The SpaceCadet Newsletter: OOAK Shop Update and a New Club

The SpaceCadet Newsletter: OOAK Shop Update and a New Club

I’ve got exciting news!  A couple of weeks ago, two things came together that, in hindsight, were so obviously meant to be together that I nearly slapped myself on the forehead.  You know that feeling where sometimes it takes forever for you to see something right in front of your eyes?  Yep, that.  But the result is so cool: we are starting a new club and it’s going to be awesome!

So, let me tell you about the two things that came together.  The first was that we were doing one of the things I enjoy most: planning out the colours for the Ombre & Gradient mix for the Mini-Skein Club.  We decide them about six months in advance and I love seeing how the colour story is going to progress across the next half-year of the Never Ending Gradient.  Then, just a about an hour later, I was dyeing some gradient sweater sets for a shop and I remarked to my assistant how hard it is to keep them in stock — they’re so beautiful that it feels like they disappear from the shop as soon as we dye them.

And then it came to me, just as clear as a bell: we should create a Never Ending gradient, just as we do for our Mini-Skeins, but for full-sized skeins so they build up into sweater sets!  How cool is that?  Just like the Gradient Mini-Skeins, each month’s colours will flow into the next but in larger skeins to create bigger colour blocks and more gradual shifts that are perfect for sweaters.  And we’ve got some amazing ideas to coordinate them with our regular colourways so they’ll work with your stash and to add some exciting club-exclusive variegateds too! (But more on that when we open the club on next Friday)

Now, part of what makes this so exciting is that it’s as much of an adventure for us as it is for you — I can’t wait to start playing with these colours! — but, because it is an adventure and we’re still working out the details, I’m going to keep it very small and just for our most intrepid yarn explorers: only 25 spots will be available in that first month.   So if this sounds as exciting to you as it does to me, keep your eyes on your inbox on Friday July 28 so you can get one of those spots to start your gradient collection right from the very first skein!

Ok, now that I’ve shared the news that had me bubbling over, let’s get the rest of the day off to a fibery good start.  I’ve got a jam-packed newsletter in store for you, so here we go…

Newsletter

If you’ve ever wanted to take a class on Craftsy, the online craft learning site, but have been stumped by which one to choose, you’ll be interested to know that the site has announced that it will begin offering a subscription payment model next year in addition to its current a la carte classes.  Members will be able to watch any class in the entire Craftsy catalogue for a monthly fee as well as the option to purchase a class to “Own Forever” for an additional cost.

As much as our own fiber-related hobbies are filled with all the good feels that come with being creative and making stuff, we all know that the textile industry’s history is a lot darker.  I found this article fascinating (if macabre) on the “Kiss of Death” in New England textile mills, which resulted in the spread of tuberculosis causing 36% of all deaths among female textile workers.

Non-fiber related but awesome nonetheless: the BBC has announced that the 13th Doctor will be a woman! (see the trailer here) Big grins in my household.  Yours too?

This made me very happy to see: when a woman took a couple of days off work for her mental health, her CEO publicly supported her decision.  As I wrote recently on the blog, I’m a firm believer in workplaces recognising and supporting their employees’ realities (if you haven’t read my philosophy, you’ll find it here), and reading this was hugely encouraging.

(shawl pin from Michelle’s Assortment)

When it comes to taking finished object photos, I think one of the hardest things is know what to do with your hands.  I’ve found we get the best shots when my model is adjusting her shawl pin — seems odd, I know, but it’s natural movement, it takes away all the tension of “posing”, and it gives her something to do with her hands.  Need more ideas?  This quick guide is aimed at wedding photography but the principles are the same for getting shots of your FOs in action.

One-of-a-Kind Shop Update: This Friday at Noon!

(this is kind of long, so make sure you scroll to the bottom to see this week’s pattern picks — they’re worth it!)

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I got so excited about some of the One-of-a-Kinds we’ve dyed lately that I was nearly bursting!  So I decided to do a quick shop update this Friday at noon (eastern).  We’ve got single skeins and sweater sets (some of which match and some of which coordinate) and, being One-of-a-Kinds, it is absolutely first-come first-served, so look through the pictures below to decide which one(s) you love most so you don’t miss out on anything when they go live on Friday (my favourite by far is number 33).

(Also, I made a crab! He pops up a couple of times…  Check out him out!)

