Saturday, September 20, 2008

Afternoon Tea & Knitting

I have to admit that, despite my love of dirty talk and inappropriate topics, I'm a bit old-fashioned. I've always felt that I was born in the wrong century. I love the idea of Victorian times (with the exception of perhaps the bathroom situation). I love fancy, embroidered dresses, kid gloves, sitting around the parlor with a book or hand work (like knitting, embroidery, etc.) and afternoon tea.

Yes, you can have afternoon tea anywhere, but I think atmosphere makes a huge difference.

So, it's very convenient that I have a very beautiful tea room, Antiquiteas, about 5 minutes from my house. Though why I've never gone there, is beyond me.

Today was the day to change all that.

After a month or so of planning, I managed to recruit 9 other knitters to come with me to afternoon tea. I spent a large amount of time trying to find something wonderful to wear, but ended up maybe the least nicely dressed there. Ugh...the large bust was not in fashion in Victorian times! (and the dresses that I could fit were WAY beyond my financial means)

It was a truly wonderful experience. Everything that I had hoped it would be.

The quaint, clean, prettily decorated tea room...complete with bone china of various lovely designs:


The scrumptious finger foods....the best tuna sandwich I've had in a while, chicken salad with cranberries, cream cheese/cucumber, fresh fruit, dried apricots with bacon (very strange, but delicious), savory egg salad cup, and desserts - fresh gingerbread sponge, angelfood cake, cheesecake, raisin scones, butterscotch cupcake-ish-thing, etc. Oh, I was happily stuffed after lunch.

The delicate cups of tea (such a pleasant taste!) with a little milk and sugar cubes (love cubes!): (as observe my knitting...a seed stitch scarf with 2 colors of Classic Elite Lush)

And, last, but not least, excellent company...Melissa, Gigi, Mary, DonnaH, Rebecca, Maureen, Caroline, Jackie, and Ericka...see above.

After the tea, we happened to go downstairs to the Antique store/tea store and, OMG, it was like heaven! Only a yarn store or book store could have made me more thrilled. There were gorgeous old dresses, gloves galore, tons of lovely costume jewelry- (it was like shopping in my grandmother's bureau!), old magazines, tea pots, teas, kitchen accessories, hundreds of hats (I LOVED the ones that Caroline and Maureen found), and, of course, tea cozies. Actually, a whole ROOM full of tea pots and cozies.

I spent many, many minutes trying to figure out which cozy I wanted (with the patient help of Jackie, Gigi and Maureen) and here is the one I ended up with:

A white tea pot with cozy of blue and red cabbage roses. Lovely. And, now, I have the perfect teapot for making cozies for. I have the pattern already queued on Ravelry - with the yarn, too! (Strangely enough, one is going to be pink and the other a bluish/purple)

I also picked up this very interesting looking Autograph book:

I can't tell you how much I lurve old books...especially ones that are older than 1930 and are leather bound. I found this and knew I had to have it. It was only $7, so it was a steal, really.

Inside, there are only two autographs, but they are so sweet and quaint, that I have to share them with you. Here is the first one:

"Once again I dream of the place I long to go. Back to the hills of sunshine and my friends so we can spend all our happy hours together so we will all be happy and never be lonesome or blue." John F. Keating, January 16, 1934.

The second is shorter:

"To Linnie:

When the golden sun is setting;
And your heart from care is free,
Remember, oh remember that
Bessie often thinks of thee.

With Best Wishes,
Bessie E. Michelson
November 8, 1933."

Such a marvelous surprise find, don't you think?

After such an interesting and uplifting day, I had to give little awards to the people that put up with me accompanied me to tea...

Best Dressed
First Prize: Jackie (where the heck is that picture I took of her?) her slender, red linen dress and handknit black bolero with the red trim and knitted rose.

Second Prize: Rebecca with her awesome huge, black hat and lovely shoes (her shoes are always so nice).

Third Prize: Melissa...who had the most authentic Victorian-ish hat/hairstyle and aura of "afternoon tea with friends".

Most Prompt

First Prize: Mary, who arrived a full 30 minutes early to tea...the first to arrive and must be applauded.

Second Prize: Ericka, who arrived not long after and wore very hot pumps and a glorious, newly knit Clapotis.

Third Prize: Gigi, who always knows exactly the right time to arrive someplace and gives our get-togethers a feeling of firm authority and interest (not sure if that makes sense, but it's the feeling I have).

Most Surprising

First Prize: DonnaH- who I'm NOT saying doesn't ever look nice (because she does) but, man, she cleans up! Loved the earrings, outfit and all-over look. Snazzy and spectacular!

Second Prize: Maureen -again, not an insult....but I loved her bell earrings (she promised she'd be there with bells on..and, by god, she did!), her blouse was fabulous with such bright colors and designs, and cool (and also comfortable, she said) pumps.

Most Essential

The only prize....goes to Caroline...who I feel is an integral part of any group outing, knitting or otherwise. No one else can lend that combination of friendliness, interest in any topic, down-to-earth attitude and enthusiasm that Caroline can.

An absolutely awesome day....and I can't wait to do it again!!!! (must remember to put aside a good hour after tea for another look in that antique shop! No one buy those pink gloves!) LOL


Jackie said...

Thank you for recapping that lovely tea. I wish we could do that every Saturday.

Donna said...

I have a tea room about 2 miles from my house and have never been there either! A good idea for the knitting chicks to meet! I will have to give it a try.

Sonya said...

What a wonderful day. We should do something like around here.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful afternoon!

Marion said...

Oh, I wish I had been there. I love Afternoon Tea. I know tea with all of you would be a very special time.

Heide said...

I've never been to tea, but this looks so wonderful that I'm determined to do so and this has been added to my "to do" list.

Patty said...

Sigh.......... I would have loved to be there. You've inspired me to at least have my tea in a pretty china cup today. Thanks Gina, for so much -- your great knitting designs, your wonderful blog, your always-entertaining posts on such a wide range of subjects. I really, really miss your podcast. It was my favorite. But, I can't even keep up a blog, let alone all the wonderful things you do, including your family. Carry on as you do. I think you're this side of perfection.