SpaceCadet Creations at Homespun Yarn Party on March 27

You know what?  We had so much fun, we’re doing it again!…

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SpaceCadet Creations will be at the Homespun Yarn Party in Savage MD on March 27!  This is a fantastic, juried show that features only indie fiber artists and hand-crafters.   But this is no local craft show — the standard is very high and it is such an honour to have been chosen to participate!

If you’ve ever wanted to see SpaceCadet colours in person, or to snorgle the yarns and stroke the fibers, and you live anywhere in the WashingtonDC/Baltimore area or the surrounds, please do make the trip Savage.  We’d LOVE to meet you!  And you’ll have a great time!

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Left to right: Silk/BFL Yarn in Straw Into Gold, Plumberry, and Heartthrob

And, in case you’re thinking that March 27th feels like a loooong time away, I’ve put some wonderful new yarns in the shop.  This time, I’ve focused on luxury:  wonderful, smooshy Luna Laceweight and some decadently shimmery Silk & BFL.   Enjoy!


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Clockwise from top left: Luna Silk/Merino Laceweight in Straw Into Gold, Translucence, Spice Trade, and Covetous

Spinning Up Clouds of Baby Alpaca

So while I was waxing lyrical about the new cashmere in the shop, I never said a word — not a word — about the little something I had up my sleeve for the spinners.  Why?  Because the holidays are all about surprises!

And this was a surprise worth keeping: the most amazingly soft combed top made from 50% Baby Alpaca and 50% Superfine Merino wool.  It’s incredibly light, incredibly soft…  It feels like clouds in your hands.  And it dyes up beautifully.

Baby Alpaca and Superfine Merino wool combed top 150/50 Baby Alpaca/Merino blend in Evening Fog (left) and Tarnished (right)

For those of you who’ve never tried alpaca, I turned to my friend Natalie — a more experienced and excellent spinner — for some advice.  She said, “Alpaca is warmer and lighter than wool.  For knitting, a worsted weight yarn would make an awfully warm sweater – possibly too warm for daily wear.  On the other hand, if you want outer gear like hats and gloves, a thick, woolen spun alpaca would be like carrying around your own little furnace!

“Alpaca is a little more difficult to control than straight wool because it has a shorter staple length and feels sort of slippery.  I hold my hands closer together when I’m drafting to adjust for the shorter staple length.  I also try to get twist into the fiber more quickly than I would usually do with wool.

“Also, remember that alpaca has practically no memory.  So, for knitting, it often works better blended with other fibers that will give it a little bit of elasticity and memory.”

Baby Alpaca and Superfine Merino wool combed top 250/50 Baby Alpaca/Merino blend in Rhubarb and Custard (left) and SeaFoam (right)

The blend of superfine merino and baby alpaca together will give your yarn the elasticity and memory that you need for knitting.  And the extra lightness and warmth that the alpaca gives you yarn will be perfect for warm winter mittens and hats.

And as I was in a mood for dyeing fiber, I went ahead and did a batch of Blue-Faced Leicester as well.  Enjoy!

BFL combed top Clockwise from top left:  BFL Combed top in Spice Trade, Sweetpeas, SeaFoam, and Sweetpeas.

Get Ready to Spin your Wheels…

Because the Tour de Fleece is nearly upon us!  For spinners, it’s one of the biggest events of the year — a chance to really challenge ourselves and encourage each other.  Oh, and watch a bit of cycling as well.  In honour of the Tour de Fleece, I’ve spent this week dyeing fiber.

If  you don’t know anything about the Tour, don’t worry — Monday’s post will explain all and give some links to help you get started.  In the meantime, what sort of spinning would be a challenge for you?  To spin more? Or to spin finer?  Maybe to try a new fiber, or a new technique?  And please cast your eyes over this week’s fiber porn, all going in the shop today and over the weekend…

Bombyx Silk in Freshly Cut Grass
Tussah Silk
Merino combed top in Garden In Spring
BFL combed top in Garden In Spring
Tussah Silk in Freshly Cut Grass
Bombyx Silk in Pond
BFL combed top in Underfoot
Merino combed top in Freshly Cut Grass

A Quick Peek at the Prizes

I posted the prizes off to the winners of the Giveaway today and, before I slipped them into the envelopes, I just couldn’t resist taking a few pictures just so I could share them with you.

The two runners-up got 2oz each of this BFL fiber.

