Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cosy Tea

I like making tea in a teapot. A pretty blue and white china teapot to be precise. The main reason I like using my teapot is that when I've poured the teas I partly refill the pot with more boiling water, so I can have another cup of tea a bit later - for free! No work! Excellent! And to keep that refilled pot hot I usually dump a tea towel over the top. Now, while this is relatively effective in keeping the tea hot, it's not exactly pretty. Which brings me, finally (yes I know, I do prattle on sometimes) to the topic of this blog post.

I want to make a teapot cosy. I toyed with a number of different fibres and methods, and eventually decided to make a wool felt cosy. So a few weeks were spent with my mind rolling around colours - I nearly always use bright colours even without intending to, but this time I really wanted to try for something more subtle, wah, it's so hard! Eventually the day came, I had to stop procrastinating and just get on with that wet wool felting! I chose teal, dark brown and light brown roving, with a few tiny bits of mustard, burgundy and sea green. Then it was a case of fumbling around with the hand carders I've just bought, to blend the colours together a bit before laying them out in the roving sandwich.

The I laid out a few pieces of squiggly discarded spun yarn.

Then the hot water and soap got sloshed around and the massaging began. It's the most incredible process - how wool felts itself. Really quite amazing.

And finally, we have felt. And, it's not bright! Yay, I've discovered subtle! :-)

Ok, this is good, I'm happy with the colour. Then I decided that I wanted the word "brew" somewhere on the felt. I toyed with applique and embroidery but finally decided on needle felting. Then there were big thinks on how to do this so that the letters didn't look like they were constructed by a drunk person. I ended up cutting out the letter shapes with a scalpel on an ice cream container lid, positioned the lid on the wool felted background and 'filled' the letter shapes with some cream coloured roving and needle felted it into place. I also needle felted some tiny wispy bits around the letters to represent steam, but I'm not totally sure if I like that so I stopped. I'm thinking I might do a bit of embroidery along that vein later on, still undecided on that.

It took me another week to pluck up the courage to cut out the tea cosy shape - I was terrified I was going to stuff it up. Eventually, this morning, I spent an hour cutting up newspaper templates until I found the shape and size that seemed to sit nicely over the teapot. So, it was take a deep breath, pick up those scissors, and cut! This is the back.

And this is the front. It's not sewn together yet and I think I'm going to use embroidery stitches to piece it together. I made a couple of felted balls with the leftover roving, and I want to use one of these on the top of the teacosy as a handle.

I'm a girl who like to take things slowly, as evident by this massive blog post to explain my big long thinks about how to do this. Is it just me or do others think themselves into near insanity so as to cogitate over every possible way to create something? Just as well I don't make a living from making things. :-)


Pat said...

Congratulations on the tea cosy, th BREW and the handle are super. I do sympathise with your thought processes. It takes a lot of courage to take the plunge, the silly thing, for me, is that unless I tell someone I've messed up there is only me that will know, but that is enough to have me dithering for days!!!

your daughter said...

Hey, where's the pic of the whole piece! =)

Penny said...

Great post on both your thoughts and the process of felting. Must say i like a cup in a tea pot too, but mine is a battered old metal one as my dh always breaks the lids on my nice ones!

kirsty said...

Very cute, indeed!

Elizabeth said...

I love subtle for this piece. And you did a great job with "BREW".

Fel said...

Looks great! And me, I usually think endlessly about making things and never make them, so well done on taking the plunge! :)

Lindsay said...

That's lovely. I think you got the subtle colours very well, the brew is gorgeous and the whole thing has a steamy vibe going on. It's made me want to have a cup of tea!

judy coates perez said...

love the tea cozy, Want to see a picture of it in action : )