Sunspun Fine Yarns


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Things to See & Make

      beci:LD

Source: Lamington Drive

To look and find

The walls at Lamington Drive have been transformed into pages from Beci Orpin’s latest book, Find Me a Castle. The look-and-find exhibition will be on until 5 September 2015, and looks to be great fun for kids small and not-so-small. At 101A Sackville Street, Collingwood.

To make (i)

Isabell Kraemer’s Reagan has to be the prettiest cardigan we’ve seen in a while, and best of all, it’s one of those that you can flip and wear upside-down. The pattern calls for a wool–cotton yarn, which makes the finished garment perfect for layering. Start now, and you can wear it on spring days and cool summer nights. Reagan

To make (ii)

Our interest in allover patterning continues, and Melanie Berg’s Threshold ticks all those sweater boxes: top town, seamless, boat neck, a subtle criss-cross design, drop-shoulder construction and a boxy cut. One to make if you look forward to many evenings of purely meditative knitting.

Threshold

To lift you up

Do you use moodboards? They are a particularly effective tool for when you’re looking to expand your colour and design horizons. Tanis Fiber Arts posts hers every Monday. Whether you’re looking for a lift, or a touch of simple beauty as you go about your day, there’s something to suit every, um, mood.

TanisFiberArts

Source: Tanis Fiber Arts

To hatalong

Fringe Hatalongs are becoming a bit of a thing now (Amy made the Hermaness Worsted), and the latest project is just up if you want to join in. This time, the project is based on colourwork. The pattern uses between 80 and 125 metres of a main colour and 14–20 metres of a contrast colour in worsted-weight wool. (Cascade would work well.)

To applaud

Debbie Bliss, well known internationally for her amazing yarns and designs has been awarded an MBE for her services in knitting and craft in the recent Queen’s birthday honours list. It is so inspiring to see knitting and the crafts make the headlines, and Debbie’s work thus acknowledged!

Debbieblisssml


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Things We Love

Well, winter certainly hit with a vengeance in Melbourne this week after the last few weeks of serenely mild autumn days! All the more reason to bunker down with a new project or to finish an existing one. With the focus turning a bit more homeward and inward, we thought we’d share some favourites with you: in this case, something to listen to, to read and to admire.

The Woolful podcast: the latest episode is now available here, on iTunes and Stitcher, and features a mother-and-daughter team who run Flying Fibers in Pennsylvania that preserves rare-breed Wensleydale, Leicester and Longwool sheep. Woolful have more than twenty podcasts ready for downloading, which showcase lots of artists, producers, makers and introduce many kinds of craft – perfect for listening to when you’re going about your day. (If you’re after a non-woolly podcast, try Meshel Laurie’s Nitty-Gritty Committee podcast, also available from iTunes.)

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Source: Woolful.com

Principles of Knitting by June Hiatt: if there is one knitting reference book you need in your life, this 736-page classic is it. It’s like having a good friend at your elbow for those times when you’re stuck or wondering at the merits of a particular technique over another. The new edition features updated instructions and information that beginners and experienced knitters alike will find useful. Hiatt explains the how, but also the why, which helps you make an informed choice, depending on the effect you want to achieve.

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Fringe Supply & Co: it’s no secret that we love Fringe Supply and stock quite a few of their tools and accessories – the brass stitch markers pictured below will last forever, and wear beautifully. They run a very fine blog, too.

fringe_supply_leather_stitch_markers_pouch

That knitters are particular about their tools, especially their needles, and loyal to them, is no great revelation. Finding just the right tool for the job makes the act of making that much more pleasurable. Here are some of our favourites this week.

Nicole loves her Knit Pro Symfonie interchangeable knitting needles, which she uses for almost every knitting project. She also picked up a Clover Amour crochet hook for the first time and ‘am most definitely falling in love’ – it’s ‘so comfortable to use’. Another thing she swears by are stitch markers and a good gauge ruler.

Like Nicole, I’m a Knit Pro interchangeable girl, but I must confess that, having used the Addi Turbo Lace needles to make a Robin, I’m starting to understand why they are so beloved. The sharp Addi tips are fabulous when you need to knit stitches through the back loop, and there is enough drag on the needles that the stitches don’t slip off.

Amy’s new favourite tool at the moment is this Sistema snack container that’s ‘the perfect size for carrying my tools on the go. It has a separate container inside that can hold stitch markers. When the lid is down I can also fit longer things like a pencil or needle gauge on top. I got it from the supermarket’.

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In store news, we have Arne & Carlos’ Regia sock yarns in stock. These Norwegian-accented colour combinations are justly popular, and Regia sock yarns wear very well. In our excitement to get the socks on the shelves, though, we didn’t realise till later that our stock is of 50 g instead of the more usual 100 g balls. If you bought the yarn in the last week or so and paid $14 each, please come back in for a refund. The 50 g balls (209 metres) are $7 each.

arne2

There are also heaps of new books instore, including a Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran book for kids. (I wonder if I can upsize that cape …)

11203209_1412866669035050_576497587_nAnd how cute are these little tins for treasures?
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Drop by and say hello, and tell us what’s on your needles. Stay warm!


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5 things we love…

The knits, patterns, people and movements that are currently inspiring us…

 

1.  The month-long Craft Cubed, Craft Victoria’s annual festival of experimental, skilled and ideas-based craft and design, with exhibitions, installations, open studios, workshops and events going on Victoria-wide program throughout August. Our picks are Ilka White’s workshops on weaving and braided rugs, textile artist and photographer Siri Hayes’ open studio and Handmakers Factory’s shibori cushion workshop.

 

2.  The new collection of patterns from Shibui (now in-store), including beautiful designs from Lori Versace and Kirsten Johnstone:

Mix No. 31 by Lori Versace

Mix No. 31 by Lori Versace

Mix No. 31 by Lori Versace

Mix No. 31 by Lori Versace

Monochrome Blur by Kirsten Johnstone

Monochrome Blur by Kirsten Johnstone

 

3.  The Tweedback Thursday competition going on at Brooklyn Tweed at the moment- a great excuse to drag out your childhood photo album and hunt out some shots of you or your loved ones in favourite childhood hand knits! At the very least, you’ll have a giggle and you may even win some Brooklyn Tweed yarn. (Speaking of BT, we just received a big pile of their fabulous patterns- more on those next week but we’re pretty sure you’re going to love them.)

 

4.  The fact that it’s only 4 weeks today until the Craft Sessions! Today is the very last day to register so be quick if you’re still thinking of coming.

 

5.  Going with the theme of craft camps, the stories and images from the Fancy Tiger adventure to an incredible Estonian craft camp, complete with traditional colourwork mittens, bone needle carving, Estonian lace, ribbon weaving and so much incredible craft. Definitely food for thought when it comes to craft-focused travel!

Estonian gloves (image from http://fancytiger.blogspot.com.au

Estonian gloves (image from http://fancytiger.blogspot.com.au)


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5 things we love….

The knits, patterns, people and movements that are currently inspiring us…

1.  The fact that the Sheepshow is only a week away! Are you going? If you haven’t heard about this essential event on Australia’s woolly calender, you’re missing out on meeting fibre-producing animals and the people that turn that fibre into stuff we can work with and wear. Just be sure to take a big bag for all the treasures you’ll find and also to really rug up- it gets pretty chilly up there!

Gratuitous cute sheep shot in case you need motivation to come along!

In case you need coercing to attend, here’s a gratuitous cute sheep shot!

 

2.  The Neural Knitworks travelling exhibition for National Science Week, which celebrates the connection between knitting, crochet and other yarn crafts and maintaining brain health. Made up of a huge number of yarn neurons currently being made by communities of crafters at small Neural Knitworks gatherings around Australia, the exhibit will begin its journey at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery in August. Get involved (or find out more) here.

 

3. The gorgeous new pattern from small American yarn producer Quince and Co., the Texo Shawl:

Texo Shawl

Texo Shawl

Texo Shawl

Texo Shawl

At this time of year, so many of the northern hemisphere patterns leave us cold but this one is perfect for casting on right now. Knit in 4ply, it would be a perfect pairing with our Shilasdair Luxury 4ply or our literally-just-arrived Skein Topdrawer Sock or Merino Silk Sport… More on our new Skein yarns next week!

 

4.  The latest installment of Our Tools, Ourselves from the Fringe Association, featuring our perennial knit crush, Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. You really get a sense of the attention to detail and technique that makes his work so successful.

 

5.  The beautiful fibres coming out of Cheryl Crosbie’s Granite Haven property in Euroa, central Victoria. Cheryl raises llamas and Gotland Sheep for spinning and knitting fibre and her commitment to a beautiful-quality, locally-processed product is paying off- her fleece, rovings and yarn are very beautiful. She has an open day coming up later in the year and we are hoping to get up there to visit this great enterprise.


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5 things we love….

The knits, patterns, people and movements that are currently inspiring us…

1. The beautiful fabrics woven on vintage industrial looms by the London Cloth Company, the city’s only weaving mill, made in small lots for designers, fashion houses and private clients.

Traditional Check 2/2 Twill, Shetland Wool

Traditional Check 2/2 Twill, Shetland Wool

London ClothSpace Invader 3/1 Twill, 100% British Wool: Portland & Manx

London ClothSpace Invader 3/1 Twill, 100% British Wool: Portland & Manx

Tiger of Sweden Tartan, 2/2 Twill, Shetland Wool

Tiger of Sweden Tartan,
2/2 Twill, Shetland Wool

2. The Holbrook Yellow Submarine Project, a community arts initiative from Murray Arts in northern Victoria that celebrates International Yarn Bombing Day and Holbrook’s Sheep & Wool Fair this June by covering the Holbrook Oberon Class Submarine in yellow knitting and crochet. You can contribute by making strips of fabric for the yarn bomb or by donating needles and yellow yarn!

