Category Archives: Knitting

Pattern release day – Stacked Hearts

I have been busy in the run up to the traditional gifting season as we (in the Northern hemisphere) watch the days getting shorter and look forward to when the sun comes back again.

I have created another set of patterns using a stranded colourwork pattern which provides both visual interest and extra warmth during these dark days.

This time the set includes a beanie hat, generous cowl, pair of mittens and pair of fingerless gloves. They can be purchased all together for £10 (plus VAT within the EU) or each pattern is available for £3 (plus VAT within the EU). Find them on my ravelry store page:

See more pictures by clicking on the image below:

Pattern release day – Cheetah Treats

It’s been a while since I released a pattern, and in the grand old tradition of buses it is three in one.

A matching set of cat-eared hat, cowl (both with optional liners for extra warmth) and a pair of wristers, all with a stranded colourwork cheetah pattern.

Available as individual patterns for £3.00 (plus VAT for EU customers) each, or £7.50 (plus VAT for EU customers) for the set, these items make great gifts.

Buy now from ravelry: Cheetah Hat, Cheetah Cowl, Cheetah Wristers, Cheetah Treats ebook.

2018 Stashdown – late year update

From you have I been absent since the spring. Oops.

I have been busy knitting and spinning, but I’ve managed to completely fail to update here (mostly because I’ve been rubbish at getting photos done). I will cover Tour de Fleece in its own post, but will just summarise here that I turned 886g of fibre into 3,500 yards of yarn during the TdF period.

So, what have I been otherwise up to since April?

After finishing Abisko (the last recorded stashdown entry), I worked my Winged Fancy gradient into a short-sleeved pullover (Cullum), using up 904 yards in the process:

I stayed working with handspun to complete another short-sleeved top (Bayside), which took another 918 yards out of service.

Next up was a quick baby jumper for my hairdresser, using 467 yards of stash:

This was followed by a stranded cardigan which mixed handspun and Wollmeise, for a total of 1,191 yards (and which I only added the buttons to yesterday):

This took me up to the start of Tour de Fleece, where (as I said) I turned 886g of fibre into 3,500 yards of yarn:

I also managed to spin another 280g of fibre into 1,584 yards of 2-ply light-fingering weight yarn, but finished this after Tour de Fleece had finished:

I immediately started working with this new handspun, starting with a long waterfall cardigan (Bienvenidas), which used up 1,376 yards of yarn:

Then I got stuck into another gradient sweater, using up 946 yards of yarn:

That was September. I ran an overseas marathon in September (Berlin) and another in October (Chicago), so was a bit busy with those, before tackling another gradient sweater, this time a version of Elfe without any striping, using up 1,148 yards of handspun:

I still had a fair bit of the Mermaid’s Lair gradient left after that so threw together a cowldana design (part cowl, part bandana) which used up 169 yards in the first iteration:

And 260 yards in the second:

That brings me to, since April:

Yarn out:  8,468 yards, 2,013g
Yarn in: 5,084 yards, 1,166g

Net yarn decrease: 3,384 yards, 847g

Fibre stash reduction: 1,166g.

Updated stash figures as at today (and before I get a new fibre delivery):

Yarn stash:  48,129.2 yards (just over 29 miles).
Yarn stash: 11,377g

Fibre stash: 600g

The eagle-eyed may spot that my figures don’t quite tally from the Q1 update, that is because I have marked some small scraps of yarn all used up as they will be used for tying up skeins, etc.

2018 Stashdown – first quarter update

I started 2018 with 54,562.1 yards or 13,076g of yarn in stash and 1,680g of fibre. My aim for 2018 is still to try and work through as much of this as possible, whilst limiting my purchases (but not going the full ‘cold sheep’). Ravelry has also included a ‘challenge’ feature in which I have committed to try and complete 12 knitting projects during the year, and I’m going to try and make them all sweaters (all the better to use up yarn). Alas there isn’t also a spinning challenge option, but Tour de Fleece will be coming up again in July and I’ve probably not got enough fibre for the duration (shame, and I won a gift voucher from my favourite dyer too).

I started the stashdown by spinning up some fibre (promptly giving myself a ganglion cyst having been away from the wheel for so long). 280g of fibre somehow turned into 292g of yarn, a 2-ply gradient in ‘Winged Fancy’ colourway. 904 yards total.

I then thought I’d better get stuck into the stashed yarn, having just increased my net stash, so pulled out some Wollmeise and got stuck into a sweater. Miranda’s Mom used up a full 2 skeins, so 1,150 yards (300g).

Another sweater quickly followed, this time Mesmeric, which used up another 2 skeins of Wollmeise, this time 300g gave me 1,020 yards of yarn.

Marathon training was kicking in at this stage, and I didn’t want to add in treadling to already tired legs, so I kept up the sweater-knitting kick and used up another 880 yards (or 258g) of yarn in Hyperion.

One last sweater to finish off the quarter, this time I turned the Abisko sweater upside down (and lengthening the sleeves) so that I could just keep working until I ran out of yarn. This turned out to be quite a long way, given the lace, turning the sweater into a dress and using up 300g or 1,150 yards of yarn.

Q1 yarn out:  4,200 yards, 1,158g
Q1 yarn in: 904 yards, 292g

Q1 yarn decrease:  3,296 yards, 866g

Q1 fibre stash reduction: 280g.

