The Yarn that’s Taken Me by Surprise

The Yarn that’s Taken Me by Surprise

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know we’re doing a KCAL about combining yarns, and specifically about combining Maia and Celeste.  They’re two of my favourite SpaceCadet yarns with really different fiber contents (Maia is 80% shimmery bamboo and Celeste is 100% merino) that combine beautifully together for a really stunning matte/sheen effect.

You can see it perfectly here in this shawl which I was knitting in Maia and Celeste in Sage.  I am endlessly tickled by the fact that I am creating stripes out of one colourway but it’s true: see how differently the two yarns take the colour and how beautifully they play off each other.

So, for the KCAL, I decided to cast on a shawl with these two yarns.  This is Astronaut Ice Cream, the Limited Edition we dyed for the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival and, even though these aren’t the colours I usually go for, I was totally smitten.  I love how different the colourway looks even though they were dyed together in the same dyebath and I was so excited to see how that matte/sheen effect looked with a variegated yarn.

I caked them up and took my photos…  and then life happened(!) and that photo never got on the KCAL thread but I thought, “That’s ok.  I’ll get a few rows on and photograph that instead.”

But as I knit, the yarns did something I wasn’t expecting at all: they totally blended into one another!  The two yarns are worked in stripes of increasing thickness but, as the shawl grew, the yarns blended more and more.  Even though they looked so different in the skein and caked, I could hardly see the stripes at all in the knitted shawl!

I kept thinking they would become more apparent once the stripes got thicker.  “I’ll post the pictures when the stripes start showing,” I said to myself and I knit onwards.  Row after row, I waited for the yarns to differentiate themselves, to no avail.  We had a team meeting this week.  Sitting under a tree in the local park, barefoot and all knitting, I thought the dappled sunlight hitting the Maia would surely show off the matte/sheen effect but no, as I held up my shawl, everyone remarked at how the colours were blending together.

That was my first surprise, and here is my second: as soon as I turned it over and showed off the purl side, the striping was obvious!  Something about those purl bumps made the differences between the two yarns jump right out.  There was the lovely sheen of Maia, and the deep intensity of Celeste.  The combination of the striping and variegation was exactly what I had hoped it to be — on the wrong side.  And to the whole team’s continued amazement, when I turned it back over to the right side, it all disappeared and, when we returned to the wrong side, it came back again.

So I decided to share that with you: that, even after years of knitting and years of dyeing and feeling like I know these yarns inside and out, they still continue to surprise me.  But then I got the biggest surprise of all…

I spread out my shawl and picked up my camera  to photograph it for this post.  And, as I looked through the camera’s viewfinder, I saw… the striping, as clear as day!  Instinctively, I pulled the camera away from my eye and looked again.  The stripes were gone and all the colours blended.  I looked through the camera again and they reappeared.

It’s the weirdest thing, but I can’t actually photograph the shawl as it appears in real life!  What you see here is what I thought it was going to look like when I cast on.  And I have no explanation other than there are mysteries of light and lens and colour refraction that I don’t understand.  But I can tell you that the yarn is soft and airy and a delight to work with.  And that when I knit the stockinette sections, they’re my favourite part, and then when I switch to the broken linen stitch sections, they’re my favourite part.  And even though these aren’t usually my colours, I just can’t get enough of them!

I guess, when I think about it, this is really why we knit and crochet with hand-dyed yarn, isn’t it?  It’s the adventure, the never knowing how the next row will look, the watching it change stitch-by-stitch beneath our fingers.  And for me, the knowledge that, even though I’ve been dyeing for years and knitting for twice as long, I can still find myself truly surprised (and delighted!) by the yarn in my hands.

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Oriana Shop Update Today at 1pm!

Oriana Shop Update Today at 1pm!

Just a quick reminder that our Shop Update is today at 1pm (eastern)!  We’ve dyed a ton of colours in Oriana to go with Hunter Hammersen’s beautiful new sock pattern, Tantamount.

