Bee’s knitted hive tea cosy

I love a good cuppa, so it was only right that when I finally got round to making myself a teapot cosy, it had to Bee just right.

I posted a few pics as I was making this fabulous bee hive tea cosy on Twitter, and it was an instant hit (much to my delight), so here’s how to make this adorable project.

Download the pattern from the Patons website here. (How lovely that the Patons emblem is a bee hive!).

I couldn’t find the recommended Patons wool featured in the pattern, instead I used Sirdar Supersoft Arran using size 6mm needles – one 100g ball makes 2 tea cosies.  It knitted up up fine (as you shall see in a tinky wink).

The pattern says intermediate but if you’re a beginner, don’t be put off, it really is simple rows of knit and purl. The tricky bit is the hive fold overs, but just take a look at my images below – and don’t worry it took me a while to work it out, but persistence does pay off and I’m hoping this blog post helps to save you some time.

This pattern consists of simple rows of knit and purl – don’t be fooled by the fold overs, help is at hand below

So, cast on 27 stitches, and complete rows 1 to 8.

Front And Back (make 2 pieces alike).
1st row: (Right Side – which means front side of the cosy). Knit. Place markers at each end of last row ( I didn’t have any proper place markers, so I just tied a string of different coloured wool loosley which worked fine).
2nd row: Knit.
3rd row: Purl.
4th to 8th rows: Repeat last 2 rows twice more, then repeat 2nd row once.

>>>>>>> Now comes the first hive fold over…

9th row: (Right Side-Make pleat). *Pick up horizontal loop at Wrong Side (reverse of cosy) of stitch from marked row directly below next stitch and place on left-hand needle. Knit this stitch tog with next st on needle. Repeat from * to end of row. You should still have 27 stitches on your needle after these steps.

>>>>>>> And this is how you do it…

This is how your cosy should look so far (notice the pink DIY placeholder by the purl row). Next, lift the stitch from the purl (bumpy) row on the right hand side onto the row that’s already on your needle.

Feed the needle in your right hand from the outer side into the first bumpy purl stitch that faces you (what is called the ‘wrong side’). This feels a little unnatural and you have to hold your hand differently, but you soon get used to it.

Then lift this stitch onto the needle that is in your left hand, before the first stitch that is already on it.

You should have two stitches on the end of your left needle like so

Knit these two stitches together – take a look at the Knit Witch’s video tutorials on youtube for knitting two stitched together (ktog) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBpbLmgwHFA.

Repeat this until you get to the end of the row (ensure that you count out the 27 stitches first and use the bumpy bits nearest to you – it’s easy to pick up extra stitches by taking some of the bumpy purl row behind). What you’ve done is  joined the last row of knit stitches on the right side with the last row of purl stitch on the reverse side of the cosy – making a fold 🙂

If it’s getting a bit much, I suggest taking the knitter’s tonic to help you through – a sip of tea and have some choccie

Your fold over should then look like this… remember, you’re still on your first fold over – the picture is after I’d done three

>>>>>>Then continue with the pattern as follows

10th row: Purl.
11th row: Knit.
12th row: Purl.
13th row: Knit. Place markers at each end of last row.
Repeat 2nd to 13th rows 3 times more, then repeat 2nd to 10th rows once more

This is how your cosy should look so far

>>>>>>>> Now you’ll be decreasing some stitches using the simple knit together technique (ktog). To help you, take a look at the Knit Witch’s video tutorials on youtube – she’s ace. Here’s the vid for ktog http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBpbLmgwHFA.

