How SpaceCadet Meetings aren’t Your Average Team Meetings

How SpaceCadet Meetings aren’t Your Average Team Meetings

Because the members of the SpaceCadet crew have a lot of freedom to work whatever hours suit each of us, we can often go for days (or sometimes weeks) without actually being in the studio at the same time.  So we have a set meeting at the beginning of the month so that we can all come together and go over everything we all need to know for the upcoming weeks.  It keeps us all on the same page, while being part of the framework that allows us to work the kind of crazy schedules that we all need (did you read the post where I talked about how SpaceCadet is set up to support women?).

The meetings usually last about two hours and we cover a lot of ground.  The most important thing to me is getting the chance to hear what my team needs, and how I can make it easier for them to get their work done.  Then I tell them all about the fantastic/crazy ideas I’ve had and all the new stuff I want us to do…   aaaaand the more pragmatic members of the team start working through the pesky details that I tend to gloss right over.  It’s good to have that mix of creative and practical, and the meetings are essential for bringing the two sides together.

Often, there are snacks.  Sometimes there are mimosas.  Those are kind of a necessity for the heavier planning meetings — getting too far into those pesky details makes me start to twitch.  But no matter what we’re covering, or how heavy it might get, it’s always about yarn.  Lovely, smooshy, delicious yarn.  And that makes all the difference in the world.

At our meeting last week, we were going over lots of the ordinary things that keep a business going: schedules, stock levels, packing for upcoming shows…  that sort of thing.  As we wrapped up one item, I looked down my agenda list to see what was up next.

“Ok,” I announced, “the next thing is: rainbows.”  I paused, hearing my own words echo for a moment in my head and felt a little smile tug at the corners of my mouth.  The actual agenda item was about the order in which we display our colourways at shows.  We do them in rainbow order, you see, but I’ve been thinking of  changing that up a bit and had hoped to get the team’s ideas.  It was a legitimate agenda point, one with a real business need behind it…   but like a pre-teen girl doodling in school, what I’d written in my meeting notes was simply “rainbows.”

I looked up at the team, who were looking back at me slightly perplexed.  “Do you realise,” I asked them, grinning broadly now, “that we work in a business where one of our actual agenda items is rainbows?!?  We’re having a meeting and we’re going to discuss rainbows?!?”

“I love my job,” one of them said.

Yep, so do I.

 


I’m so excited to announce that today is the day…
The SpaceCadet’s InterStellar Yarn Alliance is open for subscriptions!

Exploring great new colourways is tons of fun… and even better when you do it with friends!

The InterStellar Yarn Alliance is your a chance to e into amazing exclusive SpaceCadet colourways and share it with a fabulous community of folks who are just as excited as you are!

Subscriptions available from March 13 – 26 ONLY

Click below:

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!

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So, what do you get when you join?

…beautiful yarns, colourways you might never have dared try but suddenly realise you love, and some seriously fabulous gifts!

As a member of the InterStellar Yarn Alliance, you’ll receive a fabulous parcel delivered to their door every other month, containing:

  • SpaceCadet ® yarn (light to medium weight) in an exclusive Yarn Alliance colourway (guaranteed not to be offered on the SpaceCadet® website for at least 6 months)
  • A great Yarn Alliance gift tucked into every parcel!
  • The SpaceCadet’s Log exploring the inspiration for each colourway.
  • The InterStellar Yarn Alliance newsletter with periodic special offers exclusively for members.
  • A 15% off coupon every six months
  • And your entry to an awesome community of club members who share pattern ideas, cheer you on, and make our activities so much fun!

Plus Get a Coordinating Colourway!

Colours this gorgeous deserve companions, don’t you think? So each month, you have the opportunity to get a second colourway that we design to coordinate beautifully with the first, so you can create an even more amazing project. Usually a semi-solid or a gently variegated, you can use it to create stripes, a contrasting panel, or to go where-ever your creativity takes you!

And Sweater Quantities!

One gorgeous skein just isn’t enough? You also 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!

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Aaaand Great Goodies!

