Jobo Designs

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

16. July 2009 11:23
by Jobo
0 Comments

Still Jigging away... Swallowtail Shawl

16. July 2009 11:23 by Jobo | 0 Comments

I've been knitting away on the Swallowtail... and I finally finished the Budding Lace portion… 

In the end I decided not to mess with the number of repeats as I had been considering before.  I was afraid that increasing the repeats would result in a final stitch count number that would cause too much grief and tears if it didn’t match up with the required stitch count for the next lace section.

 

I figure if I want to mess with the pattern and take some artistic license maybe I should at least try making the shawl as written ONCE before I completely destroy it ;)

 

I think I have lots of yarn… at this point I am at around the 12th row of the Lily of the Valley section and have still not exhausted the first ball of yarn.  I did decide on doing the Nupps… Mostly because I had been too busy this weekend to go bead hunting, and because after some pondering I realized that the yarn was a little “fuzzy” and I wasn’t sure I could pull it through the beads with a crochet hook without potentially altering the strength of the single ply yarn.  So to play it safe / lazy… I just did the nupps anyways,

 

My tips on how to successfully do Nupps:

-          Think Loose… really loose. 

-          Try and make sure you pull back a little extra on each loop of the (K1, yo, K1, yo, K1) in the same stitch

-          When you reach the next row where you are purling 5 together… watch as you insert the needle… try and keep it straight in line with the needle holding the stitches and just gently slip it in

-          I like to hold back the YO after the 5 to be pearled together with my thumbnail as I am working the P5tog… to avoid any chance of it getting in the way.

-          No matter what you do, at least one of your nupps will end up so tight that your needle won’t be able to slide in.  Do NOT get discouraged - It happens.

-          Keep a smaller sized DPN handy and use it to pearl your stitch.  I found there was less swearing when I just used the DPN instead of trying over and over again to use the proper sized needle (square peg, round hole – ladies and gentlemen)

-          If you are really unsure – swatch first ;)  I just took some scrap yarn, cast on about 10 stitches, and worked a few rows in stockinette stitch… on the next knit row I tried the pattern stitch

o       YO, in same stitch work: (K1, yo, K1, yo, K1) YO

o       On the way back on the pearl side… see if you can recognize the YOs and the nupps… try the P5tog as you go across. 

-          Be brave J you can totally do it!

Here are some pics of what the front and back of a Nupp look like.... I know I wondered before I started...

Being that I DO have so much yarn… a whole skein that I haven’t touched yet…I am now wondering if I should do just one repeat of the Lily of the Valley lace or try and double it up?  (here we go again… it’s like my brain tries to work faster than my fingers, but then realizes it’s an idiot and shuts-up)  I think I will just get through this part of the pattern and see what it looks like before I make any rash decisions.

 

I can’t seem to decide if it will be big enough as is… I have the same problem with quilts!  I start with a size and then usually end up making it bigger and bigger (hey, if you are going to spend so much time on a project… shouldn’t it be big enough for ANY bed?) until I either run out of time or run out of fabric.  I have even gone out and bought MORE fabric to make something bigger.  For some reason I can’t seem to be content with a small quilt, though many people prefer to make them.

This particular yarn and pattern will really need a good blocking I think.  Some of the other patterns I have worked on practically lied flat without hardly doing anything to them.  It seems when I pseudo block it (aka pin it to my couch with some quilt pins and stretch it out a bit) that the lace really opens up, and will perhaps be bigger than I think it will be?  Maybe it will be just fine in size… I guess I just have to be patient and wait and see!  

 

Here are a few closeups of Nupps and the lace Detail...  Will be ready for blocking probably this weekend :)

  

15. July 2009 13:27
by Jobo
2 Comments

Destined to be Norwegian Mittens... someday

15. July 2009 13:27 by Jobo | 2 Comments

For some time now, I have admired (drooled and dreamt over) patterned Norwegian Mittens.  In fact, the first time I saw Terri Shea’s book (Selbuvotter) I ordered it right away without hesitation.  I’ve made a few pairs so far…

For example… Mittens I made for myself last winter :)

This book has great background about the art of mitten making in that area of the world... as well as a wealth of patterns a ideas.  The one thing I found a little difficult was choosing a yarn to make them with though, since most of the prescribed products aren't available in canada.  I swatched and pondered for quite a while before I made these ones. 

In response to the yarn selection issue, I have been thinking for a while about making some with my own yarn.  I’ve come to realize that if knitting something is fun – then knitting it with your own handspun MUST be even More fun!

So I set out to find something in my stash that would work to make mittens out of.  I also owe one of Mark’s uncles something from hand spun yarn, since he has been nice enough to send me raw fleece to learn how to wash and prep for spinning.   Since my first attempt at the washing and prepping process I think I may have gotten a little better at it… but I definitely still have a ways to go!

