A Sneak Peek into the Yarn Alliance’s Latest Parcel

I’ve been dying to share with you the inspiration for the latest InterStellar Yarn Alliance parcel and, as I sent them out a week ago today, I think it’s safe to show you.  But if you’re a member and for some reason you haven’t opened your parcel, close this page now — I don’t want to ruin the surprise!


Ok, I think we’re safe.  shhhh…  Let’s have a look at the parcel.  But first, I want to show you the picture that inspired the colourway.  The thing is, just lately I have become obsessed with Spring.  I am soooo ready to shed the grey, dull end of winter and welcome the sweet arrival of fresh green grass, new blooms, and warm warm days.  So when I saw this picture on Pinterest, it just sang out to me.

Still Pond Photography's image of green and blue eggs, inspiration for SpaceCadet Creations yarn for knitting and crochet

It was taken by Mattie of Still Pond Photography and I just love it.  Love it.  For days, the mood of this photo stayed in my head, and I found myself returning again and again to just gaze at the colours of those eggs.

So when it came time to dye the Yarn Alliance colourway, there was no doubt what it would have to be.

The SpaceCadet's Log, dyer's notes for the EggShells colourway from SpaceCadet Creations InterStellar Yarn Alliance

I’ve been dyeing Spring greens and blues for the shop but, when I started designing this colourway, I wanted to take those colours to another level.  Just like the eight eggs, I wanted to have myriad shades of blues and greens, so that the yarn would seem to change every constantly — from row to row, stitch to stitch.  I began with one blue and one green, and then layered on another shade, and another shade, and another until I had depth and tone I was looking for.  I called the colourway “EggShells”.

Doesn’t it sing Spring to you?

SpaceCadet Creations Celeste yarn for knitting and crochet, in the colourway "EggShells", for the InterStellar Yarn Alliance

And as excited as I am about EggShells — and I am! — I think that I might be just wee bit more excited about the goody.  It was a long time in the making, but the effort was sooooo worth it.  Check it out — every member got a fabulous custom SpaceCadet project bag!!!

Custom SpaceCadet project bag, for SpaceCadet Creations InterStellar Yarn Alliance yarn club

I’ve had such a blast doing the InterStellar Yarn Alliance this past year — so much fun.  And I can’t wait to get started on next year’s yarns and goodies!

The InterStellar Yarn Alliance will open for subscriptions March 16 to 31 ONLY

You can join for either 6 months or 12 months.  Every other month, members of the InterStellar Yarn Alliance receive fabulous parcels delivered to their door containing:

  • SpaceCadet ® Creations 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.
  • An InterStellar Yarn Alliance group on Ravelry where you can discuss WIPs, ask questions, and share FOs with fellow members.
  • The InterStellar Yarn Alliance newsletter with periodic special offers exclusively for members.
  • A 15% off coupon every six months

If you’d like to join, remember to mark your calendar: the Yarn Alliance will open for subscriptions from March 16 to 31 only.  And when it does, get yourself over to this page to grab your spot!

SpaceCadet Creations InterStellar Yarn Alliance yarn club will open for subscriptions from March 16-31 only

Dyes Mixed by Hand, From Primaries

Tucked away in the description of my yarns, right down there in the last paragraph, are these words: “Each item is individually hand-dyed by the SpaceCadet, using professional grade acid dyes which are mixed by hand from primaries”.  That last bit is really important to me — mixed by hand from primaries.  Every colour you see in my yarns and fiber has been created by hand, conjured up from only the primaries and black.  It’s both the entire reason that making hand-dyed yarns excites me so much and the source of more than a little pride for me.

I see a colour in my mind (or, more usually, several colours together) that I know I want to dye and I start dissecting them.  If it’s a purple, is it a red purple or a blue purple?  If it’s a darker shade, I gauge how much black is needed to darken it.  If it’s lighter, I work out the dye-to-water ratio it requires.  And then I calculate in the personality of the fiber — every fiber takes dye in its own unique way, so the same colours can come out wildly different.  And taking all that together, I mix up the dyes in the way that I think is going to create the colour I see in my mind, submerge the yarn, and… wait.

And the moment that I pull the yarn out again, and see whether my calculations — and my instinct — were correct, that is the most exciting moment in the whole dyeing process.  When I get it right,  I go a little wild, grabbing friends, family, any passers-by and saying, “Look! Look! this is the colour I was going for and this is what I got!

Thinking abou this the other day, I wondered if all this excitement wasn’t really a bit ridiculous…?  I mean, really, it’s just colour.  Painters do it all the time, don’t they?  And they not only mix their own colours but then go on to create something with them.  They don’t just sit there crowing over all the little puddles of colours they’ve created on their palettes!

But then I realised that, unlike painters, when I mix my dyes, I’m doing it blind.  The colours in the water are sometimes a good indication, but often not.  And besides, the insides of the dyepots aren’t white so what I see in them is always distorted anyway.  No, there’s no way to know if the colour is right until the yarn goes into the water.  Dyeing is a one-shot deal.

So when I pull the yarn or fiber out of the dyepot and it’s exactly the colour I had envisioned, it’s pretty darned exciting.  For this yarn, I imagined cornflowers, that lovely soft violet-blue that seems to be everywhere this time of year.

Merino and Silk Laceweight Yarn in Cornflowers

When I lifted the yarn out of the dyebath, I knew I’d nailed the colour.  And, yeah, I am really proud to be able to say I mixed these colours by hand from primaries.