Beautiful Monster


There are times when I make things just to see what will result. This was one of those times. I started by using the Sea Monster from Dragonfly Fibers that I spun a while ago.

The last few weaving projects that I have done with handspun singles, I have woven as twills to avoid tracking. This time, I wanted the tracking, so I went with plain weave for the weave structure. I used the higher contrast yarn (purple and yellow-gold Indian Corn) for the warp and the yarn with less contrast (green and blue Oberon) as the weft, because I think it is more pleasing to see stripes along the length of a scarf, rather than the width. I used a dummy warp (basically, scrap thread to extend the warp length) to try and weave as much of the handspun warp as possible.

Sett at 12 e.p.i., the weaving went pretty well, though I did have problems at the end. The problem? I didn’t trim away the extra yarn after tying the handspun onto the dummy warp, and the extra yarn got all tangled up in the warp once the warp had advanced to where the knots were exposed. After untangling the warp after each weft shot a few times, I decided that I was done weaving and cut the scarf off the loom.

After twisting the fringe and fulling, I hung it up to dry. And I was disappointed. Feeling it as I was hanging it up, it felt like I had just woven cardboard.

Fortunately, the scarf dried fast; and once dry, it felt so much softer. That was a relief.

One of the things that I wanted to find out was how much of the warp yarn I would have left over when starting out with four ounces of warp and four ounces of weft so that, possibly, I would know for future projects how to divide up my spinning fiber when I am about to spin for a project so that I will have as little left over as possible. I wound up with one and half ounces of the weft yarn left over after weaving this scarf, though I am not sure how much I can rely on that number because to the tangling problems with the dummy warp.

One thing that I wasn’t counting on was seeing how the color interaction worked. With parts of the weft being green, and other parts being blue, the effect with the purple and yellow was interesting.

With the green weft, the weft and the warp are kind of distinct, while for the blue…

the weft yarn kind of plays with the purple and emphasizes the blue in the purple. This weekend I will be taking a workshop with Su Butler called “Color Interaction for Handweavers.” I am looking forward to it!

Copyright 2012 by G. P. Donohue for


One response to “Beautiful Monster”

  1. More beautiful weaving and spinning! You make me want to buy a loom 🙂 I love seeing your projects evolve from your spinning wheel, through your loom, and to your finished product. I’m glad to hear your scarf softened up and I look forward to hearing about your upcoming workshop.