Seriously Cool Stuff from TNNA

This time last month, Jade and I were at TNNA, the knitting industry’s biggest tradeshow —  an amazing opportunity to see the very latest in fiber arts trends, and a chance to chat with old friends from around the country and make new connections.  It’s the kind of event where everything is all go from the moment you wake up until late late late into the night (ask me how late….  go on, ask me*).  It’s energising, exciting, idea-generating, and then in the end… deeply deeply exhausting.  But, just as we do every year, we came away from TNNA with pages and pages (and pages) of notes and new ideas, and some fun new things that I can’t wait to reveal to you later in the year.

The SpaceCadet discovers a seriously hot new thing at TNNA

But in the mean time, I want to share with you one seriously hot new product that we spotted — something that had us both squealing with delight!  The TNNA show floor is split roughly in half, with most of the knitting-related stuff on one side and the needlepoint booths on the other, and most of our time is spent on the knitting side.  But as we ventured over toward the needlepoint side, tucked into a corner we found… Knerd.  And both Jade and I were immediately head-over-heels.

Do you know Knerd?

Renee Magee left her corporate job to join her husband’s screen printing shop, and eventually used it to branch out into her own crafty niche.  She takes brilliant witty-knitty sayings like, “Does a Bear Knit in the Woods?” and “My Drinking Group has a Knitting Problem,” and prints them onto fab t-shirts (cut for women!), cute stickers, and rad rough-finished project totes.  They are so. seriously. cool.

Knerd featured in KnitScene magazine

When we got home, I spotted Knerd’s bags featured in the latest issues of Interweave’s KnitScene and Yarn Market News (the industry trade magazine), so you know they’re hot.  And if you want to grab one before anyone else in your knit group, get yourself over to Knerd and check them out.

**record scratch**

EXCEPT if you’re a member of the SpaceMonsters Mega Yarn Club!!!!

If you’re a SpaceMonster then you just sit tight, ok?  *wink*  All I’m gonna say is watch your postboxes because there’s fun stuff on its way to you   …and beyond that, my lips are sealed!


Speaking of SpaceMonsters…

The SpaceMonster Club from SpaceCadet OPENS JUNE 6 2014!

I’m super excited to announce that the SpaceMonster Mega-Yarn Club opens for new subscriptions on June 6th!

This club is all about bulkier yarns — so quick to work with and just such fun!  There are lots of extra benefits — exclusive colourways, extra skeins, and always a seriously fab gift — so don’t forget to mark June 6 on your calendar.  We’d love to have you join us!

BUT LISTEN…  we always open the club up a day or two early for the folks on the SpaceMonsters mailing list!  Want to grab your spot early?  Click here and get your name on that list!


*So what time did we get in?  4am.   That’s right… four in the morning.  And there’s a story behind it — the kind of story that could only have happened at four am.  I’ll tell you all about it in one of my upcoming blog posts…


The Super-Coolest New Stuff from TNNA

Soooo, did you catch my tweets from TNNA last week?  I wanted to share with you guys all the fun of the National Needlearts Association’s annual summer tradeshow because it is absolutely the best knit-industry weekend of the year.  The. Best. Weekend.

First, because we get to see all the new patterns, products, and trends that will shape the industry in the coming year.  We were shopping for hand-made gifts for the Yarn Alliance and the SpaceMonster Club — and we found some amazing stuff!  And second, because everybody that you’ve been wanting to connect with all year is there — every fabulous designer, every big name podcaster, every fantastic dyer — all in one place, hanging out and chatting and knitting in one place.  Saturday night at the Hyatt’s bar is like the dream team of knit nights!

LauraNelkin & SpaceCadetSteph

It’s always great to see friends like Laura Nelkin, Rebecca Velasquez, Andi Smith (whose new book, Big Foot Knits, has just been released by CoopPress), and the lovely Stacey Trock (do you know, she and I ended up staying up until 3am talking business and generating new ideas!).  And so fabulous to finally meet up with long-time online friends like Ruth Garcia-Alcantud of Rock & Purl and Lindsey Stevens of Poetry in Yarn.  We ran into the YarnOver Truck girls, who’d just won the TNNA  Business Innovation award (and deservedly so!), Edie Eckman, Angela Tong, Meredith Tarasovich-Clark, and Caro Sheridan.  We had a blast!

But listen, I want to show you some of the cool new stuff we saw!  There were so many fantastic things to see that it was hard to choose, but here are two of my absolute favourites.

The Zoom Loom from Schacht


Oh my stars, this is soooooo addictive!  Weaving on this little loom is quick and easy and I just can’t stop.  Have you seen my Instagrams and tweets lately?  I’ve been weaving Mini-Skeins into little woven squares non-stop ever since we got home!


Don’t you love them?  I’m thinking of a scarf…  a cowl…  a blanket…  or maybe an amazing jacket or cape.  Wouldn’t it look incredible?

