Saturday, December 29, 2012

For your Wellies...

Back then

and Now 

One of my favorite 
"last minute Christmas gifts"
I knit this year were these 
 Hunter Boot toppers.  
The adorable "Cali girl" recipient loves them!

You can find the pattern here on Ravelry: 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What would Jane knit?

Jane Austen Knits

It's no secret that I adore Jane Austen.

Today is Jane's birthday.  
She was born on December 16th, 1775 in Hampshire, England. 

In honor of Jane's birthday today, 
I'm curling up with a good cup of English Afternoon Tea,
my knitting and 
 the movie Pride and Prejudice featuring Colin Firth, 
as my favorite Mr. Darcy!

I also love the magazine Jane Austen Knits that debuted last year.  
Since it's Jane's birthday today, 
I thought I would share with you where you can find a
Jane Austen treat for yourself.  
Just click here 
and you can get a free download of the scarf pattern 
from the cover of the premier issue of 
Jane Austen Knits Magazine from 2011.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stylish Storage

Ceramic Cables

Vases aren't just for flowers!
I'm storing my straight needles now in an adorable "wintery white" ceramic cabled vase.  

I found my cabled vase in the holiday section at Target.  As you can see, the 8" vase is perfect for holding straights.  They also have a larger 10" vase and photo frames in this "wintery white" cable design perfect for knitters who love cables!  They are selling out fast in stores but are still currently available at Target online.  

Happy Holidays! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hats Off!

Donation Drive Hats

Hats off to Knitting Fever for their donation drive collecting warm goods for Hurricane Sandy victims!

After Hurricane Sandy my husband and I gave a donation immediately to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy Relief.  As a knitter though, one can't help but want to send warmth like a nice warm hat.  As I said before, I have to limit my knitting time due to hand surgery earlier this year but I can certainly shop for hats!

Yesterday I went shopping for mens hats to send back East for Knitting Fever's donation drive.  I found 13 cool beanies at Tuesday Morning.  They were $15.00 hats for only a $1.99 each!  They are easy-care acrylic which is best for this type of donation.  I am packing them up today and shipping them off to New York.  I hope they bring warmth to those in need.  

If you want to help, you can take donations to participating yarn stores for Knitting Fever's drive and Knitting Fever will pick up the shipping costs.  (Yay, to Knitting Fever!) Or you can ship them directly (like me) to:

Knitting Fever, Inc
Attn: KFI Sandy Relief
PO Box 336
315 Bayview Avenue
Amityville, NY 11701

The employees at Knitting Fever are busy sorting and then delivering the donations themselves around the Long Island region.  

Again...hats off to Knitting Fever for being such a wonderful company that truly cares!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Make it Better

 Craftalong Hats 

I love the power of crafters!

Crafty bloggers, Brett Bara from Manhattan Craft Room and Natalie Soud from A Dose of the Delightful have organized a way to get warmth to Hurricane Sandy victims in their region.  It's called Make it Better:  Craftalong for Sandy Relief. 

They gave a shout-out to fellow crafters to knit, crochet or sew warm hats, socks, blankets, scarves, sweaters and mittens and they will deliver them to those in need. 

I wanted to knit hats but due to having hand surgery earlier in the year, I have to limit my knitting.  I still wanted to help.  So the other day I went thrifting and found 13 gently used (even new) hats to send to the craftalong.  Of the 13 hats, four were actually hand-made by someone else's loving hands.  I have hand laundered them and they are now on their way to New York City.

My hope is that the hats bring warmth, comfort and a smile to some young girls and ladies who could use a warm winter hat as they recover from Hurricane Sandy.  

Brett and Natalie have received over 2,700 items (and still counting) from fellow crafters.  They are now busy delivering the warm goods to various shelters in the Rockaways area of New York.  The deadline for their drive has ended but there are still many other groups collecting goods to help those in need.  

One of my favorite companies Knitting Fever in Amityville, New York (home of my favorite designer's yarns) is accepting donations of warm clothes and goods and are delivering them around Long Island which was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.  They hope to continue to accept donations and distribute them for as long as there is a need.  Please visit the Knitting Fever Facebook page or their blog for more information and ways that you can help.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hey Bidder, Bidder!

