Creative Colour: Two Projects that Inspire

One of the things that I find so seductive about hand-dyed yarn is way it is just so full of possibilities.  Every knitter or crocheter looks at a skein and sees a completely different destiny for it — and no two people are ever going to create the exact same thing.  Even if they were to use the same yarn and the same pattern, their gauges will be slightly varied and so the colours will arrange themselves in different ways across the stitches…   With hand-dyed yarn, there is always that element of what-if, a kind of energy wrapped up in the colour and fiber and twist.  I find that so intriguing!

And so I get crazy excited to discover what SpaceCadet customers make with our yarn.  I loooove seeing finished your objects in the SpaceCadet group on Ravelry, or posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (make sure you tag me, ok? @spacecadetyarn or #spacecadetyarn).

You know how I much I love hunting out interesting ways to use SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins, right? (If you don’t, just check out the Mini-Skein Ideas board on Pinterest — some really amazing possibilities there)  Well, I’ve just got to share this one with you, because sometimes it’s the littlest thing that makes a project really come to life.


Using Mini-Skeins on Mini-Skeins

Now first, if you don’t know Martina Behm’s Hitchhiker pattern, let me show you:

Hitchhiker by Martina Behm

It’s a simple garter stitch shawl — easy to knit but intriguing because of its diagonal construction and fun sawtoothed edging.  So far, so good.

But now check out this little modification that Megan/Arthjarna made to her Hitchhiker — and what a massive impact it has on the finished product!


Hitchhiker in SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins

Megan used SpaceCadet Ombre Mini-Skeins so her Hitchhiker shifts from the intense rust of Headstrong at one end to a gorgeous shades of terracotta at the other.  But here’s the thing that I think is pure genius…  instead of having the colours blend into each other, Megan went bold and chose a contrasting Mini-Skein in a gorgeous chartreuse to highlight each colour shift.

She actually added a second Mini-Skein element to her Mini-Skein project.  How awesome is that?!?

Using the Start-Anywhere Gradient Mix

You remember last month I created Space-Cadet’s Start-Anywhere Gradient Mini-Skein Mix?  Here’s how it works:

The Start-Anywhere Gradient Mix, from the SpaceCadet's Mini-Skein Club, June 2014


And I just have to share with you this gorgeous project, knit by my assistant Jade/jadeish.  It’s the Quaker Yarn Stretcher Boomerang by Susan Ashcroft and it’s got a very similar diagonal construction, but this time with the added texture of alternating knit and purl ridges.

What I love about about this is how the individual Mini-Skeins work together.  Look closely…  Do you see the gray flecks in the burnt-orange along the edge?  Those are there so that skein can blend back into the gray of the first skein if you wanted to start at another point in the Mini-Skein bundle.

 Quaker Yarn Stretcher Boomerang by Susan Ashcroft, knit in SpaceCadet Mini-Skeins.

But in this shawl, what it actually does is tie the whole thing together, by picking up the colour of the gray at the other end of the shawl, and making the whole piece come together.  Even though the first and the last Mini-Skein aren’t physically joined, there’s still a connection in the colour, and that brings the whole shawl full circle.

See what I mean?  So many possibilities in each skein of yarn!  So come on and show me — what will you make with yours?  I’m dying to see!


Oh, What to Cast On?!? Ombre Mini-Skeins!

I had a little dilemma last week: it was knit night, but both of my current WIPs* were at either the point of dividing for the sleeves (that’d be my Vitamin D) or joining in the sleeves (that was my The Old Man and The Sea).  I knew I wouldn’t really enjoy trying to do either whilst carrying on the kind of lively conversations we always have at knit night, so I needed to cast on something that was simple and would be fun to work on while nattering the evening away.

I wandered through Ravelry a bit (…a bit? Is it even possible to wander through Ravelry’s pattern library just a bit?), and asked for suggestions on Twitter.  And though I found so many gorgeous patterns, nothing was jumping out at me as the perfect knit night cast-on.  Maybe, I thought with a shrug, maybe I’ll just have to deal with it and do the sleeves at knit night.

And then, as I turned to go up the stairs, I suddenly spotted the extra bundles of our first ever Ombre Mini-Skein Club parcels and instantly knew what I needed to do.


The SpaceCadet's new Ombre & Gradient Mini-Skein Club Parcels

Aren’t they gorgeous?  The colourway is Tranquility**, which is a mix of deep purples, red purples, and a very intriguing splash of gray-purple.  I’ve loved this colourway since the moment I pulled it out of the dyepot and, yet, I’d never grabbed a skein for myself.  But I suddenly thought, now that all the Mini-Skein Club parcels had gone out…  why not?

