Grandma Mary Tea Cosy Pattern

captureThis is a very pretty tea cosy, perfect for keeping your teapot dressed in style and your tea hot.  It is the first of a series of tea cosies which make up the Grandma collection.


Dedicated to the inspiration that was ‘Mary’ the pattern has flowers made on a small flower loom, which are inexpensive to buy and relatively easy to use.  I purchased mine for about £3.


  The pattern makes a tea cosy that fits a standard 4 cup teapot

I used just under  50g of Rico baby classic dk yarn in colourway (026)


and scraps of yarn.

  I used scraps of stylecraft special dk in the following colourway (nb/the mint is Stylecraft life dk)


Stitches used in this pattern refer to English terminology, however a conversion to US terminology is provided in brackets.

Ch – chain stitch 

slst – slip stitch

dc – double crochet ( single crochet)

dc tog – double crochet together (single crochet together)

You will also need:

a small flower loom

a 4mm hook

a darning needle

scraps of yarn to use as temporary tie markers 

scraps of yarn to make flowers 

a string of beads 50cms long

50cms of lace 0.5cms broad

a stitch marker

Top Tip: safety pins make excellent stitch markers! 

Ok, here we go…

Ch 80 and join with a slst to form a circle (before completing the slst make sure chain is not twisted).

WP_20160829_13_15_50_ProIt is a good idea to check at this point that the circle of chains fits around your teapot. (see end of pattern for instructions about adjusting pattern).

Row 1: Ch1 (mark with a stitch marker, does not count as a dc), dc in each ch around


finish with a slst in ch marked with a stitch marker taking care that work is not twisted when completing the slst. (80dc).

Row 2: Ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, does not count as a dc)

WP_20160829_15_08_41_ProDc in each st around, finishing with a slst in ch marked with a stitch marker. (80 dc).

Rows 3 – 5: repeat row 2

WP_20160829_15_45_36_ProRow 6: Ch 1 (remove st marker from previous row and place in this ch, does not count as a dc), 1dc in next 14sts, mark next st with a tie marker (different colour yarn which will be removed later – I just tied a bow in red yarn!) see picture below.

WP_20160831_11_11_30_Proslst in same st as tie marker and in next 6 sts  and mark last slst with a second tie marker as shown in the picture above.  This is where the spout hole starts!


1dc in next 33sts, mark next st with a third tie marker, slst in same st as tie marker and in next 4 sts, mark the last slst with a fourth tie marker. This is where the hole for the handle starts!

1dc in next 21 sts, slst in ch marked with a stitch marker. (35dc, 7slst, 33dc, 5slst). Fasten off.


This next part of the pattern is worked in rows as side (a) and side (b) and forms the sides of the cosy.

So let’s do side (a) first…

Row 7a: Join yarn in st next to the 4th tie marker and to the right hand side of the stitch markerWP_20160831_11_30_09_Pro

ch1 (does not count as a dc), 1dc in next 35 sts to next tie marker, turn.

Row 8a: ch1 (does not count as a dc), 1dc in next 35sts to tie marker, turn.

Rows 9a – 25a: repeat row 8a, fasten off.

WP_20160831_13_15_48_ProOK, now let’s do side (b).  Turn over work and join yarn in st next to  second tie marker on the right as shown.

WP_20160831_13_16_27_ProRow 7b: ch1 (does not count as a dc), 1dc in next 33 sts to next tie marker, turn.

Row 8b: ch1 (does not count as a dc), 1dc in next 33 sts to next tie marker, turn. Rows 9b – 24b: repeat row 8b.


Row 25b: ch1 (does not count as a dc), 1dc in next 33sts to next tie marker, ch5,

slst into 1st st on row 25a as shown.


WP_20160902_12_43_31_ProAgain, this is a good point to check the cosies fit on your tea pot.  We return to working in the round again now.

So Row 26: Ch1 (mark with a stitch marker…NB/ this ch does count as a dc), dc in next 34sts, ch7,

WP_20160902_12_50_01_Prodc in next 33sts,

WP_20160902_13_13_20_Prodc in next ch5, slst into ch marked by stitch marker. (80dc).


Row 27: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place stitch marker in this ch, counts as a dc), dc in next 34sts, dc in next 7chs

wp_20160906_15_14_56_prodc in next 38sts, slst in ch marked with the stitch marker. (80dc)

wp_20160906_15_39_50_prowp_20160906_15_39_34_proIt is now time to start decreasing the number of stitches to form the top of the cosy.  To do this a dc tog stitch is introduced.  Top Tip: each row that uses dc tog stitches finishes on a dc tog before slst in to ch marked with st marker!  Here we go…

Row 29: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as a dc), dc in next 5sts, dc tog in next st, *dc in next 6sts, dc tog in next st*

repeat * -* around,

finish with a slst in ch marked with stitch marker. (72dc). 

wp_20160909_13_18_43_proRow 30: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as a dc), dc in each st around, finishing with a slst in ch marked with stitch marker. (72dc).