The Combining Yarns KCAL Giveaway

I’m so chuffed with all the amazing projects folks are doing for our Combining Yarns KCAL.  And this week, we’re going to run a fab giveaway all about choosing which project we admire the most.  If you’re in the KCAL, keep your eyes the SpaceCadet Ravelry group for all the details on how to enter as soon as I post them!

Mariana by Kathi Snodgrass

Three reasons this caught my eye:  1) Sometimes simple is the most beautiful — I love these clean lines and simple shape more than I can say. 2) Designed in linen, it would be amazing in our silk-linen Thebe and the beautiful sea-coloured 3-skein kits (above) in Friday’s OOAK shop update would be perfect. 3) The pattern is a free download on Ravelry — I guess sometimes the best things in life really are free!

Tegna by Caitlin Hunter

I think this pattern is just about the most perfect summer tee!  I adore the light look, the simple edging around the collar, the easy dropped shoulders, and the gorgeous lace edging.  It’d be wonderfully light and comfortable in either our bamboo yarn, Maia, or our super light merino, Celeste.  Choose from either in one of our standard colours (“So Life Gave You Lemons” would be my choice) or one of the fabulous sweater sets (above) in Friday’s OOAK shop update.

Banana Sweater by Valya Boutenko

Because…  SWEATERS ON ALL THE THINGS!!!!      …And because I laughed so hard I just had to include this.  Designer Valya Boutenko says, “This knitting pattern was inspired by the sweater craze. I am referring of course, to the movement of putting sweaters on everything from apples to park benches. I wanted to contribute to this hilarious and outrageous knitting movement, and so I have designed a sweater for a banana!”  If you don’t know what else to knit, then this is it!

Ok, it’s time I finished my tea and headed down to the studio.  We’ve got the last few skeins to dye for orders going out to a couple of awesome shops, and then I think I might do some experimentation to get ready for the new club.  I hope you’ve got a great day planned too so, until next time, all my best!

 

The SpaceCadet Newsletter: The Alternative to Acrylic?

The SpaceCadet Newsletter: The Alternative to Acrylic?

I just have to share this with you…

I got the most wonderful opportunity the other day: a text message from an acquaintance, someone I know from outside the world of knitting and crochet (there aren’t many but there are a few), who has just learned to crochet and texted me to say that she absolutely loved crocheting her granny squares but was working with acrylic yarn that she found itchy and…  and…   she asked, did I know of an alternative?

::record scratching::

Do I know of an alternative to acrylic yarn?  Why yes… yes, I do!  And, can I tell you my glee at the prospect of introducing a newbie to the delights of natural fibers and quality yarn?  I mean, honestly, I think I fairly skipped into the stock room to pick out a few skeins for her try.  The weight she’d been using fell somewhere between Lyra and Vega, so I grabbed a skein each from our One-of-a-Kinds, and then a few random Mini-Skeins too, put them together in a gift bag and delivered them to her door.  Not because I want her buy SpaceCadet as such but just because it is such a delight to share the beauty of quality wool and the fun of hand-dyed yarn with someone who has never tried it before.

Opportunities like that don’t seem to roll around often enough (most of the folks I talk to are hand-dyed aficionados).  How do we as a group bring more new knitters and crocheters on this wonderful journey?  It’s something I want to think about more …and hear your experiences of it too.  Who taught you to knit or crochet?  What was your first experience with higher quality yarn and what made you take that step up?  And who have you brought along on that journey as well?  Hit “reply” and tell me — I’d love to hear your story!

 

Newsletter

• I don’t know if my friend is a left-handed crocheter but, if she were, I’d want her to see this article entitled, “10 Must-Know Tricks for Left-Handed Crocheters.”  In fact, most of it applies to knitters too, so it’s well worth sharing.

• This week, while I was working in the studio, I listened to the Power Purls Podcast (from Kara Gott-Warner, former editor of Creative Knitting magazine) and really enjoyed her 7 Tips to Become an Intuitive Knitter (click here jump to the right point in the recording).  I’ve just cast on a shawl that I’m going to make up as I go along, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

• It’s no secret I get excited about colour, so I found fascinating Ann Weaver’s article on using complentary colours in knit design.

• I was ridiculously excited to find SpaceCadet had made Knitty’s TNNA round-up: Amy Singer really loved our Sweater Sets!  I do too and they go so fast.  We’ve got only a few in stock right now but they include two colourways that make my mouth water: Perilous and Turpitude.

