Jobo Designs

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

4. November 2014 10:32
by Jobo
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Freeform Lace... with Handspun of Course!

4. November 2014 10:32 by Jobo | 0 Comments

 

I recently acquired a few new spindles... some Phil Powell Russians!  They are a delightful spin - very well crafted, and a very nice long twirl.  He makes a bunch of different types of spindles... which you see a selection of here:  Metal tipped, Swarovsky Crystal tipped, and Gemstone tipped (shown here in Rose Quartz).  His Etsy shop is often sold out, but he's willing to take custom orders, so if you like this sort of thing, please do email him!  That's how I ended up with the two gem Russians :)  Ask and Ye shall be Enabled!

So I suppose you're wondering what they're sitting on?  Well you can't have new spindles and not test them out... no Sir.  That's just wrong.

The Fiber

I was gifted a small batt in a swap some time ago that I thought would be an excellent test floof.  I can't find any "before" photos of it though.  Woops!  (sleep deprivation MUCH?) But I do know it's details!  It's a 20 gram sample Batt "Wine and Roses" from a Nunoco Smorgasbox (photo stolen from Etsy!).  While not very large... it was just right for goofing around with.  I loved using these spindles, and I can't wait to do some more with them!  The batt was basically a gradient from light pink through to burgundy.

 

The Yarn

- I decided to spin the batt fine, moving from one color to the next in a long gradual gradient, and then chain ply it to finish up. 

- I ended up with something between lace weight and fingering... mostly closer to laceweight. 

- Final guesses on Yardage:  125 yards

Design

- so what does one actually DO with 125 yards of very light fingering weight yarn?

- I decided to just cast on and play with some lace, with no real pattern or plan. 

- I knit a strip of Shetland inspired border, then flipped it 90 degrees and picked up stitches along the side.  I worked in a waffle type eyelet stitch for a while, and flipped it again.  I worked some freeform picots around the edge, and ended up with a long lace rectangle. 

- My plan is to stitch the ends together and make a loop neck warmer. 

- It might be ugly... I'm not sure what it will look like exactly until I do it and try it on. It's made of buttery soft merino wool, and it's handspun lace.  So I'll probably wear it regardless of whether it's ugly or not!

Shetland inspired points...

Closeup of waffle, insertion, and picots...

Long view... showing Gradient.

Finished Neckwarmer... to be continued!  (If and when my children ever sleep... which may be NEVER! lol)

3. August 2012 09:11
by Jobo
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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  : )

21. March 2012 12:34
by Jobo
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Silk and Satin... progress

21. March 2012 12:34 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I?ve been working away on my little piles of silk and satin angora... trying to at least spin a handful each day of one or the other.  It feels most days like I don?t get much accomplished, but as you can see, the spindles are filling up over time.  I have a previous cop of the angora (top) already wound off onto a cardboard tube waiting for enough silk (bottom) to pair it up with.  And I also did a cop of each and made a plying ball (below) so I can keep on knitting when I have time.

Silk and Satin Angora on spindles 2

I can?t get over the shine from this thread.  ( I keep wanting to call it yarn... but quite honestly, it?s too fine to ever be called a yarn)  Even though this little plying ball looks tiny... when the winding was complete, there was 185 yards therein! 

The colors really do match perfectly too :)

Silk and Satin Angora Plying ball shiny closeup

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