Sunspun Fine Yarns

In focus: Summer Tweed

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As knitters, we know how challenging it can be to get a sense of a yarn by just seeing it in the ball… we want to know how it will feel as a fabric, how it will hang and drape on the body and how a colour looks used on its own and combined with others. This is precisely why we’ve decided to focus more time and resources on putting together a display of samples that will change every two months- just so that you can see and feel our yarns knitted up! We’re working with a group of lovely knitters and crocheters, who are doing a beautiful job making our first round of samples for us (because, honestly, we would never have enough time to make them all ourselves!) and we can’t wait to see all those sweet baby knits arrive in the shop! In the meantime, Jules recently completed a new shop sample in Rowan Summer Tweed, a perfect garment for this hot Melbourne summer…This is Prairie from Rowan Summer Textures, an oversized tunic knitted in Rowan Summer Tweed:

Prairie in Summer Tweed

Prairie in Summer Tweed

Prairie is worked in a mesh-like variation of garter stitch with stitches made into the row below. Once you get the rhythm, it’s simple to work and, worked on 6mm needles, creates an open, drapey fabric that hangs beautifully. It also makes Summer Tweed, a silk/ wool 10ply that you’d think might be a bit heavy for a long-sleeved garment in our Australian summers, very comfortable and cool to wear.

Mesh-like fabric

Mesh-like fabric

While the bands are worked in garter stitch, the soft, wide neckline is ribbed on a smaller needle, a clever way of preventing it from stretching out of shape.

Lovely neckline detail

Lovely neckline detail

We chose the shade Swirl, a lovely, cool blue that’s around a lot at the moment. One of the lovely qualities of Summer Tweed is the depth of colour that comes from the tweedy flecks and silk nubs blended in during spinning- and that really comes through in an open stitch pattern like this one, where the yarn is really on show.

Tweedy flecks and silk nubs

Tweedy flecks and silk nubs

The blend of cotton and silk makes for an interesting texture which feels crisp but light and soft on the body and has great drape, all of which is put to perfect use in this design. Like all cottons, it tends to stretch so consider using stitch patterns such as stranded colourwork and cables that provide stability and prevent your project from dropping. And it comes in a range of earthy, rich colours that work well together or on their own…

Earthy tones

Earthy tones

Jewel tones

Jewel tones

Because Summer Tweed has a big 120m in each 50gm ball, the smallest size uses less than 10 balls, which is quite unusual for such an oversized garment!

Ideal uses for Summer Tweed:

Spring-summer garments (such as tanks, cardigans and tunics), baby blankets, colourwork knitting.

Vital stats for Summer Tweed:

Yarn weight:  Aran or 10ply

Tension:  16 stitches and 23 rows per 10cm

Needle size:  5mm

Metrage:  120m per 50gm

Fibre composition: 70% silk, 30% cotton

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