Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cosy Yarn Along

We have been having a few power cuts lately and now some snow has fallen. I'ts perfect weather to cosy in by the fire with a nice warm drink, a bit of crochet and some reading.

 It must be the season and the stormy conditions, because our reading has taken a distinctly survivalist, self sufficiency sort of turn. I found this book, Self-Reliance by John Yeomans up in the loft a few days ago. I remember flicking through it years ago and didn't really take to it at the time, but it called to me from the discarded book shelf as I looked for something else. Its actually quite interesting, and having begun at the beginning, I now get the slightly tongue in cheek tone, and it seems a more relevant read. He has some great money saving ideas, and tips for coping in difficult situations (such as power failure and hurricane winds) and I like his take on self-reliance as moving in and out of the consumer society as we need to. Good for dipping into and there are plenty "why didn't I think of that" moments too. 

I am also reading Cold Antler Farm on my kindle app. Its a nice gentle read, and I so relate to many of  Jenna's anecdotes - especially the sheep ones. Perfect for dark nights with no bedside lamp.

James and I are reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. A 13 yr old boy is stranded in the Canadian forest and has to learn to survice with nothing but a hatchet, which we think is an axe in English. My goodness, it is so exciting! We only have 2 chapters to read and there has been much discussion on how we think it will end. Don't tell us....

Oops I nearly forgot to mention my current project. I've just been dabbling with little bits of things lately - a hat, beginning to square off the circles on my Bullseye blanket, a few rows here and there on the ripple. I have just begun to crochet another circle cushion cover to go in the living room.

I crocheted a hot water bottle cover last week. It is a very cosy thing indeed. I made it up as I went along, so it is extremely improvised. I'm not very good at explaining patterns, and I can't guarantee anything, but here is how I did it anyway:

I used 1 skein of Sublime organic merino, for the main colour and scraps of merino from my stash for the granny squares. 3 buttons
Crochet 2 sides.

Side 1 (front)
Make 4 granny squares in whatever colour combination you like - I used this pattern
Using MC, single crochet squares together. (dc UK). I like the raised edge to show on the front.
SC along bottom edge 
turning chain 1
SC 5 more rows.
fasten off.

Top edge
SC 3 rows
Sc 3 rows decreasing 1 at each edge for shoulders of bottle
fasten off
Count your stitches and  SC into middle 12 - chain 1
SC 6 more rows, increasing 1 at each end of this and every alt row to cover neck.
fasten off
SC up sides to neaten.

Side 2 (Back)
Decide where you want to place the buttonholes. I used 3 - one at each edge and one in the middle
Crochet as side 1 but work 9 rows of sc
On row 7, make buttonholes by missing 2 stitches at desired place. I think I did mine at 3, 15 and 27, but your measurements may be different.

SC both sides together, leaving top and bottom open. 
Weave in ends.
Sew on buttons to bottom edge of front, corresponding with buttonholes,

Insert hot water bottle and snuggle.


  1. Wonderful hottie bottle cover.

  2. Did I tell you how much I love that hotty cover, so delicious
    Can we borrow the axe book please ?
    Sounds right up oscars street
    Hugs of warmth xx

  3. Winter is such nice time to cozy up with a good book -- Hatchet is one of my sons' favorites (all three are 16 and up, but they each enjoyed the story when younger). Well done on the hot water bottle cozy!

  4. That looks like a very cosy cosy :D Sounds like you picked a good time to start reading 'Self-Reliance'. Hope you're staying warm against the storm up there - the pictures have been incredible!

  5. Lovely Hot Water bottle cover. The book sounds wonderful despite the title!

  6. Great cover and always a delight when you make up or improvise a pattern, Perfect for this time of year.

  7. A hatchet (here in the U.S.) is a small, lightweight version of an axe, used for splitting kindling, etc. and much loved by Boy Scouts out on camping trips. An axe is a lot bigger and Boy Scouts should not be using one...

  8. This Canadian was about to make the same comment about a hatchet. Yes: it's a small kindling tool, not a small firewood or tree-felling tool.

  9. Love the granny squares. A hatchet is similar to an axe, but not the same thing :)

  10. Love the hot water bottle cover,I so wish I could have a talent for when the weather is bad.

  11. I have seen a couple of the hot water bottle covers on other blogs, and this one ia nice. Where I am from, in the USA, we don't use hot water bottles.

  12. Hatchett was my son Peter's all time favorite book and if I remember correctly Hatchett is part of a trilogy. Have you and James read My side of the Mountain? Another trilogy that was a hit here.

  13. Was going to make the same comment as Miranda and the American commenter.

    Love the hot water bottle cover. The colours are gorgeous.

    God bless.

  14. This is such a cute pattern for a great hot water bottle cover. Sounds like you're having a cold Winter. Its nice to sit by the fire and keep warm.

  15. Thanks for sharing both the hottie cover and the book suggestions! Just the ticket for these cold stormy days.

  16. beautiful hot water bottle cover, and nice to have when the electricity goes out. I hate when ours does because the whole entire house is electric. We should get a generator but we only want one when the electricity is out, once it's back my memory is erased :)

  17. I am going to see if my local library has that survivalist book - I love reading these kinds of books! Your hot water bottle cover is so lovely! I wish I could crochet - I can barely knit....

  18. From Margie in Toronto - love the hot water bottle cover. I don't knit but each winter season I wait for the newest HWB and cover set from INDIGO (a large bookstore/gift shop chain here in Canada) for the last few years they've had a new colour line each year - this year it was a soft grey or pale pink. There is nothing nicer on a cold night than cuddling up with one or two while reading and having a lovely cup of tea. Stay warm over there.


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