Exciting News: Upcoming SpaceCadetYarns & a New Shop

Summer is a lazy time — long days, blue skies, and sunlight dappled through the trees.   Maybe some cold drinks and, if you’re very lucky, a hammock.  Boy oh boy, I need to grab me some of that!

But, I have felt anything but lazy!  While summer is going great guns* outside, I am busy preparing for the cooler months that will follow.  I have several hundred pounds of yarn to dye, some great LYSs to send orders to, and some fabulous yarn festivals to prep for (including….  Rhinebeck!!!! Squee with me!!!).

Yep, it’s a busy time here.  But as well as all that, there are a few other exciting things that I’m working on, and I am dying to share them with you.  So, before I go back into the studio, let me just give you a sneak peek…

A Brand New SpaceCadet Shop!

I have been dreaming about this for nearly two years now and I can’t believe it’s almost here!  My Big Summer Project is to put together a brand new SpaceCadet shop — one that I can totally customise to make it super-easy for you to search for the yarn you know you want  …or browse for the one that you never knew you needed so much!  Easy and adventurous — isn’t that the way that yarn shopping should be?

As soon as the new shop is ready, I’ll make sure you know about it (believe me, I’ll be singing it on the rooftops!).  In the meantime, it’s still very much a Work In Progress but here’s a quick look:

A Sneak Peek at the SpaceCadet's New Shop

(Please, do a little happy dance with me, will you?)


Fabulous New Yarns!

Ok, this just has me giddy with excitement!  As I started laying out the new shop, I realised what I really, really wanted to go along with it is a truly great fleet of yarns.  So we’ve spent these last few months auditioning new yarns: dyeing them up, trying them out, (and, of course snorgling them!).  And, after a really difficult elimination process, we’ve finally decided which we liked best.

The result is a fleet of yarns that is going to make your fingers itch to cast on!  Folks, we’re going from seven yarns to 18.  There will be some beautiful heavier yarns —  sport, DK, worsted, and bulky — and a fantastic line up of lighter yarns, including four laceweights and no less than eight fingering yarns!  Wanna see them?  Welllll…  they’re not dry enough to photograph yet, but the tags might give you a little clue.  Here, have a quick look…

A quick look at the tags for the new SpaceCadet yarns

(Intrigued…?  Stay tuned, they’ll be available very soon!)


The Yarn Harlot’s Omlet Could Be Yours!

Ok, this last one has nothing to do with my special summer projects, but I just have to share it with you!  As you might know, the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, picked up a skein of SpaceCadet laceweight yarn from one of my trunk shows in Cleveland and has been knitting it in a beautiful pattern called Omelet.  She finished it this week and I have to admit, when she posted the photos on her blog, I was blown away.  It’s a stunning shawl.

And it could be yours!  Yep, that’s right — the Yarn Harlot has knit the most intricate, ethereal, gorgeous piece of lacework that nobody should ever dream of giving away and… she’s auctioning it off to the highest bidder!  It’s all to raise funds as she takes part in the 14th Annual Friends For Life Bike Rally in support of Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.  Through the amazing generosity of knitters, she has already raised thousands of dollars — but she’s doing this one last push before the bike rally begins this weekend.

If you’d like a chance to win the Omelet shawl knit by the Yarn Harlot, click here to find out how to bid for it.  As for me, I am so just thrilled that she’s chosen to make such a beautiful project out of a skein of SpaceCadet yarn (which I honestly thought she was buying just to be polite!).  …And then is using it for such a good cause.


*Do people say “going great guns” over here?  Is that a phrase you use in the States?  If not, it means everything’s going along just fine.


Pattern Roll Call: Perfect for Laceweight

Did you hear that almighty THUD the other week?  That was me, hitting the floor when I discovered that… wait for it…  the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee,  was knitting with SpaceCadet laceweight yarn.  Not just knitting with it, she found herself actually being called by the colour, and I honestly don’t think a dyer could hope for any higher praise than that!

The second thud — you heard that one too, right?  That was me when all my laceweight sold out in what seemed like only minutes.  It was crazy to see the awesome power of the Yarn Harlot”s influence!  But also so cool because I love these laceweights and it was exciting to see them take center stage at last.

SpaceCadet Creations Laceweight yarn for knitting or crochet, in Honey (this is what the Yarn Harlot is knitting!)

Stephanie chose to knit Omelet, a beautiful and intricate lace shawl.  It was a great choice for the yarn — and it’s exactly what most people think of first when they pick up of skein of laceweight yarn.  But I also know that a lot of people end up putting that skein right back down again, because lace like that can be really intimidating.

So I wanted to show you a beautiful alternative: this is Mythos by Laura Nelkin and, knit in a laceweight yarn, it is the most perfect light summer cardigan to slip on whenever the evening brings the slightest chill. Laura Nelkin's Mythos cardigan

Mythos is one of the samples we take to our trunk shows and it’s amazing how almost everyone falls in love with it on the spot.  It can be knit in either a fingering yarn or, as shown here, a laceweight yarn held double.  And with simple stitchwork and straightforward shaping, it’s a really appealing way to use those gorgeous laceweights that sometimes seem so inaccessible.  What could be better for laid-back, lazy summer knitting?

