I haven’t owned a hot water bottle for years – I’m usually too warm rather than too cold in most situations, in fact we only really use the heating in one room in our flat. We also have three cats, and a cat is a pretty efficient substitute for a hot water bottle, although they’re not particularly willing to take instruction…..
So, when I saw Kate Davies‘ Toatie Hottie kits last winter, I loved the design and almost bought one……but I wasn’t really sure if I would use it, and in the end swithered for too long, and they sold out before I could make up my mind. I was pretty chuffed when I opened my Christmas presents last year and found that my (super-talented) sister Kathryn had bought me one! I do like it when other people make my decisions for me.
I’ve not done a huge amount of stranded knitting, and this was a really fun pattern to try. The colourwork is enough to keep you interested, but not so complicated that you can’t watch TV or
pretend to listen to your husband at the same time. It’s a lot less intimidating knitting something small like this than a full-on Fair Isle sweater as well, with no steeking or other scary what-do-you-mean-I-have-to-cut-my-knitting moments, and it’s not the end of the world if yiur tension’s slightly off. The teeny pom poms are really cute as well, I had some trouble wrestling them off the cat to sew them on, but eventually managed it and they definitely add something special.
I have to say I wasn’t looking forward to knitting the i-cord tie, I usually find i-cord a bit tedious and not really worth the effort, but this wasn’t too long and in the end it went pretty quickly – probably partly because I was looking forward to attaching the pom poms and not having to hide them from the cats every night…
While I was knitting it I was kind of thinking of giving the finished result to someone for Christmas, but that all changed when it was all finished and blocking – you basically use the hot water bottle provided in the kit to block it to the right shape and size – and it looked so dinky and cute. I’m a sucker for anything mini, so I persuaded myself that I should definitely test it out before giving it away. Well, let’s just say that no-one is getting this for Christmas…..I love it! OK, so I can only have it in bed with me for a short time before I get too hot, but there’s something very soothing about popping it into bed in advance so I have a nice warm spot for my feet – without having to rely on the whims of a cat.
I think there will be more toatie stranded knitting projects in my future…