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the you don't need a new pattern hot water bottle pattern

You wanna to make a hot water bottle cover? No problem!

I've had a lot of people ask me for a copy of the pattern for the hot water bottle cover that I made last year. I'm sorry to say that cannot share the pattern (from Rowan #28) because it is copyrighted. For those of you wishing to use that pattern, you can purchase the Rowan magazine or borrow it from a friend. There are also hot water bottle cozy patterns in the following books and magazines:
Rowan Junior
Interweave Knits Summer 2002
Debbie Bliss' Baby Style
Jo Sharp Four: Home
and Rachael from my glass house has written her own pattern. You can request a copy here.

But you know what folks, you don't need no stinkin' pattern. You can make one yourself. A hot water bottle cover like the one I made and the ones I've linked to is just like a little sweater. A sweater for a very small, skinny and armless person. You got sweater patterns already, right?? Well, pull out your favorite sweater pattern, ignore the sleeves and size it down to hot water bottle size. Presto change-o, your favorite sweater pattern is now a hot water bottle cover pattern!

Can't you just picture your hot water bottle in one of these Yankee Knitter sweaters? Or these basic sweater patterns from Ann Budd? Or this sweater from Rebecca Baby & Kids? Or this Jil Eaton MinnowKnits cardi?

Here, I'll help:

1. Lay the hot water bottle down on a table, nozzle up, like a little body just waiting for a sweater. Take its measurements: width, length and nozzle. You'll be using these measurements instead of your sweater pattern's measurements (chest, length to shoulders, and neck/collar).

2. Check your gauge.

3. Mulitply the number of stitches per inch from your gauge swatch by the width in inches of the water bottle across the bottom.

4. Cast on this number of stitches for the FRONT. If you want to be fancy, you could cast on six or eight fewer stitches and increase one stitch at each side for the first few rows to give the bottom edge of the cover a rounded shape. OR even easier, start with a half inch of 1x1 ribbing so that the sweater will cinch up around the bottom of the hot water bottle.

5. Knit straight until the cover (after any ribbing) is as long as the water bottle's "body". Does your favorite sweater pattern have a stitch pattern, a cable in the center or an intarsia motif? Go ahead and recreate that here on your hot water bottle cover!

6. Now mulitply your number of stitches per inch from your gauge swatch by the width of the hot water bottle's nozzle at it's widest part. The result is the number of stitches you need for the neck opening. (Just like a sweater, we've got to make sure that the head fits through the opening!)

7. Bind off "shoulder" stitches, leaving appropriate number of center stitches on a spare thread for the collar. Again, you might want to decrease one stitch at each end for a few rows to give the top edges a rounded shape.

8. Repeat steps 4 thru 7 for the BACK. Maybe you want to change stitch patterns for the back? Maybe you want to leave the cable or intarsia motif off of the back? Do what you like here. Be creative! If you're really feeling adventurous, knit the back in two pieces that will overlap, so that the cover can open up like a pillow sham. OR make your hot water bottle sweater into a hot water bottle cardigan! Quick, grab a cardigan pattern.

9. Sew up shoulder and side seams, joining the front and back. It's looking like a sweater now, isn't it?! Slide stitches for the neck from spare thread back onto needle. Knit the neck following your favorite pattern. I'd recommend a big turtleneck - very becoming to a hot water bottle.

10. If you leave the bottom open, you can slide the bottle in and out easily, so you can wash the cover. It is just like a little hot water bottle sweater! If you've made the neck large and stretchy enough so that the empty bottle will fit through (or if you knitted the back in two pieces), you can seam up the bottom.

That's it! You only had to do math twice and you used a pattern you've already got and like. Make them for everyone this holiday season!

all patterns and images © Alison Hansel
and are shared here for individual personal use only