SpaceCadet News: Inaugural Dyeing Day is…

SpaceCadet News: Inaugural Dyeing Day is…

Wow, what a week it’s been!  You know how sometimes you have those weeks where everything seems to happen all at once?  That was this past week and, while it’s all really good stuff(!), you should have seen the SpaceCadet crew’s faces when I told them about everything we’ve got in the pipeline.  The difference between this week and last is night and day!

(one of my favourite colour combos: Sliver, Gentle, Drizzle, Nine Stones, and Fat-Free Chocolate.. ahem, you need them)

So forgive me if I can’t chit-chat for too long this morning — I’ve got to head to the studio soon and get started.  But before I do, I am (of course) starting my day with a nice cup of tea… and I do have a lot of interesting fiber news to share with you…  Soooooo, ok, go grab your tea too and let’s sit down for five minutes!  Are you ready?  Here we go…

Newsletter

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through many years of dyeing, it’s that colour is a liar.  It feels like red is red and blue is blue, but everything about how our eyes interpret hues is dependant on context — and I’m reminded of that time and again as we create colour combos and watch colourways seemingly transform before our eyes simply by placing them next to other colours (our most chameleon-like colourways are Gentle, Sage, Plume, Molten Cool, and Windswept).  This article is an excellent case in point and goes a long way to explaining to what’s happening if you’ve ever found skeins suddenly seem to have changed colour on you! Once you’ve read the article, go grab a few yarns from your stash (especially variegateds) and try holding them next to different colours to see for yourself what a difference it makes!

(all is not as it seems — click through to see how these same colours change…)

I don’t know if this digital book will still be on sale by the time you read this but, if it is, $2 for a Melissa Leapman guide to colour knitting is a pretty awesome deal!  Click here for the Kindle version and click here for the Apple Books version.

When I first stumbled across this article about ancient Roman dodecahedrons, strange bronze objects that have been mystifying archeologists for centuries, I never guessed it would have a link to the world of knitting.  But it does — read to the bottom to find out how some people speculate they were used to knit fingers for gloves — though I find it dubious at best (I mean, if I were to create a tool to knit different sized items, I’d want it to change the number of stitches in each size), but it’s an interesting theory nonetheless.

Ok, it’s a pretty tired cliche that says all knitters and crocheters are grannies or that it’s shocking that men might be fiber artists but, fortunately, this article addressed those notions right from the start and then got on with telling some very interesting backstories about some of the leading men in the knitting world.  I enjoyed reading it.

This made me feel ridiculously happy.


New Colourways: Inaugural Dyeing Day!
Tues Nov 19

Last week, I shared with you these four beautiful new colourways we’ve created with inspiration taken from the chillier weather and sweater weather arriving at last.  And so many of you shared with us your awesome colourway name ideas.  So now we’re ready to reveal the names we’ve chosen and… get to dyeing some yarn!

For the time being, these  colourways will be Limited Edition colourways, available only for this season (until we decide which we want to add them to our line-up of standard colourways) and to celebrate their release, we’re doing an Inaugural Dyeing Day on Nov 19!   To be one of the lucky people we’re dyeing for that day (and one of the very first to get these new colours), watch for details on Monday morning (via email or social media).

But even better, folks on the are on the Early Access List will get first dibs, so click here to get on that list!

Upcoming Shows

Sun Nov 17 (noon-5pm) —  Indie Knit & Spin at the Ace Hotel in Pittsburgh PA

Here’s what’s got me super-excited about this show:

• first, it’s really special because it’s all indie makers
• second, it’s FREE entry but you can get first dibs on all the best stuff from your favourite vendors with an Early Access Pass for just $5
• and third, there’s a Happy Hour with special goodies from the vendors!

 


Carolyn’s Moonflower

When I spotted the way Carolyn’s beautiful shawl shows the gentle colour change of our Gradient Explorers colourways, I just had to share it with you!

It’s actually much larger now that’s it’s finished (click through to see the rest) but I just loved this detail picture best.  Well done, Carolyn — what beautiful work!

In the Gradient Explorers, every colourway is designed to flow from one month into the next and create an amazing, never-ending fade.  We keep the Gradient Explorers to a really small group, opening it only when spaces become free.  Click here to get on the waiting list.


Reversible Honeycomb Scarf and Reversible Honeycomb Hat by Mary W Martin

Isn’t this set gorgeous?!?  I’m a sucker for almost anything honeycomb but the fact that these scarf and hat are reversable has me absolutely swooning!  They use an innovative reversible slipped stitch cabling technique and, if you find that a little intimidating, it’s good to know that the scarf is the more difficult of the two so you’re better off starting with the hat to get comfortable first.  Both are 50% off until November 10.

