Jobo Designs

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

27. August 2009 21:00
by Jobo

All Thumbs... well maybe not!

27. August 2009 21:00 by Jobo | 2 Comments

Lately, I've been a Thrum Knittin Machine!   For Christmas I wanted to make a few pairs to give as gifts, and besides that I've had a few ladies at work ask if I could make some commissionned pairs.  I find that once I get into the swing of things each mitten goes pretty quickly... first the cuff, then the hands, slip stitches onto holders for the thumbs, then up the fingers and cast off.  BUT for some reason I can't seem to get inspired to do the thumbs... lol.  I think it's a kind of thumb procrastination problem!

Here they are... sooo close to being finished, but no 'thumbs-up' around here today.  What's got two thumbs and doesn't give a crap?  Not these Mittens!

Close up of the two contrasting styles of thrummables:

Red solid with traditional undyed cream coloured thrums, with staggered spacing.  Some people say that the thrums done this way look like little hearts embedded in the fabric.

Purple variegated with Natural Chocolate Merino Lamb's wool thrums - in a colour matching the main yarn so as to blend in.  These mittens use the standard evenly spaced grid thrum method, and have a more subtle appearance (less "heart" look) for a special person who would love a pair of thrummed mitts, but perhaps is not the sort of person who would wear things with hearts on them.


The thumbs might get completed someday soon... at least they are on my finish-me radar.  But until then - No Thumbs for YOU!

27. August 2009 20:00
by Jobo

These Ain't your Boyfriend's Socks...

27. August 2009 20:00 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I've been knitting away on that beautiful pink ball of Kauni... and here is what I am making:

Pattern:  Boyfriend Socks by Alice Bell (available for Free on Ravelry)

Knowing that the Kauni itself would be the showstopper, I wanted to choose a pattern that held a little interest (for the knitter who needs some sort of patterning to keep her interested) but would not be so complex that it would overshadow the colour transitions in the yarn.  This is why i settled on Cabled socks.  Something fun and interesting but as simple and traditional as it gets.

I have worked past the heel on the first sock... the pattern is very clear and well layed out, and the cables fairly easy to memorize.  I have been counting my rows carefully though, lately in the evenings I find I can't keep track of more than a few rows in my head... so I keep a pen and a pad of post-its handy so I can scribble myself some notes as I go along, and because they are sticky notes, I can stick them to my pattern and they don't disappear either!

My first toe began with a dark rich fuschia pink and has gradually faded through various shades to a lighter pink.  Just to be creative, and test myself a little, I have decided to work an "afterthought" heel so that I can break up the pink-ness a bit.  I am thinking that I would like to make the heel white, and because the leg will end up being white, I might do the cuff in darker pink.  I am not quite sure how I will manage this completely, but I think I am willing to play a little dangerous here and just see how things go.

In the place where the short rows heel would normally have started, I knit 1 row across the back of the sock (on the plain stockinette side) using some contrasting coloured waste yarn, and when the time comes to work the heel, I will pick up stitches on both sides of that waste row and work an afterthought style heel (I have yet to choose a specific reference to follow, I will keep you posted)

As far as yarn feel, I really like the way the Kauni feels knit up.  The fabric is nice and firm, but not too dense on this size of needle, and the cables stand out nicely too!  I don't find the yarn to be irritating to my hands or to be very scratchy, and overall am enjoying the process of putting together these socks.

25. August 2009 18:01
by Jobo

Merino-liscious! more spindling with Golding

25. August 2009 18:01 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I've been playing around with my Golding some more over the last few weeks... kind of a novelty maybe?  A new toy to play with?

It has actually been quite nice to work at a spinning project that I can actually take along with me, kind of like I take my knitting with me.  I was able to bring along some fiber and work on my latest yarn while sitting around chatting at my inlaws place on the weekend.  I really enjoy working on my wheel, but for reasons different than the spindle perhaps.  Really when you think about the methods and mechanics of how one would spin on a spindle vs spinning on a wheel, there are some obvious similarities, and also some obvious differences, but I think that's what makes them both so enjoyable as unique activities.

Spindling is quite a bit slower for me than wheel spinning, especially since I haven't had as much time to cultivate my spindling skills as I have to hone my wheel spinning.  Although, apparently for experienced spindlers, the process can yield yarn just as fast as a wheel spinner.  Maybe when I have had more practice I will be more efficient.  Already I can make longer stretches of single at a time than I could in the beginning, and my actions are less clumsy and awkward. 

And what am I spinning?

Fleece Artist 100 % Merino - in greens/blues/purples

I was aiming for a fairly thin 2-ply yarn, and was trying a new technique with this one.  I wanted to end up with a yarn that had long stretches of colour, where both plies lined up colour-wise all along the yarn (with slight transitions where the strands overlap in colour of course)

Close up!

So I took my lengths of roving and fluffed them up carefully (Since they had been squished in a bag in the stash for quite some time) and then as evenly as possible, I divided the roving in half lengthwise.  I tried to eyeball it as closely as possible, and since I had carefully fluffed the fibers, it was easier to separate.  In the end I had 2 (almost) identical halves, and planned on spinning each half separately and then plying them together, hoping that both singles would be similar enough that the colour stretches would line up quite closely.  My roving was approximately 60g, so I hoped that I could fit 30 g on my Golding at a time without too much trouble. 


Once I had spun each half, and wound them off of the spindle onto some cardboard tubes, I was ready to ply.  I didn't think the finished yarn would fit on this spindle, since the cops themselves pretty much filled the shaft, I didn't want to chance having to splice.  (Sorry, I didn't think to take photographs of the full cops)  I decided to ply on the wheel (both faster and more orderly)

This is what I ended up with:  around 350 yards of fingering-ish weight yarn... with nice colour transitions.  8 transitions in all - Lime Green, to Teal, to Blue, to Green, to Olive Green, back to Lime, then Blue and Teal again.  

My goal was to have a light yarn that I could knit a scarf or shawl out of and hopefully highlight those transitions.  I'm thinking something like Ysolda's Ishbel?  Anyone have any suggestions?






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