The Beauty of Combining Yarns

The Beauty of Combining Yarns

“You’re so creative!”  How many times have you heard that when someone sees what you’ve knit or crocheted?  The thing is, it’s really true.  Whether you’ve just followed a pattern to the letter, or you’ve modified it a little, or you’ve designed something yourself from scratch, the fiber arts is that they push us all a little out of our comfort zones.  We all feel the urge to try a new technique, put together a bold colour combo, or work with an exotic new fiber, and we grow in our creativity when we do.

When we go to shows and I get the chance to help our customers choose yarns, there’s one creative challenge I’m always encouraging them to try: combining different yarns together in one project.  I don’t just mean different colours but different yarn bases — as long as the yarn weights work together, combining different bases can create stunning effects.  The members of our Mini-Skein Club know this: the yarns are always fingering weight but the parcels contain different bases, and we’ve designed them to work together.

Combining Yarns Made Easy

Now, I get it — most patterns use just one type of yarn and so we’re all trained to stick to one base for each project.  Branching out and combining two different yarn types can be a little intimidating so let me help you out with a combination that works beautifully and creates a stunning result: Maia and Celeste.

First, let’s start with Celeste.  It’s a light fingering — a full 490 yards of scrumptious merino per skein — that absolutely loves to be knit on larger needles (think US size 8s) to create a wonderfully light and floaty fabric.   And then there’s Maia: it’s nearly the same weight, just a little bit heavier at 400 yards per skein but, with 80% bamboo, it has a drape and lightness that are a beautiful match for Celeste, and you can easily use the two in the same project.

But here’s where the magic comes in: visually, they’re very differentCeleste‘s 100% superwash merino takes on dye with a gorgeous intensity — the colours are rich, vibrant, and delicious — and, most importantly, with a matte effect.  Whereas Maia takes on those same colours incredibly lightly — much paler, softer, beautifully delicate — and it’s bamboo content give it sheen that makes the yarn look almost iced.  Two yarns that play nicely with each other but give you vibrant colour vs soft…  matte vs sheen…  You can create distinct stripes even though you’re working with yarns in the exact same colourway!  Are you beginning to see why I love this combination?

(See all these images here with two yarns in the same colourway?  That’s an illustration of just how distinctly different fiber contents take on the dye.  Believe it or not, all of these yarns might actually have been dyed side-by-side in the same dyebath.  They really do take on colour that differently!)

We’re in This Together! (a KAL)

I’ve shown this combination off to so many folks at shows — and they go crazy for it — but I know that boldly combining yarns like this can be a little easier said than done…  unless you’ve got friends to do it with you!  So I was talking to the SpaceCadet team and we’ve decided the best way is for all of us to do it together in an awesome summer KAL.  Won’t that be fun?

The idea is easy: you pick any fingering weight pattern that you want to knit, choose some Celeste and Maia from the shop or your stash, and we’ll all cast on together.  Everyone doing a different pattern but all in this intriguing combination of Celeste and Maia and, together, we’ll watch these two yarns do their magic!

Shop Update for Celeste & Maia: Friday June 2

But as we started planning the KAL, we realised our stock of Maia and Celeste is running a little low, so we’ve been dyeing like crazy for a shop update next Friday, June 2 at noon (eastern).  And because we’re so excited about this KAL, we’re dyeing not one but two special Limited Edition colourways for the update.  They are wild with colour and I can’t wait for you to see them!

But don’t forget your stash!  If you’ve in the Mini-Skein Club, I know you’ve got some awesome Maia-Celeste combos you can put together and let the two gradients work together.  Or pick one yarn from your Minis and pair it with the other yarn in a semi-solid for contrast.  There are all sorts of combinations you can create!