My colour picks:


Sandstorm Cardi by Rachel Misner

The temperatures have dropped (a bit!) and suddenly I am allllllll about the big cosy sweaters and, when I spotted this lovely design, I knew it was the kind of comfy cardi I could live in all season long.  And because it’s designed in bulky yarn, it’ll crochet up in double-quick time (so you can be that much warmer that much faster!).

My colour picks:

 

Sundry by Hunter Hammersen

I love me some intriguing design details and the thumb construction on these eye-catching mitts is exactly what I’m talking about.  Yes, yes, the rest of the stitch pattern is gorgeous too — I mean really gorgeous — but just look at those thumbs!  The pattern comes in three sizes and, if you’re not keen on the rolled edge, it includes instructions for a ribbed edge too.

My colour picks:

images © the respective designers, used with permission

You know what?  Even though everything feels like a big rush this week, I’m so glad I stopped for a cup of tea and all this lovely fiber news.  And I hope you’re glad you did too.  But I really do have a full day, so it’s time I got on my way.  Wishing you a happy and creative day and, until next time, all my best!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: About Your Suggestions…

SpaceCadet Newsletter: About Your Suggestions…

Last week I sent an email asking for your help in choosing colourway names for these four new colours and, woooowwww, were there a lot of great ideas!  We’re all kind of blown away here!

Aren’t these gorgeously autumnal?

We’ll be going through all of the suggestions as a team next week and discussing our favourites.  In the meantime, if you didn’t get a chance to share your ideas, please click here to find out how to do that.

Now, I didn’t ask for email addresses so everyone’s answers were annoymous but realised (too late!) that means that when someone left a particurlarly interesting comment, I had no way to get back to them.  So if you don’t mind, I’m going to quickly do that now…

To the person who said, “I’m looking to knit these into hats and mittens…”
That’s a great idea — you’ll easily get a hat or mittens out of a single skein of fingering, sport, or DK
To the person who asked, “Would you please find a way to ship your club yarns to Canada!!?!”
The answer is yes, we do!  And we have a lot of Canadian club members, and would love to have you join them.  On any of our club sign-up pages, there is always an international option — just choose that, or feel free to email us if you can’t find it and we’ll be happy to help!
To the lovely friend who said, “These colourways are superb! They are deep, rich & complex”
Aww, thanks!  That’s exactly what we were going for!
To the person who commented, “Don’t knit so just choose a random yarn type…” and the person who said, “I am lousy with names…”
You really cracked me up!  (And raised a few questions…)  But you both still had some great name ideas!
To the people who asked if the colours stripe or pool…
They don’t stripe and they’re dyed in a way to create painterly colours that are less likely to pool.  However, any yarn can pool if your gauge lines up the colour repeats so perfectly that they stack one on top of the other.  To combat that, pick a stitch pattern that moves the colour around a little (slipped stitches are a great option) or alter the project’s width (through increases/decreases) or change your needle size.
To everyone who said lovely things about our dyeing (and that was so many of you!)…
Thank you thank you!  Knowing you love our work is what makes it all worthwhile!

Oh, and we’re going to be doing a special dyeing day for the introduction of these colours!  If you’d like to know more about that, jump down to the section about SpaceCadet News…


Newsletter
People ask all the time, “What needle size do I use for this yarn?” And my answer is inevitably a fairly unhelpful “it depends” (because, well, it does totally depend on the project — my favourite size needles for a fingering shawl is US6 but that would never work for socks). If you’re craving a handy way to get a (more conventional) size guide, try this excellent tip.
Visible mending is seriously trending at the moment (and I’m so glad about that because my mending always ended up being seriously visible no matter how hard I tried to be invisible). If you’re embracing this new trend too, click here to read 7 trick to know before you sew.
Silk is a luxury fiber much loved by knitters and crocheters but it’s so much more than that. I found this article fascinating as it explored the historic and future uses of silk from defense to medicine.  Did you know the first working bulletproof vest was made of silk?  Read on, it’s worth it.
You may recall a few weeks ago, I told you about a new video series, called Swatched, all about the art of knitting and crochet. The first episode features designer Angela Tong and is available to watch here.  (And it was filmed in her own home so, while you’re watching, check out the absolutely detail-perfect mid-century look she’s put together — I love it!)

New Colourways: Inaugural Dyeing Day!

