2016 Cold Sheep

I gave up posting about Cold Sheep on Ravelry ages ago, since I wasn’t knitting much all summer, but I do still want to do a wrap up.

I started the year with 13028.10 yards and 648 grams (for yarn I didn’t know the yardage for) at the beginning of the year. I ended with 11145.20 yards and 588 grams. That is a net loss for the year. That did vary a bit over time, but I was good this year.

My major plan was to become more mindful of my spending, and I did accomplish that. My purchases this year were a big order at the beginning of the year to fill out several planned projects, souvenir yarn in London, yarn to make a blanket for my new niece, and just last week, I bought some minis to accent the base color yarn I already had for a hat I want to make. I think that trip was a great indicator of mindfulness. I went to Tess’, because I knew she had minis in the weight I needed. And since I was in the middle of finishing out the last skein of her sock yarn, I allowed myself to buy another one of those. So I got out of there having laid down a third of what I did the last time I went in.

I also added to the stash by frogging two projects I was not wearing, but still thought I could make something useful from the yarn. I’ve already reused one of those yarns, and the other will be part of a project I’ll be kicking off in the new year. So that was part of the increase, but it was an increase I could feel good about.

I’ll not officially do Cold Sheep next year, but I am going to continue to track my yardage – it’s a good way to keep myself honest.

Knitting Notes

With the addition of: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Coal, Bamboo Heather and Camel Heather, Studio Donegal Aran Tweed and Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Weathervane, I have now added all of the scraps of worsted or aran weight yarn I have hanging around to this blanket.    It’s pretty much crib size right now, but I’m sure I’ll be able to add more quite easily (I have five skeins of unassigned worsted in my stash right now), so I’m going to keep this around and add to it for a while.    We’ll see when I decide it’s done.

I am so close to completing the first Traveling Stitch legwarmer – I’ve done with the calf shaping, it’s pretty much just the upper cuff now.

Knitting Notes

The scrappy garter stitch blanket is coming along.     I’ve greatly reduced my worsted weight ends stash.    Since I last checked in, I’ve added the following to the blanket:  Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Baltic Heather, Shire Heather and Brass Heather colorways, Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Superwash in Columbine,  Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Tweed in Prussian Heather, two natural wool balls my brother had given me, Vista MountainTop in the Peat, Seal and Wolf colorways, Bluemoon Gaea in Corbie, Quince and Co. Lark in Egret, Tess’s Designer Yarns Superwash Merino in Midnight Blue and Ocean Storm, and the Fibre Company Canopy in Yerba Mate.

I’ve also cast on these Traveling Stitch Legwarmers, by Lisa R. Myers, using the Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Downy Heather that I recently frogged from some knees highs I’d made and only worn once.     This is the kind of pattern I probably should have started with – it’s more fitted, and hopefully something I’ll actually feel like wearing.

Knitting Notes

In the spirit of Cold Sheep, I looked for ideas for using up my worsted weight scraps en mass (they’re the biggest volume I had since I control the fingering weight scarps with hexipuffs.)    I hit upon this garter stitch blanket (Ten Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown), which is great, because you basically just keep adding on until you decide it’s done.    So I’m just going to keep adding until it gets to a decent size.

So far, I’ve managed to use up the following: Cascade 220 (green), Quince and Co. Lark in Bark and Chanterelle and Malabrigo Rios in Glazed Carrots and Indieceta.    I’ve got a few others in there as well that had large amounts, but since the beginning makes more sense for smaller blocks of color, I’ve split those up, and they’re not gone yet.

I’m liking this so far.    It’s easy to memorize, and goes quickly.    However, as it grows, I’m not sure how good a summer project it’ll be.    Might just have to go on hiatus for a bit.

South Bank – London, England






I’m back from London.     We stayed a week, mostly in town (there was one day trip, which will be pictured shortly), hanging out with our friend K, and just seeing the sights.    The above pictures are from our first day (last Friday), which was of course the day after we pretty much stayed up all night to fly over, so we were desperately trying to do things to stay awake as long as possible.    A nice walk along the Thames helps for a bit.

Speaking of walking, we were averaging around eight miles a day.     We regret none of it, but man, are we getting old.     There were aches and pains I don’t remember before.    (Hell, we napped on that first day, and we’ve never had to do that before.)   That is the odd downside of being in a city (hell, region) with fantastic public transport – you want to walk all of it.    I am not ready to be at the phase in my life where I have to start pacing myself.    But apparently, I am.

