Sark Design Keeps Cuppas Cosy: Embrace the Sark TeaHug!
A TeaHug? What’s that, you say? It’s a gloriously cosy idea from talented local knitter Ann Long. When her son Phil asked for a traditional hand-knitted Guernsey Jumper for his birthday, it got Ann thinking: traditional elements of a Guernsey Jumper could make beautiful design features on other knitted items, without all the hard-graft knitting - two solid months - of the plain body. The tight knit of the Guernsey Jumper’s design makes it warm and even waterproof, but all the body’s tiny rows aren't much fun to knit. And not everyone needs a jumper you can weather a force eight Sark Westerly in.
Originally, each Channel Island had a unique style of knitted jumper - the better-known Jersey even means ‘jumper’ worldwide. Traditional design elements were peculiar to individual towns, and you could spot a seafarer’s home-port by the kind of ornamentation Ann’s knitted into the TeaHug’s design.
But this local identity is drifting away into the sea of time: the art and design of Guernsey Jumpers is rare knitting knowledge these days, like so many traditional skills. Keeping this heritage alive is what makes Ann’s innovative outerwear/homeware fusion so exciting.
24/05/21 Shakira Christodoulou for Creative Sark
Cue the Sark TeaHug, freshly-brewed innovation in Sark-based design. Ann took all the tricky knitting of a Guernsey Jumper and incorporated it into a tea-cosy. The TeaHug’s design features the Guernsey Jumper’s reinforced diamond-shaped underarm for the spout. The hole for the teapot’s handle is beautifully finished with the ornamental band where the sleeve joins the body. The base sports the attractive micro-scalloped fringe and fluting around a Guernsey Jumper’s waistline, and Ann designed pleats into the TeaHug’s top to fit snugly around the lid.
And aren't hugs what we've all been longing for, right through lockdown? You can slip a Sark TeaHug easily into your luggage, or the post, if you’d like part of Channel Islands knitting tradition at home – without lugging kilos of wool or paying heavy postage. It’s textile history brought into the 21st century; something designed for stormy work at sea served at the kitchen table, where you can relax while the TeaHug keeps the warmth in. And fear not, coffee-lovers: for cafetieres, Ann’s also working on the Sark CoffeeHug.
Grab your TeaHug for £27 on the first Saturday each month this summer at the Creative Sark Markets, and at the festivals on Sark this July. Or drop Ann a line on firstname.lastname@example.org to order yours, and get ready to put the kettle on in style.
WORKSHOPS WITH SARK'S CREATIVE COMMUNITY
Several Sark artists offer workshops throughout the year - follow the link for further details so you can plan ahead for your next trip or creative treat.