Friday, January 24, 2014

Toatie Hottie

I'm a big fan of hot water bottles. That's probably because I'm an even bigger fan of being warm. When we moved from Kamloops to our cottage here at Cultus Lake we exchanged one kind of cold for another. Kamloops winters have sub-zero temperatures, moderate amounts of snow, and lots of wind. Winter here at Cultus seems to be much milder in terms of the actual temperature, but there is a dampness in the air that permeates everything.

All I can say is thank heavens for wool. You name it - wool sweaters, wool socks, wool blankets, wool shawls, and even wool underwear - if it's made of wool, I probably own it and use it on a daily basis. So when Kate Davies came out with this kit right before Christmas how could I resist? After all, it combines two of my favourite strategies for staying warm in these coldest months of the year, my favourite knitwear designer, and yarn from one of my very favourite places.


My Fair Isle phase shows no signs of letting up.


I love that this knit is both pretty and practical.


Well, it was practical until I put these on. I couldn't resist.


Toatie Hottie, my first completed project for 2014.



54 comments:

  1. This is just gorgeous, I am going to make one, too. I have recently discovered Fair Isle knitting and love it and Jamieson's wool is fab, I love the smell and the scratchiness of it. The climate in your parts of the world sounds like ours.. mild-ish winters with plenty of dampness. A dampness so dense it is almost rain (we call it smirr in Scotland). Definitely hot water bottle weather. Cx

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    1. Sorry, my reply is just below this! I goofed up when I posted it.

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  2. Thanks Christina! Fair Isle knitting is very, very addictive. :-) I think you'll really enjoy knitting this kit. Kate Davies' projects are always fun.

    I'm like you - I love the smell and rustic feel of the J&S wool. Although I have to say this was knit with their newer line of Shetland Heritage and it was quite soft compared to their other yarns.

    Smirr is a great word to describe the dampness. I'm going to have to remember it!

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  3. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaJanuary 24, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    I think I need to send you some of our snow (and -25 deg. wind chill) to remind you of what REAL winter is like :). I'd be delirious with joy if I could see plants and bare ground like your photo shows! Mind you, my kitchen is toasty warm (need I say more??). My next project might have to be a new pair of snow-shovelling mittens...

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    1. Does this mean I shouldn't gloat over the fact our grass is actually green? To be honest, I like snow, and it was beautiful when we had some before Christmas. It has been an especially mild winter. And believe me, I well remember what it's like when it's -25 out. In fact, I can vividly recall -40 (and that was before wind chill was taken into account). To which I have two words. Never again. :-)

      Have you ever knit a pair of Newfoundland mittens? The are the warmest mittens I own.

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    2. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaJanuary 24, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      Do you mean thrummed mitts? I was thinking of those, actually. Or one of the traditional Maritime stranded patterns. My husband once suggested that we retire to Victoria instead of eastern Ontario, and I'm beginning to wish we had!

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    3. Yes, I meant thrummed mitts. I'm not sure why I said Newfoundland mitts, although that is a beautiful pattern. Just not as warm as the thrummed ones. :-)

      Victoria is incredibly expensive. I think you found a very nice part of Canada to live in. This winter has been worse than most. Hopefully you will get an early spring, and in the meantime you have your Aga to keep you warm. I forget - does it run off of electricity?

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    4. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaJanuary 25, 2014 at 6:09 AM

      My hairdresser is predicting an early spring. She says the squirrels are mating earlier than usual. (Really??) The Aga uses propane and costs a fair bit to run, but it does contribute to heating the main floor of the house (we heat by electricity which actually works out to be more economical than propane). We do love it here despite the climate. And speaking of climate, it's time to get started on those mitts!

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Tana! How is the New Year treating you? I've been wondering how you are doing.

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  5. So beautiful Kristie. How I wish I could knit and make one of those! Ottawa is -36C right now with the wind chill, so we are feeling it!

