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Friday, 25 October 2013


Threads & More in Brisbane
The Southern Hemisphere winter has been a mild one and our Northern Hemisphere friends will probably not like hearing of our days in the region of 20+ degrees Celsius … Even with these temperatures our retailers have still enjoyed a busy winter. I interviewed some of them to help you predict some trends for the Northern Hemisphere winter…

One of our stockists summed up her winter as 'gimmie chunky texture that's oversized and relaxed!' Alix at Threads & More in Brisbane told us that classic yarns such as Patons Inca were extremely popular for crocheting gorgeous single colour throws. Textured knits in big collage stripes trended high this winter, as did cables - something that she thinks will continue into next winter. Cabled, textured knits paired with simple leggings and boots make for a classic casual look 'perfect for the relaxed Brisbane fashion set'. Threads also raved about the popularity of the designs of Stephen West - and we are excited to see the finished product from their following of his latest KAL using our Limited Edition colours! You can see Alix in his Safety Scarf which was fantastically popular around their knitting table and even inspired them to dye their own neon yellow yarn to make a statement piece – it certainly is!

Alix in her Safety Scarf by Stephen West

Alix predicts the trend for extreme knitting will transcend into garments with super bulky yarns allowing for quick accessory knitting to adorn necklines across winter. And the love of variegated yarns will continue to make simply constructed garments look amazing … we are taking note Alix!

Down in Canberra, Renae at Suzy Hausfrau said her most in demand yarn
this winter has been Quince & Co with their beautiful simple aesthetic look. She felt that there was more colour trending back into everyone's knitting baskets however grey is still her most popular colour regardless of the brand. Renae said that towards the end of winter orange was starting to be asked for…

Renae of Suzy Hausfrau
The designers that Threads and Suzy's customers are following are Veera Valmiki (for her Color Affection and Stripe Study Shawl, her amazing children's garments, and the divine Paris cardigan) as well as some of the Aussie designers who are starting to design for overseas yarn companies - Kirsten Johnstone and Alison Brookbanks. Both of these designers have very subtle, beautiful designs which are always elegant and wearable. Michele Wang's work with Brooklyn Tweed has everyone excited especially as her wraps and sweaters are lovely and lightweight which is great for the warmer winters. Alix and Renae – you will be excited to know that Michele is working on something with MillaMia yarn – to be announced shortly!!!

The stand-out MillaMia pattern amongst Southern Hemisphere customers was the Bella Jacket with its wonderfully flattering short waisted body shaping and beautiful box neck detail. It was knitted up in Putty time and time again with a pop of bright Daisy, Peacock or Fuchsia to highlight the gorgeous warm neutral. Winter 2013 in Australia and New Zealand was all about the adult collections from MillaMia though Bright Young Things, one of the first of the childrens collections remains a firm favourite.

The most interesting thing about this season from my point of view is how popular the Limited Edition colours have been – and this is at the end of our busy season, before Flight of Fancy had been released. Demand typically tapers off along with the rising temperature but that certainly hasn't been the case this year!

So now it is 29 degrees outside… It's predicted to be one of the hottest summers on record and already we have seen 38 degree days! Let's see what that does to yarn sales!!! Enjoy your winter!
(posted by Kirsten)

Friday, 18 October 2013


My goodness - what a week it's been! I can confidently say that this week has seen me add two things to my 'never-thought-I'd-do-that!' list - teaching a knitting class, and knitting in an Oxford Street shop window!

Of course, if you read the last blog post you'll know that it was all part of MillaMia's contribution to Wool Week 2013 in conjunction with Campaign for Wool and John Lewis. We were thrilled to be involved with raising awareness of wool and it's myriad amazing properties (something that us knitters have known for a VERY long time), not only because it's such a worthwhile cause, but also as it was super great fun!

I thought you would like to see the story of our day on Wednesday in pictures - we took lots! Yumiko, our most lovely intern is about to leave us to go back to Japan, but she very kindly agreed to help us out on the day. Katarina was on hand for the drop in session throughout the afternoon and for the evening class, where her 'Continental' style of knitting was so helpful. Helena made her debut with me in the window, which was really chilly but surprisingly comfortable. We both commented on how quickly you forget where you are and adapt to your surroundings - it gave us real insight into why people on reality TV shows are able to disregard the cameras so easily - even with people walking past and waving at you!

John Lewis were incredibly open to the idea of the knitting classes taking place in the Womenswear Department as opposed to the more conventional Haberdashery Department, and made us a very comfortable 'room' amidst the cashmere:

As you can see Yumiko and I managed to make it feel more like home with some strategically placed cushions.

The classes were already fully booked when we arrived, but we welcomed lots of other people who happened by and were so intrigued that they joined us too!

Around midday, Helena and I made our way to the cosmetics department and through a little door out to the window. We took some Milly's for company, the cushions for comfort (you can see a beautiful bright Tivoli and a Dalarna Cushion on the sofa) and our knitting of course!

It was really cold in the window, but thankfully we both had our MillaMia cardigans on (I'm wearing my brand new Monica Cardigan from High Society in Pitch Black (100) and Helena is wearing the new Vanessa Cable Cardigan in Forget-me-not (120) and Storm (102)) and soon settled down to knit and chat for a couple of hours. It was surprising how quickly we forgot that we were 'knitting models' sitting in a rather large shop window in Oxford Street!

