Sunspun Fine Yarns

Leave a comment

June at Sunspun

June is a very exciting month!  Why?  Because Winter is here!!  All that wonderful, head clearing cold air!!  And firesides, and knitting, and hot soups, and knitting, and hot chocolates, and knitting ……..
So, grab a hot beverage, read on and let us tell you more about what’s on in June at Sunspun.

Our regular Friday Sit & Yarn just keeps going from strength to strength.  You can see the June dates in the table below.  Don’t forget this free group is open to all, just remember we have had to cap the number each Friday to 10 to be able to accommodate everyone around the table. Some lovely friendships have already been made!

Term 2 classes have started.  We have some fabulous classes for you during June, including a new one for all the crocheters – How to Join Crocheted Motifs – so you will know how to put all those granny squares and other shapes together.  Don’t forget the ‘oldies but goodies’ on the calendar as well! Towards the end of the month school holidays start.  To help you entertain your small people we have scheduled two kids knitting classes – Learn How to Knit for complete beginners and Knitting Skills Extended for those who are familiar with the basics.  Adele is our teacher (you can read her bio here) and we would like to assure you that she has a current Working With Children Check.  Just give us a call at the shop (9830 1609, Mon – Sat 10am-5pm) and we can answer any queries you may have as to class content and each one’s suitability for you or your children. Don’t forget our adult classes are now conducted on Tuesday nights. Children’s classes are on Thursday during the morning.  All the info is on our classes page.

As you know from a previous blog post, we now have a Product of the Month each and every month! The highlighted product for June is the very lovely Zealana yarn – Tui.  This wonderful yarn is a 12ply (Bulky), 75% merino/15% cashmere/15% possum yarn.  It is very warm with a slight halo – perfect for jumpers, cardigans and scarves – and comes in some lovely colours.  A great chance to try some possum yarn – so warm and toasty. Our upcoming blog post will tell you more.  A yarn that just cannot be ignored!!

As you know, we have a Sunspun Members loyalty programme that allows Members to receive discounts on all their purchases.  In a previous blog post we explained how it all works and let you know that we would be including some special members events this year.  Well, it’s time for another one!  We would like to invite all members to the shop for a special members only shopping day – Sunday 5th June.  As we have many members in country Victoria and interstate, special consideration will be given for you as well!  All the details have been sent out to members in a separate email.  If you  are a member and haven’t received your email invitation to this fabulous event just let us know.

As always, our YouTube channel, Sunspun, has new videos to ‘teach’ you. We know it is not possible for you all to attend classes in the shop and so the YouTube channel is our way of making our knowledge accessible to all our customers. This month we have a couple of buttonhole techniques for you – an eyelet buttonhole and a one row horizontal buttonhole. Great timing as we move into cardigan knitting weather!  Jump over to our channel every now and then to check out our video offerings.

In our Ravelry group, Sunspun Fibre Folk, our new monthly discussion threads for you to participate in continue. The first is centred around garments – each month we feature a new garment and ask you to share past or current projects.  The second is more general and talks about yarns, colours, shapes, etc.  Lots for everyone!  For June, our garment focus is shawls and in the ‘other’ thread we will be chatting about the shapes of shawls you like to make – asymmetric, crescent, triangular or rectangular, etc, so jump on in and tell us what you like! And don’t forget to share your show and tell by using the ‘Share with Group’ box on the project page for each of your projects.  You will notice lots of folk have already been sharing with us.  To show everyone how clever you are we will be posting a selection of these projects to our Facebook Page once a week (if you don’t want us to share your happy snaps just let us know in this ravelry thread).

Saturday 18th June is World Wide Knit in Public Day. It began in 2005 and has been an annual event ever since.  Knit in Public Day is really about showing the general public that knitting can be a community activity in a very distinct way.  Later in the month we will publish a blog post to tell you more about it.  How will you spend this fun day????

And lastly, but importantly, we will be closed Monday 13th June for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.  We will re-open on Tuesday 14th June as usual.

So, that’s June.  A month to learn, shop, share and snuggle inside with your yarn while Mother Nature sends us a lovely cold winter.

Happy ‘yarning’,

Leave a comment

International Women’s Day


Grace Cossington Smith, The Sock Knitter
(Source: National Gallery of 

It’s International Women’s Day on 8 March, a global day when we celebrate the economic, political, social and cultural achievements for women. (Really, it goes without saying that such accomplishments should be celebrated every day!) For events in your city, click here.

It’s a day to reflect on the courage and determination it took to get here, the progress women have made, and what else we need to keep fighting for.

The story of women’s struggle for equality is as universal as it is ongoing. The World Economic Forum predicted in 2015 that it would take until 2133 to achieve global gender parity. The gap can only close if we all work together to help women and girls achieve their full potential, demand leadership, respect difference, practise and encourage diversity, and stop violence against women. As has been said by the former head of the Australian Army, ‘the standard we walk past is the standard we accept’. We can all do better.

Australia was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote in federal elections and to be elected to parliament, and we achieved it peacefully and through legal means in 1902. South Australia was the first state to do so, in 1895, followed by Western Australia in 1899. (The UK did not achieve this till 1928.)

IMG_2646In East Melbourne today, near Parliament House, stands the sculpture of the Monster Petition (the Women’s Suffrage Petition) by Susan Hewitt and Penelope Lee. The petition collected 30,000 signatures from Victorian women in 1891 and presented them to Parliament so that ‘Women should vote on equal terms with men’. The original petition measures about 260 metres long, and takes three people three hours to unroll from one spool to another.

From these world-beating firsts, it would take nearly another 120 years for Australia to have its first female Prime Minister – its twenty-seventh – in Julia Gillard.

Pioneering women are vitally important as role models since, as Gillard herself has said, she knows it would be ‘easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that’.

When it comes to pioneering women, one image that always flashes to mind is Grace Cossington Smith’s The Sock Knitter, her 1915 painting of her sister Madge. Cossington Smith has been hailed an Australian modernist pioneer, and the Sock Knitter is often regarded as the first post-Impressionist painting here, and a challenge to the artistic traditions of the time.

At first glance, knitting socks seems such a small, domestic, humble gesture – but the socks were for the soldiers at the frontline in Europe. This is not a picture of a woman insulated from the larger, more tumultuous events of the world – and she is making a contribution. As has been said, the painting is a counterpoint to the usual images of masculine heroism – a salient reminder that behind the men were always women, holding up half the sky.

To read more about Grace Cossington Smith and her contemporary Stella Bowen, have a look at Drusilla Modjeska’s singular Stravinsky’s Lunch, a double biography of the artists that looks most eloquently at the competing demands of life and art.

It’s also worth looking at Cossington Smith’s picture alongside Vanessa Bell’s painting of her sister Virginia Woolf, who has famously said, ‘Knitting is the saving of life’.

In a world frequently chaotic and often adversarial, these knitters knew what they were talking about.

Just ask Julia Gillard. She knits.