Sunspun Fine Yarns

Leave a comment

Art & Fashion

A slight change of pace this week.

This year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program honours the work of Jenny Kee and her four-decade contribution to Australian fashion. Together with Linda Jackson at their shop Flamingo Park, Jenny and Linda presented a truly unique idea of Australian fashion that drew on our cultural and natural landscape, and elements of indigenous art. Their clothes were colourful, audacious and, most of all, fun.


Source: Jenny Kee, Winter Knits

Jenny’s influence and aesthetic extends to the present day, most notably in her collaboration with local designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett from Romance Was Born.

For the exhibition ‘A New Beginning’ at Melbourne gallery Pieces of Eight, Jenny has created a limited edition capsule collection that references her iconic designs and motifs, including the Sturt pea, banksia and especially her beloved waratah.  As Jenny herself has said, ‘This collection represents a blend of Italian Baruffa wool, Chinese knitting technology with Australian design – my heritage in one!’

The exhibition goes until 28 March – you can’t miss the stunning installation by paper artist Benja Harney at the entrance, with Jenny’s trademark red glasses greeting you on approach.


Source: photograph by Andrew Barcham, courtesy of Pieces of Eight Gallery

PO820150216_JennyKeeKateRhode_34  Source: photograph by Kim Wearne, courtesy of Pieces of Eight Gallery

You can knit a Jenny item of your own from her pattern books Winter Knits and Nature Knits (try eBay or secondhand shops).

WinterKnitsJenny’s work is very adaptable, and the character and mood of a piece alters altogether with even just a palette change. Her Peace sweater below, for instance, looks completely different when knit in black and white and in colour.


The individual motifs from some patterns can be pulled out for different uses, for instance in this hand-knit scarf, which was made for Jenny herself. (Pic is of the unblocked scarf.)9543359231_22252c2dc4_o

The same motifs work beautifully in this limited-edition machine-knitted beanie, which is available for sale with the rest of her new collection at Pieces of Eight.


In store news, sixteen wonderful shades of Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal have arrived. This 4 ply fine tweed yarn, a blend of wool and cashmere, is a good substitute for Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft. Each 100 g ball is 380 metres, so, depending on the pattern, four balls should more than suffice for an adult garment. As always, larger balls means fewer ends to deal with!


Debbie Bliss patterns for this yarn include delicate shawls, cosy cowls and classic sweaters. We have the book instore, so please drop by and have a look.


Easter trading: We are closed from Easter Friday, 3 April, until Easter Monday, 6 April, reopening on 7 April.

We are starting to plan and stock up for our own holiday projects. Come in and tell us yours!

Leave a comment

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!