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Monday, July 11, 2011

Tea cosy

A few months ago I had a request for a tea cosy for a small teapot. It's an easy thing to move on to from the cardigans and hats, while I am preparing for my next smocking project, so I dug out an old pattern book of my grandmother's - stored with other patterns in an old box commode in my study!

I made the house tea cosy from this book for a friend about 25 years ago. One of these days I just might get around to making the koala, but this time I thought the little frilly one might fit the bill.

It is meant to resemble a daffodil and I liked the idea of graded colour, but I went for shades of red to orange from bits of wool I had around about 4 ply.

I knitted a sample to get a sense of the size. Although the pattern said it was for a five cup pot, there were no dimensions. My sample was half size - and ended up tiny - about 6cm.

The full pattern, which I finally made, casts on 159 stitches, which seems huge.

However, the pattern starts with p3 k10 across the row, then reduces every  knit row to p3 k8, p3 k 6 etc so it is forming little tucks, and dramatically reducing the length.

This is the reduction after 9 rows.

After 20 rows there ar only 39 stitches left on the needle and the knitting width is reduced to about 12 cm. 

You then k3, cast on 10 all the way across and start again in a slightly lighter shade.

I used four shades to get the size I wanted.

Last night I finished it off - made the little leaves in the two of the base colours rather than introduce a green. Autumn leaves!

I had thought I might need to line it, but I think I'll give it a go as it is.

The teapot is squarish and the cosy stretches to fit.

I think almost all the teacosies I knew as a child must have been made from this pattern. It is very familiar to me. I picture it in dark greens and browns.


Anonymous said...

I love tea cosies but haven't really got round to making any myself. Always something else to knit or make first LOL. I love your vintage pattern book and I also have a few old pattern books too. The house one I have seen before at an elderly friend - just beautiful.

Jillian Cheek said...

Friends of mine have recently bought a new book of amazing tea cosies, and are knitting some for 'A Taste of Christmas' this year. They're currently working on a couple of green ones, topped with roses, gumnuts and some other flower. They are very effective, and knitted with a lining, I believe. The trouble is that, even with cheaper wools, they've cost about twenty-four dollars each to make, and I suspect that people wouldn't pay that on a stall at a fete. They're going to set a reserve, and if they don't get thatk use them for personal gifts.
I love the look of the house one. Any chance of a copy of the pattern?

Jillian said...

See new post for pattern. Happy to email PDF if there is any difficulty downloading.

Karyn said...

i love this tea cosy; i might have to give it a go. Sadly i am the only tea drinker and dont use a teapot. But I do own a couple and they look a little naked sitting htere all alone!! Thanks for the link to the free pattern.