Sunspun Fine Yarns


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Valentine’s Day

It has rolled around again rather quickly, hasn’t it? While the saint’s name has been retained, the day of Saint Valentinus has strayed rather a lot from its Roman origins, which were all to do with martyrdom, with no romantic overtones at all.

Valentine Day’s modern-day romantic roots can be traced back to the poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the fourteenth century, who wrote a poem to honour the engagement of King Richard of England to Anne of Bohemia. Over time, public and written declarations of love became more commonplace, taking off during the Victorian era, when Valentine cards of intricate and elaborate designs were exchanged (pictured above).

Sheen-Bathsheba

The Valentine sent by Bathsheba Everdene to Wiliam Boldwood in Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) set off a chain of unforseen events.

If you haven’t started planning and want to surprise your beloved, BFF, family and friends with something beyond cards, chocolates, roses, bubbles and baubles, here are some ideas Karen has sourced that may amuse, gladden and brighten someone’s day.

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Knit Your Love is an asymmetrical triangle of garter stitch, embellished with a line of knitted hearts. This would be a wonderful gift, and knit in Shibui Staccato – a merino and silk blend, as our sample instore is – makes the finished shawlette that bit more special.

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Teresa Fox’s Little Hearts can be used to embellish cards, strung into a mobile or garland, used as a keyring or given as little tokens. Your imagination’s the limit!
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For crochet lovers, try this simple three-round heart pattern from Happy Berry that can be made into a bunting. Needless to say, these micro projects are ideal for stash-busting.

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Pickles have a pattern for a simple colourwork beanie that is worth stash-diving to make. (Patterns for the mittens and scarf can also be found at that link.)

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The character of this cowl really changes with the colourway, and it makes a memorable accessory that will keep you or the recipient warm for many a winter’s day.

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If you’re looking for mittens, these Fair Isle beauties by Mary Jane Mucklestone are ideal as a last-minute gift for your BFFs.

If you want a heart with a bit more muscle and oomph, here’s one Amy made for her husband. Doesn’t it just say ‘my heart beats true’?3339563059_778f8fdea9_z

This Sunday, wave goodbye to the Chinese year of the sheep and say hello to the monkey, whose year begins on Monday 8 February. Gong xi to you and yours if you’re celebrating!

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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

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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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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

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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:

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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!

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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!