 Silent Auction 
Benefiting Macmillan Cancer Support

My Silent Auction is in full swing now 
at Knitique, A Yarn Boutique in Elk Grove, California. 
Together Danielle, the owner of Knitique, and I are raising more funds for Louisa Harding 
while she is on her Team Macmillan Nepal Hike
through November 11th, 2012. 
All auction proceeds will be donated on Louisa's Just Giving Site 

There are so many fabulous goods to bid on that were donated 
all the way from England by famous British designers
and Louisa's friends.  
Don't by shy to bid.  You can even place telephone bids over the phone and we will be happy to ship your items to you.

Here's a look at the Silent Auction:

Snowy Snowflake Scarf
& Flower Brooch
by Designer Nicky Thomson

British Designer Nicky Thomson donated her gorgeous Snowy Snowflake Scarf and Flower Brooch in color Royal Azure.  I've been a fan of Nicky's for quite some time now.  
I have several of her wool scarves and flower brooches and always receive compliments when I wear them.

Nicky has developed a unique way of gently felting her wool designs and is a supporter of the UK's Campaign for Wool.  I love that she recycles and donates her wool scraps to local schools for children's arts and crafts projects.

When I contacted Nicky about a donation she told me:
 "I have actually always supported Macmillan Cancer Support.  My mum runs quite a number of events here in the UK.  It is such a good cause."

Thank you Nicky for your lovely donation!

Debbie Bliss Books & 
Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Mug Set

(Louisa Harding and Debbie Bliss' American Yarn/Book Distributor)
generously donated the Louisa Harding Thistle Yarn for my charity event also sent two Debbie Bliss books for my Silent Auction.  Debbie told me in an e-mail, that she wished she was in the US so she could sign the books for us!

Another fabulous British Designer, Emma Bridgewater donated an adorable 2pc Polka Dot 1/2 Pint Mug Set all the way from the Potteries in England.  The Emma Bridgewater company is a strong supporter of Macmillan Cancer Support and has regular events at their factory and retail stores to raise money for Macmillan.  

 Rowan Books

Louisa 's knitwear career actually began with an internship at Rowan so naturally Rowan wanted to donate for the auction.  Rowan sent three of their latest books for the auction:  Sarah Hatton Knits, Parisian Nights and Kidsilk Haze Trio.  

 Sardi Hat

You can even help raise funds at the auction even if you're not a knitter!  I have donated my Sardi hat that I knit as a sample for my Himalayan Hiking Hat Kit fund raiser.

The Sardi hat is Louisa's pretty heart cable design and it's knit in Louisa's Thistle yarn which is a luxurious blend of Merino Wool and Baby Suri Alpaca.  

I wonder who the lucky winning bidder will be?

Kim Hargreaves Books
(Autographed by Kim!) &
Nicky Thomson Flower Brooch

Louisa and Designer Kim Hargreaves have been wonderful friends for over 20 years.  Kim graciously sent her two latest books, Quirky and Enchanted, from Yorkshire England and even autographed them for the auction.  This is such a treat for Kim's American fans because I don't believe Kim makes many (if any) public appearances in America.  

Also in the photo above is a darling Nicky Thomson wool flower brooch in Bluejay Khaki up for bid!

So please don't be shy to bid.
If you live out of the area, you can place a telephone bid by calling Knitique and we will gladly ship your winning item/items to you with just the cost of the postage added to your winning bid.  

This is all really for such a wonderful cause and such a fun way to go shopping for fabulous British goods that are often not readily available here in the US!  

For telephone bids:
Knitique, A Yarn Boutique
(916) 714-7719

Monday, October 22, 2012

Companies that Care!

 Himalayan Hiking Hats

My Louisa Harding Charity Event
all started with an idea I had and a big box of yarn.
I'm still pinching myself that my little idea has now raised over $1,600.00
for Macmillan Cancer Support.
 I have to say, this was all made possible thanks to
some very generous companies and people
that really, truly care.

I would like to take this time to thank the companies
that embraced my fund raising ideas to help raise money for
Louisa Harding's effort for Macmillan Cancer Support.

