Sunspun Fine Yarns


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Term 1 2016 Classes

We know a lot of you have been keenly waiting for it, so we’re very pleased to release our first class list for the year.  We have some exciting new classes for you (look for the * in the schedule) and, of course, we will be re-scheduling all those you already know and love!  We have also changed the format a little – we will run the classes concurrently with school terms. There will be a total of 4 published class lists per year.  We feel that this format will make it easier for you to diarise your classes as you won’t need to commit as far in advance.

As usual, classes will be held in the shop on Wednesday nights from 6.15pm – 9.15pm.  The schedule is shown below and a full description of each class can be found on our website here.

Very excitingly, we have a special guest teacher this term, the very talented Kirsten Johnstone.  Kirsten flies the flag for Aussie designers internationally and has designed for Brooklyn Tweed, Shibui and Woolfolk.  We are thrilled to have her teaching a class for us and you can find out more about her on her website.

We would like to introduce you to a new ‘in-house’ teacher – Nicole.  You will know her as the lovely gal behind the counter but she is a great teacher as well.  Nicole will be teaching our crochet classes.  You can read more about her (and our other teachers) here.

If you have any questions or queries please email us (shop@sunspun.com.au) or give us a call (03 9830 1609).

Happy ‘yarny education’
The Sunspun Team
Amy, Karen and Nicole


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December at Sunspun

December at Sunspun promises to be another busy one and a month of more ‘new happenings’.

On Saturday we had our first ever Yarn Tasting Event – this time, summer yarns.  We had 18 ladies come along to the shop, to try various cotton, linen and bamboo yarns.  It was great to have the shop full of enthusiastic knitters, crocheters and weavers all finding something new to try and someone new to connect with.  We have more yarn tastings planned for next year so do keep an eye out for them!

Date Event and Location Link
Friday 4, 11, 18th December Sit and Yarn 11 am – 1 pm
Sunspun shop
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Saturday 5th December Summer Yarn Tasting 11 am – 3 pm
Sunspun Shop
Blog
Tuesday 8th December Blog post on our Xmas pattern release and gift packs Blog
Thursday 24th December Last day of trading before Christmas – shop closing at 5pm
Re-opening Tuesday 5th January 2016

Don’t forget to check on our new YouTube channel (and subscribe if you choose).  We are very excited about it!  It is absolutely an ongoing project and we will be adding more and more educational content as time goes by.  We have created a Playlist called Tuesday Tutorials where we have uploaded (and will continue to upload when new content is created) all the short tutorial videos that have appeared in ourInstagram feed so they are conveniently located for you to easily find them should you decide to review them again.

Our Ravelry Group – Sunspun Fibre Folk – has had a bit of an overhaul and if you are on Ravelry (or have been thinking of joining) why not join our group and show us your lovely finished items.  It is also a great place to talk to like minded souls, ask questions and find out about ‘yarny’ things other members may have to share.  Our Shawlalong is going strong and you can still join in if it takes your fancy.  All the details are on our blog and in the Ravelry thread.

Of course, Christmas is just around the corner now and we have some lovely gift ideas for the ‘yarny’ folk in your life – or for you to pass on to others as you are the ‘yarny’ folk!  Watch out for our blog post on Tuesday 8th December where we will tell you all about them.

Our last day of trading for 2015 is Christmas Eve – Thursday 24th December.  We will be open till our usual closing time – 5pm.  We will be having a small break and will re-open 10am Tuesday 5th January 2016.  We will remind you, via Instagram and Facebook, closer to the date so you have a chance to grab any last minute things you may need to carry you over our ‘re-charge the batteries’ break!

Happy ‘yarning’,

The Sunspun Team

Amy, Karen and Nicole

 


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What’s on in November

Welcome to our new ‘Month at Sunspun’ Newsletter series.  Near the beginning of each month we will send you a run down on what you can find happening in the shop, on our social media sites and any extra activities that we maybe involved in for that particular month.  Wherever possible we will provide links to other places for you to find more detailed info.  Of course we are always available via email (shop@sunspun.com.au) or telephone (03 9830 1609) for any enquiries you may have.

So … November at Sunspun promises to be busy and a month of ‘new happenings’.  We are establishing some new ways to communicate with you, namely our brand new YouTube channel and a renamed and revitalised Ravelry Group.  Just some additional ways we can assist you and join you in your yarn journey.

