Let’s Get Cozy?

I would like us all to take a moment today to talk about cozies.


They’ve been coming up in a lot of my recent conversations with knitters, and I’m surprised at how polarizing they seem to be. I’m not talking about tea cozies, which are their own special breed of lovely knitting weirdness.


(That’s the brilliant work of katielewth, who won an honorable mention in our 2011 photo contest for it.)

I’m talking about cozies for everything else, but especially drinks of one kind or another. My gut reaction is to resist this knitting project, maybe because I don’t think anyone has ever desired a cozy. I think of them as the fruitcakes of the knitting world—something everyone has given or received at some point, but never something to really get excited about.

But yesterday I was talking to Esther Betten, one of the owners of Argyle, my lovely local yarn store in Brooklyn, and I discovered that she is a huge cozy advocate. She made two of the three pictured at the top of the post (I digitally added the eyes to the guy on the right—just couldn’t resist), and she passionately related her journey of finding blue mason jars (and accompanying mason jar sip lids) and combining them with handmade cozies for a low-budget and, well, cozy gift. Not only does she give them away, but she also sips coffee out of her own cozied-up mason jar every day.

I can’t question Esther’s cozy enthusiasm, but it seemed out of the blue to me, and I’m wondering if cozies are more popular than I had thought. So I want to hear what YOU think!

Important questions:
1) Have you ever made a (non-tea) cozy?
2) Do you ever use a cozy?

Less important questions:
3) Can a mochi be a cozy?
4) What’s so wrong with mugs with handles?

I’m hoping for a lively debate in the comments, so please don’t hold back!

53 thoughts on “Let’s Get Cozy?

  1. 1) No.
    2) No.
    3) Sure, why not.
    4) Mugs with handles are my personal preference.

    Cozies strike me as a thing people make just for the sake of having a thing to make, as opposed to actively wanting a cozy. At least a mug cozy could claim some practicality, though. I still don’t get the whole apple cozy thing, that’s just really weird to me.

    But hey, whatever floats your boat. ;)

  2. Good question, which I’ll answer with an anecdote. I had a roommate, Z, whose favorite guilty pleasure was snacking on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream straight out of the carton. He wasn’t the type to wolf down the whole container though – he always ate a few bites and then put it back in the freezer. So my other roommate, A, and I figured we’d surprise him with a cozy to keep the ice cream from melting too much during all this in-and-out. We had found the pint-of-ice-cream-cozy in a book and it was all very exciting as it was A’s first experience with double-points and we also had to knit in secret.

    Well, Z’s reaction when A and I presented him with the stretchy, multicolored cozy — exactly the shape of pint carton — can only be explained by your suggestion that nobody has really ever wanted a non-tea cozy. It was basically a blank. A “what am I supposed to do with this?” A flop. Oh well!

  3. And the rest of the answers:
    2) Yes, I actualy use an apple cozy @Jenz (it was a gift) and a portable hard drive cozy made from a wool sock.
    3) Not sure, shouldn’t mochis be stuffed with something soft?
    4) All mugs are good! Proof: the Descendent’s 35 second song “Coffee Mug.”

  4. 1) No ma’am I have not!
    2) Should I? I rarely, actually never used a knitted cozy before, maybe it’s because I don’t drink many hot beverages..??
    3) I would love to see one get transformed into one! I don’t see why not! Cute adorable mochi cozies just might be the ticket for me to actually start using them! Show them off to my friends how cute cozies can be!
    4) I think mugs with handles are just fine! Maybe mugs without handles are easier to travel with? Because you could fit it inside the sleeve of a backpack for instance!

  5. 1) Yes! I’ve made apple cozies, a cozy for the jingle bell that my dogs ring (it hangs on the door to go out), a beer cozy, an ipad cozy (Flatso!), a kindle cozy, chapstick cozies, and key cozies. I’m not sure if mug or cup cozies count as non-tea cozies, but I’ve knit them too. My cozy gifts are usually very well-received.

    2) I use most of them all of the time, but I never think to use the one I have for my mug.

    3) A mochi cozy would make my day! I bet it would be an awesome, whimsical gift to give as well! :)

    4) I love mugs with handles, and I only use them at home. I have been thinking about making a to-go cup cozy to keep in the car. Hmmmm……

  6. I love cozies of all kinds! It is fun to have soft tactile fibre surrounding stuff. I don’t think I’ve ever given a cozy as a gift, but I have cozified mugs, a teapot, a hot water bottle, tv cords and an ikea cube footstool. I am definitely pro-cozy!!

