Jobo Designs

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

16. January 2015 11:33
by Jobo
0 Comments

12 Pairs of Socks in 2015

16. January 2015 11:33 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Knitting seems to help me feel more like *myself* – so I guess I should be making the effort to knit more often!

Over on Facebook I joined an “Addicted to Sock Knitting” group… which is full of great conversations about knitting socks, photos of the projects people are working on, and links to awesome yarns and patterns. 

One of their current fun Knit Alongs is for a year long series of projects (free patterns generously offered by Heatherly Walker) to be knit using yarn from one’s stash.  There will be prizes coming on the end of 2015, but what interests me the most is the opportunity to work along on something new each month.

There was a time when I could polish off a whole pair of complicated lace socks in 3-4 days.  A week was plenty of time to finish pretty much any kind of pattern.  So I think it should be reasonable for me to try and complete one pair a month.

The event’s rules say that you don’t always need to do the free pattern of the month… you can make it whatever you want.  So My plan is to see what the monthly pattern is… and if I like it – to just jump in and knit it.  If it’s really not my style or too complicated, I’ll just pick something else and go for it.

 

So without further ado – here is January’s pair:

20150116_152222

Pattern:  “Hornet” socks by Heatherly Walker

Yarn:  KnitPicks Stroll Tweed.  Flagstone Heather

 

Notes:

It’s my first time working with the tweed version of Stroll… but as per usual… the Stroll line doesn’t disappoint! 

The pattern was a nice change from my everyday… I usually would not choose a pattern where the design is made up of plain knit and purls.  I’m usually more attracted to cables or lace, or cables WITH lace!  (Yes, a bit crazy).  I must admit though that I only loosely followed the pattern.  There were a few places where the pattern charts didn’t make a complete chevron on the heel and foot of the sock (a few rows missing to make the chevrons continuous…) which probably wouldn’t have been noticeable in the finished project, but I have issues with geometry and continuity.  So I modified to suit myself and was fine with this.  I’m cool with making small alterations on the fly like that.  If you’re a knitter who isn’t bothered by this sort of thing – go to town and knit as written.  The pattern makes a nice, tidy, well-fitting sock Smile

22. December 2014 20:33
by Jobo
0 Comments

They are Done - Slippers fit for a Whovian!

22. December 2014 20:33 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I always have fun working on custom creations in this case the project started with an idea ? comfy slippers. 

The client and I started our conversation innocently enough ? with him wanting to have a nice warm pair of slippers crafted for his wife as a holiday surprise.  After a few discussions about likes and dislikes, the project took a quick turn into the world of Dr Who, and the idea of morphing the new popular Slipper Boot design and creating a TARDIS-inspired design.  When a search for themed buttons came up disappointingly short I decided to paint my own buttons with circular Gallifreyan messages for the client as well!  (see previous posts here, here and here for more details on the process and the evolution)

Well here is the finished product:

side view slippers

I started my project using the popular Drops Red Riding Slippers pattern.  I made the foot portion basically as written using a similar sized yarn ? and then modified the leg and ankle portion to suit myself.  The finished buttons are fun and have an interesting hidden message for the client too.

buttons close up 2

The finished fabric is nice and thick, and feels great on I?m almost sad to see them leave my house and move on to their new home.  I think I might have to make myself a pair soon!  It?s a nice thing to have warm toasty feet this time of year.

slipper side view again

9. December 2014 15:38
by Jobo
1 Comments

Yaksperiment... Experimenting with Yak Fiber

9. December 2014 15:38 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I have a good spinner friend who likes to challenge me...

She is always trying new techniques and new fibers, with the goal of creating different types of projects.

Well, the latest new fiber to try is quiviut! she is working on spinning a very fine lace weight from quiviut roving that she has... And it just so happens that I have a very small sample bag of both quiviut and yak fiber.  So I am going to play along with her.

there is definitely a learning curve with trying this yak fiber... The bag that I have is quite small, and I forgot to weigh it before I began. It's just a regular sized sandwich baggie with a few small poofs of fiber.  Some of it is a little bit compressed, so I thought it probably needed to be carded.

20141203_162949

How to card it is another important question... yak is a very short staple fiber at maybe an inch long in the bag that I have. That means worsted techniques an inchworm drafting are not going to work here at all. I carded my fiber into some tight Puni style rolags. 

The first one I carded I spread the fiber over the entire card but I think that was a mistake. I had to take the fiber off in three portions and I used small knitting needles to wrap the fiber around. I compressed it a little bit so it would hold on to itself during spinning.

20141204_134001 20141204_134122 20141204_134138

The next time I decided to just put the fiber on the first third of the the hand card and remove it in one single go with a larger knitting needle. This time I used 5 mm ones. And I did not compress nearly as much. I think that the diameter of the knitting needles better matched the staple length of the fiber and resulted in an easier to spin roll of fiber.  You could almost see the fiber spiralling out of the end of the rolags.

As for the feeling of spinning yak... I can only describe it as though it feels like I am spinning dryer lint... Lol. After hours of playing with this stuff I went and got a handful of lint from the laundry just to see how they compared.  The lint was really, really short, and I couldn't keep it together much past drafting.  I could draft maybe two inches, and then it fell apart before winding on :)  Yak really does feel a bit linty.

20141203_163003

I had to really adjust my usual spindling technique to make it work... I ended up using a kind of modified long draw technique. It seemed to work best when I drafted quite far from the spindle tip. I tried to keep my drafting triangle at least a foot or more from the spindle tip and held the fiber very very lightly. It felt almost like chewing gum stretching... But don't even think about stretching too far or this fiber breaks into little useless strings. The first roll I tried, I think I threw away as much as made it onto the spindle.

After a little experimenting and testing I decided I should try spinning some of the fiber directly from the bag to see what that was like too.  I fluffed up a piece and went for it - and shockingly, even though it had been a bit compressed, the fiber was clean and untangled and it drafted just as easy from this preparation as my pain-in-the-butt rolags had.  Lesson to self - simplicity.  Try it.

In the end, I just flew by the seat of my pants on this one, yielding a really soft, light two ply laceweight.  I thought it should spin finer, but this weight is what felt reasonable.  My yarn is very inconsistent, lots of slubs and thick or thin bits.  There are lots of fibers that I've tried, only to find them scratchy and unpleasant.  I'm surprised to say, that yak feels almost like cotton to me.  It's pretty limp and not very stretchy.  It's soft enough for close contact to skin... and I think I'm confident in saying I'd be cool with Yak fiber underpants in the case of a zombie apocalypse.  I'd probably sweat my derriere off, because this stuff is supposed to be mega warm though.

My friend is going to knit hers into a bookmark swatch... so I'm going to do the same... here is my unblocked progress:

20141208_222244

Powered by BlogEngine.NET | Theme: Yoko by Elmastudio, adapted by onesoft

Top