Jobo Designs

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

5. July 2009 11:22
by Jobo
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Another Feather and Fan Shawl... Looks Like Butterfly Wings

5. July 2009 11:22 by Jobo | 0 Comments

This yarn was my first go at Merino/Tencel Blend (50:50), actually one of my first attempts at spinning anything that wasn't pure wool, or wool with just a little bit of silk or bamboo added.



The fiber came from FiberOptic - Kimber is Awesome to deal with.  I've bought a few things from her now, and the colours are always spectacular, and products are top notch too!  Speaking of which... If I wasn't on a self imposed fiber diet right now, I'd want some more of her fantastic sock pencil roving.  (This stuff doesn't even need predrafting! just sit, spin, swoon!)

When this package came in the mail, it was so smooth and silky feeling, I just kept it around petting it for a long while.  I was too afraid to wreck it by using it before I was experienced enough to do a decent job with it.  Isn't it funny that we order stuff because it is gorgeous and we can't wait to lay hands on it... and then we are too afraid to do anything with it?  There is something really wrong with that strategy in my opinion.



I tried to spin as thin as possible at the time (which really isn't all that thin now that I look at it compared to more recent attempts) and then 2-plied using a centre pull ball (inside and outside strand together)  The resulting yarn was somewhere between fingering and light fingering weights (a little thick and thin in places)  Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics of the yarn once it was done... I guess I was too excited to start working on it?


Because of the long stretches of colour, I thought that another feather and fan shawl would be a good choice.  The ripple effect did a nice job of showing off the colour blends and stretches last time I made one.  Plus I knew the pattern was well written, was simple to follow even for working on in the car and such, and there were no complex bits to have me shaking my head over and over.  This was started during the wedding planning/panicking stages... so I needed a brainless project.  This was my standby for something straightforward and stress free to stab away at.  It definetly served its purpose and was a joy to knit, even though I had just finished one not too long ago.

Closeup detail of the colour ripples and the shiny silky texture

Last night I finally finished.  By finally finished, I mean got frustrated... ran out of yarn 15 stitches from the end of the bind off... had to un-knit the bind off (285 stitches) then tink back 285 stitches, then re-do the extra loose bind off.  I did have to put it away one time out of frustration (aka threw it at the coffee table and walked away for a few hours) but now that it's home blocking on the spare bed - it looks so nice and tame, and not at all like the beast that had me so cheesed off 12 hours ago.  I think I like it again :)


Finished Shawl posing with a wedding photo / gift from our photographer yesterday.. I'll post a better one when I can get a proper scan.  The photos were taken in my Gramma's garden... these ones were in front of the barn door :)

The full Spread - Similar to last time I worked this pattern... Nice long stretches of colour turned into gentle ripples.  This one looks like Butterfly Wings to me, probably because of the Purples and Blues and Pinks and Burgandies.  For some reason those shades of purples and silvery blues make me think of fairies and butterflies.  ( I know, sometimes I can be such a GIRL )

 

The finished fabric has a lovely softness and drape... you can hardly feel it on your shoulders, but is still big enough to stay wrapped and not be falling off.  I have been trying to think of who this shawl should go to... and haven't had any brainwaves yet.... For some reason I have a hard time deciding those things, and I get pretty attached to homemade things.  I might have worn this one for half of the day yesterday, but I know I won't use it enough to deserve the privilege of keeping it, someone else would use it more and it would get loved more.

 

The tousled around the neck look... I think I would almost wear this as a scarf in the Fall too!

I had wanted to make homemade things for the grandparents this year... both my own and my inlaws.  That means a total of 4 Grandmas and 1 Grandpa.  I wasn't sure that they would use / need things like hats, scarves or mitts, but I know that a lot of them get a chill pretty easily, so I thought shawls might be nice?  and in stylish colours too?  even if they only use them every now and again, or as lap-robes when they are chilly around the house... I think they will enjoy the homemadeness of the gifts.  I did fingerless mittens  and headbands for my two sisters in law last year, afghans for 2 of my brothers in law, and socks for mark's mom and dad... not to mention a scarf for my Mom, dishclothes and swiffer covers for my Sister and Socks for my Dad.

