Subscribe via email


Click here to subscribe to the MILLAMIA blog by Email

To view previous blog posts scroll down to the bottom of the page

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

OUT AND ABOUT - with Loveknitting WKIP

What better way to spend a summer Saturday than among fellow knitters (whom you may or may not actually know) in a cool café in the middle of London, knitting squares for a worthy charity? The MillaMia team thought that there wasn't really anything they would like to do more and so Katarina, Helena and I hopped along last Saturday to join Loveknitting and Knit For Peace at Flat Planet in Great Marlborough Street as part of Worldwide Knit In Public Day.
Launched in 2005 by Danielle Landes, WKIP is the biggest knitter run event in the world. It has gathered momentum over the past few years seeing organised events now run through an entire week, and with global reach. It has become an excellent opportunity among the knitting community to not only show off their knitting prowess in public, but to participate in some charitable endeavours for lots of worthwhile causes.
Our colourful group spilled out onto the street and attracted lots of interested glances from passers-by
The team at Loveknitting are no exception and decided that offering free knitting classes as well as knitting up some blanket squares to support the Knit For Peace charity, would be the perfect way to mark the day. They chose a trendy venue, invited some knitting celebrities and provided plenty of delicious café fare to help motivate and fuel the knitters.

Debbie Bliss provided help and advice in her Knitting999 Surgery and happily contributed a couple of very beautiful squares to the effort. The ladies that I ended up sitting next to were busy knitting their own squares as I arrived and I overheard them talking about how lovely Debbie is - they were very slightly starstruck at meeting such a well-respected and well-known knitting celebrity!
Edward from Loveknitting and Debbie Bliss
Katarina and Helena arrived shortly after me and we were all soon knitting and chatting and tucking into some wholly delicious food. Flat Planet were incredibly accommodating of us crafters spreading out across the entire downstairs and up on the street, and fed us with delectable organic English spelt flatbreads topped with all manner of delights.

It was warm and busy up on the street . . .
. . . cool and productive downstairs in the basement!

The generous endeavours of the knitters produced a very creditable 50 squares on the day which will all end up as part of a blanket. Of course, the charity needs LOTS more squares and Knit For Peace are very happy to accept any squares you'd like to donate. Send your squares (10cm x 10cm - any yarn, colour, pattern!) to:
Knit For Peace
Radius Works
Back Lane
The pictures actually tell the best story - lots of knitters enjoying a bit of crafting on a splendid summers day, and some curious passers-by stopping to have a go. As I said at the beginning - what better way to spend a Saturday than meeting new knitting folk, creating something for a great cause and eating!!
(posted by Max)

Friday, 13 June 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES - photoshoot

It takes a LOT of baby whispering to get a great shot!
A photoshoot for a new collection always feels like a very tangible step towards realising all of the hard work that the MillaMia design team have put into developing unique and exciting new pieces. The knitted samples begin to arrive at the office a few weeks beforehand - always received with squeals of delight - and then Helena, Katarina and Tanya begin to plan for the shoot itself. They source props, locations and work on the theme for the collection - often making backdrops and parts of the set.

As the day approaches, we are all caught up in a flurry of excited activity, and this shoot was no different. With a full collection of beautiful garments for babies and kids in our (shhhh!!) brand new yarn weight, we knew that we needed a LOT of lovely young models.

We've been fortunate with sourcing some of our models for previous collections as Katarina has very generously produced three beautiful children whom we have shamelessly exploited - and their friends have also happily featured in some of the books too!

Baby Benjamin was so calm and little Olive kept a watchful eye on Mum

This time, we sent out a request on all our social media channels and were utterly thrilled with the amazing response! We want to say a HUGE thank you to all of those who took the time to get back to us and to the incredibly obliging mums, dads, aunts and other family members who brought their precious models along - we hope you'll love seeing your children swaddled in cosy knitwear in the next book.

Helena stole a quick cuddle with sweet Clara, but nephew Erik wasn't so easily charmed!

It was such a relaxed day considering the shots we needed to get, and the amount of garment and set changes we had scheduled. There were two Dads who brought their kids along - in sole charge - who did a fabulous job organising and keeping their offspring happy. Katarina and Helena managed to persuade their brother Mikael to bring the super Erik along to feature in his first photoshoot - although I'm sure he'll be 'employed' for lots more in the future! It was also lovely to meet 2 new people who, quite by chance already had connections with MillaMia. Baby Daisy's gran had knitted the Teddy Blanket for her when she was newborn and Louise's mum Linda had knitted with MillaMia - something we only found out after we had approached her in the park!! What a small world!

Cousins Johan and Erik hangout before their big moment

If you are now wondering just what this exciting new collection and yarn is all about, then keep watching this space! We'll be releasing sneak previews - like this one - right up until we launch in July here on the blog and on all of our other social media channels.
(posted by Max)

Friday, 6 June 2014

HOT RIGHT NOW - Emma Boatneck

Emma Boatneck in midnight and fawn
The sun is beginning to peek out from behind the glowering, rain-sodden clouds and there is a definite feeling of warmth in the breeze. Dare we contemplate that summer is finally on its way? Can we begin to plan a summer wardrobe with light dresses, cropped jeans, sandals and . . . cool knitwear?

I say yes! And I am certainly turning my thoughts towards some key summer pieces that will see me through the mild days of early summer and into cool evenings. Along with layering pieces such as the Erika Cardigan or the Anna Bolero which are great to put on as temperatures drop, I think the main key piece for this season has to be the Emma Boatneck. Such an easy to wear sweater, the Emma will look great teamed with jeans and heels or a cute summer skirt and some pretty sandals. I am currently deciding just which 2 colours I will knit mine in!

And it isn't just me that thinks the Emma is sure fire hit for the coming season. After the Emma pattern promotion we ran a week or so ago, a staggering 2265 Ravellers downloaded it and another 133 added it to their queue! It attracted 601 'fav's' and of the 14 projects that are currently listed a couple of these were started in the last week.

Here are a few of the projects by knitters on Ravelry who have already completed their Emma Boatnecks:
Kathfozz's Emma in plum and fawn
okdoakknits Emma in midnight and fawn
sally321's Emma's in plum and fawn and midnight and claret

Seeing a download per minute in our inbox is thrilling in itself to us at MillaMia, but to add the icing AND a cherry to the top of a delectable cake, our Emma Boatneck also raced it's way up the Hot Right Now pattern board on Ravelry. The entire MillaMia team watched with baited breath as it crept higher . . .

and higher . . .

and finally reached the top! Our first ever pattern to reach the highly coveted number 1 spot!

If you haven't got your Emma Boatneck sweater pattern yet, then you can find it on Ravelry for £4, or in the Country Escape collection (the pattern promotion is now finished).

Now, should I try fuchsia and scarlet for a REALLY bright splash of summer colour or go for a more sophisticated berry and putty? Oh, but what about daisy and snow, forget-me-not and storm or midnight and snow . . . the choices are endless!!
(posted by Max)