I was looking for a small handmade gift for my friend, as all the others (sounds grand, but they are of the small kind:)) have been bought. one of them is a "sheepy" tea mug, so I decided that a tea cozy might be nice for this. I saw several designs, but the used mugs had very different shapes, so I decided to make my own. the mug is wider at the bottom and the top rim, so I had to take this into account. I have done quite a few things out of a lambswool single that I dyed with natural colours of all kinds. actually I think I must have dyed about 5-8 kg in 50 g hanks over 2 years or so, and there are lots of small amounts of different colours left (no wonder that I still have a fair-isle bag in knit-felt on my mind.....). the problem is that the natural colours do change a lot when felted with washing powder in the machine, but I didn't want to felt this tiny piece alone! so I tried to stay on the safe side - and chose light yellow (dyed with gorze flowers) and a slightly muted orange (dyed with dahlia flowers). I counted out an old knitfelted sample in the hope that it might fit after felting.
with hindsight I should have done the bottom part differently - maybe a circle done with short rows would have been a good idea, but I didn't want to take up stitches on the side. so I cast on 9 stitches on dpn and increased every 2nd row until I had the necessary 68 stitches - which sounds a lot, but as I said the pot is as wide on the bottom as it is on the top! I then knitted several rows of stocking stitch in a single colour to form a ridge. after 5 or 6 rows I picked up the stitches from the back of the knitting further down (the last row of 2 colour-knitting) and knitted the live stitches together with those - to form a "fold". then I continued knitting in rows with two colours until I had to do short rows for the area where the drinker's mouth will be during use. I finished it all off with an attached i-cord that I grafted together over the handle of the mug. it looks far too big to ever fit - a bit like a too large sweater on a child:))
after felting - the whole thing fits like a glove - lucky me, it worked on the first try:)) the light yellow didn't change at all during the felting, only the orange became more intense! now I am thinking "spring" and "flowers" - and I think I'll embroider a few simple flowers on to it. of course the warming effect won't be perfect as most of the heat of a cup of tea will probably escape through the open cup - but I figured that it might not be so nice to add a woollen lid - as fibres in the tea are a big put-off, at least for me!
after christmas means all presents are done - and I can finally start something new and (hopefully) exciting! well, I still have to do the next birthday present of course, but I am going to start a sample right now, a shawl pattern in lace, where I have to test if I should use the yarn single thread (very fine) or doubled up. just enough for an hour of knitting or so - no more "knit allnighters" for me for a little while at least!