August - all about Yarn Advent Calendars

It’s been a long August, or at least it certainly feels that way! Last week was absolutely manic, our horse, the Silver Prince, or Buddy, moved house to be based with a friend for the short term. All I'll say is, that dude has a LOT of stuff. I had konmarie’d his (and my!) belongings substantially, but apparently I’ve still got rather a lot to do. Not wanting to take up too much space at my friend’s yard, I now have stuff spread out between our house and my poor mum’s, who thankfully doesn’t seem to mind her almost 42 year old daughter impinging on her space.

I’m now looking for a few acres of land to rent or buy in my local area (St. Ives/Huntingdon/Cambridge region), so if anyone can help please do drop me a line at wjgater@gmail.com .

On to yarny endeavours…

If the mere thought of Christmas at this point in time gives you palpitations or elicits a groan of derision, then I apologise in advance.

For those of you already planning your gift list, read on.

I’m busy planning out this year’s advent calendars, among other things, so I thought I’d write a bit about what they are, what’s included, and what this year’s lucky recipients can expect!

The pandemic has not made things easy, my wonderful yarn supplier has experienced some delays in yarn production, so mini skeins are currently like hen’s teeth. Quite a few indie dyers have decided to abandon advent calendars this year, but I’m going to crack on. I managed to badly injure my back last year, just as all calendars were being dyed and packed up, and all boxes still went out on time. I’m not going to let a slight delay slow me down this year; it’s all in hand.

So, what is a hand dyed yarn advent calendar? It’s an advent calendar that contains 25 individually wrapped and numbered parcels, each containing a 20g mini skein of hand dyed yarn. The 25th parcel will contain a full 100g skein. A small number of carefully chosen treats will also be dotted throughout the parcels.

Like a traditional advent calendar, the idea is that you open each package on the correct day, but no judgement here if you get over excited and open it all right away.

This year I’m offering 3 options:

All will be hand dyed in a Glorious Gradient. I’ll be creating a multi-coloured gradient with colours moving rapidly, yet seamlessly, through to the next. Perfect for a fade project. I’ll be using several ‘main’ colours, it won’t be a gradient with 25 different shades of grey, for example. I will use some bright colours, but there won’t be any neons.  

There may be the odd Christmas inspired colour, however I’m mindful that not everyone finds the time to actually knit with their advent mini skeins during the Christmas period, and then who wants to knit with Christmassy yarn in bleak and grey January?

Last year’s calendar treats included a handmade Christmas bauble, featuring a drawing from Quentin Blake’s illustrated version of A Christmas Carol, a handmade wooden tree decoration featuring a silhouette of Scrooge’s face, M&S chocolate coins, handmade goat’s milk soap, a stitch marker, a Christmas enamel pin badge and an illustrated postcard. All thoughtfully chosen, using small (in the most part) ethical businesses that share my values.

As this year has been such a damp squib in every regard, I’m aiming to make this year’s offering really special. I’m in discussions with a very highly regarded knitting designer, who is creating something perfect (and stress free) for mini skeins. I’ll also be putting together a list of pattern suggestions suitable for mini skeins. I’ve found some really lovely extras which I’m excited to be including.

For those that don’t yet know me, I am very pernickety about environmentally friendly packaging. Calendars arrive in a sturdy recycleable cardboard box, and each day’s offering is wrapped in a coloured paper gift bag, sealed and numbered. Plastic or non recycleable packaging is kept to an absolute minimum. Christmas tends to be a time shrouded in tons of packaging that ends up in landfill, I’m very mindful of not adding to that.

I hope that gives you a good idea of what the Sheepish Advent Calendar is all about. If the full calendar isn’t quite what you’re looking for, then I do have a smaller version, The 12 Days of Christmas Yarn Box. It’s a 12 mini skein yarn box, with extra treats. Currently only available on Sockalicious 4 ply/fingering yarn, which you can find here https://sheepishfibreart.co.uk/products/12-days-of-christmas-yarn-box-sockalicious

And last, but not least, if you sign up to the Sheepish newsletter, assuming you haven’t already,you’ll receive a 10% discount code which will work across the website, including all of my Christmas offerings. Pop here if you want in on the action 😉 https://mailchi.mp/1901410a154f/newsletter-sign-up-form

Until next time, stay safe and knit on!

Wendy xxx



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