Jobo Designs

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

13. April 2011 16:05
by Jobo
1 Comments

BFL Sample... tons of fun in every one!

13. April 2011 16:05 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I recently subscribed to a Fiber Club with All for love of yarn  and part of the lovely package (which you will see as soon as I manage to take decent photographs of it!) was a little 0.5 ounce sample of Blue and Purple BFL Top.  I've worked with BFL before, and have enjoyed it, so I was excited to play with it and see what I could do with it for the Spin-Along.  There is a prize for the most creative use of the fiber, so I couldn't miss out on that!

Blue BFL Sample with card

Here is the sample - just a little chunk of fiber really.  Since I have been working on my thin spinning... and BFL would lend itself to a nice shiny lace-weight... and the thinner you spin you get more yardage... I decided that I should try spinning up a very fine lace from this and perhaps use it as my yarn to swatch for a Mini-Haapsalu Shawl.

I have been fascinated with Estonian lace since receiving the Haapsalu Shawl book a few months ago, and I've been just itching to make an authentic one, with the proper dimensions and traditional lace motifs.  One thing that has kind of irked me though, is the fact that traditionally the lace borders are knit separately and then sewn on.  And you thought sewing a sweater together sounded like fun?  How about sewing on several meters of lace edging?  I know I am capable (at least I really really hope I am) but I wanted a trial run to make sure.

April 11 2011 101

So I spun a nice cop of teensy singles on my little Golding Dragonfly (which weighs 0.7 ounces, so nice and light) and used andean plying to fold the single in half.  I managed to get 150 yards out of the 15 g sample, which I was pretty proud of in the end!  The finished lace-weight is light, strong, shiny, and quite smooth.  I'm sure it will fuzz up a little more over time, but in the beginning it was quite tight and ordered.

Blue BFL Sample Singles

Here are the Singles again... with a penny for comparison of size.  I always seem to forget to do WPI measurements of the singles.  For that matter, I tend to forget to measure WPI for anything really.  Woops.

Blue BFL Sample Skein  

I set out right away to work on my lace sample - I chose a simple leaf-lace for the center of the sample-shawl, and one of the simplest borders to try and sew on.  The Haapsalu Shawl book shows lots of examples, and the beginning sections of the book explain all of the calculations to know how many stitches you will need.  It isn't a "pattern"  book in the strictest sense of the word, but everything you need is there to come up with a shawl on your own.

Blue BFL Sample lace center

Here is my Leaf Lace center panel blocking (Yes, it is pinned out on a Sham-wow... why do you ask?)  and waiting for me to get my act together and make the lace edges.  I've done the math, and planned things out, so now I just have to get started.  I do have the first border cast on already...  170 stitches for each half, that's 340 stitches of casting on, and then casting back off.... for only a sample shawl.  The real deal will have more like 600 - 700 stitches for those border edges.  Eek!

Blue BFL Sample lace leaves

And here is a closeup of the pretty Leaves... just because the fine Handspun looks so goooood.  Despite being Blue layered on the most hideous, offensive orange known to man.  So far so good :)

7. December 2010 05:26
by Jobo
1 Comments

Silver Strawberries... first foray into Orenburg lace...

7. December 2010 05:26 by Jobo | 1 Comments

    I finally finished my first lace yarn using my boy?s fluff! I made a very fine ply of angora (blue in color to be exact) and a find ply of white silk, and combined them together to get a light lace weight yarn.  It isn't gossamer by any means, but it's still pretty, and light by most standards.  I spun the Angora Single on my Golding Walnut (heavier spindle, though I can't remember the weight off hand) and the Silk on my new Golding Porcelain Dragonfly spindle.  Both parts were so enjoyable to spin, and even the plying was straightforward.  I started with around a half ounce of Blue English Angora - which had been hand carded with just a tiny wisp of Carbonized Bamboo and an equally tiny wisp of creamy merino.  I just wanted a few longer fibers mixed with the angora combings, hoping it would make a more stable yarn in the end.  I used very little of either addition... and in the end, you really can't see the bamboo or wool.  Maybe it wasn't worth the trouble to add it in?  bowl of batts

     

    The angora used here was the combings from Ruttiger's daily grooming.  I'm greedy with my fiber I guess... I've been saving every last wisp that isn't tangled or dirty... so in addition to the lovely prime fiber (which I am saving until I actually KNOW what I'm doing lol) I have quite a lot of "seconds" quality fiber.  I didn't want to use up the prime fiber right away, so I decided to try carding up some of this just to see what it would be like.  The results are heavenly!  I did have to pick out some neps and tangles, but overall, the little combfulls of fiber opened up beautifully and were very enjoyable to spin.

