Olympic Theme


Well, the Olympics are over. Kind of sad. But the happy part is that I did actually get something done during that two week period.

Super scarf completed

Call it a shawl if you wish, but I prefer to think of it as a Super Scarf! The fiber is a Romney – mohair blend that I got years ago at the MSWF from the Barefoot Spinner. I spun the fiber into a two-ply sport/worsted weight yarn a few years ago. It has been sitting around on a shelf, after the move here, waiting for this moment: its chance to shine.

I used the thinner of the two yarns as the warp yarn, sett at 8 ends per inch (EPI.) The thicker yarn was used as weft, woven in at 8 picks per inch (PPI.) The weave structure is a dornick twill (what none weavers will think of as a herringbone.) The weave structure doesn’t really stand out in this because of the weft and the warp being the same yarn, but there is some evidence that it is there.

Super scarf close up

I am pretty happy with the outcome. The tweedy look of it is something that I always like.

Where will the Super Scarf! go? Hmmmm….

Copyright 2008 by G. P. Donohue for textillian.com

(Sley) Ride


OK.  A few notes before I go forward with this entry:

  1. I have changed warps on you. I am using yarn that I spun a couple years ago for the project you are about to see. I didn’t want anyone thinking that weaving had the magical power to turn fingering weight purple silk into worsted weight handspun blue/green/purple mohair and romney.
  2. The information here is not intended to be a complete course in weaving. Far from it. But it should give you an idea of what is done, and maybe encourage you to learn some more. The best beginning weaving book that I have found is Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler. Highly recommended.
  3. A reminder that this is just the way I normally do things. It is not the only way to skin the cat. (No offense to the cat lovers out there.) I say this because I am about to show you how I put a warp on the loom, and this is something that some people get very passionate about.

On with the show! Continue reading

Seems You’re Much Too Busy


Posts here are going to slow down. (Actually, they have already slowed down, but they are going to slow down even more.) Here’s why:

Remember these?

View from the back door

Well, it is that time of year; and keeping up with the leaves takes quite a bit of time. As one of our neighbors put it, “[The previous owners] didn’t tell you that you had another full time job, did they?” Last year, we had bags of leaves waiting to be picked up by the trash man until the middle of December. I am reconsidering whether autumn is my favorite season.

Also, the in-laws are coming! This Sunday! For a week’s stay! This is an opportunity for me to get to know them better, as I have only met them about four or five times, the last time being two years ago when I helped them pack up for their move down to South Carolina. Mr. Penney is anxious to see them, I know. Heck, I miss seeing my parents as often as I used to, and I get to see them a couple times a month. It has been two years for Mr. Penney.

I am trying to finish the spinning of September’s Hello Yarn Fiber Club merino, but it is going slowly. I don’t think I will get the single done before the weekend, but here is hoping.

Also, this Sunday, is the Race for the Cure, so if you would like a chance to win this:

First Prize

or this:

Second Prize

please go here to find out more, and here to make a donation. Thank you to all who have donated so far. Your help is greatly appreciated!

Give It Away


First, thanks to all of those that have made donations in support of my running in the Race for the Cure. I have already had to bump up my goal because I met the first one!

To kind of go with the theme of charity, here are a couple things that I have made in past years that were auctioned off for charity. These aren’t the only things that I have made that fall into this category, but the rest have either already been posted or don’t have digital images.

What brought all this to mind was having lunch with my friend Joe this past Monday. Joe would have a drag show once a month at the Hippo. September’s show became a benefit for breast cancer research after Joe’s mother died of the disease. After donating a woven scarf or shawl to be auctioned off during the show in the past, Joe asked if I would knit a sweater instead, thinking that it would fetch more money. I was skeptical, but I went along with it. This is what I made:

EZ Cable Yoke sweater

It is Elizabeth Zimmermann’s cable yoke sweater out of Vogue Knitting. I made it out of Tess’s Designer Yarns cultivated silk and merino. Making the size medium for men (large for women,) took pretty much the entire two skeins that I had of the yarn. I thought of overdyeing it because I was not sure if people would go for the color, which is kind of a silvery gray. The women in my guild convinced me not to, saying that it was a good neutral color for anyone.

Well, before the show where the sweater was to be auctioned off, someone came down, took a look at the sweater, and said, “What, did you get this from the Gap?”

Joe: “Patrick made that sweater.”

The guy turns beet red, as I am standing five feet away from him. (This guy does have quite the way of being an asshole, sometimes.)

This comment did give foreshadowing of what the sweater was going to go for. The amount it sold for? $75. The cost of the yarn just to make the sweater? $200.

The next year, I went back to making a scarf. I had quite the collection of rayon chenille that I got as mill ends from the Mannings, so I used that to weave a scarf using a shadowweave threading that I found in 1000 (+) Patterns in 4, 6, and 8 Harness Shadow Weaves by Marian Powell.

While the two colors that I chose were probably too close in value, and the yarn too texture to show the weave structure, the scarf still look nice (enough.)

Shadowweave chenille scarf

Here are some close ups. See if you can make out the weave structure.

Shadowweave scarf x1 Shadowweave scarf x2

The scarf went for? $85. The cost of materials to make the scarf? < $10. (BTW, most every scarf or shawl that I have every donated for any kind of auction has always gone in the $75 to $95 range.)

What did I learn from all of this? Well, the main thing is, the general public values weaving more than knitting, IMHO. I think this is mostly because there are just fewer weavers than there are knitters, making weaving a much more mysterious thing for people. People see sweaters in the stores, even sweaters that are supposed to be handknit, for very low prices (considering the amount of time and effort put into making the sweater, if it is truly handknit.) Handwoven items just aren’t that plentiful.

It is all kind of strange to me, especially since I can do a piece of weaving in a lot less time (if I put my mind to it) than I can a knitted item. Any thoughts on your end?

You Better Run


UPDATE: I have made a separate page for this so everyone doesn’t have to go looking through old posts to keep up to date on this.

I need your help. I am signed up to run in the Komen Maryland Race for the Cure on October 14th, and I would like you to sponsor me. If you would like to learn more about the charity, click here. This cause is kind of dear to me as my sister-in-law just went through the whole series of treatments last year after being diagnosed with it in 2005. Right now, it looks like she may have licked it. That’s what we all hope and pray. Continue reading