SpaceCadet Newsletter: Trusting the Designer

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Trusting the Designer

When we send yarn off to a designer, I’m never quite sure what’s going to become — there are so many possibilities and it’s entirely down to the designer’s own inspiration, so there’s really no telling.  To be honest, it sometimes feels like a risk but I’m happy to report that, most of the time, I’m love the result.  And sometimes… just sometimes… I’m absolutely blown away!

So when Jessica Anderson asked us for a sweater’s worth of yarn for an idea she had, I was intrigued.  When she asked for it in Nine Stones — a lovely mix of greys, browns, and soft blues — I was delighted.  And when she gave us the completed sample, I really was absolutely blown away.

Rey’s Cardigan by Jessica Anderson

Rey’s Cardigan is a gorgeous long, hooded cardigan with eye-catching texture all down the back.  Designed in SpaceCadet Oriana, I’m not exaggerating when I say it hangs like a dream, draping around you in all the right places and looking spectacular whether styled casually over a t-shirt and jeans or more dramatically over all-black and an epic pair of boots.

In fact, it’s so lovely that it’s been really hard to keep my assistants Jade and Sara from sneaking off with it!  But I think the real joy would be in making one for yourself, either in the muted shades of Nine Stones (the sample above), Faded Promises, or Faded Dreams.  Or in something cool like Crisp or truly bright and bold like Tickled.  (Cheat sheet: sizes 32-38 take 5 skeins, 41-47 take 6 skeins, and 50-53 take 7 skeins)

(And we’re not the only ones who were blown away — when A Good Yarn in Sarasota FL saw the sample, they immediately ordered enough yarn to make the cardigan in a whole range of colours — if you live near them, go and get some for yourself!)

So, is it worth it to send yarn off to a designer, sight unseen, and just trust their inspiration is up to expectations? I mean, it is a risk — it is — but when the results are this beautiful, I have to say, yes… Yes it is!

Ok, it’s been a super busy week after all the madness of Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend, there’s a lot of fun stuff to share so, if you have a cup of tea (I have mine!), find a nice comfy place to curl up and let’s get to it…


Image © Birdie Parker Designs, used with permission

Birdie Parker knitting- and crochet-inspired jewellry (yes! both!) is so easy to fall in love with.  I think my favourites are the K1P1 earrings (above): one is covered in knit stitches and the other in purl — so cute.  There are also necklaces, bracelets, cuffs, stitchmarkers, and shawl cuffs — and, honestly, I just want them all!

Have you see new Mr Rogers film?  There’s a part of me that’s hesitating, just in case Tom Hanks doesn’t nail it perfectly (because it’s so important to the Mr Rogers legacy that he does!).  But I was delighted to read this article about the woman who hand-knit every one of his (Mr Hanks’) cardigans and the care she put into replacting the originals so well.  (Also, did you know Mr Rogers was based here in Pittsburgh?  He is so well-loved by this city that a local hospital even recently dressed newborns in red cardigans to celebrate him)

No matter how cold it is outside, this will make you warm from the inside out: Socks by Bob is a group of senior citizens who machine knit socks for the homeless, on knitting machines built by founder Bob Rutherford, and have donated over 11,600 pairs to shelters across Canada. The video is wonderful.

I know hand-knitting has always been encouraged in wartime — both overtly as a way to the civilian population engaged and the troops warm, and covertly as cover when spying and a way of passing coded messages.  So I found this excellent article absolutely fascinating reading.

Some very sad news: Scott Manko, better known as Scooterpie the Shepard Guy and the self-proclaimed “flock master” at Ross Farm, lost his life in a tragic accident this week while caring for the farm’s rare breed sheep.  Scooter was a good friend of ours here at SpaceCadet and our hearts are broken for his wife Amy, his son Drew, and the whole Ross Farm family.  A fund has been set up to help Amy cover the unexpected costs of his funeral and additional farm labor.  If you’d like to contribute, please click here.