The other week, we took inspiration from the weather turning chillier and sweater weather arriving at last(!) to dye four gorgeous new colourways and celebrate the new season!

For the time being, these as-yet-unnamed colourrways will be Limited Edition colourways, available only for this season — until we decide whether we want to add them to our line-up of standard colourways. So if you love them as much as well do, you’ll want to watch for their Inaugural Dyeing Day! (probably Nov 12)

If you’d like to be one of the lucky people we’re dying for that day (and one of the very first to get these new colours), click here to get on the list so I can let you know how to order them!

Upcoming Shows

Sun Nov 17 (noon-5pm) —  Indie Knit & Spin at the Ace Hotel in Pittsburgh PA

Here’s what’s got me super-excited about this show:

• first, it’s really special because it’s all indie makers
• second, it’s FREE entry but you can get first dibs on all the best stuff from your favourite vendors with an Early Access Pass for just $5
• and third, there’s a Happy Hour with special goodies from the vendors!


Urban Brioche by handmade by SMINÉ

I love a great crown and, boy oh boy, this one is gorgeous!  Incorporating high-contrast colour with brioche stitches for maximum effect, it’s designed in fingering and fully reversable so you get double the options.  Just in time for the cooler weather, try it in SpaceCadet Ester or go for real luxury with cashmere-rich Aurora.

Wild Flowers + Honey by Mara Licole

There’s a chill in the air and falling leaves swirling underfoot…  what better way to celebrate the season than with a new shawl with a beautiful, organic motif like this one?  Knit it in autumnal colours such as Honey, Headstrong, or Time Traveller, and welcome the change in the weather in style.

Surprise Sweater by Rebecca Velasquez

There are some sweaters that look so comfortable that I know I’d just live in them all season long, and this one felt like that as soon as I spotted it.  I love the fold-over collar and the super-relaxed shaping, and the fact that it’s sized all the way from XS to 5X!  Designed in worsted, I’d choose SpaceCadet Vega in Blood Moon, Feather, or Nine Stones.

images © the respective designers, used with permission

Ok, I’m heading down to the studio because today we are planning some really fun new dyeing projects…  a few top-secret LYS orders, some secret holiday surprises…  hmmm, I’m keeping a lot of secrets, aren’t I?  Well, I hope your day is full of just as much fun and, until next time, all my best!

 

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Seasons Change

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Seasons Change

The weather changed suddenly this week.  Last week it was hot (and at SVFF the weekend before, it was roasting!) but this week has brought a chill wind that says it’s time to finally say goodbye to the last of summer.  And the thing is, I could be really sad about that except that a change in the weather always brings new inspiration…  I suddenly want to dye new colours, cast on new projects.

a little something that this autumn weather has inspired… shhhhh, I’ll tell you more next week…

And it happens year round.  In the autumn, I’m ready to cast on hats and cowls and sweaters to keep everyone warm.  In January, it’s something indulgent for me to celebrate Selfish Knitting Month.  In the spring, I want something light and airy to take me through to summer. And then it’s autumn and we’re back to warm and cosy again.

And so even though I might be sad to see one season come to an end, knitting always has me eager to cast on the next season.  It’s a nice silver lining to the reality that time marches relentlessly on, and I’m so glad of it.  As the weather changes and autumn arrives, are you feeling the say way too?

And you know what the only trouble is…?  Making sure I finish what’s on my needles before the new season arrives!


Newsletter

Big news in the knitting, crochet, and needlepoint industry: TNNA announced last week that they are cancelling their winter tradeshow in favour of holding a pavilion on the show floor of Creativation, the Association of Creative Industries’ trade show.  This decision marks a major change for TNNA, moving the winter focus toward a larger creative industry show beyond the association’s traditional crafts while placing more emphasis on TNNA’s summer show.  You can read more coverage here, and the announcement from TNNA (including a link to a FAQ sheet about the change) here.

You make your own Halloween costumes every year, don’t you?  Well, whether you do or not, this woman’s incredible crocheted costumes are a full level up (and then some) from anything I’ve seen before.

The New York Times has recently discovered(!) that knitters like to knit at baseball games.  And that may be laughably obvious to you and me, I’m still really glad to see it getting such high level coverage.

Maybe you knit or crochet as a creative outlet.  Maybe it’s to get a perfect fit.  Or maybe… maybe it’s because there’s one very specific spot on the face of the Earth where you want to knit something incredible that makes you blend in and completely disappear.  If that’s the case, you rock on — I won’t judge!


Shenandoah Valley Flickering Light Kits
available next week!

