Sharon Silverman’s Crochet Scarves

A couple of months ago, I recieved a lovely, lovely, lovely parcel.  Amid all the massive boxes of yarn that were arriving in the run up to Rhinebeck, there was one small manilla envelope waiting on the doorstep.  I honestly couldn’t think what it might be but, when I ripped open the package, I was immediately over the moon!

Sharon Silverman is a wonderful crochet designer and I’ve really enjoyed working with in the past.  She contributed to the SpaceCadet’s Guide to Using Hand-Dyed, and do you remember when she designed her stunning Moonmist Shawl in my Luna Laceweight yarn?  So when she told me she was writing a new book of crocheted scarves and asked if she could use SpaceCadet yarn, I jumped at the chance!

Crochet Scarves: Fabulous Fashions-Various Techniques


So when my copy of Crochet Scarves: Fabulous Fashions – Various Techniques arrived, I couldn’t wait to settle myself right down into a comfy chair and crack it open.  And it is — as expected — fantastic.  Twenty-one brand new designs, covering everything from traditional crochet to Tunisian (I love Tunisian!) to broomstick lace.  And all with really wonderful step-by-step visual instructions and easy-to-read charts.

Sharon Silverman's Step-by-Step Instructions


Now, can I tell you something?  I don’t care what kind of a day you’ve had — whether it’s been a facepalm kind of day or wildly successful.  And I don’t care what kind of week you’ve had, or month or year or life…  no matter how things are going for you, when you see your name in print, in a book, it sends such a thrill down your spine, I just can’t tell you.  So, I turned to the Cactus Scarf and saw SpaceCadet yarn right there on the page and… I squeed!  Alone in the house, still sitting in my comfy chair (well, jumping out of it actually), I was squeeing my heart out.

Sharon Silverman's Cactus Scarf featureing SpaceCadet Luna Laceweight yarn

SpaceCadet Luna Laceweight featured in Sharon Silverman's Cactus Scarf design


One of the hardest things about selling yarn online is that it’s incredibly difficult to express the tactile elements of each yarn.  It’s one of the reasons I love doing shows so much.  When customers can come and see the yarns in person — smoosh the yarns in person — everything changes.   For the Cactus Scarf, Sharon chose SpaceCadet Luna, a merino and silk cobweb laceweight that gives a stunning 1300 yards per skein (that’s nearly 3/4ths of a mile!).  It’s so fine and yet so smooshy, and the silk gives it an amazing sheen that I can never seem to do justice to in photographs!  That just kills me, because this is one special yarn.

SpaceCadet Luna Laceweight in Feather

SpaceCadet Luna Laceweight in Plume


But you know what?  I think the Cactus Scarf would look great in any of the other SpaceCadet laceweights too.  Pyxis is 100% superwash merino and a great, straightforward laceweight yarn — or for anyone taking their first steps into open stitchwork.  But I think this scarf would be amazing in Thebe — it’s a heavier laceweight in silk and linen that has an almost rustic feel and fabulous drape.  And then there’s Venus, with its incredibly subtle sparkles blended into merino and silk — now that would be one eye-catching scarf!

So, are you as excited about Sharon’s new book as I am?  Check out Crochet Scarves: Fabulous Fashions – Various Techniques and the rest of Sharon’s fantastic crochet designs here on her website.



My Favourite Online Knitting Magazines (and the best giveaway yet!)

The thing that I love about knitting, the thing that calls me back to the needles time and time again, is the way knitting grounds me.   There is something about the warmth of the yarn, the feel of the needles, the gentle repetition of stitch upon stitch that makes the whole world slow down a little so that I can exist just in that moment.  And that incredible sense of calm is the way it’s been making other knitters feel too — for generations and generations.  Knitting is ancient, simple, essential.

So every now and again, when I stop and reflect on how the knitting world has changed in the last ten years, it blows my mind a little.  I use my phone to keep track of the rows I knit, I can check Ravelry to see how my pattern worked out for hundreds of other knitters, and I tweet back and forth with my favourite designers.  Knitting is still ancient, essential, and grounding   …but now it’s also all about the techno.  Yeah, sometimes that really blows my mind.

And one of the best things to come out of this techno-revolution is the rise of online knitting magazines.  Fresh, individual, quirky, and oh-so-vibrant — opening an online knitting magazine gives an instant virtual fiber rush.  It makes you want to cast on something gorgeous.  It makes you want cast on now.

Here my three hands-down favourites:

Did Knitty start the online knitting magazine craze?  Even if it didn’t, it did for me.  Knitty is the brainchild of Amy Singer, who launched her online magazine alllll the way back in 2002, and quickly became the starting point for thousands of new knitters and the launching pad for hundreds of new designers.

knitty, knitting magazine, knitting patterns, knittingFilled with informative features that help new knitters find their feet and advanced knitters move on to higher planes, and offering instant access to a library of entirely free patterns, Knitty has revolutionised the concept of accessibility for a whole generation of knitters.