When I dyed this, I was going for a fiber version of Plumberry, the colourway of the newest yarn in the shop*.  But, although I mixed the dyes up correctly, I did the dyeing in slightly the wrong order and the blue took on an amazing silver-grey tint.  It doesn’t look like Plumberry to me but, let me tell you, it is really quite stunning!  I might dye more like this, but I am undecided as to whether it deserves its own name, because dyeing is a dynamic process — even if I gave it a new name and tried to dye it this way again, it might come out of the dyepot with more blue and looking more like the original Plumberry…   Hmmmm…   Maybe the nature of Plumberry will be that it’s sometimes got this grey, sometimes got more blue.  We’ll have to see.

Anyway, I do hope the runners up enjoy the lovely colours of their new fiber!

*You never saw the Plumberry yarn?  That’s because both skeins sold in two hours!  But I’ve dyed some more that will go in later this week.


And for our winner, I’ve chosen a skein of Garden In Spring sock yarn.  This is the first colourway I ever dyed for the shop and it is absolutely one of my favourites.  It’s so bright and cheerful and just so darned happy, and I think that’s the very essence of how winning a giveaway ought to make a person feel!

Congratulations again to the winners, and I hope you enjoy using your yarn and fiber!  And to everyone else, there will be more giveaways in the future, so keep your eyes open for those.

A Giveaway for May!

It’s May!  It’s May!  And May brings so many glorious things — lovely warm days, evenings that seem to stay light so late, and the start of the fiber festival season! — that I thought I’d add a little gloriousness of my own.

Do you subscribe to this blog?  No?  You silly Earthling!  Being a subscriber means you’re always up-to-date on all things SpaceCadet — and it’s completely free!

Ok, here’s the deal:   If we can get my blog subscribers to reach 75 by the end of the month, I’m going to give away a skein of my sock yarn — that’s 100g of soft and smooshy 100% superwash merino hand-dyed goodness — to one randomly-picked winner, and two 2oz bumps of beautiful, hand-dyed, soft-as-clouds BFL fiber to two runners up.  All you have to do is put your email address in the subscription box over there on the right, just above the SpaceCadet’s head.  And if you subscribe already, don’t worry — that just means you prebooked your entry!

Once you’re subscribed, you can earn up to six additional entries by doing the following:

Just leave a separate comment here for each that you do, and be sure to include your Twitter and/or Ravelry name so I can tie them together (and remember, you have to be signed up for a blog subscription for your additional entries to count).

So, that’s seven ways to enter!  And, best of all, free yarn and fiber to three lucky winners!  So get the word out — and when the subscriber numbers hit 75, everyone’s in with a chance.


Contest ends 31 May 2010 at 11.59pm. Prizes will be awarded only if SpaceCadet’s email subscriptions reach 75.  Subscriptions must be via the email subscription form at the top of the right-hand column on this blog — subscriptions through other sources (such as online readers) are not visible to the SpaceCadet and so cannot be counted as entries.  All entrants will be verified and must complete the mandatory entry (that is, subscribing to the SpaceCadet Creations blog) before completing the ‘extra’ entries. Comments must include the commenter’s Twitter or Ravelry name (as applicable) in order for ‘extra’ entries to be included in the contest. Invalid entries will be disqualified.  Winner will be contacted by email for further details and must respond within 72 hours or we reserve the right to choose another winner. SpaceCadet Creations reserves the right to substitute prizes. Prizes cannot be redeemed for cash.

Come Back! Come Back!

In an attempt to encourage Spring to return, I’ve dyed some BFL combed top in all the lovely colours of Garden in Spring:

Hand-dyed BFL Combed Top, in Garden in Spring

Like an English garden in the full bloom of spring, this wool is a gentle explosion of colour. The pinks are a riot of foxgloves, buzzing with the sound of busy bumblebees collecting pollen. There is the deep bluey-purple of delphiniums, and the impossible green of new spring grass, called to life again by the sun and fresh rain.

This is over 4oz of wonderfully soft Blue Faced Leicester combed top that spins up beautifully.

Fiber Content: 100% Blue Faced Leicester wool
Weight: Approximately 4.10oz / 115g
Colourway: Cottage Garden in Spring, 100328-001
Care Instructions for the final item: Handwash only in tepid water, Lay flat to dry.

Each item is individually hand-dyed by the SpaceCadet, using professional grade acid dyes, using professional grade acid dyes which are mixed by hand from primaries. Please be sure to buy enough for your project as the colours may not be able to be reproduced exactly.
SpaceCadet Creations is a smoke-free, pet-free environment.
Please remember that the colours in pictures may vary depending on your computer monitor. The colours in the photos are as accurate as possible.