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Sunday, 12 July 2015

INSPIRATION - Summer Knitting

Do the summer months see you putting down your knitting in favour of spending more time in the garden, entertaining the kids or picking up another craft that seems a little easier to manage in warm weather? Well, the summer months don't have to be a knitting black hole! Here are a few tips, and some suggested projects to keep you knitting all summer long.

1) Try knitting in the early morning or later in the day to avoid the warmest hours. It can be a real treat to wake earlier and sit with a cup of coffee before anyone else rises and add a few rows to your knitting.

2) Choose small, lightweight projects that won't be heavy and warm in your lap.

3) Choose finer yarn that is all natural fibres to avoid hot and sticky hands. Yarn made from acrylic or manmade fibre can make your hands sweat more and result in squeaky knitting!

4) Try knitting with metal needles in the warmer months - they stay cool to the touch and help the yarn to slide more easily.

5) It might seem like an obvious thing, but regularly washing your hands in cool water or even running the cold water over your wrists will help to reduce swollen fingers and keep your palms nice and dry.

6) The summer holidays may mean that you have small people to entertain - why not teach them to knit?

Top 10 Perfect Summer Projects

1) Need something small and delicate to wear over that pretty summer dress? The Carina Shrug for the ladies or the Karin Shrug for the girls is a simple, quick knit. Shrug

2) The ideal layering piece to keep babies warm without overheating is a tank top. Try the Bjorn or the FREE Milly Tank Top.  

3) How about a cute summer accessory for the girls? The Louise Headband is so quick to knit, you could make one to coordintate with every summer outfit!

4) A summer tote bag is a must have to throw in all those daytrip essentials. The Paola Tote will make a stylish and practical accessory for any outfit.

5) Be back to school ready by knitting the kids a Pontus Pencil Case. They always need a new pencil case to start the new school year don't they?

6) The Patrizia Pouch makes an ideal gift for teenagers. Knit a few in different colours and then fill with nail varnish, makeup or cute stationary.

7) Not worried by knitting in the warm weather but do want something stylish to wear? The ever popular Emma Boatneck will make a great addition to your summer wardrobe.

8) You've decided to teach to the kids to knit, so you can enjoy some guilt-free knitting time yourself! The August Scarf from The Close Knit Gang is a great beginner project.

9) A chic clutch in a bright summer shade will finish off that summer evening dress perfectly. Knit the Corrine Clutch from just 3 balls of Naturally Soft Aran.

10) Take a cardigan in case the summer evening is chilly. The Lilian Jacket is all knitted in garter making it easy and quick.

Whatever the weather - enjoy your knitting!
Written by Max - Posted by Katarina

Friday, 3 July 2015

Anyone for tennis?

Tennis cupcakes - very sweet but delicious
As England is gripped by Wimbledon fever, signs of tennis are emerging everywhere. Popping out for lunch near the MillaMia office today we were inspired to indulge in some tennis- themed cupcakes. So creative.

It made me think that no doubt there are lots of tennis-inspired knitting and craft projects too. And of course a quick surf around Ravelry never fails to deliver. Tennis booties for babies available in both crochet and knit patterns for instance.  Both of these patterns are for a DK yarn which means our Naturally Soft Merino would also substitute well.

Crochet version:
Knitting version:

And of course the tennis tank top is a classic. Our Bjorn tank top is perfect for any younger tennis players in your life.
Bjorn Tank Top from The Close Knit Gang

Snow 124 in Naturally Soft Merino
Putty Grey 121 in Naturally Soft Merino
It is beautiful in the original Seaside and Fawn, but I have always thought that it would also be lovely with Snow as the main colour and a cool stripe of Putty as a gentle contrast:
And as I googled I found some other interesting connections between Knitting and Tennis. For instance the fact that knitters suffer from 'Knitter's elbow' - which is in fact the same type of repetive strain type injury that tennis players suffer from when they have tennis elbow.

And the funniest story has to be this one from 2012 Wimbledon, where a lady was busy knitting on the sidelines of an Andy Murray match.

Other viewers were horrified - finding it an insult to the players that she would be knitting at the same time as watching tennis. They clearly have no idea of what it is to be a knitter- the fact that we can multi-task, and knit at the same time as we talk, watch TV, commute, interact with others. At TNNA and Stitches and the other shows we attend, it is more common to see people walking around, shopping, talking and doing business while they knit than it is not to. I find this a wonderful example of why you should never jump to conclusions without understanding enough about the actions you are making a judgement on. 

And on that note I am off to knit and work on a Bjorn tank top for my little one while watching Wimbledon on the TV! 

Posted by Katarina