Thursday, April 23, 2009
"Knitting and Tea" by Jane Gottelier
What a brilliant idea! That's all I could think when I learned of the book "Knitting and Tea," written by Jane Gottelier and photographed by her husband, Patrick Gottelier. The husband and wife fashion designers, who teach in Cornwall, have a unique perspective on combining the twin loves of tea and knitting. She grew up going to English tea rooms with her parents and sister, and he was raised on a tea plantation in Sri Lanka by his English tea planter father. Cool!
I am hard pressed to say whether I liked the tea information or the knitting designs best in this book, so I'll just say this: Even if I did not knit (and I am still a newbie knitter), I would enjoy reading this book. Its various chapters were inspired by tea plantations and tea rooms. This gorgeous Garden Jacket, for instance, is one of my favorite projects in the book (I love the garden fork and trowel) and appears in the chapter titled "Green Tea." It is inspired by the Tregothnan Tea Plantation, which grows the only black and green tea produced in England. I was especially interested in this chapter because a generous tea friend recently shared some Tregothnan tea with me (and it was delicious)!
In addition to the garments, which are lovely, there are quite a few cozies, my favorite being this Cupcake Tea Cozy from the chapter "Afternoon Tea." The book includes recipes from several tea rooms, and I also enjoyed reading about "Strawberry Teas" (tea is served along with strawberries and ice cream at a cricket club in Dimbula) and the "Builder's Tea" (a cheap, stout tea preferred by British construction workers). And thanks to this book, I now have a new destination for my bucket list, The Tea Factory in Sri Lanka. This is a tea factory that's been converted to an award-winning hotel, and you can pluck your own tea which will then be processed and packaged for you. All this AND a book filled with terrific knitting designs? I'm impressed!