 

So listening to the Power Purls Podcast (mentioned above) got me thinking about being intuitive in our knitting and crochet, and inspired today’s Pop Quiz.  I know I’m at the extreme end of the intuitive scale (meaning I always want to make up my projects on the needles but then always regret it!).  Where are you?

Are You an Intuitive Knitter/Crocheter?

Click the link and let me know!

 

The SpaceMonster Club Closes on Friday

Spaces in the SpaceMonster Club went super fast and it’s been amazing to see all the new members joining!  I’m so glad to have you guys aboard.  Now, there are only a handful of spaces left, so click here for all the details before the subscription period closes on Friday.

July One-of-a-Kinds

I was putting some new One-of-a-Kinds away in the stock room and they were just blowing me away!  In fact, you can see my reaction and a sneak peek at them here.  I’m not sure when we’ll get them in the shop, but I think it might be time for mid-summer One-of-a-Kind shop update.  Keep an eye on your inbox for the date and more news as we closer!

Aurora Borealis by Svetlana Gordon

Oh, this design just slays me — look at that gorgeousness!  Svetlana does the most innovative with simple knitted stitches and this one is no exception.  I love the combination of a neutral background (try SpaceCadet Drizzle or Dark Skies) with a variegated colourway for accents.  Or, if you’re in our Mini-Skein Club (you are, right?), go through your stash and find a gradient that will really pop.  The results will be amazing!

greenhouse knits #7 by atelier alfa

I have a friend who is crazy for leaf motifs, and I thought of her as soon as I saw this, but I can’t imagine how anyone could resist those big, beautiful leaves in the border of this simple garter shawl.   The seventh pattern from the greenhouse knits e-book, it would look perfect in Sage, Longing, or Stroppy in either Maia (for beautiful sheen and drape) or Lucina (for a subtle halo of sparkles).  Both are in stock now.

Estrellita Blanket by Laura Cunitz

I’m a sucker for a hat with a swirl in the crown but what happens when you take that same design element and apply it to a blanket?  Something absolutely stunning!  The organic shapes and beautiful flowing lines of the Estrellita Blanket turn it from a functional item to a work of art that will stop your guests dead in their tracks.  Gorgeous!

All images © the respective designers and used with permission

 

One of the things I enjoy most about my job is showing folks the different ways yarn takes colour.  I find fascinating all the different elements that play into it and I love sharing that with the customers I meet at shows and the classes I (occasionally) teach at shops.  Last week on the blog, I went over Three (Basic) Things That Impact How Different Yarn Bases Takes Colour (spoiler: it’s way more interesting than just fiber content!).  If you’ve ever picked up two different yarns, even made out of the same fiber, and been puzzled by how different they looked, click here and read up!

Ok, it’s time for me to head to the studio — I’ve got a busy day ahead of me (today will be a lot of summer greens and maybe I’ll get to play with some autumn rusts too).  Thank you so much for letting me start the morning with you, and I hope you have a wonderful (and fiber-y) rest of the day.

Until next time, all my best!

Three Things That Impact How Different Yarn Bases Take Colour

Three Things That Impact How Different Yarn Bases Take Colour

I’ve shown you in the past how different yarns take colour differently.  We can put five of our favourite yarn bases in the same dyepot at the same time, and all five can come out decidedly differently.  In fact, we did!  Take a look:

Now, when customers ask me about this, I usually explain it in terms of fiber content, but there’s actually more to it than that — and it’s fascinating (well, at least I think it’s fascinating!).  Here, let me explain and I’ll try not geek out too much…

Three (Basic) Things That Impact How Different Yarn Bases Takes Colour

Fiber Content

The first is, of course, fiber content.  Different fibers react to our dyes differently and so the colour from the same dyebath can vary considerably from one yarn to another.  In the picture above, all the yarns were dyed together in the colourway “Tickled” but notice how soft and faded both Maia and Thebe are.  That’s because both of them contain substantial amounts of cellulose (plant) fibers, which our dyes (acid dyes) simply don’t stick to.  In the case of Thebe, linen makes of 35% of the yarn and it just doesn’t take the dye at all.  In the case of Maia, it’s the bamboo — 80% of the yarn — that doesn’t take on any dye.  The result is a much softer colour even though, if you look closely at the wool choke tie on the Thebe, you can see they went into the exact same dyebath.