Perfect Holiday Gift: Bespeckle Hat Kits

Our Black Friday OOAK Bespeckle Kits sold out super-fast but, if you missed out, there’s good news: we’ve dyed more of these fun kits in our beautiful standard colours too. Including the first one below, which is allllll about our home city of Pittsburgh (here in the studio, we’ve been calling them our “yinzer kits”… hands up if you know why!)⁣⁠

They make perfect holiday gifts because they’re quick to knit up for the non-knitters on your list but so sweetly packaged in their little zippered pouches that they’re ready-to-go gifts for the knitters in your life as well. Click here to check them out!⁣⁣

Each kit contains:⁣⁣⁣⁠⁣⁠
• one 100g skein of Capella in a hand-dyed semi-solid main colourway ⁣⁣⁣⁠⁣⁠
• one 50g skein of Capella in a beautiful variegated contrast colourway for the speckles and pom-pom⁣⁣⁣⁠⁣⁠
• a pom-pom tool to make things super easy!⁣⁣⁣⁠⁣⁠
• a toggle set to make your pom-pom removeable⁣⁣⁣⁠⁣⁠
• a download code for the Bespeckle pattern by Hunter Hammersen(a $7.45 value!), with her wonderfully detailed step-by-step photo tutorials on making the pom-poms and placing the speckles⁣⁣⁣⁠⁣⁠
• all packaged in a sweet reusable zipped pouch

Miss Rumphius by Jessica Anderson

As cold as it getst here in Pittsburgh, it’s worth having a stack of shawls to hand to wrap (twice!) around my neck before I head outside.  And though everyone thinks of big chunky scarves for wintertime, I have to admit that I’m just as partial to lacey shawls — I think they’re just as warm when bundled up and have the advantage of being pretty enough to be worn with my outfit once I’m someplace where I can shed my big winter coat.  I love the stitch pattern of this beautiful shawl — absolutely perfect for some sneaky winter warmth.  Designed in fingering, I’d make it in any of our Faded colourways — Faded Dreams, Faded Promises, Faded Enchantment, or Faded Desire — their gentle variegation will add colour interest without overwhelming the stitchwork.

…there You May Also Be by Jessica Anderson

If you live in warmer climate, I love this gorgeous boho option — there’s nothing like a fringe to make things feel breezy and light!  A simple assymetrical shape, it uses stripes and stitch changes to let you really play with colour.  And there’s a really beautiful sentiment behind the design as well, if the holidays are a difficult time.  Click through to read Jessica’s thoughts on it.  And then cast it on in Time Traveller and Sliver.

Bound for Home by Jessica Anderson

And I know you’ve seen it before, but I just have to take this opportunity to share again Bound for Home, this beautiful shawl that Jessica designed in SpaceCadet Lyra.  It’s incredibly cosy — seriously, it’s like wrapping up in a shawl-shaped blanket — and the stitchwork adds beautiful texture.  Created especially to show off the colours in our beautiful colourways Steadfast, Dalliance, and Becalm, and we’d love to dye you a kit here.

images © Jessica Anderson and Stephanie Alford, used with permission

Well, my tea is all finished it’s time I got started running labels for today’s orders, so I’d better get going.  I hope you’ve got a great day planned (with lots of time to work on some lovely project!) and, until next time, all my best!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: A Sneak Peek at Friday’s Special Kits!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: A Sneak Peek at Friday’s Special Kits!

It’s here! The holiday season is upon us!  And while this weekend kicks it off with a rather odd roller coaster of family time mixed with rampant commercialism (does that feel as weird to you as it always does to me?), what I really love is the the change I’ve noticed over the last few years from stampeding big-box stores toward mindfully supporting the small businesses we love to to have in our lives.

And I really have noticed it.  It’s evident in the smallest things — emails we’ve gotten this week from customers wishing us a happy Thanksgiving, and holiday cards from club members (that are still up on the studio wall, just because they make me smile).  And each year, after we’ve taken Thanksgiving Day to enjoy our families, we put out something special for our customers over the Black Friday weekend …and I am always blown away by the way our customers and club members — familiar names and faces — turn out to support us.  For a small business like SpaceCadet, that is so meaningful.  And it ensures that we can enjoy the holiday season knowing that what we do and what we make matters to the people who matter to us.

This Thanksgiving, the SpaceCadet team and I are thankful for you.  For reading this newsletter, for writing in with ideas, for coming to see us at shows and, most of all, for supporting us by buying our yarn and working it with your own two hands to turn it into amazing projects.  I am so grateful that we can have this connection, and that your support lets us do the work we do.

Ok, so what have we got planned for you this year?  I’m so excited about it!  We wanted to find something that was both a perfect gift to give to someone who knits and a perfect gift to make for someone who doesn’t.  And you know how we love dyeing our one-of-a-kind, right?  So we put the two together…

Black Friday: Our One-of-a-Kind Bespeckle Hat Kits!
Available Friday at noon (eastern)

Now, these are a real treat to give… or to get We dyed some amazingly beautiful variegated skeins and paired them with beautifully colour-layered semi-solids to create these unique kits that are a ton of fun and perfectly packaged for gift giving.

