Tag Archives: coldsheep

Cold Sheep 2016 – December progress and end of year review

December was a quiet month. I knit a hat for a friend, using up 138 yards of yarn:

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/miau

And then decided at the last minute to make myself a festive jumper, finishing it on Christmas Eve and using up 1,585 yards of yarn:

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/122-41-winter-moss

I didn’t do any spinning this month.

Total monthly yarn out: 1,723 yards
Total monthly yarn in: 0 yards

Net monthly yarn decrease: 1,723 yards

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 0g.


Total yarn out in 2016: 22,368 yards
Total yarn in 2016: 15,260 yards

Net yarn decrease in 2016: 7,108 yards

Fibre stash reduction in 2016: 3,539g.

I think I will continue to try and work from my existing stash as much as possible in 2017, but lift the restrictions on not buying anything new (particularly fibre), so ‘lukewarm sheep’ maybe. I will also try and get back into weaving in 2017 as that is a good way to use up yarn and you can always do with more stoles and blankets.

 

Cold Sheep 2016 – October progress

A few small things knitted this month, mostly for submission to magazines. First there was a hat to complement my Diamond Wristers which are to be renamed Peruzzi. This used up 161 yards.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/diamond-hat-2

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/diamond-hat-2

Another hat then followed, using up 110 yards

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/penda-hat

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/penda-hat

and a matching pair of fingerless mittens using up another 110 yards.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/penda-fingerless-mittens

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/penda-fingerless-mittens

All of that good using up of stash was almost completely undone by spinning up 102g of Welsh Mountain fibre into 376 yards of fingering weight yarn.

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/white-welsh

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/white-welsh

But not to fear, for Vestvember is here!

Total monthly yarn out: 381 yards
Total monthly yarn in: 376 yards

Net monthly yarn decrease: 5 yards

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 102g.


Total yarn out year-to-date: 18,417 yards
Total yarn in year-to-date: 15,260 yards

Net yarn decrease year-to-date: 3,157 yards

Fibre stash reduction year-to-date: 3,539g.

Cold Sheep 2016 – August progress

A very quiet month after July. I had a holiday, a cold, the Olympics and new kittens to keep me occupied and away from knitting and spinning. I did manage to squeeze in a shawl as part of the Ravelllenic Games, which used up 855 yards of yarn, but that was it.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/hiraeth

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/hiraeth

Total monthly yarn out: 855 yards
Total monthly yarn in: 0 yards

Net monthly yarn decrease: 855 yards

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 0g.


Total yarn out year-to-date: 16,655 yards
Total yarn in year-to-date: 14,884 yards

Net yarn decrease year-to-date: 1,771 yards

Fibre stash reduction year-to-date: 3,437g.

Cold Sheep 2016 – July progress

July was never going to be a good month for reducing my total stash (except my fibre stash) due to Tour de Fleece. With a holiday at the end of the month also putting paid to much knitting, the month went a bit like this:

206g Dinorwic – (50% Merino, 25% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk, 12.5% Baby Alpaca) became 1,022 yards of light-fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/dinorwic http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/dinorwic

    206g Pembroke – (50% Merino, 25% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk, 12.5% Baby Alpaca) became 1,072 yards of light-fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/pembroke http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/pembroke

    204g Sheep – (50% Merino, 25% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk, 12.5% Baby Alpaca) became 918 yards of fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/sheep http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/sheep

    209g Organic Polwarth became 1,036 yards of light-fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/polwarth http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/polwarth

    100g Southdown became 284 yards of sport weight chain plied yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/southdown http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/southdown

    197g Marvellous Mauve – (40% Corriedale, 30% BFL, 30% Bamboo) became 760 yards of fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/marvellous-mauve http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/marvellous-mauve

    199g Tudor Dress – (45% Merino, 25% Finn, 25% Silk, 5% Stellina) became 804 yards of fingering weight 2-ply yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/tudor-dress http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/tudor-dress

I did just manage to finish off another test cardigan pattern before the end of the month, which saved my numbers a little bit (but I only just took photos, hence the delay to this blog post). It used up 1,264 yards of fingering weight yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/test-2

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/test-2

Total monthly yarn out: 1,264 yards
Total monthly yarn in: 5,896 yards

Net monthly yarn increase: 4,632 yards

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 1,321g.


