I love tea*

I’ve long been a fan of tea–real tea, not so much the herbal stuff (there was a time in college and graduate school when I tried really, really hard to like herbal teas, but they just didn’t thrill me). And since the release of a major study last year that demonstrated a correlation between drinking tea and having a decreased risk of ovarian cancer, I’ve been fairly diligent about drinking some every day. Jan and I often like to brew a pot (no tea bags here) after dinner, usually of Darjeeling.

p7305768.jpgWe like tea so much that we have–and use–three teapots. The one of the left is a Crown Dorset pot that was given to me by Dolores, who was my landlady when I did my doctoral fieldwork in Oregon. I rented the top floor of the house she owned, which was directly across the street from the Pacific Ocean. At the time she was in her late 70s, lived alone with two Dobermans, and was one of the fiestiest, most independent women I’d ever met. (She still is!) She and I became good friends and often drank tea together in her kitchen, sitting next to the wood stove (yes, she split her own firewood) that warmed her home during Oregon’s chilly-damp winter.

The teapot on the right is a Wedgwood pot in the Conway pattern (which, according to the company website, looks like it’s no longer in production). I don’t know how old it is, but it’s seen a lot of use (and been patched) and was given to Jan by his mother.

The third pot, the one in the middle, is the one that Jan and I bought together. It’s from Wedgwood, too. When we got married, we registered for fine china partly because we loved this pattern (Oberon) and partly because we thought some “traditional-minded” relatives might prefer to give us a very “traditional” gift. (And really, what is more traditional than china, right?) As it turns out, the only china we received as wedding gifts was a sugar bowl and a creamer. So we decided to build the collection ourselves, and every once in a while we buy another place setting (we’re now up to four, enough to have friends over for a nice dinner!) or, in one purchase, the teapot.

p7305769.jpgYou can tell by the brownish interiors that these teapots are well loved. (We do soak the insides with denture cleaner, and although that does help a great deal it doesn’t remove all the stains, especially those in the spout.) As summer’s end approaches and fall and winter are on the horizon, I’m looking forward to drinking more tea (it’s especially nice when accompanied by homemade raisin-and-walnut-studded pumpernickel bread and Stilton…).

And I’ve been reflecting on the intersection of knitting and tea: lots of knitters I know love tea, there are knitting tea swaps online, and of course there are knitted tea cozies. I am generally not a fan of any type of cozy. (Cell-phone cozies, iPod cozies, laptop cozies, beer-bottle cozies…they all seem ridiculous to me.) But I have to admit being tempted to make a knitted cover for my beloved teapots. There’s a pattern for one in Knit 2 Together, but it’s got some frilly tutu rings on it. Not my cup of tea (so to speak). So I’m on the lookout now for a good pattern for a teapot cover. Suggestions?

(*Oh, don’t get me wrong–I love coffee, too. I’m an equal-opportunity hot-beverage-drinker.)

8 Responses to “I love tea*”

  1. SP11on 19 Aug 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Have you ever seen the I’m a Little Teapot Tea Cozy? It is available from Two Swans Yarns
    Your SP11

  2. Pixieon 19 Aug 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Knitpicks has a cute tea cozy in their catalog. I *love* my teapots and have about 10 of them. :)

  3. Marshaon 19 Aug 2007 at 8:40 pm

    SP11: I hadn’t seen that pattern before. Gosh, it’s cute–it has the words to “I’m a Little Teapot” knit right into it. But it has not one but two techniques I’ve never tried before–fair isle and steeking–and that combo is a bit intimidating to me…

    Pixie: Ten? Holy cow. Do you have tea cozies for any of them?

  4. Bethon 19 Aug 2007 at 11:45 pm

    I like this felted tea cozy and this dainty tea cozy. But is this more your style.

  5. Linneton 20 Aug 2007 at 12:17 pm

    I love tea, but unfortunately, it doesn’t love me anymore. One of the hardest things I ever had to do was give away all of my tea a couple of years ago. I had a *lot* of tea, several dozen varieties of loose leaf. When I cleaned out my tea cabinet, people were aghast, but hastened to grab their favorites. :) There’s nothing like a nice oolong on a cold day or watching jasmine pearls unfold in a glass pot or a sturdy Earl Gray or Irish Breakfast in the morning…*sigh*

    A tea cozy sounds like a good project to try out new techniques, especially something like steeks.

  6. Virtual Vacation Swap Hoston 20 Aug 2007 at 1:35 pm

    It’s good to know that you don’t like herbal teas so I can take that blueberry tea out of your swap package! Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about you. Life’s been busy lately and I haven’t had time to do the things I want to do. I’ll go out and replace that herbal tea with something from my favorite tea shop here.

    I’m a huge tea drinker myself. I have a pot of Earl Grey that I’m working on right now! I mostly drink loose leaf teas, but Twinings is my lazy day drink!

    I’m almost done your package just need to pick up that tea and a few little things and it will be off to you.


    Your VVS Host

  7. Katie Jon 20 Aug 2007 at 7:16 pm

    I love the felted tea cozy on Knitty:

    However, you may like this one even better, also from Knitty:

    Mmm, the weather is good for tea right now. I hear some Earl Grey or Jasmine calling my name…

  8. Marshaon 21 Aug 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Beth and Katie: The loopy cozy isn’t my cup of tea (groan), but I do like the two from Knitty. Maybe I’ll give one of them a try when I’ve finished the projects that are already on the needles.

    Linnet:You had to stop drinking tea? Oh my. I’m sorry to hear that. Just the caffeinated varieties or all types?

    VVS Host: Blueberry tea is something I’ve never tried before. It sounds intriguing, and I’m happy to give it a go if you still want to send it my way. But if you’ve something else in mind, that’s okay, too!