Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Knitting, knitting, knitting

                                KNITTING, KNITTING, KNITTING ALL THE THINGS!

Do you find yourself becoming consumed by knitting and forgetting crochet exists?  That's me! For some reason I feel I have to 'knit all the things'. 

Sharing what we make is one of the joys, inspirations and fun of social media.  It's exciting to see what everyone else has on their needles and it helps to see how a pattern is evolving on someone else's needles. 

There has long been a standoff between knitting and crochet.  They both have different reputations it seems.  Knitting produces a finer fabric whereas crochet can look more chunky - horses for courses. I don't think they'll ever be on the same social standing despite many designers creating incredible crochet designs.  For those of us doing both, we don't care as long as we have yarn in our hands and in our stash!  Over the last 15 months, I've made three test knits for designers in Germany, Japan and New Zealand. Taking part in knitting someone else's designs takes you out of your comfort zone and introduces you to new stitches and design structures.  

The first text knit  was a very sweet crew neck sweater  (the Vanilla Heirloom by Verena Cohrs  you can find it here    Vanilla Heirloom, Verena Cohrs - Ravelry .    I dyed the yarn turquoise and decided not to alternate yarn cakes but I think it turned out well.

The reason the stripes appeared on the sleeves is due to the  shorter stitch count in the rows.  In longer rows (as in the body) the lengths of colour are further apart so stripes don't happen.  I rather like the mix of the striped sleeves and the variegated body. It's a nice contrast.

At first, the neck was too tight but Verena sorted this out in time for the release and I love it!   it's great to throw it on over a skirt and top or over jeans and the turquoise colour is one of my favourites! 

Summer Olive by Kouvive (Summer Olive )

This test knit proved to be more complex and I often wondered what I had taken on. I was knitting it in unison with my dearest friend, Lulu @luluadora on Instagram. Lulu lives in Jakarta but distance doesn't matter when you're connected online and both knitting the same item.  We shared laughter and tears over this design and it was good to have someone to share the process with. 

Again, I used my handdyed yarn and was chuffed to know I only needed two skeins.  I chose the smaller size as it is an oversized vest and worn over the top of another garment.  What was different  about this design was starting at the back, progressing over the shoulders whereupon I divided for the fronts.  In this test knit, I did alternate cakes of yarn as I knew there was a definite variation in the colours and the dyeing pattern. I love the texture that Kouvive achieved on the shoulders.  It's just gorgeous.  This little sleeveless cardi  is an easy wear garment to throw over a strappy top accompanied with pants or a skirt.  

The Floozy Cardigan  Find it here (Floozy Cardigan)

I'm a cardi girl!  I have more cardigans than any other knitwear type and no matter what the weather, I wear one.  

The last test knit was most enjoyable and is enjoying a revival at this very moment as a sweater, the Floozy Too.  :-)      Libby of Truly Myrtle, a New Zealander, is a prolific knitwear designer with her own podcast.  I hope she returns to Australia again soon so I can take a class with her.  Her designs are all so beautifully executed with clever details and exquisite finishes, and the yarn!  Oh the yarn is so soft and delicate.  

The Floozy Cardigan gives the appearance of colourwork but the clever use of slipped stitches gives that illusion making it such an easy knit for even a beginner. 

I haven't worn the Floozy yet as it's summer here in Australia and our country is in the midst of the worst bush fires ever.  I am safe where I live but many of my friends in this and other states and regions are in dire straits. Some of the fires have sadly been deliberately lit, but others are the result of a very dry winter, much  wild bush land that is too large to maintain, combined with hot conditions and winds.  

To understand the breadth of the fires, the Amazon forest was burning and lost 110 000 hectares. Here in Australia, we have 980 000 hectares on fire, homes and lives are now lost and we are not out of danger yet, so it is indeed an horrendous start to summer.  Thanks goes out to our firefighters who are risking their own lives to save everyone else's.Our country is broad so the fire crews are stretched to the limit. Some fires are burning out of control because they're in dense bush where they can only be reached by helicopters and planes dropping water bombs.      