These are just some of the colours going in the shop today…

And of course, there’s a Limited Edition colourway too…  It’s called Drift On By and it’s perfect dreamy summer knitting!  No spoilers — this image is black and white.  To see the real colour (and it’s so worth it!), click over to the shop page a 1pm…

So don’t forget to click here at 1pm.  See you then!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Special Discounts on Two Beautiful Patterns!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Special Discounts on Two Beautiful Patterns!

It’s a beautiful summer day here in Pittsburgh (with the threat of a thunderstorm — and I do love a good summer storm, don’t you?).  I’m going to start it with a cup of tea and lots of wonderful fiber-y news to share with you: everything from clever home-made blocking solutions to gorgeous gradient designs to discounts on two lovely patterns!  Sound good?  So grab yourself a cuppa and let’s dig in…

Newsletter

“Why would you make that when you can just go buy one?”  We’ve all heard that (right?) and we all know that it’s not about the hat/socks/sweater you have at the end of all your work.  But sometimes, knitting and crochet go much, much deeper.  Sometimes, that quiet meditation of sticks and string are what get us through the hardest points in our lives.   I think this sums it up perfectly.

I thoroughly enjoyed this article exploring knitting as a feminist issue.  Now, there’s nothing new in that concept but I was really taken with the author’s exploration of the fact that, while most knitters from the 1950s-1990s were women, most knitting leaders (and knit-world stars) were men.   And also that many of the (British dales) female knitters interviewed in studies of the times said they were taught to knit by their grandfathers.  An interesting read.

SpaceCadet is proud to be a sponsor of Jessie At Home and Royal Rabbit Vineyards‘ Yarn and Wine Tasting 2017.  Taking place on Saturday Sept 2nd in Parkton MD, the event gives attendees the opportunity to try a variety of yarns and notions as well as an array of wines.  Sounds perfect!  Click here to learn more.

Blocking can be a pain but I love this ingenious solution for super-quick blocking of crocheted triangles.  I have a thing for granny squares and I totally might have to adapt it!

 

Oriana Shop Update: This Friday Aug 4

Yesterday, Hunter Hammersen released Tantamount, her gorgeous new sock pattern designed in SpaceCadet Oriana.  And, to celebrate, we’ve dyed a bunch of Oriana for a shop update on Friday!  All the yarns will go live at 1pm (eastern) so, first, check out the pattern (in the next section below) and then click here to decide which colours you’re going to go for so you’re all ready when the new yarns hit the shop!

Oh, and did I mention there’s a special Limited Edition colourway too?  There is!  And it’s sweet and fresh and gorgeous.  You won’t want to miss it!

Winner of our Combining Yarns KCAL Most Admired Project Giveaway

It was so inspiring seeing everyone’s projects but, more than that, it was just wonderful to see all the lovely and supportive comments about each other’s projects in the giveaway thread! And so many wonderful possibilities, it’s no wonder we all had trouble choosing!
I gathered up the names of 34 qualified entrants and plug them into the Random Number Generator. And our winner is….

jujubee

Congratulations, Joy! Please send an email to missioncontrol (at) spacecadetyarn (dot) com to claim your gift card.

Pittsburgh’s Steel Valley Yarn Crawl

Pittsburgh folks: I just have to share with you these adorable little kits that Sewickley Yarns created with SpaceCadet yarn for the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl.  My favourite is the one in the lower right-hand corner.  Which is yours?

The Steel Valley Yarn Crawl is going on right now so click here to check out Sewickley Yarns’ hours and then do pop over to see them.  If you haven’t been, it’s hands-down one of the prettiest yarn shops I’ve ever seen and a lovely spot to hang out in for a while!

 

Shape your shades by ChrisBerlin

If you were lucky enough to get a space in our new Gradient Explorers, then this beautiful design is for you!  What I love it about it is that it not only rocking the gradient but the yarn is held double to create a stunning marled effect.  I just know it’s one of those cardigans I’d reach for again and again and again!

(But hey, if you didn’t get a spot in the Gradient Explorers, I think this could be adapted for our Mini-Skeins too.  The gradient would change more rapidly, but the marling softens that and makes it work.  Either way, it’s too beautiful to pass up!)