Row 31: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as a dc), dc in next 3 sts, dc tog in next st,  

* dc in next 4 sts, dc tog in next st *, repeat *-* around,

finishing with a slst in ch marked with stitch marker. (60dc).

  Row 32: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as a dc), dc in each st around,

finishing with a slst in ch marked with stitch marker. (60dc).

Row 33: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as a dc), dc in next 2sts, dc tog in next st, * dc in next 3sts, dc tog in next st *, repeat *-* around,

finishing with a slst in ch marked with stitch marker. (48dc).


Row 34: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as dc),

dc in each st around, finishing with a slst in ch marked with stitch marker. (48dc).

Row 35: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as dc), dc in next st, dc tog in next st,

* dc in next 2 sts, dc tog in next st *, repeat *-* around, finishing with a slst in ch marked with stitch marker. (36dc). 

Row 36: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as dc), dc in each stitch around, finishing with a slst in ch marked with stitch marker. (36dc). 

Row 37: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as dc), dc tog in next st,

* dc in next st, dc tog in next st *

repeat *-* around, finishing with slst in ch marked with stitch marker. (24dc).

wp_20160909_14_58_12_proRow 38: ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as dc), dc in each st around, finish by slst into ch marked with stitch marker. (24dc). 

Row 39:ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as dc), dc tog in next st,

* dc tog in next st * repeat *-* around, finish with a slst in ch marked by stitch marker. (12dc).

Row 40:repeat row 39 (6dc).

Row 41: repeat row 39 (3dc). Fasten off.

wp_20160909_15_17_19_proYou should have something that resembles the above …now its time to make the flowers!!!

If you don’t know how to make loom flowers they are simple to make.  I highly recommend you watch a tutorial…I found this one excellent…

loom bloom video tutorial



x8 white / violet flowers

x10 raspberry flowers

x9 pale rose / plum flowers

all flowers to have the same colour centre…I used mint.  Leave long tails on each flower to make attaching them easier.

Keep back x1 raspberry, x1 white, x1 pale rose and x1 plum flower.

Begin to attach the rest of the flowers to the top of the tea cosy using the long tails and  darning needle.

wp_20160918_19_54_15_proContinue around


 Evenly attaching the flowers…

wp_20160918_20_32_27_proOnce attached turn tea cosy inside out and tie of all loose ends


Snipping to make tidy.


 Next, take the lace. Turning the tea cosy inside out tack the lace around the edge of the opening for the spout and the handle.


Turn, the cosy back to the right side; you should now have a cosy that is beginning to look very pretty indeed…



Taking the string of beads, thread a darning needle with some raspberry coloured yarn and tie a large knot.


 Starting at the bottom side of the handle hole pull the needle through from the inside of the cosy to the outside so that the knot cannot be seen.


Begin to tack between each bead, fixing them in a line around the cosy towards the spout hole.wp_20160924_13_13_06_prowp_20160924_13_15_29_proOnce at the spout hole, snip the beads, turn cosy over and repeat on side b.

wp_20160925_16_57_02_proFinally, attach raspberry coloured flower at the bottom of the handle hole in the space between the beads.

wp_20160925_17_05_30_prowp_20160925_17_08_50_proAttach remaining white, pale rose and plum flower in space between the beads at the bottom of the spout hole. Weave in any remaining loose ends.


Just one last thing left to do now.  Boil the kettle and make a brew…enjoy and admire.

NB/ TIPS FOR ALTERING THE SIZE OF THE cosy…regularly check the size of the cosy on your teapot.  The body of the cosy has the same amount of stitches as row 1, if yours is more or less than 80sts then keep the number of sts you have up to row 28  in order to create the handle and spout holes, place around your teapot and mark with tie markers as described then count your sts between each marker and substitute your numbers into the pattern.



The Grandma Mary Tea Cosy

captureIntroducing the ‘Grandma Mary’ tea cosy…the first in the Grandma Collection

wp_20161002_11_45_37_proDedicated to my Grandma Mary who was a truly inspirational woman.  Born in October 1916 and christened Vera Mary, she grew up in England in the West Midlands and trained as a primary school teacher.  I was privileged to have had her in my life for 34 years before she left this world at the grand old age of 94.  Granny Mary played a huge part in nurturing my creativity as a little girl, teaching me how to make pompoms and to French knit  using a wooden cotton reel and some nails that my Grandad would have made.  She was a gentle and patient woman, who always had a smile and a piece of chocolate.  I once asked her what the best invention of her life time had been and without hesitation she quipped…’washing up liquid!’ 


