It’s Set-Up Day at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival and the SpaceCadet crew is about to come round and start packing up the cars with everything to go in our booth. So I was sitting here, drinking my coffee (its a lotsacoffee day!) when I realised… gah! We’ve forgotten something!
Every time we do a show, the situation is different — different booth size, different configuration, different access, and always different lighting needs. This show is in a hotel ballroom and, while I know it’s going to be lovely, ballroom lighting can be a little odd. It’s often a little dim (perfect for balls, I suppose, but less so for yarn) and often a little yellow. So we bring our own lighting if we can to make sure that, not only can you see the yarn, but it’s actually the colour you think it is.
And I’ve just realised we totally forgot to plan for our lighting. Just completely forgot. Which you might not think is a problem but, in truth, lighting is the first part of the booth that we set up, so we have to know how we’re doing it before we can do anything else. And this time, it’s even more crucial because our booth size for this show is unusual — it’s 9′ x 13′ — and so we’re doing a completely new booth configuration and… I just don’t know how the lighting will work with it.
So I’m going to pour myself another cuppa and sit down with some pens and graph paper and see what I can work out. Please cross your fingers for me! But before that, I’ve got a lot of fun stuff to share you this week, so let’s dive in…
The wonderful designer Hunter Hammersen has something super-fun up her sleeve (and we might just be prepping some gorgeous kits for it…) but you can get an sneak peak of what she’s up to here. And there are pom-poms! Woot!
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Yeah, so yesterday I told you you weren't using enough yarn…today I want to tell you you aren't taking enough time trimming your pompoms. ⠀ ⠀ When they come off the form, they ALL look a mess. It's only after you trim and fluff and trim and fluff and trim and fluff and steam and fluff and maybe do on or two more tiny snips that they really look their best. Like you should expect it to take at least half an hour of futzing about with it before it looks just right. I often set mine down and come back the next day for a final trim. But it's totally worth it. ⠀ ⠀ That second picture is what this looked like straight off the pompom maker, just to show you the difference some careful attention there at the end makes! ⠀ ⠀ I'll show you some more here in the next few days, but I mostly as examples of 'no, really, keep trimming them, they get so much better if you trim them!⠀
I loved this slo-mo video of a sheep being shorn that Clara Parkes posted on her Instagram feed this week and the thing I found most interesting was her point that the shearing process has never successfully been automated, meaning that “…every ounce of wool you see out there, every inch of that sock or that sweater, contains fibers that a human being… removed by hand.” That’s something that sets wool apart not only from manufactured fibers like polyester and acrylic, but even from other natural fibers like cotton. And it’s a concept that took a few minutes for me to really let sink in!
I came across these cable-needle rings the other day and I am so enamoured of them! Yes, cable needles you wear on your finger as rings, like the knitting badass you are. Genius!
The Yarn Alliance Opens to New Members on March 21!
(woahhh… that’s next week!)
Being part of the Yarn Alliance club is all about coming on a colour exploration — in gorgeous yarns dyed in exclusive colourways and shared with a wonderful community of fellow club members who are all part of the adventure too. Plus we create beautiful coordinating skeins to double the fun. And each parcel contains a wonderful club gifts created exclusively for the club by our community of amazing handmakers. Oh, and a 15% coupon!
The Yarn Alliance is available for subscriptions only twice a year, and we always give early access to folks on our waiting list. There’s not much time, so click here and make sure you’re on it. You’ll get an email a few days before subscriptions go live so you can join us!
This weekend!!! The Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival in Greentree PA
(probably even with lighting!)
Next Weekend! Homespun Yarn Party in Savage MD
Anker’s Sweater – My size by PetiteKnit
Colourwork yokes have been all the rage lately but sometimes simple is stunning, and I absolutely love the simple focus on texture in this beautiful sweater. It’s designed in fingering weight held double but also works with DK, so you’ve got a lot of options. And if you wanted to add colour, I’d love to see a slow colour progression that would come from using our Mini-Skeins held double but changing colour one at a time. Wouldn’t it be stunning?
Wabash Bridge Convertible Shawl by Robyn Chachula
There’s so much about this crocheted shawl to love! First, that it’s inspired by one of Pittsburgh’s iconic bridges. Second, it’s got buttons along the edge so you can wear it like a little cloak. And third, it’s by the lovely Robyn Chachula, who has created some wonderful crochet kits in SpaceCadet yarn that she’ll be bringing to the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival this weekend. I can’t wait to see how they turned out!
Mini Maximization by Sarah Jordan
Mini-Skeins are wonderful fun but, sometimes, they look so delightful that you aren’t sure what to cast on with them. This pattern is designed specifically for that problem, by combining two sets to create this eye-catching shawl. And if you’re a member of our Mini-Skein Club, the gradient is built right in — so getting a stunning result is super-easy and almost guaranteed!
Ok, I’d better finish this coffee and get going, because I’ve got to get those lights figured out before the SpaceCadet crew gets here. In the meantime, I hope you’ve got a great day planned (with lots of knitting or crochet time in your schedule) and, until next time, all my best!