We have so much fun coming up with an awesome Yarn Alliance gift to pop into every parcel. Each one features our adorable SpaceCadet and is totally collectable. Which one will be your favourite?

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A 6 month subscription (3 parcels) starts at $145
and a 12 month subscription (6 parcels) starts at $249

Ready to join us? C’mon — let’s do this!
Click below to choose your subscription:

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!

Check Out our Gorgeous Colourways from Previous Parcels…

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!

Important Details and Policies: Six month subscriptions include 3 parcels; twelve month subscriptions include 6 parcels. Parcels will be sent out in early January, March, May, July, September, and November. Subscription openings will be available in March and September. Shipping within the United States is included in the price; extra charges apply for shipping outside the US. Normal subscription openings for the InterStellar Yarn Alliance are two weeks only in March and September of each year. Cancellation policy: Because we often purchase supplies for all the parcels immediately after the subscription period ends, refunds are generally not available. However, if there are extenuating circumstances, please contact us as soon as possible and we will try to do what we can. By purchasing a subscription, you acknowledge and agree to these policies.  All images shown here are of past colourways and are for illustrative purposes only. Yarns, colourways, and gifts for new subscriptions will be different (but still awesome!).

Any questions? We’re always happy to help! Just email us at missioncontrol (at) spacecadetyarn (dot) com.

The SpaceCadet Newsletter: How to Cure Splitting Yarns, & Some Lovely Interchangeables

The SpaceCadet Newsletter: How to Cure Splitting Yarns, & Some Lovely Interchangeables

I know I mentioned it in my recent blog post but so many people at Stitches came up to say how much they love reading this newsletter that I’m writing this one on something of a high!  My goal has always been to give you something fun and filled with yarny goodness, to relax with over a cup of coffee or tea and with your project near to hand.  And when I mentioned that, almost everyone nodded in agreement that that’s exactly what they do.  I am thrilled!

And excited to bring you the next installment.  So quick, go put the kettle on, grab your WIP, and let’s dive in!

 

 

A Round-Up of News from the Worlds of Knitting, Crocheting, Spinning, and Beyond…

  • If you’ve ever felt like a yarn was fighting you every step of the way — splitting, losing twist, driving you nuts — then these two articles from Wendy at YarnSub are just what you need.  First, read this one on yarn twist and how your knitting style affects it, and then move onto this one about how to add twist to splitty yarns.

 

  • In the category of “things that just make me happy”:  these two adorable ink and watercolour illustrations, one called “My Stash, Explained” and the other titled “What’s in the Knitter’s Bag?”  When I finally get my own craft room (it will happen!), I think these may be the first thing to go up on the walls!

 

  • Did you see this article about how knitting teachers are paid at Michael’s?  I’m thrilled that the fiber arts are growing, but it’s important to foster a community that values and supports the skills we share.  An interesting read.

 

  • Walking around Stitches, I came across Indian Lake Artisans’ booth and chatted with Mark for awhile.  We exchanged stories of parenting disasters (mine won), discussed how much our feet ached (concrete floors are brutal!),  and then he showed me their new interchangeable needle sets.  I was impressed!  I had time to knit on them for only a few minutes but the join is smooth, the tips are designed to swivel without untwisting from the cable(!), and the hexagonal needles felt good in my hand.  If you’re looking for interchangeables, this is a set worth considering!

 

 

 

The Yarn Alliance Opens on Monday!

Being part of the Yarn Alliance club is all about coming on a colour exploration — in gorgeous yarns dyed in exclusive colourways (that you can’t get enough of!), 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 the club mailing 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 nab yours before anyone else!

In the meantime, please feel free to drool a little over last season’s yarns..

