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yay retro! explores the world of tea cosies...

If you make your tea using a teabag and a cup, you may not own a tea cosy yet. However, if you have ventured into the world of the teapot, then you'll know that a cosy warm 'hat' for your pot is a 'must have' to keep your tea warm as it brews. Whether made of fabric or knitted by hand, a tea cosy means you can top up your teapot with hot water, reusing your tea leaves or tea bags and keep your tea warmer for longer, whilst you have a good old chinwag!

So whether you're a teabag or tea leaf person using a teapot and cosy when you have friends over is a great way to keep your conversation and tea flowing...

According to wikipedia, the first time a tea cosy was used in Britian was in 1867, although they may have been in use before, it's just nobody made a note of it!  By the Victorian age, the highly decorated tea cosy was to be found in many homes in the UK and America. Initially it seems, they were made of fabric remnants which were embroidered, but pretty soon the hand knitters of the world got involved and knitted tea cosies were to found in kitchens everywhere!

During our travels online yay retro! has found some really fantastic tea cosy makers...

tea cosies made by Buzy Bees feature on yay retro! the vintage china specialists

Like Pat from Buzy Bee who started knitting when she was very young and now runs a knitting business.  Pat says she has knitted well over a hundred tea cosies in the last 3 yrs, most of them from her own designs...She says...'I just love seeing a lovely teapot jumper (her words for a tea cosy) on a teapot whether it's being used for tea or as a decoration on a kitchen dresser or shelf,' she goes on to say that she 'loves vintage china too, and that making complimentary jumpers is a joy.' Pat loves to play with colour and mix more unusual colours such as raspberry, duck egg , lime and orange together, and reckons 'There's nothing better than sitting down with friends for a cuppa and a cake with a teapot dressed in all it's finery!'

Pat, otherwise known as Buzy Bees' fabulous tea cosy designs such as Sunny Seaside, Strawberry Fields, Cornish - inspired by blue and white cornishware pottery, Cupcake, and "Busy Bees" - designed to promote her business can be seen above  (click on the image to visit Buzy Bees Folksy shop)

dear emma tea and cafetiere cosies feature on yay retro! the online shop for vintage china

Next up, we have the work of Cathy from Dear Emma Designs, based in the Yorkshire Dales, her business is named after 2 of her friends called Emma, who helped by giving feedback on her lovely work as it developed and grew into the business she has today! Dear Emma designs and makes a range of personal accessories and homeware including tea and cafetiere cosies, using fine linens and cottons (some old, some new) and embellishing them using freehand machine embroidery. Cathy supplies a number of galleries and shops, and shows at many designer/maker events all over the UK. 

Her favourite item in the yay retro! shop is our Katrina Tea Set , she tells us she is a 'keen collector of retro plates, cups, jugs etc and that she has recently got her 'sticky paws on a 1950's Ridgeway Pottery Homemaker Plate (Atomic Eames Era).' Pretty snazzy! Click on the image above to view Dear Emma Designs website :O)

earth wool and fire tea cosies feature on yay retro!s website which sells vintage china

Tina from the wonderfully named Earth, Wool and Fire began knitting when her Gran taught her back in 1965, when she was seven years old, she has never stopped since!   She tells us that her 'first attempt at knitting was a very uneven emerald green & pink scarf for my Teddy. I started with 10 stitches & ended with 37 but Teddy & I were very pleased with the result at the time!' About 2 years ago she decided to replace her battered old knitted Tea cosy with a nice stripy retro looking one.  Looking through her Grans old knitting patterns, she couldn't really find what she wanted so adapted a very basic old pattern & created her own Tea cosy knitting pattern from that.

One of her sons saw the finished tea cosy & asked Tina to make one for him, and then his flatmate wanted one & then some friends asked if they could buy one & then friends of friends! Earth, Wool and Fire grew from there!  Tina now sells her tea cosies at The Southsea Boutique Markets, which are mostly retro & vintage themed, so her tea cosies fit in very well. Tina says she enjoys experimenting with many different yarns, patterns, colours & buttons to create exciting designs to remind people of days gone by. Click on the image above to visit Earth, Wool and Fire's Facebook page :O)

the Simple things tea cosies pattern on yay retro!'s vintage china shop

Recently the new magazine The Simple Things, ran a feature on how to crochet a tea or coffee pot cosy in the first issue of the magazine. Full of fabulous photos, this is a great read, with lots of ideas for enjoying and taking life more slowly...there's no better way than doing this with a nice pot of tea...click the image above to visit The Simple Things website to find out how to subscribe:

vintage Poole Pottery teapots from yay retro! online china replacement  shop

yay retro! are always on the look out for beautiful vintage tea and coffee pots, and have a range by Poole Pottery in stock right now...

Ready to model the latest tea cosies, these beautiful pots were designed back in the 1930s, and were in production until the late 1960s. Called the Twintone range, they come in a wide variety of colours including ice green, indian red and sunshine yellow. Click on the image to shop in our Poole Pottery section :O)

yay retro! also offer a search service, if you are looking for a particular teapot, do let us know and we will do our best to find one for you - hello@yayretro.co.uk or contact us here

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