Absolutely chockablock with fun stuff, each kit contains:

  • one 100g skein of Capella in a hand-dyed semi-solid main colourway (100% Superwash Merino; single-ply; Worsted; approximately 195 yards per 100g)
  • one 50g skein of Capella in a one-of-a-kind variegated contrast colourway for the speckles and pom-pom
  • a pom-pom tool to make things super easy!
  • a toggle set to make your pom-pom removeable
  • a download code for the Bespeckle pattern (a $7.45 value!), with Hunter’s wonderfully detailed step-by-step photo tutorials on making the pom-poms and placing the speckles
  • all packaged in a sweet reusable zipped pouch!

The One-of-a-Kind Colourways

We’ve taken our stunning one-of-a-kind variegateds and set them against beautiful semi-solids in soft greys, rich purples, warm marroons and rusts, and lovely deep blues.  (Do they look almost too bold to you?  Remember that the higher the contrast and the more variegated the CC, the more beautiful your speckles and pom-pom will come out.  Trust us, these will make gorgeous Bespeckle hats!)

Available in very limited quantities (literally, there are only two kits per colourway!), these unique Bespeckle hat kits will go live on Friday at noon (eastern).  So look through the colourways now to decide which is your favourite, set a reminder on your phone, and then click here on Friday to grab your one-of-a-kind kit!


I feel like I’m seeing yarny goodness spilling out of the knitting and crochet world into other realms. First it was last year’s new yarn emoji and now it’s baked goods. I love these yarn cookies to celebrate the return of sweater weather, and then this amazing cake (I have to admit, I wasn’t looking closely the first time I saw the video and it stopped my heart for a moment!).

Image © Hunter Hammersen, used with permissionn

Every knitter ends up with a little extra yarn at the end of every project. I’m in love with these adorable knitted Christmas trees as the perfect way to use up those scraps!

You may know that I love fountain pens and so I had to giggle when I saw this one that uses a knitting motif to somehow wrap together a fine writing instrument with ugly holiday sweaters and… um… “Santa Jaws” (is that a thing?).  It’s total madness and I kind of love it!  (Though, for the record, this gorgeous pen is much more on my radar).

I got a kick out of reading Abby Franquemont’s request for her followers’ most controversial yarn or textile opinions.  You’re sure to find a ton you quiet nod along to and at least one or two that you wholeheartedly disagree with, but it certainly makes for interesting reading!

With the weather turning chillier by the day, it’s time for tea! (I’m almost never without a cuppa near to hand).  If you’re feeling it too and want to know how the British make theirs, there are plenty of articles online that go on about all the fancy extras of high tea, but very few that actually tell you how to simply make a proper pot (or mug) of tea. But this one and this one do, and all your cold winter days will be so much the better for them.

Photo by Seb Cumberbirch

Our Autumn Colourways

The Inaugural Dyeing Day for our Autumn Collection colourways was last week and, let me tell you, they look amazing!  For everyone who got their order in on time, we’re packing them up today so keep your eyes on your mailboxes.

And, if you missed out, these colours are still availableclick here to place your order and we’ll get them in our dyeing queue asap!

pythagoras’ tee by alfa knits

Some designs are just so eye-catching, they take stop you in your tracks and this is absolutely one of those for me!  And the reasons are plentiful: the colourwork is deceptively easy (no, really!), it’s knit top down and seamlessly, the sleeve increases are so cleverly done that they’re nearly invisible, it has pockets, and the check pattern on the edge not only creates visual interest but adds a flattering a-line flair.  Choose two colours of highly contrasting fingering (I like Ester in Feather and Frigia or Dark Skies and Sliver) and cast on!

Capel Cross by Jimenez Joseph

I love when a designer takes something that seems to be everywhere (in this case, yoke sweaters) and does something completely unexpected, like this open stitchwork.   This cardigan is simple but the crossed stitches are so effective and really draw attention to the natural beauty of a well-designed yoke.  Designed in sport weight, I’d choose Lyra in Thrive or Breeze so the tonal colours can really play against the lovely stockinette.