Of course, I did say I've been knitting all the things.  Have I told you how much I love sock knitting?  Socks are always on my needles. They're such a portable project and the circular needles and magic loop are my favourite method.   I travel on a monthly basis to teach workshops in the fibre arts, clay and paper so there's nothing more fun than packing my knitting bag for the flight.   Do you find you take more projects than you could possibly manage to knit? I always think I'll manage to get more done than I do. I have lists of projects to make, the Soldotna being the next garment. (the yarn dyed and caked up ready!😊) 

A question I am often asked  is if there is a problem with taking my needles on flights. (I used bamboo circulars)  Here in Australia, there is no issue.  (I figure that someone could do just as much damage with a pen so I'm glad needles are permitted on flights.)  

What do you have on your needles? 

Are you in the process of knitting a garment or a test knit?

Is your knitting selfish knitting (as most of mine is?) 

 I'd love to hear. 

 Happy Knitting, 
 Lu xxx

Instagram: @wildaboutyarn
Facebook: Linda Douglas

You can also find some of my handdyed yarn, patterns and enamel pins

Friday, 30 March 2018

Dyeing Easter Eggs botanical style

Easter Eggs Botanical style

Eco dyed eggs are an easy project for children and adults alike

I’ve been dyeing yarn and fabric and making contact prints using botanical material for years now. One of my favourite times of year is Easter, not just for the chocolate 😃 but because it’s an excuse to dye eggs.  The patterns on paper and fabric are unique and satisfying. (see some  below) 

Eco prints using leaves - book covers

Plants make beautiful prints on paper and fabric

Dyeing eggs is an activity that everyone in the family can do, in fact, having an extra pair of hands at the wrapping stage is  very ‘handy’, ( ;-) pardon the pun!) You will find everything you need in the kitchen. 

-Eggs (I purchased the cheapest eggs and cooked a dozen (in case of breakages) 
-Food dye - use half of the dye to get a strong colour and enough water to cover the egg
    (You can use fabric dyes but this equipment must be used only for dyeing, not for cooking. )
-small flowers or leaf matter:  small ferns are great, impatien flowers, daisies, flowers with small petals
-Onion skins – 2 handsful (either red or brown onions work best and just the outer skin, no flesh)
-Saucepan for onion skins
-Saucepan for food dye
-Dessertspoon (to lift eggs out when hot)
-Small bowls to mix dye in
-narrow sticky tape
-bowl to sit eggs in once they are dyed
-old pantyhose/ stockings – cut off the body part and cut the legs into sections. Allow about 8” (20cm) for each egg. 
-sticky dots or sticky shape labels (these can be attached to the eggs as a resist)

1.  Place eggs into cold water, bring to the boil, boil for 3 minutes and allow them to cool.
2. Put onion skins in enough water to cover them, bring to the boil, simmer for 30 mins to increase the colour.
Spread out the stocking with your hand
place the egg in then position plant
matter around it
3. Cut stockings into sections. Tie ONE end of each section.
4. Sit boiled egg into stretched-out stocking.

Sometimes stretching the stocking
over a cup helps if you don't
have a second set of hands
Gently place plant matter around the egg and then release the stocking over the egg. Rearrange plant matter if it has moved. 
This is where two people come in handy – one to hold the stretched stocking and the egg, the other person to arrange the plant matter and tie up the top of the stocking.  

6. OPTIONAL** Place sticky dots on the outside of the egg; OR… put sticky tape around the eggs to make straight lines
Twist the top of the stocking to secure the
 egg inside, then knot it

7. Secure the top  of the egg parcel with a knot.

Egg parcels ready for the dye pot

Daisy flower 

Add caption

(left) Sometimes, even boiled eggs can crack when being placed inside the stocking. 😡 This one could have been boiled a little longer...😖

8. Bring water in a small saucepan to the boil and add your chosen food colour (or fabric) dye. 
9. Slide the egg parcel  into the food dye pot or onion dye pot.  

Moisten the impatien white flower so it sticks to the edge of the egg
10. Leave bubbling away for 10 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool down.

Voila! Dyed easter eggs for your table. 

The impatien leaves its mark by resisting the dye

I love the fern imprint the most.  

If you dye eggs with your family, post pictures to share on Facebook (and tag me 'Linda Douglas Brisbane')  or on Instagram and use the hashtag   #wildaboutbooksnprint #dyedeastereggs2018  #wildaboutyarneggs

Happy Happy Easter to everyone. Stay safe and eat plenty of chocolate.

