SpaceCadet Newsletter: When the Dyeing Goes Haywire…

SpaceCadet Newsletter: When the Dyeing Goes Haywire…

Here’s something you might not know unless you’ve done a lot of dyeing: when the weather does crazy things the way it did this week in Pittsburgh, it completely changes the way our yarns take our dyes.  In the last seven days, we’ve had below freezing temperatures and some beautiful snow, then a thunderstorm and torrential rain, a wee bit of flooding, and finally two days in the 70s and summer-like humidity!

And how does that impact our dyeing?  Two ways: first, all the snowmelt and rain changes the chemical composition of our water, and the rapid change of temperature affects the speed with which the dye adheres to the yarn.  The result is that even our most reliable recipes can come out all wrong — and that makes for some pretty ridiculous results and some pretty frustrating dyeing sessions.

But it also makes for some amazing and unexpected colour combos!  Whenever this happens — whenever the weather goes crazy and seems bound and determined to drive us nuts — there’s always something that comes out of the dyepots that takes our breath away.  Then I try to replicate it later when the weather has calmed down and sometimes I’m lucky, but often I’m not.

I can’t change the weather.  And it’s no good getting frustrated.  So I think perhaps the key is to step back and relax, accept the weather, accept the results, and just embrace whatever beauty the dyepots decide to create.  …And maybe to not try to dye really specific colourways when the weather is not cooperating!

Regardless of the temperatures, there’s always good fiber news to share.  So grab a cup of tea or your coffee, and let’s dive in!

Newsletter

Some days you win and some days you…  fail.  This week I had a studio day in which all my creativity left me and everything I tried seemed to come out wrong (see below).  So when I spotted this article on 6 Ways To Get Your Brain In Create Mode, I knew I ought to share it.  Number 4 (embracing boredom and single-tasking) is especially clever!

(Speaking of failing, sometimes I miss the FailWhale.  It made me smile even as  tech let us down.  Do you miss it too?)

You may have seen tutorials for making pom-poms or made a few of your own.  But I’ve heard that the very best pom-poms are from Germany, grown on trees in the world-famous Hanover pom-pom orchards.

Remember last week when I told you that I’d just learned that Claire Danes knits on set?  A reader got in touch to let me know that Amanda Seyfried knits too.  But my question is, does she weave in her ends?!?  (…which I say with no judgement, as I am currently using this pretty tea cosy which was knit in November with the two ends just wrapped around the handle instead of woven in.  Ahem!)

There is a yarn emoji coming to an iPhone near you in late 2018!  Along with a whole bunch of others (which you’ll use a lot less often than yarn, right?).  Click here to see them all, but skip forward to 1:41 if all you care about is yarn.

Even though the idea of male knitters is nothing new, I enjoyed this article nonetheless (although really…  “the new yoga” again?).  I know a ton of male knitters and crocheters, and I’m all for increasing their numbers!  Speaking of male knitters, have you heard of the Knitting Monk?  I really enjoy his Instagram posts (cables galore!).

 

There’s a Giveaway in the Works!

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned on Instagram that we had one extra Sweater Set in our Limited Edition colourway (the topmost set in the photo below) that hadn’t gone into the shop updated, and mused that perhaps I should do a giveaway with it.  The response was overwhelmingly positive, so that’s what I’m going do!

I’ll be announcing the giveaway early next week so, if you’d like to enter, make sure you’re keeping an eye on my Instagram posts to get yourself entered!

The Yarn Alliance Opens on March 15!

Being part of the Yarn Alliance club is all about coming on a colour exploration — in gorgeous yarns dyed in exclusive colourways (that you can’t get enough of!), and shared with a wonderful community of fellow club members who are all part of the adventure too.  Plus we create beautiful coordinating skeins to double the fun.  And each parcel contains a wonderful club gifts created exclusively for the club by our community of amazing handmakers.  Oh, and a 15% coupon!

