In Defense of the Cosy and a Free Pattern

A few months ago I decided that I had to knit a cosy for my water bottle. I was tired condensation soaking the side of my pants as a I walked and wiping up water rings whenever I picked it up. A knit cosy seemed like the perfect solution. Stay with me here. I know the first thing people thing of when they hear “cosy” are creepy toilet paper covers. I know I do. 

Cozies can be functional though. I like cup cozies since anything that lets me drink hot beverages without burning my hands is a winner. Phone cozies are pretty helpful too since they protect screens from scratches. Hot water bottle cozies keep hot water hot longer. I’ve never made a tea cosy but I’ve got a small glass pot that could probably use a little insulation between pours.

So, I measured my water bottle and started knitting it a cosy in hopes that the thing would stop sweating all over me. My first thought was to use cotton because it makes absorbent kitchen towels, but I went with wool instead. Wool has more stretch than cotton which has helped keep the cosy on the bottle. Plus, wool is a much better insulator. It’ll definitely keep you warm, but it’ll also keep cold things cold. I fill up the cozied water bottle with ice and cold water. Even after sitting in 80º room for 70 minutes, there’s still ice floating around hours later. Cozies win!

If I’ve convinced you to cosy up your water bottle, here are a few tips and a recipe.

Measure first. It’s tempting to eye ball and guess how many stitches to cast on, but water bottles are larger around than you’d think. Mine holds 33oz/1000 ml and is 11” in circumference.

Negative ease will keep the cosy in place. The knitting is going to stretch during use and, if it stretches too much, the cosy will just fall off. By making the cosy slightly smaller than the water bottle, the cosy will stretch to fit but not get too big. A negative ease of 10% worked well for me. 

For example: My water bottle is 11” around and my gauge was 6 stitches to the inch which would give me 66 stitches before negative ease. Including 10% ease means I’d need 10% fewer stitches which brings the cast on number to 60. 

Put some ribbing on it. Whether you’re adding lace or sticking with stockinette, a few inches of 2x2 ribbing at the top will make the cosy easy to get on and off.  

Use wool. It’s got great stretch which will keep the cosy on your bottle. It’ll keep cold water cold and hot water hot. Plus, it’ll be a little easier on your hands when you knit.

Waffle Rib Water Bottle Cosy Recipe

Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches. For my 11” circumference bottle, that was 60 stitches at gauge of 6 stitches/inch.

Join to work in the round. Work 2x2 rib for 1.5”

Repeat the waffle rib pattern until the cosy is as tall as your water bottle. 

    Rows 1-2: knit

    Rows 3-4: knit 2, purl 2

Decreases work just like a hat. Repeat 1 decrease row and 1 knit row. Here’s what it looks like over 60 sts (there were 6 set of decreases that happened over 10 sts):

    Row 1: *knit 8 sts, k2tog* repeat between * *

    Row 2: knit all 

    Row 3: *knit 7 sts, k2tog*

    Row 4: knit all

    Row 5: *knit 6 sts, k2tog*

    Row 6: knit all 

    Row 7: *knit 5 sts, k2tog*

    Row 8: knit all

Once I’d decreased half the stitches, I started decreasing every row to keep bottom from bunching.

Cut the yarn and pull through the stitches when there’s 10 or less on the needles.

Weave in the ends and the cosy is good to go.