Jobo Designs

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

30. March 2011 08:29
by Jobo
1 Comments

Greensleeves.... er socks...

30. March 2011 08:29 by Jobo | 1 Comments

    greensleeves back to back

I have a soft spot for Knit Picks sock yarns.  Ok there.  I admitted it.  Seriously though, the value is excellent, and the selection is fun.

Some time ago, I had unconsciously decided to steer away from self striping or self-patterning yarns.  I think maybe it was because I had been doing more cabled and lace patterned socks, so the stripes and fancy yarns tended to get in the way of the design.

Lately, there have been a bunch of great colors in the self striping selection from Felici (a 75% Superwash Merino /25% Nylon) Blend Sock Yarn.

Every now and again, I just feel the need to make some plain jane, vanilla, boring, ordinary socks.  The kind where you don't follow a pattern, you don't really plan ahead, you just go for it.

This pair had languished for a while.  I had started them months ago (back before the Maritime Handspinner's Retreat back in October!) but somehow had gotten ignored in the Jeep.  These were my "Car" knitting project, and I kind of forgot they were there!

 

greensleeves solesgreensleeves without blockersgreensleeves 2

The Goods:

Pattern:  Made up as I Went! Knit from the toe up, 2-at-a-time on circulars, afterthought heels.  No regard given to whether the yarns were at the same point in the color progression at the starting point.  result - clearly related, but more fraternal than identical.

I really like the fact that these "match" but aren't identical.  I love how the heels and toes look different when you wear them.  Felici is soft and comfortable to wear... though I haven't had the heart to really break these in yet.  They're too pretty to wear out too quickly!  I had underestimated how much yarn was left when I started the cuffs.  Normally I don't enjoy knitting ribbing, so I don't work too much of it in a cuff.  If I make it to 2 inches, I'm doing well.  So when I realized I had so much yarn left, I really didn't want to frog and knit more stockinette and then re-do the cuff.  I just persevered and knit on... in ribbing... forever.  The result is a nice stretchy, soft, springy cuff though.  I can see why people like that feeling, and I don't think the socks will slip down as easily. Drat.  The ribbing, it does *nothing*, is actually useful, and I should consider making more of it perhaps.  Drat!

8. March 2010 11:15
by Jobo
6 Comments

Yarn Candy Monday: Caterpillars...

8. March 2010 11:15 by Jobo | 6 Comments

ok...  The title seems random...  But the color of this yarn reminds me of Caterpillars!  Greens, Greys, Black, and a hint of Rust here and there.  When we were little we used to see lots of fuzzy little many-legged creatures in the back yard while playing outside :)

Caterpillar2

This is only the first little skein in what will be a 4 skein series...  at approximately 160 yards of fingering weight, navajo 3-ply.  I am tempted to jump in and start knitting this guy up, but alas, I should probably keep on spinning before I do too much more scheming. 

The fiber here is some Hand Dyed Polwarth, in 4 ounce bags, from London-Wul over in Moncton.  I have 2 bags... so 8 ounces total.

I was drawn to the colors immediately but when I dug into the bag,  I found that there isn't really any kind of shade distribution in the roving.  Really, it's just random splashes of color - which I don't mind - but there are long sections that are only lime green, and others that are only black and really dark colors.  It would have been nice to have a more predictable variance maybe.  There were also a few felted bits from the dyeing process.  Overall I am pleased with the fiber, and the finished yarn is delectable... but I think I will ask to open up the bag and examine the roving next time I buy this product, just to get an idea of the dyeing pattern before I take it home.

Caterpillar

I'll post some more pics when the rest of the pile has been converted from Fluff to yarn :)

12. March 2009 12:19
by Jobo
2 Comments

Hello Noro... Silk Garden

12. March 2009 12:19 by Jobo | 2 Comments

I gave in to all the Hype.  I couldn't help myself...

I mean hey, if Jared Flood was doing it... it must be okay right?  

