Sunspun Fine Yarns


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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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June at Sunspun

June is a very exciting month!  Why?  Because Winter is here!!  All that wonderful, head clearing cold air!!  And firesides, and knitting, and hot soups, and knitting, and hot chocolates, and knitting ……..
So, grab a hot beverage, read on and let us tell you more about what’s on in June at Sunspun.

Our regular Friday Sit & Yarn just keeps going from strength to strength.  You can see the June 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!

Term 2 classes have started.  We have some fabulous classes for you during June, including a new one for all the crocheters – How to Join Crocheted Motifs – so you will know how to put all those granny squares and other shapes together.  Don’t forget the ‘oldies but goodies’ on the calendar as well! Towards the end of the month school holidays start.  To help you entertain your small people we have scheduled two kids knitting classes – Learn How to Knit for complete beginners and 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.  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 June is the very lovely Zealana yarn – Tui.  This wonderful yarn is a 12ply (Bulky), 75% merino/15% cashmere/15% possum yarn.  It is very warm with a slight halo – perfect for jumpers, cardigans and scarves – and comes in some lovely colours.  A great chance to try some possum yarn – so warm and toasty. Our upcoming blog post will tell you more.  A yarn that just cannot be ignored!!

As you know, we have a Sunspun Members loyalty programme that allows Members to receive discounts on all their purchases.  In a previous blog post we explained how it all works and let you know that we would be including some special members events this year.  Well, it’s time for another one!  We would like to invite all members to the shop for a special members only shopping day – Sunday 5th June.  As we have many members in country Victoria and interstate, special consideration will be given for you as well!  All the details have been sent out to members in a separate email.  If you  are a member and haven’t received your email invitation to this fabulous event just let us know.

As always, our YouTube channel, Sunspun, has new videos to ‘teach’ you. We know it is not possible for you all to attend classes in the shop and so the YouTube channel is our way of making our knowledge accessible to all our customers. This month we have a couple of buttonhole techniques for you – an eyelet buttonhole and a one row horizontal buttonhole. Great timing as we move into cardigan knitting weather!  Jump over to our channel every now and then to check out our video offerings.

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 June, our garment focus is shawls and in the ‘other’ thread we will be chatting about the shapes of shawls you like to make – asymmetric, crescent, triangular or rectangular, etc, 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).

Saturday 18th June is World Wide Knit in Public Day. It began in 2005 and has been an annual event ever since.  Knit in Public Day is really about showing the general public that knitting can be a community activity in a very distinct way.  Later in the month we will publish a blog post to tell you more about it.  How will you spend this fun day????

And lastly, but importantly, we will be closed Monday 13th June for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.  We will re-open on Tuesday 14th June as usual.

So, that’s June.  A month to learn, shop, share and snuggle inside with your yarn while Mother Nature sends us a lovely cold winter.

Happy ‘yarning’,
Karen.


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Classes

If you follow us on Instagram, you’d already know that we’ve just announced the next suite of classes for the second half of the year, which begin in July and take us up to November with a Christmas decorations class.

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What will you make today?

We are pleased to have our regular teachers Karen Prior and Sue Grandfield back. Jules is coming in for a one-night-only class, and Melissa Piesse is on board for a special Sunday workshop on tapestry weaving.

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Karen is our resident teacher, and runs many of our classes.
With forty years’ experience, she will be able to help with all aspects of knitting and crochet. 

There is so much wisdom to be gleaned in the three-hour Wednesday classes, which cover the spectrum of skill level from basic beginners’ crochet (12 August) to reading knitting patterns and schematics (22 July) plus finishing tips that will ensure a neat and professional knit (15 July).

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Karen’s finishing class on 28 October takes you beyond weaving in ends
to grafting, blocking techniques, seaming methods and much, much more.

Colour lovers cannot afford to miss Sue’s masterclass on slip stitches and mosaic knitting to create texture, woven effects and geometric shapes (29 July).

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Sue has created designs for international yarn houses including
Wollmeise, Black Trillium and Beautiful Silks. You can find her patterns here.

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Sue’s Pick and Mix Hat is knit in the round, and shows the infinite possibilities of colourwork. 

There are classes on modular knitting (26 August), getting the most out of Ravelry (14 October), and one on help for the unfinished objects in your life (9 September). Come along and let Karen encourage you over the hump!

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The Beekeeper’s Quilt: an example of modular knitting (not covered in the class).

