Last weekend the clan and I headed off to Brookfield Zoo, one of the best zoos in the Midwest. While packing, I realized I was looking at hauling five stainless steel water bottles around for 6+ hours. Not to mention lunch, snacks, sunscreen, etc etc. Oof! It was time for a redistribution of weight – and at 10pm with a 5:30am wake up call, I wasn’t going to be running to the store. One big ball of yarn and hook to the rescue!
I made the first Stainless Steel Water Bottle Sling that night, and two more in the car on the way to the zoo (don’t worry, I didn’t drive). The pattern is easy to memorize, and fit all three kid’s water bottles we brought, even though they were all different sizes and manufacturers. The only alterations I made between them were to make two different “heights” to accommodate a shorter and taller bottle – seen above on my two handsome models. If you have a particularly wide bottle, you can just add a couple rounds to the bottom using standard increases, as in the pattern.
The kids carried their bottles all day long without a single complaint – and these are kids who occasionally moan about carrying their own towels to the pool. Breathable cotton yarn and wide straps that weren’t too long made them comfortable and easy to use – and washable to boot! We’ll be using these on all our outings from now on – hiking, park trips, zoo visits, you name it!
Stainless Steel Water Bottle Sling
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- US – I, 5.5mm hook
- 100-200 yards worsted weight kitchen cotton yarn (Bernat Handicrafter shown in zoo photo, Lily Sugar’n Cream shown in all other photos)
- Start with a Magic Circle, working 6 sc into the ring. Join to first sc with a sl st, and ch1. Pull starting end to tighten circle.
- Sc twice into each st around. (12 sc) Join to first sc with a sl st, and ch1.
- *Sc in next st, then work 2sc into next st. Repeat from * to end. (18 sc) Join to first sc with a sl st, and ch1.
- *Sc in next 2 sts, then work 2sc into next st. Repeat from * to end. (24 sc) Join to first sc with a sl st, and ch1.
- *Sc in next 3 sts, then work 2sc into next st. Repeat from * to end. (30 sc) Join to first sc with a sl st, and ch1.
- Working in BLO, sc evenly around. (30 sc). Join to first sc with a sl st, and ch1.
- Sc evenly around. (30 sc) Join to first sc with a sl st.
- Ch 4 (counts as first dc and ch), sk first 2 sts, and dc in the next st. *Ch 1, sk next st, dc in next st. Repeat from * until 1 st remains. Ch 1 and join with a sl st in the ch 4 sp. (15 dc and 15 ch)
- Ch 4. *Skip next dc and dc in next ch sp, then ch 1. Repeat to end. Join with sl st in the ch 4 sp. (15 dc and 15 ch)
- Repeat Row 9.
- Ch 1 and sc twice in each ch sp around. (30 sc) Join with sl st to first sc.
- Ch 1 and sc evenly around. (30 sc). Join with sl st to first sc.
- Repeat Row 8.
- Repeat Row 9.
- Repeat Row 10.
- Repeat Row 11.
- Repeat Row 12.
- If your water bottle is the shorter type, approximately 6-8 inches tall, then move to the Strap directions below. If your water bottle is taller, approximately 8-10 inches, repeat Rows 8-12 once more moving on to the Strap.
Make the Strap:
- Ch 2 and dc in the same st. Dc in the next 5 sts. Turn.
- Repeat Row 1 until desired length is reached. Remember that the strap will stretch a few inches, especially with a full water bottle inside, so make it a bit shorter than you want it to hang. For reference, I made about 40 rows for my 5 year old, 42 rows for my 6 year old, and 50 rows for my 10 year old.
- Break the yarn, leaving 6-12″ inches for sewing, and finish off. Use this tail to whip stitch the strap tightly to the opposite side of the opening. The strap is 6 sts wide and the opening is 30 sts around, so you should have 9 sts between the strap ends on each side.
- In the middle of one side of the opening, away from the handles, join the yarn with a sl st and ch 1. Sc evenly around the opening and along the side of the handle, working a sc2tog over each corner, as shown below – this gives nice tight angles for the handle and adds a little sturdiness. Come back around to the first sc and use the seamless join to finish off. Repeat on other side of the sling and handle. Weave in ends.
And that’s all there is to it! It took me about an hour and to make each sling, and the payoff was well worth it. The kids carried their own water, no whining occurred (well, not about that at least), and we have the perfect accessory for our next summer outing. I’m sure they’ll get a ton of use next week with the 4th of July holiday. Enjoy your summer vacation and drink your water!
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