When I was doing the folding and put away this weekend, I came across this tucked at the back of the bottom shelf of the linen cupboard.
I guess it must have got put 'out of sight, out of mind' at the end of last winter, or the one before that.
We like hotties in our household. Mostly they get covered with a pillowslip, though I do have one Harrods hot water bottle cover, which is rather velvety and nice to use.
But that leaves a couple of other 'naked' hot water bottles. Realising that I had some yarn almost the same colour as the Harrods cover . . .
. . . that started me thinking. Right, I thought, I'm going to crochet a hot water bottle cover!
I decided to make a simple, rectangular 'bag' in the round (to save any annoying joining up!), and have a draw-string at the top (like my tea cosy!) to get the hottie in and out as required.
Here's what I did. You could adjust the pattern for other yarns than the one I used.
Hot water bottle cover
Note: Instructions are in UK terms with US terms in brackets ( ).
1. Using a 5 mm hook and 12-14 ply (chunky) yarn, chain 32, plus one extra. Add more chains if required - be guided by the width of the hot water bottle, remembering to allow for it to be filled.
2. Swap to a 4mm hook (or one that keeps the stitches quite dense). Starting in the second stitch from the hook, dc (sc) back across to last st, 2dc (2sc) in last stitch.
3. You now start to work in the round (ie don't turn, just rotate slightly and continue going anti-clockwise around the work).
2dc (2sc) in the first st on the other side, then dc (sc) across long side, putting two dc (sc) stitches in the stitches at the short edge.
4. The next part uses half treble or htr (hdc). This is a thick, textured, quick-to-work stitch. I chose this stitch because its density will keep the hottie warm longer and protect users from touching the hottie through the stitches.
For clarity, htr (hdc) = yarn over and put hook thru top 'v' loops of the work, yarn over and pull thru work, then yarn over and pull thru all three loops on hook.
So, htr (hdc) in each stitch of the work, and continue around. You do not join or turn at the end of the rounds, but just continue in the round as you would in amigurumi crochet. This makes a nice smooth finish without obvious joins.
After three rounds of htr (hdc), your work starts to look like this. See how it is forming into a kind of narrow dish-like shape? If it tends to form 'inside out', push it right side out and continue working. You will be working it from the outside.
You can see the dc base stitches below. In the following photo, you can see how the extra stitches at the ends (increases) create the curved edge.
Continue htr (hdc) in the round until the work reaches the 'shoulders' of the hot water bottle. At this point, the work should look like a large flat rectangular 'sock'. Stop when the work is more or less even on both sides and you have reached an edge. Finish off with a slip stitch, as you are now going to crochet in separate rounds.
5. The next round creates the slots for the draw string, as follows:
Ch 3 (counts as tr (dc)), tr (dc) in same stitch, skip next stitch, [2tr (2dc) in next stitch, skip next stitch], repeat [ ] to end of round, slip stitch into 3rd chain at beginning of round to join. This V stitch creates neat little gaps that look like this:
6. The next rounds take you to almost to the top of the hot water bottle:
Ch 3, tr (dc) in each stitch to end, slip stitch into 3rd chain of beginning chain to join. Complete this round three times (or more if needed, to get almost to the top). Only one round to go . . .
7. Final round:
Using the same yarn, or a contrasting colour, Ch 1, dc (sc) in same space, skip next stitch, [3tr (3dc) in next st, skip next stitch, dc in next stitch, skip next stitch], repeat [ ] to last two stitches, 3tr (3dc), skip one. Slip stitch to first dc (sc).
This simple shell stitch creates a very gentle ripple on top that looks decorative and drapes well when the draw string is tightened.
8. To make the draw-string, use the same yarn or a contrasting colour, and a large hook (I used a 6mm hook).
Double a long length of yarn and chain using the doubled yarn. The drawstring needs to be long enough to tie up in a bow when gathered and tightened. If children will be using the cover, make sure the ends for tying are not so long that they create a hazard.
Insert draw-string: starting in the centre of the front panel, weave draw-string in and out of the slots you created at step 5 above. It doesn't matter whether the string ends meet from two adjacent slots, or out of the same slot. Knot the ends of the draw-string so they stay in the cover securely. Fill hot water bottle, put in cover and draw the draw-string securely with a bow.
All are welcome to use the pattern (just attribute to my blog if sharing). Enjoy!