Pattern Roll-Call: Mini-Skein Patterns, Part 2

Usually when I do a Pattern Roll-Call, I like to feature several patterns by different designers.    But as I was sifting through all the mini-skein patterns on Ravelry, I came across a little treasure trove full of patterns that I just love so much that I had to dedicate a whole blog post to them.

It started with this sweet little Pinwheel Purse.  Isn’t it lovely?  It’s the same origami you did as a kid — but in knitting!  So cool.

Knitted Pinwheel Purse by Frankie Brown

And so from there, I began looking through the rest of the designer’s work, and found that her sense of colour and shape really spoke to me.  I love the gentle, organic changes of colours and yarns, the very simple shaping, the modular construction, and — maybe most of all — the almost complete lack of sewing up!

Frankie Brown modular knitting designs, perfect for mini-skeins

All of these patterns are by Frankie Brown.  And instead of charging for her patterns, Frankie offers them all as free downloads on Ravelry — with the request that knitters who enjoy her patterns make a donation to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. So far, she’s raised about £2,500 and hopes go on to raise £1,000 a year.  What a fantastic thing to do!

There’s a lot of yarns that would work well with these patterns, but I love how well these patterns would suit mini-skeins of fabulous variegated and semi-solid yarns.  Can’t you just see it?  All the colours coming together to compliment each other in some places and contrast one another in others.  Beautiful!

Frankie Brown modular knitting patterns, perfect for mini-skeins
If you’d like some amazing mini-skeins to knit these patterns in, check out the SpaceCadet’s new Mini-Skein Club. Each month you’ll receive a surprise selection of gorgeous SpaceCadet yarns delivered to your door, so that you can try out all the SpaceCadet bases and feed your mini-skein project addiction!

Click Here to Join the SpaceCadet's Mini-Skein Yarn Club!

Shop Update: Snorkel, Sailor’s Warning, Beguile, and Rescue

The ebook has been sent to the editor, the shop has been restocked  after PLY, there’s a website revamp underway (now, there’s a mix of joy and pain!), and the Super Secret Thing is almost ready to go…  It’s been a good week.  …A busy week!

Oh, and there’s been dyeing.  Lots of dyeing.  Some of it has been that fantastic experimental stuff that I love to do — that’s going into the Yarn Adventurers’ newsletter that will go out later today.  If you’re on the Yarn Adventurers’ mailing list, keep your eyes open for it.  And if you’re not on the list, get on it!

And there’s some wonderful stuff that’s gone into the shop…  A wonderfully vibrant colourway called Snorkel (not for the faint of heart, that one!);  the warm and tropical Sailor’s Warning (see it knitted up as a sock);  the absolutely stunning greens of Rescue (and there’s four skeins of it, enough for a cardi); and then there’s one of my most favourite colourways ever ever ever, Beguile (three skeins, enough for a bigger project).  The skeins of Rescue and of Beguile are both split over different dyelots, but they are all so close that you can feel confident buying across the dyelots if you do want to do a larger project.

Hand dyed yarn for knitting and crochet by indie dyer SpaceCadet Creations

Today is the LAST DAY to join the Yarn Alliance

This is just a quick reminder that subscriptions to the InterStellar Yarn Alliance close at midnight tonight.  If you’ve been considering joining, thinking about it, checking out all the fab parcels and the lovely yarns…   now is the time!

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Each member will receive an exciting parcel delivered every other month containing:

  • SpaceCadetTM 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 couponevery six months

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Subscriptions: 6 months (3 parcels) $125; or 12 months (6 parcels) $235

Parcels will be sent out in late October, December, February, April, June, and August. Subscription openings will be available in March and September. Shipping within the United States is included in the price; extra charges apply for shipping outside the US.

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Remember, subscriptions close at midnight tonight!  Join now!

The Super Secret Thing and Other Exciting Stuff

The PLY Party was seriously crazy!  There were so many people that, at moments, I hardly knew where to stand.  It’s so much fun when it gets like that… when everyone’s starting to get a bit high on the fiber!

But, before I tell you all about it, I just want to let you know that there are only FOUR DAYS LEFT to join the InterStellar Yarn Alliance.  This is the SpaceCadet’s Cosmic Yarn Club and it is a BLAST!  Click here to read more about it, or just click on the button below to join now…

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Ok, back to the PLY Party…  First, yeah, it was crazy, and then when it calmed down a little… well, that was really nice too, because I got to chat with some really great people.  A couple of them were members of the InterStellar Yarn Alliance: one I’d met before in person (and who had such nice things to say about the Alliance that she actually made me blush!) and one whom I’d known only through the forums — what a lovely surprise to get to meet her in person!

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I also ended up in a conversation with a brand-new crocheter and showed her a couple of exciting patterns on Ravelry, so (I hope) I helped to get her even more excited about new yarny adventures.  And I had a wonderful conversation about England with a lady who’d lived there for years.  Really joyed meeting everyone!

But after a show…  exhaustion.  And yet, there’s so much to do!  First, I have to fill the shop back up after emptying it for the show.  That was supposed to happen Tuesday — I’m hoping to get it done today.  Check in throughout the day to see if I manage to do it…!

But more exciting than that are some great things on the horizon…

First, I’m working on an ebook: a short introduction to using hand-dyed yarns and choosing patterns that will bring out their best.  I know hand-dyeds can be a little daunting to some knitters and crocheters — all those crazy colours! — so this will be a quick guide on how to understand them and get started without fear.   It should be done in the next month or so, so if that sounds like what you’re looking for, be sure you’re signed up the newsletter to get first dibs!

