Jobo Designs

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

30. December 2014 19:10
by Jobo

Testing out some Shetland Style Lace

30. December 2014 19:10 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I’?ve been admiring Shetland lace motifs for years now.  The idea of knitting pattern rows EVERY row, and working with Frog?s Hair fine thread is daunting to me especially with the profound level of Mommy-Brain that I currently have going on.  The lack of sleep leaves me forgetful and unfocussed. 

So *why* does my exhausted brain tell me to want to knit the most complicated lace around?  I know, I know makes Zero sense to me too!


The Fiber: 

- A Nunoco Batt I?m assuming a Smorgasbox morsel I received this 2 oz batt in a swap, so I don?t really know what was in it or what it?s name was.  I?m guessing it has Merino and Silk among other things. 


The Spin:

- Spun on some Phil Powell Russian Style Supported spindles a nice smooth fast spin

- the thread is a very fine lace, basically heavy-cobweb (there?s an oxymoron for you?) and a two ply to boot Smile

- my two ounce batt translated into around 650 yards of 2-ply thread

- the thread has nice smooth bits, some nice shiny bits, and even some nubbly textured bits.  It?s a Heinz 57 kind of a look.  Mostly green, but with some teal, brown, cream, black, and even some glitz and sparkle.


The Design:

- Shetland motifs scare me.  The thought of trying to work pattern rows EVERY row, with no purl-back break, is a little intimidating

- eventually I would like to knit a complete wedding ring Shetland shawl the size of a king sized bed.

- before I start something of that magnitude, I thought maybe I should try a more basic project.  So I looked around, but couldn’?t find a simple sampler that I wanted to jump into.

- So I looked in all of my Shetland pattern books and Stitch Dictionaries and found some elements that interest me and decided to just wing it!

- I plan on writing some more on my process for combining the motifs and some reviews of the books I am using stay tuned.

A Teaser:

- here is how it?s looking so far!


26. March 2012 12:59
by Jobo

Silk and Satin ? Calculations...

26. March 2012 12:59 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Ever since learning about the fine wonderful lace of Estonia, Orenburg, and Shetland... I have been dreaming of spinning a truly cobwebby and fine yarn to knit something as authentic as possible.  These yarns are so fine, froghair fine, intimidatingly fine...

Silk and Satin Angora compare with knitpicks lace

My latest yarn is actually not that far off of being fine enough to try ? ack!

To give you an idea... here is my 2 ply yarn compared with a skein of Knit Picks Lace yarn ?>

Their skein is 440 yards per 50 grams. (that?s approximately 4000 yards per pound)

Mine was 185 yards in 9 grams.  No that isn?t a typo.  9 grams. (That?s about 9300 yards per pound!)

I bet if my yarn was 100 % wool instead of having a silk component, the yards per pound ratio would have been lighter still...

To give you an idea... true gossamer threads used in Orenburg lace knitting are somewhere around 10000 ? 15000 yards per pound.  Cobweb is considered to be anything finer than 6000 yards per pound, or 40 wraps per inch.  My thread was around 50 wraps per inch.

:)  Maybe I can accomplish something like the old master lace knitters some day?  I guess I?ll keep on practicing!  Knitting with thread you can hardly see is quite a challenge also.  I find going back to sock yarn after knitting with this feels like knitting with rope...

Silk and Satin Angora Skein LoopsA nice balanced 2 ply... super shiny... and with just a little halo!  As it is knitting up... the halo is gently rising to a nice soft fuzz...

Silk and Satin Angora Skein Glamour ShotFull Skein Glamour Shot:  9 grams = 185 yards.  Yes, it fits in the palm of your hand, literally!

14. January 2011 09:48
by Jobo

Scouring Shetland

14. January 2011 09:48 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I purchased 2 lb of Raw Shetland Fleece back at the Maritime Handspinner's Retreat in October last year... and it has been waiting patiently for me to get my act together and start scouring it! 

Really for this fleece, scouring is a bit of a misnomer... it was super clean to begin with!  The fleece was very heavily skirted before I bought it, so there really aren't any "waste" bits.  I only saw one little bit of poo, and very little vegetable matter in the quick sift through the bag.  The fleece smells mildly sheepy, I guess you could say sheepy in a "good" way.  I tried just flicking open a lock and spinning from that in the grease, and it was actually quite pleasant.  Even still though, where I intend to make myself a sweater from it, I thought I should wash it first, and do things the usual way.  I was worried that the lanolin wouldn't come out fully if I spun the yarn first and scoured after. 

Because I wasn't really worried about dissolving a large amount of dirt for this fleece, I decided to wash it by the heaping handful in lingerie bags in the kitchen sink.  (I plan on installing one of those large wash basin laundry sinks in my basement someday, but not soon enough to wash this fleece)  The bags themselves are just cheap net with a zipper at one end... I think I bought them at the dollar store.  I stuffed the bags mostly full with fleece without really packing it in.  When the wool gets wet it really compresses down, so even though the bags looked fairly full, after they hit the hot water... flat as a pancake!

For really dirty fleeces, apparently you have to be a lot more fussy about what detergent you use.  I just used a healthy squirt of Dawn dish detergent in my first sink for this batch.  I used tap water as hot as the little furnace could churn out, and then added a kettle full of boiling water to it for good measure.  Then I just set the bags on the surface, and as the locks absorbed the water, they sank and soaked.  I didn't want the water to get too cold between soakings (temperature shocks = felting hazard!)  so I left the bags to soak for about 30 minutes, then replaced the water.  I only used soap in the first soak, then continued on with plain hot water for 3 more soaks, at about 30 minutes each.  At this point, the locks had lost their sticky feel and the water ran clear.  I let the bags drip as long as I could stand, and then laid them out on towels to drain some more.  It didn't take long for the towels to get wet... wool holds a lot of water!  I left the locks out on a mesh sweater dryer rack to finish the drying process... which I expect to take a few days at minimum.  The air is dry at our house right now, so the extra water evaporating into the air will likely be a soothing influence.

I expect that washing this entire fleece will take 3 more sessions of scouring... my mesh drying rack is pretty small, so I have to do small batches and let them dry in between.  Next time I go to the dollar store, I'll have to look for some more of the bags and racks! 

Here is a shot of this session drying on the rack... mmm curly crimpy soft wooly goodness!

shetland fleece drying jan 14 2011

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