I Know There’s Something Going On


Last time, I promised you that I would show what else I had going on besides the rugs; and true to my word (if a bit late), here it is. Let’s start with Benedict.

I am on my second of the six skeins of baby alpaca and am just about to start decreasing for the armholes, so I know that I should be good on the amount of yarn that I originally purchased. Woohoo! My calculations were correct!

Benedict isn’t a difficult knit, but it is a long knit due to all of the cabling. It is a six row pattern, and it takes me about an hour and a half to do one pattern repeat. Yeah, this may take a while, which is why it is nice to have something that goes a bit faster.

This is Wullenstudio‘s colorway “YMCA”. (I am the one that contributed the name. Thank you. Thank you very much.) I am doing one of my old standby’s, the basketweave rib. This stitch pattern seems to work well no matter what the yarn’s color patterning is because of the combination of garter and stockinette. As of this writing, the first sock is done, and I am about to start the second.

Now, knitting has not been the only things going on. There has also been spinning.

You have seen both of these before in their single state. Now they are plied and complete. Both are from Dragonfly Fibers. The first is silk and camel in the Bad Moon Rising colorway. It is four ounces, and I still have another four ounces of this colorway to spin, as well as another six ounces of silk and camel in the Titania colorway to go along with it. The other yarn is Sea Monster (silk, merino, and seacell) in the December Baby colorway. You are looking at a total of eight ounces that is pretty close to worsted weight. Both of these yarns will be used for weaving.

This is merino and bamboo that I got as part of Fiber Optic‘s “As the Whorl Turns” fiber club. Each month, Kimber makes three colorways using a country as inspiration, and as a member of the club, you get to select which one(s) you would like to purchase. What you see is the February selection, Jai Ting, from the inspiration country, China. I have this single Navajo plied, but I have to go back and fix it up some, as it is a bit overplied.

With that said, I have quite a bit of spinning in my future, as I have participated in several clubs, including Dragonfly Fiber’s winter mini club:

With what you see here being Admiral Benbow colorway in Bigfoot roving (BFL and silk), With a Cherry on Top in Sea Monster, and Winter Wood in Polwarth roving.

My March selection for the aforementioned Fiber Optic “As the Whorl Turns” club is this:

The inspiration country is Scotland and this colorway is called Thistle in BFL and silk.

Last but not least, I am also a member of Spirit Trail Fiberworks club, with the first two shipments being these:

The first one is February’s colorway in Polwarth. The second one is March’s colorway in merino and silk. April’s colorway just arrived today. It is a beautiful combination of deep blue and purple on silk and cashmere roving. Yum!

All of the dyer’s I just mentioned will be at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in some shape or form. Wullenstudio and Dragonfly Fiber can be found at the Cloverhill booth. Fiber Optic can be found at the Fold‘s booth. And Spirit Trail will have their own booth.

Speaking of the festival, if you need to find me, this is where I will be.

Copyright 2011 by G. P. Donohue for textillian.com



It’s been a while since I have actually talked about what I am actually working on, so I figured now would be as good of a time as any to do that. First, the infamous Ice Ice Baby sock.

I took this photo this morning. I finished off the first sock this evening after dinner, ready to start the second sock. Roseann found another boo-boo in the instructions, so I will be updating the errata post for the sock with that information. Again, it is not a matter of fit, just how the stitches fall, setting things up for the 1×1 ribbing for the cuff.

Before I was able to bring Ice Ice Baby to Wednesday night knitting (because the pattern had not been released yet), I started the summer sock from Sheila’s sock club, Kokomo.

I converted the pattern to a toe-up sock and used a short row heel. I am knitting these on 2.25 mm needles instead of 2.5 mm, as the recipient has really tiny feet (at least in comparison to my feet).

Finally, with all of this knitting, I felt the need to do something other than knitting during the holidays. Fortunately, my swap partner in the Winter Wonderland Swap sent me some alpaca roving. I spun that up in no time and am now working my way through a pound of Romney/mohair blend that I got at the MSWF a couple years ago.

