Friday, 25 April 2008

Grannie's Traditional Tea Cosy

Grannie's Traditional Tea Cosy is my copy of grannie's traditional tea cosy:

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I wanted to make a new one like the old, which must be at least 80 years old, and still keeping the tea warm, although starting to disintegrate gracefully:

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But I entirely failed to find a pattern for the traditional style, with the yarns used alternately, pulled across wrong side when not in use to form the pucker, and making the double-layer that keeps the tea, literally, cozy. So I made this one up as I went along by interrogating the original. I couldn't bring myself to top it with a pom pom. I hate pom poms. But it needed something, so I added some loopy flowers instead.

It's mostly Sirdar Eco Wool, which is lovely to knit with, although needed the occasional twist as I went along to keep the strength. For anyone who's searching for something similar.... here's the pattern. I noted down what I did as I went, but this pattern has not been tested. If you find any mistakes, please contact me to let me know, and I will correct them!

PATTERN for a 4-cup/ 2-pint teapot

Materials:
2x 50g ball Sirdar Eco wool dk in shade 203 Brown (main colour MC)
1x 50g ball Sirdar Eco wool dk in shade 200 Natural/Undyed (contrasting colour CC1)
1x King Cole Merino Blend Superwash wool dk in shade 118 Red (contrasting colour CC2)
1 set 4mm needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.

Or any equivalent double-knitting yarn.
Gauge: 22 st and 28 rows / 10cm or 4"

The cosy is knitted in garter stitch throughout. Two colours are knitted on every row, and the pucker is formed by pulling the yarn not in use across the wrong side of the work. At each end the strands of yarn need to be twisted together before turning and knitting the next row. Two pieces are made and sewn together at the sides, leaving gaps for the handle and spout. The pucker at the edge of each piece has an extra stitch to allow them to be seamed more invisibly.

The pattern looks complex, but it isn't once you get your head around the colour changes!

Make 2 Pieces:

Cast on 98 stitches in MC using long-tailed cast on (thumb method).
Row 1 (WS): with MC k all stitches

Row 2 (RS): with MC k9, *with CC1 k8, with MC k8*, repeat from *to* 5 times, with CC1 k9. Pull the unused yarn across the back of the work as you knit. Twist the 2 yarns together at the edge.

Getting the tension right when pulling the unused yarn across the back of the work is not too easy. The first time I attempted it I pulled too tightly and the result was very narrow! My best advice is when taking up and using the next colour each time, first knit one stitch, and then gently pull the yarn until there is no slack (i.e. no loop of yarn at the back), but neither is it too taught, and still has some give in it. You are aiming for a width at the bottom of each piece of about 26cm/10".

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Row 3 (WS): with CC1 k9, *with MC k8, with CC1 k8*, repeat from *to* 5 times, with MC k9. Remember to bring the yarn forward between the needles, and pull the unused yarn across the front of the work when knitting the WS. Twist all three yarns together at the edge.

Row 4 (RS): with CC2 k9, *with MC k8, with CC2 k8*, repeat from *to* 5 times, with MC k9. Pull the unused yarn across the back as you knit, and twist the yarns together at the end.

Row 5 (WS): with MC k9, *with CC2 k8, with MC k8*, repeat from *to* 5 times, with CC2 k9. Pull the unused yarn across the front as you knit, and twist the yarns together at the end.

Repeat rows 2-5 14 times, and then repeat rows 2-3 once. You will have 63 rows knitted, and end with a WS row.

Begin decreasing, staying in the colour pattern:

Row 64 (RS): with CC2 k1, *with CC2 k2tog, k4, k2tog, with MC k2tog, k4, k2tog*, repeat from *to* 6 times, with MC k1.

Row 65 (WS): with MC k7, *with CC2 k6, with MC k6*, repeat from *to* 5 times, with CC2 k7.

Row 66 (RS): with MC k1, *with MC k2tog, k2, k2tog, with CC1 k2tog, k2, k2tog*, repeat from *to* 6 times, with CC1 k1.

