The Yarn for Today

Today, I am not feeling well.   It is a day for tea, and warm socks, and curling up on the couch, being quiet, and breathing slowly.  Today is this yarn…

sock yarn, yarn, hand-dyed, handdyed, wool, knitting, crochet
Stella Yarn in Spare Change


But outside, Spring is picking up pace.  The last of the snow is clinging on, but it is a futile effort.  It’s warm today, almost balmy.  The robins are pecking determinedly amid the freshly revealed grass, and the squirrels have appeared to bounce joyfully again from tree to tree.  And the flower beds are filled with proud green shoots as the crocuses awaken after their long sleep.   Oh yes, spring is on it’s way, and I predict a riot!  So really, this yarn is today…

yarn, sock yarn, handdyed, hand-dyed, knitting, crochet
Stella Yarn in Snorkel


Different yarns for different moods, different colours for different days…  No one colourway will ever suit every moment.  Is it any wonder knitters end up with such wonderful stashes?!?

yarn, sock yarn, knitting, crochet, hand-dyed, handdyed
(l to r) Celeste Yarn in Cold Flame and Funky Ballet Shoes, Estelle Yarn in Cold Flame

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!

SpaceCadet Creations at Homespun Yarn Party on March 27

You know what?  We had so much fun, we’re doing it again!…

homespun yarn party, handdyed, hand-dyed, knitting, yarn

SpaceCadet Creations will be at the Homespun Yarn Party in Savage MD on March 27!  This is a fantastic, juried show that features only indie fiber artists and hand-crafters.   But this is no local craft show — the standard is very high and it is such an honour to have been chosen to participate!

If you’ve ever wanted to see SpaceCadet colours in person, or to snorgle the yarns and stroke the fibers, and you live anywhere in the WashingtonDC/Baltimore area or the surrounds, please do make the trip Savage.  We’d LOVE to meet you!  And you’ll have a great time!

hand-dyed, handdyed, knitting, yarn, spacecadet, space cadet, silk, BFL
Left to right: Silk/BFL Yarn in Straw Into Gold, Plumberry, and Heartthrob

And, in case you’re thinking that March 27th feels like a loooong time away, I’ve put some wonderful new yarns in the shop.  This time, I’ve focused on luxury:  wonderful, smooshy Luna Laceweight and some decadently shimmery Silk & BFL.   Enjoy!


hand-dyed, handdyed, yarn, lace weight, silk, merino, knitting, crochet
Clockwise from top left: Luna Silk/Merino Laceweight in Straw Into Gold, Translucence, Spice Trade, and Covetous

Things My Non-Knitting Sister Says

You get it, right?  I mean, you love the feel of yarn running through your fingers.  You get that wave of gentle calm come over you as the needles click.  You fall in love with colours — madly, deeply, falling right into them.  You know exactly when I mean when I talk about snorgling the fibers.


Yarn, sock yarn, hand dyed, knitting
Celeste Yarn in Cold Flame

When you’re surrounded by fiber-people all the time, it’s easy to forget that there are some people who aren’t.  They just aren’t.  Yarn and fiber form no part of their lives, factor not at all into their days…  I know, it’s so hard to wrap your head around.

But then, sometimes, you get a little reminder .  My sister helped us at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival…  It was very kind of her, because she had no personal interest in the festival: she is not a knitter, she is not a fiber person at all.  And we knew that, so we decided that it would be best if my sister handled the money, while Natalie and I concentrated on answering questions about the yarns and discussing knitting projects.  As it turned out, the three of us worked very well as a team.

But I really didn’t have any idea how much my sister is not a fiber-person.   …Until some of the other vendors came up to look at our yarns.  They were so excited, petting them, snorgling them, negotiating who got this one and who got that one….  Exactly the way fiber-people do, exactly the way you and I do.

yarn, knitting, sock yarn, sparkle, fingering yarn
Lucina Yarn in Plumberry

And after they’d left, so happy with their new yarn, I turned to my sister to share in the excitement that other vendors had liked my yarn so much   …and she looked back at me in complete confusion.  And it was then that I got that sharp reminder that not everyone is a fiber-person…

My sister said, “Why would they do that?  Don’t they have their own yarn?

I was momentarily stunned.  Don’t they have their own yarn?!? She totally didn’t get it.

So I fired her.  Then I hired her back — at twice her wages.  I’m a good sister like that.

Ahhh! Now This Feels Good…

Getting ready for the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival was great fun (and exciting, and crazy, and chaotic) and it took over my life for a few weeks.  And in a way, that was a lovely break — everyone needs a change from their day-to-day routines now and again — but one thing I really missed was the excitement of putting new yarns in the shop, of sharing new colourways with my customers.  Sometimes, it takes a little break like that to remind you how nice your day-to-day really is!

