The Woolly Brew yarn shop is 10 years old this month. Fiona, the shop owner, is organising a few bits of fun to celebrate this. I feel lucky to have a lovely local yarn shop, which I know a lot of places no longer have (especially as I work there too!)
The Woolly Brew’s logo is a teacup filled with yarn so, to help with the celebrations, I’ve knitted 40 tiny teacups. Fiona is going to sell these in the shop for a local charity. I knitted them from Jamieson’s Spindrift Shetland yarn for its fabulous colour range and feltability. The teacups are sad and floppy until felted, when they turn into robust, dense, little cups. There are a few simple ways that you can stiffen little knitted pieces (dilute PVA glue, sugar solution etc.) but I like wet felting best for making a dense, shapable fabric. Plus, it seems quite magical when your floppy knitted piece turns into a neat little miniature of itself (a bit like shrinking crisp packets under the grill but without the noxious fumes).
As part of my ongoing plan to try to avoid synthetic, non-biodegradable materials (especially in items as frivolous and non-functional as these), these teacups are made entirely from compostable materials- woollen yarn, wool stuffing, a scrap of cotton and wood.
So that people can knit their own tiny teacups, I’ve written a free hand knitting pattern (available in print version at The Woolly Brew or online from my website or my Ravelry page). There are three versions, which seems very overcomplicated for such a tiny item, but I though to would be good to offer patterns that fit with different people’s knitting styles. So, for those who avoid circular knitting, there’s a very simple version, knit as a flat rectangle, seamed up the side and gathered at the base to make the cup shape. For people who like as much of the job to be done by knitting rather than finishing, there’s a version knit in the round, where the cup shape is made using increases. Lastly, there’s a version knit in the round, with the bottom of the cup shaped by gathering. Because wet felting covers a multitude of sins, the teacups from the different versions all look very similar.