Sunspun Fine Yarns

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May at Sunspun

May is a very special month! Why? Well let’s list the reasons – the weather is getting ever colder and the days shorter and providing more knitting/crocheting time, we have lots of great classes for you, a fabulous new Product of the Month and more …….

Oh ….. and, of course, May means Mother’s Day! Yippee!

So, read on and let us tell you more about what’s on in May at Sunspun.


Our regular Friday Sit & Yarn just keeps going from strength to strength. You can see the May 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.

Term 2 classes have started. We have some fabulous classes for you during May, including two new ones – Your Measurements, Your Sweater (a design and fit class) and Portuguese Style Knitting. Don’t forget the ‘oldies but goodies’ on the calendar as well! And there is one, Blossom Scarf, for all the crochet enthusiasts! We are eager to help you expand your knitting and crochet skills and have a good selection of techniques for you to try. 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. Don’t forget our classes are now conducted on Tuesday nights, we hope this allows additional customers access to educational opportunities.

As you know from a previous blog post, we now have a Product of the Month each and every month! The highlighted product for May is the very lovely Danish yarn – Isager Aplaca 2. This beautiful yarn is a 4ply (Fingering), 50% wool/50% alpaca yarn. It is soft and drapey – perfect for cowls, scarves, shawls and garments. In fact, we have some of these things made up as samples in the shop for you to see the yarn ‘in action’! Common and frequent customer comments about it praise its softness and incredible colour palette. Colour is something the gals at Isager are extremely good at. And we have pattern leaflets and books from Isager that will sorely tempt you! Our blog post will tell you more. A yarn that just cannot be ignored!!

May means Mother’s Day. Such a special day for us all. A day to celebrate the Mother that we have and the Mother that we are. We have a Mother’s Day display in the shop, giving you ideas about what to make for a special Mum who loves her hand knits and crochet items. Some are simple, some are quick and some just that little bit luxurious. And, of course, some special ‘pamper’ items like beautiful handmade soap, hand cream, chocolate and tea! Those special things that say – in a ‘yarny and yummy way’ ………..


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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 ‘must know’ techniques – the best way to Pick Up and Knit Stitches and How to Pick Up the Wrap when you are wrapping and turning for short rows.

In our Ravelry group, Sunspun Fibre Folk, we have started a couple of new monthly discussion threads for you to participate in. The first is centred around garments – each month we will feature a new garment and ask you to share past or current projects. The second will be more general and talk about yarns, colours, shapes, etc. Lots for everyone! For May, our garment focus is socks and in the ‘other’ thread we will be chatting about the kinds of socks you like to make – plain, patterned, stripes, 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).

And lastly, but importantly, we have a new staff member – Clare. Be sure to stop by on a Monday and say ‘hi and welcome’ to her. We know she will say ‘hi’ back!!!

So, that’s May. A month to learn, shop, share and celebrate the special ‘Mum’ in your life.

Happy ‘yarning’,

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The Second Sunday in May …

… is Mother’s Day. And yes, that is next Sunday – at least in Australia, but check if you are reading this from elsewhere, because the day of celebration varies a little around the world, and it would not be a good look if you missed it.

Whether Mother’s Day is a happy or poignant one for you, and no matter if your mum is your best friend or favourite teacher, or if you’re the favourite child or black sheep, it’s a day to quietly acknowledge or shout from the rooftops that you care.

If your mum appreciates the handmade, there is still time, if you start now, to make her something in time for next week. Here are some ideas we’ve come across.

Slippers don’t come cosier than a pair made with your fair hands. These Stippers are knit in one piece with a braid along the top, and we know that few things say ‘I love you’ better than warm feet.

stippers1_medium2Source: Ashley Knowlton

To save mum from chilly hands, take a leaf from Karen’s book and make a pair of these Qwist Mitts in one of the loveliest yarns we stock, Shilasdair Luxury. The diagonal weave pattern is interesting enough to keep you engaged, and quick enough to make the deadline. Karen changed one aspect of this well-written pattern: ‘I tried the bind-off method detailed in the pattern but it was too loose. I pulled it out and just used the ordinary, normal bind off and found this to be a much nicer edge. It is stretchy enough without being to loose and fluting.’


Our favourite Shetland trader Gudrun Johnston has a seamless slouchy hat that is light and airy but also warm – and just in time for the southern-hemisphere winter.


Source: Gudrun Johnston/Jared Flood

If you have a present all ready, you can have your pick of these next few projects started (it’s the thought that counts, after all) and give them to mum when ready. For a simple scarf with fluted details and the squishiness of garter, try Shellie Anderson’s M.1. We have a lovely sample instore made in Shibui’s Maai (mah-ah-ee), a DK-weight alpaca and merino mix that is utterly luxurious to wear.


Another lovely idea is Joji Locatelli’s Three-colour Cashmere Cowl, which we also have as a sample, knit in Zealana Air. The interplay of lace, stripes and colours makes the cowl fun to make and a versatile piece, since it changes depending on whether you wear it in loose folds or slightly scrunched up under a jacket.


For jetsetting mums, Veera Välimäki’s Study Stripe Shawl is well nigh indispensable. This was the single most useful item I packed when I went travelling last autumn; the shawl worked well at the markets in the morning, and was smart enough to go out for dinner in the evening. We have a sample in Kidsilk Haze, which is ethereally light and beautiful. Mine was in Malabrigo sock (pictured), but any fingering or sock-weight yarn would work for this.


Consider Michyo’s Flying Squirrel a woolly hug for mum every time she wears it. This top is a doddle to make in worsted weight yarn, rather like a blanket with cuffs. If you want something that works up faster, how about this Purl Soho Sideways Garter Vest?

Source: Brooklyn Tweed (left), Purl Soho (right)

Finally, for lace lovers or shawl lovers alike, meet the Countess of Landsfeld, named in honour of Eliza Gilbert, better known as Lola Montez. This free pattern is, according to its creator Mary Ann Cunningham-Kim, ‘a celebration of shameless knitting shortcuts. The pattern is full of shortcuts . . . eight different options for making left and right slanted multiple decreases, and a simple picot cast-off that provides stretchiness and visual interest without overwhelming the rest of the lace (or the knitter)’.

countess_of_landsfeld_detail_of_back_medium2Source: Mary Ann Cunningham-Kim

So, very happy making and celebrating to you and your mum and/or the mother figures in your life.

And know that the best present you can give mum is to tell her she was right.

About everything.