MillaMia is a beautiful knitting yarn made from 100% extrafine Merino Wool.  Slightly finer than a DK but puffier than a 4ply makes it an ideal anytime weight!  It is fabulous to knit with, lovely and bouncy and when knitted on 3.25mm needles (as most of the patterns are) it knits with good structure and melts away many a tension discrepancy!

The inspiration and design behind the brand are two sisters from Sweden, Katarina and Helena, who wanted to fill the gap in the world of childrens knitwear for function, comfort and fashion.  I can say hand on heart, they tick all these boxes.

MillaMia produce only the one weight of yarn, keeping things nice and simple and there are 17 shades ranging from pastels to very vibrant brights!

To date there are 6 books, 4 are packed with childrens patterns that between them have an age range from birth to 8 years, with the latest two books including patterns for older children and two books containing adult patterns in a great size range with designs to mirror those in the childrens’ books.

The first book in the collection is Bright Young Things:




The second book in the collection is Close Knit Gang:













 The third book, Wonderland:


And the latest in the collection of Childrens patterns is Little Rascals:


To the delight of those who have been fortunate enough to knit with MillaMia, two books with adult patterns have been introduced recently.

Country Escape came along first and then hot off the press is Colour Coded:






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Woolly Wormhead Workshop in the East Riding Journal!

I know it seems so long ago since we had the Woolly Wormhead Workshop but we’ve been so busy the last few weeks I’ve hardly had chance to sit at the laptop and write!  We have got a fabulous article in the East Riding Journal owing huge thanks to Deborah who came on the workshop.  (Link to the pdf is at the bottom of the page)

I’ve seen several of the hats that have been completed since the workshop….there’s some budding designers amongst us!  The hat I made for myself is no great design masterpiece but it fits lovely and is wonderfully warm…I’ts great knowing I’m wearing a hat that has been held and had a couple of stitches knitted by ‘Woolly’ and great to know I’m wearing the wool from our own sheep!


Plenty of hats for us to try on!!


A scrumptiously chocolatey ‘Welcome Woolly’ cake!!….courtesy of Helena!!


Suffolk X Wool Tops!……have to get a pic of my sheep in ;-)


Thinking hard….and concentrating!

Need a sugar rush to work out the maths!

Plenty of hats for us to try on!!






Click and have a read of the article:-

Woolly Wormhead Workshop PDF

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Knitting Wool!

Knitting Wool…..Suffolk X Wool Tops

Did you know that one of the most popular knitting keywords when searching yarn is ‘knitting wool’!

Strictly speaking, knitting wool would mean a yarn for knitting made from pure wool or at least a high percentage of wool but so many yarns are made from other fibres and it’s quite likely that when we put in the words ‘knitting wool’ into the search engine, we don’t necessarily mean we want ‘wool’!

Things in the world of wool have gone through quite a few changes over the last forty years or so, with the availability of cheap man made fibres back in the 1980′s, ‘wool’ took a back seat and ‘knitting wool’ as such, became ‘knitting acrylic’!

Sadly, the introduction of the cheaper acrylics did kill off a lot of our local yarn stores because yarn was so cheap and we could still only knit at the same speed so your yarn store owner made much less money for selling the same amount of yarn.

Over more recent years, we have become a little more precious over our knitting and now love natural fibres!  I see so many people pick up a ball of yarn and look at the properties….we now want natural fibres, we also want to know where they have come from too!  We know we can buy a sweater cheaper than we can knit one for in acrylic, but if we want those precious fibres, we have to pay the price tag and if you look at some of the designer price tags….you can definitely knit cheaper!

A Dior sweater with a Dior price tag!

Wool is the major contributor of the substances we knit but there are now many other fibres that are equally sought after.  A lot of yarns will contain some ‘wool’ as it gives good bulk and substance to the yarn and it is naturally warm with good absorbency.  Several examples that spring to mind of ‘pure wools’ are Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester, Debbie Bliss Rialto (lace, 4ply, dk, aran and chunky!), Hjertegarn Lima (a less expensive alternative from Peru at £2.75 for 50g!), not to mention our own Yorkshire Wolds Suffolk X!

