For over a century, people of Cowichan have been knitting stories into their famous woollen creations. Cowichan Knits are distinctly patterned designs woven from sheep wool in shades of blacks, greys, browns and creams.
Maude Joe, one of our neighbours here in the Westholme Valley, designed and handmade these tea cozies especially for Westholme Tea Company. Maude has been knitting since she was six years old, the tradition passed from the hands of her mother and grandmother.
When Maude shared her creative process, she told us she saw that a tea cozy was like a toque for a teapot. However, she desired to add a little flair to set it apart from a traditional Cowichan toque. After praying on it, she received a message to “look to her roots.” Thoughts of Western Red Cedars and the traditional Cedar cone hats she grew up with came to mind. Maude then combined the designs of a toque and cedar hat…providing us with an excellent cozy cover to keep your teapot warm for hours.
Maude enjoys creating geometric shapes, drawing from the patterns woven into baskets by her Coast Salish ancestors. She incorporates native animals such as frogs, fish, and birds as well as creating non-traditional designs that inspire her, such as the snail and the monkey.
We have had the idea of a Cowichan knit tea cozy for a long time and are thrilled to now be offering these genuine, hand-crafted pure wool Tea Cozies. What makes these cozies even more special is that no two are alike! The wool is never dyed: the colouring is determined by the natural colour of the wool on the sheep from which it came.
Maude is proud to support small family farms and yarn merchants on Coast Salish territory. In addition to that, she will cart and spin much of her own wool. Cowichan knitting is passed through generations, so in buying an authentic product, you are supporting local families. Many have attempted to imitate the Cowichan designs, but an authentic Cowichan knit is always the result of unique knitting techniques passed from hand to hand.
We hope these cozies weave a sense of becoming steeped in nature into your teatime.
Dimensions + Sizing of the Small Cozies:
To create each design, measurements are traditionally made using fingers rather than a ruler, so there is variability within each of the sizes.