Time for Tea

There is no trouble so great or grave that it cannot be much dimished by a cup of tea

Bernard-Paul Heroux

I’ve recently re-discovered my love of tea. Ok, so I still need at least one mug of coffee in the morning but, from then on I’m enjoying tasting different teas – my current favourites are Afternoon Ceylon and White Tea.

Amd what have I been knitting during these numerous tea-breaks – tea cosies!! Could there be a more appropriate project? As a result, I’ve been experimenting with a number of different tea cosy patterns.

I was delighted to find a traditional ‘pleated’ tea cosy pattern in a old knitting booklet that I discovered in a local charity shop. The ‘Greenock’ Handbook features a wide range of unusual patterns such as palmless mittens, not to mention long and short drawers for men! Sadly, there isn’t a publication date on the booklet but, as it cost 3d, I assume it’s fairly old. Anyway, back to the tea cosy – I adapted the pattern in this booklet to producs a more contemporary version (well, I assume it’s more contemporary as it looks very like one recently featured in the Paul Smith advertising campaign):

Tea time

Tea time

The pleats are achieved by knitting each row with two colours and pulling the yarn not in use across the back. Stretching the yarn across the back also creates an extra layer which  keeps the tea very warm. I must admit that I had a couple of attempts before I got the strands to be even so the early rows were ripped back more than once. Here is a photo of the reverse:

Still not perfect but close enough...

Still not perfect but close enough…

 I knitted this in Millamia’s Naturally Soft Merino which is a beautiful yarn with good, clear stitch definition. My only frustration was that I’d hoped two 50g balls would be sufficient but I had to use small amounts (probably about 15g) of second balls in both colours. I think I’ll use more colours for my next one and see if I can use up some of my stash yarn. If you want to have a go, the free pattern is available from the knitncaboodle website: Two tone tea cosy pattern

I then decided to experiment with other stitch patterns. The result is two variants of a garter stitch chevron:

Ripple Tea Cosies

Ripple Tea Cosies

 The blue and cream cosy is knitted in alternating stripes of garter stitch and stocking stitch and the red and cream is knitted all in garter stitch. The chevron shaping gives a pleasing curve to each cosy. Each took two 50g balls of Lima Aran yarn ( one in each colour). My next project is to knit a smaller version for my one-person tea pot (useful for days when I’m on my own and so much nicer than making tea in a mug!)

Time for a cuppa so here’s wishing you all a very good Easter x