SpaceCadet Spring Show Schedule

In the meantime, we’re in the middle of our spring show season. Come see (and pet and smoosh) all the SpaceCadet yarn you love — in person! Here’s what’s coming up:

Homespun Yarn Party
Date: March 19
Savage MD

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
March 24-26
Pittsburgh PA

 

 

 

Yeseria Shawl by Katy H. Carroll

I got to see the lovely Katy Carroll at Stitches the other week and swooned over this shawl.  I love the generous triangular shape (seriously, click the link — it’s like a cape) but what caught my eye most was the way she’s included a non-lacy section between the lace repeats.  It’s such a simple thing that a lot of people would never have thought to do but the contrast sets the lace panels off perfectly.  Named for the Moorish style of plaster carving found in Spain and Northern Africa, “Yeseria” can be knit in three skeins of SpaceCadet Lyra (sport).

Burly Cable Cowl by Barbara Benson

Men’s knits can be sometimes disappointingly plain, which is why this beautiful cowl caught my eye.  Barbara Benson wanted a cable to run around the top of this cowl, but didn’t want to do any grafting.  Her clever solution? Decorative buttons that tack down the flap of the cable band and make it look like you did a bunch of fancy work but without making the pattern too fussy.

Teagan the Teacup by Stacey Trock

And this one….  just purely because it cracks me up.  I drink a lot of tea.  A lot.  When I first moved to Pittsburgh from the UK, a new friend asked me, do the British really drink as much tea as they do in the Harry Potter books?  I tallied up my day: a cuppa when I first wake up, one as soon as I get to work, another mid-morning, another right before lunch and then again after lunch…  it went on and on and eventually came to around ten cups of tea a day.  So I couldn’t help but grin when I saw this adorable crocheted cuppa.  February’s pattern for the Ami Club, crocheting it would be a great way to…  well, to work up a thirst!

 

 

I’m noticing a trend in the show scene that I’m sure you’re noticing too: more and more shows are beginning to combine a yarn-based crafts (knitting/crochet/spinning) with a sewing-based crafts (quilting/sewing). I’m seeing it everywhere from the biggest shows such as Stitches United and the new Stitches Pasadena show, down to regional shows like Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet.

On the one hand, it’s an exciting development (I don’t know that I’ve ever found a craft I didn’t want to at least try!). On the other hand, I’m not completely convinced these two make the most natural bedfellows.

How do you feel about the trend for combining yarn shows with sewing shows?

Click the link and share your thoughts!

 

 

 You know that awful sinking feeling when something has gone terribly wrong and there’s nothing you can do to fix it?  Yep, I got it as we were setting up our booth at Stitches.  Read the story of how half our yarn went missing just a few hours before the show started!

Well, I’ve got a busy day of dyeing ahead of me.  Today, we’re creating some wonderful new colourways to welcome spring (it is coming, right?).  I hope you have a wonderful day planned too!

Until next time, all the best.

When Half our Yarn Disappeared at Stitches West!

When Half our Yarn Disappeared at Stitches West!

We were at Stitches West last weekend and it was amazing: exciting, exhausting, educational, and a feast of fibery goodness.  With two massive convention center rooms packed with vendors, there was magic for any yarn lover.

Photo by Erik Drost / CC BY

If you’ve never been behind the scenes as a yarn show is being put together, it’s really quite remarkable.  At the start, it’s a just a huge empty space: concrete floors stretching in all directions and practically nothing else.  It’s hard to imagine how this will turn into a bustling, exciting yarn show.  But before you know it, the pipe-and-drape is going up to create the booths, the forklifts start zooming around carrying pallets, and vendors arrive and begin building their booths.

It’s a very tough, physical day — lots of lifting and dragging and hoisting and balancing — but the excitement in the air makes the work go quickly.  The vendors are all in good spirits, looking forward to the show.  This year at Stitches, we even had the help of a Jamie, a long-time customer who lives near Santa Clara and offered an extra pair of hands.  It was lovely to have her help and even lovelier to get to a face to a name!

Now the thing I find hardest about set-up day is the confusion.  Until the booth starts to take shape, it feels like everything is everywhere — and it is.  Before we do anything, we have to lay our flooring down, which means emptying our pallet but without filling our booth space up, so we end up dragging all our stuff out into the aisle while we get the floor in place.  Then we move everything back into the booth so the other vendors can get by, and start building the displays.

