Closing the Shop! (And Going Back to Bed…)

Timing is everything, isn’t it?  After weeks of frenetic work in the studio to prepare for Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet (50lbs of yarn dyed in two days, anyone?), nights of help from friends and family, planning and packing and redesigning the booth…  the eve of the festival is upon us.  And when I woke up this morning, I realised right away that I am sick.

Sick sick sick.  Hot-and-cold-shivering sick.  Can’t-breathe sick.  Another-cup-of-tea-please sick.  Want-to-crawl-right-back-into-bed-thank-you-very-much sick.  Oh crud.  Timing…  everything.

But today was set-up day, and so we set up the newly redesigned booth (How newly redesigned? Still building the fixtures this morning!).  There’s five more tubs of yarn to hang up, but here’s how it looks so far…

The SpaceCadet's booth at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet festival

The SpaceCadet's booth at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet festival (sideview)

I was exhausted by the time we finished!  I could have happily crawled under that table and gone to sleep.  I am honestly planning to take my teapot and keep it under the table, tuck up in its tea cosy, to keep myself supplied in healing cups of steaming hot tea all day.  I don’t think I’ll make it through the day without them!

And because all the yarns are at the show, I will of course be closing the shop while we’re there.  Timing, y’know.  If you’re in the area, come and see us and meet all the yarns in person.  And if you’re not, I’ll have the shop back up and running early next week — and I’ll be adding some of those lovely new yarns I’ve been dying in the last few weeks.

Oh and hey, if you’re on Twitter, keep an eye on the hashtag #pghkc for live updates from the show from me and lots of others — and to find out whether I’ve given up and curled up under the table with my cup of tea!

Come to the Rav Meet-Up at Pgh Knit & Crochet!

One thing I really really really ought to learn is that after Christmas comes January.  Christmas is not the end.  Christmas is not a wall.  Christmas is just a point in time and then…  January comes.

SpaceCadet Creations yarns for knitting and crochet, hanging up to dry

And if something important is happening in early in the new year, you really have to be able to see past Christmas to get ready for it.  I really need to learn this because I do it every year!

Please tell me you do too.  Tell me I’m not the only one who has trouble seeing past Christmas…  please?

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Feb 10-11-12

The Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival is coming up on Feb 10, 11, 12.  It’s a fabulous event — the entire (enormous) ballroom of the Four Points Sheraton in Mars PA* is turned into a dreamscape of fibery goodness.  And I am soooooo looking forward to it!

There are wonderful classes, a fabulous market, and some incredible cool events.  But more important than that — and by far the coolest thing about doing a festival like this — is that I get to meet so many SpaceCadet customers!  I love it when people come up and introduce themselves, show off their wonderful SpaceCadet projects,  and I can finally put faces to names.  It is such a treat, getting to meet so many people who are almost already old friends.  How often in life do you get to do that?!?

So if you live anywhere in the Western Pennsylvania area, please come!  And please wear your SpaceCadet project.  I may have seen the pictures, but I would love to see it — and you — in person!  Here’s the info again:

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival
February 10,11,12, 2012
at the Four Points Sheraton, North, Mars, PA 16046

And yet more SpaceCadet Creations yarns for knitting and crochet, hanging up to dry

The Ravelry Meet-Up

And if you are coming on the Friday (Feb 10), please do come to the Ravelry Meet-Up!  It’s being organised by my friend Natalie, my sister-who-now-knits-a-bit, and me, and I know there’s going to be some pretty cool fiberistas attending: I can’t wait to meet up with a bunch of fiberista friends: the lovely Karrie of the KnitPurlGurl video podcast; Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches; Cosy Cornelius-Bates and Gwen Erin with whom** I did Pittsburgh Indie Knit & Spin

Please come! We’d love to have you there! Here are the details for the Meet-Up:

Ravelry Meet-Up
Friday, Feb 10 at 6.30pm
in the Cranberry Room (located off the main atrium via the hallway to the left of Legends pub)

It’s by RSVP only and today is the LAST DAY to reserve your space, so please go and send me a Ravelry PM (private message) right now!

So there you go — the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival is only about three weeks away.  And I am so excited about it!

But am I ready for it?  No.  Did it sneak up on me after Christmas?  Yep, yep it did.  Am I presently dyeing like a woman possessed?  Ohhhhh yes!

Because I really, really, really need to learn that after Christmas comes…  January.

And even more(!) SpaceCadet Creations yarns for knitting and crochet, hanging up to dry

*Did you spot that?  It’s in Mars! Mars!  Makes a SpaceCadet feel right at home, that does.

**My high-school English teacher would be so proud.

Save the Date! Nov 19 for Pittsburgh Indie Knit & Spin

Hey, if you live anywhere in the Western Pennsylvania area, quick, grab your calendar and write this down:

Pittsburgh Indie Knit & Spin
November 19, 11am-5pm
Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square
7604 Charleston Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15218

I am super-excited to have been invited be part of a brand new yarn and fiber show made up entirely of local Pittsburgh indie fiber artists.  And if you love hand-dyed, handspun, and handmade as much as I do, you’ll want to be there too!

Indie Knit & Spin, a Pittsburgh Yarn & Fiber Artists' Marketplace, made up of Pittsburgh's best indie dyers, hand-dyers, knitters, and crocheters

And I’m in some great company…  Check out the other fantastic indie artists who are going to be there:

Emily Eckel Artisan Buttons
Fibernymph Dye Works
Gwen Erin Natural Fibers
Beads by Eileen
Wren & Rita
Burgh Baby Gear


Sounds great, doesn’t it? And, right in time for some early holiday shopping.

What?!? Holiday Shopping?!?

