Creating A Year-Long Mini-Skein Project

The other day, I was going through photos from earlier this year and, as I scrolled from month to month, I kept coming across images of my assistant Jade’s Northeasterly. The pattern is for a blanket but she decided to work it as stole, using the Never-Ending Gradient of 2019’s Mini-Skein Club bundles.

And the pictures were kind of blowing me away…

Mini-Skeins from the first few months of 2019

She cast on in January and has worked patiently through each month as they come along. After finishing each section, she’d bring it to the studio so we could take photos and document the process (that bit was so much fun!)

And even though we both knew (of course) that each month flowed into the next, there was something absolutely magical about seeing the whole year’s gradient flow come together on her needles, right before our eyes…

Mini-Skein Club colours from January to May 2019

Using Minis for a Year-Long Project

The fabulous thing about doing a project with a year’s worth of the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skeins is that, even though it creates being a really epic finished object, it’s not really ever that much effort to produce. Because it’s broken up from one month to the next, with a slower pace and plenty of downtime between club parcels arriving, Jade said she felt fresh every time she picked up her needles and returned to work on it.

And something amazing: to produce this stunning project (which is now almost to big to photograph!), Jade didn’t even use a full mini-skein for each colour. She was using the end-bits that we have leftover when we break the full-size skeins into mini-skeins. So that kind of begs the question… just how epic could a project be if each mini-skein is used in full?!?

Peach into Mint: the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club colours May-June 2019

Come Join In!

And the reason that I’m sharing this with you is that Jade is currently working on her next Mini-Skein Club project. Like both her 2019 and 2018 projects, it’s modular and simple to knit one month at a time something that will show off the Mini-Skein Club’s colours to full advantage.

And my question to you is, would you like to join her? Whether you join the Club and work with each new bundle as they arrive in the year, or you work from stash, I know both she and I would love to see you cast on an epic project alongside her!

It can be a simple pattern or something more challenging, for the whole year or just for a part. And of course, it doesn’t have to be the same pattern Jade chooses… whatever (knit or crochet) pattern tickles your fancy and that can be worked with your minis month by month will be perfect.

Transitioning through September’s Mini-Skein colours

How to Get Started

  • If you don’t already have a stash of the SpaceCadet’s gradient minis, join the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club! It’s a ton of fun because every month you’ll receive a sweet bundle of Mini-Skeins in Ombre&Gradient colours that flow from one month to the next. Click here to get all the details.

 

  • Then, if you’re as excited as we are at the prospect of creating a something wonderful with your Mini-Skein Club yarns, make sure you’re on our mailing list and then send us a quick email and say, “I’m in!” Don’t worry, you’re not committing to something big and scary — just to emails of encouragement from me and a casual camraderie of working on our Mini-Skein Club projects in community.

 

  • And if you’d prefer a project that uses just a few months’ worth of minis instead of the whole year, that’s fine too. The Never-Ending Gradient’s colours are so ever-changing that each season takes on its own personality and makes it perfect for smaller projects. And you stay in the club only as long as you like, so it’s entirely up to you!

 

  • Let’s use the hashtag “spacecadetminiskeins” on Instagram to share photos. And if you’ve got project ideas, let me know, so I can share them in a future email.

 

  • And if you have a friend who might like to join in too, use the share buttons below so they can see for themselves what fun it’s going to be!

 

November’s explosion of Mini-Skein colour

Ready to See How It Came Out?

I cannot tell you how stunning her finished 2020 project is!  Fortunately, I don’t have to…  take a look for yourself!

 

Even better, the Never Ending Gradient continues into the coming months!  We’ve been busy planning the Mini-Skein Club’s new colour direction and I couldn’t be more excited. Most of all, I hope you’ll pick up your needles or your hook and join us as we create the next epic project!

Here’s What had Me Dancing in the Studio…

Here’s What had Me Dancing in the Studio…

I want you to imagine a scene… one in which two grown women are carefully laying skeins of yarn out on the floor, neatly positioning them side-by-side in a gentle arc and then — every now and again — stopping one another and letting out a little squeal and doing a happy dance all around the yarn. And then composing themselves and laying out more yarn, before getting all excited again and the whole process repeating itself.

Mini-Skeins 580

A little over a year ago, we came up with an idea that for the SpaceCadet Mini-Skein Club made us just crazy with excitement. Why not make each month’s colours flow into the next month, so they all worked together into one amazing and never-ending gradient?!? It was such an incredible idea, and yet so simple, that we couldn’t believe we hadn’t done it before. We immediately started designing a series of colourways that would evolve and morph from one month to the next.