I have to tell you, I think they might be even more adorable once they’re wound into teeny tiny balls.  Don’t you agree?


The SpaceCadet's Ombre & Gradient Mini-Skein Club bundle

I needed another skein for the main colour, and chose Sliver, an incredibly gentle and ethereal gray that looks stunning against the dark purples and then almost disappears into the lightest purples.  I know I could have picked something contrasting for more impact (Sage? or maybe even Fizz?), but I really liked that subtle synchronicity that Sliver brought to the Mini-Skeins.


The SpaceCadet's Ombre & Gradient Mini-Skein Club bundles

And so I cast on…  Leftie by Martina Behm — the perfect simple and fun knit night project!  So straight-forward and so addictive…  Just increasing along one side, adding leaves on the other, and counting quick progress stripe by stripe.

And I went off to knit night a very happy girl indeed!

Click Here to Learn More about the SpaceCadet's Mini-Skein Club


The Pau Hana KAL

We are getting super excited for the Pau Hana KAL starting on October 17!  A gorgeous new design by Mel of Singlehanded Knits, Pau Hana uses the SpaceCadet’s Ombre & Gradient Kits to create a casual, laid-back sweater that’s perfect for chilling out when the work day is done.   And the KAL is a fab opportunity to knit it in camaraderie and support of a whole community of great knitters!  Want to join us?  Click here for all the details!


*in case WIP is new to you, it means “work in progress” …and I usually have a lot more WIPs than FOs (“finished object”). It’s just how I roll.

**There’s also a colourway called Tranquility Blue.  It’s much the same as Tranquility but, y’know…  more blue.  I was just playing with different colourways one day, and came up with them and liked them both so much I decided to dye more of each.  But then I got confused somewhere along the line and called them both Tranquility.  Oops.  So I added “Blue” to one of them.  It’s confusing, I know.  But better than if I hadn’t added “Blue” and just let you all join me in my confusion.  Right?   …Right?

Pattern Roll-Call: Is Garter Stitch the Answer to Everything?

Sometimes less is more, sometimes simple is best.  And so often I forget about that and all caught up in fancy and complicated and intricate and time-consuming…  And then someone pulls out their project and I go over to smoosh it and I realise it’s garter stitch.  Garter stitch!  So simple, so easy, and — I forget this every time — so lovely and smooshy.

SpaceCadet Creations Lucina yarn in Translucence, knit in garter stitch


I love the feel of garter stitch fabric between my fingers.  It feels thick and firm and, when I squeeze it, it resists, pushes back, holds its ground.  Soft, delicate, drapey fabrics are all well and good, but there’s something about garter stitch…  It holds a special place in my heart.

And it’s easy!  And versatile!  And because it tends to hide every other row, it does really interesting things to hand-dyed and variegated yarns.  And did I mention easy?  At the end of long project slogging away at some complicated lacework, coming back to garter stitch feels like going home to an old friend.

Lintilla by Martina Behm


We have three samples that we take to shows that never fail to get people’s pulses racing.   “What is this pattern?”, they ask. “Where can I get it?”  They’re all three are by Martina Behm, they’re all eye-catching, and every one of them is simple, straightforward, and garter-stitch.  It’s no wonder everyone makes a beeline for them!

Hitchhiker by Martina Behm


They are Lintalla, with its lovely frilled edge; Trillian, with an intriguing eyelet edging; and Hitchhiker which, if you finish it, will actually teach you the answer to the ultimate question of life (…the universe and everything).   And even though they’re all garter stitch, the construction itself is intriguing: you cast on just a few stitches at one corner, and then grow the shawl by knitting longer and longer rows until it forms an asymmetrical triangle.  How cool is that?!?

Trillian by Martina Behm


But as much as I love those three, Martina’s newest design has got me positively swooning.  This one has all the hallmarks of her other shawls — a corner start, asymmetrical shaping, and lovely garter stitch — but Leftie is…  wait for it…  designed to feature mini-skeins!  Mini-Skeins!!!

Leftie by Martina Behm

The mini-skeins are worked as stripes that travel diagonally across the shawl to create a lovely border of little leaves along one side.  Use only a few colours for a subdued shawl or grab as many mini-skeins as you can to create a riot of colour.  Leftie will look gorgeous either way.


And if you need a little colour inspiration, how about a supply of mini-skeins delivered right to your door?  Join SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Club and every month you’ll receive a beautiful bundle (or two!) of five 20g skeins made from a mix of the SpaceCadet’s fingering yarns.  Play with the colours, try out the yarns, and stay in only until you have enough mini-skeins for your project size.  Click here to read more!

A sweet little bundle of mini-skeins from the SpaceCadet's Mini-Skein Club

Click to learn more about the SpaceCadet's Mini-Skein Club!