Sunspun Fine Yarns


Rowan – a Sad Tale to Tell

We have a sad tale to tell you.  You know how much we love Rowan yarns – in fact Sunspun was the original importer of Rowan into Australia about 30 years ago and we have stocked many, many Rowan yarns for many, many years.  We adore their patterns and have made up many of them as store samples over the years.  We daresay we are talking to a few of you who have purchased those very samples from us and now lovingly wear these garments.

Our sad news? We were recently informed that the Rowan brand has been sold by Coats UK to MEZ Crafts who have been through all the products with a fine tooth comb and have decided to discontinue many yarns, discontinue many colours in the yarns they’re keeping, and unfortunately have raised the wholesale prices by up to 250% in some cases.  We’re all kind of shell-shocked here!

I’m told we’ll be given more information on which yarns and colours are being discontinued some time in mid-May so we’ll send out another newsletter then to keep you up to date.

So, given the huge price rise it’s likely that we will have to dramatically reduce the number of Rowan yarns that we can continue to stock.  We will be definitely keeping the ever popular Kidsilk Haze and Felted Tweed DK and we’ll make a final decision on the remaining yarns once we receive the information regarding which yarns are being discontinued.  At present we have good levels of stock of most yarn lines but we won’t be placing any further orders until the dust settles.

The silver lining to this sad tale is that our shelves will be bare and waiting for some new yarns to arrive.  What shall we choose ????  Choices, choices, choices!!

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Product of the Month – February 2016

One of the exciting new activities we are starting this year is Product of the Month. Each month we will feature a different product – it could be a yarn, a book, a pattern or a tool – and we are offering a 10% discount (20% for members) on the chosen item for the entire month. Woohoo! We will have a display set up in the shop so look for it when you come in.

And now for the nitty-gritty:

  • The 10% discount is only available on new purchases of the featured product/s – it doesn’t apply to items already on lay-by.
  • No lay-bys.
  • If the product/s are returned, as per our usual returns policy, they must be accompanied by the receipt of purchase. Yarns are only accepted for return if we still have the dye lot in stock; books, patterns, needles and accessories are not returnable. The refund will be given as an exchange on additional items or as a credit note and the refundable amount will be the amount actually paid, i.e. the discounted value of the product. Of course, if a product is damaged when purchased please bring it back to us ASAP.

So, keep a watch for the Sunspun newsletter to find out the hero for each month. We hope you find wonderful new products that you may not have previously considered using.

Now to introduce this month’s product, which is Rowan’s Revive, which we reviewed in depth in October.  This recycled cotton, silk and viscose yarn creates a fabric with a subtle tweedy texture (see the swatch below) but not the weight, producing garments that will work for a summer’s evening through to pieces for layering. It drapes well and softens when washed, so check your gauge after a soak.

2016-02-02 11.10.46

Come and see our new sample using Revive instore: Emmer is knitted in the round with a simple square neckline. This versatile top can be paired with a jacket for the office, and dressed down with jeans for Saturday run-arounds. It works up quickly too, so come in and give Revive a try this month.

2016-02-02 11.09.56



Summer Yarn Tasting

What, I hear you say, is Yarn Tasting?  I’m so glad you asked!!  You know how the bread shop gives you little samples to try so you know what you really like?  Well, we are giving you little samples to try so you know what you really like!

Summer presents many opportunities for yarn lovers to expand their horizons and knit/crochet with a whole variety of things that they perhaps haven’t tried before.  We know we are all wool, cashmere and alpaca lovers but have you experienced the wonderful crunch of linen, the softness of cotton or the beautiful sheen of bamboo?


We have decided that you all need to try these intriguing and fabulous yarns and experience the different textured fabrics they produce.  In a country with the weather vagaries that Australia experiences it just makes sense to have some summer yarns and projects as part of your ‘yarny’ repertoire.  So details …….

When:              Saturday 5th December 2015     11am – 3pm

Where:            Sunspun Shop – 185 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury

What to bring:    Knitting needles/crochet hooks in sizes 3.25mm, 3.50mm, 4.00mm (note knitting needles/crochet hooks can’t be supplied)

Cost:                  Enthusiasm!

