SpaceCadet Newsletter: Taking Time to Play in the Studio

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Taking Time to Play in the Studio

Dyeing is always about creativity and always about colour, but it isn’t always about playing.  And I realised recently that we needed to get in the studio and just play a bit.  No plan, no dyeing list, no preconceptions…  Just gathering a bunch of skeins, getting all the dyes out, and letting our imaginations run.  So yesterday, that’s what we did!

(Here’s a little behind-the-scenes designed to show you what we did while not actually revealing anything)

It felt wonderful to shed the pressure we usually place on ourselves and to just experiment and explore and create.  And that feeling of freedom came through in the new colourways we dyed.  They’re all in the studio drying now and, if I like the results as much as I think I’m going to like them, I’ll be photographing and sharing them with you in the coming weeks!

But there’s no hurrying drying — it just takes a long as it takes — so, while we wait, let’s occupy ourselves with all the fun fiber-y news I’ve spotted this week.  Are you ready?…

Newsletter

Awhile back, I wrote a blog post about How to Use Instagram for Knitting Inspiration and one of my key points was to use  hashtags to find patterns and other knitters you like.  At that time, the only way to do that was to use the search to find posts with that hashtag but Instagram has now made it possible to follow a hashtag the same way you’d follow another Instagram user and the result is an IG feed that’s just bursting with knitting and crochet inspiration!  To follow a hashtag, just tap on it in a post or search for it in the search window, and then tap the blue “follow” button on the hashtag’s feed (here’s a quick tutorial).  For knitting, try following #knittersofinstagram #knitting_inspiration #knittingaddict #knittersofig #knitsagramfor crochet, try #crochetersofinstagram #crochetgram #instacrochet #crochetaddict #crochetlove; and for SpaceCadet yarn, follow #spacecadetyarn #spacemonstersclub #spacecadetminiskeins #yarnalliance.

The new year a great time to be adventurous and pick up new skills (especially when the weather forces you to stay indoors the way it has here in Pittsburgh).  If you are a knitter who has always wanted to learn to crochet, I am intrugued by The Learn to Crochet Project from loveknitting.  Starting with a simple chain, it promises to walk you step-by-step through everything you need to know to begin crocheting with confidence, and your first project is a really pretty cowl.  Grab a hook and check it out!  The first installment (last week’s) is here and the second (this week’s) is here.

This has nothing to do with knitting or crochet but had me laughing out loud while also screaming “WHAT?!?” inside my head.

I am utterly blown away by the Flying Mosque, a hand-crocheted art installation currently on display in the United Arab Emirates.  Created by the same artist who produced The Urchins (and produced by a team of over 40 crocheters), it is simply beautiful.  When you click the link, scroll down toward the bottom of the page to see it turning in the wind.  Mesmerizing!

Dates for Your Calendar

Shop Update: either Jan 26 or Feb 2 TBD

It’s sweater weather time!  And we do some seriously gorgeous Sweater Sets in gradients that link from one of our regular colourways to another (so it’s dead easy to add extra skeins if you need them!).  But we’re low on stock so we’ll be dyeing more this month — look for a shop update to be announced for either Jan 26 or Feb 2 as we get closer to the end of the month.

**SPOILER** The Latest Gradient Explorers Colourway: Sun Shower

The most recent yarn in our (full-sized) Never-Ending Gradient went out to the members of the Gradient Explorers and, I have to tell you, I think it’s amazing.  I’m pretty sure most of the parcels have been delivered but, if you’re a member and haven’t received yours yet, quick — close your eyes and scroll down!

This is Sun Shower, and it takes that same lavender that we hinted at a couple of months ago in Frost Moon and layers it with a stunning periwinkle and bold, deep purples. I love how they run over one another, blending and dividing as they do. And then, for an exciting pop of contrast, we added in a wonderful buttery yellow that somehow looks perfect against all the blues and purples, don’t you think?

I sent an email to all the Gradient Explorers members introducing the colourway and sharing a whole BUNCH of ideas for awesome fades. I found is that the Gradient Explorers skeins of the last few months work so beautifully with so many SpaceCadet colourways that mixing and matching them is super-easy — but choosing between them is really hard! The fades below are all quite similar, but look carefully and you can see subtle differences that will impact how the final project turns out.

Choose your favourite and then click here to vote in my poll on Ravelry — I’d love to know which one you liked best!

Gradient Explorers: New Spaces Open on Jan 26

We open spaces to the Gradient Explorers only when they become available and we should have a few spots open at the end of this month so mark your calendar for Jan 26, and look for joining instructions  in upcoming newsletters.