KAL Details

We’re still working out the details, but here’s what we’ve got in mind so far:

  • Shop Update for Celeste & Maia: Friday June 2 (or knit from stash)
  • Cast On Date: Friday June 23 (plenty of time to get your yarn, think through pattern ideas, and swatch!)
  • Finish Date: Sunday August 27 (lots of time for even big and adventurous projects!)
  • KAL name: we’re still working on it and, so far, have come up with a bunch of really corny options.  Any suggestions?
  • Prizes and fun stuff: we’ve got great ideas in mind!  More on that soon…

I am so excited about this KAL and really hoping you’ll join us — it’s going to be awesome!  And if you’re in, please come over to this thread on Ravelry and let’s start sharing pattern ideas.

My Recommendations

To make this a great KAL, here are my best suggestions:

  1. Celeste and Maia are both fingering, so go for a pattern that’s designed for fingering yarn.
  2. Any pattern will work if you’re comfortable changing yarns on your own but it’s probably best (and easiest) to choose a pattern with stripes.  Then, instead of changing colour for the stripes, you change the yarn.  Cool, huh?
  3. Both of these yarns have wonderful drape, Maia’s high bamboo content makes it perfect for shawls and summer sweaters.  But I’d suggest steering clear of things that need a lot of elasticity, such as socks.
  4. I’m crazy about the way Maia and Celeste look together in the same semi-solid colourway (as you can tell from these pictures) but don’t shy away from mixing a semi-solid with a variegated or creating a contrast.  It can look amazing!

Looking for some pattern ideas?  Check out our Ravelry thread for sharing ideas here.  But here are two patterns that jumped right out at me…

Ardente by Heather Zoppetti

Worked in four triangles that are joined seamlessly, this eye-catching wrap contains stockinette, garter stitch and lace bands that zig and zag over the place.  Creating this in Maia & Celeste will add texture and sheen to the mix, for a truly stunning effect!

Sea Grass by Janina Kallio

Sea Grass features bias construction, three-dimensional lace, and garter stitch stripes that create interesting texture and a wonderful chance to play with colour.  Working the pattern in the matte and sheen of Celeste and Maia will create an additional level of intrigue for a truly stunning project.

Hoping to see you in the KAL and can’t wait to see what pattern you choose!

How to Use Instagram for Knitting Inspiration!

How to Use Instagram for Knitting Inspiration!

Keeping up with all the changes in technology and social media can be tough — it seems like some new app comes out every week! — but when that new thing serves up fantastic knitting and crochet inspiration, it’s totally worth it.  Instagram is a perfect example and, if you haven’t been using it help you find pattern and yarn ideas, to connect with other crafters, or just to give you a daily dose of fibery goodness, you’ve been missing out!  So here, let me walk you through the best ways to use Instagram as a knitter or crocheter…

Instagram (or IG) started as a simple photo sharing site: a place to snap a photo with your phone and share it with your friends.  Over the past few years, it’s really taken off and developed into something much more exciting.  For me, it beats a lot of other social media hands down, including Facebook and Twitter.  It’s fast to browse but not so fast that you feel like you’re missing everything. And it’s designed to be visual (perfect for sharing projects), beautiful (who doesn’t want to spend time on a site that’s truly beautiful?), and easy.

Ok, so how do you get the best out of Instagram as a knitter or crocheter?  Here are my top tips:

Get the Mobile App

If you haven’t got an IG account already, download the app onto your phone and get your account set up.  It’s super straightforward and totally worth doing.  But unlike other social media, Instagram is not intended to be used on your desktop or laptop computer and it’s really limited if you try.  So look at it on your phone or tablet instead — you’ll have a much better experience.  (Click here for the iOS app and click here for the Android app)

Then once you’re set up, snap a picture of your latest project and upload it.  Instagram has a bunch of filters to make the image really come alive and, over time, you can put together a wonderful visual history of your knitting or crochet journey.

Follow Your Favourite Designers

The easiest way to fill your Instagram feed up with crafty inspiration is to follow your favourite designers.  Besides getting a first look at lots of new designs and a sneak peek behind the scenes, many designers use their visual and artistic skills to put together amazingly beautiful images and feeds.  One of my favourites is Hunter Hammersen, whose IG posts are so lusciously photographed that I feel I’m almost falling right into them.