As we started hanging the yarn on the Stitches displays, Jade said, “Umm…  Stephanie, I can’t find the Lucina.”  I wasn’t worried — it was sure to turn up, hidden under another bag somewhere.  But after a few minutes, she said she couldn’t find some of the Maia either…  and then some other yarn was missing… and then some more.  We stopped what we were doing and counted bags of yarn.  There were only five bags.  And we had originally packed eight.

These are big bags — they hold several hundred skeins apiece.  Where on earth could they have gone?  We tore the booth apart but they weren’t anywhere, and I began to think of the fateful trip of Ol’ Yeller, the truck that broke down on the way to way to Stitches, and how Amy and Scott had had to unload everyone’s yarn on the side of the road.  With a sinking feeling, I began to wonder if some of our yarn might have been left behind.

I texted the team in Pittsburgh: had we really packed eight bags?  Yes, we had, so that was almost half our yarn missing!  I looked at the booth displays we’d just put up and my stomach knotted…  we didn’t have enough skeins left to fill them.  And what was I going to say to Amy and Scott?  It wasn’t their fault at all but they were in the booth right next door and they’d see we were missing a ton of yarn.  What could I say to them?!?

My mind raced for solutions.  What if I phone Jill and ask her quickly pack more yarn and…  Wait! We’re in California. Dang it! That won’t work.  Ok, what if I ask our neighbours if they can loan us some…  oh no, hold on, it’s our actual yarn that’s missing, not part of our display.  What if we…  Aughhhh…  there’s no answer.  We’re just scuppered.

For thirty minutes, we carried on building the booth as my heart sat in my stomach.  I didn’t have the heart to stop the work but I didn’t know what the solution could possibly be.  We had two big, beautiful booth spaces and they were going to look so half-empty and sad.  All my enthusiasm for the show had drained away.

After a while, Jade disappeared to get a drink and, when she came back, she had a funny smile on her face.  “Soooooo…” she started, drawing the word out for effect, “do you remember when we were putting the flooring down and we moved three bags of yarn into our neighbour’s booth to get them out of the way…?”

When we WHAT?!?  Oh yeah!  We did!  I dashed out of the booth and around the corner and…  there they were!  Just sitting there minding their own business along the edge of our neighbour’s booth.  I felt all the blood rush back into my body.  We had our yarn!!!

The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind of yarn and knitters and crocheters and pure excitement — but can I tell you what stood out to me the most?  The sheer number of customers who came up to introduce themselves and tell me how they know us.  We had club members (oh! how lovely it is to get to meet them in person!), and newsletter subscribers (so many people said, “I love reading your newsletter!” that I must have spent the whole weekend blushing) and even customers from last year who came back to show us what they made with their yarn.  Make no mistake, doing shows is really hard work and long hours, but getting to meet and interact with the people in our SpaceCadet community?  Makes everything totally worth it!

On Sunday, the show closed at 4pm, and we began to break down the booth and pack it all back up for the trip home.  Three hours after the last customer said goodbye, there was hardly a trace of the yarny wonderland that had been there all weekend.  Our pallets were picked up to go on the truck, Jade and I took one last look to make sure nothing had been left, and then we headed straight to the airport to catch the red-eye and start the long journey home.  Twenty-one hours after our day started on Sunday morning, I finally walked through my own front door.  And then I think I slept for two days straight!

(But Pittsburgh folks: you’ll love the view we had as we flew in)

(Speaking of Pittsburgh folks, can I just take a moment to thank all of you who stopped by and said hi to Jill and Sara as they did Indie Knit & Spin that same weekend — their first show on their own?  I was a little worried but you guys made the show such a success that they came back with huge grins on their faces.  Thank you so much for being so encouraging!)

The Yarn Alliance Opens in One Week!

It really is all about community — and the best community is being part of one of our clubs!  Everything feels more personal: the dyeing, the choosing the yarn and gift, even writing the dyer’s notes (the SpaceCadet’s Log!) in a real connection between me and you, and between all the club members.  The Yarn Alliance is available for subscriptions only twice a year — and I’m so excited that it opens again next week!

