Like a Victorian, I've taken to the habit of bringing a hot water bottle to bed with me at night:
I used to feel a bit geriatric about this, but no longer. I read an article in the Financial Times by British architect Ben Pentreath that rather than going out in the winter, he'd much rather snuggle up in bed with a hot water bottle and watch The West Wing ... substitute Criminal Minds and that sounds like a good January evening to me! And recently author Jane Brocket blogged about not being able to go to bed without her hot water bottle warming her feet.
I detest electric blankets. First, the thought of falling asleep enveloped by a magnetic force field scares me. Second, around 2 a.m. I tend to heat up ... I know because I wake in the morning with my bedclothes strewn over the floor and blankets kicked off the bed, and an electric blanket is simply overkill. Third, I worry about those blankets catching on fire. Or leaving the house with the blanket on. Hot water bottles can be placed where they're needed -- on a sore back, near icy cold feet -- and there's no danger they'll fry my brain or other parts. (My only worry is that someday my son will jump on the bed and the hot water bottle will explode into the sheets.)
Last weekend I finally got around to knitting a cozy for one of my bottles. The hot water bottle can get quite hot against my skin without a buffer, plus wool is insulating and keeps the bottle warm all night long. I used a free pattern I found on Ravelry and modified it to accommodate the leftover yarn I had from one of my Christmas projects (to be blogged about later). This cozy is knit from the bottom up, which means it has to be seamed, so next time I'll knit it from the top down so I can graft the stitching at the bottom closed. The wool -- a dark olive -- is very drab, so the next cozy I make will be bright and pretty.
Are you a fan of hot water bottles or do you associate them with cramps, Charles Dickens, and bruised knees?