Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal wedding breakfast

I was up on Friday morning making tea sandwiches at 3:30. OK fine it was really 3:45. I do not have any pictures of the sandwich prep because I was concentrating on yawning and not cutting a finger off.

I used my grandmother's china since it has such a nice tea cup shape. I finally found an excuse to buy a plate rack, you know since I've wanted one from childhood. It is amazing how the smallest things make me happy. 

Our brown betty teapot cracked its lid for the last time so it has been retired to the tea shelf in the kitchen. Our ever so quirky kitty teapot has been pulling duty for a while now so it was promoted to fine china for the day.

My tower waits for the scones and cheese and apple toast. Can you believe that D questioned the Englishness and authenticity of cheese and apple toast?

Good thing he is so cute or I would have had to send him back to bed without eating.

One of my friends is disappointed that we did not dress up for breakfast. I figured smiling and not complaining was dressed up enough. Although I did wear my tea hat!

Bring on the wedding we are just waiting for the scones to come out. You'll notice our equally quirky moose, bear and buffalo tea cozy. I have yet to kit a cozy for the pot. Do you think it feels neglected in the winter when everyone is wearing a sweater but it?

Jack even enjoyed special post tea bonding with Daddy. Shh don't tell Gus, he decided to stay in bed since it did not smell like chicken or bacon.

As with all parties, nothing but the dishes to be washed were left.

So I learned that lemon curd is good, not something I would eat every day but a nice touch for the wedding. A slice of fuji apple on bread with cheddar cheese broiled into it makes excellent toast, and that D will like it when he tries it. It is fun to do a weird special thing occasionally. Oh and friends will come out of the wood work to comment when you post pictures of your Royal wedding tea party. Most were even supportive.

Pip pip!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tis done

We had a lovely time. Now I'm waiting for the kiss on the balcony. More to come tomorrow 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


As you all know I am primarily a sock knitter, or at least that is the way I think of myself and describe myself in knitting classes. I love crazy colored sock yarn and the simple solace of plain knit socks. Round and round that is the way that I roll.

So now I have a couple more pairs of crazy plain socks. These two are totally different color combinations but they look very similar to me. I love the first set just a bit more because they are made from an awesome yarn. Nice thick sturdy socks, excellent winter socks. Yes I am wearing them this season. I can not resist a new pair of socks. This may also explain why I don't knit sweaters in the spring/summer. New sweaters in July must still be worn. That makes for one hot knitter.

The yarn for these came from my Portland trip. Indigo Moon superwash fingering yarn in Northern Steppe color. While this did not make the local qualification of that trip I had a can't-find-it-locally clause that allowed for its purchase. Boy am I glad that I did.

These socks were made from Liberty Fibers fingering weight merino that I bought at a local fiber festival. I can not resist a yarn called Forest Walk. I thought that the colors were a bit bright while I was knitting them but they have since grown quite fond of all the colors. 

Oh yes my bulbs started to bloom. I guess spring is finally on its way. I am thinking of adding more bulbs since the squirrels and chipmunks ate many of the ones I put in a couple of years ago. Except the daffodils, which I found out the other day, are poisonous. And that is why the cute vermin allow them to keep on blooming.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Another Confession

I am a romantic, so therefore I love weddings. Guess which wedding I will be getting up early to watch on Friday?

Yep that royal one, you know Wills and Kate.

If you think it is foolish and silly, you might just want to stop reading and stay away for a week or two because I will soon be in a state of total romantic ooooze.

We, yes we Hubby loves me that much, will be getting up early and tuning in on Friday. It does not hurt that I have promised him tea and scones, and whatever British food delights I can find in the mean time. I'm pulling out the good china and getting a tea tower to hold the goodies. There may even be a table cloth and cloth napkins, you never know.

I have picked my tea. It was a battle, what do you choose? English Breakfast, Royal Wedding (I am so getting some of that), or (I already have this one) Tower  of London? While all of those are good I am going to stay with my first choice Queen Catherine.

I've even bought a hat, it is a bit more Southern Belle than Royal Fascinator, but hey a tea hat is a tea hat. You're lucky I did not think to get a tiara. Hmm maybe I still can. No you're right again I could not legally wear a tiara it would be cheating.

I'm sorting through my tea room recipe books. Is 5 am too early for roast beef tea sandwiches? I know I'm making cucumber and tomato tea sandwiches. What would you have? Full English breakfast is out, we had one while we were in England and it would not work if I want to watch the wedding, which I do.

