Welcome to our spot today! It’s a grey and rainy day in Wellington today, quite horrible in fact, so today is the perfect day for me to post my latest FO, as well as do a nice, long and involved tutorial for it in case you want to make one too, and get myself immersed in colourful woolly goodness!
Raymond is sleeping his unhappiness off right now, wrapped in his blanket… he was out last night, doing “fur patrol” around the neighbourhood, but during the night it started to rain, very hard, and he came in this morning wet and angry…. KB is having a nap too actually, on the day bed, surrounded by beautiful crochet cushions which she is not allowed to put her head on because she’ll wear them out, (oh God, I’m a tyrant!) so right now, I’m the only one in the family being productive!
OK, enough babbling from me….. shall I show you the “Spring Explosion” tea cozy? (Named by KB who LOVES it…. *joy* because she doesn’t like woolly flowers and right now cannot understand why our tea pot needs more than one cozy…. it’s ART darling!)
This is what gardens all over the place look like right now… beautiful colourful goodness! I’ve been seeing pictures on Northern Hemisphere blogs lately and wow, it’s foggy and dark and frosty and also quite cozy! I’ve said it before, I love seeing what the other side of the world looks like right now, my first change of season as a blogger! I hope you’re all having fun wearing all of your knitted and crocheted happiness and keeping cozy under your blankets, next to the fire!
While the idea for this cozy is hardly original…. flowers on top and all that, I’m quite in love with it, as I am with most of my creations! I’ve been so deeply inspired by tea cozies around the place (Oh Penelope, I would just die to have one of your little birds adorning mine, but they are just beyond me!!!) and have in fact, posted one I made a loooooooong time ago, my first real knitting creation in fact, which was covered in knitted roses. I’ve been wanting to make a better one now that I’ve got the crochet flowers happening, and here it is! It took about three days to make and by last night, I had had enough! I had decided I just didn’t like it, and it wasn’t as nice as I wanted it to be, and it didn’t match the vision in my head, but when I got up this morning and found it sitting next to my chair, I decided that it was in fact, perfect and I loved it deeply.
So as I made it, I wrote out a pattern. I had fun with it, and deem it a perfect project for a beginner knitter like myself, as it is knitted on two needles, not in the round, it is just plain old stocking stitch, no fancy business, and it means you get to have fun putting stitches on stitch holders and then back on the needles. It’s a very satisfying project and I promise those of you who are beginner knitters, if I can do it, so can you!!! (Don’t be fooled by the Harvey Kimono, remember I had Mum help me with the hardest bits!)
The only problem is…. I’m POSITIVE that the pattern works for righty’s as well as lefty’s like myself, but I wonder if there is a righty knitter out there who can knit this up quick smart, just to make sure that it makes sense for the majority of the population! I’ve sat there, trying to imagine it being knitted the opposite way, but here is what happens to my brain when I try doing that……
Yes…. not much!
I’ve done a photo tutorial for this, SORRY! It’s left handed, so er… just imagine it backwards and you’ll see what I’m meaning! (eeeee! Maybe I’ll be publishing a left handed knitting and crochet book one day! Wouldn’t that be the best!)
So! Let’s begin! I’ve used 8ply wool and 4mm needles, remember that this pattern will fit my pot which is 11cms high and 17cms at it’s widest point, so you may need to tinker with the instructions to fit your pot, especially in the decrease as mine decreases very quickly. RS= right side…. the right side really…. WS= back of the cozy.
CO 90 stitches and work in stocking stitch until you reach the height of the bottom of the spout and handle.
K45 and place the remaining 45 stitches onto a stitch holder. Work in stocking stitch until you have reached the height of the top of the spout, finish on a RS row.
Place stitches on a stitch holder and snip off the end of the wool leaving a decent tail end to weave in later. Put the remaining 45 stitches back on the needles, beginning to purl on the WS row. (This may involve putting them on one needle, then tranferring them onto another one)
See, now this is where you need to imagine the photo backwards if you are right handed! Work in stocking stitch until both pieces are the same height, ending on a RS row.
This involved a bit of needle juggling to get them all on, facing the right way, ready to begin purling! Now, keep working in stocking stitch, knitting all 90 stitches together until you are ready to decrease.
So, decrease as you would when shaping a hat by knitting two together. For my sized tea pot, when I reached the decrease point, my rows went:
(On a knit row) k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1… to end of row, purl next row, knit next row, next row, *k2tog, k1….. repeat until end of row, purl next row,* and repeat ** until all stitches have been decreased, bind off last stitch.
If your tea pot is taller, you may want to add an extra row of knit between decrease rows, if it is flatter, decrease every row… have a play, and at the risk of totally SHOCKING all of those knitting legends out there (Mum, don’t read this….) remember that you’re going to cover it with flowers, so does it really matter if it’s not 100% perfect???!!! Freestyling knitting is fun!
Sew up the top to fit your pot, leaving adequate room for the handle, now grab your crochet hook and edge the edges beautifully. For mine I did single crochet around all of the edges, and then mini-shell stitch edging, into the first stitch make 1sc, 1hdc, 1sc, slst into next 2 stitches and repeat until the end. I’ve discovered when edging knitting that it needs to be decreased a bit with crochet, I did this with the Harvey Kimono and make a sc into every SECOND stitch to pull it in nicely and wish I had done the same with this tea cozy… it’s a bit flared at the bottom for my liking, but I had already sewn on the button and button loop by the time I decided that, so couldn’t frog it without a lot of work!
So button and loop…. at the bottom corner of the handle edge, sew on a pretty button and on the opposite side, make a chain loop to fit over it and make that nice and secure by weaving in the ends.
So theres your cozy! now it’s time to beautify it! I get HEAPS of people asking for a tutorial on the big layered flower I make regularly… it’s from A Crochet Bouquet, and all of the flowers I make are from one of these two amazing books.
I’ve mentioned before that I only learned to crochet in April this year, and do you know what? When I was learning, I bought the book on the right, and these flowers took me soooooooo long to make, I mean, over an hour per flower. These days, it takes very little time, which just proves, that practice makes perfect, so don’t give up on these little beauties! They are so worth it, and so much fun!
So my flowers and leaves were made over about two days…..
I stitched the leaves on, then arranged the flowers after that…. and voila! Finished!
Heaps of fun, and you must admit, pretty easy too….. nothing too frightening in that pattern anyway…..
OK Lovelies! I’m off, it’s halfway through my Sunday, so I have study to do, apples to stew, dinners to cook and freeze for the week, knitting patterns to consider for my next project and blogs to visit for some beautiful inspiration! Have fun with this, and if anyone has made a granny tea cozy, let me know! I’m DYING to see one from someone else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope you all have a lovely week and that many lovely things happen to you!
Lots and lots of love, from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
P.S Raymond and I are sending much love to the beautiful people who have sent us such lovely comments over at Ravelry, as well as the beautiful comments on here as well, saying such nice things…. you are just *WONDERFUL* and you truly make my day when I read them XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX