Author Archives: henrietta

Living Life In Colour – Bushwalk Inspiration

“I was out for a walk in the rain forest at Cunningham Gap this morning and got so inspired by all the shifting and luscious greens. The canopy overhead and around shifting from lightest Apple-, Gentle- and Emerald Greens through to the darker Imperial and Ocean Greens to Black in the dancing sunlight. They are all the colours I’m using in the upcoming Daintree Sweater-dress I’m working on at the moment.” – Biggan

Inspiring Bushwalk gets the creativity flowing.

Biggan Design Yarn combination inspired by a bushwalk.


It is a particular pleasure for me to welcome the many new members to our website, not just here in Australia, but all of you from many different countries all over the world. I would like to say a very warm welcome to you all and thank you for joining us and enjoying working with our yarn.

A lot is happening here at Biggan Design, since my husband and I returned to Australia from a three year stint overseas in the UK and Sweden for my husband’s work. Though almost half of that time I had to spend in Australia to work with the yarn. It was very interesting for me as a knitter and designer to spend time in both these countries, as there is such a strong and ingrained tradition for knitting and again becoming such a popular pastime.
And, of course, over in the UK and Sweden you do need your knitwear to keep warm!! Layers of sweaters, skirts,throws, scarves, beanies and tams I could fully indulge in and never feel too hot. In sunny, subtropical Brisbane, where we are based, you certainly don’t need so many jumpers!

I want to acknowledge that this set up being overseas was only possible for the very competent help from my daughter Henrietta in the first two years, and then from Anita, who took over the reins for the last year. Anita also instigated the new website together with her husband Stephen. They have done a stellar job, of which we are very proud. Thank you all three for you devoted help to the company!

Our 4ply range is now up to 47 colours in total and will keep growing as we need to order more yarn – so please keep buying!! The 4ply is a wonderful yarn for socks, as it is both soft AND strong, so the socks last the distance and can be washed in the machine on a wool or gentle cycle in 30°C. It is also lovely for any lace projects, especially shawls and light summer cardigans, of which I am currently working on a new design.

The DK/8ply is not only great for garments, but we found is also great for baby blankets which are so soft in the Biggan Design yarn, and in which you can make very colourful combinations from the big range of colours. Babies’ brains it has been found respond very favorably to strong colours in their development. And don’t forget that the blankets can be washed over and over again.

I have just come out with a new, classical V-neck cardigan pattern, Robyn, which goes with everything, for size 85cm – 110cm bust measure.
I am working on up sizing several of my patterns to a 130 cm bust. I would love to get some feedback if this is something you knitters are interested in. I feel that so many patterns are only made for tiny teenagers and not for real, grown up people. It’s lovely to knit for your children and grandchildren, BUT also for yourself!
Sizing I’ve decided to keep to centimeters and inches, instead of the actual sizes you find in the shops, as sizing differs so dramatically from country to country. This way everyone knows where they stand by using a tape measure around the bust, waist or hip and thus get the size that is right for them. All my patterns are written in this way.

I have knitted a whole range of both knee- and ankle length skirts, to which I am particularly partial, as they are so comfortable to wear and never restrictive or tight, they don’t seat even after years of wear and washes beautifully in the machine on a wool or gentle cycle in 30°C. As the yarn is so soft you can’t feel the skirts on your skin, even without a slip and stockings underneath during summer. That is how I wear them in Brisbane and how my three daughters wear their Eleanor miniskirts.

All through the winter months I will be giving workshops in Finishing techniques, Circular knitting, Colour work, Fair Isle knitting and steaking at Tangled Yarns here in Brisbane. If you are interested please read our Events page in early May, when classes should have been decided on.

I wish you a Happy Easter, with lots of time for knitting projects on the go. My husband and I are off camping with friends in the beautiful Gibraltar Range National Park in NSW and I will bring plenty of knitting along to do by the campfire or in case it rains, which is not unusual during the Easter holidays here!


Biggan Ryd-Dups

Creative Director and Founder

Robyn Cardigan Now Available

Robyn Cardigan

As the weather gets cooler and autumn is most definitely in the air, it is time to start casting on warmer garments in Biggan Design’s DK yarn. To inspire you all to create cardigans for the cooler weather, Biggan has just launched her new Robyn pattern as part of her 2011 Collection. Here it is pictured in Burgundy – one of the key ‘Berry Tones’ colours of the season.  If you are feeling creative and daring – why not give the cardigan your unique/ personal twist and work it in stripes in a colour combination of your own choosing.

Happy Knitting

The Biggan Design Team x

Front Row at the QUT BFA Graduate Fashion Shows

Last week sitting front row at the QUT BFA Graduate Fashion Shows took me back to my days as  a fashion journalist in London.

Vivien’s  gamine models stalked the catwalk (a smile or two wouldn’t have gone astray) in vertiginous platform heels creating the illusion of legs that reached the armpits and the audience holding their breath lest there were a repeat of the  historical Naomi Campbell ( at Vivienne Westwood show in 1993) moment and a model toppling out of her shoes.

In its fourth year of graduating student collections the QUT BFA Fashion Show,  showcased this years 17 graduating student collections.

Kirsten Siemon Design – Hannah Millerick PhotographyHenrietta with Student Designer Kirsten Siemon – Hannah Millerick Photography

Two of the graduating  students Kirsten Siemon and Robyn Taggart  incorporated handknit pieces in their collections using Biggan Design 100% Australian Merino Yarn.
Kirsten  was influenced by Swedish knitwear designer Sandra Backlund with her wearable art style handknit accessory/garment.
Biggan was given  an exclusive  private preview of both Kirsten and Robyn’s collections a few hours before her flight departed for London on Friday 6th November, and she exclaimed that she would love to own Kirsten’s piece as it would make a great travel accessory for getting comfortable on airline seats.
Robyn Taggart’s collection featured  an abundance of stylish and contemporary knitwear. Robyn used Biggan Design 100% Australian Merino First Cross yarn to fashion eye-catching detail on merino jersey garments, combining cutting edge fashion with traditional hand-knitting techniques.

From a field of 17 graduates, Robyn was selected as the winner of the Design Institute of Australia Professional Excellence award for her collection at last week’s QUT Bachelor of Fine Arts (Fashion) 2009 graduate show Collections.

It was very exciting to see Robyn’s collection especially  as Robyn did an internship with Biggan Design earlier this year as part of her fashion degree. During Robyn’s internship Biggan and I recognised her talent and energy and we were therefore very happy to mentor and sponsor her in the development of her graduating collection.

I am so proud of Robyn and the knitwear collection she produced which is  both trendsetting and highly wearable.

Mondrian Inspired Sweater by Robyn Taggart – Hannah Millerick Photography

Robyn’s collection perfectly combined the conceptual with the commercial. It showed knitting is not just for nannas, but can be high fashion in the right hands.