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    1. My sympathies to all of you back in Ontario and the Eastern provinces. Brrr....! I hope you are finding ways to keep warm. Even if you don't have a fancy cover you could still use a hot water bottle. I think every Canadian should be issued one when they are born, or when they immigrate and take out citizenship. :-)

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  6. I wish I'd had something a lovely as this to snuggle my hot water bottle in while in France in the winter...cold dampness is not my favourite weather...
    Turkish socks were great though for trecking about on tiled floors

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    1. Yes Helen, cold dampness is not pleasant. It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it. I'm curious - what were your Turkish socks like?

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  7. I bet you stay warm now with that beautiful hot water bottle holder. I love it.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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    1. I hope so, Meredith! If only there was a way to strap it on my body and walk around wearing it all day! :-)

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  8. That's just about as perfect as winter knitting can get. I've been meaning to knit up a hot water bottle cover or two, despite my lack of a hot water bottle. Given how cold it's been where I live, I could certainly stand to invest in one.

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    1. I agree, Heidi! Kate Davies is a genius. All her patterns are both beautiful to look at and warm to wear, or in this case, to use. I think it helps that she lives in Scotland. The Scots seem to really understand cold. :-)

      And I think you should buy a hot water bottle. You won't be sorry. Just be sure to get a good one.

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  9. It's absolutely beautiful, Kristie. I am so impressed that you can knit this way. This design is just so perfectly wintry too, the colors and the motif.

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    1. Kate Davies is a brilliant designer. I love knitting her things. Fair Isle isn't as hard as it looks. Keep working on your knitting and you will soon be able to tackle a project like this!

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  10. I love Fair Isle. I love the blue. I love hot water bottles. Alas I would never be able to knit something as gorgeous, so I shall just (covet) admire yours ;)

    Leanne xx

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    1. I am in complete agreement with your first three sentences! I'm not so sure about the next one though. It really wasn't hard to knit - I bet you could do it! :-)

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  11. Yes, I agree the coast has bone-permeating cold, and I have a hard time staying warm when I visit friends and family there. Still, when I head down there in the winter and see no snow, I sometimes think "that would be nice". We've had it quite mild up here in Kamloops the last while. Lots of fog, little snow. I even see a bit of our lawn poking through! Lovely knitting project!

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    1. Thanks Aneta! I remember that January fog in Kamloops. It was always such a relief to go up to Sun Peaks and get up above it.

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  12. You just reminded me that I was going to make a hot water bottle cover for my mum - thanks! Yours is very pretty :)

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    1. Thanks Kate! There are some great hot water bottle patterns on Ravelry. There's one I have been wanting to make that has cables that look like owls. I think it might even be a free pattern.

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  13. Love it! So glad to see a normal person was able to complete this project.
    You were fast - I guess it was indeed damp.
    LisaRR

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! It really wasn't difficult to knit. I'm laughing at you describing me as normal. I'm not sure that label fits me. I think the fact I knit a hot water bottle cover automatically bars me from being considered normal. :-)

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  14. That is some lovely yarn, and what great colours. I like those pompoms too. I've never used a hot water bottle - I guess Mr. M fulfils that function for me.

    We are all about wool underwear too - Smartwool is our brand of choice. I don't know how I lived before I started wearing it. My poor shivering dad, who just moved here from California, needs to be outfitted next. (He still thinks in terms of cotton thermal underwear. Ha!)

    The dampness is a killer, isn't it?

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    1. I haven't heard of Smartwool. I'm going to check them out and see if they are more reasonably priced than Icebreaker. I love the things I have purchased from Icebreaker, but sometimes I think a better name for that company would be Bankbreaker. :-)

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  15. Love your hottie cover, the colour and fair isle pattern are both lovely, Kristie. I wish we had some Canadian cool over here this week, but I am sorry for my daughter with 2 little kids in the freezing of Ottawa! Happy Knitting...x

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    1. You and your daughter are living at the places with the most extreme temperatures on the planet right now! Hopefully things even out soon, and become milder for both of you. :-)

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  16. Love it, your fairisle is so nice and even. Keep warm

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    1. Thanks Sue! I think I'll stick with knitting Fair Isle and avoiding intarsia. :-)

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  17. I love your hottie and the pom pom addition just makes it perfect x

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    1. I debated about whether or not to put the pompoms on. In the end I decided I wanted to try out my pompom maker, so went ahead and made them. I'm so glad I did!

