Sunspun Fine Yarns


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February at Sunspun

Well, the heat is still with us – perfect for cool summer knitting projects!  The kidlets are back at school and the ‘real’ year is beginning.  We will be kicking things up a few notches this year and introducing some new activities and opportunities for you to have some fun with your yarny endeavours and to increase your knowledge of all things yarn.

To start us off, our Term 1 classes get underway.  We have some new classes, some  returning classes and some new and guest teachers for you – oh, and of course, our beloved ‘returning’ teachers!!  You can check out our Classes page to find out more.  We have added a Classes Board in the shop displaying some samples of what each class offers to help you decide what class/es is/are best for you.

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One of the exciting new ‘activities’ we are starting this year is our 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. All the nitty gritty in an upcoming blog post.

February is the month of ‘amour’ – well at least Sunday 14th is!  Along with our Product of the Month display we will have a Valentine’s Day in shop display up and running from 1st – 13th February.  We have some patterns, samples and products all suitable for you to show your love and appreciation to significant others in your life.

Lovely Cowl

Shown above is one of our new samples for our Valentine’s Day display, Lovely Cowl by Ashley Solley knit in Shibui’s gorgeously soft Baby Alpaca.

Dates for your diary:

February at Sunspun

Date

Event/Location

Link

2 – 27 February

 Product of the Month – Revive by Rowan

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Friday

5, 12, 19, 26th February

Sit and Yarn 11am – 1pm

Sunspun Shop

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Monday-Saturday

1-13 February

Valentine’s Day Display

Blog

Wednesday

3 February

Finishing Your Knits Class

Class List

Wednesday

10 February

Top Down Socks Class

Class List

Wednesday

17 February

Beginners Crochet Class

Class List

Wednesday

24 February

Slipped Stitch & Mosaic Colourwork Class

Class List

We will be adding new content to our Youtube channel this month so keep an eye open for it.  And our Ravelry Group – Sunspun Fibre Folk – is growing steadily.  There is a new thread open for chatting – First Project on Your Needles/Hook in 2016.  Click on over and share, show and tell us all your first project for 2016.

Happy ‘yarning’
Amy, Karen and Nicole.


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Weathering Winter

Have you noticed the days are starting to get just a little longer? The bulbs are popping, and more than a few magnolias around are budding too – oh, the promise and the anticipation! IMG_5765 But while it’s still cold enough, here are some quick ideas for items you can whip up and wear before the weather changes. If you’ve ever knitted an Olgajazzy pattern, you’d know they are impeccably thought through and well constructed. This textured Reimei cowl would be perfect in two high-contrast Cascade 220 colours. reimei1_medium2

Source: Olgajazzy

If you have a baby to knit for, here’s a wonderful little hoodie that will use up some of those DK leftovers hanging around. (Or make it in a solid, or colour-block it.) IMG_1991copy_medium2

Source: Undone57 on Ravelry

Have the bigger kids lost their winter hats again? Lucky Maria Carlander’s Little Scallops knits up in no time. (Make a few spares while you’re at it for gifts.) dsc_1270_medium

Source: Maria Carlander

This luxurious scarf/wrap, Simple Lines by Temple of Knit, would be divine in Shibui Pebble, and keep you warm as it grows too. simplelines-2

Source: Temple of Knit

Woolful have a new podcast up – perfect for when you’re driving around, knitting or waiting for the kids to finish their swim/football/dance class. Lovers of colour who live in Melbourne need to get themselves to Heide to admire the geometric vibrancy of Melinda Harper’s work. A surefire cure for any winter blues. xl-HARPERMNKNUNTITLED220132

Source: Heide. Melinda Harper, Untitled 2013, oil on canvas.

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In store news, we have new samples! Here’s Camilla Babe, knit with five balls of Heron in the lichen colourway. 20150729-DSC_0796 The Dotted Rays shawl took three balls of Cima and Silk Cloud in the jumpsuit colourway. 20150721-DSC_0787 It looks like the Cascade 220 has been a hit with many of you. We’re pleased to report that more is on the way, including new colours. Finally, our first Sunday workshop is on this weekend, 2 August, from 10.30pm to 3.30pm with Karen, on knitting in the round. Don’t forget that our Wednesday evening classes are ongoing – next week’s class covers knitting tips and tricks. We hope to see you soon.


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New Tricks

If you’ve been knitting a while, there is no question that you’ll have your armoury of favourite techniques to draw on, whether it be for casting on, knitting in the round, working short rows or making jogless stripes. Case in point: while working on the sleeves for Helga Isager’s Siberia Anorak, I realised there was no way I could knit the sleeves on double-pointed needles – not with mohair and 4.5 mm needles – and produce a neat finish. (I tried. I failed. Again and again.)

