Anyone who can knit or crochet can make a make a simple, reusable sleeve to slip over a hot coffee cup. The sleeve is inexpensive, environmentally friendly and can be used daily to add a burst of color and style to a plain travel mug.
Select a cup to use as the template for determining the size of your new sleeve. Pick out a skein of yarn and a crochet hook that is the appropriate size for the yarn you want to use. A G/6 hook works well with a brightly colored microfiber sports yarn.
Start your sleeve with a simple foundation chain of single crochet stitches. For a 16-ounce size travel cup, about 35 stitches make a good base chain. Test the size of your chain by wrapping it around your cup to determine when you have the right number of base stitches necessary to fit the size cup you want to use.
Once you have a base chain that wraps snugly around your cup, start the second row. Using single stitches for the first two rows adds structure to your sleeve.
Continue adding rows around until your sleeve is about three inches tall. You can use single crochet stitches throughout to keep the design simple, or alternate between two rows of single crochet, followed by two rows of double crochet, finishing with two rows of single crochet.
At the end of the final row, cut the yarn from the skein leaving an inch-long tail. Pull the yarn through a final stitch then tie off securely. Weave in the loose ends of yarn.
Slip your colorful coffee cup sleeve up onto your paper or reusable to-go cup to protect your hands from the heat and add an attractive -- and environmentally friendly -- touch to your beverage.
Select a cup to use as the template for determining the size of your new sleeve. Pick out a skein of yarn and a knitting needle that is the appropriate size for the yarn you want to use. US 5 needles work well with worsted weight wool yarn for knitting this sleeve.
Determine your gauge, the number of stitches you get per inch. Cast on the number of stitches you will need to wrap around the middle of the cup. A 16-ounce size travel cup should be covered well with about 48 stitches on size 5 needles.
On row one, knit three stitches, then purl one. Repeat that pattern to the end of the row. Reverse the pattern on row two: knit one, purl three. Continue to alternate your pattern every other row.
When your sleeve is three inches tall, bind off the yarn off loosely. Sew the left and right edges together to make a tube. Weave in any loose ends.
Keep your stitches close and even for the best protection from heat and a snug fit. Any commercially available yarn should withstand the heat of a cup of coffee. Wool is an excellent choice for its insulating properties and it will stretch nicely to fit different size cups. Craft and fabric stores sell small charms that add a nice touch to your sleeve or personalize a gift.