Jobo Designs

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

18. April 2011 08:24
by Jobo
3 Comments

Yarn Candy Monday: Persimmon Seasilk Merino Blend

18. April 2011 08:24 by Jobo | 3 Comments

 

persimmon seasilk wool handspun

The Persimmon Seasilk yarn is completed.... washed, balled, and ready to go now.  I love the oranges and reds that came out of it.

The fiber was a braid of Waterloo Wools - Seasilk / Merino Blend, in many shades of orange and red... colors that I love, but don't tend to gravitate towards in the same ways as my earth tones of blue, green, and brown.  The fiber itself was a delight to spin, and was fun as a travel spinning project.  I used my Golding Dragonfly spindle, spun from the fold one little tuft at a time from one end of the braid to the other, most of the work done on my lunch breaks or coffee breaks.  A few minutes here and there really adds up!

I didn't measure the entiretly of the yardage, but am estimating that I have around 700 yards of medium Laceweight, with some slightly fluctuating thick and thin spots.

This is destined to become a semicircular shawl - Vernal Equinox!  I've cast on, but only just barely.

More pics to come :)

 

persimmon seasilk wool handspun ball

I can't wait to see how this will stripe up and see how the colors will arrange themselves!

13. April 2011 16:05
by Jobo
1 Comments

BFL Sample... tons of fun in every one!

13. April 2011 16:05 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I recently subscribed to a Fiber Club with All for love of yarn  and part of the lovely package (which you will see as soon as I manage to take decent photographs of it!) was a little 0.5 ounce sample of Blue and Purple BFL Top.  I've worked with BFL before, and have enjoyed it, so I was excited to play with it and see what I could do with it for the Spin-Along.  There is a prize for the most creative use of the fiber, so I couldn't miss out on that!

Blue BFL Sample with card

Here is the sample - just a little chunk of fiber really.  Since I have been working on my thin spinning... and BFL would lend itself to a nice shiny lace-weight... and the thinner you spin you get more yardage... I decided that I should try spinning up a very fine lace from this and perhaps use it as my yarn to swatch for a Mini-Haapsalu Shawl.

I have been fascinated with Estonian lace since receiving the Haapsalu Shawl book a few months ago, and I've been just itching to make an authentic one, with the proper dimensions and traditional lace motifs.  One thing that has kind of irked me though, is the fact that traditionally the lace borders are knit separately and then sewn on.  And you thought sewing a sweater together sounded like fun?  How about sewing on several meters of lace edging?  I know I am capable (at least I really really hope I am) but I wanted a trial run to make sure.

April 11 2011 101

So I spun a nice cop of teensy singles on my little Golding Dragonfly (which weighs 0.7 ounces, so nice and light) and used andean plying to fold the single in half.  I managed to get 150 yards out of the 15 g sample, which I was pretty proud of in the end!  The finished lace-weight is light, strong, shiny, and quite smooth.  I'm sure it will fuzz up a little more over time, but in the beginning it was quite tight and ordered.

Blue BFL Sample Singles

Here are the Singles again... with a penny for comparison of size.  I always seem to forget to do WPI measurements of the singles.  For that matter, I tend to forget to measure WPI for anything really.  Woops.

Blue BFL Sample Skein  

I set out right away to work on my lace sample - I chose a simple leaf-lace for the center of the sample-shawl, and one of the simplest borders to try and sew on.  The Haapsalu Shawl book shows lots of examples, and the beginning sections of the book explain all of the calculations to know how many stitches you will need.  It isn't a "pattern"  book in the strictest sense of the word, but everything you need is there to come up with a shawl on your own.

Blue BFL Sample lace center

Here is my Leaf Lace center panel blocking (Yes, it is pinned out on a Sham-wow... why do you ask?)  and waiting for me to get my act together and make the lace edges.  I've done the math, and planned things out, so now I just have to get started.  I do have the first border cast on already...  170 stitches for each half, that's 340 stitches of casting on, and then casting back off.... for only a sample shawl.  The real deal will have more like 600 - 700 stitches for those border edges.  Eek!

Blue BFL Sample lace leaves

And here is a closeup of the pretty Leaves... just because the fine Handspun looks so goooood.  Despite being Blue layered on the most hideous, offensive orange known to man.  So far so good :)

8. April 2011 08:21
by Jobo
0 Comments

Back to the "Swatching" Board...

8. April 2011 08:21 by Jobo | 0 Comments

You might have noticed the swatch under Grampy's Scissors in the post on Monday... What WAS that anyways?  Well... it is the latest Angora swatch... testing out some lovely traditional Estonian designs from a book I bought recently Haapsalu Shawl by Siiri Reimann.  The book itself is amazing!  It isn't exactly a step-by-step pattern book, more an anthology of wonderful traditional patterns and motifs.  Drool Drool.

Lily of the valley swatch

The yarn (or dare I say "Thread") is a soft blend of "Blue" English Angora fiber (from my "Private" supplier *wink wink*) and some  Handpainted Seasilk Top that I've been tiptoing around in my stash.  The Seasilk is dyed in Blues and Purples, reminiscent of lazy purple sunset clouds and the color of perfect faded blue jeans.  When mixed with the Angora, the result is a very light, very soft hand, and a delightful muted purple tone.

To give you an idea of size... this swatch was knitted on 2 mm needles, with the light 2-ply laceweight, and still looks quite airy!  The blocked piece is around 4 inches by 5.25 inches.  Not very large, but full of movement, and very light and drapy.

lily swatch

The motif featured is a variation of "Lily of the Valley" - with lots of nice Nupp stitches (basically little bobbles) interspersed with lacy YO loops, and an alternating Maple Leaf.  I worked these nupps with 5x wraps, but I think if I actually go forward with this I might do 7x or 9x just to make them extra full and textured.

My goal is to choose a traditional pattern and make a classic Haapsalu shawl from my own Ruttiger Fuzzybutt fiber... complete with a sewn on border, and the proper Haapsalu dimensions.  I'm guessing I will need somewhere around 1500 yards of thread to accomplish such a project, but that shouldn't be a big deal if I can finalize my fiber blend.  I'm not sure how much the thread will fuzz up, or whether that fuzzing will obscure the lace and the nupps.  I plan on abusing the swatch a little and then I'll gauge from there if the yarn will serve the purpose.

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