Design: Permutation by Hunter Hammersen in SpaceCadet Capella

To find your favourite designers on IG, just hit the little magnifying glass tool at the bottom of the app, and then type the designer’s name in the search bar.  Or, the next time you’re browsing on Ravelry, go to a designer’s profile page to find the link to their Instagram account and add them that way.

Use Hashtags to Find Great Inspiration

One thing always leads to another and, on Instagram, that’s a really good thing.  As you’re scrolling your IG feed, you’ll see lots of posts with a ton of hashtags after them (words and phrases that begin with the # symbol, such as #knittersofinstagram).  Click on any of those and Instagram will take you to a new feed filled with other posts that were tagged with the same hashtag — which means lots more inspiration from lots of new sources!

And when you are creating your own Instagram posts, use hashtags to help other knitters and crocheters find your photos in the same way.  Some good hashtags to try are:

Get some SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins for yourself!

Leave a Little Love or a Comment

One of the best things about Instagram is interacting with others.  We all used to leave comments on blogs but that doesn’t happen so much any more, and internet forums are great if you have time to really get into a conversation, but Instagram comments are way easier and and so much faster.  It’s totally where the conversation is happening now!  Plus, every time someone likes or comments on one of my posts, a little notification pops up on my phone (and it seriously warms my heart — it really does).  And leaving a little love couldn’t be easier: just click the heart under the photo — it’s that fast.  To leave a comment, you click the speech bubble right next to the heart.  (And to share the post with a friend on Instagram, just click the little paper airplane to the right of the speech bubble.  Nifty, huh?)

Get some SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins for yourself!

Save the Images You Like Most into Collections

If you see a photo of a design or a project that really inspires you, save it so you can find it later by tapping on the ribbon-like icon to the right under the image.  That puts it in your saved photos folder, which you can find by going to your own profile page (tap your avatar image in the very bottom right corner of the app and it will take you there) and then click the corresponding ribbon icon on that page.  You’ll see all your saved photos right there waiting for you.

See SpaceCadet’s Linking Sweater Kits

Even better, you can organise your saved photos into collections, creating a customised feed of inspiring photos to scroll through anytime.  Next time you see an Instagram post you want to add to a collection, tap and hold the ribbon icon and a little box will pop up asking you to choose a collection to add it to.  Create one for knitting patterns you love, another for crochet patterns, one for new techniques to try and, hey, maybe one for all the SpaceCadet yarn you’re drooling over!  There are all kinds of possibilities!

Tag your Friends — or Even your Favourite Designers!

One of the most fun things about Instagram is being able to share your posts and thoughts with the other Instagrammers.  When you type the caption for a post, tag fellow IG users by putting @ in front of their Instagram name.  That makes a notification pop up on their app so they know to come look at your lovely project.

Design: Darlina by Corrina Ferguson in SpaceCadet Lyra

Even better, you can tag the designer of your project in the same way and make a direct connection.  Lots of designers love to see their work “in the wild” on Instagram — and some will even re-post projects to share with all their followers — so tagging is a great way to show off how their pattern is coming out on your needles.  And connecting with the designer makes the whole project that much more fun!

If you’re using SpaceCadet yarn, please tag me too @spacecadetyarn — I just love to how our yarns look in all the different projects folks post on Instagram!  Your IG post will pop in my feed so I can check out your progress and send a little love your way too.

And Finally, Follow Me!

Lots of designers on Instagram have really beautiful feeds, filled with wonderful, stylised shots that just make me drool.  I’ll admit, the SpaceCadet feed isn’t that beautifully manicured: there’s lots of pretty yarn but also lots of behind-the-scenes shots that a little less than perfect (I tell myself that just means I’m keeping it real).  But if it’s inspiration you’re looking for, I think that’s a pretty good combination: the messy and the beautiful together — because that’s how it really is, right?

