Jobo Designs

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

13. November 2009 22:28
by Jobo
2 Comments

Pine Forest Socks done :)

13. November 2009 22:28 by Jobo | 2 Comments

Finally I managed to be home during the waning daylight hours to take some photographs of these socks? they?ve been sitting on the coffee table blocked for almost a week now waiting for their unveiling!  This time of year I find it very challenging to take photos, especially since it?s dark outside most days by the time I get home.  These images were taken indoors in the best light I could find.  (Sorry if they are still a little dark)

pine socks 4

toesThe Pattern:  Kaibashira by Chrissy Gardiner

The Yarn:  Dragonfly Fibers ? Dragonsock in ?Texas Bluebonnet?

Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do with a given yarn.  I really loved the colours in this skein, but every time I tried to knit them up I just had a hard time deciding if it was the right project.  In the end I decided on this pattern because I loved the way that the colours blended into the curves, and the way that the garter stitch rows added dimension to the design.  In the end I am quite pleased with the way they turned out.

There is something very enchanting about knitting socks for me, just enough interest to keep me entertained, but the utility of the finished product is also addictive.  I mean, you really only *need* a certain number of afghans, or cardigans, or mittens? you don?t necessarily use those everyday.  But I wear socks almost every day of the year!  On Prince Edward Island it is quite chilly (and the downright cold!) from the middle of November until April sometime.  On a frigid winter?s day, there isn?t much nicer than a pair of homemade wool socks? or at least to this ?lil knitter ;)

I think I would like to try this pattern again using handspun yarn, since the ripples were so easy to do? they knit up in no time really.  I hope the pattern for this year?s SockWars is as simple? my target won?t know what hit him/her!

pine socks 2

2. November 2009 14:25
by Jobo
1 Comments

Take Two: or Rather, Trying again!

2. November 2009 14:25 by Jobo | 1 Comments

It’s funny how sometimes you get a skein of yarn and something about it just speaks to you.  I can’t quite figure out what this one is saying - I am certainly having trouble fining the perfect project for it.  Maybe it’s the fact that some yarns look different in the skein than they ever will knit up, and could never live up to the expectations you have for them.

My “Texas Blue Bonnet” skein I think is one of those white elephants.  I tried last week to use it for a pair of leyburns, and the 2-ply “pearly” texture of the yarn didn’t feel right.  I liked the way the colours looked, but something about the way the yarn looked as unknit strands felt funny.  So I frogged and went back to the drawing board…

Just to Try and Illustrate my point about the 2-ply yarn feeling different than 3+ plies… I thought I might try and elaborate a little on Yarn Structure (I am still learning about spinning, so this will no doubt be a very basic explanation…)

close up 2 plywithdrawing 3ply close upwithdrawing

One of the Simplest yarns one can make is 2-ply (simplest being a single ply only)  The yarn that results is basically two plies twisted together, so you can still see both plies clearly, and the resulting yarn is kind of like a string of pearls in that often it has distinct “bumps” Two ply yarns are specifically suited to certain styles and types of knitting because of the way these bumps lie together in the knitted stitch.  (See Photo on Right for a 2-ply yarn example)

On the other hand… the more plies one includes in a yarn… the Rounder the finished yarn becomes!  The yarn on the Left is a 4-ply sock yarn, and look how much straighter the edges of the yarn appear… there really isn’t that bumpy texture at all.  Because there are more plies, the load of the yarn will be spread out amongst those plies and the resulting yarn is supposed to be more durable and have different properties knit up than a basic two ply would be.

