Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A New Winter Warmer

It seems that in my hands, hot water bottle covers last about 5 years. 5 years ago, I wrote this post about a new cover for my bottle to replace the one I'd made 5 years before that. Now, 5 years on, my bottle needs a new cover again.

Last time, it appears that I didn't make a very good yarn choice. I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran which I happened to have in stash and which was a lovely shade of green. Over the years though, repeated exposure to heat had 'killed' the 33% microfibre content in the yarn so that the cover didn't hold it's shape any more and was all baggy and thin.

This time, I wasn't making that mistake again, so I went for a 100% wool yarn. I've had a couple of skeins of Plum Knits 100% cashmere aran in my stash for about 8 years and have never been sure what to use it for.  Early on, I didn't want to use it in case I wasted it, and more recently, I've struggled to find someing I wanted to make that would only use 175 yards of handpainted aran weight. This seemed like perfect match of pattern and yarn and since my hot water bottle gets heavy use in the winter, it's as good a use of a luxury yarn as any.

I used the Jessie pattern as the basis for my cover again, but once again omitted the intarsia heart. I also tweaked the stitch count as my gauge was slightly off and I wanted a snug cover. The biggest modification I used this time was to knit in the round starting with a magic cast on on the bottom edge. This eked my meagre yardage out a bit and meant no seaming. It got really tricky mid-way up the back with the button bands, but I just put the stitches for the bottom (inside) band on a holder, cast on more stitches for the top (outside) band on my working needle and carried on in the round. At the end, I had to go back and rejoin and knit the bottom band and sew it in at the edges which wasn't a big deal.

I reused the buttons from my previous cover as they were a good match. In the end, the neck is a little short but sufficient and I had less than a yard of yarn left over. The colour pooling is a little odd, but I'm happy to live with that as it's something I primarily use while I'm asleep! The cover is soft and squishy and I was thinking that if it felted a little over time with use, it might even last longer than the standard 5 years!

1 comment:

natalie said...

I love a cosy hot water bottle!