Granny Mary worked hard, but always took time to make things pretty… whether that was pansies in the garden, geraniums in the porch, sugar on a peeled apple, a pretty apron whilst doing the housework or a tea cosy for the teapot.   

Prettiness was important because it was the way she cared for people  and her care was a true blessing. 


So this cosy had to be pretty, in colours that evoke memories of her and of course had to be covered in flowers.


  The beads at the bottom of the cosy actually belonged to her.  I  have a bag of broken plastic beads that she gave me – she never threw anything away! 


I am honoured to put them to good use…I think she would be really very pleased with their new use.



So that is the Grandma Mary tea cosy in all of its glory, here is the pattern linky thing.


The Grandma Collection

captureI’m so, so, soooo super excited to launch this new series here at the nest.

  I would like to introduce you to a collection of 12 beautiful tea cosies over the course of the next few months, named the Grandma Collection; each one dedicated to the inspirational women in my life. 

The patterns will of course be crocheted, but will also include other mixed media embellishment, making these cosies the perfect companion for your teapot….and as always the patterns will be free. 

If you have been following me on Instagram then you will have seen some sneak peeks…

WP_20160829_15_45_36_Proinstagramcapture_cb640117-f4ce-4f39-813e-da7bc854082finstagramcapture_894cbc90-dc64-47fa-a617-a09db0fd10bcThe Grandma Mary tea cosy… coming later this week.  I really hope you will enjoy this series with me.


A looming bouquet

You may remember back in April I had to open my birthday present a whole week early to prevent insanity prevailing…you can read about it just here if you feel the urge to do so!


Well despite my many Phd’s I began another…I really couldn’t help it.  In my defence this project won’t ever become a phd as it only takes ten little minutes to make each one…


Aren’t these little loom blooms the sweetest yarny flowers ever?

They have made me extremely happy.  So happy infact that I found it quite difficult to leave my current yarny nirvana to come and share with you this delight. 

So, if you will excuse me I’m off to finish a looming bouquet.





A lovely week

Well put out the crochet bunting….I’ve qualified!…a long hard slog, but it is done. 

So of course celebrations have been ongoing (both alcoholic and non alcoholic), but my favourite (and the one I am going to share with you) was a blissful week at home, pretty much to myself.  Doing this sort of thing…

wet Jess
Bathing Jess…
she looks so cute once she gets a blow dry…
drinking coffee from my special mug
drinking coffee …
working on a new tea cosy pattern
working on a new tea cosy pattern…
Enjoying suprise gifts left by a neighbour
Enjoying suprise gifts left by a neighbour…
planting out my winter window boxes
planting out my winter window boxes…


and hiding daffodill bulbs under the ground
and hiding daffodill bulbs under the ground.
Enjoying a fish and chip picnic
Enjoying a fish and chip picnic
and contemplating what to do with these bag handles??????
Enjoying the cosiness of home with friends…
Yes…a lovely week indeed…Now, the hard work really begins! xxx


A quilting OUCH?

Oh deep joy!!!

The lost hours deep cleaning the back of beyond in my teenagers wardrobe has resulted in screams of delight followed by screams of pain as I fell off the ladder!!…but, I have finally found the long lost quilts….and sprained my ankle.  That aside look, look at these…


My bravery in summoning up the courage to venture into the teens room was rewarded well, when on tip toe I stood on one foot, precariously balanced on the handle of the step ladder, which of course was not tall enough.  It was also painful to stand on for longer than a second and peering my head into the deep dark recess of the cupboard I could see what looked like a familiar old sewing bag.  And so I grabbed a pillow and placed it over the handle of the step ladders (as in the style of an episode of Casualty*); where the impending injury is starkly apparent to all but the poor human it is about to befall.  I gave a large tug at the bag, screamed with delight as I cast my eye upon my long lost quilts and then drew in sharp breath as my foot slid of the handle of the step ladders and I plummeted to the floor with the quilts in hot pursuit. I will spare you a picture of my bruises!

  It was worth it though.

636089393114987629This is a beautiful single quilt patched from a jellyroll…I made it whilst recovering from surgery some years ago.  I have part hand quilted the main section and will have to ponder about how I finish the rest.

636089395575201470This is a lap quilt I began making years ago, before I learnt to crochet.  It is a Tilda pattern and I remember the roses around the little cottages took a long time to hand sew.  I really must get this quilted before this winter. Alas my PHD mountain has just grown some more!


