SpaceCadet Newsletter: I Jinxed Myself!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: I Jinxed Myself!

You remember last week I talked about the value of slowing things down?  Well, I feel like I jinxed myself!  This week has been nothing but one headlong rush from one day to the next.  Between our upcoming show this weekend, the Yarn Alliance closing on Monday, and the last chance to join the Mini-Skein Club and get a copy of her pattern Circulate…  well, there’s a lot going on!

But it’s so exciting, because it’s all about gorgeous gorgeous yarn — and I count myself pretty darned lucky that my busiest, toughest weeks are still all about smooshy fibery goodness!

(can I just tell you how much I love taking photos? I looove it)

Hey, before we get into the rest of the newsletter, let me just share something cool with you.  Because we’re driving through some amazingly beautiful woodlands on our way to the Shenendoah Valley Fiber Festival this weekend, we dyed some very special autumn-inspired Flickering Light kits.

I absolutely love the amazingly complex colours of those one-of-a-kind Mini-Skeins set against that rich burnished russet.  It’s autumn leaves, copper and patina, harvest spices…  We’re bringing kits in these gorgeous colours with us to SVFF this weekend but, if you don’t live close enough to come choose one in person (because every kit is a little different), we’ll be releasing a very limited quantity in our online shop in about two weeks.  Keep your eyes open for that!


Newsletter

So many knitters I know lack confidence in their finishing skills (count me in that group!) that they will go to enormous lengths to avoid patterns that require their use.  If picking up stitches along a neckline is one of the skills that makes you feel nervous, this useful guide will help you find your confidence.  And because the neckline frames your (lovely!) face, it’s so worth that extra effort, don’t you agree?

You’ve seen t-shirts that say, “Knitting a Post-Apocalyptic Life-Skill,” right?  Well, even before those endtimes come, it’s a darned handy thing to know if you, say, need a fence around your yard.

It’s nothing new to hear about movie stars knitting to pass the down-time on set, but I don’t often hear about celebrities trying weaving.  Even fewer who can be described as a “21-year-old ex-Disney star, Instagram provocateur, cat enthusiast, weed entrepreneur, porn director and fanatical crafter” but this one can and it cracked me up to read about her first foray into the fiber arts.  It’s… not exactly what I’d expected.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) ran an ad in Britain claiming that “wool is as cruel as fur” and the Advertising Standards Agency disagreed, ruling that the claim had been inaccurately presented and ordering Peta never to repeat it.  Read more about it here.


Join Now: The Yarn Alliance Closes on Monday!
Open until Sept 30

It’s almost time to close the Yarn Alliance so, if you’ve been thinking about joining our awesome yarn club, click here and get in now.  The Yarn Alliance is our premiere yarn club, all about gorgeous dyeing on fingering weight yarns.  Plus coordinating colourways, great gifts, and a ton of fun!

So, what do you get when you join?

…beautiful yarns, colourways you might never have dared try but suddenly realise you love, and some seriously fabulous gifts!

As a member of the InterStellar Yarn Alliance, you’ll receive a fabulous parcel delivered to their door every other month, containing:

  • SpaceCadet  yarn (light to medium weight) in an exclusive Yarn Alliance colourway (guaranteed not to be offered on the SpaceCadet® website for at least 6 months)
  • A great Yarn Alliance gift tucked into every parcel!
  • The SpaceCadet’s Log exploring the inspiration for each colourway.
  • The InterStellar Yarn Alliance newsletter with periodic special offers exclusively for members.
  • A 15% off coupon every six months

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival (SVFF)
Sept 28-29, Berryville VA

If you live near the Shenandoah Valley, you’ll want to come to SVFF this weekend! We’re bringing lots of yarn along with those gorgeous Flickering Light kits (at the top of the newsletter), so come see us in the Lion Pavillion (it’s a bit of a walk but totally worth it, I promise!)

Last Few Days to Get a Copy of Circulate
Join the Mini-Skein Club by the end of Sept for your free copy!

For the Mini-Skein Club, we dye a set of Ombre & Gradient colours that flow from one month into the next… and into the next… and into the next.  We’ve been in soft, beachy colours over the summer but I’m super-excited to show you where we’re headed next: this is August’s colours flowing into September’s…

(that’s August at the back, all blue and sea-like, and September at the front taking us in a whole new direction)

And you remember the other week I told you about my assistant Jade’s two beautiful new patterns, Trajectory and Circulate?  Circulate (above) is a long cowl designed especially for SpaceCadet Ombre&Gradient Mini-Skeins to make the most of the their gentle colour changes.  And I’m so excited for its release that I’m gifting a copy of Circulate to  everyone who joins the Mini-Skein Club in September!