The black singles are the alpaca, and the blue/green/purple is the Romney/mohair. I will be winding these off their bobbins into center-pull balls so do two ply onto themselves. That is pretty much my default means of making a two ply.

Copyright 2010 by G. P. Donohue for textillian.com

Easy Come, Easy Go


With finishing up the one pair of socks, it was time to cast on another project. Since a friend of mine gave birth to a son earlier in the year, and I hadn’t completed anything for said child yet; I decided that I needed to knit up something for the boy. (I did have a little romper cut out and ready to sew for him earlier in the year, but never go around to sewing it because of the accident put be behind on so many things.)

So what to make for the boy that is approaching the one year mark?

A red and green blob! Well, it looks like that in my fine photography, but it is actually the Modular Tomten Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I am using Sheila’s superwash merino worsted weight in the Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree colorway. I picked the colorway in part to motivate me to get it done before Christmas. So far, it has been a pretty easy, mindless knit. What you see there is about week’s worth of knitting, where I am finished the body, about to start the hood, and still need to do the sleeves.

I have also given a try at plying my first course from my Hungry for Handspun subscription.

This isn’t going so well. The big bobbin is the single, while the other two are how far I got on each before the single broke. Not a whole lot of progress, eh?

The single keeps breaking on me. I think I am going to have to wind single onto a Woolee Winder bobbin in an attempt to get a more even feed, and thus less breakage. Hopefully, that will do the trick.

And for those of you anxiously awaiting the Winter shipment of the sock club, it goes out to you this week. I have started a “knit along” for the sock on Ravelry. What this basically amounts to is a forum where you can ask questions about the pattern and any techniques that you may be unfamiliar with. I will also be hosting some chats there. Here, I will be giving some basic instruction on what I do when making socks (things that will apply not just to the pattern, but to most of the socks that I knit.) Yeah! Blog-fodder!

See you soon!

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

Apparently Nothin’


There has been a lot going on around here, but not a lot to show for it. A little over a week ago, I finished writing up the pattern for Sheila’s sock club so that everyone’s favorite test knitter could start knitting it. I still have some hints and tricks that I want to put in it, but the pattern itself is done, barring any corrections. I have received the winter edition of yarn from Sheila. And? SQUEEEE! But again, I can’t show you that yet.

I finished spinning up the single last night of the first course of Hungry for Handspun‘s Fiber Feast. I would show you, but it really doesn’t look much different than the last time I showed you. I am figuring on chain plying. What I will do with it, after that, I am not sure.

Finally, I am running again in the Komen Maryland Race for the Cure, in Hunt Valley, MD, on October 18. Unfortunately, this year I am not able to offer any prizes, but I did start the ball rolling by selling off some of my stash on eBay. The last buyer paid me this past week, so all of that is done and out the door. I will write up a lessons learned on that later.

If you would like to support me in the race, just go to this link.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your support.

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

Caught Up


It feels like forever since I posted anything fibery, so here is a nice big post to catch up on what has been going on with the textiles.

After finishing the STR heel experiment, I started on these socks.

The sock yarn is Eidos from Sanguine Gryphon in the colorway Poesis. The colors don’t show up well in my photography. (I either need a new camera, am a lousy photographer, or all of the above.) It is a rather dark sock, making it kind of difficult to work on at night. Note to self, stick with lighter colorways. I do like the resulting sock, though.

The pattern for the sock club is coming along well, now that I have taken a break from it for a few weeks. I made a number of edits and am knitting the revised edition now. I am pretty amazed at how fast the second one is going. After only a few days, I am already turning the heel.

The spinning has not stopped either.

This is the Sea Kelp Salad from the Fiber Feast by Hungry for Handspun. I am wishing I spun this with not so much twist and not so thin, because it is taking quiet a while to work through the roving. (This is all my fault, not the rovings.) I figure I will do a chained ply with this single.

And I have gotten back to the loom.

This is Sea Silk from Handmaiden. The warp is the Pewter colorway (I believe,) and the weft is of unknown name, but is browns and purples. My original idea for this scarf was to do a 3/1 twill rib, that you can see a bit of at the bottom; but that weave needs a tighter sett than 12 epi for this yarn, and making this a tighter sett would make the scarf narrower that I would like. That means that the scarf is now plain weave. So far, so good.

But that is not the only weaving going on.

These are squares that I wove using the Weave-It loom. It is a fun little thing that makes weaving portable. The Weave-It is actually my mother’s; but I borrowed several years ago, and it never made it way back to her. She hasn’t missed it, so far.

I am not sure what I am going to make from these squares. I may be a blanket of size to be determined. It is a nice diversion, at the very least.

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

Up, Up and Away


Looky at what I got from Tulabug (aka Stacey.)

This is all part of the Sizzling Summer Swap at Sheila Rovelstad Designs group on Ravelry.

In the package are:

  1. Tortilla chips
  2. Storage containers (already put to use to put stash up and away in the closet)
  3. Recipe book from the last cookie swap that she held
  4. Margarita mix
  5. Sheila’s latest color in sock yarn: Tangled Up in Blue
  6. Natural stone wine charms
  7. Margarita salt
  8. Salsa
  9. Cocktail rimmer for the salt
  10. Unbreakable margarita glasses
  11. Lorna’s Lace sock yarn in the Liberty colorway
  12. Sheila’s stitch markers
  13. And Starbuck’s caramel sauce

I should also mention that I believe I got sticky bun and caramel frozen coffee beverage from her at a knitting meet-up a few weeks ago.

Thank you, Stacey! It is all great. I can’t wait to dive in!

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

Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)


While last weekend was my big weekend, this weekend is Mr. Penney’s big weekend. Star Trek opened this weekend, and we are going to see it tonight. Lucky for me, I finished socks for just such an occasion.

Yes, I finished the socks I was knitting with Dragon Sock in the Starry Night colorway from Dragonfly Fibers. The base superwash yarn that she uses is great, and this shade of blue is one of my favorites. It also helps that this colorways also happens to be my alma mater’s colors.

In other news, the sock that I am working on for the sock club design has been ripped out, rewound into a ball, and I am starting over. It turns out that the foot was too wide on me, so I am making a few minor adjustments to take up the slack. Not a big deal, really; but it is a set back.

As for spinning?

The blue corriedale is spinning up well, though I am probably spinning finer that I really should for this fiber. There is a bit of a coarseness to it. To spin it, I just peel a strip off of the batt and spin from the one end, with no predrafting whatsoever. The photo is of about an ounce and a half (I guess) that took me about four hours to spin. Wish me luck.

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

Monkey Wrench

Strangely, the title became prophetic. Reference

Thursday night, I start putting together this post by putting in the pics, save as draft, and presto! My site goes away. It is partially sorted out now, but I still have some investigation to do.

In any case, I decided to do an update on my knitting. (Yeah, I am still doing that!)

During that dismal period at the end of last year where I was spending way too much time at work, Mr. Penney would try to pick my spirits up by taking me to yarn shops to buy yarn. He knows me too well, doesn’t he?

On the one trip to Cloverhill, Mr. Penney spotted some yarn that he like. This, of course, meant instant purchase, and now the sock has been started.

The color is Monkey’s Wrench in Sea Sock by the Sanguine Gryphon. It is moving along fairly quickly, though when I first started it at knit night, I had a problem. The yarn is the same color as some of the tabletops at Panera. It was like knitting camouflage. Now that I am past the toe, it is no problem, as I barely have to look at it now.

Something that I do have to look at is Tannenbaum.

Yep, I have not forgotten about it. I just finished all of the decreasing for the flap heel, so it is pretty much smooth sailing from here on out. I do have to look at this sock while I am knitting it though. (Note to self: next time, make the charts line up better.)

There is new yarn coming into the house! I received the first shipment (Spring) from Sheila‘s sock club.

I also got this from Sheila for providing the name to a new yarn.

It’s “In the Navy.” See, if you bug a person long enough to make a color for you, eventually, they will! Ahh! The rewards of nagging! Next up, having her dye a rainbow yarn and calling it “Y.M.C.A.”

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