Jobo Designs

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

15. December 2010 13:32
by Jobo
1 Comments

Silver Strawberries... the Actual Strawberry Part!

15. December 2010 13:32 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I'm chugging along on my Silver Strawberries Stole... sometimes working on it, when I should be working on other things (bad bad knitter!)  Isn't it funny how when you *know* you need to do something, you sometimes just can't get started?  But when you shouldn't... it's so sooo tempting!

Here is a quick little photo of the progress though... I've reached the first section of "Strawberries" which basically consist of little rings of YO loops.  I can see how one might think they look like a strawberry, though it is a little bit of a stretch.  There are also "Fish Eyes" in the next section of the pattern, and "Mouse Tracks" so it gets more interesting from here ;)

strawberry with quarter for size

To give you an idea how big the motifs are... here is one half of the stole in pinned out fashion.  The stole has 10 "points" across the bottom, and you can see 5 in this photo.  Each strawberry centre is approximately the size of a quarter.  The thread is a little bit uneven in places, but the silk shines, and the angora lends fuzziness.  The stole itself feels light already, and it feels like I've hardly used any of the ball at all.

blocking strawberries and edge

I hope that I can get the rest of my Holiday knitting done soon... because all I really want to do is work on this! 

7. December 2010 05:26
by Jobo
1 Comments

Silver Strawberries... first foray into Orenburg lace...

7. December 2010 05:26 by Jobo | 1 Comments

    I finally finished my first lace yarn using my boy?s fluff! I made a very fine ply of angora (blue in color to be exact) and a find ply of white silk, and combined them together to get a light lace weight yarn.  It isn't gossamer by any means, but it's still pretty, and light by most standards.  I spun the Angora Single on my Golding Walnut (heavier spindle, though I can't remember the weight off hand) and the Silk on my new Golding Porcelain Dragonfly spindle.  Both parts were so enjoyable to spin, and even the plying was straightforward.  I started with around a half ounce of Blue English Angora - which had been hand carded with just a tiny wisp of Carbonized Bamboo and an equally tiny wisp of creamy merino.  I just wanted a few longer fibers mixed with the angora combings, hoping it would make a more stable yarn in the end.  I used very little of either addition... and in the end, you really can't see the bamboo or wool.  Maybe it wasn't worth the trouble to add it in?  bowl of batts

     

    The angora used here was the combings from Ruttiger's daily grooming.  I'm greedy with my fiber I guess... I've been saving every last wisp that isn't tangled or dirty... so in addition to the lovely prime fiber (which I am saving until I actually KNOW what I'm doing lol) I have quite a lot of "seconds" quality fiber.  I didn't want to use up the prime fiber right away, so I decided to try carding up some of this just to see what it would be like.  The results are heavenly!  I did have to pick out some neps and tangles, but overall, the little combfulls of fiber opened up beautifully and were very enjoyable to spin.

    The silk was just plain ordinary silk... that I bought 4 ounces of from Belfast Mini Mills earlier this summer just for this purpose... and was the most fun I've had with silk to date.  I've finally gotten comfortable with "spinning from the fold" - and silk is definitely a good choice for a fiber to be spun this way.  The resulting thread is smooth and shiny.  Everything Silk is meant to be! 

    And my new Golding Dragonfly is the perfect weight for these light singles.  I can see I will be using her quite often from now on!  I think her name will be the "Dragonflier"... which is actually a name I used to go by on a forum back in the dark ages of college!The color reminds me a bit of sterling silver? with a bit of soft dove grey and the shine of the silk. So far, just in handling the knitted piece a bit, there is a light halo beginning to form? can?t wait to see how it goes!

    points 

    I have been admiring orenburg lace for quite a while now, and I have bought some fairly complicated patterns for some day down the road when I have the skill to tackle them? but for now, this simple stole looked perfect for my (very basic) skill level. This will give me a chance to try out the basic elements and see how it goes from there. (the pattern is Orenburg Stole: Just a little strawbery by Russian Lily)

    points vertical

    I have been using the Gossamer Webs Design Book as a supplement to this pattern to make sure I have been doing the stitches properly.  The strawberry pattern itself is more of a schematic, and not really a complete pattern intended for a beginner knitter.  I have several reference books at home that I have been referring to, and they help a great deal.  So far, I'll I've accomplished is 6/10 "teeth" for the bottom edge of the stole, but I hope to spend a few minutes each day until I have the stitches picked up for the main body of the stole, and then a few rows each day as a treat to myself as I slog away at the Holiday Knitting.  The teensy yarn takes some getting used to... and dropping stitches in a case like this is a disastrous event.  I have a feeling I will need lifelines for this project.

    I went up a few sizes in needles already from what the pattern recommended, because I am a tight knitter, and because I wanted this fabric to be light and airy in the end. On the 2mm needles, there wasn?t much space between the stitches. Maybe someday when I have been able to spin actual gossamer yarns I will be able to try a more authentic needle size for this type of pattern. Now I just need to finish my remaining holiday knitting so I can sit down and do some more of this!  I need to spin likely 3 more cops of each silk and angora... and then find time to sit and knit of course!

    9. September 2010 08:30
    by Jobo
    2 Comments

    Chiengora "One-Skein" Hat

    9. September 2010 08:30 by Jobo | 2 Comments

    Having completed one skein of yarn from my Alaskan-Malamute-Challenge over the past weekend... I decided to get started on the goods!  The completed skein had somewhere between 100 - 125 yards, which as I suspected was more than enough to make the hat.

    husky hat 2I chose to use the Noro spiral one-skein hat by Manuèle Ducret  - which is a simple free pattern, graciously offered by Manuèle over on her website.  I thought it might be a complicated knit, but was surprised and delighted by the simplicity of it all.  I decided to work at my own gauge though, and cast on in multiples of 8 until I was pleased with the size of the cuff.  I think I settled on 104 sts in the end.  I'll have to measure the needles I used, because honestly I just grabbed a pair that "looked" appropriate in size for the yarn.  Sometimes eyeballing it *does* work for me!

    The Hat itself is quite fuzzy, with a light soft grey halo.  I've been quite surprised with how soft the dog fur yarn actually is!  The dog's owner was considering having the hat lined with some sort of soft wool (maybe angora or alpaca) but I don't think the hat will really need it.  Just wearing it around the house for photos, my head was toasty warm, almost to the point of being uncomfortably warm!  I'll have to run it by her, but I think she will be pleased with it as it is. 

    Next - More picking and carding up another basket of chiengora and wool ("Chiengora" is the posh name for Dog Fur Wool) and then spinning up another skein to get started on the cowl and mittens.  My head is just spinning with all of the possibilities :)

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