    The silk was just plain ordinary silk... that I bought 4 ounces of from Belfast Mini Mills earlier this summer just for this purpose... and was the most fun I've had with silk to date.  I've finally gotten comfortable with "spinning from the fold" - and silk is definitely a good choice for a fiber to be spun this way.  The resulting thread is smooth and shiny.  Everything Silk is meant to be! 

    And my new Golding Dragonfly is the perfect weight for these light singles.  I can see I will be using her quite often from now on!  I think her name will be the "Dragonflier"... which is actually a name I used to go by on a forum back in the dark ages of college!The color reminds me a bit of sterling silver? with a bit of soft dove grey and the shine of the silk. So far, just in handling the knitted piece a bit, there is a light halo beginning to form? can?t wait to see how it goes!

    points 

    I have been admiring orenburg lace for quite a while now, and I have bought some fairly complicated patterns for some day down the road when I have the skill to tackle them? but for now, this simple stole looked perfect for my (very basic) skill level. This will give me a chance to try out the basic elements and see how it goes from there. (the pattern is Orenburg Stole: Just a little strawbery by Russian Lily)

    points vertical

    I have been using the Gossamer Webs Design Book as a supplement to this pattern to make sure I have been doing the stitches properly.  The strawberry pattern itself is more of a schematic, and not really a complete pattern intended for a beginner knitter.  I have several reference books at home that I have been referring to, and they help a great deal.  So far, I'll I've accomplished is 6/10 "teeth" for the bottom edge of the stole, but I hope to spend a few minutes each day until I have the stitches picked up for the main body of the stole, and then a few rows each day as a treat to myself as I slog away at the Holiday Knitting.  The teensy yarn takes some getting used to... and dropping stitches in a case like this is a disastrous event.  I have a feeling I will need lifelines for this project.

    I went up a few sizes in needles already from what the pattern recommended, because I am a tight knitter, and because I wanted this fabric to be light and airy in the end. On the 2mm needles, there wasn?t much space between the stitches. Maybe someday when I have been able to spin actual gossamer yarns I will be able to try a more authentic needle size for this type of pattern. Now I just need to finish my remaining holiday knitting so I can sit down and do some more of this!  I need to spin likely 3 more cops of each silk and angora... and then find time to sit and knit of course!

    11. December 2008 20:50
    by Jobo
    0 Comments

    Spinning up a storm!

    11. December 2008 20:50 by Jobo | 0 Comments

     You know what... I think winter has arrived... ewwww.  It's only the beginning of December, and I have almost had my fill already.  The only thing sustaining me at this point is the fireplace, some comfort food, and warm hugs from you know who ;)

     For a treat, decided to make some homemade butter tarts (one of my all time favorites)  Complete with Gramma's secret family recipe pie crust and big sticky raisins and of course copius quantities of butter and brown sugar.  I realized part way through (after trying pretty much every sized glass in the kitchen sadly) that an empty 19 oz can of tomatoes was the perfect size to cut out my dough circles to fit in standard muffin tins.  Will be keeping that trick up my sleeve next time I have to make tart shells for sure.  Paired up with a cold glass of milk and a warm fire, doesn't get much better than that, even if the wind is howling and the snow is a blowin!

     Feeling the spinning bug this week... I had received a sample of roving with another order the other day from Fiber Optic Yarns - Superwash merino / Nylon mix "footnotes Unspun"  This of course being the perfect excuse to haul out the Traveller and spin for a little bit.  Since it was only a tiny sample, I plied it up with some supersoft natural polworth top I had lying around.  This turned out quite nice, very soft, spongy and attractive in the end.  Will definetly consider buying some more products from this company.  The colourway was:  #57 Sweet Georgia Brown.





    In other knitting news... making some serious progress on christmas gifts!

         Afghans!  one finished, one 46/50 rows!  yay for me

         Socks! 3 pairs

         Scarf! 80% done

         Fingerless Mittens! 2 pairs

         Swiffer Cover / Dishcloths! one of each!

    Santa would be proud no? 

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