Click here to find out what makes our Mini-Skein Club so special and then be sure to join this month to get your copy of the pattern.


Islington by Mara Licole

I know this is a little ridiculous but thing I love most about this gorgeous shawl is not the lovely texture of the wrapped-lace stitch pattern (but isn’t it lovely? and so intriguing)…  it’s actually that nice, fat, squishy garter edge! I think most designers would have made the edge smaller but this design was inspired by the view of a busy London street scene viewed quietly through a window with a thick window frame, and that lovely garter edge reflects that beautifully.  It’d look beautiful in Dark Skies (I mean… cuz London!), Feather, or Nine Stones.


Penny by tincanknits

Simple shapes and beautiful details can make a sweater, and even better when its sized from newborn all the way to 4XL.  I love the v-neck (they’re always so flattering) but what I like most is the detail down the sleeve that mirrors the center panel.  It’d look lovely in Oxblood, Yes Dear, or Longing.


HoneyBuns Beanie by Nomad Stitches

Here’s what caught my eye about this lovely pattern: every example on the pattern page is different because, mimicking an actual bee hive, it’s designed to be crocheted differently every time! The instructions are sized from babies to adults, so you can make one for every member of your family. And while it’s designed in fingering, it can also be adapted to sport or DK for a chunkier beanie.  I’d love to see it in Honey (of course!), but I think it would gorgeous in Headstrong and Yes Dear.


images © the respective designers, used with permission

This newsletter has been sponsored by the SpaceCadet Pinterest board “Mini-Skein Ideas”, where (nearly) every pin links to the pattern.  Go find something gorgeous to make!

Ok, it’s going to be a super-busy day today (we’re  packing the car for the show and I’m sure I’ve left something off the list!) so I’d better get it started.  I hope your day is filled with colour and fun and, until next time, all my best!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: The Surprise of Slowness

SpaceCadet Newsletter: The Surprise of Slowness

I recently read a book called The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth, about the reality of living in the Nordic countries.  It was a fascinating book (I highly recommend it) and my favourite part was about one of the most popular television shows ever broadcast on NKR (Norway’s public broadcaster).  Apparently, the Norwegian television event of the century was created by simply strapping a camera onto the front of a train travelling from Bergen to Oslo and then broadcasting the entire journey — uninterrupted and in real time — over the course of seven hours (inspiring Booth to write my favourite line in the whole book: “The tunnels must have been especially riveting.”).

It’s called Slow Television, and it’s a real thing.  In fact, it’s really taking off (insomuch as something with “slow” right in the title can take off).  Right now, Ikea Australia is broadcasting their own slow televison programme, documenting the entire journey of a shipment of their bedding products from the factory in China to their store in Sydney — all in very slow, very real time.  And the accompanying soundtrack is the hypnotic sound of two of their employees soothingly reading aloud the product names of the entire bedding and bath section from the Ikea cataloge.

Friend, I have been utterly unable to turn it off.  It’s oddly beautiful, incredibly soothing, and just so sloooow.  And as I watched the sun rise over the Pacific the other day (at about 2pm eastern, if you want to tune in too), I realised that the thing that I find appealing about watching the endless sea rolling slowly by is the same thing I love about knitting.  It’s quiet.  It’s got a gentle rhythm.  And there’s something really fulfilling about spending some time just slowing down.

You and I knew about that before Ikea’s boat set sail, and before “slow television” ever took off.  There’s real value in slowing down, breathing deeply, being quiet.  And we do it everytime we knit or crochet, everytime we wind a ball or cake a skein, everytime we start the day quietly with a cup of tea and a project… and even everytime we get together to read this newsletter.

I am determined to bring a little bit more slowness into my days.  I think it does good things for the soul.  And while I think the best source of slowness is yarn and tea, I’m kinda ok if it comes by way of an Ikea catalogue read aloud.


Newsletter

I recently shared a beautiful pattern in filet crochet, which gives a lovely graphic look that I love.  If you like it too, this article has some really handy tips and tricks for perfect filet crochet, including how to make sure your stitches are truly square.  Worth reading!

One of the things I love most about this community is how generous knitters and crocheters are — there is a long tradition of giving and gifting that is inherent to the fiber arts that comes out when we make things for people in need.  In that vein, Clara Parkes recently put out a call for knitted and crocheted items to help keep warm Maine’s newest asylum seekers as they face their first New England winter.  Click here to read more and help out.

I was super excited to see this post by designer Angela Tong, about filming the pilot of SWATCHED, a new show about the art of knit and crochet. No word yet on how or when it will be available to view but watch this space!