Tantamount by Hunter Hammersen

I know I gave you a sneak peek of these last week, and now Hunter has released these beautiful socks — with not just one but two eye-catching design options!  Knit in SpaceCadet Oriana, of which Hunter says, “…[it] has just the best stitch definition ever.  It’s absolutely meant for tiny twisty cables like this, it shows off your stitches perfectly (seriously, I am helpless to resist its charms) and is a delight to work with.”  What I love most about these socks?  The design works equally well for men or women, so it makes a great pattern for holiday gifts.

Hunter is offering 10% off  the pattern (between now and Friday) and giving away a skein of SpaceCadet Oriana (click here to get the discount code and read how to enter).  Plus, we’re doing a shop update of Oriana on Friday (see the section above for more details), so click here to grab your favourite colour in the shop update on Friday!

Velvet Sky Socks by Valya Boutenko

And if you like your socks a little lacier, this pattern designed in SpaceCadet Lucina is a beautiful choice!  When I asked Valya about featuring her design, she responded with such warm praise for Lucina. “I have to say it was truly, (no joke) the best yarn I have ever knit with!”

And then she generously offered 50% off the pattern exclusively for readers of the SpaceCadet newsletter!  Use the code LuckyFoxKnits between now and the end of the month (or click here to have the discount applied automatically) and you’ll be able to add a little bit lacy loveliness to your wardrobe for half off!

All images ©the respective designers, used with permission

 Ok, it’s time we got the day started, don’t you think?  Today I’m prepping the last of our yarns for Friday’s shop update and dyeing skeins for a couple of wonderful LYSs.  I hope your day is just as lovely (and your weather too!).  So, until next time, all my best.

The SpaceCadet’s Gradient Explorers Opens Today!

The SpaceCadet’s Gradient Explorers Opens Today!

I can’t believe that today is the day!  Ever since we had the idea of creating the Gradient Explorers, I’ve been itching to get started on it and could hardly wait to share it with you.

We open the spaces at noon today and, as you know, there are only 25 spots available.  I’ll be sending an email out at midday with the link to sign-up page so be sure you’re on the mailing list and then have a look at the details now so you’re ready to grab your spot right at noon!

When the Gradient flows from hue to hue,

where will the colour take you next?

 

Gradients are all about adventure …and Gradient Sweater Sets

are that same adventure on a grand scale for a big impact!

 

So we’re taking the same idea from our super-popular Mini-Skein Club and applying it to full skeins for sweater-sized fun! Each month we dye a stunning colourway that flows into the next month’s colour… and into the next month’s colour …and into the next. See how cool this is? So come with us and explore the gradient that never ends!

 

Plus our Gradient Explorers colourways work with our standard colourways, so you can use the Never Ending Gradient on its own or mix in yarns from your SpaceCadet stash to build up your sweater set even faster! Each month, we tell you which colourways your new skein coordinates with best, so it’s all awesome surprise and no guesswork.

 

And, just for fun, we’ll occasionally dye special yarns in coordinating variegated colourways exclusively for our Gradient Explorers, that you can use to blend into your Gradient or use separately to create fun, coordinating accessories. Super cool!

 

First, you choose your subscription level:

Single: one skein of your chosen yarn
Double: two skeins of your chosen yarn (both dyed in the same colourway)

Then, choose your yarn:

Select the yarn you want to work in and we’ll dye your Never Ending Gradient onto that same yarn each month, so your skeins will always work together. You can choose from:

  • Celeste (fingering): With a generous 490yds/100g, our super light fingering in 100% superwash merino works up on larger needles to create a light and airy fabric that’s perfect for warmer weather sweaters and cardigans
  • Aurora (fingering): our super-soft cashmere-blend that’s just dreamy to work with. Constructed of 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon, and with 350yds/100g, it has double the cashmere softness of most MCNs and that makes allll the difference!
  • Lyra (sport): spun into a wonderful cabled 8-ply that gives incredible stitch definition, this 100% superwash merino yarn has 270yds/100g and is a beautifully sproingy yarn that is a joy to work with.
  • Vega (worsted): this is the sister yarn to Lyra (above), in the same 100% superwash merino cabled 8-ply construction that gives such beautiful stitch definition, but in a quick knitting worsted with 210yds/100g.

