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

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


The Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate has always been special to us because it was here that we first launched The Close Knit Gang and Bright Young Things in 2009. We were so happy to be met with such enthusiasm from the knitters at that first show. And we still feel incredibly fortunate today that those same loyal customers keep coming back year after year to support and encourage us.

This year saw us with the largest stand ever. At a whopping 6 meters, we wondered if it was a little on the large side, but with 4 collections for children and our first ever adult collection Country Escape to display, it proved to be a good thing. We had samples from Country Escape to try on as well as garments from our ever popular babies and childrens' collections. It was thrilling to see just how excited our returning customers were to see the Little Rascals samples - we never tire of hearing people exclaim  'My granddaughter will look adorable in that'.

Helena and I travelled up on Wednesday and arrived late in the evening. As you may imagine we were really tired by then, and knew that we still had to set up the stand to be ready in time for opening on Thursday morning. We were overwhelmed by the amazing help we received from the porters - they unloaded the car in literally 5 minutes when it would have taken us ten times as long as that - we were so grateful to them.

Helena helping a customer
Thursday morning saw us tweaking the stand and soon a steady flow of knitters and crocheters, crafters and quilters stepped through the doors and we were kept busy all day. It was really only the pre-cursor as Friday and Saturday were truly manic, and even Sunday was the busiest I've seen for the last day of the Show. Luckily Louisa (our design intern from last year) was on hand to help out on the stall on Sat and Sun as she is now in her final year nearby at Huddersfield University.

It wasn't until Friday lunchtime that we had the most exciting delivery of the weekend. Our first batch of Country Escape was finally with us!

It soon became apparent that the Charlie Cardigan was going to be the big hit of this first collection for adults. Popular across the generations, it was great fun to see so many knitters eager to knit this gorgeous cable cardi - and in so many different colours! We show the Charlie in claret, moss and putty in the book, and these proved to be very popular. But, there are also now Charlie's underway in fawn, forget-me-not, fuchsia and storm, to name but a few.

Charlie Cardigan

Emma Boatneck

The stunning Emma Boatneck was a clear favourite amongst the younger generation (shown here in midnight and fawn).

Lastly - anyone who visits Harrogate knows that a trip to Betty's is an absolute must. It's a treat that Helena and I indulge in once every year. If you haven't sampled the delights of breakfast (or afternoon tea!) at Betty's, we can heartily recommend it!

Go and check out a review of Country Escape on The Knitter blog for another perspective on our first ever collection for adults.

Posted by Katarina

Friday, 23 November 2012


Although we are best known for our babies and childrens knitwear, we also have a weakness for interiors and last month saw the launch of two brand new cushion kits. These kits make a perfect Christmas gift for the knitter in your life, or perhaps they're just what you've been looking for as a gift to yourself!

Introducing Tivoli and Stilla

Tivoli Cushion Kit £39

Stilla Cushion Kit £29
To celebrate these gorgeous new cushion kits, and to express our HUGE thanks to those of you following us on the MillaMia Blog we have an exclusive giveaway!

Just leave a comment on this post telling us what you'd most like to see here - whether it's more about knitting, a stronger focus on fashion or behind the scenes with the MillaMia team - just let us know.

You'll be in with a chance to win one of the two fabulous kits mentioned above. We'll select the winner randomly and notify them here on December 12th so you have plenty of time to leave us a comment. Open to readers of the MillaMia Blog internationally.

Our two new cushion kits compliment the four other kits that we already have available. Choose from:

Mossa Cushion Kit £31
Dalarna Cushion Kit £41
Elk Cushion Kit £31
Rand Cushion Kit £31

(posted by Max)

Monday, 19 November 2012

A preview of Country Escape - the first adult MillaMia collection

We've been asked countless times over these three years when MillaMia are going to design a collection for adults, and we are delighted to announce that the first instalment is now ready!

