Wednesday, 11 May 2011

What a hoot!

It's been a long, hard winter and I've been ill a lot with a chain of nasty viral illnesses, curled up in bed, on the sofa or in the magic armchair, unable to do very much at all. The latest bug gave me horrible tummy pains and I spent a lot of time cuddled up to a hot water bottle for comfort, the bottle wrapped in a couple of tea-towels for insulation: the brainwave of my son. This was a very good temporary measure, but I decided the time had come to make something more permanent and less Heath Robinson.

A quick search through Ravelry revealed several possibilities, but then I saw Hoot. I'm a bit of a collector of owls - what is that called? - and have been fascinated by the cabled owl motif I have seen on jumpers and other knitting projects, so this seemed the perfect pattern to follow.

I love the figure-of-eight cast-on, which created this lovely braided effect:-

It took me three days to knit the cosy, and it was very enjoyable to work. The pattern calls for working with two strands of aran thickness wool worked together on 6.5mm needles - I used a circular needle and the magic loop method.

Once the knitting was complete, I crocheted a chain tie with two strands of yarn and a 6mm crochet hook, before working the embroidered eyes.

Rather than using the not-very-cuddly buttons some people had used, or the satin stitch suggested in the pattern, I worked rounds of blanket stitch rather densely with some leftover dark grey aran yarn and I'm pleased with the effect.

Now my poorly tum is better and warmer weather persists, so I have not yet had cause to use my newly swaddled hot water bottle. But when the occasion arises again, it will be ready and waiting!
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