Hot water bottle cover for Dad
Completed for Christmas 2007

This is a hot water bottle, or "hottie". Did you know that?

If you're American, you probably didn't. Or, at least, I didn't. In fact, I had never even really heard of hot water bottles outside of old wartime black-and-white movies. But then, in 2003, I moved to London, and all that changed.

Every English household, it seems, has a hot water bottle.

I found this nice variegated yarn at Buzz' yarn shop on Carnaby Street in London, which is such a nice shop with great knitted gifts and things.

Buzz always seems to have a basket of one-pound-a-ball yarn, which is fun to sift through. This particular variegated yarn suited my purpose as I wanted a fun yarn that was pure wool and machine washable.

But it's not enough to simply have a hot water bottle. One must, I am told, cover it. In fact, knitting hot water bottle covers is quite a common occurrence in any given London knitting group. And seeing that I like to try new knitting patterns, and I certainly like to try and knit the local customs, I thought it's high time I knit the ubiquitous hot water bottle cover.

I languished over the closing method. Quite easily, you can find many, many knitting patterns out there in cyberspace, and they all seem to utilize different methods of closing the top of the hot water bottle cover. You can use the drawstring method, or the envelope flap with buttons method, or any number of other methods out there. The world is your oyster.

To create a bit of a curve at the bottom of the cover, I simply decreased like a sock toe.

Basically, what I knitted was a bag with two sets of drawstrings.

The eyelets were just a YO k2tog sequence, and the drawstrings were created as I-cords, or, as Elizabeth Zimmerman likes to call them, Idiot Cords.

The top of the cover has a picot hemmed edge, which, once again, is just YO k2tog.

I like the drawstring action, and I like the colors of this yarn. It was a fun project to knit, but I wonder whether the hot water bottle will ever see water. I mean, when I gave it to Dad at Christmas, it was met with a quizzical look.

And here's the recipient of said "hottie"-----Dad, but in 1953, in his Marine uniform. He must be twenty years old in this photo.

And here's a more recent photo of Dad, salmon fishing in Alaska.

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