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Speaking of newsletters, I’m about to send out the first InterStellar Yarn Alliance newsletter with exclusive offers just for members.  This is a new feature for the Yarn Alliance, so if you’re already a member, please make sure you’ve told me it’s ok to sign you up to the mailing list so you don’t miss out on the offers. (We value your privacy, so of course we will never put you on a mailing list that you haven’t requested to join.  Just fire an email to me with  “PUT ME ON THE ISYA MAILING LIST!” and I’ll get you on it straight away!).

And… there’s another Super Secret Thing in the works.  I can’t say any more about it, but I am so excited, I’m ready to burst!   All puffed up and ready to burst!    (…That was a hint.  Did you get it?)  The Super Secret Thing will be ready nearer the end of September — again, make sure you’re on the mailing list to hear about it first.

So, lots of exciting stuff going on.  And, also… the post-show exhaustion.  It’s sooooo not a good combination.  sigh…  Could someone please grab me a coffee?

Click here to join the InterStellar Yarn Alliance

This Weekend: PLY Party (and Emptying the Shop)

It’s going to be an exciting weekend!  We’re packing up all the yarns and heading to Baltimore for Lovelyarn‘s PLY (Peace, Love, Yarn) Party on Sunday, and — so long as the rain holds off — I think it’s going to be a blast!

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The PLY Party is a gathering of the indie dyers that Lovelyarns carries in their shop, selling their yarns in person and getting to meet the customers (and that last bit is the part I’m really looking forward to).  If you’re anywhere in the Baltimore area this weekend, please do come to the party!

Here’s all the details:

Lovelyarn’s PLY (Peace, Love, Yarn) Party

Sunday, September 11th  from  12noon – 6:00pm
The party starts inside Lovelyarns at
846 W. 36th St.
Baltimore, MD 21211

with a beautiful array of complimentary food, drink (and cupcakes!)

Then go through the shop to enter the
THREE TENTS in the backyard parking pad.
And for even more incentive, five door prize bags
full of goodies will be given away!


Now, because we’ll be taking most of our stock to the PLY Party, I will be emptying the Etsy shop for the weekend.  I’ll probably do that on Saturday night and hope to get it opened up again early next week (Subscriptions to the InterStellar Yarn Alliance will of course remain available over the weekend).

And this is the first time I’ve ever done the PLY party, but I’m told it’s really popular and gets a bit crazy.  …So if there’s anything in the shop that’s been calling your name, you might want to grab it now, because there’s no telling if we’ll still have it next week!

Hope to see you at the PLY Party!

Calling All Yarn Adventurers

There’s a lot of experimentation that goes on in the SpaceCadet studio — experimentations with new colour combinations, experimentations with new yarns and fibers.  And it’s a hell lot of fun (!) that produces a lot of wonderful yarns.  It also produces a lot of yarns that may be the start of something great or… that may be one-of-a-kind specials, never to be seen again.

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Merino/nylon fingering yarn in "Submerge"

And while most knitters and crocheters stick to the more tried-and-true colourways, there is a small, core group of my customers who really, really love this kind of yarn.  I think of them as Yarn Adventurers — customers who like to break new ground, who want to try new things, who love the possibility of knitting with a yarn that no one else may ever their hands on.

If you’re a Yarn Adventurer, I’m talking to you.  Later this week, I’m going to put a new button over there in the right-hand column.  Look for it — it will say something like “Yarn Adventurer” or “Yarn Voyager”, I’m not sure yet.  And when you click on it, you’ll get the chance to sign up for a new newsletter just for people who like you.  In this newsletter, I’m going to offer the first chance at some great experimental yarns.   You’ll see them before anyone else does.  You’ll see them waaaaay before they ever go into the shop — in fact, they may never even get into the shop.  It’ll be first-come first-served, and you’ve got to be on the list to know about it.  Watch for that button later this week!

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Merino/Nylon fingering weight yarn in "Half-Light"

There’s just one thing I ask for if you sign up for this new newsletter, and that’s feedback.  You are going to be one of the first people to try a new base, to see a new colourway.  You are my man on the ground.  And I need to know what you thought of it.  So, for any yarns or colourways I’m debating about, I may get in touch with you after your purchase to ask your opinion, to get your thoughts.  If you’re up for that, and you’re up for a little yarn adventure, then make sure you are on that list!


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Merino/bamboo/nylon fingering weight yarn in "Torment"

Now, let’s get to the yarns in the shop update this week!  Every one of them is the sort of yarn that will go in this new newsletter but, until it’s set up, I’ve put these in the shop.  First, there’s a pair of merino/bamboo/nylon yarns in a beautiful, luminous, almost oxidised green called “Torment”.  I’m crazy about this shade!

And then, the rest of the yarns are on a merino/nylon base that…  that I…   well, I bought it by accident.  Yeah, I know!  I just marked the wrong box on the order form and, well, there you go.  Almost ten pounds of the wrong yarn arrived a few days later and I faced the choice of owning up to my mistake and hoping the supplier would take the yarn back or…  just dye it.

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Merino/nylon fingering weight yarn in "Plunge"

So, I dyed it up (I mean, why not? I love to dye!) and you know, what?  I am so glad I made this mistake.  I think I’m a little in love with this yarn!  It’s an ordinary merino/nylon blend, smooth and quite light, but there’s something about it that I just love.  It’s the way it takes colour — it’s almost lustrous.  I love this yarn.  I’m soooooo glad I ticked the wrong box!

(Oh, by the way, the yarn in the first picture?  There are six skeins of it, easily enough to do a whole sweater, maybe a bit more.  If you fancy that, grab it up quickly!)