Knit a tea cosy

RUTH CROSS is a knitwear designer and author who creates striking and unique knitted accessories for the home.

As 2014 whizzes past in a rainy blur, we seem to be hurtling headlong into the wonderful world of chicks, bunnies, huge lunches and chocolate. Hooray, Easter’s here!

As we sit at home surrounded by mountains of chocolate eggs, the debate begins – is it best to eat just a little bit every day for at least a month, or (my method of preference) eat the entire lot in one go in the vain hope that some sneaks past my bathroom scales without ending up on my waistline? Annoyingly this actually works for my husband and of course never works with me, why do men have it so lucky?

Aside from dreaming about the impending sweet-centric holiday, my knitting needles have been a lot busier than expected lately, due in large part to the recent dreadful weather this fine country has been having. While we’ve all been desperate for some clear winter days, we are at least warm and surrounded by ever more ridiculous ideas for things to knit…Some of which might even make it onto my website!

I’ve decided to translate and publish all of my old patterns alongside new ones, so anyone can make them at home. But with hundreds in the history of Ruth Cross, it’s a bit difficult to know where to start, so small things first I think; look out for cushions, scarves and mitten patterns coming soon.

Meanwhile on the Homemaker pattern hit list this month and in honour of my last ever column, I’m going for something a bit retro with a stripy egg-inspired tea cosy. So, relish the chance to hibernate a little bit longer, put the hot cross buns under the grill, pick up those sticks and whip up something woolly for Easter! I’ve written exactly what I did but make yours your own, try different colours, yarns and decorate it however you want. I’d love to see pictures of what you come up with, so make sure to get in touch and show off your creations. It’s been lovely sharing my knitty adventures with you, farewell and happy knitting Homemakers!

    • 4mm needles

    • 100 grams of double knit yarn

    • (I have used Rowan Pure Wool DK in colours Cypress (A), Shale (B) and Kiss (D) and King Cole’s Galaxy DK in Mars (C). However, you can use any DK yarn in any colour combination you want, it’s a great way to use up any leftover bits of yarn!)

    • p = purl

    • k = knit

    • st = stitch/es

    • sl = slip; move the next stitch straight to the new needle without working it

    • wyib/wyif = with yarn in back/with yarn in front

One-row buttonhole:

    Bring yarn to front of work, sl 1 st pwise, take yarn to back of work, *sl 1 pwise, pass second st on right hand needle over and off needle, rep from *seven times, return last st to left hand needle, turn, cable cast on nine sts (one more than cast off), sl 1 st from left hand to right hand needle, pass second st over and off needle

Cast on 175 sts
    • Row 1: Purl

    • Row 2: K3, [p7, k2] 19 times, k1

    • Row 3: P3, [yon, k2, sl1 st wyib, k2tog, psso, k2, yrn, p2] 19 times p1

    • Row 4- 22: Repeat rows 2-3, then Row 2 again

    • Row 23*: P3, [yon k2, sl1 st wyib, k2tog, psso, k2, yrn, p2] eight times yon, k2 sl1 st wyib, k2tog, psso, k2 yrn, p1, work one-row buttonhole over nine sts. P1, [yon, k2, sl1 st wyib, k2tog, psso, k2, yrn, p2] nine times p1

    • Row 24-36: Rep Rows 2-3, then Row 2 again

    • Row 37: P3, [k2, sl1 st wyib k2tog, psso, k2, p2] 19 times, p1. (137 sts)

    • Row 38: K3, [p5, k2] 19 times, k1

    • Row 39: P1, p2tog, [k1, sl1 st wyib, k2tog, psso, k1, p2tog] 19 times, p1 (79 sts)

    • Row 40: K2, [p3, k1] 19 times, k1

    • Row 41: P2, [sl1 st wyib, k2tog, psso, p1] 19 times, p1 (41 sts)

    • Row 42: K2, [p1, k1] 19 times, k1

    • Row 43: P1, [sl1 st wyib, k2tog, psso, k1] ten times (21 sts)

    • Row 44: [Sl1 st wyib, k2tog, psso] seven times (3 sts)

    Pass yarn through remaining stitches and draw together. Use this end to sew down the side seam until the top of the handle. Sew in all your ends and stitch together the seam under the handle too. Make a Pom Pom and sew it on the top to finish.

    This is the row where the spout hole is made; if the centre of your spout is higher or lower you can do this on any even row earlier/ later To replicate the pattern of this tea cosy, you need to change yarns as follows:

    • Row 1-10: A

    • Row 11-14: B

    • Rows 15/16, 19/20, 23/24: C

    • Rows 17/18, 21/22: D

    • Rows 25/26: B

    • Row 27-45: A