Jobo Designs

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

2. March 2010 10:54
by Jobo
6 Comments

Custom Designed Selbu Mittens

2. March 2010 10:54 by Jobo | 6 Comments

After seeing my Fiddle Head Mittens, my father asked if I could make him a pair of colorwork mittens... but perhaps something less girly looking.

Dad so rarely asks me to do anything for him, especially knit anything, that I set out on the design process right away and placed an order for some Knit Picks Palette in more manly colors (Cream and Asphalt Black) 

I decided to try and come up with my own mish-mash of a pattern instead of knitting one directly from a book.  It seems that many of the Norwegian style mittens feature different motifs with different meanings - so I thought it would be fun to incorporate symbols with some meaning to dad.  In particular, he is a sport fisherman who spends as much time as possible in the springtime sitting in a boat hunting for that elusive granddaddy rainbow trout.  So obviously, this mitten needs a fish of some sort on it, and I will probably use a motif for the palm of the hand that looks like fish scales.  Also, Dad is a big fan of his dogs (2 adorable shih tzus - Molly and Sophie) so I hope to be able to add in a small dog motif for them too.

web mitten prototype

Here is the first cuff underway.  I have charted out the wrists, but am having a hard time putting on paper the thumb gusset...  My plan is to just wing it for the gusset and then continue on with my fishy idea for the back of the hands and the fish scales for the palms.  The other big unknown - He wants mittens with separate "pointer" fingers and the other three fingers together... like Newfoundland Mittens.  Apparently he finds that mittens shaped that way (while a little "live-long-and-prosper-ish" Mr. Spock!) more utilitarian and easier to maneuver around with.  So the end result will be kind of like a glove, but with one finger by itself, and the rest like a mitten.  I might have bitten off more than I can chew?

Here is a sneak peak of the Fish motif (modified from Fisherman's Friend Mittens by Jorid Linvik to be a single fish, and to look more like trout and less like Koi)  and some of the other motifs I plan on incorporating!  The little dog pattern is from Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by Sheila McGregor.

fish dog

 

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4. December 2009 08:00
by Jobo
0 Comments

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas 2009 DAY 4

4. December 2009 08:00 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Phew!  the first 3 days of this series have just flown by!  Thanks for stopping by to read each day!

Today’s Favorite thing:  BOOOOKKKKSSSS!

Ever since childhood, I have always loved books of all kinds.  Lately it seems that my stash of “how to” and pattern books has grown a lot faster than my fiction collection, but hey… it’s not terribly surprising I hope.  I have dozens of books about quilting techniques, and patterns ranging from stitch-by-hand-appliqué to stack-and-whack.  My knitting and spinning collection makes my quilting books look like a *small* pile…  I am afraid the quilt books are sadly outnumbered up in the studio!

Today’s post is about books I am already lucky enough to own… and the next Book Feature will discuss some books that I am hoping will show up in my stocking ;) ahem*hint*hint

selbuvotterThe Ultimate Norwegian Mitten Book - 

Selbuvotter:  Biography of a Knitting Tradition by Terri Shea

Some time ago, when I was new to searching the internet for knitting resources, I came across a review of this book quite by accident.  I had never been exposed to fair isle knitting or the breathtaking art of knitting 2-colored patterned mittens.  I was completely dumbstruck.  I remember just staring at the patterns featured in the article and thinking “holy crap… I simply must learn how to make these!!!”  At that point in time, I did not have a lot of experience purchasing things online, but decided to go for it anyways and boy am I ever pleased that I did. 

Terri Shea’s book is full of folklore and history – and some amazing mitten patterns.  The charts are easy to read and the mitten patterns are quite complete and straightforward to follow.  There are errata available where errors exist, but these are uncommon.  The one challenge I found to making these mittens was finding suitable yarn, as the majority of the yarns listed in the book are not sold by any yarn stores in my area. 

If you think you will ever want to learn to make Norwegian mittens, this book is an ultimate anthology of patterns and a very helpful resource.  Everyone I have shown this book to has wanted a copy… and for good reason – it’s the best book I’ve been able to find on the subject.

knittingsockswithhandpaintedyarn Great Sock Knitting collection -

Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol Sulcoski

I am a self admitted Sock-a-holic… and I have a serious willpower problem when it comes to purchasing skeins of temptingly beautiful hand painted Indie yarns.  The truth of the matter is – I love to knit socks, and the more patterns I can find that make my fingers itch to cast on something new the better.

I knew this book was going to be a winner before it was even released.  One of the designers featured in the book, Deb Barnhill, worked at the Dalhousie College of Pharmacy where I spent 4 years of my life.  I have been lucky enough to keep in touch with Deb over the years… and when I heard that one of her patterns was to be featured in a sock book, I ordered it before hearing another word.  This book does not disappoint.

The beginning section of the book teaches readers about the many types of hand painted yarns available today, and helps outline the nuts and bolts of the way that each yarn behaves in different types of patterns.  I liked the simple and no-nonsense descriptions and advice given – i.e. how to avoid/encourage pooling and flashing, and of course choosing patterns that will most complement the delectable yarns that you already have in your stash too!  Also included are handy tutorials for several kinds of cast-ons, bind-offs and Kitchener Stitch.

Then comes the patterns section… I have flipped through this book countless times, drooling over admiring the eye-catching photography and day dreaming of the process involved in each pair of socks.  This books features many different sock construction types, and lots of unique and different strategies to avoid pooling.  With 21 different patterns by 17 different Sock-RockStars (i.e. Chrissy Gardiner and Ann Budd) – there is something for every sock knitter in this book… in fact I have personal plans to make at least a half-dozen of them, maybe more.  Every time I look through it, I find something else that I want to try.  Make sure you have a couple skeins of hand painted yarn and some needles close at hand when you bring this little gem home… you might not be able to resist the urge to cast on!

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! **

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