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