Lu xxxx

NOTE: With all the heating and cooling and then leaving eggs out on the table for show, I don’t recommend eating these dyed eggs. J ) Eat the chocolate ones instead...


To all my yarn loving followers here and on IG, I have a new enamel pin  and I'm loving it!  Put it on your project bag to remind you to take time to relax and do cosy things with friends or family or on your own.  Find it here: Enamel pin, Make time for Hygge 

You will probably  know how important hygge (pronounced as hue-ga) is to the Danish community as there are many books and articles about it lately.  Hygge is not something we do for one month -it's a lifestyle choice and it's something everyone everywhere can do.  I hope you like the pin and purchase one for you  or for a friend.  (Postage is $3.50 for up to 3 pins in one parcel)
to relax and spend time with friends.  It is shown below.  Find it here...

Friday, 16 February 2018

New Enamel Pin, cheeky enamel pin

                     Diary Entry: Feb 17, 2018
                   At last, dear Diary, I can let out the secret I've been keeping for a couple of months now! 


News Flash! thank you, thank you! 
I'm loving my trips to the post office to send out pins to everyone. Thank you so much! 
Not tonight I'm knitting!

Yes, it's Valentine's month, and yes, it's the loved-up month but sorry, knitting is also a passion and we suffer withdrawal if we don't get to do something for ourselves.  Now that Valentine's day is over, let's settle back down to knitting.  

  I hope you purchase yourself this first enamel pin from Wild ABout Yarn and put it on your project bag!  They're great gifts to give yarny friends too. (*** You can purchase up to three in one bag without paying extra postage, OR... pay postage per item and I will send them to anyone anywhere  with a card) 

Click here to go to my Etsy shop.  

Light, hard enamel, push pin backing  
For those ME time moments...
Yarn: Blushing by Wild About Yarn

 I've enjoyed the process and my manufacturer has   been awesome so keep a      look out for another to      add to your collection next month and support            small business. 

        Happy knitting
            & Stitching 
     and happy weekend.  

Lu xx

Instagram:  @wildaboutyarn  

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Making Christmas Jewellery

 II - I love making these fabric circles. 
Make a unique necklace
with leftover scraps.
Round and Round the Christmas Tree I & II

If you want a quick project and you have fabric and yarn lying around (that just about includes 99% of my followers! :-) then this is an easy and creative way to make yourself a stand-out  couple of Christmas day necklaces. Email me for the pattern at   wildaboutyarn@outlook.com 
(Sorry, I did have  the PDF of the patterns on Ravelry but was notified that there was a sewing component and that is not allowed)

You’ve seen this design  on the left MANY times before. Now go make one.  :-)  They’re fun and easy.  After all, what could be easier than crocheting one round of HTR?

Here's a heads up with the materials list for the Crochet circles:
Scraps of yarn, tapestry needle, cord 1m, beads, parrot claw closure, crimps to close off raw edges of cord.

Here's the list for the fabric circles:

-  Fabirc in 5 colours - you will mix and match them
-Felt in 5 colours, green,dark green, yellow, blue, red
-Packet of self covered buttons – 1inch
-Green and red embroidery thread
-Sewing needle
-Sewing thread in any colour (use this to gather the circles.  This thread will not be seen.)

Can't wait to see you rocking your Christmas necklaces.

Tag me #wildaboutyarnchristmas #roundandroundthechristmastree 

Happy stitching,
Lu x

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Issue 4, Wild About Yarn Magazine out now PLUS bonus free magazine


I was so happy to finally get Issue 4 of Wild About Yarn Magazine out on the PDF 'shelves' and sent off to subscribers all over the world!  Have you seen it yet?  Even better that I could offer a bonus FREE magazine that traces the history of knitting from the 1920s to the 1960s. (When postage in Australia increased by 40 percent between two of my issues, I had to make the sad decision to publish the magazine as a PDF download but the feedback has been positive.)   
Casey Maura 

it was with delight that Casey Maura and Amy Appel both accepted  my invitation to be our feature maker and designer respectively. This was another bonus as I've admired their work for a while now.  Casey epitomises vintage in almost every way from her 1940s and 50s inspired dresses to the sweaters she knits, often acting as a test knitter for other designers including Amy Appel. Casey has a regular podcast  on which she discusses her knitting, sewing and spinning, and Amy  can be found on Ravelry with several design ranges and a swag of fellow knitter/ followers who love her sweater and turban designs. 

