Jobo Designs

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

5. December 2011 09:24
by Jobo
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Atwell Socks? These ain?t plain Ribbing :)

5. December 2011 09:24 by Jobo | 0 Comments

After the last pair of plain ribbed socks? I needed something with a little more Interest.  Flash. Pizazz.  Something less mind numbing.  I had purchased a copy of the Paul Atwell Socks from Emily over at the Family Trunk Project some time ago, and stashed it away for a rainy day.

Well I guess it must be rainy enough this week? I decided to cast on a pair.  I really like the ?gull? stitch pattern.  It looks complicated, but really isn?t.  It?s a 4 row repeat with a ?loose? float that you tie down by catching in a stitch in 2 rows time.  I also like that these are cuff down.  I don?t have a problem with toe-up designs, but I just find sometimes that the leg and cuff of a sock can be the most time consuming part? where you have pattern spanning the entire row for such a long way (as compared to the foot where usually half of the stitches are plain stockinette? that seems to make things run a lot faster for me!)  Surprisingly enough, I don?t even mind the seed stitch that lines up between the gulls.  This is weird for me, because as previously stated, I find knitting ribbing to be heinously boring, and seed stitch is just as bad.  I can do up the 4 row repeat (in a 72 stitch round) in a flash, and find the whole thing quite amusing and engaging.  I?m a messed up knitter.  Of this, I am aware.

Atwell Socks Leg Detail

2 more Gull repeats to the heel!  These are going to fly off the needles? which is surprising, since I?m making them ?Man Sized? in the 72 stitch per round, likely Men?s Size 10 Shoe.  I?ll never know why I can knit complex patterns so much more efficiently than ribbing.  huh.  Makes zero sense to me.

2. December 2011 15:07
by Jobo
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Haapsalu Shawl? or at the very least, an attempt at one

2. December 2011 15:07 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I have been in love with Estonian Lace from the second I laid eyes on it.  It doesn?t matter which pattern? a leaf, vine, geometric, lily of the valley, paw prints? I love them all.  It?s been in the back of my mind for years now that I neeeeeed to spin the finest yarn I can and go ahead and just knit one of these.  As close to the authentic ones as possible.  I know it will never be 100% right, as I can?t get the right materials here, and I?ll likely not be visiting Estonia anytime soon? but a girl can dream, Right?

At the last Maritime Handspinners? Retreat in October 2011, I bought an 8 ounce bag of Romney washed locks.  I wanted to try spinning for lace directly from the lock (as do some of the other lace spinning geniuses? ahem Margaret Stove cough) and see how well I could do with it.  This wool isn?t the softest one I?ve ever worked with, but the locks are overall quite clean, fairly free of VM, and have a nice bouncy texture.  I?ve been just flicking them open to untangle the tips, and going at it with a Bosworth Mini. 

So far, I think I?ve spun maybe 200 yards of it (very fine 2 ply) and just decided to cast on and give it a try in pattern to see if it ?works? or not.  I didn?t wash to set the yarn either.  I figure blocking will even that part out for me.  I?m not sure how much of the wool I?ve used so far, but there does seem to be a fair bit of loss.  I?m honestly just hoping that I?ll get enough for the shawl out of 4 ish ounces (since I?m estimating I?m losing 30 ? 40 % of the wool? that should be possible out of the 8 ounces).  My plan (if you can actually call it one) is to knit up this small sample ball and then measure and weigh it and extrapolate from there whether I?ll have enough to carry out the rest of the shawl.  I figure if I do run out? I can just make a borderless plain center panel.  That would still be quite striking, even without a border.

I?m using my Woody Knitters Straights size 3 mm, and I?m following the Haapsalu Shawl Book for the number of stitches, cast on recommendations, motifs, and general encouragement.  I chose to use the ?Double Lily of the Valley? chart as my main center design, with a 4 stitch garter border all around.  Then I?ll knit a border lace separately and sew it on to the central rectangle.  This aspect scares me a little, but I tried a sample tiny shawl last year, and my sewn on border looked ok in the end.

double lily of the valley haapsalu 2

As you can see? The little ball is going quite far.  I think I have enough to do the chart completely and probably another half dozen rows.  The shawl is going to be 141 stitches across (you?re only seeing a small portion here, since my needles aren?t that long) and features 3.5 repeats of the Double Lily of the Valley chart across.  To give you an idea of scale? remember that the needles are 3 mm, and I?ve posed a piece of the lace with a Canadian Dime (which is 18 mm diameter) for scale.  I found knitting with the ?thread? was a little bit tedious in the beginning, but I?m getting used to it now.  I had planned to try and work 2 ? 3 rows every day on it, but sadly I?ve gotten behind with all of the other holiday hub-bub.  I hope to get back at it in the new year, and also back into spinning more of this up.  The spinning itself has been quite enjoyable as well!  I?ll post more when progress has actually been made :)

double lily of the valley haapsalu

25. November 2011 09:20
by Jobo
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Fallberry Fingerless Mitts

25. November 2011 09:20 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I really wanted to get as much holiday knitting done as possible well ahead of time this year… not knowing if the baby would arrive on time, or early, or what the situation would be like.  This is one of those projects that I’ve had completed for a while, but just hadn’t gotten around to photographing it with the lousy fall short daylight hours.  It snowed here the last couple of days… so it’s a bit overcast for photo taking, but the fresh fallen snow makes for a nice background :)

These are a pair of Fallberry Fingerless Mittens, as seen in the Knitty.com online knitting magazine.  All of the Knitty patterns are available free of charge… and if you aren’t familiar with this publication… you really should check it out!  Each issue is full of great patterns and a variety of different knit items – from socks to sweaters and shawls. 

I wanted to make something for Mark’s Aunt that would be straightforward, not a ridiculous amount of work, and also that would be useful.  I remember her mentioning before that she had chilly hands from time to time, so I thought fingerless mittens might make a practical accessory.  Normally I wouldn’t be interested in something like a fingerless mitten for myself, thinking that I wouldn’t wear them enough to make the effort justified, but I really like the way that these fit, and am considering making some for me after the holidays are over.

fallberry2

One thing that was really nice about this pattern… you get the illusion of working a fine lacy pattern… but of course, the mitts are made from sport weight yarn, and on decent sized needles so they work up fast.  I decided to go with some KnitPicks Stroll Sport, both for the old standby of practical wool with the added durability of nylon, and for the reasonable price point (less than 4 dollars a ball!).  I knew I’d need more than one ball, but I was able to make the entire pair with about a ball and a quarter.  Really, only the thumbs were worked with the second ball.  So I do actually have enough yarn to make a second pair if I decide to go for it.  (I know I’ve been using a lot of KnitPicks Yarn lately… I don’t work for them, I swear!  I just really like their products!)

fallberry 

I was also pleased with the simplicity of the pattern and the easy to memorize flickering flame style motif.  After a couple of repeats of the chart, I was good to go, and really didn’t have to refer back tot he pattern very often.  Also, because really there were 4 rows of “active” stitch movement, then 4 rows of basically ribbing, the mitts worked up very quickly.  I think it took me around 3 evenings worth of knitting to finish things off.  I made the “large” size, and was a little afraid that they might be too small in the end, but after a little soak and blocking on some mitten blockers, the finished mitts relaxed enough and fit me fine (even in my pregnant, swollen hands and feet state)

I hope the recipient gets lots of use out of them, and enjoys the toasty warm wrists and hands :)

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