(Psst — Want to jump straight to where you download the SpaceCadet’s Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar of Fabulous and Free Knitting Patterns? Sure thing, just click here!)
It snowed here in Pittsburgh the other day — big fat flakes that swirled around in the air as if they had all the time in the world and weren’t sure if they wanted to land — and in that moment, it felt like we had suddenly plunged into Officially Winter.
And I’m so glad. It’s time for the holidays, for heavier yarns, and for cosy nights with my knitting and steaming cup of tea. You too?
(Hey, no spoilers — the QR codes don’t work until you download it!)
Our Holiday Gift to You: A Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar of Fabulous and Free Knitting Patterns
And because it’s winter and you’ll be flipping your calendar over to December this morning (what?!?), I’ve made you a little something to celebrate the season. It’s a digital advent calendar counting down from today until Christmas, giving you a link each day to a beautiful, free knitting pattern to inspire your end of the year (or beginning of next year) projects.
Some of the patterns are simple, some are complicated, some you might know, and some you might not, but together they make for a delightfully knitworthy way to mark the next twenty-five days. And so this calendar is our gift to you, from the all of us on the SpaceCadet Crew.
(If you don’t see a form here to enter your email address so we can send the advent calendar download, then it’s probably being stopped by a popup blocker. Please disable your popup blocker or open this page in a private window, and it should appear.)
Posted under: Knitting Advent Calendar, Holiday Gifts,Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar of Fabulous and Free Knitting Patterns
This feels seismic: in the past month, three separate, major knitting publications each announced they are closing down for good.Interweave Knits and Pom Pom magazine have made official announcements while Ravelers report Vogue Knitting has been letting subscribers know in email correspondence. Either way, it’s shocking to see these pillars of the industry shuttering.
I loved (loved loved) reading this article about Lamb Mowers, a landscaping company that transports sheep instead of lawn mowers to clients’ houses to cut grass, get rid of weeds, and — ahem — fertilize their lawns. Please please will someone start doing this in Pittsburgh?
There are so many options when it comes to binding off so I was glad to come across this quick explanation of a great bind-off choice when knitting cables.
I am happiest looking through knitting and crochet patterns for something new and exciting. Here are the knitting and crochet patterns I love this week. Enjoy
Secret Forest by Lisa K. Ross
Lisa Ross has revealed the images of her completed Secret Forest design, now that the MKAL has finished, and it is stunning! And to celebrate, she’s offering 40% OFF all of her independent designs with code FORESTFINISH through November 10.
And if you’d like to knit a Secret Forest of your own, we have just a few of our OOAK sets left. Click below to get one.
As the weather (here in places like Pittsburgh, at least) starts to cool, it’s time to start thinking about cardigans, and I love this design as an option!
Everything about it jumps out me, from the soft colour changes, to the sections of tiny striping, to the bold contrast colour, and even the delightful peek at the pocket-lining. Knitting this would be so much fun!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but granny squares are really having a moment — in fashion, in housewares, they’re everywhere. So this cute design jumped right out at me. And then I spotted it’s less of a poncho and more of a sweater with pointy edges… and I just love it!
Worked in worsted, if you’re a Vega member of our Gradient Explorers, I think this would look amazing in the gradient flow!
(Want to jump straight to the SpaceCadet Yarn Sets for Lyrical Seas by Corrine Walcher? Click here)
Sometimes technology works against you…
A few months ago, I decided to move from our old email provider to a new one that is better suited to SpaceCadet’s needs. That’s a pretty big transition, so I’d carefully researched the options, laid the groundwork, and run test emails. And I scheduled the move during the slower season before things start to pick up in the autumn. So far, so good.
When we finally made the transition, I thought it went pretty well. We carried on dyeing orders and sending out clubs and answering emails as they came in. Not that many came in but I wasn’t worried because it was our slower time of year…
This is not me, but it pretty perfectly depicts how I felt when I realised the tech had failed us.
