Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Winter warmers

A little while ago I showed you one or two little hints as to how my knitting needles had been occupied recently. Well, now I can show you what I have been doing. It is a long(ish) story as most of my stories are, but it all started when I joined the Rainbow Swap organized by Lululiz, where we all had to choose the colour of the parcel we would like to receive, and then we were all randomly matched. I chose red, by the way, and I was partnered with Bekimarie, who chose pink.






Lululiz very sensibly sent round a questionnaire about likes and dislikes for us all to fill in, and together with the hints I gleaned from reading Beki's blog, I had a good set of clues to lead me on. I decided that with winter coming on, some cosiness was in order, and Beki used the word cosy in her likes - so I decided to knit her a tea cosy to go with her vintage china. And here it is above.





The pattern is from the August issue of Let's Knit magazine, and uses Twilleys Freedom pure wool. The cosy itself is a very simple pattern, quick and easy to knit. The flowers, however, took me a quite a while, as it took me some time to work out quite how to do them. Possibly because I had a cold and a thick head. You might have spotted that the flowers on top of the little hats here have a certain resemblance: that is how many I had to knit before I got it right.






I did buy the yarn, because my provisos for Dottie Angel's Utmost Challenge allow me to buy supplies for specific handmade projects, and in fact I realize now that my yarn stash is not as large as I thought. I tend to buy yarn with specific patterns in mind, and although the projects are queued up, I rarely buy yarn just to stash away. I have a lot of tiny amounts left over from previous work, which I save for mending or sometimes brooch-making, but nothing suitable for this pattern. The flowers are made with Patons Diploma Gold DK - bought purely because this was the only yarn in the colours I wanted. My local yarn shop has a fairly limited colour palette I found, and only a few colours are stocked in each range. I do buy quite a bit of yarn online, but I prefer to be able to feel the yarn beforehand, so it is not ideal, especially it is also not easy to colour-match when buying online. Beki told me that she liked red very much, too, so I went for red and pink flowers, and red gingham ribbon, which I had previously bought from Lupin's supplies shop.





Beki likes fingerless gloves, so I knitted a pair for her, and another pair in a brighter pink colourway for her daughter - once again in the Sirdar Crofter yarn I have used before, here. Cupcakes were on the list of likes, so I made a felt cupcake brooch for Beki's daughter using the kit I received from kind Sarah at Paper-and-String, which you might remember from a previous post.





Beki likes sewing and collects fabric, so I thought a little haberdashery might be in order: some vintage buttons in pinks and reds, some beads and scraps, handy for embellishing some of the fabric hearts she makes. She is about to start up a blogshop for her wares, and the little swiss roll of fabric might come in handy for these two - some Laura Ashley, Cath Kidston and Liberty-style florals I had in my fabric stash (which is much bigger than my yarn stash).





I wrapped some rose handmade soap and some seeds in more pink fabric, and reused the calico bag that held my wonderful Brittany salt from Elizabethd, embellishing it with some felt and a button. I filled the bag with lavender from my garden, which you might remember from here and here, so that perhaps Beki could make some lavender bags from the fabric scraps. The spotty ribbon was from Paper-and-String, and the pink gingham from Lupin. So all the wrappings and bows were reused or reusable, and all were already in my copious stores: I am always very grateful for the opportunity to draw on these stores, and demonstrate that my propensity for hoarding is justified!




Lululiz emphasized that this swap should not cost a lot of money, and encouraged us all to be thrifty and look in charity shops for treasures. I have also to keep in mind the Utmost Challenge, but I think that I have kept to the spirit of this, and proved that present-giving can be fun and rewarding without reaching for the credit card. I really enjoyed thinking what to give Beki, and making things for someone else is always more fun than making for yourself, I find.

And if you would like to see some more exciting parcels in all colours of the rainbow, go and have a look at French Village Life for blue, Lululiz in Lalaland for beige, and Red Gingham for, yes, red. And I am sure that there will be more coming soon in a wonderful riot of colour, all for you to feast your eyes upon.