Want first dibs?

We always give early access to folks on the club mailing list, 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 nab yours before anyone else!

How the Trip to Stitches West Went Wrong!

How the Trip to Stitches West Went Wrong!

The Saga of Ol’ Yeller

Sometimes the stuff that is the hardest work is the most exciting, right?  We packed up the truck for Stitches West on Friday and it was hard work — hard and cold — but pure excitement can keep you energised and keep you warm, and it was so exciting to know that all our lovely SpaceCadet yarn was about to start its journey to California!

The whole SpaceCadet booth, all packed and sealed up tight!

And what a start it was!  There are eight awesome east coast vendors all making this journey to Stitches together: SpaceCadet, Ross Farm Fibers, Destination Yarn, Artisanal Yarn, ShirstyCat Designs, Yarn Culture, Dragonfly Fibers, and Neighborhood Fiber Co.  On Friday, we all met up and loaded our pallets onto the truck…

Our second pallet was the last to be loaded and…  it didn’t fit!  WHAT?!?  It turns out that although the pallets were the right size to fit the truck, everyone’s yarn had expanded over the edge of the pallets just a little bit.  And by the time you add an inch or two onto every pallet, there wasn’t enough room for the last one.  So, my assistant Jade and I hopped up onto the lift gate and broke open our carefully constructed pallet-load, and squeezed everything willy-nilly into the last little space on the truck.  …And it fit!

Trying trying trying to our last pallet on the truck

We all took a moment to stand in awe at the sheer amount of gorgeous yarn in that truck.  And then we all waved goodbye to our drivers, Amy and Scott of Ross Farm Fibers, and went home exhausted.  And at about 10pm, I got this message:
“Hey! Guess what? The truck died on the highway 30 miles west of Columbus! We get to meet NEW FRIENDS! They’re sending their local tech guy to troubleshoot it in 45 minutes. We are 18 mins from our hotel.”
It had been such a long day and now this…  oh, I felt so bad for them!

Amy and Scott had nicknamed the truck “Ol’ Yeller” and, sadly, it lived up to its name: the tech guy decided it had to be put down.  Or at least taken away and replaced, meaning everything we’d loaded had to be taken off the truck right there in the cold and reloaded onto a new vehicle.  When I told my husband, he said, “Well, at least everything is neatly palletised so nothing will get lost.”  I thought of our second pallet and cringed.  I’m sure it’s all ok, I’m sure it’s all ok, I’m sure it’s all ok…

RIP Ol’ Yeller!

The next morning, Amy and Scott were back on the road.  The new truck was named “Goldietrucks” and they were soon passing through Illinois… and then Missouri… and Oklahoma… and onto Amarillo.  Just think of all those knitters and crocheters the truck has been passing on its way, and they have no idea all the smooshy goodness that is flying past them with such determination to make it to Santa Clara!

Follow the Yarn Across America!

You can follow the yarn truck on Instagram as it makes its way across the country, using the hashtag #StitchesWestorBust (and when you do, please keep your fingers crossed that it’s smooth sailing from here on out).

And if you are in the northern California area, I so hope you will come and see all of us east coast dyers at Stitches West this weekend.  We’ve brought a ton of yarny goodness clear across the country for you!


Thurs Feb 23 to Sun Feb 26
Santa Clara Convention Center
Show Information: click here
Marketplace tickets: click here
Floor plan: click here
For classes: click here

The East Coast Dyers Coming to Stitches West:
SpaceCadet — Booths 906-908
Ross Farm Fiber — Booth 910
Destination Yarn — Booth 217
Artisanal Yarn — Booth 701
ShirstyCat Designs — Booth 1340
Yarn Culture — Booths 407-411
Dragonfly Fibers — Booths 706-710
Neighborhood Fiber Co. — Booths 506-508 & 605-607

Stitches West Show Exclusive Colourways!

Stitches is such a big show that we’ve dyed not just one but two show exclusive colourways!  One is fiery and warm, the other cool and sublime — and both of them are gorgeous!   We’ll be putting one out on Friday and the second on Saturday, and they’re sure to go fast so be sure to come to booth 906-908 as early as you can!

