Jobo Designs

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

10. June 2011 12:12
by Jobo

Laminaria... in BFL Silk Handspun

10. June 2011 12:12 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Purple Butterfly BFL Silk BraidI've been working along on this... a few rows at a time - Using the nice shiny smooth handspun from "Purple Moth" Wings n' Things Fiber club from Allforloveofyarn (Shown at the left, to refresh your memory of the lovely purply pinkishness)

The yarn itself is coming along pretty well... though I guess you might call it "thread" over yarn really.  My first spindle full was 17g and yielded 170 yards of nice fine 2 ply.  I decided I would do a smaller amount to test first and make sure it was turning out as planned.  I hope to be able to put a bunch more on for the next couple of skeins... maybe as much as 40 - 50 g before winding off?  If the calculation holds true, I should be able to get 900 - 1000 yards from this 112 g braid - which should be lots and lots!

Normally Laminaria is knit from a regular laceweight yarn on size 3.5 - 3.75 mm needles.  Since my yarn is a bit finer, I decided I would use slightly smaller needles (my 3 mm Woody Knitters Needles to be exact)  that way the finished piece wouldn't be too airy.  I really like the way the wood needles grip the thread, and creates such a nice feel for the knitting process.  I know if I was working on steel needles I'd knit tighter, so I figure that my loose knitting on the smaller wood needles shouldn't be that bad.  Either way, I'm going to have lots and lots of yarn (the original large pattern only calls for 600 ish yards of yarn) so if the shawl isn't looking big enough when I reach the point where you normally switch to the border transition... I'll just do more repeats!  How's that for knitting on the fly?

The spinning itself is taking place on a Zebisis stone whorl spindle... I've never actually weighed it though, so I can't tell you the exact weight.  I'd say it's around 1 ounce, based on behavior and comparison to my Golding.  It took a little practice to get used to working without a notch in the whorl, but I think I've gotten the hang of it now, and the yarn is fairly consistent.  The second cop is in progress as my current travel spinning project.  I've been working on it during lunch break and when waiting.  I had better get going on it though... the first 170 yards has almost been knit up!

purple moth spindle

I've completed the first section of the pattern:  the star stitch portion.  I like the texture of this stitch, though I bet it will flatten out a lot during blocking.  I'm finding the yarn size vs needle size to be satisfactory so far.  This stitch pattern is supposed to be more dense than the lacy open part... so I guess I won't know until I get some lacy bits whether I will be completely satisfied.  I've gotten over half of the transition section done, but that's mostly just more star stitch.  Hopefully tonight I will be able to progress more into the flower lace section and see how that's going to look!

Laminaria star stitch section

13. August 2009 11:03
by Jobo

It's Been a Hard Day's Night-Songs.... and El-Cheapo Lace Blockers

13. August 2009 11:03 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I've been picking away at Nightsongs... basically a few rows at a time every few nights.  I'm trying to keep working on it regularly so I don't forget how the pattern works.  There is nothing more annoying than coming back to a project and having to re-learn all the stitches, and retrain your brain to read the charts all over again.  The rows are starting to feel really long now, though I am getting better at following what I am doing in them.  I started out using markers to try and keep the design separated out and clear, but I am finding now that I don't really need them, with the exception of the centre marker... it's nice to know where that double YO should be in the very centre, just to keep on track.

After doing some online research, I decided that instead of going out and purchasing a set of blocking wires, I would inquire at some local hardware stores and see if I could buy some stainless steel welding rods and use those instead.  Other folks on the net have found acceptable wires for really reasonable prices, so I figured this might also be the way to go for me as opposed to doing more mail order.  I was also afraid that the shipping on 3 foot long wires would be brutal.

