Saturday, March 25, 2017

Machine-Knit Tea Cozy

Tea cozies are great! I have been enjoying Rooibos tea lately, several different varieties, and I treated myself to a new teapot.  To bring out the flavor of the tea, and all the good medicinal value, pour boiling water over the tea leaves, (my new pot has a built-in infuser) and then allow to steep for at least 5 minutes. 

Head over to my Pinterest page and see the ones I've collected, or go to ravelry and do a search for them there. 

I looked for machine-knitted tea cozy pattern on Ravelry and only found one.  It was knitted "around" the tea cozy, and I was looking for one to knit top-to-bottom. 

While I was there on Ravelry, I found a hand-knitted free pattern by stinkymum for a "proper" English tea cozy, so I thought it would be fun to adapt it for machine knitting. 

My directions below for my prototype are VERY loosely based on her design, which is a traditional English tea cozy. I sized it by eye, thinking I would need to make some adjustments for the "next" one.  I used some old acrylic yarn left over from other projects.    I hope you enjoy it!

Brightmeadow's Machine Knit Peppermint "Proper English" Tea Cozy.


Machine: Brother 260 (punchcard patterning)
Yarn:  Acrylic worsted
Main Tension: 8

Prepare:

Find or make a punchcard that has a 4-on/4-off row on it.  Insert in machine and lock on that row.  Test by knitting air for a few rows: Set the carriage to KC -1, pull out some needles to WP, take the carriage past the turn mark, and make sure your needles are selected  so that every four needles are in upper working position and the next four are in lower working position. 

Cast on and knit lower edge:

COR. Pull out needles 42-0-42.   In MC, use a crochet cast on, very loosely.  Hang cast-on comb.  T8. Knit 4 rows. (Note: I tend to cast on too tightly so I ended up knitting 2 rows by hand so that the carriage would pass.) Make sure you pass the turn mark and set carriage to KC1.  Knit one row.  Needles are selected.

Knit body:
Put CC in carriage and push in MC button.  Set row counter to 0.  Knit 3 rows to establish pattern..  COR.
Split for teapot handle and knit right half:
Put needles left of 0 in hold.  Set carriage to Hold. Hang weights on right side.  Begin knitting and knit 27 rows.  Push carriage past left side of knitting.  Leave 10-inch tails, cut yarn. 

Knit left half:
Make sure both yarns are threaded in carriage.  Put needles on left side into working position as dictated by pattern with CC needles in lower WP and MC needles in upper WP.  Put needles on right in hold.  Knit 28 rows. COL.

Join and knit top edge:

Return all needles to appropriate working position following established pattern.  Knit 3 rows.  Cut CC and set carriage to knit normally with only MC.  Remove hold button and turn from KC1 to  .  Make eyelets by transferring every other needle to adj. needle. T6.  Leave empty needles out of work.  Knit 7 rows, COR.  If desired, latch up threads to form 1x1 rib.  Latch tool bind off.

Finish:

Make 2.5-3 foot I-cord from CC yarn, over 5 stitches using slip setting.  Weave ends into the cord and trim.  Weave I-cord in and out of the eyelets, gathering the top, and tie a bow.
Weave in ends if you did not do so previously, leaving 1 at top and bottom for sewing up seam.  Fit the cozy over the intended teapot so that the opening in the middle fits over the hand. Use yarn scraps to mark the stitches above and below the teapot spout which should be the end of the seam, leaving an opening for the spout. Sew seams.  Weave in ends. 

Next time:

I think I would prefer a hung hem (possibly picot) to the crochet cast-on edge. Or else a ribbed edging.   The edge on my prototype rolls quite a bit, exacerbated because the cozy is just a few rows longer than the teapot is tall.  I would knit 25 rows instead of 27 for the body.  Next time I will use wool rather than acrylic. 

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