When I started knitting, I wanted to make everything all at once. I wanted to be really good at knitting really quickly. But as all knitters know, good knitting takes a lot of patience and a lot of skill that can only be learnt over time. One of the things I attempted and failed as a beginner was a tea cosy. It sounds such a silly thing really, wanting to make tea cosies, I mean it is 2013 now and these things are usually associated with Grannies. But I have noticed from my constant buying of knitting books and ramblings on Twitter that tea cosies are back in fashion. Everyone wants to create that vintage look in their home, and most people now have a tea pot and use them in their home. So as a homage to the past and because after 18 months of knitting I should be able to, I tackled the tea cosy.
I have been trying to use up the odds and ends of my stash of wool as I have so many unopened and unused yarns that I hoarded and then forgot about. And I had this yarn that I had bought to try and knit socks (still a challenge!). It can only be described as Rainbow wool as it is a self patterning wool in red and yellow and pink and green, orange and purple and blue (I couldn’t help myself!). So I started with this forgotten but beautiful yarn and started to make a tea cosy from a book I found in a clearance sale called ‘Knit Two Together’ by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark.
I have fallen in love with this book some what, as it has some really kitsch patterns as well as decorative patterns for the home and clothing and accessories and the patterns are explained really simply. As well as stories and anecdotes about their knitting.
The Tea cosy I chose is a ‘Tu-Tu Tea cosy’ as it has frills running across it. The frills in the pattern are meant to be made using mohair, so that they are thinner and lighter, but as I was recycling wool and not buying I decided to use some of the colours I had left. I chose some block colours reflecting some of the colours in the body of the cosy, so it looked really bright. The pattern itself was so simple I was surprised I hadn’t succeeded last time and I really enjoyed making it. On its own it isn’t as decorative as some of the intarsia tea cosies I have seen or the big chunky cable knitted ones. But the frills and the colours gave it the personality I was after. This pattern knits the cosy on 2 needles and doesn’t stitch the back seam. You leave it open like an apron and make an i-cord to tie it together at the top. I made the Tu-Tu one from the book and loved it so much I kept it for myself which is rare for me to do as I always tend to give the things I make away as presents.
I altered the pattern as well to get different looks and had a month of making cosies. One I made for a friends birthday. Which was the same basic pattern but no frills instead I sewed lots of different buttons on it to give it a vintage style and it was made in a blue Twinkle wool which had sparkles in it. The second I made for my Mum for Mother’s Day and I made it in a rich purple and decorated with pom poms (my favourite thing to make). It had a really fun look and looked really different. (I have no pictures if these two cosies I’m afraid, you will have to take my word for it that they looked nice!) The third was made in a chunkier blue wool left over from my jumper I made in earlier posts and I made some knitted flowers to decorate it and those are shown below, I found some tiny pastel buttons which I decorated the centre of the flowers with. This was for my Mother-in-Law’s new country kitchen.
So I did it, I conquered the basic tea cosy. I have so many ideas now buzzing round my mind for different tea cosies as they are so quick and easy to make. I am really happy with all of the very different cosies I have made and will no doubt be making them in the future and am now firmly on team Tea! Tea will never go cold again!!