Tag Archives: tea cozy

Pattern: Stripes and Dots

Hey guys, guess what!

I’ve got another free pattern for you.  And this is one that I know you’ve been waiting for.

It’s Tea Cozy Time!

img_3667I finished my tea cozy a couple weeks ago, so all that I needed to do was to write out the instructions in a way that people could understand (ie, not the chicken scratching in my little notebook), and to give my tea cozy a name.  Typing up the instructions is the easy part, coming up with a name is the hard part.

Which is why most of my patterns have either very literal names (Lace-Edged Shawl) or names that I’ve lifted from parts of Seattle (Ballard Pullover).

This time I decided to go with (drum roll please)… Stripes and Dots!

I know.  Not a great name, but the pattern is super cute (if I say so myself).

You can grab a copy of the pattern in my Pattern Library, or click below!

Stripes and Dots

Happy knitting!

Project Tea Cozy- Finishing Up

It’s done!  Woo! My tea pot isn’t naked any more!

I finished up the top of the tea cozy last week, working it just like the top of a hat.  This week I’ll start by working the spout opening the same way I would work the thumb on a mitten.  I transferred the 12 reserved stitches (saved on my stitch holder/safety pin) to my dpns, then picked up and knit 4 stitches in the little cast on edge.  I then worked a little 2×2 ribbed cuff around the spout and bound off.  Easy!img_3389Then I sewed up the bottom of the handle hole (I still need a better name for that), so now it fits snugly on my tea pot without me having to safety-pin it in place.img_3402But, you know what… It looks a little… sad?  Like it’s missing something.

Something like a pompom.

So I made a nice, tight 2″ pompom with bits of all 7 colors and sewed it on top.  img_3667Perfect!  It’s all finished and ready to go out on its maiden tea voyage!  I can’t wait.

And, next week, I’ll write up the pattern in a nice finished form and you can make yourself a tea cozy!

(And, don’t forget!  I’m giving away a copy of Knit Picks’ new Garter Ridge collection on Friday!)

Project Tea Cozy: The Top

All right, it’s time to close up the top!  After all, this is a tea cozy, not just a pretty rectangle with a couple weird holes.

I switched to dpns (because I didn’t have a short enough circular needle in the right size), and started working in the round.img_3373I did a few rows even, then decreased all the way around, once every 8th stitch.  I kept going, knitting one row even, then decreasing in pattern, making the decreases line up.

Once I got right to the top, I cut my yarn and passed the tail through the active stitches, the same way I would work the top of a hat.

img_3380Voila! closed up nicely!  If I wanted a smoother top (and less-obvious pleats around each set of decreases), I probably could re-knit it and decrease at a more relaxed rate, but I think I kind of like how the top turned out.

The spout is still pulling in what would be an uncomfortable way if this were a garment for a human, but I think that’ll be sorted out once I work the spout cuff, so I’m not worried.

img_3384The one thing I don’t love is that the handle hole ended up a bit too big- see that gap at the top of the handle?  I’m not a fan.

I mean, not enough to fix anything, but if I were to re-knit this pattern, I might change that.  Otherwise I’m pretty happy.

Speaking of pretty, let’s talk about my notes.  Because those are not even close to pretty anymore.  Observe:


I don’t think there’s a line I haven’t scratched out or adjusted.  I think just about every number had to be re-calculated and each measurement ended up slightly adjusted.

But that’s how designing a new pattern goes- you’ve got to be flexible and ready to find and fix any mistakes, because there will be mistakes.

What do you think of this design so far- I’m getting close to being done!

Project Tea Cozy: In The Belly of The Beast?

Last week I did my first try at writing up the Tea Cozy pattern.

This week I did a bunch of knitting (and proofreading)!

Remember that math I did last week?  I determined that I needed about 120 sts around the belly of the pot.  I could just cast on 120 sts, but I want the ribbing at the bottom  to be a little tighter.  I think it’ll look better that way.

I figured if I want to increase about 1 st per 8, that should give me the result I’m looking for- just a little tighter, without any weird puckering.  So, a little more math, a bit of estimation, and I’ll cast on 106 sts.

I worked a p2 (k2p2) rib for a generous half inch (5 rows), then worked an increase row to get me up to 120 sts.

Then it was colorwork time!  img_3348Hoo boy, did I underestimate the amount of ends I would be generating!  So many stripes, so many color changes.  Oops!  At least it looks pretty.

Also, I want to bring your attention to a detail I’m really proud of.  Look at the edge of the handle hole (I really need a better word for that):img_3370See the brown edge?  I made a little mini-skein of brown for each side, and used intarsia to work a few stitches of garter stitch to keep the ends from curling.  I think it makes the tea cozy look really professional.

