So, no prizes for guessing exactly what I was reminded of when, some months ago, I first opened the package containing seven tasty balls of Magnus and Justyna’s Foula Wool . . .



Maybe I was feeling particularly parched or something, but it really did occur to me just how tea-like the familiar Shetland shades of Mioget, Fawn, and Moorit are — to my mind, Shetland sheep are really never coffee-hued — their particular brown has red and pink tones underlying it . . . just like a Nice Cup of TEA.

Tea is a big deal in Shetland, and indeed further south here in Scotland, and I have given this hat the fine Scots moniker of Tea Jenny, which, if you were wondering, is how you refer to someone who likes to drink an awful lot of tea . . .


. . .someone like me . . .


Jolly teapots dance around the body of the hat . . .


While the crown is a swirling, kaleidoscopic homage to the theraputic wonders of my favourite beverage.


I am put in mind of the immortal words of Father Ted’s Mrs Doyle

“The playful splash of the tea
As it hits the bottom of the cup
The thrill of adding the milk
And watching it settle for a moment,
Before it filters slowly down
To the bottom of the cup
Changing the colour from dark brown to…
A lighter brown
Perching an optional jaffa cake on the saucer,
Like a proud soldier, standing to attention
Beside a giant… cup of tea”


Foula Wool is a DK-weight yarn, so knit up, this makes for quite a substantial hat worked at 22 sts to 4 inches.


The finished hat has a wee bit of slouch in it, and its important to swatch carefully and wash and block your swatch before knitting (I’ve found that Foula Wool blooms and grows quite a bit)


The hat uses each of the seven shades of Foula Wool, and Magnus has told me that he is now creating yarn packs with the exact quantities of each shade that you’ll need to knit the hat. These will be available on the Foula Wool website from early next week (when Magnus has returned to Foula from the Shetland mainland). You’ll have to purchase the pattern from me, either digitally (via Ravelry) or in print (via MagCloud). If you want to knit the hat and are in Shetland for wool week now, you can put your name down for a yarn pack with Magnus at the maker’s mart in Lerwick tomorrow.

In the meantime, the Tea Jenny pattern is available to download from Ravelry!

Now, put the kettle on . . .


61 thoughts on “Tea Jenny

  1. how did it happen that Kate has such beautiful eyes but we were always looking at the knitting so we never properly noticed before?

    slate blue, huge as pools, smudged & fringed around the edges


  2. I do adore the natural shades so I hope it’s not heresy to say I might need to make at least one red teapot to match my Yorkshire Tea teapot!!


  3. Such a beautiful pattern. I can’t wait to knit it.
    And peer at the screen as I have, I cannot read what brand that beautiful mug covered in birds is. Can anyone tell me?


  4. Hello, Just to say how much I appreciate your patterns and your blogs. I’m from a Scottish island and have been living abroad for over 15 years. I’ve been feeling pretty homesick recenty but every time I knit one of your designs I feel as if I’m “back home” for a wee while. Many thanks!


  5. Um…tea cosy. That’s all I can think of. Your fabulous carousel tea cosy but with teapots instead of sheep. Or maybe as well as sheep. Please say you’ll make one (and then tell us how to make one).


  6. Love it! Going to keep an eye on the Foula page for the yarn pack, I definitely need to make myself a knit tea hat! And thanks for introducing me to the term Tea Jenny!


  7. Ah go on, go on … I’ll just have to pour myself a cup and get round to purchasing another one of your creations! Just the thing to cheer on a cold, grey dreary day!


  8. Oh, I hope I can request a yarn pack be sent to me in Florida! I have always wished I liked tea more, love the cool pots and cups, but coffee is my drink of choice. However, dear Friend Bonnie is a tea jenny, so I will knit the hat for her. Thanks for such a lovely design.


  9. I’ve ordered three colours (grey, black and a brown) just after you posted the interview with Justyne so they’re on their way. I’m not smitten with the teapots, but the crown is magnificant!
    Can’t wait to get started!


  10. I just finished knitting my second sheep heid and I can’t wait to get this pattern. I also am in love with the mug – would you know the name of the manufacturer?


  11. Wonderful design and it looks very warm. Still warmer with a good cup of tea. I am wainting ofr the yarn pack,in nice expcetations. I also like the photos, thank you.


  12. Oh thank you Kate for quoting Mrs. Doyle, made my day that did! You know I find it difficult to believe that any population could be more obsessed with their cuppa than we Irish, though I’ve read you here discussing the sometimes complicated historical relationship of the Shetlanders to their favourite drink. Pattern is gorgeous as usual by the way…hmm makes me thirsty though, off to put the kettle on…;-)


  13. Oh goodness me – I’m definitely a Tea Jenny and this latest design is so gorgeous that I know I will have to make one for me and probably a few for Xmas gifts. Thanks for being so clever Kate!


  14. So wonderful! Your post makes me want a cup of tea (I have a huge mug that says MUG OF TEA in huge letters on it) alas it is close to midnight here in Virginia. Off to bed to dream of tea and Foula wool head cozies.


  15. Oh Gwad……….Mrs. doyle!!!!!!! Am laughing thinking about how she can ‘go on’ ! Yes, a Tea Jenny I am. Great hat……….off to Ravelry!! Thank you again.


  16. This hat is so gorgeous, Kate – and you got Mrs Doyle in there too! Wonderful :)
    Where is your lovely bird mug from? I’d love to get one for my Dad for Christmas. x


  17. What a beautiful hat, Kate! You once again managed to combine some of the world’s best things; knitting, tea and Shetland wool. I don’t think I will ever get enough of these beautiful sheep colours. I can’t wait to make the hat. I’m looking forward to try my hand at Foula Wool. Thank you for making us aware of its existence.


    1. Aw Moz, it’s you who mostly turned me on to tea… if I’m a Tea Jenny it’s because of you !

      Awesome design Kate, as usual, definitely makes one want to make a pot of tea.


  18. I used that expression in a tea room on Iona last month and the wee Glaswegian lady behind the counter went into raptures about how long it had been since she last heard that expression! It reminds me of my Great Aunt (Jennie funnily enough) and Grandma Flora and all those endless, endless cups of tea and rich tea biscuits which would go limp at the very sight of the steaming brew…


  19. I love this hat! I am an avid tea drinker (Yorkshire Gold is my “go to” tea), and having just spent time in Shetland, knitting this hat with the Foula Wool seems like it was meant to be. :-)


  20. I’m a Tea Jenny, then! (I didn’t know that expression before.) What a beautiful design and how I’d love to have a knitted Tea Jenny! What a pity I don’t have a clue about knitting :(


  21. Kate

    I just love everything tea. I live in Nova Scotia (We like our tea here as well) but a few years ago had the pleasure of travelling from London up through to Scotland and discovered Yorkshire Tea. It is delicious and luckily I can get it here. Anyway back to teapots, I bought the teapot kit with the sheep but look forward to knitting this one as well. Right now I happen to be making Peerie flowers Hat with the Mittens to follow. I really enjoy the challenge of your patterns. Thanks Kate.


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