Saturday, 1 December 2012

A Cosy Christmas

A while ago, Louise came up with a fabulous idea for a collaborative project where she would knit some tea cosies and I would crochet the decorations for them.  It all went very well with our first cosy, but the second has been a very long exercise in frustration for me, culminating in a phone call bemoaning the fact that I was completely stuck and had no idea how to proceed.  The only thing that was keeping me going was that I was desperate to start loom knitting a bag and had promised myself that I wouldn't even select the yarn for that  until this cosy was complete...turned out it was the perfect motivation!

The knitting pattern for the cosy is:


Medium sized tea pot
Cast on 84 stitches and set up a K1, P1 rib and then rib 4 rows.
5th row - Rib 40, cast off next 4 stitches and Rib to end
6th row - Continue in established rib pattern for 40 stitches, turn
Continue for 38 more rows.
Join wool to remaining 40 stitch and continue to rib.
Change to DPN needles (10 stitches per needle)
1st row - Rib 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.

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

Initially I decided to decorate the cosy with crochet snowflakes and had a wonderful time selecting patterns from the internet and crocheted enough to cover the little cosy in a flurry of flakes, however it just didn't seem to look right.  To make the snowflakes the correct size to fit on the cosy, I had to use a small hook and crochet cotton, but then they looked far too delicate against the thick rib and comforting nature of the cosy.  I spent a good week or so pinning the snowflakes in different positions and at one point even started to crochet a little overlay that could slip onto the cosy with the snowflakes attached, but I still wasn't happy.  Then, in a moment of clarity I decided to follow my instincts and use the lovely rustic feel of this cosy and go for a country Christmas theme.

As a person quite new to crochet (you can follow my crochet journey here) even the simple act of crocheting a flat circle requires a bit of research.  I found this youtube video which was enormously helpful and for the snowman's head crocheted a circle with 3 rows and for the main body, I did five rows.  The pattern for the hat is:

Chain 7, Single crochet into second chain from hook and continue to single crochet along remaining chains until row is complete. turn
Chain 1, Single crochet into second chain from hook and continue to single crochet until row is complete. turn
Slip Stitch into first two single crochet.  Single crochet next 4 stitches, turn
Single crochet along row,
Cast off.

Once the crochet is complete, it's a simple case of dressing the snowman.  While I didn't have a scarf, coal or carrot, I did have beads, buttons and ribbon and slowly our little wintery friend came to life.  To finish the cosy I sewed snowflakes using embroidery cotton over the front and back of the cosy.

Now I can start my loom knit project...hooray!


More FitzBirch Crafty Christmas Ideas

Crafty the Snowman
Crochet Snowflakes

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