Deb and I have always tried to make things together. This, obviously, became much easier the older we got. We learned all our art and craft together and we would often knit together in the evenings with Mum. I am 3 years older than her so quite often I would prefer to do my own thing but every now again, we would work quietly together - just so long as she listened to what I had to say and followed my instructions.
I've mentioned here before that we quilted for quite some time together when our children were small. Our days were spent in a flurry of cutting and sewing and laughing, only stopping when I had to collect my children from school.
However, as sometimes happens in families, Deb moved to England and then Melbourne and our craft making days together seemed to be over. That is, until we started FitzBirch. Both of us were still sharing our ideas and skills and it was the next step in our crafting life together.
Making a quilt when I am in Perth and Deb is in Melbourne seems a bit of a logistical dilemma so we thought we would start small. Combine our love of knitting, crochet and having a cup of tea together by making some tea cosies. I would knit the cosy and Deb would put her newly acquired crochet skills to use by embellishing them.
I have never made one before which is a bit odd considering I own 4 teapots and am always looking for more. I love a good cup of tea and I still laugh when I remember when I went to visit Deb in England and the very first thing we did wherever we went, was to find a little coffee/tea shop and have a cuppa. The fact that Deb had her 3rd child whilst I was there and she still took it upon herself to show me around may have had something to do with it.
I used the same template for each cosy but wanted 2 distinct looks.
We wanted a delicate 'English Cup of Tea' look for the first one. Very simple with a smattering of flowers on the top.
And as we are inching closer to the big day, I thought a Christmas Cosy would be a good idea. Another Christmas item to bring out to keep the festive cheer alive ..
BASIC KNITTED PATTERN TEMPLATE
Floral Cosy - medium sized tea pot
Cast on 84 stitches and knit 4 rows in K1, P1 rib.
5th row - K40, cast off next 4 stitches and K to end
6th row - P40, turn
Continue for 38 more rows.
Join wool to remaining 40 stitches and K40 rows in stocking stitch.
Change to DPN needles (10 stitches per needle)
1st row - K to end (join up)
2nd row - decrease (K2tog) at each end of each needle.
Continue row 1 & 2 until 2 stitches remain on each needle.
Using a wool needle, thread the wool through the stitches and pull together.
Sew the bottom of the cosy together and you are done.
Christmas Rib Cosy - the pattern is identical except that it is ribbed throughout.
Pom Pom instructions.
These pom poms are just the right size for a tea cosy. No mess, no fuss. They couldn't be easier - Quickest, Easiest Pom Poms made using a fork - Instructions
Ok Deb, all done - the cosies are in the mail.
Fast forward one week later at Deb's house...
I'd been learning to crochet for approximately 3 weeks when Louise suggested a collaborative project. I have to admit I was a little panicked at the thought of my beginner crochet skills being coupled with Louise's advanced knitting knowledge, but I thought at the very least it would push me to learn quickly! I received two expertly knitted cosies in the mail and set about working on the first, which we had decided in advance would have some floral decoration. I tried a few different flowers and finally decided on oversized roses for the embellishment.
I have to say, I'm delighted with how the tea cosy turned out. I'm now fully conversant with crochet flowers and best of all, Louise and I never did decide who was going to end up having the finished product, so I've kept it here...
P.S. The cake in the top photo is a delicious coconut cake from the "4 Ingredients 2" cookbook that is so easy I can't help but share. It's 1 cup each of Desiccated Coconut, Milk, Caster Sugar (I just use plain if I've run out) and Self Raising Flour. Mix ingredients in a bowl, add to lined loaf tin and place in the oven at 180 degrees C for 40 minutes. Enjoy with a cup of tea.
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