Sunspun Fine Yarns


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Father’s Day

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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July at Sunspun

July sees us right in the heart of an Aussie winter. Now we don’t have snow here in Melbourne (sadly some of us may think!!) but let’s just pretend, for the length of this newsletter, that we do! And if you are in the Dandenongs or some regional areas of Victoria then you most certainly just had a wee amount of snow.

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

Our regular Friday Sit & Yarn just keeps going from strength to strength. You can see the July 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 and new people are joining in!

Term 3 classes have started. We have some fabulous classes for you during July, including a new Knitting Clinic so you can get some help to finish off those projects that have been sitting in the ‘too hard’ basket just waiting for some loving attention. Don’t forget the ‘oldies but goodies’ on the calendar as well! To help you entertain your small people in the school holidays we have the second of our new kids knitting classes – 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. Our private classes are proving to be very popular and allowing many customers to have personalised help with their knitting and crochet dilemmas. 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 July is the very lovely Shilasdair yarn – Luxury 4ply. This beautiful Scottish yarn is from the Isle of Skye and has been a customer favourite for a ‘wee’ while. It is a 4ply (Fingering), 40% merino lambswool/40% angora/10% baby camel/10% cashmere yarn. Truly exotic!! It is hand dyed with beautiful natural dyes and comes with very generous meterage on the skein. It’s perfect for jumpers, cardigans and accessories – we have some samples knit up for you to see it ‘in action’. Our upcoming blog post will tell you more. A yarn that just cannot be ignored!!

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A lot of us may only get as close to snow as a pretty snow globe this winter!

This year we want to showcase the talents of some very skilled people in our community. Kirsten Johnstone joins us again in July for the launch of her new mini collection, Kei, for Woolfolk. The garments and accessories will be in the shop on Friday/Saturday 8th/9th July for you to see and Kirsten will be in the shop on Saturday 9th July from 11.30 – 3.30pm to chat and help. Come along and say hi. All the details are on the blog.

We are very fortunate to have the lovely Clare Devine as a staff member. Did you know that Clare is a very talented designer and has a very devoted worldwide fan base? Towards the end of July and running into August we are soooo looking forward to being able to share many of these designs with you in a Trunk Show. We will be following our usual trunk show format and having a Sunspun Members’ Meet, Greet and Nibbles Night (with fashion parade) on Friday 29th July (by invitation only) with Clare’s knitted samples in the shop throughout the following week. More info on this later in a separate newsletter and blog post. If you are a sock and hat lover be prepared to swoon!!!

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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 July, our garment focus is sweaters and in the ‘other’ thread we will be chatting about the kinds of sweaters you like to make – pullovers, cardigans, vests, oversized, fitted, lightweight or thick and snuggly – 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).

So, that’s July. A month to learn, shop, share and dream about snow while Mother Nature sends us a lovely cold winter just right for our knitted woollies.

Happy ‘yarning’,
Karen.


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We’re Having a Trunk Show with Kirsten Johnstone!

Have you heard of a Trunk Show before?
No? Then read on! Yes? Then read on!

A Trunk Show is a selection of knitted samples from yarn companies or designers that a shop can borrow for a short period of time to allow its customers to see what patterns or yarns will look like when they are knitted up. It is a special event that allows folk to come and see items that are not normally on display. As wonderful an asset to our knitting world as the internet has become, opening up the works of all designers to all knitters around the globe, nothing appeals like touching and feeling the garments and accessories that have so cleverly been created. And often a Trunk Show will include a visit by the designer to meet and chat to customers in the shop.

And so, without out any further ado, let me introduce you to Kirsten Johnstone and give you the details of the forthcoming trunk show.

Kirsten is a local Melbourne gal who has made a wonderful splash on the international knitting scene. She has designed for such influential companies as Brooklyn Tweed, Quince & Co, Woolfolk, Blue Sky Alpacas, amirisu and Shibui Knits. In her ‘other’ life (you know, when she is not knitting!) Kirsten is an architect and her love of clean lines and structure can be seen in her knitting designs. As she describes her garments “designs with a distinctive urban edge yet elegantly wearable”.

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We are thrilled to be able to share Kirsten’s designs with you over the span of a week or so in March. We will have a selection of 16 garments and accessories in the shop for you to touch, feel and try on! Additionally, Kirsten’s patterns will be available for purchase with a 5% discount (15% for Sunspun Members) for the duration of the trunk show. Annnnd ……. Kirsten will be in the shop on Saturday morning to say hi, answer questions and sign patterns!

Kirsten has graciously agreed to teach a class for us as well! On Wednesday 9th March (6.15 – 9.15pm) we have scheduled her Sev[en]circles Neckpiece class. If you would like to book in now is the time as places are already filling. Just call us (9830 1609) and we can book you in and secure your spot.

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A special treat for Sunspun Members is a Meet, Greet and Nibbles night with Kirsten on Friday night. Oh …… and did I mention the Fashion Parade!!! For those of us who are ‘models’ – a very scary proposition!! Please make sure you RSVP by the required date (see your Invitation email) so we make sure to order sufficient nibbles.

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So, we hope that you will come along and touch and feel and try on and chat and enjoy the wonderful talent of Kirsten Johnstone – Aussie designer extraordinaire!

Happy ‘yarning’,
Amy, Karen and Nicole.                          Zenmon-2-650x650.jpg

 

Event details summarised below !

Trunk Show Details
Sat 5th March – Sat 12th March
Meet Kirsten Sat 5th March 11am-2pm
Discounted patterns during show

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Sunspun Member Event
(by invitation only)

Friday 4th March
Times: 6.30 – 8.30pm
Food provided; free event
Fashion Parade


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Source: Purl Soho’s Mistake Rib scarf

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Farrow rib scarf

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

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

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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.

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Things to See & Make

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Source: Lamington Drive

To look and find

The walls at Lamington Drive have been transformed into pages from Beci Orpin’s latest book, Find Me a Castle. The look-and-find exhibition will be on until 5 September 2015, and looks to be great fun for kids small and not-so-small. At 101A Sackville Street, Collingwood.

To make (i)

Isabell Kraemer’s Reagan has to be the prettiest cardigan we’ve seen in a while, and best of all, it’s one of those that you can flip and wear upside-down. The pattern calls for a wool–cotton yarn, which makes the finished garment perfect for layering. Start now, and you can wear it on spring days and cool summer nights. Reagan

To make (ii)

Our interest in allover patterning continues, and Melanie Berg’s Threshold ticks all those sweater boxes: top town, seamless, boat neck, a subtle criss-cross design, drop-shoulder construction and a boxy cut. One to make if you look forward to many evenings of purely meditative knitting.

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To lift you up

Do you use moodboards? They are a particularly effective tool for when you’re looking to expand your colour and design horizons. Tanis Fiber Arts posts hers every Monday. Whether you’re looking for a lift, or a touch of simple beauty as you go about your day, there’s something to suit every, um, mood.

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Source: Tanis Fiber Arts

To hatalong

Fringe Hatalongs are becoming a bit of a thing now (Amy made the Hermaness Worsted), and the latest project is just up if you want to join in. This time, the project is based on colourwork. The pattern uses between 80 and 125 metres of a main colour and 14–20 metres of a contrast colour in worsted-weight wool. (Cascade would work well.)

To applaud

Debbie Bliss, well known internationally for her amazing yarns and designs has been awarded an MBE for her services in knitting and craft in the recent Queen’s birthday honours list. It is so inspiring to see knitting and the crafts make the headlines, and Debbie’s work thus acknowledged!

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