Knitted MillaMia Elk Cushion

MillaMia Elk CushionI’ve had this knitting project on the back burner for absolutely ages. It’s one of those projects that you pick up and do a few rows of, but then you get tired and have to put it back down again, so it’s been a long time coming! I’m so glad I persisted with it though – doesn’t the finished cushion look great?

For this knitting project, I used the MillaMia Elk Cushion pattern that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate a couple of years ago (I actually bought the Elk Cushion Kit, which contains the pattern and required amount of 4-ply yarn). I was drawn in by the adorable Nordic design on the front of the cushion, which is described as an ‘elegant design of hearts, chain people and elks (or are they reindeer…?)’

millamia elk cushion kit

The cushion uses 100% merino wool, so it’s very soft to the touch. I used 2 balls of Claret (104) and 2 balls of Snow (124), as well as a pair of 3.25mm needles and a 30cm(ish) cushion pad.

millamia elk cushion close up

I think I started knitting the cushion around a year ago and finished sewing it up this past week. The eagle-eyed among you may notice that I knitted the design upside down, with the elks at the bottom rather than the top. Oops. I think it looks fab on my Scandi M&S chair though, don’t you?

I Knitted a Woolly Hat! + Free Knitting Pattern

free-bobble-hat-knitting-patternA few weeks ago, Let’s Knit magazine Tweeted a link to this free bobble hat knitting pattern for newbie knitters. I’ve done a bit of knitting here and there, but I’d still class myself as a beginner, so when I saw this pattern I knew it was something I’d be able to accomplish! So I downloaded and printed it straight away, and off I went…

The knitting pattern is for a simple, ribbed knit hat with a pompom on the top. The only stitches you need to know are knit (k), purl (p), knit/purl two together (k2tog/p2tog), and ‘slip one, knit one, pass slip stitch over’ (skpo). That last stitch is a lot easier than it sounds, and the pattern gives you a step-by-step instruction of how to do it too (very helpful). You’ll also need 5mm and 6mm needles, plus one 100g ball of chunky yarn – I used a ball of Deramores Vintage chunky in ‘Rose’ that I’ve had sat in my stash for a while (it’s 50% merino wool so incredibly soft and cosy), but any colour/brand would work just the same.lets-knit-bobble-hat-pattern

I knitted this hat over the course of a weekend – I think I might’ve done 3 hours on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. I didn’t have a single problem following the pattern – after you’ve cast on 90 stitches for the women’s variant, you simply knit/purl in a ribbed pattern until you get to the top where the shaping happens. You then sew up the seam and make a pompom to attach to the top. Easy!

If you’re new to knitting (or aren’t very confident) then this is a great pattern to start with. It’s easy to follow, quick to make and is something that you’d actually want to wear when it’s finished. It’s also a great last-minute, handmade Christmas gift idea! I love my new hat and can’t wait to wear it when the cold weather comes around! Even if I do look a bit like a tea cosy  🙂



Blogger Network #26 – A Summer Bolero for Grandma!

King Cole 3111 Cardigan Bolero

Happy September everyone! Part of me loves these monthly Minerva Blogger Network posts as they keep me productive and show how much you can accomplish if you set your mind to it, but part of me also winces slightly as I watch the months pass us by so very quickly. Anyway – on with the show!

This month’s make was made by…. my Grandma. I had every plan to start this project myself and ask for her guidance as I continued (my Grandma can knit in her sleep and is the best person to learn from) but one moment I had a bag of yarn and a knitting pattern and the next thing I know she’s whipped up the entire bolero behind my back 😉

And doesn’t she look absolutely beautiful/super cute in her new summer bolero? I love it and I love her so much! (The pattern is the King Cole 3111 Cardigan/Bolero and the yarn is King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK in Navy, by the way).

CLICK HERE to see more of my (Grandma’s) make!


Blogger Network #11 – Valentine’s Day Pompom Heart Bouquet

heart pompom bouquetSo, here comes February, and time for a Valentine’s themed Minerva Crafts project! With Valentine’s Day being just a fortnight away I thought I’d use this month’s post to my advantage. However, now that I have an actual husband, I can’t help but think that this V-Day nonsense is perhaps a bit redundant.. so, rather than make something super smushy and lovey dovey, I’ve gone for a more subtle approach to a Valentine’s craft… a pompom bouquet!

Ever since Kirstie used a pompom maker on her TV show last year I’ve been longing to give one a try. Personally, I see no problem with the good old circular card method, but I’ve seen so many blogs about them that I felt a little bit left out – but not any more! I may be a bit late to the pompom party but I’ve definitely arrived – in pompom bouquetthe form of a heart-shaped pompom maker. Perfect for a Valentine’s craft!