The Yarn Alliance is available for subscriptions only twice a year, and we always give early access to folks on the club mailing list. There’s not much time, so click here and make sure you’re on it.  You’ll get an email a few days before subscriptions go live so you can nab yours before anyone else!

In the meantime, please feel free to drool a little over some past yarns..

Upcoming Shows

HomeSpun Yarn Party
Sunday, March 18
Historic Savage Mill 8600 Foundry Street, Savage, MD 20763 Just off I-95, plenty of parking!
Admission is FREE!
Indie Knit & Spin
Saturday, March 24
NEW COOL LOCATION: Ace Hotel, 120 S Whitfield St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Admission is FREE!

Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival
Fri-Sun, April 6-8
David L Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown Pittsburgh PA
Featuring book signings by double-knitting master Alasdair Post-Quinn!

 

Grid Toque by Jenise Hope

Did your mother always tell you that you lose most of your heat out of your head?  Y’know, I never believed it but, if you live in an area where winter is doing its worst, I’m loving this gorgeous, simple toque from Jenise Hope.  It might be the pom-pom (strictly for the extra insulation, of course) or it might be the simplicity of the grid stitchwork.  Either way, a super-quick, super-cute knit.

Così Fan Tutte by Valentina Cosciani

Valentina Cosciani’s Così Fan Tutte shawl didn’t catch my eye just because I love opera (really, it didn’t) — it jumped out at me because it’s a wonderful design for combining yarns.  Look closely and you’ll see it’s actually worked in two yarns to create a subtle colourplay and draw distinction to the changes in stitchwork.   If you live in a place where winter is warm, try it in SpaceCadet Celeste and Maia, two different fingering yarns that work beautifully together and create gorgeously contrasting textures (click here to see what I mean)

 

all images © the respective designers and used with permission

 

Ok, today is forecast to be in the 40s — not too hot and not too cold! — and pretty steady all day, so I’m going to head down to the studio and see what I can conjure up.  I hope your weather is just as steady and your day just as colourful!  And until next time, all my best.

SpaceCadet Newsletter: A Reason Your Sweater Develops a Mysterious Hole…

SpaceCadet Newsletter: A Reason Your Sweater Develops a Mysterious Hole…

February makes me want to hibernate, every year. The mornings are so cold, the roads are so often icy, and I just want to curl up with my knitting and my tea, and watch the world warm up from the safety of my couch. Now, I don’t often get the chance to do that (…except one very very icy morning last week when I watched cars literally sliding down my hill backwards!), but today I’ve got a whole bunch of fun fiber news to share with you, so let’s make an exception! Go grab your cup of tea or coffee, find a comfy spot, and hang out with me a little while…

(By the way, that very very icy morning? It was incredible — everything was almost laminated in ice. If you’re on a mobile device, tap here and then on “Made In Pgh”… you’ll see it when pictures 5 & 6 appear.)

Newsletter

image © Joanna Nakamura www.bluebearvending.com

Do you ever look at your unfinished projects and wonder if they feel abandoned? …disappointed? …maybe even resentful? (If so, I’m in a heap of trouble!). I fell in love with this print (above) by Joanna Nakamura when I read the description: “In Japan, it is believed that pretty much everything has a spirit and demands respect… Failure to do so often has an unwanted side effect – those things can become malevolent or mischievous spirit beings who can cause havoc around your home… Have you ever had a sweater that developed a hole even though you’d only worn it once? And how is it that the brand new cardigan has already got bobbles all over it?…” Hmmm… maybe it’s time I finished some of those projects!

I love this more than I can possibly express to you: Finland’s snowboarding coach knitting at the top of the slope during the competition. Apparently the world is going wild over this but, seriously, what else is he supposed to do? Just stand there with his hands doing nothing?!?

Speaking of famous people knitting, you can add Claire Danes to the list of celebrities who knit on set. When Stephen Colbert asked how she stays balanced while playing her mentally unbalanced character, she replied, “I knit!” (skip to 8:08 in the video). And then she tried (and failed!) to explain what rib stitch is. Either way, I’m always glad to add another famous face to our tribe.

