1.. 2… 3… Wait, 1.. 2…

Counting from one to five shouldn’t be tough, but this month I totally stumped my assistants Jade and Amy, and had them counting…  and then recounting…  and then starting over again.

They were bundling the June Mini-Skeins and, for the Ombre & Gradient Mix, the rule usually is that the most intense skein is number one, working to the gentlest skein at number five.  Easy, right?  But this month, I did something a little different.

But first, let me show you the Multicolour Mix.  June always feels like such a bright, clear month — no snow, bright skies, blazing sun — that it felt right to dye clean, clear, happy colourways.  Don’t they make you smile?

The SpaceCadet's Mini-Skein Club, Multicolour Mix, June 2014

Now, which of these do you think I should do as Limited Editions?  The pink and green?  That happy yellow with pops of peach and green? Leave a comment and tell me which ones are calling your name!

But it was the Mini-Skein Club Ombre & Gradient Mix that was giving the SpaceCadet assistants pause…   You see, most months, the Mini-Skeins have a definite start and a definite end, and Amy and Jade know exactly where to start.

But this month, I did something a bit different.  I dyed five skeins that formed a complete circle, and all blended into each other.  So, instead of starting a project at Skein 1 and working through to Skein 5, you could start a project anywhere in the set, and the skeins will still all work together.

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

Fancy that gorgeous Skein 3?  Start there!  It will blend into Skein 4, which blends into Skein 5, which blends into…  and here’s the trick… Skein 5 blends neatly back into Skein 1.  So you can start anywhere and still work your way right through the full bundle, creating a beautiful gradient effect no matter where you choose to begin.

Such a simple change, and yet it has a really big impact on your project.  And I am so chuffed with the result!  Don’t you just love it?  So tell me, which skein would you start with?

The SpaceCadet's Mini-Skein Club, Ombre & Gradient Mix, June 2014

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Adding Colour to Little Things and Big

Ok, it’s not actually Monday but, at least here in the US, it feels like a Monday, so let’s brighten the morning up with some great Mini-Skein ideas!

Y’know, as I was scrolling through Mini-Skein ideas this week for the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Ideas board on Pinterest, the thing that struck me was how versatile they actually are.  I mean, when the Mini-Skein craze started, it was all about hexipuffs — tiny little six-sided pillows that give instant gratification and are eventually all put together into the stunning Beekeeper’s Quilt.

The Beekeeper's Quilt

And those little puffs get us thinking about using Mini-Skeins for mini-sized projects.  Two of my favourites that I spotted on Pinterest this week are the Itty Bitty Stripes hat, knit by deliknits from a pattern by Susan B. Anderson, and the Luxury Holiday Garland, knit by harleagh from a pattern by  Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich.  Both of patterns use small amounts of yarn highlight colour in a whimsical (and delightful way).  Who can look at that sweet little hat and not smile?  Or resist that garland of happy stars when holiday-time rolls round?  Yes, Mini-Skeins really lend themselves to mini-projects like these.

Small things with Mini-Skeins

But I think what is really cool is the way people are using Mini-Skeins now to add tiny pops of colour to full-sized projects.  More and more on Pinterest, I see designs that use yarn as if it were a crayon to add colour here there and everywhere…   Sweaters or cardigans with a gorgeous bright edging…  Or maybe a gently contrasting collar or cuffs.  Or… or… something really innovative and exciting — like the Stripes Ahoy! sweater, knit by machamaya and designed by Asa Tricosa.  Isn’t it fantastic?!?  I love how she’s used colour in a unexpected way to turn a simple design into something really eye-catching.

Stripes Ahoy!

And finally, I want to share Moore, a design by one of my favourite designers, Ruth Garcia-Alcantud of Rock & Purl.  It’s eye-catching of course because of its unusual off-center shaping, and side-to-side construction.  But imagine if you took those stripes and, instead of doing the pattern in just two colours, you used Mini-Skeins to add a whole spectrum of colour?  It’d be stunning, right?  No need to imagine — just click here and see how it would look!

Moore by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud

You see what I mean about how versatile Mini-Skeins can be?  The more I go through ideas on Pinterest, the less I think of them as yarn and more as yarn-crayons, to add colour where-ever it’s going to add impact to a project.  What more of that?  Follow the SpaceCadet’s Mini-Skein Ideas board on Pinterest and get inspired to colour your world too!