Friday, 23 November 2012

Hot Water Bottle Cover Tutorial


After such a response from my last post requesting a hot water bottle pattern. I have made one for you.

But.......hey.......hold on there before you start whoop whooping and get too excited......

It's a loose pattern

What I mean, is that I have given loose instructions on how to make one. This is because, this way, you can use whatever yarn you want, whatever hook size you want, whatever size hot water bottle you want and however you want to embellish it. The principles are the same, you just tailor it to suit what you have in your yarn stash and what size hottie you have.

For this tutorial I have used a mini hot water bottle. That was just to make it quick to whip up.

I have made hot water bottles using two methods. I made a couple on the round. It was quite a tricky thing to try and get the increases and decreases in the right places. So for ease, I switched to just making 2 sides that shape around the hot water bottle and then DC them together.

For mine, I used Wendy Serenity Super Chunky yarn in Ivory, and a 5.5mm hook. This was because for safety more than anything, I wanted quite a chunky yarn and I wanted it crocheted tightly together to make it quite stiff and compact.

I am also assuming here with this pattern that you know the basics of crochet.........dc, Increase and Decrease. I use UK terms.

As this is a loosely based pattern and your stitch amounts will probably vary, it is essential to make a note of your rows as you do them, because don't forget, you will need to make 2 sides!

So....let's begin......

I made a foundation chain of 12 + 1. I made my foundation chain the same length as the bottom straight bit of the hot water bottle (pic 1). Depending on what size hottie you use, yarn and hook, you just need to make a foundation chain long enough to go along the length of the bottom, and chain 1 at the end.

Row 1. DC in the 2nd chain from the hook and DC in each chain until the end. I had 12 stitches. You should have the same amount of stitches as your foundation chain. Chain 1, turn.

Row 2. You need to increase by 1 DC either end of your row. 2 DC in the first stitch. DC in each stitch in the row, 2 DC in the last stitch. I made 14 stitches. Chain 1, turn.

Row 3. Again you need to increase by 1 DC at either end of your row. 2 DC in the first stitch. DC in each stitch in the row, 2 DC in the last stitch. I made 16 stitches in total. Chain 1, turn.

( You should start to see some rounded corners appearing, and they should contour the shape of the hot water bottle at the bottom. (pic 2)

Row 4. DC in each stitch (16 stitches) chain 1, turn.

Row 5. Repeat Row 4 until you are up to where the hot water bottle starts to corner again at the top. I repeated Row 4 until row 22 (inclusive) (pic 3). Remember to make a note of each row as you will have to make another side!

(Again, the yarn, hook size, and hot water bottle size will dictate how many rows you will need to do to get to the point when you need to start your decreasing rows at the top. Just make sure that you don't increase or decrease any stitches in the main body)

Now you need to start to contour round the top of the hot water bottle to the neck.

Row 23. One DC decrease either end of this row. DC in between. Total 14 stitches. Chain 1, turn.

Row 24. One DC decrease either end of this row. DC in between. Total 12 stitches. Chain 1, turn.

Row 25. One DC decrease either end of this row. DC in between. Total 10 stitches. Chain 1, turn.

Row 26. One DC decrease either end of this row. DC in between. Total 8 stitches. Chain 1, turn.

Row 27. DC along the row. Total 8 stitches. Chain 1, turn.

You have now got to the base of the neck. Again, depending on your yarn, hook and hot water bottle size, you may have to adjust your decreases here slightly. If decreasing 1DC either side is not getting you to the base of the neck where it should be and the fit looks 'baggy', you may need to decrease 2 DC at either end. Your rows will be quite short so frogging a couple of rows to have a play to see what your best fit is shouldn't be too stressful! Just remember to make a note of them!

Row 28. Increase 1 DC stitch either side. Total 10 stitches. Chain 1, turn.

Row 29. Increase 1 DC stitch either side. Total 12 stitches. Chain 1, turn.

Row 30. Increase 1 DC either side. Total 14 stitches. Cut yarn and tie off.

You have now made the wider top part of the neck.

This was enough for my hot water bottle to have been covered. (pic 4)

Now to embellish..........

