Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rosie Posy Tea Cosy

Rosie Posy Tea Cosy

I finished my Rosie Posy Tea Cosy...well sort of!

This morning I did the finish work sewing on the base of the cosy. The base knit is doubled so I had to sew the two layers together at it's side openings.

I couldn't wait to take some photos to post my progress on Ravelry. I decided to get some fresh flowers from my yard and put them on the lid for the photographs. I had to substitute geraniums for roses since my roses had already been cut.

Turns out, I love my tea cosy with fresh flowers! I am thinking of modifying the top now with floral-foam and using my cosy with fresh flowers at my tea parties! What do you think?

For the record...I will try to knit up some roses one of these days. For now I am off to knit on so many other knitting projects I already have in progress.

That is why I call myself...The Flitter Knitter!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Poking Around a Button Show!

Rare & Lovely Antique Buttons

Button, button...who's got the button!

My friend Lorna invited me to a button show yesterday. As a designer, Lorna often incorporates vintage buttons in her designs. I love her vintage-style knit hand bags that she embellishes with vintage lace, trims and buttons.

The button show was the California State Button Show in Sacramento, Ca. This was my first time at button show. I naturally fell in love with all the antique French buttons. Ooh, la, la...some were as pricey as $450.00 a button!

$10.00 Poke Button Tray

Most of the button dealers had "button poke" trays. Neither of us knew what a "button poke" was so we asked a dealer. A "button poke" is where you poke around a tray for buttons and the price shown is how much each button is. The button poke trays ranged from $1.00 a poke all the way up to $30.00 a poke.

We lucked out and found a dealer with button poke trays selling 3 buttons for a $1.00! Lorna poked around for all the purple buttons and I poked around for all the blue buttons. Poking for buttons was addicting. The next thing we was way past lunchtime.

Blue Buttons

I loved shopping for the pretty blue buttons!

Lorna button shopping!

Lorna shopping for purple buttons!
(Check out her vintage-style purse design on the button table!)

Next time the button show comes to town, I am going to be organized and bring my yarns and swatches for my current knitting projects. There were so many fabulous buttons it was rather overwhelming.

A button show is fun and a great resource for knitters. Be sure to check out a button show if one comes to your area!

Rosie Posey Tea Party

Rosie Posey Tea Cosy Shop Sample

The Rosie Posey Tea Cosy class at Knitique last Saturday was so much fun! The best part was the Rosie Posey Tea Party!

Danielle brought in her vintage Royal Winton chintz and Wedgwood china. She supplied all the accoutrement's and her daughter was our tea hostess. Fellow knitter Cora made luscious lemon cakes and I brought cucumber mint sandwiches.

The tea and conversation flowed all day. We enjoyed Cora's Passion Fruit tea and my Dammann Freres, 4 Fruits Rouges Tea from France.

Rosie Posey Tea Cosy

As usual Danielle (Knitique owner/instructor) made the tea cosy pattern easier.

The green ribbed cosy is doubled so it has a liner. It takes a while to knit. I have that part almost done and then I will be ready to knit the roses.

The Rosey Posie is a really fun and easy pattern. If you enjoy tea time..I highly recommend this pattern!

Rosie Posey Tea Party!

No tea party is complete without classic cucumber sandwiches! My garden is abundant with fresh mint so I brought cucumber mint sandwiches to the tea party. I have had several requests for my recipe so here it is:

Cucumber Mint Tea Sandwiches

1/4 C. butter (softened)
1/4 C. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 C. loosely packed fresh mint leaves. Then cleaned/dried/and finely chopped
1 cucumber (seedless/English style) cut into thin slices
12 slices dense white bread

To prepare:

Make the mint butter. Combine the softened butter, cream cheese and chopped mint.

Trim the crusts off the bread slices with a serrated knife. Spread the mint butter on each bread slice. Top 6 of the bread slices with the sliced cucumber, season with salt and top with other 6 bread slices to make a sandwich. Cut with a serrated knife into triangle or rectangular shapes.

