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
I don’t know if you saw the full moon earlier a couple of weeks ago, but it was a rare Super Blue Moon. Which doesn’t mean it was blue at all, but it was absolutely spectacular.
In case you don’t know, the moon is “super” when it’s closest to the earth — the perigee of its orbit — and a “blue” moon means its full for the second time in a calendar month. And while a supermoon isn’t all that rare, a blue moon occurs in only 3% of full moons, and the next super blue moon won’t be for another 14 years.
Photo by Ganapathy Kumar
I went out for a late night walk to see it, climbing to the top of our steep hill to catch the view as it began to rise.
The skies over Pittsburgh were covered in hazy clouds that hung like a veil over the moon, catching and reflecting its light so that it appeared even larger than it was: a super super blue moon. It was breathtaking.
I’ve just recently finished knitting a new hat that I’ve designed in a recent SpaceMonster Club colourway, a layered midnight blue called Darkening. And I was utterly delighted with the way it turned out! It’s fun and quirky, and turned out exactly as I hoped, so I began to write up the pattern.
And after I’d notate the basics of what I’d done, I did something I really shouldn’t have: I wet blocked the hat, dunking it completely in a bowl of water.
I shouldn’t have done that because the yarn is Capella, our beautiful single-ply worsted that so smooshy… but along with that smoosh comes a tendency to bloom a lot when it’s wetted out. It absolutely loves being misted into shape, not dunked.
But I did indeed dunk it, and suddenly my hat went from being the regular moon to a super super moon.
Which was also… blue. Maybe it was fated to happen.
As it dried, I managed to coax the hat back to a more reasonable size. It’s still remarkably slouchy, but it’s no longer ridiculous. And I’ve cast on a second one, this time in Darkening’s sister SpaceMonster colourway, Drifting, which I’ll most definitely mist-block.
When at last I release the hat pattern as a new SpaceCadet yarn knitting design, it will come in two versions, each slightly different. I have a pattern name already chosen — one that’s just as fun and quirky as the hat itself — which I was going to use with the suffixes I and II (like a movie and its sequel) to distinguish the two versions.
But now I’m wondering… maybe one of them should really be called Super Super Blue Moon…? It kinda feels right!
Colourwork makes for some of the most exciting knitting and crochet projects — even when it’s something as simple as stripes. But when you’re holding two yarns in the skein, it can be really hard to accurately picture how they’ll work together. Will the colours blend? Will they pop? Will they clash or will they compliment?
And it can be especially difficult to choose yarns for colourwork when one or more of the colourways are variegated!
How to Quickly Choose Yarns for Colourwork
Ever hold two colours together and wonder how they’ll really work in colourwork?
Holding two skeins next to each other gives you a good idea of how the colours will play together in your project. But because they’re just sitting side-by-side, there’s a disconnect that can be deceptive. In essence, they are big blobs of homogeneous colour that are only interacting along the one edge where they meet, and, honestly, that isn’t a great representation of how colour behaves in a knitting or crochet project.
Here’s an example of two gorgeous one-of-a-kind (OOAK) skeins we came across during a recent stock take. They’re both variegated, which makes judging their compatibility that much more complicated.
They look absolutely lovely together, but the real question is: will they work together in colourwork?
Now, there are all sort of tricks to figuring out how to choose colours for colourwork — everything from taking black & white photos to swatching — but, here at SpaceCadet, we’ve got one simple technique that’s worked for us time and time again.
And we’d love to show it to you! Join our mailing list to get our free guide.
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Many years ago, I worked for a large chemical manufacturer, controlling the raw materials for a factory making polyesters for the textile industry. It was an interesting job that was constantly changing as we tackled supply chain issues, manufacturing delays, and all sorts of unexpected hiccups.
But twice a year, everything would go eerily quiet as we shut down all our operations and the entire manufacturing team headed down to the warehouse to spend two full days counting everything we had in stock.
The warehouse was cavernous, and so cold in the winter that you could see your breath and so hot in the summer that you could feel the sweat trickling down your back. And, to me at least, stocktake was unbearably boring no matter which time of year.
Walking in pairs down row after row of pallets stacked to ceiling, one person would count and the other would scribble the numbers on densely line sheets attached a clipboard. The job felt like it took forevvvvver.
…1 …2 …3 …4. Ok, jot that down.
…8 …9 …10. Wait, which line were we on?
Can I be honest? I hated it.
So when my accountant first told me that, even though SpaceCadet is only a teeny tiny company, we still need to do those same stocktakes…. Well, my heart sank.