Here’s my souvenir haul (not including presents).    If this doesn’t pretty much sum up my interests, I don’t know what else will.   I’m pretty excited about the yarn- it’s heritage British sheep breed yarn, as well as some German sock yarn that has always been rather legendary in the (Ravelry) sock knitting world, and which I’ve never been able to see in person before.   I’d already planned this as a exemption in my Cold Sheeping this year, but I wouldn’t feel bad about it even if I hadn’t.     I was really careful about what I bought – while it was a large chunk of change at once, I really wanted this yarn.

You can also see in the haul the set of fat quarter equivalents I allowed myself from Liberty.  I have long been a fan of their fabric, and their general historical aesthetic.     It’s definitely worth a look around – the building is so incredibly unique.    And I do love their products, even if I’m not willing to pay for a lot of them.    (There was also some gift buying for the niece there, courtesy of the current partnership with Uniqlo that put them into my price range.    The rest of the items in the children’s section were gorgeous, but I am not paying those kind of prices for something a kid might only be able to wear for a few months before they grow out of it.)

Our stop at Liberty was on Monday, which was a bank holiday.     That was a level of crowd madness I’ve only seen before in Manhattan.    (We started at Covent Garden, wended our way through Oxford Street and Regent Street, and ended at Piccadilly Circus.)   Not sorry we did it, but never need to do it again.

Knitting Notes

Here’s the end of the Tess’ Designer Yarns Peruvian sock.

I’m now down about a thousand yards of yarn for the year, between projects, and selling a couple skeins that I had no immediate use for last week.   (I’m still waiting for those to arrive at their destination so I can spend the money sitting in Paypal on patterns – I have three in queue I can knock off now without getting into my regular budget).

That also includes frogging my knee highs and putting yarn back into my inventory, so I’m impressed I’m still down.   I’ve also decided to frog my February Lady sweater, but I want to do that really carefully so I can recover as much yarn as possible, so I’ll probably save that for a free weekend with really crappy weather where I really have no other plans.     It’s not like I need that yarn immediately (though I have an idea of what I can do with it that I would actually wear), so I’m in no hurry.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Lolo by Jared Flood
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Superwash in the Columbine Heather colorway
Needles: Size 8 circs and 7 DPNs

The construction of this hat is really neat – it’s knit flat, and then joined together at the back seam, with a little tiny bit of a join at the top in the round.     Other than that, it’s a pretty simple knit, but the construction definitely kept things interesting.

Because it’s mostly garter stitch, it does seem like it’ll be really warm, though I’m not sure if it’ll stand up to a stiff breeze.    This yarn was a second choice – I’d bought the pattern intending to use some alpaca handspun I had, but I just didn’t have enough.

Knitting Notes

Finally, I’m done with the Knit Picks Stroll Merlot Heather yarn.    I normally don’t like to do that many hexipuffs in one color, but I just needed to get rid of that yarn.    It felt like it was going on forever, but it’s gone now!!

That technically gets rid of all my unassigned fingering weight yarn, other than my leftover Palette.    Though finishing Starshower left me with some more, but that’s new, so I’m not counting it.   (And I’m feeling way more motivated to do something with that.)

I also cast on a new Lolo Hat, with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash yarn, in Columbine Heather.   I am far to lazy to take a picture this weekend, so this will probably be the only mention of that here until I finish it, and can take a final picture.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Siksak by Marja Suomela
Yarn: Patternworks Bretton Heathers and Reyholds Sea Wool
Needles: Size 3 and 4 circs and Size 4 DPNs

This is a pretty cool pattern – it’s actually incredibly simple, but looks really complex, compared to the effort.   And it’s a great stash buster.    I’d definitely make it again.

Knitting Notes

This is the Siksak hat, by Marja Suomela.     It’s actually super simple,but the pattern looks pretty complex.   Kinda cool.    It’s simple enough I would probably normally find it boring, but I like what it’s making so much I haven’t had that issue.

The yarn is Reynolds Sea Wool and Pattern Works Breton Heathers – we’ve moved to the DK section of my great leftover toss of 2016.