Brioche is everywhere right now but, I’ll be honest, I’ve never tried it. When I do, I’ll probably use this tutorial to guide me (and this yarn to make it extra smooshy)

 

Upcoming Shows

HomeSpun Yarn Party is March 22 in Savage MD

HomeSpun Yarn Party
Sunday, March 18
Historic Savage Mill 8600 Foundry Street, Savage, MD 20763 Just off I-95, plenty of parking!
Admission is FREE!

 

Indie Knit & Spin
Saturday, March 24
NEW COOL LOCATION: Ace Hotel, 120 S Whitfield St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Admission is FREE!

 

Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival
Fri-Sun, April 6-8
David L Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown Pittsburgh PA

 

Herringbone Hat by Kelly McClure

When I shared this photo (+ this one) of the awesome custom messenger bag that was the season-end gift for the SpaceMonster club, lots of folks emailed to ask about the pattern for Jade’s adorable hat. She adapted it from Kelly McClure’s Herringbone Hat, showing off that gorgeous texture in Capella (in “Life Was Better in Black & White”) and simply adding a ribbed edge and a cute fake-fur pom-pom. Whether you follow the pattern exactly or add in a few adaptations, it’s sure to look fabulous!

Scarf de Triomphe Paris by Sharon Silverman

I have been lucky enough to work with Sharon Silverman a few times now (including her amazing Moonmist Shawl) and I always love what she comes up with. The beautiful arches in this easy crocheted scarf is no exception and, in our gorgeous bamboo-rich Maia, the drape is incredible! (Also, just between you and me, I hear she has another book in the works and there may be another SpaceCadet design in it — so exciting! Watch this space for news when I get it)

Pincha shawl by Pinpilan Wangsai

Short rows make for interesting shawl construction but the way this shawl is constructed is downright fascinating. The effect is like feathers (or flowing water… or fish scales…) and I absolutely love the way it redistributes the colours of a variegated yarn. If you’ve got a skein in your stash that is so wild you just don’t know what to do with it, cast this pattern on and watch a little magic happen!

images © the respective designers, used with permission

Speaking of magic, I first noticed this design when KatMacPet shared her beautiful version of it over the SpaceCadet group on Ravelry. She’s using a crazy-variegated One-of-a-Kind skein she picked up in our booth last year at Homespun Yarn Party and the result is breath-taking!

The other week I suddenly had a brainwave: just because it’s obvious to us how our Linking Sweater Sets make it easy to expand a gradient for larger sizes, that doesn’t mean it’s obvious to everyone. So I wrote a quick post to explain it. If you missed it, please click here and let me show you how they work!

There’s been a very interesting discussion in this Instagram post around the impact of free knitting and crochet patterns. Designer Ash Alberg posits that the way the way we phrase things affects our sense of value about designers’ work, and requests that dyers and yarn shops stop highlighting free patterns, be they free-standing or part of a kit.

I see her point but I feel that “free” has its place, whether it’s for the purpose of creating higher visibility for a new designer, giving crafters an easy opportunity to try out a new skill or style, or adding extra value to a yarn kit. So this week I have a really simple question: Do you feel talking about patterns in terms of “free” devalues the work of the designer behind it? Click here to participate in the original discussion and please click here and give me the quick answer to that simple question.

Ok, I’ve got an awesome day ahead and first on the agenda is heading down to the studio to see how this yarn looks now that it’s dry (fingers crossed it looks as awesome as it did when it was still wet). I hope you have something fun planned for this morning as well! And so until next time, all my best.

When You Think It’s So Obvious…

When You Think It’s So Obvious…

Ok, really quickly…  I just want to show you what our Linking Sweater Sets do.  Because you know how it is when you know a thing about something, but nobody else knows it, and it feels like it should be totally obvious because you know it, but then you realise it’s not?  That’s kind of how it is with our Linking Sets.  We dreamed them up so they make total sense to us, but if you weren’t there for the dreaming…  well, maybe it’s not so obvious.  So I should probably explain.

