Category Archives: Yarn

Tour de Fleece 2020 – part 2 review

We were lucky enough to get two attempts at Tour de Fleece this year. The first during the originally scheduled dates (which I wrote about here). The second during the actual delayed Tour de France, which nobody was sure was going to happen, but culminated with a very exciting hilly time trial.

I still had some beautiful gradient packs from Hilltop Cloud, leftover from the first Tour, and these were the perfect amount of fibre to spin over the 3 weeks, including taking rest days this time.

6 packs of gradient fibre

Two packs of 3 different colourways (Atoll, Shepherds Delight, and Hawaiian Sunset), allowed me to spin each colourway separately, then ply them together to maintain the gradient.

First up was 299g of Atoll, which became 1,720 yards of 2-ply light fingering weight yarn.

Blue-green gradient yarn

Second I spun 288g of Shepherds Delight, which became 1,638 yards of 2-ply light fingering weight yarn.

Red gradient yarn

Finally I spun 299g of Hawaiian Sunset, which became 1,710 yards of 2-ply light fingering weight yarn.

Purple, green, blue and brown yarn

In total, 886g of fibre spun, resulting in 5,068 yards of yarn.

Three gradient yarns

Tour de Fleece 2017 – the victory lap

Just as Chris Froome only had to finish the final stage to with the Tour de France, I managed to complete my spinning in advance of the final day.

I had gone from

TDF 2017 – start


TDF 2017 – finish

Spinning up the following fibre:

  • 300g of Little Owl Crafts Wensleydale in natural grey became 1,080 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn

  • 100g of Sara’s Texture Crafts BFL in Strawberry colourway became 502 yards of 2-ply light-fingering weight yarn

  • 200g of Sara’s Texture Crafts Merino & Silk in Heathered Highlands colourway became 1,074 yards of 2-ply light fingering weight yarn

  • 500g of Jamieson & Smith Shetland in natural fawn became 2,036 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn

  • 100g of Wildcraft Romney in Purple Topshells colourway became 446 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn

  • 130g of Hilltop Cloud Suffolk in Winter Moss colourway became 506 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn

  • 100g of Wildcraft Jacob in The Night Circus colourway became 336 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn

  • 120g of Hilltop Cloud Exmoor Blueface in Eclipse colourway became 424 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn

  • 100g of The Double Ewe Whitefaced Woodland in Easter Brunch colourway became 306 yards of 2-ply sport weight yarn

A grand total of 1.65kg of fibre was turned into 6,710 yards of mostly 2-ply fingering weight yarn (sometimes a light fingering, sometimes a sport). Not bad for a few weeks’ work.

Stashdown 2017 – February progress

February has been a quiet month in terms of stashdown. I started with spinning up some fibre, 300g (really 310g) of Corriedale becoming 1,578 yards of light fingering weight 2-ply.

I then decided to try my hand at weaving to use up some yarn. It had been a few years since I’d used the loom so figured I should have a bit of a test run first. My first experiment with trying to use two heddles to weave a double wide cloth did not go as planned, and ended up in a lot of yarn, 1,007 yards, making its way to the bin (but at least it was cheap leftovers from another project).

I stuck to weaving strips of fabric from my handspun and sewing them together to make a bit of a wobbly blanket (the strips weren’t all of the same length in the end), using up 2,600 yards.

Total monthly yarn out: 3,607 yards, 926g
Total monthly yarn in: 1,578 yards, 310g

Net monthly yarn decrease: 2,029 yards, 616g

Monthly fibre stash reduction: 300g.

Total yarn out ytd: 6,885.5 yards, 3,501g
Total yarn in ytd: 3,900 yards, 826g

Net yarn decrease ytd: 2,985.5 yards, 2,675g

Fibre stash reduction ytd: 800g.

Cold Sheep 2016

As I start 2016 I have taken stock (literally) of all of my yarn and fibre and decided that this is the year that I will go Cold Sheep. Going cold sheep is a commitment not to buy any more yarn (or fibre) and instead work from existing stash.

My stash is of a reasonable size

Stash January 2016

Stash January 2016

and can be divided out into my weaving stash

Weaving stash January 2016

Weaving stash January 2016

my dyeing stash

Dyeing stash January 2016

Dyeing stash January 2016

my hand-dyed yarn stash

Handdyed stash January 2016

Handdyed stash January 2016

my commercial yarn stash

Commercial yarn stash January 2016

Commercial yarn stash January 2016

my handspun stash

Handspun stash January 2016

Handspun stash January 2016

my undyed single-breed fibre stash

Undyed fibre stash January 2016

Undyed fibre stash January 2016

and my dyed fibre stash.

Dyed fibre stash January 2016

Dyed fibre stash January 2016

My plan is to only buy yarn if it is for a commission, and other than that to work exclusively from my existing stash. Unfortunately, as I use up my fibre stash I am generating more yarn and my plan is to knit 300g of yarn for every 300g of fibre I spin (a sweater coming in at about 300g or so). I am also working through my fibre stash chronologically, spinning my oldest fibre first, so expect to see a lot of undyed single-breed fibre being spun soon.

New Shop


I wasn’t getting anywhere selling my yarn via google checkout on this website (even with advertising on Ravelry), so I bit the bullet yesterday and uploading to Etsy. I got my first sale within the first hour of them being online.

You can still access them through my Yarns page. I’ve also added some more photos to the Gallery page.

Twist and Shout


My current knitting project (a purple cricket jumper – one day I may make a cricket jumper in a conventional colour, but I doubt that day will be anytime soon) has been put on hold as I took delivery of both a small greenhouse (perfect for drying yarn in over the winter) and 50 skeins of superwash sock yarn.

The yarn arrived in hank form in bundles of 5s, so much twisting was required to get it all into my new stackable storage bins from Ikea. All skeins are considerably longer than what I have worked with in the past, so I will have to consider my approach to variegated colourways with respect to this.

I also got 5 skeins of BFL lace to experiment with, possibly something in a more delicate, paler set of colours than the sock yarn.

New colours – solids


I finally managed to get some shots of my latest dyeing project. The scarlet and tangerine were a pain to photograph and my white balance is completely blown in daylight at the moment. I will look into taking more photos in the future but what I have took a good couple of hours.

A good day to dye


I am very happy with my first forays into creating my own hand-dyed yarn. Starting with a couple of skeins of undyed Trekking XXL yarn and 6 dye samples I microwaved myself up a storm.

The two colourways created from this experiment: summer rains and limeberry blues can be found on the yarns page.

Photos will follow once I have had chance to knit them up.