 Louisa Harding Yarn

First off, 
I owe a huge thank you to Louisa's American yarn distributor,

I took a chance and wrote them a letter about my fund raising idea.  To my surprise and delight, a week later, a huge box of Louisa Harding Thistle yarn arrived
and my idea of a fund raiser became a reality.  

"Thank you" Knitting Fever for your Thistle yarn donation 
which I turned into Himalayan Hiking Hat kits featuring
Louisa's Karuwa and Sardi hat patterns.

Thank you so much for being a company that cares! 

 Soak Sample

Once I was making up my Himalayan Hiking Hat Kits,
I wrote to Soak Wash to see if they could kindly donate a
  Soak Sample for each kit.

Soak is my personal favorite wool wash of choice and my
knitting teacher Danielle Bowen of Knitique, A Yarn Boutique
taught me to always soak my knits because the stitches will settle down and look so much nicer.  Years ago I was so afraid to soak my I can't wait to soak my projects and watch them come to life!

"Thank you" Soak Wash for generously donating a
Soak Sample for each of my Himalayan Hiking Hat kits!

 Interweave Books

I have just about every Louisa Harding book ever published
in my personal knitting library.

When I decided to have a fun Raffle Drawing at my event, I contacted Interweave Books to see if they would donate a book or two.  They did not hesitate and sent three
 Louisa Harding books that they have published:
Natural Knits for Babies and Moms,
Knitting Little Luxuries and Knitting in the Details.

The books were a big hit and the Raffle Prize Drawing alone
raised $168.00 at the event!

Danielle Bowen
Owner of Knitique, A Yarn Boutique

It was one thing to have an idea but another to find the right venue for my event to be a success.
I turned to my knitting teacher and friend Danielle Bowen, the owner of Knitique, A Yarn Boutique.  It seemed quite fitting to have the event at Knitique because the first Louisa Harding books I ever saw, led me to Knitique and Danielle for knitting lessons.  An added bonus is that Knitique is the cutest and "hippest" yarn boutique around.

Danielle also donated some fabulous prizes for the Raffle Drawing.  She is also graciously hosting my upcoming Silent Auction at Knitique while Louisa is on her
Nepal Hike from November 1-11, 2012
 to raise even more funds for Macmillan.

My "heart felt" thanks to all these wonderful companies that truly care.  Together with their help and donations,
we have all made a difference.

Please patronize these wonderful companies
and support them whenever you can!

Friday, October 19, 2012

We did it!

Louisa Harding Fund Raiser Event

My Louisa Harding Fund Raiser 
at Knitique, A Yarn Boutique on October 5, 2012 
was a smashing success!  

Drum roll please...
I am thrilled to report that the event raised just over 
1,000 Great British Pounds 
which is just over $1,600.00 US Dollars

It was a party!

Thanks to Danielle Bowen and her Knitique customers,
the hat kits sold-out and I exceeded my personal fund raising goal for Macmillan!  The Knitique ladies embraced the Himalayan Hiking Hat kits and Louisa's story. 

The evening was filled with fun, prizes, cupcakes and my heart-felt talk about Louisa Harding and her Himalayan Hiking Hat story.  Louisa wrote a personal letter for me to read that evening and I would like to share this excerpt:

"And to those of you attending this evening...
I would like to thank all you amazing knitters for supporting this event and helping me toward my fundraising goal with your very generous donations.

As most of you will know by now about my fundraising trip to Nepal and the reason behind it, but I just wanted to add that until cancer touches your family in a very immediate way you have no idea of the support network you need to help you.  When my husband Stephen was diagnosed with Lymphoma, Macmillan Cancer Support played a very important and vital educational role for me alongside the comfort that came from family and friends. 

A few months ago I was talking with my really lovely friend Debbie (Bliss), asking her if she would write a little piece in her magazine about my fundraising.  "Of course", she replied and added, "I think it is so important that knitters realize that we are real women with real life situations, juggling our family and working lives just as they do."  

And we are real women juggling just as you do, that is why I appreciate your support tonight."
Louisa Harding

I also shared my personal story, connecting my favorite designer Louisa Harding to Danielle (and Knitique) and how cancer has touched my immediate family as well.  The evening was so much more than just raising an incredible amount of money for Macmillan Cancer Support.  It was also about supporting and honoring the women in our lives who inspire us and make a difference in our lives. 

