I didn't quite believe how reminiscent it would make me feel having a hot water bottle back in my life! It's just not an object that I thought held any real memories, but it has evoked such recollections of when I was a child holidaying in Germany (where we lived at the time) and camping along the River Rhine or Mosel and my mum would pop a hot water bottle into our sleeping bags before me and my sister went to bed to warm it up. Just the smell is enough to bring flashbacks of that time, they are very vivid!! Also of the time when I slept at my grandparents house. It was many many years ago and sadly they have both now passed, but at the time, they had no central heating except a 4 bar electric fire in the living room. Going to bed at night involved a mad dash up the stairs and into bed because it was so cold, but grandma had always remembered to add a hot water bottle, wrapped in a small towel at the bottom of the bed to keep my feet toastie. Such precious thoughts I had forgotten all about until now, so it has been a lovely experience making up these adorable, candy striped cosy's.
To start, it is basically made using a Granny Stripe, you can either follow my instructions or look for a pattern you already know and love. For my own Granny Striped Blanket I used the pattern from Attic24, but any pattern will do, it's up to you.
Here is how I did it.
You will need:UK size 4 hook
Yarn stash (I used DK, 4ply, chunky, acrylic, wool, in fact what ever I had left over from past projects)
1 Hot Water Bottle (I used a 200ml rubber one, £3 from the local supermarket)
Begin by chaining 66 chain stitches. This fitted the hot water bottle I was using but if yours is bigger or smaller, alter the number of stitches you begin with, just make sure your number is a multiple of 3.
Into the 2nd chain from the hook, work 1dc, then 1dc into each stitch back to the start again (you should now have 64 stitches in total, or 2 less than when you started if your chain stitch is different to mine)
Turn work & chain 3. Then do 1tr into the first stitch. Miss out the next 2 stitches, then into the 3rd stitch do a set of 3tr, skip the next 2 stitches, then again another 3tr into the 3rd & so on to the end, EXCEPT only do 2tr into the final stitch. The row should now starts & finish with a set of 2 trebles. (The photo above is showing the first row of chain stitches, row 2 and the start of 3)
Turn work & chain 3, then work 3 trebles into the first chain space (that's the space between the sets of 3 trebles from the previous row) then 3 trebles into every chain space till the end of row & finally, do 1 last treble into the final chain space. That row is now complete.
Row 4 (time to change colour):
Draw up your new colour & chain 3. Snip off the last colour BUT leave a long tail, you'll use that later when joining your seam with each of the different colours you use. Knot your 2 colours together to keep everything in place. Begin doing groups of 3 trebles into the spaces like in the last row all the way along till the last space & do just 2 trebles.
Chain 3 & turn. Then back to groups of 3 trebles into each space till the end & a final 1tr into the last space.
Return to instructions at Row 4 & off you go again.
That's a few rows explained. It's the same from here on in till the desired length, just keep checking against your hot water bottle to make sure. I did 15 lines of colours, or 30 rows in total to get the length I needed, the last 3 colours will be the shoulders of the cover. Just remember when joining in a new colour & snipping off the last colour, to leave a decent length of wool for later.
When at the desired length, sew up the bottom or sew in a zip or hook & eyes if you want to get the hot water bottle in & out.
Now using the long lengths of yarn you snipped off, get a darning needle & begin sewing together the 2 edges. Using the different threads to sew up the seam it makes it almost impossible to see the join!
Now place the hot water bottle inside and get it so all the lines are straight and it looks even. From now on, the rest of the work will be done with the hot water bottle in the cosy, a bit fiddly I know, but it helps to achieve a snugger fit.
It needs a bit of shaping round the shoulders so tuck in the excess amount and sew into place, again, taking time to use the different colour threads as required. Make sure you sew it nice and as near to the neck of the hot water bottle, keep looking to make sure you keep everything even on each side so it looks symmetrical.
Now for the neck.
Up until now, each colour has been made up of 2 rows but for the neck I did single rows of colour, I thought it had a better balance.
Row 1 of the neck.
So stating at the side of the neck, insert your hook into 1 of the chain spaces from the top row of your last line of colour & draw up your colour & chain 3. Add 2 more trebles into the same space. Working round the neck, do 3 trebles into each space till you reach round to where you started. Put your hook through the top of your first ch3 & draw in your new colour.
Row 2 of the neck.
Chain 3 (snip off your old colour and remember to tie the old & new colour together at the back of your work to keep everything in place) work 2 more trebles into the chain space, then 3tr into every space, all the way round to the start, inserting hook into top of the ch3.
Row 3-5 of the neck
Draw up the next colour and ch3 plus 2tr into the space and continue to work groups of 3tr into the spaces as in the previous rounds. I did 5 rows round the neck, this covered it just to the brim, again, your neck might be longer or shorter, so amend as required.
After you have reached your desired length, join with a slip stitch to the top of the ch3 and sew in the end. There, completed!!!
I threaded a ribbon through the central row on the neck, this makes it look decorative as well as keeping it all in place.
And ta-dah, one hot water bottle cosy!
I didn't bother making an opening to mine so that the bottle could be removed, I figured that if it ever needed cleaning, it was ok for the bottle to remain inside, it is water proof after all.
In the interest of making sure my instructions worked, I followed the pattern to check for mistakes and in the process, made myself my very own cosy too!!
But if anyone does decide to make themselves one and uses my pattern and finds a mistake, please let me know, I will amend it accordingly.
Apart from that, I would be crazy pleased to see any that anyone does, I really would, or even drop me a comment if you can.
Many thanks for stopping by.