Sunspun Fine Yarns


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Take Heart

cover-360x500Pom Pom Quarterly first appeared in 2012, and right from the start, its meaningful curation of knitting, crochet, craft projects and thoughtful features has been warmly embraced. Take Heart is the first book from the founders and editors, Meghan Fernandes and Lydia Gluck, featuring the designs of Fiona Alice.

Fiona is originally from Nova Scotia, and after an exchange semester at the Glasgow School of Art, dreamt of ways to return to live in the UK. She wrote to some UK yarn companies, which led to a summer at the yarnmakers Toft, who produce alpaca yarns in their Warwickshire farm. That led to an internship at Pom Pom, and today, a designer’s life. She now travels between London and Halifax, Canada.

The book is a tactile beauty and handsomely produced; the intimate format sits nicely in the hand when you’re reading and is good to work from when you’re ready to pick up the needles. The uncoated paper shows off the images by Juju Vail well, and lend them a beguiling warmth. The patterns are clearly set out, and all charted patterns come with written instructions.

Take Heart’s eleven designs have in common a love of texture and classic stitches and techniques. Ribbing, slipped stitches and cables come together to create geometric patterns.

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The versatility of a large, rectangle wrap knows no bounds, and Three Cliffs is one of those pieces that promises to get lots of use in the cooler months. The slipped stitches in alternating columns are set out in a chevron pattern, and there’s enough that changes from row to row to make the knitting interesting, even for those with shortened attention spans. Use your favourite DK yarn for this.

cowl-2_medium2Martinique Beach, named for one of Fiona’s favourite places on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, is a colourwork cowl is worked in the round, with a provisional cast-on grafted onto the end with Kitchener stitch. Pick four worsted weight colours in your choice of neutrals, darks or brights, and you’re away.

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Caswell Bay Hat and Fingerless Mitts are thoughtful studies in texture, from the twisted rib of the hat brim to the raised geometric pattern set against the reverse stocking-stitch background. Splash out on a merino and silk blend for this, and watch the finished piece come alive as you knit.

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Nothing connotes winter cosy better than handknit socks. Fiona’s Lunenburg Harbour socks, knit from the toe up with an afterthought heel and a sweet picot trim, would look beautiful in an alpaca yarn that blooms with use, such as the ones by Isager or Shibui.

shawl1_medium2A favourite piece is Ketch Harbour, a textured wrap with mesh and ribbing, worked seamlessly in short rows and finished in a whale-tail motif. Best of all, it’s seamless. This is another one to make in a luxurious wool and silk blend – and one that is going on my queue immediately!

Finally, the titular Take Heart toque. This is knit in the round and composed of cables that bloom into interlocking hearts to make a heavenly winter hat. Rowan Cocoon would be a good substitute, or Debbie Bliss’ Cashmerino Aran.

From an internship to published author, Take Heart shows what happens when you are brave enough to take the first step, and to allow yourself to be encouraged.

We have copies of the book instore for $33. Come and be inspired!
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Our New Magazine Subscription Service

We know there are just some magazines you have to have – each and every issue! You love the patterns, you love to read the articles and you just want to have the complete collection to look at and ooohhh and ahhhhh over!

So, to help you, we have established a Magazine Subscriber Service. This means we will be able to order our magazines in the correct quantities to accommodate the demand for each issue. Nobody misses out!

So, how does it work? It is very simple really. Give us a call (03 9830 1609, Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm) or email us (shop@sunspun.com.au) and tell us you want to purchase your magazine every issue and provide us with a contact number or email address. We will pop your name on the Subscriber Service List for that title. As soon as each new issue comes in we will put your copy in a safe place (!) and hold it for you for seven days. No need to pay up front – just pay as you go! Obviously, if at any time, you decide your collection is complete, just let us know and we will remove your name from the Service. Just in the fine print (every deal has some right!?!?), if we don’t hear from you within the seven day hold period we will put your copy back on the shelf so it won’t get lonely and may find its way home with another yarn lover!

So, what magazines are we talking about? Faves of you all –
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amirisu
amirisu is a bilingual knitting magazine from Japan. It is published both online and in print a few times a year. Beautiful, sleek and stylish knits!