Rebel Alliance Skull & Crossbones Slouch Hat by Sarah Wilson

There are a million reasons to love this hat but what got me was the unique way it was released.  It’s a free pattern that is literally written into the comment under an Instagram post, with the chart as the third photo in the post (scroll or click to the right to see it).  When an established designer like the Sexy Knitter releases a pattern in such a novel way, I think that indicates that the industry is undergoing changes.  More importantly, if you have a Star Wars fan in your life, this is an awesome and quick gift idea.

images © the respective designers, used with permission

Ok, we’re packing a ton of parcels today so I’d better get going.  It’s been a crazy-busy week and it’s only going to get busier (for you and me both!) so I’m glad to have been able to stop for a moment and share all of this with you.  I hope to see you on Friday for the release of our One-of-a-Kind Bespeckle Kits and, until then, all my best wishes for the holiday!

SpaceCadet News: Inaugural Dyeing Day is…

SpaceCadet News: Inaugural Dyeing Day is…

Wow, what a week it’s been!  You know how sometimes you have those weeks where everything seems to happen all at once?  That was this past week and, while it’s all really good stuff(!), you should have seen the SpaceCadet crew’s faces when I told them about everything we’ve got in the pipeline.  The difference between this week and last is night and day!

(one of my favourite colour combos: Sliver, Gentle, Drizzle, Nine Stones, and Fat-Free Chocolate.. ahem, you need them)

So forgive me if I can’t chit-chat for too long this morning — I’ve got to head to the studio soon and get started.  But before I do, I am (of course) starting my day with a nice cup of tea… and I do have a lot of interesting fiber news to share with you…  Soooooo, ok, go grab your tea too and let’s sit down for five minutes!  Are you ready?  Here we go…


If there’s one thing I’ve learned through many years of dyeing, it’s that colour is a liar.  It feels like red is red and blue is blue, but everything about how our eyes interpret hues is dependant on context — and I’m reminded of that time and again as we create colour combos and watch colourways seemingly transform before our eyes simply by placing them next to other colours (our most chameleon-like colourways are Gentle, Sage, Plume, Molten Cool, and Windswept).  This article is an excellent case in point and goes a long way to explaining to what’s happening if you’ve ever found skeins suddenly seem to have changed colour on you! Once you’ve read the article, go grab a few yarns from your stash (especially variegateds) and try holding them next to different colours to see for yourself what a difference it makes!

(all is not as it seems — click through to see how these same colours change…)

I don’t know if this digital book will still be on sale by the time you read this but, if it is, $2 for a Melissa Leapman guide to colour knitting is a pretty awesome deal!  Click here for the Kindle version and click here for the Apple Books version.

When I first stumbled across this article about ancient Roman dodecahedrons, strange bronze objects that have been mystifying archeologists for centuries, I never guessed it would have a link to the world of knitting.  But it does — read to the bottom to find out how some people speculate they were used to knit fingers for gloves — though I find it dubious at best (I mean, if I were to create a tool to knit different sized items, I’d want it to change the number of stitches in each size), but it’s an interesting theory nonetheless.

Ok, it’s a pretty tired cliche that says all knitters and crocheters are grannies or that it’s shocking that men might be fiber artists but, fortunately, this article addressed those notions right from the start and then got on with telling some very interesting backstories about some of the leading men in the knitting world.  I enjoyed reading it.

This made me feel ridiculously happy.

New Colourways: Inaugural Dyeing Day!
Tues Nov 19

Last week, I shared with you these four beautiful new colourways we’ve created with inspiration taken from the chillier weather and sweater weather arriving at last.  And so many of you shared with us your awesome colourway name ideas.  So now we’re ready to reveal the names we’ve chosen and… get to dyeing some yarn!

For the time being, these  colourways will be Limited Edition colourways, available only for this season (until we decide which we want to add them to our line-up of standard colourways) and to celebrate their release, we’re doing an Inaugural Dyeing Day on Nov 19!   To be one of the lucky people we’re dyeing for that day (and one of the very first to get these new colours), watch for details on Monday morning (via email or social media).

But even better, folks on the are on the Early Access List will get first dibs, so click here to get on that list!

Upcoming Shows

Sun Nov 17 (noon-5pm) —  Indie Knit & Spin at the Ace Hotel in Pittsburgh PA

Here’s what’s got me super-excited about this show:

• first, it’s really special because it’s all indie makers
• second, it’s FREE entry but you can get first dibs on all the best stuff from your favourite vendors with an Early Access Pass for just $5
• and third, there’s a Happy Hour with special goodies from the vendors!


