When Tina Sharpe saw a shed shaped like a giant tea pot on “the Shed of the Year” TV programme, it was love at first sight. She bought the shed and with her husband Phil relocated it to France, Castelnau Magnoac in the Hautes-Pyrénées, where she opened it up for everyone to enjoy as a tea room.
“After successfully running the Teapot tea room for a year or so, I decided that I wanted to set us a challenge” says Tina. “Having supported Great Ormond Street Hospital for many years I got to thinking that perhaps I should be doing something for them. I also wanted to support a local charity here in France, L’Association Dominique in Toulouse. Both charities help sick children who will be hopefully our future generations”.
Tina’s idea was to create the world’s biggest tea cosy made from knitted and crocheted squares. “After the initial idea was put on social media I couldn’t believe how quickly people started to support us” Tina says. “We received donations and squares from as far afield as Australia, America, Dubai, Germany, England and closer to home in France”.
Knitting and nattering
Covering the world’s biggest tea pot with the world’s biggest tea cosy isn’t an easy challenge. At the last count Tina had 2409 squares. Each week a group of volunteers have been meeting up at the Teapot to knit and natter whilst sewing the squares together. So far, the team are on course to meet their goal of an unveiling, or rather a veiling of the Teapot on 8th October 2017. They’ll celebrate by hosting an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party to which all are welcome. There will be artisan and craft stalls, live music, tea and cake, raffle, fancy dress competition and lots more to raise money. “After this we’ll sell the panels from the tea cosy as blankets/throws to anybody who would like to buy them. Each one will have its own label showing the details of the challenge” advises Tina, adding “I have been amazed by the response of this challenge. If anyone would like to contribute or donate funds please take a look at our website”.