3. Wool People 7, the wonderful new collection from Brooklyn Tweed, featuring designs from independent knitwear designers from around the globe.

Some of our favourites…

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/coda

Coda by Olga Buraya-Kefalian

Seacoast by Joji Locatelli

Seacoast by Joji Locatelli

Vector by Tanis Lavallee

Vector by Tanis Lavallee

Halligarth by Gudrun Johnston

Halligarth by Gudrun Johnston

4. The new video podcasts from New South Wales independent dyer, Kristen of Skein Yarn: essential watching if you’ve ever wanted to try dyeing yarn. And it’s wonderful to see some great, locally-grown podcasts!

5. The success of Felicity Ford’s Kickstarter campaign to fund her stranded colourwork source book, a book which will guide the knitter through the process of creating colourwork knitting charts from everyday objects and to create, in Felicity’s words, “stitches which will remind us who we are, where we live and and why we love it”.


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5 things we love…

The knits, patterns, people and movements that are currently inspiring us…

1.  After years designing for her own label, Savory Knitting, and contributing to collections put out by the likes of Brooklyn Tweed, Interweave Knits and Twist Collective, we’re thrilled to see the appointment of the talented Amy Christoffers as the new design director for Berrocco Yarns! She’s always had a great knack for combining classic shapes and textures with beautiful details and is one of those rare designers able to produce designs that are interesting to knit and super wearable… so we look forward to seeing how her aesthetic influences the Berrocco style.

2.  Aisance, the beautiful new design from Melbourne designer, Kirsten Johnstone.

Worked in a soft 4-ply, this is a perfect design for autumn… and, not only is Kirsten a talented designer, she’s also an architect and is responsible for the upcoming Sunspun refit so expect to see her around the shop in the next few weeks!

3.  The imminent opening of registration for the Craft Sessions retreat in the Yarra Valley this coming September; last years inaugural event was a resounding success, due to organizer Felicia Semple’s ability to create a thoroughly inspiring, inclusive environment with a strong focus on skill-learning and sharing and slowing down to enjoy the quieter side of life. Places are limited so do keep an eye out for registration if you are keen to go.

4. The new collection from Melbourne knitwear designer Elizabeth Yong of Primoeza. As well as beautiful knits, this collection includes some sewn pieces made mostly in linens carried home in her suitcase from a recent trip to Japan. Like her machine-knit collections, these sewn pieces have some beautiful details but are pared back in order to let the textures and colours shine.

5.  The incredible wool embroidery incorporated into the work of the recent winner of the Woolmark Prize, Indian designer Rahul Mishra. Mishra’s Merino wool collection was based on craftsmanship and his incredible knowledge of techniques and embroidery and can be seen in detail at Style Bubble.


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5 things we love…

Welcome to the first of a regular feature on the knits, patterns, people and movements that are currently inspiring us- we hope you find things here that make you smile…

1.  The launch of Australian knitwear icon Jenny Kee’s beautiful new website, which highlights Kee’s work over the past 40 years. Known for her incredible use of colour and pattern on many different media, including fabric, machine and hand knits and tapestry, Kee now uses large silk scarves as her canvas to produce work as vibrant as ever.

© Alexia Sinclair

© Alexia Sinclair

2.  The ‘Follow Your Arrow Shawl’ knit-a-long currently happening over on Ravelry, a choose-your-own-adventure-style project: sign up and each week you’ll receive a clue with two sets of knitting instructions. Because both options lead on from previous clues, you can choose either one, resulting in 32 possible outcomes!

3.  The Scottish initiative, Make Works, that supports making and manufacturing in Scotland by creating connections between designers and manufacturers of all kinds, including those who work with yarn and textiles. It would be great to see this happen in Australia in order to support our almost-extinct yarn manufacturing industry- the fact that the team travels Scotland in a tartan combie just adds to the appeal of the job.

4.  The versatility and DIY approach of knit designer Carrie Bostick-Hoge’s recent pattern, Uniform Cardigan. On the surface, this is a simple pattern for a 10-ply cardigan but start reading and you’ll see that it allows you to mix and match the sleeve, body, pocket and neck elements- it’s essentially a practical lesson on how to recreate a favourite cardigan.

5.  The knit-heavy Pre-Fall 2014 collections, especially the menswear from Missoni, Raf Simons and Junya Watanabe. Here’s a selection of our favourite, most inspiring pieces…

Missoni

Missoni

We’d love to hear what’s inspiring you… in the meantime, we hope you have a happy weekend!