If you’ve seen Xandy Peters amazing Fox Paws and been intrugued/confused/flummoxed as to how it’s constructed (cough… like me… cough), this video is a revelation.  A 9-in-1 increase? Called [KYOK SB2]?  Ahhh yes, that old gem…  I, erm… I do it all the time!


Come Join The Yarn Alliance!
Open until Sept 30

It’s been so much fun seeing all the new and returning members joining the Yarn Alliance and I’m seriously excited about the upcoming season!  The Yarn Alliance is our premiere yarn club, all about gorgeous dyeing on fingering weight yarns.  Plus coordinating colourways, great gifts, and a ton of fun.  It’s open for two weeks only, so click here to get your spot! 

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival (SVFF)
Sept 28-29, Berryville VA

We’ve been planning our booth and we’re so excited to be coming back to SVFF We’ve got some awesome kits in brand-new colourways that we’ve dyed especially for the show so, if you’ll be there too, please come and see us in the Lion Pavillion (it’s a bit of a walk but totally worth it, I promise!)

Join the Mini-Skein Club in Sept and Get a Copy of Circulate

You remember last week I told you about my assistant Jade’s two beautiful new patterns, Trajectory and Circulate?  Circulate (above) is a long cowl designed especially for SpaceCadet Ombre&Gradient Mini-Skeins to make the most of the their gentle colour changes.  And I’m so excited for its release that I’m gifting a copy of Circulate to  everyone who joins the Mini-Skein Club in September!

Click here to find out what makes our Mini-Skein Club so special and then be sure to join this month to get your copy of the pattern.


Prague Top by Nataliya Polyakov

One thing I love about this time of year is that you can wear a sweater to keep a bit warmer but still go for something pretty and lacy.  This beautiful pattern is a perfect example and one that made me click on it the second I spotted it.  Designed in fingering, it’s knit from the bottom up and worked seamlessly.  I’d love it in SpaceCadet Celeste (a lovely light fingering) in Plume, Blood Moon, or Drizzle.


 

The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Mara Licole

It was the texture of this lovely shawl that caught my eye first.  It’s got lace and textured colour and bobbles and picot, although all of that together has the potential to be just too much, it’s all so well balanced in this design that it looks beautiful.  Worked in DK to keep things quick, it’s also going to be beautifully cosy as the nights draw in.  I’d knit it in SpaceCadet Astrid in the colourways Drizzle, Frigia, or Honey.

Maia Tunic by Nomad Stitches

Ok, I know this looks all summery and that might not make the most sense this time of year but I have my reasons!  First, this is darned cute and I just like it.  Second, I am 100% not ready to give up on summer yet.  And third, I’d totally throw this over a pair of leggings and a tank and pair it with a little jacket and wear it well into the coming months.  Designed in DK, it will work up quick and feel delicious.  I think it would look awesome in Tickled for a crazy neon pop, Mars for a bold look, or Thrive for a much softer and more organic look.

images © the respective designers, used with permission

This newsletter has been sponsored by the SpaceCadet Pinterest board “Knitting Inspiration: Shawls and Wraps”, where (nearly) every pin links to the pattern.  Go find something gorgeous to make!

Ok, as lovely as it’s been sitting here with my tea and being slow, it’s time get my day started.  The Mini-Skein Club parcels went out yesterday and I can’t wait to hear from folks as they received their yarn (tag me!).  But we’ve got lots of other stuff to get shipped out before we head to SVFF next week, so I’d better get moving.  I hope you’ve had a lovely slow start and have good things planned for the day and, until next time, all my best!

 

SpaceCadet Newsletter: The Things You Say to Me!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: The Things You Say to Me!

One of the things I love most about running SpaceCadet is that it allows me to interact with our customers and club members in a way that I think would simply not be possible in another type of business.  I love looking over the colour combos that our customers come up with(!) and writing a little thank you on each order.  Or drawing a smiley face and a quick “Hi!” whenever I see a familiar name on a shipping label.  And most of all, I love the conversations that come back in emails and messages.  Sometimes, when it’s super busy, I don’t get the chance to reply personally, but I am so appreciative of every one.

This week I got three that especially made me feel all warm and fuzzy:

  • From a SpaceMonster member, “Your colors make even my non-crafty husband say ‘Wow‘” (which makes me think he must be a keeper… I mean, who doesn’t love a man who loves beautiful yarn?!?)
  • From a member of the Mini-Skein Club, “I do love mixing and matching them and have made some of my favorite projects with your minis.” (I loved hearing that!)
  • And from a member of the Yarn Alliance, “I’m in again. Love your Yarn Alliance.

That last one might just mean the most to me, because when one of our club members renews their subscription, it means we’ve done something right.  So right that they want to come back and sign up again — and I honestly can’t think of any better feedback than that!  I am absolutely, completely thrilled every time a club member renews.