Membership numbers in the Gradient Explorers are strictly limited so, each month, we’ll announce in the SpaceCadet newsletter how many spaces are available and when we’ll open them up (click here to get on our mailing list so you don’t miss your chance). And once you’re in, you’re totally in control of your subscription: stay in as long as you like and then you can cancel your subscription when you have enough Never Ending Gradient skeins for your project. (But just between us, can you ever get enough gradient? )

 

 

Gradient Explorers FAQs

I love this idea, but what do I make with Gradient Explorers yarns?!?

The possibilities are endless! Any sweater or cardigan designed in stripes or a gradient with work. For ideas, start by checking out the SpaceCadet’s Gradient Explorers Ideas board on Pinterest (click here). There you’ll find tons of patterns designed specifically for Gradient sweater sets that you are going to love!

And if you’re an experienced knitter or crocheter with the skills to calculate your own colour changes, then you can use any pattern for gradient skeins. Simply decided whether you want sharp colour breaks where you join in a new yarn or softer colour morphing by alternating skeins, then calculate where you’ll place the colour changes and cast on!

How do I make the Never Ending™ Gradient work? Can I start in any month and join that yarn to any other month’s yarn?

Each month’s yarn is designed to work with the yarn from the month before it and the month after it, so you’ll want to keep your yarns in order to maintain the gradient. Of course, if you’d like to create contrasting stripes, you can ignore the month-order and work the yarns any way you like!

I’m trying to join but it says it’s sold out. How do I get in?

Membership numbers in the Gradient Explorers are strictly limited so, each month, we’ll announce in the SpaceCadet newsletter how many spaces are available and when we’re opening them (the exact dates and times vary to give our customers across timezones a chance to get in, so click here to get on our mailing list so you don’t miss your chance). Once those spaces are gone, the club will show as “sold out” until we open spaces again.

If I end my subscription, can I rejoin again whenever I like?

Once you’re in the Gradient Explorers, you’re for as long as you’d like to keep your subscription (woot!). But if you leave, you’ll need to wait for us to open up spaces again to grab a spot.

What sorts of colourways can I expect in my parcel?

(or: does the gradient just go in rainbow order? I like rainbows but I’m not sure I want to wear rainbows.)

The best gradients combine colours you might not expect(!) so, while we occasionally work our way through analogous colours (hues that sit next to each other on the colour wheel, such as green-blue-purple) or fades of one hue, we also move around the colour wheel in unexpected ways (for example, purple-grey-yellow). The whole idea is have an adventure, so we never know where the colour will take us!

When will payment be taken? And when will my parcel arrive?

Your payment will be processed on the day you subscribe, and will automatically repeat on the same day each month of your membership.

All parcels go out near the end of the month: domestic deliveries are sent by Priority Mail, which usually takes about 2-3 days. International deliveries are sent by USPS First Class mail. You’ll get an email each month letting you know when your parcel has shipped.

Hey! My second payment has come out but I haven’t received my yarn yet!

Because each skein is dyed by hand and our membership numbers change every month, we need enough time to get everyone’s parcel dyed and ready. That usually takes between three to six weeks, depending on when you sign up and whether we are travelling to special events that month. When you join, your first parcel will be the following month’s parcel, and will go out at the end of the month (for example, if you join on January 20, your first shipment will be February’s parcel and will go out at the end of February). Because of this, you may end up making two payments before your first parcel arrives (in the example above, your payments would come out on Jan 20 and again on Feb 20, and if your first parcel ships on February 25, you will see two payments go out before your first parcel arrives). Although it is not ideal to have that happen, we can’t figure out a good way to avoid it, so we always track everyone’s payments carefully to ensure you receive all of your parcels.

When does my subscription end?

You can end your subscription whenever you have collected enough skeins for your project (or, any time you like).

What if I don’t like the colours? Can I return or exchange a skein?

So much of the fun of being in a subscription service like this is the excitement of discovering new yarns and exclusive colourways! Joining the Gradient Explorers with a sense of adventure means you’ll come along as we explore new worlds of colour together, and that is key to really getting the most of your club experience.