  7. 1) Yes

    2) Yes

    3) Yes

    4) if the cozy was cute enough I would seek out the perfect cup for it. Handles or not

    New question) If you made patterns for cozies? Yes, just yes!

  8. I’m loving hearing all these opinions on cozies! I really hadn’t thought about the portability issue with handled mugs. So that’s a point that goes in the “pro-cozy” column.

  9. 1. Yes
    2. Sometimes
    3. Absolutely
    4. I love mugs with handles, but they seem to be generally less portable. I’m always drinking coffee, in particular, on the go. We *all* already use a cozy, the drink sleeve that ends as garbage. A reusable cozy is great for the environment and quietly states: “I’m a yarn lover!”
    Also, I’ve made plenty of cozies for mugs with handles, it’s a great excuse to raid my button stash for one big button or a few cute mismatched buttons.

  10. I’ve never made a cozy but I’ve received them as gifts, and let me tell you, they are way more useful than I ever imagined. They are good for not just hot drinks but cold ones too — sometimes soda cans get too cold to hold! People see me using my cozy and they want one. Also, it doubles as a bracelet or anklet.

    Why can’t a mochi be a cozy?

    Nothing wrong with handles.

  11. The only cozies I make and use are for Tim Horton’s coffee cups. Their tea is really hot and they don’t offer sleeves. Your options are getting it double-cupped or severe burns. Knitted cozies protect your hand and are environmentally friendly!

  12. Important questions:
    1) nope!
    2) definitely not!

    Less important questions:
    3) i suppose so, but i think the beauty of mochis is that they aren’t super functional. they’re just awesome all on their own.
    4) mugs with handles are the best!

  13. 1. Yes, I’ve made cozies to use instead of paper sleeves on coffee cups. I also made some for jars I couldn’t recycle and wanted to reuse.
    2. Yes, I use them when I buy coffee at the cafe.
    3. Mochis can be anything they want.
    4. There’s nothing wrong with the handles; it’s the thick lip on mugs that give me grief.

  14. 1) I have made one cozy for a handless mug and it was too small (felted)
    2) I don’t use a cozy but I drink coffee every day all day, often out of a mug and every morning I think “Dang this is hot! I should do something about that.”
    3) The real question is what can’t be a mochi? Or if it can’t be a mochi then it’s not vital!! so I’m in the yes column.
    4) I use mugs with handles at home, but because I am a coffee fiend and a space shot I’ve stopped buying travel mugs I lost them ALL the time. But I eat lots of things in jars, so I keep those and use them for my travel mug. Then when I lose it I don’t feel as bad…

    Ironically since I’ve moved to the jar system I’ve lost a less….

  15. My daughter takes a hard boiled egg in her lunch every day so I knitted her a little cozy that looks like a bunny. It’s outrageously adorable. I also made some smaller ones to fit on Cadbury eggs. (The pattern is Huggie Bunnies on ravelry.) So to answer the mochi question… yes I think mochis can and should be cozies!!!

  16. 1) yes
    2) yes
    3) yes
    4) absolutely nothing, but I still wrap my fingers through the mug to grip as opposed to holding the handle the “proper” way. Rebel over here :)

  17. When one of my fingerless gloves developed a hole, I turned it into a cosy for my travel coffee mug (which doesn’t have a handle. I’m not anti-handle, but this one had a better lid). I use it every single day and plan to knit more, thicker ones. I have saved at least half a dozen mug and cup cosy patterns. I have also knit a soft boiled egg cosy. I love them. :)

  18. Since we love using the Cuppows as pictured about, we have cozies. I’ve never knit one but if you came up with a cute design I’d knit us a pair!

  19. 1 I have made a cozy for an emtied &cleaned beans can, which use for a plant.
    2 I want a cozy, to use for my teapot. My tea tends to cool a bit and I am not that quick in drinking while I knit…. I actually think it would be a usefull thing… I also have a lampshade- really oldfashioned in shape and colour. I think that would benefit from a cozy!
    3 Mochi’s would make great cozies; cozies should be as fruity and weird as they can be. Where’s the fun in boring cozies?!
    4 Nothing is wrong with mugs with handles; everything is right with them! I hate mugs without.. or those tiny cups with handles too small for even one finger to go through… I can’t abide the sip lids either; I am afraid I am not a ‘coffee on the go’-type of person.
    But even mugs with handles can have cozies, right?! It is a nice excuse for the use of fancy buttons…

  20. 1. yes.
    2. I use a lip balm cozy (more like a holder) on my keyring. haven’t really used the mug and ipod cozies.
    3. I think some mochis are already cozies! the bunny “neck cozy” comes to mind, and if any of them can eat or otherwise hold something, then they’ve cozied it! ;)
    4. I like and use mugs with handles, but several of mine have fallen, and the handles have broken off. (why do they always land on their handles?) I could see the appeal of handleless mugs.