Total yarn out year-to-date: 15,800 yards
Total yarn in year-to-date: 14,884 yards

Net yarn decrease year-to-date: 916 yards

Fibre stash reduction year-to-date: 3,437g.

 

Cold Sheep 2016 – June progress

Just the two big knitting projects to record as progress in my 2016 cold sheep challenge this month, with no spinning (since there will be plenty of that in Tour de Fleece in July).

First was a wraparound/waterfall cardigan using a total of 1,919 yards of handspun: a mixture of Hilltop Cloud Imperial Explosion, white Shetland, and a little bit of white superwash BFL (when the Shetland ran out).

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/rhaeadr-cardigan

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/rhaeadr-cardigan

Next up was a new design (shortly to enter testing) for another wraparound/waterfall cardigan, this time using 1,366 yards of white superwash BFL handspun which I may or may not dye later.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/test

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/test

Total monthly yarn out: 3,285 yards
Total monthly yarn in: 0 yards

Net monthly yarn decrease: 3,285 yards

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 0g.


Total yarn out year-to-date: 14,536 yards
Total yarn in year-to-date: 8,988 yards

Net yarn reduction year-to-date: 5,548 yards

Fibre stash reduction year-to-date: 2,116g.

Tour de Fleece 2016 – preparation

Tour de Fleece 2016 is just around the corner and this year I have committed to ‘ride’ for teams Hilltopcloud (my favourite indie dyer) and lovers of Ashford UK (my wheel is an Ashford Joy 2). It’s 21 days of spinning (and a couple of rest days too), so I thought I would set myself a challenge in terms of the amount of fibre I would try and get through. I don’t think I will manage it all, but here it all is.

13467274_1690430354541955_386513602_o

The plan is to spin it in the following order (oldest to newest):

  • 200g Dinorwic – (50% Merino, 25% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk, 12.5% Baby Alpaca)
  • 200g Pembroke – (50% Merino, 25% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk, 12.5% Baby Alpaca)
  • 200g Sheep – (50% Merino, 25% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk, 12.5% Baby Alpaca)
  • 200g Organic Polwarth
  • 100g Southdown
  • 200g Marvellous Mauve – (40% Corriedale, 30% BFL, 30% Bamboo)
  • 200g Tudor Dress – (45% Merino, 25% Finn, 25% Silk, 5% Stellina)
  • 130g Winter Moss – (100% Suffolk)
  • 120g Eclipse (100% Exmoor Blueface)

That’s a hefty 1.55kg of fibre, which would make a nice dent in my fibre stash for cold sheep 2016, but will also add a significant amount of yardage to my yarn stash.

 

 

Cold Sheep 2016 – May progress

It might not look like a lot of progress in terms of photos, but in terms of yardage May was a big one with 1,549 yards of handpsun being used in a long cardigan

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/casual-friday

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/casual-friday

and 500g of superwash BFL fibre being spun into 2,440 yards of 2-ply fingering weight (making this a net increase in yardage for the month (again)). July will see another large net increase with Tour de Fleece, so June is all about knitting.

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/superwashed-white-bfl

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/superwashed-white-bfl

Total monthly yarn out: 1,549 yards
Total monthly yarn in: 2,440 yards

Net monthly yarn increase: 891 yards

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 500g.


Total yarn out year-to-date: 11,251 yards
Total yarn in year-to-date: 8,988 yards

Net yarn reduction year-to-date: 2,263 yards

Fibre stash reduction year-to-date: 2,116g.