To follow @spacecadetyarn, just click here and then tap the word “Follow” right above any photo in my stream.

Now It’s Your Turn!

Are you ready to start using Instagram for knitting and crochet inspiration?  It’s such a fun and awesome (and beautiful) way to  get your creative juices flowing, so use these tips to get the most out of it.  And be sure to comment on one of my posts and say hellow — I can’t wait to see you on Instagram!

 

 

The Newsletter: A Peek at my Weekend

The Newsletter: A Peek at my Weekend

Ok, before we get into our regularly scheduled newsletter, indulge me for a minute.  I wanted to share a little something you might not know about me: my love for the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s hands-down one of my most favourite events of the year — more than any yarn festival and more than even a few major holidays.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Eurovision is an annual pop-song contest between the countries of Europe that is equal parts genuine earnestness and incredible cheesiness (perfect example: this year Romania mixed rap with yodeling — oh yes they did!) that it’s watched each year by around 200 million people. For one Saturday night in May, the whole of Europe is dancing and partying (and drinking and tweeting) to the sounds of Eurovision — and it is a truly glorious thing!

Our family’s tradition is to watch it all together, curled up on the couch with popcorn and our Eurovision bingo cards (created by Brenda Dayne of the much missed Cast On podcast).  The bingo categories include “Performer has huge hair,” “Latex,” “It sparkles. I want it,” and “WTF?”  Seriously, we have so much fun.

Why am I tell you all this? Well, this past Saturday was 2017’s Eurovision and, as well as having an absolute blast, I couldn’t help but notice that practically every woman on the programme was wearing a one-shouldered garment.  Some were subtle and some were not, but asymmetrical one-shouldered outfits were so ubiquitous that I spotted this tweet:

(I just have to say, the tweets during Eurovision are epic: half my fun is just scrolling twitter while the contest is on live — it’s like being in a massive, continent -wide conversation)

So I’m wondering when we’ll start seeing this trend in knitting and crochet patterns?  I mean, obviously, they’re in the shops, but I wondered if this is a look that can be successfully translated into knitting?  I guess I’ll keep my eye on Ravelry’s Hot Right Now list and time will tell, but it’s such a big trend that it will be interesting to see how it plays out.  (And you know it’s inspired my Wednesday Morning Pop-Quiz…  scroll down to share your thoughts).

Ok, enough of that.  Grab your cup tea or coffee, curl up someplace comfortable, and let’s do this week’s fibery news!

Newsletter

Hands up anyone who learned first how to finger knit!  I can’t tell you the number of people (kids, mostly, but sometimes adults) who see me knitting and say, “I can finger knit!”  I usually just smile politely because, to be honest, I’ve never seen the point in the miles and miles of i-cord that finger knitting produces …but then I spotted this round up of ideas and I may be rethinking that.  The headband is really striking but the necklace?  Wow…  gorgeous!  I’m sure I’ve got a skein of Capella around here somewhere I can make that with!

So everyone in your knit group knits their socks toe-up and you don’t want to know how to start?  I love a good photo tutorial and this one makes it really easy.  (Speaking of, which do you prefer: photo tutorials or video tutorials? Personally, I tend to go for photo tutorials because, even though it can be easier to learn from a video, sometimes they just take so. darned. long. to get to the point.  Do you feel the same?)

Knitting and crocheting are good for you — we both know that — and this article breaks down exactly how knitting improves your life.  They missed a few (like, you end up with a bunch of fabulous FOs!) but it’s worth printing this out and sticking it on the fridge in case there’s anyone in your house who doesn’t fully understand your addiction.

Greenhorn by Hunter Hammersen

What I love most about Hunter Hammersen’s designs is the delicate details — and the teeny-tiny cables running up just the inside of these socks are a perfect example.  Plus they’re knit in our yarn and Hunter said some really, really nice things about that…

These are made in Space Cadet’s Oriana in the color Fizz.  As far as I can tell, it’s the world’s most perfect yarn for tiny cables.  The stitch definition is so sharp you’ll stab yourself. 