So last night I filled the shop with just a few of the mountain of new yarns and colours I have ready to go in…

sock yarn, hand-dyed, hand dyed, knitting, yarn, crochetClockwise from top left: Silk and BFL in Spice Trade, Celeste in Cove, Estelle in Sunshine, Estelle in Goodbye Blue Sky, Celeste in Rubble, and Celeste in First Love

Ahhhhh…  It feels soooo good to be back to normal again!

Lessons From the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, knitting, crochet, yarnIt’s been an incredible weekend — exhilarating, exciting, educational, an absolute whirlwind, and a lot of hard work.  SpaceCadet Creations was at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, and we had the time of our lives!  And now, as I get the chance to sit down for the first time in days, I realise just how many lessons there were from doing our first show.

Here’s what I learned:

  • How fantastic is it to finally get to meet my customers in person.  Seriously, it is the best!  These are people I see tweeting, people who leave comments on the blog and on Facebook, but there is nothing like meeting you guys in person, discussing your knitting, seeing your projects, and just being able to put faces to names.  Meeting you all was fantastic fun!
  • How wonderful it is to talk to customers about my yarns and get that feedback.  I mean, I do all this in isolation.  Day to day, I work in my studio mostly on my own, with pots simmering quietly and yarns soaking…  And when I pull them out, well, sometimes I think a yarn looks great and sometimes I’m not so sure.  And it was just such an incredible experience to see customers making a beeline for the colourways that were calling out to them, and to hear their comments and get their feedback.  Nothing beats that.
  • That every person has their own unique colour style, their own sense of what works for them…  and you absolutely cannot judge a knitter or a crocheter by her cover.  We had people come up who looked like they might choose calm, quiet colourways but who instead went straight for the brightest, craziest colours.  And others whom I thought would go for the same wild yarns but who instead reached straight for the peace and serenity of the semi-solids.  The truth is, crafters are unique and interesting people, and you can’t box them into categories!
  • That many hands make light work, and work doesn’t feel like work when it’s split out amongst friends.  …With HUGE thanks to the Wednesday night knitters for bagging and tagging, knitting samples, brainstorming, and coming up with some great ideas that made the show a lot better for us.
  • That there is simply no way to show how beautiful, how smooshy, how fibery-lucious a yarn is over the internet.  Great photography is all well and good, but absolutely nothing beats getting to snorgle that yarn in person!
  • The Vendor Hall was HUGE!

    That when you get a look behind the scenes, you realise that the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival is a HUGE undertaking with a bazillion variables that really could all go disastrously wrong, but somehow Barb and her team keep everything under control and pull the whole thing off seamlessly.  And they smile the whole time!  I don’t know how they do it.

  • That you can’t actually go all day without eating.
  • Also, you can’t actually go without sleeping either.  The body will revolt and shut you down.  And that little factoid put a serious dent in my festival-prep schedule.
  • What fun it is to meet and finally get to chat with other fiberisti in person (Hello KnitPurlGurl!  Hello StevenBe!)

  • That StevenBe’s mother and her friend are lovely, lovely women and so interesting that I could have sat and talked to them all day.   Hallo Christa! Hallo Barbara!
  • That I go a bit giddy when I get asked if I’d like to be a guest dyer for a LYS’s yarn club.  YesIwouldYesIwouldYesIwould!!!!
  • What an incredible rush it is to asked by LYSs whether I wholesale yarn   …and how that plants interesting little seeds in my head.
  • That having friends there to show you the ropes, give you tips and ideas, loan you display furniture, and make change when you run out of small bills…  that kind of professional camaraderie makes all the difference!  (With big thanks to Amy, Bloomin Yarns, CosyKnits, Wren&Rita, and GwenErin)
  • How nice it is to be able to bring yarns out of the shop, give them a fresh airing, sell them at the festival, and then have brand new yarns to offer to all my custermers who couldn’t get to this festival.  Look for new yarns to start appearing in the shop in the coming days and weeks!

    All dyed in three weeks!
  • That you can increase your dyeing by 10 times your normal rate and fill a festival booth with stock in only three weeks, but everything else in your life will come to a complete halt.  I really have to get some laundry done before I run out of clothes and some bills paid before they shut off the utilities!
  • That none of this is possible without the support of a great team.  And I had a great team (With more thanks than I can express to my husband, to Natalie, to meine kleine schwester, and to my mum   …and to my dad, who apparently hasn’t eaten in weeks because my mum has been here the whole time!).
  • And, finally, that I love love LOVE doing festivals!!!!!