In a nutshell, our Linking Sets are sweater quantities of our sport-weight Lyra in gradient colours that flow from one of our standard colourways to another of our standard colourways.  Why is this important?  Two reasons:

First, it makes adding extra skeins for larger sizes super-easy.  There’s no trying to match in an extra colour, no calculating extra stripe sizes.  Because both ends of the Linking Set are one of our regular colourways, you just grab an extra skein from our stock, knit a little further in the pattern, and that’s it!  Here, let me show you… the first image below shows a Linking Set in Veracity, just on its own, on the left but if you need a six or seven skein set, the skeins on the right are  that same set of Veracity with an extra skein of Longing and Feather at each end.   And below that, the exact same thing with a set of Transcendence.  See how easy that is?

Second, it means two sets can link together for a real showstopper of a project.  Take for instance Veracity, which flows from the colourway Longing to Feather, and Transcendence, which goes from Feather to Frigia.  Put them together and the flow looks just stunning, and you’ve got an amazing gradient big enough for a truly epic project.

Or pair Veracity with Turpitude. Or Ardent.  And then Ardent flows into Perilous.  Or Debacle.  Which then goes into Infatuation.  You see how this works? So fun!

(Oh, and there’s third reason too: when the colourways you start with are this rich and gorgeous, then the new colours they create as they blend into each other are just mouthwatering.  Honestly, I cannot get enough of these Linking Sets!)

What can you make with them?  There are tons of amazing designs.  Of course there’s the Comfort Fade Cardi by Andrea Mowry, but try Santa Rose Plum by Carol Feller, the BlueSand Cardigan by La Maison Rililie, or Cross Country Skiing by Carol Sunday.  And if you’ve got something even better, I’d love to know!

There, you can see why we’re so excited about these sets, right?  And now you know that thing that I thought was so obvious (they link together like puzzle pieces) and just how cool it really is.

And once you start linking them together…  it’s kind of hard to stop.  Even when they’re just lying in the studio on the packing table…!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Three New Colourways for our Sweater Sets

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Three New Colourways for our Sweater Sets

Oh my stars, you know how some weeks just feel so crazy you don’t know if you’re coming or going?  This has been one of those weeks for me.  I have no idea why but I keep getting the day wrong (is it Tuesday? Thursday? Friday already?) and it feels simultaneously like the week only just began and also like we must be at the weekend by now!  And though that’s been a little bit crazy-making, I’m fine with it, because it means there’s lots going on and lots of fun to be had doing it all.

But before jumping feet first into another non-stop day, it is good to start things off with a quiet moment or two.  And a cup of tea (always a cup of tea!).  And maybe a fun fiber-news round-up.  Doesn’t that sound good?  Then grab your cup of tea or coffee, and your project bag, and let’s spend a little time getting the day off to the best sort of start…

Newsletter

(the colourway is Frigia and the background is our dye table which, it seems, is in need of a good clean)

Did you join the 5 Shawls 5 Days Challenge that I mentioned last week?  Well, I’m running behind on it but Jade has started a thread on Ravelry to show off her tiny shawlettes.  If you’re knitting some too, please share your pictures with us on the thread .  I’m going to catch up and post mine soon!

How do you knit in the round?  On double points?  Magic Loop?  On two circs?  I always used to use dpns but, these days, I find I’m really starting to prefer Magic Loop.  And, to be honest, I’ve never even tried working on two circs (usually because I can’t find another set of needles in the same size that aren’t taken up by another project).  When I do find a matching pair and give it a go, this tutorial on knitting in the round with two circular needles looks handy.

Speaking of things I’ve never tried, I’ve never even heard of the Chinese Waitress Cast On (have you? is it just me?) but I am definitely intrigued.  This set of tutorials walks you through it (plus two other cast ons: provisional and Jeny’s stretchy).  If you’ve used the Chinese Waitress Cast On, let me know what you think of it.  What application is it best used for?