Continue with the pattern as follows…

Shape top:
1st row: (Right Side – which means front of the cosy). K2. *K2tog. K3. Repeat from * to end of row. You should now have 22 stitches.
2nd row: Purl.
3rd row: Knit. Place markers at each end of last row
4th row: Knit
5th row: Purl
6th to 10th rows: Repeat last 2 rows twice more, then repeat 2nd row once.
11th row: (RS-Make pleat). *Pick up horizontal loop of stitch from marked row directly below next stitch. Place beside next st on left-hand needle and K2tog. Rep from * to end of row. You should still have 22 stitches.
12th row: Purl.
13th row: K2. *K2tog. K2. Repeat from * to end of row. 17 sts.
14th to 22nd rows: As 2nd to 10th rows.
23rd row: (Right Side-Make pleat). *Pick up horizontal loop of stitch from marked row directly below next stitch . Place beside next stitch on left-hand needle and K2tog. Repeat from * to end of row. 17 sts.
24th row: Purl.
25th row: K2. *K2tog. K1. Repeat from * to end of row. 12 stitches.
26th to 34th rows: As 2nd to 10th rows.
35th row: (Right Side-Make pleat). *Pick up horizontal loop of st from marked row directly below next stitch. Place beside next stitch on left-hand needle and K2tog. Repeat from * to end of row. 12 stitches.
36th row: Purl.
37th row: (K2tog) 6 times. 6 stitches.
38th row: P2. P2tog. P2. 5 stitches.
39th row: K1. Sl1 (Slip 1 stitch – watch the Knit Witch’s tutorial here). K2tog. psso (pass slip stitch over – watch the Knit Witch’s video tutorial here). K1. 3 stitches.
Break yarn leaving a long end and draw tightly through rem 3 stitches.

>>>>>>> You’ve now completed your first side of the cosy! Hoorah!

Voila… first side complete

Now repeat that all over again to make the second side of the cosy (after a nice cuppa of course – you’ve deserved it).

The hive cosy is coming along…

Then you should have both sides of the cosy.

Now for finishing:

Sew side seams allowing pleats to lie flat and sewing through all thicknesses. Leave openings for handle and spout approx 4½” (11.5 cm) on each side – for my 4-6 cup teapot, I stitched together from the top to the bottom of the third fold down, and up from the bottom to the second up fold.

The stitched together cosy

But a bee hive isn’t complete without a bee!

This is what Patons suggest and what I did…

Cut cardboard to measure ¼” x ¾” [.5 x 2 cm]. Secure black yarn at back with glue and wrap around cardboard to cover completely. Wrap gold yarn to make 3 stripes. With white sewing thread, embroider eyes. Make wings with 8 strands of sewing thread and stitch with loops at either side of body. Sew to tea cosy.

And your finished cosy might look something like this…

My finished bee hive cosy

I also have a 2 cup teapot, so got a little carried away…

Big and little bee hive cosies

Bee tea time

 

I then spotted this out shopping… I feel a tea cosy addiction may be coming on.

I hope you enjoy making the tea cosy as much as I did!

(and I’ve also discovered another great use for the tea cosy…)

The alternate use for a bee hive tea cosy… winter hat 🙂

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9 thoughts on “Bee’s knitted hive tea cosy

  1. Your teapots look so much happier now! Perhaps you should invent a new version of yarn bombing – find teapots in cafes and shops and pop hand-knitted tea cosies on them, then slink out, whistling softly… x

  2. Who needs sunshine – this lovely sunny bee hive will brighten up anyones day! Love the blog Bee x

  3. Thanks so much!! I saw this teapot cover on pinterest and wanted to make it, but I could not figure out how to do the pleats!!!! Looked everywhere and finally found you!!
    Greetings from Greece!

    • Hello from England! Really glad it’s helped you with the pleats – it did take me quite a few attempts to work it out, so hope it’s saved you time and frustration. Would love to see a pic of your final cosy once it’s done!

      Happy knitting

      Bee

  4. Hi I really love the beehive! I have a 2 cup teapot so I was wondering how you adapted the Patons pattern for the smaller size. Thanks!!

    • Hi Elle
      Sorry for the super late response.. well basically I just reduced the number of rows and width proportionately. I think I chucked out my scribbled on photocopy so can’t give you the exact numbers, sorry. I’ll try and measure it thought to give you an idea. Bee

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