Oh, this? This is my favourite hat. In Canada we call such a thing a touque (“tuuk”) but no one can agree on the correct spelling.
I knit it myself. It was the first hat I knit (knitted?) that came out the size I wanted it, and the first hat I made with ribbing. While not warm enough for the extreme temperatures of Ottawa, it got me through two long St. John’s winters, and I loved it.
But then I washed it. Normally not a big deal, but this time. THIS time.
I wasn’t paying attention and it ended up in the dryer, and, being wool, it felted a bit and of course, shrank.
Now it doesn’t fit on my head. Unless I want to look like I’m trying to encase myself in a sausage. A green and white sausage, yes.
But it does (with some encouragement) fit over my teapot (what does that say about the size of my head?). And I could really use a tea cozy. This way I get to keep my favourite hat, and so we all win. It’s amazing that such a simple invention as a wrapper for your teapot keeps your tea warm for longer.
Before we go any further, I swear to you that I am actually twenty-eight years old. Not ninety. Honest injun. Hot tea is important when you spend all day locked in your office doing graduate student-y stuff, and tea cozies save you from having to turn on the microwave for reheating, which accords with the starving student lifestyle. It’s all really a very cunning plan.
Anyway. The hat.
The hat, in its previous incarnation, was knit all in one piece, with one side seam.
It was a simple matter to unpick that seam with a crochet hook. The selfsame crochet hook I used to stitch up the seam in the first place. How convenient.
This is the side where the handle will stick out. I ran a string of blue wool along the seams, trying to make them as large and uneven as possible, to give it a homely look.
I did, however, need to actually create a seam on the other side for the spout where there was none before. While the wool is slightly felted, I was worried about it unraveling when I cut it. I was therefore quick to reinforce the seams after the cut so as not to encourage the weave to go to pieces on me. I was also careful to ensure my scissors didn’t cut into the intricate top circle I had made when knitting the hat. That would be bad.
I decided to cut all the way along the spout side, instead of just cutting a little hole for the spout, first for seaming symmetry, but also so I could get a more accurate idea of where the spout was supposed to go without unduly stretching the material and skewing my results.
I reinforced both seams in navy blue wool (using a plastic wool needle), to match the pot.
I measured the cozy on the teapot to see where the seam should open up for the handle and spout and I marked them with pins. Some tea-cozies, I know, cover the spout and the handle (and are actually better at keeping the tea warm) but my head is really not that big. Honestly, people.
Then I sewed it up.
I also put a line of blue along the bottom edge in blanket stitch for colour.
Then, flushed with my success, I attempted – wait for it – a pom-pom.
Again, I’m 28. Not 90. For real.
I went with the age-old technique I learned from me auld grannie (LIES – I got it off the internet).
Cut yourself two circles out of cardstock or cardboard, and cut a centre circle out of those circles to make rings.
Take your wool and start winding it around and around the rings. You’re going to eventually cut this so you can use different pieces of wool if it makes it easier for you to thread it through. You can even use different colours if you wish.
Keep going, overlapping your wool, until you can’t get any more wool through.
It takes FOREVER, and about 80 metres of wool (exaggeration, people).
Cut your losses.
Take a pair of sharp scissors and carefully cut the wool around the edge of the circle.
Once you get all the way around, you should be able to see your two cardboard rings. Tease them apart a little.
Take another piece of wool and wind it around your new bundle, between the rings, maybe twice.
Knot the wool a couple of times. I left the strings from this long so I could integrate them into the weave of the touque (I mean cozy), but you can cut them to match the length of the other strands if you are planning on sewing it directly to something.
Cut into the cardboard to break the rings and remove them. Don’t forget to recycle!
Fluff out your pom-pom and trim the strands so you get a nice uniform ball.
A touque for my teapot.