Sharing our SpaceCadet Christmas Tradition

I have a million things going on this morning and, if you celebrate Christmas, I’m sure it’s the same for you.  But before we get stuck into the hustle and bustle, I wanted to take a moment and wish all of you — knitters, crocheters, designers, friends, suppliers, and most of all, our wonderful customers and club members — the very happiest of holiday seasons.  In this crazy time of year, I wish you a little stillness and peace, the love of family and friends, and — of course! — a bit of quiet time to knit.

For us, Christmas starts with our family tradition of decorating the tree on Christmas Eve.  Even if the tree has come into the house weeks before, nothing but the lights go on it until the night before Christmas.  And then we spend all day together, rolling out salt dough and gingerbread for the ornaments, stringing each one, and finally dressing the tree in ribbons and handmade ornaments before its big day.  Of all the holiday preparations we go through, there is none I like so much as this one, none that feels so homey and Christmas-y to me.

And I just wanted to share it with you…

The SpaceCadet's Christmas Tree

Warmest Holiday Wishes to You All!


Oh, and if it’s Christmas morning and you’re still in a bit of a panic because you forgot a present… Or if someone you know still hasn’t yet gotten yours (ahem — like my husband!), don’t worry, there’s always SpaceCadet Gift Cards.  They arrive within minutes to save the day and your recipient will never be any the wiser!  Click here to grab one.


Click Here to grab a SpaceCadet Gift Card


Of Christmas, Ballet, and Good Friends

Do you remember these funky little slippers by Kate Atherley?  Do you remember I said they’d be perfect for two ballet-mad little girls I know?


I had planned to knit them in time for Christmas morning, but as December wore on, the whole month got crazier and crazier and seemed to be flying by at an alarming pace.  One day I looked up at the calendar and realised I had only one week left before Christmas, a bazillion things left to do…  and the wonderful little slippers weren’t even cast on yet.

Is Christmas about gifts or about friends?

My friend Natalie was ridiculously organised and had already finished all her Christmas knitting well before crunchtime.  “Would you like me to knit them for you?, she asked.  “So they’re ready for Christmas Day?”  I was floored!  How could I possibly say yes?  They were supposed to be gift from me!  But looking at the calendar…  oh, how could I not?  Without Natalie’s help, there’d be no Christmas ballet slippers at all.  I said yes.

Natalie knit like a fiend, and got all four slippers done in a week.  …In that last manic week before Christmas.  They were wrapped and under the tree for Christmas Eve.  They were opened on Christmas morning.  They were beautiful!  …And loved.  And danced in.  And danced in… and danced in…

The most perfect Christmas gift!

Knit in Celeste yarn in Funky Ballet Shoes


With deep thanks to Natalie for knitting the slippers.  And genuine thanks for Kate Atherley for the pattern and her incredibly kind offer to resize it for tiny feet.

And my deep apologies to both for not blogging about it until now.  That crazy December pace?  Yeah, it’s March and yet the pace still hasn’t let up!

A Christmas Wish

There are so many things going at this time of year that it is easy to get all lost in it all — lost amidst the shopping and the rushing and the spending and the wrapping.  It’s so easy to focus on what we feel we ought to do and we must do that we can lose sight of the best that season brings.

The best part of Christmas is the time we spend with family and friends, and when we open ourselves up enough to treat strangers as friends.  It’s the gifts that come not from our credit cards, but from our hearts.  And it’s the traditions that we keep — the old ones passed down through the generations, that link us to all those who celebrated the season in times before, and the new ones we create with our own families.

Yesterday, we celebrated our traditions.  We baked gingerbread men and decorated our tree, which had been standing patiently and bare until its big moment on Christmas Eve.  We gathered around the table and ate a feast.  We laid out brownies and wee dram for Father Christmas.  And we took some time to stop and remember what the season and holiday is really all about.

And on this bright and snowy Christmas morning, I want to send to all of you my wishes for very happy holidays and for all the best things that the season brings.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

The Perfect Yarn for the Season

This is the season of twinkling stars on cold, cold nights, of candles that glow cheerfully, and holiday lights on trees inside and out…  This is the season of virgin snow glistening in the silver moonlight, of shimmering icicles, of perfect crystalline snowflakes that catch the light in their icy lace. This is the season for Sparkles.

