Jobo Designs

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

22. August 2011 04:14
by Jobo

Yarn Candy Monday... Getting back on the horse...

22. August 2011 04:14 by Jobo | 0 Comments

It's been a while sportsfans yarn-fans!  The summer has been trucking along, and my blogging hasn't really been able to keep up lately... see friday's post about my Summer War Stories...

I have brought a few new spindles into the fold though:  the first of which is a Bird's Eye Maple Bosworth Mini!

Birdseye Bossie

I've debated over buying a "Bossie" for a while now.  They have a fantastic reputation for being above average spindles, spin like little whirling dervishes, and being durable and reliable to boot.  I had looked into the basics about a year ago, and then kindof forgot.

I really, really love this spindle!  The weight is perfect for the kinds of extra light lace weight yarn I am drawn to these days.  At 18 g this is plenty light, but also the construction feels nice and substantial even though the spindle is small and delicate.  The hook feels like it will stand the test of time, unlike some other cheaper spindles I've bought where the wire has a mind of it's own.  The notch placement and whorl itself are lovely and smooth.

The spin itself is what really gets me charged up though.  This spindle is perfectly in balance!  One little flick of the shaft and this little baby is sent into a wonderful, fast, balanced spin.  The shaft is un-varnished for extra finger grip too, which I'm sure, adds to that fast even spin. 

First I blew through the little sample that came attached (Eek!  I finished spinning that Sheila Bosworth started!  *swoon*) and then started into some of the Angora I had processed at the Mill this summer (Belfast Mini Mills - FYI!).  The fiber is a 75/25 Merino/Ruttiger Blend, and is nice and light and airy.  My goal was to turn 4 ounces or so of it into something cobwebby, even lighter than my usual laceweight, and see what kind of yardage I can muster.  Ideally, I'd like to make a square Haapsalu style shawl out of it, maybe something like the Crown Prince Shawl, but perhaps of my own design-finagling with the help of the Haapsalu Shawl book.  The roving is a silvery cream color, hopefully showing off a silvery grey halo as it is knit up.  As I get more of it completed I'll have to post about it too.  So far I've spun the first 0.5 ounce portion and started into the second.  My idea was to spin 8 cops of 0.5 ounces each, then put 2 strands together for the thread, and hopefully end up with 4 skeins for the whole project.  (Then I might only have to sew in 8 ends!  I find it challenging to weave in ends with ultra fine laceweight.  I always worry the ends will work themselves out!)

Anyways - Here's Birdie!  My first, and definitely not last Bosworth Spindle!

4. July 2011 10:57
by Jobo

Yarn Candy Monday... More Lace Handspun

4. July 2011 10:57 by Jobo | 0 Comments

madli Swatch

Lately I've been gravitating towards ultra-thin, almost cobwebby handspun for lace.  I think maybe because I like getting the absolute most out of a pretty braid of fiber... that, and I love to knit lace in the first place! 

This - is from a bag of carded fiber from Belfast Mini Mills - a blend of Bamboo, Merino and Tussah Silk (percentages of which elude me at the moment)  I'm testing out a theory that I should be able to spin this very lightweight on my Russian Supported Spindle, and perhaps have enough out of the 4 ounce bag to make an estonian style haapsalu shawl... or at least something in that tradition.  I wanted to spin up a handful first and see how the finished yarn behaves before I go on to complete the whole bag.

The Yarn is a nice fine 2 ply... which shifts from light creamy green to denim blue and back and forth.  Basically the roving has a strip of each color side-by-side (will get more photos later) and as you spin back and forth across you get a blend.  When I started spinning, I noticed quite a few nepps and little blobs of the silk, which was a little disappointing.  I had hoped for an ultra-smooth spin, as one would usually find with bamboo and silk blend fibers.  I decided though, to just let it go - spin it as it comes - and try not to be too much of a control freak about everything.  I'm going to have to learn to let go a bit with the whole baby thing, so why not start now?  (Jobo - you can't control every aspect of the world... lol)madli thread swatch

I decided to try a swatch from Knitted Lace of Estonia, since that's what was on my coffee table at the time... though I will likely go back to the Haapsalu Shawl Book when the yarn is completed and I'm ready for the official cast on.  I plan to do the basic rectangle, with the vine lace and nupps, and the standard garter stitch border, then maybe a knitted border sewn on afterwards, sanity and remaining yarn notwithstanding.  This swatch was knit on 2.75 mm dpns (since also, this is what was on my coffee table!)

The resulting lace yarn has some lumps and bumps in it.  The colors come at you randomly (only blended a little by the 2-ply's effect) and I wasn't sure if the lace stitches would cover up and complement some of this effect, or hide the lace completely.  I think the finished swatch is alright... definitely less muddy than I might have guessed it would be.  I think it's promising enough to finish spinning up the bag this way, and then cast on and see how it goes.

What do you think?  does the yarn mask the lace too much?

30. May 2011 08:53
by Jobo

Yarn Candy Monday... want to buy camera...

30. May 2011 08:53 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Hi Folks... since the weather has shifted here on PEI, I've been doing more playing outside in the garden than taking pretty knitty photographs... And Saturday I thought I would get out my Camera and at least try to take some decent shots - to no avail!  I think my 6 year old camera has finally thrown in the towel.  She will turn on, but the screen no longer shows an image, and nothing happens when you press the shutter button.  She has served me well, but sadly, serves no longer!

So I guess now I'll have to start looking for a newer, better device!  I'd like to stick to digital again (my Mom loves her film camera, but who has time for getting photos developed nowadays?) and I'd like something with a well rounded skill-set.  Of course I take a lot of photos of macro-type items, fine details, close-up... but I also use this camera for vacation photos, family events, and general sillyness photos.  Size used to be an important factor for me, but I don't think it will be as important this time.  The last camera was bought when I was still a student, and wanted to be able to fit it inside a purse of some sort.  Now I think I would be willing to sacrifice some of the convenience factors for some extra features (like extra attachable parts, etc)

So the hunt begins... Do you have a camera that you Love?  


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