Perfect… Even After All This Time

Apropos of absolutely nothing (except that I am kinda dying to show it to you), is this…

I have been wanting to try my hand at throwing pottery for absolutely ages, ever since we had a little taster in art class when I was nine years old.  I knew instantly, all the way back then, that it was something I’d love (and it was my first realisation that, while I’m really quite terrible at two-dimensional art, making in three dimensions comes fairly easily).



Somehow, life got busy and, even though I thought of it from time to time, I never did manage to try it again.  But then a friend told me that a new pottery studio had recently opened nearby…  And so I finally took that nine year old up on her wish, and booked myself a lesson.



I loved it.  Loved it!  It was everything I remembered and everything I hoped it would be — tactile and messy, and with a wonderful, earthy smell.  It made my arms ache with the sheer effort of cajoling the clay into shape, but it was so deeply satisfying in that way only making something with your own two hands can be.  Making things — nothing else feels so grounding to me.

My teacher was soft-spoken and patient.  When I stopped focusing and started to talk to him instead, the clay rebelled   …and collapsed into a sullen heap.   But so long as I concentrated, it flowed between my hands and did everything I wanted it to do.  I can’t even describe the feeling — it was just amazing to watch it slowly form from a shapeless lump to something so beautiful, right there in my hands.



So this is my pot.  It’s not big, the size of a small rice bowl, but it is perfect to me.  I love it so much and yet… I’m almost afraid to use it.  For now, it sits on a shelf, looking wonderful, and I sit in a chair, knitting or reading a book, and sneak little glances at it.



…And feel rather proud of myself.

SpaceCadet returns to KNOTS on Aug 24

I was absolutely delighted when Kate and Laura at KNOTS (Knitting On The Square) in Chardon Ohio invited me back for a trunk show.  I did one there last year and had such a blast, I can’t wait to go back!  I’ve been dyeing like mad for it and doing lots of experimenting so, as well as my regular colours, there will be fabulous new and one-of-a-kind colourways.  If you’re in the Cleveland/Erie area, please do come and see us!

The SpaceCadet is returning to KNOTS (Knitting on the Square) in Chardon Ohio



Saturday, Aug 24, 11-5
153 Main St
Chardon Ohio 44024
(440) 285 KNIT (5648)
Click here to map it!




The InterStellar Yarn Alliance opens soon!

I cannot believe that our premiere yarn club, InterStellar Yarn Alliance, will reopen for subscriptions in just a few weeks! Click here to learn more and to get on the mailing list, so you are the first to hear when it opens!

The Week of Fabulous!

This Sunday: Indie Knit & Spin Boutique

Whatcha up to this weekend?  For me, the spring yarn show season will be starting whilst there’s still snow on the ground, with a lovely little show on Sunday called Indie Knit & Spin Boutique.


Pittsburgh Indie Knit & Spin, Sunday Feb 10



I’m so looking forward to it!  It’s going to be a small, really intimate event — just five local fiber artists coming together to share with you the very best of their recent work.  I’ll be bringing lots of yarns that have never been in the shop (and may never get in the shop either!).  Tons of one-of-a-kind and fun experimental colourways.

Come out and see us!

Indie Knit & Spin Boutique
Sunday February 10th, 2012, 12:00-5:00
At the Cosymakes Studio, 1406 South Negley, Pittsburgh PA
(Click here for a map!)
Vendors: SpaceCadet Creations, Cosymakes Studio,
Gwen Erin Natural Fibers, Fibernymph Dye Works, and Burgh Baby Gear


KnitCircus Interviews the SpaceCadet


KnitCircus Magazine interviews SpaceCadet Creations


I was absolutely tickled pink several weeks ago when Jaala Spiro asked if she could interview for KnitCircus.  I’ve known her for a few years now, and always enjoyed her work, so I said yes immediately — chatting with Jaala is always so much fun!



KnitCircus Magazine interviews SpaceCadet Creations


And I think you can tell we enjoyed doing the interview.  I got to talk about how I started dyeing, my upcoming projects, and how much fun I have dyeing for our customers.  If you didn’t get a chance to see it, click here to read the whole thing.


The Love Actually KAL Casts On this Thursday

Valentine’s Day is on its way and this year we’re bypassing the chocolates and mushy cards and going straight for what really matters: casting on a fabulous new project in gorgeous yarns.  The Love Actually KAL starts on Feb 14 and I simply cannot believe the response — so many people have signed up!


The Love Actually KAL with Sara Bench and SpaceCadet Creations



If you’ve not joined yet, there’s still time.  And just a few of those fabulous Love Actually KAL Kits left in the shop!  Click here to read all the details about the KAL and click here to grab one of the last kits!

The Chocolate & Roses Kit for the Love Actually KAL from SpaceCadet Creations

Rhinebeck? And the SpaceCadet Panics!