I bought 2 balls of Noro, and set off to work on a striped rainbow scarf.  I had seen many many many of these on Ravelry over the last year, in just about every colour combination under the sun.  I figured it was time I jumped on the bandwagon and tried one out.  My plan is to make a couple of these out of Noro Silk Garden to give away as Holiday Gifts for the 2010 Season, so at this point - one down, and one to go :)

I had never worked with Noro yarn before for several reasons...

First - my hometown doesn't really have a Local Yarn Store other than Zellers and Walmart.  Mostly all those places carry is boring acrylic, and a few acrylic blends.  Very restrictive supplies means that a lot of knitters around here are not really exposed to real wool, luxury wool, or new wild and wonderful things that exist out there.  Myself, I have been a knitter for almost 20 years, and up until a few years ago, had only ever worked with acrylic stuff (i.e. Bernat, Red Heart, Canadiana, etc.)  I always thought that "wool" was an itchy and unpleasant thing to work with.  Especially since the only wools I had been exposed to were the chunky mill-spun 100 % Wool yarns my mother used for Rug Hooking.  (Beautiful colours that made beautiful rugs, but no way did I want that rubbing on my skin!  rough and itchy!)

Second - Price.  I remember seeing this at a yarn store on a road trip and thinking... Holy cow!  that stuff is beautiful, but 15 bucks a skein?  whaaa?  I managed to find an online sale one day when I was searching for Berroco patterns, and since shipping was free that week and Noro Silk garden was on for 8 dollars a skein (Canadian of course) I decided to order 4 balls of a couple different colourways and see how things turned out.  Nothing to lose right?

*****

So the envelope arrived, and I was off to the races.  Having never worked with this yarn, the first thing that struck me was the depth of colour.  The skeins I was working with were long runs of Navy, Midnight, Teal, Evergreen, Lime, Olive, Black and Grey - so obviously fun to work with.
 

   

Switching back and forth between the two skeins was exciting, and even though it was a basic K1P1 ribbing (with slipped stitches on the first and last stitch of the purl row to prevent curling up on the edges) I was able to keep amused the whole way along.  It was interesting enough to keep my attention, but simple enough to work on whilst chatting on the phone or watching television.

 

I cast on 39 stitches (a bit narrower than Jared Flood's Prototype - Brooklyn Tweed is a weekly read for me!  Total Yarn RockStar!) but I only had 2 skeins per scarf, and wanted to make sure it was long enough to be worn wrapped around the neck a few times or to look good worn dangling about the neck of a Black felt coat worn unbuttoned (as I think one of the recipients will likely wear it this way)  If I was going to make one for myself, would likely have made the scarf wider and shorter in length because I am less than 5 feet tall, and this one would have been too long for me if I didn't wrap it multiple times around me.

   

I found that the yarn was fairly soft, but pretty stiff/wiry overall.  I was afraid that the Mohair Content would make it feel scratchy, but it didn't seem to.  Once I had completed a few rows, the finished work seemed to feel less wiry over time.  There were some sections that were thin/thick compared to the average diameter of the overall skein.  It didn't really matter much with the specific project I had chosen, but I can see how that might have been really annoying if it was some kind of garment where gauge mattered.  In fact, some of the thick strand sections were the brightest parts of the skein... so the fact that they were big only made the vibrant colours that much more fun.  (ooh, a little bit of that lime green was nice, a LOT is NICER!)

 

I will be interested to see how it feels after some gentle soaking and blocking, as some other knitters have said that this blend softens with handling, and loosens up a bit after blocking.

*****

Final Verdict on Noro Silk Garden:

- so-so feel, a little stiff and not as soft as originally hoped, but definetly not scratcht
- loved the colours - especially the effect of the long flowing colour gradations
- thick/thinness might have been a problem, if gauge were integral
- intriguing enough that I really want to try the other products in the Noro Line... maybe sock yarn next?


** please note my pathetic blocking equipment!  a striped towel on the spare bed and yellow plastic headed quilting pins (stainless steel, so they wont rust against wet wool) **


** Check that rainbow of Noro Color! **

ta taa for now :)

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