We collaborated with artist Michelle Kludas, from Murrurundi in the Upper Hunter of New South Wales, to design a tea cosy for the 1.5 litre Falcon enamel tea pots that we sell at Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores.
I met Michelle about four years ago and I am a big fan of everything she does, from crochet to painting, and her work as Manager at Michael Reid Gallery.
Michelle learnt to crochet when she was just five-years-old, a simple chain stitch taught by her grandmother, and even took a crochet hook and wool to school to crochet at recess.
Clearly, there is serious creative DNA at work. Michelle recalls a photograph of her and her sister, aged seven and eight, wearing crocheted bikinis made by their grandmother, standing either side of their creator.
“When I was about 12 my grandmother taught me how to read a pattern and from about the age of 15 or 17 I was making fine lace doilies,” Michelle says.
By the time Michelle started her blog, The Royal Sisters, in 2008 crochet was enjoying a renaissance and she picked up the hook and yarn again, inspired by the new flood of patterns and kindred spirits online.
She sells 19 crochet patterns on Etsy, for funky cushions, slippers, Christmas stockings, and tea cosies in the shape of a koala, owl and babushka – all “Full of Granny Goodness My Dears”. Michelle also sells some of her creations at Michael Reid Gallery.
When I approached Michelle about designing a tea cosy for Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores she suggested popcorn stitch in Nundle Woollen Mill’s 20-ply Oatmeal to best show off the chunky yarn and textured finish. The 20-ply comes in 200g hanks for $19.50 and each hank will make two tea cosies.
“There’s a shift towards simpler designs in thinker yarns,” Michelle says. “The popcorn stitch is very popular at the moment.”
We are so thrilled with the result, just in time for winter when your tea pot needs a little help to keep the tea hot.