Jobo Designs

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

21. March 2012 12:34
by Jobo
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Silk and Satin... progress

21. March 2012 12:34 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I?ve been working away on my little piles of silk and satin angora... trying to at least spin a handful each day of one or the other.  It feels most days like I don?t get much accomplished, but as you can see, the spindles are filling up over time.  I have a previous cop of the angora (top) already wound off onto a cardboard tube waiting for enough silk (bottom) to pair it up with.  And I also did a cop of each and made a plying ball (below) so I can keep on knitting when I have time.

Silk and Satin Angora on spindles 2

I can?t get over the shine from this thread.  ( I keep wanting to call it yarn... but quite honestly, it?s too fine to ever be called a yarn)  Even though this little plying ball looks tiny... when the winding was complete, there was 185 yards therein! 

The colors really do match perfectly too :)

Silk and Satin Angora Plying ball shiny closeup

20. February 2012 09:21
by Jobo
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A Care Package? with some spinner?s inspiration ? Satin Angora

20. February 2012 09:21 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Since I?ve been feeling a bit blue the last little while since the baby came? a friend sent me a care package in the mail with some nice tea and a handful of soft fluffy spinning inspiration ? some of her own home grown Satin Angora Fiber from her bum ?Lady in Red?! (if you want to check out Stella?s Farm Page, click the linky!  She has lots of different breeds of rabbits, sheep and alpacas.  I?m so jealous!  It?s called Twist of Fate Family Farm)

It?s been difficult to find much time for anything other than baby lately, so having a bit of satiny shiny light fiber just sitting there has been quite inspiring!  Just what I needed to kick me in the pants and pick up a spindle and see what I can do with it.

First off ? the staple length is great on this one.  It?s nice and long, so it spins up nice and strong, but not so lengthy that it?s hard to draft.  In a way, this spin reminds me a bit of working with silk, especially when I get a poof with a few extra guard hairs in it and feel the strong soft shiny fiber slide through my hands.  Angora in general is a bit slippery, but that?s nothing new to me :)  The color is a creamy, almost peach color, with auburn or rusty tips.  I love the way the two tones are blending together to give a shiny gold effect.

satin angora staple

My plan was to just spin it fine and see how things went from there? and then I got the idea that maybe it would be suited to pair with some natural honey colored tussah silk, since the color is working out to be a nice gold/creamy/shiny effect.  I?ve been working on a zebisis designs stone whorl spindle, with a weight I can?t remember off the top of my head.  I don?t work with heavy spindles, so I can assume it?s much less than 30g? more likely 15 ? 17g.  After the fiber comes off, I?ll weigh it and remind myself. 

satin angora spindle

I hope to be able to get enough yardage to make something small and lacy.  If I can manage 400 yards or more, I might even get a shawl out of it since I?m stretching the angora out by plying it with silk.  I can?t wait for the silk to arrive in the mail? though I?m not sure what I?m so impatient for:  it will likely take me all month to spin the angora?!

19. November 2011 10:20
by Jobo
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An extra special Fur Project

19. November 2011 10:20 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Every now and again I get to work on some very special projects… something beyond just knitting an established  project with boring old run of the mill wool.  In this case, the uniqueness comes in the form of some special dog fur. 

Gaia

I met the owner on the internet… she was looking for someone to spin up some fur from a well-loved Shepherd Dog – Gaia – who has since passed away.  I always find it interesting how people meet up sometimes, and how the internet makes the world that little bit smaller.  This fur came all the way from England to Prince Edward Island to be processed and worked into a keepsake photo frame. 

I’m a little embarrassed to say that this has taken me longer to get ready than I had anticipated… life is a little weird right now with the baby coming and all.  But I managed to get the fur carded up and spun at the Maritime Handspinners’ Retreat, and this weekend I plan on finishing up the knitting of the frame.

First things first:  Here’s the fluff itself!

Gaia Fur on Carder with Merino

I decided to use the drum carder for this project to make some nice puffy soft batts to spin from.  I actually had a decent amount of the dog fur (about 2 ounces) so I eyeball blended it with some soft creamy Merino Wool about 60:40 Dog : Merino.  I really liked the way that the golden/cream fur combined with the cream wool… not overpowering the color, but instead highlighting the depth of shade that was already present.  I got 4 nice big soft batts, and took them along with me for open spinning time at the retreat.  I even stumped a few people at the retreat who tried to identify the preparation.  One thought it might have been alpaca, because of the softness.

Oct 15 2011 176

Since I knew I was going to be knitting a photo frame, I decided to go with a standard 2-ply yarn, and let the fiber decide on the size as I went along.  It’s funny really how sometimes a fiber prep will tell you how it wants to be spun.  It seemed to flow through the fingers nicely at a fingering weight-ish single, so I just went with it.  The finished yarn feels like a light worsted weight or so, but I imagine will knit up like a regular to heavy worsted yarn because of the nice halo.  I do lovely that aspect of spinning canine undercoat – the yarn ends up with such a desirable substantial halo.  The stuff may be prone to felting, but boy is it warm!

Gaia Skein 1 

The finished skein is a nice size… somewhere around 3 – 3.5 ounces, and the finished yarn is already developing that characteristic halo.  I like the way that the cream and golden colors have marbled together and gave a nice soft variation in the finished yarn.  Now I’m off to skein it up and do a little swatching to choose the correct needle size.

I had a hard time finding a premade photo frame to measure and use for the dimensions of my knitted frame… so I think I’m going to get creative and wing it.  I figure, I intended to cover the entire frame with knitted fabric anyways, so I think I will make a frame in my own desired size from some nice smooth corrugated cardboard (maybe in 2 – 3 layers to give the illusion that there is a thicker wooden frame under the wool) and use that as my starting point.  It will be light for mailing back to the UK, but also can be any size that compliments the photo, so will give me a few more options to really showcase Gaia and his beautiful fur.

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