Wren by Claire Garland

As the cold set in last week, it felt like the world outside stood still: traffic slowed to a near halt, pedestrians disappeared, and every wild thing seemed to go into hibernation.  But there was a little wren that visited my bird feeder every day, gorging itself on seeds and suet, and making me smile every time I saw it.  So when I was looking through patterns on Ravelry, of course this one jumped out at me.  What a sweet little knit!

The Habitat Cardigan by Jess Coppom

This is the time of year when I reach for big, slouchy cardigans to wrap myself up in and keep the cold at bay (sometimes two cardigans, if one is big enough to fit over the other!).  This lovely loose design is exactly what I have in mind and, if you’re planning to try The Learn to Crochet Project that I mentioned above, you’ll be glad to know that this beautiful crochet design is both beginner-level and free!

Unheeded Warnings by Barbara Benson

Two things I really love about this design: first, the name, which stems from Barbara’s unwavering belief that there had to be a way to successfully combine colour and lace; and second, the fact that this design is a fabulous way to combine that variegated skein that’s had you stumped with a semi-solid skein that will tame it a little — swatch them together and see if I’m not right!

All images © the respective designers and used with permission

For as cold as it’s been in Pittsburgh, today and tomorrow we are getting a very short reprieve — today is forecast to hit almost 60F!  And so we’re going to taking the opportunity stocktake of some of the yarn that’s stored in an area that’s usually uncomfortably cool this time of year.   So I had better finish my coffee and get to it!  I hope you enjoyed taking this quick fiber-filled break with me and, until next time, all my best!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: My Best Tools for 2018

SpaceCadet Newsletter: My Best Tools for 2018

The new year always starts with a mix of excitement and trepidation.  Everything is fresh and new, everything is a blank page, and the possibilities are endless!  …And yet, can I possibly live up to all that has to offer?  When I first mark that blank page, can I do it justice?

Photo by rawpixel.com

As each year passes, I’ve gotten a little better at harnessing that potential.  Not that I ever feel I’ve lived up to it, mind you, but I’ve moved on from resolutions (so harsh!) to goals (more forward-thinking) and this year, perhaps, to cultivating practices.  I’m hoping to make 2018 mindful and focused and I’m sharing with you some of the ways I’ll be trying to do that.

But before I do, I hope you had lovely holidays.  Ours were wonderful — mostly quiet with family, which felt exactly right, and gave me a chance to really rest.  I am knocking on wood as I say it, but I feel like I’m starting to get back to feeling like myself again. Of course, I say that but then I tried 15 minutes of yoga this week and had to rest for 30 minutes afterwards.  Baby steps, I guess.

Oh, one other quick thing: this week, the “k” key on my laptop keeps sticking, which is something of a problem for someone who writes about knitting a lot, so if you see me mention “nitting” somewhere below, you’ll know why.  Anyone know how to fix a laptop key that’s acting up? (Also, just take a guess as to how many times I had to type “the ‘kkey on my keyboard keeps sticking” before it came out right?!?)

Ok, ready for all the usual weekly fun?  Here we go…

Newsletter

Photo by Brooke Lark

As it’s the first week of a the new year, with all that has to offer, I’m devoting this section to sharing my favourite ideas and tools for making the most of 2018….

New Year’s Resolutions always feel kind of doomed to fail (if you kept yours in 2017, hit reply and tell me how!) and year-long goals are… well… long.  Instead, I kind of like the idea of a bucket list for the new year: individual things you want to do, try, or learn at some point in the year.  This article gives four steps for creating a great 2018 bucket list.

And along those lines, I really liked this article with six tips for cultivating a creative practice in 2018.  Whether it’s knitting or crochet or writing or playing guitar or whatever creative outlet you most enjoy, I absolutely love the idea of taking our innate creativity and consciously building a practice around it.

I’ve told you about Workflowy before but it is a tool that I love so very much that I have to share it with you again.  I don’t really know how to categorise it: it’s a list-making tool, an organisational tool, a note-taking and brainstorming and mind-dumping and everything tool.  I use it all the time and you just have to try it to understand what I mean (or, watch this video… but really, just give it a go).  And it’s free(!) up to 250 items a month (“items” means lines, and that will make more sense once you’ve tried it) but, if you sign up with this link, both you and I get an extra 250 items for free.  So give it a try — and then please hit reply and let me know what you think!

Bullet journalling is a thing I always feel I ought to conquer but somehow never do. I mostly just make to do lists.  This year might be different.  I will never be one of those artsy people who create works of art on every page (I know a few and they amaze me!) but I can at least use my journal for more than lists.  I’ll use this Bullet Journaling 101 article as a guide (or maybe the whole series).  This week, I put a fresh notebook in my Traveller’s Notebook and, while I use a Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen, I also got a Lamy Vista for Christmas and I really like it. (And I do like to pop a printable Knitting Project Card in my notebook to keep track of what I’m working on at the moment).

Ok, just for fun: I shared with you a few weeks ago what fun it is to blow bubbles in super cold weather and watching them freeze (have you tried it? Go! Do it!).  This week I discovered the absolute joy of making my own snow.  You wouldn’t think that throwing a pan of boiling water into the air would delight a grown woman as much as it did, but I actually started giggling like a little kid when the water froze and turned into snow.  If you’ve never done it, try it!  Here’s a video to show you how (…how to do something so easy that you don’t really need the video).

 

Dates for Your Calendar

Shop Update: either Jan 26 or Feb 2 TBD

It’s sweater weather time!  And we do some seriously gorgeous Sweater Sets in gradients that link from one of our regular colourways to another (so it’s dead easy to add extra skeins if you need them!).  But we’re low on stock so we’ll be dyeing more this month — look for an update to be announced for either Jan 26 or Feb 2 as we get closer to the end of the month.

Gradient Explorers: New Spaces Open on Jan 26

We’re about to send out the latest colourway for the Gradient Explorers and it takes the ever-growing gradient in a whole new direction that the whole team is just swooning over.  I can’t wait to share photos with you!  We open spaces to the Gradient Explorers only when they become available and we should have a few spots open at the end of this month so mark your calendar and look for updates in upcoming newsletters.

The SpaceMonsters Latest Parcel

And while we’re at it, I just have to share with you the SpaceMonsters December colourway.  This was the last parcel of the 2017 season and I just love the both the club colourway, Tannenbaum, and the coordinate, Winterberry.  Don’t you?

This parcel also had an awesome gift that I was too sick in December to photograph, but I’m hoping to snap some photos and show you in next week’s newsletter.  For no other reason than that I love it so much!  Seriously, it’s just so much fun to create beautiful colourways and put together great gifts for our club members!  The club doesn’t open again until June but if you want to hear first when it does, get on the SpaceMonsters mailing list.

 

It’s been bitterly cold here in Pittsburgh (ask me what that does to our dyepots!) so, this week, I am entirely preoccupied with keeping warm — and that spilled over into my pattern picks.

All images © the respective designers and used with permission

Below 60 Beanie by Benjamin Matthews

Ok, when I first read the name of the pattern, I thought it was Below Minus 60, because that’s how cold it feels right now.  But even if it’s not really that cold and even if this hat isn’t name quite so dramatically, it’s the perfect wintery quick-knit to keep your noggin warm.  And it’s FREE through January 5, so snap it up quick!

“The Huggle” Hooded Cowl by Jess Coppom

As cold as I’ve been this week, how could I resist this cowl-that-becomes-a-hood?  A super-simple pattern, it’s just one of those practical things you’ll end up reaching for all winter long (personally, I’d be wearing it inside my jacket so it fills that gap around my neck where the wind sneaks in.  Knit in bulky yarn, this free pattern would look great (and be sooo warm) in our bulky Elara.

Heriz by Hunter Hammersen

What’s the thing that gets cold the most? My toes!  And I want socks that look pretty, of course, but that keep my feet warm (“No lace, Mrs Bennet, I beg you!”).  Heriz fit the bill perfectly — such delicate stitchwork can be combined with a no-holes design is exactly what I want.   Knit them in Oriana and they’re sure to keep you toasty year after year.


Ok, it’s time to get back to work.  I’ve got some fun photography to do today (new Gradient Explorer’s colour combos!) and a little colourway brainstorming as well.  And then it’s off to the studio to see if those colourways come out the way I’d imagined.  Thanks for spending some time with me this morning and, until next time, all my best!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: My Favourite Holiday Tradition

SpaceCadet Newsletter: My Favourite Holiday Tradition

Hooray! Hooray!  It’s the Winter Solstice!  Officially the first day winter, what it is really is the shortest day of the year (and, therefore, also the longest night).  Having lived for so long in Britain, where the sunrise on the Winter Solstice can be as late as 9am and sunset as early as 3.30pm, the solstices have special meaning for me because, while today is the depth of Winter’s darkness — something to enjoy with candles and tea and warm blankets and cosy knitting — tomorrow we begin the slow lengthening of the days that will take us, day by day, back to summer.

Photo by Mira Kemppainen

And of course Christmas is only a few days away (what?!? I’m so not ready!) and, while it is the season of peace and joy, it really can feel like anything but.  So much to do, so much traffic, things to remember, and things you forgot…  And I think the best way to remedy that is by spending time in the company of good friends and family (who don’t care what you did or didn’t forget), indulging in much-loved slow traditions (ours is decorating our tree on Christmas Eve by taking the whole day to make gingerbread men and saltdough stars — I love the smell of pine and gingerbread!), and naturally, curling up at the end of it all with your needles or hook to let go of whatever stress you’re still holding onto to.

And to help make that happen, I’ve gathered up some wonderful yarny things to share with you. So grab a cup of something lovely and steamy, find a comfy spot to sit, and enjoy!  Oh, and make sure you read to the bottom, because I’ve got a special request of you, ok?  Right, here we go…

Newsletter

To me, colour is something to dive into with abandon but I know that lots of folks find colour combining really intimidating.  If that’s you, check out this article with some really excellent and simple tips to take the tension out of putting colours together for stranded colourwork.   Really worth reading.

Some knitters and crocheters are in it for the finished object, some are in it for the math (bless ’em), and some of us are in it to give that creative energy a healthy place to go.  If you’re the latter (a “chaos maker” according to my assistant Jade), you’ll be nodding your head at this list of Twenty Things Only Highly Creative People Would Understand.  And if you’re not, it might help you make a little more sense of the chaos-makers in your life.

Pom-poms are everywhere at the moment and everyone knows that gradients are gorgeous.  I love this tutorial combining the two to show you how to make a gradient pom-pom.  Because that’s what your life was missing and now you are complete.  (Mini-Skein Club members: go on, get on it! and please send me pictures so I can see!)

Nothing to do with knitting but everything to do with winter and I am totally going to try this one cold day: blowing bubbles in freezing temperatures is stunningly beautiful!

Photo by Aaron Burden

There’s no time to order anything and the shops are just insane.  But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered for last-minute gifts that will be an instant hit…

The SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club is Open Now! (But Closes Saturday)

A SpaceMonster Club subscription gives yarny goodness all year long!  We spend a lot of time planning everything that goes into the club to ensure that being a part of the SpaceMonster Club is about gorgeous new colourways, awesome gifts, and the fun of sharing it all with a community of fellow club members.

The SpaceMonster Club opens to new members only twice a year and only for two weeks.  It’s open now until Dec 23, and then it closes again for a whole six months so, if you’ve been thinking about joining, you’ll want to grab a spot now!  (And you know what’s the best part?  It makes an excellent (and easy!) holiday gift that lasts a whole year!)

Four Months of Mini-Skeins: a Gift Subscription

You know that our popular Mini-Skein Club is a super-fun way to collect a palette of colours but, because it’s an ongoing subscription, I know it’s a little tricky to give as a gift.  So just for the holidays, we’ve put together an awesome option for easy gift-giving… Now you have the chance to give a one-time gift subscription to your favourite knitter or crocheter — or try it yourself!

And y’know, I’ve never been one of those (amazing) folks who get all their holiday shopping done on Dec 1 —  I’m always scrambling a few days before the holidays to find the perfect gift.  And if you’re that kind of person too, I getcha!   So I’m making our Four-Month Gift Subscription available right up to Dec 23 to save your last-minute-shopping bacon!  Tell us who your gift recipient is and we’ll be sure to send them an email to let them know what you’ve got them.  Click here for all the details.

Fir shawl by Melody Hoffmann

To me, the deepest, darkest winter is all about texture — and this beautiful shawl’s incredibly subtle texture is absolutely perfect.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, our Vega would show off the stitchwork perfectly.  Knit it in Drizzle or Dark Skies for a wonderful neutral look, Longing for colour of deep pine forests, or Troublemaker to shake things up a little.

Fissure by Simone Kereit

Texture combined with gentle colour might be even better.  I absolutely love the three-dimentional effect of the shawl’s stitchwork, where one colour layers over another.  Ah, the magic of slipped stitches!  Try it in Oriana in the colourways Sliver, Breathless and Drizzle for an ethereal look.  Or go for Feather, Crisp, and Plume for a striking cool-hued combination.

Jessica Jones by handmade by SMINÉ

And there’s probably no texture more sublime than classic linen stitch.  This beautiful cowl is pattern shows it off perfectly, and is available for free until midnight Dec 24 (New Zealand time). Knit it in Oriana in the colourways Dark Skies or Fat-Free Chocolate for wonderful winter neutrals, Thrive for a subtle colour play, or Tickled or Gobsmack to make a real statement.

all images © the respective designers and used with permission

This isn’t really a pop quiz, because I couldn’t possibly guess what your answers might be to create a poll.  But I shared with you our family tradition of decorating our tree on Christmas Even with freshly made gingerbread and saltdough ornaments.  It’s not something I did as a kid but rather a new tradition we developed on our own as a family, and it means so much to me.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska

I love the way it creates a transition from Advent to Christmas, how it turns the whole day before the holiday into a celebration as well (with flour and mess and texture and smells and laughter and silliness and joy), and oh, did I tell you about the scent of pine and gingerbread together?!? It’s gorgeous, and it lingers all through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It’s lovely!

And now I’d love to know your most cherished tradition.  Whether it’s something you grew up doing or a tradition you created on your own, come over to Ravelry and tell me the thing you do every holiday season that means the most to you.  I’d really love to hear about it!

 

Ok, that’s it for today.  There’s an awful lot left to do this week, so I’d better get to it!  I hope the rest of your week is crowd-and-craziness-free, full of fiber, good food and fun.  And until next time, I wish you the very happiest of holidays!

 

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Gratitude… And Credit Where Credit is Due

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Gratitude… And Credit Where Credit is Due

This time of year is so busy, with so much rushing back and forth and all the things that (we think we) have to get done, it’s easy to forget how much good there is out there.  I have received so many emails and messages over the last couple of weeks from readers and customers sending me good wishes to get better soon, and they’ve absolutely warmed my heart.  Seriously, I appreciate it so much.

I went to see the doctor last week, a follow-up to ending up in the ER (did I tell you I ended up in the ER?) where they finally spotted that I had pneumonia and gave me the meds I’d been needing for a month (hooray!!!!).  Anyway, I had my follow up and the doctor is pleased with everything, told me I’m on the mend, and then said…  wait for it…  “Now you know, with pneumonia, for every day you were sick, you should expect it will take two days to recover.”  Friends, I’d been sick — really sick — at that point for a month!  How am I supposed to manage taking another two months to recover?!?  But you know what, I’ve tried pushing my body this week and it has adamantly pushed back so… perhaps I’ll have to let it take its time.

And in the meantime, I’ve been relying on my awesome SpaceCadet crew: Jade, Sara, and Jill.  They have absolutely carried everything for the past month and if you’ve received yarn from us this month, it’s really they who made it happen.  So I just want to take a moment to acknowledge how fantastic I think they are (just in case you — or they — didn’t realise).  With that kind of support in both the studio and from our customers, I’m feeling so grateful.

But it’s still that crazy season and there’s a lot going on — and lots to share with you!  So shall we get to it?  Pour a nice cup of tea (mine is never far away!) and curl up in a comfy spot, and let’s dive in…

Newsletter

Image ©Megan Auman, used with permission

‘Tis the season for scarves and shawls (hooray!) but ’tis also the season for fancy holiday outfits that often call for a bold statement necklace.  Can you wear the two together?  Yes, according to this article (though personally I’d add that, at least when the shawl or scarf is handmade, the necklace needs to be non-snagging!).  And this sister article gives three ways to style it.

Did you see this I used one of our Notions Boxes to tidy up my needles and notions and made a sweet little video as I went along.  It makes me happy .

Hanukkah began last night and I’ve seen a lot of awesome crocheted menorahs (like this one) but this round-up of DIY menorahs actually had me laughing out loud.  Hard to pick my favourite but I think it’s Number 2.

I know I mentioned it in previous newsletters, but don’t forget that the wonderful designer Hunter Hammersen is taking the idea  of an Advent calendar and applying it to her gorgeous designsEach day from Dec 1st to 24th, she’ll put one of her patterns on sale, throwing in giveaways for the accompanying yarn along the way.  Today it is the beautiful Permutation hat (and a chance to win a skein each of Capella and Cressida!). Check out Hunter’s Instagram feed to join the fun!

We’ve got you covered for easy holiday gifts…

The SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club is Open for Subscriptions!

“This is such a fun club… and of course the Space Cadet colorways are so beautiful” — it’s comments like this one from our SpaceMonster Club members that make everything so much fun!  We spend a lot of time planning everything that goes into the club to ensure that being a part of the SpaceMonster Club is about gorgeous new colourways, awesome gifts, and the fun of sharing it all with a community of fellow club members.  And when we get comments like that?  It makes all the hard work worthwhile!

The SpaceMonster Club opens to new members only twice a year and only for two weeks.  It’s open now until Dec 23, and then it closes again for a whole six months so, if you’ve been thinking about joining, you’ll want to grab a spot now!  (And you know what’s the best part?  It makes an excellent (and easy!) holiday gift that lasts a whole year!)

Four Months of Mini-Skeins: a Gift Subscription

You know that our popular Mini-Skein Club is a super-fun way to collect a palette of colours but, because it’s an ongoing subscription, I know it’s a little tricky to give as a gift.  So just for the holidays, we’ve put together an awesome option for easy gift-giving… Now you have the chance to give a one-time gift subscription to your favourite knitter or crocheter — or try it yourself!

And y’know, I’ve never been one of those (amazing) folks who get all their holiday shopping done on Dec 1 —  I’m always scrambling a few days before the holidays to find the perfect gift.  And if you’re that kind of person too, I getcha!   So I’m making our Four-Month Gift Subscription available right up to Dec 23 to save your last-minute-shopping bacon!  Tell us who your gift recipient is and we’ll be sure to send them an email to let them know what you’ve got them.  Click here for all the details.

North Point by Simone Kereit

The first thing to love about this hat is the way the cables are all set to different heights…  do you see that?  It not only makes the finished object super-cool, but keeps your interest while you’re making it too.  And the second thing to love is that is it’s part of a collection called “Procrasti Nation: Quick projects for the last minute crafter“, which is just tailor made for anyone starting a gift this late in December (*raises hand).  And the third is that the designer, Simone, is an absolutely lovely person, which always makes a pattern more fun to knit, don’t you think?

Are Ewe Feeling Sheepish? by Melissa Kemmerer

One of THE trends of this season has been stranded colourwork yokes and, while so many of them are classically beautiful, I think my favourite might be this one with its adorable sheep repeated around the neckline.  Knit in nature-inspired neutrals or pop-art brights, it’s a witty alternative to traditional motifs that will keep you smiling from cast on to bind off.

A Lady is Known by Hunter Hammersen

This past week, I swapped handbags — there was something about the chill in the air that made me feel it was time for a change, so I went in my closet and pulled out a bag that I love but hadn’t used in a long while.  And inside, amongst the random coins and old receipts was a project bag containing the start of these beautiful mitts, still safely on their double points.  That’s where they were!  So naturally, I have to share this this beautiful pattern with you.  Mine are (started) in the colourway Molten Cool (and I might snap some photos of it and show them on Instagram — they’re lovely).  But if you’re stuck for a last minute gift, these are an awesome and quick option (as long as, y’know, you don’t lose them in an old handbag…)
All images © the respective designers and used with permission
Ok, it’s time to get back to real life and get today started!  I’ve got some photos to take, and then I might cast on a last minute gift (keep your eye on my Instagram — if I get the yarn caked up in time, I’ll show you the colours I’ve chosen).  I hope your day is filled with lots of good things (and maybe a new project?) too.  And until next time, all my best!
My New Perspective on Gift Giving

My New Perspective on Gift Giving

For me, the holidays are usually a frenetic time: shopping and cooking and planning and socialising and, oh yes, working a lot.  This year, with the flu turning into pneumonia and wiping out my entire November and December-so-far, I’ve had to slow down, whether I wanted to or not*, and I find that’s changed my perspective on holiday shopping.  This year, I can’t run around the way I have in the past, I can’t buy/make/do everything under the sun.  When it comes to gifts, rather than a more-is-more attitude, I’m finding myself wanting to really think through what everyone on my list wants, and then carefully select or make** the one thing that will truly make them happy.

And can I tell you, it feels really refreshing.  Not just because it’s more calm and relaxed but also because it’s making me really think about my friends and family, to kind of spend time with them in my mind to think of the right gift, rather than just rushing out to buy all the shiny objects in the shops.  And to be honest, it’s also kind of changing my feelings toward what SpaceCadet offers as holiday gift options too.

Today is SpaceMonster Club opening day, when we open the SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club to new members for a short time only.  And it’s a day that always has me super-excited, because I love seeing new members join our community and existing members show how much they’ve enjoyed it when they renew.  There’s always lot of excited language and exclamation points (and we’ll get to all that below) but this year I’m feeling a little different.

I am super-excited about the club opening — of course I am — but this time it’s because I’m thinking of it as a gift, and thinking of it with this new, slower approach to gift giving.  A SpaceMonsters gift membership isn’t the sort of gift that takes up a lot of space under the tree, it doesn’t sing and dance when you open it (though the recipient might), and quite frankly, it’s the kind of gift a lot of people just won’t even understand.  But for a knitter or crocheter, it’s the kind of carefully chosen gift that feels just right…  a perfect-fit gift that lasts well beyond the holidays, delivering yarn and colour and creativity and community all year long.

So even though my approach to the holidays has completely shifted this year, I am feeling so good about the SpaceMonsters Club opening today.  Because I know that every gift subscription that is given is making a knitter or crocheter so very happy — at the holidays and all the way through 2018.  And I can’t wait to meet (and create yarn for) every single one!

 

The SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club, from SpaceCadet

Because we know you love big smooshy yarns, doncha?

There is nothing in the whole world like a skein of lovely, smooshy, thick yarn to make you want to pick it up, squish it… dive right into it! Big, bulky yarns call out to you, beg you to pick them up and press them against your cheek. And when you cast on, they always work up so fast! Big yarns are gorgeous.

All images shown here are of past colourways and are for illustrative purposes only.
Yarns, colouways, and gifts for new subscriptions will be different (but still awesome!).

Ready to join us?

Join the SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club! 75Click Here to grab a 12 Month Subscription to the SpaceMonsters MegaYarn ClubClick Here to grab a 6 Month Subscription to the SpaceMonsters MegaYarn Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Very Important: if you are giving a subscription as a gift, please remember to include the recipient’s postal and email addresses in the notes when you check out. We gotta have that to send the recipient their parcels!

Here’s what you’re getting…

…big smooshy yarns, gorgeous new colourways
that no one else can get, and seriously fab gifts!

As a member of the SpaceMonsters Mega Club, you receive:

  • a fantastic parcel delivered to their door every other month, containing a beautiful skein of SpaceCadet® yarn in worsted or bulky weight, hand-dyed in an exclusive colourway* created to bring out the best in thicker yarns.
  • The SpaceCadet’s Log exploring the inspiration for each colourway.
  • A fantastic SpaceMonsters gift tucked into every third parcel. We’re known for the great gifts we include in our club parcels — and for this club, we’re seriously upping the fab. You’re going love it!
*guaranteed not to be offered on the SpaceCadet® website for at least 6 months

All images shown here are of past colourways and are for illustrative purposes only.
Yarns, colouways, and gifts for new subscriptions will be different (but still awesome!).

But bigger yarns mean bigger projects, right?

Don’t you worry — in this club, you can buy extra skeins! For a whole month after you receive your parcel, you’ll have an exclusive opportunity to order more skeins custom-dyed in the latest club colourway. You’ll receive an email with all the details about a week after your parcel goes out — and then all you have to do is pick your project!

All images shown here are of past colourways and are for illustrative purposes only.
Yarns, colouways, and gifts for new subscriptions will be different (but still awesome!).

And the price is pretty exciting too!
  • a 6 month subscription (3 parcels) is only $99
  • a 12 month subscription (6 parcels) is just $194
  • Plus, you can choose a double subscription for two skeins in each parcel, or a triple for three, giving you the option to cast on your project as soon as you open the box!

Ready? Let’s do this!

Join the SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club! 75Click Here to grab a 12 Month Subscription to the SpaceMonsters MegaYarn ClubClick Here to grab a 6 Month Subscription to the SpaceMonsters MegaYarn Club

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Very Important: if you are giving a subscription as a gift, please remember to include the recipient’s postal and email addresses in the notes when you check out. We gotta have that to send the recipient their parcels!


Six month subscriptions include 3 parcels; twelve month subscriptions include 6 parcels. Parcels will be sent out in early February, April, June, August, October, and December. Shipping within the United States is included in the price; extra charges apply for shipping outside the US. Normal subscription openings/renewals will be available in June and December of each year. All club members are automatically subscribed to the club mailing list to receive email notification of club updates, special offers for extra skeins, and similar stuff. We never, ever sell or share your email with anyone. Because of the nature of the club set-up, we can accept returns or exchanges of club shipments for faulty yarns only. By joining the club, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. All images shown here are of past colourways and are for illustrative purposes only. Yarns, colouways, and gifts for new subscriptions will be different (but still awesome!). Any other questions? We’re here to help! missioncontrol@spacecadetyarn.com

*and here I have to give a HUGE shout-out and a lot of gratitude to the SpaceCadet Crew for really carrying everything while I’ve been so sick.  You’ve got your yarn because Jade, Sara, and Jill made it happen, not because of me, and I am really really grateful to them.

**I’d love to show you but my mum and sister both read this and it would totally spoil the surprise.  After the holidays, I promise!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: As The World Turns Sparkly…

SpaceCadet Newsletter: As The World Turns Sparkly…

This week has been all about little changes.  As much as I wanted these meds to kick in and fix everything Right Now, that’s not how pneumonia works.  The vicious cough is clearing up at last and, every day, I can push myself to do a little more than I did yesterday.  But then I hit the limits of what I can do, and it hits back hard.  The other day I carried a bag of yarn about a hundred yards and then had to sit down quickly because I was suddenly thisclose to passing out.  As much as I want to make my body do what I want it to do, it keeps reminding me that that’s not how pneumonia works. Ok, ok, I’m listening.

But the other changes?  They’re magical!  It’s time for those the wonderful little shifts from the daily grind to holiday twinkle.  And while I haven’t had the energy to drag everything out and do all the decorating at once, every day there’s a little more sparkle in the house: a wreath of holly on the door, a centerpiece of oranges on the table, and a lot more candles.  I like my holiday decor simple and as homemade as possible so, naturally, I’ve been thinking of ways to hand-craft a little holiday spirit for the home — and you’ll spot that influence in this week’s pattern picks too.