We're both excited and nervous because it's something of a diversion from the babies and children's knits that we've become so well known for, but we hope that people who have loved our designs for kids will also find that they love the adult patterns too. We have three collections for adults that will be available over the next 10 months, but we are launching with Country Escape as we felt this was ideal for the autumn/winter season here in the Northern hemisphere. There will be 7 patterns in the book in total, using our Naturally Soft Merino Yarn in a warm, muted, autumnal palette.

The book is not yet available - it will be ready from the 27th of November, but we thought that as a taster you might enjoy a sneak preview and some behind the scenes photos from the photo shoot. Max who was with us on the day provides her perspective of being part of the shoot below and setting up our cover photo above.

(posted by Katarina and Helena)

Behind the scenes at the photoshoot

This amazing photo was taken in the beautiful grounds of Cannizaro House in Wimbledon on a slightly breezy day back in September. It wasn't as warm as it could have been, but at least the rain held off which was incredibly lucky as the shoot took the entire day - all outside!

Cannizaro House
This was the first 'fashion shoot' I'd ever been too, and I guess what struck me was the level of organisation and manpower it took to create a few beautiful photographs. When models tell you that their job entails a lot of sitting or standing around, isn't remotely glamorous and is in fact, hard work - you may question it! But in reality they are required to look beautiful, pose to exact requirements and turn on something extra special for the thousand of shots a photographer will take to capture 'the one'. I have a newly found respect and admiration for these beautiful people - and not just for their perfect complexions!

The day started with 4 hairdressers and  3 make up artists preparing
our models in a room we hired at Canizzaro House.

The models and make up artists help us 
to carry the props to the location

To create this group shot for the cover of Country Escape we wanted a really sumptuous rich, styled country look that captured the essence of the book. Our photographer Emma and Helena had already visited the park to ascertain some suitable locations for posing the shot, but until you are there on the day you never know if it will work or not. Katarina had also spent a lot of time sourcing props (hiring, borrowing and buying from ebay!) to complete the look. Blankets, trunks, umbrellas, gloves, chairs....

Helena and Nick (our stylist) help to arrange the models - there are lots of people watching behind the scenes too.

Country Escape is the first in a trilogy of adult garments and accessories knitted in our Naturally Soft Merino, featuring 7 patterns for garments and accessories for women and one for men. The next two - Colour Coded and High Society are due to be released in 2013. Each book has a distinct look and style whilst being unified by our signature MillaMia modern aesthetic.

Some of the models taking a well earned rest

We have a few more photos from Country Escape to share with you over the next couple of weeks, and we'll be releasing some sneaky previews of our other two books early next year. Keep checking back here - you'll be the first to see them!

(posted by Max)

Friday, 16 November 2012


If you are very lucky, your earliest memories of Christmas will include the sheer joy of waking early on Christmas morning to find a stocking filled with gorgeous gifts at the end of your bed. You'll remember as a child how near impossible it was to get to sleep - and then stay asleep! - maybe even trying to stay awake to catch a glimpse of Father Christmas delivering to your house in the dead of night. If you're like me, you'll recall the surprise you felt at finally waking up, though you were convinced that you'd NEVER get to sleep, and then the uncontrollable excitement at seeing that present-stuffed stocking!

Those memories are so vivid, even as a grown-up, that I wanted to re-create the sheer joy of the Christmas Stocking for all of my family (not just the kids). It's something that my teenage children can also be involved in and will maybe evolve into a tradition that they can share with their own children. So, we are going to have a stocking each (hand knitted, of course and I'll come to that!) and buy three small gifts for the three other recipients - if my math is correct, that means every member of my family will receive 9 gifts in total as there are 4 of us.

For me, having beautiful stockings to put the lovingly chosen gifts in is as important as the gifts themselves, so I decided to use the free pattern from (available as a FREE download) and knit up a stocking for each of us. The pattern has rather helpfully, 3 designs to choose from - each as lovely as the other - the Nordic Star, Candy Cane and the Cable Stocking and they use just 3 balls of yarn. As you'll see from my pictures, I've already knitted 2 of the Nordic Star, one in grass and snow and the other in scarlet and snow and this was more as a challenge to myself, to practice (and perfect!) my fairisle knitting. The section of fairisle is small and manageable and great for a beginner who wants to try the colourwork technique without being overwhelmed.

