Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Felted Wool Water Bottle Holders and Tutorial to Make Your Own!

So, I had said I write a post about the water bottle holders I've been making. I admit they are very addicting to make, since they knit up so quickly!

They are made with 100% wool roving yarn (also called single-ply bulky sometimes). I've been buying it at JoAnn's, but most yarn shops (brick and mortar as well as online) have some, though the colors are sometimes limited. I've been using size 10 1/2 DPNs, then switching to circulars. But you can do the entire thing on DPNs if you prefer. I'm also planning on experimenting with size 9 DPNs for the ribbed section on top, since it still has a tendency to not felt up as tight with the rest of the piece.

Here's a completed holder, before it's been felted. This is a 40 oz Klean Kanteen bottle, which it is made to fit.

The pattern is my own design, and it's very simple.

This is intended to fit standard 18-27 oz Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles. 

size 10 1/2 Double Pointed Needles ( you can do the entire thing in 10 1/2 DPNs, or you can use a smaller needle size for the ribbed section. I've used 10 and am experimenting with size 9. Also, you may wish to switch to circulars after the first 5 or so rows. I find it much easier to start on DPNs, due to the number of stitches being cast on.)

Cast on 40 stitches (48 st for a 40 oz bottle)
Rnd 1: K2, P2, continue to end of rnd.
continue to work in 2x2 rib for 15 rnds.
Knit 40 rnds in stockinette (55 rnds for 27 and 40 oz) 
(I have not made any holders for the 12 oz, but my guess would be at this point to knit 20-25 rnds, after the 15 rib)

To form the bottom:
Begin decreasing: 
Round 1: k8, k2tg. Repeat to end of rnd (k10, k2tg, repeat to end of rnd for 40 oz)
Round 2: k7, k2tg, repeat to end of rnd (k9, k2tg, repeat to end of rnd for 40 oz)
Round 3:k6, k2tg, repeat to end of rnd (k8, k2tg, repeat to end of rnd for 40 oz)
You get the idea here, right? Keep decreasing the rounds until you have only one stitch left. Knot it and weave in the ends.

There. Now comes the felting. Now I know I do not necessarily do it the "right" way. But it works for me, and it's easy-peasy. I throw it in the washing machine on a hot/cold, delicate cycle with one rinse and a little bit of detergent. I've heard that you should not allow felting items to go through the spin cycle, but I haven't had any problems with these holders. Feel free to skip the spin cycle if you like. The basic point is that you need to get the holder down the size of the bottle. If you have the bottle on hand, use it to check the progress of the holder. I usually put mine in the dryer too, but again, this is optional. It can be left to air dry (perhaps stuffed with paper to hold the shape)

If you notice, some of the holders pictured are folded over at the top. This was because they were too tall for the bottles. I was able to get the grommets through two layers, but it was a little tough. I have altered the pattern to make the holders shorter, therefore folding shouldn't be necessary. 

Next step is to add the grommets. I find placing them a little lower is better. I use extra-large grommets, and 1 inch wide strapping (for the strap). I like to make the strap adjustable, so I use a plastic strap adjuster for that purpose. Wa-La...a new wool water bottle holder! The great thing about it is that it is a natural insulator! Enjoy! (If you are interested in a full step-by-step tutorial, please contact me. I won't bother if no one is interested!)

NOTE: I have never done a knitting pattern before for others to use, so be gentle with me if I don't do it exactly correctly. Experienced knitters should have no trouble following it (or making it up for themselves!) If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, I'd be happy to help! 


These particular holders have been in use for a few months now, and they are holding up very well. I noticed that the 27 oz holder (not pictured) really stretched out alot. I think it's the weight from the water dragging it down. I also think I needed to place the grommets a little lower, to offset the weight. I don't have pics of it, but  I will get some up soon.

And so there you go...my first pattern on this blog! And it's free! I hope someone else can enjoy it as much I have! (and I DO have a few of these all knitted up that I need to finish and list in my Etsy shop, in case anyone is interested in purchasing a ready-made one! Feel free to contact me to give me encouragement to get going on these!)

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent stainless steel bottle which both my husband and I use daily. I bought the orange one; he uses the regular stainless steel. We used to buy tons of the plastic water bottles, drinking several a day, but wanted to cut down on our use of plastics. These water bottles work well in conjunction with my water filter system and the taste is clean and fresh tasting. Highly recommend them and this is a very usable size.