Sunspun Fine Yarns

The Second Sunday in May …

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… is Mother’s Day. And yes, that is next Sunday – at least in Australia, but check if you are reading this from elsewhere, because the day of celebration varies a little around the world, and it would not be a good look if you missed it.

Whether Mother’s Day is a happy or poignant one for you, and no matter if your mum is your best friend or favourite teacher, or if you’re the favourite child or black sheep, it’s a day to quietly acknowledge or shout from the rooftops that you care.

If your mum appreciates the handmade, there is still time, if you start now, to make her something in time for next week. Here are some ideas we’ve come across.

Slippers don’t come cosier than a pair made with your fair hands. These Stippers are knit in one piece with a braid along the top, and we know that few things say ‘I love you’ better than warm feet.

stippers1_medium2Source: Ashley Knowlton

To save mum from chilly hands, take a leaf from Karen’s book and make a pair of these Qwist Mitts in one of the loveliest yarns we stock, Shilasdair Luxury. The diagonal weave pattern is interesting enough to keep you engaged, and quick enough to make the deadline. Karen changed one aspect of this well-written pattern: ‘I tried the bind-off method detailed in the pattern but it was too loose. I pulled it out and just used the ordinary, normal bind off and found this to be a much nicer edge. It is stretchy enough without being to loose and fluting.’

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Our favourite Shetland trader Gudrun Johnston has a seamless slouchy hat that is light and airy but also warm – and just in time for the southern-hemisphere winter.

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Source: Gudrun Johnston/Jared Flood

If you have a present all ready, you can have your pick of these next few projects started (it’s the thought that counts, after all) and give them to mum when ready. For a simple scarf with fluted details and the squishiness of garter, try Shellie Anderson’s M.1. We have a lovely sample instore made in Shibui’s Maai (mah-ah-ee), a DK-weight alpaca and merino mix that is utterly luxurious to wear.

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Another lovely idea is Joji Locatelli’s Three-colour Cashmere Cowl, which we also have as a sample, knit in Zealana Air. The interplay of lace, stripes and colours makes the cowl fun to make and a versatile piece, since it changes depending on whether you wear it in loose folds or slightly scrunched up under a jacket.

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For jetsetting mums, Veera Välimäki’s Study Stripe Shawl is well nigh indispensable. This was the single most useful item I packed when I went travelling last autumn; the shawl worked well at the markets in the morning, and was smart enough to go out for dinner in the evening. We have a sample in Kidsilk Haze, which is ethereally light and beautiful. Mine was in Malabrigo sock (pictured), but any fingering or sock-weight yarn would work for this.

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Consider Michyo’s Flying Squirrel a woolly hug for mum every time she wears it. This top is a doddle to make in worsted weight yarn, rather like a blanket with cuffs. If you want something that works up faster, how about this Purl Soho Sideways Garter Vest?

Source: Brooklyn Tweed (left), Purl Soho (right)

Finally, for lace lovers or shawl lovers alike, meet the Countess of Landsfeld, named in honour of Eliza Gilbert, better known as Lola Montez. This free pattern is, according to its creator Mary Ann Cunningham-Kim, ‘a celebration of shameless knitting shortcuts. The pattern is full of shortcuts . . . eight different options for making left and right slanted multiple decreases, and a simple picot cast-off that provides stretchiness and visual interest without overwhelming the rest of the lace (or the knitter)’.

countess_of_landsfeld_detail_of_back_medium2Source: Mary Ann Cunningham-Kim

So, very happy making and celebrating to you and your mum and/or the mother figures in your life.

And know that the best present you can give mum is to tell her she was right.

About everything.

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