The Never-Ending Gradient(tm) launched in October 2014 (just a few months after we launched the Start Anywhere(tm) Gradient, another innovation where our Mini-Skein gradients circle back on themselves, meaning you can cast on anywhere in the set). When October rolled around this year, I realised that meant we’d been dyeing our Never-Ending Gradient(tm) for a full 12 months, and I hatched a plan to capture a photograph of the full year’s worth of skeins out side-by-side.

Mini-Skein Circle 3 580

Believe it or not, we hadn’t ever done that — laid out all the colours we’d been creating all this time. Sure, we’d look at a few months together here or there to get a sense of how they were flowing, but never the entire year… we’d never actually seen the full impact of all that careful planning and colourway creation! And so when my assistant and I finally did spread them all out in the studio and start putting them in order, I have to tell you, it made us kind of giddy.

You can see why, can’t you? I mean, you get this, right?


 

Eventually we calmed down and stopped dancing (so much). We observed carefully the way the colour-flows worked through the whole year and, from that, came up with some very exciting directions to take the gradient in through 2016. And I took a lot of photos — a lot. Can you blame me?!?

I am super-proud to have pioneered the Never-Ending Gradient(tm) and just over the moon with the way the first year has turned out. If you have been in the Mini-Skein Club for a while, you have all this gorgeousness lurking in your stash! It can be hard to see when they’re tied up in their little bundles, but lay them all out and I’ll bet you start doing your happy dance too. And if you aren’t a member of the Mini-Skein Club, click here to join and we’ll send a bundle of these little beauties straight to your doorstep every month — it’s like Christmas all year round!

Mini-Skein Circle 2 580

 

Three Super-Fast, Super-Easy Holiday Gifts

The SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club

This club is all about our biggest, smooshiest, warmest yarns! Focusing on worsted and bulkies, members receive

  • a fantastic parcel delivered to their door every other month, containing a beautiful skein of SpaceCadet® yarn hand-dyed in an exclusive colourway designed to bring out the best in thicker yarns.
  • The SpaceCadet’s Log exploring the inspiration for each colourway.
  • A fantastic SpaceMonsters gift tucked into every third parcel. We’re known for the great gifts we include in our club parcels — and for this club, we’re seriously upping the fab. What’s not to love?

Yarn Collage

Give the SpaceMonster Club as a gift and we’ll send your recipient an email notification (either straight away or on the date you choose) so they’ll know they’ve got serious smooshy goodness on the way. But subscriptions are open only until Dec 20, so click here to reserve your subscription now!

 

Sidekick Boot Socks Kits and our Holiday Wind-Down KAL

Designed by Kate Atherley and featured in the latest issue of Knitty, the Sidekick Boot Socks feature will make for toasty warm toes all winter long. Using a great technique that makes wildly variegated yarn go all tweedy, these are a quick and fun knit that’s perfect for escaping from the holiday madness. Our kits feature two SpaceCadet yarns in coordinating colourways and are ready to ship, and our KAL starts on Dec 26 — perfect for helping you wind down from the holidays. Click here to grab your kit while they’re still in stock.

Sidekick Collage 580

 

The SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club

You’ve already seen how amazing our Mini-Skeins are, so you know they’d make a fabulous holiday gift. A subscription lasts as long as you like — cancel whenever you have enough skeins for your project. With two subscription levels and two colour mixes to choose from (Multicolour or Ombre&Gradient) you can customise this gift so it’s just right. Click here to start your subscription and, if it’s a gift, please leave a note so we can send the recipient a notification and get their holidays started!

Mini-Skein Circle 580

Limited Editions: Gather Together

Limited Editions: Gather Together

Autumn is such a wonderful time of year – not just in the colours, but also in the smell in the air, the crisp coolness, the promise of family gatherings and the upcoming holidays.  And for a dyer, that’s a fantastic source of inspiration for warm and inviting colour-play.   Here, let me share how we interpreted that in our latest Limited Editions Collection, chosen directly from October’s Mini-Skein Club bundles.  But first, let me show you both colourway mixes….

The SpaceCadet Mini-Skein Club for October 2015

 

Limited Editions

Wouldn’t those Gradient Minis make a perfect Sweater Kit?  Oh yes they would!

Gather Together 1 580

 

As brightly coloured leaves fall and the air grows cooler, we Gather Together in the warmth of meals shared and autumn holidays, with family and friends and all the goodness the changing seasons bring.

