Sometimes we dye a club colourway that excites me so much, I’m just itching to show it to you. The latest yarn was exactly that kind of colourway and, because the Yarn Alliance parcels went out last week, I think it’s safe to show you…
Honeydew — the colourway inspired by…. well, honeydew!
One of my favourite things about this time of year is how wonderful summer fruits suddenly become. Oh, you can get berries and grapes and oranges and melons all year round but, right now, they are beyond compare, bursting with flavor, and so very juicy – each one a sweet respite from the heat of summer.
For this colourway, we were inspired by one of my favourite summer fruits, the Honeydew melon. We started by capturing its sublime soft green, keeping the dye gentle and letting it swirl and flow in the dyepot to create the changing depth of colour that you see in the fruit’s flesh. And then we layered on the warmer shades of the melon’s center, blending it from a bright soft orange to a sweet clear yellow. The result is a beautiful fusion of summer’s best colours, which will flow and mingle into a sublime summer mix.
For this colourway — and these hot weather that goes with it — I chose Oriana, a yarn that is unexpectedly well-suited to summer projects. Constructed with 90% Merino wool, the surprise is that it behaves almost like cotton! Oriana’s eight plies soak up colour deeply and give it an amazing drape and swing that is perfect for cool summer patterns.
The Gift — A Beautiful, Tiny Tool Box
And the gift is fantastic too! Knitting and crocheting involves some really teeny-tiny notions that are so easy to lose – stitchmarkers, needles, buttons, and suchlike – so I asked Brittany and Angie, the lovely makers at Remember Wynn, to create these adorable little notions boxes for us. The perfect size to keep the tiniest tools neat and tidy, I just love the SpaceCadet grinning away on the front!
The Yarn Alliance Reopens Soon!
You can see why I love this Yarn Alliance parcel so much, can’t you? And I can hardly wait to see what our Club Members make with their new yarn!
And if you’re wishing you were in on the fun too, then grab and pen and mark your calendar, because the Yarn Alliance reopens for new subscriptions in September. Or hey, forget the pen — just click here and give us your email address and we’ll not only make sure you’re the first to know when the Alliance reopens, we’ll give you an early-bird chance to grab your spot a few days before the club opens to the public. Sound good? Great! Click here!
Little by little, I am starting to believe that Spring is on its way but, two weeks ago, our corner of the world was buried under a blanket of snow. And I want to share with you the colourway that winter wonderland inspired!
(Spoiler Alert!: If you’ve been in the Yarn Alliance and haven’t yet received your March parcel, close your eyes now to save the surprise)
“Winter’s Fade, Spring’s Rise,” The Yarn Alliance Colourway for March 2015
There is a big, bay window in the SpaceCadet studio, which looks out to where the road follows the horseshoe bend of a babbling creek as it travels through the woods, and I love to look through that window and watch the world go by as I’m busy dyeing. And last week, the view was particularly inspiring – there had been a heavy snow, flakes falling silent and slow, followed by an amazing iridescent mist. The world was transformed.
And though initially it seemed everything was just white, I came to realise that the blending of the snow and the leafless trees and the soft mist and the dark, cold water all came together to create a beautiful soft gray that washed across the landscape – darker and more intense in some places, softening and pale in others. And yet, this was no monochromatic gray, because it also included the gentle brown of the tree trunks, the blue of the sky, the deep green of an occasional lone fir tree, and, here and there, the soft lavender of the first few crocuses who knew, despite all the signs to the contrary, that Winter would indeed soon Fade, and Spring is on the Rise.
The Yarn that Won’t Sell…
And we dyed it on Aurora, a stunning soft yarn spun from 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon. This is hands down one of my favourite SpaceCadet yarns — it’s just so incredibly luxurious and soft — but can I let you in on a little secret? I can’t sell Aurora online. Seriously. We sell tons of it at shows because as soon as customers pick it up, they realise how amazing that extra cashmere feels, but that’s something that can’t really be conveyed through a computer screen. And so this gorgeous yarn sits quietly on the shelf all year long, like the las kid picked for the kickball team …until we go to shows, where it promptly sells like hotcakes. So it makes me incredibly happy when I get to use it for the Yarn Alliance, because I know our club members are in for an truly unexpected treat!
The Fabulous Yarn Alliance Gift
I’m so in love with these adorable little yarn snips put together for us by Sarah Wilson, The Sexy Knitter, because I am forever losing my scissors. These are small enough to stash anywhere and give a super-quick, super-clean cut. And who can resist the SpaceCadet’s cheeky grin?
