Jobo Designs

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

30. December 2009 13:27
by Jobo

Phat Christmas Loots!

30. December 2009 13:27 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Santa found me!  ... and brought me some Holiday Yarntastic Gifts:

Christmas Loot

My mom  brought home yarny treasures from her trip to Maine earlier this summer (I KNEW she was lying when she told me there were no yarn stores in Maine... seriously!)  - 2 Skeins from Done Roving Farm and Carding Mill in really nice colors.  One skein (the purple and grey one) I forgot to take photos before winding it.  My Grandmother offered on Christmas morning to help me get it ready for knitting, and helped me wind the whole thing, so it's all ready to start knitting as soon as I get my current socks off the needles.  The other skein is very bright and goes from Robin's Egg blue to rich Royal Purple....  mmmmm :)

I also got 2 great books - one a stitch dictionary from the Husbeast, and the other Cookie A's new sock book from J.B.

The stitch dictionary is really going to come in handy when I start doing more designing and trying to create more things on my own.  I spent a couple hours just flipping through and daydreaming about the possibilities... and then when I was done with it I got to flip through Cookie's amazing designs.  I think I want to try and do the last pair in the book first of all - "Kai-Mei" maybe in some semisolid yarn or something.

All in all, there has been a reasonable amount of holiday knitting time too over the holiday.  Maybe it's just that I am getting more comfortable knitting wherever I go, but I managed to knit the better part of 2 shawls and finish a pair of socks so far and I still have 6 more days off before I have to go back to work.  My goal is to finish the second shawl, and then hopefully another pair of socks so the needles will be free for Sock Wars (which starts on Jan 15... woo hoo!  Can't wait!)

18. December 2009 15:09
by Jobo

Divine Chapeau

18. December 2009 15:09 by Jobo | 1 Comments

The hunt for fast, efficient, well-received Christmas projects is on!  I tried my best this year to work on homemade gifts for my family members and friends, but seriously folks ? there is only a week left before Christmas! (If you weren?t aware, I?m so sorry to break the news)

After some time spent procrastinating, then panicking, then searching for patterns, I found this:

Divine Hat by Rheatheylia


Originally, I thought I might *knit* some hats or scarves or something for a couple of hard to buy for people on my list.  I generally feel bad about gifting people boring things like gift certificates and chocolates, though I?m not exactly sure why, because I myself love receiving these!  So in efforts to better round out a less-personal gift, I try and throw in something homemade.  Last year, my go-to homemade item was basic fingerless mitts (a-la-Irish-Hiking-Mitts) and they seemed to be reasonably well received? (at least to my face)

I knew that I could probably knit the projects, but where time is running short, I deduced that *crochet* might end up being a more efficient use of my time in this case.  I generally prefer to crochet large projects, like blankets, as opposed to knitting them just because it is so much faster!  For some reason I tend to forget that you can crochet smaller more detailled items too? who knows why.

So I set out on Rav to try and find some ideas for Crocheted Hats? and this is what I came up with.  (Not only me, according to Ravelry records, more than 900 of these have been recorded to date)  The designer, Rheatheylia, must be so proud that this pattern has become such a mainstay ? and I can say, the attention is 100% deserved, this is a really well written pattern, and a fun design to work on!

I really like the little ?shell? pattern that emerges from this straightforward recipe ? made almost entirely of Double-Crochets.  The whole thing works up FAST.  I don?t mean ?get-it-done-in-a-few-days? fast? I mean ?make-the-whole-hat-in-three-hours? Fast!  In particular, Rheatheylia?s row join technique is INGENIUS? you really can?t tell where the rows join in the finished hat! (a relief to me since seamless row joins are something which I have not completely mastered)  The only modification I made was to go down a hook size since I generally crochet pretty loose ? I used 6.0 mm for the main body of the hat and a 5.0mm hook for the ribbing.

For this particular hat, I used a wayward skein of Paton?s Canadiana Wool and used up around 3/4 of the skein (yay for sales at Michael?s last month ? it cost me less than 4$ to make this hat)  Just for kicks, I thought I would start a second hat and see how far I would get with the rest of the ball, and I got to Row 10.  From the estimate, it looks like I will be able to get 3 hats from 2 balls of wool, which is very convenient since I have another ball just sitting at home waiting for me? lol.  I also have a skein of Cream Yarn of the same brand which may find itself also becoming a Divine Hat.