So you’ll know how excited I was yesterday, when I opened the secret link that lets Yarn Alliance renewers and folks on the waiting list get their spots early before the club opens on Friday…  and almost everyone who joined signed up for a full year.  One after another after another, all grabbing those 12-month subscriptions (and some even going for a double or a triple subscription! Wow!).  The fact that our renewing members are coming back like that (and coming back for the whole year) fills me with so much joy   …and gets me super excited for the upcoming seasons!

So, if you’re a renewing member or are on the club waiting list and you haven’t got your spot yet, check your inbox for an email from me yesterday.  And if you’re not, just sit tight — the Yarn Alliance will open to the public on Friday at noon (eastern).  Set an alarm on your phone now and then click here to get your spot and join us on our colour adventure!


But enough about all that… there’s been a lot going on in the world of knitting and crochet that I want to share with you!  So grab your cuppa and find a comfy place to sit and let’s take a look!…

Newsletter

You may use terminology such as “yoke”, “purl”, and “swatch” all the time, but have you ever wondered how these knitting words originated?  Merriam-Webster has your back!  I loved this fascinating article detailing the etymology of a ton knitting-related words…  even “frogging” made the list.

How does Ravelry make money?  In 2012, Ravelry co-founder Cassidy (formerly Casey) Forbes wrote this post detailing where their revenue comes from and, in this recent Twitter post, she updated that same info using numbers from 2018.  And the short answer to the question is more than half comes from the ads you see.

(If you found confusing that reference to Ravelry co-founder Casey Forbes as Cassidy, you may have missed the news that Casey recently came out as transgender and is now called Cassidy, and uses the pronouns she/her.  You can read her announcement here.)

I am in love (as in, in looooooove…) with this knitting- and crochet-related jewelry line The designs are so beautifully subtle that perhaps only another crafter would spot their significance, but isn’t that part of the charm? Want!

“There’s something inherently agitating, even subconsciously, when you’re pinging around through social media as opposed to kind of having a singular focus and the relaxation benefits that come with slowing down, learning about something, and then making with your hands.”  I completely agree with this statement from an article about a study that showed 77% of Americans would rather give up their Netflix subscription than their creative hobbies.  Now, the study was done by Bluprint (formerly Craftsy), so the results may not be very surprising, but it certainly matches my experience  (…what does confuse me, however, is the photo they used to illustrate the article — it’s art, I get that, but art is really weird sometimes!).

BIPOC in Fiber is a website dedicated to highlighting Black, Indigenous and People of Colour working the fiber industry, with the goals of enabling BIPOC working in the fiber industry to find and see one another, enabling event planners and publications to be more intentional, featuring a directory of BIPOC working with fiber, and pooling resources and articles designed to improve access to opportunities for BIPOC working with fiber. They are currently 80% of the way to their £20,000 crowdfunding goal.  Click here to help them raise that last 20%.


Join the Mini-Skein Club in Sept and Get a Free Copy of Circulate

You remember last week I told you about my assistant Jade’s two beautiful new patterns, Trajectory and Circulate?  Circulate (above) is a long cowl designed especially for SpaceCadet Ombre&Gradient Mini-Skeins to make the most of the their gentle colour changes.  And I’m so excited for its release that I’m gifting a copy of Circulate to  everyone who joins the Mini-Skein Club in September!

Click here to find out what makes our Mini-Skein Club so special and then be sure to join this month to get your copy of the pattern.

The Yarn Alliance Opens Tomorrow!

You already know it  …but I’m still going to tell you again! (grin)  Now, set that alarm on your phone for Friday at noon (eastern) and then click here to get your spot!  Also, let me tempt you with a little scrollcandy on your way down to the next item…

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival (SVFF)
Sept 28-29, Berryville VA

We’re so excited to be coming back to SVFF And at our most recent team meeting, we came up with something awesome that we’re going to premiere at the show.  So if you’ll be there too, please send us a quick email and let us know to look out for you!


Bayeux by Mindy Brown

This is not a new pattern — it came out years ago and it’s been on my website before — so I was quite surprised when I saw it suddenly climbing Ravelry’s Hot Right Now list.  Then I realised…  it was recently featured on the front page of Ravelry as Peppersock’s Wedding Dress (and what an amaaaazing wedding dress it makes!).  Designed in SpaceCadet Celeste, it’s a remarkably quick project, given that’s a full dress and would make a fabulous option for any event.  I’d love to see it as a holiday party dress in Mars or Troublemaker (with a black underskirt, just to make the point?) or a prom dress in Feather (perhaps with a Fizz-green underskirt, to make the yarn pop?)