But so far, I’m not telling you anything new, right?  If you’ve been reading my posts and emails for a while, you already know this!  It’s the basis for the awesome Combining Yarn KCAL that we’ve got going on at the moment, where lots of folks are taking two different but compatible yarns and combining them in the same project. Most people are working with my favourite combination, Celeste and Maia, and the results are stunning.  I asked them what they found surprising about combining two different yarns and one of the best comments was, “What surprised me the most is how fun it is to combine yarns.”  YASSSS!!!!   She went on, “I’ve never combined different types of yarns before and to be honest I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for this KCAL.”  Oh, that makes me so happy.  That’s exactly what I’d hoped for when we started the KCAL and it’s what makes the way different fibers take dye so much fun!

But there’s more to the story than just fiber content.  Another factor in how yarn takes colour is…

Yarn Thickness

This is one that you might not think of straight away but then it totally makes sense when you do.   Yarn is dyed in bath of dye and water (so far, so obvious) and so the way it takes colour is dependent on how the yarn absorbs that water.  Some yarns absorb slowly, some absorb quickly, some resist the water with all their might, and others drink it up like a sponge.  The intensity of the final colour depends on the amount of dyewater (and dye) that the yarn has absorbed at the point where the dyepot comes up to temperature.  If less water has soaked into the yarn at that point, the colour will be softer, but if the water has really saturated the yarn, the colour will be more saturated as well.

Think of it like this: if you spilled your tea across your table and grabbed a paper towel with one hand and bunch of cotton balls with the other, you’d expect one of those to absorb the spill faster than the other, right?  The paper towel would soak the whole spill up super fast and the cotton balls would take a lot longer and leave half of it smeared all over the table.  It’s the same with yarn, and Capella is a great example of this.  It’s a 100% superwash merino single-ply worsted — basically one giant, soft puffball — and water soaks into it really slowly, giving a very soft and muted result.

You can see it in a lighter colour like Frigia (the light blue above), but it’s super noticeable on a darker shade such as Longing (the forest green).  Even though all these swatches have the exact same fiber content, the thickness of the yarn makes all the difference.  It’s not something you might think of at first, but it’s so logical once you do.

And the last thing we’re going to discuss brings elements of the other two together, and that’s…

Yarn Construction

It’s not just what it’s made of and it’s not just how thick it is, it’s also how the yarn is spun.  If you’ve ever tried spinning yourself, you’ll understand the importance of plies and the myriad ways they can be put together to affect a yarn’s look and behaviour.  That impact also extends to the way the yarn absorbs water and, therefore, dye.

Have a look at these two swatches dyed in the colourway “Fathoms Down” on Celeste and Lyra.  Both are 100% superwash merino and relatively similar weights (Celeste is fingering, Lyra is sport) but their construction is decidedly different.  Celeste is a simple 3-ply: three thin strands twisted together to form one yarn.  Whereas Lyra is a cabled 8-ply: eight thin strands twisted first in pairs and then four of those pairs are twisted together in the opposite direction to form a yarn is incredibly round and gives great stitch definition.

Now in both yarns, that first set of strands (three for Celeste and eight for Lyra) are about the same thickness and, all other things being equal, they’d absorb the dye in a similar fashion.  But they way they are then twisted together — the way the yarn is constructed — is what makes the difference to how the final colour looks.  Even though the first plies are no thicker, the twisting and twisting again means it’s much harder for the dyewater to soak into Lyra.  It absorbs more slowly and the dye is free to float about in the dyebath for longer.

The result is a decidedly different effect on the two yarns, and it can be especially noticeable in variegated colourways.  See how the colours on the “Fathoms Down” Lyra swatch look more blended?  And in Celeste, they look sharper and more distinct?  That’s because the dye was able to aborb into the Celeste quickly and stuck in that spot, instead of swirling around in the dyebath and soaking in slowly.  In the “Molten Cool,” the difference is really striking — the colours hit Celeste and just didn’t budge!  On Lyra, they are much more blended.

What Does this Mean to You?

Do you need to worry about this?  Not at all — it’s part of the nature of hand-dyed yarn and, to me, part of its beauty.  As long as you understand and are comfortable with the differences when you plan your projects, it’ll be smooth sailing.  Most knitters and crocheters I meet have no idea how these three factors affect the yarn they buy.  Now that you do, you’re ahead of the game!

Is this all there is to it?  Not by a long shot!  There are a ton of different outside factors that impact the way dye adheres to yarn and, as I said, I could totally geek out about this and go on for ever and ever!  But I’ll spare you that and leave you instead with some other exciting news…

Shop Update Today at Noon!