Our Ravelry group – Sunspun Fibre Folk – has had a bit of an overhaul and if you are on Ravelry (or have been thinking of joining) why not join our groupintroduce yourself and show us your lovely finished items.  It is also a great place to talk to like-minded souls, ask questions and find out about ‘yarny’ things other members may have to share – we have a dedicated General Chit Chat thread for just these conversations!

Our YouTube channel is just in it’s infancy – and right now has just one tutorial but we are very excited about it and will be adding more content over time, which leads me to our last announcement which is:

We are having our first ever Shawl Along! Two beautiful shawls, one for knitters and one for crocheters.  We plan to make this the first in a series of yarn alongs and hope you will help us make them fun events by participating and sharing your finished objects. We will be posting tutorials on YouTube and providing a couple of in shop help sessions as well – just in case you may like some hands-on assistance!  And prizes!!! Full details will be revealed in an upcoming blog post.

Here’s a glimpse of the shawls:

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Date Event and Location Link
Wednesday 11th November 6:15pm-9:15pm Xmas Decorations Class with Sue at Sunspun (places still available) Class List
Monday 23rd November Launch of Sunspun Shawl Along at Sunspun Details posted on the date on Our Blog, Instagram andRavelry
Monday 23rd November Launch of the Sunspun Youtube Channel with our how-to videos for the Shawl Along Youtube
Friday 27th / Saturday 28th Shawl Along Help Sessions at Sunspun Details posted on the date on Our BlogInstagram and Ravelry
All month Canterbury Sheep Trail – A local event participated in by various Canterbury businesses Canterbury Baptist Church

As you can see – lots happening!

xx
The Sunspun Team
Amy, Karen and Nicole


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Crochet – Then and Now

Amy has asked me to write a post to tell you about crochet and, as Sunspun’s Teacher-in-Residence who teaches our crochet classes, I was thrilled to do so.

Crochet is very much the baby sister of the yarn world family.  Unlike her very well established older siblings – knitting, spinning and weaving who have existed and been well practised for many, many centuries – crochet really wasn’t seen until a few hundred years ago.  Since there are no known records or actual crocheted items dating much earlier than 1800, no one is completely sure when and where the history of crochet first began. It has been suggested that early crochet evolved from another form of stitching called Tambour which involved yarn loops being pulled through fabric. By eliminating the fabric, crochet “in the air” may have been born.  The name ‘crochet’ is taken from the French word, crochet, meaning ‘small hook’.

During the 1840’s – 50’s  the peoples of Ireland underwent The Great Famine. The Irish crochet cottage industry was born and Irish crocheted lace almost certainly helped many poorer folk survive this dreadful time.  Irish workers – men as well as women and children – were organised into crochet cooperatives. Schools were formed to teach the skill and teachers were trained and sent all over Ireland, where the workers were soon creating new patterns of their own. Families relied on their earnings from crochet, which gave them the chance to save up enough to emigrate and start a new life abroad, taking their crochet skills with them.

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Lace was purchased by the emerging middle classes and was considered an imitation of the more expensive bobbin lace. It was, therefore, viewed as ‘peasant work’.  However, this all changed when Queen Victoria accepted a gift of Irish crocheted lace, wore it and then learned to crochet herself.  Almost overnight crochet became extraordinarily popular.

Fast forward to the 1960’s when the new generation picked up on crochet and popularised the humble granny square, a motif worked in the round and incorporating bright colours.  I’m sure many of us of a certain vintage remember the nightmare of the crocheted bikini!  In the early part of the 21st century crochet took its place among the yarn based crafts that we love dearly and it is now recognised as a wonderful craft in its own right.  Many designers devote themselves to it as their only craft and it is celebrated on blogs, podcasts and magazines.

However, craft devotees are not the only ones to notice the blossoming love affair with crochet.  It can now be found:

on the catwalks of the biggest name fashion designers in Milan, Paris and New York;

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in fashion retailers at various ends of the financial spectrum;

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Target Australia

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Myer Australia

and in trendy accessory retailers.

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Typo Australia

Of course, we are all craft ‘diy-ers’ and have a yen to make and create our own masterpieces and look for patterns to help us along. The first known instructions for crochet appear in a Dutch magazine, Penélopé, in 1824. This includes a colour plate showing five different style purses of which three were intended to be crocheted with silk thread.  Of course, as evidence of the emerging popularity of crochet today we now have many, many magazines from many nations dedicated solely to this great craft.  And let’s not ignore the online possibilities – typing in ‘crochet’ in the search engine of Ravelry generates 185,469 items!