And bonus: you can get 10% off the pattern between now and Friday.  Just put Greenhorn in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code SHARP.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Summer Move On by ChrisBerlin

As soon as the warm weather hits (and we’re forecast for 90F today, so I guess it’s hit!), I find myself going for clothes that are unstructured and flow-y — and Summer Move On fits the bill perfectly.  I love the relaxed shape, the cool eyelet pattern, and the way it drapes.  It’s designed in DK, but I think I’d be inclinded to go for something lighter (maybe Thebe or Oriana?) and adjust my needles to get gauge.  Either way, it’s one beautifully relaxed knit.

Measure Twice Cut Once by handmade by SMINÉ

Come to think of it, I must have a thing for eyelets because this pattern just jumped right out at me.  Now, I have to admit, I’m imagining it in our gradient Mini-Skeins, with the colour changing at each eyelet row.  Orrrrr…  how about alternating skeins halfway between the eyelet rows, so you get a gradual colour shift?  Whichever way you choose, the result will be gorgeous, light and oh so summery!

all photos © the respective designers, used with permission

As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve been thinking about the trend for asymmetrical, one-shouldered looks.  In today’s Pop Quiz, I ask:

Would you go for an asymmetrical, one-shouldered pattern?

Click the link and share your thoughts. (Can’t wait to read them!)

Ok, there’s a lot of dyeing to do today so I’d better get down to the dyepots.  I hope you have a wonderful day with lots of yarny goodness planned into it (and beautiful weather too!).  Until next time, all my best!


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Finding Balance: an Update of SpaceCadet One-of-a-Kinds!

Finding Balance: an Update of SpaceCadet One-of-a-Kinds!

“Finding balance” is something we all seem to be endlessly searching for: work-life balance, chocolate vs exercise balance (…is that just me?), knitting-and-crocheting vs cleaning-the-house balance…  (I know you know that one!).  But as a dyer, finding balance is also part of the equation in my studio, and the balance I’m looking for is between dyeing yarns that create sublime predictability on your needles versus glorious, adventurous unpredictability from stitch to stitch.

When I first started dyeing (eight years ago now!) the process was so exciting that I just couldn’t stop experimenting.  I created wildly variegated colourway after wildly variegated colourway — and loved every minute of it! I was mixing colours with abandon, letting them swirl in the dyepot and then pulling them out and marveling at the breathtaking ways they combined.  It was exciting, unpredictable, and I was learning so much.

Over time I realised that many knitting and crochet patterns need perhaps a slightly more tempered approach to show off their stitch details, so I began to build a palette of semi-solids too.  And I found they are wonderfully satisfying to dye as well but in a completely different way.  The colour goes on quickly and evenly (and yet still retains that little bit of hand-dyed depth of shade that gives it individuality and interest).  And they feel so chilled out and relaxed.  A whole sweater’s worth of semi-solids is a thing of bliss.

But still, if I’m honest, my heart is in dyeing those wonderful riots of colour in variegated yarns, and so I continue to experiment in the studio, and we create a lot of glorious one-of-a-kind yarns.   We’ve always taken them to shows (because one-of-a-kinds are a little tricky to sell in the shop), but it seems a little unfair not to share them with our online customers — so I’ve decided to periodically go through our stock and curate a collection of my favourite one-of-a-kinds to share with you here.  Each dyelot is completely unique and they are first come, first serve so, if you see something below that you like, click the image (or click here) and grab it before it’s gone.

This update features:

  • Thebe, the silk-linen yarn used in Romi Hill’s gorgeous new design, Knitting by The Pool
  • Astrid, our super smooshy merino DK
  • Cressida, our gorgeous, quick-knitting merino worsted, perfect for Mel Ski’s Lovill Shawl

Ok, are you ready to see the yarn?  Here we go…

The Newsletter: Fun Yarny Gear, Three Great Pattern Picks

The Newsletter: Fun Yarny Gear, Three Great Pattern Picks

Well, Spring has officially sprung here in western Pennsylvania and yet… and yet…  it’s still chilly enough to need a warming cup of tea each morning.  No worries!  That seems like the perfect way to start my day (possibly two of my favourite things: warm-but-not-too-warm weather and a nice cup of tea to go with it).  But the feel of Spring is definitely in the air — in the fresh green growth, and all the flowers blooming.  It’s got me so inspired!

And that inspiration means a ton of things to share with you.  So why don’t you grab your own cup of tea and sit down for five minutes of fibery goodness to start the day off right.  Let’s go!

Newsletter

I love new ways to play with yarn and this week, I’ve got my eye on Purl & Loop’s Wee Weaver (above).  At around 4″ square, it makes coaster-sized weavings and I’m smitten with the idea of doing them in SpaceCadet’s super-smooshy single ply worsted yarn, CapellaThe perfect spot for a lovely cup of tea!

When women become activists, craft is often part of the equation, from sewing circles in the 19th century to socks for soldiers in the 20th and pussyhats today.  This article from PBS on the history of knitting (and other crafts) and activism was a really interesting read.

Mother’s Day is this weekend (did you realise that? I totally didn’t!) and if you’re looking for a last-minute gift, I’ve got some suggestions.  While yarn is an obvious choice (hint: go for Lyra — my mother-in-law just knit a sweater with it and she loved it), we’ve also got great SpaceCadet swag that’s going to earn you major brownie points.  They’re all in stock and we’ll get them shipped out quick to save your Mother’s Day bacon!

Friday at 7am: An Awesome One-of-a-Kind Shop Update!

At SpaceCadet, we create all our colours by hand-mixing our dyes from only the primarie colours, and we do a lot of experimentation, which means we end up with some amazing one-of-a-kind yarns.  Usually we take them with us to shows but it didn’t seem right somehow that the folks who can’t get to our shows never get to see them.  So last week, I went through our collection of one-of-a-kinds (would you believe, we have a whole section of shelves for them?) and picked out the most exciting, most spring-time colourways for you!

They’ll be going live in the shop at 7am (eastern) on Friday and once they’re gone, they’re gone, so make sure you are on the mailing list and check your inbox to get that link!  And in the meantime, have a look through the update images here to pick your favourites so you can waste no time grabbing the ones you love most on Friday morning.

This update features Thebe, our incredible silk-linen blend that Romi Hill recently used to design her beautiful Knitting By The Pool.  Can’t you just see these colourways knit up in it?  The update also features Astrid, our beautifully soft merino DK, and Cressida, a wonderful quick knitting merino DK — check out how gorgeous these colourways would look knit up into Mel Ski’s Lovill Shawl!

So choose your favourites now — and then keep your eyes open on Friday for the email with that link!

(PS — do you like the photos?  I had so much fun taking them.  Tulips are one of my favourite spring flowers!)

Angle of Incidence by by handmade by SMINÉ

This shawl is fascinating on so many levels!  Named for the way the stitch patterns refract through the center line at the colour change and exit at the opposite angle, it marries eye-catching colourblocking with texture for an attention-grabbing knit.  And as soon as I saw it, I knew it was one of those designs that’s perfect for combining one of those wonderful variegated yarns with a coordinating semi-solid.  Designed in DK, SpaceCadet Astrid would be a perfect fit: pair Molten Cool with Troublemaker, Breeze with Frigia, or choose a skein of our one-of-a-kinds (above) with a standard semi-solid.  Stunning!

Flowing Dots by Chris Berlin

OH! If you have a stash of SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins, here is a pattern that’ll get you itching to cast them on!  Can’t you just see those beautiful gradient skeins turned into the adorable dots and changing colours gently along the length of this gorgeous scarf?  You’ll need a neutral background colour — I suggest Ester or Oriana in Drizzle.  Then all you have to do is cast on and see where the Mini-Skein gradient takes you!