Twist Collective

The Twist Collective began with a mission: to treat designers and writers honourably by giving them a place  to display their talents and get paid fairly for their work, while still having the option to use and build on their work after publication.

twist collective, knitting magazine, knitting patterns, knittingBut beyond even those loftly ideals, what the Twist Collective ultimately achieves — through luscious photography and beautiful designs — is downright seductive.


knitcircus, knitting magazine, knitting patterns, knitting

Starting out as a print publication, KnitCircus transitioned to an online format in 2010, and I’m so glad it did!  Another magazine with an emphasis on treating designers fairly, KnitCircus is also committed to supporting indie fiber businesses, which gives readers the wonderful opportunity to discover new dyers and fiber artists that they might not otherwise find.

knitcircus, knitting magazine, knitting pattern, knittingI find KnitCircus an absolute pleasure to read, partly for the totally trivial reason that the pages flip by delightfully (just like a real magazine! go try it!) and mostly because the articles are absorbing, the photography is sharp and fresh, and the patterns are utterly lovely.

Enter to Win the Entire KnitCircus Summer 2011 Pattern Collection

And here’s the bit that’s got me crazy-excited: KnitCircus‘s editor, Jaala Spiro, has generously offered me three copies of the KnitCircus Summer 2011 Pattern Collection to give away!

Wait, what’s that?  Did I just hear you go squeeeee?!?  Oh yeah, I know you did!

Ok, here’s what you have to do to enter:

  1. Click on the links the three magazines above and choose your  favourite pattern or article out of all of them (just one favourite, not three).
  2. Then, come back here and leave a comment below telling me what your favourite is (and feel free to tell me why — I’d  love to know!).

Now, because this is such a fabulous prize, I’m going to give you a way to get two  bonus entries.  To enter up to twice more, all you have to do is:

  1. Retweet this tweet on Twitter, and/or
  2. Mention this contest in a post on Ravelry (anywhere except the SpaceCadet group board and the InterStellar Yarn Alliance board)
  3. Then, make sure you leave a comment here to let me know you’ve done it (include your Twitter and Rav names).

And there you go — you’re in with three chances to win one of three copies of the Summer 2011 KnitCircus Pattern Collection.  And you can’t beat that with a stick stack of magazines!

Rock the details: Sweepstakes opens when this blog post is published and closes on Mon June 20 2011 at 11.59pm EDT and all entries must be made before the close. All entrants will be verified and must complete the mandatory entry (that is, mentioning in a comment on this blog post a favourite pattern/article from one of the three knitting magazines) before completing the ‘extra’ entries (retweeting the specified tweet and/or mentioning this sweepstakes in a post on Ravelry). Please take note: completion of all entries must be mentioned in a comment on this blog post to qualify, and comments must include the commenter’s Ravelry or Twitter name (as applicable). Invalid entries will be disqualified. Winner will be announced on this blog after sweepstakes close and must respond within 72 hours or we reserve the right to choose another winner. No purchase necessary. Only one entry per person. SpaceCadet Creations reserves the right to substitute prizes. Prizes cannot be redeemed for cash. No geographical or age restrictions apply because knitting knows no barriers.

Stuff to Love: The Knitter’s Tool Tin

The magic of knitting is in the knitting — we all know this, don’t we?  It’s the feel of the yarn, the click of the needles, the hypnotic meditation of the motion.  But no knitter can honestly deny that there’s a lot of fun in all the stuff that goes along with knitting.  You know, the stuff — the needles, the project bags, the jewelry… er, I mean stitchmarkers.  The stuff is fun!

And I want to show you some stuff that I really love.  It’s the Knitter’s Tool Tin, from The Sexy Knitter, Sarah Wilson.  Sarah’s cool and funky knitting patterns have appeared in The Knitter, Yarn Forward, Knitty, and Knitting Today, but when I was searching for the perfect gift to go in the very first parcels for the Yarn Alliance, it was her Knitter’s Tool Tin that caught my eye…


And you can see why, can’t you?  Is it great or what?!?  Everything a knitter might need, right there in a nifty little tin.  Perfect.

Of course, I wanted the Yarn Alliance to get something special and exclusive, so I asked Sarah if she’d customise some of her tins just for us.  And they turned out fabulous!  Check it out…


Sarah put her calling card on the bottom, and a magnet in the lid…


Now, because I didn’t want the Alliance members to be able to guess what was coming in the second or third parcels, we’ve changed the contents of the tin from Sarah’s standard Tool Tin.  Yarn Alliance members received the first part of the contents in their April parcel, and will get more in future parcels to built up the full Yarn Alliance tin.

Win Patterns from The Sexy Knitter!

And here’s the best bit — when I told Sarah I’d be blogging about her stuff,  I suggested we run a giveaway and she very generously offered two of her patterns as the prizes!

And here’s all you have to do to enter:

That’s it!  Easy, huh?

But if you’d like a second entry (and who wouldn’t like a second entry?),  leave a comment here telling us which Sexy Knitter design is your favourite, and why.  And there you go, you’ve got two chances to win two patterns from The Sexy Knitter!  How cool is that?!?

The Small Print (because I know you love it!): Contest closes on Sunday May 15 2011 at 11.59pm EDT and all entries must be made before the close. All entrants will be verified and must complete the mandatory entry (that is, being a follower of SpaceCadetCreat on Twitter and retweeting the tweet mentioned above) before completing the ‘extra’ entry (leaving a comment on this blog post). Tweet must be exactly as shown in the post above (to facilitate tracking of entries) in order to be valid. Invalid entries will be disqualified. Winner will be announced on this blog and must respond within 72 hours or we reserve the right to choose another winner. SpaceCadet Creations reserves the right to substitute prizes. Prizes cannot be redeemed for cash.  Prizes are not transferable. There, that wasn’t too bad, was it?