Thursday, May 31, 2007

Knitting All Over The World - England

As promised here is the first pattern from around the world. Even as we traverse through Spring, it's not Spring all over the world; some countries are staring into Winter straight ahead. But, don't feel bad -- when we are lost in snowdrifts and flipping on ice patches they will be planting their gardens and watching their skin tan.

June stretches out before us like a long, lazy cat; warm days, crickets, breezes, thunderstorms, sun directly overhead and extra time, it seems, to knit!

I found this easy pattern, called Cat's Paw, on a British knitting I always

enjoy finding out what everyone else is working on or struggling with, it gives perspective to so many things.

The directions are as follows: Cast on a multiple of 7 stitches.
Row 1: Purl
Row 2: K1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1.
Row 3: Purl
Row 4: K2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk.
Row 5: Purl
Row 6: K2, yo, sl1, k2 tog, psso, yo, k2

Repeat rows 1-6 for pattern.

And, while I'm on the subject of the British Isles, nothing is more appropriate to proper knitting than enjoying the perfect cuppa! Even I don't usually take tea this way; it's just too convenient to "put the kettle on" and drop milk and a teabag (at least I use Tetley's British blend) into my oversized teacup. (The chalice, as my husband calls it.)

When life gets too uncivil, too rude, too full-moonish, we need, we crave really, a sanction; something reassuring, that allows us to re-position ourselves and our thinking. Nothing quite fits better than a perfect cup of tea!

Over time, rules regarding tea have come and gone, and some have stuck around to enhance tea's qualities. I have created my own little list of "must-do's!" and even though I'm not British, (only a not too distant American cousin) this is one list I love to follow!

So, here goes........................

Rule #1: Use the good stuff! Only opt for Indian or Sri Lankan tea, that is. Anything else is just not the same.

Rule #2: Always use a teapot. Preferably made of china or earthenware.

Rule #3: Warm the teapot. I usually just swill it out with hot water, but warm is good.

Rule #4: Measure correctly. One teaspoon per serving and one for the pot is the norm. If you like stronger -- then adjust.

Rule #5: I've heard of pouring the tea directly into the teapot; I've never tried it so I can't comment. I use the little strainer ball and pour boiling water into the pot.

Rule #6: Use a good teacup. Mine is oversized, deep, and able to hold a good-sized cup of tea, which is what we're after here, it it not?

Rule #7: Start by pouring the designated amount of milk into your teacup FIRST. I've heard this rule is controversial, even right down to actual family arguments, yet it's the way I've done it for years, because a long, long time ago, I heard it was the English way to take tea, and I will never change this rule, no matter what you say!

Rule #8: This one's an option; drink your tea without sugar. Real tea connoisseurs will tell you the beauty of the tea goes missing when you apply sugar, but I love sweet! (And that goes for the rock group, too.)

Lastly, never, never, never drink lukewarm tea! It must be hot, scalding almost, to be enjoyed to the fullest!

Quite like life!

1 comment:

feltboots said...

Hi Alice !

Only adding this because, for me, it's cardinal tea-making rule No. 1 - allow the tea to steep for a few minutes. Even here in the UK too many people let tea brew for a minute or less and that leads to awful tea IMO, lol !

Personally 3 minutes is the minimum, 5 minutes max, for a good English Breakfast tea blend.

More delicate, aromatic teas may be better with less, but for all teas, steeping time is the variable I find makes the biggest difference (once you're buying good quality loose tea anyway).

Diane (who shares your enjoyment of a good cuppa, and the ritual) !


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