Jobo Designs

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

27. October 2011 09:32
by Jobo

Pretties from the Retreat...

27. October 2011 09:32 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Is there anything better than walking around a room stuffed full of yarn and fiber vendors... where you are ENCOURAGED to touch, pet and fondle all the yarns you can find?  sigh.  I want to go to there.  Again.

Here are just a few of the goodies I picked up from the Bobbin Tree display.  Believe me - I showed great restraint.  There were many many braids and skeins and bags of things that were desirable.  I only came home with a few.  This is saying a lot!

BobbinTree Blended Merino granite 3

Ashland Bay Blended Merino Top "Granite"... repackaged by the lovely Janet at the Bobbin Tree in 50g and 100g braids so that there would be something for everyone.  This colorway is the ultimate in neutral browns, grays and denim.  I  picked up 2 of the 100g braids... because you just never know.  I think this is either going to be a featherweight shawl... or super chunky men's mittens.  very decisive, I know.

southafrican fine wtih fiber 

Waterloo Wools South African Fine Wool in "Sea Dragon" - Did you notice that there are no photos of this fiber in Braid form?  This was my indulgence on Saturday at the retreat.  This sproingy, soft, vibrant fiber just sang to me - Spin me NOW, don't think about me too much, tear me up, twist me and voila!  So I did.  With gusto.  I loved all of the colors... various shades of blues, greens, acid yellows, purples, and everything in between.  I let the fiber dictate the plan and basically let it spin itself.  Before I even got home from the retreat I had a 2 oz skein of Bulky weight 2 ply.  This type of yarn is a bit out of character for me, as I usually gravitate towards superfine lace yarns... but it was fun.  I will have to try this again soon :)

waterloo wools lace larimar

Waterloo Wools Soft-Single Laceweight "Larimar" - I had been wanting to try some Malabrigo lace, but somehow have never crossed paths with any in my travels.  (so sad, I know)  So when I saw this lovely yarn, and it reminded me of that style of softly spun, almost lightly felted singles, I could not resist.  For those not familiar with "Larimar" as a color... this is also the name of a lovely blue stone jewelry you can get down in the Dominican Republic...  the color reminds me of the Caribbean Ocean in it's blue loveliness.  I was happy also to see that the yardage is excellent - 800 yards if I remember correctly.  This should make a perfect light lacy shawl just for me... and in a fabulous color too!  This yarn was featured in 3 other jeweled tones... which I really had to exert a lot of effort not to bring home with me.

11. November 2010 18:41
by Jobo

Introducing... the Cricket: Weaving 101

11. November 2010 18:41 by Jobo | 1 Comments

A few weeks ago, at the Maritime Handspinners' Retreat, I saw a cute little loom.  In fact this little loom looked so tidy and straightforward, and was so reasonably priced, that I ordered one on the spot... and it arrived at my door finally on Monday morning!

Meet the Schacht Cricket Loom - a small rigid heddle loom with an 11 inch weaving surface.

warping the cricket Now, this isn't my first foray into the world of weaving, but it has definetly been a while since I've laid my hands on a real loom.  Years ago when I went to the Gaelic College over in Cape Breton, NS, I took a short weaving course that used a very similar loom, though I can't remember the specific name of the table loom I learned on...

The model Cricket that was on display at the retreat had a beautiful handspun scarf warped and in progress... it looked so interesting, I couldn't help myself after all.  Janet at the Bobbin Tree Kiosk kindly twisted my arm encouraged me to give weaving a try again, and kindly had the loom shipped directly from Schacht to my door step for me :)

The Cricket was very easy to set up.  All I needed was a screwdriver!  The set-up instructions were simple to follow, and because this is a fairly basic type of loom, I was ready to start warping after only a half an hour of set-up time.

I had always heard how horrible the warping process is (for those of you who aren't familiar with weaving terms... the "Warp" is the vertical threads that are strung on the loom, they stay pulled tight while you do the weaving back and forth with the horizontal "weft") and I was expecting that I'd spend a fair bit of the day getting the warp ready to go.  Not so!  I watched a couple of YouTube Videos last week, and armed only with the little booklet that comes with the loom, I was able to get the thing strung in about a half an hour.  I'm sure that next time I try it, I'll be done in half the time.  The warping peg clamped onto my dining room table and made the stringing process quite straightforward.

warping the cricket 2 The kit comes with a ball of very bright green yarn and a ball of medium blue... the blue coincidentally matched the skein of "Wild" art yarn that I made at the retreat, so I decided that this might be a good way to use it up.  I'm not fond of knitting with super bulky thick-n-thin art yarns, so I thought that I should try weaving it instead.  There was nothing to lose.

I forgot to take a photograph of the wild skein before I started winding it onto the shuttle.  Needless to say, this yarn is very different from my usual styled handspun yarns.  It was spun from a very large art batt, kindly put together with the help of Louise at the retreat.  We started with some Blue wool, then added in everything from sari silk bits to mohair locks, silk noils, more wool, glitz, firestar, and every color under the rainbow!  I was horrified and intrigued all at the same time as I spun this crazy batt into a thick and thin low twist single.  In the end, the predominant colors were Blues and Oranges.  The finished yarn was "nice"... but it just isn't "me". 

And so... with the Cricket warped... I wound the art yarn onto the shuttle, and I began to weave:

weaving scarf 1

I was impressed at just how well the color of the kit yarn and the handspun yarn matched together.  The blue warp seemed to ground the color scheme back to blues... in spite of all the wild orangeness.

waeving scarf. 3 

The Thick and Thin bits actually added nice texture to the woven fabric,  I thought it would look all lumpy and unattractive, but it seemed to form little waves and ebbs and flows of color instead.  The blue background kept the piece tied together.  Even the little silk stringy bits seemed to blend in more than I would have imagined.

waeving scarf 2

I've finished the scarf itself, learned how to work a hemstitch, and now the scarf is soaking in a nice warm bath.  I'll try and post more photos when it has been dried and pressed.  I will be interested to see how it turns out in the end.  The weaving process was quite fun though... and I am anxious to get another piece of some sort set up to work at...  weaving is quite fast compared to knitting it appears ;)

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