I chose to make my heart pompoms in a variety of blue yarns – it matches our bedroom just marvellously and is a bit more ‘manly’ (if pompom hearts can ever be called manly!) for my husband. To make them, you simply wrap your yarn around the arms of the pompom maker, close it up, tie another piece of yarn tightly around the middle, cut all the way around the edges and then pull really, really tightly to seal the deal. This sounds like the easiest thing ever but, believe me, you have to go careful otherwise you can get a bit over-excited and end up with tiny bits of cut-up yarn all over the carpet…

heart pompom maker

Anyway, once I’d made a good handful in various shades of blue, grey and cream (I think there’s a topical 50 Shades of Grey/Valentine’s day reference in there somewhere), it was time to make them into a bouquet. To do this I got hold of some wooden skewers and simply poked one into the middle of each pompom. Easy! I also cut some of the skewers to different lengths to give the bouquet a bit of varying height and then popped them into a glass vase on my windowsill.

This is such an easy Valentine’s day craft – great for both kids and grown ups – and I’m sure you could make just the same for Mother’s Day too. Give it a try! ❤

Knitted Bow Bunting

knitted bow bunting diyJust a quick knitting project for you today! And also a knitting project that uses up all those scraps of yarn you have lying around from other projects. Yeah, you know the ones. This week I made some bunting out of knitted bows – isn’t it lovely? It looks great hung up in our bedroom – especially since we’ve recently had to sadly pack away all the Christmas-themed garlands…

I found the knitting pattern for the bows over at Wake and Whimsy and they’re super easy to make. Each bow takes about 5-10 minutes from start to finish, especially if you use chunky yarnlike I did for mine. All you need to do is:

  • Cast on 14 stitches (I used 5mm needles).
  • Knit a few rows in garter stitch until you have your desired width (about 8 is enough).
  • Cast off knit-wise.
  • Wrap a length of yarn a few times around the middle of the rectangle you’ve just knitted to create a bow and knot the ends in place.
  • Attach the bows onto a long length of yarn or ribbon and ta-dah!

knitted bow garland

I bet this is easily something you could knock up this weekend, too 🙂 show me if you do!

Knitted Bunny Baby Booties!

knitted bunny baby bootiesFirst up, congratulations to Lee and Alyson on their sparkly new baby! As a newborn-treat I decided to make a little something for baby Sophie May and, thanks to Leanne over at Knit Me a Cake, found this fantastic knitting pattern for a pair of adorable knitted bunny baby booties. Just look at how cute they are – I wonder if it’s possible to adapt the pattern to make them in a ladies’ size 5….?

The knitting pattern is from Leanne’s blog (scroll down here for the full pattern!) it’s super easy to follow and very quick to make so is great for even the most beginner-ish of beginners. All you need to do is knit 2 main pieces, 2 tails and 4 ears and then stitch them all together. And add a little bunny face. JUST LOOK AT THEIR LITTLE FACES!

knitting pattern for bunny baby booties

Anyway, here are a few photos of my own version – tell me you love them as much as I do! I’ve actually made 3 more pairs since first publishing this post as it’s such an easy pattern to follow and they make a fantastic newborn gift – everyone loves them!



  • With 2.75mm needles, cast on 26 stitches
  • Row 1: knit
  • Row 2: increase in first stitch, knit 11, increase in next 2 stitches, knit 11, increase in last stitch (30 stitches)
  • Row 3: knit
  • Row 4: knit 12, increase in next 6 stitches, knit 12 (36 stitches)
  • Row 5: knit
  • Row 6: knit 12. increase in every stitch until there are 12 stitches left, knit 12 (48 stitches)
  • Garter stitch a further 12 rows
  • Row 19: knit two together, knit 12, knit two together to last 14 stitches, knit 12, knit two together (36 stitches)
  • Garter stitch a further 2 rows
  • Cast offknitted bunny booties


  • Cast on 16 stitches
  • Row 1: knit
  • Cast off


  • Cast on 6 stitches
  • Garter stitch 5 rows
  • Row 6: Purl 2 together to end
  • Cast off

Blogger Network #3 – Knitted Union Jack Cushion

union jack knitted cushion fairisleFor this month’s Blogger Network post I decided to do something a bit different, crack out my knitting needles and make this fantastic knitted Union Jack cushion!

The pattern is by Sirdar Hayfield and uses their Bonus DK yarn in 3 different colours: navy, merlot and apline. It says to use the intarsia technique to knit the different colours together, which can take a little patience if you’ve never done it before, but the end result is well worth the practice. I actually used the fairisle technique for making mine (I’ve never quite fathomed the difference between the two!) and it worked out just fine. I do get in a bit of  a tangle every now and then but I do love it!

knitted union jack cushion sirdar pattern

If you need help learning how to knit using the intarsia or fairisle technique then head over to YouTube where there are lots of handy guides! It was my mum who taught me but I’m not sure she’d be available to teach the rest of you 🙂

fairisle union jack backHowever, I do find fairisle knitting quite tiring and can only do a couple of rows at a time, so this knitting project took me a longgggg time to finish. And even now it’s still not quite done! You’re meant to knit a flag for both sides of the cushion, but as if I have the time (or patience) to do that. At the moment my cushion has no backing but I plan to use the leftover yarn to do a simple striped back. It looks quite good half-finished though, right? I mean, just look at the reverse side of my flag – it’s almost as beautiful as the front!

