How to Knit A Kirstie's Homemade Home Tea Cosy

Kirstie Allsopp
Kirstie's Homemade Home Tea Cosy

'The great thing about knitting is that you can do it virtually anywhere - on the bus on the way to work, during your lunch break, in the pub with friends, it's the ultimate portable hobby,' says Kirstie.

This tea cosy project, taken from the Kirstie's Homemade Home book, is worked in garter stitch. There are only six purl rows in the pattern, and these create the roof edges on the cosy.

Time required:

Five hours to two days - it depends on how quick a knitter you are!

Cost:

Double knit (DK) wool costs from £2.50 per 50g ball.

Skill level:

You will need basic knitting skills including being able to read a knitting pattern, casting on and off and knit and purl stitches.

Click here to view the full size tea cosy chart. You can then right click and save the large version of the file for future reference.

Tea cosy knitting pattern

You will need:

2 x 50-g balls DK, pale pink (Yarn A)
1 x 50-g ball DK, green (Yarn B)
1 x 50-g ball DK, purple (Yarn C)
1 x 50-g ball DK, pink (Yarn D)
1 x 50-g ball DK, blue (Yarn E)
1 x 50-g ball DK, brown (Yarn F)
1 pair of 4 mm (US size 6) needles
Stitch holder

Abbreviations

DK - Double knit
G-st - Garter stitch (which means you knit every row)
K - Knit
K2tog - Knit 2 together
P - Purl
Sts - Stitches
St-st - Stocking stitch (you knit a row, then purl a row, and continue in this way)

Intarsia

As the cosy is made with several colours of yarn, the intarsia technique should be used to join them in. This involves using isolated strands or balls of yarn for each colour to avoid carrying them across the back of the work. You simply leave the unwanted colour hanging at the back of the work and pick up the required colour as you knit back and forth. Make sure you leave long enough strands to complete each area of colour. About 3m (10ft) should be enough for the windows and door of the house.

Let's take an example: when you cast on you will need to use a strand of pink for one side of the house, a green strand for the door and then another strand of pink for the other side of the house. As you are knitting the house in garter stitch, when you come to change colour along a row, you will need to take the yarn for the colour you are about to knit with to the back of the work (between your needles) before knitting it.

Once you have taken the strand to the back, you twist it around the yarn that you have just been working with so that there is no hole between the two colours; this should be done every time you change colour in any row.

When you have finished, the strands left hanging should be sewn in at the back of the work. To give both the inside and outside of the cosy a neat appearance, you should sew pink strands over the back of the pink knitting, green over green, and so on. This means that if your strands show at the front of the piece, you will hardly notice as they are the same colour as the knitting. It will also give the back of your work as neat a finish as you can get.

For the front and back pieces:

Following the tea cosy chart, cast on 28sts in the following way:
Cast on 4sts in Yarn A, 11sts in Yarn B, 13sts with a separate strand of Yarn A. Follow the chart, working in G-st, until 56 rows are complete.
Break off Yarn A.
Continue in Yarn F for the rest of the piece.

Roof shaping:

Using Yarn F, Knit 2 rows.
Next row: Purl.
Next row: Knit.
Next row: *K2tog, knit to last 2sts then k2tog.
Next row: Knit.*
Repeat from * to * until only 4sts remain.
Next row: K2tog twice.
Next row: K2tog.
Cast off.
The back is knitted in the same way, so repeat all of the above for the back piece.

Side S (Make E 2):

*Using Yarn A, cast on 14sts.
Work in G-st for 52 rows.*
Leave the sts on a holder.
Repeat from * to * to make the second half of one of the sides.
Using Yarn A, with both sides on one needle (28sts all together), knit across all 28sts, thus joining them together. (This will become the opening for the spout on one side and the handle on the other.)
Knit 3 more rows.
Break off Yarn A.
Continue in Yarn F for the rest of the piece.

Roof shaping:

Complete as for roof shaping the front.
Work other side of tea cosy in the same way.

Making up:

Before putting the tea cosy together using backstitch and Yarn F, sew around the windows, dividing them into four using Yarn F. (Use the photo of the tea cosy as a guide.)

Place all sides of the tea cosy right side down on the ironing board (i.e. wrong side facing you), cover with a damp tea towel and press lightly with a hot iron.

Using Yarn A, sew up the sides of the tea cosy with the seams on the outside. Turn the cosy inside-out and overstitch the roof sections to it using Yarn F. Now sew the roof sections together, pinching them to make the roof stand tall.

Turn the cosy right side out and place over your teapot to work out how much you need to join the side pieces so that the spout and handle peek out. Remove from teapot and overstitch the two sides as necessary using Yarn A.

Kirstie's Homemade Home Book

This step-by-step craft project is extracted from Kirstie's Homemade Home by Kirstie Allsopp, published by Hodder & Stoughton, £20. Buy a copy from Amazon here .

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