Wheeling Woman Takes Top Prize in Tea Cozy Contest
WHEELING — Brooke Boston credits her grandmother for her success with the knitting needles. Boston of Wheeling recently took the top prize in the 2020 Larkin Tea Company Tea Cozy Competition.
Boston made a darling teapot cozy in the form of an owl to win the contest offered by the Larkin Tea Company which is based in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Her “Whoooo Wants A Cuppa?” winning entry was her first attempt at knitting a tea cozy.
She said her late grandmother, Vicky Parsons, had taught her to knit when she was a young girl, but her interest in knitting waned until she was in college.
“I do wish my grandmother were here to see this. She would have loved that I won and got all these prizes,” Boston said. “She was the one who taught me to knit when I was younger and then she showed me again when I was in college. I’ve continued to knit from then on.”
The 44-year-old Boston is a social worker for DHHR in Wheeling. She was raised in Marshall County and has lived in Wheeling for about 12 years with her husband and two stepsons.
Boston entered the contest after her mother told her about the story in the Sunday News-Register on May 10 that described how to enter.
“My mother saw it in the Sunday paper and then I went online to read about it.”
Boston said she is an avid tea drinker. “I love tea and love to knit,” she said. “A tea cozy has always been an item I have intended to knit as I drink a pot every morning and am forever covering it up with a clean tea towel. The project also proved a welcome distraction from the COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions.”
Boston has been drinking tea longer than she has been knitting.
“My grandmother was English and taught me both to knit and brew a proper cup of tea. I like black teas and occasionally some green varieties in the afternoon,” she said.
Boston said she picked this particular pattern of the owl because of its aesthetics. Entries did not have to be an original design. She said she liked the retro look of it, the graphic contrast of colors and stitches.
She chose the winning pattern, created by TeaCosyFolk, and enlisted the help of family and a neighbor to have all the colors of yarn she needed. Boston said since the pandemic, she has not ventured to the store to purchase yarn so she used what she had and what others gave her.
“This contest came along during an unusual time in our lives and I consider participating in the contest as a bright spot for me amid a lot of uncertainty. Now I have something fun and functional to show for it.”
Boston also is a member of a local knitting group that, before the pandemic, would meet regularly at each other’s homes. She planned a smaller group meeting of three this past week so they could compare sweaters each had been working on during their isolation from one another. Boston said she has made some good friends through the knitting group. She enjoys knitting socks, shawls and sweaters.
“I can’t believe how generous the prizes are. They individually wrapped each gift. It was like Christmas,” she added.
Boston received a prize package worth about $700. She will receive a prize worth more than $400 in specialty loose tea, tea accessories and gift items; one-year free subscription to Tea Time Magazine (https://www.teatimemagazine.com/); a copy each of “Tea Parties Around the World” and “Teatime Parties” by Lorna Ables Reeves; $50 gift certificate from Cedar Ridge Soaps, which makes handcrafted soaps and shampoo bars in Keedysville, Maryland (www.cedarridgesoaps.com); two skeins of yarn from Head Springs Fiber Mill (http://headspringfibermill.com); two romance novels by Suzanne Quill (http://suzannequill.com); $50 gift certificate from Amy’s Artful Creations (Find on Facebook); tea lady pin from Ou La La Jewelry (http://www.wildwomenpins.com/item/Tea-Lady/383/p3c53); and $50 gift certificate from Irish Lass Glass (www.irishlassglass.com). A special bonus: is a one-year free online subscription to The Tea House Times (www.theteahousetimes.com).
The contest attracted 20 entries from West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana and Washington state. Boston’ winning entry won the most votes of 93 from the 538 votes. Those who voted were from not only the United States but from all over the world including Canada, England, Scotland and South Africa.
The Larkin Tea Company sells high-quality teas. Every year, the company hosts a contest, which asks people to submit a picture of their knitted tea cozy that is then voted on by visitors to the company’s website, larkintea.com. A tea cozy is defined as a “thick or padded cover for the teapot to keep the tea hot.” The first documented tea cozy in writing was in 1867 England; however, it is thought that it might date back to the 1600s when tea was first introduced to England.
One tale says the tea cozy was accidentally invented in Ireland. A farmer was said to have leaned across the table and his hat fell on top of the teapot. When he later removed it, the tea was still warm.
For more information, go to www.larkintea.com or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/larkintea.