Sunspun Fine Yarns


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Yarns in Focus: Zauberball & Zauberball Crazy

Vital statistics

75% wool, 24% nylon
100 g/420 metres
Sock/fingering
Gauge: 30 stitches = 10 cm on 2–3 mm needles

Look what just came in!

zauberball

Gradient and self-striping yarns are a little bit magical, and have their dedicated fans. Germany’s Schoppel Wolle Zauberball have done them very, very well for a while now, and we’re really pleased to have them instore. The colours and combinations in Zauberball and Zauberball Crazy are vibrant, and their repeats long and fade softly into each other, producing unique creations.

The yarn itself is not completely smooth in the skein, and can vary from thick to thin – a trait that bothers some knitters and crocheters, so be warned! Finished objects do soften with washing and with use, and the nylon ensures that they wear well. As for the colours, they remain as vibrant from the first wash to the last.

One ball will make a pair of adult socks with most patterns; there is a case for keeping them simple and letting the colours do the work.

Zauberball are also great for scarves and shawls, where the long repeats help to ensure there is no pooling.

One of the more effective applications of the Zauberball colours is in Stephen West’s Spectra scarf, which is knit in short rows to create a curved edge. The project page on Ravelry has some beautiful finished samples.

spectra

I made Lisa Mutch’s Cirriform with just one skein of Zauberball; it is deliberately asymmetrical to use up every scrap of yarn. The fabric is light and airy, and has a divine drape. The garter stitch makes this a soothing and uncomplicated knit, perfect for adventurous beginners.

zauberscarf

As with all self-striping yarns, you can combine two or more colours to create stripey socks, scarves …

zauber1

… and an adult cardigan such as this.

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The sheep motif in this sweet kids’ cardigan, knit from the bottom up, would look lovely worked in Zauberball and a contrasting colour. The pattern covers sizing from 12 months to 3 years.

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In store news, next week is the last of our first series of classes, on lace. It’s been pleasing to have your support and enthusiasm for the classes, and we look forward to presenting more classes in the second half of this year.

Tomorrow, 13 June, is World Wide Knit in Public Day, the largest knitter-run event in the world, with countries such as Finland, France, China, South Africa, Sweden and Australia participating. If you don’t already, here’s a great opportunity to knit proud and publicly. The event was established by Danielle Landes in 2005 to draw attention to this craft and its vibrant and diverse community, so out yourself – you may be surprised who else you see with needles in hand! This webpage shows you all the WWKIP events around Australia. If you’re in Melbourne city, bring your needles and join What Jane Knits by the banks of the the Yarra at the Arbory Bar from noon till 2 pm for a snack, drink and a spot of knitting. No bookings needed, and entry is free. #wwkip

Just a reminder that we have discontinued yarns on sale, and lots of pattern books too. See you in the shop!


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Autumn Colour

Autumn’s here, and for more than a few of us, it’s time to start thinking about what we’ll wear over the next few cooler months. What yarns? What textures? Most importantly, what colours? The possibilities!

Janne Faulkner and Harley Anstee from Nexus Designs have put out the third edition of their singular book, Using Australian Colour. Their design practice has always drawn inspiration from the Australian landscape, be it urban and outback, and their method for drawing together palettes of complementary colour is easily applicable to any kind of work that involves colour.

Here’s a spread from their book that quickly shows how they ‘pull’ colour from an Australian landscape.

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Source: Nexus Designs

As you can see from the colour swatches it’s a very effective way of finding complementary colours and tones – and you can always count on nature to get it right.

We’ve used one of Jules‘ shots from her latest blog post, featuring the most divine collection of mosses, and the above method to pull out some colours that we thought would work together beautifully for a jumper, scarf, cowl, rug or whatever your heart desires. In a nod to the season, it’s appropriately autumnal.

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Source: Woollenflower

In Shibui Cima, we picked out, top row, from top left: Graphite, Ivory, Caffeine, Clay, Grounds, Fields, Ash, Lime, Rust.

CGraphite CIvory CCaffeine CClay CGrounds CFields CAsh CLime Crust

In Pebble, we found these, from left: Brownstone, Sidewalk, Spore, Hedge, Grounds, Brick.

PBrownstone PSidewalk PSpore PHedge PGrounds PBrick

While you can never be absolutely sure until you swatch and see with colourwork, mixing and matching the options among the field of nine Cima presents lots of permutations. Interestingly, whether they be of two, three or five colours, the combinations seem harmonious and work together – even that lime green doesn’t really take over like you’d expect it to. It’s an interesting exercise, and you may surprise yourself with combinations you never thought would work together.

And … no sooner than we thought we were done talking about mixing Shibui yarns, their Spring/Summer Look Book lobs in. Here are some beauties too good not to share.

An Etch top, knitted in Linen and Cima.

Shibui-Collection-Etch-4_medium

Look at that texture in the bodice! Linen is a chain-plied yarn, so if you are wary of knitting with linen because it can be a little unyielding and the finished garment droop rather than drape, the chain ply overcomes those qualities. The fabric presents with crisp, neat and well-defined stitches, yet is supple, as you can see in this top.

Another beauty is Square, knit in Linen and Pebble.

Shibui-Collection-Square-3_medium

Or this Cima cardigan, with its tidy i-cord piping.

Shibui-Collection-Lineal-2_medium

In store news, we have new books:

latvian mitteneds menagerie

how to knit

The latest Amirisu is always worth a read with a cup of tea:

amirisu

We’re unpacking boxes of Cleckheaton’s Superfine Merino and project leaflets:

Superfine MerinoSuperfine Merino Patterns

Trying to choose between these delicious new self-striping Yarn Vs Zombies colours:

Yarn Vs Zombies Welcoming back an old favourite, Rowan’s Original Denim, a cotton yarn that fades like denim:

original denim

And admiring these buttons of wood and shell, and flowery little beauties that are perfect for children’s clothes:

new buttons 2new buttons 1So much is going on. Have a good week!