Jobo Designs

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

23. October 2009 08:00
by Jobo
0 Comments

Can you see those Fiddleheads off in the distance?

23. October 2009 08:00 by Jobo | 0 Comments

If you squint and really use your imagination you might be able to see them off in the distance… or at least now you can see what they will be made of when the time comes:

yellowpurpletealangora

I have finished with the carding of all 5 contrasting colors and have also finished spinning all but the lime green!  I’m not sure how that happened exactly… since we have been extra busy around home the last few weeks what with our trip to Newfoundland for the family wedding.  I guess it really is true that sitting and spinning for a few minutes each day makes a difference in your progress.  I have 120 yards of angora lining finished too… but I need 140 yards, so I will likely do another skein just to be sure I have enough.  The lime green rolags are waiting for me at home on the coffee table.  The other big job will be the carding and spinning of the plain natural merino for the main color of the mittens.

skeins2 

I am actually pretty surprised at how consistently I have been spinning.  I know there are some thicker and thinner areas, but overall I think I have stayed between 11 - 13 WPI for most areas of the skein.  It will be interesting to start swatching and see how my yarn looks – and see if it will work for its intended purpose. 

skeins 

Boy, that yellow stands out!  I am quite shocked at how bright that golden yellow turned out… compared to the muted tones of the blues purples and green.  I think this has something to do with the intensity of the Landscape Dyes I have been using.  I started with that brand of dye simply because the prices were reasonable, no mordants were required, and there was a source close to home that sold them.  I have been satisfied with the results with the landscape dyes, but was a little disappointed with the intensity of the blues this time.  I had thought that the wools would have been more deeply dyed by looking at the dye baths.  I think my next dye investment will be for a different brand – maybe Ashford Dyes?  I still need to research some more before I decide.

27. August 2009 21:00
by Jobo
2 Comments

All Thumbs... well maybe not!

27. August 2009 21:00 by Jobo | 2 Comments

Lately, I've been a Thrum Knittin Machine!   For Christmas I wanted to make a few pairs to give as gifts, and besides that I've had a few ladies at work ask if I could make some commissionned pairs.  I find that once I get into the swing of things each mitten goes pretty quickly... first the cuff, then the hands, slip stitches onto holders for the thumbs, then up the fingers and cast off.  BUT for some reason I can't seem to get inspired to do the thumbs... lol.  I think it's a kind of thumb procrastination problem!

Here they are... sooo close to being finished, but no 'thumbs-up' around here today.  What's got two thumbs and doesn't give a crap?  Not these Mittens!

Close up of the two contrasting styles of thrummables:

Red solid with traditional undyed cream coloured thrums, with staggered spacing.  Some people say that the thrums done this way look like little hearts embedded in the fabric.

Purple variegated with Natural Chocolate Merino Lamb's wool thrums - in a colour matching the main yarn so as to blend in.  These mittens use the standard evenly spaced grid thrum method, and have a more subtle appearance (less "heart" look) for a special person who would love a pair of thrummed mitts, but perhaps is not the sort of person who would wear things with hearts on them.

 

The thumbs might get completed someday soon... at least they are on my finish-me radar.  But until then - No Thumbs for YOU!

15. July 2009 13:27
by Jobo
2 Comments

Destined to be Norwegian Mittens... someday

15. July 2009 13:27 by Jobo | 2 Comments

For some time now, I have admired (drooled and dreamt over) patterned Norwegian Mittens.  In fact, the first time I saw Terri Shea’s book (Selbuvotter) I ordered it right away without hesitation.  I’ve made a few pairs so far…

For example… Mittens I made for myself last winter :)

This book has great background about the art of mitten making in that area of the world... as well as a wealth of patterns a ideas.  The one thing I found a little difficult was choosing a yarn to make them with though, since most of the prescribed products aren't available in canada.  I swatched and pondered for quite a while before I made these ones. 

In response to the yarn selection issue, I have been thinking for a while about making some with my own yarn.  I’ve come to realize that if knitting something is fun – then knitting it with your own handspun MUST be even More fun!

So I set out to find something in my stash that would work to make mittens out of.  I also owe one of Mark’s uncles something from hand spun yarn, since he has been nice enough to send me raw fleece to learn how to wash and prep for spinning.   Since my first attempt at the washing and prepping process I think I may have gotten a little better at it… but I definitely still have a ways to go!

I had some basic white medium soft fleece that I processed from ick to passable wool.  This was my first real wool carded into batts with my drum carder.  Certainly that process was much simpler than the time I had flick carded and then hand carded a few pounds of fleece.  It isn’t the softest wool… probably around a medium fineness.  I don’t think I’d want it rubbed up against my neck or anything, but it isn’t as scratchy as some of the basic wool products I’ve worked with (aka Briggs and Little or Condon’s Wool)

I also had some unnamed natural grey roving from when I bought my spinning wheel down in Rochester last year.  I know the lady in the store told me what it was, but for the life of me I can’t remember.  It doesn’t feel like any of the other wools I’ve been working with… quite long staple, kind of hair-like, medium to fine feel.

So I have 2 colours – natural and grey… all spun up, probably enough to make a small pair of mittens, but I’m not sure exactly.  I need to do some calculations and see how much of each colour I will need.  I think I still have enough of the grey to do another bobbin worth, and I know I have a few more batts of the natural colour wool.

Either way… These two are destined to be Norwegian Mittens…. Someday.

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