Friend, I was wrong. Without boring you with the technicalities, I’d clicked a wrong button and filtered half of our incoming emails into a side folder I didn’t know existed. It’s only in the last few weeks that we found them.
What’s more, for two months our club emails — you know, the ones where we send you the shipping information and details of the colourways — were being scheduled but never actually going out.
So, if you’ve written to us and not heard back, please accept my apologies. We weren’t ignoring you, I promise, and we are working our way through the emails that got missed. And if you’re a club member who wondered where the emails were full of lovely pictures of colourful yarn, I’ll be sending something to your inbox soon.
Most of all, my sincere thanks for your patience and understanding.
Sometimes technology works with you…
And just as I was about to curse all technology forever more, it surprised me in the best way.
Designer Corrine Walcher has used SpaceCadet yarn in a gorgeous new design, Lyrical Seas, which is a sport/dk reworking of her fingering weight sweater Celestial Seas. And when she sent us the sample so we could take photos, my assistant Jade and I agreed we wanted to shoot it on against a winter beach scene.
Except of course, we live in Pittsburgh… nowhere near the beach.
But I had seen that the photo editing software I use now incorporates AI, and we decided to try something and see if it would work.
So on a warm fall day, we headed down to a local park and walked under huge sycamore trees as they dropped golden-russet leaves all over the path. It felt so Western-Pennsylvania-In-Autumn that I half expected a hayride to suddenly come past us or someone to offer us cups of warm apple cider!
There, in the middle of the park, was a sand-play area. And as Jade sat herself down and adjusted the sweater, I hung an old white curtain as a backdrop behind her.
The photoshoot was quick and fun — even when the wind blow the curtain up and revealed all the autumn leaves on the ground behind it. And then when I got home, I uploaded the images and began to play with the AI…
Could I get AI to replace the white backdrop with a convincing winter beach scene instead?
Wowwwww! I guess the answer is yes… yes indeed.
It’s exactly what we wanted. And it’s really hard to believe this whole beachy photo shoot took place in a leaf-strewn park in Pittsburgh PA!
Technology is officially back in my good books…
…for now. 😉
SpaceCadet Yarn Sets for Lyrical Seas by Corrine Walcher
Lyrical Seas is made for chilly days watching waves roll in and cosy nights next to a bonfire on the beach.
Lyrical Seas by Corrine Walcher is a beautiful colourwork pullover featuring a delightful wave motif designed to bring out the best in SpaceCadet’s colour combos. Worked top down, the simple design is a fabulous introduction to both colourwork and yoked shaping.
And to support the pattern’s release, we’ve created six gorgeous colour pairings: choose from cool sea blues, soft sand shades, fiery sunset colours, or soft naturals. No matter what you go for, your Lyrical Seas is sure to be stunning!
Have you ever found yourself so engrossed in something you really enjoy that you’ve completely lost track of everything else?
Maybe you’ve been reading a really great book and suddenly looked up to realise it’s an hour past your bedtime. Or you’ve been out with friends at a restaurant, talking and laughing and so completely enjoying yourselves that you haven’t noticed that all the other diners have finished and left, and you’re the last ones keeping the place open.
Or maybe you’ve gotten so into a project that you’ve stayed up for hours and hours, watching nonsense on Netflix, just so you can see how the yarn colours change if you knit just one more row…
Yeah, I know exactly how that feels but with a little twist that, honestly, I’ve found quite shocking. Because for us here at the SpaceCadet studio, it’s not the late hour that’s taken us by surprise, or that everyone has gone home, or anything like that… No, for us, the shocking thing is just a number: 168.
I’ve often told you how much we enjoy playing with colour, how we mix all every one of our colourways by hand from only five primary hues of dye (cyan, magenta, yellow, and red, plus black), and how we get lost in the fun of experimenting and seeing how the colours layer on top of each other. And just how much we enjoy coming up with new colourways, especially for our club members.
But I don’t think I’d quite realised how completely engrossed in it we get, until one day recently I added up how many new club colourways we create each year. And that number is… 168!