Updated stash figures at the end of Q1:

Yarn stash: 51,266.1 yards (just over 29 miles).
Yarn stash: 12,210g

Fibre stash: 1,400g





Stashdown 2017 – December progress and year round up

Another quiet month as I was busy with other things. The only yarn I managed to use up was 312 yards in a pair of colourwork mittens. I also took the opportunity to add to my fibre stash to the tune of 280g of gradient.

I just about managed to reduce my stash overall for the year, with a net reduction of yarn of 2,337.8 yards, 2,058g. Not bad going given that I have spun up 2,770g worth of fibre. For the year I totalled 16,078.8 yards or 5,238g either used in projects or donated to better causes. I start 2018 with 54,562.1 yards or 13,076g of yarn in stash and 1,680g of fibre. So enough yarn to work with for a few more years, but I might be buying more fibre.

Total monthly yarn out: 312 yards, 62g
Total monthly yarn in: 0 yards, 0g

Net monthly yarn decrease: 312 yards, 62g

Monthly fibre stash addition: 280g.

Total yarn out ytd: 16,087.8 yards, 5,238g
Total yarn in ytd: 13,750 yards, 3,180g

Net yarn decrease ytd: 2,337.8 yards, 2,058g

Fibre stash reduction ytd: 2,770g.

Stashdown 2017 – November progress

I only managed to knit one thing this month, but it was at least of a reasonable size being a long sweater (with pockets).

It used up 1,610 yards of my handspun yarn.

Total monthly yarn out: 1,610 yards, 332g
Total monthly yarn in: 0 yards, 0g

Net monthly yarn decrease: 1,610 yards, 332g

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 0g.

Total yarn out ytd: 15,775.8 yards, 5,176g
Total yarn in ytd: 13,750 yards, 3,180g

Net yarn decrease ytd: 2,025.8 yards, 1,996g

Fibre stash reduction ytd: 3,050g.


Stashdown 2017 – October progress

Another quiet month on the knitting front (and even more quiet on the spinning and weaving fronts). I did manage to finish off the remainder of the set that I started last month, but I’ve been so busy with other things that I am only just getting them written up properly to go into testing now.

The rest of the set consists of a hat (used up 179 yards of yarn):

Gauntlets (used up 289 yards of yarn):

And a cowl (used up 395 yards of yarn and required an additional skein to be dyed):

Total monthly yarn out: 862.9 yards, 188g
Total monthly yarn in: 0 yards, 0g

Net monthly yarn decrease: 862.9 yards, 188g

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 0g.

Total yarn out ytd: 14,165.8 yards, 4,844g
Total yarn in ytd: 13,750 yards, 3,180g

Net yarn decrease ytd: 415.8 yards, 1,664g

Fibre stash reduction ytd: 3,050g.


Stashdown 2017 – September progress

A very busy time away from the knitting needles and spinning wheel in September, so not a huge amount to report.

I did managed to work up a hat and matching cowl from 336 yards of handspun:

I also designed and finished off a pair of wristwarmers (matching hat and cowl to follow), which used up another 197.4 yards of yarn:

Total monthly yarn out:  533.4 yards, 149g
Total monthly yarn in: 0 yards, 0g

Net monthly yarn decrease:  533.4 yards, 149g

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 0g.

Total yarn out ytd: 13,302.9 yards, 4,656g
Total yarn in ytd: 13,750 yards, 3,180g

Net yarn increase ytd: 447.1 yards, (1,476)g

Fibre stash reduction ytd: 3,050g.

Stashdown 2017 – August progress

August saw my first yarn purchase in over 2 years when I needed to buy some additional yarn to finish the following sweater (which used a total of 1,834 yards of yarn):

That added 374 yards to my stash (before finishing the sweater).

I also carded and then spun some alpaca fibre into 348 yards of light fingering weight yarn, losing some of the fibre along the way (I started with 100g but ended up with 87g). There was a lot of grease in the fibre which led to some gentle felting whilst washing it out, but I’m pretty happy with the end result.


Total monthly yarn out:  1,834 yards, 367g
Total monthly yarn in:  722 yards, 162g

Net monthly yarn decrease:  1,122 yards, 205g

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 100g.

Total yarn out ytd: 12,769.5 yards, 4,507g
Total yarn in ytd: 13,750 yards, 3,180g

Net yarn increase ytd: 980.5 yards, (1,327)g

Fibre stash reduction ytd: 3,050g.

Stashdown 2017 – June progress

June, the halfway point in the year, saw the completion of both knitting and spinning projects, both decreasing and increasing my stash. Let’s see how it all played out.

It began with the completion of another Viajante (aka giant vagina) which I had been working on at Bungay. This used up a total of 2,078 yards.

I also did a little pre-Tour spinning, turning 100g of Oatmeal BFL into 526 yards (and 113g) of a light fingering weight 2-ply yarn:

Another 100g of BFL, this time in a natural brown, was turned into 498 yards (and 101g) of light fingering weight 2-ply:

The rest of June was spent working on another knitting project that is still a WIP as the Tour de Fleece takes over in July.

Total monthly yarn out:  2,078 yards, 176g
Total monthly yarn in: 1,024 yards, 214g

Net monthly yarn decrease: 1,054 yards, (38)g

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 200g.

Total yarn out ytd: 10,935.5 yards, 4,140g
Total yarn in ytd: 6,318 yards, 1,355g

Net yarn decrease ytd: 4,617.5 yards, 2,805g

Fibre stash reduction ytd: 1,300g.