Hail the Grand Purl Baa of Knitting, Loani Prior, Queen of the Tea Cosies and her new fabulously outrageous creation, Pretty Funny Tea Cosies – a quirky collection of some of the most beautiful knitting you’ll ever see.
Loani has single-handedly rescued this overlooked Aussie icon from the back of the linen cupboard and transformed these comforting little creatures into eye-popping pieces of knitted art. She’s opened the floodgates for tea cosy nutters around the world.
“I knew deep down in my belly that tea cosies were funny but I didn’t know the secret until I met Joan,” says Loani Prior. “Joan’s gran had knitted her own tea cosy when she was a new bride. She’d used it every day of her married life and when she died, Joan’s mum took the tea cosy and used it.”
“Now that she’s passed away, it is Joan’s. That funny old tea cosy is almost eighty years old, and filled with the love and memories of three lifetimes.”
Loani knows every tea cosy guardian has a story and this has led to a collaboration with photographer Mark Crocker. Together they’ve travelled around Australia collecting them, creating an exhibition of 40 life size photographic portraits and audio recordings, together with 20 of Loani’s original pieces of art. The exhibition, Portraits of a Tea Cosy is travelling to regional galleries around Australia until the end of 2015 (www.portraitsofateacosy.com).
Residing on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Loani Prior is the author of popular phenomena, Really Wild Tea Cosies and How Tea Cosies Changed the World, where her woolly obsessions border on becoming a disorder.
The Grand Couturier of Wool exhibits her work in galleries, blogs with the global community of knitters, holds Wild Knitting Workshops and judges the odd tea cosy competition. As well as her wealth of knitting stories, Loani has a performance piece, The Knit Rap. Not wrap, but rap!
Image: Pretty Funny Tea Cosies cover