Picture of How to knit a 'proper' English tea cosy!
knit a cosy.jpg
Americans don't know what a tea cosy is! However, once they see one and decide it is not a hat for a large dog or small donkey, they want one - that is of course if they own a proper tea pot. (Look inside the tea pot and a "proper" tea pot has several holes where the spout enters the pot - not just one big one!)

By the way, I have always been wary of Americans making tea! Don't forget - they once tried to make it with Boston Harbour water!

The knitting of tea cosies is a very traditional idea and if you go to England check out the church bazaars, etc. and I am sure you will always find one to suit your taste. If you already live in England, you will know what I mean. The one in the second picture was knitted for my mother in law, who I vowed to keep in tea cosies for ever.......
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Step 1: Let the knitting begin!

Picture of Let the knitting begin!
The size of the cosy will depend on the size of the tea pot. This cosy is knitted for a 6-cup pot, but you can easily adapt the pattern to make it smaller or much larger.

Once you have decided on your two colours, take a pair of knitting needles - size 5mm. Cast on 72 stitches (multiple of 6). For a medium cosy cast on 60 stitches (multiple of 5).

Cast on using the two needle method as follows;

Hold one needle in your left hand and one needle in your right hand. The right hand is the hand doing most of the work.

Make a loop and place on the left-hand needle.
Pass the tip of the right hand needle through the loop, wind yarn round the right hand needle to make a second loop. Place this new loop on the left hand needle to the right of the original loop. You now have two stitches on the left-hand needle.

To make the third stitch, pass the tip of the right hand needle BEHIND the second loop (and in front of the first loop -not through any loop) Wind yarn round the right hand needle to form the third loop and place this on the left hand needle to the right of the second loop. Continue with this last instruction to make loops until you have the desired number of stitches - in this case 72. This method of casting on makes a much neater and firmer set of stitches with which to work.

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teresasue1 month ago
What yarn and how much needed please
teresasue1 month ago
What yarn and how much needed please
I love this and I want to do this! But I do not understand how to do the following step:

"Make sure you carry the yarn at the back as you change colours and do not pull the yarn tight."

Can anyone help me with this? I can only manage to pull the yarn across the front, and can't get it to the back? How???
babyowl532 years ago
Love the tea cozy.. I was raised learning how to make and drink tea the British way and my mother and I are American.
sclaughton2 years ago
What yarn did you use for this? I am in Canada, also what was your gauge?
bouder2 years ago
I was raised by tea loving (Canadian) parents and we always had a tea cosy or two! After I was married, I saw and fell in love the tea cosy that my husband's (Scottish) Grandmother had. It is identical to yours, but she does not have the pattern! So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw this post! If only it came in crochet instructions. as I cannot knit! :-(
KittyF3 years ago
do you use wool or artificial fibers for your cosy?
Kiteman6 years ago
She hasn't logged on, but Kitewife just browsed this and liked it. My granny had a tea cosy like this, but it had a hole at the top for the knob on the lid of the pot. It had a tiny hole in the knob to let the steam out, so the hole was important to stop the cosy getting damp. (Rated on Kitewife's behalf.)
stinkymum (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
By the way, both the purple/pink and green/green cosies are coming to England at the end of the month as gifts for deserving relatives in Woodbridge!
I hope they're not members, or you've just spoiled the surprise!
stinkymum (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
never did take those cosies to England (forgot to pack them!)- I had to knit a new set of three over there for my sister-in-law's teapots. Here they are in their new home on a Woodbridge sideboard!
England 2008 one 012.jpg
could you tell me how many stitches you used for the small pot i have just bought a one pot new to knitting but picking up quick would like to knit a few as my dad would love these
An easy way would be to work out how many stitches you normally form per inch (knit a few rows, measure and count), measure around the pot, then work it out from there [number = (stitches per inch) x (inches around)].
stinkymum (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
I hadn't thought of that, but the steam can get out of the spout too.
Oh, covering the top of the lid doesn't harm the tea or the pot, she just didn't like damp patches on her cosy.

She was seriously old-school regarding crafts, make-do-and-mend right to the end. She knitted lots, didn't have carpets, and made her own rugs from strips of old clothing ("proddy mats"). She drank tea so weak that a single bag would last a full pot, and then she added hot water to the cups!