Attention Princess Bride geeks: have you seen this Culligan Water ad?  Even thirty years later (and combined with a serious dad-sweater), that line is still iconic.  Also, unrelated, but I found out this week that no one on the SpaceCadet crew had seen this, one of my most favourite ads ever.

Sweater Sets Shop Update: Tomorrow at Noon (eastern)

This time of year just makes you want to cast on a beautiful new sweater, doesn’t it?  (Especially with the Olympics coming up!)  But our Sweater Sets are currently all sold out (what?!?) so we’ve been dyeing up a storm for a shop update tomorrow (Fri Feb 2) at noon eastern.

What makes these sweater sets special?  They’re so much more than just a sweater’s quantity of yarn.  We create  our gorgeous Sweater Sets in gradients that flow from one of our regular colourways to another.  That means you can use them in a fade or gradient pattern and, no matter what your size, it’s dead easy to add extra skeins if you need them!

Now, we’ve created some new colourways (including an amazing one-of-a-kind gradient that I am just crazy excited about!) and I was supposed to have the photos done for today but ran out time (so guess what I’ll be doing this morning?).  But I can show you this picture we snapped as we laid the newest colouways out on the packing table.  There are four sweater sets in this photo — see how beautifully they flow into one another?  That’s the magic of our Linking Sets!

New Sweater Set colourways from l-r: Audacity, Infatuation, Transcendence, and Tranquility

So if you’re as excited as I am, set a reminder on your phone and then click here tomorrow at noon!

 

Gamma by Larissa Brown

This time of year, you’ll rarely find me without something warm wrapped around my shoulders, indoors or out.  And this triangle shawl would be a perfect choice not just for beating the chill but also because it has a really interesting construction: started as a parallelagram and then turned 90 degrees and picked up to create the curl.  Click the picture to see how that construction looks laid out flat.

Scarf braided bicolor by Svetlana Gordon

Svetlana is a master of short rows and shaping whose designs never cease to amaze me.  I’m deeply intrigued by this beautiful shawl because, even though it looks like entrelac, it’s knitted without turns.  And I think it’s a wonderful candidate for using one of those wildly variegated yarns that maybe makes you a little nervous.  The way the stitches move around might do wonderful things with the colours!

images © the respective designers, used with permission

One of my New Year’s resolutions (and so far, the only one that’s really sticking) is to read more books.  I’m doing it by making breakfast and lunch into my book-reading time instead of my news-app-scrolling time, and it’s remarkable how much happier it makes me.  I’m a non-fiction kind of girl and, this week I’m reading When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink.  I heard the author interviewed on NPR and got the book from the library immediately.  And can I tell you?  It is fascinating!  I can’t recommend it highly enough.  In fact, I’ll go over and share it on our SpaceCadet Book Club thread in a bit.

And with that, I’d better get to the studio and start taking the photos of the new Sweater Set colourways (because you’re not going to be impressed if the shop update tomorrow is photo-less, are you? Heh heh!).  I have to admit, photographing yarn is really a ridiculous amount of fun, so I’m keen to get started.  I hope your day is filled with fun stuff too and, until next time, all my best!

A Cold, Cold Photoshoot…

A Cold, Cold Photoshoot…

Ok, so creating club colourways is hands-down one of the best parts of my job (because it’s really like dyeing for a bunch of friends) but probably just as much fun is putting together our club gifts.  And when I worked with Commonwealth Press here in Pittsburgh and we came up with this adorable messenger bag for the December SpaceMonsters parcel, well, I was just crazy with excitement!

It’s awesome, right?  Big enough to hold anything from a whole sweater project to a stack of books to my 15″ laptop to your smaller project plus everything you need for your day, it’s a fantastically versatile bag.  And with our SpaceMonster grinning away, it’s super cute too.  And I couldn’t wait to show it off!