And before I get back to my knitting, some thanks are due to all of you who sent good wishes for Princess Bunchy, who still has a hacking cough, but I think will survive. And also to Sophie who very kindly gave me an award recently - I would like to pass it on to all of you who have read so far, as you certainly deserve it!

45 comments:

whoatemycrayons said...

That has got to be the cosiest tea cosy I have ever seen. Uber cute. What a generous and lovely parcel.

Catherine said...

What a wonderful treasure trove! I am sure she will love it all.

The Garden Bell said...

This tea cozy is just tooo cute... I sure wish I knew how to swap or set one up ... It looks like way tooo much fun.

Lola Nova said...

My, what an amazing array of beautiful things! So sweetly thought out and lovingly made, I can just imagine the excitement at receiving such a parcel of goodies in the post. I think your flowers on the cozy (american spelling - I was worried I was spelling it wrong after reading UK blogs, so I looked it up, nope - we're just funny that way) are spot on and those gloves are simply stunning!
I would love a sniff of that lavender, I love it!

Wonderful swap!

Sarah said...

What a lovely tea cozy! It's the prettiest one I've ever seen. I think I just might have to find a thrifted teapot just so I can make a tea cozy. But it won't be knitted or even crocheted unfortunately. Not my areas I'm afraid. Every kitchen needs a bit of prettyness.

I can't believe what a fabulous parcel you have sent out!! Such lovely treasures you have made and found. That's one lucky lady to be receiving such a lovely parcel.

Chrissie said...

What a PERFECT cosy! The prettiest I have ever seen, really. And I love the way you have put together your swap items for Beki.

Sarah said...

Funny you should say that Pomona, check this out:
http://sarah-redgingham.blogspot.com/2009/05/100-uses-for-tea-towel.html
Great minds think alike!!

marigold jam said...

What a beautifully presented package! I am sure she will love it - I know I would. I am wondering whether to try and make a teac cosy with the yarn I have for my challenge (see my post on 7Oct) as I love the one you have knitted so much.

Jane x

Sarah said...

That is just such a beautiful tea cosy and what lovely goodies you included too.
x

heidi said...

what a lovely parcel,all pretty in pink!! x

Sarah said...

I think that swap would be a wonderful idea. I've seen some lovely tea towels from your side of the world. I just love the pretty floral ones that we just can't get over here. It would seem that we should be happy with the odd stripe or maybe a tacky picture or two! How can one possibly enjoy kitchen work with that? My red gingham tea towel is a right cheer me up one.

Michela said...

Hi Pomona! I'm very impressed by the beautiness of the gifts you made for Beki! And being involved in the same swap..I'm feeling so ashamed for the goodies I bought my partners!

Menopausal musing said...

What a lot of thought and effort has gone into this...... I am with everyone else re the teacosy and I just love the fact you are a hoarder.......... (she says as she looks round the tiny room full of "stuff" in which she types :O) ) x

Hen said...

Loving the tea cosy and the gloves, what a lucky girl your swap partner was. Hope you received some fabby gifts in return.
Hen x

Lululiz said...

I have just been admiring that fabulous tea cosy on Beki's blog, along with all the other gorgeous things you sent her. It was an absolutely delightful swap parcel.
Btw, I am putting links to all the swapees' posts about their parcel in my sidebar, hopefully as soon as they are posted. That way, everybody can ooh and aaahh over them without having to hunt around for ages or checking blogs a million times.

Elizabethd said...

What fun you had putting that together! I love the colours in the knitted gloves, reminds me of Scottish fair isle.
So funny, when I saw the little bag I thought...looks familiar!

Florence and Mary said...

What a great swapper you are! Everything you sent Beki is fantastic

Victoria x

Itch2stitch.com said...

I absolutely love that tea cosy! It is gorgeous. you are clever with your knitting needles! Love looking at all your goodies! Suzie. xxx

pigeon pease said...

What lovely bits and bobs, is soap making easy as I would love to have a go.

lynn xx

silverpebble said...

The teacosy and fingerless gloves are an absolute delight Pomona. The colours in the gloves are so subtle. They're rather the thing at the moment aren't they? What a stunning present to receive. Bekimarie must be overjoyed

Country Bliss said...

