Cooking Up Something Special

In every home across the country this week, the scene will be exactly the same…  There will be mixing bowls filled with the most amazing treasures, and pots gently bubbling on the stove.  There will be the old favourites and new recipes, last minute changes and quick saves when things go wrong.  A pinch of this and a dash of that…

And it’s been no different here.   Well…  ok, then, maybe a wee bit different here in the SpaceCadet house.  Here’s what I’ve been busily cooking up this week…

Stella Yarn in Spice Trade

BFL Fiber in SeaFoam

Stella Yarn In Funky Ballet Shoes

Celeste Yarn in Frost

BFL Fiber in Flock of Parrots


Celeste Yarn in Iris

…Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


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?

Silk is for Spectacular

You know, I forgot how exciting pure silk is. I used to spin it a lot …but then I moved onto other fibers and I haven’t spun it in a while.  And I’d just forgotten. But I bought some pure silk at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival — on a bit of a whim, just to play with — and when I dyed it… Oh! OH! Yes, now I remember what I love about silk.

There is no fiber that can rival pure silk.  It takes ordinary colours and gives them an intensity and luster that is just amazing to see (and which, unfortunately, pictures cannot capture!).  And then you reach out and touch those colours and…  oh, there’s just nothing like silk.  After I dyed these braids, I showed them to a friend and she actually grabbed them out of my hands and began to squeal and dance across the room.  Really, they are that exciting!  And I was that excited as I pulled them out of the dyepot, so I understood her reaction.  If you love fiber, if you’re a spinner, this is what pure silk does to you.  And if you’ve never spun it before, you gotta try it!


Hand-dyed Combed Top, Tussah Silk, in SouthWest

Shimmering in the light, here is the burnt orange of desert rock, of terracotta walls, of the parched earth. And here beside it is the startling blue of turquoise, the desert’s own true jewel. Two bold colours that reach out and vie for attention. But there, nestled between them,is the softest of dusty roses, quiet and gentle and tempering them both, so that all three can sit together in harmony, and evoke the essence of the SouthWest.

This is over 2oz of the most incredibly soft Tussah Silk, which spins up beautifully into a lustrous and luxurious yarn.

Fiber Content: 100% Tussah Silk
Weight: Approximately 2.20oz / 60g
Colourway: SouthWest 100505-001
Care Instructions for the final item: Hand wash, Lay flat to dry.


Hand-dyed Combed Top, Tussah Silk, in Oil on Water

Where steam rises from the puddles that form in the road after a sudden summer storm, and the standing water lifts the grease from the tarmac and carries it like little oil slicks across its surface… there, as the sun breaks through the clouds, the light dances across the oils and creates a delicate rainbow — its shimmering greens, pinks, blues at once both murky and crystal clear — that always takes you by surprise and draws your eye back again and again, just to check that it is still there.

This is over 2oz of the most incredibly soft Tussah Silk, which spins up beautifully into a lustrous and luxurious yarn.

Fiber Content: 100% Tussah Silk
Weight: Approximately 2.05oz / 55g
Colourway: Oil on Water, 100504-001
Care Instructions for the final item: Hand wash, Lay flat to dry.

Each item is individually hand-dyed by the SpaceCadet, using professional grade acid dyes. Please be sure to buy enough for your project as the colours may not be able to be reproduced exactly.
SpaceCadet Creations is a smoke-free, pet-free environment.
Please remember that the colours in pictures may vary depending on your computer monitor. The colours in the photos are as accurate as possible.