We will have small amounts of various yarns wound off for you to try.  You will be able to take home all the swatches you make for your swatch library (we know you all have one!!!).  We will have some samples made up for you to see how these yarns behave in ‘bigger than swatch size’ fabric and some patterns that would be suitable for them as well.


As a bonus and a ‘thank you for coming’, if you purchase any of the featured yarns or patterns on the day, you will receive a 10% discount.

Please let us know if you are coming to participate (you can email us or phone us 03 9830 1609) so we can make sure we have enough yarn prepared.

How exciting – yarn never ‘tasted’ so good!!

Happy ‘yarning’



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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 ( 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 –
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!
Mag 57 CoverMag 58
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’

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Yarn in Focus: Rowan Purelife Revive

Vital statistics

36% recycled silk, 36% recycled cotton, 28% recycled viscose
50 g/125 metres
Gauge: 22 stitches = 10 cm on 4 mm needles

IMG_6002From yarn giants Rowan comes Revive, a yarn very much created with the environment in mind. Fully recycled from new silk, cotton and viscose garments, the cloth is first sterilised, cut up and ground into fibres for carding before being spun.

The result is a lovely tweed yarn that lends a wool-like rusticity to finished garments. The colour palette is usefully subtle, and there is good Rowan pattern support (we carry the books instore, so please ask).

This is a cotton-based yarn with a difference: the viscose lends the finished garment a beautiful drape, and it is much lighter than you’d expect an eight-ply cotton garment to be. The silk flecks lend just enough sheen and pops of colour to brighten up the tweed.

This is a yarn for simple-line cardigans, shrugs and shawls that drape, and also for structured tees. Being a composite cotton yarn, it can be a little unyielding to work with, and the fabric a bit stiff if knit tightly, but the swatch above softened and opened up when washed. This is one yarn whose gauge you definitely need to check post-washing and blocking. The yarn blocks beautifully, producing lovely stitch details and definition.

We’ve previously mentioned the splendid Rowan cardigans Durum and Spelt. From Ravelry, Revive looks like a favourite yarn for tees such as Julie Hoover’s Insouciant, a simple top with a flattering silhouette, raglan seams and side slits.

Source: Julie Hoover

Or Jane Richmond’s Gemini, a seamless top-down with subtle lace panels.


Source: Jane Richmond

We have the much loved kids’ cardigan Granny’s Favourite instore made from Revive.


Source: Georgie Hallam

And this cropped Cardoon knits up quickly – perfect for throwing over summer dresses.


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Easing into Easter

The leaves are starting to turn, there are hot-cross buns in the shops, and eggs, bunnies and bilbies are popping up seemingly everywhere, reminding us that Easter is just around the corner. There is something gorgeously good-natured and easy-going about Easter holidays; it doesn’t quite seem to send everyone into a tailspin like Christmas does. (Perhaps it’s the mood-enhancing properties of chocolate and warm, sticky, fruit-laden buns?)

Over the years, we’ve noticed that clever crafty people are turning out season-specific toys and decorations for their Easter table, and even for the egg hunt. Here are some ideas that might make you pick up sticks or hooks and make your own this year.

For colour-work lovers, we reckon these Nordic Easter Eggs are practically a must-do.


Source: Mary Ann Stephens

For the kids (and the young at heart), Rowan offer a trio of funky chooks, Esther, Ernie & Enid, knit mostly in stocking stitch with little stitched embellishments.

Gordan, Jamie & Hugh Chicken_Layout 1

Fuzzy Mitten’s chicks are very sweet and need only little bits of yarn and some felt for beaks and feet.


Source: Barbara Prime

If you own one of Lydia Tresselt’s beautiful Lalylala patterns, here’s a free mod that transforms the crocheted doll into a rabbit – there’s a pattern for the Easter eggs too.


Source: Lydia Tresselt

Amy is crocheting this terribly chic two-legged bunny rattle by Lucia Lanukas for her little girl.


Source: Lucia Lanukas

And these lacy egg coverings will make any Easter table just that wee bit more festive.


Source: Evelien Serpenti


Source:  Anne Weil

In store news, our Rowan order just arrived, so back in stock are yarns galore and Magazine 57.

mag_2057_20cover_small2Also in are two pattern books with designs that are perfect for layering in our autumn.