This stunning set of colourways brings the amazing  colours of fall to your next project, flowing from maple reds and golds through to warm rusts and russets, and highlighted with even a touch of purple. Watch the intriguing colour change play across your stitches. And then — because this is a SpaceCadet Start Anywhere™ Kit — the colours of the last skein flow back again into the first!

(Where’s the order button? This kit is exclusive to October Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


If you’re not in the Mini-Skein Club, don’t worry, we’ve got an amazing colourway for you from our Multicolour bundle.

Twirl 2 580

Set against graphic gray and white, the zing of magenta is a bold addition that makes Twirl stand out.

Available on three bases, until November 21 only

Click to order

 


Bless 1 580

The sweetest shade of bubblegum pink, Bless Your Heart! is offset by warming streaks of gold.

(Where’s the order button? This colourway is exclusive to October Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


 

 

 

Thankful 3 580

Thankful’s warm and spicy yellows and russets conjure up abundant harvests and happy autumn gatherings.

Available on three bases, until November 21 only

Click to order


Quick Escape 4 580

Sometimes you just have to get away, and the maple reds, spiced yellows, and deep purples of this colourway will give you that Quick Escape you crave.

 (Where’s the order button? This colourway is exclusive to October Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


Want Alllll These Colourways?

Our Mini-Skein Club Members get access to all these colourways so, if you’re not in the club, you’re missing out! And not just on the full-skeins here but on all the wonderful bundles of yarny goodness we deliver to your door every month. The Mini-Skein Club is where we really explore colour, letting our imaginations run wild to create ten new colourways each and every month — and our club members get to join in on all that fun, diving right into the colours and trying all of SpaceCadet’s fingering yarns along the way. Click here to join us!

Limited Editions: Autumn Walk

Limited Editions: Autumn Walk

This is a fantastic time of year…   Because of the changing leaves? Nope.  Because of the lovely smell of autumn in the air?  Nope.  Because of all the wonderful Fall holidays coming up?  Nooooo…  because it’s the start of knitting and crocheting season!  And there is nothing like the cooling air, the wonderful smell of autumn, and the changing leaves to make me want to pick out a gorgeous skein and cast on a new project.

And that is why I can’t wait to show you our latest Limited Editions Collection, chosen directly from September’s Mini-Skein Club bundles.  But first, let me show you both colourway mixes….

The Multicolour Mix

Multicolour Mix

Here’s the Multicolour Mix and I am just in love with this one!  With colourways that range from bold and bright to soft and sublime to dark and moody, this bundle has a little of everything — and gives you everything you need to really make a project pop!

The Ombre & Gradient Mix

Ombre&Gradient Mix

And  here’s where we really embraced the changing seasons!  See those wonderfully mellow, faded autumn shades in September’s Ombre & Gradient Mix?  Aren’t they just the most delicious colours?  And the way they blend together is just divine .  Seriously, check out Teresa’s stunning granny square to see how well they work together!

Limited Editions

So why not turn all that autumn goodness into a full-size sweater kit?  Oh, we can do that!  Look how gorgeous it is…

Autumn Walk 4 580

As the days grow shorter and the air begins to cool, the brash shades of summer begin to mellow and blend, becoming subdued hues that make for the perfect Autumn Walk.

Watch as the colours change in your hands, flowing from deep pine greens through into soft browns, stunning golds, and then morphs into stunning faded blues.  And then — because this is a SpaceCadet Start Anywhere Kit — the colours of the last skein flow back again into the first!

(Where’s the order button? This kit is exclusive to September Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


If you’re not in the Mini-Skein Club, don’t worry — you can still get some of that warm and spicy yarn goodness.  Check out our Pumpkin Spice colourway  (…what?!?)

Pumpkin Spice 650 2 580

Pumpkin Spice is warm and tawny and golden and spicy and…  Well you needed something else Pumpkin Spice in your life, right?

Available on three bases, until October 22 only

Click to order


MossRock 650 2-3a 580

A beautiful combination of cool grey and rich green, MossRock is the colours of stepping stones running along a brook that gently runs through dark woods.

(Where’s the order button? This colourway is exclusive to September Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


Twist 650 1 580

So full of zip and zing, you can almost taste it!  Twist‘s deep magenta fades into crisp whites and hit every shade of pink in between.

Available on three bases, until October 22 only

Click to order


Little Wishes 3b 580As soft as hope and as delicate as dreams, gentle yellows, peaches, greys and whites swirl together in these Little Wishes.

(Where’s the order button? This colourway is exclusive to September Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


Want Alllll These Colourways?