Carolyn’s Moonflower

When I spotted the way Carolyn’s beautiful shawl shows the gentle colour change of our Gradient Explorers colourways, I just had to share it with you!

It’s actually much larger now that’s it’s finished (click through to see the rest) but I just loved this detail picture best.  Well done, Carolyn — what beautiful work!

In the Gradient Explorers, every colourway is designed to flow from one month into the next and create an amazing, never-ending fade.  We keep the Gradient Explorers to a really small group, opening it only when spaces become free.  Click here to get on the waiting list.

Reversible Honeycomb Scarf and Reversible Honeycomb Hat by Mary W Martin

Isn’t this set gorgeous?!?  I’m a sucker for almost anything honeycomb but the fact that these scarf and hat are reversable has me absolutely swooning!  They use an innovative reversible slipped stitch cabling technique and, if you find that a little intimidating, it’s good to know that the scarf is the more difficult of the two so you’re better off starting with the hat to get comfortable first.  Both are 50% off until November 10.

My colour picks:

Sandstorm Cardi by Rachel Misner

The temperatures have dropped (a bit!) and suddenly I am allllllll about the big cosy sweaters and, when I spotted this lovely design, I knew it was the kind of comfy cardi I could live in all season long.  And because it’s designed in bulky yarn, it’ll crochet up in double-quick time (so you can be that much warmer that much faster!).

My colour picks:


Sundry by Hunter Hammersen

I love me some intriguing design details and the thumb construction on these eye-catching mitts is exactly what I’m talking about.  Yes, yes, the rest of the stitch pattern is gorgeous too — I mean really gorgeous — but just look at those thumbs!  The pattern comes in three sizes and, if you’re not keen on the rolled edge, it includes instructions for a ribbed edge too.

My colour picks:

images © the respective designers, used with permission

You know what?  Even though everything feels like a big rush this week, I’m so glad I stopped for a cup of tea and all this lovely fiber news.  And I hope you’re glad you did too.  But I really do have a full day, so it’s time I got on my way.  Wishing you a happy and creative day and, until next time, all my best!

SpaceCadet Newsletter: About Your Suggestions…

SpaceCadet Newsletter: About Your Suggestions…

Last week I sent an email asking for your help in choosing colourway names for these four new colours and, woooowwww, were there a lot of great ideas!  We’re all kind of blown away here!

Aren’t these gorgeously autumnal?

We’ll be going through all of the suggestions as a team next week and discussing our favourites.  In the meantime, if you didn’t get a chance to share your ideas, please click here to find out how to do that.

Now, I didn’t ask for email addresses so everyone’s answers were annoymous but realised (too late!) that means that when someone left a particurlarly interesting comment, I had no way to get back to them.  So if you don’t mind, I’m going to quickly do that now…

To the person who said, “I’m looking to knit these into hats and mittens…”
That’s a great idea — you’ll easily get a hat or mittens out of a single skein of fingering, sport, or DK
To the person who asked, “Would you please find a way to ship your club yarns to Canada!!?!”
The answer is yes, we do!  And we have a lot of Canadian club members, and would love to have you join them.  On any of our club sign-up pages, there is always an international option — just choose that, or feel free to email us if you can’t find it and we’ll be happy to help!
To the lovely friend who said, “These colourways are superb! They are deep, rich & complex”
Aww, thanks!  That’s exactly what we were going for!
To the person who commented, “Don’t knit so just choose a random yarn type…” and the person who said, “I am lousy with names…”
You really cracked me up!  (And raised a few questions…)  But you both still had some great name ideas!
To the people who asked if the colours stripe or pool…
They don’t stripe and they’re dyed in a way to create painterly colours that are less likely to pool.  However, any yarn can pool if your gauge lines up the colour repeats so perfectly that they stack one on top of the other.  To combat that, pick a stitch pattern that moves the colour around a little (slipped stitches are a great option) or alter the project’s width (through increases/decreases) or change your needle size.
To everyone who said lovely things about our dyeing (and that was so many of you!)…
Thank you thank you!  Knowing you love our work is what makes it all worthwhile!