Rhinebeck is only one week away Rhinebeck is only one week away Rhinebeck is only one week away!

And I am panicking a little.  The trouble with a show that’s bigger than anything I’ve ever done is that I’ve got absolutely no idea how much yarn we’ll need.  So a few weeks ago I decided to start dyeing and just not stop.  And that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing ever since.

One week!  And there is so. much. to. do.  And I don’t know if I have enough yarn!  So I gotta get back into the studio but, before I do…  here quick, come take a look…


A SpaceCadet Creations colourway called Happy Happy Sunshine

SpaceCadet Creations yarns soaking after dyeing

SpaceCadet Capella Single Ply yarn

SpaceCadet Creations colourDyes in the SpaceCadet Studio

A SpaceCadet Creations colourway called Wild Yonder

A Very Silly Self-Portrait in the Studio

Coming to Rhinebeck?  Come visit us at the Melissa Jean Designs booth.  Hope to see you there!


Lost …and Found

When I realised what I’d done, I’m certain my heart stopped for a moment.  I was on a bus — stuck on a bus for an hour — and I’d forgotten my knitting.  And I know no one else around me understood what I was going through.  They were all staring at their phones, filling their minds with texts and tweets and pixels and nothingness, while I sat and tried to keep my hands from twitching.  No one else on that bus understood, but I know you do.

SpaceCadet hand-dyed yarn, ready for Rhinebeck

I pulled out my phone and tried to join in the tiny-screen distraction but…  urghhhh…  it felt pointless, a sorry substitution.  I stuffed the phone back in my handbag and turned to stare out the window instead, past the streaks of rain obscuring the view, and realised with a start that the bus was about to drive past a local yarn shop.  Right past it — no slowing, no stopping, no sympathy.  And as the shop came into view and then passed away again, I fell a pull right from my guts.  There were needles and yarn in there!  That’s all I needed — just two sticks and some string —  and the next hour could be filled with that that physical satisfaction of beautiful yarn moving through my fingers, the righteousness of softly clicking needles.

But instead…   ughhhhh.  I turned away from the window, pulled out my phone again — what else was I to do? — and tweeted out my despair to people who would get it.  And you did.

And there, on that bus in the rain, with twitchy fingers and that horrid sensation of empty uselessness, I suddenly felt warmed by the cyber-support of my kin and kind, the sympathy of virtual companions when those around me showed none.

SpaceCadet hand-dyed yarns, ready for Rhinebeck

Why did I forget my knitting?!?  Because I have been working my socks off getting ready for Rhinebeck  — and apparently turning my brain into mush the in process! (What else could possibly explain allowing myself to get into a pickle like that?)   I asked a friend, how much yarn do I think I’ll need to have ready?  And her sobering reply: “More than you ever thought possible“.

And so I’ve been dyeing from sun up to sun down — oh, and wellllll beyond sundown too .  Thick yarns, thin yarns, laceweight and bulky.  Cashmere, sparkles, linen, and silk.  There are yarns hanging from every possible space waiting to be tied, waiting to be tagged, waiting to be twisted (and my fingers ache already in anticipation of all that twisting!).

SpaceCadet hand-dyed yarn, ready for Rhinebeck

But for all the effort it’s taking to do all this dyeing, I am loving it.  There is a real bliss that comes from from dyeing at speed, when you don’t have time to overthink it — you don’t have time to think at all — and you just do it.  You dye from instinct, putting colours together with honesty and spontaneity.  For all the hours I’m putting in, I am so enjoying this!  I don’t know, when all is said and done, if I’ll have enough for Rhinebeck, but it won’t be for lack of trying.  Or lack of passion.

When I got home, I barely stopped to take off my jacket —  I needed a fiber fix and I needed it fast.  There was my knitting, lying forlorn in its bag near the door, but to start on it would have meant counting rows and checking the chart.  No time!  Instead I pulled a chair up to my Lendrum, make two quick adjustments, and set the wheel into its hypnotic rhythm.  Letting fiber slip through my fingers, that gentle whir and the smell of the wool, I felt my insides gently decompress.

Spinning SpaceCadet hand-dyed fiber

After a few minutes, I let the wheel slow, and then stop.  And then I went into the kitchen to put on the kettle, everything right in my world again.

A Super-Cool New Swag Shop and a Shop Update!

The heat’s getting to you too, right?  We’ve been in the high 90s for weeks now (…well, it feels like weeks anyway) and the longer it goes on, the less I seem to be able to think.  I mean, I’m squirreled away in an air-conditioned office so I shouldn’t even notice the heat and yet…  oh, as that mercury climbs, my ability to focus just seems to vapourise.

It’s not just me, right?  It’s you too…?  Tell me it is, because the temperature is set to hit 100F (37C!) this weekend and I think I’m just going to melt into a little puddle of uselessness right there on the floor — and I kinda need to know you’re right there with me!