Now I just have to figure out how I want to make the hole for the spout…  Hmm.

Project Tea Cozy: Let’s Begin

I’ve got the gauge, I’ve got the stitch pattern, and I’ve got the design in my head.  It’s time to start getting this pattern on paper.

I’ll start by measuring my teapot.  19″ around the fattest part, which, with some math, can give me my stitch count.

img_3316Then I’ll sketch out my design, adding in notes about all the details- where the increases will be, what stitch pattern to use, etc.  I’m going to make this tea pot like a modified hat.  So, I’ll start from the bottom and work up, but I’m going to knit flat (until I make it to the “crown”).  That will make it easy to make the big hole for the handle; I’ll just sew up an inch or so at the hem, and voila!  Tea cozy.  (Or at least that’s the plan.)img_3331Then, starting with the cast on at the bottom, I write a first draft of the pattern, knowing that a bunch of it will be wrong.  But that’s OK, that’s what first drafts are for!img_3337Then, I finalized the stitch pattern…

Oh.  Except…

I totally used up most of the yarn I was planning on using (I got excited about another project and used up almost all the red and yellow and blue… oops!)img_3323Well, I’ve got lots of neutrals, so I guess this teapot will be more neutral than bright and colorful.  Ooh!  I can use neutrals for the stripes and colors for the dots.  That should look cute!img_3342OK, now that everything’s set up and beautiful, it’s time to start knitting!  (And time to start figuring out where all my mistakes are!)

Project Tea Cozy: The Swatch

Woo! It’s tea cozy time!  (Almost.)

I know no one likes swatching, me included.  (And, if I’m being honest, I rarely make a swatch if I’m following someone else’s pattern.)  But, when you’re designing a pattern making a swatch is an absolute necessity.

So I pulled out my favorite colors and made one great big swatch with three different patterns, to see which I liked best.

The first pattern was a wide stripe-and-polka dot combo.  I like it, but I think it’s a bit big for a tea cozy- after all my teapot is a little on the small side.img_3299Then, I thought, “Maybe something fancier-something more Fair Isle-y.”  I like this diamond pattern quite a bit.img_3312But, again, I think it might be too big.  So I worked up a scaled-down version of the first pattern.  Narrow stripes with teeny polka dots.  Sure, I’ll have to deal with a million little ends, but I think I like the result best.img_3304So, I’ve got my swatch and decided on my pattern.  I measured the gauge, and made sure to write it down in my book.

img_3344I’ve taken my measurements and have a plan in my head.  Next time, we’ll get down into the nitty-gritty of math.

Don’t forget!  I’ve got 2 (count ’em!) giveaways going on as we speak.  Comment here for a chance to win a copy of On the Go Knits, or here for a chance to win Knits for Everybody!


It’s planning time!

I’m working on my tea cozy, and as much as I would like to, I can’t just pick up my needles and start knitting.  I’ve got to do some planning.  And before I really get down to the nitty-gritty planning (math!), I’ve got to get some ideas.

I pulled out some of the yarn I’m thinking of using, my tea pot, and a steaming mug of peppermint tea.IMG_3268Believe it or not, I do this for almost all my designs (sometimes ideas come to me fully formed, but those are sadly few and far between).

I sketch out a half-dozen or so general ideas, and make notes next to them (in case I come back to the designs later and go “what the heck was I thinking”).  Some of the ideas I know aren’t going to go anywhere, but there are usually one or two that I end up liking.

So, let’s look at them.  (As usual, there are some I like, and some… not so much.)

IMG_3284At the top of the page, I did a little practical sketch, laying out the parts of the tea cozy.  I think I’ll knit it from the bottom up, with ribbing at the cast-on edge.  I’ll work it flat, leaving an opening for the spout (maybe a gusset, like a mitten, or maybe just a big button hole).  Then, I’ll knit in the round for the “crown” of the cozy, like a hat.  I think that should work pretty well.  Now I just have to decide how to decorate the cozy.

The first design I came up with is a plain stockinette cozy, decorated with flowers knit separately.  You know, old-school tea cozy.  I like this design in theory, but it’s so not me.  Also, I don’t want to knit up that many flowers.  Can you imagine all those ends?

I kind of like the next design, an alpine-sweater-inspired tea cozy.  Complete with a fun, geometric colorwork pattern around the “belly” and a big ol’ pom pom at the top.

