Jobo Designs

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

28. September 2008 21:50
by Jobo
1 Comments

Oooh Baby Baby!

28. September 2008 21:50 by Jobo | 1 Comments

In light of the number of friends having rugrats this year... I guess we have finally reached that age haven't we... I  have been making quite a few baby blankets in the last little while. 

I've gone back and forth between knit and crochet, but the common thread is always the fact that a baby blanket always equals a straightforward, easily finishable, cheap to make, pleasing project.  Here are a few examples for your warm and snuggly, baby powder scented, yarn-filled enjoyment:

Baby Supernova

made with Bernat Baby yarn, this variegated stuff has long been a favorite of mine for baby projects.  It's acrylic, so it washes and dries nicely (no matter how many times it gets puked on!) and is basically indestructable.  I find that one "big" ball, readily available at most department stores (i.e Wallyworld and the Big Z) for about 7 bucks plus tax, makes a decent size blanket.  Who can argue with that?  I found this Star pattern on Ravelry.  basically its a big granny square with 5 cormers instead of 4.  If you do granny squares, you can definetly do this, and there are several variants on there for free.  I think it looks kind of pointy though, with not much real substance, so I think I will try insetting diamonds around the outside to fill in a little bit.  I guess I'll end up with a pentagon, but that should be okay.  Might make a good play mat as the little gaffer gets older?

 




Purple Baby Ripples -

No actual imagination to speak of here.  I just followed the directions on the package of yarn, and this is basically cast on 150 some stitches and do straight stockinette for umph-teen rows (with about 10 stitches of garter on either end to cut down on rolling) and when you run out of yarn, you're done.  This is a self striping yarn, so YAY no ends to tie in!  And for 3.50 a ball plus tax, and only 2 balls needed... a steal of a deal.  This one is going out west for a new little cow-girl in Edmonton... when I can get to a post office and find myself an envelope  big enough to wrangle this puppy into...



Generic Baby Ripples -

This was another “got the yarn on sale” project. Friends of ours were expecting their second child, and I wanted to make something special for them, since I had made a quilt for kid #1!

This blanket was made from a pattern my mom wrote out for me on a piece of paper years ago, when I was looking for something easy to work on. I know I’ve seen other people do it before, but I’ve never seen it written down anywhere.  My mom has made probably 25 of these... and she freely gives them away to anyone who is expecting.  I can't imagine how warm and cozy my kids are gonna be when the time comes... Gramma will be knitting up a small hurricane no doubt!

I’ll try and write it out in case anyone else is interested. Its a 3 row repeat, and is easily memorizable. It doesn’t really have a front and back, just repeating ripples of 3 rows each... see pattern after pics



***********

 Loosely, cast on 172 stitches

Row 1: K1 K2tog K6 yo K1 yo K6 * K2tog K2tog K6 yo K1 yo K6 * repeat until 3 stitches remain, K2tog K1 turn

Row 2: Purl all stitches

Row 3: Knit all stitches

Repeat these 3 rows as desired, then cast off loosely, and weave in edges

************

Happy Blankey Knitting All !

 

14. September 2008 11:44
by Jobo
0 Comments

The Cure for the "Denim Blues"

14. September 2008 11:44 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Still not over the carding cravings yesterday, so I thought I would use up the last bit of the "Hamlet" 100% Merino Batts I had bought to make Marky some socks. 

There was a little over 5-6 oz left, so definetly enough to make it worthwhile... and plus the original batts were kindof chunky strands of sky blue, pale blue and black, so using my new carders made it easy to blend things a bit better.  When I made the socks, I had blended this fiber with some natural gray carbonized bamboo, which made for some squishable soft fingering weight wool.  (see pics of man + socks below)  The finished carded rolags were so fluffy and soft... when I took them outside to take a pic of them, one nearly blew away in the fall breeze!When I mixed the batts a little more, I got a sort of worn faded denim color, just right for another pair of socks likely, though I think this 100% wool yarn will knit up a little different than the bamboo blend... likely will have more fluff and bounce (not to mention the fact that I spun this yarn woolen, as opposed to semi worsted last time)