Raffle Prize Winners!

And, of course, there were prizes!
Thanks to the generous donations from Interweave Books and Knitique, A Yarn Boutique
we had a fun raffle prize drawing with fabulous prizes which alone raised $168.00!

Danielle & Lisette 

Louisa wrote a thank you to Danielle and I on Ravelry:

An amazing total Lisette and Danielle and the 
fantastique "Knitique Boutiquer's",
thank you all for being so supportive and generous.  
With love and thanks,

Dear Louisa,
It was our pleasure!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

All the way from England....

Louisa Harding Book Plates

Look what came in the post yesterday all the way from Yorkshire, England....
hand-signed book plates from Louisa Harding herself 
for my Louisa Harding Event tomorrow night

This is so like Louisa to do something this lovely 
adding an extra special touch to the event!

The book plates are wonderful for Louisa's American fans 
because Louisa doesn't make many public appearances 
or book signings here in the USA 
due to her busy design schedule and being a young "mum". 

Thanks to Interweave Books generous donation,
 I'll have three Louisa Harding books 
 for my Raffle Drawing which will now come with a Louisa Harding signed book plate, thanks to Louisa!
All proceeds will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support 
on Louisa's Just Giving site. 

There are a limited number of Louisa's autographed book plates for her books at the event.  Knitique will offer mail order for Louisa's books they carry and include a signed book plate by Louisa until they run out. If you'd like to purchase one of Louisa's books with a pretty
 Louisa Harding signed book plate 
Please contact:  Knitique, A Yarn Boutique for mail order 
(916) 714-7719

 Knitique even has some of Louisa's early Miss Bea Collection books 
with her adorable childrens patterns!

Okay, that's some of the latest news...
more exciting things are happening but I have to run 
now and put some more hat kits together for tomorrow night!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

With a little help from my friends...

 Louisa Harding Charity Event

I believe one person can make a difference...
and a group of knitters can make a huge difference!

My plans are in full swing now for my Louisa Harding Charity Event.  I could not be doing this event without a little help from my friends and the kindness of strangers whom I have never met.  

I have received fabulous support from the knitting industry, local knitters and even a few famous British ladies.  Mum's the word for now...but I will be revealing some exciting details for the fabulous prizes and silent auction very soon!

I have shared the event details with Louisa and she told me, 

 "When I decided in January to take on this trek, I had the idea that I could raise funds by asking my knitting friends to help.  I really had no idea that they would be sooooo supportive. 
 It really has been over whelming."  

Sardi Hat

So like Louisa, I am enlisting a little help from my friends
and fellow knitters to embrace
Louisa's Himalayan Hiking Hats 
and help raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

I will be offering Louisa's Sardi and Karuwa
Himalayan Hiking Hat kits 
 for a *donation at my Louisa Harding Charity Event. 
And as mentioned above, there will also be a fun prize raffle and silent auction. 

Karuwa Hat

And the fun will not end that night... 
With a hat kit donation, you qualify for my "FREE" 
Louisa Harding Charity Knit-Along Class 
at Knitique on Saturdays, 
October 13th and 27th from 4:00PM  to 6:00PM
for support and help knitting your hats. 

You're Invited!

Louisa Harding Charity Event
Friday, October 5, 2012
6:00PM to 9:00PM
Knitique, A Yarn Boutique
8741 Elk Grove Blvd
Elk Grove, CA 95624
RSVP (916) 714-7719

For more information and to donate for Louisa's Himalayan Hiking Hats,

*minimum hat kit donation is $25.00

Louisa Harding Himalayan Hiking Hats photo credit:
Stephen Jessup

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Climbing Mountains

Designer Louisa Harding & husband, Stephen Jessup

I still remember the first time I looked through 
a Louisa Harding book.  It was actually two books, Louisa's 2007 Venezia Felice Mai Dopo and Venezia Una Volta pattern books.  Page after page, Louisa's gorgeous designs and her husband Stephen's beautiful photographs (he's the photographer for her books) transported me to a magical place.  I never knew hand-knitting could be so beautiful!