Laura Nelkin's Mythos, knit with laceweight yarn

Shop Update!

I’ve been busy dyeing to get those laceweights back in the shop! So, here’s the first batch — some of the 100% Merino that the Yarn Harlot has been knitting, and some of the gorgeous Silk and Merino Luna Laceweight — all in those rich, gently undulating colourways that are perfect for these delicate yarns.  Click here to see them!

Shop Update! Click Here to see the Shop Update of new SpaceCadet Creations yarns for knitting and crochet

I’m Knackered, You Get a Shop Update!

I had a fabulous blog post planned for you, full of great colourway combinations for maximum impact in some of this season’s hottest knitting patterns…  but, oh!, I’m just too knackered.  I don’t know what it is, but all week, I’ve felt like I could just fall asleep where I stand.  I’ve gotten a lot of dyeing done — there is always wonderful, colourful dyeing to be done — but everything else has just fallen away.

I find I always need a few days to recover after doing shows — they’re so exciting and there are so many people to talk to, that they actually use up a lot more energy than I expect.   Two weeks ago, I traveled to MDSW, which is such a fibery adventure, but simultaneously both energising and energy-draining.  And then immediately turned around and did the SpaceCadet’s Grand Tour of Cleveland, back-to-back trunk shows.

SpaceCadet Creations yarn trunk show at River Color Studios, Cleveland

And they blew me away.  They were so much fun!  Can I tell you, if you’re in Cleveland, go to River Color Studios in Lakewood or Soft n Sassy in Broadview Heights.  Both of them are gorgeous, mouth-watering yarn shops.  And both of them run by really lovely, warm people who made me feel right at home (Erika and her team at River Color: Rachael, Gretchen, Laura, Gail; Cheryl and her team at Soft n Sassy: Linda and Evelyn).

And at both of them, I met some of the nicest people I’ve ever got the chance to meet.  They said lovely things about my yarn, which always makes me feel amazing.   It was great weekend.

And it wasn’t just the trunk shows that made the weekend memorable.  There was also lunch at a bakery decorated with… wait for it… flowers made from coffee filters.  How cool is that?!?

Huge flowers made from coffee filters!


There was the oldest microwave I’ve ever seen.  For a long time, I thought it was a television in the corner of the office, before I realised what it was.  Look at the size of it!  Look at the dials!   And… it still works just fine.  Crickey!

The biggest, oldest microwave I've ever seen!


Oh, yeah, and there was a Yarn Harlot too.  People, there was the Yarn Harlot!  She was absolutely lovely, and very very funny.  And she bought a skein of SpaceCadet yarn!  That blew me away totally.

It's the Yarn Harlot herself!


Ohhh… and there was yarn.  Lots of lovely, lovely yarn…

SpaceCadet Creations yarn Trunk Show


And after all that, I’m completely knackered.  Cream-crackered.  And so you don’t get the blog post I was planning.  But I’m not going to leave you high and dry…  you do get two things that are well worth having.  One is some lovely Friday eye-candy in those photos up above.

And the other?  I just mustered the energy to do you a wee shop update.  Go on, take a look!

Shop Update! Click Here to see the Shop Update of new SpaceCadet Creations yarns for knitting and crochet

Psst… Wanna See the Yarn Alliance Parcel?

I was really nervous when I sent out the InterStellar Yarn Alliance parcels this month.  Really nervous.  I knew I’d taken a risk — I knew it — but I also knew I had dyed the colours that I’d had in my heart, the colours I needed to dye…  And if the dyer follows her heart, that surely must be right.  …Right?

But still, I was nervous.  Because I know a lot of people buy hand-dyed because they love deep, rich, saturated colour, and this colourway was anything but that.  I’d dyed a washed out colourway, of the sort that I’ve fallen head-over-heels for lately, where I gently swirl layer upon layer of colour into the dyebath, and then watch as it settles delicately onto the fibers.  Watching it happen is breath-taking, the yarn it creates is beautiful.  And the result when you cast on and begin to knit is ethereal, sublime  …simply amazing.

Are you ready?  Here it is…

SpaceCadet yarn for the InterStellar Yarn Alliance in "Refresh"
It was exactly what I hoped it would be.  From every angle, I was in love!  I just wanted to grab it and smoosh it and… oh!

I just hoped the Alliance members loved it as much as I did.

SpaceCadet yarn for the InterStellar Yarn Alliance in "Refresh"
In the SpaceCadet’s Log, I explained my inspiration — the colours in my garden as  Spring arrived in sudden rush, then retreated and the cruel cold returned, and then Spring began anew.  And so there are flowers in my garden both dying and blooming, and I wanted to capture the colours of Nature’s confusion.

