THE TEA COZY
5816 24th Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98107
206-783-3322 • teacozyyarn.com
Four years ago when Jean Johnson decided to open a yarn shop in Seattle, Washington, she didn’t hesitate. Although she had learned to knit only six years before, Jean had a strong belief in the community of knitting. “I knew that people could buy their yarn online, but they couldn’t find that sense of community with other knitters online,” she recalls. “I wanted to learn more about knitting, so I just jumped right in.” And so The Tea Cozy, whose name has a double meaning for those who love both tea and knitting, was born.
Jean admits that she might not have made such a hasty decision to open the shop if she hadn’t convinced Patricia McHugh to join her staff. Patricia, a self-styled “forensic knitter” (when your knitting becomes a tangled mess, Patricia says, she can help you figure out exactly what you did wrong), had owned a yarn shop herself, but she was ready to retire. “Patricia had been knitting for many, many years; she’s very proficient,” Jean points out. “I knew that I didn’t have the long-term experience with knitting that I would need. So I said, ‘I’m on board if you’re on board.’” Patricia said yes. “She is definitely an integral part of the shop.”
Another decision made just as quickly was to sell her favorite Murchie’s Tea, a Canadian brand that is also popular below the 49th parallel, at The Tea Cozy. “Knitting and tea just seemed to go together,” she says. That’s a feeling Jean attributes to her own Scottish heritage. “I’m drawn to Aran knitting and Fair Isle knitting, and I grew up having tea in china teacups every night after dinner. That was normal in our family.”
Now when local Seattle knitters gather around the large circular table in the middle of her shop, Jean can usually be found pouring tea for her guests. And whether they’ve come to The Tea Cozy for a formal knitting class or just to share the company of other knitters as they work, Jean insists they drink their tea from china teacups as she always has. “You have to drink your tea from a china teacup,” she says. “It just doesn’t taste right unless you do.”