Ritchie by Jenny F

Beautiful colourwork and texture are an easy way to my heart and so this gorgeous shawl caught my eye straight away.  Incorporating mosaic slipped stitches, a little texture, and relaxing garter stitch, it’s a great pattern too work on as the nights get longer.  Try it in cashmere-rich Aurora for a truly luxurious option (I like Longing and Sage for a wonderfully wintery green colour pairing).

Taroko Sweater by Nomad Stitches

Colourwork yoke sweaters have been wildly popular for a while now but I’ve yet to see a crocheted version as lovely as this one.  Incorporating lace sections for extra interest, it can be worked as a cropped sweater or longer, whichever you prefer.  It would work beautifully in SpaceCadet Oriana or, if you’re confident playing with gauge a little, I’d try Celeste to go a little lighter and give it a softer feel.  Mimic these colours with Yes Dear, Frigia, and Sliver, or give it an autumnal feel with Oxblood, Honey, and Fat-Free Chocolate.

images © the respective designers, used with permission


Ok, I’ve got a super-exciting day ahead.  We’ve got something really special planned for our LYS customers and today we’re planning out twelve months of new colourways for it!  I’m actually bursting to tell you but can’t say any more than that (if you’re an LYS owner, get in touch and I’ll make sure you’re one of the first to hear about it).  I hope your day is just as exciting and, until next time, all my best!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Announcing Trajectory & Circulate!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Announcing Trajectory & Circulate!

First, I have an announcement, and then I have a very special treat that I can’t wait to share with you!

The announcment is that my lovely assistant Jade (that’s her in the photos) is releasing tomorrow two beautiful new patterns for SpaceCadet.

Trajectory (for SpaceCadet Prism Break sets)

Circulate is a long cowl designed especially for SpaceCadet Ombre&Gradient Mini-Skeins to make the most of the their gentle colour changes.  And the Trajectory scarflette is its sister pattern, designed to show off the Prism Break Minis that are available through our LYS partners.  They’re both beautiful and simple and…

…And they release tomorrow!  If you’re on the SpaceCadet mailing list, I’ll be sending you a super-quick reminder tomorrow morning when they go live …and I’m  really hoping you guys will show Jade your support by hitting that heart to favourite them on Ravelry.

Trajectory (for SpaceCadet Prism Break sets)

The Special Treat

I’m thrilled about this: Jade is so excited about the release of these two patterns that she is generously giving a copy of Circulate to all of the current members of the Mini-Skein Club and a copy of Trajectory to everyone who bought a set of Prism Break Minis during our Black Friday special last year!  Isn’t that lovely of her?!? So if that’s you, keep an eye on your inbox tomorrow for a special download code.

Plus, a Free Copy of Circulate to All New Mini-Skein Club Joiners!

Just to get in on the fun, I’ve decided to give a free copy of Circulate to everyone who joins our Mini-Skein Club anytime between now and October 1.  It’s just my way of saying welcome and giving you something to make your new membership all the more exciting!  (Which is kinda crazy, because the Mini-Skein Club is so much fun anyway…  I mean, a gradient that flows from month to month to month…?  Yeah, it’s pretty awesome!)

Circulate for SpaceCadet Mini-Skein Club minis

Oh, but before those patterns release, I have lots of interesting fiber news to share with you!  So go grab a nice cuppa and let’s dive in…!

Newsletter

When it comes to the environment and fiber-related things, personally, I am very much in the pro-wool camp (as you know!), but I found this video from the BBC interesting, where an ethical vegan and a Welsh sheep farmer met to discuss their different viewpoints.  It has the potential to get explosive (of course) but — spoiler — I’m happy to report it all ends with cake (because…  shouldn’t everything end with cake?).

While we’re on the subject, click here and then on the circle marked “Forage Tech” to see Joanne Devaney’s Instragram stories fact-checking some common myths about wool production and shearing (note: this is also from an Irish point of view where, like in Britain, the bottom has completely fallen out of the wool market, so it makes the point that Irish/British farmers rarely turn a profit on their shorn fleeces — a fact that isn’t true elsewhere in the world).  It makes for interesting watching…  and the rest of her Instagram feed is pretty lovely as well!

As you know, F+W Media (the company that owned Interweave Press) has recently filed for bankruptcy and the future of its craft magazines remains in question.  But three fiber arts industry veterens have come together to form a new company, Long Thread Media, and have bought the rights to Spin Off, PieceWork, and HandwovenClick here to read more details.

