Not being a very experienced knitter, I've stuck to babies hats knitted on the round, the odd toy and scarves for teddies. I'd rather stick to practical, small knitting projects, and then one day, who knows, I may be able to knit myself the ultimate snuggly cardigan?
One thing that we have needed for a while is a cover for my son's hot water bottle. Because here in Sydney-town, it's not really cold enough for central heating or electric blankets, and a hot water bottle and a blanket usually suffices. But we don't love the feeling of rubber bottles in our bed. We used to use a pillow case, but that wasn't really satisfactory. Then I used the cut off leg of an old pair of my leggings that were about to die, with knots tied at either end of the tube to stop the bottle moving around inside. That always felt a little desperate to me, although my son was fine with it. I thought maybe I could just knit myself one, but I don't really have the skills to make up even such a simple pattern.
Finally, I got a Ravelry account and hunted around for a pattern. I thought Plain and Simple Hot Water Bottle Cover by Amy Pickard sounded achievable. I had to improvise, as I didn't think I had a hope in hell of finding the same yarn. I also searched around my needle stash, most of which are hand-me-downs from my friend Min, and I only had a 6.5 mm set of needles, not 6.0. But anyway, I ended up using Fuel 20 ply wool from Morris, and thought I'd suck it and see. Turns out it was perfect for the pattern.
I was a really quick knit. I would have finished it in 2 days if I didn't run out of wool and have to go back for more. This was also a good pattern to learn a new skill - yo to do button holes!
Here's the finished product, with hot water bottle inside, all finished except I need to raid my button stash and sew on 3 buttons: