Creating Stunning Gradient Colour Combos!

Creating Stunning Gradient Colour Combos!

A few weeks ago, on a very snowy day, we put together the latest Gradient Explorers colourways and brainstormed some fabulous colour combos to help get our club members’ creative juices flowing.

First, we laid out the colour flow for the last six months, just to see them all together.

And then we pulled out the skeins from November to January (below) to build our colour combos around…
Six Months of Gradient Explorers

Below, the Gradient Explorers flow, from l-r: Skating Pond (Jan), Plum Wine (Dec), Winter Berries (Nov), Treat Bag (Oct), Sweater Weather (Sept), Bird of Paradise (Aug), Golden Hour (July)

Look how painterly and pretty!!!!!

But the real fun of the Gradient Explorers is in using it as base to create new and exciting colour combos, by mixing it with our standard colourways. So we jumped right in!

Start with Cools

When it’s this snowy and cold, it makes sense to start with cool colours, right? First some gorgeous icy purples — just look how they melt right in!. And then some luscious greens — who’d have guessed they’d blend with those fuchsias so well?!?

Below, from left to right: Breathless, Skating Pond (Jan), Faded Desire, Plum Wine (Dec), Plume, Winter Berries (Nov)

Below, from left to right: Breeze, Skating Pond (Jan), Flow, Plum Wine (Dec), Vortex, Winter Berries (Nov),
Heat Things Up!

Heat Things Up!

By now, my assistant Jade’s fingers were getting a bit cold, so we decided to raise the temperature with colours from the warm side of the spectrum.

Below, from l-r: Skating Pond (Jan), Troublemaker, Plum Wine (Dec), Mars, Winter Berries (Nov), Oxblood

Below, from l-r: Skating Pond (Jan), Gobsmack, Plum Wine (Dec), Tantrum, Winter Berries (Nov), Troublemaker

Let’s Blend with Variegateds

For the Gradient Explorers, we looove to dye beautifully painterly colourways. So it makes sense to pull them together with other variegateds that will keep that painterly feel flowing. I think this combination is just amazing!

Below, from l-r: Flow, Skating Pond (Jan), Molten Cool, Plum Wine (Dec), Windswept, Winter Berries (Nov)
Go Graphic with Neutrals

Go Graphic with Neutrals

One of my absolute favourite things to do is to break up our Gradient Explorers colourways with semi-solids in neutrals to make things go pop! And this combo really does not disappoint!

Below, from l-r: Sliver, Skating Pond (Jan), Drizzle, Plum Wine (Dec), Dark Skies, Winter Berries (Nov), Dark Matter

Truthfully, we only scratched the surface — there are bazillions of gorgeous colour combos and I’m sure you’ll come up with one even more lovely than ours!

(We were getting cold so it was time to get moving. But first, Jade couldn’t resist grabbing an armful of skeins and taking them on a wild sledge ride down a snowy hill!)

Knitting Twitter Gets Heated Over… Blocking?

Knitting Twitter Gets Heated Over… Blocking?


Do you use the app Knitrino? It’s an app that aims to make following knitting patterns easier and more convenient, but it nearly didn’t come into being when Apple rejected it from the App Store.  I found fascinating this quick article detailing the saga behind the story.

The knitting world exploded with (yet another) controversy recently, when designer Romi Hill tweeted a strong opinion on her belief in the importance of blocking projects.

While there were a lot of comments to the original tweet, the more heated discussions were in quote tweets (along with other threads all over Twitter) and centered on whether blocking was necessary and even whether designers or knitters should tell other knitters how to define when their projects are finished.  There was a lot of food for thought and it seemed like everyone who is anyone on Knitting Twitter weighed in.  Though it may have been a little too heated, as Romi posted this apology a few days later.

I love short rows for creating interesting and almost architectural shaping to knitting.  There are lots of different ways to do them, and if your pattern is written with wrap&turn short rows but you prefer German, I absolutely love this handy (and so clearly written!) explanation of how to convert a wrap and turn short-row to German short-row.

Join the A Secret Friend MKAL with One of Our Yarn Sets

Join the A Secret Friend MKAL with One of Our Yarn Sets

From Kristina Vilimaite, the designer of the delightful Bubbles of Joy shawl, comes A Secret Friend — a beautiful and colourful knit turned into a fun and exciting mystery knit-a-long!

Designed in SpaceCadet Oriana, A Secret Friend incorporates seven colours with garter stitch, mosaic slipped stitches, simple lace, and short rows to create a stunning asymmetric shawl that’s as intriguing to knit as it is eye-catching to wear. 

And we’ve created three gorgeous colour sets for you to make it with.  Cast on is coming up quickly on Feb 22 so click here to get your order in quickly!

What Makes You Buy a Pattern?

What Makes You Buy a Pattern?


Moreso than any other time of year, Deepest Winter feels like the time for stranded colourwork (oh, those Scandinavian influenced circular yokes!).  If it’s something that’s always intimidated you, check out Kate Heppell’s Guide to Colourwork, full of great tips and even free patterns to try.

three images of colourwork knitting

A tricky thing about hand-knit and hand-crocheted garments is how to wash them.  Of course, when you’re the person who has put hours into making something, it’s not hard to find the motivation to lovingly hand-wash it.  But if you make a gift for someone else, they might be a little intimidated. I think this article is a great walk-through on how to wash hand-made garments in the washing machine… without destroying them!

Designer Kath Andrews recently released a pattern for a lovely yoked sweater featuring a slip stitch pattern and professionally tech edited in nine sizes.  And it sold only two copies.  She shared it on Twitter and asked, “I’m pondering what makes a pattern popular/sell well… What would encourage you to purchase this sweater pattern?”  Frankly, I wondered that too, so I put together a quick 1-question survey to find out.  If you take a moment to fill it out, your insight would be so helpful — and I’ll be sure to share the results with Kath!

Gathering the Winter Yarn Harvest

Gathering the Winter Yarn Harvest

PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: Did you know SpaceCadet yarn actually grows on trees?

You might be surprised to learn that we don’t actually dye our yarn*.  It’s a common misconception. No, SpaceCadet yarn grows naturally on our cultivated yarn trees.  And every few months, we go out to the orchard and gather the harvest…

It’s wonderful fun discovering what the trees have produced for us.  The colours change naturally with the seasons.  And we’re never quite sure just how that crop’s unique terroir — that unique combination of soil, sun, and weather — will affect what the trees produce.

Each skein is gently plucked from its branch, being especially careful not to damage the newly sprouted tags, and any windfall skeins are gathered and inspected for damage.  It’s such an exciting moment when we’ve gathered enough for a sweater!

Oh, the joy of finding a whole sweater’s quantity!

Each tree produces slightly different colours, known confusingly as a “dyelot”

Once we’ve collected all the skeins that are ripe, we load them into a sledge to carry them home from the orchard. When the trees are heavy with yarn, the journey back can be quite a workout. In the winter snow (as you see here), it’s a pretty easy job, but when those muddier spring days arrive, getting the yarn harvest home becomes a real challenge!

And there you have it, another successful Winter yarn harvest!  The Gradient Explorers trees were especially generous to us this year with these beautiful colours.  But we’ll be back again in a few months to see what the orchard is sprouting for the Spring…

*This is all, of course, a total lie. We dye every skein and mix every colour by hand in our studio. But we dream of cultivating a beautiful orchard of yarn-producing trees.  Don’t you?

This story went out to our newsletter subscribers first, along with the latest news in the world of knitting and crochet, some fabulous pattern pics, and updates on SpaceCadet club openings and Small Batch releases. 

And you missed all that!  You should be on this list! 👇