We’re Doing Two Shows Simultaneously!
Come see SpaceCadet at Indie Knit & Spin in Pittsburgh on Saturday Feb 25

When you have a series of great shows year after year, there’s always the possibility that, one year, they’ll be scheduled on the same weekend.  And this year it happened.  But when I told the SpaceCadet crew that Indie Knit & Spin, an awesome local show focused entirely on indie and handmade, and Stitches West were on the same weekend, they surprised me by proposing that we do both.

We’ve never done two shows simultaneously before.  It hadn’t even occurred to me!

But after sitting there gobsmacked for a moment, I suddenly realised that of course we could do both.  It would take a lot of planning, to be sure, but we really could do it!  And I love that the SpaceCadet team is so positive and up for adventure — even stuff that I haven’t thought of.  They’re such a great crew.

This is Where You Come In

So, while Jade and I are going to be working Stitches in California (with help from our friend Fatima), my assistants Jill (the one who answers all your emails) and Sara (the one who packs all your lovely parcels) will be doing Indie Knit and Spin.  This is the first show they’ve ever done on their own and, between you and me, I think they’re a little nervous.  I know they’re going to do a great job but if you are going to the show, please stop by and say hi to them.  Seeing friendly faces and chatting with customers is really what makes a show fun for us, so your coming by the booth will make them both feel so much more at ease.

Pittsburgh Indie Knit & Spin
Sat Feb 25, 10-4
Free Entry!
Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square
7604 Charleston Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Show Information: click here
For a map, click here

Show Exclusive for Indie Knit & Spin

This is a one-day show so there’s only one show exclusive but, oh!, it is a stunner!  It’s called Pretty Puddles and if you’ve ever seen all the colours in the puddles we post on Instagram, you’ll get an idea of how multifaceted and amazing it is.  I have no doubt it will fly, so be sure to stop by the booth early!

What I Really Want for Valentine’s Day

What I Really Want for Valentine’s Day

Every shop I went into this weekend is decked out for Valentine’s Day: there are hearts and roses and teddy bears and chocolates and on and on…  Can I tell you it feels a little silly to me?  It really does — I haven’t wanted much of any of this stuff since I was about fourteen years old.  …Ok, maybe the chocolate but not in that huge quantity, thank you very much.

For me, on Valentine’s Day, I don’t need anything big and showy.  In truth, it’s just about what really matters: the strength of the emotion and the yarn.

Valentine's Day Yarn: the SpaceCadet's Valentine's Day Mini-Skein Collections

The what?  The Valentine’s Day yarn, of course.  There’s always yarn on Valentine’s Day, right?  There should be yarn on Valentine’s Day!  I don’t see how anyone could possibly devise a holiday that’s about love and swooning and being swept off your feet and somehow not have yarn involved…  That doesn’t make any kind of sense!

So to celebrate Valentine’s Day the way it ought to be celebrated, we’ve put together three absolutely gorgeous Valentine’s Day Mini-Skein Collections.  They are sweet and bite-sized, the perfect way to a knitter or crocheter’s heart If you know someone who is might get muddled and give you a teddy bear with Mylar balloons, these Valentine’s Day Mini-Skein Collections are a super-easy way to put them on the right track!

(…Maybe just send the link to this page? Sometimes subtlety can be over-rated).

Valentine's Day Yarn: the SpaceCadet's Valentine's Day Mini-Skein Collections

And if Valentine’s Day fills your heart with anything but love, we created colourways to that have got you covered no matter how you feel about the holiday:

  • Love Is Forever: a romantic collections of pink, red, purple, and chocolate brown
  • Envy: a selection of jealous greens, yellows, golds, and browns
  • Bite Me!: a moody palette of  teals, blues, purples and earth-browns

 

Valentine's Day Yarn: the SpaceCadet's Valentine's Day Mini-Skein Collections

All The Details

Available in limited quantities and only until Feb 14th, but our last ordering day to ship for (domestic) Valentine’s Day delivery is Wed Feb 8th (before 5pm est), so click here to order straight away!