We had an amazing time at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival the other week and an incredible response to the gorgeous autumnal colourway we dyed for our popular Flickering Light kits.  And as promised, we’re making them available to you too!

Each kit contains:

    • the pattern (a $7 value)
    • a full skein of our cashmere-rich Aurora in the main colour (in the Shenandoah Valley colourway, it’s this beautiful russet)
    • and a set of five 20g mini-skeins in amazing, one-of-a-kind colourways that make every kit unique and bring this gorgeous design to life

Now, we’re busy counting skeins and putting them together as kits, so we can get them in the shop (most likely on Wednesday of next week).  There’s a very limited number available but, if you’re on the kit waiting list, I’ll make sure you get first dibs! (click here to get your name on it)

September’s Mini-Skein Colours

August’s (at back) and September’s (at front) Minis from the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club⁠

Oh my stars, I’m soooo excited about the change in colour-direction that the Mini-Skein Club is taking!  We’ve been calling 2019’s colours “The Year of Unexpected Neutrals” and I love how those summer blues transitioned through a rich brown and out into a beautiful deep marroon.  And when you see it knit into Jade’s Northeasterly, it’s just gorgeous!⁠

Members of our Mini-Skein Club get a monthly bundle of gorgeous gradient minis that flow from one month to the next and to the next… to form a glorious Never-Ending Gradient.  Use them individually or create an epic project…  either way, it’s an awesome colour adventure!


Origami by Lone Kjeldsen

Winter is coming and nothing makes me look forward to those cold days like a really snuggly warm sweater.  And Lone Kjeldsen’s beautiful design has the advantage of being both deliciously simple (and unisex!) and wonderfully versitile.  The sample is knit in classic neutrals but see those lovely stripes across the body?  They’re perfect for gathering up all your leftover worsted yarns and knitting them into a gorgeous, colourful fade.  (Oh, and I really love the shoulder shaping — click through to see a detail shot).

Fascination Wrap and Cowl by Xandy Peters

Xandy Peter’s Fox Paws pattern is getting all the attention but, if I’m honest, I think I like this gorgeous design even more.  Incorporating her signature stacked stitches with mid-century modern stying, it creates a shawl that’s at once both vintage and so very now. You’ll need to be absolutely fearless with your colour choices* but the results will be 100% worth it!

*and if you’re not feeling all that fearless, email us with your favourite colour — we’re happy to help build a colour collection from there!

Ginkgo by Nomad Stitches

A gorgeous crochet option for a yoked sweater, I love this pattern’s texture …and that the visual interest is a simple panel of openwork stitches that let the colour of your t-shirt (or, well, of you) come into play!  Designed in sport weight to work up quickly and feel cozy, the pattern is sized all the way from XS to 4XL, so there’s a fit for everyone.

images © the respective designers, used with permission


This newsletter has been brought to you by the colourway Time Traveller, named for the iconic landscape of Salisbury Plain, and the SpaceCadet Pinterest board “Knitting Inspiration”, where (nearly) every pin links to the pattern.  Go find something gorgeous to make!

Ok, it’s time I got down to the studio and got to work.  Today we’re checking out some colourways that we hung up to dry (they always look soooo different once they’re dry!) and, if the light is right, I might grab some photos as well.  I hope your day is just as colourful and, until next time, all my best!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: I Jinxed Myself!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: I Jinxed Myself!

You remember last week I talked about the value of slowing things down?  Well, I feel like I jinxed myself!  This week has been nothing but one headlong rush from one day to the next.  Between our upcoming show this weekend, the Yarn Alliance closing on Monday, and the last chance to join the Mini-Skein Club and get a copy of her pattern Circulate…  well, there’s a lot going on!

But it’s so exciting, because it’s all about gorgeous gorgeous yarn — and I count myself pretty darned lucky that my busiest, toughest weeks are still all about smooshy fibery goodness!

(can I just tell you how much I love taking photos? I looove it)

Hey, before we get into the rest of the newsletter, let me just share something cool with you.  Because we’re driving through some amazingly beautiful woodlands on our way to the Shenendoah Valley Fiber Festival this weekend, we dyed some very special autumn-inspired Flickering Light kits.

I absolutely love the amazingly complex colours of those one-of-a-kind Mini-Skeins set against that rich burnished russet.  It’s autumn leaves, copper and patina, harvest spices…  We’re bringing kits in these gorgeous colours with us to SVFF this weekend but, if you don’t live close enough to come choose one in person (because every kit is a little different), we’ll be releasing a very limited quantity in our online shop in about two weeks.  Keep your eyes open for that!