A bag like that is made for moving and going and carrying so my assistant Jade and I decided to photograph it outside doing just that.  But as you know, I ended up spending most of December recovering from pneumonia — no way could I take those photos!  And then, as we turned the calendar for the new year, a deep freeze set into Pittsburgh that had temperatures so cold we could feel our faces freezing as soon as we stepped outside.  So the December SpaceMonster parcels went out, yarn and gift nestled inside, but I was so sad to have never gotten to share how awesome the bag is…

And then last week, the weather turned.  Jade grabbed a SpaceMonster bag and I grabbed my camera and we found a great spot to take some shots.  At last!  The scene was cool and industrial — so Pittsburgh — and I loved the play of old metal against the crisp snow as Jade walked past an old tanker truck.

But what’s a knitting bag without a bit of knitting, right?  We her standing against the truck, leaning on the truck, adjusting this way or that… but it just wasn’t working.  Ok, I asked, what if you hop up onto the ledge and sit there to knit?  It was a good suggestion — as soon as Jade scampered up onto the metal ledge running along the tanker, everything fell into place and I got lots of great shots.  She knit, the bag posed, and my camera clicked away.

Walking back, it was cold, still only about 12F and I was keen to get back into the warm studio.  But I suddenly realised I’d never taken a good close up shot and asked her to turn around for one last snap.  And as I focused the camera on the bag, I realised to my horror that the back of her jeans were soaking wet.  And not a little either — that poor girl was soaking wet.

“Yeahhhh..  Did you know I was actually sitting right in the snow?”  I honestly hadn’t realised…  I thought she’d say!  But sitting there on a metal ledge in the snow, in freezing temperatures, she just kept knitting serenely until I got the shot.  I was blown away — what a good egg she is!

We have tea at the studio (of course) and a hot cuppa cures a lot of ills as far as I’m concerned  …but it didn’t fix this.  She told me later that she actually  didn’t feel warm again until seven o’clock that night.  Oh my stars!

So, it’s a cute bag, eh?  I’m so thrilled to have been able to put together such a cool gift for our SpaceMonsters.  And the model?  Seriously, she’s awesome.  Just awesome.

(And, I am happy to report, she’s also warm again at last)

(PS — if you’re a member of the SpaceMonsters and received the December parcel, there’s just a few days left to get extra skeins or an extra bag if you’d like.  I’ve sent you an email with the link this morning, so check your inbox)

The Gradient Explorers: Spaces Open Today at Noon!

In the Gradient Explorers we create a gorgeous Never Ending gradient, just as we do for our Mini-Skeins, but for full-sized skeins so they build up into sweater sets!  How cool is that?  Just like the Gradient Mini-Skeins, each month’s colours flow into the next but in larger skeins to create bigger colour blocks and more gradual shifts that are perfect for sweaters and larger projects.  You choose the yarn you want to receive each month: Vega (merino worsted), Lyra (merino sport), Aurora (fingering with cashmere), or Celeste (light merino fingering).  And we start dyeing, all in colours that coordinate with our regular colourways so they’ll work with your stash too!

We open spaces to the Gradient Explorers only when they become available and we have a few spots opening today at noon (eastern). So quick, grab your phone and set a reminder, and then click here at noon to grab your spot!

That’s it, I’ve gotta go.  But I couldn’t resist sharing that story with you.  Have a great (warm, dry) weekend!

 

 

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Knitting a Shawl a Day?

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Knitting a Shawl a Day?

Last week, we finally had a break in the deep freeze that had had such a tight grip on us, and my assistant Jade and I got a chance to get out and take some photos of the fabulous messenger bag that I’d had custom screenprinted as the gift in the December SpaceMonsters parcel.  It felt so good to be outside (even if it was still only 12F!), good to be well enough to do a photoshoot, and so good to finally capture some pictures of that awesome bag.

Then I made a little mistake …and I’ll tell you about it tomorrow!  (In the meantime, just a quick heads up to the SpaceMonsters members who received the December parcel: if you wanted to order any extra skeins or another of those bags, you’ve got only a couple of days before they close.  Check your emails for the club-only link to place your order).

