Jobo Designs

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

21. December 2009 14:17
by Jobo
5 Comments

Another Handspun Shawl...? do they ever get boring?

21. December 2009 14:17 by Jobo | 5 Comments

nope? I don't think they ever get old.  I really enjoy working with yarns spun from handpainted roving in every type of setting - from mittens to socks to shawls and scarves. 

This particular yarn is extra special to me, since it was one of the first yarns I ever made? spun on a toy-truck-wheel spindle.  After I had used up all of the wool samples that came in my beginner kit I went out and bought a couple of Fleece Artist Handpainted Slivers as a treat.  At the time I didn't realize that silk wasn't really a beginner fiber, and I bought 3 braids of a Merino and Silk Blend in a mix of Greens and Blues.  I was so attracted to the color and softness of the fiber, I couldn't help it!

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The finished yarn was a softly spun (probably not quite enough twist in retrospect) basic 2-ply? with colors ranging through every color from medium and dark blues through turquoise, teal, baby and sky blues all the way to creamy white sections.  As far as weight goes? the yarn is pretty inconsistent overall, with thick and thinner sections.  The whole thing averages out at around light fingering weight or so, maybe a smidge thinner.  For one of my first yarns though, I am still quite impressed that I was able to make anything useable at all at that point.  I really like the way that the barber-pole effect blends the different blues and greens together.  I think this may have been the point that I realized how in-love I was with 2 plies.  It certainly wasn't the last one I made either.

As you can imagine, my Ravelry queue is completely ridiculous.  Everytime I see a neat pattern, I add it to the list of "someday" projects, and try and remember what's in there when a special yarn comes along.  I wanted to work on something for *myself* now that the majority of the Christmas Knitting is done.  It seems like I've been slogging away on stuff for everyone else but me for the longest time (sooo unfair!)  so after rediscovering this yarn again while digging in my stash for something else, I decided it was time to knit this skein into something unique and pretty

I had been admiring a shawl pattern for some time that was designed to use Worsted weight yarn in a fairly small quantity? which I thought might suit this yarn since it was a little on the bigger side, uneven, and I wanted to knit it into something lacy with some open bits.

The pattern is this:  198 Yds of Heaven by Christy Verity (available as a free download on Ravelry)

closeup handspun ocean yarnClose-up of yarn and the beginning section of the shawl :)

The pattern itself is very neatly organized and well written.  I particularly like how it is provided as written-out instructions and also charts so anyone can give it a try, regardless of lace background and skill. 

198 yards in silkHumble Beginnings of ?198 yds of Heaven?

When I decided to cast on, I was away from home and did not have access to printed patterns so I thought this might be the perfect time to try accessing patterns from my new i-Phone.  I am still searching for the best knitting and fiber "applications" (basically little programs that you can download and use on your cell phone?)  and ways to use my new gadget-copter-phone to enhance my knitting on the go.  It was very convenient and easy to save the link to this pattern in my "favorites" and then bring it up to follow the charts.

knitting with iphone 198 yardsknitting in public with my i-Phone

So far, I have made it through the chart 2 repeats and things are working up very nicely.  The lace is pretty straightforward and intuitive, so not too complicated for travel knitting.  I often stay away from patterns that require me to carry paper patterns around when it comes to knitting-on-the-go, so I think this ability to read patterns from the internet at the touch of a finger will be very useful.  I also downloaded a little Ruler program so I can do approximate measures, and there are a couple of row counters available as free downloads too. 

198 yards lace close up 

Knitting with hand dyed and then hand spun yarn is always a surprise.  you never quite know how the colors will line up, whether they will blend or stripe, how they will coordinate, and how they will look all piled on top of one another.  I think it's that unpredictability that I am addicted to.  It's like the yarn has it's own story to tell and it adds another deep dimension to the whole process and finished appearance.

Speaking of *finishing* I think I might go and do some more knitting? see how long it will take me to get this puppy all finished :)

8. September 2009 07:30
by Jobo
6 Comments

Big Big Blueberry Bobbins... say that 5 times fast!