Wool blends containing alpaca give you the balance of warmth with the silky softness of alpaca, beautiful to knit with and luxurious to wear.  We have our own Yorkshire Wolds Suffolk X with 50% alpaca, Debbie Bliss Paloma is another beautiful example of a wool and alpaca blend – almost like an ‘i’ cord in structure, it knits as a bulky weight but yet still remains light and airy.

Debbie Bliss Paloma

Wool blends containing silk tend not to be as strong as blends with alpaca, they can have a tendancy to fluff out slightly more but they do shave well making the garment look like new!  There are lots of ‘bobble removing’ clothes shavers on the market….don’t try using a lady shave like I once did only to result in the shaver grabbing the fibres and tearing it!  Bobble removers specially made for garments are relatively inexpensive and will make most of your knitted garments look like new!…..when I say most, it’s usually the ones with good percentages of natural fibres that will shave up well.  Man made fibres tend to be quite tough and the shavers don’t work terribly well on them!  A good example of a wool/silk blend is Louisa Harding Grace, available in solid shades, hand-dyed shades and even a hand-beaded version!

Louisa Harding Grace

A good example of an alpaca and silk blend is Debbie Bliss Andes, similar in many ways to Louisa Harding Grace but containing alpaca instead of wool, this gives the yarn a luxurious softness and drape which is dramatically noticeable both to feel and when knitted although from an appearance point of view, it looks very similar to the Louisa Harding Grace.

Debbie Bliss Andes

Wool and cotton makes a good summer blend, you have the cool summer look of the cotton, the absorbency and cooler feel of cotton, but the wool gives it spring, substance and helps it to retain it’s shape….as well as being nicer to knit with!  A good example of a wool and cotton blend is Louisa Harding Ianthe, a standard DK weight in a fantastic selection of shades and iconic Louisa Harding pattern support.

Louisa Harding Ianthe

Sock yarns generally need approximately 75% wool with 25% nylon for strength, at this blend you will have a sock that retains it’s shape, has strength, is absorbent and is hard wearing…..making great walking socks and great everyday socks!  Some sock yarns also containg cotton to increase the absorbency.  Sock knitting has become so popular of late, I think it’s the combination of portability, useful finished object, great Christmas present and once you’ve worn hand knitted socks….you won’t want to wear anything else!!

Lang Jawoll ‘Lovebird’

It also amazes me when people say they can’t wear ‘wool’.  I think what they refer to is the scratchy, itchy, rugged wools of the 1970′s.  With improvements in processing techniques and the wide availibility of merino, it’s now harder to find a scratchy rugged wool (which incidently, some people do ask for).  Yorkshire Wolds Suffolk X is a touch on the scratchy side but the alpaca blend is divine and much of the scratchyness is lost but for a truly soft pure wool, you really need to look for some of the wools known for their softness.  Debbie Bliss Rialto yarns are spun from a very fine merino with a special twist that locks in the fibres, giving virtually no loose fibres to itch or scratch….feel it to believe it!  Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester is certainly ‘fluffier’ but is so downy and soft, those looser fluffy fibres add to it’s character.  For children, the two Swedish sisters who developed MillaMia really did fill the gap in the market for a premium quality yarn that is perfect for babies and children, so soft you could put it next to your newborn’s skin.  MillaMia is 100% extra fine merino, to touch it blindfolded you would never believe a pure wool could be so soft.  There are 17 fabulous shades available in MillaMia, definitely something for everyone, whether you want brights, pastels, neutrals or dark shades, there is something for all tastes.  MillaMia now have 4 books in their collection, the first two books Bright Young Things and Close Knit Gang cover an age range from birth to 5 years with everything from blankets and babygro’s to fashion concious sweaters, hats and scarves.  The latest two books, Wonderland and Little Rascals cover a slightly larger age range with some of the designs going up to 8 years.