The issue of free vs paid patterns is one that can get heated quickly.  I recently came across this thread in which celebrated designer Woolly Wormhead talks honestly about the impact that copy-cat patterns and unauthorised pattern sharing has on her business… and her life.  And Danielle Holke makes the link to the larger issue of how we value activities usually seen as “women’s work”.  Interestingly, I came across this debate via a post from the editor of Knitty, a magazine that publishes patterns for free… but here is the catch: their being free is the designer’s decision — and I think that makes all the difference.

Vogue Knitting is having a book sale!  Get 40% off on over 100 titles between now and Sept 8.


Yarn Alliance Opens on Fri Sept 13!

Remember last week I said we do our best dyeing for our clubs?  This is a great example: Apothecary and Remedy, the colours for January’s Yarn Alliance parcel.  Combining shimmering gold with a soft lavendar shouldn’t work (they should turn muddy where the two colours meet) but we really wanted to create something special for our Yarn Alliance members, so we worked and worked until we werre able to make this colourway turn out right.  …And I think it really did, don’t you?

The next season of the Yarn Alliance will be opening to new members on September 13, so mark your calendar now so you don’t miss out!  And I’m super excited about what we’ve got planned — lots of intriguing colourways and new adventures.  If you’d like to join us, click here to get on the club mailing list for a heads up and early access when the club opens.

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival (SVFF)
Sept 28-29, Berryville VA

We’re so excited to be coming back to SVFF And at our most recent team meeting, we came up with something awesome that we’re going to premiere at the show.  So if you’ll be there too, please send us a quick email and let us know to look out for you!


Confundo by Barbara Benson

I love the cleverness that comes out of Barbara Benson’s head, and this beautiful shawl is no exception.  It combines her signature slipped stitch mosaic with gradually changing colours to create a stunning effect that completely masks the simplicity of its construction (in mosaic colourwork, you are never working with more than one yarn on a row, and simply knitting stripes that use slipped stitches to create the illusion of more complex colourwork).  Designed in DK, I think it’d be an excellent candidate for SpaceCadet Minis held double, which would have the added bonus of making the colour changes doubly intriguing!

Frontier Shawl by Samantha Casale

There’s something about filet crochet’s wonderfully graphic nature that always intrigues me, so this lovely light shawl caught my eye straight away (and it’s still delightfully warm enough in Pittsburgh so I’m still loving lacey shawls!).  Worked in sport, it’s just enough weight to give it a bit of substance, while still letting all the lovely openwork shine.

For Granny by Jenny F

Don’t look now, but there’s cooler weather on the horizon!  If you live in a place where throwing something warm and cozy around your shoulders makes the autumn chill so much more welcome, then I think this may be the perfect project for you.  And if you’ve go a stash of gorgeous SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins, this is an amazing option to really show them off!  Knit on the bias, it has an interesting shape and intriguing construction that make it fun all the way from cast on to bind off.

images © the respective designers, used with permission

Ok, my cup is empty so I guess that means its time to get my day started!  I hope you’ve got a lovely fiber-filled day planned (or, if not, at least a few yarny breaks).  And, until next time, all my best!

 

 

 

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Our Very Best Dyeing is Only For…

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Our Very Best Dyeing is Only For…

If you’ve been following my Instagram and Facebook posts, you’ll know that I’ve come to realise we do our very best dyeing for our clubs. Our standard colourways (the ones available on the SpaceCadet website) are beautiful and really lend themselves to sweater-knitting, to mixing-and-matching, and to the amazing patterns our designer friends come up with.  But I have to be honest: our most adventurous, most drool-worthy dyeing is always the colourways we create for our clubs. ⁠

And when I sat down and thought about why that is, I realised that it’s because I know our club members have agreed to come on a journey — a colour journey — with us, without realllly knowing where it’s going to lead but confident that we are going to take them someplace wonderful.  And in return, I know I want to make that journey as exciting an adventure for them as I can!

So we come up with at least thirteen new colourways a month for our clubs. Thirteen! (That’s two for the Yarn Alliance or SpaceMonsters, one for the Gradient Explorers, and ten for the Mini-Skein Club)⁠  That makes… let me count… 156 brand-new colourways that we come up with every year. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY SIX!!!  (And that’s just for our clubs, not counting any new standard colourways and one of a kinds)

Oh my stars, I don’t think I’ve ever really let that number sink in! But while that’s a huge mental and creative challenge for us, it’s also so much fun (I mean, this is why we do what we do after all)!  And it means that the special folks who have signed up to one of our clubs — who have jumped on board to take this creative journey with us — are the ones who get to share our very best work.  I am so grateful for you all!

But wait, what about all our other customers?  Well don’t you worry, because we’ve got some great stuff up our sleeves…  There are new colourways on the horizon …and they are so gorgeous!  They just need their photographs taken and then I can share them with you.  And through the encouragement of one of our wonderful yarn shop customers, we are coming up with something extra special for the LYSs who carry SpaceCadet yarn.  I can’t wait to share it with you!