So basically, I guess what I was trying to express is that the unknit strands in my leyburns looked bumpy, and I think they would look better with a smoother yarn…

After the Frogging, this is what I came up with:  After some careful thought, I decided that maybe I should do a wavy/curvy/rippling type of pattern with goals of achieving a blended effect with this yarn.  The colours remind me of my home Province – Prince Edward Island - with it’s Green landscapes and Red Dirt.  I hoped to find some sort of pattern that would suit.  A reader (thanks! Saradippity) suggested a pattern from the book “Knitting with handpainted Yarns” that was wavy which I really liked, and was very similar to another pattern I had been eyeing:  Kaibashira by Chrissy Gardiner.

pine forest

Here is what the yarn looks like knit up in the pattern stitches…

the handpainted yarn seems to even out its colour spread resulting in a nice blended effect that kind of reminds me of a pine tree (needles, cones, bark, etc) 

The blue sections of the yarn have become obscured quite a bit by the greens and browns, but in a pleasant way. 

(Keep in mind the sample has not been blocked yet, I hope the YO’s come to live after a good soak)

The lace pattern is very easy to memorize and simple to work even while watching tv or not really paying attention.  Basically it’s one row of Knitting 2 stitches together and YO’s followed by 3 Rows of plain knitting or purling.  Basically a no brainer… 3/4 of the rows are just knit!

 

I decided to omit the fancy lacy cuff that the pattern called for in favor of a more basic garter stitch top.  I like frills and lace, but sometimes enough is enough.  I cast on 66 stitches and worked 7 rows of garter stitch (I.e. in the round that means you knit one row, then purl one row, repeat)  I like the resulting wavy and feminine cuff.  It’s different from a plain ribbed cuff, but not flamboyant or frilly either.  I have one sock done and I am reasonably pleased with it.  I’ll post some more descriptive pics and the rest of the project details when number two gets taken care ofpine forest 2

 

 

 

 

 

17. September 2009 07:30
by Jobo
1 Comments

Almost too pretty to Knitty!... Dragonfly Fibers Sock Yarn

17. September 2009 07:30 by Jobo | 1 Comments

 Gratuitous yarn Pics!  everyone likes to look at pretty yarn... don't they?

This particular Beauty is from Dragonfly Fibers... and was purchased on a Sock Yarn Binge from the Loopy Ewe.  If you like handpainted sock yarn... their selection is really excellent, and their website has various convenient ways to search for your favorites - by brand, by weight, and by colour family!  I am a sucker for pretty blues greens and browns.  I find I am always drawn to certain colourways... but it is interesting to search for colours that I normally wouldn't be attracted to.  Sometimes I find things that I love but didn't realize it yet!  (If Sheri at the 'Ewe happens to be reading... I'd love a coupon or something :P )

The colourway is 'Texas Bluebonnet'... and this yarn is their 'Dragonsock' 100% Superwash Merino.  The skein is 4 full ounces, so 390 yards - which is pretty good value.  I like to knit socks that are a little higher up on the ankle since I tend to freeze my butt off at the office (in my prime cubicle, sandwiched between the photocopier and the air conditionning vent) so the fact that there is a little extra length there is a plus for me.

Lately I have been completely intrigued by the pooling of handpainted yarns...  I think I have been reading too much of that Ravelry Thread about Pooling.  I know some people seem to think that having pooled or flashed areas ruins a pair of socks, but I find the idea fascinating.  There are always items on that thread where the maker says that they are "too pooled" or that the pooling is unattractive.  Somehow, those are always the ones I like the best!

I would estimate that these socks will have just the right amount of pool in them... with Medium Blues, fading to Greens and teals, then Chocolatey Brown.  I still haven't found just the perfect pattern yet but am actively on the search.  I've been dreaming about this yarn for a few months now, so any day I will get inspired and choose a pattern and have a go.  I think part of the reason I have been paying such close attention to the dyeing styles is that I have aspirations of dyeing my own sock yarn some day soon.  I went out and purchased some natural undyed yarn and am just waiting for the guts to get busy and messy.  I have some Landscape Brand dyes ready to go... just waiting for the mood to strike me.

  I think part of the reason I have been paying such close attention to the dyeing styles of different sock yarns is that I have aspirations of dyeing my own sock yarn some day soon.  I went out and purchased some natural undyed yarn and am just waiting for the guts to get busy and messy.  I have some Landscape Brand dyes ready to go... just waiting for the mood to strike me.

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