Newsletter

So many knitters I know lack confidence in their finishing skills (count me in that group!) that they will go to enormous lengths to avoid patterns that require their use.  If picking up stitches along a neckline is one of the skills that makes you feel nervous, this useful guide will help you find your confidence.  And because the neckline frames your (lovely!) face, it’s so worth that extra effort, don’t you agree?

You’ve seen t-shirts that say, “Knitting a Post-Apocalyptic Life-Skill,” right?  Well, even before those endtimes come, it’s a darned handy thing to know if you, say, need a fence around your yard.

It’s nothing new to hear about movie stars knitting to pass the down-time on set, but I don’t often hear about celebrities trying weaving.  Even fewer who can be described as a “21-year-old ex-Disney star, Instagram provocateur, cat enthusiast, weed entrepreneur, porn director and fanatical crafter” but this one can and it cracked me up to read about her first foray into the fiber arts.  It’s… not exactly what I’d expected.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) ran an ad in Britain claiming that “wool is as cruel as fur” and the Advertising Standards Agency disagreed, ruling that the claim had been inaccurately presented and ordering Peta never to repeat it.  Read more about it here.


Join Now: The Yarn Alliance Closes on Monday!
Open until Sept 30

It’s almost time to close the Yarn Alliance so, if you’ve been thinking about joining our awesome yarn club, click here and get in now.  The Yarn Alliance is our premiere yarn club, all about gorgeous dyeing on fingering weight yarns.  Plus coordinating colourways, great gifts, and a ton of fun!

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

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival (SVFF)
Sept 28-29, Berryville VA

If you live near the Shenandoah Valley, you’ll want to come to SVFF this weekend! We’re bringing lots of yarn along with those gorgeous Flickering Light kits (at the top of the newsletter), so come see us in the Lion Pavillion (it’s a bit of a walk but totally worth it, I promise!)

Last Few Days to Get a Copy of Circulate
Join the Mini-Skein Club by the end of Sept for your free copy!

For the Mini-Skein Club, we dye a set of Ombre & Gradient colours that flow from one month into the next… and into the next… and into the next.  We’ve been in soft, beachy colours over the summer but I’m super-excited to show you where we’re headed next: this is August’s colours flowing into September’s…

(that’s August at the back, all blue and sea-like, and September at the front taking us in a whole new direction)

And you remember the other week I told you about my assistant Jade’s two beautiful new patterns, Trajectory and Circulate?  Circulate (above) is a long cowl designed especially for SpaceCadet Ombre&Gradient Mini-Skeins to make the most of the their gentle colour changes.  And I’m so excited for its release that I’m gifting a copy of Circulate to  everyone who joins the Mini-Skein Club in September!

Click here to find out what makes our Mini-Skein Club so special and then be sure to join this month to get your copy of the pattern.


Islington by Mara Licole

I know this is a little ridiculous but thing I love most about this gorgeous shawl is not the lovely texture of the wrapped-lace stitch pattern (but isn’t it lovely? and so intriguing)…  it’s actually that nice, fat, squishy garter edge! I think most designers would have made the edge smaller but this design was inspired by the view of a busy London street scene viewed quietly through a window with a thick window frame, and that lovely garter edge reflects that beautifully.  It’d look beautiful in Dark Skies (I mean… cuz London!), Feather, or Nine Stones.


Penny by tincanknits

Simple shapes and beautiful details can make a sweater, and even better when its sized from newborn all the way to 4XL.  I love the v-neck (they’re always so flattering) but what I like most is the detail down the sleeve that mirrors the center panel.  It’d look lovely in Oxblood, Yes Dear, or Longing.


HoneyBuns Beanie by Nomad Stitches

Here’s what caught my eye about this lovely pattern: every example on the pattern page is different because, mimicking an actual bee hive, it’s designed to be crocheted differently every time! The instructions are sized from babies to adults, so you can make one for every member of your family. And while it’s designed in fingering, it can also be adapted to sport or DK for a chunkier beanie.  I’d love to see it in Honey (of course!), but I think it would gorgeous in Headstrong and Yes Dear.


images © the respective designers, used with permission

This newsletter has been sponsored by the SpaceCadet Pinterest board “Mini-Skein Ideas”, where (nearly) every pin links to the pattern.  Go find something gorgeous to make!

