Exciting Developments and Taking My Lumps

Let me set a scene for you:  my assistant Amy and I were in the studio, both  looking at a near-empty wall of cubbyholes.  I stood with a look of dumbstruck horror on my face, and she sat on a box beside me, laughing uproariously.  She was laughing at me and, as much as she tried to surpress it, she just couldn’t — because she was right.  I guess sometimes you just have to take your lumps.

The cupboard was bare!

This has been an amazing year for SpaceCadet.  When I look back at the start of 2013, I never dreamed (well, I did dream, but never really believed) that the business would grow the way it has.  It’s been incredibly exciting and, though sometimes it’s felt like we were hanging on to a wild horse going at full gallop,  we’ve kept our customers at the forefront of our minds, risen to the challenges, and — I hope — grown stronger and better with every one.

And with that growth comes some really exciting developments.  Have you met Amy, Jade, and Jill?  There is no way I could run SpaceCadet as a one-woman show anymore and so I am grateful beyond words that I have been able to find three such fantastic assistants ( I know that sounds like platitudes, but it’s totally not: I really cannot believe I’ve found three such awesome women, who are always ready to roll up their sleeves and do pretty much whatever needs to be done.  They blow me away).

Outgrowing our home-studio

And now we are beginning to outgrow my home-studio (“…beginning?!?“, I can hear Amy and Jade saying in unison) and are starting to look for larger premises to move into.  It’s wildly exciting (all that room! we could dye so much more!) and also crazy scary at the same time (the plumbing work we’ll have to do!  the electric work! the multi-year lease!).  And I know that the trendy thing to do is to start a crowdsourcing campaign to ask people for the money, but I’m kind of old fashioned in that way: I want the business to fund this move itself by making yarn that you guys love so much that we earn what we need to cover our expenses.  If we couldn’t make enough money the old fashioned way, then doing it any other way just wouldn’t feel right to me.

And that brings us back to Amy, sitting on a box and laughing at me.  Because if that’s my plan — to make enough yarn to fund our potential move — then I had made a biiiig mistake, and it was staring us both in the face.  Earlier in the year, there was a formulation change in the some of the dyes I use, which meant I had to change my recipes.  And through the year, I found I really stuggled to make the new dye formulation fit my old colourways, and I just wasn’t enjoying the dyeing process so much anymore.  Driven by that, I began developing new colourways — brighter, bolder, and far more satisfying to work with.  And, one day a few months ago, I went into the shop and pulled the plug on all the old colourways.  And by “into the shop”, I mean I went on my computer and removed them from the online shop, so that all that was left were the new colourways that are making my heart sing.

SpaceCadet Yarn

But here’s the thing:  I did not go into the studio and physically separate all the new and old skeins on the shelves.  They were fine sharing the space a little longer, I thought, and I could go through them all later, when there was a little more time (…ahem …there is never a “little more time”).  But with all these new developments in the business, my accountant needed a stocktake, which is why Amy and I were there in the studio the other day.  We were surrounded by that horrid mid-stocktake semi-organised chaos, when Amy began separating those skeins, moving the old shop stock to another shelf across the roomand leaving the new colourways in the cubby holes.

And that’s when she began to laugh, because after about a half an hour, the shop shelves were bare.  B. A. R. E.  All this time, with the cubby holes looking chock-full every time I went into the studio, I had’nt noticed that the actual stock in the online shop was dwinding.  But as Amy began to separate the old colourways from the new, it became obvious…  undeniable..  kinda screaming out at us.  And so there I was, standing in front of the near-empty wall of cubby holes with a look of shocked horror on my face, and Amy sat chuckling away right next to me.

Going to the Show!

All those empty cubby holes made it plain as day that I’d taken my eye off the ball and let all of you — our lovely loyal customers — down by not having the stock you wanted in the shop.  I felt terrible — and a bit stupid.  Sometimes you’ve just got to take your lumps.

And then, after I’d taken mine, I began chuckling too.  Because that’s really the only way to deal with anything:  learn your lessons …and then see the humour in it.   And when you’ve had a good proper laugh at yourself, do everything you need to do to put things right again.  I’ve spent the last few days dyeing like mad for the shop, and we’ve got tons more undyed yarn waiting to go in the pots.  My lovely, patient customers, you can look forward to fresh stock in the shop in the next few weeks!

