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Tag Archives: Patterns

A Guide to Fabric Patterns - Lets call it a late Valentine's Gift from us to you!

Ever wondered what the difference is between a Pencil Stripe and a Pin Stripe or how a Herringbone compares to a Houndstooth? Well in this week's Poppy Seeds, we sent out a Poppies & Polka Dots Guide to Patterns and we just couldn't resist sharing it here too!

If you're not already signed up to our weekly 'Poppy Seeds' - free weekly tips to help your sewing skills blossom, then be sure to do so here

For now here's our guide, which can be printed off and pinned next to your sewing machine, so you'll never be confused by patterns again!

Milla Mia - Finishing Touch Pattern Book - The Ida Cowl

Knit Yourself a Cosy Cowl - Jan 16

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.

Milla Mia Finishing Touch Pattern Book -8 Mia Finishing Touch Pattern Book -13

Milla Mia Finishing Touch Pattern Book -14

Milla Mia Finishing Touch Pattern Book -11

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.

Milla Mia Finishing Touch Pattern Book -4

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."

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"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.

Milla Mia Naturally Soft Aran - Pattern Book Tiny Treasures 2 Milla Mia Naturally Soft Aran - Pattern Book Tiny Treasures 6 1743945e-d2e7-4e50-aafb-7826880adf84 Milla Mia Naturally Soft Aran - Pattern Book Tiny Treasures 11







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Get 'Hooked' this Halloween....


I love a good excuse to create something new for my kids, so when my 8yr old suggested having a halloween party this year, I couldn't resist the urge to get making some creepy, 'oh so crucial' accessories!

Having recently come across a lovely 'youtube' channel called 'HappyBerry Crochet', by Laura Eccleston (if you haven't already seen some of her tutorials, I would definitely recommend it), I knew it was just the place to get some crochet inspiration for the party!

Laura of HappyBerry Crochet gives incredibly clear, concise and easy to follow instructions for all the projects that she features on the channel.

The channel is also ideal if you're a complete beginner, as there are tutorials to walk you slowly through all of the basic stitches, even showing you how to start with a slip knot. So, if you are thinking of learning to crochet, then I'd absolutely recommend checking this out.

Each week a new tutorial and pattern designed by Laura is released and from what I can tell so far, they are often quite small easy manageable projects, which can be finished pretty quickly.

Ideal if you're quite new to crochet or if you'd just like a quick crochet fix or would like to make a little gift for someone - there are some great ideas.

Her projects are often themed for the time of year, so if you check out the channel at the moment, you will see a few recently added Halloween projects, which is of course where I got the pattern for the pumpkins and ghosts featured here. I love the halloween bunting and intend hanging it on our front door for when our 'party guests' arrive on the 31st October! Plus the cute little pumpkins will make great table decorations as well as fab little party gifts for the guests - when I add a keyring fob to the stalks!

If you'd like to watch the tutorial for making the amigurumi pumpkins click here

Amigurumi Pumpkins - Halloween Crochet


Or if you fancy the bunting, then click here

Halloween Bunting - CrochetAs well as the youtube channel, HappyBerry Crochet also has a website, where you can download all of the patterns for free as well as lots of other useful 'crochet' information - including a conversion chart for US to UK terminology, yarn weights and hook sizes.

So, if you're looking for some inspiration for some 'spooky' halloween crochet ideas, then I'd definitely recommend that you head over to HappyBerry Crochet...... enjoy x