*Casualty – a BBC drama about an accident and emergency dept

Making damson gin…

Well what is a girl to do, when she is given a surplus of damsons?…

Gin of course!

I have read that many recipes for damson gin, I became confused.  What follows is a conglomeration of several.

WP_20160823_18_17_48_ProThe ingredients are this simple…

550g of damsons (because that is how much we had!)

250g of granulated sugar

1 litre of gin

1 litre mason jars x2.


First I sterilised the jars with boiling water. 


Then skewered the damsons with a sterile darning needle to get their damson juices flowing.  I divided the damsons equally between the jars. 


Next, I added 125g of sugar into the first jar and 125g of sugar into the second jar. 


Finally, adding 500ml of gin into the first jar and 500ml into the second jar.

I gave the jars a little shake and then popped them on the larder shelf where it is dark…this is important storage information apparently! 

I’m not sure if it is a good thing that there is an air space in the jars or not.  Looking at the unopened gin bottle there was an air space.  So I think I am going to have to do a bit more research.  I may be topping up with a bit more gin, but I will let you know if I do.  The jars will need a little shake each day for the first week and then weekly after that. 

All the recipes differ on how long to leave the gin until you crack it open.  Some say 3 months others 6 months and then others a year!!!  I  should imagine it is when desperate!  Again I will let you know.  I am hoping it will be in time for Christmas, unless I get desperate before that!!




Very V blanket tutorial

Thank you for your lovely comments about  my latest blanket off the hook…the ‘Very V’ blanket. 

It really is very simple to hook, so I thought I would put together a little tutorial, as I have not done one for a while and because I have some rare time off on my own.

WP_20160811_20_01_00_ProSo, clearly this is not an original pattern.  I say that from the offset because of copyright and all of that.  Lets be honest…the humble ‘v stitch’ has been around for years.  But this is my tutorial in case you want to have a crack for yourself and you have never done a ‘v stitch’ and you are a visual kinda gal or guy.

Here we go!

Final measurements:  132cms x 120cms / 52″ x47″

I used Stylecraft special dk , for it’s durability, softness and price!  The colorway I used:

Lipstick x 1 ball

Meadow x1 ball 

Saffron x 1 ball 

Violet x 1 ball 

Spice x 1 ball 

Lobelia x 1 ball 

Storm blue x 1 ball 

Cream x 3 balls

You will also need a 4mm hook and a darning needle to weave in those ends! 

Of course if you are using different yarn then you may need to use the recommended hook size for your chosen yarn; and of course you can alter the finished size by hooking more or less chains to start. 

Your hooking tension (we are all different) may also mean you need more or less chains to start with. 

Lets start, are you ready? 

Abbreviations used are below and are English terminology.

Ch = chain stitch 

Chs = chains

Tr = treble stitch (double crochet in US terminology!)

St = stitch 

Slst = slip stitch

Sp = space

Pattern order I used:

Row 1:    Cream                  Row 2: Lobelia                 Row 3: Violet 

Row 4:   Cream                  Row 5:  Storm blue        Row 6: Meadow

Row 7:   Cream                  Row 8:  Saffron                 Row 9:  Spice

Row 10: Cream                 Row 11: Lipstick                 Row 12: Indigo

Row 13: Cream                  Row 14: Violet                   Row 15: Storm blue 

Row 16: Cream                 Row 17: Meadow              Row 18: Saffron

Row 19: Cream                 Row 20: Spice                     Row 21: Lipstick

                                                  Row 22: Cream 

NB/   the first and last row form the edging for the top and bottom of the blanket so use the colour you wish to edge the blanket in, for row 1.


Chain 175 in cream

(This gave me about a 1m 15cm /42″ length of Ch.  But any odd number of Chs will work to suit the size blanket you are wishing to hook!).  

2tr in 5th ch from hook, 

WP_20160829_16_53_05_Pro miss a ch, 2tr in next ch



miss a ch, 2tr in next ch


 *miss a ch, 2tr in next ch*

Repeat *  –  * across the row. 

Finishing with 1tr in last ch.  Change colour. As shown I change colour by completing half of the process for the last tr (ie/ leave two loops on the hook). Complete last part of tr in new colour as shown.

WP_20160829_16_57_03_Pro WP_20160829_16_58_00_ProI find this makes colour changes more secure.  These ends should be tied to secure further. Top tip! leave the ends long  (approx. 10cms) so that weaving in is easier.

