Sunspun Fine Yarns

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Shibui FOs

We’ve been busy getting to know our new Shibui yarns- and, as everyone know, the only way to do that is to knit with them! So here are the first of our finished objects from Shibui yarns…

First up is Kylie’s hat, her own design no less and one of a series that she’ll be releasing over the next few months:

Kylie's hat

Kylie’s hat

For this design, she used two Shibui yarns, Cima and Pebble, and knitted them held double on 3.5mm needles, ending up with a 6ply tension; for the cast-on and chevron highlights (and that gorgeous pompom!), she held together two strands of Cima in Jumpsuit and, for the body, a strand of Cima in Fjord and one of Pebble in Ivory.

One of the beautiful things about using more than two or more strands of Shibui (and other fine yarns) together is that you never know how the two yarns will work together- the combination is often quite different to both individual yarns! In the case of Kylie’s hat, the two strands of Cima, a smooth alpaca/ merino blend that feels quite light and drapey, resulted a surprisingly plump and bouncy fabric with lovely stitch clarity, whereas the combination of Cima and Pebble resulted in a super-comfy, lightweight hat with a subtle fuzzy halo.


Amy knitted up a Shibui design, the Cliff Hat from Shellie Anderson, in Pebble:

Amy's Cliff Hat

Amy’s Cliff Hat

This design uses 5 different shades of Pebble and Amy took inspiration from another knitter for her colours- we love Ravelry for so many reasons but especially for sharing all the awesome talent of others! The yarn is held double (two strands of the same colour) and knitted on a 2.75mm needle for the main colourwork body of the hat. Amy found the Pebble really lovely to work with and that the lightness and softness of the merino and cashmere content combined well with the strength of recycled silk to create a soft, lightweight hat with a nice little bloom after blocking.


Jules made the Georgia Vest from Cecily Glownik McDonald:

Georgia Vest

Jules’ Georgia Vest

This lovely design really needs a soft, supple fabric to allow the vest and its cowl neckline to drape properly and holding together one strand of Silk Cloud and one of Pebble (both in Ash) has definitely achieved that. The Pebble creates the structure for the garment, while the super-soft kid mohair and silk combo of Silk Cloud makes this lightweight (the garment only weighs 170gm) but incredibly warm and very snuggly!


And here is a sneak peak of Jackie’s beautifully neat little mitred squares that she is working using two strands of Pebble; they’ll be sewn together to make a beautiful, warm winter scarf/ wrap. Hurry up, Jackie- we can’t wait to see it finished!

Jackie's Squares Scarf

Jackie’s Squares Scarf


We’d love to see and hear what you’re planning with Shibui!







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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…

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…

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…



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

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In focus: Felted Tweed

With the beginning of this new and very exciting year at Sunspun (with a new baby, a refit of the shop and website and lots of new yarns on the way!), we’re introducing a couple of regular blog features to highlight things that we love, both in-store and out in the world. The first of these is In focus, which will feature our most favourite yarn or tool and show some of the magic you can work with it. The second is Things We Love…, a round-up of people, projects and other great things that we are inspired by and want to share with you. So we hope you enjoy these regulars!

We’re starting with one of our greatest yarn loves in the shop, Rowan Felted Tweed, a perennial favourite that has withstood Rowan’s seasonal culling process and is still stands tall after 10 years. There are so many reasons for its longevity; a wonderful and wide range of 28 colours, that tweedy fleck and alpaca halo that add so much life to knitted fabric, a huge 175m per 50gm ball (almost double the average number of metres for 8-ply yarn!) and a drapey lightness that makes garments knitted from it a joy to wear…

Felted Tweed

Felted Tweed

We have a trio of recently finished garments in Felted Tweed to inspire you…

Maple, Pomme de Pin and Striven

Maple, Pomme de Pin and Striven

Jackie used Striven from Rowan 42 as inspiration for her incredibly beautiful jumper, using the slip-stitch pattern and colour sequence as a starting point and then developing her own pattern for a custom-fit seamless jumper.

Jackie's Striven

Jackie’s Striven

I especially love the single row of accent colour she used at the beginning of each arm!

Jackie's Striven

Jackie’s Striven

Next up is Jules’ Pomme de Pin, a pattern from American independent designer Amy Christoffers. A big, comfy, “boyfriend cardigan”, it features one of Amy’s favourite design elements, a high collar that wraps around the back of the neck, adding to it’s coziness.

Jules' Pomme de Pin

Jules’ Pomme de Pin

Jules' Pomme de Pin

Pine cone lace

And lastly, the beautiful Maple cardigan, which has inspired a lot of our customers to try colourwork knitting! The design really makes use of the beautiful colour range that works so well together and everyone loves the combination of patterned body (worked with a combination of stranded colourwork and intarsia) and stripey sleeves.

Sue's Maple

Sue’s Maple

A combination of stranded colourwork and intarsia

Sue’s Marple

And, just as we were writing this feature, one of our regulars, Fay, walked in with this! It’s the Orkney cardigan by Marie Wallin from Rowan 52, all in Felted Tweed and, incredibly, Fay’s first attempt at colourwork… isn’t she amazing?!

Fay's Orkney

Fay’s Orkney

And, just so you have all the details:

Vital stats for Felted Tweed

Yarn weight:  DK or 8-ply

Tension:  22-24 st and 30-32 rows per 10cm

Needle size:  3.75-4mm

Metrage:  175m per 50gm

Fibre composition: 50% merino, 25% alpaca, 25% viscose