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  18. Just a little something to put under the blankets to heat up your feet......sounds like a Lackie in this house! does Fergus like to go under the covers? Lackie sure does! Daisy too, but she gets too hot!

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    1. You are so much nicer than me! Fergus and Jenny aren't allowed on the bed. Of course, that doesn't mean they don't jump up on it the minute I turn my back. :-)

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  19. Love, love, love this and your embellishments are just what it needed, I think! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! Are you all settled into your new home? I keep checking for a blog post - can't wait to hear how it's going!

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  20. That's so lovely and a good start to your knitting year. I love the colour and pattern and hotn water bottles are such a comfort when it's cold.
    Sarah x

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! I think I am at the beginning of a New Knitting Year tradition. This is the second year in a row my first project has been a design by Kate Davies. :-)

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  21. It's not the cold, it's the humidity. That doesn't found right, but I know what you mean. Dampness makes it seem even colder.

    Practical or not, Toatie looks great with the additional flair. :)

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    1. You are right, Rick - it's the humidity. The humidity isn't my friend in the winter, and I suspect it's not your friend in the summer. I've heard it can get quite miserable in the D.C. area.

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  22. Oh I just love this Kristie and, like you just adore having a hot water bottle next to me. Love the pattern and the colour of your yarn.
    Patricia x

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    1. Thanks Patricia! It's nice to have a fellow hot water bottle fan. :-) I don't think that many people use them any more, so I always feel sort of old-fashioned when I talk about how much I like mine. Maybe they are more popular in the UK. ??

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  23. I love this! Beautiful job and I love the colour and fair isle design. And now I want to make one! We love our hot water bottles. I used them for my back all through the pregnancies and still now on occasion and Daniel uses it on his neck. They don't have covers though, something I should remedy :-) Mel x

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    1. The covers are great, Mel. They keep the bottle warmer longer. I loved your family camping photos on your latest post. Cold weather and hot water bottles are many months away where you live!

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  24. Oh my gosh, I'm so glad I came back to catch up on some of your posts. I love this!! Like you, I'm cold cold cold, all the time. Although I have a really nice hot water bottle, it usually sits in a drawer because I've gotten used to keeping my electric heating pad on my chair all the time. I use it all day and all night, turning off when I get a hot flash and back on when I'm cold again. Works great, but I'd much rather not be using an electric appliance so much. Perhaps knitting one of these adorable little sweaters for my hot water bottle is just what I need to get me to use it more. Thanks for the inspiration! Off to Ravelry I go once again..... ~ Kim

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  25. This is wonderful, I didn't realise KD actually sold kits. I have been meaning to knit a hottie cover for a few months now but have yet to get round to it .. like most of my intentions as it happens.
    Thanks so much for popping by to say hello, and for your lovely comment, of course. I do love the photo on your next post, it is views like this that remind us why we came to Canada in the first place!
    Kate

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    1. Thanks for stopping by here, Kate! KD just started selling kits a few weeks before Christmas. They were very popular and sold out quickly, but I see she now has more up on her website. :-)

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  26. Oh, that's gorgeous, Kristie, though I'd have to make it in non-scratchy wool because of my eczema. I love my hot-water bottle and it's due a new cover, so perhaps I should try my hand at a bit of Fair isle as a change from my eternal socks. :-)

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    1. I actually don't find the J&S scratchy, but maybe with eczema it might be. This cover is for smaller hot water bottles. If you have a full size one you need to search out a different pattern, but there are lots on Ravelry so you should;t have a hard time finding one. Aren't hot water bottles the best thing ever?

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