Sunspun Fine Yarns

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Yarn in Focus: Trap-art Trapillo

Vital statistics
85% recycled cotton; 15% other recycled fibres
900 g
Super bulky

IMG_6944Super bulky yarn is one of those things that crafters often have a love–hate relationship with. That they work up super fast is a huge, huge plus, and they satisfy instant gratification pangs like no other material. If you need a last-minute gift and have only minutes in which to pull it together, put the super bulky to work and it’ll produce a good result that often needs no blocking. Just cast off, and you’re done. And it’s the perfect yarn for hot summer days when wool can feel a bit sticky to the hand.

IMG_6943The less fun bit? Much depends on how you feel about working with large hooks and needles of 12 mm and above. Some find it hard going and unwieldy – but read on anyway if you do, because we found a work-around.

IMG_6854All of this is a slightly long-winded introduction to Trapillo, the new kid on the Sunspun block. The yarn comes in large balls (bales?) and a little goes a long way. We aren’t told the meterage on the band, but we made six of those bowls pictured above and still have heaps of yarn left over.

IMG_6938This swatch was knit in 12 mm needles in woven stitch. We cast on 17 stitches and it measures exactly 17 cm wide and its thickness comes in at about 1.5 cm. As expected, the fabric is sturdy with little give, which makes it ideal as placemats or pot coasters.

Make a large rectangle, fold in half and slip-stitch up two sides to make a clutch or computer slipcase. Nothing is going to slip out of that fabric, it is that strong.


Source: Crate & Barrel

If you’ve ever admired the dramatic knitted poufs that can be found in department stores, here’s a chance to make your own; there are patterns to be found online.


Source: Vogue Knitting, via Craftsy

The yarn would work well as an ottoman cover in seed stitch.


Source: Ilse Devriendt

Baskets of any size are endlessly useful and make wonderful gifts; we think Ilse Devriendt’s crochet hanging basket is perfect for use inside and outside the home.



This ombre basket was crocheted in worsted weight wool, but would work as well in Trapillo.

And we came up with these little crochet fabric bowls that are utterly addictive to make, that do not involve using large hooks at all. What you do is make single crochets to encase the yarn, and stack the coils as you go. The principles of crocheting a coaster apply here.


We used summer yarns from our yarn-tasting packs for these, and they all have quite different characteristics. Clockwise from top left: Shibui Twig, Rowan Summerspun, Isager Palet and Isager Bomulin.

Best of all, you can use leftover yarn to create different effects, and it’s perfect to showcase a loved yarn. Just know that the thicker the contrast yarn, the sturdier the bowl. We have the pattern instore and on Ravelry if you want to have a play.

We also have Finnish designer Molla MillsModern Crochet book, which is full of great projects – jewellery, accessories, rugs and homewares – that use this yarn. The sky’s the limit!






Designers in Focus: Carrie Bostick Hoge and Hannah Fettig


We have some new books in this week, Madder 1 and Madder 2 by Carrie Bostick Hoge and Hannah Fettig’s Home & Away.

Carrie Bostick Hoge is a knitwear designer (and photographer, stylist, mother) who lives outside Portland, Maine with her family. Her work has been much featured in various Brooklyn Tweed collections, Interweave Knits and Quince & Co, and is instantly familiar and recognisable for its clean lines and thoughtfully applied details that are quietly beautiful but never fussy.


Camilla in its adult sweater iteration.

As Carrie explains in Madder, she homes in on a particular stitch pattern or motif and then builds a suite of stories around it. Madder 1 features four stitch stories – Camilla, Sibella, Imogen and Beatrice – applied to 22 cowls, scarves, blankets, tees, adults’ and kids’ garments. Follow Carrie’s soulful blog Madder for the stories behind their creations.

madder2Her second collection, Madder Anthology 2: Simple Pleasures, features patterns for 11 sweaters and 6 accessories. This collection features one of our favourite patterns, Lila, which looks deceptively simple and knits up quickly, but the curved edge and the neckline are especially well balanced. Charlotte Light, another pattern from the book, is a top-down cardigan that can be made with or without the A-line shaping.




Charlotte Light.

Mention the name Hannah Fettig, and the first two things that come to mind are her Whisper Cardigan and Featherweight Cardigan, which altogether have had about 10,000 Ravelry cast-ons, which is testament to their versatility and enduring appeal.

Hannah also lives in Maine with her family, and like Carrie, has an impressive pedigree – Interweave Knits, Brooklyn Tweed, and her books Closely Knit, Coastal Knits (with Alana Dakos) and other Knitbot publications, which can be found on her blog Knitbot.

Hannah’s work features classic designs and simple lines that are timeless, have exquisite drape and highly wearable from season to season, year to year. The elements complement each other rather than compete for attention, and while she is well known for her fine-gauge knits, her work spans the spectrum of yarn weights.

Home & Away is Hannah’s latest collection of nine patterns for knitters of all skill levels, and the patterns can be knit seamlessly or with seams. The book also offers advice on gauge, fit and yarn substitution.


The jumper on the cover, Lesley, is a quick knit in aran-weight yarn, with a graceful neckline.

Georgetown is vintage Fettig: a cardigan in a comfortable open fit, finished with a folded collar that gives the piece tailored-like structure and pulls it all together.


Come by the shop and have a browse. We reckon they’ll inspire – and quite possibly go home with you …

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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.)



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.


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.


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’.


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.


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?

Drop by and say hello, and tell us what’s on your needles. Stay warm!