Sunday, March 19, 2006

Come Sit And Have Some Tea

Chinese Tea PartyI think it's important to have tea parties regularly. Not formal affairs, just the casual everyday sort. It's one of the simple pleasures in life. Here is an example of the Friday Tea the toddler and I enjoyed this week.

We had a simple snack with a Chinese theme: green tea, crab shumai and almond cookies. For those unfamiliar with shumai, it is a little tidbit made of meat wrapped in a thin bit of dough that is cooked by steaming. They are available pre-made in the freezer case at asian markets. Quick to fix, they take 3 minutes in the microwave, and we just adore them. Very like a savory sort of bonbon, really, it is tempting to eat them in large quantities.

Infant hats and socksI've completed a total of 3 earflap hats and 3 matching pair of socks for afghans for Afghans this week. They were very quick to knit, and it gives a feeling of satisfaction to have a workbasket full of finished objects.

As promised, I will be posting the pattern for the Infant Earflap Hats later today. If you're like me, you like to have a little variety to break up the monotony of knitting the same thing over and over again, and I've tried to provide that in this pattern. There are 2 different cuff variations, one ribbed and one in garter stitch, and 3 different decrease patterns and finishes for the crown. You may also make the hat without earflaps.

To make the matching socks, use this pattern as written for the ribbed ankle cuffs, or substitute garter stitch for the ribbing to match the garter cuff hat.

Surprises for my Needle Exchange PalMy surprise for my Needle Exchange Pal is safely on its way to her, and in fact it may have arrived already. I hope she likes it!

How did I choose what to send? I started with a visit to my LYS (local yarn shop) to see what might inspire me. I found this lovely ball of Online Linie 131 Fantasy in shades of blue and gold. Nothing inspires like a ball of novelty yarn!

Needles came next, in the size recommended on the ball band. I like to use Brittany needles, they feel so good to knit with, and they are easy to decorate with beads. Oh-so-soft feltable wool in pastel mint matches perfectly.

Close-up of beaded itemsNext: Run all over town looking for beads and findings.

I had a very good time playing with the beads!

I decorated the needles, then made stitch markers and even a pair of earrings to match. What a fun color scheme to work with!

I wish I could be there to see her open the package!

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