If I want to keep up with that pile of homemade gifts I had better stop typing and start knitting!

More later :)

 

4. July 2009 16:43
by Jobo
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Do it Yourself Wraps Per Inch Tool

4. July 2009 16:43 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I've been dragging my feet buying a WPI gauge.  I saw some really neat round/dowel carved ones, and some plastic flat shaped ones, and some wooden carved ones with mother of pearl inlays... then I saw a very plain wooden one that someone made from a paint stirrer stick.

SERIOUSLY Jo!  (I thought to myself)  Make one yourself... DUH.



So I hunted around the house for a piece of cardboard, grabbed a ruler and basically cut a 4 inch by 1 inch rectangle of cardboard and cut a 1 inch long notch into one side of it.  Just to be fancy (I'm pretty convincing, but I'm not sure even I can make cardboard from the back of a notepad exciting lol)  I decided to make a ½ inch cutout also on my WPI gauge... so if I ever want to measure laceweight I wont have to wrap 50 times.

Armed with my cardboard creation I set out to measure the WPI of some yarn scraps kicking around the house... shown here - Leftovers from my Kermit the Frog "It Ain't Easy Being Green" Jaywalkers in Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock  ( see socks here )


All WPI articles I have read are very specific - carefully wrap yarn around gauge so each wrap is adjacent to but not on top of or squished into the adjacent wrap and... DO NOT WRAP YARN TIGHTLY around your gauge.  Some go so far as to suggest that instead of holding the yarn and wrapping it around the gauge, to rotate the gauge and allow the yarn to wind itself around by the force of gravity alone.   

Me?  well I just made sure I was not pulling the yarn tight or overlapping as I wrapped around.  Ideally in working with my own yarn, the goal should be to do a measurement at various points along the skein and take an average in case there were some inconsistancies in my Spinning.  I usually cheat too and use a little stash know how... and hold the yarn up against several commercially made and banded yarns so I could see how they measure up.

Here is one more up close pic for you detail people who wanna make your own:

 

 

1. July 2009 09:11
by Jobo
1 Comments

What do you get when you cross a......

1. July 2009 09:11 by Jobo | 1 Comments

     +

     ?

Surprisingly enough... when you mix camel fiber and silk you get an awesome, airy, light as a feather, soft, almost like gossamer hair Fiber!



When I asked my Dad what he thought it was... he wasn't so sure.  Didn't think it was wool... but it was so much like "hair" and was so smooth and soft.  Well I was surprised too at just how soft and airy it was.

I bought 4 ounces of this on my latest trip to London Wul - mostly because I liked the soft gold/beige colour, but also because I had been specifically looking for some sort of silk blend to make some true laceweight yarn.  I had never really even considered camel at this point.  About all I knew of camels is that they have 2 humps... and 2 coats - down and guard hairs that have to be removed.  Apparently down can be really fine and soft (bigtime apparently)

So I set out on the Spinning (glass of awesome Strawberry Wine in hand that was leftover from the other night's Beer Can Chicken Experiment - Yum!) and what a dream to work with!  This stuff wants to spin thin and strong, so I think it will be perfect for my purpose.  No Slubs or tangles.  Silky and smooth, but not too slippery or too grabby.  I could buy a bathtub full of this stuff and just roll around in it!  



I have one 2 oz bobbin finished now.  I wish the camera would catch all of the luster and shine of this fiber... and it is so light that in the breeze from, the window... one of the drafted pieces Sitting next to me was gently picked up and blew away across the room! Blew away!  in a draft from the window!

I am working on the second bobbin... and thought I should take some pics of the fiber before it is all wrapped up into yarn.  My singles are lustrous and strong.  This will make a beautiful yarn... with all the strength and shine of the silk, but the bounce and squish of wool.  Who knew I'd like this as much?  I think I've been smitten by the silk worm.  I might, erm, have gone out and ordered some more tussah too.  Sorry pocketbook.


Closeup of the fiber and bobbin - I think this shows some of the golden gossamer hair qualities of the fiber.  It's like spinning sunshine!

 

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