This jumper-wearing polar bear gives the warmest hugs, but that’s not even the half of it. His blushing cheeks and fluffy pom pom ears have got us diving into the Team Mollie yarn stash and reaching for our knitting needles, plus his jazzy sweater is a great introduction to Fair Isle, too.
If you’re still on the hunt for last minute Christmas pressies, knit your own version, then wrap him up with fancy hot chocolate and marshmallows to make a warming bundle of cosy winter treats.
The hot water bottle cover is made from three main pieces. The front is knitted from the bottom upwards in one piece, starting with Yarn A, adding a Fair Isle section in the middle, and finishing in Yarn B. When working the Fair Isle section,
where there are two colours in the same row, keep the colour not in use on the WS of the work, carrying the yarn across the back as you go. Keep these carried strands quite loose so they don’t pull the fabric. The back of the cover is made in two pieces to form an envelope opening. The lower half is knitted from the bottom up in Yarn A, finishing with a rib section where the envelope will be formed. The top half is knitted from the envelope opening upwards in Yarn B, starting with a rib section.
The feet are made separately in Yarn B, and two pom poms are made in Yarn B for the ears.
- Stylecraft Special DK, 100% acrylic, 295m/322yd per 100g, one ball each in Mustard (1823) (Yarn A), White (1001) (Yarn B), Fondant (1241) (Yarn C), Sherbet (1034) (Yarn D) and Grey (1099) (Yarn E)
- 4.5mm (UK 7, US 7) knitting needles
- Yarn needle
- 4.5cm (17/8″) pom pom maker
- Black embroidery thread
Approx 20 sts and 26 rows in st st to measure 10cm (4″) square
- st(s) stitch(es)
- k knit
- p purl
- kfb knit into front and back of same stitch
- ssk slip one st, knit one st, knit slipped sts together k2tog knit two sts together
- st st stocking stitch – knit one row, purl one row repeated
- rep repeat
- RS right side WS wrong side
Approx. 18.5 x 28cm (73/8 x 11″) to fit hot water bottle approx. 16 x 26.5cm
(63/8 x 101⁄2″)
Polar bear hot water bottle cover knitting pattern
You Will Need
- Knitting needles
Row 2 (WS) p to end
Repeat the last 2 rows, 2 more times [34sts]
Row 7 ktoend
Row 8 ptoend
Row 9 k1, kfb, k to last 2 sts, kfb, k1 [36sts]
Row 10 p to end
Rep the last 4 rows, 2 more times [40sts]
Using stranded Fair Isle, work the chart above, repeating the pattern 5 times across the row, and joining and cutting each yarn colour as necessary. Next, cut Yarn A and join in Yarn B. Starting with a k row, work 12 rows of st st, or until the Yarn B section measures 5cm (2″), ending on a p row.
Row 1 k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1 [38sts]
Row 2 p to end
Row 3 k to end
Row 4 p to end
Rep the last 4 rows, two more times, then work Rows 1 and 2 again [32sts]
Row 15 k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1 [30sts]
Row 16 p to end
Rep the last 2 rows, three more times [24sts]
Row 23 k1, (ssk) twice, k to last 5 sts, (k2tog) twice, k1 [20sts]
Row 24 p to end
Rep the last 2 rows, once more [16sts]
Cast off, then weave the ends into the back of the Fair Isle.
Work as given for the Front to just before the Fair Isle section (i.e. to end of Row 18), ending on a p row. Starting with a k row, work 18 rows of st st, or until the piece measure 12.5cm (5″) from the bottom edge Next row (RS) *k1, p1, rep from * to end of row
Rep the last row, five more times. Cast off in pattern
Back – top
Using Yarn B, cast on 40 sts
Row 1 (RS) *k1, p1, rep from * to end of row
Rep the last row, five more times Starting with a k row, work 4 rows of st st. Work as given for the Head shaping from Row 1 onwards.
Foot (make 4)
Row 11 k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1 [6sts]
Row 12 p to end
Rep the last 2 rows once more [4sts]
Next row ssk, k2tog [2sts]
Cast off, leaving a long tail
Place the front and lower back pieces together with RS facing. Using a long length of Yarn A and a yarn needle, seam the bottom edge using horizontal mattress stitch. Next, seam the sides with normal mattress stitch, matching up the Yarn A sections.
Position the upper back piece in line with the front head section, with RS facing. Seam in the same way from the top, then down both sides, using Yarn B. Overlap the last few stitches of the Yarn B ribbing with the top few stitches of the Yarn A ribbing.
Place two of the foot pieces together with RS facing. Using the long tail, seam down one side using mattress stitch, across the toe (cast on edge) using horizontal mattress stitch, and finish seaming the final side. Leave the top edge open and stuff the yarn tails inside to pad the foot out. Repeat with the remaining two foot pieces.
Position the feet at either side of the lower body just before the shaping starts, as shown in the main image, and sew them securely to the body using horizontal mattress stitch.
Using the pom pom maker and Yarn B, make two pom poms and leave the central ties long.
Position the pom poms as ears on either side of the head where it starts to curve, and thread the long tails through to the wrong side, roughly 2.5cm (1″) apart. Knot the tails, then weave the loose ends into the seam in opposite directions to secure.
To embroider the face, refer to the main image as a guide. The eyes, nose and mouth are stitched with black embroidery thread. Use three strands and satin stitch for the eyes, six strands and satin stitch for the nose, and six strands and whipped backstitch for the mouth. Use a length of Yarn C and satin stitch to add the cheeks.
We hope you enjoyed making Jessica’s project. Once you’ve used Jessica’s polar bear hot water bottle cover knitting pattern share a picture of your creation with us on Instagram using #molliemakers, and don’t forget to subscribe to Mollie Makes to get creative inspiration delivered to your door every month!
Jessica works from her home studio in Bristol as a freelance writer and crafter. Though she’s a knitter at heart, she’s also learning to sew, and is on a mission to create an (almost!) entirely handmade wardrobe. You can keep up with her crafty pursuits on Instagram @jessbiscoe.