Every Day I Write the Book


The following projects have gotten me to try something new for me: taking notes.

You see, usually, I just go by memory and examining the first item I knit of a pair to knit the second one of the set. That doesn’t seem to be working for me anymore.

Case 1:


These are Seed Vessels cowl and mittens from The Country Diary Book of Knitting, knit in Spirit Trail Fiberworks’ Brigantia that I got as part of Jennifer’s club. Actually, it is more accurate to say the cowl and mittens are based on, rather than actually are, as the cowl in the book is over 20 inches long, and I couldn’t imagine someone wanting 20 inches of knit fabric under her chin, so I kept it to 12 inches. That, and the mitten pattern is knit flat and sewn together to make very small mittens that would not fit an adult. This is where the problems came in.

I used Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns as the basis for the mittens, adding the cable pattern to match seed vessels. I played around with the cap of the mitten, and got the result you see above. When it came time to make the second mitten, I could not get the count right for where to start the cap so that the mittens would match up with the cable pattern. I knitted, ripped, knitted, ripped, and knitted again. I finally got it right, but if I had written things down as I went, I could have saved myself some trouble.

Case 2:


These are the basketweave socks in Sheila’s Hounddog colorway. (On a side note, Sheila is closing the doors to the dye shop, so if you want a particular colorway, you better hurry.) I did the first sock, but didn’t get around to the second sock for a month or so. Figuring out which row I stopped on to start doing the heel was annoying. Again, if I had just made a few notes, I would have saved myself some aggravation.

So, that is where this comes in:


I picked up some journals with grid paper that I can take notes in for my projects. I have a journal for knitting, for weaving, for spinning, and for dyeing.

And I have started using the knitting journal.


This is the Brigantia that I picked up at MDSW. Pretty sweet, huh?

BTW, in totally unrelated news, Mr. Penney and I are now officially married! Woot!

Copyright 2013 by G. P. Donohue for textillian.com

Goody Two S(ock)s


It has been awhile since I have posted about socks, hasn’t it? Actually, it has been awhile since I have posted, period. In any case, finally I have a post about socks. Not just one pair, but two!

Both pairs are patterns that I have done before, for the most part.

I previously did this pattern using Dragonfly Fibers’ Djinni in the Bad Moon Rising colorway. This time it is the same base yarn, but in the Tortuga colorway.

While doing all of the knit through the backs of stitches and all of the cables takes a bit of time, this sock pattern does something for me that no other sock does: Has a will of its own to stay put on my leg! Other socks seem to work their way down to my ankle after doing such things as crossing and uncrossing my legs, but this socks stay put; and I respect them for that.

Another reason for doing this pattern again is that I plan to write up the pattern. I had planned to have that done already, but plenty of other things have come up that have gotten in the way of that.

And this pattern is an old standard for me. It is one of my go-to patterns when I just want to knit something. It is from Schurch’s SKS book. The heel, though, is from her new book, The Sock Knitter’s Handbook: Expert Advice, Tips, and Tricks.

The heel is the no-wrap short row. While I like the actual results of the heel, I think that there may be an error in the instructions for it in the book. It seems that the count is off when going back to do the second half of the heel. Has anyone else tried the heel and found the same thing, or is it just me? I wound up changing things around to get things to work out the way that I thought that they were supposed to.

Now I have to figure out what sock I want to knit next. Not a bad position to be in!

Copyright 2012 by G. P. Donohue for textillian.com

Hide and Seek

Reference Actually, this is my least favorite track on the CD.

This is kind of embarrassing to admit, given how I tease others for having to go through their stashes so that they don’t go out and buy something that they already have hidden away somewhere; but when I went searching through containers to find the worsted weight that I told you about in the last post, I found yarn that I forgot that I had! Fortunately, it is such great stuff that I have gotten over my embarrassment rather quickly.

As a means of setting the scene, the Interlacements yarn was purchased from Judy Ditmore during MAFA’s 2005 conference. That was the same time that I purchased the yarn for Mr. Penney’s sofa shawl. Well, one of the other vendors at that conference was Habu!

Yes, that’s right. It was chance to see Habu’s yarn’s first hand, rather than just on the website. And to see and touch these yarns meant that I had to purchase some.

This is 20/3 bamboo. It feels wonderful, and I have 13.7 ounces of it. SQUEEE!

This is 2/48 merino wool. I have about 7 ounces of this. There is no suggested epi for this yarn on the site, so I am going to have to do a wrap to find out what sett I will do.

And finally, there is this little wonder, 21/3×2 silk organize. According to the label, there are 4600 yards per skein for this silk, and I have 4 skeins of it. Working with this will probably make my head hurt, but it will be worth it.