Ulli Hat and Scarf from Close Knit Gang

Noro have a huge corner of the market with their colour change yarns, hand dyed and spun using natural techniques where possible resulting in a premium yarn, unique colour blends and a slubbed, hand spun quality that you either love or hate!  Due to the natural techniqes used when manufacturing Noro, there are thick and thin bits, slubs, bits of grass, weak bits and the odd knot, these properties are the character of Noro and you will go a long way to find anything comparable.  Noro comes with a premium price tag but it’s worth every penny.  Your finished garment will serve you faithfully for many years and will catch the eye of every knitter with an eye for quality.  I remember going round the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show last year….Noro spotting!  One lady wore a fabulous dress knitted in Noro, it looked amazing….if you’re reading this, you will know who you are!

Noro Silk Garden

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Finally….Saturday Knit and Natter is back!!!

Finally….Saturday Knit and Natter is back!!!

Tomorrow (7th September 2012), 12 till 4pm at Little Houndales Bungalow.

Pete has requested that we park in the field tomorrow as the grain dryer is running and tractors have a big turning circle.  It’s the field on the right just after the bungalow….please don’t wear your best white suede shoes because there may be some cow poops ;0

Look forward to seeing you all…..lots of new winter goodies for you to smooch!!

Kath. x


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Boxes of Scrummy Knitting Yarn

The summer holidays are over, the schools go back tomorrow and Wednesday and boxes of scrummy knitting yarn for the Autumn/Winter stock keep on coming!!!!

We grabbed a few days away at Filey in the tourer so at least the children can say they’ve been away!!  The first day was ridiculously wet and to add insult, when I opened the caravan door in the morning, there were 4 ducks swimming round the steps!!  Fortunately, we had reserved ‘indoor’ plans and we got together with some friends so the little ones could play together in the play barn whilst we drank ‘latte’ and caught up on a bit of knitting and nattering…….knit and natter on tour!!

The rain dryed up for the rest of the weekend and we have had some lovely days taking advantage of the swimming pool on site and did a bit of mooching in Scarborough.

Just before we went away we had fun unpacking boxes of pure pleasure from an exciting line up from two of our favourite designers….Debbie Bliss and Louisa Harding!

Debbie Bliss has brought out two fabulous new yarns – Blue Faced Leicester at £5.00 for 50g, beautifully soft with a subtle sheen and Winter Garden at £12.00 for 100g, a fabulous Llama, silk, wool and linen tweed.  An addition to the Angel range too is the new Angel Prints which perfectly compliments the existing Angel and Party Angel.

In addition to the new yarns, we have added greatly to the Debbie Bliss and Louisa Harding ranges of stock we carry and we can now safely say, we pretty much carry the full range from both designers!…….and if we haven’t got it…….we can get it!!

Louisa Harding has also brought out two new yarns – Amitola at £6.00 for 50g a wool and silk colour change blend and Orielle at £7.00 for 50g, alpaca with a subtle lurex.

The new yarns all have dedicated pattern booklets named after the yarns and in addition, Louisa Harding has introduced two new booklets, Mr Magpie and Sorella.  Both booklets are packed with patterns using the three Grace yarns (Grace, Grace Hand Beaded and Grace Hand Dyed), Nerissa and Simonetta.  Debbie Bliss has introduced Baby Cashmerino 4 which contains a colourful collection for our little ones!  There are also two ‘leaflet’ style pattern flyers available – one specifically for Luxury Aran Tweed which contains 4 patterns which have previously featured in the ‘Tweed’ booklets and there is a flyer containing 4 previously featured patterns for the New Debbie Bliss Angel Prints which is a colour changing Angel!  All this and we still haven’t seen the new Debbie Bliss Magazine for the winter…….The photo’s for the Magazine for this winter are shot in Poland amist rustic snowy scenes and include some fabulous designs using the ever popular Rialto, Luxury Tweed and Angel yarns!

