I do love being in our garden in Winter. In the long dark days we often end up leaving the house before the sun rises and returning in the inky dark of the evening. At the weekends I get the opportunity to see what is changing. To view the shrubs, see what is dying back, glimpse those promising wee shoots of new life.
There can be nothing better than standing, in the frosty morning, mug in hand, dreaming, planning and appreciating the stillness of a winter morning. When I have been fertling in the flower beds for a few hours a coffee brought to me is heaven sent. You can of course use old ‘unfavourite’ mugs which you don’t mind chipping or getting very dirty. But many gardeners like to rely on an old fashioned enamel mug for its robust utility.
I find the shape nostalgically pleasing. But let’s be practical, its metal nature can make the mug way too hot to handle with a piping hot brew. The best idea is to make a lovely cosy. This small addition not only protects your fingers but also keeps your coffee warmer for longer.
If you would like to make one of these cosies for a gardening friend, the recipe is below:
Enamel Mug Cosy
To fit: One standard enamel mug
You will need: Some chunky weight yarn, 4mm crochet hook, 2 shell buttons.
Foundation Row: Chain 41 stitches.
Row 1: 1 htr in the second ch from the hook, 1 htr in each chain stitch to end. (40 sts).
Row 2: Ch 2 sts, 1 htr in the back loop of each st to end. (40 sts).
Repeat row 2 five times. Fasten off.
Loops: Attach yarn to the top side edge of the crochet, make 10 ch sts, fasten off. Sew the tail of the chain stitch to the edge, to form a loop. Repeat at the bottom edge. Sew two buttons to the other side edge of the crochet to correspond to the loops. Weave in all ends.
(Abbreviations: St(s) – Stitch(es), Ch – Chain, htr – half treble stitch)
For an ideal present buy a new mug for your friend. I have found a good range of enamelware in my local hardware shop and market. However I have also found some great examples on line from Dot Com Gift Shop – some even with candles inside. An alternative can also be found at Garden Trading – lots of lovely ideas for gardeners.
If you want more ideas for your gardening friends why not pop over the the wonderful Middle Sized Garden Blog, my first place to visit for gardening hints and tips.