I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. I’ve been so caught up in making things again that I’ve neglected to show you the results. My latest obsession is the humble tea cosy I LOVE woolly tea cosies. I love them far more than is reasonable for someone who prefers to make the countless cups of tea she drinks (milk in first, no sugar thanks) in a cup and not use a tea pot at all!
I have plenty of tea pots, I just tend not to use them… unless it is to model a lovely handmade tea cosy! In which case I’m happier than a six year old with a brand new Barbie, a shoe box full of doll clothes, and a sharp pair of nail scissors ready to give poor old Babs a new haircut. Tea pots make much better models, and people are a little less inclined to give you funny looks when you show them pictures of them in their latest outfit.
Anyway, I digress. I love tea cosies. They are one of my favourite things to knit, so I decided to try out some of the marvellous free knitting patterns I’ve found online.
Nicola’s Wave Rib Tea Cosy
I found this little gem on the Cosy Tea blog. I’d not heard of this particular brand of tea, but according to their blog the original cosy in this lovely wavy rib features on the packaging for their peppermint tea.
I immediately fell in love with the wavy rib. It reminds me of twisted willow branches, so I chose to knit it up in Stylecraft Special DK shade 1065 Meadow.
Although it makes a beautiful tea cosy, I thought I’d show you a picture of it flat as well, just to show off the gorgeous texture you get with a simple, easy to memorise eight row repeat. You can find the full pattern available for free here, but the rib is worked as multiples of six, plus two extra stitches as follows:
Rows 1 + 3: P2, *K4, P2. Rep from * to end.
Rows 2 + 4: K2, *P4, K2. Rep from * to end.
Rows 5 + 7: K3, P2, *K4, P2. Rep from * to end.
Rows 6 + 8: P3, K2, *P4, K2. Rep from * to end.
The only downside with this pattern is that because it’s worked in DK it doesn’t make a very thick cosy, so it won’t keep your tea that cosy for very long.
On the plus side, it’s a very well written, easy to follow pattern that produces an impressive looking texture, so I’d definitely recommend it. And if you’re wondering how I made a matching wavy pompom to go on top, that was a happy accident! The yarn I was using had been recently frogged from another project, which made it conveniently wavy!
Cabled Cafetiere and Tea Cosy by Ruth Churchman
I came across this lovely pattern on Ravelry when I was looking for a small project to teach me how to do cables. I love the tea cosy design, and when I read the introduction that assured me that anyone who could knit ribbing could knit cables, I knew I had found the right pattern for me!
I didn’t knit the cafetiere pattern, but I did knit two versions of the cabled tea cosy. First I knitted it in aran weight yarn (Stylecraft Special shade 1422 Aspen) which turned out beautifully, showing the cables clearly and crisply.
I can’t tell you how chuffed I was when I finished this! It was also my first attempt at making i-cord too!
My big sister took a liking to the cosy, but wasn’t so keen on the colour, so I made her another one in Stylecraft Carnival Chunky shade 2485 Rio. (BTW I promise it’s just a coincidence that the first three cosies are all knitted in Stylecraft! The last one isn’t!) It came up a bit bigger because the yarn was thicker.
The busy colours in the yarn weren’t ideal for showing off the cables, but the texture is more visible than this picture suggests. Carnival Chunky is wonderfully soft and squishy though, and easy to work with. I did have a minor problem with the colour changes as the yarn had been knotted together just when the blue and purple was supposed to start, so I did re-knit the first side just so there were blue bits at the top and bottom to match the second.
The pattern itself was a perfect introduction to cables, with both clear written instructions and a chart too. I only went wrong when the heady excitement of learning a new technique got the better of me and I raced ahead without looking at the pattern properly!
I will definitely be using this pattern again.
You might have noticed that I used a different yarn for the drawstring on the top. I did make a matching i-cord but it didn’t look right, so I replaced it with a crochet chain in blue instead. What happened to the i-cord? Well, I used it with my final cosy…
The Famous KiP Tea Cosy Pattern
I found this pattern on the blog for loveknitting.com, and I think the KiP part stands for knitting in public, but I can’t vouch for its fame! It’s just an easy tea cosy that works up quickly in super chunky yarn. I made mine in Patons Fab Big in Delphinium.
It’s worked in stocking stitch with some basic shaping (just knitting two stitches together) and a bit of moss stitch at the top and bottom, so it’s a nice little pattern for beginners.
I think it looks great with the Carnival i-cord, and I’ll be giving this tea cosy, along with the Carnival cabled one, to my sister. She has almost as many tea pots as me, but she actually uses them instead of just dressing them up. Weirdo.
I have an idea for a new crochet tea cosy pattern, so in between all the frantic Christmas present making, I might give it a try!