No, I know.  I know.  But seriously, I saw it on Twitter the other day —  there are less than 60 days until Christmas (ohhhhh, I am soooo woefully unprepared!).  But if you’ve got knitters and crocheters on your shopping list and you want to get them something wonderfully one-of-a-kind, this show is the place to be.

And, y’know, even if you don’t have any other knitters or crocheters on your list…  we-e-ell, we both know that you love one-of-a-kind yarn (that’s why you’re reading this, right?), so come on… come see us.  You’ll have a great time!

 Indie Knit & Spin, a Pittsburgh Yarn & Fiber Artists' Marketplace, made up of Pittsburgh's best indie dyers, hand-dyers, knitters, and crocheters

…You didn’t actually grab your calendar, did you?  No, I know.  Look, grab it now — here’s the details again:

Pittsburgh Indie Knit & Spin
November 19, 11am-5pm
Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square
7604 Charleston Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15218


Do you need a map?  Yep, I’ve got one of those too!

Indie Knit & Spin, a Pittsburgh Yarn & Fiber Artists' Marketplace, made up of Pittsburgh's best indie dyers, hand-dyers, knitters, and crocheters

And if you want to know more about the fiber artists that are going to be there, check out the Indie Knit & Spin website, where you’ll find interviews and profiles of each one.  Here’s the one about me!

Most of the time, as a dyer, I’m working in isolation.  I go into the studio, create my colours, and then post them off to customers near and far, all over the country.  It’s a rare opportunity to get to meet my customers, and even more special when I get to meet my local customers.  So please, mark Nov 19 on your calendar and come to the Pittsburgh Indie Knit & Spin.  I’d love to see you!

Indie Knit & Spin, a Pittsburgh Yarn & Fiber Artists' Marketplace, made up of Pittsburgh's best indie dyers, hand-dyers, knitters, and crocheters

Lessons From the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, knitting, crochet, yarnIt’s been an incredible weekend — exhilarating, exciting, educational, an absolute whirlwind, and a lot of hard work.  SpaceCadet Creations was at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, and we had the time of our lives!  And now, as I get the chance to sit down for the first time in days, I realise just how many lessons there were from doing our first show.

Here’s what I learned:

  • How fantastic is it to finally get to meet my customers in person.  Seriously, it is the best!  These are people I see tweeting, people who leave comments on the blog and on Facebook, but there is nothing like meeting you guys in person, discussing your knitting, seeing your projects, and just being able to put faces to names.  Meeting you all was fantastic fun!
  • How wonderful it is to talk to customers about my yarns and get that feedback.  I mean, I do all this in isolation.  Day to day, I work in my studio mostly on my own, with pots simmering quietly and yarns soaking…  And when I pull them out, well, sometimes I think a yarn looks great and sometimes I’m not so sure.  And it was just such an incredible experience to see customers making a beeline for the colourways that were calling out to them, and to hear their comments and get their feedback.  Nothing beats that.
  • That every person has their own unique colour style, their own sense of what works for them…  and you absolutely cannot judge a knitter or a crocheter by her cover.  We had people come up who looked like they might choose calm, quiet colourways but who instead went straight for the brightest, craziest colours.  And others whom I thought would go for the same wild yarns but who instead reached straight for the peace and serenity of the semi-solids.  The truth is, crafters are unique and interesting people, and you can’t box them into categories!
  • That many hands make light work, and work doesn’t feel like work when it’s split out amongst friends.  …With HUGE thanks to the Wednesday night knitters for bagging and tagging, knitting samples, brainstorming, and coming up with some great ideas that made the show a lot better for us.
  • That there is simply no way to show how beautiful, how smooshy, how fibery-lucious a yarn is over the internet.  Great photography is all well and good, but absolutely nothing beats getting to snorgle that yarn in person!
  • The Vendor Hall was HUGE!

    That when you get a look behind the scenes, you realise that the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival is a HUGE undertaking with a bazillion variables that really could all go disastrously wrong, but somehow Barb and her team keep everything under control and pull the whole thing off seamlessly.  And they smile the whole time!  I don’t know how they do it.

  • That you can’t actually go all day without eating.
  • Also, you can’t actually go without sleeping either.  The body will revolt and shut you down.  And that little factoid put a serious dent in my festival-prep schedule.
  • What fun it is to meet and finally get to chat with other fiberisti in person (Hello KnitPurlGurl!  Hello StevenBe!)

  • That StevenBe’s mother and her friend are lovely, lovely women and so interesting that I could have sat and talked to them all day.   Hallo Christa! Hallo Barbara!
  • That I go a bit giddy when I get asked if I’d like to be a guest dyer for a LYS’s yarn club.  YesIwouldYesIwouldYesIwould!!!!
  • What an incredible rush it is to asked by LYSs whether I wholesale yarn   …and how that plants interesting little seeds in my head.
  • That having friends there to show you the ropes, give you tips and ideas, loan you display furniture, and make change when you run out of small bills…  that kind of professional camaraderie makes all the difference!  (With big thanks to Amy, Bloomin Yarns, CosyKnits, Wren&Rita, and GwenErin)
  • How nice it is to be able to bring yarns out of the shop, give them a fresh airing, sell them at the festival, and then have brand new yarns to offer to all my custermers who couldn’t get to this festival.  Look for new yarns to start appearing in the shop in the coming days and weeks!

    All dyed in three weeks!
  • That you can increase your dyeing by 10 times your normal rate and fill a festival booth with stock in only three weeks, but everything else in your life will come to a complete halt.  I really have to get some laundry done before I run out of clothes and some bills paid before they shut off the utilities!
  • That none of this is possible without the support of a great team.  And I had a great team (With more thanks than I can express to my husband, to Natalie, to meine kleine schwester, and to my mum   …and to my dad, who apparently hasn’t eaten in weeks because my mum has been here the whole time!).
  • And, finally, that I love love LOVE doing festivals!!!!!