So I called a local Metalworks company (which is conveniently located in the middle of my 1 hour daily commute)  to see if they had any products that might suit my needs... and sure enough they did!  I think the gentleman I exchanged emails with might think I'm a little quirky (I don't think he realized that you need wire to make lace knitting?) but was able to point me in the right direction.  The price was supposed to be 30 $ for a pound of wires - which are about 36 inches long, about 20 pieces per pound.  When I managed to drop into the store to pick them up, the site manager brought me to the warehouse section that housed all the wires, showed me the goods, and then proceeded to just GIVE me a handful of the wires.  Apparently if someone was working on a substantial job, they would need large quantities at a time of those wires, and would probably waste more than a handful (aka lost, bent, tossed)  so he would just give me a few for FREE.  I was more than happy to pay for them, but how generous of him to just donate a few for me to try.  I ended up with 12 wires (1/16 I think) which are just a little longer than 36 inches, completely smooth with no coatings.  Perfect for my purpose.

As a thank you to the generous guys over there... a shameless plug, and a tip of the Hat :)

** Kensington Metal Products Website! **

Wires in action!  Welders eat your hearts out!

Even just "dry" blocking on the bed, I am finding that the lace really opens up, and it is easy to see what the finished lace will look like.  Threading onto the wires was quite effortless, and pinning out the wires even less strenuous.  I think I used less than 2 dozen pins to hold down the wires, with just a gentle stretch to get a general idea of size and texture.  I am surprised, I still haven't finished using one ball of the Knitpicks shadow, and the shawl is already wider across than 34 inches... and almost as long down the spine as my supersingle spare bed is wide.  Most of the other shawls I have made were approximately the width of the bed (with about 3 inches to spare) so I think that just finishing up this one ball might make the shawl large enough.  I have two balls, but if I can get away with just using one, that's good too.   I will have to knit a few more patterns and then slide it back on the wires and see if it will be enough. 



15. May 2009 20:02
by Jobo

Sunshine on My Shoulders - Rippled Shawl

15. May 2009 20:02 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I couldn't help myself... I know this isn't a Finished Object yet, but I had to get out the pins and stretch this out over my sofa cushion just to get an idea of how its turning out:

Feather and Fan Shawl (free pattern on Ravelry here) knit from my own handspun 2-ply yarn that started as this:

for those of you who are regulars, this might look a little familiar (I had 2 braids... one of which became sock yarn earlier this spring)

I have been wanting to make another handspun shawl for a while, and have been attracted lately to "Old Shale" style or "Feather and Fan" patterns, so Today when I saw someone post  a picture of their own handspun shawl made with this pattern I couldn't help myself... I went upstairs and grabbed a set of Circs and was off to the races.

The pattern is really well written, and simple to follow.  In fact, while watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy and trips back and forth to the laundry room I managed to get quite a bit of this done!  I'm sorry I didn't have the patience to photograph the yarn before I cast on.  (I have a habit of doing that... and also giving away completed projects before photographing, just because I am so excited to pass them on!)

A lot of the rows in this pattern are straight knit or purl, so the design works up fast, and is interesting enough to keep my attention but not so complex that I have to turn off the Television either.  I can see me making several of these, just because they do work up so quickly.

As per usual, please note the plastic yellow heads of the quilting pins impaled in my sofa cushion... Hey, they aren't just for quilting anymore I tell you!

When I spun Captain Corriedale into Sock Yarn, I was more focussed on adding the necessary extra twist, and other socky details.  When this yarn was spun, my only goal was to have really long stretches of colour, so that if I did manage to knit it into a triangular shawl, the colours would make effortless pretty rippled stripes.  Thus far, I have gone from Purples to greens, to blues, to lemon yellows, and am enjoying every moment of 2-ply barberpole deliciousness.

One more pic for the road... I think I might have to go finish this!  I estimate that since I have about 1/3 of my yarn used, I could potentially have this shawl completed and ready for blocking this weekend..... IF we don't have to show the house fifteen times before that. 

Note:  If selling your house sounds like fun, whoever told you this is a big fat stinking liar.  It is about as much fun as frogging a project you had 99% finished and then realized that you MESSED UP and have to frog it back almost to the cast on.  OH, and not only do you have to rippit rippit, you chocolate stash is gone, and there is no more red wine.  There.  That's how much I am enjoying selling my house.  Thankfully there IS a little bit of White wine left, and I think I have some imitation easter confectionnary somewhere hiding in the back of a drawer... So I am going to go back to my knitting. *steps down from soap box*

Have a good Weekend All


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