Or, I could just do simple stripes.  I love stripes, and it  would be a good way to use up all the little ends of yarn I’ve got laying around.  But is it too simple?IMG_3275After the maybe-too-simple stripes, I swung the other way, going over the top with a fully-charted Fair Isle design.  Maybe little tea cakes?  Or trees? Or a Great British Bake Off theme?  I This one is still pretty vague in the back of my head… but I bet I could come up with something good.

Or, I could make some sort of “fancy stripes.”  Maybe alternate solid stripes with stripes polka-dotted down the middle?  It would be a fun way to use a mix of colors, but be fancier than the simple stripes.

Another idea was to go full-on Aran Sweater.  Big, fat cables. Texture out the wazoo.  Thick, lovely yarn to keep your tea piping hot.  But Aran Sweaters are usually undyed, and tea is brown.  I’d hate to stain my tea cozy.  I suppose I could work it in a different color, though.

And, honestly, the last idea was just to fill up the page.  Big old intarsia polka dots on a white/light background.  Not a fan.

I’m probably leaning toward the Fancy Stripes, the Alpine, or the Aran designs, but I’ll need to think about it before I do any swatching.

What do you think?

Getting Cozy

Yesterday was a cool, rainy day.  And, I spent it with my husband and my dog, sitting on the couch and watching Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell on Netflix.  It’s very interesting, and is just oozing creativity.  I read the book years ago, in college and only have a vague memory of what it was about, so it’s been fun to get to watch it as someone “new” to the story.

It’s based in the early 1800s, in England, and there’s all sorts of magic, fairies and prophecies flying around.  It’s all very Gothic.

And they drink a lot of tea.

So, yesterday, instead of making myself a dozen individual cups of tea to get me through the marathon, I brought out my tea pot.  And it occurred to me how embarrassing it is that I have never made a tea cozy for myself!  (I know!  A knitter with a naked tea pot- how uncivilized!)

IMG_3121Anyway, this was just a long way of saying, I’m going to design and make a tea cozy.  I’ve been thinking about walking you through my design process, from idea to finished pattern, but I haven’t found the right project.  I didn’t want something as big as a sweater (because that would be boring for you guys- all that math, and all that waiting for me to knit), but something little, like socks or mittens are too easy- to make those, you just plug a design into a formula- no math at all.

So, a tea cozy it is!  It’s big enough that we can do something fun with it, but small enough that it won’t take months and months to finish.  I’m excited.

I’ve got some yarn left over from a “colorwork phase”, that I think might work well.

These dark greens (and fuchsia) are really pretty DK-weight, in a nice squishy, soft wool.IMG_3133And these are a slightly finer Sport-weight wool (a little itchier but sturdy, with great stitch definition.  And anyway, teapots don’t care about itchiness, right?).  I like these colors, too.  They’re very cheerful.IMG_3126

I think I’m leaning to the bright colors of the sport-weight.  Maybe I can do something cool with slipped stitches, or fair isle…

Right now, I’m just trying to get a feel for what I might knit up.  My next step will be to get out my sketch book and make some doodles.

Do you have any thoughts, opinions or ideas?


Yesterday was the equinox, so happy official spring everybody!

Here in Seattle, the trees and flowers have decided to blossom with a vengeance!  I swear, when I even look outside my nose starts running, and I begin to sneeze uncontrollably.  Not ideal, sure, but does that stop me from picking flowers and bringing them inside?  Ha! Histamines be damned!  I’m going to enjoy spring!

But, maybe I should just stick to only non-allergy-producing flowers.  Maybe I could work up some adorable knit floral patterns like these:

It’s not quite warm here- a damp chill in the 40s and 50s, so a lovely blanket like this, strewn with gorgeous flower motifs would be just the ticket!

Frida’s Flowers Blanket by Jane Crowfoot

12794767_10209072076018969_2032870089130453054_o_medium2[1]If I had a little girl, I would totally make her this darling cardigan.  (I wonder if my dog would be willing to put up with a sweater like this… hmm.)

Flower Cardigan by Ewelina Murachback_1_medium2[1]And, I have to admit that my teapot is shockingly naked at the moment.  Maybe I should work up this warm-looking tea cozy strewn with adorable little violets and leaves.

Floral Knitted Tea Cosy by Madame Weigel2093437863_88361d4cf1_z[1]I suppose I should just admit to myself that I’ll be stuck in the house, hiding from pollen until July.  I guess I just need to curl up under a nice, warm blanket like this one and watch a lot of Netflix, until spring is done and summer is in full swing.  (I suppose there are worse things to do.)

Floral Baby Blanket by Adi Kerenpic_medium2[1]

What’s the flower situation like in your neck of the woods?  Have your daffodils come up yet, or your cherry trees blossomed?