Jobo Designs

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

15. September 2009 07:30
by Jobo

Knitting at work... and the Commissionned Mitten Extravaganza

15. September 2009 07:30 by Jobo | 3 Comments

I find that a little knitting in my day helps to mellow me out, and help to recharge me when I am feeling like my attention span is waining.  Often I will haul out a small project from my purse and knit a few stitches, even if I only have time for a few rows.  It really is surprising how much knitting you accomplish in little dribs and drabs. 

I guess when you think about it, a mitten only has maybe 120 rows including the thumbs.. so if you manage to knit 5 rows on a 15 minute break, and maybe 10 at lunch, and maybe another 5 in the afternoon... thats 20 rows a day!  if you could do that every day (and I usually find I can unless we have meetings scheduled or go out for lunch)  I can get a mitten done a week just at work.  That isn't even counting my knitting time when I'm at home.  I think for some reason there is this perception that knitting is really time consuming and that it takes forever to get anything done.  For me, just doing a few rows here and there means that I get lots accomplished on my projects each week without really having to set aside long stretches of time.  even in the evenings, sometimes I will knit a few rows while waiting for supper to defrost, or while on the phone.  I think the real secret to getting lots of knitting done is just to keep it with you, keep it accessable, and to knit when you have a few spare minutes.  Those add up!

The other potential pitfall to knitting in the staff room at lunch is that other people see your work... and of course make comments like:  "do you sell those?"  For something like mittens, I have no problem making and selling.  I'm sure if someone was requesting a complicated cardigan or something that I had never made before, I might be more hesitant, but I know that mittens are a pretty straightforward project.  Even on the busiest of weeks I can sneak in time to knit a few dozen rows each day... and we all know that getting started is the hardest part.  Usually I can knit the cuffs for both mittens in an evening, and then the entire top of the mitten in an evening (if they are plain knitting, a little longer if they are thrummed or patterned) and the thumbs and the finishing in another evening.  I don't really enjoy deadline knitting, but I have been forced to do that in the past (aka Gifts that required timely completion)

During one such lunchtime knitting session, one of my coworkers asked if I could make some mittens for her Grandkids for christmas... smaller mittens, 5 months to make them in... I said sure :P

The Red ones are for an adorable little boy, and the purple for a cutie-pie little girl.  (Yes they chose their own colours at the yarn store!)  They sent me hand tracing pictures so I could be sure to make the right size (Since I didn't have them nearby to just sit them down and measure them) 

I always find the sizing on Thrum mittens to be a bit of a Challenge, just because the mittens have to be a little larger than usual just to accomodate all the fluffy wool inside.  That usually means making one size bigger than the child would normally wear.  Also with Children, I don't worry about Over-Thrumming.  As an Adult you may want to be able to feel the steering wheel through the mittens, or be able to hold that tiny purse handle... kids on the other hand need warmth, and more wool padding equals better efficiency for making and throwing snowballs with toasty warm fingers! 

I passed these over to the proud Gramma this morning... and forgot to take pictures last night, so excuse the desk top pictures.  (Boy my cubicle looks boring doesn't it?  definetly not enough yarn in here.  I should fix that.... bring in more yarn to make the place feel more like home.  Sigh, I'd likely get even less work done in a day...)

I don't know if you noticed either... I finally did some more work on my etsy store (see the lovely Widget inserted by Husbeast on the Right side of the Page)  If you see something you like, check it out :P


27. August 2009 21:00
by Jobo

All Thumbs... well maybe not!

27. August 2009 21:00 by Jobo | 2 Comments

Lately, I've been a Thrum Knittin Machine!   For Christmas I wanted to make a few pairs to give as gifts, and besides that I've had a few ladies at work ask if I could make some commissionned pairs.  I find that once I get into the swing of things each mitten goes pretty quickly... first the cuff, then the hands, slip stitches onto holders for the thumbs, then up the fingers and cast off.  BUT for some reason I can't seem to get inspired to do the thumbs... lol.  I think it's a kind of thumb procrastination problem!

Here they are... sooo close to being finished, but no 'thumbs-up' around here today.  What's got two thumbs and doesn't give a crap?  Not these Mittens!

Close up of the two contrasting styles of thrummables:

Red solid with traditional undyed cream coloured thrums, with staggered spacing.  Some people say that the thrums done this way look like little hearts embedded in the fabric.

Purple variegated with Natural Chocolate Merino Lamb's wool thrums - in a colour matching the main yarn so as to blend in.  These mittens use the standard evenly spaced grid thrum method, and have a more subtle appearance (less "heart" look) for a special person who would love a pair of thrummed mitts, but perhaps is not the sort of person who would wear things with hearts on them.


The thumbs might get completed someday soon... at least they are on my finish-me radar.  But until then - No Thumbs for YOU!

13. April 2009 11:11
by Jobo


13. April 2009 11:11 by Jobo | 0 Comments

That's one thing about creativity - sometimes you feel really inspired and like you are really making progress on your projects.  Other times, you simply do not feel this way. 

Over the Easter weekend, among countless loads of laundry and visiting with family and friends... I tried to work on some projects, but didn't feel all that productive unfortunately. 

 I worked a few rows on my olive green thrum mittens:  which are up past the thumb stitches on the second mitten now... almost there.  I have enough thrums made to finish, so now I just have to knit them in.  I find I work faster when I don't have to stop and make thrums all the way along.  It's amazing really, I can knit an entire pair of mittens in a very short period of time... i.e a flight to Las Vegas back in the fall.

Mark asked me a bit ago to make him an afghan *just for him* - a man's afghan!  Big, and Thick, and Warm.  So I chose crochet as the poison of choice for that blanket... so it doesn't take me years to finish.  (he read a few of the YarnHarlot Adventures from the books I bought... just to see what all the fuss was about!  and he particularly enjoyed the first story... the Big Green Blanket one)  So he askes so sweetly on Saturday... um, are you planning on doing some more on my afghan anytime soon?  So I took the hint... and completed another half-dozen diamonds.  The pattern is based on Tumbling Blocks, a traditional quilt pattern, so not very complicated, but still fairly impressive looking.  It wasn't big progress, but nonetheless, it was progress.  hey, its better than nothing right?

In other news, we have two coworkers who are expecting babies this summer/fall... so that means more baby goodies need to be finished too.  I knit the cutest little baby socks while watching a movie yesterday.  I will need to make 2 pairs of pink and 2 pairs of blue... since of course we don't know which we will end up with yet.  One Mommy in particular already has two adorable little boys, so if she has a girl this time... it will be *absolutely* necessary for pink accessorizing.  She has had all of the little boy blue stuff, so will definetly need some ruffly pink and purpley items!

So while the progress made didn't equal out to being any completed objects, I guess I did accomplish a little over the easter weekend... though somehow noone thought to bring me any easter eggs or chocolate bunnies!  I bet that would have really upped productivity!  I will have to hit the sale bins at the grocery store later on before all the choco-fiends snap it all up!

Keep on Knittin Folks!

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