This next pic seems to show the colour best, smokey worn faded denim blue.  As time goes on, I am actually getting better at producing a more consistant yarn.... I thought it would take me a lot longer to get a useable product, but surprisingly, no.  I had been saving some of my fancy luxurious fiber purchases until I knew what I was doing, but maybe that will be here sooner than I thought?  who knows.  I might have to start on the Merino/Angora/Mohair blend I got a few months back.  Maybe that sweater isnt' far over the horizon? 



This is a pic of the original batt I started with.  I got it from a great company on Etsy - (www.theranch.etsy.com)  They were one of the first places I bought spinning fiber, and I have found that everything I get is exactly as pictured, and is wonderfully prepared and ready to spin.  This particular batt was called "Hamlet" and I think the colourway was named after a family pet? The Carbonized Bamboo was a dream to work with... felt like silk!




And Finally the Marky Bamboo Merino Blend Socks.  Nothing like having a woman who will spin ya some wool, then knit ya homemade socks?  Men out there, eat yer hearts out! (this pattern can be found for free on ravelry from Marimi Knits - called "Ankle Socks")

 

12. September 2008 12:11
by Jobo
1 Comments

I Carded Wool... and I liked it!

12. September 2008 12:11 by Jobo | 1 Comments

more adventures with wool.  I finally got my wool cards in the mail (yay! mail that isn't a bill!) 

 I got a set of Ashfords, I guess a step up from the beginner ones.  Talk about torture though, they come unassembled, so you have to screw on the handles and wait overnight for the wood glue to dry before you can use them!  How uncool is that... I had to stare at them until I went to bed that night, and wasn't able to try them out right away. (sniffle) Isn't that a bit like giving a kid candy and telling her she can't eat it until tomorrow?  totally cruel.

But the next day... ready to go.  Glue was dry, and the cards were calling my name.  I started out by flicking open the tips of the locks with my Flick Card, then laid the staples of wool on the new cards and gave it a try.  After a little clumsy and awkward fluffing, and some mild profanity, I managed to get soft fluffy rolags to play with.  I was really surprised at how much softer and suppler the singles turned out from the rolags, as compared to when I spun straight from flicked locks.  This was also my first attempt at spinning woolen, as all I have had to work with up to this point is pre processed roving.  New experience, but a good one I think.  It would be nice to try and make a really fluffy soft yarn sometime. 

I was really surprised also at how much I actually enjoyed the carding process.  I've read before about how some people find it tedious and annoying to process fiber.  Me on the other hand? I found it to be as enjoyable as the spinning process itself.  I think maybe its the back to basics, grass roots feeling of it all.  Imagine... I took wool straight from a sheep, washed it, carded it, and then spun it.  Very primitive in its nature, but also thrilling in its simplicity too.

As part 2 of the Carding Experiment, I decided to blend some of the odds and ends of fiber I had kicking around at home.   The blending part was actually very exciting.  I really liked the depth of colour you can get by blending different things together.  In particular, the blend of soft natural chocolate brown alpaca, silk hankie, and leicester was quite surprising.  It made a nice soft brown colour that was unusually warm.  I'll have to wash it and see what the finished yarn knits up like sometime.  The next batch of locks I wash, I want to try dying and blending some colours on the cards.  sounds like a lot of fun... uh oh, what if dying is just as addictive?  Could be trouble

All three samples are navajo plied (3-ply) and fibers are as follows: 

    top sample - Leicester.

    middle - brown suri alpaca with leicester and a touch of raw silk hankie

    bottom - Romney.


And finally, Spindle Pics... this is that natural coloured Leicester, singles spun from the rolags in the earlier pics.  I have about enough of this I think for a small pair of mittens.  I was thinking I'd maybe try making thrum mittens, and use some funky dyed super-soft roving inside, since the wool itself isn't as soft as I would have liked


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