I don't remember how she was, but my dad was born in 1942, a very late addition to the family, so she quite probably remembered both World Wars.
carolynq3 years ago
I am very proud of my first attempt - a rasta tea cosy, which works a treat!
Thanks for the pattern
rasta tea cosy.jpg
deenakalb3 years ago
How much yarn is needed? I didn't see any quantity posted.....
peely1243 years ago
just became a member why carnt i download PDF keeps saying become a member!! help
Bravo! I woke up this morning, turned to the net as with winter coming I have to find a way to keep my tea hot now I'm back in old Blighty. I found this fantastic site so I'm going to get my wool today and keep my big tea pot covered. Thanks a million
Jeffwho3 years ago
Just knit my first tea cosy from this pattern and it turned out wonderfully, it gets used almost every day and I probably make one for my little sister that also loves tea. It was my second project after learning how to knit and now I'm trying to learn how to knit socks. Thank you for the wonderful pattern and inspiration to try knitting one of these cosies. Though there should be a disclaimer some where in the instructions that warns that knitting can be addicting, but I suppose knitters already know that. :)
jaysbob6 years ago
what difference do the extra holes in the pot make? I've noticed some teapots with that design and always wondered about that.
stinkymum (author)  jaysbob6 years ago
In the "olden" days when tea was loose (no tea bags) and there were no tea strainers, the extra holes prevented the large tea leaves from coming out of the spout into the cup!
maeve stinkymum6 years ago
THe Olden Days??? I still use loose tea here in Ireland!!! In our tea pot theres a bit of mesh inside the spout aswell as the smaill holes just to be extra sure of no manky tea leaves... they tase awfull!!!
stinkymum (author)  maeve6 years ago
Just goes to show that Ireland is much more civilized than the US!
Seriously, why the problem with Americans? It's kind of offensive.
maeve stinkymum6 years ago
My nana has a pattern for a tea cosy like that, except the ridges are further apart ( wider stripes of colour). I would post it here but its kind of incomplete... as are most of her patterns, but she always manages to guess them perfectly!
stinkymum (author)  maeve6 years ago
This is such a traditional English design, and I know that there are lots of variations - with wider stripes and narrower stripes. I once found one in a charity shop in California with a pom pom on top and the people in the shop thought it was a hat for a large dog!
maeve stinkymum6 years ago
Ha ha, big dog, if the cosy wud b big enough to fit my nana's (granny's) teapot, t'wud fill the army with tea and there'd still be sum spare!!! ( what my granda always ses!)
stinkymum (author)  maeve6 years ago
I suppose in California they don't need a cosy to keep the tea pot warm! Here's a link to the biggest cosy I ever made. My sister in law has placed it on a globe of the world to create global warming! My dad loved his tea and used to sit the tea pot (and the cosy) on the gas ring - he set fire to many a tea cosy that way!
super cosy 003.jpgJanuary 11th 004.jpg
maeve stinkymum6 years ago
woah, thats big!!!! My granda is always putting the teapot up on his big old range, den my nana gives out to him when he puts it on the table coz it makes big black scortch marks on the table cloth!
stinkymum (author)  maeve6 years ago
my dad would set the teapot with the cosy on it on the range, and he burnt a lot of cosies that way!
maeve maeve6 years ago
(oops forgot to finish the above comment off) Another phenomenon- the tea pot is ALWAYS empty after 5 minutes!!! (to anybody reading: The "irish" kid in the simpsons movie does NOT have an Irish accent. NOBODY over here speaks like that, just in case you believed we do!)
maeve maeve6 years ago
oh yeah, wat part of england is woodbridge in???
bettbee maeve5 years ago
I'm here in the good old US of A using loose tea as well! :-)

Also the proud owner of at least 3 tea cosies! But none of my cosies has openings for spout and handle so I shall have to re-learn knitting and make one like this!

Was watching some crafts show the other day, and some woman had made a HUGE tea cosy and then felted it in hot water so it shrunk to normal size. It was very cool.
Can you make a hat one pleses?
Peebie34 years ago
I grew up with one of these that my Mom had. It was cream colored and green, but stained. My Mom always wanted to figure out how it was made but never did. Thank you for bringing back a fond memory for me.
johnnay4 years ago
Why is she ribbing Americans??
Staarrkatt4 years ago
I'm seeing references to 'fancier' tea cozies. I've got an English friend for whom I'd *love* to make a tea cozy - where do I find the fancier patterns, please? 
I can't knit, but I've made very workable tea cozies from ordinary winter hats (one from a berber fleece hat for a larger teapot, and one from a darling baby's hat for a single-cup teapot). Just cut a hole for the handle, and another for the spout. Works very well.
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