The next addition to the Rockabilly Queen Collection
The Money Honey Turban
Find it here: Money Honey Turban

New sock pattern from Casey
Find them here:
Mischief Maker Socks

I couldn't wait to announce their new  designs.  Casey has just published her first sock pattern, Mischief Maker Socks  (I hope to start mine soon when the KAL commences in 2018), and Amy is adding to her Rockabilly Queen Collection with the versatile Money Honey Turban- the KAL has just finished but you can still find it on Ravelry.  

A little knitting history... 

Knitting and crochet have had a bad rap  for a long time and I'm not so sure that they've gained more status despite how hard creators and makers have worked to bring them into the 21st century.  they are still considered an activity for older women and perhaps we'll never re-educate everyone on how incredible designers are now.  I'm heartened to see women of all ages  reviving it in huge sweeps with innovative and vibrant designs.  It's ironic that it's now considered more a 'woman's activity' when it is believed that the first knitters were fishermen.  In the  Middle Ages, knitting was done exclusively by men who had to pass a series of exams and tests which took some 6 years to complete, in order to  be considered qualified professional knitters. By the 1400s, guilds were established but again, these were only for men. 

1920s- Flapper, masculine shapes

1930s feminine style, nipped in waists,
The true shift of knitting by women came in the Victorian era. In 1589, William Lee invented the first stocking frame knitting machine which is still in use today.  With the advent of this and subsequent knitting machines, there wasn't the necessity for  men to spend years doing their apprenticeships to become qualified knitters.  Knitting machines did this for them, thereby diminishing the number of men who knit.  Knitting then shifted to a craft that women took up  in the home, but the activity of knitting was only considered 'a wifely one' not a professional one as it had for men.  Far from feeling that way, Amy Appel, in our  second interview, discusses how empowered she feels as a young woman, knitting in modern times, knitting anywhere and knitting with other women.   

Vintage supplement - bonus free issue  (24 pages)

Wild ABout Yarn magazine traces the collision of knitting and culture, of how politics, combat between countries and advances in technology shaped not only how we proceeded as a society but how knitting progressed. 

The main issue consists of two interviews, two articles-tips for adjusting Vintage Patterns in the 21st Century and the Make, Do and Mend Era of the 1940s.  And finally, in Kitchen Bites there's a recipe for Delicious Strawberry Swirl Vanilla cake. 

(Try it, I think you'll like it! Make it for your next knitting group gathering!)

The BONUS FREE issue is  24 pages jam-packed full of the history of knitting through the years.  It's been so much fun creating the mood boards for this issue.  I learned so much and I hope you do too.  

Find the link to my Etsy store here Wild About Yarn  This is a PDF download delivered directly to your email.  

Happy Yarning,
Lu x

If you make any of the  patterns, please tag your projects on Instagram with:

#wildaboutyarnvintage  #wildaboutyarn #vintagestyle 

You can find me here:

Instagram: @wildaboutyarn

Email:          wildaboutyarn@outlook.com


Monday, 16 October 2017

OUT NOW!!!!!!!!! It took a while but here is the FOURTH issue of Wild ABout Yarn Magazine and I love it.  The theme is:

VINTAGE and we all love vintage knitting! 
Issue 4, Wild About Yarn, VINTAGE - BONUS FREE  magazine
included on knitting fashion through the decades
  PDF only available here:
Etsy: Wild About Yarn Magazine, Issue 4, VINTAGE PLUS bonus magazine free! 
Find more sneak peaks on Instagram: @wildaboutyarn 

Read about the era of 'Make, Do and Mend' 

The delightful Casey Maura - our featured maker who sews and knits
and finds time to podcast
 'Creative Musings' Casey's blog
Creative Musings Podcast

Amy Appel, our featured knitwear designer, loves Rockabilly style
and designs amazing, sassy garments.
Find Amy on Ravelry

 In this issue you will find two interviews, articles about vintage knitwear and how it differs from today's designs.  
Included for those looking for a project are: 
three patterns - a cute pair ofknitted bobby sox
                          - a knitted turban using simple lace and
                          - a crocheted collar - the inexpensive way for women to reinvent an outfit when rationing was enforced.  Women are so resourceful! 

