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.)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Make Do and Mend


Today is Earth Day.

I've always cared about Mother Earth.
When I was 10 years old I started an ecology club in grade school
called the Helping Hands because I cared about the environment.  

I care about the environment even more today
and do my best to live "green" and  follow the Three R's:
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. 


So last winter, I discovered some moth holes in one of my cashmere sweaters.
(Lesson learned...I should have stored it in a plastic bin.)
Being a knitter, I just couldn't bring myself to throw all that 
luxurious cashmere away.  So instead, I decided to
and recycled that sweater into beautiful felted flower pins.

I love that it's "vogue" again to 
"make do and mend".
Just check out the adorable Mollie Makes and
  Green Craft magazines and all the upcycled goods 
for sale on Etsy 
and you'll see what I mean.


So now my cashmere sweater has a whole new life 
and I saved it from the land fill! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Back to Knitting

 Knitting Break

I've had a five week knitting break since my hand surgery.  
I still have some swelling and soreness in my fingers
and palm where my two incisions are.  

I wasn't quite sure when I would be ready to pick up
the needles again.  
Then the other day, I was at JoAnns and saw a display of
ergonomic products for crafters. 

 Anxious to get back to knitting, 
I bought a pair of Crafter's Comfort Gloves. 
I thought they would be perfect 
for my surgery-hand to help me get back to knitting again.

For the record,
 I did get the "go-ahead" from my physical therapist to knit.
She said "just be sure to set the timer!".

 Ready to Knit

So yesterday, I picked up the needles and began a new project.
As much as I wanted to return to my lovely
Louisa Harding projects,
I felt it best to begin with a basic knit project
since I don't have full range of motion yet with my fingers and hand.

Due to stiffness and soreness...
I wore my new Crafter's Comfort Gloves.
Well, you know the saying...
"fits like a glove".
Well, these sure do!

The compression glove felt comforting on my surgery hand 
and made my incision/palm area feel protected as I knit.
The comfort glove box says they give relief for:
arthritis, hand pain and swelling.  

I was so happy to get back to knitting.
I must say though,
it was not with out moderate pain.
but I did manage to knit a few rounds.

I can report though,
 that after wearing the crafter's compression gloves, 
knitting and doing my hand exercises afterwards,
my hand felt pretty good.  
So, I'm thinking now that a bit of knitting everyday will be good
physical therapy for my fingers and hand now.
And yes, I will set the timer!

Comfort Gloves

I highly recommend Crafter's Comfort Gloves.

They are designed in the USA by an Orthorpedic Surgeon.
They are made of stretchy cotton/spandex and 
provide mild compression and support for knitting.
They provide pain relief to help us crafters keep doing what we love to do!  

I can't wait to put them on again today 
and knit a few rounds! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter 
Happy Spring
Happy Everything!

 Tea cosies are not just for keeping teapots warm!
I love my Rosey Posy tea cosy on a teapot used as a vase.

You can find the tea cosy pattern here by 
the Queen of tea cosies,
Australian Designer,
Loani Prior.