Well, I have done it – completed my order for a set of tea cosies for the beautiful cafe Le Bon Melange. In the process I think I have perfected my pattern for making the tea cosies, so decided it was time to share it here. This is the first time that I have published a crochet pattern, so please be gentle with me – and let me know if you find any errors!! If you do make a cosy from this pattern I would love to see the end result!
The two sizes of tea cosy plus a coffee press cosy too!
This pattern is for a flat topped one cup tea pot, but I have fitted it to a more rounded one cup pot and it worked just as well. To adjust it to a larger two cup pot the instructions for the top remain the same, it is just the number of rows for the body that change. Once you have the basic body you can then decorate it with whatever you like! Flowers, hearts, frogs – the sky is the limit!
The red pot is the one cup pot and the aqua is the two cup pot. How well do those colours match the wool?!
I used a 4mm crochet hook and 8 ply wool to make this pattern.If you use thicker wool the pattern will still work – it will just end up slightly bigger.
dc double crochet
To start chain 4 and joined with ss
Row 1 Ch 3 then 11 dc into the ring, ss to join to top of the first chain 3 (creating 12 stiches in round)
Row 2 Ch 3, 2 dc in each stitch of round 1, with last single dc in base of initial chain 3 stitch, ss to join
Row 3 Ch 3, *1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch* repeat 11 more times, with last dc in base of first ch 3, ss to join
Row 4 Ch 1, ss in next stitch, ss in next stitch, 3 ch and skip stitch, then 1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch, *1 dc in next stitch, 1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch* repeated 10 times and finish with single dc in last two stitches of round. (This is the top of the cosy)
Row 5 Ch 3, turn and 1 dc in each of next 21 stitches (22 in total)
Row 6 – 8 repeat round 5 then finish.
Return to round 5 and attach wool three stitches from the first half of round five and then repeat round 5 – 8 in order to create the second half of the cosy. Do not finish off at the end of row 8 but continue on.
Row 9 ch 3 dc in each stitch until reaching the end of the row then ch 3 and dc in each stitch of other half of cosy. This creates the join under the spout.
Row 10 – 11, ch 3 dc in each stitch of row, including the joining 3 ch from row 9.
Row 12 3 ch, ss to other side of cosy, then 3 ch, turn and dc in second chain from ss, dc in each stitch until reach the beginning of the row. This joins the cosy under the handle.
Row 13 – optional – ch 1, skip first stitch then ss in each stitch of row 12 and finish with ss into fist ch.
To make this pattern fit a larger 2 cup pot the pattern is the same until row 8 when you should stitch another row before creating the join under the spout in row 10 rather than row 9. Then add in rows so that the final row with the join under the handle is row 15. You can adapt the basic pattern to fit larger pots by adjusting the size of the top and then the length of the body.
I did add a crown to one of the small cosies – I just couldn’t help myself! Here the pattern is shown on a different shaped one cup pot – it is fairly versatile.
Since I last wrote all sorts of things have happened here in the nest, both with my business but also on the farm. Let’s get the colourful exciting pictures out of the way first! I have been busy playing with both fabric and wool, and trying out new things. I made my first large batch of tea bags and listed them on my Etsy shop (the link is at the top of the page).
I also played with bright colours and bobble stitches to make a tea cosy for a custom order and then, because I like it so much, made another for the Etsy shop!
On Monday I received a commission to make a series of tea cosies for a cafe! I will reveal all when they are complete, but I have had fun developing a repeatable pattern which I will publish once I have ironed out all the bugs! This is a picture during an early stage of development!
I have spent quite a bit of time at appointments and in waiting rooms this week so having my portable crochet habit with me has been useful. At the hairdressers on Wednesday I finished this water lily that I had been making using a pattern from Make my day creative.
On Thursday and again today I made lots of little hearts,
and kept perfecting that pattern!
On the home front much more has been happening. Last Saturday we met and decided to trial (before formally adopting) a new dog. It is exactly one year since our beautiful boy Milo contracted pancreatitis, and then died three months later. My boy has been patiently waiting for another dog of his own but I was keen to make sure it was the right dog, and that we were ready. Shadow seems to fit the bill. He is a Belgian Shepherd who was rescued after living rough in the bush on the outskirts of Canberra. Searches have not been able to locate his owners, so a rescue group set out to find him a new home. He has the most beautiful nature and is completely dedicated to my son. The downside is that he is not fully toilet trained at the moment, but that is possibly due to stress, as he is improving daily. With a week to go in the trial I think it will be hard to say goodbye to him and expect that he will become a permanent part of the family!