Each Valentine’s Day Mini-Skein Collection is comprised of four 20g (approx) mini-skeins in an assortment of SpaceCadet® fingering yarns in coordinating semi-solid and variegated colourways.  Each skein’s yardage depends on the type of yarn — click here for yarn and yardage details.  Each set’s colourways are one-of-a-kind and will differ slightly from those pictured here.

Valentine's Day Yarn: the SpaceCadet's Valentine's Day Mini-Skein Collections

 

 

 

Creating a World that Supports Women

Creating a World that Supports Women

The other day I saw a post on Instagram that said, “A business can be a prototype for the world you want to live in.”  And that sentence really stuck in my head.  We all know that businesses can be about making money, about filling a need or finding a niche, or doing some good in the world.  But about creating a prototype for how you want the world to work?  As I went through my day, that idea kept coming back to me – something about it felt very familiar.

We make some really beautitul puddles: Creating a World that Supports Women

Through this blog and social media, I get to share with you how I spend most of my days: creating amazing colourways and playing with yarn, taking beautiful photographs, making gorgeously colourful puddles on our dyeing tables(!), and writing messages to our customers all over the country and the world.  It’s an awesome way to make a living, and I’m so grateful to get to do it.

But there’s another part of SpaceCadet that I don’t often share — and maybe I should – something that’s incredibly important to me but, up until now, I hadn’t really thought would matter to anyone else.  That quote I saw on Instagram is exactly right: within this tiny company, I have been building the world I want to live in.  And that world is one where women are employed in a way that respects the realities of their lives and the unique demands they face.  Through SpaceCadet, I get to create a workplace that is flexible enough to meet their needs.

In truth, the differences don’t feel all that big to me.  Some of them stem from my experience of spending my whole working life in Britain: we get paid once a month instead of every two weeks (because that never made sense to me…  all our bills come once a month, so why not our pay?) and, when one of my assistants mentioned the possibility of having another baby, I told her without hesitating that I’d hold her job for a year.  It’s what I was used to and I knew I could make it work.

Laying out a year of Mini-Skeins: Creating a World that Supports Women

But the other changes are simply what work for us as team of women who are all mothers managing busy family and home lives.  Instead of having set hours, everything is based around getting the job done, which allows a lot of flexibility in where and when we do the work.  As much as possible, work can be done from home, and I’ve set things up so that we can easily track what we’ve completed — even if we get interrupted by small people fifteen times in the process!

And I’ve tried to build an enormous amount of flexibility into the time we spend at the studio, so we can adjust our schedules to our busy lives.  My assistants can come in and work the hours that suit them – whether that’s daytimes during school, evenings after dinner, or sometimes ridiculously early in the morning before anyone is awake.  And I try not to require anyone to work weekends (except for when we go to shows), but if weekends suit their schedules better, that’s fine by me too.  So long as everything gets done, I can make room for that kind of flexibility.

And then there are the curveballs that life throws – there’s nothing you can do about those!  People get sick, kids get sick(!), cars break down…  there’s always stuff like that.  But what makes me really happy is seeing that, because we’re already used to working in such a flexible way, we can adjust things without too much difficulty.  It’s awesome to watch my assistants come together to cover for one another (or me!) when one of us needs some time off.  They’ve even looked after each other’s children at home when one was so sick she just needed some time to sleep.  That kind of mutual support just blows me away!  And I think that has to be the best part of being able to set up a workplace like this: when it goes beyond just the job and creates a team that truly care about one another.

A team that really cares about one another: Creating a World that Supports Women

The world has seemed a very unsettling place in the last twelve months and it feels like we are all headed into uncharted territory.  But then that quote comes back to me and I realise that, as a business owner, I have the chance to shape a little part of the world into a good place to live, one that employs women with respect and support for the realities of their lives.  And then I am reminded that, more than all that, it’s you — when you choose to support a business like ours — that actually makes that possible.

And I am so grateful that it is possible.  Onwards.


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