And just for fun, Sarah and I included a Sexy Knitter pattern that we both knew would be a great choice for this yarn and colourway. The Mashrabiya Vest & Shawl takes a beautiful lace shawl design and adds the innovative option of armholes to create a wide variety of styling options; wear it open, pinned or tied shut, ends thrown over your shoulders, or even as a wrap blouse! Knit up in the subtle colours of “Winter’s Fade, Spring’s Rise”, the result would be a sublime and luxurious wrap for cool spring evenings.
The Yarn Alliance is Open for Subscriptions
Like what you see here? Want to join the fun? The Yarn Alliance is currently open for subscriptions, so click here to grab your spot before it closes this Sunday, March 29th!
As we are prepping madly for HomeSpun Yarn Party this weekend (March 22 in Savage MD) and the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival next weekend (March 27-29 in Pittsburgh PA), I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how to make a yarn show or festival really spectacular — for us as vendors but also for you as an attendee. And while you might think that’s pretty straightforward — just walk around and look at all the lovely yarn, right? — there are actually some specific things you can do to get the most out of the yarn shows and festivals you attend this year. Here are six of the best:
Tip #1: First, GO!!!
This one is crazy, right? I mean, of course you go! But it’s surprising the number of knitters and crocheters I meet at trunk shows or other events who tell me they’ve never been to a yarn festival. And I totally get it — there are crowds and parking issues, and maybe a distance to drive (or… heh heh… maybe some self-control issues…?) — but the experience is totally worth it. This is your opportunity to not only take classes and meet other like-minded folks, but also to spot new design and colour trends, and to “meet” in person the yarns you would otherwise be able to see only online.
So take this opportunity to explore every booth and snorgle all that lovely yarn. At SpaceCadet, some of our mostdelicious yarns just don’t sell online. It makes me crazy that our customers can’t tell how incredibly soft that extra cashmere makes Aurora (at 20% cashmere, it is amazingly softer than yarns with just 10%!). They can’t see how subtle and beautiful Lucina’s sparkles are through a computer monitor. And though I’ve managed to capture the sheen of Maia in photographs, how can that also show its incredible softness and drape? As wonderful as these yarns are, their best qualities come alive only when you see them in person. If you’re looking online, you’re getting only half the story. So come to the show and meet in person the yarns you’ve been curious about — it’s a completely different experience!
Tip #2: Head to your Favourite Vendors’ Booths First
Though it may seem easiest to just wander around the festival and look at the booths as you come to them, there’s a real advantage to checking out the show map and head to the your favourite vendors’ booths first. We often debut fantastic new yarns and products at our shows, and they can sell out fast. This year, we have an amazing Show Exclusive Colourway that I think you’re going to love — it’s just wonderful, with layers and layers of colour that seem to reveal themselves afresh every time you look at it. We’ve dyed what we hope is plenty — but shows are so unpredictable that it’s always worth getting to our booth early so you’re not disappointed.
So take five minutes when you first arrive at a festival to sit down with the show map and quickly work out which booths you really want to see, and head for those first. Or, even better, look at the map online before you even get there — it makes the anticipation that much more fun and, I promise, you’ll be so glad when you snag the sell-out yarn of the show before anyone else even sees it!
Tip #3: Check Out the Show’s Special Events
Many shows have more than just classes and a market — giveaways, designer talks, and fashion shows all add to the fun. You don’t want to miss any of those — and some of them are last minute additions — so make sure you check not only the show’s programme, but also your favourite vendors’ websites.
At this year’s Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, we’ll be hosting book signings by festival headliner Alasdair Post-Quinn, Craftsy instructor and author of Extreme Double-Knitting. It’s a collaboration directly between SpaceCadet and his publisher, Coop Press, so it’s not in the festival programme, but we’re so excited to have Alasdair on hand to chat with our customers about his designs and double-knitting — and you’ll only find out about that by keeping up with our blog. Yarn shows are full of wonderful surprises but to make sure you don’t miss the best stuff, check out the special events on both the show’s and the vendors’ websites.
