Jobo Designs

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

17. December 2010 05:25
by Jobo
2 Comments

Norwegian Mittens for Dad... finally rounding the bend

17. December 2010 05:25 by Jobo | 2 Comments

back of dad's mitts fish

You might remember... way back when... I had started making some Norwegian mittens for my Dad, but I got stuck.  I was using KnitPicks Pallete yarn, which is a little thinner than I have ever used for stranded knitting.  I know other people love the stuff, but I couldn't seem to get my gauge just right, and ended up frustrating myself.  I really liked the way the knitting worked out, and the way the patterns were showing, but my gauge was wonky, and I was knitting more stitches in a round than I ever have for mittens.  Needless to say, these hibernated for quite a while...

Then Christmas was coming.  fast.  darnnit.

So I decided I should rework my pattern, get some bigger yarn, like I am used to using, and just get the darn things finished.  It's the only thing that Dad has asked me to make him, like ever, and I don't want to let him down.

I went out and got some Paton's Classic Wool... which is a light worsted, but knits up great stranded on about a 3.5 - 3.75 mm needle.  It's kind of like my old faithful when it comes to yarn.  It's wool, it's dependable, and it seems to always work out for me.

I borrowed the fish motif from the Fisherman's Friend Mittens by Jorid Linvik, and the dog motif from Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by Sheila MacGregor... and rearranged them and tweaked them to make a pair of man sized, "trigger" mittens.  (i.e. where the pointer finger has it's own glove like finger and the rest of the fingers share a spot)

I am more pleased now with the way things are going together.  I think dad will love them too!

 

dad's mittens dog

I'm hoping to get the pair completed soon... I only have the thumbs and the tops of the main finger area left to do... and then to tie in the ends of course, and block them.  I currently don't have any man sized mitten blockers, and certainly not any to fit trigger mittens.  I guess I'll have to do the cardboard cutout thing again and cover them with plastic wrap.  Someday I'd like to buy more blockers, but that would mean making up my mind about what sizes and materials I should get.  sigh.  No more major decisions until after the holidays, k?  tks.

2. March 2010 10:54
by Jobo
6 Comments

Custom Designed Selbu Mittens

2. March 2010 10:54 by Jobo | 6 Comments

After seeing my Fiddle Head Mittens, my father asked if I could make him a pair of colorwork mittens... but perhaps something less girly looking.

Dad so rarely asks me to do anything for him, especially knit anything, that I set out on the design process right away and placed an order for some Knit Picks Palette in more manly colors (Cream and Asphalt Black) 

I decided to try and come up with my own mish-mash of a pattern instead of knitting one directly from a book.  It seems that many of the Norwegian style mittens feature different motifs with different meanings - so I thought it would be fun to incorporate symbols with some meaning to dad.  In particular, he is a sport fisherman who spends as much time as possible in the springtime sitting in a boat hunting for that elusive granddaddy rainbow trout.  So obviously, this mitten needs a fish of some sort on it, and I will probably use a motif for the palm of the hand that looks like fish scales.  Also, Dad is a big fan of his dogs (2 adorable shih tzus - Molly and Sophie) so I hope to be able to add in a small dog motif for them too.

web mitten prototype

Here is the first cuff underway.  I have charted out the wrists, but am having a hard time putting on paper the thumb gusset...  My plan is to just wing it for the gusset and then continue on with my fishy idea for the back of the hands and the fish scales for the palms.  The other big unknown - He wants mittens with separate "pointer" fingers and the other three fingers together... like Newfoundland Mittens.  Apparently he finds that mittens shaped that way (while a little "live-long-and-prosper-ish" Mr. Spock!) more utilitarian and easier to maneuver around with.  So the end result will be kind of like a glove, but with one finger by itself, and the rest like a mitten.  I might have bitten off more than I can chew?