Our Mini-Skein Club Members get access to all these colourways so, if you’re not in the club, you’re missing out! And not just on the full-skeins here but on all the wonderful bundles of yarny goodness we deliver to your door every month. The Mini-Skein Club is where we really explore colour, letting our imaginations run wild to create ten new colourways each and every month — and our club members get to join in on all that fun, diving right into the colours and trying all of SpaceCadet’s fingering yarns along the way. Click here to join us!

Limited Edition Colourways: Night Skies

Limited Edition Colourways: Night Skies

I love approaching knitting and crocheting with a sense of adventure — sometimes I follow the pattern, sometimes I don’t…  (and I firmly believe that if you make the same mistake three times, it becomes a pattern, not a goof).  So I approach combining different yarns in one project with the same sense of adventure.  And that’s helped me to discover that Maia, our 80% bamboo fingering yarn, plays really well with our more merino-based yarns, even though the texture is incredibly different.

The SpaceCadet's Mini-Skein Club -- July and August 2015 Bundles

But I realise that not all of our Mini-Skein Club member might feel that same freedom so, when we moved onto Maia in our August bundle, we did something a little different from previous years — we specifically designed the colours so that this bundle can be skipped in the continuum of the Never Ending Gradient.  In other words, July flows into August (Maia) and August flows into September…  BUT July can also flow directly into September — allowing you to stick with our merino-based yarn for your larger project and use August’s Maia in a smaller side project.  Total flexibility for you!  Cool, huh?

Full Skeins and Sweater Kits of SpaceCadet®s July and August Mini-Skein Colourways!

Let’s start with the Sweater Kit from July’s Ombre & Gradient bundle. I am definitely a blues and purples kind of girl, and just love this colourway so much, I decided to do something a little different and offer this Sweater Kit to everyone.  You can see why, right?

Celesteial Blues 1 580

Celestial Blues explores the colours of the night sky, and takes us on a journey from the light at the edge of sunset through to the twilight depths as the stars come out to play.

Watch as the colours change in your hands, flowing from soft sky blues through to deeper dusk teals and turquoises and finally into the rich purples that form just before the sky goes inky black.  And then — because this is a SpaceCadet Start Anywhere Kit — the colours of the last skein flow back again into the first!

Available until September 12 only

Click to buy


But what if cool colours aren’t your style?  If you’re in the July or August Mini-Skein Club, I’ve got something hot for you…

Ignite 1 580Banner

Fire-hot reds and pinks that flow and blend into one another are ready to spark — and Ignite your needles!

(Where’s the order button? This kit is exclusive to July and August Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


Or there’s this lovely warm skein…

SkyFire 1 580

Sky Fire is the colours of the hottest sunset, when the sky explodes into vibrant peaches, oranges, and pinks.  When knit or crocheted, the colours will gently morph from one to another to form a overall mosaic effect.

Available until September 12 only

Click to buy


Ready to see August’s Ombre & Gradient colourway? It’s stunning…

Celestial Shine 2 580 Banner

Celestial Shine captures the shades of night, and moves them from the reality of darkness into stunning hues of fantasy.

Watch as the colours change in your hands, flowing from blues and inky grays into magentas and soft purples.  And then — because this is a SpaceCadet Start Anywhere Kit — the colours of the last skein flow back again into the first!

Wait! Why does it say “Imagine this a Sweater Kit”?!?  Well, we were so in love with it that we goofed — and caked up our only photography sample to cast on straight away.  So we’ve photographed the Mini-Skein bundle instead.  But don’t worry — your Sweater Kit will be beautiful full-sized skeins!

(Where’s the order button? This kit is exclusive to July & August Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


Night Gleam 1 580

Blue-purples fading into pink-purples and back again, Night Gleam is dyed onto Maia so the 80% bamboo can catch the light for a stunning sheen..

Available until September 12 only

Click to buy


Twinkle 3 580 Banner

The blues and purples of the deepening night sky is the perfect place for the stars to Twinkle.

(Where’s the order button? This kit is exclusive to July & August Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


Want Alllll These Colourways?

Our Mini-Skein Club Members get access to all these colourways so, if you’re not in the club, you’re missing out! And not just on the full-skeins here but on all the wonderful bundles of yarny goodness we deliver to your door every month. The Mini-Skein Club is where we really explore colour, letting our imaginations run wild to create ten new colourways each and every month — and our club members get to join in on all that fun, diving right into the colours and trying all of SpaceCadet’s fingering yarns along the way. Click here to join us!


SpaceCadet® Knerd Bags Closing Soon!