  21. 1) Yes!! Cozies are great.
    2) Every day – I have one that I use instead of the paper sleeve they give you at the coffee shop. It keeps my hot drinks hot and my cold drinks cold AND catches all the condensation. I use an ice-cream cozy too (eating it straight from the container saves dishes!) and I’m going to make one for my Kindle.

    If you think about it, the case you put on your phone is a type of cozy.

    3) Of course you could mochi-fy a cozy! Eyes and ears would make it even cuter.
    4) Nothing’s wrong with handled mugs – I have quite the souvenir mug collection. And I have a cozy for them too. If I’m knitting I don’t drink my coffee fast enough for it to stay hot, so the cozy helps with that.

  22. 1) Yes, for a hot water bottle.
    2) Yes, on my mason jar mugs, and tea pots.
    3) Yes, absolutely!
    4) Nothing, but I like my fingers to be unburned and my tea hot.

    Cosies are like clunky but warm winter boots. As a teenager, you don’t want to wear them because they look uncool, but as you get older, you realize that what’s uncool is freezing while underdressed because you’re trying to look cool.

    So it is with cosies. Mug cosies (and I use a mason jar as well) protect fingers from getting burned, and tea pot cosies keep the drink hot. If it looks uncool? Well, what’s truly uncool is burnt fingers and cold tea… or so says this “old” lady. ;-)

  23. Yes, cozy for tea and cappuccino cups, cell,phones, kinder eggs. 2- I use them but give them to many. 3- Certainly. I can not wait. Long as’is funny, quirky and very very borderline. In a word, amazing. 4- I prefere cups with handle, things always drink hot

  24. I admit I went through a knitting up cozy phase and handed them out many people I know. I also admit that the fad has drifted away from me and find that I never use any of the cozies I made for myself and my husband. The ceramic coffee tumblers we use are handle-less and insulate well enough so it doesn’t get too hot. It was fun to have a quick knit but now they are mostly used to dress my daughter’s dolls.

  25. 1. Yes, a mug hug.
    2. Yes, everywhere
    3. Of course
    4. Nothing at all. Connect the cozie thru the handle.
    Love that teapot cozie.

  26. 1. I made a little bag for my DS Lite one time that could be considered a cozy, I suppose… though probably not. I have, however, thought about making one with a strap for my little MP3 player, as the clip has broken off.
    2. Not really, though I’m sure I would if I found/made a pattern I really liked.
    3. Absolutely! Adding eyes, ears, and other appendages would definitely make a cute cozy, and it wouldn’t be hard to work different colors to make it look like a gnome or something. *Realizes she’s already worked out a general idea for such colors in her head*
    4. I personally prefer mugs with handles, but I can see how trying to take one on-the-go would be a little difficult. Making a cozy for one wouldn’t, though; you could just knit it flat most of the way down, connect it to work in the round near the bottom and add a snap to the top, or something like that.

  27. Oh, and I really liked the way you described them: “The fruitcakes of the knitting world”. I thought that was really clever.

  28. 1. Couldn’t a sweater be regarded as a “human cozy”? I’ve never made a tea cosy (I don’t drink a whole pot of tea at a go) and I can’t remember making any other kind of cosy.

    2. I can’t remember ever using a tea cosy or a mug cosy, other than the occasional cardboard sleeve when the carryout tea is too hot for my hands to hold the cup.

    3. I might actually consider making a cosy if it did double duty as a Mochi.

    4. I have no problem with mugs with handles, that’s actually mostly what I use. I’ve seen mug cosies made as a flat piece with ties or buttons so it can attach and leave the handle free.