Tip #4: Start at the Back of the Show
Ok, you’ve been waiting for the show to start, the doors have opened at last, and there, right in front of you, is a sea of amazing yarny goodness so beautiful that you want to dive into the first big pile you see. Resist that urge! Because right behind you is a sea of other knitters and crocheters who want to do the exact same thing, and those first booths are going to get crazy crowded really fast. But at the other end of the show — far away from the doors and all the other festival-goers — are a bunch of booths that are completely empty. And having been a vendor, in one of those booths, I can tell you that the other end of the show stays fairly quiet and empty for quite a while before the crowd finally makes it down there. That means that if you head there first, you can have 30 minutes of peaceful shopping (and first dibs on the best stuff!) before those booths get crowded.
Work your way from the back of the show to the front and you’ll still get to see everything, but you won’t be fighting the crowds every single step of the way. And you’ll get a whole different experience of the show!
Tip #5: Get the Class Schedule to Know When to Shop
Every show I’ve ever done has had times when the booth is a crush of people and other times when it’s completely quiet, and the two usually correspond to the class times. When all the classes are going on, the market floor is usually quiet — and a real pleasure to shop — but the minute classes let out (and they all seem to let out at the same time), it’s suddenly so crowded that you can’t even get into some booths. Take that time to go and find some lunch, or just knit and chill with some new friends you made in class. Then, if there’s a time when the classes start up again but you haven’t got one booked, that’s the time to head to the market. You’ll be able to shop in peace, to really look at what’s on offer, and chat to the dyers and vendors you’ve been wanting to meet. Shopping during class times rather than when they’re out is the difference between a festival that is fun and relaxed and one that is needlessly stressful. Check that schedule and then swim against the tide!
Tip #6: Remember that We’ve Come to Meet YOU!
This is probably the most important tip for making most of your festival or show. Crazy as it sounds (to me, at least), we’ve had long-time customers email after a show to say they were right there in front of our booth, but they never came up to say hello because they didn’t want to “bother” us. And that makes me so sad, because the very best part of going to a show is getting to meet our customers face to face!
We’re there to talk to you, so please do come and say hi to us. If you’ve got questions about our yarn, ask us (it’s one of our favourite subjects!). Or show us the pattern you want to make and let us help you choose a yarn. Now, you’ll get our best attention if you follow some of my earlier suggestions and visit the booth when things are a little quieter (such as when the show first opens or during class times). But no matter when you come and see us, just remember that we’re there to meet you, so please do come and say hi!
The Yarn Alliance is Open until March 29th
The InterStellar Yarn Alliance opened on Friday and subscriptions have just been flying! It’s so exciting to welcome all the new and returning members — because it’s a fantastic club and I know we’re going to have a great time together. Want to join in the fun? We’d love to have you aboard! Click here to find out more — but hurry, subscriptions are open only until March 29.
As you know, we open our premiere yarn club to new subscriptions for two weeks only twice a year, and our customers bide their time and wait to grab their spots in the club. We love watching the subscriptions fly and getting to meet all our new members, so we are absolutely thrilled to announce that…
The InterStellar Yarn Alliance is Open for Subscriptions!
If you like SpaceCadet® colourways, then
you’ll love being in the Yarn Alliance!
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!
Members of the InterStellar Yarn Alliance receive fabulous parcels 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
Plus, Sweater Quantities!
One gorgeous skein just isn’t enough? You also have an exclusive opportunity to order more skeins custom-dyed in the latest club colourway. You’ll receive an email with all the details about a week after your parcel goes out — and then all you have to do is pick your project!
A 6 month subscription (3 parcels) is $135 and a 12 month subscription (6 parcels) is $249.
Ready to join the fun? Yeah, let’s do this!
Click below to choose your subscription:
12 Month Subscription
6 Month Subscription
Six month subscriptions include 3 parcels; twelve month subscriptions include 6 parcels. Parcels will be sent out in early January, March, May, July, September, and November.
Shipping within the United States is included in the price; extra charges apply for shipping outside the US. Normal subscription openings for the InterStellar Yarn Alliance are for two weeks only during March and September of each year.
Got questions? We’re happy to help! info(at)spacecadetcreations(dot)com
Despite another 2″-4″ of snow predicted for us this week(!), the start of March means our Spring Events are right around the corner (as hard as that is to believe). Here’s a quick heads up so you can mark your calendar so you don’t miss out on any of the yarny goodness…
The Yarn Alliance Reopens for Subscriptions
The InterStellar Yarn Alliance is the SpaceCadet’s premiere yarn club, known for its amazing colourways and fantastic gifts. It’s open for subscriptions twice a year for two weeks only — from March 13 to 29 — and spaces always go fast. We give early-bird priority to the people on the club mailing list, so click here and get your name on that list!