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So, after more than three decades of knitting, I finally learnt how to magic-loop. And I am equally gobsmacked and embarrassed that it took me so long to do so, because the technique was (i) so easy, (ii) faster than using double-points and (iii) produced such an elegant result. This was not through a lack of curiosity or a resistance to learning new techniques, but more an irrational devotion to double-pointed needles (I’m old school that way). Nonetheless, the exercise did leave me wondering how much use I’ll get out of them in future, since inevitably new techniques become my default method – or at least until something else proves its worth.

Which led me to wonder: do we refresh or reboot our skills enough? Often workarounds can be found (in the case of those sleeves, aggressive blocking), but the thrill of knowing more than one way to do something is inherently satisfying. Is there a technique or a particular kind of knitting – lace, shawls, socks – you’ve always veered away from? Let us know in the comments!

While there are books and websites galore that can show you a specific technique, little beats the face-to-face interaction and hands-on application of a class, with someone to demonstrate and explain why doing something in a particular way produces a certain result. Our class series are up and running again (see the tab above), and next week’s class (22 April) is, coincidentally, on tips and tricks, covering everything from yarn choice and substitution to swatching, troubleshooting and different methods for increasing and decreasing.

Another class on 6 May deals with finishing techniques, including selvedge stitches, grafting, bind-offs and blocking for a professional finish.

There are spots still available for those classes, so please call the shop to book your spot, and meet up with like-minded crafters for a night of learning, inspiration and new friends.

In store news, Noro’s Silk Garden Solo is in stock. This silk, mohair and wool yarn is basically the incomparable Noro colours neat, without the signature striping. If you’ve never used this yarn before, do consider giving it a go. The sheen from the silk and the warmth and drape will yield long-lasting garments, accessories and blankets. We have all ten colours in-store.

SilkGardenSolo

AND STOP PRESS … our shipment of Cascade 220 is IN. Oh, the anticipation has been killing! One of the most popular and versatile yarns around, it comes in an incredible range of colours; it’s one of those workhorse yarns that thoroughly deserves its reputation. We’re starting with a range of 44 colours, including some stunning heathers. More about them next week — gotta unpack!


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Sunspun knitting and crochet classes

We are super excited to announce our new schedule of classes for the year! We have a really broad range of customers, some of whom have been knitting and crocheting for many years and others who are new to craft, and so we have put together a wide-ranging group of classes: everything from beginners knitting and crochet, to making your first pair of socks, seamless garments and Shetland lace to incorporating texture into your work and ensuring that your garments fit. In amongst them, we hope that you find a least one class that inspires you to come in and learn something new! Below is the schedule and you can read the outlines for each class on our Classes page. We’re still finalizing a few classes for later in the year so we’ll add them in (and let you know) as soon as they’re ready.

Our teachers Kylie, Raynor and Jules are all experienced and adventurous in their chosen crafts and have all been teaching in one form or another for a number of years, so we know that you’ll find them supportive and full of knowledge and enthusiasm.

Other than our problem-solving knitting clinic, which runs from 4-6pm on Tuesdays, all our classes will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6-9pm. Individual classes are $60 and two-session classes are $120. Please email or call us to book, as places are limited.

 

KNITTING AND CROCHET CLASSES 2014

Dates Classes Skill Level
Tuesdays, 4-6pm Knitting clinic Any
May 7th Beginners knitting Beginner
May 14th Knitting tips and tricks Advanced beginner
May 21st Socks 1* Intermediate
May 28th Basic beginners crochet Beginner
June 4th Socks 2* Intermediate
June 11th Seamless knitting 1* Intermediate
June 18th Seamless knitting 2* Intermediate
June 25th Next-step beginners crochet Advanced beginner
July 2nd Perfect fit Intermediate
July 9th Finishing your knits Intermediate
July 16th Beginners knitting Beginner
July 23rd Basic beginners crochet Beginner
July 30th Knitting lace Advanced beginner
Aug 6th Shetland lace 1* Intermediate
Aug 13th Shetland lace 2* Intermediate
Aug 20th Next-step beginners crochet Advanced beginner
Aug 27th Knitting tips and tricks Advanced beginner
Sept 3rd Finishing your knits Intermediate
Sept 10th Beginners knitting Beginner
Sept 17th Basic beginners crochet Advanced beginner
Sept 24th Textured knitting Advanced beginner
Oct 1st To be announced TBA
Oct 8th To be announced TBA
Oct 15th Next-step beginners crochet Advanced beginner
Oct 22nd Socks 1* Intermediate
Oct 29th Knitting tips and tricks Advanced beginner
Nov 5th Socks 2* Intermediate
Nov 12th Finishing your knits Intermediate

*indicates two-session class