Tea cozies can be knitted, sewn, and quilted in a large variety of designs to match one’s individual taste and kitchen décor. A teapot with an accompanying tea cozy is a fabulous gift for family members and friends on special occasions. These gifts are a fun way to introduce the “uninitiated” to a new taste sensation. I’ve often filled the teapot with assorted teabags, wrapped the teapot in a colorful knitted cozy, and attached a note card to the handle with instructions on how to brew the tea. Sometimes I’ve added a cookbook of teatime recipes.
Today, I’d like to share an advanced ruched tea cozy pattern my English mother-in-law taught me. At the time, I was an inexperienced knitter. I made the mistake of learning how to read the pattern and practice knitting on a single afternoon a few weeks before my husband and I left for an extended summer sailing vacation around Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. I took along the yarn, the pattern, and—found I’d forgotten what she taught me!
The ruched pattern
About this time, we befriended a Canadian couple on a ketch named Race Passage. I met Lily, a fabulous knitter from Denmark. She crafted fancy sweaters with appliqued flowers on them, selling over 30 of them annually to raise funds for handicapped children. One afternoon, while the men explored our anchorage, we sipped tea together and knitted in their cockpit. She retaught me the pattern. Here is a photo of the teapot I keep aboard our sailboat and the tea cozy my mother-in-law knitted for us. Normally, I keep the teapot on a hot pad on the galley counter or salon dining table, because the top of the diesel stove is very hot. We use the stove to cook and heat our boat when we are at sea.
English Ruched Tea Cozy
Materials: 1 ½ oz. in gold and 1 oz. in white (or your choice of colors); 1 pair of #3 (US) or #10 (UK) knitting needles; a medium-sized crochet hook.
Measurement: Height, 7 ins.
Gauge: 5 sts. to 1 in.
Note: The wool is used double throughout. (I’ve used it single, but it’s best double.)
Using gold wool, cast on 53 sts. and work 3 rows in moss stitch.
Next row: p. Change to white.
Next row: k.
Next row. p.
Change to gold and work in pattern as follows:
1st row: k.
2nd row: p.
Rep. these 2 rows once more.
5th row: With white – * k. 3, drop the next st. down 4 rows, then k. the st. from the 5th row, together with the loops; rep. from * to the last st., k. 1.
6th row: With white, purl whole row. With gold, work 4 rows in stocking stitch.
11th row: With white – k.1, * drop the next st. down 4 rows, then k. the st. from 5th row, together with the loops, k. 3; rep. from * to end.
12th row: With white, purl whole row.
These 12 rows form one pattern. Continue to rep. them until a 6th or 12th row. Break off white.
Next row: k. 2, * k. 2 tog., k. 1; rep. from * to end.
Next row: * p. 1, make 1, p. 2 tog.; rep. from * to end. Work 4 rows in moss stitch. Cast off.
Make another section in the same way. Press the moss stitch borders, then join the two sections together, leaving an opening at each side for spout and handle. With 4 strands of white wool crochet a 16-in. chain, thread this through holes, draw up and tie in a bow. Sew a tassel to each end of the chain.
I use washable wool.
Use the crochet hook to drop the stitch down 4 rows.
Moss Stitch: 1st row – Knit one, purl one. 2nd row – Purl one, knit one.
Stocking Stitch: Knit one row. Purl the next row.
I like to knit tea cozies, hats, scarves, and sweaters. What do you like to crochet or knit?
*This article first appeared on Stitches Thru Time Writers.