Oh, and we’re going to be doing a special dyeing day for the introduction of these colours!  If you’d like to know more about that, jump down to the section about SpaceCadet News…

People ask all the time, “What needle size do I use for this yarn?” And my answer is inevitably a fairly unhelpful “it depends” (because, well, it does totally depend on the project — my favourite size needles for a fingering shawl is US6 but that would never work for socks). If you’re craving a handy way to get a (more conventional) size guide, try this excellent tip.
Visible mending is seriously trending at the moment (and I’m so glad about that because my mending always ended up being seriously visible no matter how hard I tried to be invisible). If you’re embracing this new trend too, click here to read 7 trick to know before you sew.
Silk is a luxury fiber much loved by knitters and crocheters but it’s so much more than that. I found this article fascinating as it explored the historic and future uses of silk from defense to medicine.  Did you know the first working bulletproof vest was made of silk?  Read on, it’s worth it.
You may recall a few weeks ago, I told you about a new video series, called Swatched, all about the art of knitting and crochet. The first episode features designer Angela Tong and is available to watch here.  (And it was filmed in her own home so, while you’re watching, check out the absolutely detail-perfect mid-century look she’s put together — I love it!)

New Colourways: Inaugural Dyeing Day!

The other week, we took inspiration from the weather turning chillier and sweater weather arriving at last(!) to dye four gorgeous new colourways and celebrate the new season!

For the time being, these as-yet-unnamed colourrways will be Limited Edition colourways, available only for this season — until we decide whether we want to add them to our line-up of standard colourways. So if you love them as much as well do, you’ll want to watch for their Inaugural Dyeing Day! (probably Nov 12)

If you’d like to be one of the lucky people we’re dying for that day (and one of the very first to get these new colours), click here to get on the list so I can let you know how to order them!

Upcoming Shows

Sun Nov 17 (noon-5pm) —  Indie Knit & Spin at the Ace Hotel in Pittsburgh PA

Here’s what’s got me super-excited about this show:

• first, it’s really special because it’s all indie makers
• second, it’s FREE entry but you can get first dibs on all the best stuff from your favourite vendors with an Early Access Pass for just $5
• and third, there’s a Happy Hour with special goodies from the vendors!

Urban Brioche by handmade by SMINÉ

I love a great crown and, boy oh boy, this one is gorgeous!  Incorporating high-contrast colour with brioche stitches for maximum effect, it’s designed in fingering and fully reversable so you get double the options.  Just in time for the cooler weather, try it in SpaceCadet Ester or go for real luxury with cashmere-rich Aurora.

Wild Flowers + Honey by Mara Licole

There’s a chill in the air and falling leaves swirling underfoot…  what better way to celebrate the season than with a new shawl with a beautiful, organic motif like this one?  Knit it in autumnal colours such as Honey, Headstrong, or Time Traveller, and welcome the change in the weather in style.

Surprise Sweater by Rebecca Velasquez

There are some sweaters that look so comfortable that I know I’d just live in them all season long, and this one felt like that as soon as I spotted it.  I love the fold-over collar and the super-relaxed shaping, and the fact that it’s sized all the way from XS to 5X!  Designed in worsted, I’d choose SpaceCadet Vega in Blood Moon, Feather, or Nine Stones.

images © the respective designers, used with permission

Ok, I’m heading down to the studio because today we are planning some really fun new dyeing projects…  a few top-secret LYS orders, some secret holiday surprises…  hmmm, I’m keeping a lot of secrets, aren’t I?  Well, I hope your day is full of just as much fun and, until next time, all my best!


SpaceCadet Newsletter: Seasons Change

SpaceCadet Newsletter: Seasons Change

The weather changed suddenly this week.  Last week it was hot (and at SVFF the weekend before, it was roasting!) but this week has brought a chill wind that says it’s time to finally say goodbye to the last of summer.  And the thing is, I could be really sad about that except that a change in the weather always brings new inspiration…  I suddenly want to dye new colours, cast on new projects.

a little something that this autumn weather has inspired… shhhhh, I’ll tell you more next week…

And it happens year round.  In the autumn, I’m ready to cast on hats and cowls and sweaters to keep everyone warm.  In January, it’s something indulgent for me to celebrate Selfish Knitting Month.  In the spring, I want something light and airy to take me through to summer. And then it’s autumn and we’re back to warm and cosy again.

And so even though I might be sad to see one season come to an end, knitting always has me eager to cast on the next season.  It’s a nice silver lining to the reality that time marches relentlessly on, and I’m so glad of it.  As the weather changes and autumn arrives, are you feeling the say way too?

And you know what the only trouble is…?  Making sure I finish what’s on my needles before the new season arrives!


