I have been a huge fan of my heating pad for a very long time. I also love my buckwheat bag and pretty much anything else that will keep me warm.
I use the buckwheat bag to relieve sinus congestion and migrains and to ease achy muscles and joints. I use the heating pad for sore muscles, etc, but especially to warm up before bed. These means that I ultimately fall asleep on it, which is definitely not recommended by the manufacturer. I recently gave up (over) using the heating pad and purchased a good old fashioned hot water bottle.
As soon as we brought it home, I knew I needed to make something that would make the rubber more comfortable. My dog was very interested in it, because it smelled strongly of rubber (like many of her toys do), but that quality didn't encourage me to use the water bottle too much. I guess I must have higher standards.
I seriously considered knitting a waterbottle cozy. There are a lot of great patterns out there.
I really liked Bessiebear's Hot Water Bottle Cover, the Celtic Cozy, and Maks Hot Water Bottle Cover (all of these are free patterns) but I worried about getting gauge and mostly just wanted the hot water bottle cover to be done, so I could start using it already.
I ended up finding a pattern on Made of Cloth that would allow me to use some of felted sweaters I have been collecting. It seemed like the perfect way to get a nice wooly hot water bottle cover quickly.
I used the two sleeves of this sweater that I picked up a while ago. I love this sweater and the colours.
Before felting a sweater, I always cut it into pieces. I cut off the sleeves and cut them open to prevent folds in the felted sweater (if the sleeve is not cut open, the folds will likely stay in place later). I make sure to give the pieces a good iron on the wool setting, especially around the edges which tend to roll.
I pretty much followed the pattern on Made of Cloth. Where the water bottle cover was to open, I used the finished hem on the sleeve (shown as the solid black strip in the 3rd photo below). With sewing I was able to go back and adjust the size so it fits my water bottle pretty well. I ended up doing adjusting a couple of times, until I was happy with the look and fit of the cover.
The result is a pretty / snuggly / warm and still functional hot water bottle cover. The perfect thing to sooth those cramps and aches and pains away.