Cover with a damp tea towel and refrigerate until ready to serve.

I can't wait to use my Rosie Posey at a garden tea party!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rosie Posy Tea Cosy

Rosie Posy Tea Cosy

When I saw the Rosie Posy Tea Cosy in The Knitter magazine, Issue Two...I couldn't wait to make it!

Rosie Posy is the clever creation of Australian designer Loani Prior. Loani loves tea cosies! She is the author of Wild Tea Cosies which features 24 tea cosy patterns, including the Rosie Posy. If you are a member on Ravelry ...the pattern is free!

Vintage Knit Tea Cosy Booklet

Tea cosies have been around a long time. If you're not sure exactly what a tea cosy is, think of it as a little knit sweater for the teapot to keep the pot insulated and the tea warm.

Tea cosies have flourished both in Britain and America since the late 1800's. They were quite popular in the 1940's and 50's judging by all the vintage knitting patterns from that era.

Tea Cosies are back in style thanks to the resurgence and popularity of tea and knitting. Many vintage tea cosy patterns have even been restyled for today's more "stylish" knitter.

Berocco Comfort DK Yarns

I love tea, knitting and roses so the Rosie Posy Tea Cosy is just my cup of tea!

Tomorrow I am taking the Rosie Posy Tea Cosy class at Knitique . The owner Danielle is teaching the class and having a tea party,too! The best part is, Danielle always makes understanding the pattern so much easier!

My tea cosy will be knit in Berocco Comfort DK yarns in colors to match my Royal Winton Chintz tea ware. I will post photos of my Rosie Posy as soon as it is finished!

I am off to enjoy a cup of tea...more later!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Button Shopping in San Francisco!

Buttons Galore!

Have you ever felt like a kid in a candy store and you weren't even in a candy store? I had that "kid in a candy store" feeling today shopping for buttons at Britex Fabrics.

Britex Fabrics has been a San Francisco landmark for over 50 years. It is conveniently located just off of Union Square in the shopping district.

The Yarn Wall

The Button Department is on Floor 3. It is huge! There are buttons in every color, shape and size. If you need buttons...this is definitely the place to go button shopping!

As for my button shopping, I was pleased to finally find a large abalone shell button for my Louisa Harding Periwinkle Shawl. I also couldn't resist some vintage-inspired buttons for future knitting projects.

Floor 3 also has a small yarn and knitting book department. While I was shopping, a Britex sales associate was even knitting a lovely mohair sweater sample for the store. How fun to be able to "sit and knit" while on the job!

Pretty Pastel Ribbons

Ooh, la, la...I love pretty ribbons! I couldn't help but think of Marie Antoinette when I saw these French-inspired floral ribbons! The ribbon department is also on Floor 3 with the buttons

Cute Cotton Britex Prints

Britex is stocked floor to ceiling in fabrics. You can probably find just about anything there. I was hoping to find a cotton sea shell fabric to line my Louisa Harding Mermaid purse with. I was disappointed I did not find it amongst all that yardage!

Seeing all the bolts of fabric did bring back happy childhood memories though. My Mom sewed a lot of our clothes growing up so visiting the fabric store was a regular outing for my Mom, my sister and me.

Britex Fabrics

146 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 392-2910

If you love fabrics, trims, ribbons and buttons...
I bet you'll feel like a "kid in a candy store"
at Britex Fabrics,too!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rick Rack Jewelry!

Check out the new Nordstrom catalog!

Knitting is everywhere these days. My new Nordstrom catalog arrived this week and the clever knitting props caught my eye. Check out the hand knit blanket the Nordstrom stylist used for their beachy photo shoots. What a neat idea!

I also couldn't help but notice the colorful "rick rack" inspired jewelry by designer Kate Spade. I haven't sewn for years but I have a thing for fabric and trims. Hmmm...I can't help but think these bangle bracelets would pair up great with a chevron knit scarf like Joelle Hoverson's Chevron Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts!

