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  : )

2. December 2011 15:07
by Jobo
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Haapsalu Shawl? or at the very least, an attempt at one

2. December 2011 15:07 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I have been in love with Estonian Lace from the second I laid eyes on it.  It doesn?t matter which pattern? a leaf, vine, geometric, lily of the valley, paw prints? I love them all.  It?s been in the back of my mind for years now that I neeeeeed to spin the finest yarn I can and go ahead and just knit one of these.  As close to the authentic ones as possible.  I know it will never be 100% right, as I can?t get the right materials here, and I?ll likely not be visiting Estonia anytime soon? but a girl can dream, Right?

At the last Maritime Handspinners? Retreat in October 2011, I bought an 8 ounce bag of Romney washed locks.  I wanted to try spinning for lace directly from the lock (as do some of the other lace spinning geniuses? ahem Margaret Stove cough) and see how well I could do with it.  This wool isn?t the softest one I?ve ever worked with, but the locks are overall quite clean, fairly free of VM, and have a nice bouncy texture.  I?ve been just flicking them open to untangle the tips, and going at it with a Bosworth Mini. 

So far, I think I?ve spun maybe 200 yards of it (very fine 2 ply) and just decided to cast on and give it a try in pattern to see if it ?works? or not.  I didn?t wash to set the yarn either.  I figure blocking will even that part out for me.  I?m not sure how much of the wool I?ve used so far, but there does seem to be a fair bit of loss.  I?m honestly just hoping that I?ll get enough for the shawl out of 4 ish ounces (since I?m estimating I?m losing 30 ? 40 % of the wool? that should be possible out of the 8 ounces).  My plan (if you can actually call it one) is to knit up this small sample ball and then measure and weigh it and extrapolate from there whether I?ll have enough to carry out the rest of the shawl.  I figure if I do run out? I can just make a borderless plain center panel.  That would still be quite striking, even without a border.

I?m using my Woody Knitters Straights size 3 mm, and I?m following the Haapsalu Shawl Book for the number of stitches, cast on recommendations, motifs, and general encouragement.  I chose to use the ?Double Lily of the Valley? chart as my main center design, with a 4 stitch garter border all around.  Then I?ll knit a border lace separately and sew it on to the central rectangle.  This aspect scares me a little, but I tried a sample tiny shawl last year, and my sewn on border looked ok in the end.

double lily of the valley haapsalu 2

As you can see? The little ball is going quite far.  I think I have enough to do the chart completely and probably another half dozen rows.  The shawl is going to be 141 stitches across (you?re only seeing a small portion here, since my needles aren?t that long) and features 3.5 repeats of the Double Lily of the Valley chart across.  To give you an idea of scale? remember that the needles are 3 mm, and I?ve posed a piece of the lace with a Canadian Dime (which is 18 mm diameter) for scale.  I found knitting with the ?thread? was a little bit tedious in the beginning, but I?m getting used to it now.  I had planned to try and work 2 ? 3 rows every day on it, but sadly I?ve gotten behind with all of the other holiday hub-bub.  I hope to get back at it in the new year, and also back into spinning more of this up.  The spinning itself has been quite enjoyable as well!  I?ll post more when progress has actually been made :)

double lily of the valley haapsalu

13. April 2011 16:05
by Jobo
1 Comments

BFL Sample... tons of fun in every one!

13. April 2011 16:05 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I recently subscribed to a Fiber Club with All for love of yarn  and part of the lovely package (which you will see as soon as I manage to take decent photographs of it!) was a little 0.5 ounce sample of Blue and Purple BFL Top.  I've worked with BFL before, and have enjoyed it, so I was excited to play with it and see what I could do with it for the Spin-Along.  There is a prize for the most creative use of the fiber, so I couldn't miss out on that!

Blue BFL Sample with card

Here is the sample - just a little chunk of fiber really.  Since I have been working on my thin spinning... and BFL would lend itself to a nice shiny lace-weight... and the thinner you spin you get more yardage... I decided that I should try spinning up a very fine lace from this and perhaps use it as my yarn to swatch for a Mini-Haapsalu Shawl.

I have been fascinated with Estonian lace since receiving the Haapsalu Shawl book a few months ago, and I've been just itching to make an authentic one, with the proper dimensions and traditional lace motifs.  One thing that has kind of irked me though, is the fact that traditionally the lace borders are knit separately and then sewn on.  And you thought sewing a sweater together sounded like fun?  How about sewing on several meters of lace edging?  I know I am capable (at least I really really hope I am) but I wanted a trial run to make sure.

April 11 2011 101

So I spun a nice cop of teensy singles on my little Golding Dragonfly (which weighs 0.7 ounces, so nice and light) and used andean plying to fold the single in half.  I managed to get 150 yards out of the 15 g sample, which I was pretty proud of in the end!  The finished lace-weight is light, strong, shiny, and quite smooth.  I'm sure it will fuzz up a little more over time, but in the beginning it was quite tight and ordered.

Blue BFL Sample Singles

Here are the Singles again... with a penny for comparison of size.  I always seem to forget to do WPI measurements of the singles.  For that matter, I tend to forget to measure WPI for anything really.  Woops.

Blue BFL Sample Skein  

I set out right away to work on my lace sample - I chose a simple leaf-lace for the center of the sample-shawl, and one of the simplest borders to try and sew on.  The Haapsalu Shawl book shows lots of examples, and the beginning sections of the book explain all of the calculations to know how many stitches you will need.  It isn't a "pattern"  book in the strictest sense of the word, but everything you need is there to come up with a shawl on your own.

Blue BFL Sample lace center

Here is my Leaf Lace center panel blocking (Yes, it is pinned out on a Sham-wow... why do you ask?)  and waiting for me to get my act together and make the lace edges.  I've done the math, and planned things out, so now I just have to get started.  I do have the first border cast on already...  170 stitches for each half, that's 340 stitches of casting on, and then casting back off.... for only a sample shawl.  The real deal will have more like 600 - 700 stitches for those border edges.  Eek!

Blue BFL Sample lace leaves

And here is a closeup of the pretty Leaves... just because the fine Handspun looks so goooood.  Despite being Blue layered on the most hideous, offensive orange known to man.  So far so good :)

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