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!

    3. December 2010 11:59
    by Jobo
    0 Comments

    That's no "Cop" out...

    3. December 2010 11:59 by Jobo | 0 Comments

    I've come up with a unique way (or at least I've never seen anyone else do it this way... so I thought I should share) to unwind a full cop of singles from my drop/supported spindles...

    Basically here it is in a nutshell:

    - It can take a very long time to unwind a full cop by hand into a ball for plying or for storage.  I always end up frustrated, often tangled, and bored with all of the repetitive winding.  I'd rather be spinning or knitting!

    - My solution is to wind the spindle's contents off onto a spare spinning wheel bobbin, where it can be kept until plying/finishing, in a neat and orderly compact form.  I can then take the bobbin and wind a plying ball if I want, I can ply directly from several bobbins on my lazy Kate, or in the case of something like silk singles, I can wind directly from the bobbin to the niddy noddy for finishing.  The best part is that I can have my spindle back right away to start on the second cop if I wish, and deal with the finishing of the singles later on.

    - I can set up my Ashford Traveller such that the drive band is around the bobbin only, and the bobbin will basically wind up the yarn from the spindle (without adding or removing any twist from the single) - and it can wind much faster than I can by hand.

    - it was obvious that my supported spindles will stand comfortably in a bowl while I wind with the wheel... but I discovered that my suspended spindles (aka my goldings and other pretty toys) will stand on their hooks and spin in the palm of my hand quite freely.  It's like holding a spinning top!  ... and it tickles a little!

    - Please check out the video... I think pictures say things easier than words sometimes!

    I hope this technique helps spinners out there to wind singles more efficiently - More spinning and knitting time for all! (and let them all have cake also.  the end.)

    26. November 2010 11:07
    by Jobo
    3 Comments

    Moody Blue Mittens.... completed minus lining...

    26. November 2010 11:07 by Jobo | 3 Comments

    I've been chugging along on my Christmas knitting... trying to make a little progress each day.  Last night, I completed the outer shell of my Moody Blue Mittens... and got the Angora/Merino Blend carded up to start on the linings asap.

    christy mittens 

    Here they are... complete with the shiny Mother-of-Pearl Buttons and tiny cable cuffs.  I really like the way this yarn has knit up... the 3-ply really did break up the colors from the roving, and gave a nice overall grey/blue coloring. 

    I decided against doing a full button plackett, and instead settled on a small button "tab" as it were. The square buttons I had originally considered for this project turned out to be too angular for the mittens.  In the end, I think the round shape compliments the girly cable ribbing better, especially since the mittens are not such a feminine color - they needed some softness to balance out the design.

    angora lining

    I've carded up the lining blend... 10 - 15% Angora... and started spinning a bit of it too.  The drum carder really comes in handy with carding large batches of fiber.  I was able to blend all 3 ounces I needed in about 30 minutes, which is great!  I wanted the lining to have a bit of soft fuzzy halo, but not so much that it would shed, or be excessively warm.  These mittens already have a nice lofty 100% merino outer shell, if I had made the linings with 100% Merino, they likely would have been too warm to wear (unless you live in Nunavut!)

    As for the outer shells themselves... I just have to tie in the dreaded ends, and they are complete :)

    christy mittens 2

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