But the thing is, this time it feels completely different. This time, we’re not counting pallets in a huge, windowless warehouse — we’re counting yarn. And as we take it all off the shelves and dump it into a big basket to begin counting, it feels less like a requirement and more like a treat.
In fact, a few years ago we joked that, instead of calling it “Stocktake Day”, we should call it “Pet All The Yarn Day”.
Actually, because we’re such a small team — who (ahem) easily get suddenly distracted with tons of new colourway and design ideas(!) — stocktake takes a lot longer than a day. And that’s ok, because it’s all yarn.
But if you are a yarn person, then it might just be right up your alley! We think of it as visual ASMR that can just play in the background of whatever you’re doing, as we dump all that lovely yarn into a big basket and and then count it all up again.
There’s birdsong in the background (we take everything outside if the weather is nice), we’re chatting as we work, and then there’s the lovely meditative counting.
If you’re ready for summer yarns, then you’ll want to join Encourage Better’s Learn To Love Linen Workshop. Feel like you’ve been whisked way to the best summer camp ever, learning about the perfect warm-weather yarn choice and broadening your understanding of plant-based options.
You’ll recall that last month, Stitches/XRX announced they were cancelling all their future shows and shuttering their business, but it appears they are not actually entering bankruptcy. A letter from their lawyer has been shared on Ravelry, amid much debate.
There’s no faster way to kill the vibe at knit or crochet night than to ask about dealing with clothes moths, but it’s an issue that every knitter or crocheter needs to be aware of, especially this time of year. This useful article walks you through several methods to avoid an infestation, including baking your woolens. Yes, baking.
We sat with cups of tea and I spread a huge cloth so we could lay all the Mini-Skeins out and get a good look at the colourways that have come before. We’re both very much visual thinkers and can’t possibly plan any new colourways without piles of yarn around us — least of all the Ombre&Gradient Mini-Skeins!
But as we started discussing the upcoming colour flow, I was taken aback by how beautiful the yarn looked in the fresh Spring light. “Let me go get my camera!” I said.
And so our dyeing meeting turned into an impromptu photoshoot, right there on the porch, in the soft breeze and gentle birdsong.
Share Your Thoughts on Mini-Skeins
One of the things that Jade and I were discussing — as we planned our dyeing and took the photos and drank our tea — is the way that Mini-Skeins can sometimes seem a little intimidating to work with.
The truth is, it’s really just a matter of laying them out to find the right colour flow for you, and then picking a great stitch and casting on. But I know that can seem tricky at first, so we we’ve been thinking of ways we can help. And if you have a minute, please click here to share your challenges (and successes!) with Mini-Skeins.
(A quick thought: if you’re a real SpaceCadet fan, you may have spotted that the skeins being dropped into the bowl above aren’t our Ombre&Gradient skeins. But my gosh, the Multi Mix Minis were just so gorgeous in the spring light that we couldn’t help but photo them too!
The thing is, the Multi Mix isn’t nearly as popular as the Ombre&Gradient Mix but, honestly, I think folks are crazy not to go for them — they’re beautifully complex and incredibly intriguing. I have so much love for the Multi Minis! 💕)
The biggest news of the past week the surprise announcement by Stitches XRX that they have ceased business operations and are entering bankruptcy. As the organiser of some of the biggest yarn shows in the country — including Stitches West, Stitches SoCal, Stitches Midwest, and the Stitches at Home virtual shows — the news has hit hard for knitters, crocheters, and especially their vendors, many of whom are currently trying to recoup their booth fees for now-cancelled shows. You can read Stitches XRX’s official statement here and find conversations around the news on Ravelry here and Reddit here.
And then a few days later, publisher Annie’s announced the shuttering of Crochet! magazine. You can read the announcement here. (The take away? Oh my stars, these are pretty uncertain times for everyone in the yarn industry and I know your favourite designers and dyers really appreciate your continued support as we all navigate all these changes.)
If you need something soothing after reading the sad news above then this is just the ticket: artist Matt Taylor has created three knitting videos that are utterly mesmerizing. I could watch them for hours! You have to check them out — click here, here, and then here. My favourite is the second one… Which is yours?
My husband came home the other day and said, “Hey, did you hear that piece on NPR about the weaving-thing at Maryland Sheep and Wool?” I’ll give him credit for perfectly nailing the name of the show and let slide that he called the Sheep to Shawl competition a weaving-thing…! And then I’ll do a happy dance that a sheep to shawl event made it onto a national programme like NPR’s Consider This. Click here to read or hear the story.