Row 67 (WS): with CC1 k5, *with MC k4, with CC1 k4*, repeat from *to* 5 times, with MC k5.

Row 68 (RS): with CC2 k1 *with CC2 k2tog twice, with MC k2tog twice*, repeat from *to* 6 times, with MC k1.

Row 69 (WS): with MC k3, *with CC2 k2, with MC k2*, repeat from *to* 5 times, with CC2 k3.

Row 70 (RS): with MC k1, *with MC k2tog, with CC1 k2tog*, repeat from *to* 6 times, with CC1 k1.

Row 71 (WS): with CC1 k2, *with MC k1, with CC1 k1*, repeat from *to* 5 times, with MC k2.

Row 72 (RS): with MC k1, k2tog 6 times, k1.

Leave these 8 stitches on a holder, break yarns leaving long tails and repeat pattern to knit a second piece. When both sides are completed, draw the tail of MC yarn through the stitches remaining on both pieces and draw together. Knot discretely.

Use the yarn tails to sew together the pieces using mattress stitch, leaving a gap at both edges for the teapot spout and handle.

IMG_2856 IMG_2859 25th April

For the Top of the Pot:

Make a large flower with MC yarn. CO 97 st.
Row 1: k all stitches.
Row 2: *k1, BO15*, repeat from *to* until 1 stitch from the end, k1.
Break yarn and draw tail through the remaining stitches on the needle, and gather together, forming a 6-loop flower. Knot and use tail to sew to top of cosy.

Make a smaller flower with CC2. CO 67 st.
Row 1: k all stitches.
Row 2: *k1, BO10*, repeat from *to* until 1 st from the end, k1.
Break yarn and draw tail through the remaining stitches on the needle, and gather together, forming a 6-loop flower. Knot and use tail to sew to top of cosy, on top of MC flower.

In CC1 CO 3 st. Knit in i-cord to the desired length of loop, approximately 20 rows. BO and sew both ends of the loop to the top of the cosy.
There is a great video tutorial on i-cord at knitting help.com

Weave in ends on the wrong side, and there you have one Grannie's Traditional Tea Cosy, and your tea will be happy!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Project 365: Week 16

In which the flowers are pretty, and the knitting is knitty:

15th April 16th April 17th April 18th April 19th April 20th April 21st April

The Urchin

At a friend's house at the weekend I spotted a rather fetching beret. It didn't suit me of course, but it was rather nice, and upon admiring it, my friend agreed, but bemoaned its size. A little larger so you could tug it down around your ears was the desire. My knitting glands started twitching immediately. I'd been wanting to have a go at this for a while, but not for myself. Did I mention that beret's don't suit me?

Ysolda's urchin. In Jaeger Natural Fleece. Very quick, and very nice to knit with. Bulkier than suggested, and I used 9mm needles too, according to the yarn, and not the 7mm called for in the pattern. I only managed 7 of the 8 hat "wedges" before I ran out of wool, but I grafted it together anyway, and it's a perfect fit! Well, for me anyway. (Although it doesn't suit me.) Hopefully it will both fit, and suit, Judy. A couple of pics here, and hopefully I'll manage to get one of it being worn by it's recipient too!

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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Project 365: Week 15

In which the tea cosy is nearly finished, but I am unable to take photos because the recipient (who is not due to be given it yet) has been ever-present, and would surely notice. Proper blog assured as soon as it is revealed! But in the meantime there was, er, well, apparently rather a random assortment of things, including a fried egg.

8th April 9th April 10th April 11th April 12th April 13th April 14th April

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Project 365: Week 14

In which Spring arrives, the top gets left off the toothpaste, Kathryn Williams and Neil MacColl are excellent in folky pink, and paint is peely.

1st April 2nd April 3rd April 4th April 5th April 6th April 7th April

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Project 365: Week 13

In which I stayed bythesea, went to a birthday party, flew a kite, and looked after other people's pets while they all went to the Big City.

25th March 26th March 27th March 28th March 29th March 30th March 31st March