The Twist


So, to whom do I owe my speedy ability to do a blanket twist fringe on my weaving?

Why the Olsen twins, of course! This trusty little twisty braider is the tool I use for doing fringe on scarves and shawls. Here is how it works.

On this model, there are two prongs with hooks that you can access by pushing up on the bottom of the prong. There are models that have three prongs, but it was hard enough finding this one, so I am not going in search of a three-prong-er.

Place a bout of warp threads that are to form the fringe in each hook.

Try to keep where the hooks are securing the bouts even so that the bouts get twisted the same amount.

Now to do the twisting.

There is a button on the side of the braider. Moving the button up towards the “1” marking causes the prongs to twist clockwise.

This twisting is the important part to be consistent on. There are two ways to judge your consistency between twists that you do along the width of your weaving:

  • By feel. The more twist that you put into the yarn, the harder it will feel. While it does take a little practice, it is easier that it sounds.
  • By angle of twist. Angle of twist is the same as it is in spinning yarn, the angle that is formed by the yarn. You should be able to do this by eye, with no need to get out the protractor.

Why don’t we use counting the number of twists as they go into the yarn? Because 1) the hooks may be grabbing the yarn at a different distance from the weaving as you do each piece of fringe so the same number of twists among different lengths of yarn will produce different looking fringe, and 2) those prongs go around so fast, you will have a tough time counting.

Now, it is time to twists the bouts around each other by moving the button towards the “2” marking.

This moves the prongs around as a set counter-clockwise. Don’t get to concerned about your consistency on this part this, as the bouts will naturally twist on each other to achieve a balanced fringe.

Now, just tie a knot to secure the twist while wet finishing.

After wet finishing, I re-tie the knots so that the fringe is the same length across the width of the weaving, then trim the fringe near the knots.

And here is the shawl again. If you would like to win this shawl, or just support Komen of Maryland, just sponsor me in Race for the Cure. For every $5 you sponsor me for, you get an entry in the raffle for the shawl. The race is October 3, and the raffle will be October 10 at 5 PM Eastern.

Copyright 2010 by G. P. Donohue for

Live and Learn


Well, I finally got it off the loom before it reach a year.

I basically had to bulldoze through this project because I wanted to use the loom for other things, but the yarn was too expensive for me to just cut off and call it a day. Here are my lessons learned from the project.

  • This yarn (Handmaiden Sea Silk) needs to be sett a lot closer than 12 epi to weave something other than plain weave. I had planned and threaded a ribbed pattern, but did the sett at 12 epi because I like to have my scarves at least 6 inches wide and needed that low of a sett to get the width I wanted from just one skein of the yarn. As it turns out, 12 epi is pretty loose even for plain weave for this yarn which caused other problems that I will get to later.
  • Even though I had plain weave as a back up plan, having to go to the back up plan really took the wind out of my sails for this project. It turns out the “ribbed for my pleasure” was a big thing for me.
  • Because of the loose sett, I wound up with problems with the weft yarn shifting when advancing the warp and setting the tension again. I was able to fix some areas after I got it off the loom, but it eventually because “What the hell.” and I just put it in the washer for fulling, hoping that the motion in the washer would nudge the problem areas back into place. That did not happen. Las weekend I purchased some duck cloth to make an apron for my baby wolf loom that should help with some of this problem. I hope!
  • This yarn, being intended as a knitting yarn, is a bit too soft for me to use as a warp. It suffered from abrasion, though never to the point where I was afraid of a warp end breaking on me. I just have some fuzz balls to pick off the scarf, due to the abrasion from movement in the reed and the heddles.
  • I decided to use my ski shuttle for the weft, and wound as much of the weft skein onto it as I could, in hopes that I would be able to weave the whole scarf without having to joins. Towards that goal, I was successful. This scarf is woven with one continuous strand of weft. The bad part is that using the ski shuttle for this project became a pain, causing me to have to make bigger arm movements with each weft shot than I would have had to do with my boat shuttles or my end-delivery shuttles. Joins aren’t all that bad after all.
  • When I originally bought this yarn for the scarf, I was planning on using the weft yarn as the warp and the warp yarn as the weft. I am glad that I changed my mind. The metallic looking yarn has greater contrast which I think works better in the warp than the weft yarn (which is actually three colors of blue, purple, and brown, but are so close in value that the yarn reads as a solid from a distance, which could never be said for the metallic.)
  • It is better to be lucky than good. When winding the warp on the warping mill, I noticed how the colors were falling in line, so rather than sleying the reed starting at one end and working toward the other end, I started in the middle of the reed for the first thread, and then alternated sides with each successive warp thread. This kept the colors together and gave the effect of a painted warp without actually having to do any warp painting. Win!
  • Doing the blanket twist fringe in very small groups was worth it for this yarn. Two warp ends were twisted together, and then allowed to “untwist” on another two warp ends that were similarly twisted. With as light weight of a weave this turned out to be, a light weight fringe was needed as well.

Looks dashing with a ratty old t-shirt, no?

Copyright 2010 by G. P. Donohue for

Mr. Brightside


If there was a bright side to me being sick, it is that it clears my schedule. Going to my company holiday party? Not anymore. Meeting friends out for lunch? I don’t think so. Going to get a couple extra hours of work in at the office? Not so much.

Now, I wasn’t major league sick; but sick enough that I felt it was best to stay away from other people and fill myself up with as much over the counter medication as I could get a hold of. (God bless Tylenol. Takes away pain and fever for close to four hours!)

The cleared schedule meant that I got to finish these: Continue reading

Closer than Close


This post may be of particular interest of Roseann.

No, it is not completely finished. There is still the fringe to do, as well as fulling it; but the Habu silk scarf is off of the loom, which is a big deal for me.

The colors are pretty true in these photos. We shall see after fulling (which is similar to washing, but is not meant to clean the weaving but to relax the threads so that they settle into place.) It may turn out pretty different after that. More to come.

Copyright 2009 by G. P. Donohue for

O Tannenbaum


No, the socks aren’t done yet; but the charts that I am using for them are. I have posted them here on Ravelry. If you have any questions about them, please post them in that forum so that we can keep all of the information about the pattern in one place.


Copyright 2009 by G. P. Donohue for

Winter Wonderland


Yes, I am still kind of out of commission, but I did want to interrupt this irregularly scheduled break to show you the package I got from Kati as part of the Winter Wonderland swap.

Nifty, huh! Here is the list of what you are seeing:

  • The yarn is Araucania.
  • In the bag were chocolate covered pretzels.
  • An oven mitt with sugar cookie mix and a snowflake cookie cutter.
  • The snowmen box contains Elmer’s chocolates.
  • Ferrero Rocher candies.
  • A Christmas card from Kati and her family.

My package to her is on its way, and should hopefully arrive later this week.

I hope everyone it doing well. Back into exile for me!

Copyright 2008 by G. P. Donohue for