I found this rather wonderful blog from the 'Queen of Tea Cosies' where Loani Prior designs and knits the most amazingly weird yet beautiful tea cosies. She has various books and this Rose Garden Tea Cosy is adapted from one of them. I fell in love with the design of this tea cosy before looking at the pattern - when I did I found that would have learn the how to knit on two pairs of circular needles. It wasn't as scary as it sounds and there are loads of great videos on YouTube showing you how it is done. This was also the first time that I have knitted a lining for my tea cosy - feels like its adding unnecessary time to the knit, but definitely worth it - the tea stays hotter for longer and the cosy has some structure to it!
After the knitting the green basket-weave cosy I started on the flowers. The roses are really easy to knit up - yet my lack of crochet skills meant I just couldn't make the rest of the flowers - hence a rose only garden! Then I started on the leaves, using another new method 'magic loop' knitting (again look for instructional videos on YouTube - it's an easy method once you've seen it done and much better than knitting on double pointed needles!). I'm not sure whether I was doing something wrong or there was a typo in the pattern, but I just couldn't get the right amount of stitches on my needles. After a few tries I decided that I would needle felt the leaves instead. I'd forgotten how therapeutic it is stabbing a bit of fluff until it makes the shape you want!!
After this it was time for construction and sewing on of my roses and leaves. I was rather pleased with the final tea cosy - however, it has taken a bit of stretching as I hadn't quite got the hang of 'cast off loosely' meaning its a bit of tight squeeze to get the tea cosy on the teapot - a bit of delicate operation when the teapot is full of hot tea!!