The SpaceCadet's Log -- Dyer's Notes
And then…!  And then there was the goody, and this I knew would be exciting.  I’d asked Melissa of Melissa Jean Design to create some custom buttons for the InterStellar Yarn Alliance.  And when the parcel containing them arrived, I was so excited, I spent a full five minutes bouncing up and down in my kitchen.  They’re ADORABLE!

Hand-Made SpaceCadet Buttons by Melissa Jean Designs
And what’s more, she did a bunch of different colours!  Mix and match, everyone!

Hand-Made SpaceCadet Buttons by Melissa Jean Design
But the very best bit?  I got to keep all the extra buttons that Melissa made — all her experiments and test runs.  I love them!  And I feel like I should make something wonderfully crafty and clever with them, but I don’t know what.  What would you make?

Leftover Melissa Jean SpaceCadet buttons for meeeeeee!!!!!

Hey, don’t forget: this weekend is the SpaceCadet’s Grand Tour of Cleveland!  If you’re anywhere in the northern Ohio/PA area, come on out and see us.

Friday, May 11 at River Colors Studio
1387 Sloane Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107 (map it!)
(216) 228-9276

Saturday, May 12 at Soft N Sassy
8047 Broadview Rd.
Broadview Hts., OH. 44147 (map it!)
Phone: (440)746-9650

There will be lots of gorgeous yarns, fabulous SpaceCadet tattoos, tons of fun…  and I’d love to meet you!

The SpaceCadet’s Grand Tour of… Cleveland!

For centuries, the well-to-do of Britain came of age by embarking on a Grand Tour of Europe, where they took in all the great art and architecture and history that the continent has to offer.  It was a fine tradition that defined an era.

And so, in that vein, I am embarking on a Grand Tour of my own…

The SpaceCadet’s Grand Tour of… Cleveland!

with two Trunk Shows on Fri May 11 and Sat May 12.
If you’re in the Cleveland area, do come and join us!

Friday, May 11 at River Colors Studio
1387 Sloane Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107 (map it!)
(216) 228-9276
(where the Yarn Harlot will also be teaching classes that day.  Yeah, you read that right!)

Saturday, May 12 at Soft N Sassy
8047 Broadview Rd.
Broadview Hts., OH. 44147 (map it!)
Phone: (440)746-9650

It’s going to be a fabulous weekend filled with yarn, colour, and all manner of fibery goodness.  I’d love to see you there — please come and join us!



Continuing your Sock Knitting Journey

Note from the SpaceCadet:  My friend Amy (DPUTiger on Ravelry) is a knitting teacher, a quilter, and a newly-minted weaver.  And she’s been kind enough to write a series of posts about her favourite ways to start new sock knitters on their journey…

So you’ve tackled Fuzzy Feet and are ready to move along and try something else. Where is a good place to start with that beautiful fingering weight yarn and the toothpick-sized needles?

My first pair of fingering weight socks were generated by my sock class teacher with Sock Wizard.  They had crazy-long cuffs (hello, 7” of 2×2 ribbing!) and took a really, really long time to knit. I did a second pair with the same yarn, on needles that I hated, and with short-row heels and toes.  That experience nearly put me off of socks completely.



So, you ask, what turned things around for me, and what would I recommend to you so you don’t suffer the sock blahs right out of the gate?

Knitting Rules.  If you aren’t familiar with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot, you should be. Stephanie is a terrific writer with a sense of humour.  And whether you are an experienced knitter or especially a knitter that’s just starting to branch out into the world of Not Scarf Knitting, Knitting Rules is a valuable addition to any knitter’s library.

So just as I was finishing the Socks from Hell, the Yarn Harlot began blogging about the step-out socks that she was knitting for an appearance on Knitty Gritty. I was intrigued, picked up a copy of Knitting Rules and hit the jackpot.

And while Stephanie provides a perfectly awesome 64-stitch sock pattern, she also provides a good basic sock recipe. I love this pattern and recommend it because it gives you the tools to create a sock in any size to fit any foot. She gives you permission to stockingette that leg after a couple inches of ribbing. She has great information on how to start with hats, sweaters, all kinds of things. The book is a great foundation for wherever you want to take your knitting.

There are a few little tidbits I’ll throw in before I leave you in suspense waiting for my final salvo on sock knitting:

  • I have one rule in my classes: No Eeyores.  If you attack something new with a positive, can-do attitude, you will succeed!  If you are convinced sock knitting is too hard for you, then it will be.  Period.  Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Lifelines are your friend!  (What is a lifeline? Click here)  If you’re new to sock knitting, throw a lifeline in before you start something new. My ideal lifeline material is DMC Perle Cotton, commonly used for cross stitch and embroidery. If you use lifelines, you really can knit fearlessly, because it will be simple to rip out and re-start if you screw up or get confused.
  • Every single sock pattern in existence can be knit using any of the three small-circumference knitting methods: double-pointed needles (DPNs), two circular needles, or the Magic Loop.  All three methods are interchangeable.  Always.  No exceptions.

I’ll be back again to discuss the one book that changed my knitting life. Until then, enjoy your foray into sock knitting!