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On The Search For Creative Knitters

2020 Tea Cozy Competition NOW CLOSED

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. —  As the world stays at home, a West Virginia tea company is encouraging people to show off their creativity for a chance to win prizes.

The Larkin Tea Company in Martinsburg, West Virginia, is on the hunt for knitters to put their skills to the test by entering the 2020 Tea Cozy Competition. The winning knitter will receive a prize package worth $700.

The annual event encourages knitters at any level to create a tea cozy. The design does not have to be original, but it must be handcrafted by the contestant. The tea cozy can be knitted, crocheted, or felted. However, above all, the tea cozy submission must be creative. The 2019 contest received 53 entries across the United States, ranging in designs from a green dragon to fluffy sheep and a cottage.

“Summer Catnap” by Jessica Andruss of Charlottesville, Virginia, was the winning entry. The base of the tea cozy is in green yarn, dotted with small colorful flowers around the bottom and topped with a cat made of yarn. Last year, nearly 1,000 people from around the world voted in the Tea Cozy Competition.

“While we all are staying at home, this contest is a wonderful distraction. It’s also a chance to learn a new skill or sharpen those knitting needles,” said Judy Larkin, owner and founder of The Larkin Tea Company. “And what a better way to sip a cup of tea while knitting a tea cozy?”

The winner will receive:

Special bonus: 

  • A one-year free online subscription to The Tea House Times (

How to enter the contest

To enter, contestants must email a color, in-focus, clear photograph to or mail to The Larkin Company, 545 Warm Springs Ave., Martinsburg, WV 25404. Photos will not be returned.

All submissions must include name, mailing address, telephone number, email address and descriptive name of cozy.

Photos will be posted online at The Larkin Tea Company’s website at Visitors to the site will vote for their favorite. The tea cozy that wins the most votes wins.

The closing date is May 31, 2020. The winner will be notified by phone or email.

To see a sample of last year’s entries, go to

For more information, go to

History of a tea cozy

A tea cozy is defined as a “thick or padded cover a 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.

A tea cozy is as varied as the tea drinker. Some are knitted like a woolen hat complete with a pom-pom on top; some are made of thick material, often with a decorative pattern; at restaurants, some include a metal exterior to protect the inner fabric. The early tea cozy allowed the women of the house to have a creative outlet, while still have the practicality of keeping the tea warm during the traditional afternoon tea.

The tea cozy, though, would never be used during social teas with the elaborate silver sets because a silver set was meant to be shown, not hidden under a cozy.

About The Larkin Tea Company

Named as one of West Virginia’s top tea houses, The Larkin Tea Company has been providing the finest teas since 1999. The Larkin Tea Company, operated by certified tea specialists, Judy and Bill Larkin, offers more than 80 different varieties of the freshest and highest quality teas.  For more information, go to or like them on Facebook at

Jessica Andruss, 2019 Winner

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