 Indie Knit & Spin

There’s some seriously good news from this little fiasco:  doing the stocktake has helped us unearth a ton of experimental and one-of-a-kind colourways, and we are the whole lot with us to Indie Knit & Spin this Saturday.  If you are in the Pittsburgh area, you don’t want to miss this show!  Made up entirely of indie fiber artists and makers, it is the place to get your hand-made fiber fix.  Come and see us this weekend and nab yourself some of these fabulous one0-of-a-kind yarns!

Indie Knit & Spin
Saturday, Nov 16
11am – 5pm
Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square
7604 Charleston Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218
Click here for a map!

Indie Knit & Spin

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

The Moment of that Knitterly Connection

Tell me, do you get a little thrill when you discover a new acquaintance is a knitter or crocheter?  You both realise that you’ve got this wonderful shared understanding of what’s Really Important in life, and you can ditch the small talk (or business talk) and turn instead to yarn, needles, and your latest projects.  It’s a delicious moment, isn’t it?

Vermillion Star Press


That’s exactly what happened when I got hold of Vanessa at Vermilion Star Press to put together the gifts for the latest InterStellar Yarn Alliance parcels.  I’d admired her work for a long time, beautiful letterpress stationary and invitations, created on a 100 year old Chandler and Price letterpress (that’s “slower than molasses” — check out her adorable thank you note in the photo above).  I had a vision of how she and I could work together to create something really special for the Alliance Members.  So I emailed and asked her what she thought…

“Shut the Front Door!  I am a dedicated addicted knitter!  Yes, let’s do it!”

And there it was, that knitterly bond —  I knew right away that this was going to be a beautiful collaboration.  We chatted back and forth, came up with some adorable designs, and then Vanessa got to work…

Vanessa at Vermillion Star Press

Now, before I show you her work, let me just quickly show you the yarn (and if you’re in the Alliance and you haven’t yet received your parcel, look away now!).  I’d had all kinds of ideas of what I might dye but, by the time we got back from Rhinebeck, my head was so filled with the gorgeous colours of fall that there was no way I could possibly dye anything else.  And so I created the shades of my Rhinebeck Reflections.

SpaceCadet Creations yarn in the colourway Rhinebeck Reflections for the InterStellar Yarn Alliance Yarn Club

(Take a really close look at that label…  Can you spot the mistake?  Yeah, I didn’t even realise I’d done that until just now.  Oops!)

When Vanessa’s parcel of letterpressed goodies arrived, I was so excited!  I ripped open the box, took out a set, and ran my finger across the  indented letters.  There is something about being able to actually feel where the press pushed the words right into the paper that is just scrumptious.

SpaceCadet Notecards from Vermillion Star Press

And they were made by a fellow knitter!  What’s not to love?!?


Hey, what you up to this weekend?  If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, don’t forget that this Saturday is Indie Knit & Spin, a fabulous market of the region’s best indie fiber artists.  Click here for all the details  …and come and see us!

Pittsburgh Indie Knit & Spin: You Coming?

Indie Knit & Spin: a Pittsburgh Yarn & Fiber Artists' Marketplace

It feels like we only just got home from the last show when it’s time for the next one!  Pittsburgh Indie Knit & Spin is next Saturday and you don’t want to miss it.  This is only its second year, but my friend Cosy has put together a fantastic line-up of dyers and fiber artists (and more!).  Check out who’s coming:

Beads by Eileen
Burgh Baby Gear
Cooperative Press
cosymakes studio
Dusty Tree Soap
Fibernymph Dye Works
Fiddlehead Fibers
Great Lakes Hand Dyed
Gwen Erin Natural Fibers
Luxe Fiber Arts
SpaceCadet Creations
Spinning Fates
Stormy Blue Pottery
Willow Mist Acres Farm Boutique
Wren & Rita

These are some seriously talented makers and, for me, I am honoured to be amongst them. But, for you, it means a wonderful selection of yarn and fiber (and soap and books…), all of it handmade, all of indie.  Do come!

Pittsburgh Indie Knit and Spin
Saturday, November 17th from 10 to 4
Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square
7604 Charleston Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218 (map it!)
Entry is FREE!

Also, this will be our last show this year, so if you’ve been wanting to smoosh the SpaceCadet’s yarns in person, don’t miss it!


Oh, and apropos of nothing at all, there’s this:  I was using my camera the other day and realised there were a bunch of pictures that I hadn’t downloaded of the house we rented for our weekend at Rhinebeck.  And I liked some of them so much, I just wanted to share them with you…

Images from the SpaceCadet's weekend in Rhinebeck

 You can see why it was so much fun, can’t you?  Oh, what a weekend!