What am I forgetting? Anybody know where I can get a Union Jack in upstate New York?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tea Party Cowl

Last winter when I heard Ann Hanson and Cookie A were coming to town, I got a wee bit designer happy. I cast on one project from each of them. You would think that the one that won the fight would have been a Cookie A sock since socks are my favorite things to knit. 

Nope novelty won out in this case. I knit Ann Hanson's Spiralucious cowl. I had some Dream in Color Smooshy in the Tea Party colorway that I had been playing dreaming about for a while. I wanted to use it for something other than socks since I have yet to repair my pair of DIC socks that wore through.

So I cast on and promptly screwed it up. The pattern is charted only on the odd rows the even rows are a plain knit round which my brain tried its darnest to forget. I did a pattern repeat or so and realized it was not spiraling like I would have liked. 

So I frogged and pulled out my handy dandy pattern keeper from Knitpicks. The pattern keeper sits so nice on my couch arm that I wizzed right through the knitting. I ended up with this.


A lovely brown cowl that I wear whenever I wish I had put on a turtleneck.  I am sorry to say that I did not wash or block it but started wearing it right away. Hey when you're cold, you're cold. It wandered into work with me and came in quite handy when they decided to check our A/C. Dude if the heat is still on in the building, don't turn on the A/C and turn it down to 60. I think we were about 10 minutes away from a revolt!

So now you know about my Tea Party cowl. I'm sure there will be more passing through this blog, maybe the next should be in cashmere.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is it wrong?

Is it wrong that this is my favorite tea mug?

I got it as a joke for D. He kept it at work for a long time. Till he offered tea to a female coworker and told her she could choose between that mug and a plain one. 

Don't worry I am very secure in my femininity. I do so love that mug, but I don't know why.

Now is it wrong that my second favorite (and D's favorite) tea mug is this one?

That one he received from a coworker and has been his favorite since. This one stayed at work for a little bit but it was just so good he had to bring it home to show me. It does not hurt that both are bigger than the average tea mug.

If it is wrong I'm still going to use them because they make me laugh! Just thought you should know.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Basket o' Yarn

My blog friend, Adriene, wrote this post about acquiring her new basket. As always I was charmed by her description of finding, buying and fixing it up. She can tell a story the way I like to hear it.

My basket does not have a story. I can not remember getting it and don't know how long I've had it. But the other day I did figure out what I can put in it. Yep, you guessed it, Yarn!

Since I am primarily a sock knitter, sock yarn is most of what I have. And not for nothing, I think it is my most colorful yarn.  It does make a lovely basket o' yarn.

After looking at the picture of my wool wall that I posted during blog week, I thought I should contain my yarn a bit better and found this basket I had been using to hold random (abandoned) knitting supplies. You know the needles that you buy when you're starting out before you know what your preferences will be, the ones that are on sale, the hmm I might need these knitting accessories. I had abandoned metal needles, way too sticky bamboo needles, left over sock yarn, stitch markers and yarn labels from some of my first yarns.

I cleaned it out and fluffed the old flannel nightgown that I used to line the basket originally. I was not as professional as Adriene, she tacked her flannel in with a glue gun and trimmed it up beautifully. Me? I'm more of a haphazard fold and tuck kind of girl. Let ends hang out where they may.

You know now looking at these pictures it looks like I as more concerned with photographing the yarn instead of the basket. Hmm, it is almost like I've spent the last couple of years photographing yarn for some reason. 

Anyways my yarn is now back on the wool wall but now artfully displayed in its basket. I don't think my basket rocks to the right but it does hang over the wall edges. Does this wall make my basket look big?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

So Here's the Thing

I have been racing to get done what needs to be done for my sweater class tonight. I needed a sleeve, the back and the right front. They were supposed to be washed and blocked. I did not make it. Two out of three is not bad but, I feel a bit like I failed an exam in school. But I know it is all in my head.

I know that the knitting police will not come and fine me for not finishing. My life is not any better or worse because I did not meet this deadline. But I am still a bit bummed about it.

However I can now admit to feeling less self imposed stress. I feel that I can rip back some of what I have done and do it correctly now. I think all the newness involved with this project hit me at one time and caused me to feel inadequate.

I don't like feeling inadequate! I know that I can knit this sweater and I know that I will love it when it is done. I know that I will feel extremely proud of it. But right now it just feels all wrong. I think I am knitting a size that will be too small for me. I had been fighting the thought since I started it, but was unwilling to admit it. On the bonus side I have an estimate on what yarn I used so far and think the odds of me running out now are not that great, even in a larger size. (Famous last words?)