Because of the nature of the subscription set-up, we can accept returns or exchanges of shipments for faulty yarns only. However, if one of your skeins really isn’t working for you, you can always sell or destash it on Ravelry, in the SpaceCadet’s For Sale or Wanted thread (click here to go to it). Even if a colourway isn’t your cup of tea, it’s almost guaranteed that there’s another SpaceCadet fan who will be excited to snap it up!

Anything else I should know?

When you join, you’ll be added to the Gradient Explorers mailing list, which we use to share project ideas, subscription information, and to easily let you know of any changes to the service in the future.

And once you’ve joined, please do come over to the SpaceCadet Creations group on Ravelry and tell us all about the project you’re making or planning to make. We’d love to hear about it and see your progress!

So now you have all the details, you’re ready to jump aboard as soon as it opens.  If this looks as much fun to you as it does to me, be sure you’re on the mailing list and then keep your eye open for that email at noon today, and grab your spot before it goes!

 

SpaceCadet Newsletter: 3 Amazing Patterns, a Giveaway, and Awesome Fiber News

SpaceCadet Newsletter: 3 Amazing Patterns, a Giveaway, and Awesome Fiber News

What a delightful week it’s been!  The weather has cooled off nicely (what a relief — I start to melt in anything over 80F!), we sent every one of our One-of-a-Kinds off to their new homes (can’t wait for you to get them!), and there was a ton of interesting stuff in the fiber world that I wanted to share with you.

So I am going to grab a cup of tea and go sit on the porch, and I hope you have something relaxing to drink too, and let’s dive into this week’s fibery goodness!…

Newsletter

Image ©Hunter Hammersen, used with permission

I am always excited when Hunter Hammersen designs a new pattern in our yarn because 1) her designs are beautiful and always filled with delightful little details and 2) her patterns often come with multiple options.  Here newest design (above)  is no exception   …and it’s releasing next week   …and it’s designed in SpaceCadet Oriana   …and we’re doing an Oriana Shop Update to go along with the pattern release.  So much good stuff!   If you’re on her mailing list, you’ll get a coupon for the new pattern (and it’s a different and bigger coupon than the one she puts on her blog/instagram/twitter).  And if you’re on our mailing list, you’ll hear first when the shop update goes live so you get your favourite colour.  Bingo!

Speaking of Hunter, I am super excited to hear that she’s updated her Curls 2 book to include stitch maps for all of the patterns.  If you don’t know what that means, stitch maps are a little bit like knitting charts reworked to resemble crochet charts (which I find much more intuitive to read) but Hunter explains it much better than I do (and with pictures!) so head over to her blog and read all about it.  And if you already own the electronic versions Curls or Curls 2, check your Ravelry library for the update!

Image ©Hunter Hammersen, used with permission

I am in awe of Laura Bireck who designed and knit her own lace wedding dress.  Not only because she started the actual design process in only January and her wedding was in May, and not only because that also included an online crash course in lace design, and not only because of the fabulously McGuyver way she blocked it (using a tripod and upholstery foam — whaaat?!?) but because the result was absolutely stunning!  I am so very inspired now.

This is not at all knitting related but watching it absolutely made go all warm and fuzzy inside.  When strangers act like friends, does it change how they feel about each other?

This week I received an email from Sacia Ashe (left), a 15-year-old avid knitter who has just launched A Purl Stitch, to provide “modern knitting patterns and a fresh look at the knitting community.”  She asked if I would be her first interview for the new site and of course I said yes.  Click here to give her some love…  and see who the next generation of knitters is going to be following!

 

The SpaceCadet’s Gradient Explorers Opens on Friday!

In last week’s newsletter, I told you about our exciting new club where we create a 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 will flow into the next but in larger skeins to create bigger colour blocks and more gradual shifts that are perfect for sweaters.  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 then we start dyeing, all in colours that coordinate them with our regular colourways so they’ll work with your stash, plus we’ll  add some exciting club-exclusive variegateds too!

Only 25 Spots Available and Only Via the Mailing List!

