It was a wonderful teapot. Better yet, it was a wonderful teapot on sale! Which made it easy for the teapot to find a new home.
But the teapot was a very large teapot, and sadly, it came down with a case of the shivers! It couldn't keep the tea inside of it warm until it was gone.
The teapot's owner knew what to do. Knit the teapot a sweater!
The teapot was so happy, it kept a pot of tea warm all afternoon out of sheer joy!
Everyone was happy with how easy it was to get the sweater on and off, and how simple it was to get to the lid!
And they all lived happily ever after!
Okay, storytime is over, here's how I did it, and how you can too.
Start with a wool or mostly-wool blend. The point is warm, and natural fibers are best.
Grab your teapot. You need it to compare your knitting to at various stages.
Pick a needle size appropriate for a firm but flexible gauge with your chosen yarn, maybe one needle size down from recommended.
Cast on enough stitches to cover the entire height of your teapot with about two inches extra. Unless you do a gauge swatch, this is an educated guess.
Work in st st for 4 rows, then in rev st st for 4 rows. This is the basic welt pattern. (This would be a good time to hold your knitting vertically against your teapot and see if you cast on the right number of stitches. Start over with more or fewer if necessary.)
Continue working in pattern until your knitting will cover the teapot from handle to spout when stretched. Not too tightly, though. And end with the final row in either of the 4-row welts, doesn't really matter which.
Now, making the hole for the spout. This is likely the most tricky part. Hold your knitting up to the pot and decide how many stitches to keep live under the spout, and how many stitches to bind off. Work one row in pattern (starting the next welt) and place markers at the top and bottom of the preposed spout-hole.
On the next row, bind off the stitches between these markers. Remember how many there are!
Then on the next row, work to the hole, then cast on the missing stitches again. (I used the backward loop CO, but as you can see it's a little loose. If I need to make another, I'll probably try the knitted or cabled CO instead to make it a little firmer.) Work to the end of the row, then work the next row in pattern--one welt complete with a giant buttonhole!
Now, the easy part. Count the number of welts it took you to get to the spout (not counting the one you just worked with the hole.) Work the same number again, then bind off, leaving the very last bound-off stitch on the needle.
Do you have a crochet hook? I probably should have mentioned that. Go get it.
Transfer the final stitch to your hook and chain for 4-5 inches to make the first tie. (This took me 25 chains, but obviously that will vary.) Break yarn and draw through.
Attach your yarn to the opposite bottom corner and work another tie.
Put the nearly-complete cozy on your teapot, fastening the bottom with the two ties. Pinch the edges together over the handle and mark the spot on each side with stitch markers (or just hold onto one side there and figure the other side from that!). Make another tie on each side at that point.
Weave in your ends. To finish the end of the ties, I drew the end through the final chain several times, making a tight knot each time, then trimming the end close. I normally don't advocate knots, but trying to weave an end in neatly through a single chain was too tedious!
Now you are the proud owner of a custom tea cozy!