And The Winner Is….

Wow!  You guys… Wow!  Do you guys know how much fun it was to watch your entries roll in to win a space in the new Swatch Like You Mean It course?!?

Seriously, within hours, there were so many comments that I could hardly keep up.  And the information in those comments — your answers to the question, “What’s your number one excuse for not swatching?” — actually paints a beautiful picture as to why this course is really needed.  I was texting Mel (the podcaster at Singlehanded Knits and creator of the course) to tell her she had to read through every single one.  So much great insight!


We have a Winner!

But, none of that is why you’re reading this, is it?  You want to know who won!  So, without further ado, the winner is…

Carol, who said, “The reason I don’t think I ‘need’ to swatch is because I can see how it will look in my mind’s eye. Sadly, I have to say that my mind’s eye is mostly not very accurate.”

Carol, congratulations!  We’ll be in touch soon with info about your prize.

 You Can Still Join!


Ok, so maybe you aren’t Carol and you didn’t win.. . but this is going to be an awesome class and registration is still open so you can still grab your space!

In Swatch Like You Mean It, you’ll get:

  • To work at your own pace
  • Lessons that will enrich & enliven your swatch making
  • Weekly audio/video of a key technique
  • Bite sized activity to practice & master
  • Small time commitment~Big time results
  • Two patterns designed exclusively for class….one for you and one for your home
  • Clear & informative weekly PDFs to download and keep as reference

That’s seven weeks of great instruction and exciting exploration of everything that swatching can teach you about your yarn and the project you’re about to make!  You spend so much time creating your project and you know that swatching can be the difference between a fabulous finished object and one that just… doesn’t… quite fit.

This class is exactly what you need.   And all that for less than $25?  Click here to join!

Giveaway: Swatch Like You Mean It!

You should swatch.  You know that, right?  I mean, it’s right there in every pattern you start.  And even if it weren’t there, you’d know anyway.  Everyone knows you should always swatch before starting a project.

Click Here for more info!

Y’know what?  I’m realllllly bad at swatching.  I mean, I do it…  most of the time.  And pretty grudgingly, if I’m honest.  It feels like a waste of time — nothing but a hurdle between me and that pattern I’m just itching to cast on.

So I have always been impressed (and a little shamed) by the attitude that Mel of Singlehanded Knit’s brings to swatching.  She not only does swatches every time, but she really enjoys it — embraces it even!  She uses it as an opportunity to get to know her yarn, and to make better decisions about how to adjust her pattern because she really understands how her yarn behaves.

Huh!  Now, when she puts it that way, it actually sounds like something worth doing.  So I was seriously chuffed when Mel announced a new class she’s created that all about learning to love swatching!  Swatch Like You Mean It explores the good side of swatching — the exciting, informative, and yes, even fun side of swatching.

Click Here for course info about Swatch Like You Mean It!

In this 7 week course, you’ll get:

  • To work at your own pace
  • Lessons that will enrich & enliven your swatch making
  • Weekly audio/video of a key technique
  • Bite sized activity to practice & master
  • Small time commitment~Big time results
  • Two patterns designed exclusively for class….one for you and one for your home
  • Clear & informative weekly PDFs to download and keep as reference


And here’s the best part…  Mel is offering you the chance to win your placet in Swatch Like You Mean It!  All you have to do is leave a quick comment below telling us the number one excuse you have for not swatching, and you will be in with a chance to win.  Make sure you comment by midnight (PST) on Sunday, and then check the SpaceCadet blog early next week to see if you’re the winner!

And then get ready to learn to love swatching!

Click here for More Info!

There’s gotta be small print:  NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to entrants worldwide, age 12 or older.  Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends 11:59 p.m. PST on January 19, 2014.  Entry is made via a comment on this blog post. Limit one entry per person.  Sponsored by Singlehanded Knits and SpaceCadet Inc, PO Box 113312, Pittsburgh PA 15241.  Prize is one (1) space in the Swatch Like You Mean It course, valued at $24.99.  Winner will be selected by random drawing.  Cannot be redeemed for cash.  Cannot be substitued.  Employees of SpaceCadet Inc are ineligible.  A list of winners will be available on the SpaceCadet blog on or after January 21, 2014. For full official rules, visit


The Best Knitting is a Leap of Faith

I know this will sound crazy, but I rarely allow myself to use my own yarn — well, not the good stuff, anyway.  When I’m feeling itchy to cast something on, I always make myself dig through the seconds (we call them “Poor Plutos”…  why? because just like poor old Pluto, they almost made the grade).  I don’t know why but, even though I am practically swimming in beautiful yarn all day long, I feel incredibly guilty keeping any for myself.  Isn’t that ridiculous?!?  Yeah, I know, and yet there it is — every time I go to keep some yarn for myself, I end up feeling all guilty and putting it back.

Fathoms Down In the Dyepots

But once the madness of March and April began to really heat up (oh, and it got so crazy, I can hardly tell you!), I knew I needed to cast on something relaxing and grounding just to keep my sanity.  You know what I mean. And this time, I really really wanted to knit with the good stuff.

So when a little dyepot-experimentation produced an incredible blue-gray that made me swoon as soon as I saw it (and it was on Lyra too, a sproingy cabled 8ply sport yarn that I loooove), I decided right then to keep five skeins for myself.  Never mind that little nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I had to stick to the Plutos, I wanted it and I was going to have it! And so before I ever had the chance to change my mind, I immediately wound one skein into a cake and cast on.  Deed done.

Fathoms Down

Ever since then, everyone has been asking me to dye more of that colourway.  Every time I pull my project out, someone says they’d like that same colourway.  And to be honest, I wasn’t sure I could reproduce it because…  I hadn’t written down what I’d done.

But when Mel of SingleHanded Knits told me she was using Lyra for her new design called Old Man and the Sea, based on the Hemingway book and being knit in combined KAL/RAL (knit-along/read-along, of course!) starting May 15, I knew this colourway would be perfect for it.  Grays and blues, sea and sky, deep waters and deeper storylines…  Spot on.  I went back to the dyepots and began experimenting… again.

Old Man and the Sea

Y’know, I’m absolutely besotted with Old Man and the Sea.  A straight-forward garter-stitch cardi with interesting touches of openwork and cables…  What’s not to love?  And the design elements represent something from the book.  To hear Mel’s inspiration for the pattern and the details about the KAL, check out this video she put together.

Mel knit her cardi  in Burnt Clay and, as you can see, it looks fantastic.  There’s also some gorgeous Honey in the shop, and Dark Skies and Sage being tied and tagged right now.  But recreating that amazing blue-gray…  could I do it?

Old Man and the Sea

I did!  After a couple of false starts, I nailed it — and I named Fathoms Down and put the first batch in the shop before I’d even had a chance to photograph it.  And do you want to hear something fantastic?  Two intrepid knitters jumped in feet first and scooped those skeins up almost immediately — a sweater’s worth of yarn each — even though they’d never even seen the colourway.

How’s that for daring?!?  I loved it, to see knitters who were just so adventurous!  It is the absolute essence hand-dyed, to just dive in and explore where-ever the colour takes you.  Heck, it’s the essence of knitting itself, isn’t it?  Knitters, crocheters, fiber-artists of all stripes…  we take the raw materials and just go where they lead us.

Who’s in on this KAL with me?  The Old Man and the Sea KAL starts May 15, and the pattern is at a special marked down price until May 10th.  There’s Honey and Burnt Clay available in the shop, with more colourways (including Fathom’s Down!) to go up in the next few days.  Keep your eyes open!