Jobo Designs

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

25. May 2010 05:00
by Jobo
3 Comments

Shetland Triangle... Finished and Blocked

25. May 2010 05:00 by Jobo | 3 Comments

floating on the breeze

shetland triangleThe Shetland Triangle has been a quite enjoyable project... beads included.  The tiny crochet hook was very easy to use, and even the beaded rows flew along at reasonable speeds.  I decided that the shawl didn't need all-over bling, but perhaps just the last few pattern repeats.  After some deliberation, I choose to add them to row 9 (the mostly plain knit row of the 10 row repeat) and then to bead the very points of the border with 3 beads on each point, and the centre one of course.

The beads themselves seem to match in quite nicely.  At first I wasn't sure if the slightly rainbow essence would match the Plum yarn, but I think that they compliment the shawl more than a plain flat black bead would have.  I actually found these beads by accident while shopping at Michael's - they were part of a premade necklace with multiple strands of beads.  There were strands of plain black shiny seed beads, several of these "e" beads that I used for Shetland Triangle, some silver metallic looking "e" beads, and finally some black "e" beads that have the look of hematite.  I bought the whole necklace for 99 cents... and I only used one strand for this piece!  I'm sure I will find something else to do with the rest at some point.

shetland triangle2

In the end I worked 2 more repeats of the initial lace pattern than the instructions called for, and surprisingly enough, I managed to use only one skein of the KnitPicks Shadow Lace that I had.  I wanted this to be large enough to wrap comfortably around the shoulders, but I don't really know the recipient that well, so I wasn't sure she would want a really huge overpowering shawl.  I think I reached a decent happy medium on size.  This also means I have enough yarn to make another of these... maybe for me, since I am feeling undecided about giving this away.  I think that's usually how I know I did a good job... if I like the item well enough to keep it myself, it's likely nice enough to be giving it away to someone else?

 

shetland triangle4

When I was knitting this up... using the prescribed sized needles... I had wondered if maybe I should have used larger needles to get a more airy feel to this shawl.  As usual though, the magic of blocking evened out balance, and I think it feels just about right. 

The finished shawl is light but still has enough substance to warm up the wearer.  I am always amazed at how much warmth a light shawl can give.  I think it's kind of like afghans.  How can something so full of "holes" trap so much heat next to the body?  Must be one of those life mysteries ;)  I hope that the person I made this for will feel good when she wears it.  I tried to think kind and comforting thoughts as I knit along, so I like to think that maybe those good vibes will go along with her wherever she goes.  Positive Energy is Good Medicine in itself.

14. May 2010 10:57
by Jobo
2 Comments

Shetland Triangle: Plum Merino with Iridescent Beads

14. May 2010 10:57 by Jobo | 2 Comments

The Knitting and Spinning Continues... but so does the Cleaning and Real Estate Saga...

I have continued to work on my long color gradient spinning experiment, but unfortunately, it has been slow going with all of the house showings and chores necessary to keep a home in show condition (while working 45 hours a week, and driving 10 hours a week too!)  Basically I am progressing one handful of fiber at a time.  I hope this weekend to finish the last of it up and prepare the finished yarn and choose a pattern.

Also, in efforts to remain sane in the face of uncertainty, and in remembrance of a friend who suddenly passed away, I have started another straightforward lace shawl.  I just felt like I needed something new to work on that would draw me in and hold my attention.  This person was a very kind soul, and though I did not know him as well as I would have liked to, he was kind of like a role model to me and my husband.  I'm not sure what I will do with the shawl when I'm done, but maybe I will give it to his wife.  I can only imagine the horrible loss she is feeling, and I'm not sure if she is the type that would like a hand knit item, but maybe it might keep her warm and remind her that people really care.  Sappy?  probably.

Here is a little preview for you...  I decided on testing out the Shetland Triangle on some manufactured yarn before trying it out of handspun singles (which I don't think will frog very smoothly)  and I had some skeins of Knit Picks Shadow Heather in colorway Vineyard.  As well as being very soft and light, this yarn has a beautiful blend of Wines and Plums and even a shimmer of gold undertones.  The color is hard to describe, and also hard to capture on camera, but I think you'll get the basic idea.

purple vineyard shetland triangle

I am really enjoying the repetitiveness of the pattern, and the simplicity of the design.  Honestly, I love the fact that you basically repeat the same 10 stitches over and over, and somehow when you block it, the waffle weave appearance of the lace smoothes out and pulls itself into romantic curves of fir cones.  Lace knitting never ceases to amaze me really.

shetland triangle with beadsI also have a few dark and shiny glass beads lying around leftover from another project... and I think they will match very well with this plummy yarn.  A little shine paired with soft luxurious Merino?  no problem. 

