Sunspun Fine Yarns

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Father’s Day


Source: Susan Anderson’s Smooth Operator Socks

Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in September in Australia and New Zealand, and while the actual day varies depending on where you are, the more popular (northern hemisphere) day is around June. (If you have family on the other side of the world, you may need to program your calendar accordingly …)

Whether your dad is after a low-key day or an adrenaline lover, this is the day of days to remind him that he is special and treasured. And how else to tell him than with something handmade with lots of love?

Susan Anderson’s Smooth Operator Socks (photographed above) are the ultimate happy socks, and perfect for self-striping or patterning sock yarn. If you don’t mind weaving in ends, you can use leftover yarn to create one-off effects. There are also new techniques embedded within the knitting of this sock, including a no kitchener method for heels and toes, and a smoother heel and toe decrease line.



This worsted-weight herringbone scarf from Purl Soho is wonderfully lofty, and the stitch is a meditative, rhythmic knit once you get established and can easily ‘read’ the knitting. Make it in the nicest yarn you can find, perhaps something from the Woolfolk range we carry, for an enduring classic to be enjoyed in years to come.


Work his favourite colours into Vorfreude by Monie Ebner, a garter and stockinette wrap that is versatile enough to be dressed up and down. You can go for a high-contrast palette, play with tonal variations on his/your favourite colour, or take the monochrome route.


Cold-weather game cannot be bettered than in Byway, a chunky cable-knit wrap or scarf by Jared Flood in his new book Woolens. The allover textured fabric keeps the knitting interesting, and you can size up or down depending on your devotion – and time.


Wardrobe staples are so easy to overlook because they are so unassuming, but odds are a sweater like this Good Old Friend by Veera Välimäki will be pulled out and worn all winter long. Make it in your favourite DK yarn; we think our Shilasdair or Cascade yarns would wear very well.


Shellie Anderson’s Spire is made with Shibui Maai and Staccato to produce a warm, lush fabric. The finish is smart, subtle and it knits up quickly. The Channel Island cast-on looks fabulous; if it’s new to you, it is a technique worth using on other projects.


Keep the hands warm and looking smart in these tartan and tweed mitts, which are constructed seamlessly and stranded from beginning to end so there are hardly any ends to weave in. You can dial up the tartan or tweed depending on your preference. We think these would work beautifully in the Rowan Felted Tweed DK, which comes in a large palette.


And if dad wears ties, here’s a pattern that’s easily customisable and quietly whimsical too.

Very happy making to you, and to the dads out there, hope your football team wins, your horse comes home and you get spoilt utterly rotten.

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Father’s Day

Oh yes, it’s on next weekend … and on the off-chance you haven’t started making/sourcing something, here are some ideas that may help. The projects are organised by time needed (ahem), with the longest running first. Rest assured that ALL are easy and work up quickly (thank you, worsted-weight yarns), with no complicated cabling/colourwork demands. Hop onto Ravelry if you’re after something a little more challenging!

Start now if you want to produce Kirsten Johnstone’s handsome Sankai and knit hard! The sweater is knit in the round until the arms, then worked flat. The rolled collar and shoulder are made in one piece with short-row shaping for a simple V-neck finish. The detailing is wonderful: the cuffs and hems are folded, so make them in a contrasting colour for a bit of fun. The colour-blocking option is pictured below.


Source: Tamara Erbacher for assemblage

Jared Flood’s Cobblestone is one of the easiest sweaters around to make and wear. The rounded garter yoke, garter side panels and cuffs bring a pleasing geometry and finish to a classic round-neck sweater. Plus, it’s knit in the round too: no seaming.


Source: Brooklyn Tweed

If you can get stuck in sleeve-land (so, so guilty) play to your strengths and go for vests. Nathan is knit in worsted weight wool, and the side ribbing detail lifts the vest from the ruck.


Source: Jones & Vandermeer

You can never have too many scarves. Make one in farrow rib or mistake rib; both yield lovely squishy fabrics and, it goes without saying, they knit up quickly too.


Source: Purl Soho’s Mistake Rib scarf


Farrow rib scarf

If the dads in your life don’t tend to wear knits, go for some posh soap with a waffly washcloth.


Or try this Tawashi knot, which is part puzzle and part scrubber.

file0_medium2Source: BonitoClub

Finally, the knitted tie. This has been known to be controversial. But here’s a tip from what’s out in the stores: the Paul Smith number below is knit in quite a fine gauge in a simple overall pattern (not garter), and kept skinny. Your choice on whether to make a tube, or to work flat. Think sock yarn or, if using something like a Zara 8 ply, go down a few needle sizes to get a dense, sturdy fabric that won’t stretch out of shape too much. The tubular/folded-hem edging in a contrasting colour is a neat touch. If you’re out of time, a knit 1, purl 1 edging for a few rows (in a slightly larger needle size than the main body) would do the job and won’t curl.