Jobo Designs

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

5. December 2009 10:21
by Jobo

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas 2009 DAY 5

5. December 2009 10:21 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Unique Spinning/Knitting Tools:

Every spinner has a set of indispensible tools that live near the wheel.  I knit a small bag from the first yarn I made on a drop spindle which holds some of my tools and hangs on my Traveller with pride -  My tiny bottle of spinning wheel oil, Orifice Hook, WPI gauge, a tiny pair of scissors, extra parts and drive bands.  I also keep a Niddy Noddy and Nostepinne close at hand for skeining and ball-winding.  Currently I use a plain metal orifice hook (which came in my Traveller kit when I bought it) and my WPI gauge is a homemade one (A-la-Cardboard!)

These tools work fine... but are nowhere as beautiful as some that are out there:

For as many simple utilitarian tools that exist there are also decorative tools like the ones seen below... like works of art themselves! 

A knitting needle gauge doesn't have to be simply holes in a piece of plastic  - This ruler/gauge from KaratStix is made from lightweight bamboo and features all the knitting needle info you could want, plus whimsical little decorations. 

Stitch markers made from loops of yarn work just fine...  but compare that to this set of gleaming glass bead markers from coalescensedesign!  These little jewel toned markers would be a joy to use and have just enough flash to brighten up even the dullest project! - Knitting-Bling through and through.

It is difficult to compare my little cardboard cutaway WPI tool to the hand-turned beauties I found over at Kari's Nostys? This little tool has both 1 inch and 1/2 inch cutaways  making it suitable to measure worsted and laceweight alike.  Kari also makes Nostepinnes in the same styles.  You *could* wind a centre-pull ball around your hand? but why would you want to if you had a tool as beautiful as this?  (and she loves custom orders!  just imagine the possibilities)

I simply love the earthy feel of the spinning wheel orifice hook shown below.  Elegant in its simplicity, natural color palate, and gentle curves, this hook would complement the rich wood of any spinning wheel.

knitting needle gaugemarkersWPIorifice hook

From Top Left Clockwise:  1.  Sheep to Socks Knitters Rule Needle Gauge by KaratStix 2. Set of 5 Knitting Markers - Gold Swirl Jewel Tones by coalescencedesign  3.  Green Leaf Beaded Orifice/Threading/Spinning Hook by DawningDreams  4.  Bubblegum Wraps Per Inch Tool by Kari's Nostys  (All photos used with permission)

**If you like the items you see... please click and go the these artisan's websites!  If you do choose to buy anything, please let them know that you found their wares by reading this article - tell them JoboDesigns sent you ;) **

4. July 2009 16:43
by Jobo

Do it Yourself Wraps Per Inch Tool

4. July 2009 16:43 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I've been dragging my feet buying a WPI gauge.  I saw some really neat round/dowel carved ones, and some plastic flat shaped ones, and some wooden carved ones with mother of pearl inlays... then I saw a very plain wooden one that someone made from a paint stirrer stick.

SERIOUSLY Jo!  (I thought to myself)  Make one yourself... DUH.

So I hunted around the house for a piece of cardboard, grabbed a ruler and basically cut a 4 inch by 1 inch rectangle of cardboard and cut a 1 inch long notch into one side of it.  Just to be fancy (I'm pretty convincing, but I'm not sure even I can make cardboard from the back of a notepad exciting lol)  I decided to make a ½ inch cutout also on my WPI gauge... so if I ever want to measure laceweight I wont have to wrap 50 times.

Armed with my cardboard creation I set out to measure the WPI of some yarn scraps kicking around the house... shown here - Leftovers from my Kermit the Frog "It Ain't Easy Being Green" Jaywalkers in Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock  ( see socks here )

All WPI articles I have read are very specific - carefully wrap yarn around gauge so each wrap is adjacent to but not on top of or squished into the adjacent wrap and... DO NOT WRAP YARN TIGHTLY around your gauge.  Some go so far as to suggest that instead of holding the yarn and wrapping it around the gauge, to rotate the gauge and allow the yarn to wind itself around by the force of gravity alone.   

Me?  well I just made sure I was not pulling the yarn tight or overlapping as I wrapped around.  Ideally in working with my own yarn, the goal should be to do a measurement at various points along the skein and take an average in case there were some inconsistancies in my Spinning.  I usually cheat too and use a little stash know how... and hold the yarn up against several commercially made and banded yarns so I could see how they measure up.

Here is one more up close pic for you detail people who wanna make your own:



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