Surprisingly, one day while shopping at the local dollar store I found some really tiny crochet hooks!  (for a dollar?  seriously!  I bought all 6 teensy sizes!)  The one in the photo is a 0.75mm hook and it fits through the beads perfectly!  This will be my first time beading a shawl with a hook so I am a little excited to see how much easier this technique will be than using a piece of thread and a needle to thread the bead onto the stitch each time (basically did the same as a hook, but not very efficiently)

Now the only difficult decision is to decide where in the design I want to actually place the beads.  I think I want the majority of the shawl to be beadless, and maybe just introduce the sparkle a few pattern repeats from the edge, and then put lots on the edging.  I guess that means I need to decide how many pattern repeats I will do in total and start sketching it out.  If anyone has any placement suggestions, feel free to pipe up !  ;)

I will likely have this shawl completed in another day or two, since it is chugging along so quickly.  Expect photos soon.

27. October 2009 07:25
by Jobo
11 Comments

Nightsongs: Flashbacks of a Forgotten Finished Object…

27. October 2009 07:25 by Jobo | 11 Comments

I guess I got all excited, finished this, blocked it, and the forgot to tell you all about it!  I know it’s a little late, and there are no “fashion” pictures of it being worn… but I still want to share.

This version of Gail (aka Nightsongs) was knit as a gift for my husband’s grandmother… who is generally a tough cookie to buy presents for.  She doesn’t really need “giftware” items, and it’s simply no fun to give her money for a gift so this year I am getting creative :)  (insert evil holiday laugh here)

The yarn is KnitPicks Shadow lace in “Bordeaux” Kettle Dyed… and truly was a joy to work with.  I Didn’t even find that the color bled that much after the soak (which surprised me a little since it is burgandy red… and I had counted on it being a little messy at the very least.  I finished the whole shawl with just over one skein which is a complete steal price-wise… less than 5 dollars for a pretty gift, and beads that I already had upstairs in the stash!  All in all, a very economical, pleasing and satisfying lace project!

The Nightsongs pattern itself was a bit of a challenge for me… since it was the first pattern I’ve followed that had only diagrams, and no written out instructions to fall back on.  I think this was a good thing though because it made me step outside my lace knitting box and try something new. 

In the beginning I had considered writing out my own version of the chart but decided to slog it through and really focus on “reading” the knitting itself, and watching the pattern unfold.  At first this was quite difficult… and a little frustrating.  I ended up cutting up the pattern charts and taping them together in places so I could visualize things better.  I looked at lots of project photographs on Ravelry to see if my design was working up correctly.

A big thank you to all of you who posted your own project details and close up photographs… they really really helped me a lot!

This was also my first project adding beads.  I had not been able to find a small enough crochet hook at the time, so I had been using a short piece of thread and a small needle to get my beads onto the stitches.  I decided to use only a few, and only at the very edging… for a bit of sparkle.  In the end, they look like little dewdrops on the burgandy shawl… much like you would imagine on a rose in the garden.  Not too much, not too little.  Just right

Since then, I have found a whole bunch of teeny tiny crochet hooks… at the local dollar store of all places!  so I got various sizes, and they also had yarn needles.  I bought a bunch of those too… I don’t know about you, but I can never find one when I need one!

 

The blocking process was neat and tidy.  The top of the triangle was done with 2 wires bound together with tape and pinned out at even intervals, and the sides (I love points!) were strung along more wires and spread out.

The lace had great stitch definition and the color seemed to really fit with the design.  I liked how the kettle dyeing gave some ‘Splotches’ of lighter and darker color.  I think it was just enough to add some interest, and wasn’t so busy that it took away from the design itself.  The beads are simply plain clear with silver lining.  Sometimes simple is the way to go I guess?

I Think I must be getting better at my extra-loose-stretchy bind off too… because I had no trouble stretching the heck out of my points during the blocking process.  I have had the best luck with the “K1, slip back to left needle, K2togThroughBackLoop, repeat” method, and I try and use a bigger needle to knit off the edging too… this isn’t scientific.  I happened to have a 4.5 mm DPN sitting next to me in a half knit pair of thrum mittens, so I thought it couldn’t hurt… grabbed it and used it to do my cast off (the rest of the shawl was knit with a size 4.0mm Circular)

I can’t quite figure out if this design reminds me more of “hearts” or “spades”… I guess it depends on your vantage point?  All in all, another successful lace adventure, and hopefully a perfect holiday gift for a deserving lady.

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