Homespun Yarn Party
Possibly our favourite-est yarn show of the year, this super-fast, super-furious event is always pure crazy and intense fun for anyone who craves hand-dyed and hand-made yarny goodness. A one day show that features only small and indie makers, it’s so worth the trip to the beautiful Savage Mill — if you live in the DC-Baltimore area, please come and see us!
Sunday, March 22 from 12-5pm
Historic Savage Mill 8600 Foundry Street, Savage, MD 20763 Just off I-95, plenty of parking!
Admission is FREE!
Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
Our hometown festival just gets better and better each year! Having rapidly outgrown all its previous venues, we are super excited that this year’s festival will be at the Westin Convention Center hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Three glorious days of yarn and fiber fun, plus we are thrilled to be hosting festival headliner Alasdair Post-Quinn (author of “Extreme Double Knitting” from Coop Press) for book-signings in our booth. If you’re in the western PA area, we’d love to see you!
Fri-Sun, March 27-29
Westin Convention Center hotel, next to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh
What’s your Favourite Yarn Show or Festival?
I’ll be honest, it can be hard to tell what shows are the best to do without bringing our work dyeing to a halt and going to each one. So I rely on recommendations from friends and customers to decide what to put on our schedule. If there’s a festival that you just love — one that’s fun, lively, and full of that great buzz that being around lots of gorgeous yarn creates, I’d love to know about it! Leave a comment here or please email us: info(at)spacecadetcreations(dot)com. Honestly, your input is invaluable!
(*spoiler alert* Close your eyes if you don’t want to see the latest Yarn Alliance colourway!)
When I first started dyeing, I worried a little that I might run out of colours. Seriously, I did. I mean, Roy G Biv is only seven letters… There can only be so many combinations, right? And I kind of wondered what happened when you get to the end of the list.
I know. I know!
Five years later and colour is still a fabulous cosmic adventure. Take the latest Yarn Alliance colourway — I knew I wanted to use it to explore reds, but I didn’t want it to be flat or monochromatic. I wanted to let red bloom from pink, from plum, from rust and from yellow. I wanted to let the colour do its thing and just see where it led. And I loved, loved, loved the result! This is “Firebrand”…
Isn’t it gorgeous?!? Now, before we get to Jade’s fantastic pattern picks for Firebrand, let me quickly just share with you the gift we included in the parcel, but I’m over the moon about it. How adorable are these little buttons custom-made for us by Remember Wynn? I can’t wait to see what our club members make with them!
Jade’s Pattern Picks for Firebrand
Speaking of things to make, Jade has put together a fabulous collection of pattern ideas for this yarn. Such beautiful designs! Which one is your favourite?*
With just a touch of lace and beautiful all-over drapey fabic, this pattern is perfect for showing off the Firebrand Colourway of this month’s Yarn Alliance parcel. The glowing ember tones and floaty drape of the Celeste make the perfect fiery cocoon – two skeins will be enough to ward off the winter chill.
This month’s ISYA colourway was actually a bit of a challenge for me to pick a pattern. The colors are gorgeous and glow-y and vivid, but they need just the right amount of showing off… The Magpie Cowl delivers, with an interesting, but easy, lace pattern to bring out Firebrand’s variegation and the perfect amount of yardage for one smooshy skein of Celeste. (And check out your shiny – it even calls for buttons to close!)
If cowls and shrugs aren’t quite what you’re looking to knit, or you’re more in the mood for a show-stopper, try Carol Feller’s amazing Dark Pearl cardigan. It has it all – a fitted silhouette, smooth stockinette to show off the vibrant variegation of Firebrand, and a stunning lace front panel that can be draped open, or worn closed with your SpaceCadet buttons! And because Celeste has such great yardage, you’ll only need 3-4 skeins for the whole sweater, depending on size.
(*I love all three but I think my favourite is Dark Pearl. Such intriguing construction!)
Want to Get in on the Fun?
If you think being part of the InterStellar Yarn Alliance looks like fun, you are so right! Now, the Yarn Alliance isn’t open again until March but its sister club, the SpaceMonster Mega Yarn Club, is open for subscriptions right now.
And it’s an awesome club! Focusing on smooshy worsted and bulky yarns, it’s a fantastic adventure for these cold winter days — or the perfect holiday gift! The SpaceMonster Club is open until Dec 21, so click here now for all the details and to grab your spot.