Knitting & Crochet

Knit an aromatherapy tea cosy

By: Tara Jon Manning

Author: Canadian Living

Knitting & Crochet

Knit an aromatherapy tea cosy

By: Tara Jon Manning

Tea cosy
Healing, generosity, joy, and attention to detail uplift your daily experiences. A delightful gift, this project can be quite a soul soother in both the making and the using. A lavender cosy might help you calm down at the end of a busy day, or present a eucalyptus-filled one to a sick friend with a pot of healing tea. Include a loving wish inside one of the interior pockets and see how long it takes them to find it!

The clever design of this charming cosy includes hidden interior pockets for four hand-stitched herb- or flower-filled sachets. The sachets -- which also contain flaxseed to retain heat -- can be removed for cleaning or replaced when fragrance fades. Brew a comforting pot of tea and allow the moist, soothing heat from your teapot to release the calming scents of rose and lavender, or the invigorating essence of healing herbs.

The Aromatherapy Tea Cosy is knit in the round in stockinette stitch, allowing for ample mindful knitting and allowing the contemplative knitter to infuse this project with healing, support, or love. Small enough to knit in one or two sessions, this project can simply be enjoyed as the fruit of the comfortable emptiness of a few contemplative knitting sessions.

Finished size: 6-1/2" (16.5 cm) tall and 10" (25.5 cm) across, with a 20" (51 cm) circumference.

Yarn: Crystal Palace Breeze (100% mercerized cotton; 110 yards [101 meters]/50 grams): 2 skeins main color (MC); 1 skein each or small amounts of cotton scrap yarn in several colors for embroidery. Shown in #27 natural (MC), and #2905 dark green, #6324 light green, #06 dark red, and #2054 pink.

Needles: US 6 (4 mm) circular needle, 16" (40 cm) long, or size to give gauge. US 6 (4 mm) set of 4 or 5 double-pointed needles, or size to give gauge.

Notions: Hand sewing needle, ruler, scissors, measuring tape, yarn needle, stitch markers, crochet hook size F (4 mm).

Gauge: 24 sts and 32 rows = 4" (10 cm) in St St. Check your gauge before you begin.

Instructions:
With circular needle and MC, loosely cast on 120 sts. Carefully join work into circle, being careful not to twist sts around the needle. Knit the first stitch and place a marker (pm) on the needle to indicate the beginning of the round (rnd). Work even in stockinette stitch (St St; knit all sts every rnd) until piece measures approximately 3-1/2" (9 cm) from the cast-on edge. Purl one rnd to create a fold line. Continue to work even in St St until piece measures 3-1/2" (9 cm), or 3" (7.5 cm) less than desired height from the purled fold line. Knit the next rnd, placing markers as follows: K1, slip existing marker (sl m), k59, pm, k1, pm, k59, pm.

Begin decreasing for top as follows, changing to double-pointed needles when necessary: Decrease round: K1, sl m, ssk, knit to 2 sts before next marker, k2tog, sl m, k1, sl m, ssk, knit to 2 sts before next m, k2tog, sl m — 4 sts decreased.

Knit 1 rnd even.

Repeat the last 2 rnds 3 more times — 104 sts.

Work the decrease rnd every round 12 times — 56 sts.

Fold the work flat, with the sloped decrease lines at each side. Return the sts to the circular needle. Carefully turn the work inside out while it is still on the circular needle. Holding the needle in a U-shape, divide the sts in half with 28 sts on each arm of the U. The WS of the cosy will be facing outward. Holding the tips of circular needle parallel, use a spare double-pointed needle to bind off all sts using three-needle bind-off technique. Weave in the ends. Turn cosy right side out.


Page 1 of 2 -- Find finishing instructions for your aromatherapy tea cosy on page 2

Sachet supplies: Enough cotton muslin, silk, or other sheer, tightly woven fabric for 8 squares, each 3/2" x 4-1/2 " (9 cm x 11.5 cm), available at fabric or crafts store. For added sentiment, recycle favorite clothing or cherished hankies for cloth.
• Sewing thread to coordinate with sachet cloth.
• 1/2 cup (approximately 100 grams) aromatic flower petals or herbs. We used dried rosebuds, but you might also consider rosemary, lavender, cinnamon, chamomile, orange peel or blossom, eucalyptus (not preserved), or sage.
• 1/4 cup (approximately 50 grams) flaxseed.
Optional: Aromatherapy essential oil of the flower or scent you have chosen. The last three items are available at your natural food grocer.

Sachets
With sharp scissors, cut eight squares, each 3-1/2" x 4-1/2" (9 cm x 11.5 cm), to make four sachets. This includes 1/4" (0.6 cm) seam allowance on all sides, so the finished sachets will measure approximately 3" x 4" (7.5 cm x 10 cm). Place two squares right sides together. Using a running stitch with small, closely spaced stitches, sew your squares beginning about 1" (2.5 cm) from a corner on a long side, stitching toward that corner, continuing around the sachet, and ending about 1" (2.5 cm) from the other corner on the same side to leave a 2" (5 cm) opening (see illustration 1). Don't worry about perfection; just be certain to take stitches small enough to contain the flaxseeds and any other small pieces of your chosen filling. Knot the thread and cut it off. Turn the bag right side out through the opening (see illustration 2).

In a bowl, combine the flowers or herbs and the flaxseed. For a heavier fragrance or to add longevity to the sachets, sprinkle a few drops of aromatherapy oil on the mixture and gently stir. With a spoon, scoop 1/4 of the mixture into each sachet through Its opening. Sew the opening closed (see illustration 3). To make each sachet as flat as possible, sew a long running stitch down the center in each direction like a plus sign (see illustration 4). This will help keep the herbs evenly distributed inside the sachet.

Embroidery
If you wish to leave your cosy plain, that's okay. Consider making a light purple cosy and filling it with lavender — that may be enough. If you choose to add embroidered embellishment to your cosy, select a theme that reflects the scent of the sachets, such as the rosebuds shown here. Or embroider your initials, a friend's name, a meaningful word, or a geometric shape. Consider adding other decorative elements such as ribbon roses, buttons, and appliqués of a favorite fabric or wool felt. Use the embroidery diagrams as a guide or inspiration, but don't embroider below the purled fold line because that area will be folded to the inside of the cosy to hold the sachets (unless you want to include a secret or sacred message for the inside).

Sachet pockets
Turn your cosy inside out and turn up bottom edge along the fold line. Using the MC threaded through a yarn needle, tack the cast-on edge to the inside at four points: once at each side, and once at the center front and back to form four compartments. Slip sachets into the pockets.


Page 2 of 2


Excerpted from Mindful Knitting by Tara Jon Manning. Copyright 2004 by Tara Jon Manning. Excerpted, with permission by distributor Raincoast Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Knitting & Crochet

Knit an aromatherapy tea cosy