Sunspun Fine Yarns


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Things to See & Make

      beci:LD

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.

Threshold

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.

TanisFiberArts

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!

Debbieblisssml


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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 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!


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5 things we love….

The knits, patterns, people and movements that are currently inspiring us…

1.  The fact that the Sheepshow is only a week away! Are you going? If you haven’t heard about this essential event on Australia’s woolly calender, you’re missing out on meeting fibre-producing animals and the people that turn that fibre into stuff we can work with and wear. Just be sure to take a big bag for all the treasures you’ll find and also to really rug up- it gets pretty chilly up there!

Gratuitous cute sheep shot in case you need motivation to come along!

In case you need coercing to attend, here’s a gratuitous cute sheep shot!

 

2.  The Neural Knitworks travelling exhibition for National Science Week, which celebrates the connection between knitting, crochet and other yarn crafts and maintaining brain health. Made up of a huge number of yarn neurons currently being made by communities of crafters at small Neural Knitworks gatherings around Australia, the exhibit will begin its journey at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery in August. Get involved (or find out more) here.

 

3. The gorgeous new pattern from small American yarn producer Quince and Co., the Texo Shawl:

Texo Shawl

Texo Shawl

Texo Shawl

Texo Shawl

At this time of year, so many of the northern hemisphere patterns leave us cold but this one is perfect for casting on right now. Knit in 4ply, it would be a perfect pairing with our Shilasdair Luxury 4ply or our literally-just-arrived Skein Topdrawer Sock or Merino Silk Sport… More on our new Skein yarns next week!

 

4.  The latest installment of Our Tools, Ourselves from the Fringe Association, featuring our perennial knit crush, Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. You really get a sense of the attention to detail and technique that makes his work so successful.

 

5.  The beautiful fibres coming out of Cheryl Crosbie’s Granite Haven property in Euroa, central Victoria. Cheryl raises llamas and Gotland Sheep for spinning and knitting fibre and her commitment to a beautiful-quality, locally-processed product is paying off- her fleece, rovings and yarn are very beautiful. She has an open day coming up later in the year and we are hoping to get up there to visit this great enterprise.