Tuesday, 21 October 2008


As we’ve still got time to make some Christmas gifts (very frugal and very much in the true spirit of Christmas) I’m busy hunting up ideas right now.

I want to make gifts that look good, and are better and more personalised than anything I could get for that person in the shops (and cheaper!).

My first find is for the knitters amongst us. I've recently seen lots of hot water bottle covers in the shops - they seem to be popular right now, so I think I'll have a go at one! Knitting is very “in” at the moment and hand knitted gifts are popular. You don’t have to be an expert, experienced knitter, just pick a pattern you know you can do - better a simple pattern, beautifully knitted in stocking stitch or garter stitch and perfectly finished off, than a poorly produced complicated Aran cable with mistakes or lace with poor tension.

I like to choose a good quality yarn not just the correct ply (aran, double knitting, chunky, 4-ply etc). If I’m making something special that does not require a fancy “fun” yarn – I try to use a good quality wool-mix, machine washable yarn. If I’m making smaller items (scarves, wrist warmers, mitts etc) it hopefully, will not be too expensive. Look in your stash – I had a good look through mine yesterday (after dragging the huge storage box from the back of my wardrobe!) and now have a good idea of what I have and will choose my patterns accordingly. Luckily, most of my stash comes from charity shops, great yarns that I’ve picked up over the last couple of years. Much of it is still in original plastic bags and with the ball bands. I like to have these for the correct washing instructions and to give me the detailed fibre make-up of the yarn.

There are of course, cheap versions of hot water bottle covers to be had on the high street, but they are usually acrylic and cost anything from around £8-£10. But look for a good quality one and they cost from £25 (Cath Kidston) to £55 (cashmere, but not hand knitted). To get some inspiration for customising your patterns have a look here.

So – on to the (FREE!) patterns in the links below. I am thinking I may knit one of these hot water bottle covers and then personalise it with some wool embroidery or crochet flowers. Get Frugal - get knitting!

Classic cover with one centre cable and “polo” neck.

Cable rib cover knitted in the round with eyelets to thread with ribbon and gather up.

Plain hot water bottle cover with button fastening.

2 colour patterned cover with drawstring i-cord fastening.

A lovely decorated cover in crochet.

For more Christmas gifts to make click HERE!

1 comment:

Jacqui said...

Thanks Sally for hot water bottle cover pattern. Lovely for a xmas prez.