Cold Sheep 2016 – April progress

A third of the way through the year, and my first net increase to stash in the year. It won’t be as bad as July though, when the Tour de Fleece will have me spinning for almost three weeks solid. I am still ahead of the game in the year overall.

I turned my Diamond Wristers pattern into gloves, using up 317 yards of yarn in the process

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/diamond-wristers-4

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/diamond-wristers-4

I then turned to my fibre stash, spinning up 98g of grey Jacob into 452 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/grey-jacob

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/grey-jacob

This was quickly followed by 100g of white Jacob being spun into 456 yards of fingering weight

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/white-jacob

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/white-jacob

Time after that to use up some yarn, so a total of 1,277 yards went into a sparkly fingering weight sweater (I am getting quite the collection of these this year)

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/toor-toor

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/toor-toor

Finally there was time to spin up another 208g of fibre into 954 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/swan

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/swan

Total monthly yarn out:  1,594 yards
Total monthly yarn in:  1,862 yards

Net monthly yarn increase: 268 yards

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 406g.


Total yarn out year-to-date: 9,702 yards
Total yarn in year-to-date: 6,548 yards

Net yarn reduction year-to-date: 3,154 yards

Fibre stash reduction year-to-date: 1,616g.

 

Cold Sheep 2016 – March progress

March saw more good progress on my cold sheep stashdown challenge.

It began with turning 1,212 yards of hanspun into a long-sleeved sweater with some interesting design features which the stripes showed up well.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/zebra-tee

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/zebra-tee

I then dug into my commercial yarn stash for the first time in the year to work on a new version of an old pattern, making a gauntlet version of my old diamond wristers pattern. This longer version used 231 yards of yarn.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/diamond-wristers

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/diamond-wristers

Whilst I got that into testing I spun up 200g of white Shetland fibre into 934 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn.

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/white-shetland

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/white-shetland

 

I also made the shorter version of the revised pattern, using up another 131 yards.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/diamond-wristers-3

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/diamond-wristers-3

Then it was back to the handspun, knitting up this tunic/dress and using up 1,334 yards of yarn

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/laneway-2

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/laneway-2

A brief pause in the knitting to spin up 338 yards of chain-plied fingering weight Manx Loaghtan fibre (a rare breed)

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/manx-loaghtan

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/manx-loaghtan

And also some black Jacob, 464 yards of fingering weight 2-ply

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/black-jacob

http://www.ravelry.com/people/fak/handspun/black-jacob

I also finished off another Shetland gradient jumper/tunic which used up 1,094 yards of yarn.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/elfe-2

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/elfe-2

Total monthly yarn out: 4,002 yards
Total monthly yarn in:  1,736 yards

Net monthly yarn reduction: 2,266 yards

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 400g.


Total yarn out year-to-date: 8,108 yards
Total yarn in year-to-date: 4,686 yards

Net yarn reduction year-to-date: 3,422 yards

Fibre stash reduction year-to-date: 1,210g.

Maximising yarn usage: stripes

An easy way to maximise your yarn usage, if you’re trying to use up stash, is to combine two different yarns into one item. The easiest way to do this is with stripes. If you don’t quite have enough for the item with just one of your yarns, pair it with another to get the total required yardage.

Stripes work best with simple stockinette based patterns, as they really show off the colours without getting lost in lace or cables.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/zebra-tee

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/zebra-tee

You can also work with garter stitch, such as this short row shawl which combined two handspun yarns that didn’t have enough yaradage on their own to make much, resulting in a good-sized crescent shawl.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/pendulum

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/fak/pendulum

If you are looking to maximise your yarn usage by using stripes, try to make sure that your two chosen colours have a good contrast between them so that the stripes really stand out well. Also make sure that your yarns are the same weight (fingering, dk, aran, etc.) and if making a garment to be worn have similar fibre contents so that they will work up together at the same gauge and won’t distort with wear (a cotton yarn may stretch more than a wool yarn, so unless you want stretched out stripes stick to just the one fibre type).