I recently asked my mum to test drive one of the patterns in the gorgeous 'Finishing Touch' Pattern book from Milla Mia. For any of you that haven't yet stumbled across this book, it contains fourteen contemporary and original adult accessory knitting patterns.
The designs include cowls, wristwarmers, hats and a stunning range of small bags and cases. All the designs are crafted from Aran weight yarn making them fast and fun to knit. Find out more here.
I am a big fan of cowls, so was keen for my mum to knit up one of the three patterns featured in the book. We opted for the Ida Cowl, it only used 4 balls of the Aran Milla Mia yarn and used a simple garter (knit & purl) stitch. Despite being a very keen knitter over the years, this was the first time my mum was going to have used circular needles, so we thought it best to keep things simple for this knit, whilst she got the hang of it.
Here's a picture of it in Cobalt, however as you can see from the top picture, we opted for Emerald Green.
Having completed the cowl (which I am thoroughly enjoying wearing during this now very chilly winter weather), I asked my mum for some feedback on the pattern, her thoughts on using the circular needles and her overall opinion of the products.
So here's what she had to say:
"Despite initial reservations about using the circular needles, once I got going I was delighted to find it was really very straightforward. I had once heard that by placing the cable of the needles into hot water before starting, can help to uncoil them (having been wound up for packaging) making them much easier to work with. I gave this a go and sure enough the cable straightened nicely and I was ready for casting on. "
Please note, that wooden needles should not be submerged in water.
"The hardest part of the knit was the casting on. I used the thumb method and kept it very tight. I found this a little fiddly, however was glad to have kept it that way, as it's made for a much tidier finishing edge."
"The yarn itself was lovely to work with, beautifully soft and very easy to handle. The pattern was easy to follow, with good instructions and helpful tips. Having mastered the casting on, I found knitting in the round very straightforward, particularly as this pattern only used knit and purl stitches. I would definitely agree with the pattern description, advising it is suitable for beginners and improving knitters."
Mum very kindly agreed to me having the cowl after her knitting it, which I am really delighted with. The wool is incredibly soft around your neck, the colour is bright and vibrant and I am loving making use of it right now...... thinking some matching wrist warmers and hat should be next on the list!
Does anyone have any other top tips they'd like to share about using circular needles? Or knitting in the round?
Or perhaps you have been thinking about giving a project like this a go for a while and have some questions to ask before getting started?
Either way, I'd love to hear from you. Let me know what you think? Have you used Milla Mia Aran Yarn before? How did you rate it?
One final note, if the patterns in this book aren't for you, why not take a look at the Tiny Treasures Pattern book also by Milla Mia, which features 13 gorgeous baby and children's knitting patterns, definitely also, well worth a look.