Pine Needle Hottie
I haven’t used a hottie since I was little, but have been yearning for one in late pregnancy! Adjusting the temperature of your body can be so healing and nurturing. I recently read a beautiful document on traditional Inuit practices for expecting mothers/childbirth and loved learning about their holistic remedies and rituals. One of the take aways I’ve been practicing is getting up early and immediately going outside to take in the new days air and sensations on your skin- here, at this time of year that means a silent, snowy forest. Its a wonderful wake -up and definitely helps with my new lack of caffeine! So to close the day, my preference is to get cosy with nettle tea and a hottie. I bought this natural rubber one which is 8” x 13” and used some leftover yarn to make the cover, for the grey I used 2 strands held together of Artesano Alpaca 4 ply (about 3/4 of each skein) and worked the motif with a tiny amount (less than a 1/4 skein) of worsted wool from Swans Island. The pattern is as follows:
On circular needles or DPNs size US 2 / 2.75mm cast on 84sts in your main color (MC), join to work in the round placing a marker at the beginning of the round, taking care to avoid twists. I worked mine in magic loop, but it’s not necessary.
knit (k) 42, place a side marker (SM), k 42
*k1, make (m)1, knit to 1 stitch (st) before SM, m1, k1, slip marker, k1, m1, k to 1 st before end of round (EOR) m1,k1 (88sts)
repeat last 3 rounds (from *) until you have 96sts (2 more times)
Continue knitting until your work measures 3.25” from cast on edge, then introducing your contrast color (CC) work all 33 rows of the chart.
Break CC yarn, continuing in MC for the rest of the pattern. Knit 2” stockinette (from the end of the chart section). Then decrease for the bottle neck as follows:
K1, knit 2 together (k2tog), k42, slip slip knit (ssk), k2, k2tog, k42, ssk, k1 (92sts)
K1, k2tog, k40, ssk, k2, k2tog, k40, ssk, k1 (88sts)
K1, k2tog, k38, ssk, k2, k2tog, k38, ssk, k1 (84sts)
K1, k2tog, k36, ssk, k2, k2tog, k36, ssk, k1 (80sts)
*K1, k2tog, k to 3 sts before SM, ssk, k1, SLM, k1, k2tog, k to 3 sts before EOR, ssk, k1
Repeat last row (from *) omitting knit round in between, until 40sts remain
Work k2, p2 ribbing until ribbing measures 8"
Use a stretchy bind off technique to finish, then break yarn. Sew your cast on row together beginning with the first stitch and last stitch of the cast on, and ending by sewing together the 2 stitches on either side of your halfway mark (see pics for reference). Sew in all your ends, insert the water bottle through the neck: Easiest to remove the stopper, and roll it tight with the textured part of the rubber facing in, then put the cover over it like you’d put on tights, releasing the roll once the bottom is at the bottom, then adjust your knitting around it so the edges line up and turn the excess of the neck over. Then block the piece on the bottle- I filled the bottle with hot water to make it dry faster.