What a lovely swap parcel you've made, love the tea cosy.
Yvonne x

Tabiboo said...

'Aaaaawwwwwww' that is so adorable and cute and cosy. Such a beautiful parcel a very lucky Bekimarie indeed.

Have a lovely day,

Nina x

Greedy Nan said...

What a lovely, interesting entry and such a pretty teacosy. Wouldn't mind a few flowers like that for my hair [being a latent hippie]. And love the gloves - I wear them all the time being a cold morsel.
PS also enjoyed your 'apron' entry - and again, me too ...

Little-friend-Susan said...

Oh what a feast for the eyes! I am in love with the teacosy! :)

Tricia said...

Sounds like fun!

Calico Kate said...

What a very clever knitter you are and what a beautiful parcel you created.
CKx

Yvonne said...

I LOVE the tea cosy... and cosy is the word.. good enough to climb into and get snuggly!! AND your parcel is SO thoughtful, you have obviously spent a long time thinking about the things Beki likes, had lots of fun packaging it in an enticing way... she will love it I'm sure.

xxxx

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy said...

Absolutely darling!

Diane said...

I saw this on Bekimaries blog - its gorgeous. Did you also send the gorgeous Parisienne fabric too? I loved that. xxx

Cottage Garden said...

Ooh that has to be the cutest tea cosy I have ever seen!!

Jeanne x

Bobo Bun said...

Just loved the pink and red flowers contrasting with the cream. Beki must love it. Really thoughtful parcel.

Don't be scared of the drill by the way. I tend to make more holes than needed for sure and have to do a bit of filling aswell, but it means it actually gets done.

Have a great weekend.

Lisa x

andamento said...

Wow, what a stash! I thought at first the parcel was just to be the lovely tea cosy, but it went on, and then on and on...! Lucky Beckimarie.

...Miss...Maddie's... said...

How beautiful the gifts are.
I like those fingerless gloves... they'd come in real handy over here.
Enjoy your weekend Pomona!
Susan

Kissed by an Angel said...

Wow! What a wonderful swap!! I 'specially love the tea cosy!! You must be very talented!!

xxxx

Amy said...

Everything looks wonderful. I really love those mittens! They are such a pretty combination of colors.

Sal said...

Hi there!
What a lovely post!
Thank you for your kind comments on my blog when I was ill...very much appreciated!
Love,Sal ;-)

Cathy said...

What a great swap and such a lovely array of things you have made and put together. I am sure she will be thrilled to receive such a gift through the post. As you say, it is much nice to make things for others. I look forward to seeing what everyone receives.

JuliaB said...

I would find it very hard to give that teacosy away!!! xx

julieknitsjuliesews said...

A lovely and creative collection of gifts, I like the cosy and wrist warmers nice colours, you have made them very well. best wishes Julie.C

Barbara said...

You have certainly been busy. Such a pretty tea cosy and I like the simplicity of the sweater.

Barbara said...

I browsed through your holiday cottage, looks very nice and cosy. I know it is not far away but if we want to spend some time in the area I will definitely get intouch with you. The beach place looks fantastic b ut obviously not for two.

Welcome to Cally's Cottage said...

Gosh as I am new to blogging I am so inspired by the sense of community and KINDNESS you all have.
What a thoughtful swap full of loveliness!!And how clever you are,I wish there was somewhere nearby that I could learn to knit!
Warm Wishes,
Cally.

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Wow you have been so industrious what a lucky girl Bekimarie is! gorgeous things. I too have a ridiculous stash of general habberdashery just waiting to be called upon!you just never know when you might need that metre of red ric-rac!!!!

Sarah x

ParisMaddy said...

Your tea cosy is too adorable! You are very busy with so many clever and pretty things.

I have one packed away that Mrs. Mills, an English lady that my Dad befriended when he was in WWII, made for him. It's survived all these years.

CraftyHelen said...

Hi - I am so thrilled to have discovered your beautiful blog. I may try and get the back issue of Let's Knit, your tea cosy is so pretty. if you don't mind I will show your blog as one that I follow? Thanks very much

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