Jobo Designs

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

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!

3. November 2011 13:28
by Jobo

The Finest Thread...

3. November 2011 13:28 by Jobo | 0 Comments

At the Maritime Handspinners' Retreat this year they held a small version of the Longest Thread Contest... where in a nutshell spinners are given a small sample of wool (10 g) and are asked to spin it as fine as humanly possible into a long single by whatever method they choose, 2-ply it, and then measure the length of the thread and see who manages the longest one! 

For the worldwide contest, raw wool is used (locks I'm assuming) and the rules are very strict - thread must be washed and balled, and then the threads are measured in Meters.  If the thread breaks or weighs less then 10 g, only the longest piece of the thread is measured.  The results are quite amazing on a global scale! (results taken from the website linked above)

Overall World Results for 2011:  First prize was given to a thread that was 1005.678 m / 10 g !!! by a spinner from the Netherlands - Jan Zandbelt

The world records are even a more incredible feat... when you consider that the actually single spun was twice as long as the listed length (remember:  these are 2-ply threads!)

Current World Record:  First prize 1468.61 m / 10 g by a spindle spinner from Kyoto, Japan - Naoko Tamuro

For the local contest... our wool consisted of samples of Colonial Wool, but because of a discrepancy in measuring, in the end our thread samples were compared scaled down to 8g.  Because the samples weren't passed out ahead of time, spinners had to spin their samples at the retreat, so I'm not sure that the spinner-sample was really representative of the attendees.

I chose to spin my sample on my 16g Birdseye Maple Bosworth Mini... where most people chose to spin on their wheels.  One other participant spun her sample on a supported Russian style spindle.  There were 15 participants in all. 

It took me most of Saturday to spin up my sample for the contest.  I was afraid of spinning too thin and having my thread break... so in retrospect, I could probably have gone a little lighter.

Regardless of my 20:20 hindsight... the hard work paid off - I won!

Oct 23 11 095

My thread was a pathetic 69 m / 8 g.... which when converted to what it would have been for 10 g... is only a measly 86 m.  When you compare that to the best fine spinners in the world it doesn't sound all that impressive.  The judge did comment though that my yarn was nice and substantial, and was in no way in danger of breaking during the measuring (2 other people's threads broke). 

I'd be interested to see how well I could do with more time and a different type of wool preparation... i.e. spinning from a nice fine wool lock instead of a chunk of top.  I'm finding that I can get a much finer single from a bouncy crimpy wool lock than I can from a mostly smooth highly processed type of preparation.  Also, Because there was a time constraint, I think I might have rushed through some sections.  I think if I had a little more time, I would have been a bit more consistent and might have been able to spin a more even thread.

Fun Facts:

What can you do with ultrafine thread? Knit some amazing Lace!

Estonian Lace (i.e. Haapsalu Shawls) are knit using very fine, soft, bouncy, 100% wool threads that are 2000 m / 100 g

Orenburg Lace (i.e. Gossamer Shawls) are knit using very fine 2 ply thread of silk and Orenburg Goat Down that is 3000 m / 100 g

Shetland Lace (i.e. Wedding Ring Shawls) are knit using Shetland Wool yarns, often cobweb single ply yarns, that are 2000 m / 100 g

Compare with the World's Finest Thread:  (converted to 100 g to compare with these lace traditions)  14686.1 m / 100 g !

Compare with my sample:  (Also converted to 100 g) 862.5 m / 100 g

24. August 2008 17:21
by Jobo

To Boldly go, where no Jobo has gone before...

24. August 2008 17:21 by Jobo | 1 Comments

in attempts to improve upon my eariler blogging experience, Marky has decided to set me up with a new blog, and my own .com to showcase some of my work... So here I  go on another blogging adventure - hopefully one with fewer issues. (that, and now the tech support comes with hugs and a back rub!  can't beat that! seriously.)

I've been working on a few more projects these days, and trying to finish up old works-in-progress... with the goal that, the more I finish, hopefully the more new fun stuff I can start!  Right now I am about 1/3 of the way through a Cabled Hoodie (see Brownies for Breakfast on Ravelry - my username is jlsonier FYI) an afghan (Christmas Gift) and a silk shawl (potentially for the wedding next summer)  Never any shortage of ideas and inspiration these days.  I feel really keen to work on things, so I'm going to try and knock off a couple of UFO's while the mood lasts!

This spinning thing is really a lot of fun, and I can totally see how people become so addicted so fast to this hobby.  Everything about it is so hands on.  First you touch the fiber, pet it, prepare it, drool a little over it... then you spin it, another enjoyable task in itself.  You get to see the creation of the yarn inch by inch.  Spin. Ply. Wind into a ball.  Then the next part is just as much fun.  A ball of yummy, hand made, luxurious by any standard (the only thing you can really buy around here is acrylic stuff at Walmart. ew.)  and then YOU get to use it to make something else!  Then the excitement starts all over again.  Choose pattern. Cast on.  Admire yarn.  Knit like a crazy person. Finished project.  Congratulate self on job well done.  Repeat.  This spinning thing, yeah.  I can totally see why it's worth the trouble.  

My most recent spinning project has been working up some undyed, cream colored, silk hankies.  When I had bought my spinning wheel down in NY, the lady at the store had said, "someday when you get really good at it, you should try some silk hankies and try those out."  Well, Im not sure if I'm 'really good at it' yet, but I did it anyway!  I bought about 3.5 ounces of silk from Legacy Studio (check out their website, pretty neat) and spun up what felt like a neverending thread of fingering/cobweb-ish silk.  I only got through about 3 hankies before my lack of willpower forced me to start chain-plying so I could tell what it would be like in the end.  So far I have about 350 yards of creamy white, almost pearly textured silk thread.  So of course (absolutely no willpower)  I decide last evening to try casting on a triangular shawl I have been oogling for months (Laminaria)  You know, just to see how it looks.  riiight.  see pics below.

Shawl pics someday, when I get a little more done



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