Don’t forget, there are only a few days left to grab your SpaceCadet Knerd bag before orders close.  If you love these bags and have been meaning to order one, click here right now before you forget!

SpaceCadet Knerd Bag 2 original 580

Limited Edition Colourways

 

Limited Edition Colourways: Summer at the Beach

Limited Edition Colourways: Summer at the Beach

You would think summer would be a slow time for a yarn business but ours has been incredibly busy, and I realised the other day that I’ve fallen behind on posting our Limited Edition full-skein sizes of our Mini-Skein colourways so this morning — as is appropriate for a hot summer day — you get a bumper crop to choose from!  But like all our Limited Editions, you have to be quick — these gorgeous colourways are custom dyed and available until August 5 only.

These are the colourways from May and June’s Mini-Skein Club parcels (if you’re in the club and wondering where the gorgeous colours from July are, they’ll be coming soon, once all the parcels have had a chance to be delivered).  As the weather warmed up, we found ourselves in a mood for seaside and nautical colours, and you’ll see that reflected in the colourways we’ve chosen here.  So, c’mon, jump on in — the water’s fine!

Full Skeins and Sweater Kits of SpaceCadet®s May and June Mini-Skein Colourways!

Let’s start with the Sweater Kit from May’s Ombre & Gradient bundle.  I am so in love with this colour combination!

Shoreline 1 with banner 580

Shoreline explores all the wonderful colours of that special part of the world where the land meets the sea, and takes us on a journey through seagrass and salt air, right down to the water’s edge.

Watch as the colours change in your hands, flowing from soft seaweed greens through to bright grass green and then morphs into the blue of turquoise waters.  And then — because this is a SpaceCadet Start Anywhere Kit — the colours of the last skein flow back again into the first!

(Where’s the order button? This kit is exclusive to May and June Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


And if you’re in love with that Sweater Kit but you aren’t part of the club, fear not — we’ve pulled one colour out and made it available to you. And it’s gorgeous!

Sea Grass 580

Sea Grass is soft, muted yellow-greens combined with stunning ocean turquoise, offset perfectly by touches of earthy browns.

Available until August 5 only

Click to buy


Ready to see June’s Ombre & Gradient colourway? It’s just as cool and summery as May’s…

Sail Away 2 with banner 580

The sea’s waves roll gently toward the shore, lifting and rocking the boats along its way, like a soft summer lullaby as the lazy days slip away in endless blues and greens and summer sun.

Sail Away explores all the colours of a summer’s day spent on the water, moving from deep sea greens into stunning bright blues, and then fading out into pale turquoises that disappear into touches of crisp nautical white. And then — because this is a SpaceCadet Start Anywhere Kit — the colours of the last skein flow back again into the first!

(Where’s the order button? This kit is exclusive to May and June Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


TradeWinds 580

Trade Winds is everything that’s warm and cool at the same time — an overall warm purple that’s rich and intense, shot through with stunning hints of coppery-browns.

Available until August 5 only

Click to buy


sand pebble exclusive 580

Sand Pebble explores the colours of the shoreline — from gray rocks to tawny sand, with streaks of rich copper, pine greens, and deep purples.  When knit or crocheted, the colours will flow and blend together to create a stunning, almost-pointillist effect.

(Where’s the order button? This kit is exclusive to May and June Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


And from the Sail Away Sweater Kit, we pulled our favourite colourway for a full-skein option. Wouldn’t it make a stunning summer cardi?

Tidal Pool 580

Tidal Pool‘s blues and greens start out intense and fade away, to capture all the variety and interest found in each of these fascinating micro-worlds.

Available until August 5 only

Click to buy


Beach Glass exclusive 580

Clean, clear blue-turquoise that fades away into crisp white, and brings all the joy of wandering barefoot down the beach, stopping to collect little treasures of water-worn Beach Glass along the way.

(Where’s the order button? This kit is exclusive to May and June Mini-Skein Club members. If that’s you, look for an email arriving shortly with your members-only link!)


Our Mini-Skein Club Members get access to all these colourways so, if you’re not in the club, you’re missing out!  And not just on the full-skeins here but on all the wonderful bundles of yarny goodness we deliver to your door every month.  The Mini-Skein Club is where we really explore colour, letting our imaginations run wild to create ten new colourways each and every month — and our club members get to join in on all that fun, diving right into the colours and trying all of SpaceCadet’s fingering yarns along the way. Click here to join us!

The SpaceCadet's Mini-Skeins May-June 2015Limited Edition Colourways