Ok, it’s going to be a super-busy day today (we’re  packing the car for the show and I’m sure I’ve left something off the list!) so I’d better get it started.  I hope your day is filled with colour and fun and, until next time, all my best!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: The Surprise of Slowness

SpaceCadet Newsletter: The Surprise of Slowness

I recently read a book called The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth, about the reality of living in the Nordic countries.  It was a fascinating book (I highly recommend it) and my favourite part was about one of the most popular television shows ever broadcast on NKR (Norway’s public broadcaster).  Apparently, the Norwegian television event of the century was created by simply strapping a camera onto the front of a train travelling from Bergen to Oslo and then broadcasting the entire journey — uninterrupted and in real time — over the course of seven hours (inspiring Booth to write my favourite line in the whole book: “The tunnels must have been especially riveting.”).

It’s called Slow Television, and it’s a real thing.  In fact, it’s really taking off (insomuch as something with “slow” right in the title can take off).  Right now, Ikea Australia is broadcasting their own slow televison programme, documenting the entire journey of a shipment of their bedding products from the factory in China to their store in Sydney — all in very slow, very real time.  And the accompanying soundtrack is the hypnotic sound of two of their employees soothingly reading aloud the product names of the entire bedding and bath section from the Ikea cataloge.

Friend, I have been utterly unable to turn it off.  It’s oddly beautiful, incredibly soothing, and just so sloooow.  And as I watched the sun rise over the Pacific the other day (at about 2pm eastern, if you want to tune in too), I realised that the thing that I find appealing about watching the endless sea rolling slowly by is the same thing I love about knitting.  It’s quiet.  It’s got a gentle rhythm.  And there’s something really fulfilling about spending some time just slowing down.

You and I knew about that before Ikea’s boat set sail, and before “slow television” ever took off.  There’s real value in slowing down, breathing deeply, being quiet.  And we do it everytime we knit or crochet, everytime we wind a ball or cake a skein, everytime we start the day quietly with a cup of tea and a project… and even everytime we get together to read this newsletter.

I am determined to bring a little bit more slowness into my days.  I think it does good things for the soul.  And while I think the best source of slowness is yarn and tea, I’m kinda ok if it comes by way of an Ikea catalogue read aloud.


Newsletter

I recently shared a beautiful pattern in filet crochet, which gives a lovely graphic look that I love.  If you like it too, this article has some really handy tips and tricks for perfect filet crochet, including how to make sure your stitches are truly square.  Worth reading!

One of the things I love most about this community is how generous knitters and crocheters are — there is a long tradition of giving and gifting that is inherent to the fiber arts that comes out when we make things for people in need.  In that vein, Clara Parkes recently put out a call for knitted and crocheted items to help keep warm Maine’s newest asylum seekers as they face their first New England winter.  Click here to read more and help out.

I was super excited to see this post by designer Angela Tong, about filming the pilot of SWATCHED, a new show about the art of knit and crochet. No word yet on how or when it will be available to view but watch this space!

If you’ve seen Xandy Peters amazing Fox Paws and been intrugued/confused/flummoxed as to how it’s constructed (cough… like me… cough), this video is a revelation.  A 9-in-1 increase? Called [KYOK SB2]?  Ahhh yes, that old gem…  I, erm… I do it all the time!


Come Join The Yarn Alliance!
Open until Sept 30

It’s been so much fun seeing all the new and returning members joining the Yarn Alliance and I’m seriously excited about the upcoming season!  The Yarn Alliance is our premiere yarn club, all about gorgeous dyeing on fingering weight yarns.  Plus coordinating colourways, great gifts, and a ton of fun.  It’s open for two weeks only, so click here to get your spot! 

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival (SVFF)
Sept 28-29, Berryville VA

We’ve been planning our booth and we’re so excited to be coming back to SVFF We’ve got some awesome kits in brand-new colourways that we’ve dyed especially for the show so, if you’ll be there too, please come and see us in the Lion Pavillion (it’s a bit of a walk but totally worth it, I promise!)

Join the Mini-Skein Club in Sept and Get a Copy of Circulate

You remember last week I told you about my assistant Jade’s two beautiful new patterns, Trajectory and Circulate?  Circulate (above) is a long cowl designed especially for SpaceCadet Ombre&Gradient Mini-Skeins to make the most of the their gentle colour changes.  And I’m so excited for its release that I’m gifting a copy of Circulate to  everyone who joins the Mini-Skein Club in September!

Click here to find out what makes our Mini-Skein Club so special and then be sure to join this month to get your copy of the pattern.