But right now I’m not outside in snow and 12F weather!  I’m happily tucked up in a comfortable chair with a nice cup of tea, a notebook (always), my knitting (ditto), and lots of fun fibery news to share with you.  So, if you’ll grab a cup of tea or coffee too, let’s sit down and jump right in…

Newsletter

If you spotted photos of a bunch of itty-bitty shawls all over your social media feeds last year (like the one above), that was part of the 5 Shawls 5 Days Challenge.  The idea is that Frenchie of Aroha Knits takes you through the basics of shawl shaping super succinctly by guiding you through the creation of five mini-shawl prototypes in five days.  And it was such a huge hit that Frenchie is doing it again!  The 2018 5 Shawls 5 Days Challenge  starts Jan 29Click here to sign up and then cake up your Mini-Skeins!  (I signed up last year, got busy and didn’t get my mini-skeins caked up, and then missed it.  This year, I’m trying again and getting my minis caked up early.  Will you join me?)

I know you have yarn weights down (if you don’t, here’s a primer — I won’t tell) but sewing fabrics might be less familiar.  I found this article on Demystifying Fabric Weights really informative.

Picking just the right increase or decrease for your project can be the difference between something that looks amazing and something that looks remarkably homemade (and not in a good way).  I love YarnSub’s fabulous tutorial walking us through the K2tog-L stitch.  So good to know!

If you didn’t see this wonderful video about Aspen and her knitting, it is well worth it.  She’s blind, on the autism spectrum, and knits in class (yes!) to better her community.  You go, Aspen.

The Gradient Explorers: New Spaces Open Tomorrow!

You’ve seen 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.  We open spaces to the Gradient Explorers only when they become available and we have a few spots that will open tomorrow, Friday Jan 26, at noon. Set a reminder on your phone so you don’t miss it!

Sweater Sets Shop Update: Next Friday Feb 2

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 are dyeing more  for a shop update next Friday, Feb 2.

Plus, we’re creating a few sets of an amazing one-of-a-kind gradient that I am just crazy excited about.  Can’t wait for you to see it, so mark next Friday on your calendar!

 

Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows by Larissa Brown

For knitters with a sense of adventure, this gorgeous pattern contains steps to lead you through creating this unusual shawl shape, plus ideas for customising it…  and then the rest is up to you!  Knit in fingering weight yarn, it’s an opportunity to grab some amazing colours from your stash (of either full skeins or minis) and create a one-of-a-kind combo.  (Hint: if you choose a bunch of colours from one side of the colour wheel, grab one more from the other side and watch how it brings the all the others to life!)

A-dress by Lacelegance

Oh sit down, knitter, sit down!  Because this has to be one of the most heart-stopping patterns I’ve ever seen.  Created in light fingering, its stunning lace is knit into a gentle A-line shape that drops from the shoulders in a way that you can just tell is going to be all lovely and swishy around your ankles.  Lace like this is not for the faint of heart but… mmmm-mmmm… beautiful!

images © the respective designers,  used with permission

This has nothing to do with knitting or crocheting, but I really want your thoughts.  The other night, I was up late doing some tax stuff and flipping through the channels…  and I came across a new property show set right here in Pittsburgh called Restored By The Fords.  And while I was initially intrigued because all the properties are right around our local area, I am not so sure how I feel about the “restorations”.  At all. (In fact, this was the first property show that ever made think, “What does the producer do if the homeowners suddenly decide they really hate it?!?”  That thought occured when the designer painted the clients’ walls black and white, and then also painted their piano in the same colours so it camouflaged into the wall.  Hmmmm…)

Anyway, I really want to know if anyone else has watched this show and what your thoughts are. Please click here to come tell me on Ravelry (and here for more info about the show).  I’d be really grateful!

 

Ok, that’s it.  I’ve got a busy day in the studio ahead of me, dyeing a new colourway I’ve just come up with and I’m SO excited!  I’ll show you soon and, in the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful day and all my best!