Spring by Kathryn White

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Beauty and Charm of a Tea Cosy

"The first "Tea Cozies" book
(a charming introduction to knitted, crocheted, or sewn covers that keep a teapot warm) was so popular that we needed to create another! This new collection features a fantastic range of motifs, including a cheerful Sunflower Garden with tiny bees, classic blue-and-white Cornish Ware pattern, and adorable Little Black Dress for the well-dressed teapot to wear. A techniques section explains the basic skills, and the original designs--all created by readers of" Knitting" magazine--are as easy to make as they are colorful and imaginative."
~Guild of Master Craftsman

"A tea cosy (American English tea cozy) is a cover for a teapot, traditionally made of cloth or wool, which is used to insulate the tea, keeping it warm while it brews. Cloth tea cosies often have padded inserts, which can be removed and washed separately. Many tea cosies in Britain are hand-knitted, resembling woollen hats, even featuring a bobble on top.
Although the history of the tea cosy may begin when tea was introduced to Britain in the 1660s, the first documented use of a tea cosy in Britain was in 1867. It is probably the Duchess of Bedford who, by establishing the activity of afternoon tea in 1840, would have brought the popularity of the tea cosy. Afternoon tea was the time for networking and keeping up to date with aristocracy gossip and topical news. With all the chatter at teatime the teapot would get cold, which would have at times cut short some tea parties. And so, the tea cosy came about. Tea cosies then flourished during the late 19th century, where they appeared in many households across Britain, motivated by the obsession of decorating and covering objects characteristic of the Victorian era."
You can read more here

When I was looking for a new project to knit, I wanted something that was relatively easy, but also charming and useful. When I spotted this photo on Stephanie's blog
over at Curlew Country, it spoke of cosy comforts and domestic charm.

I was envisioning all the garden teas I would host;
my lovely knitted tea cosy adorning my tea pot.

I ordered a tea cosy pattern book from the library,
as well as browsing web sites to give me ideas.
Who knew that there was such a variety of creative
and gorgeous tea cosies out there!
It was overwhelming!
*The following tea cosies were all found online*

I thought I would give you a 'fashion show' of tea cosies
and I will let you pick your favourite:










lovely felted teapot cosies:





And the tea cosy I knit was for my middle daughter
who loves all things british.
Now I want to make the adorable clothesline tea cosy,
featured on the front cover of the book I shared with you.
It's called: Wash Day...how cute is that?
I'd love to make a floral and fancy tea cosy as well.
Which one would you make?

There are few hours in life more agreeable
than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.

~Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
*  images found online *