Saturday brought us other excitement with the discovery by the artist in residence of an injured kangaroo down near our chook run. We cared for him during the day until the Wildcare rescuers could come and take him for treatment. A photo sent through last night shows him doing well, so we are all very happy that Roger (as the kids named him) is doing well! His friends seem a bit suspicious of us though and seem to be keeping an eye on us all!
The other thing I can show you in photos is my new haircut. It has been a while since I had it done – a combination of finances, time and more time seemed to keep delaying me, which meant that by the time I got to the hairdresser she had a lot of hair to work with! I love the end result! I had to take a selfie to share the new look with you!
So there you have it – a week in review! Now to get the fire going because it is cold today, and then to keep working on that pattern! A cup of tea might be in order first though!
I hope that you have had a great week wherever you are!
With my renewed enthusiasm for creating it is probably time to start sharing some of the useful things I find on the internet with you all too. This week it is free patterns for crocheted baskets. I love working with thick repurposed t-shirt yarn – it works up so quickly so you get almost instant satisfaction for your efforts. I have to admit that so far my attempts at making my own yarn haven’t been great, but I will keep persevering, and in the meantime have found some great commercially produced yarn to practise with. I made these two baskets (without a pattern) to hold all the wool that was accumulating around my lounge room! I also have crocheted baskets that hang in the mudroom to hold hats and gloves, in bedrooms to hold assorted things on desks, and have a small basket made of left over pieces of yarn that I use to collect eggs in each morning! These baskets are really versatile!
I also have crocheted baskets that hang in the mudroom to hold hats and gloves, in bedrooms to hold assorted things on desks, and have a small basket made of left over pieces of yarn that I use to collect eggs in each morning! These baskets are really versatile!
Here are links to a great range of patterns I found in my searching on the internet for inspiration:
While I am informed that ‘handmade is the new black’, the joy of handmade has not spread to the men in our lives as much as the women and children. Today’s list, however, is set to change that! I have gathered together a list of links to free patterns to make a wide variety of things that will all be well received by the men in your life. Remember – handmade doesn’t mean poor quality – it means high quality because it is imbued with the love of the person making the gift!
Father’s Day is a day to reflect on the men in our lives – our fathers, grandfathers, and the fathers of our children. I am very lucky to have known both my grandfathers, and to still have my father. I have memories of dancing on my Opa’s shoes in the lounge room, and of my Pop taking us for outings to the only ice-cream parlour in Auckland at the time (because as an American he missed ice-cream parlours). My Dad is truly one of the good guys. He provides me with love and support, humour and wisdom as he has always. I am always grateful that I am his daughter, so Father’s Day is a special day in my life each year.
As you all know, sewing is my ‘thing’ so the first part of this list are ideas that are for sewn gifts for men. First up – a hat! I love the styling of this pattern for a men’s flat cap from aboutgoodness.com.
Another idea is an apron for Dad. I have used this pattern from Purl Bee and really like the way that the strap is adjustable so it can fit a multitude of sizes. When I made an apron with this pattern for a family member I used printable fabric to print a picture of the children holding a sign with her name and made the pocket from that.
Last Christmas I made my father a sun hat using this pattern from April Cobb. The pattern is a good basic one, and you can personalise it with your choice of fabrics. I had to include some orange in the one for my Dad because he is from The Netherlands!
Another idea that I am keen to make myself is this tutorial for an iPhone/iPad stand from the lovely Michelle at Factotum of the Arts.
If you are a fan of making bags like me, then a cargo duffle bag is a great personal gift that he will get a lot of use from. Noodlehead has the free pattern for this bag on her site.
For a ‘metro’ Dad in your life, Sew4Home has a pattern for this ‘Metro Bag‘.
For a Dad who likes a nice hankie, Purl Bee has a detailed tutorial on how to create a rolled-hem Hankie.
Another simple to make but thoughtful gift is a coffee cup cozy. Hawaiian Paperdoll shares a great pattern on her site.
Another idea, and one that I have been playing with myself, is making Dad a wallet. A nice simple pattern for a wallet is found on Allisa Jacobs website.
For those of you who like to crochet here is a list for you!
Or you might like to make Dad his own Death Star Cushion with this pattern from Pops de Milk.
I plan to make these Opa House Slippers for my own Dad one day…… The pattern is on Ravelry.
Of course Dad could always use a new gadget cover – and there is a great list of free patterns in this post I prepared a couple of weeks ago – DIY Gadget covers.
As usual there are many other great lists of gifts that you can make for Father’s Day. If you are interested in seeing more lists, or other ideas, you might like to look at the Pinterest board I have created as a place to store these ideas, appropriately titled “Gifts for Men“!
The most important thing to remember though, is that if you make a gift with love, you pass your love with the gift.
This weekend just past was a long weekend in Australia, in celebration of the Queens’s birthday. (Which is amusing really as her birthday is actually in April.) Anyway, it means a three day weekend, and who am I to argue the semantics of whether we should or shouldn’t be having a day off in June? It also means that winter has started, and, more importantly for me, that the Handmade Markets have been held.
