Jobo Designs

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

25. October 2011 08:21
by Jobo

Maritime Handspinners' Retreat - the Vendors!

25. October 2011 08:21 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I've been a bit slack with my blogging since I got home from the Retreat... I've been preoccupied with my purchases, and required 8-months-pregnant naps!  Today I'd like to share a bunch of photos from the vendors area.... It was a great experience to walk around and chat with the vendors and fondle admire the wares.  When else can you go shopping and be encouraged to pick up everything and touch it?  Buying fiber is a very tactile experience for me.  I need to feel what the fiber is like to know what I can do with it... which is difficult because I often buy wool online for lack of local stores with such goodies.  I'd be surprised if anyone would look at you funny if you rolled around in a pile of fiber on the floor in a room like that!  Very freeing experience.

Note:  I'm trying something new with the photos:  Click the thumbnails for full sized images!  (Thank you to my technical staff for the upgrade... ahemHUSBANDcough)

The Bobbin Tree - many wonderful wooly treats...  complete with experienced wool-pusher and enthusiast Janet!  (whose hair matched some of her fiber perfectly... just sayin *wink*)  I succumbed to the pitfalls of the booth and ended up with yarn, combed merino top, and a few other goodies too!  Also:  Jobo's prize for the best booth mascot goes to Orville - the Bobbin Tree Owl!

 the Bobbin Tree the Bobbin Tree the Bobbin Tree the Bobbin Tree the Bobbin Tree

Gaspereau Valley Fibres - our wonderful hostesses for the weekend... and their piles of dyed locks, tops, books, etc.  There were many people walking around with large brown paper gift bags full of these scrumptious locks!  The service was great too!

 Oct 15 2011 271 Oct 15 2011 267

Cobweb Woolies - There were many many bags of wooly treasures at this table... it was like a sea of them!  Delia had bags of both washed and unwashed natural wool locks in every color under the sun!  Wooly Balls made a comeback - basically dyed beautiful locks wrapped into balls with elastic bands hanging on a tree... forget holiday ornaments, you can decorate my Christmas tree with these!?  I bought a bag of creamy white washed Romney locks (8 oz) to play with, and it's springy and wonderful!

 Cobweb Woolies Wooly Balls! Cobweb Woolies

Handspun Silks - luscious, wonderful, handspun reeled and spun silks by women in developping countries!  I couldn't believe the beautiful colors of the silks, dyed with natural products and locally sourced dyes.  One particular shining beige brown was dyed with coconut husks, and just had such a warm lovely glow.  The second photo with the felted soaps, brown hat, and yarns... I'm sorry I can't remember the name of the vendor... but the products were really neat!  I almost bought one of the felted soap kits... but I feared it would be to nice to use, and would languish in the bathroom forever!

 Handspun Silk Can't remember vendor name!  Sorry!

Alpaca House Farm - I had a very interesting chat with a gentleman alpaca herder (and vintage motorcycle enthusiast) about farming, fiber production and processing, and alpaca yarn and blankets in general!  The fleeces were lovely, as evidenced by the prize ribbons, and this fellow's woven blankets were out of this world! I loved the geometric patterns in the two colored weave... priceless!

  Alpaca House Farm Alpaca House Farm Alpaca House Farm

I very much enjoyed all of the vendors and tables, but these were the only ones I managed to photograph between the petting of the yarn :)  All in all - a fantastic marketplace full of enthusiastic and helpful vendors and fiber artists!

22. November 2010 09:15
by Jobo

Finished Art Yarn Woven Scarf

22. November 2010 09:15 by Jobo | 0 Comments

woven scarfAfter a good warm bath, and a day or so to dry... here is my first finished woven scarf!

The finished product smoothed out fairly nicely, and where there had been some minute gaps in the weave, the soak seemed to even things out.  I find the finished scarf to be a little bit itchy, but that might be the mohair content in it, which I generally find to be quite irritating close to the skin.