Kate Spade Mariachi Rick Rack Jewelry

My region's Nordstrom stores did not bring the Kate Spade Mariachi collection in . (That's Sacramento for you.) The Nordstrom associate told me it is currently in their Bay Area stores. She also said that everyone is coming in to see it!

You can check out the jewelry online at Let me know what you think!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Felted Soap or Soap in a Coat!

Soap in a Coat!

Have you ever heard of "soap in a coat"? I know it sounds like a Dr. Seuss book but it is actually a bar of soap wrapped inside a felted wool coat. What a clever idea!

Recently I was shopping at Anthropologie and the colorful felted soaps by Fiat Luxe ($14.00) caught my eye. I just love to window shop at Anthropolgie. I always come a way with a neat idea or some crafty inspiration! This time I came away with the idea to make my own "soap in a coat"!

Turns out this is not such a new idea. There is plenty of information on the Internet to give this clever craft a try. I found a great tutorial on HGTV's That's Clever by gravel artist Suzanna Anna. You can even see her on You Tube creating her "soap in a coat"!

I love hand made soaps and I've recently done wool felting so I am ready to give this a try! The only supplies you really need are a bar of soap, some wool batting and roving. Once it is made the felted wool acts like a wash cloth around the soap. I can't help but wonder though...will the "soap in a coat" smell like wet wool on a rainy day???

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Mother-Daughter Knits
Sally Melville & Caddy Melville Ledbetter

Happy Mothers Day!

Thank you to all the Great Grandmothers, Grandmas and Mothers 
who taught us to knit!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

"On The Road Again" with Lorna Miser!

Lorna Miser book signing at
Mostly Natural

I was on the road again today with Lorna Miser on her local book tour for Faith, Love, Hope, Knitting. This time Lorna was back in her 'ol stomping grounds...the Sierra Foothills. I just love the drive up Highway 50 east to the foothills and seeing the majestic snow capped mountains in the distance, even at this time of year!
Today's book signing was at a quaint little yarn and fabric shop called Mostly Natural in Diamond Springs, CA. The shop specializes in natural and organic fiber yarns, hence the name. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few of my favorite British yarn brands on the shelves...Louisa Harding's Kimono Angora and the brand new Debbie Bliss Eco yarn.

Mostly Natural
4806 Pleasant Valley Rd. #D
Diamond Springs, CA 95619

This was my first visit to Mostly Natural. The owner Lenore O'Neill was very nice. She even had a local winery Chateau Rodin come in for Lorna's event!

It is fun travelling around with Lorna...
who knows where we will end up next...
it just might be your local yarn store!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Knitter Issue 4

The Knitter Magazine Issue # 4

By now you know how much I love the British knitting magazine The Knitter. Issue 4 finally landed on American book store shelves last week. This issue may just be my favorite one yet! It even has an exclusive pattern by my favorite British designer Louisa Harding!

Quite Contrary Capelet by
Louisa Harding

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love the fashion-forward designs of Louisa Harding. I think even Louisa Harding knows by now that I am a huge fan!

I can't wait to knit Louisa's "Quite Contrary Capelet"! This is an exclusive Louisa pattern for The Knitter magazine. It is knit in her sparkly Jasmine yarn with pretty flower, buttons and ribbon Louisa! I think this capelet is perfect for a night on the town in Paris or London. I'm ready to cast on!

Katrina Shawl by
Amanda Crawford

The Katrina Shawl is a beautiful wrap designed by Amanda Crawford. It is perfect for a summer night when there is a bit of chill in the air. It is knit in Manos del Uruguay's Silk Blend, color Virgo (9254) from South America. Amanda says "the colour reminded me of the beach".

The shawl features three lace patterns and is knit in two pieces. It is then grafted together along the center.

