In 2003 when I first stepped tentatively back into the knitting I remembered doing in childhood, one of the first things I made was a hot water bottle cover. A basket weave pattern, some eyelets knit oh so cleverly (I felt) into the ribbing and suddenly I had a finished item. I made it from some, I think, Cleckheaton I bought at Lincraft, on straight plastic needles. It looks, all these years later, like the well used item I knew it would be – it’s served me well.
Eight years is not bad service but its time has come. It’s thin, worn and not all that attractive. I have meant to knit a new one for ages but when I stumbled across a quilted version, I jumped at the chance to choose some nice fabric from my burgeoning stash and give this a go. It was, to say the least, painful, but I got there.
The original design used stippling (for the uninitiated – free-form lines instead of straight lines) and binding around the edge, both of which are sadly beyond my skills at this point in my sewing life (I can do binding – but curved? No way. I failed.)
So I stuck with straight lines (the inside is lined with some leftover sheeting) and sewed it together inside out, leaving the raw edges inside the cover, instead of on the outside, because I just couldn’t get the binding I so proudly made to go around the curved corners of the neck. Before I try curved binding again, I’ll do something with less sharp turns!
On the back, you can see what the binding would have looked like where I put it across the opening.
I can’t help thinking the top of the cover should have rested over the bottom of the cover but you know what? I unpicked this three times trying to get it right. It’s a hot water bottle cover, not a garment. It will do just fine now. I almost tossed it when I couldn’t get it right but I loved this matryoshka doll fabric so much I didn’t want to waste it. Where there’s a will, right?
I’m looking forward to trying it out tonight – such a blustery cold winter’s day here. Anything to keep toasty warm.
The designer has a couple of versions she’s made of this if you’re keen to have a go. I think at some point I’ll definitely try another one.