what I knit with and how I care for it

I’ve been asked a couple of times recently what I knit with and how I wash my knitted things. Easy. Firstly almost everything I knit is made from 100% wool or cotton. I’m not a fan of knitting with acrylic as it doesn’t feel as nice as I’m knitting with it and there is just something about using natural materials that I like. But in saying that we have some gorgeous little knits that have lasted very well knitted by other people (hi Nana Shirley) that have been super easy to care for and lasted well and not been wool or cotton. So it’s up to you. I love everything my nana makes and she always picks up some great yarns when she is in Hawaii so it’s all personal choice.

Now when it comes to what brands I use. Well as you know I am a huuuuuuge fan of Bendigo Woollen Mills (and no they don’t sponsor me) and you can’t beat them for value. And if you’re ever in Bendigo (or the state of Victoria as I prefer to squeeze a visit in) then you really should go and visit the mills. Their back room is the best. THE BEST! I don’t know anyone who has come out of that room empty-handed. I love the place. Retro daddy does not love the place. He is probably doing the mental calculations of how I will find room for new purchases given the current size of ‘le stash’.

When it comes to knitting for babies and as gifts I love to use debbie bliss baby cashmerino and am also loving hand dyed yarns especially Little Plum Yarns at the moment and I also love malabrigo and madelinetosh. Baby knits don’t use much yarn so it’s always lovely to use something a bit more special and you can get more unique colours and just end up with something that really is a one off.

Now when it comes to washing my woollens I always used to be so precious and handwash everything. My nana tells me that my mum ALWAYS handwashed all the little knitted things made for us. Anyway now that I have 5 little ones and a never ending washing basket (I’m not exaggerating by the way!). Well, I found I never got to the handknits so for most of them I pop them in the machine on the woollens setting and they come out lovely.

I only put other woollens in with them and I lay them out flat on a clothes rack to dry. For my cotton knits I just chuck them in with the same colour and am a little less precious. I also prefer to put my Bendigo Cotton in the dryer as it tends to lose it’s shape easily and the dryer works a bit better.

Got a question just ask. Always happy to share the love. I’m also always happy to share baby photos. I like to squeeze one or two in there every now and then.

 this pattern is Jane by tiKKi (details on ravelry here) which I knit up in Debbie Bliss cotton dk. It’s beautiful and has kept it’s shape really well. Such a lovely pattern and I might need to make another one for Elodie as this one is getting a bit small now.


  1. Thanks for this info!! I did make a few knitted items for my daughter, when she was born over 4 years ago, but haven’t really made anything since, as she tends to get dirtier these days and I’m a little wary when it comes to washing hand-knitted items. The majority of my knitting ‘career’ has been of the toy variety – Jean Greenhowe designs specifically – so my stash holds more acrylic yarns rather than natural wools, which I prefer when it comes to knitted garments. I’ve also always tended to get frustrated when my items take too long to make – which is why I’ve only ever made clothing for newborns or under 6mth-olds.
    I will have a look into the Bendigo Wollen Mills yarns. I have a family friend who uses them too, and they love the quality of their products. One of these days …

  2. Mmmm every time I read one of your knitting posts I have a desire to sit and knit all day. It’s a lovely rainy day in Canberra today wonder if my grandson Luke will let me?
    Visited the Bendigo Mils last year on your advice, wasn’t disappointed. Left with bags of wool.

  3. Corrie just reading your article today has inspired m to get my knitting out and do a little each night while watching the TV.

  4. Your timing couldn’t be better. I was wanting to ask a question about knitting. The baby Kina that you have made a few times, do you have to knit it on circular needles? If so sould you recommend any books or you tube videos I could get the best information from? The only thing I’ve knitted has been Debbie Bliss simple hats for my daughter and am wanting to make Kinas for her and my little bub due in July.
    Appreciate any advice.

  5. Another great post, I love the pics of the little ones in their handknits. Just started a cardi for myself in Malabrigo Arroyo, my first time in 45 years of knitting using circular needles! So far so good except I keep looking for the second needle! Have ordered from Bendigo Woolen Mills a lovely new yarn called Murano, on special at the moment $10 a ball, gorgeous colours!

  6. Great post Corrie. I’m currently knitting up a stack of doll Kina’s with my left over yarn for a school fundraiser. I might need another visit to Bendigo Mills to replenish my stash after your post :)

  7. Charlotte E says:

    Thanks for this Corrie. I don’t knit (its on my list of things to learn though) but my Mum does and I send pattern and wool I like to her in the UK. Can you believe my in laws live in Bendigo and I have never visited the Woollen Mills! I know what I’ll be doing on our next trip there :-)

  8. Your knitting is beautiful Corrie! My goal for me this year is to learn how to knit, I can knit a basic scarf but beyond that I’m hopeless! Wish me luck.

  9. Corrie I love the Bendigo Woollen Mills too and their back room was only restocked a week or two ago so I am dying to go there to buy up some back room specials, and some yarn for my sister’s xmas pressie too. At the moment my car has died so it will need to be fixed before I travel anywhere. I find that putting my woollens on delicate in the washing machine does a great job, and for smaller objects I put them in a bag or pillowcase and they come out just perfectly too. I saw that you ordered some of the Plum yarn too, isnt it just gorgeous. I have a skein on its way to me too.

  10. Hi Corrie, you have got me onto Bendigo Woolen Mills too, and I love the quality, and the bargains of the back room. Thanks for the dryer tip, I had almost given up on cotton due to it dropping too much, I’ll give the dryer a go. I think our washing machines today are a lot gentler than those of our parent’s and earlier…I have always thrown our knits into the machine (a front loader) on any of the delicates, wool or handwash cycles and aside from the cotton issue, never had a problem.

  11. I’m heading over to Bendigo in 6 weeks. I can’t wait!!!
    I handwash most of my knits. Although handwash is a bit of a misnomer. I actually fill the sink with warm water and some wool wash and dump it all in and leave it.
    When I remember it I come back and swish it around a little, gently unless it’s superwash (in which case I probably just chucked it in the machine) and drain the water. If there are any stubborn stains I use a little liquid soap to rub them very gently (I haven’t had anything felt on me yet) Then I dump it all in the washing machine and spin dry it, spin drying doesn’t produce any agitation so it’s perfectly safe for all woolens. Then lat it out to dry on a rack :-)
    Handwashing isn’t hard at all, contrary to popular belief. :-)

  12. Hi Corrie, So I cant knit anything other than a scarf! But my clever MIL is a wonderful knitter and I’m hoping she’ll knit some pretty Kinas for our baby girl. Would you mind sharing where you get your Debbie Bliss from?? Thanks :)

  13. Hi there i love the pattern in mustard colour above. baby in short sleeve top with buttons. i love it and wondered if you knew where i could purchase this pattern, im in south island new zealand


  1. […] the wool……don’t hate me but it’s a Bendigo back room special called Shetland 8 ply. I can’t even find it on ravelry. Very soft and […]

Leave a Comment


Optionally add an image (JPEG only)