Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Winter is Coming!


 While friends in Europe are preparing for summer, winter is coming to the southern Hemisphere and my woollies are being pulled out.   However, I realised I've actually been knitting quite a bit for the last year, despite how warm it gets here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia! 

Did anyone take part in the blanket squares that Arne and Carlos designed during Covid?  I seldom join in Kals (knit-alongs) but I thought this would be good practice for colour work and it was.  I also decided I'd make enough to make a bag rather than a blanket. 

Colourwork squares for the bag 

It was also a chance to design some squares and lots of fun seeing others do the same. What a thrill when someone chose my designs to include in their blanket. 

Annually, Knitfest Knitfest, Maleny 2021is held in a lovely village called Maleny situated in the hinterland of Qld. Excluding 2020 for obvious reasons, I had always gone as a visitor but this year, I'm going to  be a tutor, teaching the Latvian Braid.  Are you coming?  😊There is so much to do and see and of course, there'll be all the squishy yarns at this wonderful knitting festival.   

The Latvian braid has many applications.  In just three rows, you can transform a garment or accessory. 

Will your braid be leaning left or right? 

I'll also be taking my lovely hand dyed yarns, some hand made ceramic sheepy pins, mugs for knitters and crocheters and yarn bowls as well as new stitch markers!  I can't wait to see and to meet up with other yarn lovers again. Be sure to say hi if you see me there.  

 I've designed a whole range of new stitchmarker tins

Time to decorate and fire these knitter's and crocheter's mugs

Here's hoping your knitting mojo is in full swing no matter where you are in the world. 
 See you at Knifest.

Happy yarning!

Lu xx

Friday, 18 December 2020

Mesmerising Mandala for Christmas

                     A Christmas Motif 

                   The Mesmerising Mandala  Dec  20, 2020

 Mandala’s are satisfying designs to make with a different pattern on each round to maintain interest.   I thought this was such a Christmas-y design that it should make come back.  It was part of a series I did years ago on Motif Monday where I posted a free motif every Monday through May.  I would love to see your mandalas and oclours so do tag me @wildaboutyarn on Instagram if you make it up. (Add some coasters  using the first four rows.)

  Merry Christmas to everyone, take care, stay safe during these Covid times.  Make make sure to keep in touch with loved ones.

Find this pattern here on Ravelry ...Mesmerising Mandala and coasters (**please note, the coasters are rows 1-4, not 1-3)

*TIP: if you  want to print out the pattern from here or from Ravelry,  copy & paste it to a word doc, delete the pictures you don't need, and then print the text. 

8ply yarn  - 7 colours      4mm hook        tapestry needle
Diameter of large mandala - 30cm
4dtrcl – 4 double treble cluster  Instructions 1-5. 

  1. Wrap yarn or thread around hook twice before beginning the stitch, insert hook
      in stitch, pull a loop through, wrap yarn over hook and draw through two loops,
      (there are now three loops remaining on the hook), yarn over hook and draw through
     two loops (leave remaining loop of the treble on the hook, which makes a total of 
      two loops on the hook).

2. Working in the same stitch, make a second treble (leave the last loop of this treble on the hook also). At this point, there are 3 loops on the hook.

3.  Repeat  instructions from no.2 above. There are now 4 loops on the hook. 
4.  Repeat no. 2.  There are now  5 loops on the hook.

5. Wrap yarn over the hook and pull a loop through the 5 remaining loops on the hook all at once. This completes the cluster.
 NOTE - every row is the start of another colour.  
METHOD (UK terms used)    
the design process...
Magic Ring                                  
1. Ch 5, * tr into ring, ch2, Repeat from * 6 more times.  Join to 3rd ch of beg 5ch. Fasten off.
2.  Sl st into next sp, ch5, 4dtrcl in same sp,, *ch8, 5dtrcl in next sp, repeat from * around, end with ch8, slst at tip of 1st cluster.  Fasten off.
3. 10dc in each sp (80dc in round) Fasten off.
4-9. Dc in each dc all round.  Sl st into next st. Fasten off.
10.  *Dc in first st, 2dc in next.  Repeat from * all around. Fasten off.
11.  Dc all round. Fasten off.
12. *Dc in first 2 stitches, 2dc in next.  Repeat from * all round. Fasten off
13. Dc all round. Slst into first dc.  Fasten off. 
Row 9

14. Treble all round. Slst into first tr.  Fasten off.
15. Join yarn, *ch6, miss two stitches, dc into next stitch. Repeat from * all round. . Slst into  ch3 of beg ch6.  Fasten off.
16.  Join yarn, *ch6, miss two stitches, dc into next stitch. Repeat from * all round. . Slst into  ch3 of beg ch6.  Fasten off.

Make coasters using rows 1-4 of  mandala. 