I realised last week that Lucina has been selling pretty quickly lately, so we’ve been busy dyeing up plenty more to go into a shop update today at noon.  If you’ve never knit with Lucina before, you’re in for a treat because, while the sparkle is beautiful to look at (see it in the photo above?), it’s a surprisingly subtle and soft yarn.  You’ll definitely want to try it to create something really special.  So set a reminder on your phone now for noon (eastern) to get in on the fun!

Plus a Limited Edition Colourway

I just couldn’t resist dyeing a special colourway for this shop update! It’s called Rock Pool, it’s absolutely stunning, and there are only a few skeins available so you’ll want to click over right at noon to check it out!

(No spoilers! This is a black & white image)

A Newsletter for Getting Back to Work

A Newsletter for Getting Back to Work

The Fourth of July is such an awesome holiday: family get-togethers, wonderful weather, hamburgers, corn on the cob, and fireworks.  Well, the food and fireworks are practically a given but we always have to just hope for the wonderful weather, right?  Here in Pittsburgh, we lucked out yesterday — the sun shone all day, the temperature was fantastic, and the humidity (believe it or not) was low and comfortable.  Honestly, I don’t think it could have been a nicer day.

Which makes coming back to reality this morning all the harder, right?  If you’re sitting at a desk right now or heading out to an office, I know how tough that is after all the fun of a holiday weekend.  So this week I’ve really tried to put together some special stuff to ease you back into real life in a gentler, more fiber-rich kind of way.  There’s some great yarny tips and tutorials, a few extras just for fun, and three pattern picks I’m super excited about (guess which is my favourite!).

Ok, ready to get started?  Here we go…

Newsletter

Even though everyone seems to think of knitting and crochet as cold weather activities, I find I knit more during the summer than any other time of year.  There’s something about sitting in the dying sunlight on a summer’s evening that makes me want to just grab my needles and relax.  But summer brings a lot of extra chores and, while the world may view a lawn-mowing robot as a frivolous luxury, when you look at it in terms of extra time gained to knit and crochet….  well, maybe it becomes something of a summertime necessity?  Regardless, I have to admit I am highly intrigued by Viking’s iMow.  Even the video is strangely hypnotic.

In our Combining Yarns KCAL, a lot of folks are making shawls and I know that, at shows, I get asked a lot about the yardage required for different types of shawls.  So I know this article from Laura Aylor about using Excel to estimate shawl yardages will be a handy resource.  Calculations create cast-on confidence, yes?

One of the strangest textile-related things I came across all week (perhaps all my life?) is this item in the Part-Time Genius podcast, discussing a study that found that rats dressed in polyester trousers lost their sex drive in statistically greater numbers than rats dressed in cotton or wool trousers.  Yes, you read that right.  And yes, somebody studied this.  But the thing that jumped out at me?  There’s real value in working with natural fibers.  And that disdain you have for manmade fibers like acrylic?  It might be a good thing for more reasons that we realised!

If you’ve never knit intarsia, it’s something to add to your repetoire.  If you have but you hated the way the yarn gaped or looked messy at the join, you’ll want to read YarnSub’s excellent tutorial on the Twist-and-Weave technique for colour changes.  The difference in how the finished knitting looks is remarkable!

Shop Update: This Friday July 7

I realised last week that Lucina has been selling pretty quickly lately, so we’ve been busy dyeing up plenty more to go into a shop update this Friday at noon.  If you’ve never knit with Lucina before, you’re in for a treat because, while the sparkle is beautiful to look at (see it in the photo above?), it’s a surprisingly subtle and soft yarn.  You’ll definitely want to try it to create something really special.  Watch your inbox on Friday for a reminder or set an alarm on your phone now for Friday, July 7 at noon (eastern) to get in on the fun!

The SpaceMonster Club is Open to Subscriptions

The SpaceMonster Club has been closed for six long months but it opened to new subscribers on Friday and, wow, did the response blow me away!  So many new members jumped on the chance to get into the club that, just five days later, there are only a few spaces left.  I am so thrilled to welcome all the new members and can’t wait to get to know you all.  Please be sure to come over to Ravelry and introduce yourself!

And if you’d like to get one of those last few spaces, click here for all the details.  It’s going to be a great season and we’d love to have you join us!

Combining Yarns KCAL: What Are You Discovering?