PLUS...there is a bonus magazine included free!! J

This supplement focuses specifically on the decades
1920 - 1960 and takes a look into what was the knitted fashion, how events of the world shaped the garments that were made, what colours were used and what styles were created! (Did you know that bobby pins stopped being manufactured so women needed a way to hold back their hair. Welcome TURBANS!!!! Apart from being a chic addition to a wardrobe, they were practical and appeared in all manner of designs!) 
Lu Dougas, Publisher

If you make any of the  patterns, please tag your projects on Instagram with:

#wildaboutyarnvintage  #wildaboutyarn #vintage 

You can find me here:

Instagram: @wildaboutyarn

Email:          wildaboutyarn@outlook.com
Find the magazine here: Wild About Yarn, Vintage Issue 4                   

And when I'm not up there, I am knitting..

Happy Yarning, 
Lu x

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Patterns for the Citrus Twist dyed yarns

 Yarn Stories  in the Citrus Twist Range
(left) *She ran naked through the citrus orchard
(middle) * Delicious blood oranges in her hands
(right) *And lime juice sprinkling on the earth below
 Patterns for Yarn Stories hand dyed yarn
'Citrus Twist' colourways

Hi  Knitters!   

 I thought I'd start a new feature for my hand dyed yarns by finding you some delightful patterns. This time it's knitting patterns but I'm sure you can come up with some crocheted designs. 

Sock yarn doesn't have to end up as a sock or two 😉 (although I know there are quite a few sock addicts out there or why would there be a hashtag for it? #sockaddict.)  

For those of you who are new 
to dyeing, 'naked' yarn is the natural 
colour BD = before dyeing.Have you seen  what I've done to the naked yarn I purchased? It's no longer 'naked'. 

My Merino sock base is soft, 437yards, 100gms, 85%merino/15%  nylon,  and wonderful to knit with.  Find my yarn on Etsy (click here Lu Douglas Designs, Etsy or on the ETSY icon right)  

 Go to this blog post to read about Citrus Twist dyed yarn by Lu and  how I started my Yarn Stories. I'm having lots of fun creating these ranges and I'm pleased to say that other yarn lovers are liking them too! 

A new feature of my dyed yarns is finding you some wonderful and easy patterns for you to make in the yarn. 

Feast your eyes on these gorgeous designs… (click on the links) 

Simple shawl - Jane Hunter  (free) 
  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simple-shawl-8     (Requirements -1 skein) A garter stitch shawl that would look great in any of the colours of Citrus Twist and an easy project for beginners wanting to learn how to knit shawls.

Shawl -  On the Spice market Shawl  -  5.20 euro
 (link -On the Spice Market Shawl  ) 
(Requirements 2 skeins)  This is  one of my most favourite shawls and would look so fresh  in the Citrus Twist colourways. 

Socks - Socks on a Plane on a Plane (free) 
socks on a plane

 (Requirements -1 skein) I have a soft spot for 
these socks having knitted two and wanting to 
cast on a third.

Shawl -  The Hitchhiker Shawl  3.90 euro
(Requirements - 1 ½ skeins)This shawl has appeared in many feeds on social media and I still love it!

Yoga Socks (free) - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/yoga-socks-153  (Requirements -1 skein and enough left over to make more!)
(My Rose City Roller socks )

Anklet Socks  (free) - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rose-city-rollers  
(Requirements less than 1 skein)   I love this free sock pattern and since these are short anklet socks, you'll have enough left over to make more! 

Baby cardigan - (click here Baby cardigan  £1.50 
 from Woolzone.  (Requirements -100g sock yarn so plenty left over)  The sweetest and most easy all-in-one cardigan. You could make matching booties or a beanie. 

Crochet shawl - free and skill level easy
(Requirements - 1 skein) I have long since loved the Elise shawl by Evan Pavlinski.  

Let me know if you make something from any of the three yarns on offer by using any or all of the hashtags

 #citrustwist #yarnstories #wildaboutyarn  
or email your photos to me at   linda.p.douglas@outlook.com

I'd love to see it. 

Happy  Knitting, 
Lu x

Instagram: @wildaboutyarn
Etsy: ludouglasdesigns
Facebook: LindaDouglas