Coasters  - don't stop at three...😊 

 The coasters are quick and easy to make.
Several joined together would make a light colourful scarf.  

Have a happy week, a very Merry Christmas and I hope you manage to play with yarn.  Here's  to 2021, whatever it may bring. 

Lu x

Monday, 8 June 2020

Diabolo, Motif Monday

                                  Motif Monday Motif 9 - Diabolo

This is one of my favourite designs (if you want to see the whole collection, search for them in my blog by number - Motif 1 to Motif 9).  I love the white petals on the second last row and then the picots in each corner and half way along the outer row.  Picots are so simple - three ch then return to the same stitch and slpst.  So easy!   They're cute around the sleeve or hem of a garment too whether it's in crochet or knitting.  Or socks!  

 When my son, Leo, was a teenager, he was quite good at doing tricks with his diabolo, a toy with two plastic cup shaped domes on the end of string connected to a stick.  A huge variety of tricks is possible including spinning, using your body, string manipulations, hand interactions and the creating of patterns.   For some reason, this made me think of how we do crochet!     

This week’s motif  has twists and turns and hand actions using ‘string’ - YaRN!   I just love how it turned out. 

Motif 9 will be the last motif for now so thank you to everyone who joined in again! 


NB: UK terms

FACTS  ( any yarn weight works fine) 
8ply yarn, three colours – white, burnt orange, mustard
4mm hook

Using white, make a magic ring.

1. 16dc into the ring. Slst into the first dc.                    

2. Dc in 1st dc, 3ch, miss 1dc, *dc in next dc, 3ch, miss 1dc** Repeat from * to ** all round.  Slst into the 1st dc.  Fasten off.

3.  Join burnt orange with a *dc into any 3ch space, 6ch, dc in 3ch space, repeat from * all round.  Slst into the first dc.

4.  Dc in the same place as the slst.  *(htr, 5tr, htr = treble group) into the 6 ch space, dc in dc of previous row** repeat from * to ** all round. Slst into the first dc. Fasten off.

5. Join mustard with a *dc in dc of previous row, (3ch, 1tr, 5ch, 1tr) in middle tr of treble group of previous row,  3ch** repeat from * to ** all round. Slst into the first dc.  
6. Dc in every stitch all around. Slst into the first dc.  Fasten off.
Rows 1 - white, 2- burnt orange

7.  Join white with a *dc into the dc in the 3rd ch of the 5ch space of the previous row, (ch 5 [loop] , dc) into the same dc, ch5, 4dtrcl in between the two dc  in the valley of the previous row, ch5, dc in dc of the 3rd ch of the 5ch space, ch5, 4dtrcl, 5ch**  Repeat 3 more times, sl st into the first ch of the 5ch loop


Corner 5ch, (ctr, 5ch, 3tr) 5ch
8.  3ch (counts as 1tr), (2tr, 5ch, 3tr) into the 5ch loop, 5ch, dc in the tip of the 4dtrcl, dc in the next 7sts, 5ch, dc in the same place as the previous dc, dc in the next 6 sts, 5ch, *(3tr, 5ch, 3tr) , 5ch into the 5ch loop, 5ch, dc in the tip of the 4dtrcl, dc in the next 7sts, 5ch, dc in the
same place as the previous dc, dc in the next 6 sts, 5ch** repeat from * to ** two more times.  Slst into 3rd ch of the beg 3ch.   Fasten off.
Sew in ends and block. 

Happy motif making,
Lu xxx

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Motif Monday - tea time doilies

Motif Monday 3Time for Tea DoilY pattern -set of 2  

Time for Tea Doily - motif no. 3

Nothing graces a table more beautifully than a tea time doily and what better than one to match your teapot! 

Diameter of cup doily – 15cm (5 3/4”)
Diameter of tea pot doily - 22cm (8 3/4 “)
Yarn – small amounts of four colours
Lu's choices:  1 blue, 2 green,3  white, 4 pink
TIP for beginners: Print out the pattern below and tick the small heart after the number when you have completed the row. J
Yarn: 4ply  (Gauge and yarn do not matter.  Thicker yarn, larger doily) 
Hook: 4mm
Notions: scissors, tapestry needle, row counter (optional)
Yarn 1,  magic ring, ch 1, 12 dc into the ring, join with sl st in the 1st dc.  (12 dc)
 1. πŸ’› Sl st into the next dc, 3ch (this is not counted as a stitch) *1 Htr into the next dc,  1ch * rep  * to * into every dc all around (12htr, 12ch spaces). Slst into top ch of the beginning 3ch. (24 sts)

2. πŸ’› Blue  Slst into the next chain space, ch3, 2tr in same space, *3tr in each ch space all round, sl st into top of ch3.    (36sts)

3. Join Yarn 2, into next stitch (˜See tutorial for joining new yarn.)  Ch4 (stands for 1tr, 1ch) , 1tr, 1ch  in  between all tr from previous row. Slst into top of beg 3rd ch. Fasten off colour. (36tr, 36ch )  

4. Join Yarn 3,   Ch3, 1tr in the same st, *1tr in next stitch, 2tr in next stitch**  rep all round. Slst into beg 3rd ch.  (sts)  Fasten off yarn.  (54sts)

5. πŸ’› Join Yarn 2,  Ch2, 1htr into every tr of previous row.  (54 sts) Fasten off yarn.