Newsletter

During our SpaceCadet crew meetings, there’s usually at least one set of needles clicking and, quite frankly, I’d struggle to work anywhere that that was seen as a detriment, but I know most folks’ workplaces don’t accept knitting or crochet as the true meeting-concentration aids that they are (and they really are!).  So I really enjoyed reading this article about how much knitting helped one woman concentrate during boardroom meetings.

Last time, I shared with you how you can use Tiny Cards to learn all kinds of interesting things, including sheep breeds (so cool!).  This week, I discovered this deck of cards to learn colour names — super handy if you want to be the most well-versed crafter at your LYS!  (Or if, like me, you always always always think cerise is green not pink.  I mean, it sounds like celery, right?)

Speaking of colours, Behr has just announced their 2020 paint colour of the year, a light, yellow-tinted green called “Back To Nature” (above).  Of course, home interiors is on a different track to fashion, but I don’t doubt you’ll see versions of this colour in clothes over the upcoming seasons.  The other paint companies and Pantone will be announcing their colours soon and it will be interesting to see if they all follow a theme.  In the meantime, if Back To Nature is making you itch to cast on a lovely organic green, check out SpaceCadet Sage and Wilt.

True to the company name, one of my favourite summer activities is sitting outside on a warm evening to gaze up at the stars. Here in Pittsburgh, it can be hard to see them through all the light from the city (unlike the village I lived in in Norfolk, England, where it was often so clear that you could see the Milky Way). But I was happy to come across this article recently with tips on how to successfully stargaze from absolutely anywhere, no remote location or fancy equipment required. If the summer sky is calling you too, check it out!

 

Yarn Alliance Opens on September 13!

Remember I said we did our best dyeing for our clubs?  I can tell you that our Yarn Alliance members went nuts for their May colourway, which was completely inspired by summer fun: Chalk Doodles (think sidewalk chalk!) and Ice Cream Truck.  See how beautifully they mirror each other?  The upbeat colours of Ice Cream Truck are blended into the soothing grey of Chalk Doodles.  Every Yarn Alliance colourway has an optional coordinate, so you can really play with colour and create an even more exciting project!

The next season of the Yarn Alliance will be opening to new members on September 13, so mark your calendar now so you don’t miss out!  And I’m super excited about what we’ve got planned — lots of intriguing colourways and new adventures.  If you’d like to join us, click here to get on the club mailing list for a heads up and early access when the club opens.

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival (SVFF)
Sept 28-29, Berryville VA

We’re so excited to be coming back to SVFF And at our most recent team meeting, we came up with something awesome that we’re going to premiere at the show.  So if you’ll be there too, please send us a quick email and let us know to look out for you!

Incline’s Ascent Cowl pattern by Sarah Jordan

If you’re from Pittsburgh, you’ll know exactly why this design jumped out at me.  It depicts the Dusquene Incline, a pair of cable cars that climb Mt Washington and give a breathtaking view of the city nestled at the confluence of its iconic three rivers.  And I can’t imagine a better holiday gift for anyone who loves the steel city.  Double-knit and fully reversable, it’s designed in DK, so I’d try it in SpaceCadet Astrid and go for Mars with Feather with a high-contrast option, or Honey with Dark Skies for a real City of Champions feel!

The Wisteria Cardigan by Rachel Misner

There are some patterns that I look at and just think, “I want that!” and this cardigan is 100% that kind of pattern.  I love the boxy shape, the drape, and the way the stitch pattern is both lacey and a little weighty.  Using two identical panels seamed together keeps the construction simple, and the almost-sleeves are perfect for warmer weather, but I think I’d be inclined to crochet around the armholes and create boxy sleeves to adapt it into a great three-season option too, in either warm Honey, the rich rust of Headstrong, a cool grey like Drizzle, or an attention-grabbing red like Mars.

Ursa Minor by Jacqueline Cieslak

If you can feel sweater weather in the air(!) and are ready to get things rolling, there’s nothing like a beautifully simple design in big yarn to get you to bind off in record quick time!  This lovely pattern is a great choice, knit from the top down with raglan sleeves and a v-neck, and sized up to a 66″ bust.  Cast it on in SpaceCadet Elara and you’ll have something to snuggle down in the minute the weather turns!

images © the respective designers, used with permission

Ok, it’s time for me to get to work.  I’ve got some fun stuff to dye today (yay!) and then some less fun paperwork (not so yay, but necessary).  I hope your day has some fun stuff planned too and, if not, just make sure you get some time to knit or crochet.  And, until next time, all my best!

