Jobo Designs

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

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!

    8. November 2010 08:20
    by Jobo
    1 Comments

    Yarn Candy Monday: Purplelicious 3-Ply!

    8. November 2010 08:20 by Jobo | 1 Comments

    purplepalooza2

    MataHari Batts 1It's a veritable Purple-palooza of Purpleness!  I finished this skein a little while ago, but because it was enroute to it's owner's home, I couldn't show photos... for fear of ruining the surprise!  This yarn began it's life as a Corgi Hill Batt... which was then purchased by a lovely knitter/spinner, who wasn't sure she could spin the yarn she wanted from it... so it got mailed to *Me* and I had the pleasure of whipping it into skein form :)

    The journey was a very fun one too :)  This was my first time using a Corgi Hill Product (though I've been checking them out and drooling over their goodies for some time now...) and it definitely won't be my last!  The merino, silk, firestar blend was just too much fun!  The finished product was a little bit more sparkly than I would have liked for myself, but it sounds like the yarn will be just perfect for what the client had in mind. 

    Since I had a set of stitch markers that matched so closely (and I rarely use markers, as of yet anyways)  I decided to send them along :)  It's fun to knit with matching accessories...

    I can't wait to see what she makes from it!

    2. November 2010 08:25
    by Jobo
    2 Comments

    Replies to the Peanut-Gallery!

    2. November 2010 08:25 by Jobo | 2 Comments

    A reply to Kim... who was asking

    October 26. 2010 15:44  "What is a Orenburg Lace shawl, Jolene?  Why so coveted?"

    Orenburg lace is one of the craziest and most beautiful lace styles I've ever seen... These shawls are made from very very finely spun goat down and silk on tiny little spindles.  The goat down is specific to the Orenburg Region in Russia, where the climate and elevation is just perfect to prompt the goats to grow a very soft airy down undercoat that is harvested by hand at a specific time of year.  The lace is then knit on tiny (2 mm long needles) WITHOUT a pattern, featuring motifs full of history and significance.  Young girls would learn to work each motif without following a pattern, they just "know" where to put the holes to make the design work.  The designs are geometric and romantic all at the same time, with picoted edgings that are knit at the same time as the center panel, or the stitches are picked up and knit on...  The finished shawls are huge, but so fine and light that they can be pulled through a wedding ring.  The one at the conference was pewter colored, and as gossamer as a spider's web.  You could see through it like you can see through a light snoflakey frost on the windows in February.  The goat down has a light gently fuzzy shimmery halo, as soft as a butterfly landing on your hand and fluttering it's wings.  The silk in the yarn lends strength, but also the glint and shine of spun metal.

    I thought I could appreciate the beauty having only seen photographs... then I saw and touched a real Orenburg shawl.  Unbelievable!  I had already purchased several books on the topic, acquired a russian spindle, and started practicing making superfine laceweight yarn with cashmere and silk... Now I know that I must someday give this a real try. 

    Another talented blogger I follow (Rebecca over at Doilies are Stylish) showed some photographs of a similar shawl in her private collection... which can be seen here.  I tried to find Photographs that showed these shawls... but was sadly disappointed by the lack of adequate pictures that show the true art.  Go and See Rebecca's photos... they're great!

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