What do you think of my (half) finished cushion? It looks quite grand on my chair at the top, don’t you think? Tell me about your experiences with intarsia/fairisle knitting! I’d love to hear that I’m not the only one that spends 50% off the project time in a tangle…

Chris’ Woollen Architect Scarf

chris scarfIf you live in the UK, (or indeed, Canada) you’ll have noticed that the nights are starting to get darker, mornings are starting to get colder and the car is becoming impossible to defrost in less than 2 minutes. Winter is definitely coming, which can only mean one thing – it’s time to make lots of chunky-knits!

My sister bought me the Greetings From Knit Cafe by Suzan Mischer book for my birthday last year and I instantly spotted this pattern for a chunky knit ‘architect’ scarf. The pattern is designed for a man, so the lucky recipient of this super-woolly scarf is my lovely boyfriend! I tried to pick the manliest colours possible – what do you reckon?!

striped chunky knit scarf

The scarf is made using a simple ribbed pattern (k2 p2) and has stripes in varying widths and colours. The yarn I used was Sirdar Hayfield Bonus Chunky in Aubergine, Cinder, Light Grey and Petrol shades. It measures about 6ft in length – quite long for a scarf but quite short when you consider the fact that the intended recipient is 6’6″!

What do you think of my finished article? Have you knitted yourself (or someone else) a scarf this year?

Knitted Eco-Friendly Dishcloths

dish cloth kitsIf you can cast your minds back to a few weeks ago, you’ll remember that I spent a sunny Saturday morning at Yarndale Knitting Festival in Skipton. Whilst I was there, and amongst many others, I visited this stall run by the lovely Fiona and Christine of Catch-e-Monkey and Rose Cottage Crafts and picked up my very own DIY Dishcloth kit!

The kit consists of a ball of cotton aran yarn, 5.5mm knitting needles and the instructions for how to knit 3 different dishcloths: one in garter stitch, one in linen stitch and one with a checkerboard effect. For a new-to-knitting beginner like myself this kit was perfect as it allowed me to create useful items very quickly as well as knitted dishclothspractice my knitting stitches at the same time!

The kits are available for just £6.50 and, although Catch-e-Monkey has no online shop, I’m sure that if you contact Fiona through Twitter or Facebook then she’d be happy to help.

What do you think of my finished dishcloths? Have you ever tried knitting something so simple yet so effective yourself? Now I just need to bring myself to actually use them for their intended purpose – there’s something inside me dreading the thought of them being used to wipe up tomato sauce!

Yarndale 2013; a Festival of Woolly Delights!

Yarndale 2013For those of you who don’t know, Yarndale festival is a weekend event held in the lovely Yorkshire Dales town of Skipton, and is dedicated to everything knitted, crocheted, spun, dyed and felted.

When my friend asked if I wanted to go, I found it near-impossible to say no! Anything that involves wool and is hosted in a town whose name originates from the Old English for ‘sheep town’ has me hooked. I mean, if ‘Sheep Town’ isn’t the perfect place to hold a yarn-based festival then no-where else in the world is ever going to Yarndale 2013 buntingbe sufficient. Plus you got to follow this ‘Follow the Bunting’ sign – something that I thought only happened in my dreams!

Yarndale 2013 was held at Skipton Auction Mart – a huge building normally used for selling and trading cattle. I was expecting it to be a bit cow-y, but Yarndale was far from it. In fact, the atmosphere was perfect for the making-something-from-scratch theme that the festival has.

Yarndale 2013 lacemakersI was also pleasantly surprised to find that the stall-owners and demonstrators were fun, vibrant and very much passionate about their craft. I came away from the day with a very sore throat from all the chatting I’d done with everyone – who knew that spinning, lacemaking and felting were actually real-life things that real-life people did!

I even met a few alpacas and Angora rabbits. If they could speak I’m sure their stories would have been just as fascinating.

If you get the chance to attend Yarndale in the future then I 100% recommend that you go. Alongside the sore throat, I came away from the event with a fantastic woven picnic blanket (thriftily made from waste yarn over at Longwood Blankets!) and a knit-your-own Yarndale 2013 crochet blanketecologically-friendly dish cloth kit (from Catch-e-Monkey). I can’t wait to blog about these later on!

Did you go to Yarndale 2013? I’d love to hear about your experiences and purchases if you did. Now I’m just looking forward to Yarndale 2014; who knows, I may have a stall there myself one day!