I am surprised at how much I enjoyed weaving with the "art" yarn... Because I really do not enjoy knitting with it.  I am one of those knitters who likes to see the stitch definition.  I like seeing orderly matching stitches, and the geometric patterns they form.  Knitting with lumpy bumpy uneven textured yarns is interesting, and generally gives unique results, but in the end, I find I am not drawn to that style.  In the weaving however, this unevenness lends character to the fabric, and makes a beginner weaver's mistakes less obvious.  When my weaving wasn't exactly even, a thin or thick strand broke up the basic basketweave pattern enough that it covered my flaws.  Even the slubs and bits of sari silk blended in without standing out from the finished product in a disruptive way (unlike knitting where they seem to dangle from the fabric on one side or the other, sticking out like a sore thumb)

The finished scarf did shrink some in the wash, which I was expecting to happen after reading about the "set" process.  I didn't take a finished measurement, but it fits nicely around the neck without hanging out the bottom of my coat.  I made a basic fringe with overhand knots - combining 4 strands of warp together. The tassels look really blue though, and I wish I had thought of combining in some of the art yarn to carry the glitz and sparkle all the way to the tips.

My brain has been churning away... thinking of what weaving project I should try next... but AFTER the holidays of course.  I likely don't have much free play time until then ;)

11. November 2010 18:41
by Jobo

Introducing... the Cricket: Weaving 101

11. November 2010 18:41 by Jobo | 1 Comments

A few weeks ago, at the Maritime Handspinners' Retreat, I saw a cute little loom.  In fact this little loom looked so tidy and straightforward, and was so reasonably priced, that I ordered one on the spot... and it arrived at my door finally on Monday morning!

Meet the Schacht Cricket Loom - a small rigid heddle loom with an 11 inch weaving surface.

warping the cricket Now, this isn't my first foray into the world of weaving, but it has definetly been a while since I've laid my hands on a real loom.  Years ago when I went to the Gaelic College over in Cape Breton, NS, I took a short weaving course that used a very similar loom, though I can't remember the specific name of the table loom I learned on...

The model Cricket that was on display at the retreat had a beautiful handspun scarf warped and in progress... it looked so interesting, I couldn't help myself after all.  Janet at the Bobbin Tree Kiosk kindly twisted my arm encouraged me to give weaving a try again, and kindly had the loom shipped directly from Schacht to my door step for me :)

The Cricket was very easy to set up.  All I needed was a screwdriver!  The set-up instructions were simple to follow, and because this is a fairly basic type of loom, I was ready to start warping after only a half an hour of set-up time.

I had always heard how horrible the warping process is (for those of you who aren't familiar with weaving terms... the "Warp" is the vertical threads that are strung on the loom, they stay pulled tight while you do the weaving back and forth with the horizontal "weft") and I was expecting that I'd spend a fair bit of the day getting the warp ready to go.  Not so!  I watched a couple of YouTube Videos last week, and armed only with the little booklet that comes with the loom, I was able to get the thing strung in about a half an hour.  I'm sure that next time I try it, I'll be done in half the time.  The warping peg clamped onto my dining room table and made the stringing process quite straightforward.

warping the cricket 2 The kit comes with a ball of very bright green yarn and a ball of medium blue... the blue coincidentally matched the skein of "Wild" art yarn that I made at the retreat, so I decided that this might be a good way to use it up.  I'm not fond of knitting with super bulky thick-n-thin art yarns, so I thought that I should try weaving it instead.  There was nothing to lose.

I forgot to take a photograph of the wild skein before I started winding it onto the shuttle.  Needless to say, this yarn is very different from my usual styled handspun yarns.  It was spun from a very large art batt, kindly put together with the help of Louise at the retreat.  We started with some Blue wool, then added in everything from sari silk bits to mohair locks, silk noils, more wool, glitz, firestar, and every color under the rainbow!  I was horrified and intrigued all at the same time as I spun this crazy batt into a thick and thin low twist single.  In the end, the predominant colors were Blues and Oranges.  The finished yarn was "nice"... but it just isn't "me". 

And so... with the Cricket warped... I wound the art yarn onto the shuttle, and I began to weave:

weaving scarf 1

I was impressed at just how well the color of the kit yarn and the handspun yarn matched together.  The blue warp seemed to ground the color scheme back to blues... in spite of all the wild orangeness.

waeving scarf. 3 

The Thick and Thin bits actually added nice texture to the woven fabric,  I thought it would look all lumpy and unattractive, but it seemed to form little waves and ebbs and flows of color instead.  The blue background kept the piece tied together.  Even the little silk stringy bits seemed to blend in more than I would have imagined.

waeving scarf 2

I've finished the scarf itself, learned how to work a hemstitch, and now the scarf is soaking in a nice warm bath.  I'll try and post more photos when it has been dried and pressed.  I will be interested to see how it turns out in the end.  The weaving process was quite fun though... and I am anxious to get another piece of some sort set up to work at...  weaving is quite fast compared to knitting it appears ;)

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