If you are stuck for gift ideas either planning ahead for Christmas or just in need of a birthday gift, take a look at the two new published books from Debbie Bliss, Knits to Give and The Knitters Year.  Knits to Give is just what it says on the label, packed full of small projects that make perfect gifts.  The Knitters year has 12 projects to keep you going through each month of the year!  Both books contain designs that will knit as great gifts and the books themselves, beautifully hardbacked make great gifts too!

Not everything is on the website yet but I’m working on it!  If you can’t wait you can always visit us here at Little Houndales Knits, Nafferton, East Yorkshire by prior arrangement – call Kath on 01377 255093 or shop online at


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Hi all!  Sorry for not blogging for a while, life doesn’t always go to plan!!  Anyway, I’ve realised that there is quite a bit of content in my old blog that you’ve maybe not read….so here is the link!

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Debbie Bliss, Debbie Bliss and more Debbie Bliss!!!

I’ve had a fabulous day unpacking boxes of Debbie Bliss yarns and booklets from Designer Yarns.  I now have a large proportion of my Debbie Bliss winter stock and the Designer Yarns Choices Bolero Scarf Yarn.  Still waiting for Debbie Bliss Winter Garden and all the new Louisa Harding yarns.

I’ve taken both the new yarns which are the Blue Faced Leicester and Winter Garden (still to arrive) but I’ve added to my existing range so I now pretty much carry the full Debbie Bliss range!  Last winter I took on the Glen, Angel,  Andes and Paloma.  Over the spring and summer, I took on the Rialto Lace, Baby Cashmerino in 25 shades, the Eco Baby in 18 shades, Eco Aran, Cotton DK and Amalfi.  I’ve now added Rialto 4ply, Rialto DK and Rialto Aran, the bulky weight yarn – Riva, the gorgeous Luxury Aran Tweed and I’ve taken on some new shades in the Andes.

I have really enjoyed putting colours together and rearranging shelves this afternoon, all of the summer stock has come off the shelves now (there’s still some bits left at reduced prices on the website!).  My faithful helper has packed boxes, arranged baskets and done all the lifting and stretching, allowing me to potter….she struggled to keep me under control though!!!

This is the Blue Faced Leicester….

The Blue Faced Leicester is 100% BFL as the name suggests, it is 100% Yorkshire….that is spun, dyed, balled and packaged!  It has a lovely traditionally ‘British’ twist with a slight sheen.  I know from just looking at it that it will have amazing stitch definition!  I can’t wait to get some on the needles!!

This is Angel Prints….

Angel Prints is the same lace weight mohair and silk as the Angel but with varigated colours.  When I put my order in, I was fifty fifty on the colours, as much as I like the concept, I wasn’t taken with the colours…….it was a very hot sunny afternoon in June sat in the garden!!!  I’m looking at the shade card now wishing I had ordered more…..I think I will be doing ;-)

This is Rialto Aran….

Rialto Aran is 100% Merino.  It has a very tight twist, completely different to the BFL.  It’s a very tough and hard wearing yarn which is down to having such a tight twist, all the fibres are interlocked so there are very few loose fibers to matt and pill!

This is the Luxury Aran Tweed…..

The Luxury Aran Tweed, formerly known as Donegal Tweed is a very natural looking yarn, the wool is very rugged but yet still lovely and soft, the tweed gives lovely dimension to the colours and when knitted, it makes a very classy garment…….I’m having this one knitted up as a sample, I love this design……with knee high boots and skinny jeans……

Bow Tunic from ‘A Time For Tweed’ knitted in Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed Aran

There are three pattern books in the Debbie Bliss range which are dedicated to the Luxury Tweeds.  I’ve only taken stock of the Aran weight, some of the designs which use the chunky are gorgeous but I think I’ll have to order these as special orders on request as the yarn usage is heavy, I would need so many packs I’d need a warehouse!

This is Rialto Lace……

Rialto Lace is just devine, if you like doing lace work and have never tried this, I heartily recommend you give it a go, the twist is tight, the same as all the Rialto range and again, it’s 100% merino.  It is so light and so delicate, you will just love it!!  I’ve had a couple of samples knitted in it and they really do attract attention!  This one is a particular favourite and has appeared in one of the published knitting magazines earlier in the year….