Here is a sneak peak of the Fish motif (modified from Fisherman's Friend Mittens by Jorid Linvik to be a single fish, and to look more like trout and less like Koi)  and some of the other motifs I plan on incorporating!  The little dog pattern is from Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by Sheila McGregor.

fish dog

 

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4. December 2009 08:00
by Jobo
0 Comments

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas 2009 DAY 4

4. December 2009 08:00 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Phew!  the first 3 days of this series have just flown by!  Thanks for stopping by to read each day!

Today’s Favorite thing:  BOOOOKKKKSSSS!

Ever since childhood, I have always loved books of all kinds.  Lately it seems that my stash of “how to” and pattern books has grown a lot faster than my fiction collection, but hey… it’s not terribly surprising I hope.  I have dozens of books about quilting techniques, and patterns ranging from stitch-by-hand-appliqué to stack-and-whack.  My knitting and spinning collection makes my quilting books look like a *small* pile…  I am afraid the quilt books are sadly outnumbered up in the studio!

Today’s post is about books I am already lucky enough to own… and the next Book Feature will discuss some books that I am hoping will show up in my stocking ;) ahem*hint*hint

selbuvotterThe Ultimate Norwegian Mitten Book - 

Selbuvotter:  Biography of a Knitting Tradition by Terri Shea

Some time ago, when I was new to searching the internet for knitting resources, I came across a review of this book quite by accident.  I had never been exposed to fair isle knitting or the breathtaking art of knitting 2-colored patterned mittens.  I was completely dumbstruck.  I remember just staring at the patterns featured in the article and thinking “holy crap… I simply must learn how to make these!!!”  At that point in time, I did not have a lot of experience purchasing things online, but decided to go for it anyways and boy am I ever pleased that I did. 

Terri Shea’s book is full of folklore and history – and some amazing mitten patterns.  The charts are easy to read and the mitten patterns are quite complete and straightforward to follow.  There are errata available where errors exist, but these are uncommon.  The one challenge I found to making these mittens was finding suitable yarn, as the majority of the yarns listed in the book are not sold by any yarn stores in my area. 

If you think you will ever want to learn to make Norwegian mittens, this book is an ultimate anthology of patterns and a very helpful resource.  Everyone I have shown this book to has wanted a copy… and for good reason – it’s the best book I’ve been able to find on the subject.

knittingsockswithhandpaintedyarn Great Sock Knitting collection -

Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol Sulcoski

I am a self admitted Sock-a-holic… and I have a serious willpower problem when it comes to purchasing skeins of temptingly beautiful hand painted Indie yarns.  The truth of the matter is – I love to knit socks, and the more patterns I can find that make my fingers itch to cast on something new the better.

I knew this book was going to be a winner before it was even released.  One of the designers featured in the book, Deb Barnhill, worked at the Dalhousie College of Pharmacy where I spent 4 years of my life.  I have been lucky enough to keep in touch with Deb over the years… and when I heard that one of her patterns was to be featured in a sock book, I ordered it before hearing another word.  This book does not disappoint.

The beginning section of the book teaches readers about the many types of hand painted yarns available today, and helps outline the nuts and bolts of the way that each yarn behaves in different types of patterns.  I liked the simple and no-nonsense descriptions and advice given – i.e. how to avoid/encourage pooling and flashing, and of course choosing patterns that will most complement the delectable yarns that you already have in your stash too!  Also included are handy tutorials for several kinds of cast-ons, bind-offs and Kitchener Stitch.

Then comes the patterns section… I have flipped through this book countless times, drooling over admiring the eye-catching photography and day dreaming of the process involved in each pair of socks.  This books features many different sock construction types, and lots of unique and different strategies to avoid pooling.  With 21 different patterns by 17 different Sock-RockStars (i.e. Chrissy Gardiner and Ann Budd) – there is something for every sock knitter in this book… in fact I have personal plans to make at least a half-dozen of them, maybe more.  Every time I look through it, I find something else that I want to try.  Make sure you have a couple skeins of hand painted yarn and some needles close at hand when you bring this little gem home… you might not be able to resist the urge to cast on!

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