Friday, May 31, 2013

Tea Cozies - why using good wool makes a far superior cozy

 Awhile back I stumbled upon a pleated tea cozy pattern. It reminded me of my Granny. I knew I had to make one. The pattern was free from Paton's. The yarn recommended was their classic wool. I had a few balls of Cascade 220 is 100% Peruvian Highland wool. The beauty of the Cascade is that it doesn't feel all scratchy like wool of the old days, it also comes in a stunning array of colours. There is literally a colour for everyone. It's my go-to wool if I need a good worsted weight yarn.

The main reason for using wool to knit a teapot cozy is the insulating factor. Wool is a natural fiber and it will keep things warm longer. It is why you may remember the scratchy woolen winter articles your mom would make you wear(well you may not, depending on your age) but the fact of the matter is that it will keep you warmer. Hands down wool will provide maximum insulation over acrylic which is a synthetic fiber. The other benefit of this pattern is the yarn is carried behind which creates the pleats and on the inside air pockets. This combined with the wool make it extremely insulating.

Also, a quality yarn like this will be something that will last and last for year's to come. Yes, it's a little more fussy in that you can't just pop it in the machine to wash/dry, but cleaning it isn't really a huge task either. I simply put mine into the kitchen sink in tepid water with some wool safe liquid soap like Soak and I let it sit for a bit, these detergents do not need rinsing. After it has sat for a bit I drain the sink, gently squeeze some water out and then I roll it into a dry towel to get some more water out. Simply lay on a towel and shape it back into its shape and let it air dry. It's really not a big task, especially for something so small like a cozy.
I have made many of these cozies since I first stumbled upon this pattern. I was commissioned to knit 5 for a local tea shoppe and I made this lovely purple/grey combo for a friend upon request based on her kitchen colours. This is most likely not something she'd find in any store. I adorned it with some crocheted purple flowers in the coordinating yarn. So simple, yet so beautiful.

The one pictured at the top, which I have named 'Splash' I had for sale, but as I was knitting it, I began to really love the colours(which by the way do not even remotely go with my kitchen) - that's the fun part, you can have a tea cozy for different occasions or to match your kitchen scheme. I decided this was a fun tea cozy just to have for the Spring. When Spring was taking forever to arrive I finally decided to pull it from sale and use it in my kitchen, I'm sure glad I did. It really cheered up my tea time when Spring was taking f o r e v er!!

I do tend to name all of my cozies, I base the name on the colour of yarn's used. I adorn each cozy with crocheted flowers of different styles using coordinating yarn. This makes each cozy truly unique. I've yet to knit the exact same one.

So I knit cozies, quite a few actually. I guess I'm slightly addicted to it. Honestly it's probably one of the few patterns that I'd make over and over again. Not only are they so pretty they are very functional and as any good tea drinker can attest a good tea cozy is essential for tea time!

I currently have five tea cozies for sale at my Etsy shoppe and I can do special request orders for different colours if you desire a different colour to suit your kitchen. My colours are based on my tea cozy theme of 'English Gardenparty Tea Cozies', a tea cozy to brighten up tea time.

2 comments:

  1. Same with socks. . . better yarn makes a better sock (well, for the most part).

    Your cozies are adorable.

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    1. I totally agree, if you're going to make socks or anything special you should use the best yarn you can afford, it really makes a difference.

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