Spin your art yarn and crochet your own tea cosy
What could be more imaginative than spinning your own art yarn to crochet a stunning tea cosy. This pattern is absolutely beautiful. Start by carding your fibre on the Ashford Wild Drum Carder and spin it with the Ashford e-Spinner Super Jumbo. I have grown up drinking tea from a teapot from a young age. In fact, it was more of a ritual than even enjoying the tea itself. We would visit my Grandparents in NZ, where my Nana would set the table every breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. And pride of place at every setting was her teapot covered in her favourite tea cosy of the day. And no matter how young we were, we were given our own teacup and saucer with a splash of tea and milk.
I also happen to have quite an extensive collection of teapots myself. Handed down through generations, it includes Russian dolls made into tea pots and milk jugs, through to bunnies and pianos.
Ashford introduces us to Lea of Wild Creative Textiles
Ashford have recently shared a beautiful tea cosy pattern, created by the uber talented Lea Williams of Wild Creative Textiles. Lea creates and teaches fibre arts from crochet and knitting freeform, spinning and art yarns, wet felting, weaving and upcycling.
Keep reading to learn the wonderful techniques she has used.
A word from Lea:
To begin with, I adore buttons and haberdashery and have collected quite a few button tins over the years, three of them are very special to me, both of my grandmothers’ old button tins, and a tin of buttons collected for me from my mother. Some years ago, I was thinking about what I could make to display some of them on so that I could see them all the time, and I thought it would be lovely to enjoy looking at all the buttons and charms and treasures at teatime, so I made a tea cosy for my favourite teapot and stitched on some of my favourites from the button tins. I enjoyed making it so much that I made another, and another, and started collecting teapots too – each tea cosy very different and I made them to fit all the different pots.
Here is a pattern I have written for a bigger tea cosy that goes over the top of a teapot to fit a wider range of shapes and sizes, and if you would like to make one for yourself this is a very fun and creative project of carding fibres, wool spinning, and crocheting.
Crochet Pattern notes:
Given that the pattern is written to go over a full-size teapot, if your teapot is very small you could adjust the pattern by starting with less chains, less of the plain rows at the beginning to reduce the height and reduce stitches at the top to shape it in around the top like this one. My oldest fitted tea cosy which I’ve included photos of was smaller, made with less chains to start, and fitted snugly around the teapot, stitched around the pot leaving gaps for the spout and handle.
The project leaves plenty of room for creative expression, in your art yarn spinning and embellishments. I hope you have lots of fun with it!
Tea cosy crochet pattern
Start Spinning Your Art Yarn
This tea cosy is felted for a thicker, firmer finish, or you could leave it unfelted if you prefer.
First spin 350g of super bulky art yarn from art batts or rolags with plenty of interesting textures.
If you are going to felt your finished tea cosy, make sure you have a high percentage of wool (non super wash) carded into your batts.
Spin your yarn as two ply with a few occasional random placed beehives or big slubs here and there to give a few interesting bobbles in your crochet.
In addition, if your spinning wheel has a smaller orifice and bobbins, you can still have fun creatively spinning your colours in the thinner yarns and hold layered yarn strands together to crochet all together as a bulky yarn thickness, this also makes a lovely effect, I do this with thinner art yarns too.
The bulkier your yarns are, the firmer and less floppy your finished crochet tea cosy fabric will be.
Your Crochet Pattern
You will need –
A 12mm crochet hook
Bulky wool yarns
A large tapestry needle and sewing thread
A small amount of chunky wool yarn and a 6.5mm crochet hook for flowers if desired
Yarn scraps for pom poms
Buttons, beads, bells, charms, treasures
This pattern is written in UK crochet terms.
Crochet Pattern abbreviations
ch – chain
ss – slip stitch
dc – double crochet (dc 2 = 2 x double crochet stitches, not in the same hole)
st / sts – stitch / stitches
dc2tog – double crochet two together
The first thing to remember is that this pattern is for one side of the tea cosy so make two of these.
Row 1 – dc into 3rd ch, and dc into every ch until end, turn.
Row 2 – ch 1, dc into 2nd st, dc into every st across, turn. (21 sts total in row including first chain)
Repeat row 2 until you have 11 rows total.
Row 12 – ch 1, dc into 2nd st, dc into next 3 sts, dc2tog, dc into next 7 sts, dc2tog, dc into next 5 sts, turn.
Row 13 – ch 1, dc into 2nd st, dc 2, dc2tog, dc 7, dc2tog, dc 4, turn.
Row 14 – ch 1, dc into 2nd st, dc 2, dc2tog, dc 5, dc2tog, dc 4, turn.
Row 15 – ch 1, dc into 2nd st, dc 1, dc2tog, dc 5, dc2tog, dc 3, turn.
Row 16 – ch 1, dc into 2nd st, dc 1, dc2tog, dc 3, dc2tog, dc 3, turn.
Row 17 – ch 1, dc into 2nd st, dc2tog, dc 3, dc2tog, dc 2, turn.
Row 18 – ch 1, dc into 2nd st, dc2tog, dc 1, dc2tog, dc 2, turn.
Row 19 – ch 1, dc2tog, dc1, dc2tog, dc 1, turn.
Row 20 – ch 1, dc2tog, dc2tog, turn.
Row 21 – ch 1, dc2tog, turn.
Row 22 – dc 1
Ch 1, cut yarn 25cm, pull through. Next, weave in any other ends but leave this one loose to attach a bell to after felting and stitching the two sides together if you’d like to.
Crochet the other side of the tea cosy the same way.
Then, hold the pieces next to your teapot and decide if you would like to felt your tea cosy (left unfelted will make it a much floppier teapot cover) I felted mine on a 40oc machine wash, reshape while damp and dry flat.
Decorative Crochet flowers
I made mine in chunky wool yarn with a 6.5mm crochet hook
Ch 3 and join with ss into a circle to make the centre of the flower, ss back through circle, *ch 5, ss back into centre circle*, repeat * – * four times to make 5 petals total, cut yarn at 15 – 20cms end (to use to stitch onto tea cosy) and pull through. I felted my flowers on a 40oc machine wash, reshape while damp and dry flat
Have lots of creative fun decorating the two sides of your tea cosy as you would like, I used a few of the crochet flowers, vintage buttons, beads, scrap yarn pompoms, and bells.
I attached a large bell to the top of mine by braiding all the 25cm cut ends together and stitching the bell to the end of the braid at the desired length.