Knitted Flower Pot Cozies

I’m still in a Victorian mood (my last post was on “Victorian Rosemary Shortbread”), so yesterday I decided to knit a pot cozy for a little nutmeg geranium plant in a terra cotta pot. Seen from a Victorian standpoint, the pot looked utterly naked–it needed a cozy, a frill–something. I had seen some knitted pot cozies in craft magazines, but they were knitted with flabby acrylic knitting worsted in flat pieces that were fashioned into a tube with a clunky seam. If ever there was a time to use circular knitting, this was it, and I felt that something with more body was needed to knit with, so I found a ball of jute string. I got out my needles and knitted up a swatch, and soon was knitting round and round.

I took this little fellow’s picture today.

To beginning knitters, circular knitting looks difficult, but it’s actually easier than straight knitting, and you don’t have to sew a seam. It just looks hard because you are using four needles. At any rate, I went round and round, measured the cover against the pot, and bound off. Fortunately, I didn’t cut the yarn. If you’ve ever knitted stockinette stitch, you know that the bound-off edge curls, in this case, horribly. Time for Plan B, but I didn’t have a Plan B. I had barely had a Plan A. In desperation, I ripped out the bound-off row, and using a crochet hook pulled the long end of string round through the loops. I tried it on the pot, and to my surprise, the loops curled over very prettily, with an almost beaded effect, finishing off the edge.

Skill Level: Intermediate. This is basically a simple project, but if you have never done circular knitting, a project with jute string is probably not a good place to start. Also, you will have to knit a swatch to determine how many stitches to cast on, and this can make beginner knitters nervous. Lastly, at the very end, you have to try the cozy on the pot to determine which row is the last, and this could be nerve-wracking as well.

Supplies: For the large pot, I used some heavy-duty jute string that is about the thickness of substantial knitting worsted, along with size 10 double needles. For the smaller pot, I used a lighter-weight jute, about the thickness of sports yarn, and a set of size 7 double needles. You will also need a crochet hook of average size.

How to: Knit a swatch of 10 stitches by 10 rows, and measure its length. Figure out how many stitches per inch you have. For the heavy jute, I had three stitches to an inch. Then measure the circumference of the lower part of the pot. Multiply this by the number of stitches you knit per inch, and you have the number to cast on.

Cast on your stitches on one needle.

Divide it between three needles.

Then comes a slightly tricky part. I set the yarn and needles on the table, and make sure the stitches aren’t twisted. You’ll be able to see that there is a right side and a nubby wrong side. I lightly tie the tail end of yarn with the yarn coming from the ball. I make sure the right side is facing me. Then I pick up the fourth needle and start knitting around.

As you knit around, the tube starts to form. Have the pot on hand, and when the tube is almost finished, try it on the pot. Stop knitting when there is room for one more row.

Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail, about 18″ in length. Let the next stitch slip off the needle, and using the crochet hook, pull the tail through. Keep doing this. The loops will curl over decoratively. When the long tail is pulled through all the loops, cut off, leaving a tail of about two inches. ¬†Weave into the top row of stitches. Also weave in the tail that is at the first row of stitches.

Pull the cozy onto the pot and adjust evenness of the stitches, if necessary.

Will this work with wool yarn? Don’t know, but I will try it next. Hope you are enjoying these beautiful early fall days. Namaste. Fran