Ishbel?  Anyone have any suggestions?






7. July 2009 21:20
by Jobo

Mystery: the hair of a hundred Mo's...

7. July 2009 21:20 by Jobo | 0 Comments

When I bought my Drum Carder (from a lady in Nova Scotia over Kijiji!)  It came with a bag of mystery fiber... which she thinks is Mohair

This stuff has been sitting in my stash for months now in a plastic bag... and I haven't touched it really.  What better challenge for the Tour de Fleece!?  than to challenge myself to use this up.

Honestly, I didn't think I liked Mohair.  Most of the yarn I've touched that was made of mohair was too scratchy for me.  This stuff feels like HAIR.  (might be softer than my own hair after being frizzed around in a strong wind?)

And true to its feel - when you tear off a chunk of this roving and fluff it out and separate it out the darn stuff really does look and feel like locks of hair!  I think this roving must have been sitting squished flat for a while (aka in a bag at the bottom of a stash somewhere before it made it to mine?) because it has been really compacted.  I was very surprised to see how "big" it feels once you open it up and fluff it some.  I thought that the pile was pretty small, but once I get it all ready to spin again I think it will look like a much bigger mound than originally expected.

The colours are variegated here from Pumpkin Orange, to Auburn Red like my sister's hair, to Olive Greens, and some Gold and Coppery shades in between.  I think I will aim for a lace/light fingering 2 ply... with the long stretches of colour that I seem to be in love with these days.

I started the spinning... and didn't realize until after the daylight had dwindled that my photo really sucked.  So I'll post the pic because it shows the colours... but ignore the fact that it's blurry OK?  great!  tks!

See?  coppery gold orangey colours! :)

I was also really surprised at how fine the wool is... and how long the staple is!  I think if I was able to go back in time and see the locks that went into this roving they would be really Lustrous long strong shiny fine locks.  **closes eyes and wipes drool off chin**


Well thats it for now folks...I'll leave you with a picture of the drafted shiny soft fiber!

more tomorrow as the TdF continues

1. July 2009 09:11
by Jobo

What do you get when you cross a......

1. July 2009 09:11 by Jobo | 1 Comments



Surprisingly enough... when you mix camel fiber and silk you get an awesome, airy, light as a feather, soft, almost like gossamer hair Fiber!

When I asked my Dad what he thought it was... he wasn't so sure.  Didn't think it was wool... but it was so much like "hair" and was so smooth and soft.  Well I was surprised too at just how soft and airy it was.

I bought 4 ounces of this on my latest trip to London Wul - mostly because I liked the soft gold/beige colour, but also because I had been specifically looking for some sort of silk blend to make some true laceweight yarn.  I had never really even considered camel at this point.  About all I knew of camels is that they have 2 humps... and 2 coats - down and guard hairs that have to be removed.  Apparently down can be really fine and soft (bigtime apparently)

So I set out on the Spinning (glass of awesome Strawberry Wine in hand that was leftover from the other night's Beer Can Chicken Experiment - Yum!) and what a dream to work with!  This stuff wants to spin thin and strong, so I think it will be perfect for my purpose.  No Slubs or tangles.  Silky and smooth, but not too slippery or too grabby.  I could buy a bathtub full of this stuff and just roll around in it!  

I have one 2 oz bobbin finished now.  I wish the camera would catch all of the luster and shine of this fiber... and it is so light that in the breeze from, the window... one of the drafted pieces Sitting next to me was gently picked up and blew away across the room! Blew away!  in a draft from the window!

I am working on the second bobbin... and thought I should take some pics of the fiber before it is all wrapped up into yarn.  My singles are lustrous and strong.  This will make a beautiful yarn... with all the strength and shine of the silk, but the bounce and squish of wool.  Who knew I'd like this as much?  I think I've been smitten by the silk worm.  I might, erm, have gone out and ordered some more tussah too.  Sorry pocketbook.

Closeup of the fiber and bobbin - I think this shows some of the golden gossamer hair qualities of the fiber.  It's like spinning sunshine!


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