This beautiful wrap is featured in the Railto Lace booklet

This beautiful lace wrap takes only 3 x 50g balls of Rialto Lace……at just £5.00 a ball, need I say more!!!

This is Andes…

Andes is a silk and alpaca blend, it is so soft you could just sit with it on you lap and stroke it all evening!  The colour range is devine, there are two supporting booklets for Andes, the first one is called ‘Andes’ and the later one which was released for winter 2012 is ‘An Andes Story’.   My daughter is mid way through making this one….

From ‘Andes Story’, knitted in Debbie Bliss Andes

This is how its all looking!!

So, as you can see, it’s all coming together!  I need a good bright day tomorrow to photograph all the colours properly so I can get them on the website as soon as possible….you’ll be wanting them now you’ve had a taster!!!

One more thing to show you, although not Debbie Bliss, are these lovely Lantern Moon cable needle and gadget holders called Baaabs, great for popping your darning needle in whilst you sew up!…..There’s also some of the new Lantern Moon tape measures in the pic too!!

Baaabs! From Lantern Moon!


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I’ve just started on Pinterest, I didn’t really know what it was or understand it until yesterday but it’s a bit like everything new, you have to spend a bit of time playing!

It’s so much fun uploading pics and pinning them to my different boards and then searching for a particular item or product and pinning it.

So far I’ve pinned a few pics from the new MillaMia Little Rascals book which is officially released on the 13th August and available for pre-order now at

I’ve pinned a couple of the Louisa Harding Amitola and a couple of Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester.  There are some lovely designs coming out for the winter, I really don’t know how I’m going to find the time to knit them all!!

We’ve also had a delivery from Lantern Moon, some fabulous crocheted tape measures,stitch markers and even some of the lovely Rosewood needles and Ebony needles…..very expensive needles but beautiful to knit with and make you feel somewhat rather posh!  They’re not on the website yet but will be soon!!

I think eventually, Pinterest will be as big as facebook, it’s fun, you share what you like and you pass your comments on things.  It’s easy to use and it’s colourful!

I have a ‘P’ button for my Pinterest page on the right hand menu or you can click the link.

I would love to collect a few followers, hint hint!!  Bear in mind though….I’ve only just started pinning so there aren’t yet hundreds of photo’s!!

Finally to update you about me….I’m getting there!

Look forward to seeing you on Pinterest!

Kath. xx

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Bergere de France……planning my winter wardrobe!

All the winter stock from Bergere de France is now here and the new Creations 12/13 Magazine is giving me plenty of inspiration for my winter wardrobe!…..Too much inspiration if anything!!

Bergere de France have for many years popped up in the knitting magazines with the most beautiful designs and more recently, they have really grown in the UK.  The choice of yarns is vast, ranging from some beautiful natural fibre yarns to premium quality man-made fibres, they have a range called ‘Origin‘ which is their premium range and consists of some fabulous fibres from pure silk to milk protein!  In their standard range they have a good selection of natural fibre yarns and fashion yarns, ‘Duvetine’ is completely man-made but has a very premium quality feel and at just £3.00 a ball, it’s purse friendly too!.  My ethos has always been to source premium quality natural fibres and source products which support fair trade and crafts persons across the world.  I wrestled a little with my ethos to allow me to stock Duvetine because it has no natural fibres in it all!  I won and my ethos although battered, now agrees with me. Even though it is man-made, the premium quality of the yarn does actually fit very well alongside the rest of my products.

Some of the other yarns from the Bergere de France range we stock are so divine, Plume is softer than you can ever imagine, it really does have a feather like feel.  The olive green colour is so rich, it’s hot on the catwalks for the winter season and a definate on my to do list!

Certainly one of the major bonuses with the Bergere de France pattern booklets are the sheer number of patterns!  The magazines cater for men, women, boys and girls up to 16 years of age and the cutest baby garments!  You really do get amazing value for money at just £7.50!