After discovering Louisa's books and yarns, I signed up for knitting lessons. The first Louisa Harding pattern I ever knit was Louisa's Scala Wrap from that Venezia, Felice Mai Dopo book.  I even wore my Scala Wrap when I met Louisa in person back in 2009 when she visited Northern California from the UK. 

 Louisa's designs, yarns and books have given me such knitting pleasure and I have made treasured friendships all around the world with fellow Louisa Harding admirers.  So when I found out that Louisa was climbing mountains...I just had to help.

In January, 2011, Louisa's husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma.  She and her family received exceptional care from Macmillan Cancer Support.  As you can imagine, Macmillan Cancer Support can not give their vital services to families facing cancer without people supporting them.  So Louisa is now supporting them by joining Team Macmillan on their fund raising Nepal Hiking Challenge in November and by raising donations with her Himalayan Hiking Hat patterns she designed for her incredible endeavor. 

Last May, I organized a Himalayan Hiking Hat knit-a-long in the Louisa Harding group on Ravelry to help create support and awareness for Louisa's Himalayan Hiking Hats and fund raising effort.  In my heart, I have yearned to do so much more.  So a week ago I wrote to Louisa's American yarn distributor, Knitting Fever, and they are now generously helping me so I can raise more funds for Louisa. 

Thanks to Knitting Fever, I am organizing a local Louisa Harding Charity Night where I will be offering Louisa Harding hat kits for donations to raise funds for Louisa's charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.  All proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer Support, Charity Registration No. 261017 and will be donated on Louisa's Just Giving page.  To date, Louisa is at 60% of her personal fund raising goal of raising 5,000 GBP's for Macmillan Cancer Support.  My personal goal is to raise $1,000 US Dollars for Louisa and Macmillan Cancer Support. 

So, if you're a knitter who has been touched by Louisa Harding as I have or if you or a loved one have been dealt the C-word cancer (as my family has, as well), I hope you will help me support Louisa to reach her fund raising goal.  

It's easy to help.  If you're a knitter, simply go to Louisa's Himalayan Hiking Hats page and download her hat patterns and then make a donation for them on her Just Giving page.  I've knit the Annapurna and Karuwa hats so far and they are a delight to knit.  There are hat designs for every skill level and naturally, they all have Louisa's signature look.

Perhaps the simplest and single greatest thing you can do is to help me spread the word to fellow knitters of Louisa's Hiking Hats and their story.  There will be seven total Himalayan Hiking hat patterns in all.  Currently there are three patterns to download and according to Louisa, three more patterns will be released next week.  The seventh hat pattern, Louisa, will actually be knitting on the Nepal hike.  Louisa's aim is to have her photograph taken wearing a different Himalayan Hiking Hat on each day of her seven day hike.  I can't wait to see the photos of Louisa wearing each of her hats!

As for my Louisa Harding Charity Night,
I will be releasing more details over the next week.
Since I don't own a yarn store, 
my friend and knitting teacher, Danielle Bowen, 
owner of Knitique, A Yarn Boutique,
is graciously hosting my event for me.

Louisa Harding Charity Night
Friday, October 5, 2012
6:00PM to 9:00PM
Knitique, A Yarn Boutique
8741 Elk Grove Blvd
Elk Grove, CA 95624
(916) 714-7719

Stay tuned for more details!
Details will also be posted on 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Catching up!

Jubilee Tea Party

 I'm back to knitting 
back to blogging!

I never intended to take such a long break from my blog.  
Frankly, the Jubilee Celebrations wore me out a bit 
and I've had a busy summer.
I also haven't knit much this year 
due to recovering from hand surgery in March.

I'm back now 
so stay tuned!

PS:  The photo above is from my local knit shop, Knitique's 
Jubilee Tea Party where we wore our Vivian hats that we knit 
and felted in a class to celebrate
Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

Tea Party Treats

 I also helped decorate and cater the tea party
which was so much fun!

Monday, May 28, 2012

I'm Knitting a Mini Jubilee Bunting!