It's important to put any embellishments on before you crochet the two sides together. It just makes it far easier!

I have, in my mind, quite a few people to make for, so it has been fun trying to think of ways to tailor the hot water bottles to them.

For this one, I decided to embellish it with a few flowers. I used The very lovely Lucy's (from Attic24) 'May Roses' pattern. Sweet little roses. Perfect for who I have this Hot Water Bottle in mind for!

Once the roses were made and sewn on, I simply crocheted the two sides together.......wrong sides facing. I turned it inside out, pushed the hot water bottle up through the bottom, then sewed up the bottom.

You can put an extra row on each side of the bottom, make loops in one side and add buttons on the other. I decided not to. As the top is open for access to put the water in, I would hope that I wouldn't need to have to get the hot water bottle out. I think, personally, I would find the buttons annoying. But they could make a nice feature. I just figured that if I needed to change the hot water bottle for any reason, I would just snip away the sewn part at the bottom, pull it out and re-sew it together once another was put back in. 

Once the roses were on, and the hottie was all sewn up, I finished the embellishment by just cross stitching around the top in the rose colours and picot edging the top. I think I'll call this my...

Rustic Roses Hot Water Bottle

I like how the cross stitch looks rustic, probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I like that it looks unique!

So, does the pattern appear quite straight forward?

There are really only a few basic principles to follow, and once you remember those then you can adapt the pattern to all yarns and hot water bottle sizes. 

They make great gifts, although, I am having trouble parting with them!

A hot water bottle is definitely my new best friend!

I do hope this makes some sort of sense. I have been over this pattern to check for mistakes, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is something that you read that doesn't make sense or add up. So, please let me know if something is really not checking out or really doesn't make sense and I will try and rectify it! As I have said on many an occasion, I don't do patterns or tutorials on my blog, simply because I am really rather pants at them! So, we'll see if any of you can understand it! ha ha!

Best of luck!


Friday, 16 November 2012

Remember Me?

Goodness me. Is it really that long since my last post?

Time is flying by.

I thought I would touch base. 

Show my face as it were. 

Say a great big.......


I have been snowed under in the real world.

As I harp on every year about how stressful these last couple of months seem to have become, yawn, yawn, I really have not stopped to catch my breath.

I agreed to make several cowls for people on Instagram, it has kept me busy this whole month.

I also decided that I needed more hot water bottles. They are my new best friend.  I made a few in april and loved them.....

So covers needed to be made. The one in the top picture was one made on a whim, it's my favourite, and no one else in my family is allowed to go near it! My super duper mother-in-law gave me some gorgeously chunky cream yarn. This was the perfect yarn for such a project. I was winging it on the pattern front, just like the others. I wanted a cross stitch on the front of something. I love how it turned out. All homely and rustic. Perfectly imperfect.

It has been chilly for the most part, but some days are bright and sunny so I've been trying to get a bit of fresh air when I can.

We managed to grab a weekend in Wales, which was great to re-charge the batteries.

I feel the cold. Boots, tights, chunky knits etc. The Mr on the other hand, will try and wear shorts for as long as he possibly can. Mad I tell you.

It's been a beautiful Autumn.

I have been on a mission to eat healthily, although I seem to have had a real craving for pie. It doesn't seem right to go through Autumn without pie. Cherry Pie to be exact. I cannot get enough. So not really healthy, ha ha!

I fell in love with a pie on the front cover of The Farm Chicks book. I think it was for strawberry and rhubarb. But stars it has been from that moment on. Starry pie. No one really gets a look in. The pig in me rears it's head. Pie or Crumble....people get shoved out of the way. I just cannot help it.

What else have I been up to? It's been such a long time......

Oh, like many, I got my copy of Granny chic.

It does not disappoint. Seriously drool worthy.

I also received a lovely book in the post.....

Huge, but good. I am determined to master good bread making. This has a brilliant bread making section.

I have also been trying to get presents made.....

Adapting patterns. 

Also lighting mini lights now the darker days are drawing in.......

...and saying hello to a new fella...

So, I think I am more or less up to date.

It's all still manic.

Have a beautiful weekend all