As a company, Bergere are fabulous to deal with from a retailers point of view.  If there is a particular yarn that a pattern requires that I don’t stock, I know I can have it here within a week. I love the fact that they also carry a lot of Lantern Moon too.  I have ordered directly from Lantern Moon but as always, minimum quantities, shipping and customs do mean that it’s not always the cheapest option!  I’ve got a Lantern Moon delivery tomorrow so look out for new products on the website!!

A little bit about me….put it this way, I’m better than I was!  I’m still breathing which is always a bonus.  I am very tired and still very breathless so I do think it will be a while before I’m back to being myself but at least I have all my lovely yarn and my lovely customers to keep me going!  I’m looking forward to the deliveries from Designer Yarns, hopefully next week…..I’ve held off taking their delivery this week, there’s a lot to come and I’ll need to save up a bit of energy!…..When I recover from unpacking it all, I’ll be blogging about that too!!

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What a year…ops, clots, website and yarn!

What a year this is turning out to be!  I feel like I’ve been thrown up in the air and have landed back on the ground with a bump and everythings scattered around me.  This year has been one thing after another, in fact last year wasn’t that brilliant either!

I started the year with a direction in my head of how I wanted to see the wool business grow, of what Knitting yarns I wanted to stock and how I wanted the website to look.  I made good progress working in the back of the old website to restructure things and added new products on the website in January and February…..catching up from having had too many distractions towards the end of last year.

Half way through February, I discovered that Microsoft were deleting Microsoft Office Live which was what my website was hosted on.  All the work I had put in was to be wiped off the face of the internet.

Eventually, we got back on track with a brand new website with much better features than the old one and much more professional, I just needed to load it up with products…..

Loading products on has been a much slower job than I had anticipated and by the end of May, my surgery was drawing near and I still had a lot to get onto the website.  Trying not to be too stressed out by it I decided this was not a bad thing, if there were not many products on the site, it wouldn’t end up being too busy while I recovered from my op and I could get things loaded on while I got better.

5 weeks post op and I was feeling totally and utterly rubbish, I was getting worse, not better.  An appointment with the doc on the Wednesday, blood tests on the Thursday and Friday the 13th, a phone call from the doc asking me to go in for a d-dimer test (a finger prick test to test if you have any blood clots).  The test showed positive and I was packed off to A&E for a delightful Friday the 13th!  I really thought I was on a wild goose chase, I didn’t think for one minute that I would have blood clots on my lungs, that was something that happened to other people!  A CT scan proved the d-dimer right and found multiple clots on my left lung and lower right lung…….jeez, no wonder I was out of breath.

I’ve been home now for just about 24 hours, I spent 5 nights in hospital in total but it felt like forever.  The website ticked over while I was in with a dear friend keeping up with the orders, she did a mighty good job and I’m eternally grateful.  I’ve had a stressful day today with other things I don’t need to go in to and spent a big part of the afternoon taking my mind of it by adding products to the website.



I only managed to add the Bergere de France Ideal, but there are 35 shades in total, 25 of them we keep in stock so it takes time getting them on.  I have 3 boxes of Bergere de France yarn to sort and get on the website and that’s before the new Debbie Bliss and Louisa Harding starts landing over the next few days!  Tomorrow there is a delivery from Lantern Moon and Namaste due so I’m quite excited about that too!

Anyway, I think that puts you in the picture where we’re up to!  I hope now that I can start to get back on track but the clots on my lungs will hold me back a little until they start to dissolve.  I’m on Warfarin but that just stops more clots from forming, it doesn’t remove the ones already there!

My mission over the next few months is to firstly get better, and secondly, get the website up to date.  I’ve lots of knitting planned and that’s good physio so I should soon start churning out some finished items to show you!

I think I’ll be back at the Farmers Market in September, I was hoping for August but it just seems so soon.  I know I won’t be well enough to do it but I might entrust it to someone if I’m well enough to just ‘oversee’ it.  We’ll see.

Bye for now

Kath. xx


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