Tea & Jubilee 

The May issues of the British knitting magazines
 have finally landed in the States.
I've been watching for them since I knew they would be filled with Jubilee goodies
and sure enough they are!

Mini Jubilee Bunting

I was so inspired by the magazines 
that I'm now (last minute) knitting a mini-bunting 
to adorn my Diamond Jubilee tea party table. 
I hated to miss out on all the Jubilee knitting 
so this little project is one I can tackle 
as my hand and fingers continue to heal.

I'm knitting my bunting with a Jubilee Celebration Yarn kit
that came as a "free gift" with the  Let's Knit magazine, issue 54.
There are patriotic projects for the yarn in the magazine but after seeing the adorable 
 mini-buntings by Nicole at Nicole and the bee
I opted to use my yarn kit for a mini-bunting like hers. 
You can find the pattern on Ravelry called Knitted Bunting
and modify it to a mini size, like Nicole did.

I also love Jane Brocket's knit Bunting 
and borrowed her style idea
 by putting my knit bunts on red rick-rack 
for a vintage1950's look.  
Quite fitting I think, since after all, 
Queen Elizabeth was crowned Queen in 1952 
and had her Coronation in 1953. 

 Jubilee Knits

All three British magazines are filled with brilliant
Jubilee projects including:
 Union Jack flag and cushion, several crown hats, corgi hat, a crochet picnic throw, several buntings, pom pom tea cosy, Jubilee coin purse, egg cosy and a placemat just to name a few.

 And all the magazines came with free gifts.
I love that about British magazines! 

Cool Knitannia

The Simply Knitting magazine came with a free pattern book called
"Cool Knitannia".
I can't wait to knit that adorable tea cosy on its cover 
with crowns and hearts 
to use with my Emma Bridgewater pottery.

Gotta run for now though...
I'm off to knit more bunts. 

(In the photos:  Emma Bridgewater Pottery and Betty and Barclay Union Jack Bunting.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hail Britannia!

 Hail Britannia!

You don't have to be a Brit
to be excited about the 
Queen's Diamond Jubilee!  
I'm quite excited and plan on celebrating
 with tea parties and luncheons

I had planned on knitting Debbie Bliss' Union Jack flag
and her retro Tea Cozy  for my Jubilee tea parties.  
Unfortunately due to my ganglion cysts and hand surgery, my knitting projects of the last six months have been put on hold. 

In the meantime, 
since I'm not knitting much,
I have enjoyed seeing the Diamond Jubilee 
patterns that have debuted in the past few months.  
I thought I would share a few of my favorites. 
Here they are:

 Diamond Stole

I adore lace 
and love Susan Crawford's Diamond Stole
It's one of 14 designs in Susan's Coronation Knits 
collection featuring designs inspired from 
Queen Elizabeth's 1950's Coronation era.

Jubilee Bunting

No Jubilee celebration is complete unless you have bunting!
I love this Jubilee Bunting pattern
 by Gemma Atkinson 
for Rowan.
And, it's a free pattern!

Jubilee Placemat

Naturally, the British knitting magazines have special 
Jubilee projects in them. 
I love this Jubilee Placemat 
from the UK's The Knitter, Issue 45.  

I love the placemat's photo styling, too.  
I would love to sit down at that table for an English breakfast!


And, in case you're wondering about my adorable 
"Knittania" Union Jack tea mug...
my Ravely pen pal Jo sent it to me 
all the way from England
 to "cheer me up" after hand surgery.  

If you love knitting and Britain like me,
you can find the Knitannia tea mugs by Mason Cash
 at Lakeland

Hail Britannia!

(Photo Credits:  Diamond Stole/Susan Crawford, Jubilee Bunting/Rowan 
and Jubilee Placemat, The Knitter.)

(In the photos:  Brick Stitch Tea Cozy hand-knit by me and Union Jack bunting by Betty and Barclay

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Out on the Town!

Vintage Clutch

I'm ready for a night "out on the town"!

I've been easing my way back into knitting with felting projects.
For some reason,
I think that knitting with two strands of yarn on bigger needles is easier on my fingers and hand as I recover from hand surgery.  

It's been challenging knitting since I still have swelling and numbness (on my long finger) 
even now 8 weeks post surgery.  
Physical therapy is helping and selecting fun "felted" projects seems to inspire me 
to pick up the needles every few days. 