8. September 2009 07:30 by Jobo | 6 Comments

If you are a Maritimer... Blueberry season is almost over :(

Every August there is an abundance of delicious local blueberries, delicious to eat as is, or bake with, or freeze to use later...  and in my house - even the fiber I've been spinning is Blueberry in colour!

Fiber Notes:

- "Blueberry Whip" Colourway

- blend of Merino/Alpaca Bamboo/Silk 60/40 (This is what it says on the bag, I don't know the original blend proportions)

- From Belfast Mini Mills, Belfast P. E. I.

I started with 2 bags of 4 ounces each (8 ounces total) and made each of the individual plies on my old regular sized Traddy Bobbins, and then plied onto my new Jumbo Bobbins.  (That's how I got a continuous skein so freaking big!)

This fiber is like cotton candy in a bag.... sweet and soft and smooth.  I am not sure exactly how the roving was prepared, but the mix was very light and airy.  The Merino/Alpaca Content was dyed a lovely navy or blueberry colour, and the silk/bamboo component dyed light blue almost turqouise with some white through it.  In places it seemed as though all the fibers were completely blended and were indecipherable, but other areas where the shiny ribbon of silkiness was quite visible.  I was unsure how this unevenness would show in the yarn, but because I was planning to do a traditional 3-ply, I knew that even if some of the light colour showed up exclusively in places, the other 2 plies would tone it down.  

Check That Bobbin! She is Full!!! with 250 yards of continuous yarn... love that length! 

The end result is a heathery blue yarn, 3-ply of course, at approximately worsted or light worsted weight.   With the super jumbo skein and her little sister (not shown) I have about 350 yards of yarn, so definetly enough to make some mittens, and maybe a hat or something too?  This yarn is a gift for someone, so it will be up to her what to make with it.... I'll make her photograph it for you to see when it's done.

mmm Blueberry... hanging out with our Sci-fi/Fantasy Book Collection.  Showing the Geek Colours today aren't we?

As I was spinning this blend, there were some areas where the silk/bamboo seemed to "slub" a little, but you can't really see it in the finished yarn.  I find 3-ply is great for smoothing out any imperfections in diameter and is pretty forgiving.  It is really hard to capture the sparkle and shine of this yarn in a photograph.  In the sun, the shiny bits really gleam, and the dark blue looks even darker of course next to the glinting bits.

I am pretty proud of this yarn!  I am really just starting to "design" yarns with specific purposes in mind.  I am still practicing keeping my plies even so I will get the desired yarn when I am finished.  I still need to set the twist in this yarn, but other than that I think she is done and ready for gifting (I won't tell you who, in case she is reading :P)

and... you can't have Blueberry Season without having some Blueberry Baking! 

Mark's favorite... homemade blueberry pie - homemade filling, homemade crust, happy Husband.

 

18. August 2009 07:30
by Jobo
1 Comments

Ocean Blue Silk Merino Singles... Fresh of the Spindle

18. August 2009 07:30 by Jobo | 1 Comments

 

My first project off the Golding Spindle (which still doesn't have an appropriate name yet, any suggestions?)

Fiber Credit:  Fleece Artist Merino/Silk Sliver

There are some thick and thin, and perhaps a little slubby spots here and there, but overall I think I have achieved a mostly uniform light lace weight single.  And what the yarn lacks in consistancy... boy does that colour make up for it!  Strands vary from almost white to dark navy, and every shade of turquoise and green in between.  The silk gives lots of strength and shine, and the merino lends softness and bounce.

Trying to capture all of the shine and colour subtleties was really difficult... I hope that whatever Finished Object it ends up becoming will be easier to photograph.  I ended up with about 330 yards of singles... so enough for a small shawl or a scarf for sure.  I have some pattern ideas, and once I get past the test phase I will show you what I'm up to :)

And of course, one more picture... just because I can!

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