Learn With Leanne: Chunky Tea Cosy
Learning to knit, however you do it, is a momentous event – and we love the stunning photo tutorials from Leanne who blogs at “This Little Space of Mine”. Leanne is joining LoveKnitting to bring you a series of easy-knit tutorials, where in the upcoming weeks, you can learn the basics of knitting and improve your skills with extra techniques such as cables and colour-work. Follow Leanne’s fabulous instructions in this first tutorial to make a tea cosy that you will love forever!
Lesson one: A stocking and moss stitch tea cosy
I’m delighted to bring you the first of my five-part series of learning how to knit. If you’ve mastered the basics but want to know where to go next, these tutorials are for you. I’ll walk you through using different yarns, techniques and stitches.
We’re kicking things off with this easy and fun tea cosy! Using stocking and moss stitch, this is a quick make that you’ll be pleased to show off in your kitchen.
What you’ll learn:
- Working with chunky yarn
- Using ‘big’ (8mm) knitting needles
- Moving on from knit and purl stitches
- Working with stocking and moss stitch
- How to decrease
- Tea cosy pattern – click here to get the pattern!
- 8mm knitting needles
- Rowan Big Wool in Sun (068) – 100g – 25 shades available!
- Yarn needle
- Pom pom maker (optional)
How to make it:
Step 1. The beauty of working with large needles and chunky yarn is that it’ll work up really quickly; I made the two pieces for this tea cosy in an evening, and you can too! Start by casting on your 21 stitches (as stated in the pattern).
Step 2. Rows 1 – 4 are made up of moss stitch (k1, p1 to the end). I’m a big fan of this stitch because it really adds a texture and will help avoid your work ‘curling’ – ideal for blankets and the likes. Remember that each row will begin with a knit stitch.
Step 3. Once you have the base of your tea cosy you’ll then be working in stocking stitch – knit one row, purl one row. You’ll do this for rows 5-16. If you find it tricky to know if you should be knitting a knit row or purl row, I’d recommend writing it out as follows: K P K P K P K P K P K P
Step 4. For rows 17 – 21 you’ll be decreasing your stitches (i.e. knitting two stitch together) to form the shape of your tea cosy. Again, write out the numbered rows so you can keep track of where you are, and remember only the knit rows (17, 19 and 21) involve decreasing. To knit two stitches together, you just have to push the needle through two loops on the left hand needle, then follow through the knit as you would normally – see below for an example.
Step 5. For the final four rows (22 – 25) you’ll go back to moss stitch, just as you did at the beginning.
Step 6. Now cast off your row and repeat this process again for the other side of your tea cosy.
Step 7. Once the two pieces have been made you’ll need to sew the two sides together, so to begin, just focus on the moss stitched sections (the top and bottom of the tea cosy). Click here for a handy video tutorial on how to create an invisible seam, also known as mattress stitch.
Step 8. Then place the cosy on your tea pot to see how it’s looking; depending on the size of your tea pot you may wish to sew together a further couple of stitches.
Step 9. For decoration thread a piece of yarn or ribbon through the top of the cosy (the base of the moss stitch, as a guide) and pull the yarn slightly to form a gather.
Step 10. At this point you can also add a pom pom or two for decoration.
This is a great little make for a beginner; something you’ll be able to do quickly, and be proud to show off in your home or give as a gift. I thoroughly enjoyed making it!
Tune in next time, when Leanne will be talking us through how to knit a cosy hot water bottle cover, using increasing, decreasing and changing yarn shades.
Last updated: January 8th, 2015.