A few years ago a friend brought me back some cowrie shell leis from a trip to Papua New Guinea, knowing how much I love shells, all things beachy and a bit of DIY! Since then, I've had them hanging off door and wardrobe handles until I worked out how to use them. When I discovered a little DIY for a teapot trivet using rope and a very simple knitting method, I knew it could be the perfect little project to incorporate my cowrie shells into, to personalise and make it fit my decor.
So with the weather starting to cool down (read: lows of 21°C!), it's feeling more like tea-drinking weather (read: enjoying a hot cup of tea without it making you sweat!), and with this little teapot trivet, I'm going to be tea-drinking ready! With Mother's Day only a month away, this could be a sweet little project for you to do to give something special to your mum.
Don't worry if you don't have any cowrie shells, this teapot trivet is just as pretty on it's own, without the shells. Or you could personalise it with little tassels, pom poms or wooden beads.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
✖︎ Hemp cord or macrame rope
✖︎ Knitting needles
✖︎ Needle and thread
BEFORE YOU START:
I used some knitting needles because they were the right thickness for the size of cord that I had. The original instructions I followed used your forefinger and middle finger instead of needles. But when I tried this, my fingers were too big for the size of cord that I used, and made the braid too loose. You may need to experiment a little to start, to get the right sized needle/finger for your cord/rope to wrap around in order to produce the best result.
Leaving about 20cm of tail, wrap the cord over the left needle, and under and around the right needle. Continue to wrap the cord under and around the left needle, then under and around the right needle.
Lift the bottom strand on the right needle over the upper strand and off that needle. Bring the tail in between the left and right needle.
Again, wrap the cord around the left needle and under and around the right needle again. Lift the lower strand on the right needle over the upper strand and off that needle. Lift the lower strand on the left needle over the upper strand and off that needle.
Repeat step 3 until you have a "braid" long enough to coil into the size that would suit your teapot.
Finish the piece by cutting the end (leaving 20cm) and bringing it under the loop on the left needle and then under the loop on the right needle. Pull the loops off the needles and pull the end tight.
To assemble the trivet, bring the 20cm tail at the beginning of the finger knitting strand through one of the strands of the fifth row of the braid. Pull so the braid begins to coil against itself.
Coil the piece further and feed the tail through the row on the braid directly opposite where the tail comes out of the first coil. Pull tight so the trivet continues to coil in a circle. The strand should be coiled tightly, though not so tightly that the coil starts to bunch. Continue this process until the entire braid has been coiled into the trivet.
You want the end of the strand to just make it to the tail so you can easily knot the ends together. This avoids a floppy piece at the end. If your braid is too long for this, remove a couple of rows. If your braid is too short, try coiling a little tighter or add a row or two.
Feed the cord from the end of the finger knitting strand through the trivet and tie a knot with the tail you threaded through the coil. Trim the ends of the cord and weave the ends into the trivet.
If you use thicker cord/rope your trivet will probably be stiff enough that it doesn't need any extra help staying together. However, for mine, I used some needle and thread on the underside of the trivet to reinforce it a little, weaving in and out of the cord from one side of the trivet to the other.
TO PERSONALISE YOUR TRIVET:
Using a needle and thread attach the shells, tassels, pom poms, beads or other decoration to the edge of your trivet, spacing evenly.