Jobo Designs

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

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?

8. April 2011 08:21
by Jobo
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Back to the "Swatching" Board...

8. April 2011 08:21 by Jobo | 0 Comments

You might have noticed the swatch under Grampy's Scissors in the post on Monday... What WAS that anyways?  Well... it is the latest Angora swatch... testing out some lovely traditional Estonian designs from a book I bought recently Haapsalu Shawl by Siiri Reimann.  The book itself is amazing!  It isn't exactly a step-by-step pattern book, more an anthology of wonderful traditional patterns and motifs.  Drool Drool.

Lily of the valley swatch

The yarn (or dare I say "Thread") is a soft blend of "Blue" English Angora fiber (from my "Private" supplier *wink wink*) and some  Handpainted Seasilk Top that I've been tiptoing around in my stash.  The Seasilk is dyed in Blues and Purples, reminiscent of lazy purple sunset clouds and the color of perfect faded blue jeans.  When mixed with the Angora, the result is a very light, very soft hand, and a delightful muted purple tone.

To give you an idea of size... this swatch was knitted on 2 mm needles, with the light 2-ply laceweight, and still looks quite airy!  The blocked piece is around 4 inches by 5.25 inches.  Not very large, but full of movement, and very light and drapy.

lily swatch

The motif featured is a variation of "Lily of the Valley" - with lots of nice Nupp stitches (basically little bobbles) interspersed with lacy YO loops, and an alternating Maple Leaf.  I worked these nupps with 5x wraps, but I think if I actually go forward with this I might do 7x or 9x just to make them extra full and textured.

My goal is to choose a traditional pattern and make a classic Haapsalu shawl from my own Ruttiger Fuzzybutt fiber... complete with a sewn on border, and the proper Haapsalu dimensions.  I'm guessing I will need somewhere around 1500 yards of thread to accomplish such a project, but that shouldn't be a big deal if I can finalize my fiber blend.  I'm not sure how much the thread will fuzz up, or whether that fuzzing will obscure the lace and the nupps.  I plan on abusing the swatch a little and then I'll gauge from there if the yarn will serve the purpose.

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