Pom Pom Quarterly
Pom Pom was founded in 2012 as a quarterly magazine that would present knitting, crochet, and craft in themodern, beautiful, and meaningful way it should be. Mainly conceived as a collection of patterns complemented by thoughtful writing and useful tutorials, each issue celebrates the joy of making, without taking it too seriously! Always fun!
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Rowan Magazine

The much acclaimed Rowan Magazine is released inline ith the new seasons, featuring designs from in-house design teams and many freelance designers. Beautiful designs, gorgeous photography – more like a yarn lover’s coffee table book.

The Rowan Subscriber Service will be split into those who would like both the summer and winter editions and those who would prefer only the winter edition. Just let us know which list we should enter you on when you give us a call.

As usual, we are more than happy to mail your magazine to you if you are unable to make it in to visit us.

So, we hope this makes it easier for you and we can help you on your way to many wonderful, memorable ooh & ahhh moments!

Happy ‘yarning’
Karen.


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Spring knitting

Down here in the southern hemisphere, we tend to come a very distant fourth, fifth or last to other parts of the world when it comes to spring and summer knitting. I should clarify at this point that I mean that we often knit a lot over the warmer months and can even be found sweltering under a half-knitted blanket with the fan or air-con directed straight at us (anyone else done that?!) but we very rarely make lightweight knits to wear in the hot months.

Perhaps that’s because we’ve got out of the habit of knitting with fine yarns or because we don’t much like how cotton can be hard on our hands. It also seems like summer knits aren’t really part of our fashion culture in the way they are in Europe, Scandinavia and parts of Asia (although local labels like Gorman and Obus are certainly bringing them back into our wardrobes).

But, here at Sunspun, we’re determined to do our bit in turning that around, at least in our neighbourhood! We’re bringing in some very beautiful lightweight yarns from Shibui, Isager and Rowan (more on those as they arrive) that will truly be comfortable to wear on a hot summer day, and have already started carrying some summer-weight yarns that defy the stereotypes, such as Rowan Softknit Cotton and Truesilk which, because of their chain or crepe construction, have a good bit of spring and bounce and so are easy to knit.

We also need to look a little further for patterns to suit our climate. The beautiful designs in our summer books from Rowan, Debbie Bliss and others are perfect for the Australian spring and autumn but we wanted to show that many of them are also perfect for summer too, even on the hottest days:

Waterlily by Meghan Fernandez

Waterlily by Meghan Fernandez for Pompom Spring 2014

Francis by Olga Bureyan-Kefalian from Shibui

Francis by Olga Bureyan-Kefalian for Shibui

Madeline by Kim Hargreaves

Madeline by Kim Hargreaves for Honey

Solitaire by Martin Storey from Truesilk Collection

Solitaire by Martin Storey for Truesilk Collection

And, of course, there are so many beauties to be found in the pattern directory of Ravelry; one company who really stands out with their summer knits is Quince and Co:

Perkins Cove Pullover

Perkins Cove Pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge for Quince and Co.

Brise Cardigan by Hannah Fettig for Quince and Co.

Brise Cardigan by Hannah Fettig for Quince and Co.

Daicey by Melissa LaBarre for Quince and Co

Daicey by Melissa LaBarre for Quince and Co

Saco Stripes by Pam Allen for Quince and Co.

Saco Stripes by Pam Allen for Quince and Co.

But there are so many independent designers creating interesting, wearable designs:

Bailiwick Pullover by Stephanie Spainhower

Bailiwick Pullover by Stephanie Spainhower

Boxy by Joji Locatelli

Boxy by Joji Locatelli

Fieldwork Cardigan

Fieldwork Cardigan

In the spirit of the challenge of bringing summer knitting to the masses, we’re having an informal knit-a-long! Kylie and Jules have just started working on this beautiful little cardigan and we’d love you to join us if you’d keen! The pattern is from one of 2013’s issues of Pompom Quarterly and is available on Ravelry or from Pompom. It is knitted in 4ply wool yarn but could easily be worked in cotton, bamboo or linen….

We hope you’ve found some inspiration here and look forward to seeing where you take your warm weather knitting- we’d love to see photos of any summer knits so do follow and tag us on Instagram so we can watch your progress!