Monday, February 13, 2012

A Tunisian Crochet Tea Cosy/Tea Cozy with Insulating "Rimples"

Tea cozies (in the UK: tea cosies) have been my constant companions as 2012 has gotten off to an eventful start! Most recently I've been drinking record amounts of hot tea to help me recover from a severe head cold, as well as to catch my breath between events. 
Rimply: Ready for Tea Time

The longer my teapot stays hot, the better. Handmade tea cozies work great! If a crochet cowl or hat feels warm and toasty, you can bet the same crochet stitch and yarn will also work well as a tea cosy. 

In fact, a crocheted hat or cowl can quickly be turned into a tea cozy. This is what happened to Rimply, one of my Tunisian crochet cowl designs. I've used it more as a tea cozy than as a cowl since I designed it a year ago. Also, I leave it on a silver teapot when I'm not using it, because it also slows tarnishing.
Same Rimply as a Cowl, but worn upside down.

Tunisian crochet is not known for being stretchy. In this case, though, the combination of wooly yarn, bigger Tunisian crochet hook, and the unique heat-trapping tunnels ('rimples') all contribute stretch to this solid Tunisian Knit Stitch fabric.

To turn this cowl into a tea cosy, all I did was crochet two lengths of chain stitches. One serves as a drawstring along the top edge of the cowl to fit it snugly around the top (where much heat would otherwise escape). The other ties together the cowl just under the teapot handle. These simple ties make Rimply nicely adjustable as a tea cozy.
Another way to style Rimply.
This one was crocheted in a finer
purple yarn that has more drape

In this case, the spout is slender enough and the stitches stretchy enough that I can poke the spout through the stitches. If I were to crochet another one, I'd add an easy buttonhole-type slit for the spout instead.