Jules will run a session on knitting for speed and comfort, looking at different styles – English, Continental, Portuguese and Lever, explaining the pros and cons of each (2 September).

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Jules will be back from the UK and will run a class for us.

Besides these regular Wednesday-night classes, we also have Sunday yarn workshops, which run for longer and include more involved class projects.

If you are reasonably new to knitting, for instance, and always wondered at the finer points of knitting in the round, let Karen take you through the best way to join in the round, making jogless stripes and more (2 August).

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Amy is making the Hermaness hat in Cascade 220 as part of the Fringe Association #fringehatalong,
a perfect illustration of why the skills of knitting in the round and reading charts are invaluable. 

If you love the finished look of crochet but have always been a bit flummoxed by the language and terminology, conquer it once and for all in this workshop on 9 August, and take home a pair of fingerless mitts you’ll make on the day.

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Our Blossom kit: a simple, modular crochet project.
Make one yourself after one of Karen’s crochet classes.

We’re very pleased to have Melissa Piesse on board on 23 August for a one-day tapestry-weaving workshop (kit and all materials included in class fee of $150). You’ll learn how to warp a loom, weave shapes and lines, and explore colour, pattern and techniques.

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Melissa specialises in teaching textiles, weaving, embroidery and more.

More details on the classes can be found here. You can book by calling or emailing us.


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Classes 2015

Knitting and crochet classes for 2015 start in a few weeks’ time – please phone the shop or email us to book.

Our teachers this year are Karen Prior from Sew Well Maide and Sue Grandfield. Both have a wealth of experience and knowledge and a real passion for knitting and crochet. We’re really excited to have them on board and look forward to planning more classes with them later in the year.

Below is a summary of the classes and dates they’re on. The Toe-up Socks class is a two-session class with a two-week break over Easter.  ou can find detailed descriptions of the classes on the 2015 Classes link at the top of the page.  You can also download a PDF of the classes here: Class outlines 2015, or pick up a printed copy instore.

Date Class Name Skill Level
25 March 2015 Basic Beginner’s Crochet Beginner
1 April 2015 Toe-up Socks: Part 1 * Advanced Beginner
15 April 2015 Toe-up Socks: Part 2 * Advanced Beginner
22 April 2015 Knitting: Tips & Tricks Advanced Beginner
29 April 2015 Textured Knitting Intermediate
6 May 2015 Finishing Your Knits Advanced Beginner
13 May 2015 Double Knitting Advanced Beginner
20 May 2015 Stranded Colourwork Intermediate
27 May 2015 Steeking Intermediate
3 June 2015 Next Step Beginner’s Crochet Beginner
10 June 2015 Introduction to Lace Intermediate
17 June 2015 Lace Traditions Intermediate

*indicates two-session class


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New classes

We’re very excited to announce two new classes, the last ones for the year! These are “extra” classes, in that they are not based on specific techniques but instead are designed to help both beginner and experienced knitters and crocheters get the most out of their craft…

Ravelry Tips & Tricks 

This 3-hour intensive class aims to not only get you up and running on Ravelry but also to show you loads of nifty tips and tricks to help you maximise this extraordinary website and all it offers.

We’ll start with the basics, including creating your profile, adding projects and photos, finding friends, using your queue and favourites, adding your existing pattern books to your Ravelry library, finding special interest groups and getting the most out of the forums. Then we’ll look into some more advanced handy applications, including using filters when for searching for patterns, yarn databases and so on, effective “tags”, matching specific yarns to patterns, searching other users stashes for extra yarn, using the database to choose substitute yarns, buying patterns online and searching through other people’s projects for notes, modifications and errata.

Participants are required to bring their own laptop or tablet- unfortunately, smartphones are not sufficient for this class. Free Wifi access will be available on the night

Fibre and Yarn 101

These days, we have access to so many different types of yarns that choosing the right one for a knitting or crochet project can be overwhelming… and yet yarn choice can be the difference between a garment you love and wear forever and a frustrating mess. This class is designed to teach you how to work out the type of yarn best suited to your project and how to find it.

We’ll look at the various types of natural fibres and the processes involved in turning them into yarn including scouring, spinning and dyeing and you will learn how these processes influence how a yarn looks, feels and behaves during and after knitting. We’ll also swatch with a series of yarns and discuss possible uses for them, as well as how to recognise the yarns that will work for you before you even get them out of the shop!

Please see our full class descriptions and requirements on our classes page at http://www.sunspun.wordpress.com. To book your place, please email or call us.