Monday, May 14, 2007

the story behind the tea cosies

I'm in the first year of a three-year training program in the Alexander Technique, a type of body work. Every weekday morning during class we have a fifteen-minute tea break. The students take turns preparing tea; for some, it is a very serious or thoughtful task.

One student in particular, who was raised by his English mother to make a "proper cuppa," would often resort to covering the full teapots with tea towels to keep the water warm before break, in the absence of proper cosies. When he was about to go on a trip to England to visit relatives, he remarked that he should bring back some tea cosies for the school.

I've been creating with fibre and fabric since I was a child, and I was inspired by his words. I told him not to bother with cosies from England; I would make some for the school myself during the time he was away.

Like most sewers, I have a huge fabric stash, including several brightly-coloured wool sweaters that I had felted. I cut up a few of them, and in a couple of days had stitched together three cosies - each unique - for the school. I made a fourth for my best friend who collects teapots, and a business was born.

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