Aid Breast Cancer Care and knit a Libby Tomey tea cosy

Strawberry tea cosy by Libby TomeyThis pattern for a gorgeous strawberry tea cosy has been created by Libby Tomey to highlight the fact that she holds a Strawberry Tea event every year to raise money for Breast Cancer Care to show support for her aunt who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Feel free to make use of the pattern but please do make a donation to Breast Cancer Care as a thank you, and perhaps think about holding your own strawberry tea event! The charity’s Strawberry Tea campaign runs throughout June, July and August and raises vital funds to support the 50,000 people who are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK. The are encouraging you to host garden parties, picnics, cake sales and even themed fancy office tea breaks – and a Florence tea cosy will be just the accessory to set the tone!

Materials

5mm needles (tension 17-19sts/23-25 rows to 10cm sq) One ball of Aran weight pure wool yarn in red Oddments of Aran weight pure wool yarn in green Oddments of Aran weight yarn in mustard To fit 50cm diameter teapot, height 17cm to top of lid

Abbreviations

k2tog = knit 2 sts together skpo = slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over Ss (slip stitch) = Insert hook into next stitch, yarn over and draw up through both loops on your hook. Sc (single crochet) = insert hook into indicated stitch. Yarn over and draw up a loop. There will be two loops on your hook. Yarn over and draw through both loops on your hook.

Tea cosy (make 2 pieces: A and B)

Cast on 42sts using 5mm needles and red Aran yarn. Knit one row.  Starting with a knit row (RS), work 34 rows in stocking stitch.

Shape top

Row 1 k5, (k2tog, skpo) to last 5sts, k5 Row 2 p5, cast off centre 16sts, p5 Leave stitches on a holder.

To make up

Graft the 5sts from left hand side of piece A to 5sts from right hand side of piece B. Then repeat for the other side. This joins the pieces together, leaving a large hole in the centre to crochet the top into. Using a 4mm crochet hook and green yarn, pick up and sc along inside of top of tea cosy pieces.  Work one round. For the next round, sc into two out of every three loops. On the following round sc into every other loop. Continue in this way, until the circle is practically joined, then work into every stitch for the next three rounds, creating a small tube to represent the stalk of the strawberry. Join at the top and fasten off.

Leaves (make 10)

Make a chain 9 stitches long. Turn and work ss into first 2 loops, sc into next 5 loops and ss into final 2 loops. Turn and repeat. Fasten off. One end will be thinner than the other. This is the point of the leaf.  Attach leaves evenly around the edge of the top of the strawberry, where green area and red area meet. Embroider four rows of mustard yellow pips onto the tea cosy using French knots (spaced about 5 stitches apart), and sew the two bottom 3cm of the sides of the tea cosy together using mattress stitch

Quick tip: French Knots

Bring the thread out at the required position, hold the thread down where it emerges with the left thumb and encircle the thread twice with the needle (see A). Still holding the thread firmly with your thumb, twist the needle back to the starting point and insert it close to where the thread first emerged (not in the exact place or it will simply pull back through). Pull the needle through to the back, leaving a  small knot on the surface, as shown, or pass on to the position of the next stitch as at B.

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