It’s hard to believe we are now halfway through our 3rd week of the Combining Yarns KCAL and the projects are starting to look amazing!  And now that everyone has been working with two (or more!) different yarns in one project, I’m wondering: what has surprised you about the way your yarns are working together?  If you’re working with Maia and Celeste, what have you discovered about them that you weren’t expecting? Are they combining the way you thought they would? Have they surprised you in any way? Come over to Ravelry and share with us what you’ve discovered as you’ve worked on your project.

Rift by Laura Aylor

If you are looking for a pattern for your SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins (or even if you’re not), may I introduce you to Rift?  I can see this being worked so many different ways:

  • with Ombre Minis as the small accent stripes and a neutral for the larger panels in between
  • with Ombre Minis for the larger panels and a single contrasting colour for the accent stripes
  • with a few wildly variegated Multicolour Minis as the accent stripes (a great way to use variegated yarn without it having a chance to pool!)

And, if you’re still thinking of ideas for our Combining Yarns KCAL, this is an amazing choice!  Alternate Maia and Celeste in a single colour in the larger panels so they go matte-sheen-matte-sheen, and then choose a SpaceCadet Mini-Skein from your stash in a contrasting colour for the accents stripes.

Plus, Rift is 25% off today only — go grab it quick!

 

Granite Lake Shawl by Laura Cunitz

Looking for something with yet more colour options?  I love the Granite Lake Shawl for blasting through your stash of Mini-Skeins.  It uses four colours to create a simple yet interesting textured motif that flows across the colour blocks.  Choose bold contrasting hues like the sample here, or ones that blend into each other more.  Either way, the thin stripe between each colour block defines the space so the results will be stunning!

 

House Dressing by Chantal Belisle

And here’s a design that just fills me with joy!  First, because it was Chantal’s wedding dress (and the pictures from her wedding day are just adorable) and, second, because the dress itself is nothing short of fabulous.  It’s the depictions of the houses and buildings of Reykjavík, Iceland, that first caught my eye.  But look a little more closely and see the detailed shaping around the bodice and the lovely draping of the neckline.  Then imagine this dress knit in a dark shade of SpaceCadet Lucina (say, Dark Skies or Gobsmack), so the subtle sparkle in the yarn creates the effect of a starry night sky above the city.  Gorgeous!

 

Finally, a Personal Request from Me to You

You know I love putting these newsletters together for you — gathering all the news through the week, finding great patterns, thinking of all the things I want to share with you — and I get such joy from knowing you can relax and take your time as you read through it all.  And I’d really love to share all this fun with even more people so, if you know a knitter or crocheter who would enjoy this newsletter as much as you and I do, please invite them to join our mailing list.  It’s easy:

Thank you so much — I really appreciate it!

Ok, and with that, I think I’d better get off to work myself.  Today’s to-do list includes some photography, a bunch of order packing (woot! goodies on the way!), and a couple of new colourways to try out that I can’t wait to dye.  Even though we’re all back at work, it’s good to have exciting things to look forward to.  I hope you’ve got a few of those tucked into your day as well.  So until next time, all my best!

What I Love Most About Dyeing

What I Love Most About Dyeing

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I love about dyeing.  When I first started seven years ago, it was all about the adventure.  Mixing a riot of colours in the dyepot was wonderful fun and seeing their results on the yarn was even better.  Over time, I incorporated tonals and semi-solids to give SpaceCadet’s customers more choice and better options for complicated and lacey designs.  They’re  repeatable and realiable, and give a great palette for lots of beautiful patterns.

But deep in my soul, what I really love is creating amazing, unpredictable, adventurous colourways that fill my heart with excitement as I pull the yarn out of the dyepots.   You’ll find them in our One-of-a-Kinds, in our Limited Editions, and most of all, in our club yarns.  It’s there that I get to let my creativity run wild — but even better, because I know I’m dyeing for a community of friends.  As I put together the colours, I’m thinking of the club members I’ve gotten to know over the years, either at shows or through email or even through the notes and cards that drop through our letterbox.  Our clubs are really personal for me — and dyeing for our club members is all the more fun because of it!

And so I’ve been looking forward to today for sometime — it’s SpaceMonster Club opening day!  We give exisitng members early bird access and their renewals have been flooding in, so there are fewer spaces available but I’m thrilled to open the club new members today.  It’s always so exciting to have new members to meet and create those wonderful colourways for!  Will you be one of them?

The SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club, from SpaceCadet

Because we know you love big smooshy yarns, doncha?

