Jobo Designs

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

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  : )

20. February 2012 09:21
by Jobo
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A Care Package? with some spinner?s inspiration ? Satin Angora

20. February 2012 09:21 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Since I?ve been feeling a bit blue the last little while since the baby came? a friend sent me a care package in the mail with some nice tea and a handful of soft fluffy spinning inspiration ? some of her own home grown Satin Angora Fiber from her bum ?Lady in Red?! (if you want to check out Stella?s Farm Page, click the linky!  She has lots of different breeds of rabbits, sheep and alpacas.  I?m so jealous!  It?s called Twist of Fate Family Farm)

It?s been difficult to find much time for anything other than baby lately, so having a bit of satiny shiny light fiber just sitting there has been quite inspiring!  Just what I needed to kick me in the pants and pick up a spindle and see what I can do with it.

First off ? the staple length is great on this one.  It?s nice and long, so it spins up nice and strong, but not so lengthy that it?s hard to draft.  In a way, this spin reminds me a bit of working with silk, especially when I get a poof with a few extra guard hairs in it and feel the strong soft shiny fiber slide through my hands.  Angora in general is a bit slippery, but that?s nothing new to me :)  The color is a creamy, almost peach color, with auburn or rusty tips.  I love the way the two tones are blending together to give a shiny gold effect.

satin angora staple

My plan was to just spin it fine and see how things went from there? and then I got the idea that maybe it would be suited to pair with some natural honey colored tussah silk, since the color is working out to be a nice gold/creamy/shiny effect.  I?ve been working on a zebisis designs stone whorl spindle, with a weight I can?t remember off the top of my head.  I don?t work with heavy spindles, so I can assume it?s much less than 30g? more likely 15 ? 17g.  After the fiber comes off, I?ll weigh it and remind myself. 

satin angora spindle

I hope to be able to get enough yardage to make something small and lacy.  If I can manage 400 yards or more, I might even get a shawl out of it since I?m stretching the angora out by plying it with silk.  I can?t wait for the silk to arrive in the mail? though I?m not sure what I?m so impatient for:  it will likely take me all month to spin the angora?!

14. December 2009 11:05
by Jobo
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Yarn Candy Monday: Alpacas of Newfoundland!

14. December 2009 11:05 by Jobo | 0 Comments

We went on a fantastic trip to Newfoundland for a Family Wedding back in October (09) and I got to go and visit an alpaca farm while we were there:  Alpacas of Newfoundland!alpacas of nfld yarn

The farm itself is located right alongside the ocean, on a little peninsula with a fantastic view… we arrived in the off season, so thankfully the owner arrived home at just the right time so we could get a little tour and check out the gift shop too.  The animals were very inquisitive and came right over to check us out as soon as we got out of the truck.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bring my camera, so I don’t have any live pictures… but believe me, each one had their own unique personality… I couldn’t get over the big brown expressive eyes :)

I purchased 2 x 50 g balls of their signature 100% Alpaca Yarn (Approximately sport weight) in a natural white color to try and make some mittens with.  This yarn was made in Peru and is super soft.  When knit up it will have a gentle soft halo (I got to see some mittens made from this in the gift shop)

We also managed to try on many Alpaca-made items (hats, mitts) and see lots of other things you can make from Alpaca Fiber:  Pelt rugs (which would be heaven on bare toes!) and alpaca duvets.  All in all, an alpaca-filled day!  (and the store sold Scotsburn ice cream… mmm)

Here is a little buddy that came home with me to remember the visit…  I call Him “Al”

                 alpacamascot

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