Pattern Picks for In These Dark Woods, the Latest SpaceMonster Colourway

The December SpaceMonster parcels went out last week and, before I show you Jade’s fantastic pattern picks, I just have to share with you the gorgeous colourway that inspired her and and the fabulous gift that accompanied it.

**Spoiler Alert!** If you’re a SpaceMonster Club member and you haven’t seen your parcel yet, look away now if you don’t want to spoiler the surprise! (And if you’re not a SpaceMonster, there’s only 3 days left to join — click here!)

This is In These Dark Woods, inspired by a darkening wood at nightfall, bathed in the rich and mysterious colours of the dying light, and changing constantly before your very eyes.  I dyed them using a freeform technique that allows the yarn to absorb the dye however it pleases, soaking up one colour here and other colour there, and gives a result that is as exciting as it is unpredictable. No two skeins are alike and, while they are all similar, the goal with a colourway like this is not for them to match exactly but to simply go together, each one’s differences enhancing the skeins around it.

But just as much as the yarn, we were super excited to send out the gift that went in this month’s parcel.  It was a gorgeous wooden SpaceMonster box, handmade for us by Craig at Turns2Art, and absolutely perfect for holding all those notions and tools that always end up everywhere.  And Doug, one of our SpaceMonster members, documented the process as he opened his box and revealed his skein of In These Dark Woods…

The SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club Gift for Dec 2014


But when you’re holding an amazing skein like this in your hands, it can be hard to decide what to make with it.  So I asked my assistant Jade to choose a few patterns for this colourway, and she’s come up with some fantastic suggestions.  Over to Jade…

Pattern Picks for In These Dark Woods

As soon as I saw this yarn, I knew it was going to be special.  And the more I worked with it, the more I loved it – each skein was different but equally stunning.  As I twisted and tagged them, I kept thinking ‘oh, now, this one’s my favorite’ and ‘this would be perfect for …’.  So many patterns popped into my head that it was hard to pick just three!  (Check out our Pinterest boards to see the rest.)


Nola Cloche by Hilary Smith Callis

Nola Cloche by Hilary Smith Callis
If you’re like me and need to cast on *right now*, go ahead!  This little cloche is instant gratification, and can be made with just one skein of Capella.  The smooth stockinette will emphasize the rich variegation of In These Dark Woods and the simple, yet striking, cable twist adds interest and a bit of panache… Perfect for adding a pop of color to dull wintry days.


Yvonne – A Neck Warmer by Quadshotyarn

Yvonne - A Neck Warmer by Quadshotyarn
For those of you that prefer crochet, we’ve got you covered!  This month’s SpaceMonster yarn is perfect for you – Capella crochets up beautifully, and the textured stitch pattern of this neck warmer will make the colors ebb and flow into jewel-like pools and pops.  It will work with one skein, but to make it extra squashy and decadent, try using two and holding the yarn double!


Gale by Alicia Plummer

Gale by Alicia Plummer
And if you love In These Dark Woods as much as I do and just want to wrap yourself up in it, try this stunning winter poncho.  It’s pure comfort knitting – simple, with a straightforward construction, but enough texture to keep things interesting – and just the thing to keep you warm as Winter gets going.  Since it takes 5-6 skeins, it’s also the perfect way to showcase all the variation in this colourway.  Each skein will make the others pop, or you could alternate them for a blended, more nuanced look.


(I’ve got to tell you, it was really hard to pack the skeins into their little treasure boxes and send them off… I really wanted to keep them all for myself!  Maybe we could count that a fourth, unofficial pattern pick?  All The Skeins, made into a giant smooshy afghan!)  


The SpaceMonster Club Closes on Sunday

As you can see, the SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club is an  awesome club.  Focusing on smooshy worsted and bulky yarns (and great gifts), it’s a fantastic adventure for these cold winter days — or the perfect holiday gift! The SpaceMonster Club closes on Sunday Dec 21, so click here now for all the details and get in before it’s gone!


SpaceMonster Club Dec 2014 Closes 525

I Had a Brainwave! Using Squares, Woven or Granny

Monday really should have been a bad day.  I had to take my car in for unexpected repairs (urgh…  the combination of those two words is always the worst, right?) and I ended up spending nearly six hours waiting for it to be finished.  And then to top it off, I realised that as I left the house, I’d accidentally grabbed the wrong project bag.   Yep, it should’ve been a bad day.

What to Make with Zoom Loom Squares -- Ideas from SpaceCadet

But when I unzipped the bag, I realised it contained my Zoom Loom — which I haven’t used in months — and a set of Mini-Skeins in some gorgeous purples and greens.  So I started weaving  …and suddenly remembered how much I love my Zoom Loom — and just how addictive it is making those sweet little woven squares!

Now, whenever I show people how to use the Zoom Loom, I always get asked, “But what do you make with those squares?”  And on Monday, I started out making little flowers for a cool boho bracelet.  But, let me tell you, you can weave a awful lot of those squares while waiting for your car to be fixed(!), so I started thinking what else to do with them.

Making cool boho flowers with the Zoom Loom

What to Make with Zoom Loom Squares?

And I suddenly realised something…  Something that was patently obviously but which felt like a brainwave because it had just never occurred to me before…   You could use Zoom Loom squares with any pattern that would normally use granny squares!

Now, Zoom Loom squares are much, much lighter and airier than crocheted squares, so the whole feel of the project would change completely in to something far drapier and — woven in fingering yarn — absolutely perfect for summer.  But, in the end, it’s just changing one modular building block for another, so the answer to the question is simple.  What do you make with Zoom Loom squares?  All the same funky, cool things that you make with granny squares!

The Zoom Loom Taught Me How to Make Granny Squares!

Wellllll… not really.  But as soon as I had that brainwave, I went online to get inspiration for granny square projects that I could convert into Zoom Loom projects.  I just wanted to fill my head with ideas, so I went straight to my Crochet Inspiration board on Pinterest and started looking through all the granny loveliness.

Now, I’m not much of a crocheter at all…  Seriously, I can chain and single-crochet and that is it.  But something about those granny squares started calling to me.  I suddenly thought, I really want to learn to make those…   And, even better, I actually heard myself say something I’ve never said about crochet before:  I can do this!

Five minutes later, I was watching this (excellent) video on You-Tube and had started my first-ever granny square.  And not long after that, I had this…

The SpaceCadet's first Granny Square

I have not knit a single stitch all week.  I am totally addicted to weaving on my Zoom Loom and now obsessed with crocheting granny squares.  Yep, Monday really should have been a bad day, but it ended up being the beginning of a week of fiber adventuring.  How fantastic is that?!?

…Ok, so now that you’re thinking of using Zoom Loom squares as if they were granny squares, what modular pattern would you use for them?  Got any suggestions?