Simple Shapes Purelive Revive and Summerspun features eight designs by Sarah Hatton in Purelive Revive (a mix of recycled cotton, silk and viscose) and Summerspun (cotton and wool) yarns. Patterns span the range from draped cardigans to more fitted tops. Here is Sarah Hatton’s Durum from the book, featuring waterfall-style fronts, basket-stitch borders and set-in sleeves.


Simple Shapes Creative Linen has eight designs by Marie Wallin ranging from lace tops to ribbed sweaters, including this pretty Mimosa, with lace bands along the bottom hem and sleeves in a delicate drop stitch.


Just in time for holiday knitting, we have kits in store for the Stripe Study Shawl, Simple Sprinkle Shawl and Cliff Hat. These are perfect if you can’t make it instore to pick up the yarn and pattern (we can mail it to you, just phone or email us). They make great gifts, or if you just want to try something different.

Our Simple Sprinkle kit features the natural-coloured Tailored Strands alpaca yarns.

simple sprinkles

The Stripe Study kit is in the ethereally light Kidsilk Haze (that halo!).

Stripe study shawl

And the Cliff Hat is in five colours of Shibui Pebble.

Cliff Hat by Shellie Anderson

Cliff Hat by Shellie Anderson

Come in and stock up for some soul-satisfying holiday knitting!

Just a reminder, we are closed from Easter Friday until Easter Monday, reopening on Tuesday, 7 April.

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Love Stories

With Valentine’s Day but a heartbeat away, we thought we’d indulge in all things love, hearts and devotion. And yarn, of course. Always yarn.

window displayOur Valentine’s windows by Raynor.

#1 Love

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a crafty woman in possession of a sound mind must be in want of a yarn shop.

One day Amy was browsing and chatting in the shop when she found out it was up for sale. And so the former customer decided to take the plunge made her dreams – and every knitter’s – come true.

#2 Hearts

EZ heart

Trust the inimitable and mischievous Elizabeth Zimmerman to think of wearing your heart on your sleeve … This heart-motif bonnet started out as a heart-shaped elbow patch. Knitted in garter stitch, the heart is made by picking up the edge stitches and the hat finished with an i-cord border and ties.

You can find the ingenious Heart Hat from Knitting Workshop on Ravelry. Ours was knitted in cream Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and the heart is in Rowan Pure Wool Aran.

#3 Devotion

One of the loveliest things about knitting and crochet is the company we keep. Do you know that the Ravelry knitting and crochet website now has more than 5 million members worldwide?

If you haven’t signed up and hopped on, do go and have a look. This is one of the most useful, user-driven sites you can find online, and it’s free.

Ravelry is indispensable if you want to know more about yarn, tools and patterns, but it’s in a league of its own when you want to hear about others’ experiences with a pattern you plan to make. Just knowing, for instance, that the sleeves on a particular cardigan run long, or that a hat knits up tight no matter what yarn/needles you use can help you plan and learn from others’ experiences. You also get a chance to look at garments on real bodies as opposed to models, check out yarn substitutions and connect with like-minded souls in the forums.

And if you need a skein or 10 metres of yarn in a particular dye-lot to finish your project, odds are you’ll find a kind soul who can help.

So bravo Jessica, Carey, Mary-Heather, Sarah and Christina, for keeping the Ravelry show on the road.

#4 Inspiration

And we couldn’t do a post on love and hearts without mentioning some patterns on the theme. If you get started now, you’ll make it in time for 14 February. Here are two ideas by Martin Storey for Rowan Yarns:



And a trio of cushions from Millamia, which are also available as print-outs in-store.

Spread_group_medium2If you prefer something small, Lucy from Attic24’s crochet hearts are very sweet. They can be used to embellish a gift or handmade card, turned into brooches or hair slides for the little ones, or make heaps and string them up into a bunting.

heartIn store news, a reminder that the Blossom Scarf kits are available. Post your pics on Instagram and tag us: @sunspunyarns. We’d love to see how you’re going!



simple sprinkles

And here’s Jackie’s finished the warm, light and squishy Simple Sprinkle, which used five colours from the Tailored Strands Alpaca range.

Love and flowers to you!



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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!