Jobo Designs

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

21. December 2009 14:17
by Jobo
5 Comments

Another Handspun Shawl...? do they ever get boring?

21. December 2009 14:17 by Jobo | 5 Comments

nope? I don't think they ever get old.  I really enjoy working with yarns spun from handpainted roving in every type of setting - from mittens to socks to shawls and scarves. 

This particular yarn is extra special to me, since it was one of the first yarns I ever made? spun on a toy-truck-wheel spindle.  After I had used up all of the wool samples that came in my beginner kit I went out and bought a couple of Fleece Artist Handpainted Slivers as a treat.  At the time I didn't realize that silk wasn't really a beginner fiber, and I bought 3 braids of a Merino and Silk Blend in a mix of Greens and Blues.  I was so attracted to the color and softness of the fiber, I couldn't help it!

2624394029_abe98a3057  

The finished yarn was a softly spun (probably not quite enough twist in retrospect) basic 2-ply? with colors ranging through every color from medium and dark blues through turquoise, teal, baby and sky blues all the way to creamy white sections.  As far as weight goes? the yarn is pretty inconsistent overall, with thick and thinner sections.  The whole thing averages out at around light fingering weight or so, maybe a smidge thinner.  For one of my first yarns though, I am still quite impressed that I was able to make anything useable at all at that point.  I really like the way that the barber-pole effect blends the different blues and greens together.  I think this may have been the point that I realized how in-love I was with 2 plies.  It certainly wasn't the last one I made either.

As you can imagine, my Ravelry queue is completely ridiculous.  Everytime I see a neat pattern, I add it to the list of "someday" projects, and try and remember what's in there when a special yarn comes along.  I wanted to work on something for *myself* now that the majority of the Christmas Knitting is done.  It seems like I've been slogging away on stuff for everyone else but me for the longest time (sooo unfair!)  so after rediscovering this yarn again while digging in my stash for something else, I decided it was time to knit this skein into something unique and pretty

I had been admiring a shawl pattern for some time that was designed to use Worsted weight yarn in a fairly small quantity? which I thought might suit this yarn since it was a little on the bigger side, uneven, and I wanted to knit it into something lacy with some open bits.

The pattern is this:  198 Yds of Heaven by Christy Verity (available as a free download on Ravelry)

closeup handspun ocean yarnClose-up of yarn and the beginning section of the shawl :)

The pattern itself is very neatly organized and well written.  I particularly like how it is provided as written-out instructions and also charts so anyone can give it a try, regardless of lace background and skill. 

198 yards in silkHumble Beginnings of ?198 yds of Heaven?

When I decided to cast on, I was away from home and did not have access to printed patterns so I thought this might be the perfect time to try accessing patterns from my new i-Phone.  I am still searching for the best knitting and fiber "applications" (basically little programs that you can download and use on your cell phone?)  and ways to use my new gadget-copter-phone to enhance my knitting on the go.  It was very convenient and easy to save the link to this pattern in my "favorites" and then bring it up to follow the charts.

knitting with iphone 198 yardsknitting in public with my i-Phone

So far, I have made it through the chart 2 repeats and things are working up very nicely.  The lace is pretty straightforward and intuitive, so not too complicated for travel knitting.  I often stay away from patterns that require me to carry paper patterns around when it comes to knitting-on-the-go, so I think this ability to read patterns from the internet at the touch of a finger will be very useful.  I also downloaded a little Ruler program so I can do approximate measures, and there are a couple of row counters available as free downloads too. 

198 yards lace close up 

Knitting with hand dyed and then hand spun yarn is always a surprise.  you never quite know how the colors will line up, whether they will blend or stripe, how they will coordinate, and how they will look all piled on top of one another.  I think it's that unpredictability that I am addicted to.  It's like the yarn has it's own story to tell and it adds another deep dimension to the whole process and finished appearance.