And I know that sounds like an exaggeration but it’s not. Let me break it down.
Which makes 14 brand-spanking-new fresh colourways each month, and means we create… wait for it… 168 new club colourways per year.
I’ll be honest, the moment I added it all up and saw that final number, I was really taken aback. I think I literally took a step back from the calculator and just stood there staring at it for a minute.
(And get this: that’s only the clubs! That doesn’t include our Limited Editions, seasonal colourways, or One-of-a-Kinds and Small Batches. I don’t even know what the final number would be if we added those in too.)
But I think that tells a story about how much joy there is in creating, in finding your thing — the creative thing that really speaks to you — and diving into it with total abandon. You know that feeling, don’t you? It’s the one that keeps you up late, so intrigued by the colours of the stitches as they slip through your fingers that everything else fades away and you just have to put on one more row.
Until you’re suddenly 5 inches further along than you expected to be. Or… y’know, 168 colourways further along!
Either way, I think it’s one of the best feelings in the world. Don’t you?
You’re ready for a colour adventure… And there’s nothing as exciting as your delivery of mini-skeins from the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club!
Richly dyed in stunning hues, we design these delightful little yarn-gems to guide you on a colour journey that will inspire you to create uniquely eye-catching projects. Each month, your parcel arrives bursting with glorious colour ready to be untwisted and explored!
The Multicolour Mix gives a range of hues in complex colourways to add interest to any project. And the Ombre&Gradient Mix is dyed an amazing Never Ending Gradient in colours that flow from one month to the next… and onwards to the next!
The result is a guided journey through colour that is wildly exciting and so much fun to cast on!
I am happiest looking through knitting and crochet patterns for something new and exciting. Here are the knitting and crochet patterns I love this week. Enjoy!
Slice of Sunshine by Lisa K. Ross
So bright, so happy, and designed for Mini-Skeins! If you’re a member of the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club and love the juicy, zingy colours we’ve been dyeing this summer, I can’t think of a better way to show them off than in this utterly delightful design.
A stranded colorwork cowl, it uses exactly two bundles of Minis plus a full-sized skein for the contrast colour. Even better, it’s 25% off through the end of today with the code SUNNY.
(And hey, if you’re not a member of the Mini-Skein Club, what are you waiting for?Click here to learn all about it!)
I honestly can’t think of a dress design that says summer more than this one! An beautifully simple crochet design, the details are all in the fabric itself — zoom in on the photo to see the lovely diamond motif.
A simple summer tee like this is always bound to be a wardrobe staple. And whether you knit it in rainbow solids or work it in a painterly gradient flow, the result will be intriguing to knit and a delight to wear.
If you’ve ever been asked to sell your knitting or crochet project only to have the buyer expect the price to be ridiculously low, you’ll empathise with the sewist in this video explaining the real costs behind a handmade quilt (hint: it’s a lot more than most folks think it is!)
Photo by Ashley Diane Worsham
By now, you’ve seen a lot of the AI-generated images of incredible knitted projects and, while you may have been fooled at first into thinking they were real handmade masterpieces, you’re probably getting better at spotting them as fakes. But they can be appreciated for the modern digital artwork that they are. Many of the most famous are by Lydia Masterova and her Facebook page contains a catalogue of her fascinating and stunning images.
If you’ve ever been wowed by Stephen West’s colourful, innovative designs (or his eye-catching pattern photography), you’ve probably wondered if that bold approach extends to beyond his knitting. So I was excited to come across this article where he gives a tour of his home in Amsterdam and… honestly, it really is everything you thought it might be!
Do you remember those two guys who bought a knitting-based domain name and confidently predicted they were going to make a ton of money by “disrupting” the knitting world? They’ve come out with some new products and… the lack of attention to detail in their marketing has created a lot of discussion (read: laughter) on knitting social media.
If your go-to cast on is Long Tail but you have difficulty making sure the stitches are spaced evenly, this simple trick is darned handy to know.
Filed under: Orbiting the Fiber Universe: news from the world of knitting and crochet