6. πŸ’›  Join Yarn 4,    Ch3, 1tr in same place as the ch3, ch2,  *miss 1 st, 2tr into next st, ch 2* rep all round  (54tr, 27 x 2ch spaces) Fasten off yarn.

7.  πŸ’› Join Yarn 1     Ch3, 2tr into same place,  *3tr, 1ch**  in every ch space.  Fasten off yarn. (27 x 3tr, 27 ch spaces  = 108sts)

8. πŸ’› Join Yarn 2    Ch 3, 1dc in next stitch, 1dc in every stitch all round.  Fasten off yarn.  (108sts)

 9. πŸ’› Join in yarn 1 & 4  in the space  to the right of the dc that sits  to the right of the 3tr  from row 7.   

  Ch 2 (stands for the first dc) , htr in next, 1 tr in next, 1dtr in next 2 sts,  1tr in next, htr in next, dc in next st,   *dc  in next st, htr in next, 1 tr in next, 1dtr in next 2 sts,  tr in next, htr in next, dc in next st , in every stitch all round.  Fasten off yarn.
Repeat  Pattern looks like this –  dc, htr, tr, dtr, dtr, tr, htr, dc

10. πŸ’› Dc in between ALL stitches however…in between the DTRs of previous row, make *dc, 3ch, dc** to create the peak and continue dc until the next set of dtrs.   

Fasten off yarn, block and put out for morning tea tomorrow! 

TEA CUP doily

Complete rows 1-6 of teapot doily, then: 

Row 7 - πŸ’› dc into the 2nd tr of the two tr, (dc, htr, dc) in the 2ch space, 1dc in next tr, *dc, (dc, htr, dc) in the 2ch space, 1dc in next tr**,   repeat * to **,  slip stitch into first dc. Fasten off.  Block.  Go and make a cup of tea. 

I have a small collection of teapots both purchased and handmade.  teapots are one of my favourite things to make as a potter.   

Tea pot doily

Tea cup doily -  a miniature version of the teapot doily

So easy to use up left over yarn for this gorgeous doily. 
The teapot doily is 22cm.

The tea cup doily is 15cm. 

Happy Crocheting.

Lu x  

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Vintage Floral doily - Motif Monday no. 2 CAL

Vintage Floral motif 2, May 2020

Motif 2 - Vintage Floral 

have you joined in to the crochet along to make doilies?  I just love the centre of this one!  My only lament about motifs/doilies is that often, the most beautiful design is in the middle and gets covered up.  Now and then I just sit an arrangement of doilies on a table to show them off!  (I might have to do that with this one. :-) )

Yarn – 4ply
3.5mm hook
Finished diameter - 20cm (7 3/4") 
Abbreviations -  UK terms
Ch – chain                  tr - treble
Dc – double crochet    2 stitch dtrcl -  2 stitch double treble cluster
3 stitch dtrcl - 3 double treble cluster - made over three stitches **

**   2-stitch dtrcl -  2-stitch double treble cluster
Omit the last step of each double tr – to begin: go into the first stitch and do a double treble to the last step, go into the next stitch and do a double treble to the last step, then yo and pull through the  three loops on the hook.

3-stitch dtrcl : 

Omit the last step of each double tr, go into the first stitch and do a double treble to the last step, go into the next stitch and do a double treble to the last step, go into the third stitch and do a double treble to the last step,  then yo and pull through  two loops, yo and pull through the three loops on the hook..  


Omit the last step of each double tr and instead of going into the stitch, go into the chain space of the row before.  Repeat  in the same manner as for 3stdtrcl  but do one more repeat before pulling through all the 5 loops on the hook. 

