Jobo Designs

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

6. August 2012 09:28
by Jobo
1 Comments

Red Red Socks. A Grandma Story

6. August 2012 09:28 by Jobo | 1 Comments

My nearly 80 year old grandmother has been saying for years that she's too old/tired/etc to knit anymore.  She can't see very well, requires hearing aids, and generally doesn't feel all that well most of the time.  every project she completes, she comments that she thinks it will be the last doily/embroidered pillowcase/socks that she makes.

 

Well my Mother and I have been pulling the wool over her eyes for a while now. she runs out of yarn - and we buy some more.  She comments again that it's too much work. and I drop by with a newly finished project and some skeins of wool to be wound into balls.  She has something almost finished (aka. just the last toe on a pair of socks left) and my Mom will drop off some extra pretty yarn in just the right color.  Invariably, a few days later she will have cast on another project, and will keep on picking away at it Smile  She just needs a little encouragement along the way.

 

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One such knit-trickery scheme involved my Mom bringing Grandma some bright red (Grandma's favorite color) tonal-style yarn over one day.  In the past, Grandma always knit the same pair of cabled rib socks (a-la-old-patons-beehive-leaflet) for my Grampa over and over again.  They were always blue or grey or brown.  Manly colors.  Always in Kroy or old-school wool.  This red yarn was the exact opposite of the usual cool boring muted tones - it was soft, squishy, warm rosy reds and plums.

 

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Grandma wasn`t too sure anyone would wear socks made from such a bright color.  I assured her that I wear socks of every color. the brighter the better in fact.  I see them like a beacon of happy color, hidden in shoes during the day, but peeking out over the tops like a not-so-well-kept secret.  She agreed that if I would wear the socks. she would like to try knitting with that yarn.  So that was that.

 

Now the socks are done!  What do you think?  I think they look charming and cheery in red!  And there is just enough yarn left for a little pair for the littlest beetle too. My plan is to knit up a pair that will fit the Rome-ster and we can wear our matching set when we visit Grams again.  I bet that will keep her inspired for a little while longer?

 

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3. August 2012 09:11
by Jobo
0 Comments

Lilac Leaves. first crack at a traditionally constructed Haapsalu Shawl

3. August 2012 09:11 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I've been admiring these things for soooo long now, it's a little hard to believe its the first time I've managed to actually do one!  I've done some samplers, and several Estonian-style lace shawls. but this time I used the schematics from "The Haapsalu Shawl" book and decided to try the traditional way with a simple border and center motif.

 

lilac leaves with border

 

The basic idea is this:  Knit a rectangle with a garter stitch border.  Knit a border separately and seam it onto the rectangle in a manner that it stretches and melds in with the center.  After blocking, you can't tell it's sewn on at all.  In fact, I like the way it looks like the corners have been rounded a bit.

 

I decided to go with a very simple pairing for the first try. some lilac leaves for the central panel, and a basic garter lace edge.  I love the simplicity of this style of lace leaf.  It's a repeating pattern of 16 rows.   The reverse rows are all purl, the yarnovers stack in a perfectly tidy "spine" for the leaves, and the decreases form a simple point to the leaves.  I didn't have to think too hard, but still managed to create something quite elegant.

 

lilac leaves sewn on border

 

For a first time really sewing on a border, I think it turned out pretty well.  One mistake I made though. cutting the thread between the two long border sections.  All that meant was that I had 4 more stupid ends to weave in.  Also - I think I would be a little better at weaving in the ends next time.  The silk in the thread made things a little more slippery than I am used to, and meant a little more weaving and fiddling than plain wool would have been.

 

I was interested to learn that the edging is knit in garter lace (all wrong side rows are "knitted" instead of "purled") so that the points don't roll after blocking and unpinning.  The central panels of often very complicated lace are almost all stockinette lace (purling the wrong side rows) but the edgings are planned in a really smart way.  Somebody was thinking when they decided on that one. it's true - after blocking, even after folding and refolding, and toting it around for a week or two, no rolling.

 

More about the yarn. in case you were wondering:  It's KnitPicks Gloss lace in "Bare".  I really like the simplicity of this yarn.  70% Merino wool with 30% silk.  Nice and light (50g is about 440 yards) and the silk adds just that hint of shine.  I used about 75 g in total. basically using up the leftovers from some other project I had been puttering with.  I think next time I'd like to go for the full sized shawl though.  This one was around 18 inches wide by 50 inches long. the real deal Haapsalu should be more like 30 inches wide by 75 inches long.  I was running out of yarn, so maybe it's best I just stuck with the conservative approach.  I suppose not all things (quilts, shawls, blankets, etc) must be ginormously huge.  Try telling my brain that though.  "Go big or go home" is it's motto some days.

 

lilac leaves thru a ring

 

Seeing as how this shawl is using a little larger yarn than called for (a true Haapsalu uses finer 100% wool thread) and the dimensions aren't quite large enough. maybe it's not surprising that the shawl will slip through my wedding ring?  And No, I don't have super large hands or anything.  I'll be interested to see if the next one will go through it. I'm working on a Lily of the Valley one next, and it has lots of Nupps (Estonian bobble stitches of a fashion) which may add some bulk to the design.  Only time will tell  : )

27. July 2012 08:02
by Jobo
0 Comments

The Haapsalu Scarf: Square and Triangular Lace Scarves from Estonia

27. July 2012 08:02 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Holy Crap Batman.. the next instalment in the Haapsalu Shawl book series is out. and is it ever fantastic!

 

- As if the first book wasn't full of wonderful as it was. the second one is full of treasures and jaw-dropping incredible lace motifs.

 

- The previous publication was released in both English and Estonian, but this one is bilingual, with the pages divided up between the languages. Even so, it's still very readable and the print is nice and large. Some of the charts are tinier, but honestly, if you're crazy enough to try knitting these with thread and tiny needles, I doubt a small print chart is going to scare you off. just sayin' !

 

- More than just a lace dictionary. while full of charts and descriptions of different lace motifs and styles, this book also contains FULL patterns for many different scarves (FYI, in the Estonian tradition square and triangle lace is defined as a "Scarf", and a long rectangular stole is a "Shawl") and several formats for putting them together too. from the basic sewn on edging traditional format, to the more contemporary knit on borders and corner-miters.

 

- I've only flipped through the book a half dozen times so far. and not actually knit anything out of it yet, but I can tell you this:  The photography is fantastic, the historical details are fascinating, and the lace itself is breathtaking.  The first book was very well done, and I was able to knit actual projects from the basic schematics and charts alone, so I can only imagine how much easier it will be to get started on these where there are full patterns with stitch counts, layouts, etc.

 

- if you're thinking about buying this book:  Stop thinking about it and just do it.  Worth. Every. Penny.  I'm completely in love!

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