Prague Top by Nataliya Polyakov

One thing I love about this time of year is that you can wear a sweater to keep a bit warmer but still go for something pretty and lacy.  This beautiful pattern is a perfect example and one that made me click on it the second I spotted it.  Designed in fingering, it’s knit from the bottom up and worked seamlessly.  I’d love it in SpaceCadet Celeste (a lovely light fingering) in Plume, Blood Moon, or Drizzle.


 

The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Mara Licole

It was the texture of this lovely shawl that caught my eye first.  It’s got lace and textured colour and bobbles and picot, although all of that together has the potential to be just too much, it’s all so well balanced in this design that it looks beautiful.  Worked in DK to keep things quick, it’s also going to be beautifully cosy as the nights draw in.  I’d knit it in SpaceCadet Astrid in the colourways Drizzle, Frigia, or Honey.

Maia Tunic by Nomad Stitches

Ok, I know this looks all summery and that might not make the most sense this time of year but I have my reasons!  First, this is darned cute and I just like it.  Second, I am 100% not ready to give up on summer yet.  And third, I’d totally throw this over a pair of leggings and a tank and pair it with a little jacket and wear it well into the coming months.  Designed in DK, it will work up quick and feel delicious.  I think it would look awesome in Tickled for a crazy neon pop, Mars for a bold look, or Thrive for a much softer and more organic look.

images © the respective designers, used with permission

This newsletter has been sponsored by the SpaceCadet Pinterest board “Knitting Inspiration: Shawls and Wraps”, where (nearly) every pin links to the pattern.  Go find something gorgeous to make!

Ok, as lovely as it’s been sitting here with my tea and being slow, it’s time get my day started.  The Mini-Skein Club parcels went out yesterday and I can’t wait to hear from folks as they received their yarn (tag me!).  But we’ve got lots of other stuff to get shipped out before we head to SVFF next week, so I’d better get moving.  I hope you’ve had a lovely slow start and have good things planned for the day and, until next time, all my best!

 

SpaceCadet Newsletter: The Things You Say to Me!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: The Things You Say to Me!

One of the things I love most about running SpaceCadet is that it allows me to interact with our customers and club members in a way that I think would simply not be possible in another type of business.  I love looking over the colour combos that our customers come up with(!) and writing a little thank you on each order.  Or drawing a smiley face and a quick “Hi!” whenever I see a familiar name on a shipping label.  And most of all, I love the conversations that come back in emails and messages.  Sometimes, when it’s super busy, I don’t get the chance to reply personally, but I am so appreciative of every one.

This week I got three that especially made me feel all warm and fuzzy:

  • From a SpaceMonster member, “Your colors make even my non-crafty husband say ‘Wow‘” (which makes me think he must be a keeper… I mean, who doesn’t love a man who loves beautiful yarn?!?)
  • From a member of the Mini-Skein Club, “I do love mixing and matching them and have made some of my favorite projects with your minis.” (I loved hearing that!)
  • And from a member of the Yarn Alliance, “I’m in again. Love your Yarn Alliance.

That last one might just mean the most to me, because when one of our club members renews their subscription, it means we’ve done something right.  So right that they want to come back and sign up again — and I honestly can’t think of any better feedback than that!  I am absolutely, completely thrilled every time a club member renews.

So you’ll know how excited I was yesterday, when I opened the secret link that lets Yarn Alliance renewers and folks on the waiting list get their spots early before the club opens on Friday…  and almost everyone who joined signed up for a full year.  One after another after another, all grabbing those 12-month subscriptions (and some even going for a double or a triple subscription! Wow!).  The fact that our renewing members are coming back like that (and coming back for the whole year) fills me with so much joy   …and gets me super excited for the upcoming seasons!

So, if you’re a renewing member or are on the club waiting list and you haven’t got your spot yet, check your inbox for an email from me yesterday.  And if you’re not, just sit tight — the Yarn Alliance will open to the public on Friday at noon (eastern).  Set an alarm on your phone now and then click here to get your spot and join us on our colour adventure!


But enough about all that… there’s been a lot going on in the world of knitting and crochet that I want to share with you!  So grab your cuppa and find a comfy place to sit and let’s take a look!…

Newsletter

You may use terminology such as “yoke”, “purl”, and “swatch” all the time, but have you ever wondered how these knitting words originated?  Merriam-Webster has your back!  I loved this fascinating article detailing the etymology of a ton knitting-related words…  even “frogging” made the list.

How does Ravelry make money?  In 2012, Ravelry co-founder Cassidy (formerly Casey) Forbes wrote this post detailing where their revenue comes from and, in this recent Twitter post, she updated that same info using numbers from 2018.  And the short answer to the question is more than half comes from the ads you see.