At Sunspun we are quietly growing our crochet resources and have started stocking the shelves with books and patterns and are crocheting madly to add new samples to display in the store. 

Some of my favourite patterns are:

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Of course, there are often crochet patterns in the Rowan Magazine and brochures and well known designers like Marie Wallin have written pattern books solely dedicated to producing beautiful crocheted designs.

If you would love to learn this ‘on-trend’ craft or increase your skill base keep an eye on our classes page – we will be running our popular Beginners class again next year and also adding some new classes to tempt you!

Cheers and ‘happy hooking’ (sorry – I couldn’t resist!),

Karen


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The Craft Sessions

Last weekend was the 3rd The Craft Sessions event and as usual it was amazing!  Felicia and her team put together a fantastic event, and I’m sure everyone, like me, left feeling inspired, rejuvenated and having made new friendships and refreshed some old ones.  Below are a few photos I took, take a look on instagram at #thecraftsessions2015 for more photos from participants.  Maybe we’ll see you there next year?

The weather was stunning!
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The venue was lovely:
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There was lots of time for sitting and knitting:
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We had a stall in mini-market on Saturday afternoon which was great fun and very busy:
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And I expanded my crafty repertoire and stitched an embroidered project bag:
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The Australian Sheep and Wool Show

After a frosty start, last Sunday at the Sheep and Wool Show was beautifully sunny. It was great to be out in the country air with good friends and all things woolly. A group of us from Sunspun travelled to Bendigo by train, which is a great way to get there. We spent the two-hour trip there and back knitting and chatting about knitting ☺. It was also a good chance for me to get some serious work done on my Dotted Rays shawl (finished!), which had been sitting unloved for several weeks while I worked on a few quick projects for the shop.

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We arrived just before 11 am and got the shuttle bus to the show and hit the woolcraft section first. It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying making and the skill and amount of work that goes into some of the projects is so inspiring. There were lots of stalls selling hand-dyed yarn, all manner of items for spinning (of which I’m very ignorant) and weaving. We ran into a few customers and suppliers, and I made a few new contacts (so watch this space!).

One of our regulars is from Queen Bee Handmade, so we had a chat about soap for washing woollens. I caught up with the team from Art Viva, who make hand-crafted knitting needles from sustainably harvested Tasmanian Oak. It was great to put a face to a name I’ve been emailing these past couple of years.

I also met The Button Lady, Elizabeth, who for many years had a stall at the Camberwell Market. She lives in Stawell now and no longer goes to the market but we had a good chat about buttons and collecting. Did you know there’s a button collectors club in Melbourne? They’re having an expo and sale day on Saturday 10 October, so if you’re in the Burwood East area it’d be worth a look. I bought a few buttons and a vintage Patons beehive needle gauge from Elizabeth.

There were lots of other things to see but I ran out of time this year! Last year we watched a bit of the sheep-dog trials, which were impressive, and some of the sheep-judging – definitely recommended. There’s also farm equipment, tractors and so on, which is fun for young kids if they’re obsessed with vehicles, like mine are.

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Our highlights:

Nicole: Petting the animals and seeing the raw fleeces.

Karen: Seeing the beautiful brown sheep and getting some lovely Polwarth yarn from Tarndie.

Jackie and Chelsea: The train trip up! Good conversation, good knitting and a smidge of anticipation.

Amy: The woolcraft section. I love seeing all the beautiful knitted, crocheted and woven pieces entered in the competition and the knitted garments for sale. I bought my three-year-old son these little crocheted lion mitts.  When I gave them to him, he promptly started roaring and trying to ‘frighten’ us with them. 20150721-DSC_0784

The organisers report an 8 per cent increase in visitors to the show this year, which happens to be the biggest event of its type in the world. We love that there are so many fellow wool-lovers out there, and can’t wait to see what next year brings!

PS: Meet Dotted Rays, done and blocked!

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Flash Sale

Louisa Harding Cardigans

We’re having a flash sale!

  • 25% off all our Louisa Harding yarns and books, including already discounted yarns!
  • Sale runs from this Saturday 16th November until Friday 22nd inclusive
  • Members will also receive their additional 10% off

We’re planning on having a few more sales like this over the coming months to clear stock that we’re no longer going to be carrying.  We’ve got lots of plans for new yarns to bring in but first we need to make some room for them, the shop is bursting at the moment!

Hope to see you soon.