Cold Sheeping

Cold sheeping. It’s the term Megan Williams coined a little while ago on the Stockinette Zombies podcast.  It means not buying yarn. It’s knitting from the stash you have created over time. I thought I’d join her in her solidarity because while I don’t have a large stash, I do have a stash and I should show the stash some love.

On the whole I don’t typically buy very much yarn. I will buy a skein here or there for a specific project. I’m not a person that goes out and stalks the latest indie dyer update to buy all the pretty yarns. For one, I suck at stalking those sites. I’m always late, and I take far too long to make a decision on what I want to buy and end up getting cart-jacked. So really cold sheeping is nearly irrelevant to me.

However, I will say I made it from mid-December to last week not buying any yarn. I ended up needing a special skein for a special project that my stash just didn’t have. I visited the LYS and purchased that skein. I also picked up another skein of sock yarn because it called out to me. It was quite lovely. And frankly, I’ve been burning through the sock yarn this year. Operation Sock Drawer (#operationsockdrawer on Instagram, Twitter, etc) has really driven me to add to my hand knit socks.

This purchase really made me think about what “Cold Sheeping” means to me. I’m not sure it is exactly straight up not buying yarn. For me I discovered it is being happy with what is in your stash. Everything I’ve knit since December has been from the stash. I even specifically cast on a few projects with stash yarn just to use up the stash yarn. The “not buying yarn” bit has helped me find inspiration in the stash.

When I do buy yarn at a retreat, or festival, or LYS sale, I try to buy with a project in mind. This helps curb the purchases to things I actually do need/want. I tend to keep my Ravelry queue fairly up to date with what projects I want to knit over the year, yardage requirements, and if I have suitable yarn or not. Of course the occasional surprise project, or gift knitting creeps up during the year that I didn’t plan for and I need to make a yarn purchase to complete it. This strategy really helps me curb the “oooh shiney” feeling you get when browsing at all of your favorite yarn shops.

So I’m going to continue to knit from the stash this year, and I’m sure it will get supplemented here and there for gift knitting, and maybe a special project for me here or there. I plan to buy a few more sweater quantities over the year, and adding to the sock stash that seems to be dwindling a little bit.

I do have to say that I am also very proud of those individuals who are truly “cold sheeping” and not spending a lick on yarn. Congrats Megan on 56 days of no yarn purchases!

How do you knit from stash, or add to stash?? Are you planning a “cold sheeping” experiment?

Until next time….



3 thoughts on “Cold Sheeping

  1. I am a big fan of the stash graph. I keep track of the yarn in and the yarn out, and I know that I have a steady state relationship.

    It also helps me get around to big projects, like lace or sweaters because I know it will use a ton of yarn/yardage.

    Molly : )

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