Tea Cozy Knitting Instructions

Updated April 17, 2017

We have the Duchess of Bedford to thank for the institution of afternoon tea. Around 1867, she encouraged the aristocrats to meet, network and gossip, while having tea. The only problem was that they talked so much, their tea got cold. The choice was to stop talking so much or figure out how to keep the tea warm. The tea cosy was born. If you knit and drink tea, try knitting this simple tea cosy.

Cast on 45 stitches.

Knit one stitch. Then repeat this pattern across the row: purl one, knit one. This stitch pattern is called moss stitch.

Repeat the moss stitch pattern for every row until the piece is about 26 inches long.

Bind off loosely. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail about a yard long.

Use the long tail to sew the cast-on and bind-off edges together with the tapestry needle. This creates a ring.

Turn the seam to the inside of the ring.

Lay the ring flat, with the seam on the right side. Put a safety pin on the top edge at the seam. Put another pin on the top edge of the side opposite the seam.

Pick up the ring and bring the pins together. Lay it down again. The pins are in the centre of the front and back. Put two more pins on the right and left sides.

Gather all the pins together in the centre. Pin the centres together to make a pleated top. From the top, it should look like an X. Sew these edges together on the inside.

Weave in the yarn ends and turn the cosy right-side out. Sew the decorative button at the top.


Finished measurements for the cosy are about 10 inches high and 24 inches around the bottom edge. The stitch gauge for this project is 3 1/2 stitches per inch. Adjust your needle size, if necessary, to achieve this gauge. The bottom edge of the cosy will roll up to make a small cuff. Experiment with this design by using other stitch patterns.

Things You'll Need

  • 250 yards of Aran weight yarn
  • Knitting needles, U.S. size 8
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle
  • Four safety pins or waste yarn
  • Button for decoration
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About the Author

Susan Brockett worked in the computer industry as a technical writer for nearly 20 years at companies including Motorola and Dell Computer Systems. In addition, her articles have appeared in Society of Technical Communications publications. Brockett has a master's degree in English composition and communications from Kansas State University.