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 :)

27. October 2009 07:25
by Jobo
11 Comments

Nightsongs: Flashbacks of a Forgotten Finished Object…

27. October 2009 07:25 by Jobo | 11 Comments

I guess I got all excited, finished this, blocked it, and the forgot to tell you all about it!  I know it’s a little late, and there are no “fashion” pictures of it being worn… but I still want to share.

This version of Gail (aka Nightsongs) was knit as a gift for my husband’s grandmother… who is generally a tough cookie to buy presents for.  She doesn’t really need “giftware” items, and it’s simply no fun to give her money for a gift so this year I am getting creative :)  (insert evil holiday laugh here)

The yarn is KnitPicks Shadow lace in “Bordeaux” Kettle Dyed… and truly was a joy to work with.  I Didn’t even find that the color bled that much after the soak (which surprised me a little since it is burgandy red… and I had counted on it being a little messy at the very least.  I finished the whole shawl with just over one skein which is a complete steal price-wise… less than 5 dollars for a pretty gift, and beads that I already had upstairs in the stash!  All in all, a very economical, pleasing and satisfying lace project!

The Nightsongs pattern itself was a bit of a challenge for me… since it was the first pattern I’ve followed that had only diagrams, and no written out instructions to fall back on.  I think this was a good thing though because it made me step outside my lace knitting box and try something new. 

In the beginning I had considered writing out my own version of the chart but decided to slog it through and really focus on “reading” the knitting itself, and watching the pattern unfold.  At first this was quite difficult… and a little frustrating.  I ended up cutting up the pattern charts and taping them together in places so I could visualize things better.  I looked at lots of project photographs on Ravelry to see if my design was working up correctly.

A big thank you to all of you who posted your own project details and close up photographs… they really really helped me a lot!

This was also my first project adding beads.  I had not been able to find a small enough crochet hook at the time, so I had been using a short piece of thread and a small needle to get my beads onto the stitches.  I decided to use only a few, and only at the very edging… for a bit of sparkle.  In the end, they look like little dewdrops on the burgandy shawl… much like you would imagine on a rose in the garden.  Not too much, not too little.  Just right

Since then, I have found a whole bunch of teeny tiny crochet hooks… at the local dollar store of all places!  so I got various sizes, and they also had yarn needles.  I bought a bunch of those too… I don’t know about you, but I can never find one when I need one!

 

The blocking process was neat and tidy.  The top of the triangle was done with 2 wires bound together with tape and pinned out at even intervals, and the sides (I love points!) were strung along more wires and spread out.

The lace had great stitch definition and the color seemed to really fit with the design.  I liked how the kettle dyeing gave some ‘Splotches’ of lighter and darker color.  I think it was just enough to add some interest, and wasn’t so busy that it took away from the design itself.  The beads are simply plain clear with silver lining.  Sometimes simple is the way to go I guess?

I Think I must be getting better at my extra-loose-stretchy bind off too… because I had no trouble stretching the heck out of my points during the blocking process.  I have had the best luck with the “K1, slip back to left needle, K2togThroughBackLoop, repeat” method, and I try and use a bigger needle to knit off the edging too… this isn’t scientific.  I happened to have a 4.5 mm DPN sitting next to me in a half knit pair of thrum mittens, so I thought it couldn’t hurt… grabbed it and used it to do my cast off (the rest of the shawl was knit with a size 4.0mm Circular)

I can’t quite figure out if this design reminds me more of “hearts” or “spades”… I guess it depends on your vantage point?  All in all, another successful lace adventure, and hopefully a perfect holiday gift for a deserving lady.

21. July 2009 10:34
by Jobo
1 Comments

Nightsongs... Encore Already?

21. July 2009 10:34 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I started Nightsongs a few nights ago…

but I think in retrospect it would have been smarter to wait until an evening when I was feeling a little less tired out.  Work these days is pretty exhausting.  Even though the hours are more manageable than the 14 hour marathons I was working at the hospital, I am still quite worn out mentally at the end of the day.  The learning curve is steep, and I am chugging up those hills, but not at as fast a pace as I had hoped. 

I worked the first 10 rows or so before I realized that you have to work BOTH the left and right charts… not just 1 or the other. Duh.  Frogged. 

Then I tried again, sneezed at around row 6, knocked my stitches off the needles… instead of trying to feed them back on in the twisty unruly circular needles.  I remembered why I like to start these things on straights or DPN’s for the first few rows.  Frogged again. 

After casting on the third time (that’s always the charm right?)  I worked about 15 more rows and then went to bed.  When I woke up in the morning I realized that perhaps I was doing something incorrect with the base of the leaves in the area of the double YO.  When I went downstairs to look… sure enough…   There will be more Frogging again... 

4th time is a charm… or is that 50th?

 

 

On the Plus Side... It looks really pretty See? Once I finally got the hang of it the whole thing wasn't so bad.  I guess getting started is the hardest part sometimes?

 

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