 

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Tons of Autumn Plans!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Tons of Autumn Plans!

Oh my stars, the responses I received to the story in my previous newsletter about my sister cutting her knitting in half were so hilarious that they had me stitches as I read them.  Thank you thank you thank you for sharing in my shock and incredulity that that whole scenario was even possible!  You made me feel so much better.

Photo by Krisztina Papp

Every month, the entire SpaceCadet crew gets together for a meeting that gives us a chance to really bounce ideas off each other and brainstorm.  This time of year, we tend to hold them at the local park in the dappled shade of a tree (why be inside if you don’t have to be?!?) and that must really help get our creative juices flowing because, at our meeting last week, the team started firing off so many fantastic ideas for this autumn and winter that I honestly don’t know how we’ll be able to do them all.

But I really realllly want to, so we’re going to try!  Keep your eyes on the newsletter for progress reports, ok?

In the meantime, I’d really love your help.  Last year, we went to SVFF (Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival) because so many folks wrote in and told us it was a great show to do — and they were right!  And this year, I’m looking for more recommendations.  If there’s a show that you know is great (for both vendors and customers!) and that we ought to apply to, please get in touch and let me know.  Your recommendations mean so much!

Ok, are you ready to jump into the latest fun fiber news?  Go grab a cuppa and here we go…

Newsletter

If you’ve ever knit or crocheted a shawl that wasn’t quite big enough to drape the way you wanted, this schematic (and the accompanying text) might be a useful guide to better sizing.

Did you know Granny Square Day is tomorrow, August 15? It was making my first granny squares that finally got me feeling comfortable with crochet (after years of feeling ridiculously uncoordinated with a hook!) so, if you want to learn to love crochet too, check out Simply Crochet’s Daily Granny Square, published free every day in August until Granny Square Day! Click here to get started with the first one and check out their tutorial, or here to quickly catch up all the granny squares they’ve posted so far.

Oh my stars, I love granny squares so much!

This summer, one of my goals is to brush up on my German and I’ve been using Duolingo’s flash cards (and Duolingo itself) to improve my skills — and I’ve just realised there are user-created flashcard decks for a ton of different subjects besides languages, including knitting, crochet, and sheep breeds.  So cool!

I am soooo wishing I could go to the upcoming Kaffe Fassett exhibition at Anthropologie as part of the London Design Festival. If his name isn’t familiar to you, his decades-long career in knit design, quilting, and needlepoint has been instrumental in raising those crafts to the level of fiber arts, and he is a god of colourwork. If you are anywhere near London in September… go and see him!

 

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival (SVFF)
Sept 28-29, Berryville VA

We’re so excited to be coming back to SVFF!  And at our most recent team meeting, we came up with something awesome that we’re going to premiere at the show.  So if you’ll be there too, please send us a quick email and let us know to look out for you!

Yarn Alliance Opens in September!

Wait, did I show you the latest Yarn Alliance colourway, Magical?  I love it — and its coordinating colourway, Alchemy — so much I can hardly say and I was sooooo excited to send it out to our club members.  And from the responses we’ve been getting, I think they loved it just as much!!!

The next season of the Yarn Alliance will be opening to new members in September and I’m super excited about what we’ve got planned — lots of intriguing colourways and new adventures.  If you’d like to join us, click here and get on the club mailing list for a heads up and early access when the club opens.

Fleur Dress by Samantha Casale

Everything about this dress feels perfect for summer!  I love the granny square motif, the simple straps, and the sweet lacing up the back.  The pattern allows you to calculate how many squares you will need to make for your size and the granny squares are easy join-as-you-go.  Fabulous!

Rift by Jacqueline Cieslak

Simple shapes make the best wardrobe staples, but this “basic tee” pattern elevates that idea with instructions for two necklines, optional bust darts, and a custom fit bicep, and includes a split high-low hem in twisted rib, just to keep things interesting.  Designed in sport and sized up to a 72″ bust, it’d be fabulous in SpaceCadet Lyra — go for Crisp for a cool summer colour, or Tickled for something super bold!

Richland by Dee O’Keefe

It was the beautiful texture of this triangular shawl that made it jump right out at me.  Pairing a chevron lace panel with a stockinette and Estonian star stitch body pattern, the pattern is designed in DK but could be worked in fingering or a heavier weight.  Personally, I’d love to see it in SpaceCadet Astrid in the deep and rich colours of Honey, Headstrong, or Mars to really lift up that gorgeous texture.

images © the respective designers, used with permission

Well, I’ve got a busy day ahead of me — there’s orders to go out to some of our LYSs, all those autumn plans to nail down, and maybe a bit of dyeing too.  I hope you’ve got an exciting day ahead of you too and, until next time, all my best!