rose

the making of a teacosy

ingredients

keep the puppy amused

round and round

crochet while its on

round the spout

all covered

crown and flower for the top

all done

pouring the tea

autumn backdrop

rose

With the arrival of cooler weather comes many more cups of tea! Noah and I are great tea drinkers – it’s a lovely thing to share.  Over the years, either one of us has come home, or stopped work, or needed a pick me up, and said to the other, “Would you like a cup of tea?” And the two of us gather in the kitchen, brew up our tea and sit down together over a lovely steamy cup.

Being responsible for introducing Noah to tea as a young child, we take it the same way – weak with lots of milk.  I say to people when they offer to make me a cup – add what you think is too much milk and then some more :-)

I do think our love for a nice cup of tea has been well fostered by our shared love for English literature and films, English children’s fiction, and a very strong dose of Agatha Christie.  We’re both huge fans of David Suchet and Geraldine McEwan and have watched the films literally hundreds of times.

Had a tough day at school/work?  Have a cup of tea and watch “A Murder is Announced!”  Cold and rainy afternoon?  Have a cup of tea and watch “Murder in Mesopotamia (What ho Sheila!)”.  Julian’s away and we don’t feel like cooking?  Have tea and toast for supper watching “The 4:50 from Paddington!”.

Our other three hot favourites are “Hope and Glory”, “My Family and Other Animals”, and “Cold Comfort Farm” – add a cup of tea, some hand stitching and we are in heaven.

Just lately, we’ve taken to listening to the audio books of our favourite Agatha’s – read by either David Suchet or Hugh Fraser (who played the marvellous Colonel Hastings in the Poirot series).  They are excellent – some of Agatha’s character descriptions are almost equal to Charles Dickens – they are often so droll and witty and just perfectly illustrate who is standing before Poirot!  And both David and Hugh can do a huge variety of excellent accents – truly gifted.

However, as he’s grown up, Noah has developed a taste for more exotic teas and is a regular customer at T2.  He has all his tins and jars lined up in the pantry and has teas for all occasions.  Alas – I’m pretty boring and when we are sharing a pot I almost always only want a nice cup of Yorkshire Gold.  I may branch out to English breakfast or Traditional Afternoon.  And just the other day I tried Devonshire Breakfast from the Quamma General Store and Post Office.  It was nice too!  And if I’m really feeling outrageous I’ll share a pot of Madagascar Vanilla.

But really, my favourite is a plain black tea.  Weak.  With lots of milk.

However, as I may have mentioned, the weather has finally turned cooler and this weekend past saw plenty of tea drinking but we couldn’t get to the bottom of the pot before it turned stone cold!  There was a definite need for a teacosy.

I made one several years back – but in the move goodness knows which box it’s in – and it was specifically made for a vintage corning ware teapot which had a rather unusual shape.  These days we are into a dear little red floral pot from T2 that Noah gave me for Christmas last year, or a delightfully old solid Bendigo Pottery one – definitely the kind that Flora would have found lurking on the dresser at Cold Comfort Farm.  They needed their own cosy.

So, I gathered some wool from the caravan – the pale is an old Cleckheaton’s from the early 1980s that I found in Mum’s stash.  The green and red are also Cleckheaton’s that I used in my crocheted shawls last year.  And the dark purple is the beautiful Cleckheaton wool / silk blend that I used in my hippie cardigan the year before.

And I gave the puppy a paper bag to tear apart beside me.  That kept her quiet and compliant ;-)

I crocheted it on the teapot so as to get the size right – it worked up lickety-split.  Then added a “crown” (which led to the plotting of a teacosy for another straight sided teapot) and a lovely flower.  Good stuff!

It’s a bit of a squeeze getting it on – I think next time I shall crochet my starting chain with a larger hook – but once it’s over the spout and handle it fits beautifully.

Now our tea stays lovely and warm through to the second cup.  And even better – our teapots look ever so sweet and cosy.

Pleased all round are we!

 

a tangle of yarn + 2 hours of trial & error = a teapot cosy

This is the tangle of yarn that tumbles out of one of my cupboards when I open it.  It is buttery soft Twilley’s Freedom that has lived there, in a tangle, since I tried crocheting it into a chevron stripe rug.  Do you know how many rows of a chevron stripe rug you can crochet out of a single ball of Twilley’s Freedom?  One.  It would have cost almost as much as Abby’s yearly school fees to pursue a queen bed size chevron stripe crochet rug in this yarn.  I abandoned it.

This is my teapot.  It would be ever so nice to be able to tell you that I always make my tea in a teapot – one that has sat warming whilst the kettle boiled, a fine bone china cup by its side.  But that would be a dreadful lie.  Abby and I almost always share a teabag – we both like it weak.  But this morning – no teabags.  And yet – lots of tins of tea – gifts from family and friends who clearly assume I make my tea in a teapot.

This morning – no choice.  The tea was made in the teapot and muchly enjoyed.  However, before I got to the bottom of all that tea, it went cold.  Such a shame!  There were three good cups in there.  Thus – the tangle of yarn.

Out came the trusty crochet hook – I chained until it fit, joined it in the round and added another row of single crochets for a snug collar.

Then continued adding rows of single crochets with increases as needed – stitch, stitch, increase, stitch, stitch, increase – and so on.  To start with, most rows were yanked out and stitched again – needed to get my bearings and all.  And despite crossing my toes (fingers otherwise occupied), the orange didn’t make it and had to be ripped out.  Hmph!  Such a shame.

Never mind – plenty of blues and greys and just enough pink for a bit of liveliness.  When I reached the sharp curve back in at the bottom – stitch, stitch, decrease, stitch, stitch, decrease – and so on.  And a bit more yanking out and redoing.  Crochet is so forgiving.

Didn’t really look like much when I’d finished – specially where the funny hole was for the handle.   But a quick bit of needlefelting changed that …

Ta-da!  A teapot cosy – specially made for my teapot which has never conformed to the many teapot cosy patterns I’ve bought over the years.  When confronted with that enticing Ravelry screen, I never remember the shape of my teapot.  Of course, such forgetfulness (stupidity?) would be easily remedied by a quick trip to the kitchen, but that always seems like too much effort when flaked out on the sofa.


Oh so sweet!  Jolly good use of a tangle of yarn.

And I like how it kind of hooks up to go over the handle – adds a dash of something.

Might just inspire me to use up the tea leaves after all and give those teabags, with their ludicrous amount of packaging, a rest.  I shall give the cosied teapot a test run this afternoon with a thick wodge of Christmas cake and butter and let you know ;-)