Jobo Designs

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

5. July 2009 11:22
by Jobo
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Another Feather and Fan Shawl... Looks Like Butterfly Wings

5. July 2009 11:22 by Jobo | 0 Comments

This yarn was my first go at Merino/Tencel Blend (50:50), actually one of my first attempts at spinning anything that wasn't pure wool, or wool with just a little bit of silk or bamboo added.



The fiber came from FiberOptic - Kimber is Awesome to deal with.  I've bought a few things from her now, and the colours are always spectacular, and products are top notch too!  Speaking of which... If I wasn't on a self imposed fiber diet right now, I'd want some more of her fantastic sock pencil roving.  (This stuff doesn't even need predrafting! just sit, spin, swoon!)

When this package came in the mail, it was so smooth and silky feeling, I just kept it around petting it for a long while.  I was too afraid to wreck it by using it before I was experienced enough to do a decent job with it.  Isn't it funny that we order stuff because it is gorgeous and we can't wait to lay hands on it... and then we are too afraid to do anything with it?  There is something really wrong with that strategy in my opinion.



I tried to spin as thin as possible at the time (which really isn't all that thin now that I look at it compared to more recent attempts) and then 2-plied using a centre pull ball (inside and outside strand together)  The resulting yarn was somewhere between fingering and light fingering weights (a little thick and thin in places)  Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics of the yarn once it was done... I guess I was too excited to start working on it?


Because of the long stretches of colour, I thought that another feather and fan shawl would be a good choice.  The ripple effect did a nice job of showing off the colour blends and stretches last time I made one.  Plus I knew the pattern was well written, was simple to follow even for working on in the car and such, and there were no complex bits to have me shaking my head over and over.  This was started during the wedding planning/panicking stages... so I needed a brainless project.  This was my standby for something straightforward and stress free to stab away at.  It definetly served its purpose and was a joy to knit, even though I had just finished one not too long ago.

Closeup detail of the colour ripples and the shiny silky texture

Last night I finally finished.  By finally finished, I mean got frustrated... ran out of yarn 15 stitches from the end of the bind off... had to un-knit the bind off (285 stitches) then tink back 285 stitches, then re-do the extra loose bind off.  I did have to put it away one time out of frustration (aka threw it at the coffee table and walked away for a few hours) but now that it's home blocking on the spare bed - it looks so nice and tame, and not at all like the beast that had me so cheesed off 12 hours ago.  I think I like it again :)


Finished Shawl posing with a wedding photo / gift from our photographer yesterday.. I'll post a better one when I can get a proper scan.  The photos were taken in my Gramma's garden... these ones were in front of the barn door :)

The full Spread - Similar to last time I worked this pattern... Nice long stretches of colour turned into gentle ripples.  This one looks like Butterfly Wings to me, probably because of the Purples and Blues and Pinks and Burgandies.  For some reason those shades of purples and silvery blues make me think of fairies and butterflies.  ( I know, sometimes I can be such a GIRL )

 

The finished fabric has a lovely softness and drape... you can hardly feel it on your shoulders, but is still big enough to stay wrapped and not be falling off.  I have been trying to think of who this shawl should go to... and haven't had any brainwaves yet.... For some reason I have a hard time deciding those things, and I get pretty attached to homemade things.  I might have worn this one for half of the day yesterday, but I know I won't use it enough to deserve the privilege of keeping it, someone else would use it more and it would get loved more.

 

The tousled around the neck look... I think I would almost wear this as a scarf in the Fall too!

I had wanted to make homemade things for the grandparents this year... both my own and my inlaws.  That means a total of 4 Grandmas and 1 Grandpa.  I wasn't sure that they would use / need things like hats, scarves or mitts, but I know that a lot of them get a chill pretty easily, so I thought shawls might be nice?  and in stylish colours too?  even if they only use them every now and again, or as lap-robes when they are chilly around the house... I think they will enjoy the homemadeness of the gifts.  I did fingerless mittens  and headbands for my two sisters in law last year, afghans for 2 of my brothers in law, and socks for mark's mom and dad... not to mention a scarf for my Mom, dishclothes and swiffer covers for my Sister and Socks for my Dad.

If I want to keep up with that pile of homemade gifts I had better stop typing and start knitting!

More later :)

 

29. May 2009 22:46
by Jobo
0 Comments

Knitted one... Quilted too!

29. May 2009 22:46 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Finally got the shawl finished and photographed a little better (and dragged it around in my purse to show it to anyone who would look!)  I'm not sure if people wear that sort of thing anymore, but I sure like the way it feels draped over the shoulders.  I decided that it wouldn't hurt to try putting it up on etsy, since I already have a store set up and such.  Who knows, maybe someone will fall in love with it too, and if not I will get to remain in love with it!



... I like anything that matches with Blue Jeans...



I was having fun playing with my camera in the fading sunlight also...shows just how light and airy the shawl really is!



In other news, I am teaching my first class down at Mae's Fabric and Alterations - Paper Piecing Hexagons. 

For most of my life... whenever I saw something crafty that was interesting or intriguing, I would find myself a book, or an internet reference, or seek advice from my mom or grandma... and gosh darnnit I would read and fuss until I figured out how to do it!  I've taught myself to do many things reading books... Shuttle and Needle Tatting, Embroidery techniques, Recently Spindle and Wheel Spinning, Fiber Preparation.  The only "formal" spinning lesson I have had thus far is the 15 minutes I got to test out my wheel at the yarn store I bought it from.  I take a lot of joy and satisfaction in knowing that I can figure things out if I work at it hard enough and find references to guide me through.

I have always loved the Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt pattern.  Something about it is just so classic.  When I picture a vintage quilt, crafted in the past by hand by an experienced quilter, my imagination always brings me back to those old classic patterns; Hexagons, Dresden plate, Baltimore Albums.  For some reason I am drawn to the hand pieced and applique designs.  I think it's the tactileness of those particular patterns - each piece will be hand sewed and hand-loved, probably multiple times before the quilt is finished completely.  Myself, I enjoy that hand work can be done anywhere, whereas machine piecing limits me to my studio.  I also like the no-muss-no-fuss approach to hand quilting.  You need your needle, thimble, thread, fabric.  Simple.  Machine piecing requires a power outlet, cords, some table surface to work on, a more permanent workstation which takes up more room and is a pain in the butt to take out for 10 minutes of sewing and then put away again. (If my sewing machine didn't have it's own home in my studio where it could stay out all the time I would probably never sew anymore)  I have hand pieced laying on a towel at the beach;  Hand pieced while waiting for someone to pick me up and go out; Hand pieced at work on my break.  It doesn't get any more portable or transferrable than that.

Anyways, Here are a few tidbits from the class in photo form... and I have to go pack my stuff into the car!  I'll let you know how it goes :)

 

The english paper piecing technique involves the use of paper cutouts to stabilize the fabric, and allow for piecing perfect angles everytime!

 



Gotta run!

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