Introducing Lucina, a beautiful fingering yarn that sparkles with all the magic of the season and turns every colourway into something stunning. This is the kind of yarn that catches your eye instantly — that you pick up and don’t want to put down. This is a yarn perfect for the season of Sparkles!

yarn, fingering, merino, superwash, wool, sparklesLucina Yarn in Midnight Swim

The best light for photography is always natural light, outdoors.  And even though it was freezing today, I wanted to be sure to capture the way this yarn shimmers so gorgeously, so I braved the bitter wind and the icy temperatures and took the whole batch of Lucina outside for a photoshoot.  And just as my finger froze to the bone and I began cursing the winter, a gentle snow began to fall — big, fat, beautiful flakes that landed softly on everything and then… just stayed there, almost too perfect to be believed.

And so, the sparkles in these photos are the beauty of the yarn, but the snowflakes are courtesy of Mother Nature.  And as I was trying so hard to show off my lovely new yarn, didn’t she just go and steal the show?!?

Snowflake on Ripe

Snowflake on Evening Fog

Snowflakes on Nightfall

Yarn, fingering weight, sparkles, superwash merinoSnowflakes on Midnight Swim

yarn, fingering, superwash merino, sparkle, sock yarnSnowflakes on Mermaid’s Tail

The Season for Luxury

The holiday season is upon us and suddenly, I’m in the mood for something a bit luxurious.  I don’t know if it’s the chill in the air, or the lovely smells of wintery comfort-food, or thoughts of all the gift-giving to come…  but I have been wanting to snuggle down and knit with something really luxurious.

Cashmere, I thought.  Cashmere is luxury.  And I knew it would be soft, and I knew it would feel heavenly, but I wasn’t really prepared for just how luscious it is…

Estelle Fingering Yarn in Nutmeg Spice Trade (left) and Burnished (right)

Let me introduce you to Estelle, a stunningly soft 4-ply fingering yarn, in 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Nylon, and 10% of that most wonderful Cashmere.  The superwash will prevent it from felting, and the nylon adds the strength needed for socks and mittens, but it’s the cashmere — oh, that cashmere — that makes all the difference!  And this is not me talking this yarn up — I was quite genuinely surprised by how soft this yarn is, how squishable, how… well, just how luxurious it is.  I have not been able to stop petting it all week!

I also haven’t been able to stop dyeing it.  I may never go back to ordinary yarn again…  Care to join me?

Estelle Fingering Yarn in Steel Leaf (left) and Evening Fog (right)

Pattern Roll-Call: Perfect, Absolutely Perfect!

I know two little girls who are mad-crazy-keen about ballet. They begin dancing the moment they wake up, and they dance all through their day, and they don’t stop dancing until they go to bed. Actually, they probably don’t stop dancing until they fall asleep — I am quite certain they lie in the dark and practice their tondues under the bedsheets until sleep finally steals them away.


And they would wear their ballet shoes every single day if they could. But they’re not allowed, because the ballet shoes get lost — absent-mindedly set down on the wrong shelf or accidentally kicked under the sofa or sinking slowly to the bottom of the toybox — and are nowhere to be found on ballet day. And so those most-beloved shoes get secreted safely away after each class and the disappointed girls must instead practice their dancing in their socks. It’s not at all ballerina-like!


I’m always on the lookout to bring you great patterns that would make the most of single skeins of SpaceCadet yarn, and when I came across the Open House Socks by Kate Atherley, technical editor of Knitty and knitting editor of A Needle Pulling Thread, I fell in love them! They’re sweet, romantic, and cheeky all at once — and, as a bonus, each pair takes only about half a skein of yarn. They’d make a great quick-knit holiday gift — perfect for padding around the house on cold winter days. I looked at them and thought, they make me want to… dance!

© Kate Atherley, Used with Permission


Wait… Make me want to dance?!? I thought immediately about those two little dancers… I could knit them ballet shoes! I could knit them lovely ballet shoes so they could dance all week whilst their real ballet shoes were safely tucked away. There could be no better Christmas present for them on Earth!

In the dyeing studio, I sat and thought for a while about the perfect colour. I could do them in the standard ballet-shoe pink-beige but… well, while these two are budding ballerinas, they are also little girls who love all the stuff that little girls everywhere love: sparkly and bright and fancy and pink. Plain ballet shoes would never do — if they were going to have custom knit ballet slippers, then they would have them in a pink to thrill their hearts. And I began mixing the dyes…


I emailed Kate and told her my plan, and she wrote straight back and very kindly offered to help me adjust the pattern to suit these much smaller feet. What a lovely thing to do!

So once I’ve done my gauge swatch and worked out some calculations, I will cast on with this wonderful, crazy pink. And then I can’t wait to share with you my new works in progress!


But shhhh… mind no-one tells the girls, ok?