Monday, September 20, 2010

Plain and fancy

When we visited Nundle Woollen Mill there was a display of Loani Prior's latest book, Really Wild Tea Cosies, and a sample of one of the knitted cosies from the book.

tea cosy 2

My friend with whom I was visiting loved the cosy, but the sample was not for sale. So I decided to knit her a tea cosy from the book. I've rummaged in my disorganised and rather scrappy stash and have found most of the yarns I think I'll need and I've started knitting. I'm making Garden Party - a basic tea cosy topped by a riot of knitted and crochet flowers.

tea cosy 1

It's the first tea cosy I've ever knitted. As a very occasional tea drinker who drinks tea once it's cooled quite a bit, keeping tea warm within a pot has never had high priority for me. So, there's an explanation for why I might never have knitted a tea cosy. But once I started to think about what I was knitting I realised I have a resistance to what I've mentally labelled 'novelty knitting'. I think I'm a bit of a puritan in my knitting preferences. I like things that are useful and, preferably, durable. I think I like decoration only if the decoration enhances the practicality. I think these preferences also help explain my reluctance to knit toys - however cute they may seem at first glance.

I'm very pleased to be able to knit something that's a gift for a very generous and kind friend, but I think I'll return to sock and scarf knitting with some relief.


Anonymous said...

i always admire these beautiful things but for some reason, in my head, knitting is for things to wear. i cant quite bring myself to spend knitting time on anything else, either. but this is a great gift idea, and it will stunning in those colours.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of handmade gifts, but I haven't made any toys (not even for my own kids!) and certainly not a tea cosy. I think I also hold a prejudice against knitting things that aren't garments.

Emily said...

The book is rather wonderful though, I thought! Though I agree, I have knit a teacosy for a friend who uses one regularly, but it was a plain on. PErhaps she needs another, wilder one????

Brendaknits said...

I'm like you. I avoid novelty knitting. But we have a few knitters in our group who knit nothing but toys and tea cozies. Thank goodness for diversity, I say.

Unknown said...

I am an inveterate tea drinker. Tea cosies and toys are very different things in my head. The former is decidedly useful. Our teapot, covered with the dark green cosy I knitted sits on a covered green mat inside a basket. Then on top of that is a matching larger green cosy that I made that fits over the pot and the basket. Like the mat, it too is dark green fabric which has been stuffed. Atop all this paraphenalia is a blood red bauble. Insulation and a bit of fun reign supreme! Your blue creation looks superb!

Anonymous said...

Yes, practical and wearable reign supreme, but there are delightful exceptions, and one of my exceptions was a "mousie" - I had one ball of a slatey/grey/purple wool, that I suspected would felt. And I was NOT wrong.

But a square knitted up, folded and sewn in a triangle, with a crochet 'tail' very firmly attached, stuffed and brutalised in the washing machine proved to be irresistible for a friend's Siamese. The ball of wool lasted for years, providing more mousies as needed.

Something about that yarn, and the way it felted, was just what that particular cat desired most in all the world.

Gae, in Callala Bay

1funkyknitwit said...

I would agree Lyn, I too only knit things that are useful to my everyday life. I guess that's why I don't make toys or things like that unless I can give them to someone who would appreciate them.

Looking forward to seeing your tea cosy just the same as it does look like fun :)