Candy Cane is super easy and a good quick knit. I again used traditional Christmas colours - scarlet and snow but I think this pattern in particular could be knitted in any combination. How about a stripey stocking in neutral shades for a babies first Christmas, or stripes in team colours for your son or husband? Have fun, and make them personal - your family will look forward to seeing these treasured knits year after year.

The last stocking that I'm making is the Cable Stocking for me! I love the rich, dark moss green knitted into sumptuous cables - perhaps I've been influenced by the adult collection this year which has the most amazing cable cardigan (check back next week for a very special preview of the first of our adult collections, Country Escape!), or perhaps I'm just an old traditionalist at heart.

(posted by Max)

Sunday, 11 November 2012


The thing with knitting toys is that it's completely addictive. The process of producing something from your needles that is cute and will be instantly loved is satisfying indeed but the almost instant gratification in making these relatively small items is the real hook. A few days of pleasurable knitting - toys are often knitted in stocking stitch - an amount of careful, but not difficult construction et voila! you have an adorable addition to the family.

I had immense fun making Terence the Tap Dancing Dinosaur - a design by Rebecca Danger. The knitting was quick, though at times a little tricky and as you 'stuff' along the way, the finishing wasn't too laborious either. I used safety eyes, washable fibre fill and our Naturally Soft Merino (washable at 30 degrees) to ensure Terence will be able to be cleaned and cherished for years to come.

The only modification to the pattern that I made was to secure the striped section to the body using mattress stitch instead of a running stitch as Rebecca suggests. I have to admit to being a little obsessive about things being symmetrical and straight so for me, the best way to ensure the striped section lined up correctly and securely was to use mattress. Whilst I say this, I'm conscious that mastering mattress stitch took me a very long time! Particularly lining the first stitches up so that the pieces exactly match, and then also neatly joining pieces that are not oriented the same way (for example a cast on edge to rows - as with the bottom edge of the stripes). I will say, however that if you can perfect this method of joining knitted fabric it will liberate your seaming and produce the most professional result.

Freddie and Terence on their first outing to 'Show and Tell' at school

It's worth mentioning that I, like so many knitters are completely motivated during the knitting of an item and then find their enthusiasm waning as the dreaded finishing looms near, but it's actually here that requires the most care. I've learnt over the years that the care taken over these final processes - whether it be blocking, seaming, embroidering or sewing in ends can make the difference between your lovingly crafted item looking homemade or handmade. Creating a beautiful item by hand is what makes our craft so appealing - learn to love the finishing - it'll be worth it!
(posted by Max)

Friday, 9 November 2012


Being a cable fan, I loved seeing the strong catwalk presence of really graphic cables for A/W 12-13. For me the cables felt fresh and new again with very pronounced structures from designers such as AganovichDerek Lam, Charlotte Ronson. (pictures from left to right below from the catwalk shows) It was thrilling to see such a wealth of rich texture and woven fabric on the catwalks, and cabling is a relatively easy way to introduce interest and structure to the simplest shaped garments.


I love seeing surface manipulation and woven looks in knitwear - these pieces from Mary Katrantzou, Rue De Mail and Tracey Reese (again from left to right below from respective catwalk shows) are stunning examples. Their sculptural forms and clean lines really allow you to focus on the beautifully complex surface and colours.


In my own designs for MillaMia I wanted to translate this love of cables and structure to some of the garments. Our yarn really does result in wonderful stitch definition, which enabled me to include some lovely complex cabling on the Magnum Cardigan, the Lisa Cable Dress and the Ludo Blanket - all in our latest collection for babies and children - Little Rascals.


posted by Helena

Sunday, 4 November 2012


We know that our Naturally Soft Merino is great for knitting fabulously comfy and stylish knitwear for kids, but it's also a wonderfully versatile yarn that can be used for many other knits. Here are just a few of the gorgeous items in some of the knitting magazines available right now internationally.

