Jobo Designs

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

10. December 2014 08:08
by Jobo
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A New Spindle... with New Fiber Too!

10. December 2014 08:08 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Sometimes we all need a little fibery treat... I ordered a new Grizzly Mountain Arts Bead Spindle recently and it came on Friday!  You can see her there second from the left... all shiny and ready to go! 

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Of course I couldn't help but get started on a new spin... to use her and some of my other favorite spindles.

I love my spindle collection... and while I know I really don't *need* any more... sometimes I just can't help it.  They're like magic wands!  Each one has a personality and specific talents.  As you can see, they come in basically every shape and size imaginable.  This handful is by a number of talented artisans:

Left to right:  Phil Powell - Bubinga with Swarovsky Crystal; Grizzly Mountain Arts - Cherry Maple Dymondwood Bead Spindle; Magical Moons - maple Russian; Bristlecone - Outlander Glindle; Grizzly Mountain Arts - Alternative Ivory Druid Egg; Bristlecone - Emerald Twindle

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The fiber is absolutely gorgeous too... a nice soft Merino Wool dyed by Ginny at FatCatKnits.  It's a gradient called "Dragonfly" in vibrant and glowing colors.  My plan is to strip it into two portions and spin from Purple, through blue and teal, and into lime green.  I want to end up with a two ply, light lace, and probably knit it into something either circular or into a rectangular stole.  Something that shows off the beautiful colors and transition.

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These bright lovelies should help keep the winter Blahs away!

20. February 2012 09:21
by Jobo
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A Care Package? with some spinner?s inspiration ? Satin Angora

20. February 2012 09:21 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Since I?ve been feeling a bit blue the last little while since the baby came? a friend sent me a care package in the mail with some nice tea and a handful of soft fluffy spinning inspiration ? some of her own home grown Satin Angora Fiber from her bum ?Lady in Red?! (if you want to check out Stella?s Farm Page, click the linky!  She has lots of different breeds of rabbits, sheep and alpacas.  I?m so jealous!  It?s called Twist of Fate Family Farm)

It?s been difficult to find much time for anything other than baby lately, so having a bit of satiny shiny light fiber just sitting there has been quite inspiring!  Just what I needed to kick me in the pants and pick up a spindle and see what I can do with it.

First off ? the staple length is great on this one.  It?s nice and long, so it spins up nice and strong, but not so lengthy that it?s hard to draft.  In a way, this spin reminds me a bit of working with silk, especially when I get a poof with a few extra guard hairs in it and feel the strong soft shiny fiber slide through my hands.  Angora in general is a bit slippery, but that?s nothing new to me :)  The color is a creamy, almost peach color, with auburn or rusty tips.  I love the way the two tones are blending together to give a shiny gold effect.

satin angora staple

My plan was to just spin it fine and see how things went from there? and then I got the idea that maybe it would be suited to pair with some natural honey colored tussah silk, since the color is working out to be a nice gold/creamy/shiny effect.  I?ve been working on a zebisis designs stone whorl spindle, with a weight I can?t remember off the top of my head.  I don?t work with heavy spindles, so I can assume it?s much less than 30g? more likely 15 ? 17g.  After the fiber comes off, I?ll weigh it and remind myself. 

satin angora spindle

I hope to be able to get enough yardage to make something small and lacy.  If I can manage 400 yards or more, I might even get a shawl out of it since I?m stretching the angora out by plying it with silk.  I can?t wait for the silk to arrive in the mail? though I?m not sure what I?m so impatient for:  it will likely take me all month to spin the angora?!

21. November 2011 09:12
by Jobo
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Fiddlehead Mittens? in Chroma

21. November 2011 09:12 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I made a pair of hand-dyed, hand-spun and hand-knit Fiddlehead mittens last year . It was an epic project, and every step was done by hand.  I love the results (which you can see here)  but when someone asked if I could make another pair, I didn’t really feel up to the challenge of doing it all the hard way again.  Don’t get me wrong - the first pair was a complete joy, it’s just that if I go through all of those steps to make another pair of mittens, I’ll likely want to be creating something more unique in the end.  I don’t tend to make the same thing more than once.

So, then the hunt began for some suitable yarn.  I could do as the pattern says, and just buy the 6 different colors and this would have been fine also, but I would have enough yarn to make like 4 more pairs (if the second pair is an unwelcome thought, believe me, the 3rd and 4th pairs would simply not get done) and there really isn’t any point in that. 

Then it occurred to me that I could get a color changing / color gradient yarn and use it for the contrast strand instead of all of the different solids!  I knew I wouldn’t really want to use something like Noro (both for the price, and the unpredictability of color sequencing) but there are a lot of different options out there now.  I can’t remember the name of the one I saw at Michael's but I believe it was mostly acrylic, so I didn’t bother looking any harder at it for this project.  I bet it would work lovely too (I think it was Impeccable, something like that).  The next yarn I saw that fit the bill was the new Knit Picks Chroma Worsted.  From the catalog, it looked like there were repeating colors in the ball, and there was also a white or chocolate brown option for the solid to match.  I figured this was a perfect chance to try it out, so I ordered a ball of the cream/natural and a contrasting ball with a variety of greens/blues/purples called “pool party”

Chroma Fiddleheads

So far things seem to be working out quite well.  I like the texture and softness of the yarn (though I don’t think it’s really all that rough and tumble it’s a barely together single really) and the way the gradient is running through the design.  The colors are different enough for the nice swirl pattern to still stand out.  I’ll be interested to see how the lighter green holds up in contrast to the white in the end. 

I’ve made it up past the thumb on the first mitten, and plan on finishing the pair for sure.  I am really enjoying doing colorwork on a pair of long circulars too no gaps in between DPNS, and no fussing with the beginning and ends of rows.  I still very much like working with DPNS, but circulars certainly have their advantages too! 

As the mitten progresses, I’ll post again!  I think these are going to look great in the end!

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