We were occasionally reminded of the surreal nature of our experience by the people walking by - some waved, some smiled in a wry manner and hurried past, but some even stopped to take a picture!

Tomorrow sees the last of the knitting classes at John Lewis in Oxford Street with Erika Knight taking the knitty helm but our friend and MillaMia stockist Sue Stratford will be in store all day today to teach 2 fairisle classes and do her stint of knitting in the window. Go along and find her in the Womenswear Department for drop-in knitting help this afternoon if you haven't booked a class, or for more information on all the other amazing ways that people have contributed to Wool Week 2013, visit the Campaign For Wool website.
(posted by Max)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

WOOL WEEK - MillaMia at John Lewis

As avid supporters of all things woolly we were delighted to be given the chance to take part in Wool Week this year in conjunction with John Lewis, Oxford Street. This exciting week, running 14th-20th October, will be crammed with events up and down the country to celebrate the natural beauty, durability, wearability, versatility, (need I say more??) of our favourite fibre!

As many of you will know, the Campaign for Wool is a global endeavour to raise awareness of the benefits and sustainability of this amazing fibre and is patronised by HRH The Prince of Wales. Wool Week here in the UK is just one aspect of the work that the Campaign for Wool does to promote wool and to help the public rediscover just what makes wool such a versatile product. To read more about The Campaign for Wool and about the events you can get involved in go to

Now to tell you all about how MillaMia are getting involved in Wool Week 2013! We are thrilled to be hosting a day of classes, drop in knitting surgeries and taking part in an exciting window installation through the entire day of Wednesday 16th October at John Lewis in Oxford Street. John Lewis have made it their aim to focus on 'fashionable knitting' by running a week of fashion focussed knitting classes and drop-in's hosted by some of the 'most innovative and exciting knitting brands'. As well as MillaMia, other participants include Erika Knight, Rowan, Wool & The Gang, Arne and Carlos and the very lovely Sue Stratford. For full details of all classes go to Knit Nation events.

With the focus of the class being the use of bright colours and new techniques for high fashion patterns, we have decided to host a class for beginner knitters. Using the Olle Hat pattern that recieved so much positive attention and feedback after being featured in the Telegraph a couple of months ago, we thought it would be a great way to introduce new knitters to the delights of knitting something small, cute and beautifully colourful as a first project. Our classes run from 10.30-11.30 and from 18.00-19.00 with drop-in help available between these times. Please do remember to register for any class by emailing

You can follow all of the buzz and excitement by following @campaignforwool with #woolweek on Twitter or Campaign for Wool on Facebook. We will be posting a full report of our exciting day taking part in Wool Week so look out for an update in a couple of weeks!
(posted by Max)

Friday, 4 October 2013

NEW COLOURS - Helena on Design and Inspiration

Not only have I recently been playing with our new Limited Edition colours but I have also had the pleasure of developing 3 new shades to add to our permanent range of colours!

These colours are the result of repeated customer demands, and my longing to add some more shades to the heritage section of our range. I wanted shades with longevity and enduring appeal, that were both rich and sophisticated. Adding an opulent purple, a pitch black and a stylish sable brown has given the overall pallet a little more of an adult focus now that we have branched into designs for women and men.

The Vanessa Cowl (opposite) is from our latest booklet Flight of Fancy. I'm particularly fond of this accessory which has all of the design elements I love right now - richly saturated colours in high contrast and with plenty of cabled texture.

If you feel a little daunted by wearing a garment in a bright shade, then look to injecting some colour into an accessory. It's always much easier to wear a small burst of something bright against the safer neutrals and will add interest and style to any outfit.

Sable (105)

Browns are a little tricky as a colour! They can be far too reddish in tone or veer towards the yellow spectrum which results in a yucky colour. With Sable I wanted a lovely soft brown with tones of grey in it to give a more modern overall effect. For a subtle, sophisticated adult garment it works beautifully with Midnight, or mix it with Forget-me-not for a very soft look for babies and children. When used on its own, Sable lends depth and definition to cable motifs and textured stitches, it's super easy to wear and will blend with so many shades in your wardrobe.

Berry (163)

With Berry I was looking for a really warm purple - a natural shade reminiscent of rich natural fruit and wilderness. Of course, since purple made its come-back a few years ago now, we have seen it become a staple fashion colour which is versatile and wearable across the seasons. I like this shade coupled with Pitch Black but it also looks stunning with a serious contrast such as Lime - bringing these strong colours together brings them both alive in such a vibrant wayAgain the shade is intense without being too dark and will look fabulous in even the plainest stocking stitch garment.

Pitch Black (100)

Well, black is black . . . a bit of a cliche but also true! I love it for the simple classical statement it makes and totally understand how people cling to it, as most of us feel that we can't go far wrong with black! It is a pure colour - sophisticated and strong and lets the wearer be all of those things. Though clearly an adult shade, I love the idea of using it for some cool kids clothes too. It can be fantastic mixed with Fuchsia or Peacock for a quirky look!

All of our new colours are now available to purchase from your local MillaMia stockist or directly from our website

Look out for the next blog post which will have exciting news of a gorgeous new FREE pattern to see you wrapped up in warm cables ready for winter!

(posted by Helena)