The Capsule from Go Knit

I’m so excited about these!  Everyone loves their Go Knit pouches and now the same folks have hit it out the park again with two super-sleek sleeves to hold those littlest notions that are so easy to lose track of (darning needles, anyone?).


I love the crazy-bright colours,the faux crocodile fabric(!), and simple shape.  And I’m not the only one — they’ve been getting press all over the place.  Amy Singer of couldn’t resist tweeting them up right there from the show floor!

So you can see why I had such a great weekend, can’t you?  There are still tons of stuff I haven’t shown you (keep your eyes open, club members!), and some really great collaborations with cool designers that I’m keeping mum about…   but, hey, don’t you worry.  You know all that good stuff will be heading your way soon!


I Need Your Help Choosing a Yarn

One of the really fun things about TNNA was just wandering around and looking at all the lovely yarns.  I mean, really.   For someone who loves yarn, who really gets quite giddy around large quantities of it, TNNA was heady stuff!

And the yarns ran the gamut from rustic bulkies to really stunning silk laceweights complete with beads and sequins — everything a fiberista’s heart might desire.  And I really thought I’d be drawn to the finest, most delicate, most beautiful yarns… so when I realised that the one thing that kept jumping out at me was these smooshy, chunky, single-ply yarns, it totally took me by surprise.  But they were wonderful — they looked like clouds, they looked so sheepy… I just wanted stick my face into them and snorgle!

So smooshy!

And, they seemed to be everywhere.  Even though I was trying to look at fingering yarns, my eye kept spotting these chunky single-ply yarns everywhere.  So, I’m tempted to buy some for my autumn/winter dyeing.  And y’know, when I say “tempted”, I kinda really mean “aching”.  As in, I loved them so much, I am aching to get my hands on some and start dyeing!

yarn, knitting, crochet, indie dyer, hand-dyed
Man, I love this yarn...

But there’s a distinct possibility that instead of spotting the emergence of a fabulous new yarn trend, I might be just falling head-over-heels for my own personal preference.  And that you, my fingering-and-laceweight-buying customers, might be reading all this and just going, “Whaaat…???”

knitting, yarn, crochet, indie dyer, hand-dyed
(that's a nickel, by the way, not a dime -- I couldn't find a dime...)

So, tell me, what do you think?  Do these pictures get your heart racing, and your fingers itching to cast on?  Do you want to grab that skein and just smoosh it?  Or does it leave you saying, “Meh…” and happily turning back to the much more delicate yarn of your current project?  Please tell me — leave a comment below, I’d really love to know your thoughts!

TNNA — The Place To Be

My throat is sore, my nose is stuffed and my head is pounding, pounding, pounding.  And, under normal circumstances, I’d be feeling pretty sorry for myself.  Probably tucking myself up in bed with a nice a cup on tea and my vapours nearby.  But, actually, I’m not feeling so sorry for myself.  What I’ve got is TNNA flu, and it’s the sort of ailment that is so much fun to catch, it’s almost worth having.

TNNA is the The National Needlework Association, the trade organisation for all things fibery, and this past weekend was their biggest tradeshow of the year.  The official reason to go is because it’s the place to scout out new suppliers, spot new trends, and learn new skills.  But the reason is because it is just SUCH a blast.  Imagine a knit night where where every where around you are the designers you admire the most, the editors of your favourite knitting magazines, and the dyers whose yarn you covet…  Can you see that in your mind?  Doesn’t just the very thought of it feel delicious?  That’s TNNA.

I loved talking with Jaala Spiro, editor of KnitCircus (on the right). She is so much fun!  And a genuinely nice person — I’m so pleased I got to meet her.  And next to her, that’s Michelle Miller, the Fickle Knitter, whose pattern I wore at HomeSpun Yarn Party and featured here.

I finally got to meet Sarah Wilson, the Sexy Knitter, who made those fabulous custom Knitter’s Tool Tins for the InterStellar Yarn Alliance, and who designed and knitted this amazing jumpsuit.  And next to her is Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches — we ended up having a really interesting conversation in the bar that evening, and she is just a delight.

And I got to chat with so many others that I never got any pictures of: Amy Singer, Clara Parkes, Lisa Shroyer (editor of Knitscene), Stefanie Japel, Andi Smith, Shannon Okey, Ysolda Teague, Mary-Heather Cogar, StevenBe, Nicky Epstein, Rebecca Velasquez, Melissa Leapman, and…  and…  Oh!  There were so many knitterati, I’m sure I’ve forgotten some…!  But, suffice to say, it was a fantastic weekend.

And on a more serious note, regarding the actual business of bringing you beautiful yarns to knit with, I discovered some gorgeous new yarns that I am… erm… dying to dye.  And a bunch of fun notions and accessories that just might end up in a Yarn Alliance parcel or two…

So when I got home and my throat began to get sore, and my head started to ache, I knew exactly why.  Big events with lots of people like that…  they always bring on the lurgy, don’t they?  There’s just too much chatting with too many people, too much shaking of hands, not to catch something.  But… was it worth it?