I know that I have written about these markets before, and that I am a bit biased as a stall holder at the markets, but they really are quite fabulous. The standard of handmade, Australian made, goods that are available is very high, and the diversity is wide. (and to show that it isn’t just me that thinks so here are some links to media coverage of the markets! ABC news coverage, Canberra Times article)
I have been working flat out over the last weeks to ensure that I had enough stock to take to the markets, and that it was of a sufficiently high quality. (Which explains my relative quiet here on the blog – I have been busy sewing!) It definitely paid off. I was very happy with the presentation of my stall this time (learning and refining each time I do a market) and with the bags and bibs that I had on offer.
Making bibs for the markets
I had planned to make pencil rolls to take to the Market as well, and had left them as my last bit of sewing to do on Friday. Until the mailman delivered a parcel from Spoonflower (that I had ordered 5 weeks earlier) and I was compelled to wash, cut and sew the fabric into bibs – it was too cute for words! Needless to say – no pencil rolls.
Very cute fabric from Spoonflower
Then, to top off an already exciting day, I had a mid-afternoon mail delivery of a magazine called ‘Love Sewing Australia’ which is a new publication released by Practical Publishing, an Australian publishing group. Why was it so exciting? Because a pattern that I wrote was published in the magazine!! I was approached to submit a project back in January/February and prepared a tutorial for making an Oma tote (named after my grandmother, Oma) and a yarn bag – a pouch with holes for yarn to feed through so that you can knit or crochet on the go. And there it is, in radiant colour! The magazine is available in Coles supermarkets and newsagencies here in Australia. I might have to go and buy a couple of spare copies!
Page 22 of “Love Sewing Australia”
The markets were busy. I was on my feet all day of each weekend, with few exceptions, and talking to the most amazing customers. I think that attending markets and interacting with customers is the icing on the cake for me. There are so many wonderful people who want to talk about products and learn about them, and who are interested in what I can provide them, that it is really energising. They were also so busy that I had to do a bit of sewing on Saturday night to re-stock in time for Sunday! (Luckily common sense kicked in so I only made a few bibs, then went to bed – I was bone weary!)
There were two big differences in my experience of the markets this time. The first was that I didn’t need to call on my friends to help out with last minute prep, or set up. However I did utilise my children. The artist in residence spent time on Wednesday night attaching stickers to bags and cutting out care instructions. Then on Friday night the eldest chick rode her bike to my house straight from school (while the other two were still at their father’s house) and helped all afternoon, and into the evening, with packaging, counting, cutting, labelling, etc. Then she attended the markets all day Saturday and helped with the set up, and served customers. She interacted with them, told them about the products, made small talk, and made a few good sales!
The morning sun made for warmth on a cold morning, but not for great photos!
The artist-in-residence attended on Sunday morning but was a little shy and didn’t feel comfortable talking to customers on her own. That, of course, was okay too. She did join in a conversation with a lovely couple who overcame her shyness by talking to her about things she was interested in, and she was able to tell them that she is having a painting submitted for an exhibition shortly. They were suitably impressed and asked for her name so that they could say they had met the famous artist when she was a child – and that made her day! (They also bought a bag, so that made mine!!)
The second difference was that customers knew me from the last market, and came looking for me specifically! That was a real buzz! I had a great position on the side of the market hall, which meant that there was room in front of the stall for people to chat without blocking the stall, and they could browse without feeling they were holding other people up. I was also interviewed for a TV show by the delightful Kitty von Tastique whose hair colours put mine to shame! This is definitely not my best angle, or shot, but a selfie was required!
The interesting thing that I am finding about the markets and my products is that I am constantly growing. I am developing my ideas, my style and my approach, and feeling more comfortable in my skin every day. Being able to say, quite honestly, “This is my full time job” felt good.
I also had my very first experience of someone being openly shocked at my prices. Of course it happened when another designer I know, who has attended one of my mentoring sessions, and who also makes fabric bags, was at my stall. I had just been giving her a pep-talk about how her prices were too low when a lady came and admired my bags, decided that she liked one, and then asked the price and recoiled in horror, thrust the bag back at me and said ‘Oh no, I won’t pay that” and walked away! I didn’t mind personally but thought that the timing was more than a little ironic!
For now, though, I am back in the sewing room, making new stock for my Etsy shop, for the Handmade Shop, and filling custom orders. I also need to catch up on my posts about my experiences in the Human Brochure – they have been amazing!