There is nothing in the whole world like a skein of lovely, smooshy, thick yarn to make you want to pick it up, squish it… dive right into it! Big, bulky yarns call out to you, beg you to pick them up and press them against your cheek. And when you cast on, they always work up so fast! Big yarns are gorgeous.

All images shown here are of past colourways and are for illustrative purposes only. Yarns, colouways, and gifts for new subscriptions will be different (but still awesome!).

 

Ready to join us?

Join the SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club! 75Click Here to grab a 12 Month Subscription to the SpaceMonsters MegaYarn ClubClick Here to grab a 6 Month Subscription to the SpaceMonsters MegaYarn Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very Important: if you are giving a subscription as a gift, please remember to include the recipient’s postal and email addresses in the notes when you check out. We gotta have that to send the recipient their parcels!

Here’s what you’re getting…

…big smooshy yarns, gorgeous new colourways
that no one else can get, and seriously fab gifts!

As a member of the SpaceMonsters Mega Club, you receive:

  • a fantastic parcel delivered to their door every other month, containing a beautiful skein of SpaceCadet® yarn in worsted or bulky weight, hand-dyed in an exclusive colourway* created to bring out the best in thicker yarns.
  • The SpaceCadet’s Log exploring the inspiration for each colourway.
  • A fantastic SpaceMonsters gift tucked into every third parcel. We’re known for the great gifts we include in our club parcels — and for this club, we’re seriously upping the fab. You’re going love it!
*guaranteed not to be offered on the SpaceCadet® website for at least 6 months

All images shown here are of past colourways and are for illustrative purposes only. Yarns, colouways, and gifts for new subscriptions will be different (but still awesome!).

But bigger yarns mean bigger projects, right?

Don’t you worry — in this club, you can buy extra skeins! For a whole month after you receive your parcel, you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to order more skeins custom-dyed in the latest club colourway. You’ll receive an email with all the details about a week after your parcel goes out — and then all you have to do is pick your project!

All images shown here are of past colourways and are for illustrative purposes only. Yarns, colouways, and gifts for new subscriptions will be different (but still awesome!).

And the price is pretty exciting too!
  • a 6 month subscription (3 parcels) is only $99
  • a 12 month subscription (6 parcels) is just $194
  • Plus, you can choose a double subscription for two skeins in each parcel, or a triple for three, giving you the option to cast on your project as soon as you open the box!

Ready? Let’s do this!

Join the SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club! 75Click Here to grab a 12 Month Subscription to the SpaceMonsters MegaYarn ClubClick Here to grab a 6 Month Subscription to the SpaceMonsters MegaYarn Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very Important: if you are giving a subscription as a gift, please remember to include the recipient’s postal and email addresses in the notes when you check out. We gotta have that to send the recipient their parcels!


Six month subscriptions include 3 parcels; twelve month subscriptions include 6 parcels. Parcels will be sent out in early February, April, June, August, October, and December. Shipping within the United States is included in the price; extra charges apply for shipping outside the US. Normal subscription openings/renewals will be available in June and December of each year. All club members are automatically subscribed to the club mailing list to receive email notification of club updates, special offers for extra skeins, and similar stuff. We never, ever sell or share your email with anyone. Because of the nature of the club set-up, we can accept returns or exchanges of club shipments for faulty yarns only. By joining the club, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. All images shown here are of past colourways and are for illustrative purposes only. Yarns, colouways, and gifts for new subscriptions will be different (but still awesome!). Any other questions? We’re here to help! missioncontrol@spacecadetyarn.com

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Fair Isle for Summer, SpaceMonster Club Opens

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Fair Isle for Summer, SpaceMonster Club Opens

I don’t know about you but, after a miserably hot couple of weeks, the weather in Pittsburgh has turned perfect.  I found myself starting my mornings with coffee on the front porch, a few minutes of knitting, and just watching the world wake up.  Today is no exception — but with the added bonus of a newsletter packed with fiber-arts news!  I’ve a had lot of fun putting it together so, if you’re ready to join me, let’s dive in…

Newsletter

image ©Purl and Loop, used with permission

Weaving seems to be growing in popularity by the day (at my trunk show just this weekend, I was chatting with some customers about how great it is for stash-busting) so, if you’re a knitter or crocheter who’s thinking of taking a stab at it, you might useful this article on a Weaver’s Guide to Wool Yarn.  Yep, you can use your knitting stash, but it’s good to know how weaving yarns differ and why.

