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More about tea cosies

A friend gave me a big bag of yarn left over from many projects. She said it was for tea cosies. I offered to knit her one first.

This is the fourth tea cosy I have knitted recently. I found a good home for the second one and knitted a third for another friend.

Having learned from my earlier experiences, I decided not just to crochet round the openings, but to crochet along the whole edge on both sides of the two pieces. Being a subscriber to the theory that laziness rather than necessity is the mother of invention, I had considered not bothering to sew the ends in, but somehow to crochet over them and tidy them that way. However, in practice this would have been too bulky and impractical. I sat and tied the pairs of ends in reef knots before securing them firmly using a tapestry needle as before. Another time I’ll try to use fewer colours and take the unused yarn up the side without cutting it to avoid all that finishing.

A tea pot is not symmetrical. The handle and spout are different in shape and position. My tea cosies are intended to be left on the pot while pouring tea, so there are openings for the handle and spout. The knitting is symmetrical. This time I knitted the cosy with a particular style of pot in mind.

As I joined the sides together I realised that the top was going to be too tall at the sides. I tucked in the surplus material to fit the two sides of the pot. Perhaps necessity is the mother of invention after all.

Two knitting patterns

The special baby unit at the nearest hospital uses mitts and sleeves to stop the premature babies interfering with the equipment needed to look after them. (They do not require bootees or ordinary baby mitts; if you plan to knit for your local hospital it is worth checking what they require.)

I was lent a mitt and a sleeve to copy. I worked out my own patterns using double knitting baby yarn. Only knit (k) and purl (p) stitches are required.

Mitt

Using 3.5mm needles cast on 32 stitches. Work 14 rows in k.1. p.1 rib.

Change to 4mm needles and work 26 rows in stocking stitch.

Shape top: Next row K.1, k. 2 together, k. 14, k. 2 tog., k. to end.

Next row P.12, p.2 tog., p.13, p.2 tog., p.1.

Next row K.1, k 2. tog., k. 12, k.2 tog.,k. to end.

Next row P.11, p. 2 tog., p. 10, p.2 tog., p.1.

Cast off. Join seam neatly.

Sleeve

Using 5mm needles cast on 26 stitches.

Work K2. P2. rib until sleeve measures 5ins.

Join sides neatly.

Knitting in two colours

I bought some buttons to match some brightly coloured yarn. Then I decided that bright orange might not be the best colour for premature babies. So I compromised.

Fronts and back in one piece

I am knitting in two colours. The buttons will match the button band, but the colour scheme is a bit calmer. It is also more interesting to knit, even if there are more ends to sew in. The sleeves will have coloured ribbing.

Detail of inside

I have taken two photos of this work in progress. One of the right side of the body knitted in one piece as described in a previous post. I had to wind a second ball of wool, so that I could knit the second band. This would not have been  necessary if I had used the pattern as written and knitted three separate pieces. The second photo is of the inside (wrong side) showing how the two colours are twisted together to make a neat join. Without twisting the yarn when changing colour, the two sections would have to be sewn together afterwards. This technique is used in picture knitting (intarsia).