Because this club is truly an adventure for our most intrepid yarn explorers, we’re keeping it very small: only 25 spots will be available in that first month.   Those spaces will be going live on Friday at 12noon (eastern) and the link will be available first only in an email we send out to our mailing list so make sure you are on our list, set an reminder on your phone for noon on Friday July 28 and keep your eyes on your inbox so you can get one of those spots to start your gradient collection right from the very first skein!

Combining Yarn Giveaway: Which Project Do You Most Admire?

If you’re part of our Combining Yarns KCAL, you’ll want to get in on this giveaway and share your thoughts of the most worthy project in the KCAL!  We’ve gathered photos of everyone’s projects and posted them together in a thread so you can vote on your favourite and then leave a comment sharing what it is you most admire about that particular project.  It’s a great way to show support to your fellow KCALers and, when you leave your comment, you’re in with a chance for a $25 gift certificate!  Click here to join the fun!

 

Now you know that I usually pick three different designers for this section but when one of these patterns first caught my eye and I clicked through to Ursa Major Knits pattern page…  well, honestly, the whole page just made me smile.  Chris’s designs are happy, intriguing, innovative, and so very colourful (I have a thing colour…  did you know?)

Without a doubt, these designs are made for Mini-Skeins, not just because of the colour changes across the project but also because Minis give you control over where the changes happen, so you can make sure the contrasts are sharp where you want them to be sharp and flowing where you want them to flow.

Many a Mickle Makes a Muckle by Ursa Major Knits

This is such a happy design!  A little silly, a little funky…  and undeniably happy.  Even the name makes me smile!

She Sells Sea Shawls by Ursa Major Knits

Hmmm…. go for subtle colour changes or for high contrast?  Or what about alternating blocks of a coordinating semi-solid and variegated?  I’m thinking maybe Troublemaker and Molten Cool — saturated and dramatic!

Lights of Polaris by Ursa Major Knits

Knit in skinny panels broken up by contrasting leaf-stripes, this innovative design forces variegated and gradient yarns to pool in surprising ways.  Organic and funky, it will work equally well in either natural shades or wild colours — perfect for stash-diving!

All images ©Ursa Major Knits, used with permission

Ok, well, we have a busy day of packing orders today so I’d better get a move on.  I think it’s going to be far too nice a day to work inside…  maybe we’ll pack on the porch?  Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed our time together (I have!) and, until next time, all my best!

 

 

The SpaceCadet Newsletter: OOAK Shop Update and a New Club

The SpaceCadet Newsletter: OOAK Shop Update and a New Club

I’ve got exciting news!  A couple of weeks ago, two things came together that, in hindsight, were so obviously meant to be together that I nearly slapped myself on the forehead.  You know that feeling where sometimes it takes forever for you to see something right in front of your eyes?  Yep, that.  But the result is so cool: we are starting a new club and it’s going to be awesome!

So, let me tell you about the two things that came together.  The first was that we were doing one of the things I enjoy most: planning out the colours for the Ombre & Gradient mix for the Mini-Skein Club.  We decide them about six months in advance and I love seeing how the colour story is going to progress across the next half-year of the Never Ending Gradient.  Then, just a about an hour later, I was dyeing some gradient sweater sets for a shop and I remarked to my assistant how hard it is to keep them in stock — they’re so beautiful that it feels like they disappear from the shop as soon as we dye them.

And then it came to me, just as clear as a bell: we should create a 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 will flow into the next but in larger skeins to create bigger colour blocks and more gradual shifts that are perfect for sweaters.  And we’ve got some amazing ideas to coordinate them with our regular colourways so they’ll work with your stash and to add some exciting club-exclusive variegateds too! (But more on that when we open the club on next Friday)

Now, part of what makes this so exciting is that it’s as much of an adventure for us as it is for you — I can’t wait to start playing with these colours! — but, because it is an adventure and we’re still working out the details, I’m going to keep it very small and just for our most intrepid yarn explorers: only 25 spots will be available in that first month.   So if this sounds as exciting to you as it does to me, keep your eyes on your inbox on Friday July 28 so you can get one of those spots to start your gradient collection right from the very first skein!

Ok, now that I’ve shared the news that had me bubbling over, let’s get the rest of the day off to a fibery good start.  I’ve got a jam-packed newsletter in store for you, so here we go…

Newsletter

If you’ve ever wanted to take a class on Craftsy, the online craft learning site, but have been stumped by which one to choose, you’ll be interested to know that the site has announced that it will begin offering a subscription payment model next year in addition to its current a la carte classes.  Members will be able to watch any class in the entire Craftsy catalogue for a monthly fee as well as the option to purchase a class to “Own Forever” for an additional cost.

As much as our own fiber-related hobbies are filled with all the good feels that come with being creative and making stuff, we all know that the textile industry’s history is a lot darker.  I found this article fascinating (if macabre) on the “Kiss of Death” in New England textile mills, which resulted in the spread of tuberculosis causing 36% of all deaths among female textile workers.

Non-fiber related but awesome nonetheless: the BBC has announced that the 13th Doctor will be a woman! (see the trailer here) Big grins in my household.  Yours too?

This made me very happy to see: when a woman took a couple of days off work for her mental health, her CEO publicly supported her decision.  As I wrote recently on the blog, I’m a firm believer in workplaces recognising and supporting their employees’ realities (if you haven’t read my philosophy, you’ll find it here), and reading this was hugely encouraging.

(shawl pin from Michelle’s Assortment)

When it comes to taking finished object photos, I think one of the hardest things is know what to do with your hands.  I’ve found we get the best shots when my model is adjusting her shawl pin — seems odd, I know, but it’s natural movement, it takes away all the tension of “posing”, and it gives her something to do with her hands.  Need more ideas?  This quick guide is aimed at wedding photography but the principles are the same for getting shots of your FOs in action.

One-of-a-Kind Shop Update: This Friday at Noon!

(this is kind of long, so make sure you scroll to the bottom to see this week’s pattern picks — they’re worth it!)

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I got so excited about some of the One-of-a-Kinds we’ve dyed lately that I was nearly bursting!  So I decided to do a quick shop update this Friday at noon (eastern).  We’ve got single skeins and sweater sets (some of which match and some of which coordinate) and, being One-of-a-Kinds, it is absolutely first-come first-served, so look through the pictures below to decide which one(s) you love most so you don’t miss out on anything when they go live on Friday (my favourite by far is number 33).

(Also, I made a crab! He pops up a couple of times…  Check out him out!)

The Combining Yarns KCAL Giveaway

I’m so chuffed with all the amazing projects folks are doing for our Combining Yarns KCAL.  And this week, we’re going to run a fab giveaway all about choosing which project we admire the most.  If you’re in the KCAL, keep your eyes the SpaceCadet Ravelry group for all the details on how to enter as soon as I post them!

Mariana by Kathi Snodgrass

Three reasons this caught my eye:  1) Sometimes simple is the most beautiful — I love these clean lines and simple shape more than I can say. 2) Designed in linen, it would be amazing in our silk-linen Thebe and the beautiful sea-coloured 3-skein kits (above) in Friday’s OOAK shop update would be perfect. 3) The pattern is a free download on Ravelry — I guess sometimes the best things in life really are free!

Tegna by Caitlin Hunter

I think this pattern is just about the most perfect summer tee!  I adore the light look, the simple edging around the collar, the easy dropped shoulders, and the gorgeous lace edging.  It’d be wonderfully light and comfortable in either our bamboo yarn, Maia, or our super light merino, Celeste.  Choose from either in one of our standard colours (“So Life Gave You Lemons” would be my choice) or one of the fabulous sweater sets (above) in Friday’s OOAK shop update.

Banana Sweater by Valya Boutenko

Because…  SWEATERS ON ALL THE THINGS!!!!      …And because I laughed so hard I just had to include this.  Designer Valya Boutenko says, “This knitting pattern was inspired by the sweater craze. I am referring of course, to the movement of putting sweaters on everything from apples to park benches. I wanted to contribute to this hilarious and outrageous knitting movement, and so I have designed a sweater for a banana!”  If you don’t know what else to knit, then this is it!

Ok, it’s time I finished my tea and headed down to the studio.  We’ve got the last few skeins to dye for orders going out to a couple of awesome shops, and then I think I might do some experimentation to get ready for the new club.  I hope you’ve got a great day planned too so, until next time, all my best!