Thursday, February 5, 2015


The little birds have found the feeder again.

Early in the morning, before the sun is up - 
hence these dark pictures -

they begin to appear, perching atop branches
and clinging vertically to the icicles hanging over the windows,
awaiting their chance to swoop in.

Some are willing to share.
Some are not.

But sooner or later,
everyone has a turn.


There has been a lot more snow this week,
and also some snowstorm knitting.
Bundled up in the big chair by the parlor window.

With entertainment.

It has been so brutally cold lately,
I've been feeding the squirrels.
It helps keep them from going insane
trying to winkle seeds out of the bird feeder.
We all need a little help from time to time -
don't we? - 
to keep from going insane.
In February.

Which is why I made a handknit "cozy"
for my hot water bottle.

Do you use hot water bottles?
Or do you associate them with Wodehouse-era pranks
and slapstick calamities?
I used to be in the Wodehouse/calamity camp,
having never seen or heard of a hot water bottle in actual use.

But after reading a thread on ravelry
where many Irish and British and European ravellers
gently expressed their surprise that everyone doesn't
routinely use hot water bottles...
I bought one online in 2008
and became a convert.

Encasing one's hwb in a woolen cozy
will help it retain heat for much, much longer.
So wouldn't you think I'd have knitted one a bit sooner?
I have no excuse.
Until now, my hardworking hwb has been
wrapped unceremoniously in an old polarfleece pillowcase.

Well, not anymore!
I began this project for
the Stitched Together Random Rummage Craft-a-Long
and finished it in four days.
It still needs a light steam blocking
to even out those wonky stitches...
but it's pretty cozy, alright!

I hope you are faring well, whatever your February weather.

Try to stay warm if it's cold
and cool if it's hot.

And whatever you do...

don't run out of hay.



  1. I have window feeders next to my desk. Love watching the birds. They're so active when it snows! What fun action shots.

    Not a hot bottle user - but a microwave rice bag user. Couldn't live without it! That's a nice cover!

    My guinea pigs have the same attitude towards hay!

    1. Those rice bags are very nice! I used to heat one up to put behind my back in car :)

  2. Well I visited your blog from the 2015 Grow your blog event, and I must say you have a delightful little blog here!! I especially liked my visit because your into nature, am I. Your pictures were beautiful!!

    When you get a chance, I hope you will stop by and visit me sometime!

    I like a lot of different things...including knitting!!

    1. Thanks - I will visit ;)
      And do come back to enter my giveaway if you'd like to!

  3. Yes, we all do need a little help at times. All those little furry and feathered creatures sure could use some winter kindness, that's for sure. Never have used a hwb but the knitted sweater for yours is lovely. Warm wishes, Tammy

  4. Hello Quin. loved seeing your photos of the birds around you , feeding from the feeders, So much snow, but your goats look happy with their hay.
    I have to admit I'm a hot water bottle person during the winter. Loved your cosy HWB cover, Great idea.

    1. I was just admiring YOUR pictures of birds, and thinking how bright and cheery they look - unlike my midwinter murk!

  5. Definitely a hot water bottle user too :)

  6. It looks as if your hwb is the modern, rubber kind! I grew up in the early medieval period with the stone hot water bottles, and still remember the agonizing shriek of the stopper being screwed firmly in place. But they retained heat a long time, and you wrapped them in a blanket or something. I have to admit I like my electric blanket, warming the entire bed at one time, and the luxury of sliding into it....and switching it off promptly. My cats approve, too.

    1. I also use an electric blanket to warm the bed, then turn it off. I have quite a collection of "zone warming" devices, the relevant zone being roughly within one inch of my entire body.

  7. I don't know what's prettier - the little birds in the snow, or that hwb cover you've made. I have this little dog that has no blood, and freezes in 60 degrees - I've resorted to making him a microvave-able bag filled with buckwheat husks, with a polar fleece cover. I do remember the old hwb's from my childhood. Stay warm, my friend - plenty of hay here, but keep yourself fed, as well! XOXO

    1. I'll bet your dog loves his little bedwarmer :)

  8. Your birds are so pretty..... How's Piper?

    1. She alternates between "leaping about covered in snow from head to tail" and "curled up in a little ball, sound asleep." It's a tough life for Piper!

  9. I'm glad that you care for the little squirrels too! I haven't seen ANY squirrels in my yard for the past week, and I wonder if the resident hawk has made a meal of them ... or the cats that I find stalking my birds. I put plenty of seeds on the ground for the squirrels and doves, and I've found that keeps them off the feeder. I just have to keep an eye on Cody since he thinks birdseed is irresistible! I grew up with scorching hot water bottles in the end of my bed (thanks Mom!!). My mom made us all long flannel nightgowns, so we would curl our feet in the nightgown and then on top of the water bottle. Wrapping it up in a towel or something never entered our silly heads. I loved having that warm bottle in my bed, but it really did burn the feet at first. My dad never let us have the heat above 62F in the daytime, it must have been about 50 at night. Just enough heat to keep the water lines from bursting ... I was always freezing in winter. Glad to see you've kept the hay stocked up! We're in for a snow filled weekend here. And the second baby owlet hatched, did you see the video of the two owlets together? Way cute! Wendy

    1. That's the second purpose of the hwb cover - to protect skin from the heat of a newly-filled bottle. Very hot indeed!
      Yes, I am keeping up with the owls :)

  10. Gorgeous photos of your winter birds. I agree, even the squirrels need a little help every now and then!

    I've never used a hwb but I've used higher tech things (a hwb would probably work better)!!! I love the cozy you knitted for it!

    1. I also have quite an arsenal of warming devices, most requiring electricity, like my blanket. The hwb is unique - no plug attached and no microwave preheat needed. As long as I can heat water...and I can do that even when the power is out.
      I also find it's helpful for a stiff neck or shoulder.

  11. I am cuddling my hot water bottle as I type! But it does not have a snazzy knitted coat, poor thing!


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