Jobo Designs

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

5. December 2009 10:21
by Jobo

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas 2009 DAY 5

5. December 2009 10:21 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Unique Spinning/Knitting Tools:

Every spinner has a set of indispensible tools that live near the wheel.  I knit a small bag from the first yarn I made on a drop spindle which holds some of my tools and hangs on my Traveller with pride -  My tiny bottle of spinning wheel oil, Orifice Hook, WPI gauge, a tiny pair of scissors, extra parts and drive bands.  I also keep a Niddy Noddy and Nostepinne close at hand for skeining and ball-winding.  Currently I use a plain metal orifice hook (which came in my Traveller kit when I bought it) and my WPI gauge is a homemade one (A-la-Cardboard!)

These tools work fine... but are nowhere as beautiful as some that are out there:

For as many simple utilitarian tools that exist there are also decorative tools like the ones seen below... like works of art themselves! 

A knitting needle gauge doesn't have to be simply holes in a piece of plastic  - This ruler/gauge from KaratStix is made from lightweight bamboo and features all the knitting needle info you could want, plus whimsical little decorations. 

Stitch markers made from loops of yarn work just fine...  but compare that to this set of gleaming glass bead markers from coalescensedesign!  These little jewel toned markers would be a joy to use and have just enough flash to brighten up even the dullest project! - Knitting-Bling through and through.

It is difficult to compare my little cardboard cutaway WPI tool to the hand-turned beauties I found over at Kari's Nostys? This little tool has both 1 inch and 1/2 inch cutaways  making it suitable to measure worsted and laceweight alike.  Kari also makes Nostepinnes in the same styles.  You *could* wind a centre-pull ball around your hand? but why would you want to if you had a tool as beautiful as this?  (and she loves custom orders!  just imagine the possibilities)

I simply love the earthy feel of the spinning wheel orifice hook shown below.  Elegant in its simplicity, natural color palate, and gentle curves, this hook would complement the rich wood of any spinning wheel.

knitting needle gaugemarkersWPIorifice hook

From Top Left Clockwise:  1.  Sheep to Socks Knitters Rule Needle Gauge by KaratStix 2. Set of 5 Knitting Markers - Gold Swirl Jewel Tones by coalescencedesign  3.  Green Leaf Beaded Orifice/Threading/Spinning Hook by DawningDreams  4.  Bubblegum Wraps Per Inch Tool by Kari's Nostys  (All photos used with permission)

**If you like the items you see... please click and go the these artisan's websites!  If you do choose to buy anything, please let them know that you found their wares by reading this article - tell them JoboDesigns sent you ;) **

4. December 2009 08:00
by Jobo

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas 2009 DAY 4

4. December 2009 08:00 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Phew!  the first 3 days of this series have just flown by!  Thanks for stopping by to read each day!

Today’s Favorite thing:  BOOOOKKKKSSSS!

Ever since childhood, I have always loved books of all kinds.  Lately it seems that my stash of “how to” and pattern books has grown a lot faster than my fiction collection, but hey… it’s not terribly surprising I hope.  I have dozens of books about quilting techniques, and patterns ranging from stitch-by-hand-appliqué to stack-and-whack.  My knitting and spinning collection makes my quilting books look like a *small* pile…  I am afraid the quilt books are sadly outnumbered up in the studio!

Today’s post is about books I am already lucky enough to own… and the next Book Feature will discuss some books that I am hoping will show up in my stocking ;) ahem*hint*hint

selbuvotterThe Ultimate Norwegian Mitten Book - 

Selbuvotter:  Biography of a Knitting Tradition by Terri Shea

Some time ago, when I was new to searching the internet for knitting resources, I came across a review of this book quite by accident.  I had never been exposed to fair isle knitting or the breathtaking art of knitting 2-colored patterned mittens.  I was completely dumbstruck.  I remember just staring at the patterns featured in the article and thinking “holy crap… I simply must learn how to make these!!!”  At that point in time, I did not have a lot of experience purchasing things online, but decided to go for it anyways and boy am I ever pleased that I did. 

Terri Shea’s book is full of folklore and history – and some amazing mitten patterns.  The charts are easy to read and the mitten patterns are quite complete and straightforward to follow.  There are errata available where errors exist, but these are uncommon.  The one challenge I found to making these mittens was finding suitable yarn, as the majority of the yarns listed in the book are not sold by any yarn stores in my area. 

If you think you will ever want to learn to make Norwegian mittens, this book is an ultimate anthology of patterns and a very helpful resource.  Everyone I have shown this book to has wanted a copy… and for good reason – it’s the best book I’ve been able to find on the subject.

knittingsockswithhandpaintedyarn Great Sock Knitting collection -

Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol Sulcoski

I am a self admitted Sock-a-holic… and I have a serious willpower problem when it comes to purchasing skeins of temptingly beautiful hand painted Indie yarns.  The truth of the matter is – I love to knit socks, and the more patterns I can find that make my fingers itch to cast on something new the better.

I knew this book was going to be a winner before it was even released.  One of the designers featured in the book, Deb Barnhill, worked at the Dalhousie College of Pharmacy where I spent 4 years of my life.  I have been lucky enough to keep in touch with Deb over the years… and when I heard that one of her patterns was to be featured in a sock book, I ordered it before hearing another word.  This book does not disappoint.

The beginning section of the book teaches readers about the many types of hand painted yarns available today, and helps outline the nuts and bolts of the way that each yarn behaves in different types of patterns.  I liked the simple and no-nonsense descriptions and advice given – i.e. how to avoid/encourage pooling and flashing, and of course choosing patterns that will most complement the delectable yarns that you already have in your stash too!  Also included are handy tutorials for several kinds of cast-ons, bind-offs and Kitchener Stitch.

Then comes the patterns section… I have flipped through this book countless times, drooling over admiring the eye-catching photography and day dreaming of the process involved in each pair of socks.  This books features many different sock construction types, and lots of unique and different strategies to avoid pooling.  With 21 different patterns by 17 different Sock-RockStars (i.e. Chrissy Gardiner and Ann Budd) – there is something for every sock knitter in this book… in fact I have personal plans to make at least a half-dozen of them, maybe more.  Every time I look through it, I find something else that I want to try.  Make sure you have a couple skeins of hand painted yarn and some needles close at hand when you bring this little gem home… you might not be able to resist the urge to cast on!

3. December 2009 05:00
by Jobo

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas 2009 DAY 3

3. December 2009 05:00 by Jobo | 1 Comments

Custom Wooden Sock Blockers

One day while feeding the yarn addiction (aka surfing Etsy and E-Bay for fantastic new fibery items) I came across these awesome custom made wooden sock blockers!

Each design is available in a variety of sizes which vary from Women's size small up to Men's sizes, and the designs themselves are very unique - from the predictable to the completely unexpected!

My dad made me a couple pairs of completely satisfactory utilitarian sock blockers, but they aren't as cutsie as these ones -  Dragonflies and Geckos!  I'm sure there are Blockers here to suit any personality, and at approximately $30 USD pretty affordable too!

geckoblockers llama sock Blockers dragonflyblockers

Blockers available as a custom order from Chappy's Fiber Arts and Crafts

Price: Approx. $30 USD per set

Photos used with permission from Chappy's Fiber Arts and Crafts

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