I decided that my felted tea party hat needed a matching purse 
so this week I knit and felted a darling clutch purse called

The pattern is very easy to knit and a well written pattern.  
My version is knit in Cascade 220, color 9419/Vermeer Blue.  
The purse takes less than two skeins and is knit with the yarn doubled.  It's finished size is 6" x 12".

Here are a few before and after photos of my purse.


Here's how the purse looks pre-felting.


Here's how the purse looks after a few cycles in the washing machine with hot water, 
a little soap and a little magic!

G.G.'s brooch

The most fun part of this project is the finishing work 
and determining what brooch or pin 
you will embellish your handbag with.
Since the designer named it Vintage Clutch...
I think it's perfect to use a vintage pin on it. 

I used a vintage brooch from my jewelry box that belonged to my great-grandmother. 
 I called my great-grandmother G.G. and she is the one 
who taught me to knit and crochet when I was a little girl.  

G.G.'s brooch is a vintage Weiss rhinestone pin 
and very special to me.  
I know my G.G. would love that her pin and love of knitting 
live on through me.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Hand-made Cards

When you care to send the very best...
there's nothing like a hand-made card.  

I've been making my mom 
hand-made cards for years.

This year her Mother's Day card
is made with upcycled
Emma Bridgewater catalog photos.  

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fit for a Queen!

 Fit for a Queen!

Ta da...
here's my first "post surgery" project,
a knit and felted hat
that even Queen Elizabeth II 
would look lovely wearing!

I haven't been so excited about knitting in such a long time...
this hat was so much fun to create and embellish!

The hat pattern is Vivian by Designer, Lisa Cruse.
Vivian is Lisa's signature hat and is named for her grandmother. 
I have admired Lisa's felted hats for quite some time and am so excited that I finally made one.  
I think Lisa's hats could very easily become addicting.  
The possibilities of embellishing them are endless.  

I had the chance to chat with Lisa by phone yesterday. 
I found out that we both share a love for Victoria Magazine,
tea, cooking, travel, romantic style and pretty hats. 

Lisa is really more of an artist than a knitter. 
She has been artistic all her life and her love of color, fiber and creativity are evident in her designs. 
I admire her ability to turn a  felted design into a work of art.  Her trademark style is magnificent embroidery, wool needle felting, applique and silk flower embellishing on her designs.  

Her most recent design is her sweet Bertie Bonnet....
which looks like it stepped right out of a Jane Austen novel from
the Regency period.  Lisa travels the world and does workshops on her embellishing techniques.  
I would love to take a workshop from her someday!


My Vivian hat is a test knit for my lys Knitique
Knitique is having a class called "Fit for a Queen" 
where you can learn how to knit, felt and embellish your hat.  
The hat class will celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee 
with a tea party on the Jubilee Weekend where we will all wear our hats, of course!

Lisa's hat pattern is well written and an easy knit. 
Most knitters can probably knit it in just a few days. 

The magic begins for this hat once you felt it and then 
embellish it. I've done a bit of felting before and am always
 a bit nervous during the felting process, fearing that my project may shrink, too, much.
I kept a pretty close eye on my hat during felting.

After the hat is felted, it's time to block and shape.
Lisa has great tips and  techniques
for felting and blocking on her website. 
For the Vivian hat, she recommends blocking the hat
with a dessert plate "right side up" 
in the brim to make it flat.
I followed her advice and it worked like a charm!

Fit for a Queen!

I think the most fun of this entire hat making process is 
embellishing the hat!

I've had interest in millinery and flower making so I chose to decorate my hat 
with silk style "raggedy roses".
I was inspired by Lisa's Raggedy Ribbonry Roses kit 
that you can purchase on her website to decorate hats. 

I used "regal colors' and tartan trim, 
 "Fit for a Queen", of course!
Now, I can't wait to wear my hat 
to the Diamond Jubilee Tea Party!

(In the photos:  Adorable hand-made Union Jack bunting by Etsy seller Betty and Barlcay
Emma Bridgewater Union Jack Tea Pot and vintage Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Mug.)