Now I just have to go home and crochet like a crazy person? I think I could reasonably churn out 2-3 more of these for gifts if I really got at it.  Imagine, if the first one only took 3 hours? Now that I don?t have to look at the pattern, things are only going to get faster and faster!

6. December 2009 09:00
by Jobo

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas 2009 DAY 6

6. December 2009 09:00 by Jobo | 2 Comments

Today’s favorite things:  more books… but this time ones I would like to find in my Christmas Stocking! 

(in case you’re wondering how I might fit larger books in my humble stocking… just know this:  My mom knit us each a stocking when we were little, and they were big enough to stand up in with both legs inside and pull up almost to our waists when we were 5 or 6 years old.  Over the years, they seem to have just stretched from use/overuse :)

Being as enthusiastic as I am about homemade socks… as you can imagine, I would love to have more sock books – all different shapes and sizes too!


sock innovation

Sock Innovation – Cookie A

Wandering around Ravelry, knitters are able to find all kinds of unique sock patterns and become introduced to many different breeds of designers.  Early on, I knew I liked Cookie A. designs because of the unique way she twists and turns geometrics.  Cookie’s socks aren’t just the same construction over and over again, each pattern has it’s own creative edge – these aren’t your basic socks with a basic stitch pattern on the back of the foot and around the leg, they are complete works of art!  In the beginning, I wasn’t sure I would be up to the challenge of knitting socks like these… but I think my skills have finally matured enough to give it a try :)  I think I would like to try every pattern in this book… and considering there are 15 in there, it might take me a while to work my way through.  I think this particular collection would stretch my current sock-knitting boundaries and help me step out of my comfort zone and challenge me in many new ways.



Toe-Up – Chrissy Gardiner

Another popular sock designer, Chrissy Gardiner has so many beautiful patterns available… this book Toe-Up!  being just full of unique ideas.  Personally, I have always been a traditional style sock knitter, and only recently have I ventured away from the standard cuff-down, gusset style heel, ordinary style sock.  Now that I’ve stepped outside that box, I’m not sure there is any way to rein myself back in!  I particularly love the clarity of Chrissy’s patterns… after making my first pair of socks guided by her straightforward and complete instructions I vowed that they wouldn’t be my last.  This book includes some toe-up formulas and tips for constructing different styles of heels and toes – and also 15 new patterns to help you hone your new skills.  I like the idea of learning some more general sock formulas so I can learn to ad-lib more.  I am still relatively new to the toe-up camp, so there is still lots that I can learn about this along the way.



New Pathways for Sock Knitters – Cat Bordhi

One cannot discuss sock designers without mentionning Cat Bordhi…  another master of the craft.  How do you knit a sock that fits your foot perfectly?  Cat knows.  Without a doubt.  ‘New Pathways for Sock Knitters’  is a master class in sock architecture and design.  Apparently each new architecture opens doors to more unique and creative ways to knit socks… as if I need an excuse to get more hopelessly addicted to this craft?!  I haven't gotten to try knitting socks on 2 circular needles yet, but am anxious to jump onto that bandwagon and see what the view is like :)  All authorities on sock knitting say that Cat’s techniques are a must – I won’t argue with that.

All in all… I am amazed by the selection of fantastic sock knitting collections there are out there!  You might have noticed, a lot of my picks for books are the types of publications that include reference material and tutorial sections.  I really enjoy knitting patterns as is, but the idea of being able to do more customization and tweaking of existing patterns is a very exciting one.  I find it enjoyable to be able to really understand the process and be able to personalize the projects I am working on to my own needs and tastes.  At this point I think this is why I have such difficulty with sweaters and more complicated wearables.  I have yet to make enough of them to know what modifications are needed to make a proper fitting garment for my own non-standard shaped body.  Socks, however, are becoming more and more comfortable a project for me, and I think I am ready to challenge myself and learn more complex architecture strategies.  I’m not sure why socks excite me as much as they do, but they sure do :)  Happy sock knitting to all, and to all a good night.

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