Drink tea for Old Notre Dame

Christmas is not over, but its gift-giving is over (at least in our house), which means that I can finally write up my latest crochet project: a Notre Dame tea cosy. (Go Irish!)

This was at my husband’s request — so he knew what he was getting, but not how it would look (hence the need for secrecy). On the whole I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

I worked it up in single-crochet; since it wasn’t going to be felted I wanted a nice tight stitch. It was done freehand, without a pattern — though I did have the teapot measurements thanks to one of my husband’s coworkers! So I can’t reproduce the pattern, but the method was simple: I worked in the round to make the top, increasing as seemed well to me, then did repeating rows across one half to make the first side flap, bound off, and repeated on the other side (leaving the two slits for the handle and spout open). When it was long enough on both sides I joined them, crocheting in the round again with my contrasting colour. And as far as construction goes, that was it!

For decoration, I just did single crochet around the edges of the slits to make them stand out a bit more, and embroidered stripes on the back side with a tapestry needle (using the back-stitch). Embroidery on/with yarn is surprisingly easy; the only thing to remember is not to draw it tight at all. For the design on the front, I first tried tracing the logo onto parchment paper and embroidering through the paper — but my paper fell all to pieces and I had to abandon that idea pretty quickly. However, the thing about single crochet is that your stitches end up the same width and height, so I was able to treat it as if it were just some very think aida cloth, and completed the logo as a freehand cross-stitch. I started by just outlining the logo, then filled it in, and finally added the blue on top to make sure everything stood out properly. And there we have it!

This was a pretty satisfying project, not least because of the confidence boost granted by doing the entire thing freehand. There are a few things I might do differently next time — particularly in regards to the embroidery as the back-side is an awful mess that I will not show you here — but overall I think it was a definite success.

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