Now, if you notice, all of this is undyed. Toward that end, this arrived in the mail the other day:

Granted, I have done dyeing before; but having additional references is never a bad thing for me. Dye days will be in my future!

Copyright 2009 by G. P. Donohue for textillian.com

You’ve Got a Friend


Thank you all for your concern over the accident. It is much appreciated. The biggest thing that I want right now is for life to get back to normal, as I must admit that having to deal with some aspect of the accident everyday has been kind of stressful. That is why it was so especially nice of Roseann to send me these books that I have been wishing for to cheer me up!

Ain’t that sweet of her! Thank you Roseann. I have already made a muffin recipe from the cookbook and they turned out great.

The baby sweater is completely done and ready for shipping.

With any luck, it will arrive before the baby does.

And, I have one of the Sea Silk socks done.

I do love the coloring that Mr. Penney picked, though the fabric itself seems a little on the stiff side. It may soften up after a wash. Also, I thought the same thing of the Trekking Pro Natura, and they turned out to be a favorite pair of socks.

More soon.

Copyright 2009 by G. P. Donohue for textillian.com

Something Just Ain’t Right


Thanks for all of the b-day wishes. This past weekend was great. Busy, but great. Saturday, we had a party at our house to celebrate my 40th with friends and family. This involved lots of prep on the part of Mr. Penney and myself (but mostly Mr. Penney.)


We judged the party itself to be a success by the fact that we could not hear the stereo over everyone talking.

Sunday was spent recuperating from the party, and giving the leftovers to the neighbors. (We had enough food to feed twice the people that came.) Monday, Mr. Penney had to go to work, so I had the day to myself, doing laundry and finishing these:

Finished Coriolis socks

Would you suspect that these were the same dyelot? They are. I didn’t really realize how different they were until I took this picture. I am not sure why I did not notice the difference in the depth of shade between the two skeins when I bought the yarn, but I didn’t. This is the second time that this has happened to me, though I have the excuse for the first time being that I bought the yarn off of eBay. I don’t have that excuse this time. I think, for future purchases of hand-dyed sock yarn, I will stick to those sold as single skeins for a pair of socks rather than these smaller put-ups.

As for the pattern, I do like the final sock, though there is a problem with that. The spiral that goes up the leg by virtue of doing a decrease and an increase every round? That spiral reduces the circumference of the sock’s leg. Those 64 stitches, which are fine in the foot, are not enough for the leg when trying to put the sock on. That increase and decrease creates an inelastic area that just happens to fall right above the heel when continuing the spiral up the leg. A couple more stitches in the leg would probably solve this, either by continuing the “gusset” shaping a few more round to allow for extra stitches in the leg, or just not doing a couple of the decreases at the beginning of the leg.

And I did start a new project!

The start of pants

I am going to try to sew a pair of pants for myself. I am using Burda 7841 with some cotton fabric that I got on sale from Michael’s Fabrics. If the whole thing turns out to be a disaster, I won’t cry too much, as this is mostly to see if I can make the whole thing work.

I have all of the pieces of the pattern cut out and have read through the directions. And I have read through the directions, again. And again. And again. I must say, these Burda directions are about as clear as mud. There are just some things that do not make sense after examining RTW pants. For this reason, I believe I will be following directions in the book Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Men’s Wear rather than the Burda instructions. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Things Just Ain’t the Same


How great is Mr. Penney? The other night, I found this under my pillow:

Shibori book

 Granted, I found it under my pillow at 3 a.m. in the morning, but nonetheless, isn’t it great? The book is by Karren Brito and is a feast for the eyes. Trying shibori is one of the things on my miles long to-do list.

Ok, update on the Taiga socks:

Second sock progress

Do you notice anything different between the two socks? Let’s go in for a closer look to compare and contrast.

Taiga compare

There is a dark green blotch in the middle of the light green area of the yarn! Maybe this is way these skeins were up for sale on eBay. I think the reason why I didn’t notice this problem initially is because of the euphoria of getting new sock yarn caused me to wind this up right away without doing a close inspection. Lesson learned.

I shall persevere, though. (I sound so put upon!) Most people don’t notice my socks anyway. I have always point them out to people, with my receiving a strange look and then, “Uh, nice. Can you put back down your pants leg now?” (Which is better than getting, “Uh, nice. Can you put your pants back on now?”) I will definitely have to knit Mr. Penney another pair of socks now. (Not like these were the last socks he was ever going to get from me, but anyway.) Hopefully, I will finish them this weekend, and move onto other knitting that hasn’t turned into kind of a buzzkill.