Chevron Sweater by
Erika Knight

This sweater designed by Erika Knight reminds me of designs from the Italian house of Missoni , famous for it's zig zag knitwear designs. The Chevron Sweater has been re-colored by The Knitter in Paton's 4ply cotton and Rowan Shimmer.

This pattern is taken from Erika's book Glamour, a collection of garments influenced by the golden age of Hollywood's leading ladies.

Bird's Nest Pin Cushion by
Hannah Fettig

I just adore this sweet little Bird's Nest Pin Cushion by Hannah Fettig. I can't wait to knit one of these for my Mother and one for me! It is knit in Classic Elite Premiere yarns.

The pattern is from Hannah's book Closely Knit: Handmade Gifts For The One You Love.

I think issue # 4 of The Knitter is worth every penny! Some knitters on Ravelry complain about it's price and that many of it's patterns are reprints from previous published patterns. I think it is a marvelous magazine and it certainly is exposing me to lots of wonderful designers and patterns!

I hope you can find your very own issue of The Knitter Issue 4! So far, every issue has sold out in both the UK and the US!

Stitch N Pitch with the River Cats!

Michele, Lorna & Sheila
with their River Cats Stitch N Pitch totes!

Take me out to the ball game!

I went to my first Stitch N Pitch game Tuesday night at Raley Field. Our minor league team the Sacramento River Cats (Triple A affiliate of the Oakland A's) played the Reno Aces.

Stitch N Pitch is sponsored by the TNNA (The National Needle Arts Assoc.) and combines two great all American past and knitting!

My knitting guild the Camellia City Stockinettes had a section for members to sit together. There was even a special Stitch N Pitch tote bag with an adorable baby hat pattern from, our very own, Lorna Miser. Lorna also threw out the first pitch...a baseball she had covered in purple yarn!

Sheila and a knitter's view of Home Plate!
(Yes, she is wearing her knit fish hat!)

The River Cats may have lost but we all had a great time knitting away! Even husbands and family members joined us for the fun. We had great seats, too! Thank you Cindi from the Stockinettes for organizing this fun event for us!

Baseball season is just starting so there are plenty of Stitch N Pitch games coming up for both the major and minor leagues. Check out the Stitch N Pitch calendar for a game near you...and don't forget to bring your knitting!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lucy Neatby Intarsia Workshop

Lucy Neatby Itarsia
Fringes, Folderols & Furbelows Workshop

I am a better knitter!

Last weekend I attended Lucy Neatby's Intarsia and Fringes, 
Folderols and Furbelows workshops. 
I truly am a better knitter now!

While I may not be ready to knit a gorgeous Kaffe Fassett sweater just yet ..
I am ready to knit Intarsia now, thanks to Lucy.

Lucy Neatby
Knitting Teacher Extraordinaire!

Lucy loves color and isn't afraid to show it. Even her hair is colorful... just like her Intarsia knitting! It is her colorful and relaxed "fun" spirit that makes learning from her such a delight!

Lucy is an incredible teacher. She breaks down everything in easy to understand terms. I have always adored knit garments with pretty rose and floral patterns. I never, ever dreamed that I would attempt this type of Intarsia knitting. Thanks to Lucy Neatby...I know I can do it now!

Lucy's Intarsia Work
Lucy describes colorful Intarsia knitting as:
 "patchwork knitting or even painting with yarn"!

Lisette's Intarsia Work

I learned so many great tips in Lucy's Intarsia workshop. I learned how to make butterfly bobbins for my different color yarns. I learned how important preparation and organization is for Intarsia knitting.

Lucy says "keeping stitches happy, keeps the knitter happy"! She told us that "yarns hold hands" and "let your yarns link with one another with Intarsia knitting". Probably her best advice was "don't overdose" your Intarsia knitting..."only do a couple rows a night".

Lucy's Intarsia Cardigan
"She designs to teach!"

Lucy's Intarsia cardigan is a gorgeous example of Intarsia. She has been designing her own patterns ever since she started knitting. She is a naturally gifted designer and teacher. She said that "I design to teach". Of course, she loves knitting but teaching seems dearest to her heart these days.

