Cosy, Cosy

Tea is important in my life. In fact it is important in British and Irish life, full stop. I don’t function well without four or five mugs of tea a day. Not at all. …and although I don’t always use one, I do think that tea tastes better when made in a teapot. Which brings me on to a real stereotype: the knitted tea cosy. You know the one. I bet that your Nan had a couple. Mine did.

It looks much like this…

Traditional Nan-style Tea Cosy

Traditional Nan-style Tea Cosy

Yep. I made one …and if you put it onto a teapot that is not meant for just one person, it looks far better too!

I didn’t feel that I could very well investigate the insulating properties and constructions of wool without having made its defining entity. I’m secretly rather pleased with it too. I used a beautiful sparkly purply/blue sportweight (I think) wool handspun by a friend as the main colour. The stripes are provided by using some pink and green DK wool.

The inspiration came from an old pattern which was my Nan’s and which I believe she used to make her tea cosies from. Notice the frankly terrifying doll in the right hand pattern.

Nans Tea Cosy Pattern

Nan's Tea Cosy Pattern

I used a combination of the above pattern and this one by Keren Smith of Tea By The Sea as I liked her idea of using horizontal stripes. My cosy is neither one pattern nor the other really, but a mash-up and reconstruction.

The reason this kind of pattern makes such a successful cosy is the construction of the knitting which provides two layers of wool with air pockets inbetween. It really does insulate beautifully.

So, I have knitted the prerequisite tea cosy. I thought that would get it out of my system. Well, I suppose it has for knitting tea cosies themselves. I probably won’t be knitting another. How many can you possibly need? However the construction is so good I wouldn’t be surprised if I revisit it somewhere along the line in the other insulation work. Maybe in drawings, maybe as experimentation. Watch this space.

Top View of Tea Cosy

Top View of the Tea Cosy

24/5/10: Finally! Here is the tea cosy on a properly fitting teapot.

Teacosy, as it is meant to be used.

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2 responses

  1. Libby

    That “sparkly yarn” was spun by me out of a batt made by Cloudlover69 on Etsy. (cloudlover on Ravelry)

    Just for reference.

    (I think it’s supercool that three fiber artists had a hand in the creation of this finished object.)

    07/07/2009 at 7:53 am

    • ingridnation

      Thanks for adding that – it was great yarn to knit with and I only had about 5m left over, so exactly the right amount too.
      I suppose that you could say that even more textile makers inspired it via the two pattern mash-up and the memories of growing up with this kind of tea cosy too.

      07/07/2009 at 9:40 am

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