Tour de Fleece

What the SpaceCadet is spinning for the Tour De Fleece

So when your brain is melting into mush it’s probably best to concentrate on the simple things, right?  Tour de Fleece couldn’t have come at a better time, and I’ve given myself permission to spend a little quality time with my (most beloved) Lendrum.  I’m spinning some top that I dyed absolutely ages ago that, when I pulled it out of the dyepots, I didn’t like at all.  I shoved it in a bag and promptly forgot about it.  When I finally came across it again about a month ago, I realised I can’t even remember what the fiber content is….  merino? superwash? merino/alpaca?  I have no idea but — I’ll tell you what — I am loving these colours now.  What was I thinking?!?  Here’s my progress, day by day…

The SpaceCadet's progress on the Tour de Fleece


The SpaceCadet’s Swag Shop

Wait!, you say.  You’re in an office?  You’re not in the studio?  Well, in truth, this job is split pretty evenly between the dyepots and the computer.  And while most of the time I’m elbows deep in yummy yarns and dye, summer is the ideal time to get a little behind-the-scenes work done on all the great ideas I come up with throughout the rest of the year.

And I’ve been working on some really exciting stuff too — I can’t wait to show you!  Most of it’s only in the beginning stages, but I can share one really cool thing with you…  At every festival we do, at every trunk show, people are always telling us how much they love the SpaceCadet (we love him too!), and then someone always asks, can I get a SpaceCadet t-shirt?  I’ve never be able to offer them one before, but I now I can! Check this out — the SpaceCadet Swag Shop!  SpaceCadet t-shirts, tank tops, tote bags, and all kinds of cool stuff…   Squeeeeee!!!!

The SpaceCadet's Swag Shop!


Shop Update

Oooh, and there’s one other thing I can do even when I’m melting in this insane heat…  How about a shop update?  There’s some incredibly rich colours in this one, and a few one-of-a-kinds, so click here to have a look before they disappear.

Shop Update! Click Here to see the Shop Update of new SpaceCadet Creations yarns for knitting and crochet

Our Most Ambitious Projects: What Holds Us Back?

There’s a project that you’ve been thinking about for a long time now, isn’t there?  It’s there, sitting quietly at the back of your mind, waiting for you to work up the courage to start it.  It something you’d love to make, that you really want to conquer, but…  but… oh!  It’s ambitious.  It’s bigger than anything you’ve tried before.  Or it’s more complicated and…  and…  oh!

So there it stays, tucked away in the back of your mind…  no closer to being cast on than it was the day your first saw it and fell in love.  Ambitious projects can be wonderful, motivating, exciting…  But they can also be paralysing, can’t they?

Sara Bench's amazing lace projects

Yeah, Me Too…

When I first started knitting, waaaaay back in the late ’80s, I opened a book one day and fell head-over-heels for Kaffe Fassett’s Romeo and Juliet Coat.  I desperately wanted to make it but…   I was new knitter and it just frightened the life out of me then.  How could I possible knit something as amazing as that?!?  I didn’t think I’d ever be a good enough knitter to create that.

These days, it’s not the skill level that would stop me from starting it so much as the fact that the late ’80s and I parted ways quite a while ago.  The projects that I aspire to now are much more intricate — when I go to knit night and see my friends pull out masterpieces like Honeysuckle by Sarah Hatton or 2011 KALendar by Carmen Oliveras, my heart goes pitter-patter.  But I wonder if I could ever make something so amazing myself…

SpaceCadet Creations Luna Laceweight yarn in Merino and Silk for knitting and crochet

What intimidates me most now, be it Kaffe Fassett’s coat or those amazing shawls, is the sheer the amount of time it would take.   It’s time, not skills (or courage!), that I lack.   And I find I bypass as many projects now for that reason and I did back then for the other.

Is It The Same For You?

I’ve been thinking of this a lot lately — the projects we aspire to and what it is that holds us back from making them — and wondering if your experience is like mine.  Are there projects that you aspire to but have never yet had the courage to start?  What is it that’s stopping you?  And do you think you will ever get past it and cast your project on?

So I tweeted that question last week…

Thinking about our most ambitious projects... What projects are on your maybe-someday list? And what holds you back from starting it?

And the responses told a real story…  Some of you are intimidated by new techniques; some, like me, just too time crunched; a few have too many ambitious projects on the needles already.   And one response I love more than any, because it took that story and turned it into a real conversation…

KnittingBrow discusses ambitious knitting projects

(Also, does he have the coolest mustache or what?!?)

Tell Me About You

So tell me, what projects do you aspire to?  What do you have on your maybe-someday list?  And — the most important part — what is it that’s holding you back?

, tell me on Ravelry, or leave a comment right on the blog.  Because I’d really love to know!