Turn.  Ch3 (counts as 1tr)

WP_20160829_16_59_21_Pro 2tr in the middle of set of tr’s of previous row 


Continue along the row.


finishing with 1tr in top of 3rd ch on previous row.


Change colour. Turn. 


And that’s it! 

Top Tip!! Weave in the ends every few rows.

Repeat rows 1-22 x5 times.

Then repeat rows 1 – 13 to finish body of blanket. And if you did not adhere to the top tip above…now is the time to weave in those ends!


I’ve gone all minimalistic for the edging because the blanket itself is simply stunning in this colourway and I did not feel like it needed something fussy to detract from its beauty. 


This is what I did. 

The first and last row (in cream if you have been following this colourway) form the edging for the top and bottom of this blanket. In cream / your chosen edging colour join in the space at the bottom right of your blanket as shown.

WP_20160808_21_29_50_Pro (2)

Ch 3 and slst into the top st of the first tr/ch3 of 1st row.


Ch1, 2tr in same sp

WP_20160808_21_39_16_Pro2tr in next sp (the sp is the gap between the side of the first sts of each row), 2tr in next sp.

WP_20160808_21_41_39_ProContinue along the edge until you come to the top corner. 2tr in last sp, ch 1, 1tr in same sp.


Then slst into the top st of the first tr/ch3 of last row as shown. Fasten off.  Repeat for the other side of the blanket.

Finally, in Lobelia (or your chosen colour) join in any st of edge with a slst.


Slst in each st around edge of blanket. Fasten off and weave in loose ends.  And that is it, you should now have one of these to snuggle under…or reluctantly gift.


Well done if you got this far. 

I really hope you have found this tutorial easy to follow.  I welcome feedback, so let me know how you got on and if you want to share your picture of your finished make you can in the comment section below. 

I  would love to see what you have made.







‘Very V’…a very happy blanket.

This is my latest finish.

WP_20160811_20_01_00_Pro I’ve called it the ‘Very V’ blanket, as it uses the very beautiful and very simple ‘v’ stitch throughout. 


The yarn is stylecraft special dk and the colourway…


It reminds me very much of the Happy Ripple blanket I hooked a few years ago. 


This blanket was a thank you gift for someone that has helped me enormously this year and each stitch, like the Happy Ripple before was hooked with love and prayer. 


It makes my heart sing when I am able to gift something like this and know that it is appreciated. 


I received a card in the post just this week from the owner of the Happy Ripple telling me of the enormous comfort the blanket has brought to both her and her family in the midst of heartbreak recently…

and that…

well that just blows me away.



Hooking al fresco…

I have been so blessed to escape life for one whole week and kick back with the Robins clan…

WP_20160813_20_14_23_ProThe weather was more than kind to us, we even braved the sea for a session of body boarding!  That in itself may not seem that amazing, but if I tell you that the only water that Mama Robins likes is of the hot and bubbly variety…body boarding in the sea was a small miracle (it was so much fun too!).

InstagramCapture_4cd5d3ea-d57d-47ed-8631-cfc17f410c9bOf course I got some hooking in; mostly on the go.  Instead of taking a mammoth project like I usually do, I took just one hook and a single ball of yarn.  I didn’t even take a pattern and made it up as I went…


The yarn was the hank I had won a few months ago all the way from South Africa from Joey over at her fabulous blog, Littleblackdog, which you can read about here.

InstagramCapture_d6cd7a58-1408-4400-99e6-4f8c05f068f5The freedom of just one hook and a little bit of yarn meant I hooked every where…beach hooky….pool side hooky…farm hooky…

WP_20160817_19_35_55_ProI met the coolest sheep too, just take a look at him.

WP_20160820_15_21_49_ProBut I think the most yarniest place we visited was this place…

WP_20160818_12_59_15_ProClovelly…a tiny village of quaint cottages that seemed to tumble down into the harbour.  The cobbled street is so steep that it is unsuitable for vehicles and can only be accessed on foot or by donkey.  To stay overnight at the cutest bed and breakfast, your belongings are transported from the car park at the top to your accommodation by sledge…yes, I said sledge!!

WP_20160818_14_49_01_ProThe steep journey down is rewarded with an 18th Century harbour which the boy Robins loved. Taking much delight in hurling rocks into the sea with a catapult!

WP_20160818_13_15_27_ProWP_20160818_13_26_11_ProBut, I digress slightly…yes, it is a yarny place.  On the way down I discovered this beautiful doorway

WP_20160818_13_11_31_ProAnd this little cottage with a yarny roof


And a yarn bombed lamp post

WP_20160818_15_08_51_ProAnd of course I did a bit of my own hooking.


Hooking al fresco has proved quite satisfying indeed.