Of course, I am an organized person who thinks ahead so I… completely forgot to take pictures of it. Luckily, my mother sent me a couple of pictures of it on her teapot. They are not the best pictures, unfortunately, but I will attempt to get better ones soon:
The pattern I used was Mongolian Sock Warriors by Loani Prior. I think her tea cosy patterns are adorable and so much fun! This was the first one I got to make. My mother had indicated a few patterns of hers that she liked and chose the yarn colours. I prefer to make things for people that I know they will really like, even if that means it’s less of a surprise. She didn’t know the exact pattern I had chosen from the ones she indicated, so there was still an element of surprise there.
I learned a lot of things from making this pattern:
1) It is very hard to knit a tea cosy if you don’t have the actual teapot to try it on occasionally. You have to sort of guess at the size and proportions based on a few measurements (circumference, height) and hope it will work out. This means they would be very hard to give as gifts, as there are no real standardized teapot sizes. Even ‘X-cup’ can cover a variety of shapes and sizes.
2) At least for this pattern, the yarn estimate was way off. I made this ca. 20% bigger, had 100% more yarn than recommended, and still ran out of what were supposed to be the two main colours (red and black). This is why the body of the tea cosy has a striped pattern.
3) No gauge is given for these patterns, which is annoying. Combined with 1, it means you have to do a lot of measuring and calculating before you start the pattern.
All in all, I wish I had been able to make the body in only one or two colours, as I think the way it is now makes the tea cosy a bit too busy. I also wish I had made the side flaps a bit longer. I should have thought of these proportions as I was making them, because I knew I had made the body taller to fit my mother’s teapot. Not that it would have mattered, as I ran out of red as it is so would not have been able to add more rows. Finally, while I like the outcome of this pattern, it was a bit tedious to make. The side flaps in particular were a disappointment: they were fiddly, and despite the moss stitch edge curled a LOT. I sewed them down across almost the entire bottom edge.
But what matters most, of course, is that my mom loved it!
I hope future patterns by Loani Prior will agree with me more. I still think the tea cosies she designs are cute as a button. However, from now on I will treat them more as guidelines: I will calculate my own pattern and yarn needed before starting.