  29. 1 – yes – sort of a coffee sleeve to replace the cardboard ones from the coffee shop

    2 – not as often as I’d like – I often forget mine at home

    3 – sure – but safety eyes likely wouldn’t work

    4 – I’d make a cozy for a mug with a handle too – the idea being it might keep my tea/coffee warm for a longer period of time

  30. 1) I’ve made lots for ipods/iphones, several re-purposed Cheese Whiz jars filled with Hershey kisses for gifts and a few jam jars with cabled cozies as Christmas decorations.
    2) It’s the only case I use for my iPod Touch.
    3) Of course!
    4) I prefer to use a mug with a handle for coffee – I’m sure I would quickly coffee-stain anything knit I put on a coffee mug.

  31. I love that so many people have commented on the cozy conundrum!

    1. No
    2. No
    3. Probably, they’re very versatile.
    4. Mugs at home. Travel mug (no handle) for commuting since the cup holder doesn’t play nice with handles.

    Tea pot cozies are a whole nother story!

  32. 1) Have you ever made a (non-tea) cozy? Yes. I’ve made a couple of “cozies” (more like sleeves — think of what they give you at Starbucks) for my coffee. I have given those away, though, because people (at Starbucks) find them to be really cool, and knowing I can make another one, I just whip off the sleeve and give it to them. I use Cascade Fixation for these. I have also made a beer cozy, using black and gold yarn, that I gave to my friend Mel, who swears it was the thing that made the Steelers win the Superbowl the last time. She also claims they haven’t won it again because she lost said cozy.
    2) Do you ever use a cozy? Only when I have one handy, which isn’t often these days.

    Less important questions:
    3) Can a mochi be a cozy? OMG YES!
    4) What’s so wrong with mugs with handles? I like my mug with handles. I don’t have cozies for those.

  33. 1. Oh, yes! http://atinyforest.com/blog/?p=13
    2. Absolutely! I carry water in a mason jar all the time, usually with a Cuppow lid like the ones you show here, and I find a cozy gives it a little padding. Plus the handle makes it easier to carry.
    3. Mochis cry out to be made into cozies. Can’t you hear them? ;)
    4. Coffee at home = mugs with handles. Coffee to go = mason jar with cozy.

  34. 1. No. But more because I always have other things to knit.
    2. More in the summer. Virginia is humid, and the condensation drips.
    3. Yes…and it would make cozies more fun.
    4. I prefer mugs with handles when I can use them (‘coz I can be a klutz). But, you could use the handle as a design element on the cozy.

  35. 1) yes
    2) water bottle and apple cozy
    3) they would make fun Cozies
    4) I don’t know

  36. 1) Yes, several
    2) All the time!
    3) I don’t see why not!
    4) Nothing! I have made cozies for mugs with handles too, they button into place.

  37. 1.) Yes – for coffee mugs as my husband likes his coffee really hot and mug sweaters keep coffee hot longer.
    2.) We use them all the time.
    3.) Cool idea – I can picture one shaped like a whale swallowing the cup from the bottom up…
    4.) Tea pots have handles and they wear cozies, so mugs with handles can wear cozies too.

  38. I’ve made key cozies (which stayed with those keys when I moved so I don’t have them anymore) and a mouse cozy. Normally, I don’t like cozies – I think they’re kind of useless and most are ugly, and why would I knit one when I could knit something beautiful and/or functional instead – but the key cozies helped me identify the different keys on my chain and just used a little bit of leftover yarn, and the mouse cozy was at the request of a colleague who carried her cordless mouse between work and home every day.

    Lately I’ve been thinking I need a tea cozy, but only so that my tea stays the right temperature while it brews, not because I actually like them. (This might be the definition of a love/hate relationship…)


  39. 1.) Nope, not yet.
    2.) I don’t think so. If I did, I never remembered.
    3.) I guess….without the stuffing!
    4.) Nothing! You’re able to put a cozy on it when the mug gets too warm!

    I like the idea of the a mochi being a cozy. If tea, mugs, or anything else that could use a cozy was small enough, probably a tiny would work as a cozy as well.

  40. This is the funniest discussion I think I’ve ever read. At first I thought the anti-cozy crowd would carry the day, but then the cozy-lovers showed up in droves. Or came out of the coffee cup. Or something.

    I’ve never knit a cozy and I thought they were kind of…well, useless. But golly, you cozy-lovers are starting to win me over! And if I ever knit a cozy, it would have to be a mochi-mochi cozy. Fer sher.

  41. Here’s my BIG problem with cozies: they never fit the container that I want to use it on. Seriously.

    I really wouldn’t mind getting a cozy as long as there was a container to go along with it, such as your mason jar example. I’ve been given them before to keep water bottles cold, but they never fit the brand I buy.

