Thursday, March 31, 2005

My other obsession (well, one of them)

I just have to share... the gang at work just treated me to a delightful afternoon tea at Lovejoy's Tea Room. I've been hearing about this place for ages, and had never been. It's marvelous. If you live anywhere near SF, you must go. They actually get the British tea thing right -- the menu has chutney-and-cheese sandwiches, Ribena, and real live Devon scones that TASTE like Devon scones, not these weird dry triangular things you get at Starbuck's. The china is all charmingly mix-and-match, there are knitted tea cozies everywhere, and crocheted doilies. The two men in our party were very skeptical at first, but were totally won over by the sausage rolls and the generally congenial atmosphere. In fact, John said, "Wow, I should have brought my knitting" -- he was being facetious, but he was right -- it would be the PERFECT place to knit! Nobody there was knitting, but they all should have been.

I had a delicious Vanilla Rooibus, which you may know if you are also a tea nerd like myself, is not actually tea but an African legume. It is naturally caffeine free and quite robust. Then there were the flaky, scrumptious scones, the clotted cream, the raspberry preserves, and the Stilton-and-pear sandwiches. They also serve a nice selection of fresh fruit, including lots of things you probably wouldn't see at Harrod's, like kiwi, pineapple, and grapefruit. Real cream and sugar, not a hint of half-and-half or sweet n'low in the entire place.

It was dreamy. We talked about Belize and weddings and parking in San Francisco (if you're ever in a lulling conversation in SF, bring up parking tickets.) I can't wait to go back. Only this time, I'm bringing my knitting.

Monday, March 28, 2005

An FO! As easy as that!

Last night I had a very quiet evening in the bungalow. My DH was off dealing with his former place of residence, which has to be cleaned and inspected this week, so I've been mostly alone for the last few days. I'd been working on my taxes (yuck), so the best reward after a couple of hours of that was to work on my knitting (yum).

I had blocked all the Princess M bag pieces on Saturday, so everything was dry and ready to be stitched together. Seaming is not my favorite activity, but I do find it satisfying when the stripes all line up just as they're supposed to. Especially when the object in question was designed on the fly in a Belize cabana without the aid of calculators or even surfaces clean of sand.

So I mattress-stitched everything together, then did a single-crochet edge all round the top of the purse, then did a scalloped design on the flap of the purse. It fastens with a big crochet flower in front. The strap is a strip of single crochet with another flower on the top to reinforce the shoulder. I will get my DH to take photos tonight. It's cute! Very appropriate for a three-year-old who likes purses. I am debating lining it with some yellow linen I have lying around.

Friday night I also started on Bias Betty, my Koigu project from Stitches. It's another small, accomplishable piece. Maybe a Mom's Day gift!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Tanned, happy, and without deadlines

Just got back from wonderful, glorious Belize, where I didn't touch a phone, computer, or television for 10 glorious days. We rode horses, got massages, ate great food, drank amazing margaritas, explored caves, hiked through Mayan ruins, watched birds and monkeys, snorkeled, kayaked, sat on palm-covered beaches, and generally relaxed -- pictures are coming soon! My sweetie read about four books and I reminded myself how to crochet. Debbie Stoller says it's better than knitting for the beach, and I agree. I made a lop-sided dishcloth in order to practice lots of different stitches, a pretty red coaster, and two decorative flowers, all from patterns in Melissa Leapman's Cozy Crochet. I recommend the book, it refreshed my memory after my crochet class at stitches and the patterns are simple and some of them are really fast.

I liked the decorative flowers so much that I grabbed my knitting needles to knit up a little striped bag, designed off the top of my head for Princess M (her birthday is coming soon!) I've finished all the knitted pieces, and just need to block them, sew them together, and add crocheted trim and flowers. It's in cheerful yellow, red, and orange stripes -- really bright and summery.

This casual, off-the-cuff knitting made me so happy after all the deadlines! It's been a long time since I knit something without a deadline -- Ghosty, Shawlapalooza, and the Stitches homework. Blue Cardy had a missed deadline and now might not fit it's intended recipient at all. But without a wedding or rehearsals or anything else this weekend, I am going to block sweater and bag pieces, and figure out how I'm going to sew everything together. And even better, if I don't finish, nothing terrible will happen.

Don't know what's next, I'll probably try to finish Blue Cardy and Stripy Bag, and then pick up the needles again for something from my Stitches stash. Maybe the Koigu scarf, or one of the White Lies pieces. Hooray for being off the clock!

Friday, March 04, 2005

One week to the wedding!

Not much blogging going on lately, as you can imagine -- we are getting closer and closer to the Big Day! So I have little to say except that my head is spinning with guest lists, caterer contracts, schedules down to the minute of everything that has to happen next weekend.

I do have some fun stuff happening - I had my hair done by my stylist yesterday and she is GREAT! I ended up with a fun 40's-era chignon, super-cute and chic.

And Shawlapalooza is going well! Bogie finished hers, hoorah, with plenty of time to spare, and I am expecting to be done very soon, maybe even this weekend. Spinnity is not far behind. So everyone will have a charming green fuzzy shawl to wear!

Now all I have to do is keep from chewing my nails off!