I was recently asked if I would be interested in making some hot water bottle covers. It is something that has been knocking around in my head for a while anyway, so I was more than happy to give it a go. In the past I have seen knitted hot water bottle covers and decided that was the route I would like to explore.
As I quite enjoy knitting, I could have found a pattern and knitted some covers. The whole ethos of From Rags To Bags though is recycling, so it made much more sense to use secondhand woolies. I ended up trawling through the jumper racks of six charity shops in my hunt for the perfect garment. It is amazing how many are acrylic or only part wool. I needed pure wool for the idea to work. I finally managed to find two jumpers that were labelled wool, two cashmere and one which was machine washable wool.
The first step was to felt them all, so I popped them all into the washing machine on a hot wash. It was really interesting to see the results when they all came out. The wool ones were perfect, one cashmere was felted but the other wasn't at all - go figure! The machine washable wool jumper did what it said, it machine washed and didn't felt at all. You live and learn.
The jumper I liked the best became my first experiment. It had shrunk really well, almost too well but the body was still just long enough to fit a full sized hot water bottle. I used my own hot water bottle as a pattern and cut the shape I was after. The high neck of the jumper became the perfect access point for filling the hot water bottle, with a ribbon to tie the top closed when in use. I cut the back of the hot water bottle cover in half and bound the edges with a complimentary fabric. This means the cover can be easily removed and washed as required.
I have to say, I am really pleased with the design. I love the pattern and colour of the jumper too. I am really tempted to keep this one! The next two covers with be slightly different, one will be the softest, pale pink cashmere and the other will be a navy with a flower pattern across it. I shall definitely be on the hunt for more woolies to use in the future as well.