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Friday, 25 July 2014

BRAND NEW - yarn and collection preview

New yarn.

New collections.

We are so excited about our new yarn weight and collections that we can't wait to share at least a few pictures with you . . . enjoy these cuties all wrapped up in stunning, unique designs using our brand new Naturally Soft Aran . . . coming soon!


(posted by Max)

Friday, 18 July 2014

UNWIND - Brighton

The Brighton Dome - home of the marketplace at Unwind
Once in a while, an epic event grows from a set of simple ideas. The ideas being those of collaboration, inclusion, fellowship of like minds and wholehearted immersion in something you love. It grows in the mind of a special individual who has a vision for something spectacular - something that provides the most incredible platform for all of this to happen. It evolves quickly and organically and before you know it, there is a venue with vendors, workshops, teachers, designers and many, many excited people eager to come and be a part of it.

Dani Sunshine (also known as Lioness Arts) had such a vision last year and took on the mantle of organising the mammoth event that soon became known as 'Unwind' in her home town of Brighton, which took place just last weekend. I cannot even begin to fathom the level of dedication, organisation, and sheer hard work that Dani and her Unwind team put into every single aspect of this incredible event, but I do know that their commitment to making this THE best fibre/knitting show of the year was tangible in absolutely every part.

From the highest calibre of workshops and designer-teachers, to the stunning array of yarn available in the marketplace courtesy of some of the premier indie dyers of the moment; from the beautiful location to the fabulous Seaside Shindig party splendidly organised by the girls from Pom Pom Magazine - this weekend provided full sensual immersion and complete enjoyment for every knitter and crocheter that attended!

We discovered that knitting goes with practically anything!

I, along with Sue Stratford and my knitter friend Caroline, attended for the entire weekend, having booked workshops, our place at the Shindig and with a not inconsiderable list of desirable items to purchase at the marketplace. We threw ourselves wholeheartedly into the experience from the beginning - scouring the Lanes for delicious cake, cocktails and jewellery on the Friday before the yarn market was open and then each of us attending various classes on the following 2 days.

The beginning of my Brioche knitting and Sue concentrating very hard on hers

Sue and I had the privilege of attending the Windrow Cowl Brioche knitting class with Bristol Ivy. Bristol was the most patient of teachers and took great pains to show us the trick of knitting in Brioche style - her Windrow Cowl pattern is very beautiful and I really wanted to learn how to make it. I think I have grasped the technique for knitting Brioche flat, but let's just say that I need quite a bit more practice!

I may be undoing some of my stranded knitting here . . .
Ann Kingstone was the most patient and knowledgeable of teachers

We also went along to learn Stranded Knitting at the hand of the mistress of colourwork - Ann Kingstone, who was equally engaging and demonstrated some techniques that both Sue and I will be forever grateful for. There really is nothing quite like learning these skills directly from the hands of these super talented designers, and I am already wondering what new technique I can learn next year . . .

The Seaside Shindig was great fun - a knitty quiz with yarn tasting, live music and John Arbon spinning the decks - perfect!

The pictures of this awesome event don't really do it justice - but we were often too busy knitting and laughing to remember to take any! I'd just like to add an addendum for any Unwind organisers that may come across this post . . . looking forward to Unwind Brighton 2015!!

Bekky, Me, Sue and Caroline - a Brighton Dome selfie!
(posted by Max)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

NOMINATED - British Knitting Awards 2014

We are incredibly excited to announce that we have been nominated in the British Knitting Awards 2014! The readers of Let's Knit and Let's Get Crafting magazines have been responsible for choosing all the nominees for a whole raft of categories and MillaMia have been entered in the 'Best Ready-To-Use Kits' section.

Firstly we want to say a HUGE thank you to all the readers who initially nominated us - we are so pleased that you think our kits are worthy of a nomination. And secondly (here comes the pitch!) - if you think that our kits make great gifts, are beautifully packaged, contain the perfect project for a beginner knitter/new Mum or Grandmother or just that they look jolly nice in your local yarn shop - we'd love your vote!

Voting is now open and will close on 14th September so you have plenty of time to place your vote. To make it super easy for you, we have included a button here . . .

If you are a regular reader then you will also be able to cast your vote there - forms are in the August issue of Let’s Knit and issue 63 of Let’s Get Crafting – Knitting & Crochet magazines.
Many thanks from the MillaMia Team!

Friday, 4 July 2014


We have long been waxing lyrical about the versatility of our Naturally Soft Merino and how its lovely tight twist lends itself to beautifully even knitted stitches - but how does it stand up when used for crochet? The wonderful Rachel from Tangled Yarn set herself the challenge of learning to crochet when she came upon the amazing Anzen by Simone Francis in Pom Pom Quarterly Magazine. Read on to see how Rachel fared with learning a new craft and finding herself in love with a new yarn!

Rachel: I first saw Anzen when it appeared in the Winter 2013 edition of Pom Pom Magazine and was immediately inspired to learn to crochet! I love the simple styling, but had never crocheted before so I thought I should definitely try. It's actually easier than I thought and the pattern is really well written and fairly straight forward which helps a lot. As a beginner myself, I would confidently say that it's ideal as a pattern to start with, but I would also recommend Youtube as great place to see any stitches or techniques that you aren't sure of - it's always helpful to see somebody else demonstrating.

 The Winter 2013 edition of Pom Pom is available in print and as a digital download

I was so pleased to see that the yarn used for Anzen was MillaMia Naturally Soft Merino as I’d been admiring it for a while. There isn't a stockist locally and so I decided to stock it. I've been very happy with it so far - it's beautiful for both knitting and crochet and is absolutely ideal for this project. I think that MillaMia is a good yarn to start crocheting with because it's far easier to use than cotton (a yarn that is more typically recommended for crochet) it doesn't split quite as much and the stitches are incredibly neat and well defined.

I love MillaMia for its colour palette, all the colours work so well together when you combine two or three in a project like this. For my Anzen, I chose putty grey as the main shade with storm and berry as the accents which complement each other really well. So much of the worry about choosing colours that 'go' with each other is taken away with the colour palette - the guys at MillaMia have done all the work for you!

So far, I'm happy with this first ever crochet project. I’m really enjoying the process and have to confess that I look forward to the end of my day when I can just sit with it on my knee and hook away!

You can find Rachel at her online store Tangled Yarn where she has curated an incredible collection of beautiful yarn, patterns and notions, on her blogRavelry, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.