This series of posts provides a place for me to share tutorials I have found online where other crafters have shared their ideas on how to make handmade for whatever occasion, outfit, home decoration need that you might have. This post focusses on Easter. This has to be one of the best holiday seasons around – religious meaning, chocolate, cute bunnies and chicks, a four day weekend – not a lot more you can ask for in a holiday really!
The number of crafts available for Easter is, of course, endless. I have collected some of my favourite sewing tutorials here, and have pinned many other links to tutorials for all sorts of other crafts on my “Holidays” Pinterest board if you are looking for other inspiration.
I am not especially good at changing my décor to suit the holidays – but with cute cushion covers like these, I think I could be tempted!
There are pages and pages of wonderful ideas for children’s Easter craft, free Easter printables, delicious recipes and fantastic ideas for decorating eggs out there on the net – I have captured a very small selection here, and a few more on my Pinterest Holidays board. My final piece of inspiration however, is this decorated egg byRed Ted Art – a wonderful site full of inspiring ideas.
Your calendar is not wrong. Today is not Friday. However….my submission to the Handmade Holiday series on Sew Mama Sew – Eco-friendly Gifts– is on their site today, so I thought it would be useful to have a complementary list to celebrate this event!
Looking after the environment, reducing waste, re-purposing and re-cycling, being aware of our eco-system and, as my boy says, looking after nature, are all things that are important in this nest. In fact, for most of my friends and family, these things are automatic these days, and form part of our everyday life. We have a water-tank, raise chickens, compost, grow vegies (with variable success), recycle, etc. Being able to make gifts that incorporate these principles is great – both from an ethical point of view, but also from a budgetary one! In my search for eco-friendly gift ideas for my submission to Sew Mama Sew I found wonderful ideas. Not all of them could be published on their site, so today I provide you with the supplementary list of ideas – and hopefully some inspiration for other ways of making eco-friendly gifts, decorations and having a cleaner, greener Christmas!
Lacy at Every Day is a New Day has a tutorial for making Resuable-washable paper towel. I love this concept. One step past having a pile of cloths to use for spills – making a roll that is convenient to ‘tear off’ and use instead of paper towel is a great gift for the eco-friendly domestic goddess in your life!
Vicky Meyers has a blog full of wonderful ideas about how to make recycled bags, however it was the idea of a Recycled denim Foot Muff that caught my attention. A great gift for the hipster in your life!
Of course denim can be used to make many wonderful re-purposed gifts. This denim bag from Art Bar is another great idea.
Fabrics from favourite clothes, or sheets can also be re-purposed into pillow covers. The Creative Place has a great tutorial for making a Repurposed Clothes College Pillow.
The tutorial from Happy Hour Projects – Resuable lined snack baggies is a great present for children and parents alike. It shows you how to use plastic shopping bags to make a plastic liner for a snack bag, so it is doubly eco in my books – reducing plastic bag waste in landfill, and providing an alternative to using more plastic bags and wrap! Gifting it with some homemade treats inside would be a great eco-gift!!
Another way of using up plastic shopping bags is to re-purpose them into ‘plarn’ – plastic yarn – and then crochet something new from them! At Sustainable Baby Steps there is a great tutorial on how to do this!
The number of tutorials for re-using old woollen jumpers (sweaters) is large. Here is one with a bit of a difference – just great for an eco-baby – Felt Block Rattle – My Poppet
On the same site there is a great tutorial for making your own Dress Up Girl.
Excess CD’s can be used to make very pretty coasters, using this tutorial from Crafts by Amanda
Other gift ideas that are eco-friendly, are a bit like the non-paper paper towel at the top of this list. Making things that replace disposable objects is always good for the environment. One of my favourite things to make for use around the home is crocheted dish cloths. I use bamboo yarn as it is super absorbant. When you have used a cloth for the day, its just goes in the wash and comes up fresh again. One of my wise friends has 7 in 7 different colours – one for each day of the week. A gift like that would be a beautiful thing to make for an eco-conscious friend or family member. I have used this tutorial from Bubblegirl – dishcloth pattern with great success but there are a plethora of patterns out there to use (maybe I will put my collection into another list one day!).
In addition to the market bag tutorial linked on my Sew Mama Sew post, there are, of course, a list of tutorials for market bags here on this site that I prepared a few months ago! Where I live the shops charge you for providing a shopping bag, so we carry our own fabric bags instead. It has reduced landfill and makes us all think twice about using plastic bags. They make great presents!
When it comes to wrapping gifts, the possibilities for being eco-friendly are endless! I was reminded recently of different ways of wrapping presents that I had employed for gifts about 20 years ago. The fact that one of the recipients still remembered and treasured the effort I had gone to in making her gifts so special gave me great joy. Some of the ideas I used included brown paper with hand drawn and painted decorations, calico fabric parcels tied with string, handpainted or stamped paper, etc. If I had access to these links back then, who knows what else I would have done!