Sunspun Fine Yarns


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Things We Love

Well, winter certainly hit with a vengeance in Melbourne this week after the last few weeks of serenely mild autumn days! All the more reason to bunker down with a new project or to finish an existing one. With the focus turning a bit more homeward and inward, we thought we’d share some favourites with you: in this case, something to listen to, to read and to admire.

The Woolful podcast: the latest episode is now available here, on iTunes and Stitcher, and features a mother-and-daughter team who run Flying Fibers in Pennsylvania that preserves rare-breed Wensleydale, Leicester and Longwool sheep. Woolful have more than twenty podcasts ready for downloading, which showcase lots of artists, producers, makers and introduce many kinds of craft – perfect for listening to when you’re going about your day. (If you’re after a non-woolly podcast, try Meshel Laurie’s Nitty-Gritty Committee podcast, also available from iTunes.)

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Source: Woolful.com

Principles of Knitting by June Hiatt: if there is one knitting reference book you need in your life, this 736-page classic is it. It’s like having a good friend at your elbow for those times when you’re stuck or wondering at the merits of a particular technique over another. The new edition features updated instructions and information that beginners and experienced knitters alike will find useful. Hiatt explains the how, but also the why, which helps you make an informed choice, depending on the effect you want to achieve.

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Fringe Supply & Co: it’s no secret that we love Fringe Supply and stock quite a few of their tools and accessories – the brass stitch markers pictured below will last forever, and wear beautifully. They run a very fine blog, too.

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That knitters are particular about their tools, especially their needles, and loyal to them, is no great revelation. Finding just the right tool for the job makes the act of making that much more pleasurable. Here are some of our favourites this week.

Nicole loves her Knit Pro Symfonie interchangeable knitting needles, which she uses for almost every knitting project. She also picked up a Clover Amour crochet hook for the first time and ‘am most definitely falling in love’ – it’s ‘so comfortable to use’. Another thing she swears by are stitch markers and a good gauge ruler.

Like Nicole, I’m a Knit Pro interchangeable girl, but I must confess that, having used the Addi Turbo Lace needles to make a Robin, I’m starting to understand why they are so beloved. The sharp Addi tips are fabulous when you need to knit stitches through the back loop, and there is enough drag on the needles that the stitches don’t slip off.

Amy’s new favourite tool at the moment is this Sistema snack container that’s ‘the perfect size for carrying my tools on the go. It has a separate container inside that can hold stitch markers. When the lid is down I can also fit longer things like a pencil or needle gauge on top. I got it from the supermarket’.

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In store news, we have Arne & Carlos’ Regia sock yarns in stock. These Norwegian-accented colour combinations are justly popular, and Regia sock yarns wear very well. In our excitement to get the socks on the shelves, though, we didn’t realise till later that our stock is of 50 g instead of the more usual 100 g balls. If you bought the yarn in the last week or so and paid $14 each, please come back in for a refund. The 50 g balls (209 metres) are $7 each.

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There are also heaps of new books instore, including a Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran book for kids. (I wonder if I can upsize that cape …)

11203209_1412866669035050_576497587_nAnd how cute are these little tins for treasures?
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Drop by and say hello, and tell us what’s on your needles. Stay warm!


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Christmas gift guide 2

Christmas is getting closer (how is your gift crafting coming along?!) so here is this weeks list of our best gift ideas for you or the knitters and crocheters around you…   Stocking fillers for $15 and under:

  • A set of Clover Chibi needles, the best ever wool needles with curved tips for seaming your projects! 3 small needles or 2 large in a cute little tube case, $8-10.
  • Every knitter needs a wee sheep on their desk or coffee table! This little cardboard sweetie holds cards, pens, paperclips and other bits and bobs: Karton sheep $14
Karton sheep

Karton sheep

  • A set of 3 multipurpose tools for picking up dropped stitches, working cables and lots more: set of 3 ebony or bone, $13.
Ebony and bone tools

Ebony and bone tools

For $30 and under:

  • The Harmony Crochet Stitch Motifs stitch dictionary with a whopping 250 different designs: $30.
  • The wonderful Yarn Pyramid print from the Fringe Supply Co: $27 (unframed)
Fringe Supply Co's Yarn Pyramid print

Fringe Supply Co’s Yarn Pyramid print

  • A lovely knit-print knitting project pouch from Canadian outfit, Danica Entwine: $27
Entwine zip pouch

Entwine zip pouch

For $50 and over:

  • Yokes, the new book from Kate Davies! This is sure to become the definitive resource for yoked jumpers and cardigans from all traditions around the world, with essays on each and 11 accompanying designs: $50.
Yokes by Kate Davies

Yokes by Kate Davies

  • A beautiful set of interchangeable needles to cover every needle size and length you could ever need! We have sets KnitPro Nova Deluxe (nickel, $117), Symphonie Deluxe and Fine (laminated birch, $122 and $130) and Bamboo Deluxe (bamboo, $146).
  • For all your winding pleasure, a combo set of skein holder and umbrella swift- you’ll be winding everything you can find with these at your disposal! $110/ set

 


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Christmas gift guide 1

Each week until Christmas, we’ll be putting together a list of our most favourite things in the shop as a guide for you and those hunting for presents for you. We like to make it easy for you! So here is our first group…

 

Stocking fillers for $10 and under:

  • 20 coil-less stitch markers in a handy tin that is small enough to fit in your notions pouch but big enough to hold all your other little knitting bits and pieces: $8
Coil-less safety pins

Coil-less stitch markers

 

  • A sweet greeting card and envelope featuring a watercolour of Brooklyn Tweed’s designs: 5 designs, $5.
Brooklyn Tweed greeting cards

Brooklyn Tweed greeting cards

 

  • A ball of Waikiwi Sock, a lovely blend of New Zealand merino, alpaca, possum and nylon (ok, so you’ll need two balls to knit a pair of socks but 1 ball will get you a knitted toy, small accessory and the like!): $10/ 50gm

 

For $30 and under:

  • From the super-cool American label, Fringe Association, this canvas tote bag is plenty big and sturdy enough to carry a large garment project or two or three smaller WIP’s: 2 designs, $25
Fringe Association Tote

Fringe Association Tote

 

  • A shawl pin from Days of August (Adelaide) or Hornvarefabrikken (Denmark) to keep your hand knits snuggly around you: Days of August reclaimed US army pins in 16 colours, $25, Hornvarefabrikken horn pins in various sizes and designs, $24-$42.
Giant safety pin from Days of August

Giant safety pin from Days of August

 

 

  • A 150gm skein of Colinette Jitterbug, a hand-dyed 4ply merino yarn from rural Wales that knits into the most gorgeous, plump socks and garments: many colourways, $30/ 150gm.

 

For $50 and over:

  • The pattern and yarn to knit Onward, this large and very beautiful shawl from Journey by Shannon Cook and Jane Richmond. Knit in 10ply with just knit and purl stitches, Onward is a joy to knit and to wear. Book $36, price of yarn dependent on selection.
Onward

Onward Shawl

 

  • A deluxe set of Clover Amour crochet hooks, which contains 10 hooks with smooth, rounded rubber handles with a flattened section where the thumb can rest, allowing you to crochet for a longer period of time! Set of 10 hooks, $75.

 

  • And, for the extremely generous giver, an Addi Express knitting machine that will enable you to crank out last minute knitted gifts like scarves, blankets, cushions and more! Lightweight, portable and easy to use, the Addi Express knits in the round and flat and comes in two sizes: $190 for standard, $248 for kingsize.
Addi Express

Addi Express

 

See you next week with our next groups of faves!