I wish I had a scientific research paper, complete with double-blind control trials and a huge sample size, to present my case on the evolution of the cozy, which I propose is a crafting icon. But I don’t. All I have is my observations. Today, the cozy remains the icon it has been for decades in the crafting world. What 5th grader hasn’t learned to make a macramé mug cozy for their grandmother’s birthday? And this is one crafty item that had kept up with the times.
Maybe I should start, especially for the men folk, with a description of what a cozy is. It is also called a koosy or cosy. They are commonly found on beer cans, keeping the beer cold and your hand warm. A cozy is also a quilted floral item found on toasters and crock pots in every well-appointed kitchen in the 1950s through 1980s. I loved Todd’s pithy description of the cozy, ““I’d say it was functional, but you don’t really need it.”
According to my utterly non-scientific observations, the cozy was first invented for a perfectly logical function. To keep the tea in a tea pot warm. The tea cozy is a fabulous gift, and thus crafters made them in every imaginable color, genus and species.
Later (again, I really don’t know the official timeline), ladies got so stoked on their tea cozies, that they started making covers for their various appliances. I love-to-hate the avocado green crock pot cozies of my early childhood. And I smile when I see the rose and country-blue quilted floral toaster cozies that haunted my jam-smeared breakfasts in the 80s. Oh and remember the Kleenex box cozies? Love ‘em!
Fast-forward to today. Beer cozies are in vogue like never before. But the trend I love to see now is that every hip young skater, emo, goth and straight-edger is dying to have a handmade cozy. To keep their toaster nice and warm? Hell no, this is one crafting craze that has kept in step with the times. Now every iPod, iPhone and iPad needs a special handmade cozy to protect it from the elements. I’ve seen them made from vintage kimono fabric, old cassette tapes (Oh dear God, don’t tell me my Smiths mix tape from 9th grade is already vintage), and made to resemble pop tarts. Did you know Apple even has a special pattern to make your own cozy for their electronic products? And we found cozies for regular old apples too!
So, in summary, the cozy lives on, having reinvented itself for decades. I say Huzzah! Long live the cozy!!! Drop us a comment and we will send you a RAD free pattern for a crocheted toilet paper cozy. And if you have real scientific knowledge about the history of the cozy, we want to hear that, too!
Note: and if you must have one of the cozies pictured, just look on Etsy.com. We provided the name of the shop for easy finding.