Monday, January 17, 2011

off on a tangent

Hipstamatically presented.  (Thanks, Kristin , for the challenge).
Tea cozy from recycled sweater 
Seeing as I work from a home office, my tea breaks are very important. An excuse to stand up and walk downstairs! And distraction!  We all have our little routines; mine is strong coffee from 6 am till noon, after that it's tea all the way, baby. In the winter, my house is chilly and my office even chillier, so it's not just the mental break but the warmup, and making it last till I get to the bottom of the mug.  Which is how I found myself googling : "tea mug cozies". I realized how insane it is for someone with yarn, felted sweaters and just plain old stuff around to be even thinking about buying a tea mug cozy, so I got busy.
That's right, my tea mug has Barbara Walter waterskiing on it. Ugly! But it has fabulous volume, a nice big handle, and sentimental value. It was an audience souvenir when I took my mom & my aunt to see The View, (VIP seats) a rare outing for them together in the city they grew up in.
Here they are, holding their mug boxes post taping.2009.
But back to my little project. Not exactly brain surgery. I cut a length of sleeve from a felted old black sweater, measured from the cuff up. I cut it open by the seam, and blanket stitched around the three raw sides.
process- making tea mug cozy from recycled sweater 
I hit the button tin to make a loop & button closure, measured to give my mug some negative ease. (yes, I did just say that). Then I  left it on a table with the tin of tangled crewel thread. Whenever I passed by, I stitched a little. I attribute this to meeting Jenny Hart last year. She gave me a serious jones to rediscover my embroidery licks. 
tea mug cozy from recycled sweater 
With a lot of wonk, it all came back. Daisy stitch ! Running backstitch ! Split stitch !
Of course none of this is necessary, strictly speaking, you could just cut a piece of felted sweater, add a closure and walla.  But that would not make tea break any fun, would it?
• • • • • • • • • • •
As much as Jenny Hart inspires me with her embroidery, and Kristin with her use of color and design,  Crispina ffrench inspires me to think about the possibilities with recycled sweaters. She's selling some awesome kits to make mittens out of recycled sweaters. More sophisticated than mine,(scroll to the bottom of that linked post if you want to see 'em) which I'm still loving.
 I sort of wish I wasn't off on a sweater knitting binge right now, because look at this tutorial to make a chipmunk  out of a recycled spare glove. Bobo would just explode if I made him one . Wool ! Squirrel !!
But who wants to clean up exploded bulldog, anyway?


Cookie said...

You are so good!


Cathy R said...

I love your tea-cozy. How creative.

Please don't explode your new dog. Even though that chipmunk is as cute as can be!!

Jenn said...

I love this! My tea gets cold too fast as well.

Ellen Bloom said...

Voilà! You know how to embroider tooo????! Faboo! LOVE the coffee cup cozy. I forsee some holiday gifts here!

Marla McLean, Atelierista said...

Hee hee, you dressed up your mug.

gayle said...

Looks to me like the mug is smiling... as it should be!

Mary Lou said...

And it might increase his taste for wool.

craftivore said...

Your embroidery looks like such fun, and the best kind of fun, easy fun. The squirrel is adorable, Bobo will have to step aside while I shred it to bits myself.

Kristin Nicholas said...

Hi Gale - Lovely mug cosy! And awesome hipstamatics! I wouldn't dare do a tutorial - my photos would look so wonky!

Will you be in NYC this weekend? at VK Live. Would love to meet up w/ you.


twinsetellen said...

I am so with you on the strong coffee till noon, green tea for a few hours after, then on to the herbal stuff. Any negative ease says exactly what we needed to know.