But for now, I’m ready to grab a cup of tea and share this week’s fiber news with you.  Are you ready?  Here we go!…

Newsletter

I know I mentioned it last week, but don’t forget that the wonderful designer Hunter Hammersen is taking the idea  of an Advent calendar and applying it to her gorgeous designsEach day from Dec 1st to 24th, she’ll put one of her patterns on sale, throwing in giveaways for the accompanying yarn along the way.  Look for her Changeful socks this Thursday (and a chance to win a skein of SpaceCadet Oriana!)

I absolutely swooned when I spotted these awesome knitted dishes from Ikea!  Have you seen them?  They’re part of their Vinter collection (so maybe only available for the holidays?) and each piece has a different textile pattern: knit stitches, cables, linen stitch, chevrons…  I want them all!

This (not safe for work!) zippered pouch made me laugh out loud. There’s someone in your knit group who would love it.

A couple of weeks ago, the SpaceCadet team and I were discussing the best way to strip herb leaves from their stalks.   Jill has a particularly abundant herb garden and is so generous to the rest of us (did you see this?) but sometimes fresh herbs are just really argumentative (I’m looking at you, Thyme).  So I nearly fell off my chair when I saw this amazing knitting tool trick for stripping fresh herbs super quickly and easily.  Seriously game-changing!

Speaking of cooking, this video showing how to knit an apple pie has got me totally inspired (…and kind of hungry!)

 

Put These Dates on Your Calendar…

The SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club Opens This Friday

The other day, I was scrolling through Instagram and spotted a comment on one of my posts from a member of the SpaceMonster Club.  I’d been knitting a mitt out a club colourway and she’d simply said, “I love this club!”  And you know what?  Reading that absolutely made my day, because that is exactly what I want our club members to feel!  Being a part of the SpaceMonster Club is about gorgeous new colourways, awesome gifts, and the fun of sharing it all with a community of fellow club members.

The SpaceMonster Club opens to new members only twice a year, and we open the doors at noon on Friday Dec 8 and I always give first dibs to folks on the waiting list, so click here for all the details and get on that list!

(And you know what’s the best part?  It makes an excellent (and easy!) holiday gift that lasts a whole year!)

Our Cyber Monday Special: Saving Your Last-Minute Bacon!

You know that our popular Mini-Skein Club is a super-fun way to collect a palette of colours but, because it’s an ongoing subscription, I know it’s a little tricky to give as a gift.  So just for the holidays, we’ve put together an awesome option for easy gift-giving… Now you have the chance to give a one-time gift subscription to your favourite knitter or crocheter — or try it yourself!

And y’know, I’ve never been one of those (amazing) folks who get all their holiday shopping done on Dec 1 —  I’m always scrambling a few days before the holidays to find the perfect gift.  And if you’re that kind of person too, I getcha!   So I’m making our Four-Month Gift Subscription available right up to Dec 23 to save your last-minute-shopping bacon!  Tell us who your gift recipient is and we’ll be sure to send them an email to let them know what you’ve got them.  Click here for all the details.

Never Not Gnoming by Sarah Schira

I fell in love with these little gnomes the minute I spotted them!  Tucked onto a shelf, under the tree, or near the fireplace, there’s something both magical and cosy about them that’s irresistable.  Designed in fingering yarn, they’re a fantastic way to use Mini-Skeins.  And, bonus, being a super-quick knit, I see a trio of hand-made gnomes as a sweet holiday-themed gift.

Pint Sized Pines by Julie Tarsha

Speaking of quick knits, these tiny little pine trees are ready to bind off almost as quickly as you’ve cast on, meaning you can knit up a whole forest in no time!  I love that there are two different cable styles to add variety and, because they’re designed for DK or Sport weight, I know I can knit them with two SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins held together to get the same weight.  I love the idea of mixing a pine green skein with a more frosted tone (maybe even on sparkly Lucina?).  Or a light green blended with a muted olive.  The result will be a tiny holiday forest with surprising depth and complexity!

Sally the Snowflake by Stacey Trock

If you’re a fan of cute, the sweet smile on this amigurumi snowflake is perfect.  And if you’d prefer a simpler look, it works just as well left white, hung in a window or on the tree.  Or even a few scattered here and there around the centerpiece to bring a little wintery style to the table.  Either way, it’s a quick and sweet holiday decoration — that won’t wear out its welcome once January comes around!

 

 

All images © the respective designers and used with permission

Ok, I think it’s time I got to work.  I won’t be lifting lots of things and tiring myself out today, but we do have a bunch of orders to go out and I’d better get the paperwork started.  The best bit about sending packages?   Checking out the colour combos each customer came up with, and then writing a little note just to say hi!  Today, I’ve got a ton of those to do, so I know it’s going to be a good day.   I hope yours is just as good and, until next time, I wish you all the best.