The Stina Coat is perfect for keeping those chills out as winter approaches. Fun and chic in Grass and Fuchsia, those based in the US can find it here in the Knit Simple Holiday 2012 magazine.

Christmas is just around the corner and what better way to make your fireplace look cosy whilst housing all those lovely little gifts than the Snow Bird Stocking by Kristin Spurkland. This is also available in the American magazine Interweave Knits Holiday 2012 - here at Knitting Daily. Using 2 balls each of our yarn in Snow and Scarlet and 1 in Grass it will make a Christmas heirloom to bring out year after year.

Knitting Magazine in the UK is featuring the Elva Jacket in their November issue (on sale now). Knitted in Scarlet, this cute cable jacket will make the perfect Christmas gift for the fashion-conscious girl in your family. A super fun knit with it's intricate cables, it uses between 6-9 balls of our merino yarn depending on the size, and starts from ages 2-3 years graded up to age 6-7.

If you haven't seen our own free Christmas Stocking pattern go to for a choice of 3 lovely Swedish inspired designs. Each design takes just 3 balls of yarn - choose from a lovely cable, fun stripes or a more traditional stocking with a fairisle motif. Don't worry if you feel a little daunted by colourwork, the simple motif can be easily swiss-darned on top.

Stina Coat picture courtesy of Knit Simple magazine, Snow Bird Stocking courtesy of Interweave Knits Magazine, Elva Jacket picture courtesy of Knitting Magazine.

Friday, 2 November 2012


Children love dinosaurs, don't they? I guess it's the perfect combination of something utterly terrifying coupled with the sure knowledge that it doesn't exist that makes it so alluring. Maybe that, and the fact that as we only have their bones to construct a mental image from, we can pretty much create our own wonderful, colourful monsters.

Rebecca Danger, knitter and designer has created her very own world of amazing monsters including some not-so-terrifying dinosaurs that are very hard to resist. Although I had seen and admired her patterns on Ravelry, I hadn't had a good excuse to knit any as both of my children are teenagers. Happily for me, the perfect opportunity has now presented itself in the form of Katarina's son Freddie, who, at four years old is one of the worlds leading authorities on all things prehistoric!

Freddie has of course, got his own favourite dinosaurs and one of them is the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex, so it wasn't a huge surprise that he choose Rebecca's Terence the Tap Dancing T-Rex for me to knit. He selected the colours in our Naturally Soft Merino - peacock, scarlet and daisy, I downloaded the pattern from Rebecca's Ravelry Store and cast on!

Rebecca recommends that you use 'magic loop' for knitting in the round but I prefer to use dpn's (as in the picture). It's really a matter of personal choice, as both ways are equally successful.

The picture right, shows my progress so far - I stuffed the body with a good amount of fibre-fill to make Terence nice and plump. I've knitted many toys over the years and my best tip is not to skimp on the filling. The most appealing toys are those that have shape and good structure so that they can 'hold their own' - as well as an abundance of personality which is achievable with a bit of careful embroidery of the facial features.

The pattern is very well written with good tips on selecting needle size for knitted toys, plenty of diagrams for attaching the limbs and a choice of 3 weights of wool for making variously sized dinosaurs. I can see that a few of the methods she uses would be very familiar to sock knitters which may help with understanding how to construct something 3-D, but as Rebecca is careful to explain everything, it is simple enough.

The yarn is knitting up really well on smaller needles - I selected 2.75mm - producing a good firm fabric that should stand the wear and tear expected of a knitted toy. The 'brights' in our yarn are almost made for this type of project - fun, modern and decidedly appealing to children. Freddie chose for his Terence to be super bright and funky but you could always knit him in more muted tones as a gift for a new baby. Check out our other colours at

(Picture of the three Terence's used with permission of Rebecca Danger)

(posted by Max)