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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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Pom Pom addiction....

Pom Poms

Is it just me, or is there something oh so lovely about a pom pom.....? In my opinion, it's like they take on a little bit of a life of their own once that final trim (or hair cut) has taken place.

My kids love making them, playing with them and using them for crafts. I love to decorate things with pom poms (I can't resist a cushion with a pom pom trim!) and all in all, they are a very welcome addition in our home.

I had intended writing something about pom poms a few weeks ago, but got distracted with half term holidays and other jobs, however having now taken delivery of the 'Multipom', I cannot resist any longer!

First of all however, lets start with the Clover Pom Pom maker, which I have to say is an absolute hit in our household. The Clover Pom Pom maker comes in three different pack sizes :

- Extra large, which makes a scrumptiously big pom pom measuring approximately 12cm in diameter

- Large pack: this contains 2 pom pom makers, one will make a pom pom approximately 65mm diameter and the other makes one 85cm in diameter.

- The last option is the small pack, which again contains 2 pom pom makers. These two make pom poms which are approximately 35mm and 45mm in diameter.

The overriding feeling about these pom pom makers is the ease and speed with which you can make a perfect pom pom. My 5 year old son has become very adept at making his own pom poms and when we've brought out the pom pom makers during play dates, all of the children have been very happy to give it a try and have loved the results! I help them with the cutting and tying the knot tight enough at the end. They particularly like to give the pom pom a haircut at the end to ensure it is lovely and round!

I thought it might be useful to include a sequence of photos illustrating how the Clover Pom Pom maker works,  which may also be of use to anyone having purchased the product. However, there are clear instructions included in the packs.

Clover Pom Pom Maker Instructions


As I said the Clover Pom Pom maker is hugely popular in my world and I think it is perfect for both adults and children.

So what is the 'Multipom' and how does it compare?

The Multipom is a specially designed metal frame which enables the user to make up to 20 pom poms at any one time (how good is that?)! The pom poms can be between 1cm and 12cm in diameter and again it is fairly simple to use.

I've included another sequence of photos illustrating how it works - I started as the instructions recommended, making 6 pom poms, however you can quickly move on to other amounts and sizes. Here's also a great video to really help explain what it's all about: Multipom Video

Multipom Instructions

For me the multipom is more of an adults tool (although not exclusively). You have to be more aware of details with it, ensuring you wind the correct amount of wool depending on the size of pom pom you are opting for and then tying the knots at the correct intervals according to the number of pom poms you intend to make.

It is absolutely perfect if you need to make lots of pom poms in the same size for a particular project. It is also ideal for making your own pom pom braid, meaning you can select the perfect wool colour match and the exact size of pom pom you require on your braid. It would also be ideal for a class / group where lots of pom poms are required for a project, so they could easily be made in advance.

I can definitely say there is a place for both the Clover Pom Pom makers and the Multipom in our house, but hopefully this brief explanation can help you decide which tool would work best for your needs!

I couldn't finish this post without adding a few more pom pom pictures - I just can't resist them!