I had some basic white medium soft fleece that I processed from ick to passable wool.  This was my first real wool carded into batts with my drum carder.  Certainly that process was much simpler than the time I had flick carded and then hand carded a few pounds of fleece.  It isn’t the softest wool… probably around a medium fineness.  I don’t think I’d want it rubbed up against my neck or anything, but it isn’t as scratchy as some of the basic wool products I’ve worked with (aka Briggs and Little or Condon’s Wool)

I also had some unnamed natural grey roving from when I bought my spinning wheel down in Rochester last year.  I know the lady in the store told me what it was, but for the life of me I can’t remember.  It doesn’t feel like any of the other wools I’ve been working with… quite long staple, kind of hair-like, medium to fine feel.

So I have 2 colours – natural and grey… all spun up, probably enough to make a small pair of mittens, but I’m not sure exactly.  I need to do some calculations and see how much of each colour I will need.  I think I still have enough of the grey to do another bobbin worth, and I know I have a few more batts of the natural colour wool.

Either way… These two are destined to be Norwegian Mittens…. Someday.

4. April 2009 10:45
by Jobo
1 Comments

Strawberry Thrum Mittens...

4. April 2009 10:45 by Jobo | 1 Comments

dreaming of strawberries and sunshine? it may be summer where you are... but it's still snowstormy here!  You know what they say about little old Prince Edward Island... if you don't like the weather, its okay!  wait a minute... it's likely to change...



So even though spring has supposedly sprung, the 2 feet of snow in my yard has me still mad about mittens.

The latest pair - a Bright Strawberry Pink Thrum Mittens... with soft white merino thrums reminiscent of strawberry seeds.  



The yarn:
Belfast Mini Mills 3-ply Merino (100g skein)

this yarn is soft and lofty... perfect for something like mittens where you want to trap warm air next to the skin.  In this case, the thrums were also merino wool from the same mill, and equally as soft and lofty.  Some people like little thrums (i.e. my mom's mittens usually have a little but less thrum) but me?  Im all about the poof... maybe I go a little overboard, but seriously... if you are going to bother embedding such soft cotton-candy fluff inside... I think you need to put LOTS.  Hey, Go Big or Go Home.

This is the second skein of this yarn that I have used... the first being a heathered blue yarn I used to make some warm cozy wool socks for the Husbeast.  I like the overall texture and consistancy of this yarn, and find it pleasing to work with.  I sometimes find wool itchy on my fingers but not this stuff by a long shot.  There were some sections of the skein that were a tiny but thicker or thinner, but no knots in the whole thing.  I always like that when you have a continuous skein, with no big knits or sections you need to cut out.  I am a hater of weaving in ends.  I know I'm a big girl, and I should get over it, but I still do go to great lengths to NOT not not weave in ends.  I am a baby sometimes.

I think I'd like to try this yarn on something larger sometime... like a sweater perhaps?  It seems to make a nice smooth solid cloth in stockinette, and I think would make a nice warm fall jacket/sweater.  The ladies at the mill have great taste in colours too... I'll have to look next time I pop in.  They had some delicious Olive Green... one of my favorite clothing colors.

Rating 4/5 balls of yarn


The Pattern:

My motto these days has been "easy does it".  With a busy home life, travelling an hour each way to get to work, and trying to sell our house... I don't have a lot of extra brain cells to spare!  I have been making mittens since I was a kid myself, so I normally just improvise things, but I was careful this time to make some notes as I went so I could share things with you folks out in blog land.



I started by taking some measurements of my own hands, I usually make a med/large sized mitten if making for myself to wear.  Since I had planned on using a standard thrum pattern, I wanted to add some extra Girly interest - what better way than by adding a cabled cuff.  Normally I would make cuffs for anything in a standard K2P2 ribbing (I dislike working K1P1, and avoid it where I can) so I decided to cable every 5th row.

Also, to break the monotony, I decided to add my thrums alternating back and forth zigzag, rather than the standard grid pattern often seen.  I added my Thrums every 4 stitches, so all sections of the mittens had to be in multiples of 4 stitches to make things work out evenly. 

Pattern is in the works... will be up here and on ravelry soon, just needs test knitting now... which is kind of scary.  I'm still such a newbie when it comes to writing out patterns!  you should see my notes... more pictures than words.  Most projects I make, I try and make notes about what I have done so that all relevant parts match, i.e. sleeves, and things that are made in twos.  To combat the problem, I often make both mittens or both socks at the same time on two sets of needles, so I dont "forget" how I did something.

I'll keep ya posted!

Powered by BlogEngine.NET | Theme: Yoko by Elmastudio, adapted by onesoft

Top