(If you found confusing that reference to Ravelry co-founder Casey Forbes as Cassidy, you may have missed the news that Casey recently came out as transgender and is now called Cassidy, and uses the pronouns she/her.  You can read her announcement here.)

I am in love (as in, in looooooove…) with this knitting- and crochet-related jewelry line The designs are so beautifully subtle that perhaps only another crafter would spot their significance, but isn’t that part of the charm? Want!

“There’s something inherently agitating, even subconsciously, when you’re pinging around through social media as opposed to kind of having a singular focus and the relaxation benefits that come with slowing down, learning about something, and then making with your hands.”  I completely agree with this statement from an article about a study that showed 77% of Americans would rather give up their Netflix subscription than their creative hobbies.  Now, the study was done by Bluprint (formerly Craftsy), so the results may not be very surprising, but it certainly matches my experience  (…what does confuse me, however, is the photo they used to illustrate the article — it’s art, I get that, but art is really weird sometimes!).

BIPOC in Fiber is a website dedicated to highlighting Black, Indigenous and People of Colour working the fiber industry, with the goals of enabling BIPOC working in the fiber industry to find and see one another, enabling event planners and publications to be more intentional, featuring a directory of BIPOC working with fiber, and pooling resources and articles designed to improve access to opportunities for BIPOC working with fiber. They are currently 80% of the way to their £20,000 crowdfunding goal.  Click here to help them raise that last 20%.


Join the Mini-Skein Club in Sept and Get a Free Copy of Circulate

You remember last week I told you about my assistant Jade’s two beautiful new patterns, Trajectory and Circulate?  Circulate (above) is a long cowl designed especially for SpaceCadet Ombre&Gradient Mini-Skeins to make the most of the their gentle colour changes.  And I’m so excited for its release that I’m gifting a copy of Circulate to  everyone who joins the Mini-Skein Club in September!

Click here to find out what makes our Mini-Skein Club so special and then be sure to join this month to get your copy of the pattern.

The Yarn Alliance Opens Tomorrow!

You already know it  …but I’m still going to tell you again! (grin)  Now, set that alarm on your phone for Friday at noon (eastern) and then click here to get your spot!  Also, let me tempt you with a little scrollcandy on your way down to the next item…

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival (SVFF)
Sept 28-29, Berryville VA

We’re so excited to be coming back to SVFF And at our most recent team meeting, we came up with something awesome that we’re going to premiere at the show.  So if you’ll be there too, please send us a quick email and let us know to look out for you!


Bayeux by Mindy Brown

This is not a new pattern — it came out years ago and it’s been on my website before — so I was quite surprised when I saw it suddenly climbing Ravelry’s Hot Right Now list.  Then I realised…  it was recently featured on the front page of Ravelry as Peppersock’s Wedding Dress (and what an amaaaazing wedding dress it makes!).  Designed in SpaceCadet Celeste, it’s a remarkably quick project, given that’s a full dress and would make a fabulous option for any event.  I’d love to see it as a holiday party dress in Mars or Troublemaker (with a black underskirt, just to make the point?) or a prom dress in Feather (perhaps with a Fizz-green underskirt, to make the yarn pop?)

Ritchie by Jenny F

Beautiful colourwork and texture are an easy way to my heart and so this gorgeous shawl caught my eye straight away.  Incorporating mosaic slipped stitches, a little texture, and relaxing garter stitch, it’s a great pattern too work on as the nights get longer.  Try it in cashmere-rich Aurora for a truly luxurious option (I like Longing and Sage for a wonderfully wintery green colour pairing).

Taroko Sweater by Nomad Stitches

Colourwork yoke sweaters have been wildly popular for a while now but I’ve yet to see a crocheted version as lovely as this one.  Incorporating lace sections for extra interest, it can be worked as a cropped sweater or longer, whichever you prefer.  It would work beautifully in SpaceCadet Oriana or, if you’re confident playing with gauge a little, I’d try Celeste to go a little lighter and give it a softer feel.  Mimic these colours with Yes Dear, Frigia, and Sliver, or give it an autumnal feel with Oxblood, Honey, and Fat-Free Chocolate.

images © the respective designers, used with permission


Ok, I’ve got a super-exciting day ahead.  We’ve got something really special planned for our LYS customers and today we’re planning out twelve months of new colourways for it!  I’m actually bursting to tell you but can’t say any more than that (if you’re an LYS owner, get in touch and I’ll make sure you’re one of the first to hear about it).  I hope your day is just as exciting and, until next time, all my best!