Sunspun Fine Yarns


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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!


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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.