Archives For afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea in Anzula Squishy: Candy Apple

Back in 2012, I released a little shawlette on Knitty. Afternoon Tea, which was inspired by vintage frocks and pastel-frosted cupcakes, played on the concept of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s beloved Pi shawl. Since then the pattern has had quite a life. It has racked up almost 1000 projects on Ravelry, has been made in every colour under the rainbow, and made an appearance at countless special events (including starring roles in at least a dozen weddings!)

I designed Afternoon Tea as a fun little fancy. It had only one job, to be ornamental. That’s a role it has played perfectly, but recently I wanted to revisit the pattern to see what more it had to offer. When I re-released Pebble Beach in larger sizes, the response was wonderful, and I knew that Afternoon Tea also deserved its own “growing up” moment. Over the last few months I have carefully redesigned and rewritten the pattern as a full-sized shawl. The new, larger Afternoon Tea retains all the delicacy, refinement, and playfulness of the original shawlette, but now it’s ready to do double duty as both a decorative and a more functional piece.

The yarn I chose for the new samples has quickly become one of my favourites. If there was such a thing as a yarn soulmate, Anzula Yarn’s Squishy might just be mine. It’s a fingering weight MCN blend: 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon. It’s so, so soft and the colours are completely lush. I knit the small sample in Teal (possibly my perfect colour) and used up one skein, pretty much exactly.

Afternoon Tea Shawlette in Teal

Small Afternoon Tea in Anzula Luxury Fibers Squishy [80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon, 352m /385yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Teal

My wonderful mother knit the medium sample for me in Candied Apple: I was so grateful to her but it was hard to hand those two skeins over. I wanted to keep knitting with that yarn! The lovely drape is especially evident in this larger size.

Afternoon Tea Shawl in Anzula Candied Apple

The new, larger size of Afternoon Tea in Anzula Luxury Fibers Squishy [80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 352m/385yd per skein], 2 x 100g skeins, Colour: Candied Apple

The original samples were knit in three other yarns which are still very close to my heart. The sheen and stich definition in Quince & Co’s Tern wool and silk blend is to die for.

Afternoon Tea in Columbine

The original small Afternoon Tea in Quince & Co Tern [75% wool, 25% silk, 202m /221yd per skein], 2 x 50g skeins, Colour: Columbine

Madelinetosh’s Tosh Sock really needs no introduction. This yarn is a perennial favourite, and the Baltic colourway is deep, moody, and elegant. Best of all, the small version of the shawl uses up exactly one skein.

Afternoon Tea in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock Baltic

Original small Afternoon Tea in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock [100% superwash merino wool, 361m /395yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Baltic

I’m still such a fan of Viola’s Merino fingering, in this rich violet colour.

Original small Afternoon Tea in Viola Merino Fingering [100% superwash merino wool; 365m/400yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Violet

Original small Afternoon Tea in Viola Merino Fingering [100% superwash merino wool; 365m/400yd per skein], 1 x 100g skein, Colour: Violet

As of today, the revamped pattern is available to buy now on Ravelry: as part of this rebirth, along with the new size, I have also converted both sizes into my easy-to-follow percentage checklist format that is so popular with Curious Handmade knitters! And of course, the original pattern will still be available for free on Knitty. I hope you enjoy it.


Curious Handmade Podcast Ch 79


This is a bit of a packed episode! I open the show with some thoughts from the wonderful Blogtacular conference I attended last weekend, talk a bit about upcoming events, chat about the joys and challenges of my Muse 2 KAL project, and share a bit about my special edition re-release of Afternoon Tea. Then I launch into a conversation with Cathryn Bothe from Signature Needle Arts. It’s fitting after yesterday’s post from Blacker Yarns (where I talked about the importance of beautiful materials) that this interview is so focused on the importance of good tools. Cathryn is a keen knitter, and she plays a role in every part of Signature Needle’s daily operations, especially when it comes to building relationships with customers and nurturing their creativity.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their lovely Acadia yarn.


TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

I’ve had so many compliments on the Whispering Island sample I knit with Acadia, and it was an absolute dream to work with. You can buy Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

Meadow Yarn 

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, Hazel Knits and many more.

KAL News

Pebble Beach KAL

It’s so amazing how many FOs are piling up in this KAL. I’ve been featuring some of the projects on Twitter, and it seems like everytime I search the #pebblebeachKAL hashtag there or on Instagram there’s something new and wonderful to see. Remember, the KAL is open until July 5th and you can submit any Curious Handmade pattern, no matter when you made it!

Muse 2 KAL

Our other KAL is rolling along well in the last week as we count down to the main event! I’m still working away on my entry, a pair of Rachel Coopey Oleum socks in John Arbon Textiles yarn, so if you haven’t cast on yet you’re not that far behind me!

Show Links

Signature Needle Arts

My new edition of the Afternoon Tea Shawl

Instagram post about my socks, with other people’s clever advice on avoiding the dreaded in-the-round twist!

My yarn crush of the moment: Anzula Yarns

I mention the amazing Afternoon Tea modified with a hood, by the talented Lindsay Koehler!

Muse Connection is coming up next week! So exciting!

I’m going to be at YAK in Brighton doing a little trunk show with The Uncommon Thread for Pebble Beach on June 27th from 2 to 5.


That about wraps up the notes for this week! I hope you enjoyed the show, and happy knitting!

How to Host a Crafternoon Tea

Helen —  April 8, 2013 — 5 Comments

There is nothing nicer than getting together with crafty friends for an afternoon of chatting, making things, drinking tea and catching up on each other’s lives.

Here are my tips for a lovely crafternoon tea!

1. Set the table with your best linen and crockery

Use the good stuff!

Vintage embroidered tablecloth

2. Invite your crafty crew

However many you can fit around the table. The more the merrier.

Note: Do not attempt this in the months of January (no one is eating cake), August (everyone is away), or December (everyone is mentally busy, either crafting top secret gifts and therefore can’t craft in public or has other committments).

If you’re having trouble getting people together, is a nifty scheduling tool I’ve discovered recently.


3. Brew a nice pot of tea (or three)

You can even serve bubbles or wine if you don’t have to deal with kids dinner/bedtime afterwards (ah the good old days).

Please admire the gorgeous tea cosy by the lovely and talented Ting.

Tea Cosy

4. Bake lots of delicious cakes and invite your friends to bring delicious goodies too

It doesn’t matter if it turns out a little wonky! Or even if you don’t have time to ice your cupcakes. It will all look lovely on pretty plates (see point number 1).


5. Spend lots of time admiring each others projects

Expanding the list of things to make and stash to acquire is really the whole point of a crafternoon tea. And to eat cake of course. If you’re lucky you might fit in a few rows of knitting.


We really think Ting should write up the pattern to this adorable hat-and-cowl in one. Don’t you agree?

Pretty flowers

At the end, we reluctantly pack up our projects and eagerly plan for our next gathering. Before December!

Emma at Crafternoon Tea