Sunday, March 26, 2017

Optional finishing for Brightmeadow's Tea Cozy

So after publishing my tea cozy pattern yesterday (here's a picture of the result)

I reviewed some other tea cozies that were "traditional British" style, and the thing I noticed the most was that the colored ridges appear to be pleated, and the stripes appear to be done in garter stitch plus fairisle.   The pleasing style is epitomized by Sarah Neal on her Ravelry pattern.  The pattern I created yesterday was NOT pleated and NOT garter stitch.  I will not be able to achieve the garter stitch look without hand-reforming stitches.  This would take longer than knitting it by hand in the first place!

But the pleating!  In hand knitting, the knitter pulls the float tight as the colors are exchanged, during the knitting, to achieve the pleated look.  This is not possible on the machine, because adjusting the tension would adjust it for both the stitches and the floats. 

But I realized last night that I could tighten the floats after the fact to achieve the pleated effect, by latching them up. Since I didn't like the effect of the bottom border, I started the latch up by selecting one of the cast-on stitches and latching up the entire column of floats.

When I got to the top, I let the loop hang and pulled it through a stitch to it's left. 
This step could be avoided by doing the latch up with the cozy still on the machine, just hang the top stitch on the open needle. 

I like the effect, it neatens up the tea cozy and adds to its insulation value by providing extra thickness.  The pleated effect is much more apparent now, and the bottom edge looks neater.  It is a bit smaller and had to stretch a little more to get around the teapot, so I think if I make it again I will add another 8 stitches (cast on 46-0-46) to give it more room.

Because of the additional stretch factor, the opening for the handle is now a large gap.   Sp I will probably add a button, hook and eye,  or Velco tab to latch it closed.

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