I remember seeing a woman at Rhinebeck a few years back wearing a sweater that was several sizes too small for her. It was almost as if an adult tried to fit in a child's sweater. The front did not come past her sides and I think her arms were bowed back by the sleeves even. It was a beautiful cabled cardigan sweater. I am still sad thinking that she did not have friends to tell her how ridiculous it looked. I have a feeling that she was so proud of her work that she just could not send it away to the home it deserved. We all want to show off our work at festivals and our yarn shops, but someone needs to stand up and say  "Oh honey, I know your proud but that is all wrong!"

I feel I must point out that this little introvert here is not willing to do that job either. Yes, I do know that I am a chicken. But I did have the nerve to say it to myself and that is why I am starting over. I can do it!

By the way I still totally recommend the class and will be using what I learned to finish this sweater and many more. I now have more skills in the knitting bag in my head and am ready to start applying them.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I experienced another knitting first this week. I lost a needle while I was knitting in public (KIP). I always carry a project with me. Actually someone lost a bet because of me. My purse was smaller and someone bet another person that there could not be yarny goodness in there. The only time I am without project is when I have finished one and I forgot to put another one in my bag.

Where was I? Oh I was knitting at the eye doctor's and was called to choose my frames. I stuck my knitting down into my not so deep purse. We walked around and I chose my frames, thanked the lady, walked out to my car, drove over to another store and realized I had lost it. I gave a small search of my purse and car. No luck.

I thought I would talk to the staff when I went in to pick up my glasses. No such luck. I did find out that two people on the staff are knitters. I scanned the parking lot. Nope. I did an intensive search of both my car and purse. My knitting needle is gone...gone...gone. Since it was from one of my first sets of sock needles I am a little sad. But the knitting must go on.

And for my other needle story. I was eating lunch at work when a coworker came in and asked me a couple of questions about my knitting, then she looked at the bamboo chopsticks sitting next to my knitting and asked, "And what are those needles for?" It only took a couple of seconds for her to realize her mistake. I did tell her they were my eating needles.

Yep that is how my week went.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something to aspire to

My college had an exchange program with Norway. Yes I know a bunch of Norwegians in South Dakota is not much of an exchange. Although it was rumored that we were a wee bit warmer. The thing I marveled at was that the Norwegians rarely wore coats, even in storms no coats. 

You could usually identify a group of Norwegians (other than being tall and blonde) by their sweaters. They did not wear coats but these gorgeous wool sweaters. In my memory they are mostly red and white, the sweaters silly, not the students. I think they were also black and white or other colors but mostly I remember the red, maybe because it stood out so much in the snow.

They looked a bit like that one. I wanted one from the first time I saw them. Imagine my surprise when I asked a friend that was going home for Christmas if he could bring one back for me, and he told me how much they cost. Two hundred dollars is way over budget for this little thrifty student, and that was back in the 90's. 

One of my first thoughts when I started knitting was wouldn't it be cool if I could knit myself a Norwegian sweater. That was before I even knew how to knit socks. I did finally make myself a pair of Norwegian mittens that kept my fingers quite toasty this winter. So I have dabbled in stranded knitting, or how they get two colors on a sweater. But a sweater is so much more of an undertaking. A wonky mitten you can hide in a pocket or just hold under your other hand. A sweater needs to look right!

You will remember two Christmas' ago I received a couple of books about knitting in Norway. I even bought sweater specific one for myself this year. Hey I had birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. Who knows I may even buy more I do so love my knitting books.

I will be taking a class in steeking this weekend also. This is one of the traditional finishing methods in that type of sweater. You knit round and round without regard for armholes then you simply cut your knitting and make arm holes. Yes I know it does sound like an drunken Norwegian knitting prank. But all the books and videos assure that it is a valid technique. 

So I am working my way slowly towards my dream of making my own Norwegian sweater. I swear by all that is wooly that if I am ever confronted with a Dale of Norway kit I will have a hard time not buying it (especially if it is red.) I have been told that these kits exist. I have no idea what price range the kits are in, but I do know I can buy a Dale of Norway sweater already knit for around $400 now. 

So I know I have told this dream to you before but it is still blog week and that was today's topic. And it is still my first knitting dream. I think I may still be in the tracking stages of my dream, but one of these days it will be mine, oh yes it will be mine.