Speaking of *finishing* I think I might go and do some more knitting? see how long it will take me to get this puppy all finished :)

26. November 2009 12:03
by Jobo
5 Comments

Custom Cabled Mittens: "Ciaran"

26. November 2009 12:03 by Jobo | 5 Comments

This year for Christmas, I was asked by Mark's Grandma to make her some cabled mittens with some alpaca yarn we bought over in Newfoundland on a family wedding trip.   This yarn is 100% Alpaca, and super soft.  In fact, it might be the most luxurious alpaca yarn I have ever come into contact with (shudder at memory of Bad Bernat Alpaca yarn... ewwww) 

So of course, I offered to oblige and set out to decide what kind of mittens to make.  I surfed for patterns, and looked at other projects online and didn't exactly see what I wanted.  The yarn is about sport/dk weight, so the pattern needed to be a little more detailled than just one cable down the back (as a lot of beginner cable mitten patterns)  and I didn't want to go so far as to make the super-insane cable/patterned mitts (a-la-Jared-Flood Druid Mittens - which I love, but to be completely honest, If I ever make these they will be for Me and Me alone). 

I realized that I would have to wing it.. and set off on my own.  I also decided to keep detailled notes of how they were made, just in case I decide later on to write up a free pattern or something.  I took detailled measurements of Granny's hands, and swatched various stitch patterns to make sure they would fit properly.  I had 2 x 50g balls of yarn, but the label didn't list yardage.  I hoped I would have enough (and in the end I think I maybe had 40 yards left!)

Here is the result:

web ciaran diag pair

I worked a standard 1x1 rib (for lots of stretch and comfort) and decided on 3 cables up the back of the hand would look nice and balanced, and to work the backs and thumbs in plain stockinette.  Between the cables, I used a single Ktbl (Knit through back loop) rib to make the line stand out.  Because of all the purl stitches amongst the cables, the mitten has a nice amount of ease, so even if my calculations are a bit off they should still fit.  I mostly used my own hands as measurement devices, since the only real size difference between Granny's and my own hands were the wrist sizes (length of fingers and width around hands and such were very close to being the same)

web ciaran closeup

I wanted the cables to be symmetrical and look balanced so I made the cable twists all turn towards the middle.  I like the result :)  The thumb gusset was modelled (from memory) after the first mitten pattern I ever made as a child... with basic increases every second row until I had enough stitches for the thumb, and the rest of the mitten was worked in established cables/stockinette and then ended like the toe of a sock, decreasing 4 stitches per round until 10 sts remained and using kitchener stitch to tie it all together.

web ciaran pair

I hope Granny likes them :)

**  I am considering writing up the pattern for these mittens, but am not sure if there would be any interest in it... if you think you'd like a pattern for these, please let me know! **

17. November 2009 12:32
by Jobo
1 Comments

Late Bloomer?

17. November 2009 12:32 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Last evening, while relaxing on the couch with my husband, he asked me the strangest thing…

Marky:  Do you have any yarn and needles I can use?

Me: pardon? (what could he possibly be talking about?)

Marky:  So I can see if I can still remember how to knit

Me:  are you SERIOUSSSSSSS?

Marky:  if you can do it… I KNOW I can do it.

When the boys were little, Mark’s mom had shown them all how to knit… probably in an effort to get the three hooligans to sit down and be quiet for a moment or two.  Since then, I’m sure he hasn’t had the slightest interest in knitting, or he would have tried again before this point. 

After the shock wore off, I hunted out some bright red worsted weight acrylic and an appropriately sized set of needles and cast on 10 stitches… passing them over as ordered.  I showed him the basic moves, where to insert the needle, which way to wrap the yarn, and he was off like lightning.  (He did NOT like the children’s rhyme I tried to use to help him remember the steps, apparently that was lame) 

After about 4 rows in stockinette, his knitting looked like most beginners stitches would – a few extra pick-ups from goodness-knows-where, and increasingly tight stitches as he moved along.  With a little encouragement and a few mid row backtracks and repairs he managed to knit back and forth in garter stitch for around 2-3 inches.  Overall, he was better at it than I thought he would be.  I had guessed that someone who hadn’t touched knitting needles in more than 20 years would need to learn all over again.

Me:  Ok… so now you have mastered “Knit” -  now we need to learn another stitch… Purl.

Marky:  Nah.   *plunks the yarn and knit square onto the coffee table and resumes TV watching*

I knew it was too good to be true.  Maybe I will bribe him with something later and convince him that a man of his knitting skill  simply MUST learn purl.  It’s the only decent thing to do.

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