Magic circle  
1. Ch1, 24dc into ring.  Join with a slst into the first dc.
2. Ch4 (counts as 1tr), 2dtrcl, (the ch4 and the 2dtrcl is equal to a 3treble cluster)  *ch7, make a 3dtr cluster over the next 3 dc  . Repeat from * around joining the last ch7 with a slst in the top of the 1st cluster. 
3.  Slst into each of the next 3ch, ch1, dc in the same loop, *ch8, dc in next loop.  Repeat from * around, joining the last ch8 with a slst in the 1st dc.  
4. Slst into the loop, ch4, make three 4dtr clusters with a ch5 in between, *ch5, three 4dtr clusters  with 5ch in between in the next loop. Repeat from * around.  
5.  Slst into  1st 2 ch of the 5ch space,  dc in the same loop, *ch5, dc in next loop.  Repeat from * around. Join with a slst to the dc. 
6.  Dc in same place as the slst, 7dc in 5ch space, *dc in dc of previous row, 7dc in 5ch space. Repeat * around.   Fasten off.

 Block using your preferred method.

This reminded me of the handkerchiefs my Nan used...

There...a fresh bright Spring  floral motif.  (It's Autumn here in Australia.  The nights are a bit cooler but the days are divine!)

Please tag me #wildaboutyarn on instagram or @lindadouglas  on Facebook if you use some of your stash to make your own Vintage Floral doily

Happy Crochet making, 

Linda xxx

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Citrus Twist, Motif Monday in May, 2020, no. 1

                    CITRUS TWIST- Motif May on Monday, 2020

 Six years ago, I started up MOTIF Monday  - a free crochet doily project every Monday for a month!  Oh wow, it was fantastic! People from all over the world joined in making some of the mostly lovely crochet motifs.   And what a stash buster it was. There are just some days when you want a quick project that's easy to finish in one session.  

Well, Motif Monday is that project!   Every Monday, starting Monday 11th, 2020,  I will post a motif.  These can be made up into small pincushions for friends as gifts, little purses…potpourri bags or be joined into a larger project.  I hope you collect a basket-load of motifs this month!                         Happy May!  You deserve it!   
                       Let me know  in the comments below, or on Instagram @wildaboutyarn if you are joining me on Mondays!  J  

                                      CITRUS TWIST  - MOTIF 1.  May 11th, 2020 (Original design) 
When my dear friend, Maree, sent me the most gorgeous handmade glass bead necklace (see below),  the fresh colours were the motivation to make Citrus Twist. 

Firefly  Beads...Maree this combo! 



YARN – 8 ply  - Small quantities in four colours – Sunshine yellow, Blanc, Smokey, Lime
 Hook- 4mm
Finished size with 8ply - 15cm (5 3/4")
Usual notions – scissors, tapestry needle, stitch marker (optional)
Abbreviations: UK terms, ch – chain, tr – treble, 3trcl –  3treble cluster, slst – slip stitch, dc – double crochet
3tr cluster: yarn over hook (YO), insert hook into required stitch, YO,  pull through TWO LOOPS,                                     YO,  pull through two loops on your hook, YO, insert into stitch,  YO,  pull through the stitch, 
                  YO,  pull through two loops on your hook, (you'll now have 3 loops on your hook), YO, insert into stitch, yo, pull through two loops, (you have  4 loops  on your hook),  YO and pull through all loops . Done. 

(2trcl is less one yo and pull through routine)
Using Sunshine yellow, make a magic ring,  4ch (serves as the first treble and the first ch) * 1tr, 1ch (repeat * 14 more times) into the ring.  (16 tr, 16ch)
1.  3ch, 2tr cluster into the ch space of previous row, 1ch,  *3trcl, 1ch**  repeat all round # slst into
    3rd ch of beg 3ch.    # Change colour to blanc on the last pull through of the slip stitch.
                                                         (16 -3tr clusters, 16ch)

Beg, round 1 trebles  sunshine yellow, and blanc -round 2.  

2. 3ch. 2tr in same place as 3ch, 1ch, *3tr, 1ch** in the chain space of previous row, rep  from * all round.
   Sl st into the 3rd ch of the beg 3ch.  Change to Smokey on the last pull through of the slip stitch. 
                                                           (48tr, 16ch spaces)   

3.  In the same space as the slip stitch, ** 1dc, 5ch**, repeat ** in the ch spaces all round.  Sl st into the first dc.  Change to Blanc on this last slip stitch as before.
4.  1dc in same space as slst, *(1htr, 2tr, 1ht) in 5-ch space, dc in dc of previous row*,   repeat all round, slst into first dc.  Change to Lime on the last pull through of the slip stitch.
5. Ch 4,(this is the first dc and the 2ch),  3trcl in between the two tr of the previous row,  2ch, * dc in dc of previous row, 2ch, 3trcl in between the two tr of the previous row,  2ch**,   rep * to **  around, slst into the 2nd ch of the beg 4ch.
Fasten off.  Block by holding your steaming iron OVER the top of the motif.  Do not allow the iron to touch the motif.  Melting can occur!!!!  :-(((
Please share your motifs by linking your comments to your website or IG account. 

Happy hooking!  

Lu x
P.S. I'm loving grey at the moment! 
Citrus Twist Motif 1

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