SpaceCadet is Closing its Yarn Business

When I first started SpaceCadet, it wasn’t because I intended to start a business. My kids were five and three, I was staying home with them while they were little, and desperately needed ways creative outlets. Knitting with some friends one afternoon, one of them suggested I try dyeing yarn so I gathered up some kool-aid packets and began experimenting on my back porch – and I found I thoroughly enjoyed it. Layering the colours and seeing them blend was exciting, getting results immediately was a rush, and then knitting with yarn I’d dyed myself felt somehow deeply meaningful.

But money was tight and my husband had been wanting to join a gym that cost $50 a month that we couldn’t afford. So when my friends at knit night asked if they could buy some of the yarns I’d been dyeing, I was first completely floored — and then realised with amazement that all I had to do was sell a few skeins and I’d probably have that $50 we needed. So that was my goal for SpaceCadet, in its entirety: to sell four skeins of yarn per month. And though I started the business with hope and enthusiasm, I can tell you – very honestly — that I wasn’t sure if I could manage to sell even that much.

That was 14 years ago, and in the years since, SpaceCadet has grown beyond my wildest dreams. Within a few years, I’d been able to hire employees, move our operations into a dedicated studio, and we had gained so many regular customers and loyal club members who turned our colourways into their own magnificent works of art.

And it’s those customers – you – who have allowed this little enterprise to grow into what it is today.

Along the way, our little team has accomplished so many things I’m deeply proud of. Yes, we’ve sold thousands of skeins of yarn, been carried by LYSs across the country, and – this still blows my mind – created nearly seventy-five thousand Mini-Skeins, including ten years of a continuous gradient flow (all dyed and skeined by hand!).

But even more, I am proud about the world we created at SpaceCadet. As a team of (mostly) mothers, I tried very hard to employ the SpaceCadet Crew in a way that honoured realities of our real-life situations. I gave all my employees keys to the studio, so they could come and go as they pleased, working whatever hours fit their schedules. We put together a “kids’ space” in the studio, where my team could bring their young children to work with them (this gave my lawyer palpitations, but I felt it was important). And when one of us needed time away – because of illness or bereavement or family matters – the whole team came together, time and again, to support and cover for each other.

So it was always about more than the yarn. It was about connection: our connection together as the SpaceCadet Crew, our connection with you — our wonderful customer and club members – and, absolutely not least, our connection as dyers with the beautiful finished objects that you created with our yarns.

But times have changed from when I started SpaceCadet: all of our children are nearly grown, our families (and extended families) are going through changes, and the time feels right for the business to move on too.

So, after 14 years, SpaceCadet Yarn is ceasing operations.

And as I share this news with you, I have to admit to a little sadness. SpaceCadet has been such a huge part of my life – of all of our lives – that it can’t help but be a bittersweet moment. But much more than that, I feel a real sense of pride in what we achieved and, most of all, deep gratitude to you — our wonderful, creative, loyal customers — for being part of this journey. Thank you so much for making this this amazing adventure possible. We genuinely appreciate and love you all.

What happens now?

First, a big sale! As of right this moment, all yarn in the shop is 20% off! The SpaceCadet shop will remain open until the first week of April* and everything is on sale for 20% with the code ThankYou20. This is your opportunity to order any colourways you’ve been meaning to buy or get enough skeins to complete any projects you’ve got in the works. No further custom orders will be taken and all sales are, of course, final.

If you have an order with us that hasn’t yet arrived, don’t worry, it’s in process and we’ll get it out to you asap.

The Mini-Skein Club and Gradient Explorers: If you are in the Mini-Skein Club or Gradient Explorers, your March parcel will be your last, and I will be stopping your subscription payments (and you should see a notification to effect in your inbox over the next couple of days). We’ve got the March colourways already in process and we’ve decided to end with a bang, so I can’t wait for you to see the colourways! If you’ve made a payment for the April parcel, I will be refunding that over the next few days.

SpaceMonsters and the Yarn Alliance: If you are a member of the SpaceMonsters Club or the Yarn Alliance, we are honoured to have you in the club and are excited to complete your subscription. We have already dyed your yarn for the remainder of the current season and, just like the other clubs, we’ve decided to go all out with our best colourways ever. We will send those out to you in the coming months to complete your subscription. And we’ve made arrangements so you will be able to order more skeins for a larger project, just as normal, even after the shop has officially closed.

Thank you again for your support these past 14 years. I cannot tell you what a joy it has been to create colourways for you, our wonderful customers and club members, and to share in your own creative process.

PS — *I say the shop will close the first week of April, but I’ve never closed a business before(!), so the date may be a little flexible. Stay tuned for more details.

PPS — There may be more discounts and other fun extras as the weeks go on. Keep opening the emails!

PPPS — Thank you again. Sincerely. 😘 It’s been a blast.

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