    As far a a Mochi cozy goes, I don’t know if you’d want to use cotton batting instead of polyfill, like you would use with sewn cozies. The only problem is that mochis are cutest with saftey eyes and there’s no way that would work.

  42. I’ve knit cup cosies for paper coffee cups and have gotten requests for more from my kids and their friends (teen to 20s range). They’re also good for frozen drinks and metal water bottles (help to catch condensation and keep your hand from getting too cold- my 12yo particularly appreciates that since she likes frozen drinks in the winter but doesn’t like her hands getting cold! She has also been known to slip one on a frozen Capri Sun pouch- we eat them like push-up popsicles.) I’ve considered knitting a mug cosy since I have a giant mug and tend to hold it with my hand inside the handle, up against the mug, and sometimes it’s a little too hot. I don’t use a hot water bottle so I’ve never knit a cosy for that, and my fruit is on its own so no cosies there either! As for a mochi cosy, do you mean a cosy for a mochi (which I can’t see needing) or a cosy for something else made to look like a mochi (which might be pretty darn cute, tea cosy above a prime example!)?

  43. 1) yes – i made cozies for my girls apples. why, you ask? because i cut the apples with one of those cutters, put an elastic band around it and stick it in a cotton cozy so it doesn’t goop in their lunch bags. i also constantly swatch in the round and make cozy’s which then float around the house like lost little things.

    I also have a glass coffee press. That was in desperate need of a cozy since it got cool so fast! Yikes!!! Glad I made one for it, but I”m considering making another cuter one.

    2) no, but i hadn’t thought of doing a cozy around my mason jars! i make juice and would love to have a cozy to keep my hand from freezing and something that would allow me to grip it better. so i’m considering, now, making a cozy with a little handle for my jars!

    3) now that is a hard question. i think it depends on which one and if it has teeth.

    4) i don’t put cozies around mugs. but i did find myself hankering for one when i bought a coffee in a to go cup a few weeks ago!

  44. I have made several coffee cozies with some duplicate stitch desgins (mainly WVU) and people went nuts for them. I myself do not use a cozy but its only because I haven’t found one that I really like. Now a mochi themed cozy….STOP THE PRESSES!!! That would be WONDERFUL. I see duplicate stitched gnomes, or yetis, or zombies in the near future : )

  45. 1 – no
    2 – no
    3 – i suppose it could
    4 – i always drink from those… maybe in some countries the starbucks coffee cup style is more used then in others.

    im not very atracted to the whole cup cozy thing, but i suppose some ppl use it to keep their drinks hot/cold. an apple cosy could be useful if you take it to work or school, because you wash it at home and then it protects it in your bag.
    anyways i guess we dont knit mochis because their are usefull anyways, so why not “cutify” your cups?

  46. My husband bought an ugly Christmas sweater beer cozy from Target over the holidays. He was shopping alone… and paid WAYY too much money for it. I laughed, though. I think ironic beer cozies with cute animals would be a great hipster gift.

  47. My sister just asked me for one for her beer bottles. Seems they get too warm before she finishes them.

  48. Anna, I am making cozies for my daughters office members for Christmas giving as pencile holders. I like them and would love to knita MochiMochi one.

  49. I love my cuppow and drinking out of a mason jar. It is easy and flexible. I would so use a cozy for mine. I have made cup cozies to negate the need for the cardboard ones from $bucks.

    One of the places I go to has coffee and mugs, but if you want to take coffee with you it only has these tiny paper cups. I would happily have a middle-sized mason jar and not waste all that paper!

  50. Love cozies! iPod cozy, iPad cozy, Kindle cozy, coffee cup cozy, water bottle cozy, soda can cozy, beer bottle cozy, gift card cozy, apple cozy, key cozy, you name it!

    Yes, APPLE COZY. How many times have you grabbed an apple as you’re about to leave home, wash it, and now have a clean (and sometimes still wet) apple that you’re going to toss to the bottom of your briefcase, book-bag, or purse? Pop it in a cozy and dilemma solved! It stays clean AND doesn’t bruise.

  51. I make and use cozies for beer/soda cans and bottles. They are awesome and cute and keep your hand warm but the beer cold. I have knitted a few for mugs/teacups, but I think the cozies are more useful for cold beverages. They are fast to knit and personalize for gifts! I have made ones that look like the homestar runner characters, put people’s initials on them, etc. so I think you can be quite creative with them.

Comments are closed.