Granny Stripes Sweater by Ana D

The return of warm weather always makes me think of open work, and so I simply love the cool look of this gorgeous crocheted sweater.  Worked up in worsted (try Cressida), it’s quick, light and airy, and gives just the right amount of warmth.  Pick a semi-solid to show off the stitchwork or a variegated for a riot of colour.  Either way, this design feels like summer to me!

all photos © the respective designers, used with permission

I discovered the most wonderful surprise in our mailbox last week, and discussed what it meant to me in last week’s blog.  Crazy as it sounds, even commercially-knit socks can prove the connection between knitters.  If you didn’t get the chance to read it, click here and take a moment to start your day with a little extra warmth in your heart.

Ok, it’s time to come back to the real world (gently… gently…) and get back to all the stuff we’ve got to get done today.  I’m going to be dyeing some yarns for a couple of terrific LYSs (does yours carry SpaceCadet?) and then finishing up a few last things for Friday’s one-of-a-kind update.  I hope your day is just as colourful and exciting.

Until next time!


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The Surprise in our Mailbox: a Tale of Connection

The Surprise in our Mailbox: a Tale of Connection

The other day, I went to the post office to check SpaceCadet’s mailbox.  Our postmistress knows me and, as I walked toward the box with my key in hand, she disappeared to the back and then reappeared with a box and an envelope.  I recognised the box as one of ours, and that didn’t surprise me: we send out so many parcels each month that we always get one or two back due to an address change or something similar.  But the manila padded envelope intrigued me.  It wasn’t big enough to hold yarn…  I walked back to the car trying to think if I’d ordered anything that size.  I hadn’t.  What was it?

Back in the car, I set everything on the passenger seat and put the key in the ignition, but didn’t turn it.  It was cool outside but the sun had warmed the car a little too much and I was keen to get moving but I looked over at the envelope sitting on the passenger seat…  I couldn’t wait — I grabbed it and ripped open the flap.  From inside, I pulled out a flat package wrapped in tissue paper and a raffia ribbon, and a card addressed to me.

Opening it, it was handwritten note from a long-time customer — the kind of customer love dyeing for, that I have in mind as I design colourways.  It said, “I wouldn’t normally send commercially made socks to a knitter but…”  And there, wrapped in the tissue and raffia, I found the most amazing pair of socks — awesome and cheesy and just perfect for a spacecadet like me!

I washed them that night and wore them today, paired with my pink-and-white Converse and rolled up jeans (rolled up partly to show of the socks and partly because… well, when you work with buckets of water all day, it’s never a bad idea to have your jeans rolled up!).

What has this got to do with knitting or yarn?  Not much, I guess, but also…  it kinda has everything to do with it.  Because it’s proof positive that knitters and crocheters can be the most awesome people.  And that working in this industry is more than just dyeing, more than just selling yarn.  When I said earlier that I’m thinking of our customers as I’m designing their colourways, I mean it.  I don’t just dye yarn to sell, I dye yarn for people — real people who make beautiful things with it.  And when one of our customers thinks of me when she sees socks like these, and then takes the time to wrap them up with a ribbon and send them to me…  well, then I know we’re in that same place.

(thanks, C!)

Speaking of thinking of our customers, I was talking with the team the other day about the beautiful One-of-a-Kind skeins we have in the stock room.  Really gorgeous colourways that are just bursting with the most amazing colour but which most of our customers never get to see.  We take them to shows, but I’ve always been a bit overwhelmed at the monumental task of photographing them all to put them in the shop.  And yet, it seems a little unfair that most of our customers don’t have the chance to get their hands on these beautiful yarns.  So, I’ve had an idea to do it bite-sized chunks: I can put together small collections of One-of-a-Kind yarns that go well together and put them into the shop in periodic shop updates.  Every one of them is unique and it’ll be first come first served — so you’ll want to keep your eye on Facebook, Instagram, or your email to be first to see the One-of-a-Kind update go live!

 


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