Backside of Intarsia

This is the inside or backside of Lucy's Intarsia cardigan. 
Wow...she really kept all those stitches happy. 
Her work is so nice and tidy! Something to strive for!

Lucy Neatby Workshop

Danielle at Knitique told me what a fabulous teacher Lucy is and how lucky I was to be taking her workshop. I do feel really lucky. Thank you to the Camellia City Stockinettes for bringing Lucy back for more workshops!

I also purchased Lucy's Knitter's Companion DVD's Intarsia Untangled 1 and 2. I know they will be great for a refresher course and it will be like having Lucy for a private workshop in my own home!

The best Intarsia knitting advice Lucy gave was: "be brave and keep on going"!

Thank you Lucy...I am a better knitter now!

Friday, May 1, 2009

I met Lucy Neatby!

World Renown Knitting Celebrity
Lucy Neatby

I met Lucy Neatby!

Yes, Lucy Neatby the internationally acclaimed knitting designer and teacher arrived in Sacramento last night. Lucy is in town this weekend for a two day workshop for my knitting guild,
The Camellia City Stockinettes.

I went to a guild retreat meeting last night and Lucy came by after her airport arrival. What a delight she was and not one sign of jet lag from travelling all over the US from Nova Scotia.
It has been three years since my guild has been able to get Lucy back for a workshop. Being a new guild member, I am thrilled to be taking a workshop from Lucy. I signed up for her Intarsia and Fringes, Folderols and Furbelows classes. I can't wait!

I told Lucy that I am a newer knitter. I loved what she told me next about knitting (in her lovely British accent) "set your heart to it, try it and you can knit it". I love her advice and I will follow it!

Lucy is originally from the south of England. I asked her who taught her to knit and it was her grandmother. Lucy says "I was 11 when my grandmother bribed me into knitting". Lucy remembers the project, vividly too, a blue acrylic "Reggie the Rabbit" knit from a British Woolcraft booklet.
Lucy did not knit again until she was 17 yrs old and then it was of her own volition. Years later while visiting her sister in England she spotted that "Reggie the Rabbit" pattern book and now it is back home in Nova Scotia with her. I loved hearing her "who taught me to knit" story!

Lucy's Mermaid Socks
The Knitter Magazine Issue # 4

I asked Lucy if she had seen the UK's new magazine The Knitter
Lucy said "yes and my Mermaid socks are in it"! 
I had just picked up issue 4 yesterday from Borders earlier in the day. 
As soon as I got home from the guild meeting,
 I opened up The Knitter and there were Lucy's Mermaid Socks!

Lucy Knitting Away
(working on a charity hat)

Chatting with Lucy was wonderful. She was knitting away while everyone chatted. Lucy has been very busy back home in Nova Scotia editing her three new DVDs for her A Knitter's Companion series. She says the new DVDs will be released very soon. They are: The Brand New Knitter, Knitting Venus 1 and Knitting Venus 2 (both inspired by a cardigan).

It was really wonderful to hear Lucy talk about her wonderful film and sound crew. They are now in their fourth year of filming DVDs together. Lucy credits her talented team as the reason her DVDs are so professional. When her crew isn't filming Lucy knitting they are off travelling the world filming shows like Globe Trekker and Planet Earth. Wow!

KuKu Dolls

Lucy is also pretty excited about the Dolly-Mama's KuKu dolls. KuKu dolls are multi-cultural knitted and felted dolls (in Cascade 220 yarn) that come in a kit. A portion of all their profits are donated to women's and children's causes.

Coming soon is a new DVD Knit 'Em and Felt 'Em presented by Lucy on the KuKu dolls. Lucy is the voice, hands and the knitter for the DVD. Congratulations Lucy and what a wonderful cause!

Lucy said it best during our conversation:
 "knitting, craft, community"!