Big news in the knitting, crochet, and needlepoint industry: TNNA announced last week that they are cancelling their winter tradeshow in favour of holding a pavilion on the show floor of Creativation, the Association of Creative Industries’ trade show.  This decision marks a major change for TNNA, moving the winter focus toward a larger creative industry show beyond the association’s traditional crafts while placing more emphasis on TNNA’s summer show.  You can read more coverage here, and the announcement from TNNA (including a link to a FAQ sheet about the change) here.

You make your own Halloween costumes every year, don’t you?  Well, whether you do or not, this woman’s incredible crocheted costumes are a full level up (and then some) from anything I’ve seen before.

The New York Times has recently discovered(!) that knitters like to knit at baseball games.  And that may be laughably obvious to you and me, I’m still really glad to see it getting such high level coverage.

Maybe you knit or crochet as a creative outlet.  Maybe it’s to get a perfect fit.  Or maybe… maybe it’s because there’s one very specific spot on the face of the Earth where you want to knit something incredible that makes you blend in and completely disappear.  If that’s the case, you rock on — I won’t judge!

Shenandoah Valley Flickering Light Kits
available next week!

We had an amazing time at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival the other week and an incredible response to the gorgeous autumnal colourway we dyed for our popular Flickering Light kits.  And as promised, we’re making them available to you too!

Each kit contains:

    • the pattern (a $7 value)
    • a full skein of our cashmere-rich Aurora in the main colour (in the Shenandoah Valley colourway, it’s this beautiful russet)
    • and a set of five 20g mini-skeins in amazing, one-of-a-kind colourways that make every kit unique and bring this gorgeous design to life

Now, we’re busy counting skeins and putting them together as kits, so we can get them in the shop (most likely on Wednesday of next week).  There’s a very limited number available but, if you’re on the kit waiting list, I’ll make sure you get first dibs! (click here to get your name on it)

September’s Mini-Skein Colours

August’s (at back) and September’s (at front) Minis from the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club⁠

Oh my stars, I’m soooo excited about the change in colour-direction that the Mini-Skein Club is taking!  We’ve been calling 2019’s colours “The Year of Unexpected Neutrals” and I love how those summer blues transitioned through a rich brown and out into a beautiful deep marroon.  And when you see it knit into Jade’s Northeasterly, it’s just gorgeous!⁠

Members of our Mini-Skein Club get a monthly bundle of gorgeous gradient minis that flow from one month to the next and to the next… to form a glorious Never-Ending Gradient.  Use them individually or create an epic project…  either way, it’s an awesome colour adventure!

Origami by Lone Kjeldsen

Winter is coming and nothing makes me look forward to those cold days like a really snuggly warm sweater.  And Lone Kjeldsen’s beautiful design has the advantage of being both deliciously simple (and unisex!) and wonderfully versitile.  The sample is knit in classic neutrals but see those lovely stripes across the body?  They’re perfect for gathering up all your leftover worsted yarns and knitting them into a gorgeous, colourful fade.  (Oh, and I really love the shoulder shaping — click through to see a detail shot).

Fascination Wrap and Cowl by Xandy Peters

Xandy Peter’s Fox Paws pattern is getting all the attention but, if I’m honest, I think I like this gorgeous design even more.  Incorporating her signature stacked stitches with mid-century modern stying, it creates a shawl that’s at once both vintage and so very now. You’ll need to be absolutely fearless with your colour choices* but the results will be 100% worth it!

*and if you’re not feeling all that fearless, email us with your favourite colour — we’re happy to help build a colour collection from there!

Ginkgo by Nomad Stitches

A gorgeous crochet option for a yoked sweater, I love this pattern’s texture …and that the visual interest is a simple panel of openwork stitches that let the colour of your t-shirt (or, well, of you) come into play!  Designed in sport weight to work up quickly and feel cozy, the pattern is sized all the way from XS to 4XL, so there’s a fit for everyone.

images © the respective designers, used with permission

This newsletter has been brought to you by the colourway Time Traveller, named for the iconic landscape of Salisbury Plain, and the SpaceCadet Pinterest board “Knitting Inspiration”, where (nearly) every pin links to the pattern.  Go find something gorgeous to make!

Ok, it’s time I got down to the studio and got to work.  Today we’re checking out some colourways that we hung up to dry (they always look soooo different once they’re dry!) and, if the light is right, I might grab some photos as well.  I hope your day is just as colourful and, until next time, all my best!

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!


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!