One of the things I love most about knitting is how architectural it is (if you’re not following me, just turn a heel on a pair of socks) but for three-dimensionality, I think crochet has knitting beat hands down, and (warning: mature content, not safe for work) this design uses that particular element to hilarious effect.  I may just have spat my tea across my keyboard when I clicked the link.

Did you see my blog post the other week on Six (Good) Reasons to Swatch Besides Getting Gauge?  Well, that’s all well and good but we both know that getting gauge the best reason to swatch but it’s about much more than just hitting the numbers listed on the pattern.  In this article from Deb Gerish of Love of Knitting magazine, we learn advanced gauge techniques, including some lazy tricks for resizing your project.  Definitely worth adding to your repertoire!

Speaking of weaving, did you see the adorable gift (above) that our SpaceMonster Club members got in their latest parcels?  I was so excited to send them out!  It’s Purl & Loop’s Wee Weaver, perfect for stash-busting and customised with our adorable SpaceMonster’s grinning face.  I can’t wait to see what everyone makes with them!

The SpaceMonster Club Opens this Friday!

Last week, we sent out what I think is one of the most beautiful colourways I’ve ever dyed for the SpaceMonsters.  It was inspired by the deep, cool green of the leaves on the peony plants in my garden.  I absolutely love the way it came out!  And I also took inspiration from the peony blooms themselves for the companion colourway.  When I looked closely at the flowers, the layers of colour were just incredible, and I wanted to capture that range of pinks in this yarn.

The club has been closed for six months…  but it opens to new subscriptions this Friday!  The sign-up period is limited, so get on the club’s list to get an early-bird and the chance to join before anyone else.  Just click here to get your name on the list —  and then watch for an email later this week with instructions on how to get your spot!

Shop Update: July 7

While we were packing for a trunk show this weekend, I realised that Lucina — our wonderful (and wonderfully soft) sparkle yarn — has been selling pretty quickly.  Time to dye some more and do a shop update!  And maybe I’ll get the chance to play in the studio and create a special colourway.  The update will be next Friday, July 7 at noon (eastern).  Set a reminder on your phone and look for more info next week!

The Combining Yarns KAL is Underway!

Cast On Day was Friday and it’s been awesome to see everyone’s projects get underway!  Click here to see some of the awesomeness in action, or check out the hashtag #spacecadetcombingingyarnskal on Instagram.  My own Cast On Day did not go to plan (the whole day turned out be about a rather nasty stomach bug, someone in my family who wasn’t fast enough, and then hours of bleaching every surface between the bed and the bathroom, and five, yes five, loads of laundry) so I am casting on this week instead.  If you’re a little behind too, don’t feel bad — you can come and sit over in the corner with me!

Virgil by Caitlin Hunter

I usually associate Fair Isle yokes with cosy winter sweaters, so I was just smitten when I spotted this cap-sleeve, fingering weight Fair Isle tee that’s got all the beautiful colourwork I love but is sweet and light enough for warmer weather.  Plus the colourwork is repeated again at the waist.  It’s a beautiful design and, as soon as I saw it, I thought of our Mini-Skeins.  They’re all fingering weight and give you the chance to work your Fair Isle in a striking ombre fade.  And July’s colours?  So summer.

How Long Is A Piece Of String? by Handmade by SMINÉ

I’m an absolute sucker for summer shawls, and this one is perfect for both our Combining Yarns KAL and for our Mini-Skeins.  I love the lace edging and the eyelet stripes, perfect offset to the serene expanses of stockinette.  Worked in a neutral with ombre stripes, it’d be stunning.  Or work the ombre across the stockinette with a coordinating neutral for the stripes.  Either way, it makes for a colourful summer!

Reyna by Noora Laivola

Designed especially to make the most of variegated yarns, this shawl moves colour about in a way that breaks up any tendencies toward pooling or flashing and, instead, creates a mix of textures that bring out the best in full-of-colour yarns.  Is there a skein lurking in your stash that you’ve never found the right pattern for?  Reyna might be it!

images © the respective designers, used with permission

Well, I’ve got a busy day ahead of me — if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that my computer updated itself yesterday and suddenly I couldn’t print the postage labels for all the parcels that were supposed to out that day (that’s some of them, above).  After some help from an IT-pro friend, we’re up and running again, and it’s time to get them all in the post at last!   I hope you have an exciting day planned too, with a few key breaks to knit or crochet — always makes a day go better.  Until next time, all my best.