Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby Bottle Cozy

I love baby projects. They are small and cute but then everything in miniature is cute. The best thing about baby projects for me personally is the fact that they are fast. I am someone who loves instant gratification and baby projects provide fast, almost instant gratification because their size dictates that they don't take long.

I am always trying to think of something unusual to make for baby gifts to friends (and, to be quite frank, something that might sell well from my Etsy shop). While I love baby hats, everyone makes them; the same goes for baby blankets as well. A knitted baby bottle cozy though, now that's much more unique. It's practical too.

Baby bottles can get a little slimy, what with little hands coated in mother's milk/formula, teething drool, and baby urp-up grabbing the bottle to 'help'. This can make that bottle not so easy to hang on to, especially during those 3AM feedings where mommy is half asleep herself. A nice bottle cozy made of worsted cotton yarn absorbs the moist sliminess and adds traction for mommy's hand. It may also help keep that warm bottle warm just a bit longer for those slow eaters and, I think, it looks pretty darn cute.

To be honest, this wasn't my original idea. I saw a crochet version in a book and thought it was a great idea so I sat down and came up with my own knitted design. It's very easy and, this is the part I like, it's very fast. I can whip a couple of these in an evening. This pattern is sized to fit the standard Gerber-style baby bottles, plastic or glass, with a 2-inch diameter (measured at the bottom, since they kind of taper at the top). You can vary the length as noted to fit the 8-ounce bottle or the shorter, 4-ounce bottle.


Baby Bottle Cozy

You Will Need:

  • Worsted weight cotton yarn
  • 1 set of 4 double pointed needles, size US7
  • 1 16" circular needle, size US7
  • 1 stitch marker
  • Yarn needle
Gauge: 4 1/2 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch


Cast On 224 stitches onto Circular needle. Use stitch marker to mark the end of the round.

Join being careful not to twist the stitches and work in the round as follows:

  • Round 1 - K2tog to end (112 stitches)
  • Round 2 - K2tog to end (56 stitches)
  • Round 3 - Switch to DPNS. K2tog to end (28 stitches)
  • Round 4 - Knit
  • Round 5 - *YO, K2tog, Repeat from * to end (the eyelet row)
  • Round 6 - Knit (28 stitches)
  • Round 7 - *K2, P2, repeat from * to end
Repeat Round 7 to work piece in 2X2 rib until piece measures 6.5 inches from eyelet row of 8-ounce bottle or 3.5 inches from eyelet row for 4-ounce bottle.
  • Next Round - K2tog to end (14 stitches)
  • Next Round - Knit
  • Next Round - K2tog to end (7 stitches)
Cut a 4 inch tail and thread yarn needle. pass the yarn end through the remaining stitches and take them off the needles. Cinch the hole closed. Secure and weave end on the inside of the piece. Weave the yarn end at starting edge.
Next make an I-Cord drawstring tie as follows:

  • Using two DPNs, cast on 2 stitches.
  • Knit the stitches but do NOT turn the work.
  • Slide the stitches to the other end of the DPN. The yarn now comes from the last stitch.
  • Bring the yarn around the back and and knit the stitches. Once again, do NOT turn the work. Simply repeat the process of sliding the piece to the other end of the DPN. You will be essentially working in small tight round using two DPNs.
  • Continue until I-cord is 24-inches long.
  • Periodically pull down gently on the cord as it forms to help the stitches fall in place and prevent kinking.
  • Bind off then cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch to secure it.
  • Weave the ends by pulling them back up through the middle of the I cord using a yarn needle.
Weave the I-cord through the eyelet row. Insert baby bottle into cozy and tie I-cord in a bow to secure the cozy to the bottle.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Monkadoodle's Stocking Hat

My youngest son, then two, grabbed a skein of Lion Brand Home Spun yarn out of the bin while we were at Walmart several months ago and said, "Mommy, can I have this one? I like this one. Can you make me a hat please?"

I was in a hurry and trying to stick to my shopping list that day. Thus, I almost said no but he had such a big smile on his face, his eyes were shining, and he had never asked me to knit him anything before. So I said, "OK, buddy. One Monkadoodle hat. Are you sure you want that yarn? You can pick any other yarn here if you want or we can go to the yarn shop and get something really nice."

He stood that for a moment looking at all the different yarns and colors around him in the aisle, walked up and touched different skein, then, shaking his head, turned back to me saying, "No, I want this one."

Out of curiosity I asked, "Why that one?"

He grinned and said, "It's soft and BLUE!"

How could I argue with such an emphatic love of blue. Laughing, I said, "It's good that you know what you like, Monkadoodle. OK, put it in the basket. I'll try making a hat for you with this stuff. I can't promise how it will turn out because I've never knitted with this yarn before but we'll see what I can come up with."

So we got home and I tucked the skein away in my stash and spent the next few months thinking about what kind of hat I could make with Home Spun. I love the color, Montana Sky. It is blue with subtle changes to blue green and it is soft. It's the first #5 bulky yarn I've ever tried. It looks almost like a boucle', except the strand is stronger.

So after looking around online at different projects made with this stuff and scratching my head, I decided that this yarn was not going to give me very good stitch definition so a basic ribbed hat would probably be the best. I also wanted this to be a hat that he could wear for several winters and ribbing makes for a nice stretchy, able-to-grow-with-a-growing-head kind of hat. So this is what I ended up making for him.

This is a very easy, basic hat pattern. There is nothing special about it in any way, shape, or form and there are probably a dozen similar patterns running around out there either free or for purchase. I've made so many basic hats that I don't really look at a pattern anymore and all the patterns I have used are beginning to blur together in my mind anyway. I did not even check gauge on this prior to making it. I just cast on what looked like about the right amount based on other hats I've made and went from there.

You will need:

  • #9 16-inch circular needles
  • #9 DPNs
  • 1 skein Lion Brand Homespun Yarn (but you can probably use
    just about any yarn you want just make sure to adjust needle size and # stitches
    cast on so that it will fit the desired head circumference)
  • Stitch marker
  • Yarn Needle

Gauge: 4 stitches = 1 inch in stock stitch (I did not measure gauge until after I was finished So this is how it worked out.)


  • Using circular needles, cast on 72 stitches. Put a stitch marker on the right needle to mark the beginning of the round.
  • Join, being careful not to twist the stitches and knit every round in 2X2 rib (K2, P2. Repeat to end of round.) for 6 inches from cast on edge.
  • Switch to knit stitch. Knit all rounds for next 2 inches (total of 8 inches from cast on edge).
  • Next begin the decreasing as follows:
    Round 1: K6, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (63 stitches remain)
    Round 2: K5, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (54 stitches remain)
    Round 3: Knit
    Round 4: Switching to DPNs, K4, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (45 stitches remain)
    Round 5: Knit
    Round 6: K3, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (36 stitches remain)
    Round 7: Knit
    Round 8: K2, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (27 stitches remain)
    Round 9: Knit
    Round 10: K1, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (18 stitches remain)
    Round 11: K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (9 stitches remain)
  • Cut yarn leaving 5 inch tail and thread onto yarn needle.
  • Pull it through the remaining stitches and cinch it tightly to close the hole.
  • Weave in the end on the inside of the heat. Weave the end on the brim of the hat being mindful that the cuff will be turned up on the hat.

This pattern is based on the notes I jotted down as I was making it. I have not tested this pattern yet but plan to in the near future. Thus, it may be subject to a few changes in the future. If anyone out there is interested in becoming a pattern tester for me, please let me know.