When we send yarn off to a designer, I’m never quite sure what’s going to become — there are so many possibilities and it’s entirely down to the designer’s own inspiration, so there’s really no telling. To be honest, it sometimes feels like a risk but I’m happy to report that, most of the time, I’m love the result. And sometimes… just sometimes… I’m absolutely blown away!
So when Jessica Anderson asked us for a sweater’s worth of yarn for an idea she had, I was intrigued. When she asked for it in Nine Stones — a lovely mix of greys, browns, and soft blues — I was delighted. And when she gave us the completed sample, I really was absolutely blown away.
Rey’s Cardigan is a gorgeous long, hooded cardigan with eye-catching texture all down the back. Designed in SpaceCadet Oriana, I’m not exaggerating when I say it hangs like a dream, draping around you in all the right places and looking spectacular whether styled casually over a t-shirt and jeans or more dramatically over all-black and an epic pair of boots.
In fact, it’s so lovely that it’s been really hard to keep my assistants Jade and Sara from sneaking off with it! But I think the real joy would be in making one for yourself, either in the muted shades of Nine Stones (the sample above), Faded Promises, or Faded Dreams. Or in something cool like Crisp or truly bright and bold like Tickled. (Cheat sheet: sizes 32-38 take 5 skeins, 41-47 take 6 skeins, and 50-53 take 7 skeins)
(And we’re not the only ones who were blown away — when A Good Yarn in Sarasota FL saw the sample, they immediately ordered enough yarn to make the cardigan in a whole range of colours — if you live near them, go and get some for yourself!)
So, is it worth it to send yarn off to a designer, sight unseen, and just trust their inspiration is up to expectations? I mean, it is a risk — it is — but when the results are this beautiful, I have to say, yes… Yes it is!
Ok, it’s been a super busy week after all the madness of Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend, there’s a lot of fun stuff to share so, if you have a cup of tea (I have mine!), find a nice comfy place to curl up and let’s get to it…
Image © Birdie Parker Designs, used with permission
Birdie Parker knitting- and crochet-inspired jewellry (yes! both!) is so easy to fall in love with. I think my favourites are the K1P1 earrings (above): one is covered in knit stitches and the other in purl — so cute. There are also necklaces, bracelets, cuffs, stitchmarkers, and shawl cuffs — and, honestly, I just want them all!
Have you see new Mr Rogers film? There’s a part of me that’s hesitating, just in case Tom Hanks doesn’t nail it perfectly (because it’s so important to the Mr Rogers legacy that he does!). But I was delighted to read this article about the woman who hand-knit every one of his (Mr Hanks’) cardigans and the care she put into replacting the originals so well. (Also, did you know Mr Rogers was based here in Pittsburgh? He is so well-loved by this city that a local hospital even recently dressed newborns in red cardigans to celebrate him)
No matter how cold it is outside, this will make you warm from the inside out: Socks by Bob is a group of senior citizens who machine knit socks for the homeless, on knitting machines built by founder Bob Rutherford, and have donated over 11,600 pairs to shelters across Canada. The video is wonderful.
I know hand-knitting has always been encouraged in wartime — both overtly as a way to the civilian population engaged and the troops warm, and covertly as cover when spying and a way of passing coded messages. So I found this excellent article absolutely fascinating reading.
Some very sad news: Scott Manko, better known as Scooterpie the Shepard Guy and the self-proclaimed “flock master” at Ross Farm, lost his life in a tragic accident this week while caring for the farm’s rare breed sheep. Scooter was a good friend of ours here at SpaceCadet and our hearts are broken for his wife Amy, his son Drew, and the whole Ross Farm family. A fund has been set up to help Amy cover the unexpected costs of his funeral and additional farm labor. If you’d like to contribute, please click here.
Perfect Holiday Gift: Bespeckle Hat Kits
Our Black Friday OOAK Bespeckle Kits sold out super-fast but, if you missed out, there’s good news: we’ve dyed more of these fun kits in our beautiful standard colours too. Including the first one below, which is allllll about our home city of Pittsburgh (here in the studio, we’ve been calling them our “yinzer kits”… hands up if you know why!)
They make perfect holiday gifts because they’re quick to knit up for the non-knitters on your list but so sweetly packaged in their little zippered pouches that they’re ready-to-go gifts for the knitters in your life as well. Click here to check them out!
Each kit contains:
• one 100g skein of Capella in a hand-dyed semi-solid main colourway
• one 50g skein of Capella in a beautiful variegated contrast colourway for the speckles and pom-pom
• a pom-pom tool to make things super easy!
• a toggle set to make your pom-pom removeable
• a download code for the Bespeckle pattern by Hunter Hammersen(a $7.45 value!), with her wonderfully detailed step-by-step photo tutorials on making the pom-poms and placing the speckles
• all packaged in a sweet reusable zipped pouch
Miss Rumphius by Jessica Anderson
As cold as it getst here in Pittsburgh, it’s worth having a stack of shawls to hand to wrap (twice!) around my neck before I head outside. And though everyone thinks of big chunky scarves for wintertime, I have to admit that I’m just as partial to lacey shawls — I think they’re just as warm when bundled up and have the advantage of being pretty enough to be worn with my outfit once I’m someplace where I can shed my big winter coat. I love the stitch pattern of this beautiful shawl — absolutely perfect for some sneaky winter warmth. Designed in fingering, I’d make it in any of our Faded colourways — Faded Dreams, Faded Promises, Faded Enchantment, or Faded Desire — their gentle variegation will add colour interest without overwhelming the stitchwork.
…there You May Also Be by Jessica Anderson
If you live in warmer climate, I love this gorgeous boho option — there’s nothing like a fringe to make things feel breezy and light! A simple assymetrical shape, it uses stripes and stitch changes to let you really play with colour. And there’s a really beautiful sentiment behind the design as well, if the holidays are a difficult time. Click through to read Jessica’s thoughts on it. And then cast it on in Time Traveller and Sliver.
Bound for Home by Jessica Anderson
And I know you’ve seen it before, but I just have to take this opportunity to share again Bound for Home, this beautiful shawl that Jessica designed in SpaceCadet Lyra. It’s incredibly cosy — seriously, it’s like wrapping up in a shawl-shaped blanket — and the stitchwork adds beautiful texture. Created especially to show off the colours in our beautiful colourways Steadfast, Dalliance, and Becalm, and we’d love to dye you a kit here.
images © Jessica Anderson and Stephanie Alford, used with permission
Well, my tea is all finished it’s time I got started running labels for today’s orders, so I’d better get going. I hope you’ve got a great day planned (with lots of time to work on some lovely project!) and, until next time, all my best!